Oh, lovely, you're a cheery one aren't you?
Monday, July 31
Via LGF, the film Obsession on Google video.
It's 77 minutes long, and parts of it are extremely distressing, but if you care about what's going on in the world today you need to see it. Even if you've been following the stories, you need to see it.
Update: Watch it all, too. The best scenes come at the end.
Saturday, July 29
"UN members reach Mid-East deal"
Uh, what? Israel has expressly rejected a UN peacekeeping force (not suprising, that); the US isn't pushing for a ceasefire, and the countries that are pushing for one are of no consequence. (France, for example. Spain.)
So what "deal" could have been reached?
UN Security Council members agreed today on a statement expressing shock and distress at Israel's deadly bombing of a UN outpost in Lebanon and called for Israel to conduct a comprehensive inquiry.Y'know, when I was reading Keith Laumer's Retief novels, I thought he was making stuff up, or at least exaggerating for the purpose of humour.
The statement, distributed to council members, is weaker than one proposed by China and other nations and is expected to be read at public meeting today by France's UN ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere.
Wednesday, July 26
The problem in the Middle East is there is never an attempt to bring about a long-term settlement. The fundamental cause of the current outbreak is the refusal of the entire Arab world to accept Israel's right to exist.(The Age)
Friday, July 07
TO THE STARS: A new foundation aimed at promoting faster-than-light travel. Give generously, especially if you're really rich.Cosmic Log:
"The strategy of the Foundation will be to cover the whole span of ambitions, but with cycles of short-term, affordable investigations that target the most important questions. This span includes the seemingly simple concept of solar sails to the seemingly impossible goal of faster-than-light travel, to hedge the bets."I hereby announce the creation of the Pixy Misa Omega Prize: One trillion dollars (US 1970 dollars adjusted for inflation) will be payable on the successful demonstration* of a human-safe, reusable, functioning faster-than-light drive.
* Successful demonstration defined as Pixy Misa using said drive to travel backwards** in time and earn at least two trillion dollars from compound interest and market investments.
** And yes, it has to be backwards in time. I can communicate forwards in time just fine. See here and here.
Wednesday, July 05
P.S. Don't mean to nag, but if you get a chance could you please return the lawnmower? Ta. Oz.
Monday, July 03
Back in April, author Dan Simmons (Hyperion series, Ilium, Hardcase and others) wrote a cautionary tale about - as his character termed it - the Century War, the Long war With Islam.
If you're reading this little blog, then most likely you have read essayists like Steven Den Beste and Bill Whittle, or at least the news and opinion sites like Instapundit and Little Green Footballs, or if not that, then some history, so if (like me) you had followed the links and read that story (it was framed as fiction, sort of; truth framed as fiction framed as truth) you would have nodded your head and skipped forward a little and said, Yes, yes. I know that, but it's always good to see another one who sees the dangers.
What Simmons didn't see, it appears, is the wilful blindness and vitriol of those who do not wish to see the world as it is. His response to the (predictable) outpouring of bile is a much longer and more tightly reasoned* essay. Read it. Admittedly, the people who do read it will largely not be those who most need to read it, but read it anyway.
* Not that the original story wasn't tightly reasoned, it's just that the reasoning was opaque to many readers. This essay brings the facts and reasoning to the front.
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