Tuesday, December 21, 2010
It's very sad but it's so beautiful.
It will keep you thinking - and feeling - about the possibilities for long-term love for days after you've left the cinema.
Wretched and beautiful, devastating and passionate, Blue Valentine evokes every inch of its title's dichotomy.
Emotionally raw, heartbreakingly beautiful and superbly acted.
Pulls no punches in terms of its heavy subject matter and boasts wonderful performances from stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
Exquisitely painful to watch.
Assuming one can use the word "enjoy" for what might be the greatest feel-bad movie of the year, I enjoyed BLUE VALENTINE a lot.
After reading these reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, I almost feel like slitting my own wrists...
I can hardly wait to see the movie.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
It was astonishing to follow this man's political career. He could easily have been the first Jewish President of the United States. His fall from grace was heart-rending.
Spitzer made many high-power enemies during his crusade against Wall Street and the New York legislature. But he was honest enough to say that he didn't blame his enemies for ganging up on him. This mess, he brought upon himself.
The most memorable comment in the film came from one of his former employees. To paraphrase, all he did was have sex in a hotel room. That's it. And for that, he was crucified.
Ironically, Bill Clinton remained extremely popular, even after a woman sucked his cock in the Oval Office. But Spitzer has not been able to shake *his* scandal. (Although, he *does* have an excellent program on CNN called "Parker/Spitzer".)
I have grown to like and admire Eliot Spitzer. Sure, he betrayed his wife. But, cripes, it was only sex!! One of the most natural of human urges and needs. Otherwise, he's a very smart man, a very determined man, who fought against the worst excesses of Wall Street.
I highly recommend this film.
I think we should leave Assange alone. He did nothing "wrong". Even though I disagree with what he did, I support his right to do it. After all, we live in the digital age where information can be disseminated around the globe at the speed of light. We need to understand and appreciate this.
All information is fair game, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. This applies to ALL platforms on the Web, including Facebook, Twitter, Craig's List, WikiLeaks, and the like.
If you care about your privacy, about your confidentiality, then take the necessary steps to safeguard your information. This applies to you and me. And this applies to the United States of America.
The United States foolishly made their information accessible by nearly a million people. Did they really think they could prevent information from leaking?
And once the information was leaked, why should anybody in the digital universe assume any responsibility to keep that information private? In the digital age, all information is fair game. When it comes to privacy, the responsibility ultimately rests with YOU, the information's owner. Don't look to anyone else as a scapegoat. Don't try to censor the Web. Don't try to bully the Web into digital decency and morality.
The Internet is amoral and agnostic, as it should be. There is no right or wrong on the Internet. There is no cultural context, esp. given that countries as disparate as Iran, China, and Japan are connected. There is only information, and freedom of information. There is only communication, and freedom of communication. And anybody who tries to keep a lid on all of this is himself in the wrong. (I'm look at you, China and USA.)
The Internet has value because it is free and open. Anybody can post anything he wants, including child porn, terrorist propaganda, classified information, snuff films, etc. We don't have to like it, but we have to respect the freedom and openness of the Web.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
And bending down beside the glowing bars
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Lisbeth Salander is about to stand trial for the attempted murder of her father, Alexander Zalachenko, the war criminal that a covert organization within the Swedish government is hiding. Mikael Blomqvist, the journalist and publisher of the shit-disturbing magazine Millennium, tries to help Lisbeth, but amidst the conspiracy to cover up the truth, he and his magazine, including his partner and staff, are in deadly jeopardy.
Meanwhile, the blonde tank, Niedermann, is on the run, wreaking havoc wherever he goes, killing two police officers and various innocent bystanders, and trying to finish off Lisbeth. In the course of the trial, the sonovabitch Dr. Teleborian is lying through his teeth to have Lisbeth committed for life, calling her a dangerous schizophrenic. But Teleborian will get his dues in the end.
At two and a half hours long, I was surprised to find myself so engaged that I didn't need to take a bathroom break. The ending nicely ties up all the loose ends, and I have to conclude that this is probably the best cinematic trilogy I have ever seen. (Actually, Yoji Yamada's samurai trilogy is the best, but this one is the best in terms of having a continuous storyline.)
Highly, highly recommended. (It goes without saying that you have to watch the entire trilogy.)
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Take a look at these two kids on the right, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei:
They look like nice people, don't they? But they turn out to be sick, soulless creeps. How did they turn out this way? Are they exceptional among today's youth? Food for thought...
What causes people to behave this way? Is it a sign of the times? The natural fallout from today's obsession over social networking, social sharing, reality television, mobile devices?
Does the fault lie with these kids, or with today's society in general?
And what should be done with these kids? I say, lock 'em up and throw away the keys. Send a clear message to all young people: The use of the Internet must be balanced with social decorum and human decency. Beyond that, we must all respect privacy and human dignity...
Concepts that are apparently alien to today's youth.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Devil is a psychological thriller, as well as a simple story of redemption. It's about five people that are trapped in an elevator. And one of them is the Devil. He's there to harvest souls.
Despite the fact that we know the Devil is there from beginning to end, the thriller aspect still works, as we find the trapped passengers getting killed one by one. The police and firefighters work furiously in a race to get into the elevator before the Devil completes his task.
Even though the film is only 1:20 long, the shortest I've seen in a very long time, it feels very full and satisfying. This is a testament to the skill of the director.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Machete is another fine example of his craft. Hands and heads lopped off. Bullets in the face. Blood spatter everywhere. And Rodriguez does it with a certain tongue-in-cheek bravado and campy humour. For example, in one scene, Machete uses a hospital surgical tool (used for stripping flesh off bone) to gut a man and stretch his intestines out the full length to be used as a rope as Machete jumps out a window. Everybody in the audience laughed, including myself.
In another scene, a house is blown up and a man falls down on top of Jessica Alba's car hood, charred and smoking with a meat thermometer stuck in him. The mercury in the thermometer instantly rises to the top. Very amusing.
In fact, this is one of the funniest movies I've seen all year! Comic relief is necessary when you are immersed in so much blood and gore and violence. Speaking of which, one of the least funny scenes is when a priest (Cheech Marin) is literally crucified in a church. When those nails were driven into his wrists, I felt rather squeamish (quite unusual for me).
In the final action sequence, Machete brings with him the mother of all machetes -- it is HUGE. Really quite funny.
Machete is made as an homage to the "B-movies" of yesteryear. There is no pretense at a good story; indeed, the story is ludicrous. Acting is laughable -- Robert de Niro is a campy caricature of a corrupt Texas senator, Don Johnson is silly as the commander of a vigilante army, Steven Seagal is less than convincing as a Mexican drug kingpin.
Rodriguez includes some of his favourite actors in the cast: Danny Trejo in the lead role of Machete, and Cheech Marin as a priest and Machete's brother.
One of the unexpected side benefits of watching this movie is seeing Lindsay Lohan's tits. Hey, how often do you get the opportunity to gawk at a PR disaster's hooters?
I also like Michelle Rodriguez (no relation to the director). In the final action sequence, she is extremely sexy dressed up in leather and wearing an eye patch (earlier, Don Johnson had shot her in the eye).
This Labour Day Weekend, I really wanted to catch The American and Machete. I was simply in the mood for blood -- call it blood lust. And I was suitably sated. Thumbs Up.
These reviewers say that the movie is too slow, too ponderous. I normally don't like films that are too slow either, but in this movie it works, thanks to the beautiful photography and elegant direction. The slow pacing allows the audience to soak in the atmosphere of the charming Italian countryside and to dwell in the mind of the main character, Jack (George Clooney), an assassin in hiding. I actually shared his feelings as he walked down the cobblestone streets, sat in the café sipping coffee, and driving on the winding roads in the mountains.
When Jack discovers that he is targetted for termination by the Swedes, he hides out in a small Italian village. While he's there, he does one last job for his employer: provide a customized rifle for a beautiful assassin named Mathilde (Thekla Reuten). The normally reserved and very private Jack strikes up a friendship with a local priest, and a torrid affair with a young prostitute.
However, trouble follows him to this town in the mountains of Abruzzo...
George Clooney gives another great performance. I re-watched Up in the Air a few nights ago on television and it reminded me of what a fabulous actor Clooney is. The American cements my opinion that George Clooney is absolutely one of the finest American actors of our time.
The feel of the film also reminded me of In Bruges, a story about two hitmen hiding out in Bruges, Belgium, after a job goes very awry. It was also rather atmospheric, giving the audience a good taste of the historic city of Bruges. Coincidentally, Thekla Reuten (the beautiful assassin) also starred in In Bruges.
I also have to put in a good word for Violante Placido, the prostitute Clara. She is very convincing and enticing. If I were Jack, I'd want to run away with her, too! (Please? Pretty please?)
Highly recommended. Definitely on my Top Ten list of the year.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It has an articulated LCD!!! And a sensible one, too, not like the D5000's piece o' shit.
It has a slightly smaller, PLASTIC body (compared to the 40D/50D/7D). I prefer metal. I like metal. I lust for metal.
It has no AF micro-adjustment.
It has a 96% coverage viewfinder (compared to 95% in the 40D/50D and 100% in the 7D).
It does away with the joystick. (But it has a 4-way controller inset within the rear control wheel.)
It has no multi-flash support.
It uses SD cards instead of CF.
It has a slightly slower frame rate, 5.3 fps.
It has the same metering system and movie mode as the 7D.
It has the same sensor as the T2i. And the same 9-point AF system as the 40D. (Just as well -- I think the 7D's 19-point AF is too complicated.)
It's only slightly ($300) more expensive than the T2i, the top-end Rebel. In fact, think of the 60D as a Super Rebel.
I'm glad I didn't buy the 50D. The 7D is the natural upgrade path. The 60D is pretty much a dumbed-down 50D. Canon have repositioned the xxD line away from 'semi-pro' and toward the high-end consumer segment.
My guess is that the 60D will be more comfortable to hold than the Rebels, but not as comfortable as my 40D. Let's see if I'm right...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Early in my career, I had the privilege of working on the world's first commercially available fault-tolerant mainframe, Tandem NonStop, in a first-of-its-kind trading system at the Toronto Stock Exchange. The development language, TAL, was a hybrid of C and Pascal (with a decidedly Pascal-like syntax). I had a blast during those days.
I also worked on the world's first attempt at a Unix-based office automation suite called Emerald One, including a word processor, spreadsheet, and remote dial-up facility. This was my first exposure to the C language which later became the mainstay of my career.
I helped to develop a remarkable "application generator" called Intellisys from a small start-up in Hamilton. This, too, was exciting because we were working with state-of-the-art hardware such as MicroVAX and large-screen GUI workstations.
Writing a TIFF fax decoder at Image Software Solutions, a very small start-up, was also a proud achievement. I was the only programmer in the company, so I was on my own with no help from anyone. If you've ever tried to decode TIFF (not the Toronto International Film Festival), you know it's a complex protocol.
My 7 years at ATI Technologies were the longest tenure of my career, a significant achievement in its own right. It was there that I finally learned how to drive (sort of). And working on Windows NT video drivers was exciting, too. I actually rewrote one from scratch! I also had a blast liaising with Microsoft in Redmond.
Alas, all of these software systems have been relegated to the dustbins of history, tossed onto the scrapheap of eternity. Such achievements have no lasting value, not like a successful book, song, movie, or historical recognition. Such achievements are like performance art, to be enjoyed in the moment, and afterwards forgotten.
Those were the halcyon days of my career. I sure miss them.
Monday, August 23, 2010
August Headline: Dinosaur Smalltalk falls off top 50Smalltalk, the first pure object-oriented programming language ever, lost its position in the TIOBE top 50 this month. The same happened to the other well-known pure object-oriented language Eiffel a couple of months ago. This is probably part of the trend that languages are becoming more and more multiparadigm: both object-oriented and procedural with a functional flavor.
This is a frakking outrage!!! What is this world coming to?!!
The only knock against it is in the area of performance, but even there, you will find opportunities to optimize. With today's CPU and GPU hardware, performance will rarely be an issue.
I s'pose Ruby will take the crown as the ultimate OOP language, but it is not nearly as simple nor as easy to develop in as Smalltalk is. And you don't get that wonderful "live" debugger.
It's worth dredging up this old post:
Friday, August 13, 2010
The Expendables stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, and David Zayas (Batista in Dexter). As if this weren't impressive enough a cast, there's also Randy Couture and Steve Austin (sports fighters), Terry Crews (NFL player), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel), and uncredited Ahhnold and Bruce Willis in cameo roles. (Willis plays the man who hires The Expendables, and Ahhnold plays a mercenary competing for the same job.)
I like the name of Jet Li's character: Yin Yang.
Mickey Rourke plays a tattoo artist who has been working on Stallone's body art for ages. In an unexpected scene, Rourke's character, Tool, talks about his struggle to save whatever was left of his soul after having fought in Bosnia. This was an Oscar-calibre performance, people, make no mistake about it. And to find it in the middle of a Sylvester Stallone testosterone-fest is totally astonishing!
Another unexpected gem is the running joke about Jet Li's character being so short that he has to constantly fight to prove himself.
One fabulous action scene that I have to mention is when Stallone and Statham fly into enemy territory in a cargo sea plane, purportedly on behalf of the Global Wildlife Conservancy. When they are discovered, the army chases them to their plane, which takes off and eventually turns around to unleash a powerful counterattack, using onboard machine guns or cannons, and dropping incendiary liquid on the docks. Most imaginative! And most entertaining!
All in all, I have to recommend this movie. If you're in the mood for testosterone-driven action, you won't find anything better.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
All three films are beautiful. All three make me weep.
As much as these are deeply profound stories of warriors and bushido, they also qualify as "chick flicks." Every film has a powerful love story that is sure to make women swoon.
Yamada's artistry is unsurpassed. The look and feel of the movies are absolutely authentic. It's like travelling back in history.
And performances are magnificent. Unforgettable. Haunting.
The trilogy is among my favourite films of all time, right up there with Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" and James McTeigue's "V for Vendetta."
My life is supremely richer for having seen these films. I can't recommend them enough.
I promise I shall devote 6 hours every year to watch the trilogy for the remainder of my life... (I can't say this about any other movie.)
The Twilight Samurai - A samurai, and lowly clerk, is ordered to kill a dishonoured samurai who refuses to commit hara-kiri. His sick wife died, and he has two young daughters and a senile mother to take care of. Thus, his colleagues have given him the nickname "Twilight."
The Hidden Blade - A samurai is ordered to kill one of his best friends who has escaped from the law. Unfortunately, his friend is a far better swordsman. He must also take revenge against a high-ranking official who raped his friend's wife.
Love and Honor - A samurai loses his sight tasting food for his Lordship and struggles to stay alive in a world that has no use for a blind samurai. When his wife is dishonoured and effectively raped by a high-ranking samurai official, he must engage in a duel to the death. He is resigned to his fate.
I have to confess, though, that The Hidden Blade is my favourite of the three.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
The iPad is supposed to be the ultimate multimedia consumption device. Putting aside the fact that the vast majority of videos on the Web are Flash-based, I would, at the very least, expect the iPad/iPhone to play QuickTime -- not just any ol' QuickTime movie, but QuickTime streaming over RTSP, as well. The iPad doesn't.
This is idiotic. QuickTime is Apple's own proprietary video standard. Why is it that I can play all QuickTime movies on a Mac but not on an iPad???
Suppose I were to set up a Mac server to stream QuickTime using Apple's own QuickTime Streaming Server. Then I would lose the vast iPad/iPhone user base. (No supposition is necessary -- I have actually done this.)
Do Apple plan to obsolete QTSS? (And, no, HTTP Live Streaming is not necessarily a suitable replacement/alternative. There are solid, practical reasons to prefer QTSS.)
What should website administrators who rely on QTSS, like myself, do? Shove an iPad up their ass?
So, in effect, the iPad cannot play Flash and it cannot play QuickTime. How is it the ultimate multimedia consumption device again?
Thursday, July 29, 2010
In this marvellous video, Professor Philip Zimbardo (of the famed Stanford Prison Experiment) “conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world.”
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Playboy launches site you can ogle at work
The article "7 Signs That You've Given Up on Getting Laid" made me laugh so hard, I almost had a bowel movement! Here are some gems:
- Shoes that stay on with a couple strips of Velcro are highly recommended—for the elderly, the retarded or the shitfaced. If you’re none of those three, learn how to deal with a fucking pair of shoelaces. Or a shoehorn, at least. And if your wallet closes with a strip of Velcro, just end it already. What are you, 12? A grown man’s wallet has no hooks or loops, and it’s made of something called leather. Look into it.
- If you have missing teeth, rotting teeth, fizzing teeth, teeth that are no longer teeth but disgusting black nubs, make it your no. 1 priority to get to a dentist and have that shit taken care of. You don’t have to go to Elliott Yamin extremes, but the second you stop caring about the condition of your chicklets, you might as well forget about being within arm’s length of a naked woman ever again.
- Certain things should never be used inside the home. Gas-powered generators, for example. Because they’ll kill you. The same goes for plastic eating utensils, paper plates and anything else that might be utilized to consume food at a picnic. The sheer sloth of using this stuff under your own roof is beyond comprehension. If you find yourself doing so, go ahead and stick a plastic fork in your dick, because it’s done.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
The latest estimate is that the cost of fighting this war in 2010 will be $100+ billion. That's $1 billion for every al Qaeda member thought to be living there. In one year.
This sounds completely disproportionate to the threat.
Are we fighting the Taliban simply because they are al Qaeda's ally? Is that a good enough reason?
Is that worth the tremendous time and energy and financial cost, not to mention soldiers' lives, to prosecute a major land and air war against them?
Keep in mind that the Taliban are almost entirely Pashtuns. And Pashtuns comprise nearly half of Afghanistan's population. Is there any reasonable expectation that we can totally eliminate the Taliban?
Why are we fighting? What do we hope to accomplish that is worth all of this?
These are obviously rhetorical questions, but if you actually have a sane response, let's hear it...
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
In 1999, retired Argentinian federal justice agent Benjamin Esposito decides to write a novel. For the subject, he chooses a 25-year-old cold case with which he has been obsessed. In 1974, a beautiful young woman named Liliana Colotto was brutally raped and murdered. Her husband, Ricardo Morales, was obsessed with finding the man who did it.
Benjamin and his partner Pablo Sandoval eventually find the culprit, Isidoro Gomez. After Gomez is sent to prison, he is released through a bizarre quirk of politics and works for the newly minted Peronist government as a hit-man. Then, without any warning, Gomez vanishes.
Twenty-five years later, Benjamin learns the staggering truth as he researches his book...
Amidst this tale of mystery is also a love story, as Benjamin secretly pines for his former Justice Department Chief, Irene Menendez-Hastings.
Great story, with an ending that will haunt you. The Secret in Their Eyes is also one of the year's best films, and at this time I'd be hardpressed to say whether it's better than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Lisbeth Salander enlists Mikael Blomkvist's help in tracking down the real killer. The key to the mystery is a Russian defector and spy named 'Zala' and a "blonde tank" named Niedermann, Zala's henchman who feels no pain and is very hard to kill.
The story is very convoluted so you have to pay close attention. Overall, it's not quite as good as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but Noomi Rapace's riveting performance (as Salander) is well worth the investment.
Also, the sex scene between Salander and Miriam Wu (her girlfriend) is hot, hot, hot!
This movie is apparently the second of the Millennium trilogy. I can't wait to see the third film!
Mikael Blomkvist is a disgraced journalist who is about to enter prison for libel. Henrik Vanger is the wealthy patriarch of the highly dysfunctional Vanger family. Vanger approaches Blomkvist to investigate the 40-year-old disappearance of his favourite niece, Harriet. Vanger suspects that someone in his family is responsible. Blomkvist has six months to complete the task before he is scheduled to go to prison.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Adrien Brody plays the hero in this reboot of the Predator franchise, essentially stepping into Ahhnold Schwarzenegger's shoes. When I first heard that Brody was cast, I was very leery. After all, he's always been a bit of a wimp, playing a musician in The Pianist, a playwright in King Kong, a villager in The Village, and a scientist in Splice. But Brody is actually fairly convincing as a mysterious black-ops commando snatched from an airplane and deposited on an alien world.
The story takes place on an alien game preserve where various species, including homo sapiens, are hunted for sport. The denizens of this lush jungle planet are *chosen* for their predatory/fighting nature. So, for example, we find a Colombian cartel enforcer (played by Danny Trejo, soon to be seen in Machete), a Yakuza assassin, a Russian soldier, and a FBI Most Wanted convict.
Laurence Fishburne makes an "interesting" appearance.
The film alludes to the original Predator, and even indirectly references Ahhnold. The picture below supports this (for extra points, can anyone explain why?).
The ending tantalizingly hints at a possible sequel (or franchise!). You may not be aware, but I'm starting to drool as I type this...
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I'm supposed to work hard and "sacrifice" to achieve my life goals, she said. Why?
What if I don't have any "life goals?" What if I lack ambition and drive?
Isn't this purely an "ego thing?" At the end of your life, if you've failed to achieve your goals, what does it matter to anyone? Surely, it matters not to anyone but yourself.
And once you've breathed your last breath, it won't even matter to you.
The point I'm trying to make is that this whole bucket list thing is really about your ego and about making yourself feel good (or at least as good as possible) while you are living your life.
In other words, it's all about being in the moment and how you feel about yourself, and your life, in the moment. It's not about making the world a better place -- this would be incidental and a self-justification in the service of your belief system which, of course, would ultimately make you feel better about your life.
No matter how you slice and dice it, it all comes down to how you *feel* about yourself. In the present moment. While you are still living.
Naturally, if other people recognize your achievements, this would make you feel better. This, then, is an ancillary motivation: having others around you *validate* your life by heaping praise upon you.
But in the final analysis, you have to be true to yourself, to who you are at the core. If you can feel good about your life without having accomplished anything, why should anyone else's opinion about your life matter?
I don't have a bucket list. I'm taking life at a very leisurely pace. And why not? The only one who needs to feel good about himself is moi.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Rick Hiebert said, “I’d suggest that if you are not careful about your facts, can we assume that you are not careful about your thesis? Also, the thesis rests on your facts and is based on them.”
Yes, but I think there is a difference between an intentional error made to underpin an important point and an unintentional slip. So far, all the ranting I’ve heard are slips. If she had just left these bits of error out completely, it wouldn’t have diminished her case at all.
Those outrightly opposed to the premise of the book will find any and every error to discredit both it and its author. As metaphorically eluded to by Tim in Matthew chapter 23, they will ignore the weightier matters while garnering attention about incidentals.
I agree facts are paramount. Everything written as non-fiction literature must be evaluated by the basis of evidence to support it. But so far all I’ve heard from yonder “heavy weights” are comments akin to the whining of a two year old. So what I’d like to know is, if these learned and scholarly individuals seem to be so thorough in their dissection of McDonald’s reporting, what, if anything, DO they agree with as true, factual and more importantly, relevant, evidence? They travel land and sea, so to speak, to find one error, but the question is, will they also go the distance to find and admit the greater evidence McDonald gives to support her thesis? We all know there is in fact an ocean of truth to her thesis. But, I won’t hold my breath to hear it from the likes of Stackhouse, Wells or Levant.
Funny how important facts are when it comes to refuting something they don’t like, but when it’s something they do like, facts become irrelevant. Take the bible. A disquisition of the bible, the word of a perfect god (not infallible mankind), reveals a book rife with mistakes, contradictions, errors and inconsistencies. Even so, otherwise intelligent people, Christians, ignore them, do not demerit the book, because somehow they see the greater “truth” of the book outweighing the errors pointed out by critics.
If we are going to play by the “throw the baby out with the bath water” rules, then lets start with your sacred text – the bible.
For example, on page 39, she says that Jason Kenney "served as Stockwell Day's chief of staff." I presume she makes that point to show just how dominant the Christian influence in Day's office is. But as anyone on Parliament Hill knows, Kenney has never been Day's chief of staff.
So, too, is the claim on page 65 that Ontario politician Frank Klees was a Baptist minister. He wasn't -- not that McDonald bothered to check with him before writing it.Elsewhere on his own website, he says:
Did you know that Frank Klees was a Baptist minister?No? Neither did Klees!
Monday, June 28, 2010
6) The questioning of judicial nominees is the first step on the slippery slope to stoning adulterers!
“So unflinching has Harper’s backing of Israel been that some have questioned ... to what extent is this country’s role in the Middle East being influenced by ... the idea that the end of the world is at hand?” (p. 312)
Christians are not Marci McDonald’s most detested target.
It especially enrages McDonald that “opponents of [the Harper government’s] pro-Israel policy are routinely branded as anti-Semites”
Saturday, June 26, 2010
He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before I give him up!Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? ... It is very cold in space!I've done far worse than kill you, Admiral. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her; marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet...buried alive! Buried alive...!To the last, I will grapple with thee. ... From Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!THIS IS CETI ALPHA FIVE! Ceti Alpha Six exploded six months after we were left here. The shock shifted the orbit of this planet and everything was laid waste. 'Admiral' Kirk never bothered to check on our progress. It was only the fact of my genetically-engineered intellect that allowed us to survive. ... On Earth, two hundred years ago, I was a prince with power over millions...
Friday, June 11, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
- Humans (vegetarians)
- Humans (non-veg)
- China - 28%
- S. Korea - 27%
- Japan - 21%
- U.S. - 14%
Thursday, May 27, 2010
- 2560x1440 screen
- 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
- 4GB 1066MHz DDR3
- 1TB hard drive 7200 rpm
- ATI Radeon HD 4850 w/512MB
- 8x double-layer SuperDrive
- Wireless Magic Mouse
- Wireless keyboard
- AppleCare Protection Plan
It doesn't have the most powerful processor (2.8GHz i7), but I'm not a power user and I don't run high-performance apps. The gorgeous 27" screen is the main attraction, as is the 1TB hard drive (my goal in life is to break the 1TB barrier). This will make for an excellent development machine, as well as for hacking into the Pentagon a là "24".
I was going to get the 15" MacBook Pro (to avoid cable mess and for small footprint), but -- dammit! -- that huge screen is seductive. And at any rate, I want to achieve my life goal...
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
What I liked:
- 10GB free storage
- Upload and store videos from your computer
- Very buggy -- could never get video uploads to work
- Unreliable service
- Profile questions text editor behaves very oddly
Avoid this service.
What I liked:
- 10GB free storage
- Can search entire network
- Poor selection of themes
- No custom profile questions (or their site manager is infuriatingly difficult to use)
Avoid this service.
What I liked:
- Can search entire network
- Very awkward method of video sharing
- Unable to post a blog using Chrome browser
- Only 250MB of storage
- Profile questions text editor behaves very oddly
Avoid this service.
What I liked:
- Can customize a theme with header and background image from your computer
- Respectable 1GB of storage
- Very inflexible site manager (in the free service)
- Profile questions text editor relies on HTML coding
- Profile questions are more tedious to set up
- Search facility doesn't work
Avoid this service.
What I liked:
- Nice themes.
- Profile questions text editor relies on HTML coding
- Profile questions use colon in a very odd manner
- Limited storage space if your site has low traffic (100MB for less than 500 Avg Daily Page Views)
Not a bad choice, if you can live with the quirks.
UPDATE July 8, 2010: Their free service has now changed because of this. A warning to all network creators that the economics of freemium services is unreliable.
What I liked:
- Nice themes.
- Upload and store videos from your computer
- Video gallery allows embedded videos
- Very flexible site manager
- Very chintzy on storage space (40MB) and bandwidth (500MB)
- No subgroups
As long as you don't need lots of storage or bandwidth, and you don't need subgroups, I recommend Webs. I finally settled on Webs for my free social network, Good Sex Space.
Ultimately, none of these social network services live up to the standard set by Ning. Webs came the closest, but their parsimonious storage prevents them from delivering a knockout punch (however, this may keep them in business longer as the free service is not a huge drain). It's a pity Ning was unable or unwilling to continue providing the free service.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
- dual DIG!C 4 processors, which not only aid in high fps, but also in improved in-camera image processing
- 8 fps continuous shooting speed (which is pretty darn close to the blistering 10 fps of the 1D Mk IV)
- a new, super-sophisticated AF system with 19 cross-type points
- 100% viewfinder with 1.0x magnification -- every photographer should *demand* this feature!
- ISO sensitivity up to 12800 (perfectly usable at 6400)
- a new, 63-zone, colour-sensitive metering system
- wireless flash control
- 18 mp resolution for when you need large prints
- the best HD video feature on the market -- just in case you *ever* need video
- the best weathersealing short of buying a pro camera such as the 1D Mk IV
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
What do you get in return for this extra weight?
- a REAL, physical keyboard
- a 250GB hard drive -- about 4x the storage of iPad
- a user-replaceable battery
- a card reader, VGA port, Ethernet port, and several USB ports
What iPad has going for it is the e-reader capability, something Green-Lantern is distinctly unsuited for. Also, iPad is good at playing HD videos.
- no built-in webcam (for videoconferencing)
- no multitasking
- no support for Flash
- Apple's draconian control of the App Store
- no USB (except via a stupid dongle)
I contend that it will change the game. and radically change it at that. Why? Tablets have been tried over and over again for years. In some cases, they've proven to be interesting, even useful niche products, but they haven't caught on. Previous tablets have tried to shoehorn a desktop OS into a keyboardless, touchscreen laptop. They put too much emphasis on remaining backward compatible.Check out these Apple/Steve Jobs recipes:
The iPad is a forward looking device. Apple has managed to do what previous attempts at tablets have failed to do. They have re-imagined what a truly portable touchscreen device can do and how. Interacting with the iPad and the core applications is intuitive. Natural. It's more than the Apple "it just works" propaganda. It makes sense when you use it. The calendar and address book behave the way their paper cousins do, but they can do so much more. In iBooks, books behave like... well, books. Apps like these, and like the photo app, Mail and Safari show us new ways to do the things we do on other platforms.
Where it really breaks new ground is the fact that people (lots of people) will actually use it. And once they start using it, it will change the way people interact with information of all kinds.
Monday, March 29, 2010
This is what happens when you try to stuff 70% more pixels into the same screen real estate (most 10.1" screens use 1024x600). Of course, you can enlarge the font size in Windows to compensate, and you can magnify the webpage in the browser. But I have to ask: What's the reason to have a higher resolution screen in a netbook? Play video games? Watch HD movies?
I just bought the Toshiba NB305 netbook from Futile Shop for C$390. (Mine is Mocha Brown.)
- Mobile Internet Device
- Digital camera backup for 40D & S90, via USB or SD card
- Media player (mainly movie files)
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Perhaps it's because the difference in resolution isn't sufficiently great. But I think there's a better explanation: if you take a cluster of noisy pixels and average them out into a single pixel, you still get a noisy pixel. The process of averaging is NOT any kind of noise reduction.
As you can see, same outcome. The downscaled 50D image has less detail.
- Canon EOS 40D with BG-E2N battery grip
- EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS
- EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS
- EF 100mm f/2.8 macro
- EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
- EF 50mm f/1.8 II
- 580EX II external flash
- Cameron/Marumi DRF14 macro ring flash
- Induro C-014 carbon fiber tripod with SA-0 ballhead
- Lowepro Fastpack 250 camera bag
- Canon PowerShot S90 backup camera
- durable magnesium alloy construction
- comfortable grip
- ergonomic control wheel
- large bright pentaprism viewfinder (0.95x magnification)
- better AF (9 cross-type points)
- 6.5 fps shooting speed
- top LCD info display