And if you're name is Brian Christmas, as he says, he has Merry er... Mary Christmas all year long. (Brian married Mary earlier this year.)
Instead of turning to CNN to see a biased, edited version of the world, we now turn to the Web with the likes of YouTube, Wikipedia and even FaceBook to find out what's going on in our community...
... our community that now encompasses the entire world.
The video on this page is a synopsis of the most memorable Web videos of 2007.
This is probably way cooler than any band camp story, though admittedly just as geeky.
You'd think that when the human race moves into space we could ignore all the lines we've drawn in the sand, literally and figuratively.
However the Asian space race is going strong with multiple missions to the moon, even though America and USSR have been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
With all the disease and poverty in the world, and even in Asia's back yard, you'd think that they could collaborate on this mission to the moon and spend the savings on improving the lives of their people in rural areas.
I think they're brave just for going out in public in their "costumes."
How inspiring though to know that there are people out there taking action: patrolling the streets, picking up litter, cleaning graffiti and aiding residents in however they need.
Here's a definition of a RLSH from the welcome post on the Superheroes Anonymous website:
- A Real Life Superhero challenges the very meaning of “real life” and provides hope, inspiration and uncertainty to a world that has become too complacent with normalcy and mediocrity. A Real Life Superhero is someone who loves the world to such a degree that they are not content observing but feel compelled to act. And so in that way, they differ from just a “good person” and earn themselves the title “hero.”
- Street Hero wears a black mask, a black bustier and black knee-high boots. She was a former prostitute who now attempts to protect women who work the streets. She is trained in martial arts.
"I do it on my own," she said. "Mostly after dark. Around the city."
- The Super fixes faucets and does electrical work for people in need.
"I said to myself, if we have to wait around for the city or the mayor to fix everything wrong or dangerous in this city, it'll never get done," said the Super, who wore a red cape, a yellow shirt and a white mask.
Not being a die hard Facebook user I've never really got the significance of poking someone. To me it was a useless thing with no real purpose.
However, after reading Dave McClure's blog entry on the subject it makes a bit more sense. I'm starting to see that there can be more background read into a specific poke to interpret it. Though to me the sexual connotation is still a bit strong for me to start using it too much.
I think it would make an interesting topic for a social or philosophical paper or discussion to study more.
However, being a bit of a pop culture and TV fan, the fact that Boston won for their league and will now play Colorado for the World Series is a big thing, especially in the World of 'Lost.'
Jack, a lead character in the series (along with his father) would say "when the Red Sox win the World Series" to mean something was very unlikely to happen, along the lines of "when pigs fly" or "when hell freezes over."
And now Boston could win for a second time in four years after their win in 2004.
Not sure the win will shatter the storyline though. I think one of The Others, maybe Ben or Tom, mentioned to Jack that the Red Sox had won the World Series while he's been stranded on the island (though not sure if they were joking or serious).
Can't wait for the season to start up again in the new year.
So, if you ever find yourself unable to keep track of the days and think it might be Christmas, just check out this site and get the answer.
And if you start feeling rejected by seeing 'No' too many times, just watch this countdown to no when you might see a 'Yes.'
30 something: check
Bachelor degree: check
Close to 33,000 web professionals answered the survey's 37 questions and around 70 per cent of the respondents fit the above bill of a white, 30 something male with a bachelor degree.
And you may think that allowing anonymous contributors would lead to posts of malicious or false information, but according to the study infrequent anonymous contributors to Wikipedia are as reliable as registered users who update constantly.
And if a company is focusing on quality and serving their customers then they shouldn't have to worry. Sure there may be the odd negative or false comment, but I believe there is an altruistic nature of society as a whole and if a person has a good experience with a product or service he or she is going to share that good experience with everyone.
This is what the North American commercials look like when they're rehearsing.
"Das sicherste Ensemble der Welt" literally translates to "the most certain ensemble of the world."
sicher can also mean "safe" though. So, you'd think the commerical is a bloopers reel for the final synchronized ballet, but it's actually demonstrating how safe they are.
Well done I'd say.
In the movie, Jet Li's character travels to multiple universes killing off his alternate self.
The premise of the movie is that there's only so much power in the universe to go around for each person and it's shared with your alternate selves.
So, by killing off your alternate selves the energy becomes more focused among those remaining to the point of almost god-like strength and intelligence.
And now there's a mathematical proof that the universe splitting into parallel versions of itself can explain the probabilistic nature of quantum outcomes.
Of course you probably have to kill off a couple of your alternate selves to have the brain power to understand the proof.
Imagine turning this into a recreation facility / resort.
- You could have repelling and mountain climbing in the silos.
- Military and space themed guest rooms.
- Maybe even launch your own rocket into space and offer rides.
They could easily employ a rechargeable generator that charges during spin class.
A pretty good movie portraying how someone copes with fear and how one doesn't overcome the tragedy, but how it changes who they were into someone else.
There have been comparisons between this and Death Sentence with Kevin Bacon, and there are some similarities; how someone who presumably wouldn't have otherwise, become vigilantes out for justice seeking vengeance against those who've wronged them.
I haven't seen Kevin Bacon's version yet, but I think Jodi Foster will win out. Death Sentence,seems to be more about the violence, the action, the machismo and catering to a guy audience. The Brave One, although perhaps a predictable Hollywood story, gets you thinking how something like that would change you. It's more of a movie that you will remember and not forget the minute you walk out of the theatre.
As of today at 20:58 GMT, the world population is 6,616,179,912 (when I started this post). And just a few minutes later it's already jumped to 6,616,180,686.
The U.S. Census Bureau is predicting by July 1, 2008, the world population will be 6,679,532,264. That's over 70,000 in less than a year!
And I've stated before, the prediction is 9 billion by mid-century.
Do you really think that this planet can sustain such growth?
Check out the clock and you can watch it change as you watch.
The premise is FBI agents trying to take down two warring Japanese gangs and one FBI agents personal battle trying to capture an elusive assassin named Rogue.
Good movie, I just wasn't too fond of the ending, which I'm hoping isn't becoming a trademark ending for Jason Statham (possible spoiler if you follow this link).
The recent Transformers movie has brought out a lot of interest in Transformers with new toys, etc.
And now they've combined Star Wars and Transformers to create this Darth Vader that transforms into the Death Star. How cool is that?
And yet, scientists are playing god and figure in 3 to 10 years they'll have been successful. If you think letting evolution do the hard work and then figuring out what happened is success.
The goal is to create life from scratch. Don't you think that sounds like the plot for the next horror movie? Messing with something and not knowing exactly what you're going to end up with.
The scientist even admits they can't control it, "We aren't smart enough to design things, we just let evolution do the hard work and then we figure out what happened." (Jack Szostak)
If you're not smart enough STOP messing with it!
Another scientist on the project, Mark Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could "run amok," but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem.
I'm glad he feels confident. His idea of "a very long time" is probably after he's dead so whatever monster he creates won't be a problem while he's alive.
He must not have kids as he's not worried about whoever is left to deal with the nightmare.
Any way, on to the review...
Both movies, with a well-trained government soldier, are action-packed, and each with it's own interchangeable action star: Mark Wahlberg in The Shooter and Matt Damon in the latest adaptation of Robert Ludlum's character in The Bourne Ultimatum.
Similarities include the plot of the secret government department that has "assets" (to use the terminology from The Bourne Ultimatum) performing assassinations that are questionable ethically all in the name of "the greater good of the country."
And when the said well-trained soldier questions the ethics or just happens to be placed in the wrong place at the wrong time, their government who they have well-served, turns on them and sends other assets to wipe out any misdeeds on the part of the government, i.e., shred all evidence, including the said well-trained soldier.
That's where the action comes in. And as far as fast-paced action goes, I'd say that Jason Bourne could beat Bob Lee Swagger. It would be a close fight, but definitely The Bourne Ultimatum is my choice to provide the most non-stop, action-packed sequences.
Though if it's explosions and high body counts that you want, The Shooter would be the movie for you.
However, a few people up to the challenge have recreated his masterpieces in Lego of all things.
Select image for more info on each creation.
And even if you've never worked behind the counter you've likely been in a fast food restaurant and heard the constant, annoying beeping when those behind the counter don't silence it right away.
Add this to your list of carols to sing at your next holiday gathering.
The article talks about the exploding population of the World and the impact on the environment. Another suggested option was to limit couples to one child. I think this is still extreme and the experience of China's one child limit should be evidence that this isn't the way to go.
I think it is something that people should think about though. Religion aside, there are voluntary methods available today to control the number of children people have. (And I'm talking responsible methods before the heat of passion, not after.)
I know people my age who have had 4 or 5 kids. Why would anyone want 5 kids!?! That's got to be hard on a woman's body having that many kids, not to mention the parents sanity.
And I know parents love their kids dearly and wouldn't want to even think about the monetary cost of their kids, but I'd think that couple's should think about the environmental impact.
Our current world population is 6.5 billion and projected to raise to 9 billion by mid century. We're killing the planet now and need to cut back on pollution... what will 2.5 billion more people do?
Update (Aug. 3, 2007):
A bit timely that this article ran in the same week that an article about a couple just having their 17 kid. Can you believe that!?! And they want more. You know, maybe having a one-kid limit isn't a bad idea.
And along the lines of Die Hard 3, this one branches out from the one building of the first Die Hard to encompass a large section of the United States. So, more car chases and even some helicopters and Air Force planes. Cool stuff.
Kind of a steady progression to larger locations starting with an office building, moving to an airport to a city to the Eastern U.S. So, I guess if there's a Die Hard 5 it will have Willis (or his character) travelling all over the U.S. And Die Hard 6... world domination.
The release revolved around what hackers call a "fire sale" where basically the intent is to shut down the country and take it back a few hundred years with no communications, no utilities, and crash the stock market... basically Armageddon with how dependent we are on technology now-a-days.
Of course I'm not spoiling the ending by saying he gets the bad guy in the end. That's a given.
In one the movies precognition is spiritual or supernatural whereas the other the foresight is technical or physical, as in scientific and laws of physics.
Deja Vu was more of an action/drama whereas Premonition was more of a suspense/thriller. Both had twists at the end and if you rent the Premonition DVD, there's an alternate ending that may or may not provide more closure or just add more to the mystery and suspense.
Both were good movies, but I preferred Deja Vu to Premonition.
I won't say which is which, but when questioning whether fate or destiny exists, in one movie the actions to prevent the disaster were successful and in the other were the cause of it.
You can even order extra clothes to dress yourself as your alter-ego/secret identity. And various tools and weapons can also be ordered to complete the look.
All for the low, low cost of $425. Of course if you don't break the mold, you can order extra copies of you for $39.95.
Great idea for someone's 50th birthday, graduation, wedding, parting gift, what have ya.
I'll take one Super J please.
The Transformers movie is an awesome array of guy-pleasing effects with military machines, explosions, fast cars, and yes, even women.
Though to a true Transformers fan there may not have been enough screen time for the stars of the show. It was half way through the movie before Optimus Prime showed up and Megatron didn't appear in full force until the end of the movie.
I was hoping though that they would play the old theme song from the cartoons, at least in the credits. Anyway... could story line and awesome effects with the robots and the transformations.
I'm not sure how the expect to cover up the whole thing though. A battle that destroys half the city would've had a lot of survivors to tell the tale.
One thing I want to suggest, if you ever take a trip to New England, make sure you bring along a few bags to collect your garbage. There's a $10,000 dollar fine for littering on the highways, but it's next to impossible to find a garbage can.
Also, as I mentioned, the driving is a bit complex. If you're in a round-a-bout you have the right of way, but you have to cut in front of cars wanting to get on when you get off, and half the time the cars getting on just cut in front of you whether you have the right of way or not. It becomes a real acrobatic nightmare with cars criss-crossing everywhere.
Plimouth Plantation was somewhat exciting, though the $21 per person entry fee wasn't. Plimouth Plantation spelled differently so as not to confuse you with Plymouth the place, which is just down the road. Yep, that's not too confusing at all. And the Mayflower II is also there... at Plymouth... with a y.
Anyway Plimouth (with an i) is a recreation of the first English settlement and portrays how the first "pilgrims" co-existed (on shaky ground) with the Wampanoag native americans.
And one other tip. If you buy a bottle of beer from a brewery, make sure it's not going to tip over and spill and have your car end up smelling like a brewery. Finding a grocery store or a pharmacy isn't that easy and Lowe's doesn't sell the standard Febreeze spray bottle. (No officer, I haven't been drinking, but you're right I do smell alcohol. Hmmm... :|
From the way people were driving today I'd say some of them have a death wish. The seat belt law only applies to people under 18 and we saw a guy on a motorcycle with out a helmet so I guess that isn't a law either.
I think Boston driver's were worse though, and the roads and signs didn't help. There were multiple lanes converging down to one or two lanes instantly with no notice. There were round-a-bouts with intersecting streets and cars driving right across in front of you and multiple times we were cut off by cars driving across two lanes of highway and cars inching their way in with out so much as a signal.
Anyway... our sites of attraction were America's Stonehenge and Salem, Massachusetts.
America's Stonehenge is dated to be about 4000 years old, give or take a few hundred. Similar to Stonehenge in England, it marks many celestial occurrences, such as the Summer Solstice and the Equinox.
Salem was big into witches with multiple witch museums and stores. They apparently have a few hundred practicing witches. We took a trolley ride around to catch the highlights then walked around a bit but didn't go into any of the museums. Even though Harry Potter seemed to be the big promo going on at this time with the next movie opening Wednesday and the last book coming out next week.
We were glad to get off the highway after driving through Boston in rush hour and were grateful to receive a complimentary drink coupon once we actually made it to the hotel.
EM wanted to go to Shelburne Museum as they have a large quilt exhibit. It did have many other interesting places though.
There were a lot of historical buildings that were actually moved to the location, including a large paddle boat, a large circular barn, which was brought in pieces with a large helicopter, and even an old jail moved there in the 50s. It tool three days to move the jail along the highway in one piece at 3 to 7 mph. There was a print shop as well that was interesting with many old presses and finishing equipment.
Weather was a bit wet walking around outside in the rain at the museum with our umbrellas.
Magic Hat had unlimited free tastings. I picked up a long-sleeve T and a jug of Fat Angel.
Ben & Jerry's was packed so we skipped the tour and settled on a pint of ice cream... :)
The Vermont licence plates say "Green Mountain State," and it didn't disappoint. We drove about 3 hours through the mountains. Beautiful scenery literally driving through the clouds with the mountains covered in forest.
The last leg of the drive through New Hampshire we were able to enjoy the scenery at a slower pace. It took us about an hour to drive 15 miles! I guess being the end of the Fourth of July week many people were returning home to Boston from cottages, etc., so a lot of traffic.
Spending tonight in Salem, New Hampshire; not to be confused with the famous (or infamous) Salem, Massachusets, which is on the agenda for tomorrow.
We started our vacation today by driving 9 hours to
Crossing the border at
We drove across the islands of
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and the
The catch is, this ain't no pizza you want to serve to your 6 year old. You have to show photo ID proving that you're over 18. The surprise is photos under the pizza ranging from mild to hot.
I'll keep this blog clean and let you come up with the alliteration used for the name of the place. I'm sure a quick search on Google with the appropriate search terms will find the place for you.
If he'd been a bit more mature about it he might have gotten somewhere trying to convince them that he didn't spill any liquid on it.
But I really don't think they're going to believe him now when he says he accidentally hit the laptop with a sledge hammer (a few dozen times). Good luck with that.
And the movie keeps you guessing as well, and in the end reveals that all was according to plan.
With a cast of big name actors - George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Al Pacino, and the list goes on - it's hard to go wrong.
Not huge on special affects, elaborate stunts, car chases or gun fights, this movie still delivers enough glitz and glam and Vegas for the typical guy and still keeps the women engaged with the heart throbs like Clooney and Pitt.
And for the intellectual there's the planning and high-tech gadgets used to pull off the heist and trying to figure out how it was all done before the reveal at the end.
Hollywood lobbyists have been pushing to have camcorders banned from theatres in Canada to limit illegal recording of movies (because they are having trouble paying the $20 million salaries that the hard up actors are asking).
"unauthorized camcording will not be tolerated in Canada even if it means diverting law enforcement resources from health and safety issues to movie theatres"
Police officers will be inspecting everyone's bag going into theatres looking for camcorders resulting in longer lines which will delay people getting into the theatre on time so they'll miss the previews for upcoming movies and thus not know there's another cool, expensive blockbuster coming out that they just have to see and will miss going to it and Hollywood will lose money.
Cool concept, though I think it really loses the sleek look of the Shelby and it definitely wouldn't make the jump that Nicholas Cage did on the bridge in the movie.
Crank up the sound to hear the rev of the Ferrari's engine.
Check out the Marketing magazine post.
The Prestige is all about the rivalry between two magicians. The Illusionist is more of a love triangle and the jealousy of the the third wheel, the rich prince.
Where it was key to the story line in The Prestige to divulge the secrets of each magician, The Illusionist never divulged the magician's stage secrets, other than a small parlour trick shown to the detective played by Paul Giamatti.
A good movie though, well acted and a bit of suspense.
But who knows, this latest conspiracy theory may provide enough intrigue to last. The question is whether it will follow in the errors of Lost and have too many questions with not enough answers.
With only two episodes aired it's too soon to say.
The premise of the show is three friends, Jay, Tyler and Will, having just graduated, go on a road trip before hitting the real world. They have been house mates for the past two years and developed a strong friendship during that time.
Their first stop is to have some fun in a New York museum. Jay and Tyler don rollerblades and glide through the museum as a prank with security guards giving chase. Will holds back to film the fun.
Once Jay and Tyler are free of the museum a bomb goes off. Will disappears, along with any trace that he even existed, and Jay and Tyler are prime suspects after being caught on film fleeing the museum just prior to the blast.
It seems that everyone is against them, even Tyler's rich father. And there's even hint of a conspiracy with Homeland Security part of the cover up.
A giant hog, over 1000 pounds being chased through the woods and shot mercilessly multiple times with a pistol by an 11-year old. (The kid shot his first deer at 5! What lessons is he learning?)
Sure one can argue that if it's that big it's probably led a long, full life, but that doesn't justify it's end.
And to top it off, to get the giant hog out of the woods they had to chop down trees and bring in a backhoe to get it out. So not only was the animal shot multiple times, but the environment had to be disturbed and trees killed as well. So much for leave no trace mentality.
And this hog is supposedly larger than hogzilla, a large hog killed in 2004 and now the focus of a horror film being created. And to reward the kid for the most recent hog kill he's being given a small part in the upcoming movie.
This movie tried to do too much with the story line of who actually killed Ben Parker and the creation of the Sandman, plus Venom and the strained relationship between Peter Parker/Spiderman and Harry/New Goblin. Two (sic) many villains.
The Spiderman movies do one thing good over other superheroes movies and that's the ongoing character relationships and interaction.
However, I think the happy ending was a bit strained and seemed out of sync with the rest of the movie, almost like an add on at the end to make sure there weren't any loose ends.
Overall, it's a good movie though and definitely worth seeing in the theatre if just for the effects.
"The Terminator" was followed by two movies completing the trilogy.
The Halcyon Co. has acquired the franchise rights to the popular "The Terminator" movie series and intend to make a new trilogy.
However, there was a little white lie on behalf of Arnold as he won't be back for Terminator 4.
If you're Chris Johnson, aka Frank Cadillac (Nicholas Cage), you help the FBI fight terrorists and hopefully you get the girl in the end.
With the ability to see the near future, he dodges bullets while trying to stop terrorists from detonating a nuclear bomb in California.
As the reviews say, there's a surprise ending. I won't spoil anything, but expect the unexpected.
It is a good action-packed movie though and Cage even has a love interest with Jessica Biel.
It's composition is sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide, the same scientific name written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther in Superman Returns.
The new mineral will be called Jadarite. It can't be called kryptonite because it does not contain krypton, an inert gas already found in the periodic table of elements.
Serbia, eh... it's cold and barren up there ... the Fortress of Solitude is in a cold and barren location...
However, it's a bit tragic and disturbing in the lengths that each man goes to in their battle of one-up-man-ship and their obsession to perform the ultimate trick.
Descartes philosophical logic was that: thought exists. Thought cannot be separated from me, therefore, I exist (Discourse on Method).
Most famously, this is known as "I think, therefore I am" ("cogito ergo sum" or "Je pense, donc je suis").
I was out of town last week, and have been neglecting this blog. Plus I've been busy with life and work. (I have an exam tonight and this is a distraction from last minute cramming.)
Anyway, I returned to the office this morning and learned of a tragic event this past weekend. A co-worker passed away tragically after a hot-air balloon accident down in California. I didn't work closely with her, but she was a really nice person, full of life and always seemed to be joking around and enjoying herself. And affecting others around her in a positive way.
Then this afternoon I learn of the most recent school shooting, the worst to date with 31 people killed.
It's been a very reflective day so far. Such tragic accidents can happen through the fault of no one, and then tragic events can occur that are not accidents, but results of human intervention in dark and evil ways.
Lots to think about.
I can kind of understand them coming together as the water drop would run down between them and kind of draw them together with the water tension, but I don't see how it would then separate again.
I think the key point of this Toronto Star article is this:
"If Canadian broadcasters are unable to rely on cheap U.S. programming, they will be forced to compete by investing in their own original content. This will dramatically alter Canadian content production from one mandated by government regulation to one mandated by market survival.
It is increasingly clear that the blossoming of new media is a threat to old business models, not to Canadian content."
I've talked about this before when it comes to government interference in development. Everyone would be a lot better if government and organizations took a more hands-off approach.
We live in a free society driven by the laws of supply and demand. If the old model isn't working, the government shouldn't throw money at it. Companies should either adapt or move on.
Hopefully lots of people will link to the TorStar article and get across that those who want to regulate the Internet aren't logical and their arguments don't make economic sense.
Gerry McGovern makes an interesting case in his post, Web facilitates wisdom of crowds.
He argues that the collective intelligence is perhaps more reliable than that of an expert.
An expert's advice could be skewed to the expert's own views and experiences, and therefore could be biased. Also, statistical research is only the analysis of the limited population surveyed. There is always a degree of error.
Mass collaboration, by definition will be free of any one person's particular biases. And all the skepticism of Wikipedia could be unwarranted. Most people want to take credit for putting in accurate information and not be blacklisted for putting up bad data.
And that's why The Borg was such a formidable enemy. :)
British newspaper, The Guardian, published a seven-page supplement describing the geography and culture of the two main islands, named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse.
Check out the article for more info.
THIS IS A SPOILER WARNING. I'm about to reveal the ending.
The episode was the whole back story of two Losties, but they were minor characters who weren't even introduced until this season. I'd like to watch the first episode again and see if Nikki was really there running around the crash site or if they refilmed those scenes. She was probably just an extra who was written in this season.
The only tie-in to the rest of the story was showing why Paulo used the bathroom at the Perl station, which I don't really care about. It did show Ben and Juliet in the Perl station hatching their plan to kidnap Jack, Kate and Sawyer. But we already knew all that.
The episode reveals that Nikki and Paulo discovered a few of the islands secrets before the rest, but they never shared the info, so what's the point?
This episode gives the back story for a couple unknowns and how they stole some diamonds, but by the end of the episode they're buried alive! With the diamonds!
The episode starts off with them dead (paralyzed). Why get us involved with these characters and then kill them off?!? Is there hope that they will dig their way out before suffocating?
Tune in to next week's episode for the exciting conclusion. Or not.
San Francisco stats:
- 200 million - number of plastic bags used each year
- 740,000 - population
- 1000 - estimated time it takes a traditional plastic bag to dissolve
- 413 million - number of gallons of oil saved by eliminating use of 100 million bags
- 9.2 million - number of pounds of carbon dioxide not produced
Leaf Rapids in northwestern Manitoba is the first Canadian community to ban plastic bags.
And the B.C. mountain town of Rossland is considering a voluntary ban on single-use plastic bags.
816 million gallons of oil saved each year in SF! That's huge.
So, the elimination of bags in SF is the equivalent of 1,088,000 million cars off the road for a year!
The writers of the screenplay liken the transformers to shape-shifting mechanical knights and modeled Optimus Prime after King Arthur. Cool.
Can't wait. And they're keeping quiet on what Megatron will shape-shift into.
The Star Wars universe and ... the U.S. Postal Service?
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, a new commemorative stamp will be announced March 28.
And to lead up to the announcement 400 mailboxes in 200 U.S. cities will be converted to look like R2-D2. How cool is that?
Here's some more interesting facts that make you wonder what these people are thinking:
- In Lima, Peru, to legally establish a one-person garment workshop takes 289 days of bureaucratic toil, costing $1,231, 31 times the monthly minimum wage.
- In the Philippines, purchasing land can involve up to 168 steps, interacting with 53 public and private agencies, and take from 13 to 25 years.
- In Egypt, buying land can involve more than 77 procedures at 31 public and private agencies, and can take from 5 to 14 years.
- In Haiti, to buy land you need to jump over 111 bureaucratic hurdles, and
wait for at least 12 years.
"The more sophisticated a society and its economy becomes, the easier it is for its citizens to do what they need to do." - Gerry McGovern
(The above are just a few examples from Hernando De Soto's groundbreaking book,
The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.)
You can see Frank Miller's influences with the rich colours and almost comic look to the scenes, as he did for Sin City.
Though I'm sure there was a lot of creative license taken from the original story, there is some historic truth to the story. And King Leonidas's defeat spurred the rest of Greece to battle the Persians and eventually defeat Xerxes and his army.
A classic rallying tale of losing the battle, yet winning the war. There are faint resemblances to Lord of the Rings, even with a bit of the fanatical, although more of a historical fiction.
And if you were in doubt, this is definitely a guy movie and not for the faint of heart.
Well today is the day. You can keep your current cell or land line phone number when you switch to a different carrier - cell to cell, cell to land line, land line to cell, etc.
So, if you're not happy with your current service provider, you can just say sianara. However, if you're on a contract you're still on the hook until that's up.
And you need to sign up with the new company first before canceling your old service. So, it won't be easy, but it can be done.
- Britain must retain nuclear weapons because new threats from Iran, North Korea or nuclear terrorists make it dangerous to abandon them.
- Design and construction of new submarines will take so long that it must act quickly to have a replacement ready when the existing nuclear submarines go out of service in about 2024.
Tony Blair is due to step down in a few months and critics are saying that he's trying to rush the decision through to leave a legacy. He's been in power for 10 years, I think he needs to seriously consider this.
I wouldn't want my final act in power to be spending $38 billion dollars on nuclear weapons.
I'm sure there are lots of better uses for $38 billion dollars. Perhaps using it to help people in the Middle East rebuild and set up a government that will end the conflicts (hopefully a lot sooner than 2024).
Specifically the Omega male armoured knight.
There was a fencer created in 2004 for Fencing Singapore, but only 1000 were created and only available in Singapore. So, even though it would be way cool to find one of those, I think the chances are pretty slim. And even if I did I imagine whoever's selling it would be asking a fortune for it. It even came with all three weapons: sabre, foil and epee.
- Are you sure the power is off?
- don't be superstitious.
- Double dare me.
- He's probably just hibernating.
- Hey, watch this!
- I'll get a world record for this.
- I'm making a citizen's arrest.
- I've seen this done on TV.
- I wonder where the mother bear is.
- That's odd.
- That stuff only happens in the movies.
- The odds of that happening have to be a million to one.
- These are the good kind of mushrooms.
- This doesn't taste right.
- Well, we've made it this far.
- what does this button do?
- What duck?
- I think it's dead.
- It's only a little one.
- Does this go any faster?
- No, Tony, I don't have any money.
- I built it myself.
- I don't need a helmet.
You may laugh at some of these, but it's lack of common sense that can kill.
I took a wilderness first aid course a couple weeks ago, and when you're in an emergency situation and you're in a remote area with no way to get immediate help there's three levels of a situation.
- Very bad
- Too bad
An example is if you get bit in the but by a poisonous snake. You're last words are going to be, "I've been bit in the ass; you've got to suck the poison out." If it was me out there with you, my response is going to be, "That's just too bad." ;)
(To be socially conscious, I just want to point out that sucking out the poison isn't actually how you treat a snake bite.)
Also check out the Red carpet gallery to see the celebs in their high fashion dresses and jewelry.
Just a quick recap:
- Martin Scorsese finally won
- Helen Mirren was again honoured for her role in "The Queen" with Best Actress, and
- Forrest Whittaker took Best actor for his role in "The Last King of Scotland."
Ghost Rider has lots of action for the guys and a minor love interest for the girls with Johnny Blaze's old girlfriend played by Eva Mendes. And if you like the good triumphing over evil plot then this is the movie for you. You can't get more evil than the devil... unless it's the devil's offspring.
And for the chopper lovers there's lots of those and some cool motorbike stunts as well. And you gotta love that chain whip that Ghost Rider uses to get the bad guys.
Based on the 1970s Marvel comic book, I think Ghost Rider predates Spawn, but there are some parallels to the stories. The devil's bounty hunter, or leader of the army of darkness, as the case may be, taking his devil-given powers and deciding to use them for good.
Overall, a pretty good night out.
For my writing course, Writing for the electronic environment, I need to create a website, so I'm developing my own site and will make it much nicer than it is now with just one basic page. Haven't taken the time to work on it until now, so I figure if I have to do a site for my course I should do this one.
So, if you're interested, you can check them all out online.
Watch the commercials and see that when playing rock, paper, scissors, you can win with rock against paper. And learn what criteria to use when deciding whether or not to pick up a hitchhiker.
I write in my profile that no one can call themselves a writer unless they put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, at least once a day. Just want to clarify that there's more to it than that and even if I do manage to post something every day it doesn't mean that I'm a writer.
Just because someone gives you a paintbrush it doesn't automatically make you Rembrandt.
So, even if I write a lot of content, if it's crap or if no one wants to read it, then I'm not having any success at becoming a writer. Although the hope is that with consistent writing there will be an upward curve in the quality, which is what will help me to become a writer.
The owner of the spa said she was "inspired by her belief that once people get over any initial misgivings, they find physical contact with the creatures to be soothing."
OK, good luck with that. I don't think I'll be visiting any spas in India in my lifetime.
Here's more pictures that I took. (There would have been more, but I had power issues with my camera.)
"Slovenian Martin Strel plans to swim 3,375 miles down the world's greatest river, defying piranhas, snakes, crocodiles and even sharks."
Martin is 52 years old and the swim will take him 70 days to complete. He's swimming for world peace and the environment. Hey, he's risking life and limb, he might as well aim high with his goals.
"I've always been swimming for peace and friendship. I decided to dedicate the Amazon swim also to the preservation of the rain forest and clean waters," he said.
All the power to him. And at a cost of $1 million to fund the swim, I hope he gets a lot of publicity for his cause.
However, I was a bit disappointed as I don't think it was as good as past years and there were a few trials and tribulations.
To start off, I had to pay $25 for parking!
And then as soon as I get into the show I pop in new batteries into my digital camera and nothing happened. OK something happened, the green light flashed for a second and then the red light flashed a few times and then nothing happened. Not what I was expecting. I did eventually manage to get some intermittent power out of it and was able to get a couple pictures (I'll post those tomorrow or Monday).
There were some nice cars and some nice concept cars, but many of the manufacturers had scaled back. VW especially; they used to have a huge section in the lower level, but this year had just a small corner on the main level. And Ford didn't have the GT there.
Anyway there was a lot of steel and chrome and power there, notably Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Jaguar, ... and I had my picture taken in a Corvette.
So, I did have a good time, and definitely going during the week is better than going on the weekends. The crowds are a lot better. We had some fun too trying out a racing game where we actually sat in real race cars jacked up on hydraulics that moved like the real thing. That was cool.
Maybe next year (provided I have my passport to get across the border).
The Canadian International Autoshow is next month, so maybe I'll get to that one; even though it costs more than the North American Autoshow in Detroit and is way less fanfare and car launches than at NAIAS.
The clock was created in 1947 and signifies the degree of perils we faces on Earth and the destruction of humanity in the "Second Nuclear Age."
Over the years, the countdown clock has fluctuated, and was at its closest, two minutes to midnight in 1953, during the Cold War.
The move was prompted by the nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran, and also by the threats of global warming.
Blood diamonds have fueled wars across Africa, leading to the deaths of more than four million people and displacing many millions more.
Right now, $23 million in conflict diamonds from the Ivory Coast are being smuggled into diamond markets around the world.
In the movie, men from villages were taken from their families to work at the diamond mines. The young boys were taken, brainwashed and turned against their families and made to fight for the rebel armies. The rebels would cut off a villager's limb for every rebel that was killed. The women and young children, if they weren't murdered, fled their homes to refugee camps.
War stories from Sierra Leone, where the rebel group mined diamonds to fund the conflict (PBS):
- Unidentified Amputee: “First used the ax to chop the left hand off. After, they want to cut the other, then this little boy started crying and said, "Please soldier, don't cut off my papa's other hand." So they said, "Let this woman remove this child from her back, we'll chop off his arm." And I said "No!" So they decided to chop the other hand off.”
- De Sam Lazaro: “So they basically said you could have your right hand if you gave your son's hand.”
- Amputee: “Yes”.
- Stick figure doing the running man on a treadmill while laughing his head off watching the Simpsons.
- A sumo hippo doing ninja moves on an infomercial selling a potato peeler while levitating.
And check out this Google video to see more juggling feats and decide for yourself, who's better: Garfiled or Bliss?
Here's the short list, follow the above link for more on each rule.
- Get and stay out of your comfort zone.
- Never give up.
- When you're ready to quit, you're closer than you think.
- With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be.
- Focus on what you want to have happen.
- Take things a day at a time.
- Always be moving forward.
- Be quick to decide.
- Measure everything of significance.
- Anything that is not managed will deteriorate.
- Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you're doing.
- Never let anybody push you around.
- Never expect life to be fair.
- Solve your own problems.
- Don't take yourself too seriously.
- There's always a reason to smile. Find it.