Computer Student on Trial for Aid to Muslim Web Sites. Does anyone other than Bush and Ashcroft still believe in the efficacy of the PATRIOT Act? This is simply ludicrous.

Today, that graduate student, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, is on trial in a heavily guarded courtroom here, accused of plotting to aid and to maintain Islamic Web sites that promote jihad.

Civil libertarians say the case poses a landmark test of what people can do or whom they can associate with in the age of terror alerts. It is one of the few times anyone has been prosecuted under language in the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, which makes it a crime to provide "expert guidance or assistance" to groups deemed terrorist.

Filed under: Politics/War No Comments

Mayor's Rating Up; Poll Sees Deep Split on School Policies. Cool. I was one of the poll participants, and perhaps unsurprisingly, I am one who approves of Bloomberg's performance. On the other hand, I find that "[New Yorkers] are still afraid of another terrorist attack" is not a particularly accurate conclusion to draw from a yes response to the question "do you think New York is more likely to be the target of a terrorist attack than other cities?" Too bad the article omitted the responses gauging our views of the President's performance and of the plan to hold the RNC in New York.

Filed under: NYC, Politics/War No Comments

RCN says it anticipates filing for Chapter 11. Dunno how I missed this news. Incredibly, I was considering buying the 10% 2007 bonds (CC-rated) last year. The price is back to its Nov 2003 level, but the prospects don't look great. It'd be just crazy to buy now.

RCN Corp. said on Thursday that the company had extended a forbearance agreement with lenders as it negotiates a consensual bankruptcy reorganization plan.

From the RCN web site:

However, RCN has said that the restructuring will likely result in a conversion of a substantial portion of its outstanding Senior Notes into equity and an extremely significant, if not complete, dilution of current equity.

I absolutely love the way they use the term "extremely significant dilution of current equity."


Verizon to Add Internet Surcharge. Yuck.

Verizon Communications announced plans yesterday to add a $2 to $3 monthly surcharge to the cost of its high-speed Internet connections, a move that could fuel further debate over the taxation of online services.

Verizon said its new charge would start appearing next month on the bills of roughly 2.5 million subscribers to its high-speed data line service in Eastern states.


Last night we're waiting for Hellboy at Loews Kips Bay. Fun movie, definitely recommended. I've made a habit of totally ignoring the pre-movie ads and previews that go well beyond tease and straight into spoilers. Instead I watch other people in the audience.

This time as I'm looking around, I see a small blur scurry across the floor towards our row. Was it my imagination? Seconds later, a tiny mouse is perched on the arm rest two seats over. "Look over here! It's a mouse!" Now it is hiding partly behind the seat cushion, but peering at us briefly before disappearing for good. Despite the fact that it was so cute, it kinda freaked me out as I kept imagining the mouse crawling into my lap or on my neck...

Filed under: Movies/TV No Comments

A cute shot from this Sunday's Petacular, which kicked off the Macy's Flower Show (click for larger image).

petacular guinea pig

Filed under: NYC, Pets No Comments