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Thursday, November 07, 2002
7:05 PM      

New School University recently had a panel discussion called "The Psychic State of Our Country." The discussion has continued in their online forum. Someone forwarded a recent post from the forum to me.

.... A friend of mine Moukhtar Kocache had been in the local NYC news alot since 911. His office was on the 91st floor - he ran an artists residecy program for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, using the 91st floor of World Trade #1 as their studios (they lost one artist in the attack). Since then he had been busy setting up a memorial foundation for that artist ....

Because he was born in Lebanon, and I imagine, because he worked at the World Trade Center, the FBI showed up at his door the other night to question him. Because at one point I lived with him as his girlfriend, they have my name too. Now, I should tell you that I myself am born in Israel to Iraqi-Jewish parents who had to leave Iraq in 1946 because of growing intimidation and persecution towards the Jews.

....Now, because of where he was born, he has to be subjected to intimidation. He along with other arab men his age will have to register and get fingerprinted at the INS. This might sound like an inconvenience to some, but to him, to myself and to all of our friends, colleagues and neighbors who have enjoyed and appreciated his presence in New York - this is very scary !!

I told him to show up at INS with a yellow Jewish star patch on his lapel.

It certainly seems that we are entering a very dark period in our history. Seems we've learned nothing since the time we locked Japanese Americans up in camps in the '40s. Now, Bush and his people think the midterm elections have given him the mandate he clearly did not get when he took office.

I have at least one friend who's thinking about leaving the country. He's weighing whether he wants to keep his US citizenship.

[ link | e-me ]

Wednesday, November 06, 2002
7:49 AM      

What were they thinking?
"In a historic midterm election, Republicans seized control of the U.S. Senate and tightened their grip on the U.S. House of Representatives, shifting the balance of power in Washington." ...
- ABC News

A one-party government... that's one way to end partisan bickering, I guess.


Today I noticed that Dreamweaver MX puts <strong> tags in my HTML instead of <b> tags when I set text to bold. I didn't think I liked this change. It opens the door for browsers to interpret the HTML differently. I doubt it's as problematic as the <emph> tag, which is interpreted as bold on some browsers and italic on others, but I wondered what's up.

I went to to check out the HTML 4.01 spec, and found the following info in the fonts section:

"The following HTML elements specify font information. Although they are not all deprecated, their use is discouraged in favor of style sheets." The list of elements includes TT, I, B, BIG, SMALL, STRIKE, S, and U.

The article goes on to explain that the standard recommends CSS for specific style control, and acknowledges that browsers might indeed show varying interpretations of markup such as <strong>.

[ link | e-me ]

Tuesday, November 05, 2002
7:44 AM      

It's election day. I just saw a piece about how campaign monitors from around the world are in Florida to monitor the elections. The woman who supervises elections says there aren't enough voting machines, and there are going to be problems. Oh - and Broward County is using new electronic machines. The ballot is the longest in history, and reading it aloud to a blind voter would take 45 minutes to complete. Yikes.


We saw the movie "Frida" last night. It's very good. Very engaging. I don't know a lot of her story, and the movie did a good job of not only outlining her life and relationship with Diego Rivera, but also connected her life and her art in a very vivid way. The cinematography took some worthwhile risks, making the film more artistic, which was very appropriate for the subject.

In spite of the pain that Kahlo suffered throughout her life, the film didn't obsess on that. Also, both Kahlo and Rivera had strong sexual appetites which were effectively depicted without becoming voyeuristic. The movie also avoided becoming too mired in the political subplot of the times — World war II and the exile of Trotsky were all happening at that time, and those topics did not overtake the plot.

The movie did feel long at a couple of points. There was a lot to cover, and you could sense the director wrestling with the material, perhaps making slightly abrupt cuts, in a few places. But overall, "Frida" gave me an appreciation for this fascinating artist's life and made me want to find out more.

[ link | e-me ]

7:16 PM      

I just heard a commercial for the Radio City Christmas show. It's the first time I'm hearing it. Yesterday, I noticed a woman putting up holiday decorations at the convenience store across the street. We're still weeks away from Thanksgiving, but the Chistmas season is already gearing-up.

[ link | e-me ]

Monday, November 04, 2002
12:25 PM      

Still in the job hunt, I decided to try something different. I wanted to get closer to the heart of what motivates me (something that I'm generally only vaguely aware of). More often than not, It's easier for me to give you a detailed list of what I don't want, rather than what I want.

I signed up for a career/personality assessment called M.A.P.P. [requires registration], and the results ring fascinatingly true. Reading through the 25-page report, I actually saw a couple of things about myself that never landed before.

The section labeled "How you relate to people..." has some telling information:

Rather than a motivation for putting others first, Louis's preferences revolve around self as a first priority. Louis is motivated by self-interest, status, and recognition. Louis does not like to lose, so all options and choices are evaluated on the basis of the chance of gain versus the chance of loss before a decision or commitment is made. Stress and frustration are experienced when things aren't going Louis's way. Pleasure, enthusiasm, and energy are experienced when things are going Louis's way. Association and relationships are chosen, maintained, or abandoned on the basis of self-interest.

That paragraph actually gives me a new perspective on what's behind a few of the more significant events of the last few years.

From the section labeled "Those tasks you want to perform":

Louis has a curiosity and awareness about the nature and utility of things. Analysis and experimentation are part of vocational and recreational activities. But those are probably not specialized or professional activities. Instead, they are a part of a mix of functional preferences. Preferences that are technically oriented cause Louis to think systematically and to be motivated where challenging activities are developmental or experimental.

Motivational levels are highest for Louis when in the limelight where recognition is earned, deserved, or given. However, there is no "ego trip" involved in the effort. Louis can comfortably function in the foreground or the background. Nonetheless, recognition is a motivating vocational factor. ...

Louis enjoys social or vocational interaction with others but is not dependent on direct contact and association. If some work responsibilities or activities require functioning apart from others, it can be done without the need for social breaks to be with others. ...

I think this stuff is more than a parlor trick. I'm planning a couple of sessions with some career development people, and this input has me thinking of looking into some areas that I'd not given a lot of serious consideration before.

[ link | e-me ]

1:27 PM      

Once again, Texas leads the way.

From "Mentally Ill Man Faces Execution"
- The New York Times [requires registration]

Barring an unexpected reprieve, James Colburn will be executed on Wednesday for the 1994 strangulation and stabbing death of Peggy Murphy. He admits he committed the murder, just as prosecutors admit the other salient point in the case: that Mr. Colburn is severely mentally ill.

Psychiatrists first detected Mr. Colburn's condition, later diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia, when he was 14. At 17, he was raped. He soon began hearing voices and suffering delusions. He told his mother he saw a devil slither out of his stomach. Often, his medical records say, the voices told him to kill himself or his family. He has tried to commit suicide at least 15 times.

The unsettled question in Mr. Colburn's case — one upon which his life hangs — is whether it matters that he dozed through his own murder trial because he was so heavily medicated with antipsychotic drugs. ...

The Colburn case comes nearly seven months after the trial of another mentally ill defendant in Houston, Andrea Yates, became a rallying cry for advocates who say the mentally ill should not be executed. Mrs. Yates was given a life sentence for drowning her five children.

In June, the Supreme Court banned executing the mentally retarded, though no such prohibition applies to the mentally ill. Unlike Mrs. Yates, Mr. Colburn, 42, has attracted little attention. But in many ways, he offers a more typical example of how a mentally ill person becomes a violent criminal. ...

"You treat him to a level of wellness so you can kill him," Mr. Lovelace said. "That really creates a question in my mind of whether or not we have a humane application of the death penalty for people with mental illness."...

In the Sunday Times, I read an article about a man who's spent half his life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Recent evidence has conclusively exhonerated him. Since he didn't do it, he never participated in group therapy. And since he never "admitted" to the crime, he never expressed remorse — the one act that can reduce your sentence. The penal codes have built in sentence reductions for criminals who accept responsibility for their crimes. The result? Wrongfully convicted people are likely to spend more time in jail than criminals who confess and show remorse. No, I don't think that case was in Texas.

[ link | e-me ]

2:24 PM      

More navel-staring...

I took a Myers-Briggs personality profile a while ago. After doing the MAPP, I wanted to see how the two fit together. It's very interesting.

I'm ENTP (Rational-Inventer):

Ok. Ready? You like to chase the novel and complex. You have faith in your ability to overcome any challenges you face... highly independent... value adaptability and innovation... you encourage and value change...

You need freedom for action... you resist hierarchy and structure... you push against all odds to further your projects with your entrepreneurial tendencies... you can argue and find the flaws in any position...

How'm I doing so far? You rarely accept things just as they are... you like to test new meanings and relationships... when you don't get what you want, you use your cleverness and ingenuity to bring people around to your point of view... when you choose a career, you tend to set flexible goals that allow you to incorporate new information and accommodate to new circumstances...

"Keep your options open" is your middle name... you like to explore the "road not taken." Your flexibility can look like indecision to others who don't have a clue about take advantage of opportunities... you realize potential of many things because of your ability to see connections and relationships between SEEMINGLY unrelated things... you cannot be ordered around, but rather handle things best when they are *suggestions*... like posting more on the Storm Palace BBS you love excitement...

Competence is key to you... you don't take advice or respect someone you don't see as competent... you want work to be're a relentless learner. Knowledge is important to you... you use your enthusiasm to get others involved in your learning... you learn through give-and-take discussions and by questioning and challenging others... you like challenging your teachers and colleagues... limitations are mere challenges to you... you take initiative, and once the ball is rolling, you like to turn it over to someone else...

You like to organize logically and strategically... your work space might not LOOK organized, but underneath it all is a system that works for you. You like to have an impact... you need a job that allows you to be innovative. you like to take risks and explore... an open calendar for the weekend is really appealing... you're often "in on the latest things"... you like travel, 'cause it allows you to open up new vistas and horizons' (corny, huh?).

Falling in love happens when there's a good "fit" with another person... you often know after the first meeting whether there's any "real potential"... you may not like to commit until that right person comes along... therefore you probably won't settle down early... you don't like to lose at ANYthing you undertake... you're a born enterpriser...

Things to be on guard for: you have a great fear of looking dumb or incompetent... you may tend to think you have the perfect solutions for problems, and may become competitive when others challenge you... you might start to think that you're the only one who's in on the truth of things, so you might not like to listen to the input of others... you may have the tendency to overextend yourself as you jump in on lots of ideas without considering how long it takes to work 'em through... commit to too many projects? are a rebel... you find it difficult to accept standard operating procedures... and hate HAVING to follow exact rules or policies... learn to work within the system.

ENTP: "Each New Thought Propels"

17% of ENTPs are photographers, which also connects with the recommended career areas in my MAPP profile. My dad's a retired chemist - most likely INTP... introverted, rather than extroverted like me. Walt Disney was ENTP.

[ link | e-me ]

3:09 PM      

Just for the heck of it, I re-took an online Myers-Briggs test (Jung Typology Test). I'd have been surprised if I got a different result, but sure as shootin' I'm ENTP:

22% Extrovert, 33% Intuitive, 33% Thinking, 44% Perceiving.

* slightly expressed extrovert
* moderately expressed intuitive personality
* moderately expressed thinking personality
* moderately expressed perceiving personality

ENTPs generally have the following traits (not all traits listed):
* Project-oriented
* Enjoy generating ideas and theories
* Excellent communication skills
* Natural leaders, but do not like to control people
* Resist being controlled by people
* Lively and energetic; able to motivate others
* Highly value knowledge and competence
* Logical, rational thinkers
* Able to grasp difficult concepts and theories
* Enjoy solving difficult problems
* Dislike confining schedules and environments
* Dislike routine, detailed tasks

ENTPs are fortunate in that they have a wide range of capabilities. They are generally good at anything which has captured their interest. ENTPs are likely to be successful in many different careers. Since they have a lot of options open to them, ENTPs will do well to choose professions which allow them a lot of personal freedom where they can use their creativity to generate new ideas and solve problems.

[ link | e-me ]

Sunday, November 03, 2002
5:24 PM      

Another great NYC Marathon. It was a crisp day, probably close to ideal for the runners. Not so ideal for my fingers, though!

The guy above is named Bill. He was in last year's run, too. The amazing thing about him, is that he pushes his chair with his legs. Can't imagine going that way for 26 miles!

No mechanical advantage here.

There were many people showing their "colors" in many ways. Not just countries, but attitudes.

A not-so-famous French clown.

A very current theme.

The couple that runs together...

And then there were the people that were just out for some serious running...

Can't believe this guy wasn't freezing.

And some of them were FAST!!!

[ link | e-me ]
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