Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pirates - Worlds End

I forgot to post the other day my short review for "Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End". Maybe my brain wasn't functioning well that night but for most of the movie I was lost in the storyline. There were a lot of groups, pirate rules, character stories etc, to keep track of and I kinda lost it. But, maybe that was a good thing, I started to get angry at myself then It hit me... this is just supposed to be a fun summer movie - stop thinking so much. So I did. I just enjoyed the action scenes, the cool looking monsters, etc. So all in all, I enjoyed this movie. Yes, I know a lot of the critics are bashing it. I heard several people say too that Johnny Depp was not in the movie all that much - I disagree. He wasn't in every scene, but I certainly didn't feel like he was missed. OH, one more thing... I don't think movie too appropriate for children... it was pretty violent (starts out with a bunch of mass hangings). And if you have the time, stick around til the end of the credits, there is a small bonus scene at the very end.

PS> Makes me want to read another pirate book... if anyone has a good recommendation please post in the comments. (Yes, I've read Treasure Island and enjoyed it).

Book Stack on Flickr


One of the things I enjoy about Flickr are the many "groups" that pop up relating to photography. It makes grabbing your camera and taking part of an assignment fun. I posted my photo above from a new group called "Reading Stack" in that it's just fun to see what other people are reading. The idea is simply to take a photo of what ever is in your reading stack right now. No emphasis on photo rulez, just a photo to convey information. Then like most people, I added a series of notes to give a one sentence review or comment on the books on my nightstand. If you like books like I do, and have a tendency to head towards someone's bookshelf when visiting their house or apartment, then this flickr group might also be interesting to you.

Here's the link to the group page (not sure if you have to be a member of flickr, so if it doesn't work, that's why).
And I've uploaded a bunch of my photos from my trip to California so be sure to check those out too. I got some good ones :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Orwell Rolls in his grave

Just now finished watching another political documentary. Gotta love netflix for allowing me to see films like this. First off, this is a documentary so it has a point of view... if you are looking for a balanced look at the media, this is not it. The film centers around the mas media, but really covers a broad range of topics including the election results from the 2000 election. There are quite a few people interviewed and I'm bad with names so I won't attempt to list them all. One that stuck out though was Bernie Sanders the only independent in Congress (representing Vermont). I liked what he had to say, he seemed to talk from a normal person's point of view as opposed to a politicians.
The movie generally looks at the media itself. How various media outlets are being bought up by one - five corporations (like News Corporation, GE, Clear Channel, etc...). So the question becomes, who is controlling the news? If the mass media doesn't cover it, then is it news? It also pointed out the important point that as a Democracy, the media plays a VERY important role, in bringing relevant news stories to the people so they can make an informed decision at the polls. I urge you to go rent this DVD (It's probably not at your local blockbuster).
All in all, some scary thoughts in this documentary, and yet another reminder to myself that I have GOT to read George Orwell's 1984.

imdb link
official movie website

PS> An example about how a news item is not getting any play in the mainstream media...
Investigative reporter Greg Palast (Who I think was interviewed in the movie) says 4.5 MILLION votes will be shoplifted in 2008 election, thanks largely to the "Rove-Bots" that have been placed in the Justice Department following the U.S. Attorney firings.

Maker Faire Kid Beyond

Well, the above video, believe it or not, was one of the highlights for me at the maker faire this year. I know, with all those gadgets, inventions, robots, etc... This guy making noises into a microphone was one of the highlights. I've heard beatboxing on TV before, and on the internet, and was impressed, but always thought it a bit silly. But having seen this guy (who calls himself "Kid Beyond") was incredible. To hear those beats and rhythms coming out of his mouth was hard to believe. One of the things that made his performance entertaining was that at one point he asked for a volunteer from the audience. The volunteer he picked was a little blond hair 5 year old boy. Kid Beyond asked the kid to introduce himself to the crowd because he couldn't pronounce his name (sounded Swedish), the kid took the microphone, faced the crowd with no fear and spoke his name :) Then Kid asked Bjorn (making that up) to make the strangest noise he could, so the kid says "Bah" (like a sheep). After a few more times of making the noise, Kid then attempts to lay down a beat while using Bjorn's sound. It was both cute and funny, Bjorn was always about a half-step behind Kid :)
I urge you to go check out Kid Beyond's website here to hear more of his beats.

Maker Faire Tesla

So this video may not do justice (I guess that's a given when it's taken on a small camera not made for video). But it was pretty cool to witness this. To give you a rough idea, the loud (may not be loud on your computer, but it was in person) buzzing you hear that sounds like a giant mosquito is the tesla coils. The coils had to be close to 12 feet tall and bout 24 feet apart.
To learn more about Tesla Coils, here's the wikipedia article. In a nutshell it's a resonant transformer, named after Nikola Tesla (Who I think was a genius, who got the wrong end of the stick). These coils generate man made "lightning".

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Maker Faire 07 POV

A small video demonstrating what a "persistence of vision" device can do. The globe is nothing but a straight line of LED lights spinning at a high speed. Then by blinking in a predescribed pattern, they form what looks like a 3 dimensional globe.

Maker Faire combots video

So, not too long ago, I shot a small low res video via my camera for the art buggy derby that I was a part of. I was able to shoot about 4 more small video's while at the Maker Faire. I'm just now getting around to uploading them to my youtube account.
This first one is of our first "combot" competition. The silver robot is a half of a beer keg. I was amazed that the smaller looking black robot was able to shred the keg into oblivion. The smaller black robot had like a lawn mower blade on top that spun at a high speed. The video doesn't do this justice but at least you can get an idea.
I just tried to find a link for the combots and got a bit confused... I think I got it now... Combots is really just a part of a much larger robot competition called RoboGames (formerly RobOlympics). Their website doesn't appear to be updated to include the maker faire for some reason.

XKCD web comic

Ya know, I've never taken the time to actually look up what these letter mean... xkcd... All I know is that it's a very popular web-comic that has a lot of geeky/nerdy references. The last few in the series were really great dealing with some sort of rip in the time-space continum. This one day really sums up a great attitude to have in life. I admit... I don't live this attitude. I like to play things "safe". I'm going to have to work a little harder and expanding my future.

more about the comic on the wiki... interesting.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Rove emails

Whoa! This post really caught my attention over on boingboing... I'll paste it in here since it's short...

Investigative reporter says he has the 500 missing Rove emails

R.U. Sirius says: Investigative reporter Greg Palast says 4.5 million votes will be shoplifted in 2008, thanks largely to the “Rove-bots” that have been placed in the Justice Department following the U.S. Attorney firings. ... he (Palast) claims to have the 500 emails that the House subpoenaed and Karl Rove claims were deleted forever. They prove definitively, says Palast, that the Justice Department is infested with operatives taking orders from Rove to steal upcoming elections for Republicans and permanently alter the Department.

Link to

Verizon Fios

MAN! I can't wait until Verizon Fios becomes available in my neighborhood! I just got back a few days ago from vacation, and noticed that two of my cable channels are out (snow and static). I've learned to just be patient and usually in a day or two Comcast will fix the problem. Well, it's been a few days, so I called them tonight to report the problem. Guess what... They removed those two channels (without telling me!). I now need to upgrade to the digital service (at approx $6 more a month plus taxes). Now, one of the channels I could care less about - the game show channel... But the other channel I was a real fan of - CSPAN2. Cspan 2 had bookTV on every weekend, in addition to all the other benefits of the Regular Cspan. This bums me out, and pisses me off that they can do this. I asked the customer service rep, if it would do any good to complain, or to request that comcast add cspan2 back and he basically laughed and said, no the decision has been made. Well, guess what... my decision has been made that as soon as I have another option for my TV I'm dropping Comcast. When I first moved to this neighborhood, I was paying $19.95 for cable. In approx 10 years, I'm not paying $53 per month.
And to top it all off... Comcast is currently building a HUGE new building in Philadelphia. It's taller than any other building in the city. It's as if they are just thumbing their nose at all of us saying "look at the ivory tower you are building for us".

Tech Tags:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm Back!

Hello Nation! I'm back from Vacation! I had a great time visiting family and seeing CA. One of the highlights of the trip was our day long trip to the 2nd ever Maker Faire! What a fantastic playground of nerds, geeks, crafters, makers, inventors, free spirits, creative people. It's like putting your tongue on a 9V battery but for the mind. I shot a bunch of photos (about 125+) but not all of them turned out well. I'm kinda dissapointed in my photos this time. I think I was rushing my shots, worried about batteries, not having enough space on my memory card, and just generally trying to take in all the sights and sounds. I hope to post more in detail about my trip, but just throwing this post up now until I can get to it.

In other news, I found this site yesterday about an Open cola project. I've heard about the open Beer project and am excited to learn of this open cola movement. I've been trying to cut down on my soda intake so I've been drinking a lot of iced tea.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are being put in a boxing ring to duke it out! Well, not really, but they will be sitting down together to talk about technology in a moderated event. Should be interesting to hear what these two superstars have to say. link to press release.

I've also learned yesterday that a new version of one of my favorite computer games is being released soon. Blizzard's Starcraft! It's got the great name of starcraft2 :)

Lot's happening since I last blogged :)

Oh, and a special thanks to my sister, Bro, and nephew for letting me crash on their couch for the week of my vacation! I know space is limited in their apartment and I must have cramped their style, but it is GREATLY appreciated!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vacation time!

Well, this is probably my last post before heading off to CA on Vacation. Here's an idea... While I'm gone, I'll leave you with a few blogs that I read (other than those in the "blog roll" on the right). So check these out and I'll see you next Tuesday night or Wednesday.

UFO photos

This UFO report came through on my google news this morning. All I can say is that the photos look faked to me only because they seem too clear. Funny, I'd say 99.9% of all the UFO photos I've ever seen are little blurry blobs of light. Finally one comes along that is clear as day, and my immediate reaction is that it's fake. I think the story is suspicious too. The guy took a photo with his cellphone, then came back 4 days later with a better, borrowed camera. I'd be there every single minute, with as much gear as I could find (video, digital cameras, film cameras, etc...) The only reason I really post this is because it's a great fake, and proves that now-a-days you can fake any photo using some desktop software. All that being said, I hope someone follows up on this and interviews the guy, asks to see the original files out of the camera, etc...
In the article there is a link to a message board with much better photos...
There is also this link to the MUFON site that supposedly shows the same craft from another witness in Lake Tahoe.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Iraq for sale

I kinda wish I had paid more attention to this while it was happening. No I seem to be catching clips and blips and playing catch-up to find out what was said. I'm going to have to make a trip over to cspan to see if I can find the entire interview... I'm talking about Robert Greenwald. I first learned about Robert after watching the Documentary called "Iraq for Sale". It was a disturbing look at the profiteering going on in this occupation. Only recently I saw another movie by Mr. Greenwald that got my ire up... the Walmart documentary: Walmart: The high cost of low price. Oh my, the list continues... I went over to Robert's website and saw that he also had a hand in "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism". So, I'm not sure now if I like Robert or not... I feel his films have opened my eyes, but I kinda wish I didn't have to know all of these bad things were going on. I will also admit, These films are strictly one sided. They are meant to show a point of view. I have not doubt that through the art of editing that some things may have been taken out of context, or perhaps highlighted to make a point. This is the result of all documentaries (imho).
Whew, all of that intro to say... watch this. Greenwald goes up against Rep. Jack Kingston. Again, this video was edited, so I can't say if things were taken out of context, BUT from this clip, it appears that Rep. Kingston just doesn't get it.
I think we may be hearing more about Greenwald as time goes on. I think his films and points of view are going to be cut up and posted on sites like youtube. As the message gets out, I hope people will take notice of these issues.
As a side note: After watching the embedded video here, I think if you click on the "share" button at the bottom, you'll be taken to the youtube website. I encourage you to look at the comments... WARNING! Some of these comments are foul mouthed, rants and very offensive. But when I see comments like these I just scratch my head. It's people like this that I will never understand. I wish I knew what motivates people to post comments like this.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Spiderman 3

Gonna make this quick because it's late and I'm tired, but I had to post this... I just got back from Spiderman 3. To say I didn't like it is putting it mild. In hindsight, this probably should have been a movie that I walked out on... and those are very few. My biggest complaint? It was SO SAPPY! So sugary corny and over the top sappy (with a sappy musical score to match). The action scenes were all done via computer graphics which allowed the edits to be split second screen captures in that it was nearly impossible to tell what was going on. The storyline? All I can say is that this must have been written by a 12 year old. So much of it was So hard to believe! I know, it's a comic book movie, but still, there should really be some attention given to little things called physics... Things like flying sand? A guy trips and stumbles into a particle accelerator? Ever hear the one about "you can't destroy or create matter"? Explain that to the giant space goo monster that gets bigger in every scene that we see. James Franco (who I loved in Freaks and Geeks!) was almost comical at the times when he flashed his big goofy smile - like he had one too many "special" brownies or something. AND to top it all off... it was 2 hours and 20 minutes! A comic book movie should not be this long.
What boggles my mind is that this movie has set all kinds of box office records. I guess that 12 year old is laughing all the way to the bank.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Winding Down

You'll have to forgive me Nation... (Do I sound like Stephen Colbert?)
I'm approaching the final days before my vacation to CALIFORNIA!
I'm heading west to visit family and really looking forward to the second annual MAKER FAIRE! I'm just as psyched to go soak up those CA vibes... Chilling at the local Peet's coffee shop, or maybe trying a new sushi place that my sister discovered, seeing my nephew at a hockey game and watching my Bro Coach, or fill me in on the latest Fantasy Baseball goin's on. I'm finding my mental state a little compromised as the time gets closer, as I mentally wander from the east coast to the west. According to my countdown timer, I'm 5 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes and 10 seconds away from being in the air. I'm not saying I won't post again, but I don't know if I'll be able to drop any heavy thoughts on you. I'm really just letting off the gas now and coasting...

All that being said, I purchased some new music (again). I happen to see these guys on the Craig Ferguson show (I never watch that show, I just happened to be up late - I'm not even sure If I'm spelling his name right). The group is called - Ozomatli. The song that I heard was called "Can't Stop" and it was mainly the beat that got me. It's got a real "Los Lonely Boys" sound to it, but with a touch of pop, reggae, and a pinch of ska. A few of their songs are on the hip hop side, which I haven't made up my mind if I like those. I've also not had time to really listen to the lyrics... I don't know what the message is, I'm just enjoying the Latin beats.
In other music, I'm getting ready to purchase some more Depeche Mode. Not too long ago, itunes added a HUGE selection of remixes, extended songs, and B-sides and imports, to their library. I've found some that I really like! I just pulled up their website and saw "Black Celebration" mentioned... wow, hard to believe that I saw that concert live in a small venue... it was one of the best concerts I've been too - and hands down the loudest. Seems like that was another lifetime...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What if Jesus came back today?

I found this news item via I had heard of him one time before on the internet somewhere (probably boingboing). At first, I dismissed the news story as yet another loony who has a God complex. It's not like we haven't seen them before (Koresh, Jones, etc...) But, then it hit me... what if Jesus did come back today? With the internet full of crazy stories, I would probably assume the same thing. What if Jesus did come back, would he really have had a problem with Heroin? Would he have a criminal record that included jail time? I doubt it, but he was a bit of a trouble maker. Then, what troubles me more about this story... that "Dr. Jose" has his followers tattoo themselves with 666. Could Dr. Jose be the anti-christ that is talked about in Revelation? Or is he yet another loon who has figured out a way to scam a bunch of people out of their hard earned money. I guess time will tell.

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Unofficial Mike Colameco recipes

So, after trying to find some recipes on Mike Colameco's website and noticing that it has not been updated since 2005, I thought others might be doing the same. So, I decided to attempt to write his recipes down here on my blog, in the hopes that I'll have a copy of it, and two, that others may find it. Now, if you watch the show, Mike doesn't usually give out measurements on the show, so my "interpretation" of his recipes are just that, a guesstimate. Luckily, his recipes are usually simple and fast, so this should not be an issue.
This recipe is from two weeks ago, where he went to some seafood restaurants in NYC, then came home and cooked up some monk fish (I had no idea they were that ugly before Mike filleted it!). So for the fish it was so simple...
Monk fish tail fillet(s)
FRESH Scallops
Heat some oil (looked like canola, but I'm sure you can use your preference) in a hot frying pan.
After fish are almost done, put a tablespoon or 2 into the frying pan and let cook til it starts to brown.
Add some Fresh Lemon Juice.
As the side for this dish, Mike made some simple cabbage:
Savoy Cabbage
Sautee in a frying pan with oil
sprinkle some Mustard Seeds on.
Add a little butter
He then served the fish and cabbage with a piece of toast.


This recipe is from his latest show, where he visited Italy (great show!) Seafood Risotto Ingred: Shrimp, Lobster claws, mussels and clams Mike said the key to making a good seafood risotto is to make your own seafood stock using the shrimp and the clam and mussels... Peel the shrimp, save all the shells though... Add the shells and a bit of water and little bit of oil to a pot and heat (only about 1 minute). The shells will start to turn pink. Really, you're just trying to get the flavor from the shells into the water. Then add some water to the pot and boil for about 30 minutes. The second part, First, soak the clams and mussels in fresh water for about 15 minutes - this helps to flush the sand from them. Put the clams and mussels into a large frying pan with a small amount of water. Heat, and once clams and mussels open, remove them from their shells and put in a bowl, KEEP the water and liquids from when you boiled them in the frying pan. This becomes the other half of the seafood stock. Mike said a good tip, is to pour the liquid into a bowl and let sit, so that any sand will fall to the bottom, then simply pour carefully so as not to add the sand. Boil the lobster claws for 5-6 minutes. Combine all the seafood stocks with some garlic, and basil, and follow instructions for Risotto. Approx 18 minutes to cook. Mike said the key is to add liquid to the rice in small amounts, cook it for a little, then add more liquid (approx a small soup ladle) and stir often. While the Risotto is cooking, finish up the shrimp in a frying pan with olive oil and butter (won't take long - don't over cook the shrimp as they'll get rubbery). Add the lobster, clams, mussels to the risotto, along with some Marscarpone cheese and some chopped parsley.
MAN I'm hungry now!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Strange Bird call

I hope someone out there in the internet-land can help me with this... I've had a strange bird outside of my apartment for the past couple of days. I have yet to spot it because it's spring and all the leaves are coming in. But it has a very distinct "trill" call. It sort of reminds me of a loon. I used my little disigtal recorder to try and record it and it did, but unfortunately it's very quiet. You'll have to turn your volume up on your computer probably to hear this. I'm hoping that someone out there can recognize this call and tell me what it is. It sounds like a larger bird, I'm wondering if it's an owl? It's mid day so that doesn't make much sense.

powered by ODEO

(Side geek note: I just had the most difficult time getting this file from my recorder to this blogpost. The recorder default is a WMA file. I had to update quicktime to the pro level (which I had on my other computer), then I tried VLC which played the clip, but I could not export it. Then I found a shareware converter called "musicman" that would let me convert the file to an WAV file. Then I had to open "studio sound" in demo mode to edit the audio (boosted the volume) resaved it as a WVA file. Then went to to upload the file, but for some reason it did not like the WAV format. So after all that I went back to the original mp3 file and here we are - Sheesh! There's got to be an easier way!)

UPDATE: 5/8/07 - It appears ODEO is very wishy washy. Sometimes it loads the audio sometimes it doesn't. (I think ODEO was sold and the new owners are not taking care of it anymore). I'll look into other options. I since have found a cool website with owl calls from Cornell, and although I can not find my particular bird call, I'm about 80% sure that's what I'm hearing is a baby owl.

UPDATE: 5/10/07 - As Johnny has pointed out in the comments, it seems others are having problems with the embedded sound file. I just tried this link and it appears to be working - but it will open in a new window for you.

UPDATE: 4/26/08 - Well, It took almost a year to confirm this, but I finally figured out what kind of bird this is. It is a woodpecker! At first I thought it was a "hairy woodpecker" but after reading this page, I'm not sure now. It could also be a downy woodpecker. I did not see any red, so it appears to be the female that I saw. I hope to get a better look at it someday.
(neither of the sound files on the cornell site sound like the bird I heard.)

imac update

Well, it's officially broke. The "superdrive" just gave out on me with this new imac. In stepping back from it all, I was amazed at the range of emotions I've felt over this machine... anger, disappointment, then depression, hope and dread. These are not good feelings (except for hope). On top of this all, I have my vacation coming up in 11 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 18 seconds (I've got a countdown widget), and I have a fear that if I submit my imac to the local applestore, and if things take longer than expected, that I'll be out of town, when they need to get in touch with me to ask an important question. So, I've decided two items: One, I broke down (emphasis on broke because it was $180!!) and bought the extended warranty. I had two reasons for this... to be treated like a human being when dealing with the local store, and because now I know that my computer is not in tip-top operating condition. They may fix the drive for now, but in another 6 months, I'll be out of my normal warranty then I'll be up the creek. So, the second reason is simply to extend the warranty for another 2 years. Costly, but probably the wise thing to do. AND as my mom pointed out... it is like insurance... like bringing an umbrella with you on a cloudy day, if you bring the umbrella, it's sure not to rain... if you don't bring it, you're sure to get drenched.
So, I hope I won't be posting any more imac woes until after I get back from my vacation (in 11 days, 12 hours, 59 minutes and 16 seconds) :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

new imac woes

Well, my new imac is sickly today. The hardrive/computer seems to be fine, it's the CD/DVD drive (apple calls it the superdrive). I burned a cd this morning of a podcast, and hit the eject button, then heard an odd sound and the disk did not eject. Hmm, strange I thought. Then a second later, itunes asked me if I wanted to import the cd (as if I had just put it in). I hit cancel, went to the desktop, dragged the disk to the trash to eject, and it did. Whew, I thought. BUT then when I tried to put a new CD in, it made a few little "Vzz-click" sounds, and spit the disk back out. Sure enough, no matter what disk I put in, it just spits it back out. SO disappointing this is, as it is only 5 months old.
I made a call to the apple tech line and was able to ask some general questions. It doesn't sound good in that I'll probably have to replace the superdrive. The tech led me to believe that this is something I could do on my own if I felt "comfortable". I do. I've done ram updates, replaced HD's, and swapped out a disk drive before, but these were all in the larger machines of about 5 years ago. The new imacs are JAMMED in to get them to fit in their nice slim design. After a little more digging online, I found a note that said the imacs are not meant to be opened by the owner, and that I could void my warranty if I try. Ugh. So, I may not be able to do this after all.
I also made a call to my local apple store - what a merry-go-round that was. Apple has extended warranties called "Procare". I did not purchase this when I got my computer, because every consumer website says it's a scam/total profit making machine for all stores. So I denied it. I'm still covered under a one year parts warranty, BUT here's the catch... you're treated like a second-class citizen when the tech guy's find out you don't have Procare. First of all, the tech guy would not tell me if they have the superdrives in stock. Next, he said I'd have to make an appointment to come in to have them look at it. Fine I said, Saturday will work. Then after a few more questions, the tech said that since they are usually so busy on Saturdays, they may not be able to give me a full answer as to what is wrong with the computer, so he said it would probably be best if I brought the computer in on Monday. fine I said... but hold the phone... since I don't have Procare, I can't make that appointment. I have to wait until 48 hours to make the appointment. In other words, I have to wait until Saturday, to make a Monday Appt. Oh Brother.
So, I'm very disappointed, and upset that my new imac baby has this major glitch so soon. I HATE to do it, but I think I may actually purchase the procare at this point (For about $170!!!). For, one, it will let me be treated to better service (I hope), and for two, it will extend my warranty for 2 more years (especially since I know I've got a bum disk drive.) There are others on the message boards with similar problems too. So, I got a faulty "mighty mouse" with my computer and now I've got a faulty disk drive. So disappointed.

If anyone finds this post on the intertubes, please post a comment if they've had experience with this. I found a few small "tricks" that might help me (like resetting the PRAM, and shutting down the system by unplugging it for 60 seconds - I hope these will work, but I'm not optimistic.) Also, I'd be interested in comments about ProCare too.

Wish me luck.

PS> The tech guy I spoke to on the phone was very nice and helpful. The local guy at my applestore was not. He gave me such a run-around - he was so afraid to offer me any information.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Governor Corzine pays fine

If you don't live in NJ this story may not be all that important to you. I think it funny that I just learned of this headline that Corzine paid the fine via a news agency from another country (BBC). I'm glad Corzine stepped up (or rolled up in his wheelchair - sorry, bad taste) and paid the measly $46 fine for not wearing a seatbelt. BUT... what I have not heard talked about in the news or anywhere else, is why on earth was a state trooper traveling at 91 miles per hour!? Surely there can't be a loophole in the law that I don't know about that says you are allowed to speed if you have the Governor in your car? And of all the reasons, it seems he was running late for a meeting where the Gov was going to sit in on the apology from Don Imus to the Basketball team. Why did the Gov even have to be there for that meeting? Why was NJ Tax money being spent to have state police drive the Gov to this meeting? And I'll say it again... 91 miles per hour?! I don't care that the Gov broke the law by not having his seatbelt on, that doesn't endanger anyone elses life, but traveling at 91mph down a well traveled highway does. This is a story that just "burns me up" because it proves that there are two sets of laws... one for the "common folk" and one for the "higher ups" (whether that means money or status).
What I want to know is did that State Trooper have to pay a speeding fine, and did he get points on his license? If not... why?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Paper Clip Project

I watched a good movie on Sat night... it was an indy documentary (I like those) about something called the paper clip project (not to be confused with the internet phenon known as "one red paper clip" - which I just learned will be a movie in 2009!)
All in all I liked this movie, but I have a few comments (always do right?).
First off, it was sad. I generally don't like sad movies. I look to movies to escape sad things. But I can't really hold that against this film because I kinda knew the topic before I rented it (another quick plug here for netflix, if you like documentaries netflix has a great selection.)
It was maybe a tad bit too long also. Towards the end, I was starting to get antsy and just wanted the movie to end. I was also having trouble with the whole premise of the project towards the end of the movie. The initial goal of the project (or film) was that a small rural middle school in Tennessee wanted to do a class project about prejudice. They wanted to also explore other cultures, so they chose the topic of the holocaust. At one point, they were trying to get a grasp of exactly how many 6 million was. The students had a hard time grasping that large number (I do too). So they decided to start collecting paper clips. I won't be spoiling anything by saying that they got LOTS of paper clips... We're talking a LOT!!! The movie started to loose me when they made the attempt to get an actual rail car used to transport the Jewish people to their deaths. This rubbed me the wrong way. I understand they were trying to make a memorial, turn something negative into something positive, but it started to smack of sensationalism. When they started selling tickets to see the inside of the rail car full of clips that really bothered me. This is sounding very negative, but for the most part it was a good movie. I learned some things too. The stories from the holocaust survivors were tough to watch, but I'm glad I got to see and hear them. Give this movie a chance.
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