Unique Garden Statuary

CORNERSTONE CRAFTS

Shameless plug: If you are looking for nice original statuary for your home or garden, such as pensive gargoyles, hidden statues, exotic plaque designs, ornate shelves, unique fountains, etc., then check out Oren and Justin Riak’s work here. These are some gorgeous designs. Certainly not the mass-produced suburban boredom that one would normally find at your average retail home and garden shop. Variations in color, material, and weathering give each piece it’s own unique character. I love the look of these things, and plan on getting more for my own garden.

Linux in Munich

Munich Linux decision official

Bloomberg News reports that Linux has officially won 14,000 municipal desktops in Munich, Germany, after a year-long decision process that saw Microsoft reduce its pricing and merited a visit from Microsoft CEO Steve Baller. The 82-member city council formally votes tomorrow on a proposal to dump Windows NT for Linux. Bloomberg says a published agenda for the meeting notes the switch to open source.

Wow. I’d have to say that makes the city of Munich one of the largest desktop Linux enterprise deployments to date. Very cool. And the real interesting part is Ballmer’s personal pleas and price reductions – you just know that there is so much more to this deal than just 14,000 Windows licenses. This is a domino, falling.

Given today’s alternatives to Microsoft on the desktop such as Linux and Mac OS X, there is really no reason why a business shouldn’t be at least evaluating alternatives. Windows should no longer be a foregone conclusion for the enterprise.

Got Democracy?

Covering the city with ‘got democracy?’ posters, writer confronts our ideals, questions Iraq policy

It’s not pro-Democrat, it’s not pro-Republican — it’s supposed to make you think,” says Anderson. “Do these people in Iraq have democracy? And do we have democracy? The Guantanamo Bay issue of suspending people’s rights – – Americans and Iraqis — smacks of McCarthyism, which is a kind of fascism. … Billions of dollars are going toward (Iraq) and yet we don’t have money for our schools and our homeless and we don’t have a national health-care program? And a large part of the (Iraq) money goes to (Halliburton), which our vice president was formerly president of and is a large stockholder in? It seems like such an overt boondoggle. If (this) were any other country — and use the criteria that Bush uses toward other countries — we’d not be called a democracy now.”

All good points – I will see if I can find some of these posters next week. Sounds like a good excuse for a hike downtown.

Note to self: Must get a cameraphone and set up moblogging on this site, or somewheres…

San Francisco is full of little guerilla art projects like this one. I was just walking down Embarcadero the other day and remarking to my friend about all the heart statues that have sprung up all over the city – they’re cool and kind of subtle – my friend hadn’t noticed them until I pointed them out. Then suddenly they were freakin’ everywhere as we walked down the street.

Propaganda and Analysis

Yahoo! News – China links Taiwan pro-independence forces to terrorism, Falungong

This is so ridiculously outlandish that one just has to laugh:

Pro-independence forces in Taiwan might launch terrorist attacks on the mainland, Chinese state media charged as it linked them to the banned “evil cult” Falungong.

I wonder if the PRC realizes how completely ridiculous this sounds? I wonder if they realize that this does more damage to their own credibility than it does to Taiwan’s? I think we’ll see more hysterical bytes like this from the PRC as they start to realize that their fantasies of annexing Taiwan are completely hopeless.

Meanwhile, found this post from the Peking Duck pointing to an excellent article on the death of the party-state in Taiwan and it’s ramifications for democracy and the relationship between Taiwan and China. Great reading – go check it out. A good byte coming from this article was a short quote from Taiwan’s President Chen Shui Bian (陳水扁): “An accountable governing party and a loyal opposition, together, represent the voice of the people.” The article is quite a stark contrast from the childish fiction coming out of the PRC’s propaganda machine. In it, the author touches upon China’s relationship with it’s democratic neighbors:

One day the concept of a party-state is likely to die in the mainland as it died in Taiwan. Beijing says China is too big and not sufficiently economically advanced for democracy. But Taiwan and Hong Kong are small and economically advanced. This should evoke Beijing’s endorsement of democracy for both. But China is afraid of the will of the people in any context.