Saturday, September 30, 2006

Reddit icon

This relates to my post the other day about seeing a new bill signed on Cspan.
Did you see the movie "V for Vendetta"? You should. It's not a great movie but it might make you think a bit. Today I signed on to check for the latest news headlines and saw their icon:

With this a description as to why.

Because yesterday, the U.S. Congress passed a law permitting the torture and indefinite imprisonment of:

1. Foreign nationals providing "material support" to anyone fighting "the U.S. or its co-belligerents"
2. Non-citizens in the U.S., who it accuses of the same.
3. U.S. citizens accused of same.
4. No review by non-military courts for the first 2.
5. U.S. citizens must be charged within one year.

And best of all, the military can set the criteria for who is an "unlawful military combatant", with no review by anyone.

It's not limited to people fighting the U.S. abroad, it explicitly applies to people inside the U.S. And to anyone the military determines it applies to.

Go ahead, you can get the text at, look up S 3930.

I tried to look up the bill on the site but I couldn't understand the navigation or the language.I HOPE this bill is struck down by the Supreme court.
Check out some of the comments too on the reddit website:

Ok, I don't like using comparison words here, but I just looked up the term "Dictator" on Wikipedia... I'm not saying this is the case, but there are some similarities...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Crappy night

I just had to vent this...
Last night I had my watercolor class. I have a new teacher who is throwing off my "flow" in what I expect from my watercolor class. He's the second teacher I've ever had, so it's obvious that he's going to teach in a different manner than my first teacher, and it's all on me that I need to adjust to his style. We did some excercises first (layering), then we started a still life. I have been pushing myself to paint darker. I painted very light I think out of a fear of putting down ink. It was a sort of timidness to making a mark. But I'm starting to fight myself with making things too dark now. Perhaps it's just my "style" to paint lightly. Still need to learn that. Anyway, my teacher came around and asked to sit in my seat (so he could view the still life from my point of view). I thought this was cool and gladly gave up my chair. After a few obligatory compliments, he started to point out what I did wrong. As soon as he said it I could have kicked myself. It was a matter of design or composition really, and I should have known this. I was too concerned with trying to "paint" that I didn't take the time to set up my items. Grr. Frustration at myself. Then I didn't want to even finish the painting, so I started a new one, but knew my time was limited as it was towards the end of class. So I left feeling frustrated. (At myself, not at the teacher, I appreciate him pointing out that flaw). I got on the elevator, and was still lost in my world, and like an idiot, I got off on the 1st floor rather than the ground floor. I obviously could not turn around and get back on the elevator and make a fool of myself to the 4 other people on the elevator, so I had to make it look like I had a purpose, and walked to look in one of the other classrooms. Then I had to time it so that I knew they would be out the building, so they knew I wasn't just waiting on the first floor on purpose :) finally, I got down to ground floor, and was approaching the exit, when I saw about 6-7 people standing around the door. I thought there may have been a fight or something like in highschool :) - turns out it was pouring rain, and I forgot my umbrella. Oh well, not a big deal really, because I had nowhere to go but home, and I knew I could just change. So I walked at my normal pace and proceeded to get soaked. The "care-free" attitude quickly started wearing off when I felt the uncomfortable feeling of getting soaked. So I got to my truck, and see a little piece of paper under my windshield wiper blades... yep. I got a parking ticket. I was parked in an "unmarked" spot in a municiple lot. GRRR - $31. (it was actually worth it because I probably would of had to walk several blocks in the pouring rain.) But it annoyed me because people park there all the time.
So, with all that, I still had a good time putting a brush to paper. I guess that's a sign that I like to paint :)

A quick political rant: Last night I watched as another "right" was being stripped away, that would allow the Pres. to do warrantless wiretaps. The senate was voting, though I'm not sure I understand what the vote was for. I think it was up for "reconsideration". Still, frustrating, and the people who were calling into Cspan were expressing some of the same fears and concerns. Of course those on the Rep. Lines could not understand what the big deal was. I'm becoming very frustrated with all this politcal stuff, and am toying with the idea of washing my hands of it all.

I have a few other projects in the wings that I'm working on now: Hydroponics. Robot building (BEAM Bots). An "Art Buggy" project. And of course my photography. I'm enjoying the diverseness of these projects :) I'll post more about them later.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

my sketchcrawl

A few days ago (this past Saturday) I posted about an "event" that encouraged people to go out and make a sketch. Actually, you didn't even have to go out, just draw. Well, I finally got around to scanning my sketch, and I tried to add a hint of color. I think I'll call this sketch "necessities of life" :)
(If you click on the image it will open in a larger window).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Howdy Neighbor

Found this somewhat interesting post yesterday. Just sending a shoutout to our newly discovered neighbors.

Planets have scientists buzzing

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

fun little game or toy

I just found this link via yahoo's new video TV show called "the 9". It's a fun little waste of time game, though as the creator points out, it's not really a game since there is no object to win, more like a simple toy. It would be neat to see where this goes, as I think there could be a best seller game title here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

why is this...

Why is this image disturbing to me? For some reason I am picturing Jesus walking with his 13 disciples, in a whole new light. (Yes, I put 13 and not 12, but that's for another post).

Sunday, September 24, 2006

more politics

Sunday always seems to bring me back to politics for some reason.
First off, last night I checked one of my new favorite websites for news (and cool stuff) called There was a release that talked about Bill Clinton "smacking down" Fox News. This website ( had gotten an early release transcript (not 100% correct), that showed Former Pres Clinton standing up to a Fox news reporter who tried to slip in some loaded questions. Clinton didn't stand for it and put the interviewer in his place (Chris Wallace). Go Bill! I've got Faux News on now and they are already doing "damage control"... by starting to smear Clinton and saying things like "Clinton exploded because he was not prepared, or because he had this anger built up in him from the abc documentary". Cmon... "Exploded"? They are playing clips now out of context that shows Clinton admitting to "failing". These guys are good at what they do... spin. What I have not heard yet is when the actual interview is going to air (or has it already?), since they are playing clips of it now that makes me think it has already aired this morning. It could be just damage control though, show a bunch of clips and use words like "fired up" and "exploded" to get people to make up their mind about the interview before they actually see it. Ah... I finally found it over on the faux news site - it plays in full (20 min) tonight at 6pm. I will be tuning in to see it all in full. Something tells me we'll be hearing about this for the next week at least.

ok, last night I was feeling out of sorts and so canceled my weekly movie night with my friend. Also because there was nothing really out there that I was interested in seeing. I kinda wanted to see the new Sean Penn movie "all the kings men" but upon looking it up on yahoo, it got horrible reviews. So netflix to the rescue. I had rented a movie called: Howard Zinn: You can't be neutral. I had never heard of Howard Zinn before, but netflix recommended this movie based on some of my other rentals. It was pretty good. I don't know if I agree with everything Zinn said, but as a peace activist he was very inspiring. It went back to when he was more popular in the 60's and protesting the Vietnam War. It made me think or wonder... why are there not leaders like this in our generation. Who are the activists that we will be making documentary videos on in the next 15-20 years? Probably Cindy Sheehan, but I would like to see more university profesors stepping up to the plate.

Well, enjoy the final moments to your weekend. Be sure to tune in tonight at 6pm to watch the Clinton interview. And if you have netflix or can find it elsewhere, you should check out the Howard Zinn documentary.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Did he just say that?

I'm sitting here doing my ritual Saturday morning web Surfing, and have the TV on in the background.
I have it on FOX news.... There is (yet another) heated shouting match going on and one of the guests just said that he wants to bomb (Iran or Iraq) because, "they said they hate america and want to kill us." - What!? How did this guy whose name is Mike (sorry for the lack of details, thats what happens when you have the TV on in the background) get on a national news network spouting off this hate? What kind of logic is that - lets kill someone who says they want to kill us? As another person on the panel pointed out that there would be lots of innocent lives lost if they bomb them... his response... "I don't care".
It's now 11:23 Sat morning 9/23/06, and I think the show is called "Forbes on Fox". The clip is called "flipside". I'm going to stay tuned to try and catch his full name... Mike is his first name. RATS... they didn't wrap things up with his name. I'll have to search the web in a day to see if I can find another mention of this. Maybe will have something on this.

I probably should post this in another post, but It doesn't warrant it's own post :)
I've been noticing more and more a trend in the way people talk (on TV and radio mostly). It's mostly coming from these news/interview shows and also politicians. People are starting to preface all their sentences with statements like "Look", "The Truth is", "The fact of the matter is". Most of the time these sentences start after a question has been posed to them, and most of the time, when they start a sentence with these few "keywords" that means they are changing the question posed to them and it allows them to dodge the question.
Just something I'm noticing more and more.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Demetri Martin

As I was writting my last blog post I got distracted several times because right now on the Comedy channel, is a stand-up comic named Demetri Martin. I first saw him on the Daily Show, and he's pretty funny. I then checked out his website: and learned he's also super smart. Smart + comedy = good combination. He reminds me a little bit of Mitch Hedberg. (But he's much more animated than Mitch... Actually a garden slug is more animated than Mitch). Comedy Central usually replays their shows a lot so be sure to keep an eye out for this one. Good stuff.

Grab a pencil or pen

Tomorrow is "sketchcrawl" day. (Sat 23 06).
There's a website, and a forum and group meetings, etc. It's supposed to be worldwide also. I've never heard of this event before, but apparently this is #11. I don't think I'll go to one of the group things, but what the hey, I'll try to remember to do a quick sketch.
Check out the website (though it is confusing, because the website moved to a blog, but in order to register you have to go back to the website to enter your email, then the forum area appears to be where the people are talking).
Here's the blog:

and here's a quick clip of a comment to explain the confusing process:
  1. JeanneG

    Where do I go to see who is signed up? And where will we be uploading the pictures? I just heard about this yesterday. Was it posted somewhere that I can keep checking for the next ones?

  2. 2 enrico

    This is where to check for the next crawls Jeanne, you can also add your name to the mailing list at:
    on the right side you’ll see a spot to add your email.

    As far as checking who is meeting where and uploading pictures it happens in the forums

    come around and take a look !


Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm an activist now?

Well, I never really thought I would do this, but I just finsihed writing a letter (web form - this is 2006 after all) to my Governor. I was surfing the web this morning and found this link on techdirt that explains how the Governor of Maryland has called for the elimination of the electronic voting machines (specifically diebold). I wasn't aware that a governor had the authority to do this, (he may not, he may just be calling for it). But I thought... if the Maryland Gov can do this, so can my Governor. I don't expect a reply (though I will be interested if I get a form letter response). I don't think my little letter will amount to anything either, but at least I can say I did something (other than blog about it). So now that I've written one letter, does this make me an "activist"? :)
OH, and I just heard the item I blogged about the other day (the Canadian citizen who was deported by America to Syria and tortured - and turned out he was innocent)... that it was mentioned on Cspan as not getting any media attention. Well, the host (some new cute blonde woman I don't know her name yet), said that it was written about in the New York Times today. GOOD! I'd post a link, but NYT wants to charge me $14.95 to subscribe to read it. Grrr.
I hope this story doesn't get burried.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Extraordinary Rendition

Link to news at

Arar, now 36, was detained by U.S. authorities as he changed planes in New York on Sept. 26, 2002. He was held for questioning for 12 days, then flown by jet to Jordan and driven to Syria. He was beaten, forced to confess to having trained in Afghanistan -- where he never has been -- and then kept in a coffin-size dungeon for 10 months before he was released, the Canadian inquiry commission found.


Monday, September 18, 2006

An island to oneself

I just finished my new book "An Island to Oneself" and enjoyed it a lot. I was almost sad to finish it. It was a great story about living on an island all by yourself and the trials and tribulations this man went through. His name was Tom Nealy. Wow.. I just searched the internet to see if he was still alive (I doubt it, but I've not done the math yet, I think he was in his 60's when it was 1965). Not much out there about this amazing guy. strange. Not even a wikipedia entry. Oh well, I would encourage you to get this book and give it a read. Also, I was in the grocery store this weekend (wegmans) and saw a little bag of little brown things called Coquitos. What the heck are those I wondered. Turns out they are small (3/4 inch or smaller) baby coconuts. You just eat them like a nut (which is what they taste like). I thought it was neat so I bought them and chewed on them while finishing my book about the lifestyle on the island. Now that I'm done the book, I think I'm done with these coconuts too. They are kinda like eating sawdust with a slight coconut taste - AND they are incredibly high in Saturated fat!

another diebold story

I've been sitting on a handful of new stories relating to the diebold voting machines. I've since lost the links because I got tired of complaining about something that I can not fix. But it boggles my mind that these machines are still in use. Here's a clip:
Diebold voting machines opened with hotel minibar key
The key that controls access to a standard Diebold voting machine is a common key that can be ordered from the Internet, also used to open hotel minibars.
The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine — the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes, and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus — can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the Internet...
- source: boingboing
Here's a link for more information.
With the elections quickly approaching I'm really starting to wonder if the whole system is corrupt. I used to believe this and never bothered voting, but now I'm again questioning myself to say "is it really worth partaking in a corrupt system?". I don't know.
Ah... found it... the other link that talks about the various problems the guy had as an election judge. His name is Avi Rubin.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


HA! I just found this link on neatorama...
I'm hearing more and more about this elusive character who calls himself (or herself) Banksy. I am still learning about him, but I'm enjoying his "art". I first heard of Banksy a few years ago when I learned that someone was going around to the major fine art museums and hanging his own art on the walls where there was a space. It took some amount of time before the museums realzied their collections were being added to. It was a great statement to show "what is art, and what deserves to be hung on a wall". I loved it. I've since learned that this person is a well known Graffiti artist. and is now traveling around the world leaving his art in unusual places. (many times this means he may be breaking the law from a literal point). His recent "installation" was a manaquin made to look like a gitmo terrorist prisoner that he left it in the middle of a display in disneyland). He's actually doing this legally now, and having an art show in LA. (Man, CA gets all the cool stuff!) His identity is still secret, and they only released the location of his show a day before the opening to protect his identity.
I'm gonna have to check out his website and learn more about him (or her ;)

Survivor 13

I wasn't home on Thursday night due to my art class so I really had to make sure to remember to set my VCR (yes, old school VCR and not DVR ;) for the new Survivor season 13. I have to admit I like this show, because I see it as a social experiement that I get to watch unfold each week. I always have enjoyed watching people and trying to figure out what makes them tick. I saw some of the "hoopla" or controversy about this years decision to split the teams up according to race. I like the idea. Sure it's ripe for exploitation, but really that's what TV is anyway. I do doubt though that nothing on this show will change anyone's attitude on race. It will only reinforce what a person already believes. I was sad to see that one of the first ones to be voted off was a member of the black race. I felt that the other races have something to "prove" where as the white race is viewed as the team to beat. (That's probably my prejudice showing there). There's also the split that the show will create because it's probably natural to root for one's own race. Oh well, in all of this, I have to just keep reminding myself that it's just a TV show. During one of the talk shows I saw a man interviewed who thought this was a good thing that the producers have done because it gets America talking about race again. I agree. That's why I'm posting this. Bottom line is that the producers are genius for thinking of this... Controversy = more ratings.
(PS> I really like the guy cao boi, he seems eccentric yet underneath I think there is some wisdom in his words. I bet he has some great stories too. That's my prejudice there... root for the hippy! :) Hmm... That should be the next Survivor... Teams split on "Jocks vs hippies vs geeks vs Suits" :)

Friday, September 15, 2006


Sorry for no new posts the past couple days. Been really busy with stuff.

I had my first class in Watercolor last night. It was really good to pick up a brush again. I basically took the summer off mainly due to the fact that I have no where in my cramped apartment to set up a painting workstation. So if I get nothing else out of my 14 week class, I'll have 14 times now to do some painting. And I was pretty happy with how my watercolor last night turned out. It's not quite "post worthy" so I don't know if I'll go to the trouble of scanning and posting here.

Ok, gotta run. My new batch of iced tea is done brewing (A mix of Chamomille and some "lady grey" teas - lady grey is the same as "earl grey" but it has Cornflower petals in it, and smells a tad bit sweeter than the normal Earl grey). Mmmm Tea...

By the way, I have a strange side-effect to lots of tea drinking... (Well, I think that is the root cause)... For the past two weeks I keep smelling cigarette smoke. It comes and goes, but was starting to happen so much that I was becoming concerned. I then took a step back and thought, "what have I changed in my diet lately"... the answer... tea. I've been drinking almost 6-8 mugs of iced tea daily. I've since forced myself to cut back (I went back to drinking diet pepsi and was surprised at how sweet that tasted!). Since cutting back this weird "dysomia" (that's what they call a halucination of smell) has been gone for over a week now. Very strange. I'm going to now increase my tea drinking and see if the smell comes back again, just to see if my hypothosis is correct.

Enjoy your weekend! TGIF!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Burning Man cure and a book

A few days ago while the Burning Man festival was going on, I posted that maybe I might want to go. I had seen a few posts online and it looked like a fun and crazy time. Then I saw some photos where the people were covered in a fine powdery dust, and I started noticing that everyone (well almost) were walking around with ski-goggles, and dust masks. Ugh. I don't even like to go to the beach because I get sand in my shoes! Then yesterday I found this post. It's a bit graphic in it's descriptions, and the language is not "work safe" but it sounds like an "honest" viewpoint. I think this post has cured me of any desire to spend SO much money (Silly me thought it was free!).
Of course there will be people who have a great time and people who have a not so great time. But as the writer points out, you never hear about those people who have a bad time. What scares me even more is how the writer is "attacked" in the comments area. It doesn't sound very "hippy-ish" to me with all the peace and love stuff. I think I'd rather go spend the time in the woods by myself. Which reminds me... (I probably should post this as another post, but...)
I just got a new book and started it Sunday night. I'm back to my bad habit of having about 4 books that I've started and am in the middle of. It's kinda like channel surfing on the TV. But this new book is a fairly easy read and I'm progressing quickly so I think I'll stick with it. It's called, "An Island to oneself". It's about this guy, Tom Neale, who decides (not on a whim, he gave it a lot of thought) to pack up everything he had (which wasn't much), and go live on a small tropical island by himself. And he was about 50 when he decided to do this. It's been a very interesting story so far, and it's a great escapism book.

Monday, September 11, 2006

another gem of knowledge

Here's the headline that caught my attention:
"Countries ranked by current* account balance (opposite of trade deficit)"

Go ahead, take a guess before clicking on the link where the USA ranks... Then get ready to scroll away.
(*It says "current" but most of the numbers are based upon 2005 data).

Tech Tags:

minature earth

Found this link over the weekend. It's both interesting, and yet a little depressing at the same time. Some of the numbers have been running through my head over these past couple days.

(once there click the "small" english button to view the 5 minute flash movie).

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Go Phil!

First let me pat myself on the back... this will be my 300th post to my blog. Hard to believe. Thanks to you also who stop by and read my random thoughts.
Ok, onto this GREAT video clip from youtube! Phil Donahue stands up against "billy" o'reilly's bully interview tactics. Kudo's Phil... AND I think we all should refer to "bill" as "billy" now.
As I was watching this on my computer I also was watching an interview with our Vice President on Meet the press with Tim Russert. Tim really put Cheney in the hot seat. He played back a clip of the VP saying how we would be greeted as liberators. Ok.. enough babbling from me... watch this clip.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Space Shuttle Launch

This is pretty cool... As I sit here in front of my computer with the TV on, I'm now watching the LIVE countdown for the space shuttle launch on good ol' cspan. 9 minutes and holding. (apparently holding for 35 minutes).
Safe travels.

"True" National Debt

I found this post via reddit again. (I'm really starting to like Reddit more and more).
I don't know if I fully understand the numbers here but the story is interesting, and if true it's another example of the Bush Administration snowballing us citizens. Well, I shouldn't say that really if I don't understand the numbers. All I know is that Bush says the national deficit is 8.3 trillion, but it's really 49 trillion! Wow. The brief explanation is that the difference comes from looking at what the Fed Government owes in future debt. Scary.
* The true national debt is $49 trillion, not the $8.3 trillion Bush reported
o That's $156,000 for every citizen, or $375,000 for every working American
o This figure has more than doubled in the past five years
o We paid $327 billion last year on interest alone
* The true 2005 deficit was $760 billion, not the $318.5 billion Bush reported
o This is 6.2% of the GDP, not 2.6%
* It's all getting worse

Friday, September 08, 2006

A few friday random thoughts...

Well, for the past week we've been having some nice cool weather, that makes for great "sleeping weather" (nice and cool in the evening). But... That means I'm back to being disturbed by my neighbor across the courtyard from me who has her alarm clock radio set to go off about an hour before I get up. It's actually not so bad that I mind waking up an hour ahead of time, but more of the fact that I'm forced to listen to her radio station. And I feel like she's invading my space. I've not taken that step of writing a letter to my apartment management, but I will this weekend. I don't expect it to work actually, but it can't hurt either. It's also MOST frustrating to me because I do not understand how someone can be so inconsiderate. I consider myself very considerate of other people. What goes through this person's mind when she sets the volume on her alarm clock? Is it malice? (screw those other sleeping people). It can't be ignorance because I already asked her to turn the volume down. Is it her thinking that I'm infringing upon her "right" to have an alarm clock? I just don't get it.
BUT... in struggling with this all week, I can to an epiphany one night while watching a tv show (probably cspan but I don't recall). It was talking about violence and race. Then I realized... It's not so much race, but a class issue... If I were rich, I would not live in a small apartment. I'd live in a house, and my neighbor would be further away from me. What if all of the violence in our society is simply because we are living so close together that we get on each other's nerves to the point where we're on the verge of snapping? I know, this is an over simplication, and some people are actually distrubed and enjoy hurting another person, but I bet most of the people are drivin to fits of rage due to their being aggravated by their environment. Just a thought... what if it were that simple. I'd love to see a graphic that would map the violent acts overlayed onto a map of the USA.

In addition to this, I got home from my photography meeting on Wed night around 9:30. I got home and opened up my windows to cool the place down. Well about 10pm, I hear laughing and some loud music playing from out front of my apartment in the parking lot. There are about 4-5 spanish speaking guys just hanging out, drinking beer, and playing their car stereo rather loud. Again, what should a person do in this case? If I call the cops, they'll just brush me off (They did it before). I could close my windows, but this is a pain for me. So I got a little fed up and went downstairs. I walked out onto my sidewalk, and just stood there looking at them. I didn't want to get into a conversation/confrontation with them (not even sure if they spoke english). Eventually one of them saw me and then he kept looking over (I guess trying to figure out why I was just standing there looking at them). He must have said something to one of the other guys, because then he started glancing over. Finally, my mental telepathy must have kicked in, because the one guy got up and went over and turned the music down just a tiny bit. I waited just a little longer, and just stared. Finally, I turned, and went into my apartment. It was still too loud for me, but at least they made an effort. I figured I'd give them until 11pm before I called the cops. About 10:50, the all left. So score one for me I guess.

Well, I went off on a rant here and now I forgot the other random thoughts I was going to post here. Oh well.

$200 pen for $15?

Yep, with only a little bit of effort you too can have a $200 quality pen for about $15... Since several of the people I know are writers, enjoy writing, or scribble, this post is for them. I found this link via

In a nutshell it shows how you can put a Mont Blanc refil cartridge into a 3$ shell of a "pilot G2" with minor cutting effort.
Read all the steps (and rather comical instructions too) here on

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Oh... you mean THOSE Secret Prisons

That headline (above) was the title that caught my attention. I'm sure this will be BIG news plastered all over the TV tonight, but I'll post it anyway... Seems Pres. Bush has "fessed up" to having secret CIA prisons in areas around the world. It boggles my mind how as time goes on, we learn more and more about the things this guy and his admin is doing. Will he really be able to stay in power for 2 more years!? I heard someone way that they can't really consider an impeachement process until the Democrats can gain more power. I hope the upcoming elections will be able to turn the tide.
Here's the post I read about on
(I have to wonder also, if this was a slip-up on Pres. Bush's account, or if they really did mean to admit to this today.)

Dolphins Think

I found this link and news article via a new website I just discovered a few days ago called It's a neat simple little site, that warrants a daily browse. This was the top link that I just read (most of it anyway, it's long)....

Deep thinkers:
At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools clean
It gets more interesting though... Read more at the here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

God Speaks part 3

Ok, another strange coincidence today regarding my ongoing (I didn't really mean for these to be ongoing, I'm just posting follow ups now) thoughts about God speaking to people...
As you may or may not know, I'm a movie buff. I love watching movies. Well, I was signing onto Apple's quicktime website because they have one of the best online sources to watch upcoming movie trailers. Guess what... there is a movie there staring me in the face called "God Spoke", well the full title is "Al Franken, God Spoke" :) I know... just another coincidence right??
Then after I finished watching the trailer for that, I see there is a small box to the side that has ipod trailers that you can download. Guess what one of the movies there is called? "Conversations with God". Sure enough, I downloaded it, and it's about God speaking (plainly) to a man and he starts writing it down. Ok... another coincidence right? Note: this is my third post on this topic and there have been approx 4 coincidences like these now :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

International film fest weekend

I happened to think after watching a movie that I rented from Netflix that I had a very international movie weekend. Saturday night my friend and I went and saw a subtitled French film called "La Moustache". It was a 'spur of the moment' decision because there wasn't much else to choose from. We're going through another movie drought at the moment. I find it disturbing that films like "beerfest" and "Snakes on a plane" and "Accepted" are topping the box office charts. I thought movies had taken a turn and things were getting better.
Anyway... La Moustache was... lets say "French" :) It was confusing as anything, had strange cut scenes and both my friend and I came away laughing that it must be becaues we are American that we didn't get it. But then as we were talking about it, it hit me and I "think" I figured it out. Once I did I think I can actually say that I enjoyed the movie, in spite of being confused for all of it. My friend joked that at the end of the movie he was going to make an announcement to the 11 people in the theatre to see if any of them understood it, since we will probably be the only 11 people in America who has seen this movie. :)

Then last night, I watched a movie called "Tsotsi". It was a movie filmed in South Africa, again with subtitles. It started off rather brutally, and I had a real difficult time feeling "sorry" for the main character. It was one of those "bad guy isn't really that bad, just put in a difficult situation" type movies, but this guy was pretty bad. I could not cut him any slack for what he did, and resented the movie for trying to make me feel sorry for him. But after I watched the movie and thought about it a second, again, I realized I did like the movie overall. It was well acted, a good story (though a bit too long), and had a good ending.
What I also enjoyed about both of these movies was seeing how different cultures live. I tend to get sidetracked in these foreign films looking at details like this. For example how the main character in La Moustache brushed his teeth, then rinsed his brush using his thumb. (maybe that's not a french thing?) Another example was the "sugar bowl" on the counter of the small coffee house. It was this cool looking metal sphere (kinda like pac man) that had sugar cubes. How come Sugar cubes never took off here in America?
The lifestyle in South Africa was just as interesting, though more depressing... To see these "shacks" that these millions of people live in. The levels of violence, the people standing in long lines just to get a bucket of dirty water. Yet there are people who can make the best of things by going to a local bar, or putting colored glass in their door windows to bring some color into a gloomy world. That was inspiring. (and I'm sure intentional by the director of the movie).
After watching these movies back to back this weekend I wonder how many films I've seen from differnt countries. I can think of these off the top of my head... America (of course), French, Spain, Africa, Japan, China, Brazil, Mongolia, England. I'm going to have to keep track more and make an effort to see more foreign films. (By the way, of all these the two from Spain that I saw were the most memorable... The Motorcycle Diaries, and Mondays in the Sun.)

Westley Moore - Cspan Q and A

I happened to watch another great interview last night on C-span's "Q & A" with Brian Lamb. Brian interview Westley Moore. This guy has had an amazing life and can tell a good story. There were hints at his possibility in running for President someday... If anyone could accomplish this it would be Westley. What I was most impressed by was his genuine sense of wanting to be a public servant - aka a politician. He told some great stories about Maryland and he wishes to give something back to the community as a "thanks" for the community helping his family out in a time of need. He has a kind face, smiles a lot, and is highly intelligent... I felt a bit of a special honor to see this interview with I think will one day be the President. (Unless of course he is intelligent enough to not touch that job with a 10 foot pole! ;) - Oh by the way... He's been president of his class since 9th grade up into college, has worked with a mayor, is an investment banker (I don't know what that is!), is a military officer and has been to Afghanistan, has gone to Oxford and John Hopkins, a Rhodes Scholar (I don't know what that is either), and is now a White House Fellow (or what that means) - and get this... he's only 27 years old.
I highly encourage you to watch this interview over at I suppose you could read the transcript too, but it will not do his demeanor and character justice.
Now I'm off to go find out what is an Investment banker, a Rhodes Scholar, and a White House Fellow are!

RIP Steve Irwin

Wow. I just signed online and saw this news clip that Steve Irwin - otherwise known as "The Crocodile Hunter" was killed in a freakish accident that involved a stingtray. At 44 he leaves behind his wife and an 8 year old daughter and a 3 year old son. Very sad. I'm sure he went out doing what he loved which is a good thing, but so early, and via a freak accident. You can read more on (though it gets a little gory in its details). I didn't know him of course but who hasn't been entertained by his whacky adventures on TV and probably learned something about animals and conservation. I also feel bad for him and his family because it will only be a matter of time that the late night talkshow hosts will be cracking jokes about him.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Do Not Feed The Humans

A very interesting article about Food and the human population and it's ties to technology. A bit long winded, but some really interesting facts and figures.

Great line at the end of the piece:
"We know better than to feed buttered popcorn to zoo animals, yet we send it to a food bank and call ourselves humanitarians. "

Read the whole thing on

God speaks

Well it's Sunday morning (ok well, it's 12:03 so it's techincally Sunday afternoon). What better time to post a religious thought... A few days ago I posted about why God does not speak plainly anymore like he did in some of the stories I read about in the Old testament. I've since had a series of "coincidents" that deals with God speaking. I was reminded by my mother of a story that happened to my Grandfather which for lack of a better word was "miraculous" where he said God (or an angel) spoke to him directly - I do not doubt this story in the least. I had gotten away from my Bible reading for some time now and things have been coming at me from different directions lately, so last night I picked it up again and started where I left off looking for some help I suppose. Samuel. I got to First Samuel Verse 3 and guess what it talks about... God speaking to Sam. He does it late at night as Sam was getting ready for sleep. Sam didn't recognize this voice and thought it was his roomate Eli. That struck me as odd too that a person wouldn't notice a direct voice from God. I guess it's not like the movies where it is a loud booming voice. I was reminded that as I was reading the Bible that it is often refered to as "the voice of God". So, yet another "coincidence" that I'm beginning to think I too am being talked to and I too don't know who is speaking like Sam. I'm going to continue "listening" and looking for possible communication other than a direct phone call or a message on my answering machine. (Those that know me... DO NOT prank me and leave a message on my phone claiming to be the voice of God :)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Burning Man

Well, I've been wanting to post about this but since I know very little about it I've been having a difficult time trying to figure out what it is I want to say about it. So... I'll give it a shot to try and explain what Burning Man is based upon my limited knowledge (I may be wrong!)...
It's a gathering of gay hippies looking to do LSD... lol... that was a quote from the Sheriffs on the TV show Reno 911. They did an "undercover" sketch about burning man way back on season one, and it was pretty funny.
I don't doubt that there may be some gay hippies doing LSD at this event but I think it's much more than that. It is in the final days this weekend, ends Sept 4th. I saw one explanation that said it was a gathering of artists. Yeah that sums it up pretty well too. From what I get out of it... It's a gather of people who are creative or enjoy the performances of other creative people, perhaps some people who just enjoy a good freak show. There are lots of crazy art exhibits, buildings in the desert, crazy "automobiles", crazy costumes, etc. I think that is the whole point to this entire event... it's a few days out of the year where you can be crazy and fit right in. It's liberating. One of these days I might have to try and get out there for one of these events.

I find it best to let a picture of "1000 words" do all the talking. I found a tag related link to burning man on flickr... great stuff!

20 million propaganda

From the Washington Post:
Positive Press on Iraq Is Aim of U.S. Contract

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 31, 2006; Page A20

U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.

I can think of much better reasons to spend 20 million dollars.
Read the entire article here.

propaganda |?präp??gand?| noun 1 chiefly derogatory information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view : he was charged with distributing enemy propaganda.

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