Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Potted History of the American Empire

 David Horsey is an editorial cartoonists at a Seattle paper. He has wrote a mock history of the US by treating it in roman terms, From Hanging Chad to Baghdad. Which is appropriate for a republic with senators and roman architecture. You find excepts of his book, Empire Rising, at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

CSI vs The Sopranos

Different pieces of fiction like long running tv shows, are set in their own universes. Whenever different Star Trek crews go back in time they seem visit an alternatate world where Star Trek hasn't been on the air for 40 years. In CSI the forensic experts are able to unravel obscure clues. In The Sopranos our favourite lunkheads are able to get away with stupid murders. In the latest Sopranos (Mayham) a trio of Columbians are killed by Paulie and a associate who then proceed to loot the apartment. They leave their bloody fingerprints all over the crime scene. This is a problem that take CSI, even the stupid Miami version, no more than 10 minutes to solve. There 2 ways reality is bent in these different shows. CSI always has the resources, manpower and ability to nail the perps. The Sopranos seem to get away with murder, but the anti-mob authorities perfer to frame huge unassailable conspiracies against their targets rather then prosecute for petty crimes and misdemeanors.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tourism Advertising from Haiti

A religous supply site was found in Haiti. Story from the authorities "...speculated that the bones may have come from a Voodoo ritual." Oh Joy. Another set of religious motivated murderers. Here is the same story from the BBC with a less lurid image.

Signal Magazine

During WWII the Nazis put out their own sort of a picture magazine like Life. Their magazine was called Signal and it was published in many different languages including English. The English edition was distributed in the Channel Islands. I got this cool picture at a French site with Eastern Front photos.

Signal Magazine and Wikipedia entry.
Eastern Front photos.

Monday, March 27, 2006

War Correspondents Now and Then

Philip Knightley talks about war reporting on On the Media. Knightley wrote a book, The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker, about war corespondents and their relationship with military authorities. Knightley has updated his book which came out 30 years ago, I have an earlier edition. Knightley talks about the history of war corespondents starting in the past though Russel in Crimea, I have his book, to murders of Iraq, audio file here and transcript here. As is appropiate for a show the media there is a focus on the what Russel described, and described himself "the miserable parent of a luckless tribe".

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Klingon Wikipedia

While in the Star Trek Wikipedia, Memory Alpha, I came accross the Klingon language wikipedia. It is a wiki for Klingons and not just about Klingons. Makes want to pull out my klingon primer again to seriously learn the language. Klingon sports fans can learn our languages why shouldn't why learn theirs. Here is the entire entry for "human" from the Klingon Wiki:
yoq Segh chaH Humanpu''e' ("tera'nganpu'" luponglu' je). chaH mung 'oH Sol Hovtay'Daq tera' yuQ. vagh 'uj lu'ab Humanpu' 'ej wej loS ghap cheb'a' lu'ngI'. chorghmaH tera' DIS 'oH yIn poHchaj'e'. tera'Daq Segh val wa' neH tu'lu', 'ej cha' 'uy' ben 'oH'e' lumojpu' Humanpu'.

loghDaq lengmeH chuyDaH nap lo'vIS juHqo'chaj lumejlaH Humanpu'. maSchajDaq chaH, 'ach wej yuQ latlhDaq.

Tribute to Ali Farka Toure

I have only heard of the guitarist Ali Farka Toure. Althorough in retrospect I have heard his riffs in many different various programs. The BBC3 program World Routes dedicate their time to Ali Farka Toure's life and work. Listen (direct link to program archive) to it before it comes off the website on saturday. On the messageboard for World Routes one listener calls this program:
"This was the obituary to end all obituaries..."

Is the Taj Mahal not Mo

On a website of a Hindu convert Steven Knapp, there is a long discusion about the provence of the Taj Mahal. The tradional view, see wikipedia, is that Taj Mahal was built by a Mugal Emperor. There is also proof that the Moguls as the invading Muslims, merely reworked an existing Hindu/Vedic temple/place complex during their occupation of india. A PJ Oak has written a book, Taj Mahal the True Story, arguing this point. More argruements to this theory, with pictures, is presented at Steve Knapp's website.

Friday, March 10, 2006

(n)Ice Pictures from Antarctica

The American Antarctica program has lots of wonderful pictures at their website/photolibrary. The image above is the Canada Glacier which extends into the Taylor Valley toward Lake Hoare. An extralarge verison of this image can ge found here.

Boingboing has lots of recent Antarctica coverage.

What Do We Really Know?

A new book, What We Believe but Cannot Prove, is out that asks scientists about their (currently) unproven beliefs. It leads to some interesting philosophical discussions. NPR has an some of these discussions on Thinkers Lay Out Beliefs They Can't Prove.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rally for Denmark

There will be a rally in support of Denmark on saturday in downtown Toronto, map.

Christians in the Middle East

I listened to an NPR program, Christian Numbers on decline in the Middle East. Every guest commentator refused to call this demographic change the result of religious oppression. Listeners would recount how they and their families moved because of religious tyranny. Then one of the guests experts would say no one has rights in a dictatorship. When a calller brings up the plight of the Copts the experts explained that thro incidents of terrorism occur Egypt's mainline terror group is not in favor of murdering christians.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nemo's revenge and others

A fake merged movie ad from a contest on Worth1000 about miscast films. Nemo and his father are clownfish. On land not everbody likes or trusts clowns, see details of the evil clown phenenom. When Homer Simpson became a franchise Krusty the Klown (2F12 Homer the Clown) he became disenchanted with being a clown.
Homer: Aw, being a clown sucks. You get kicked by kids, bit by dogs, and admired by the elderly. Who am I clowning? I have no business being a clown! I've leaving the clowning business to all the other clowns in the clowning business.

Real Life Simpsons

Real life family acting like the Simpsons. An ad set in Northern England with real people standing for Springfield and the Simpson's. The ad is from Sky, a satellite service owned by the same short fingered vulgarian (Murdoch) that owns Fox. HAH HAH!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lego Sculptor

Nathan Sawaya is a Certified Lego Professional, a certification I knew existed. His work is done both on small scale, talk to the hand, and the huge scale, see the 8' pencil. More images of his work can be found here at his gallery site.

Interesting Blog: The Candy Addict

The Candy Addict is devoted to candy. That's all. No politics, no philosophy, only candy.

Cheney Less Popular than a Pedophile, Murderer or Tyrant

According to a new poll from CBS news Cheney the Dick, VP in Chief, has had his popularity drop to 18%. A commentary from Washington Post points out that Cheney is now less popular than Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson and Josef Stalin. I can half understand that there some people who still have feeling for Stalin. I've met them. There are also people who revere the memory of a bandit chief who lived in 7th century Arabia. Great villians are easier to both admire and emulate. They don't put any ethical restaints on their fans.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Great Blues Lyrics #2

From a song by Otis Spann
Come Day Go Day
You drank whiskey for breakfast
and Alka seltzer all day long

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Architecture of Control

The Architecture of Control is blog devoted all of the design that is meant to limit the actions of the users. The blog sums up its raison d'etre nicely.
Increasingly, many products are being designed with features that intentionally restrict the way the user can behave, or enforce certain modes of behaviour. The same intentions are also evident in the design of many systems and environments.

The parkbench above is one the new kind that is designed to uncomfortable. Why a public body would hate its public so much to install this abomination is explained in this ad copy from Belson.
Redesigned to face contemporary urban realities this bench comes standard with a center arm to discourage overnight stays in its comfortable embrace.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Spooky Anti-Drug Ads

Montana, not the usual place to think of when advertising is mentioned, has produced a series of anti meth ads. Most of the ads focus on the addictive nature of this drug. In this age anti drug paranoia the best drugs to promote, for drug dealers, are those that are used uncontrollably by a small number of people, like crack and meth. Drugs whose usage is more widespread at the same time with lower expenditures per user, like pot, are less intensely profitable. It is easy to market to addicts rather than occasional users.

The Montana ads, are too graphic for most media outlets was developed in conjunction with meth addicts. On of the ad men behind this ads talks on NPR.