Friday, September 29, 2006

I heart Battlestar Galactica

My new favorite show is Battlestar Galactica. Seriously I'm obsessed with it. Here's the premise: the human race has been annihilated by nuclear war, only 50,000 men, women and children have survived, running away from almost certain annihilation of the complete human race. I have to say, if I were stranded on an island with a tv, a dvd player, an outlet to plug in everything, and only one series to watch, this would be it. Yes I'd take this over Lost (gasp). I was writing a very long-winded comparison of two shows, but decided that no one was going to have the attention span to read the entire thing.

So if you won't watch it based solely on my recommendation than watch it because it was deemed the top show of 2005 by Time, because The New Yorker loved it , and because many critics are calling it the best show on TV. Watch it because critcs are raving about it for good reason; trust me, you won't regret it.

Here's another reviews from Blogcritcs.


I'm having a stomach-churning day, head on over to NYT to see why.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bookgroup Update

We're having a super busy week, so I have yet to write-up my post for Complicity. I will be posting it sometime this weekend.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lostees, keep your pants on!

I'm trying really hard not to snicker right now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mario Wedding Cake

It's soo cute!Check here for more pictures.

Friday, September 15, 2006

On torture

"Bush claimed that "humiliating and degrading" is just too vague a standard, whereas "shocks the conscience" would give interrogators the legal clarity they need. "

HA! I can't believe the man said this with a straight face...

-Quote take from

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What people should really be paying attention to in the War Against Terror

This article from The New Yorker, although long and somewhat challenging, should be read, digested, and discussed. It made my stomach churn by the time I got to the last paragraph. Here are some excerpts that will illuminate why:

In 2005, Hussein produced what is perhaps the most definitive outline of Al Qaeda’s master plan: a book titled “Al-Zarqawi: The Second Generation of Al Qaeda.” Although it is largely a favorable biography of Zarqawi and his movement, Hussein incorporates the insights of other Al Qaeda members—notably, Saif al-Adl, the security chief.

It is chilling to read this work and realize how closely recent events seem to be hewing to Al Qaeda’s forecasts. Based on interviews with Zarqawi and Adl, Hussein claims that dragging Iran into conflict with the United States is key to Al Qaeda’s strategy. Expanding the area of conflict in the Middle East will cause the U.S. to overextend its forces. According to Hussein, Al Qaeda believes that Iran expects to be attacked by the U.S., because of its interest in building a nuclear weapon. “Accordingly, Iran is preparing to retaliate for or abort this strike by means of using powerful cards in its hand,” he writes. These tactics include targeting oil installations in the Persian Gulf, which could cut off sixty per cent of the world’s oil supplies, destabilizing Western economies.

And later on in the article:

Hussein observes that Al Qaeda’s ideologues have studied the failure of Islamist movements in the past and concluded that they lacked concrete, realistic goals. Therefore, he writes, “Al Qaeda drew up a feasible plan within a well-defined time frame. The plan was based on improving the Islamic jihadist action in quality and quantity and expanding it to include the entire world.”

Al Qaeda’s twenty-year plan began on September 11th, with a stage that Hussein calls “The Awakening.” The ideologues within Al Qaeda believed that “the Islamic nation was in a state of hibernation,” because of repeated catastrophes inflicted upon Muslims by the West. By striking America—“the head of the serpent”—Al Qaeda caused the United States to “lose consciousness and act chaotically against those who attacked it. This entitled the party that hit the serpent to lead the Islamic nation.” This first stage, says Hussein, ended in 2003, when American troops entered Baghdad.

The second, “Eye-Opening” stage will last until the end of 2006, Hussein writes. Iraq will become the recruiting ground for young men eager to attack America. In this phase, he argues, perhaps wishfully, Al Qaeda will move from being an organization to “a mushrooming invincible and popular trend.” The electronic jihad on the Internet will propagate Al Qaeda’s ideas, and Muslims will be pressed to donate funds to make up for the seizure of terrorist assets by the West. The third stage, “Arising and Standing Up,” will last from 2007 to 2010. Al Qaeda’s focus will be on Syria and Turkey, but it will also begin to directly confront Israel, in order to gain more credibility among the Muslim population.

(For the entire article and the conclusion of the plan, go here.)

The Monkey Strikes Again

As citizens of this great democracy with it's cries of freedom and justice for all, it's a wonder that we don't lose more sleep at night.

Bush Assasination Film Controversy

Hmm something I wouldn't be opposed to seeing.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The differences between book people and movie people

After engaging in several online debates on how literary worthiness should be defined, and often times taking a rather snooty attitude about the whole affair, I was brought back to reality by this post from on the differences of book people v. movie people.

The article reminds me of the time when I asked an employee (some english lit major from NYU) at the Strand whether they had any Mervyn Peake. After some scrutiny of his computer, he told me that it seemed that Peake wrote mostly science fiction which he indicated was in the backcorner of the bookstore. What got me was that the student said science fiction like it left a bad taste in his mouth, and gave me a look of such pity and confusion, that I felt like I had committed some egregious faux pas by asking for it.

I have always tried to defend sci-fi in an effort to convince friends, strangers online that it has just as much merit as literary fiction. And while I don't feel any differently on the matter, I can now see that it really shouldn't irk me as much as it does. I shouldn't have to feel defensive about what I read, or holier-than-thou when I am reading 'literary fiction' rather than chick-lit (which I'm very guilty of). If you get enjoyment or satisfaction from it, then you haven't wasted your time. You should be able to make your own pronouncements. Now go read the post.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thoughts From A Writer

Here's a portion of an Iain Banks interview by the Ouatermass Experiment that I found amusing.

TQE - Do you feel a smug satisfaction at being more famous than the people you pass in the street?

IB - No. I'm glad to say I only feel anything remotely like that very rarely, if I'm in the company of people who've written bad reviews of my books and/or won lots of prizes but who don't sell as well as I do; I get to think along the lines of, "You have the prizes, I'll take the Porsche, asshole...." This is a mean and shaming feeling and to punish myself I'm appearing on a double bill with Terry Pratchett at the Embra Festival this year; he sells much, much better than I do and that'll teach me a little humility.

TQE - Do you enjoy being interviewed?

IB - I don't mind it and I more or less never refuse, but I prefer doing my stand-up question-and-answer routine. It tends to degenerate into my impersonation of Robin Williams and it isn't very good but hey if you're going to ape somebody, ape the best, I say.

TQE - With whom would you least like to be stuck in a broken-down lift?

IB - Any Tory.

TQE - Which is your favourite Monty Python sketch?

IB - Tricky one. Let's say the musical mice (programme two, first series).

TQE - What one word would you use to sum yourself up?

IB - How about "Banksie"?

For the whole thing, go here.

Brief updates

Both David and I are on business trips this week, so it's been a slow week for posting. I have finished Complicity however, and. . . well, I'm wondering how everyone is reacting to the book. I would suggest a quick review of Thatcherism and Maragret Thatcher on Wikipedia, if you are not familiar with the politics.

Well that's all for now, now its back to trying to read a 500 page book before Sunday, when I get to meet the author.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Skeletons of Cartoon Characters

Stolen from , Korean gallery of what the skeletons of cartoon characters would look like.