The World on End

Talk about a trip down the rabbit hole.

I glanced into the room while McFadden was talking, and there, plopped in the middle of about five other inmates, sat Slobodan Milosevic. His hair and casual clothes were rumpled, a piece of sheet cake sat on a paper plate in front of him, and he was holding a bite halfway to his mouth on a plastic fork. Right next to him at the low table, also sitting on the hard plastic seat of an elementary-school-style chair, was one of the tribunal’s most prominent Bosnian Muslim defendants. And I thought to myself, the Yugoslav people, to the extent they ever existed at all, have vanished from the face of the earth. But somehow an ersatz version lives on within the walls of this high-tech jail, where Slobodan Milosevic—the Serb once known as the Butcher of Belgrade—can now share a quiet piece of cake with a Bosnian Muslim at a farewell party for their mutual friend.

Coming soon – my weekend in Houston.


Sad Day for the Robots

Sony kills production of its robotics unit, further demonstrating the lack of vision that is so prevalent in business these days.


Burn Baby Burn

The worst part is this could actually work.


American Jobs Creation Act

I thought the American Jobs Creation Act was a crock, too, especially once I heard who some of the companies were that were taking advantage of the law.



Some fascinating insight in to how personal guarantees are enforced in Japan.


Network Neutrality

Network neturality is one of those topics that helps the individual by not creating artificial (i.e. greed-based) mechanisms that impede access to all network participants, and thus hurt corporations. As a result, look for this principle to fall by the wayside during the upcoming rewrite of the nation’s telecommunications laws.


My Pants Off to You

Because, honestly, why not?


Top 10 Movies I saw in 2005

I’m finally ready. I spent some time looking back, shocked to see I’ve seen almost 100 movies in all of 2005. When you think about it, a movie every 3.65 days is pretty damn frequent. And double-damn to B-dawg, who beat me to this by three weeks.

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  2. Bend It Like Beckham
  3. The Station Agent
  4. I Heart Huckabees
  5. Kinsey
  6. Serenity
  7. Ray
  8. Finding Neverland
  9. Shaun of the Dead
  10. Shaolin Soccer

And lest you think this was easy, the following also merited consideraiton on the list.

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Mona Lisa Smile
  • Garden State
  • Collateral
  • Maria Full of Grace
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Before Sunrise
  • Mystic River
  • March of the Penguins
  • Batman Begins
  • The Pianist
  • The Dreamers
  • Jersey Girl
  • Closer

The first of the Chronicles of Narnia adaptions was, much to my shock, a really well-done movie. It captured the same spirit and feel of the book without being either overbearing (something easy to do in an adaptation of these books) or superficial. The Station Agent was a curious piece of work, with an offbeat pacing and an ending that was a surprise in a world awash with movies where you can see what’s coming a mile down the track. Serenity is one that won’t make too many top 10 lists, but as a fan of the series FireFly it was a wonderful feeling to get closure on a TV series that tragically ended prematurely. Shaun of the Dead was a hillariously frightening take on the zombie theme, while Shaolin Soccer provided yet another take on the crazy-martial-arts-in-stylized-action genre, like Kung Fu Hustle. With soccer. Really, how could you go wrong?

I still find Natalie Portman adorable, which has as much to do with two of the movies considered as anything else. And Collateral was just a fun revenge flick with a whole host of violence that takes place south of the border, with Denzel Washington’s character finding his own form of redemption in the end. And while the latest Star Wars installment was the best out of Episodes 1 – 3, it paled in comparison to many of the good movies that I saw in 2005. Truthfully I only mention it because B-Dawg reminded me it came out in 2005. If you’re looking for action, Batman Begins is a much better movie, and Serenity was a much better Sci-Fi movie than Star Wars.

I couldn’t place Dodgeball or Napolean Dynamite on this list despite appreciating certain aspects of Napolean Dynamite. The horrible blandness of Napolean Dynamite, with its tediuous pacing, drove me up the wall as I watched it. Yet the same dysfunction was hillarious to observe.

I should do a top 10 list of the best shows cancelled before they reached their prime, but that would be too depressing. All I can say is Wonderfalls was actually a quirky show that would have been fantastic had it lasted.



You know we’re in trouble in Iraq-Iran when you read something like this.

Inside Iran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps runs a one month training and indoctrination course for members of the Iraqi Shiite militia the Badr Brigades, paying them 75 cents a day during training and 82 dollars a month once they return to jobless Iraq. The Badr Brigades is the militia of the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) political party. The SCIRI is one of the largest parties in the United Iraqi Alliance, which won a plurality in the December 15 elections and will control the largest bloc of seats in the new national assembly. On December 13 Iraqi border police seize a tanker truck filled with thousands of forged ballots that had just crossed over from Iran. Mr. Bayan Jabr Solagh of the SCIRI and Badr Brigades is the Iraqi Interior Minister, controlling Iraqi police and police commando units, which are thought to be heavily infiltrated by Badr Brigades fighters. Secret detention and torture centers and death squads, targeting Iraqi Sunnis, are all linked to the Interior Ministry. U.S. troops encounter sophisticated, factory-made devices utilizing armor-piercing explosively-formed projectile (EFP) technology, identical to those employed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah against the Israelis in Lebanon, in the hands of Sunni insurgents in Iraq.



Why is Bin Laden still around to offer up this dribble? If our President is really so concerned about his Global War on Terror shouldn’t he have removed this guy already?

“We have no objection to responding to this with a long-term truce based on fair conditions,” the speaker said.

“We do not mind offering you a truce that is fair and long-term… so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan… there is no shame in this solution because it prevents wasting of billions of dollars.

“Your president is misinterpreting public opinion polls which show that the vast majority of you support the withdrawal of your forces from Iraq.”

So far as this stupidity goes, I don’t see this as a ploy targeted to “Western” audiences as the BBC indicates but instead targeted toward Muslims. After all, support for the jihad is predicated on a widespread sympathy that Bin Laden is standing up for the interests of the common adherent. By extending this “truce” he’s working to maintain that image by contrasting himself with the big, bad US who invades Islamic countries and harms their citizens. He’s playing up that “we’re only hurting you (Muslims) because we love you” angle. If the US would be reasonable and declare a truce we wouldn’t have to engage in such a violent way.