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Derivative Works from Daniel X. O'Neil

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Shotgun Golf

There's nothing better that you can do for someone the day after they died than to consume what they produced. Here's Hunter S. Thompson's last column: "Shotgun Golf With Bill Murray".

This Morning

Watched_pot_1Wanting coffee,
I put the lie
To the adage
About watched pots.

My Pope's Evolution

Great piece in the NYT Magazine called "Unintelligent Design" poking logic holes into pseudo-science creationist stuff. Here's something I didn't know about my pope:

That is why Pope John Paul II was comfortable declaring that evolution has been ''proven true'' and that ''truth cannot contradict truth.''

Here's the complete text of the Address of Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (October 22, 1996) called "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth".

In his speech, the Pope refers to the work of his predecessor:

In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation, on condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points.


Taking into account the state of scientific research at the time as well as of the requirements of theology, the encyclical Humani Generis considered the doctrine of "evolutionism" a serious hypothesis, worthy of investigation and in-depth study equal to that of the opposing hypothesis. Pius XII added two methodological conditions: that this opinion should not be adopted as though it were a certain, proven doctrine and as though one could totally prescind from revelation with regard to the questions it raises. He also spelled out the condition on which this opinion would be compatible with the Christian faith, a point to which I will return. Today, almost half a century after the publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. [Aujourdhui, près dun demi-siècle après la parution de l'encyclique, de nouvelles connaissances conduisent à reconnaitre dans la théorie de l'évolution plus qu'une hypothèse.] It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory.

This part I don't really understand & I need to delve further into it:

And, to tell the truth, rather than the theory of evolution, we should speak of several theories of evolution. On the one hand, this plurality has to do with the different explanations advanced for the mechanism of evolution, and on the other, with the various philosophies on which it is based. Hence the existence of materialist, reductionist and spiritualist interpretations. What is to be decided here is the true role of philosophy and, beyond it, of theology.

But here's the essential germ of what the pope has to offer here:

Consequently, theories of evolution which, in accordance with the philosophies inspiring them, consider the spirit as emerging from the forces of living matter or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. Nor are they able to ground the dignity of the person.

Yes, we are subject to geologic time and the vagaries of disinterested evolution, but that is not all we are.


The concept of who survives you is pretty intense. Untold cash is spent on insemination and other ways to create those to survive us. Millions of lines of text are devoted to finding mates in order to convince others to create offspring with us.

In yesterday's NYT, David Gonzalez, in the last line of the obituary "Yolanda Garcia, 53, Dies; A Bronx Community Force" he posits another type of survivor:

She is survived by her daughter, and one relentless community group.

Career/ Interest Day

Yesterday was "Career/ Interest Day" at CXO's school. I did three presentations to the three sets of kids (K/ 1st Grade, 2nd/ 3rd Grade, and 4th/ 5th Grade). I made a point of telling all of the kids that evolution is a fact, not a theory (see Hands On Habitat).

Here's the text of the handout that I made for the kids:

My Name is Daniel X. O'Neil 
I am an Internet Consultant 

•  I talk to people about what they do, why they do it, and how they  can do it better with the internet 
•  I help make stuff like intranets (password-protected, private  websites where people can share stuff), games (to help kids learn  in a fun way), and online training (like Driver Safety Courses that  teach people how to drive better) 
•  I write proposals, interview people, send email, talk to people on  the phone, write technical documents, give people ideas, listen to  people, and use what I know about the internet to make people’s  jobs easier, help them make money, and/or make their lives better 
•  Basically, everything I do has something to do with WRITING  •  I like my job 
•  This is how I make money    

AdaptationI also write books 
•  Books of poetry, essays, plays, etc. 
•  And perform onstage & direct plays etc. 
•  I like doing this, too 
•  This is how I lose money   

Try out these games at home-- I helped make them
Notebaert Nature Museum Hands On Habitat 
SWALCO Trash 4 Kids 

Crash-Test Dummies

Very funny, well-writtenly wry passages in an obit written yeaterday by Margalit Fox: Samuel Alderson, Crash-Test Dummy Inventor, Dies at 90:

In the 1930's, with traffic fatalities becoming a growing public health concern, manufacturers began to explore the design of safer cars. But the new science of crash testing raised a seemingly intractable problem: to study the effect of a crash on the human body, researchers would have to equip the test car with a live human being. Volunteers were few.

As a result, the first crash-test dummies were cadavers. While useful in collecting basic data, they lacked the durability required for repeated trials.

Trut & Bullshit

Even though he mrote it many years ago, an essay that is getting a lot of play right now is "On Bullshit" by Harry Frankfurt of Princeton University. First five lines:

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it.

Without having the benefit of his tome, a few years ago I wrote an essay called "TRUT: The Star, The Globe, and the Missing H in the New Veracity". In it, I basically describe a variant of this familiar "bullshit" phenomenon and I coined a new word for it: trut.

Trut defined:

Trut is the mutable concoction of facts employed for an ulterior purpose. Trut consists of exactly 4/5 of the stuff of truth. Four out of five letters lined up as a reasonable facsimile of truth.

Here at the end of the millennium, consumers of communications are adept at trading in these fractional representations of the truth. Everyone prepares particular versions of the truth for different people. We all in turn take everyone else’s trut and calibrate it to our own understandings. The missing H doesn’t bother us a bit. With 4/5 of the truth and some sense, people manage to get along.

Kind of sounds like a load of bullshit, doesn't it?

See Her Afterwards, Mr. President?

We've got a new category here at GoogOgraphy: Bush Applause.

I'll will faithfully comb White House news releases for the copious references to the bits of text uttered by the President that garner enough clapping to rate a notation of "(applause)" in an official transcript.

For example, there are 26 separate instances of applause in New Hampshire on Wednesday for our president.

Here are two:

MR. PARTIN: My name is Franklin Partin, Jr. My wife and family and I reside in New Boston, New Hampshire. My lovely wife --

THE PRESIDENT: Where is she?

MR. PARTIN: Right down there in the blue jacket.

THE PRESIDENT: You're right, she is lovely. (Applause.) We'll see you afterwards. (Applause.)

Dunkin Donuts Coffee Cream & Sugar

Dunkin_donuts_logoDunkin Donuts coffee is the second best coffee ever. When I'm in the mood for coffee (not an espresso drink from Starbuck), I go to Dunkin Donuts.

The best thing about them is their overuse of sugar. If you say "extra large coffee, cream & sugar" to a Dunkin Donuts employee, they get a catatonic look in their eyes while spoon-wristing a dozen or so spoonfuls of sugar into the cup. I would never put that much sugar in my coffee, but for some reaon I like it when they do it.

The reason I thought of this is this morning at home I ran out of sugar. Darn. Then I remembered that when I moved we got a Bucket O' Coffee from Dunkin Donuts. They gave us 70 or so packs of sugar. For 12 cups of coffee. There are 30 Cubans working right now to replenish the sugar they placed in the tannish-purple bag that I saved from months ago.

Thank you, Dunkin Donuts.

Valiant Effort

Peru: Mayor attempts suicide to escape sentencing
Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST     Feb. 16, 2005

Faced with a guilty verdict for masterminding a double homicide, a mayor of a remote Andean village swallowed a flask of poison in court rather than face a 20-year sentence.


Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


EveryBlock: A news feed for your block.
CTA Tweet: Unofficial Twitter tracker for the Chicago Transit Authority.
CityPayments: Database of all vendors, contracts, and payments that have been posted by the municipal government of the City of Chicago
Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.


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    • Wesley Willis Art
      Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
    • CTA Alerts
      Wireless notifications about service on the Chicago Transit Authority.
    • Wide Right Turn

      An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.
    • Derivative Works Art Manifesto
      Humans own their experience of copyrighted content.
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      Simple form for creating Y!Q links to add relevance, annotate text, and provide more sophisticated layers of meaning to web content.