Copyright 1995 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
May 5, 1995
SECTION: THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 17
LENGTH: 1600 words
HEADLINE: JACKDAW; Jackdaw, noted for its loquacity and thievish propensities, has a reputation for snatching and hiding inedible objects.
BYLINE: Dan Glaister
SOME NEWS reports have made the misleading statement that we have been attacking universities or scholars. We have nothing against universities or scholars as such. We would not want anyone to think that we have any desire to hurt professors who study archaeology, history, literature or harmless stuff like that. The people we are out to get are the scientists and engineers, especially in critical fields like computers and genetics.
The people who are pushing all this growth and progress garbage deserve to be severely punished. But our goal is less to punish them than to propagate ideas. Anyhow we are getting tired of making bombs. It's no fun having to spend all your evenings and weekends preparing dangerous mixures, filing trigger mechanisms out of scraps of metal or searching the sierras for a place isolated enough to test a bomb. So we offer a bargain.
We have a long article that we want to have published. If you can get it published according to our requirements we will permanently desist from terrorist activities. It must be published in the New York Times, Time or Newsweek, or in some other widely read, nationally distributed periodical. Because of its length we suppose it will have to be serialised. Alternatively, it can be published as a small book.
Please see to it that the answer to our offer is well publicised so that we won't miss it. Be sure to tell us where and how it will be published. If the answer is satisfactory, we will finish typing the manuscript and send it to you. If the answer is unsatisfactory, we will start building our next bomb.
Part of a letter sent to the FBI by the Unabomber, reprinted in the New York Times. The Unabomber, so named for the targeting of academics, is thought to be responsible for 15 bombings over 17 years in the United States.
Pick 'n' mix
LLEXOMANIA: "A common benign practice in most adults, but a time-consuming, socially compromising, or physically harmful condition in some."
Nose-picking, as defined in the February edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, from .tiff.
I USED to be like everybody else. I showed up to work every day and on time. I was a devoted son and husband. Friends came to me with their problems, trusting my level-headed instincts to sort out their own Dionysian blunders. To the casual observer, I seemed to have it all, I seemed to be well adjusted and satisfied with my place in this world. I was even fooling myself. If someone had suggested that I perhaps was not as happy as I seemed to be, I would have shaken my head in puzzled amusement. But something was missing from my life. There was an emptiness inside of me. A void that needed filling. I was half a man. But things are different now. My wife has left me. My parents have disowned me. Friends snub me.
You see, my outlook is different now. I'm a new man. A changed man. My whole life changed when I met Alek. When I discovered Novahistine DH and learned how to stop worrying and love over-the-counter cough syrup.
From Pills-A-Go-Go, the journal of pills, a fanzine produced in Seattle.
ART critics could become the latest profession to join the burgeoning dole queue. Not that art criticism has become yet another victim of new technology. It's just that the average art critic's job can be done by a pigeon.
In the current issue of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour, psychologist Shigeru Watanabe and his colleagues at Keio University in Tokyo describe how they trained pigeons to distinguish a Picasso from a Monet, and more generally, impressionism from cubism, by pecking the correct picture.
They trained the pigeons to distinguish between Monet and Picasso with 90 per cent accuracy. Once trained, the pigeons maintained their ability even for works they had never seen before. And when presented with paintings of other impressionists, such as Cezanne and Renoir, the birds lumped these in with Monet's portfolio but distinguished them from works by cubists such as Georges Braque.
From a report in New Scientist.
ULTIMATELY, the power of the Internet is that it makes you think like a North American. It allows the entire world to think and write like North Americans. This is the agenda of the Internet. It goes along with NAFTA.
From an interview with Nelson Thall, Chairman of the Marshall McLuhan Center on Global Communications, published in Fringe Ware.
I HAVE met some interesting characters in my short time in cyberspace. One night, I had a rather serendipitous encounter with an opera singer who went by the interesting handle of Modem Butterfly . . . We seemed to be hitting it off until she began to withdraw a bit. "What's wrong?" I asked. "Before this goes any further, I think there's something you should know about me," she said haltingly. "I . . . I . . . I only have four megabytes of RAM. There, I said it," she confessed.
The perils of cybercourting, as described by Tom Marks in Net Guide magazine.
Jackdaw wants your jewels. Fax Jackdaw on 0171-713 4366, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or post to Jackdaw, the Guardian, 119 Farringdon Road, London WC1R 3ER.