Friday, May 27, 2005

Doctors in Britain are callign for a ban on kitchen knives,
which you can read about here (with a tip to BotW). They are not unlike Pierson's Puppeteers, seeing a threat in literally everything. It won't be long before all edges are rounded and all surfaces are soft.
My how time flies.
I just realized that this blog has been online for over two years. It doesn't seem like it's been that long. Feel free to psychoanalyze this fact: my first post of significance was about the Indigo Girls.
Thomas F. Madden says Kingdom of Heaven,
historically speaking, is crap. He didn't care much for the story, either. I haven't seen it myself, and am now even less inclined to do so. Does anyone who's seen it care to share some thoughts?
Guerrillas in the Mist!
It seems there may be dozens of Japanese soldiers on an island in the southern Philippines that did not return home after the end of World War II. The Philippine and Japanese governments are attempting to meet with them to ascertain their situation. More here.
Dang, I think this is right on:

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Defender-ship.I am a Defender-ship.

I am fiercely protective of my friends and loved ones, and unforgiving of any who would hurt them. Speed and foresight are my strengths, at the cost of a little clumsiness. I'm most comfortable with a few friends, but sometimes particularly enjoy spending time in larger groups. What Video Game Character Are You?
Sorry, Jonah,
but no one will over go for your plan. I doubt spending will decrease to the point that the rich would get a sizeable tax cut, and the Left as a whole (and many on the Right) won't support cutting taxes on the rich while everyone else is still paying the same rate. But even if they did, the principle stinks. The only fair tax is a flat tax.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

"You can't let him in here! He'll see the big board!"
I took David's advice and checked out some more of the "Star Wars" short films. Most were pretty good, but there were also some duds. I recommend the one titled "Boba" and this one that combines two of my favorite films into one well-done sketch.
"Fair Harvard!"
National Review has a pretty humorous Q&A with Harvard grad and author of "Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class," Ross Douthat. Since all three posters to this blog have attended classes at Harvard (not all of us received our degree there), we have some interest in keeping up on the happenings of Cambridge. If the book is half as witty as the Q&A, it should make for an entertaining and informing read.
Sith Lord of the Dance!
This short film is hilarious.
Scott Adams makes a profound point
in today's strip, most likely unintentionally. He has Wally saying "I used to read, but it's faster to make up stuff." Dan Rather could not be reached for comment.
John Derbyshire asks a good question about embryonic stem cell research
on The Corner:
Suppose some foreign country -- South Korea, perhaps -- using embryonic stem cells, develops a wonder drug that cures some awful crippling disease or condition. Suppose they then market this drug internationally. Should the FDA admit the drug to this country? If they do, and a person takes it to cure that disease or condition (or if they don't, and the sufferer travels abroad to be treated) has that person done a wrong thing?

There is a sect -- I forget which one -- that gets into trouble from time to time (or used to -- I haven't heard of this recently) because one of its adherents refuses to let his child take a blood transfusion, believing that blood transfusions are immoral. The child dies, there's a prosecution, etc. etc. Would we be in the same kind of ethical territory here with a wonder drug derived from embryonic stem cell research? Would right-to-lifers be willing to make similar sacrifices? Would they try to force those sacrifices on the rest of us?
That's a tough one. I would think that it doesn't matter how far removed you are from the tree, the fruit is still poisonous (assuming you don't support said research). On the other hand, if a treatment for your loved one exists, shouldn't you use it regardless of its origins?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Here's something to look forward to dealing with as my kids grow up:
rainbow parties! Scares the crap out of me. Says Malkin:
As Ruditis suggests, this book will end up on public school library shelves in the very near future, along with other "educational" crap like this. Those who raise even the least objection are cast as out-of-touch theocrats who need to "deal with reality." Small wonder an increasing number of families are homeschooling.
One more reason among the many.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A few Star Wars related articles
on TCS. The first links the story of the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker to lessons from Aristotle, and the second calls for Darth to be stabbed in the face (actually a thoughtful piece on mercy). Read them both.

Monday, May 23, 2005

They are failing to behold the power of cheese
over at QandO. I haven't read the book myself, but I know someone who has. I'll see if I can get a reaction.

UPDATE: Got my friend's response:
From the standard point of someone already understands the concept of changes, it’s fairly accurate, but there are a lot folks out there that fit the characters in the book.
So I guess what seems obvious to some people can appear to be a brilliant insight to others. Go figure.
Have you cancelled your Newsweek subscription yet?
Maybe you should. Forget the Koran (Quran?) abuse reporting scandal - take a look at this. Pay particular attention to the translation of the Japanese cover.
Eh, I can't get all fired up
about Howard Dean's so-called "Freudian slip", mostly because I make these kind of mistakes all the time. Same with how people like to make fun of Bush for mangling his grammar. Again, guilty myself. Yeah, it'd be nice if we all used perfect syntax and made perfect references all the time, but we are human after all. Such mistakes may make for good Leno material, but it's silly to focus on them. I'm not about to throw stones on this, for they could certainly be hurled right back.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Saw Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith yesterday
so now you're going to get my spoiler-laden review. Short answer: easily the best of the prequels but not the best SW flick overall. Using my advanced powers of focus, I was able to see past the lousy dialogue ("Hold me Anakin, like you did on Naboo, like you did at the lake when everything still made sense and the sun still shined and the birds still sang. Just don't touch me with that freaky cyborg fingers of yours.", or something like that) and enjoy the story. 3 out of 4 stars.

Details (spoilers ahead):

There are more light saber duels in this one than any other, which is just fine. Could have used one more. I would have liked to have seen Darth Vader fighting the Jedi in the temple, the look on their faces when they realized Anakin had turned. That is, assuming there were adult Jedi there. No, I don't want to see the "younglings" get it. "Younglings"?

Single worst moment: Darth Vader's "Nooooooooooooooooo!". Gimme a break. Second worst: Wookie tarzan yodel. Bleh.

Best moment: When Yoda knocked out Palpatine's guards with a flick of his wrist. That was awesome.

We saw Kicking and Screaming the weekend before, so when Chewie picked up Yoda and carried him on his shoulders I couldn't help but exclaim, "They made a mega-Wookie!" If you've seen K&S, you'll understand.

Controversy: I say Mace defeated Palpatine fair and square, that his mistake was hesitating before his big "not do" to kill him. My wife believes Palpatine allowed himself to be defeated, that he knew Anakin would arrive and make the choice he made, that he wanted to force Anakin to make that choice. Opinions?

I know this has been said in other places, but it bears repeating: Don't they have sonograms? How is it a surprise that she was pregnant with twins?

I would have liked to have seen Gui Gon Jinn as a ghostly aparition at the end. Disappointment.

I swear I saw the Millenium Falcon in the lower right corner early in the film. Would Lando have owned it then, or would he have been too young? Han certainly would have been too young at the time.

Anyway, I could go on. Yeah, it had problems, but it was still fun. That's all I needed.