Wednesday, November 30, 2005
er, nothing against charlize theron, but there's no way i'm going to pay to see this film. it looks utter rubbish. has to be by the way they're relentlessly advertising it.
why is it that the only truly powerful transition from comic to film is sin city. now that's a film.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
as soon as the report shifts to a clip from an al jazeera spokesman, condemning the possibility of civilians being deliberately targeted, the tv goes dead, i see a still frame from the cartoon network, and we lose all internet connection in our apartment. it comes back, some five minutes later and there is no mention of the lost transmission and no report.
some coincidence! the bbc news america is taped and i have never seen this happen before.
makes you feel all cosy inside........
just in case you've thought about an impromptu visit to d.c and fancy a quick tour of the washington monument...
here's what you have to wade through first. nice and welcoming, isn't it?
makes you feel the true fist of a butchered democracy.
in web-speak, using all capitals is universally recognised as SHOUTING!
MUST READ - ALL VISITORS ENTERING THE
MUST READ II - PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE
IMPORTANT INFORMATION - PARKING IN DOWNTOWN
SPECIFIC INFORMATION - RESERVATIONS MADE AT LEAST TEN DAYS PRIOR TO THE TOUR DATE WILL BE MAILED TO THE CUSTOMER. RESERVATIONS MADE WITHIN 10 DAYS PRIOR TO THE TOUR DATE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP ON THE DATE OF THE TOUR AT THE
SPECIFIC INFORMATION II - GROUP TOUR GUIDES WHO ARE CERTIFIED/LICENSED WILL NEED TO PROVIDE THEIR TOUR OPERATOR LICENSE NUMBER WHEN MAKING ADVANCE RESERVATIONS. NON-LICENSED AND SCHOOL GROUP GUIDES WILL NOT NEED TO PROVIDE A TOUR OPERATOR LICENSE NUMBER WHEN MAKING ADVANCE RESERVATIONS. WHEN PICKING UP "WILL CALL" RESERVATIONS, GROUP GUIDES WHO ARE CERTIFIED/LICENSED WILL NEED TO PRESENT THEIR VALID GUIDE CERTIFICATION/LICENSE WITH PHOTO ID, AND THE RESERVATION CONFIRMATION NUMBER. WHEN PICKING UP "WILL CALL" RESERVATIONS, NON-LICENSED AND SCHOOL GROUP GUIDES WILL NEED TO
IMPORTANT INFORMATION 1 - THE
IMPORTANT INFORMATION II - THE
IMPORTANT INFORMATION III - THE STAFF AT THE
GENERAL INFORMATION - GOLDEN AGE PASSPORTS, GOLDEN ACCESS PASSPORTS, GOLDEN EAGLE PASSPORTS AND
DIRECTIONS 1 - THE
By clicking on the Accept button, you acknowledge that you have read and understand all conditions and requirements associated with this tour.
if you could have any toy, what would it be?
a full 'works' subaru rally car would be mine.
i will publish a list of all respondents' answers (minus names)
so far i have:
bicycle (a really good one...)
p.s. ..i'm writing this eating tiramisu and drinking a cup of tea before i go to bed. mmmmmmm!
Monday, November 28, 2005
perhaps paul duchene, writing for the new york times ought to do his homework before pretending to know anything about jags.
he fails to mention browns lane by name. no excuses. every jaguar fan in the u.k. knows this name is the (holy grail) home of jaguar. since shut down by ford...
failing to mention the mkII, possibly the most famous british sports car of the 1960's (when it was launched, capable of 125mph, it was the fastest production car in the world paul, on our then speed limit-free motorways) cannot be forgiven. ever been to coventry paul? do you even know where it is? it would seem not.
last but by no means least, this car became an icon for another reason. because it was the fastest car one could by, it became the most desirable car used in britain by two very different sectors of british society: the cops and the robbers!
that's right. armed robberies were committed by villains using this as their getaway car and were being pusued by our lads in blue driving the very same vehicle. as for ultimate bragging rights at the pub, this car was it!.
conclusion: your article suffers because you gleaned all your information from some photo-pretty coffee-table book. omission of the markII proves this book was not written by an englishman....
do your homework, dude...i suggest watching some old 'the sweeney' broadcasts as a starter...
instead of the ludicrous practice of footballers praying, (ever seen anyone pray after committing and losing a fumble, not making a game-deciding catch, or after taking a really hard hit, and especially after losing a close hard-fought game?...) perhaps the washington redskins ought to have a team therapist in the huddle. anything to stop the 4th quarter melt-down that has now reached three in a row...
or perhaps daniel synder can get together with comcast and offer free fan-counselling sessions for the legions of long-suffering redskins fans with every ticket sold, and every game watched on tv.
Friday, November 25, 2005
q: why does america have this crazy love affair with celebrating a national holiday, that is typified with families driving to depressing malls (that all look the same), only to line up hours before some crap store opens it's doors, then behave like selfish, spoilt brats, caring only for themselves, sometimes fighting!, in order to save some bucks, presumably on gifts for people they care about?
a: greed. a most unattractive quality.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
on a cold, wet, the first bit of snow night in d.c. there were a lot worse places to go the eve before thanksgiving.
join me in rooting for denver tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
we're not a tv lovers. we only watch films, sports (me), simpsons, documentaries, and the occasional 'pimp my ride'. that rules out all tv shows and the so-called drama.
so as i'm flicking through, waiting for monday night football, i come across a film. in the film, the tv network has done a rigourously adept job of making sure that no 'unsuitable' part of the female anatomy is shown - the classic blur, and also no profanity (silence). this was just an 'ordinary' (whatever that means) non adult-rated film, but the censors felt compelled to reduce it to absurdity, so heavy handed were they so as not to offend anyone.
but within a few moments, i see in all its voilent detail, an attack on a woman, a shooting, a killing, guns being fired everywhere and no hint of censorship whatsoever!
i find a scene of someone being attacked violently and being shot a lot more in need of (possible) censorship than the prospect of the occassional female breast on the small screen.
just who are you protecting, mr. censor. for what reason and why?
this country has an extremely unhealthy attitude towards sex, but apparently has no problem with firearms and people being murdered by them on the small screen. oh, that's right, i forgot: that's drama........
seen michael moore's 'bowling for columbine'?
q: when does $400.00 worth of hardware cost $3,350.00?
a: when it's the launch date of the new xbox 360
conclusion: i'm putting an order in for the new sony ps3 as soon as they announce the launch date.......
"At the Toys "R" Us in San Francisco's Richmond district, which quickly ran out of its two-dozen-odd allotment of 360s, a hysterical woman demanded the manager come over to her house on December 25 to explain to her young son why he wasn't getting a Christmas present."
perhaps the store manager and all the staff should visit the woman's house a day early, with a free psychiatric evaluation voucher, instead........ho, ho, ho!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
'staying the course', as is now weekly wheeled out by the white house, smacks nothing more than an excercise in face-saving. 'staying the course' is undertaken at horryifying economic and human cost by politicians, who happily let others foot the bill.
where were you, dick cheney when 'staying the course' was being doled out to the american people during the vietnam war? the hypocrite was dodging the draft....
First he enrolled in Casper Community College; then he went to the University of Wyoming. That kept him out of the draft until August 7th, 1964, when Congress initiated massive conscription in the armed forces. Three weeks later, Cheney married Lynne Vincent, his high school girlfriend, earning him another deferment. Then, on October 26th, 1965, the Selective Service announced that childless married men no longer would be exempted from having to fight for their country. Nine months and two days later, the first of Cheney's two daughters, Elizabeth, was born. All told, between 1963 and 1966, Cheney received five deferments.....
Monday, November 21, 2005
A Stafford, Virginia, Electronics Boutique store was the scene of an armed robbery this morning. According to sources, the perpetrator made off with two Xbox 360 systems, forcing the store manager to hand them over at gunpoint.
Sources tell GameSpot the local police responded quickly, cordoned off the store, and immediately pursued the thief. The thief was apprehended shortly afterward.
- the thief was then ordered to play the original sony playstation non-stop for 24 hrs with only "scooby doo night of 100 frights" for gameplay.....
Friday, November 18, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
President and CEO, PMI (philip morris industries)
that's right. do what i did and go to philip morris's usa web site. now go to any other country that they have listed. what's the difference?
i tried mexico. in fact, you can select any other country, there's no similarity between the usa web site and all their other sites, which have exactly the same format.
absolutely no mention of smoking and health issues. nothing!
World Health Organization (WHO). Press Release "World No-Tobacco day: Helath Versus Smoking," May 27, 1993 -
"Transnational tobacco companies such as Philip Morris, RJR Nabisco, BAT Industries, and American Brands are also making their presence felt in other countries. In the developing world, per capita cigarette consumption has risen on average by more than 70% during the last 25 years."
in exactly whose interests is it that the fda have rejected the intended over-the-counter sales of plan b? (the controversial morning-after contraceptive)
for sure, not those that might be best served by it.
or as the Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health Susan Wood put it in her resignation last year:
"I can no longer serve ... when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by professional staff here, has been overruled,"
bit like the catholic church being against the use of condoms.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
hey espn. how about a little less of the cheesy "he's such a nice guy, there's nobody nicer on the face of the earth", blah, cheese, blah, cheese, more cheese, "he's overcome the tragic death of a stick insect"...blah, blah, cheese, blah, cheese. "you'ld never know he hits people on a sunday for a living"...... "
"he's the best" ........love-fest on a player you seem to single out every damn sunday night, and just commenting on the game? and i thought phil simms was the biggest sicophant commenting on nfl sunday.
shut up!!!!!!! or can't you do that.
i guess not.
er, what's rada doing on the charles schwab ad?
all of these guys (not rada) are so pathetically un-blokey. makes you want to kick over their potted plants and release some moles to un-manicure their suburbian lawns. " suburbia - where the developers cut down the trees and then name the roads after them...."
not the best sequel for the 'waking life' director's talent. what did he call these ads; boring in suburbia?
i'm sure bob sabiston didn't mind the check, though.
these two ought to be kept apart.
just walked into my local starbucks on p st. and apart from the sunday morning lobotomised crowdm, they were playing earth wind & fire - fantasy.
i see that starbucks now has a new elton john christmas collection cd. presumably aimed at the lobotomised crowd.......
Saturday, November 12, 2005
still plodding through my intermediate algebra book. i get to a point and then my brain just shuts down and refuses to 'see' the problem. when i go back to it, the next day or whenever, i'm able to make progress. what is it about maths that makes the (my) brain do this?
i can't think of any other subject, except physics (which is just plain hard) that my brain reacts too like this. everything else, i just get fatigued and feel like i've had enough, but can still put in another quarter hour, etc. .
maths? there's no way i can 'do a little bit more'. weird.
self studying is tough. especially maths.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
When Mr. Lechner enrolled in college in 1994, the Internet was practically a baby and his current girlfriend was starting fourth grade. He has since drifted through four majors - education, communications, theater, women's studies (!) - and watched hundreds of friends graduate, get jobs and marry.
i think the phrase is: grow up, dude. 12 years and no science majors is nothing to smile about.
if you're that committed to being in education, try teaching (one of your majors)
in england, you have just four years to get your degree. three to pass + one retake.
only in america can this guy become a celebrity. in england, he would find a very different response.
i am reminded of prince edward and when he first came to cambridge. he didn't have good enough grades to get in, but when you're the queen's son, it helps. the local press attacked him mercilessly (someone didn't get a place who did have the grades because of him), which was only half as bad as the treatment he took on the rugby field. so bad was the experience that he had to stop playing after a few games (not that you'ld want him next to you on the field in a good game in the first place). a guy whose never got his hands dirty isn't much use in a game of rugby.
that's how he ended up judging a flower show....i suspect mr lichfield doesn't play any physical sport in college, for much the same reason as prince edward. he's a target. college is great, but you have to leave and not be student forever. not unless you're after a phd in science, and then that really will take a long time.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
November 3rd. Ahmed al-Khatib, 12 years old, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.
Mr. Khatib said he hoped the gesture would speak to the conscience of all Israeli fathers and mothers so that they might work to end the cycles of violence and stop the crimes against Palestinian children. More than 700 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli soldiers in the past five years, and around 100 Israeli children have also been killed in the violence.
Six Israelis received Ahmed's organs, including a twelve-year-old girl named Samah Gadban who had been waiting five years to receive a heart transplant.
Samah's father told Haaretz, "I don't know what to say. It is such a gesture of love... I would like for [the family] to think that my daughter is their daughter."
Other recipients of Ahmed's organs include a six-month-old baby, a 56-year-old woman, two five-year-old boys, and a four-year-old girl.
Mr. Khatib said he hoped to meet the recipients of his son's organs, and he hoped that the gesture would be a step toward peace between peoples.
"I don't mind seeing the organs in an Israeli or a Palestinian. In our religion, God allows us to give organs to another person and it doesn't matter who the person is," said Mr. Khatib.
His hope is that the donations will send a message of peace to Israelis and Palestinians.
a recent cbs poll on evolution and creationism:
if these figures are broadly representative of the current views and beliefs held in this country, i feel sorry for all the educators, science teachers, professors, researchers, etc. perhaps they should start each class with a question aimed squarely at those that believe creationism is a better 'theory' than evolution: "what evidence would convince you that you are wrong?"
anyone refusing to accept evidence doesn't belong in an institution furthering the advancement of science. there are other places better suited for such insular, dogmatic approaches to the world around them.
our five senses allow us to decode the basics of our immediate environment. in contrast, modern science wields dozens of senses. think of how much richer the world would have appeared to our early ancestors, and how much sooner we would have discovered the fundamental nature of the universe, if we were born with high-precision, tunable eyeballs. from infrared to radio waves, to microwaves, to x-rays, to gamma rays, etc. without science, none of these would be noticeable to us. and yet they surely exist. did god not want us with eyes that could truly see?
if we were born with magnetic detectors, the compass would never have been invented because no one would ever have needed one. if we had spectrum analysers within our retinas, we would not have to wonder what the atmosphere is made of. simply by looking at it we would know whether or not it contains sufficient oxygen to sustain human life.
those that would wish to cast off evolution being taught in our schools do so at a very great cost. to not appreciate where we have come due to the outstanding successes (and failures) of scientific theory does it the greatest disservice. these peoples choose to ignore it when it suits their purposes or when it directly challenges their beliefs. belief is not same as theory!. science doesn't care what we think. that is it's greatest strength and is unassailable because of that.
i mean all the world's different religions. they can't all be right, can they? so how do you know which one to pick, if pick you must?
perhaps cbs should conduct another poll and ask people what a theory is.
VIEWS ON EVOLUTION/CREATIONISM
God created humans in present form
All Americans 55%
Kerry voters 47%
Bush voters 67%
Humans evolved, God guided the process
All Americans 27%
Kerry voters 28%
Bush voters 22%
Humans evolved, God did not guide process
All Americans 13%
Kerry voters 21%
Bush voters 6% (yes. 6%!)
how sweet would that be for all the long-suffering redskins fans, and everyone who is utterly sick of the visa ad being shown every 6 mins on football sunday.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
how about this print ad for the new dodge charger?
i presume some highly paid genius from the ad world dreamt up this gem before hurricanes katrina and wilma hit... nothing like an intelligent, penetrating insight into what lies in the future of the american auto industry....
RESPECT THE VAN
images of very cool 1970's customised vans.
respect the van - some families (note: not babies) were started in one.
the van your parents wished they had - when they were your age.
i'm sure all the surfers wanted one of these....
Monday, November 07, 2005
sure. except for one small thing:
all the music i buy doesn't have any video.....
notice how apple says 15,000 songs and not tracks?
definition of a song: a short musical composition with words
that rules out:
most classical music
gustav holst - the planets
a simply vast amount of electronica music
- or to put it another way; all music that doesn't have words.......
Sunday, November 06, 2005
it's great advertising a double-header, then after the first game, instead of going to the next (scheduled) game, what does cbs do? they go to the suddenly announced end of the raiders/chiefs game, and they miss the first 8 minutes and two scores of the advertised, scheduled game.
cbs sucks! whoever is in charge of the sports programming needs to do something other than study ratings and advertising revenue, and be a real sports fan.
in a stunning move, the fiendish republican leader, commander bush, has swept into the democratic
count cheney, known throughout the empire as evil dick, continues to hide and smile..
rebecca and i went out to crockett park, nr manassas saturday evening for novac's november public viewing session. about 20 members had telescopes set up and despite less than ideal conditions, everybody had a great time.
a good number of first timers came out and it was a lot of fun to show a few celestial highlights to those that had never looked through a telescope before. mars looked pretty decent at (many thanks to the gentleman who lent the use of his nice $$$ eyepieces)
on the way back, i set off a big firework rocket in someone's field, in tribute to guy fawkes night being 400 years old on this date. america has 4th of july, the english have november 5th.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Early in the morning of 5 November 1605, Guy Fawkes was discovered in a cellar under the House of Lords with 36 barrels of gunpowder and a 'slowmatch' to ignite the explosive.
The plan never came to fruition, and Fawkes, like the annual population of straw-stuffed effigies, faced a painful execution.
Friday, November 04, 2005
51-49 senate vote backs arctic oil drilling
there is no long-term hope to save the environment. man will do what he has always done and continues to do: abuse his environment until exhausted of resources and then move on.
in the u.s. we have the very unhealthy oil companies' relation to the republican party.
the refusal by the most massively (by a huge margin) polluting, richest country on earth, to sign the kyoto treaty. talk about leading by example...
organic foods - Last week, an amendment was slipped into the agricultural spending bill without meaningful debate in a closed-door Republican meeting. It would do two things. It would overturn a court decision reinstating the old legal standard that prohibits synthetic substances in organic foods. And it would allow the agriculture secretary to approve synthetic substances if no organic substitute was commercially available. The big producers, which often use synthetic materials in processing, want to call their processed foods organic because that designation commands premium prices.
somehow the promise of a newer, better 21st century for everyone looks as phoney as the intelligence on the weapons of mass destruction....
suppose some superpower had occupied america in the times of the american civil war, and done what bush is doing in iraq, instead of letting the country sort its own opposing factions out? the result would probably have been very similar to africa's experience. the powers that be did a great job there. iraq is heading to a civil war; it's inevitable.