Things you should be looking at.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Religious Litmus Test

I Jake. I will vote for Jake.

Tags: ,

Anti-Semitism in the Textbooks of the Palestinian Authority and Syria

Read this.

Don't tell me there's "plenty of hate to go around", or that there's "equal hatred from both sides."

Don't.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Does Hezbollah Stand for Arab Pride?

All Things Considered, July 28, 2006 · Commentator Adeed Dawisha is a Lebanese-American and a political analyst. He's been keeping a close eye on the war between Hezbollah and Israel. And one of its ramifications, he says, is that each day Hezbollah stays in the fight, there is a growing sense of satisfaction among Arabs. Dawisha is the author of Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5590257

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Microsoft Voice "recognition"

So I guess it has been Microsoft week. Here's a funny clip on an embarassing live demo.

To be fair to Microsoft, this journalism team sucks, too.

Photosynth

Holy. Freaking. Coolness.

http://labs.live.com/photosynth/video.html


Sunday, July 23, 2006

New Star Trek Movie

Looks like the upcomming Star Trek movie will focus on pre "Next Generation" continuity.

JJ Abrahms doesn't suck.

Still: Meh.


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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mr. T gotta' get PAID

I don't care what anyone says. I love Mr. T.



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chad Vader, Darth's Younger Brother

Why do I love Darth Vader humor? This is pretty durned funny.


wv: havgsh

Created, it seems, by these guys.

Kevin Smith on Superman

I spoke the other day with my friend E. Parker about the Superman movie, and how we both heard it wasn't so good. I have read the script, and didn't like it.

E. Parker: Wasn't Kevin Smith once slated to write it? What happened to that?

Here y'go, Parker. Kevin Smith tells his Superman story in his own words.


If you liked this, rent An Evening with Kevin Smith, of which this is a portion. It's pretty funny, even if yuou don't care for his films. The guy really knows how to tell a story.

Also just learned he's releasing a sequel, Evening Harder.

Sunday Afternoon...in Beloit.

Neat! A posed, photographic recreation of George Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte," called "Saturday in the Park with Friends."


More on this.

NPR's side-by-side images.

Detailed markup of photo at Flickr.

What would call this kind of art? a Tableau Vivant.

Space Invaders



About

Monday, July 17, 2006

HelloDeo

This is neat!

Jake's turn!

Mike Mignola's animated "Screw-On Head"

Mike Mignola (best known for his Hellboy series) is the art director on the Sci-Fi Channel's animated adaption of his "The Amazing Screw-On Head"

You can watch the pilot here.

Voice actors include Paul Giamatti, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, and actor/comedian/comics nerd Patton Oswalt. (Oswalt's last stand-up album, Feelin' Kinda Patton, was the funniest and most wrong since Bill Hicks.)

"In this hilarious send-up of Lovecraftian horror and steampunk adventure, President Abraham Lincoln's top spy is a bodyless head known only as Screw-On Head.

When arch-fiend Emperor Zombie steals an artifact that will enable him to threaten all life on Earth, the task of stopping him is assigned to Screw-on Head. Fortunately, Screw-On Head is not alone on this perilous quest. He is aided by his multitalented manservant, Mr. Groin, and by his talking canine
cohort, Mr. Dog."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Middle East Crisis

This blog is usually about what I've been looking at online. This'll be a rare exception because there are some things on my mind that I need to get out.

I know I'll regret this later, because I've already upset a couple of friends by talking about this stuff. Look- please do disagree with me in the comments, but please support any arguments that you make? I *want* to be disagreed with, but I get pretty upset with intellectual laziness or dishonesty. Prove that I'm guilty of either, and I'll apologize and retract.


I don't like how Israel was created. I think the Jews should have been given Bavaria after WWII, not a chunk of the middle east. But Israel DOES exist and has a right to defend itself. These are the points I find myself repeating over and over again at the talking heads on the television:

1. 70% of what was once called "Palestine" became first "Transjordan", then "Jordan." Don't tell me that the Palestinians don't have a homeland.

2. I'm very tired of the equivocation I keep hearing from Americans and Europeans regarding the "Israeli-Arab conflict", suggesting that there is plenty of blame for both sides. While I agree that there is plenty of blame to go around, it is politically correct nonsense to suggest the blame can be evenly divided between Israel and the Arab nations.

Here are some of the reasons many Arabs are angry at Israelis:
  • Because publc and private schools and state-sponsored media in Arab nations continue to teach children that Jews are descended from apes and pigs, and teach their citizens to hate Jews, Israel, the United States, and "the West". See for yourself same examples from Arab television. Remember the violent protests about the cartoons of Mohammed? Ask yourself: Would Americans allow this sort of racist crap in their newspapers if it were about Arabs? What sort of violent riots would we see in the Arab world if the west routinely created media this hateful and racist about Arabs? (By the way, Muslims overwhelmingly believe the hubbub was the fault of of Western disrespect, but note Americans, Jews, and Israelis don't riot over the racist crap printed in muslim newspapers daily.)
  • Because corrupt, oligarchical governments in Arab nations deflect and redirect the legitimate frsutrations of most of their citizens by blaming the United States, Israel, and "The West" generally for the difficulties experienced by their citizens.
  • Because Israelis have the audacity to continue to exist despite being surrounded by aggressive hostiles of much greater number on all sides
Here is why many Israelies are angry at Arabs:
  • Because Arabs keep trying to DRIVE THEM INTO THE @#$%ING SEA.
Is this hatred and irrational bigotry on the part of Israelis? I don't think so.

3. I am tired of hearing from well-intentioned European and American pundits that most of the world's muslims are reasonable and moderate, and don't support jihadist violence. The evidence I've seen doesn't seem to support this assertion.
  • First, the Palestinian people, in a democratic election, elected Hamas. This seems forever to destroy the argument that the majority of Palestinians want peace. The majority elected to power an organziation that is publically and unapologetically committed to murdering as many Israelis as possible. There is no confusion on the part of Palestinians- they know what Hamas stands for, so I don't want hear from anyone that the majority of Palestinians want peace. Their electoral decisions show that they, like Hamas, don't want a Palestinian state living peacefully next to Israel- they want Israel to be obliterated.

  • Second, recent polls show that a great number of the world's muslims live in an alternate reality from the rest of us, in which suicide bombings in defense of islam are sometimes or often justified. In Jordan in the Spring of 2005, 57% of Jordanians polled said suicide bombing and violence against civilian targets was often or sometimes justified. A whopping 88% of Jordanians polled said it was often, sometimes, or rarely justified. Only 11% said it was never justified. I'd like to believe that this 11% is running the show in the muslim world, but I don't see the evidence that helps me think it is.
4. I keep trying to figure out why Europe and many American liberals hold Israel to one set of standards regarding human rights, and holds the muslim world to entirely another. Every time a European or American pundit or government figure criticizes Israel's record on human rights, I think about the utter absence of them in most of the Arab states where women still can't vote.

So Europe (rightly, in my view) kept telling Israel it needed to pull out of the settlements, and Israel couldn't even get the P.A. to cooperate with THAT- so Israel started doing it unilaterally. Okay, Europe, things have surely gotten better now, right? Ummm...no. Why is it that Israel continually offers compromises and concessions while all that the P.A. EVER offers is the temporary halt of violent attacks on civilians, and Israel is STILL accused by Europeans of not doing enough. This brings two points to mind:
  • First, how much has been gained by Israel offering concessions and compromises? How do we calculate what the benefits of accommodation have been to Israel and the cause of peace? (There's a mathematical formula for this: Diddly/Squat = Bubkis)
  • Second, can you BLAME Israelis for crying "anti-semitism" every time they catch this kind of nonsense from europeans? What ELSE explains the double standard? I can't think of anything else, and I'm really, really trying.
5. In this latest fun, I've seen CNN talking heads repeatedly talk about Israel's "attack on Lebanon." This is inaccurate. Call it "Israel's counter-attack", or "Israel's response to Lebanese terrorists (openly tolerated by the Lebanese government) crossing the border into Israel and kidnapping 2 Israeli citizens, murdering 3 others, and launching about 100 rocket attacks on Israeli civilians."

6. This will NOT turn into WWIII. The worst that can happen is that Syria and/or Iran will be directly brought into the fight (as opposed to their indirect sponsorship of Hezbollah in money and weapons). If that happens, Israel's air force will sweep through Syria and/or Iran and wipe out their military capacity for years to come. War over. The last time(s) Arab armies ganged up on Israel, they had their posteriors handed to them. They're not dumb enough to try it again. Not right now.

Argument? Disagreement? Did I get some facts wrong? Any specious arguments? Let me have it. If I've said anything factually wrong or used faulty logic, I'll mark up and ammend this post.

Further reading:
Palestinian Media Watch
Pew Global Attitudes Project, The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other
Larry Miller's "Whosoever Blesses Them: The Intifada and its Defenders"

The Vader Sessions

Vader's dialogue replaced by James Earl Jones clips from other films. Pretty funny.


Photoshopping Fun

A great place to find new neat and/or funny photoshopped images regularly is Worth 1000, but this is a nice way to browse a whole lot of Worth 1000 images.

Don't know what "Photoshopping" is? Here y'go.

Adobe, by the way, doesn't seem to care for this use of their software's name.
...CORRECT: The image was enhanced using Adobe® Photoshop® software.
INCORRECT: The image was photoshopped...
...CORRECT: Those who use Adobe® Photoshop® software to manipulate images as a hobby see their work as an art form.
INCORRECT: A photoshopper sees his hobby as an art form.
INCORRECT: My hobby is photoshopping...

R.I.P. Peter Hawkins

UPI reports:

LONDON, July 15 (UPI) -- Peter Hawkins, a British actor who voiced characters that ranged from "The Flowerpot Men" to the sinister Daleks on "Dr. Who," has died at the age of 82.

Hawkins began his acting career on stage after World War II service in the Navy, The Independent reported. His first television role was also a conventional one.

But he quickly moved to providing voices for children's puppet shows on television, helping to make "The Flowerpot Men" a success in the 1950s. That show featured two creatures with legs made from flower pots.

Hawkins' achievements included doing all the voices for "Captain Pugwash," a pirate cartoon that ran from 1957 to 1966 and for the later "Sir Prancelot."

He helped create the distinctive sound of the Daleks, the sinister robotic enemies of Dr. Who, and of another Dr. Who adversary, the Cybermen.

Wikipedia
IMDB

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Irony. Cluelessness. Tragedy all around.

Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some salutes from people when she drove from Benton, Ark., to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in her newly-painted, custom Hummer H3 March 2. The vehicle is adorned with the likeness of her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who where all killed by the same improvised explosive device blast in Fallujah, Iraq, in December.
(Bold type is David's emphasis.)



More photos here

Google News indexed stories about this

Friday, July 14, 2006

More online TV: TV BIstro

Serving up your favorite TV channels worldwide! We offer a huge selection of channels from 6 countries, in categories like Sports, News and more!

To find a channel:
Browse: You can simply browse through the channel categories on the left and right on any page of our site.
Tune: If you know your channel # enter it with the remote or type in the channel number and press submit.

International Channels:
To view channels in different country or your own country, simply click on any one of the translation flags, you will now be presented with lists of channels and categories for that country.

Globe4D

Wow.



More about Globe4D

via

Tags:
Frank Zappa on CNN's Crossfire in 1986. Love it.


Update: Web-based Television

New links to check out:

http://www.4tv.com/
"At 4tv.com, our goal is simple - provide the highest quality channels available on the internet, at no cost to the viewer. We have consolidated a host of free and legal video feeds to provide the widest range of channels on the internet. We are a public service striving to provide the best content available. Please feel free to contact us for suggestions if you don't find what you are looking for."

http://www.maniatv.com/
"William Paley gave us network television with CBS. Ted Turner gave us cable television with CNN. Now, The ManiaTV! Network delivers the next revolution in TV. Broadcasting 24/7, ManiaTV! is the world's first Internet-based television network."

Webisodes of NBC's The Office now available online
Yeah, I like the UK version better, but I have to admit the US version is pretty funny.

Peanuts + Outkast = Hey Ya, Charlie Brown!

I loved this when it first surfaced a couple years ago- just rediscovered it on YouTube.




Thursday, July 13, 2006

Swarm of Starlings

I am now afraid of starlings.



Yes, the music getrs annoying, but look at those trees move under the weight of the swarm...

Shatner, Jackson, and Folds

William, Joe, and Ben. Know what else? I like it



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Laughing Babies

Ummm...is is it just me, or is this really creepy?



Sunday, July 09, 2006

Magic Sand

I wants me some Magic Sand. Please buy some for me?



Trial Biking

Trial Biking is apparently "all about trying to complete a very difficult course on a motorbike without putting a foot on the ground."



This photo at Flickr points out some of the features of a bike used in this sport.

The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other

Fascinating report. Some charts and graphs:






Navigate this report
Introduction and Summary
I. Muslims and the West - How Each Sees The Other
II. The Rift Between Muslims and the West: Causes and Consequences
III. Islam, Modernity and Terrorism
Voices from Countries
Methodological Appendix
Country Profiles
Questionnaire

Read (or at least browse) this. What parts grab your attention? I'd be especially interested to hear views from Andrew, Jake, Kris, Bree, and X.

wv:whacjnuc



Here's how to handle a drunken chav

I liked this. Reminded me of recent discussions with Bree. An excerpt from near the end:

"Part of me wanted to say, “Poor little lad. What chance does he have in life? There are no jobs for stupid people any more. He’s got no future. He must have been brutalised at home. And the drink companies exploit kids like that, and fill them with cheap booze, and it’s not his fault he can’t handle it, poor wee baby.” But that’s not really what I think.

Really, I can’t buy into relativistic accounts of behaviour at all, despite a lifetime of Guardian reading. Plenty of people live in poverty, bad housing, are the victims of an education system which serves only to prepare people for life in a call centre. Plenty of people get pissed. My own mother was brutalised at home by her father in conditions of unthinkable squalor, and she didn’t take it out on anybody else.

What I really think is this: there is evil at work in the world. Some people are evil. That kid was evil. Not naughty, not misguided, or led astray. Evil."

Read the rest at TimesOnline.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mashup: Unthirsty

Another neat Google Maps Mashup, Unthirsty helps you find the happy hour(s) nearest to you.

Good news for Jake and Kris, it seems that most of the bars listed are between Portland and Seattle. But if we all work together to list al the happy hours we know of, none of us should ever need to go sober.

Mac Ads

I like Macs, actually- but I'm not too terribly fond of the current ad campaign (as a previous post may have indicated). These parodies, produced by VH-1's "Best Week Ever" scratch the same itch.



(Word Verification: ekacel)

Fancy Pants Adventures!

Terrifically fun and cool flash game!



Richard Simmons on Whose Line Is It Anyway

I liked the U.K. version better, but this really made me laugh...and squirm uncomfortably.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Scranton: More than a City





So, Liz and I drove through Scranton over the holiday weekend, and both wondered what sort of mean-spirited joke it was to give a city such an awful name.

If you had to guess, what would you think "Scranton" meant?

Is it:
  • A part of a person's body of which it is impolite to speak in public? ("S'cuse me, Earl, I have to wash my scranton!")
  • Scrap leftovers at a slaughterhouse? ("The best thing about hot dogs is that they are made of scranton!")
  • Parts of a fish that are not edible? ("Once you catch and clean the fish, you gotta' scrape out the scranton before ya' cook it!")
Just an awful name for a city.

Can we start a campaign for finding Scranton a better name and selling it to.... the voters of Scranton? (What do you call a person who lives in Scranton? A Scrantonian? Scrantonite? Scrantonio?)

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New Blog: davidrothman.net

Sorry for slacking on new posts. Spent the last couple of days getting a new blog up and running- the new one is pretty focussed on medical librarianship and technology.

Pointing and Giggling will NOT be abandoned, but it'll probably be updated more infrequently.

If you can stand my professional interests, check out davidrothman.net