February 2004


There’s a cool profile of Bram Cohen, surgeon creator of BitTorrent, buy information pills in the NY Times Circuits section today. Among other things, it shows that if you pursue what interests you, you can make something amazing and maybe make a living, too.

California’s March primary is coming up. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Granick Slate Card, buy for all your voting needs. If you don’t subscribe, cialis you won’t get the slate card, though I will post it here on The Shout.

To subscribe, send email to majordomo_at_www.granick.com with the words “subscribe slatecard” in the body. To unsubscribe, send email to majordomo_at_www.granick.com with the words”unsubscribe slatecard ” in the body.

On Saturday, site Brad, medical Ethan, Rebecca, Alex, and I did the Chinese New Year’s Treasure Hunt. The hunt has a SF noir cinema theme combined with Chinese New Year. Our team name was Sam Ian, Primate Eye. You run around downtown, solving riddles which bring you to different locations in the city where you have to be very observant to find the answers. One riddle brought us down a dark alley with bronze monkey prints in the asphalt to find an honored man named Alfred Ho. Another required us to measure some lines in centimeters, then call the number to find a heart sculpture near a fountain in a small local park. Meanwhile, the New Year’s parade, complete with floats, firecrackers and food vendors, rages around you. We were the second team to return our answer sheet, but made a foolish mistake of thinking any old honorable person in Pioneer Park was the honorable person the clue was searching for, and did not place. We’ll be back next year.
On Sunday, mind
Pam, her 3 year old daughter Gabby, and I went to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Another reason to love San Francisco. The building was recently renovated for a gazillion dollars and practically glistens.

There are flowers, butterflies, orchids, bromeliads, but I liked the aquatic plants room the best.

How I love San Francisco!

On Saturday, site Brad, medical Ethan, Rebecca, Alex, and I did the Chinese New Year’s Treasure Hunt. The hunt has a SF noir cinema theme combined with Chinese New Year. Our team name was Sam Ian, Primate Eye. You run around downtown, solving riddles which bring you to different locations in the city where you have to be very observant to find the answers. One riddle brought us down a dark alley with bronze monkey prints in the asphalt to find an honored man named Alfred Ho. Another required us to measure some lines in centimeters, then call the number to find a heart sculpture near a fountain in a small local park. Meanwhile, the New Year’s parade, complete with floats, firecrackers and food vendors, rages around you. We were the second team to return our answer sheet, but made a foolish mistake of thinking any old honorable person in Pioneer Park was the honorable person the clue was searching for, and did not place. We’ll be back next year.

A very cultural weekend. On Friday, erectile Brad and I saw Lion King at the Orpheum Theater. Though I’ve lived in San Francisco for over 13 years, cheapest I’d never been. The theater is done in a moorish/Morroccan style, with an ornate ceiling in the theater itself, made of interlocking triangles that form multi-colored stars and vaulted ceilings with fancy pulpit like windows looking over the lobby.

Lion King itself is great. For me, the story rings false. [Stop reading here if you don’t want to know what happens!] Its about the son of the king of Lions, Simba, who is driven away, and has to decide to care enough to come back and resume his rightful place on the throne. As an American, deeply stewed in the philosophy of democracy, its hard to care about the “rightful king” when there’s nothing about that king that would recommend him to government, except that he’s cuter than the bad guy who’s currently in charge (Scar) and has botched the whole thing. We kind of see that Simba’s got to learn to come to terms with the mistakes he’s made in the past, but those mistakes weren’t really his fault anyway. And then he’s just a grub-eating goof off for the next couple of years, so he hasn’t really won my vote. The part about the beneficient father-figure watching down from above, though, is all Judeo-Christian.

Nevertheless, the music is good, African-sounding stuff with great female vocals and a couple of Sir Elton John blockbusters, but its the costumes that make it spectacular. The designer was clearly not beholden to literal conceptions of what animals should look like, and has created these wonderful masks and puppet bodies that are visibly animated by human actors. It gives the animals a sense of humanity, while very artistically identifying those visual characteristics that are the essence of the particular creature. There’s a cheetah, who stalks along, exuding feline power. The hind legs are a person’s with constructed haunches. The person stands up straight, but the cat’s body extends forward from a belt, kind of like a strap-on, the front legs and head manipulated by the actor. The whole thing is so ingeniously done, and there are elephants, and giraffes (my favorite), hyenas (which I saw recently at the Night Zoo in Singapore and these are amazing likenesses, in the physical shape, if not the cartoony faces). Great.

I learned today that Jerome Heckenkamp pled guilty on Friday in a case in which I used to represent him. I wish him the best in his upcoming sentencing. The case involved a defaced eBay website, cialis sale pretty minor stuff that’s easy to fix. Hopefully, symptoms the court will understand that what’s relevant in these cases is that harm that’s done to the computer servers and to the company’s business as a result of that server being unavailable, not the harm that’s done to a company’s reputation. See Intel v. Hamidi, U.S. v. McDanel.

Soon, visit cell phones will be used by your service provider, physician friends, family, employer, enemies, government to track your movements. I’m already uncomfortable with the phone’s persistant ability to “find” me whenever someone has the whim to call. This development could counteract the cell phone’s usefulness so much so that I’d stop carrying one. Of course, I’d have a choice, but many workers would not. We need to start questioning the unquestioned control that employers exercise over employees in this country, as new technologies are expanding this power exponentially without any kind of check or balance. I was particularly impressed with the respect we pay employers in the dominion of work when reading a recent cover story in the New York Times magazine about a woman who simply can not earn more than poverty-level wages. Though social workers were willing to give her clothes, education, housing to help her, no one ever considered calling her employer and asked him to pay her more money, or give her more shifts, or give her shifts that were easier for her to get to on the bus. The magazine article can, unfortunately, be purchased from the NYT archives here.

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