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01 February 2014 @ 06:55 am

It's been a bit of time since I've been really excited about a movie, but I think this is one I will definitely go see. Liam Neeson is a safe choice... not sure if he's really what I imagine for the lead but he probably can pull it off. Same goes for Ken Watanabe (seeing as he's probably one of the only Japanese actors that has any name recognition for general English-speaking audiences.)
26 September 2013 @ 01:03 pm
This has to be one of the most absurd things I've seen in a while.

A person of indigenous Mexican ancestry rages about white people "appropriating his culture." What aspects of his culture is this white guy "appropriating"? A European language (Spanish) and a sport (soccer) that was invented in Britain. So he defines his sense of culture by things that were introduced by European colonialism but at the same time rages against European colonialism.

The irony is amazing. This is what much of "civil rights" activism boils down to nowadays. The right to be a whiny baby and have people pat you on your head for being bad at playing sports, bad at English grammar, and bad at basic critical thinking and self-reflection.
26 September 2013 @ 10:14 am
Paul Simon sings:
The Mississippi delta was shining
Like a national guitar
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war
I'm going to Graceland

But wasn't the "cradle of the civil war" in South Carolina?
05 August 2013 @ 08:43 am
1) The Lexus and the Olive Tree – Thomas Friedman
2) Breaking Gridlock: Moving towards transportation that works – Jim Motavali
3) Dodger – Terry Pratchett
4) A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx – Elaine Showalter
03 April 2013 @ 10:22 am
Over 110,000,000 gallons of oil spilled in the US since 1990

This chart being almost two years out of date, I wonder what it would look like if you add in incidents of the last two years.

Unrefined bitumen is not legally classed as oil and therefore oil producers are exempted from paying for cleanup efforts resulting from leaks

Interview with a man who lived near a 2011 oil spill in Montana:

A Watchdog group estimates that a faulty oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has been leaking at least ten gallons a day since 2004. (Company official estimates are less than 1/10 of that amount.)
31 March 2013 @ 01:09 pm
Just after last week's oil spill in Utah, there's an oil spill in Arkansas. Edit: Oh, and Minnesota. So that makes three significant oil spills in less than three weeks.

But yeah - let's keep building these pipelines. What could possibly go wrong?
28 March 2013 @ 01:42 pm
Apparently nine days ago there was a massive oil spill from a decades-old Utah pipeline leaking. Most of the blogs I follow, as well as Google News, don't seem to be covering it. What gives?

Oh, that's right. An oil company with a history of major oil spills from their pipelines is trying to approve new a new pipeline to ship oil to world markets. Built through one of the nation's largest aquifers, of course. Can't have any bad news about the oil industry, can we?
25 March 2013 @ 02:15 pm
Like most people, I've heard the phrase 'government cheese', but this is the first time I've heard about government raisins.

It's always surprising how much waste is there.
Finally got around to seeing “Les Miserables”. Wasn’t sure whether I was going to like it but in the end I enjoyed it. It helped that I went in with low expectations – it definitely exceeded them. The movie indulges in scenery porn at a few moments from sweeping mountain views to close ups of Paris landmarks. Cinematically, I think it’s strong, although there scenes where the camera angles seemed odd. In terms of directorial choices, “Stars” was one of the numbers that stood out. Setting it against the backdrop of a certain famous cathedral certainly invited comparisons to a different Hugo antagonist. And the attention to detail was really nice – from Napoleon’s elephant to the touch of piling a few caskets on top of the barricade.
The material was handled quite well... both the omissions and most of the additions. I was really excited when Gillenormand actually made an appearance... though they didn’t do enough with his character in the end. Some minor rewritten lyrics helped. What didn’t work was shoehorning in the mandatory Oscar-bait number (glad it didn’t win, but it shouldn’t even have gotten nominated). I also missed “Dog Eat Dog” a bit, but still, the scene worked without it.
The actors – hit and miss. I expected Hugh Jackman to hit it out of the park; he disappointed me. I expected Russell Crowe to be terrible; he exceeded my expectations and was halfway decent. Anne Hathaway ... good, but seriously, did she really have to starve herself in real life for the part? Kind of disturbing, really. Sascha Baron-Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter – I expected them to fit the roles, and they did, oh they did. More over the top than I was expecting, and seriously hilarious. None of the other leads were worthy of note – they fit their roles well but didn’t stand out.
Historical sidenote: there are some scenes in which people conduct transactions in paper currency. I wonder if that was a widespread thing in 1820s-1830s France?
08 February 2013 @ 12:08 pm
The Weather Channel in a nutshell

This stuff is getting ridiculous; just took them off my bookmarks. Getting my forecasts from the NOAA now.
07 February 2013 @ 10:40 am
Entrepreneurs in China are distributing cans of fresh air.

Paging Mel Brooks...
05 February 2013 @ 10:12 pm

Add another item on the list of reasons global warming sucks. :(

Maple syrup season should be starting soon - if we don't lose most of our production like we did last year. It would be horrible if maple syrup and honey production completely stopped and all we had for breakfast is dyed corn syrup :(
05 February 2013 @ 06:17 pm
Why is Pandora constantly bombarding me with ads for Tim Horton's? Last thing I need is to be thinking about donuts.
05 February 2013 @ 09:54 am
One of the things that frustrates me about environmentalists is that some of them are so foolish. South Africans spend hundreds of millions trying to combat poaching of rhinos and elephants. What if they took some of that money and started trying to combat the source of the problem - consumers in China and Southeast Asia who use horns in folk remedies - with publicity campaigns discouraging the practice? Or, alternatively, what if they started breeding rhinos as livestock to simultaneously help the species and meet consumer demand?

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Germany announced that they would be shutting down their nuclear power plants starting in 2015. While abandoning nuclear facilities may make sense in regions like Japan with high risk of seismic activity, in places like Germany it makes less sense: unless they are going to increase their solar and wind capacity at an astronomical rate, then they will probably end up turning to coal or gas, which will pollute a lot more than nuclear power would.
30 January 2013 @ 11:25 am
1) Inside Central Asia: A Political and Cultural History of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Iran – Dilip Hiro
2) Nina Simone: The biography – David Brun-Lambert
3) Empire of the Sun – J.G. Ballard
Current Music: Dancing in the Street - David Bowie and Mick Jagger
12 January 2013 @ 10:39 am
Veg*an recipe collection. Think I need to try some of these this week.
Current Music: Big Yellow Taxi
Dum spiro spero
01 January 2013 @ 05:04 am

Why can't (classical/orchestra) audiences in the US be like this? I once went to a concert where the same piece was performed and the difference was amazing. Not a hint of audience participation.

Maybe it comes down to music education and other cultural issues. Maybe that's the key to making music popular and relevant. I don't know.
22 December 2012 @ 03:12 pm
Dear LJ:

No, I do not want to switch the new friends page layout. Please stop asking.
24 October 2012 @ 10:43 pm
Surprise, surprise - Another "hate crime" turns out to be a hoax.

I wonder how many of these incidents are proven to be hoaxes, as opposed to ones that get convictions.
Dum spiro spero
12 October 2012 @ 10:10 pm
Concert featuring the music of Joe Hisaishi

I think I'm going to be listening to this a lot. :)
11 October 2012 @ 11:41 am
Last month's terrorist activity in Libya is looking more and more suspicious. According to this CBS report, the consulate repeatedly requested more security from the State Department but was turned down. This wouldn't make sense in peaceful conditions in a stable country, and in a country which recently saw lots of political upheaval it's downright stupid and incompetent at least.