Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I've tried to state it like this: Being that theirs is a very black vs. white worldview (and since that includes Democratic positions vs. Republican positions), their opinions on things that really have no precedence in the Bible default to what their good friends the Republicans think.
They're already inclined to be suspicious of scientific issues because of the whole Evolution vs. "Intelligent Design" debate. And since the rest of the world sees global warming as a valid threat, American Christians can view it as a United Nations/New World Order conspiracy that fits nicely with the whole End-of-Times line of thought.
I bring all this up because of a story today in the Independent about some recent moves by the Vatican:
The Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.Incidentally, this declaration follows another from the Pope two years ago which stated that Evolution was a valid theory and that Christians should not take every single part of the Bible as, for lack of a better word, gospel.
The New York speech is likely to contain an appeal for sustainable development, and it will follow an unprecedented Encyclical (a message to the wider church) on the subject, senior diplomatic sources have told The Independent.
It will act as the centrepiece of a US visit scheduled for next April – the first by Benedict XVI, and the first Papal visit since 1999 – and round off an environmental blitz at the Vatican, in which the Pope has personally led moves to emphasise green issues based on the belief that climate change is affecting the poorest people on the planet, and the principle that believers have a duty to "protect creation".
Will this make a difference? Probably not. Religious fundamentalists in this country who aren't Catholic don't give a tinker's cuss about the Pope. Add into the mix that he's addressing the aforementioned United Nations, and his pleas can and will be easily ignored by the religious powerbrokers here in this country. More's the pity.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Back when I was in college, students were at the mercy of the campus bookstores when it came to their textbooks. Today, they can save a bundle by just going online. Well, it looks like at least one campus bookstore ("The Coop" at Harvard University) is not going gracefully into that good, good night (Via BoingBoing):
Jarret A. Zafran '09 said he was asked to leave the Coop after writing down the prices of six books required for a junior Social Studies tutorial he hopes to take.
"I'm a junior and every semester I do the same thing. I go and look up the author and the cost and order the ones that are cheaper online and then go back to the Coop to get the rest," Zafran said.
"I'm not a rival bookstore, I'm a student with an I.D.," he added.
Coop President Jerry P. Murphy '73 said that while there is no Coop policy against individual students copying down book information, "we discourage people who are taking down a lot of notes."
The apparent new policy could be a response to efforts by Crimsonreading.org—an online database that allows students to find the books they need for each course at discounted prices from several online booksellers—from writing down the ISBN identification numbers for books at the Coop and then using that information for their Web site.
Murphy said the Coop considers that information the Coop's intellectual property.
Crimson Reading disagrees. "We don’t think the Coop owns copyright on this information that should be available to students," said Tom D. Hadfield '08, a co-creator of the site.
According to UC President Ryan A. Petersen '08, discussions with an intellectual property lawyer have confirmed Crimson Reading's position.
ISBN data is similar to phone book listings, which are not protected by intellectual property law, Petersen added. Every book title has a unique ISBN number, short for "international standard book number."
The alleged new rule is just the latest hurdle for Crimsonreading.org.
During a meeting of the Committee on Undergraduate Education last March, Petersen proposed creating a centralized database of ISBN numbers for all courses, streamlining the process for professors and cutting the costs for the Coop. The proposal, which could have also made it easier for Crimson Reading to collect information, was nixed.
"There's a very lucrative and sensitive relationship between the Coop and University Hall that is stopping students from saving money on textbooks," Hadfield said.
Zafran, after his altercation with the Coop, does not feel much sympathy for the store. "If they want to get their revenue up they should slash their prices," Zafran said. "I think if anything, this policy will have the reverse effect because if students aren't allowed to comparison-shop, students will just get all their books online," he said.
Zafran is correct. The only thing that the Coop has going for it is the fact that it is local and students can get a book from there right now. If they keep up these petulant little displays, then even that advantage will be overshadowed by their arrogant tactics.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
So it’s understandably jarring to see Woody Allen, the quintessential New York snob, playing a pony-tail sporting Los Angeleno perfectly comfortable with the emptiness of his existence. That ponytail goes a long way toward negating the fundamental Woody-ness of Allen’s being, yet Woody remains Woody no matter how incongruous the setting. Mazursky has Allen’s character do things the real and reel Allen would never do. He buys Italian suits. He totes around a surfboard. He listens to music made after World War II. He says things like “Christ, where’s my fucking Saab?!” He seems comfortable in a mall. He goes hours without referencing Kierkegaard or Camus. Most shockingly, he has sex with a Jewish woman roughly his own age.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
"Both Brit and Bush did their latest turns on the stage in a semi-somnabulent state, drifting in and out of their respective connections to reality (such as they are). Britney half-danced/half-walked, Bush half-spoke/half-read. Neither one looked particularly into what they were doing, considering that each one's career/legacy/love-approval ratings depended upon a kickass performance. And it's a safe bet that outside of each's rabid fan base (such as they are), anyone else who looked objectively at the performances could come to no other conclusion than they both sucked, and neither one got done what was required of them."
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So much for that.
The rest of the morning was spent sorting through the stuff to see what else was swiped. Half of the boxes had a corner pulled up and were then tossed aside (I guess thieves either aren't big readers or were simply unimpressed by my book collection). The only other things I was able to verify was missing were a DVD player (a cheap one for the little TV, so no biggie), a document scanner (several years old, so it might have been due for a replacement soon anyway), a chess set and handmade wooden case my parents gave me for my High School graduation (Yeah. Ouch.) and, finally, the Commodore 64.
That's right. The thieves stole my 20 year old computer.
I'm guessing these guys aren't the most tech savvy and figured that the thing had antique value. The latest bid for one of these things on Ebay, though, is a whopping two bucks. So, the thieves were neither avid readers nor particularly bright, as it turns out. Also, they took the computer but left all the 5.25 disks and the flippin' disk drive. Good luck with that, you schmucks.
But back to the DVD's, yeah it bites the big one. I can't even begin to imagine the worth, but it is easily over a thousand. The thin silver lining is that we kept out some of our favorites/most used items from storage, so those are okay. That includes the entire MST3K collection, so I'm lucky there.
Mrs. Mosley and I will indulge in a shopping spree this weekend to replace the most beloved disks, but the entire collection won't be replaced. It's just way too much. Thankfully, I have most of it catalogued on DVD Aficionado. Though I hadn't updated the list in a while, it's enough for me to get an idea of how much is gone.
That is all for now. Time to go sob quietly in the corner.
UPDATE: I did a tally of what is missing and the estimated worth (that is, what they sell for now as opposed to what I actually paid for them) is just over $3,000. And the sobbing continues...
Monday, September 10, 2007
I'm sure I'll have something incredibly witty to say later on, but in the meantime, here was a bizarre event I saw a news story on last week that I would have paid cash money to have seen in person (via Neatorama):
Saturday May 26th the VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK group attempted to host a hate rally to try to take advantage of the brutal murder of a white couple for media and recruitment purposes.
Unfortunately for them the 100th ARA (Anti Racist Action) clown block came and handed them their asses by making them appear like the asses they were.
Alex Linder the founder of VNN and the lead organizer of the rally kicked off events by rushing the clowns in a fit of rage, and was promptly arrested by 4 Knoxville police officers who dropped him to the ground when he resisted and dragged him off past the red shiny shoes of the clowns.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.
At this point several of the Nazi’s and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed “White Power!”
The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. “Ohhhhh…” the women clowns said. “Now we understand…”, “WIFE POWER!” they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!”
It was at this point that several observers reported seeing several Klan members heads exploding in rage and they stopped trying to explain to the clowns what they wanted.
Apparently the clowns fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the rally, they believed it was a clown rally and came in force to support their pointy hated brethren. To their dismay, despite their best jokes and stunts and pratfalls the Nazis and Klan refused to laugh, and indeed became enraged at the clowns misunderstanding and constant attempts to interpret the clowns instruction.
The clowns on the other hand had a great time and thought the Nazis were the funniest thing they had ever seen and the loud laughter of over 100 counter protesters greeted every attempt of the Nazis and Klan to get their message out, whatever that was.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Michael Cerenzie (Black Water Transit) and Christine Peters' new production banner, CP Productions, has nabbed its first project, optioning Joust, the arcade game that first debuted in 1982, from publisher Midway Games.
Though Joust has had several sequels, the original game, in which one or two players control a knight on a flying ostrich who combats flying buzzards, is best known.
Have these guys read the description of the game?
"On A Flying Ostrich".
"Who Combats Flying Buzzards".
Now either that's a really bad caricature of Albert Einstein in the bottom right corner, or Peter Bogdanovich has been reduced to hawking healthy snack foods to pay the rent.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Honestly, you wonder why they didn't just name him Lonnie Hawkins in the series just to see if anyone would notice and get the in-joke. Anyway, there's a moment in the movie where he's just arrived and has just begun to brief Mel Gibson's character on the situation. When the phone rings and Gibson goes to answer it, Lindo holds the reciever down while he gives Gibson a rundown of how he should handle the call, all while the phone continues to ring and ring and ring. It's a pretty tense scene:
Agent Lonnie Hawkins: "Any demands that come up, now you just agree. You let him know that he's in charge. Your only priority is getting your boy back. Get your boy back, you follow me? Now, you've gotta give us some time, Mr. Mullen. You ask to speak to your son. Ask for some sign that he's alive. Any information you can get. Then tell him he has an allergy. He has some medical condition. You wanna know what kind of weather is he in? Is he indoors? Is he outdoors? ARE WE SET?"
Agent Jack Sickler: "GO!"
Agent Lonnie Hawkins: "Get your boy back."