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September 28, 2006

Book Review: A Prayer for Owen Meany

I finished this book ages ago. I thought if i waited a bit, i could come up with a review that could do this book justice. But i haven't thought of anything super spectacular to wow you with, so let's just start with the plot summary.

From Amazon:

Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy with a strange voice who accidentally kills his best friend's mom with a baseball and believes--accurately--that he is an instrument of God, to be redeemed by martyrdom.

This is hardly the sort of plot summary that will entice me to read the book. And i'm still mad at John Irving for The World According to Garp. But i needed a book with an I author, so here were are.

From the beginning, you knew that this book was going to be sad. You knew it wasn't going to end well for poor Owen Meany. But, unlike Garp, it wasn't through the idiocy of the main character that all these tragic events occurred. In fact, the character of Owen Meany was incredibly insightful. His take on religion and politics and life in general went straight to the heart of the matter in many cases. Interestingly enough, when the narrator, Owen's best friend, talks of politics and U.S. foreign policies of the 80s, he might as well be talking about current policies. Sadly, it seems that we're doomed to continue making the same bad decisions and be subjected to the same game of secrecy and lies. Irving's view of the general populace's apathy towards everything, their ability to quickly lose interest in negative news, and their ignorance of the rest of the world's population is right on the mark and nothing has changed in the last 20 years.

In the end, Owen's sacrifice was not only a sacrifice of himself, but of his best friend. Though he might have saved him from getting killed in Vietnam, his sacrifice left Johnny Wheelright abandoned and directionless for the rest of his adult life. This is equally sad.

Read the book.


By min | September 28, 2006, 2:01 PM | Boooooks | Comments (0) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Swordfish by The Dead Milkmen

Some people believe in astrology
Others believe in technology
Some people believe in all those "ologies"
But I believe in swordfish
He believes in swordfish

I believe in Happy Days
I believe in Joanie Loves Crotchie
I believe in all that TV crap
And I believe in swordfish
He believes in swordfish

Came up from the ghetto with the help of my stiletto
Every day I hear the people groan:
Why should we buy postage stamps?
We can make our own
We maybe doing something wrong
We could be running a little too long
I guess we better end this song
I say I believe in swordfish
He believes in swordfish


By min | September 28, 2006, 1:57 PM | Music | Comments (4) | Link



September 27, 2006

You Love Odd News

Thong burglar:

A northern Kentucky man wearing only a thong and carrying a knife allegedly videotaped himself attempting a burglary, then left the tape behind, police said. That evidence ultimately led to his arrest, Fort Mitchell Police Chief Steve Hensley said.
...
Investigating officers found a video camera the burglar left in the apartment, Hensley said, and found video of McMillen's family on the end of the tape, Hensley said.

Investigators were able to identify some of them and tracked down McMillen at his mother's house in Norwood, Ohio, Hensley said.

And...

A 73yr old, machete wielding car salesman:

A 73-year-old used car salesman allegedly ended an argument with a customer by pulling out a machete and whacking the man's arm, according to police.
...
According to police, Gerald Davis had purchased a car from Time Auto Sales and went back to the dealership to pick up his license plates. Police said Davis, 53, and Parker began arguing and eventually Parker produced the machete.

Don't mess with the elderly.


By min | September 27, 2006, 11:05 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link



Who Comes Up With These Things?

This is supposed to be considered a headline?

U.S. to delay border plan delay

That's awful. Courtesy of the National Post.


By min | September 27, 2006, 10:40 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link



September 26, 2006

Now That's A Hat

How come they don't make these in adult sizes?


By min | September 26, 2006, 12:20 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (3) | Link



Global Warming Update

NASA says that the temperatures are reaching the highest level in a million years. And that the last time the temps were this high, the sea level was about 80ft higher than it is today. Guess some of you are reconsidering your brilliant idea to get shore property, huh? Chumps.

Comparison of the current global temperature with estimates of historical temperatures - based on a study of ocean sediment - showed the current temperature was now within 1C of the maximum temperature of the past million years.

Dr James Hansen, who led the study, said further global warming of just 1C could lead to big changes to the planet.

"If warming is kept less than that, effects of global warming may be relatively manageable," he said.

"But if further global warming reaches two or three degrees celsius, we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet [to] the one we know.

...

Warming was lower over sea than on land, but the research team said the temperature of the western Pacific had been increasing, and was becoming much warmer than the eastern Pacific. This increased difference could boost the likelihood of strong El NiƱo weather conditions such as those seen in 1983 and 1998, when many countries around the world experienced devastating floods and tornadoes.

Dr Hansen said that the increasing temperature could lead to the extinction of some species, which would find it increasingly difficult to find viable habitats.

The article concludes with some comments by Earthwatch, some environmental group. Nothing could better illustrate why these groups never find any purchase with the average person. The earth's temperatures are rising rapidly. It could result in devastating storms across the globe. Storms that will inevitably kill millions of people. Katrina was too long ago for people to still care about it, but recently enough that people still pretend to care about it. Plenty of opportunity to tug on heart strings here. What do they do instead?

The environment group Earthwatch today warned that a change in climate could make the difference between survival and extinction for endangered lemurs in Madagascar.

Sure, I care about endangered species and all that. I don't want the lemurs in Madagascar to become extinct. But if this is the plea you've composed to try to get the world on your side, even I would be hard pressed to say you weren't cracked in the head.


By min | September 26, 2006, 11:09 AM | Science | Comments (0) | Link



September 25, 2006

Spreading Freedom

WaPo:

At the United Nations lectern this week, President Bush hailed the spread of democracy. "From Beirut to Baghdad," he said, "people are making the choice for freedom." Yet even as he spoke, tanks were rolling through the streets of Bangkok as a military coup toppled the elected leader of Thailand, who at that moment was in New York for the U.N. session.

Bush made no mention of the dramatic events on Tuesday and left New York yesterday without ever seeing the deposed prime minister, much less offering any public support for a onetime strong ally of the United States. The president's spokesman later provided a strikingly mild response only after being asked by a reporter, pronouncing the White House "disappointed" by the coup.


By fnord12 | September 25, 2006, 12:45 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



September 22, 2006

Let's See How Thin We Can Stretch Them...

...before they break.

Not content with fighting "wars" in Afghanistan and Iraq and threatening to invade Iran, we've now added Pakistan to the list.

Lt Gen. David Richards, who leads the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has been echoing what President George W. Bush has been saying for some time.

Using the language of a soldier, he claimed to have the mandate to cross into Pakistani territory without informing, leave alone consulting, Islamabad, if he had specific evidence of terrorist whereabouts.

Ofc, if the terrorist is in the U.S. and another sovereign state tried to claim a mandate for coming in without "informing" or "consulting" our government about it, that would be another matter entirely.

I'm no tactician, but if we already don't have enough soldiers, how exactly are we going to manage to invade on yet another front?


By min | September 22, 2006, 9:31 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link



No More Jet Li

So, the official announcement is that Jet Li's not doing anymore kung fu films. That's very sad for me. I don't know who the next up and coming kung fu star is. Now what am i going to watch? Sure, there's the Thai actor Tony Jaa from the movie Ong Bak. I think he mainly does Muay Thai, which is very impressive and great to watch, but i still prefer kung fu. If Ong Bak is anything to judge by, the movements in Muay Thai are very precise and rooted but hardly fluid. It looks to be alot about power, your strength against mine. Much like what i think karate is about. Kung fu, especially the stuff in the movies (which is more like Wu Shu than straight kung fu), is fluid. It's rarely a simple matter of pitting one's physical strength against an opponents. It's about using their own strength against them. How true any of this is in the real world, who knows. But for me, movie Kung Fu is a more interesting performance.

Also, i get all the jokes in the chinese movies.

Now all that aside, you won't believe what he's retiring from kung fu films to do instead.

For his next act, Li wants to leave behind "international kung fu star" and instead be known simply as "actor." He's trying to kick-start a family comedy with Jackie Chan. [emphasis mine]

Kung fu star to sitcom actor. This can't be good.


By min | September 22, 2006, 9:02 AM | Movies | Comments (0) | Link



September 21, 2006

I'm With the Panda

A panda, whose enclosure was invaded by a drunk man, defended its home by biting the guy in the leg. I agree with the last quote in the article that says the guy deserved to get bitten.

Zhang Xinyan, a building worker on holiday from China's central Henan province, climbed into an enclosure that held Gu Gu, a seven-year-old panda, at Beijing Zoo after the man had drunk four pints of beer during lunch at a nearby restaurant, the Yanzhao Metropolis Daily said.

Zhang, who couldn't remember the incident clearly, had wanted to hug the panda and shake its hand after having watched similar scenes on television.

...

"I took the opportunity to bite the panda's back, but its fur was too thick," Zhang said.

The guy then has the nerve to complain that he's been humiliated because the story is all over the news. Yeah, i think if you get drunk (at lunchtime, no less) and make an ass of yourself, you deserve a little humiliation, too.


By min | September 21, 2006, 3:09 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Willow's Song (aka The Wicker Man Song)

Heigh ho ! Who is there?
No one but me, my dear.
Please come say, How do?
The things I'll give to you.
By stroke as gentle as a feather
I'll catch a rainbow from the sky
And tie the ends together.

Heigh ho ! I am here
Am I not young and fair?
Please come say, How do?
The things I'll show to you.
Would you have a wond'rous sight
The midday sun at midnight?
Fair maid, white and red,
Comb you smooth and stroke your head
How a maid can milk a bull!
And every stroke a bucketful.


By min | September 21, 2006, 2:22 PM | Music | Comments (1) | Link



September 20, 2006

Mooncakes

I feel severely cheated. I never got character mooncakes. I only got the regular ones with the Chinese characters and designs.


By min | September 20, 2006, 11:47 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link



September 19, 2006

Who Says They Can't Sink Any Lower?

Injuries civilians incur in combat zones can sometimes qualify them for a medal. Halliburton is offering to help their injured employees get this medal if they sign a release form that indemnifies Halliburton of any responsibility.

This is capitalism at its finest. Talk about ingenuity. Halliburton surely proves that they're not asleep at the wheel. Keep up the good work, guys!


In related muckety muck, the Swift Boaters get sued in Indiana.

The state of Indiana sued the right-wing Economic Freedom Fund today, to stop it from harrassing residents with automated "robo calls" supporting a GOP congressional candidate. The suit, by Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter (R) seeks a preliminary injunction stopping the calls immediately.
...
As we reported last Thursday, Bob Perry, the money man behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has put $5 million into a new organization to attack House Democrats. In addition to TV and print ads run in four different districts across the country, the group is behind a slew of robo calls that are in the form of push polls -- phony polls that serve to attack an opponent rather than collect data.

Staci Schneider, Carter's press secretary, said that the group notified the AG last week that they had halted the calls. But it was too late. At least seven Hoosiers filed complaints with the state, according to Schneider. The statute allows for a penalty of up to $5,000 per violation, meaning that the group could be hit with a $35,000 fine, based on the seven complaints, although the AG has not yet decided on the penalty it will seek. A hearing is scheduled for September 27th.


By min | September 19, 2006, 3:33 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Soft Machine

I tell you what. I don't think much of the singing and i totally can't stand the more jazz-like aspects of their music, but their drummer is fantastic.


By min | September 19, 2006, 11:33 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link



September 18, 2006

Cable & Deadpool: Living Legends

Phah! I wanted a simple harmless little fun story about Cable taking over a country and Deadpool being funny and killing people and instead i get some crazy retcons about Apocalypse getting his powers from nannites in Cable's blood.

Apocalypse: ancient immortal mutant who found and rebuilt an abandoned Celestial ship - cool.

Cable: bitter old soldier who found a way to come back in time so that he could lead mutants in battle to prevent his timeline from happening to us - pretty cool.

This story ruins a lot of that for me.


By fnord12 | September 18, 2006, 10:18 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link



Annihilation #2

Issue(s): Annihiliation #2
Published Date: Nov 06
Title: N/A
Credits:
Keith Giffen - Writer
Andrea Devito - Penciler
N/A - Inker
Andy Schmidt5 - Editor
Joe Quesada - EIC

Review/plot: Serviceable war story, i guess. Moving a little to slow for my tastes, but not really taking the "decompressed" approach and doing a great job with character development either. Feeling a bit pointless but OK for what it is. There's been some really odd choices in terms of characters to include througout this crossover. This issue has one of the Mad Thinker's robots and the wierd Infant Terrible / Elan creature that appeared in like one issue of the FF and later in Power Pack. It's fine to dreg up old characters if you've got something interesting to do with them, but using them as second rate goons for one of Annihilus' goons doesn't make a ton of sense. I suppose i could take a 'wait and see' approach, but at the pace this is moving i don't feel like it deserves the benefit of the dobut (plus i'm cranky from working long hours). Despite all my complaints, it works fine as a basic war/action story. Quality Rating: B-

Historical Significance Rating: Too soon to rate. Most likely minimal but could have some impact on Nova's status quo, and the revelations about Galactus' peers from the Silver Surfer prologue could still potentially go somewhere.

Chronological Placement Considerations:
Pretty self-contained once you get everyone here.

Characters Appearing: Whoo-boy: Nova, Ronan The Accuser, Drax The Destroyer, Cammi, Star-Lord, Gamora, Annihilus, Ravenous, Thanos, Skreet, Galactus, Silver Surfer, Captain Marvel (IV? V? Phyla), Moondragon, Praxagora, Super-Skrull (dead?), Paibok, Infant Terrible (now Delinquent), Terrax (dead?), Morg (dead?), Red Shift, Stardust, The Centurians

References: Comics from this time period do not make explicit references.

Cross-over: Annihiliation

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A


By fnord12 | September 18, 2006, 8:17 PM | Comics | Comments (6) | Link



September 16, 2006

Pre-Emptive

I just wanted to say that I don't want these, OK?

StarMedia Group is proud to present - Meteorite Guitar Picks. The world's first custom guitar pick made from 4.5 billion year old meteorites. Oh, and by the way, they sound GREAT on any guitar. Pick one up today. They make the perfect "one of a kind" gift for the guitar player that has it all.

(Link from Mike)


By fnord12 | September 16, 2006, 8:55 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link



September 14, 2006

Personal Entry #1

Fnord12's been extraordinarily busy of late so you've been left in my rather incapable hands. You prolly noticed the utter lack of posts which you'd grown so accustomed to getting in abundance and frequently. What can i say? I only post when something really strikes me and i'm not left too disgusted to talk about it. In a futile attempt to alleviate your boredom, i offer this little tidbit.

I seem to have developed a nervous habit of late. I won't tell you what it is. Let's see if those of you around me can guess. It's nothing gross. But the action serves no purpose even though it's designed to appear as if it is purposeful. Like my unshakeable habit of throwing in the word "like" into every sentence i utter, this nervous habit is grating on my nerves. And i'm the one doing it. But i can't stop. So annoying.

Also, i'm interested in this movie The Covenant due to the whole "supernatural powers" angle. The only problem is, it's a horror/thriller and i'm a big wussy and refuse to watch horror movies. Why the hell did i have to acquire a fascination for the supernatural when i'm such a wimp? I can't even watch campy horror movies like Friday the 13th XXXXX: Jason and the Space Herpies or I Know What You Did Last Summer. I blame my cousin. When i was 3, she forced me to watch The Fall of the House of Usher with her and threatened to tickle me if i closed my eyes. I still remember the crazy sister killing the butler with the spiked mace. Let's put it this way. After seeing Evil Dead 2 and 3, i was a little apprehensive about having to go to the bathroom by myself.

Still reading? You must really be bored.


By min | September 14, 2006, 11:41 AM | My stupid life | Comments (5) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Feed the Tree by Belly

This old man Ive talked about
Broke his own heart,
Poured it in the ground.
Big red tree grew up and out,
Throw up its leaves,
Spins round and round.
I know all this and more.
So take your hat off
When youre talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree.
This little squirrel I used to be
Slammed her bike down the stairs.
They put silver where her teeth had been.
Baby silvertooth,she grins and grins.
I know all this and more.
So take your hat off boy
When youre talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree.
Take your hat off boy
When youre talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree.
This old man I used to be
Spins around, around, around the tree.
Silver baby come to me.
Ill only hurt you in my dreams.
I know all this and...
I know all this and...
I know all this and more.
So take your hat off boy
When youre talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree.
Take your hat off
When youre talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree.



By min | September 14, 2006, 11:37 AM | Music | Comments (3) | Link



Take That, Twiggy!

Overly skinny models are banned from Madrid's catwalks. Milan possibly will follow example in their upcoming fashion week.

Madrid's fashion week has turned away underweight models after protests that girls and young women were trying to copy their rail-thin looks and developing eating disorders.

Organizers say they want to project an image of beauty and health, rather than a waif-like, or heroin chic look.

...

The Madrid show is using the body mass index or BMI -- based on weight and height -- to measure models. It has turned away 30 percent of women who took part in the previous event. Medics will be on hand at the September 18-22 show to check models.

Some modeling agency is outraged at the possible discrimination of "naturally 'gazelle-like' models". Right. They're naturally 6 ft tall and 100 lbs.

Weird.


By min | September 14, 2006, 11:27 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link



They Always Take Away The Things I Like

Google's courting the Republicans. That's bad enough considering the Republicans are nothing if not fond of Big Brother tactics and big government. According to TPM, the company they hired is of the extra slimey and shady variety.

This article in Roll Call describes how Google, preeminent search engine and purveyor of fun online gizmos, is courting Republicans in Washington, as part of their efforts to build up a bigger presence in DC.

Fair enough: they can't afford to be completely on the outs with what is at least for now the majority party.

But buried down deep in the article it says they've hired the DCI Group.

If you're a dirty tricks and slimey opps afficionado a chill most certainly just went down your spine.

DCI, if you're not familiar with them, is an interlocking group of companies which is the phony seed bed for most noxious astroturf organizing and general bamboozlement in contemporary politics.

So, who's got a search engine for me? Anyone?


By min | September 14, 2006, 9:23 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



September 12, 2006

Hey, Democrats! Are You Even Listening?

Shamelessly stealing from Joshua Micah Marshall:

Every basketball coach will tell you the way to win games is to 'get the other team out of its game, and make them play your game." To a certain extent, even listening to Rove and the Republican Screech Monkeys is a waste of time. Rove & Co. is going to take the lowest of low roads in the next 75 days, accusing every Dem House candidate of being Osama bin Laden's personal valet. The attacks are going to be vile, fraudulent, and personal.

If the Dems "take the bait" -- defend themselves in the conventional way -- they will lose. Why? Because they'll burn their ad dollars playing Rove's game. They will have "localized" the election.

What to do? Stay focused on one and only message -- "You -- the Voters -- have ONE DAY to hold the Bush Administration accountable for what's happened in Iraq, and here at home. ONE DAY -- election day. If you like the way things are going, vote Republican. If you think things need to change, VOTE DEMOCRATIC. Seize the day. It's your very last chance."

We're talking to you bozos. Hillary, Harry, Howard, Barrack, Nancy, the lot of you. Quit listening to your loser advisors. They haven't won you a goddamn thing in all this time. What makes you think they have any clue? Oh, and as i pointed out yesterday, you all really need to stop being a slave to polls.

I really have no hope for any of you, but i felt it was my duty to at least give it a try.


By min | September 12, 2006, 11:14 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Crazed Fans

The amazing stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me.

Australian authorities have urged fans of Steve Irwin not to attack stingrays after several rays were found dead since the TV naturalist was killed in a rare fatal attack by one of the normally placid animals.

Irwin, whose "Crocodile Hunter" documentaries were watched by more than 200 million people, was killed eight days ago when the serrated barb from a stingray's tail pierced his heart.

Queensland state officials said up to 10 of the animals have since been found dead in coastal waters.

Yep. It's the ol' "you hurt one of ours and we'll take it out on all your kind". So there might actually be people out there taking revenge on stingrays for the accidental death of the Crocodile Hunter, the guy who often purposely put himself into dangerous situations that had the potential to end with his death. The stingray clearly acted maliciously when it got scared and thought it was defending itself. It prolly hated his show.

Not to be outdone in the World Championship for Crazies, our favorite contestant PETA pulls their latest stunt.

Animal rights group PETA have launched an attack on the late 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin - just days after his death.
...
PETA spokesman Dan Mathews said: "He made his career out of antagonising frightened wild animals, and that's a very dangerous message to send to young children."

Mathews also branded the wildlife expert - who was buried in a private ceremony on Saturday (09.09.06) - a "cheap reality TV star".

They're nothing if not classy.


By min | September 12, 2006, 10:49 AM | TeeVee | Comments (0) | Link



September 11, 2006

Poll Tampering

Not content with rigging electronic voting machines, the Republicans are also manipulating poll data.

The owner of DataUSA Inc., a company that conducted political polls for the campaigns of President Bush, Sen. Joe Lieberman and other candidates, pleaded guilty to fraud for making up survey and poll results.
...
According to a federal indictment, Costin told employees to alter poll data, and managers at the company told employees to "talk to cats and dogs" when instructing them to fabricate the surveys.

FBI Special Agent Jeff Rovelli said 50 percent of information compiled by DataUSA and transmitted to Bush's campaign was falsified, the Connecticut Post reported Thursday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Chang said on several occasions when the company was running up against a deadline to complete a job, results were falsified. Sometimes, the respondent's gender or political affiliation were changed to meet a quota, other times all survey answers were fabricated.

Couple this with the fact the Democrats can't make a single decision without first seeing the poll results. The Republicans are much better strategists who aren't afraid to fight dirty and the Democrats are too stupid to learn from their mistakes.


By min | September 11, 2006, 3:50 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Unknown


By fnord12 | September 11, 2006, 7:59 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (2) | Link



September 9, 2006

Beyond #3

The good thing about this Civil War delay and 1 comic a week is i can do a more detailed analysis. The bad thing is... 1 comic book a week.

Issue(s): Beyond #3
Published Date: Nov 06
Title: Dead Man Walking
Credits:
Dwayne McDuffie - Writer
Scott Kolins - Penciler
None - Inker (see interview link below)
Tom Brevoort - Editor
Joe Quesada - EIC

Review/plot: Starts out with an awesome extended fight against Dragon Man. I always like it when these classic characters are shown as the real bad-asses they ought to be. Deathlok's internal diaglogue with his computer is always enjoyable. Medusa has been shown to be really powerful throughout this series. Here she takes out Dragon Man's knee with a giant boulder. It's funny that i just read this in an old FF issue when Medusa was a member:

Dear Marvel, Did you know that a single strand of a woman's hair can support about a quarter of a pound, and that her whole shock of hair should be able to support 12.5 tons? So why is it that you are always showing Medusa lifting only feather weight stuff compared to her potential? An ordinary woman's scalp probably couldn't take that sort of pressure, but Medusa is an Inhuman. How about it?

Tom Melichiorre from Chester, PA, i guess Dwayne McDuffie has heard you.

Then after some great dialogue with dead-on characterization, there's the big reveal that potentially solves any issues around how this story fits into the current MU situation re: Civil War and Spider-Man. What's funny (again) is that just last week Wayne read Avengers #2 and we were talking about the Space Phantom. And now here he is. I think Marvel's got our living room bugged.

So, great story, and i really like the art. The storytelling is great (the fight scene with Dragon Man is totally clear, very specific, and action packed, for example), the facial expressions are really good (there's some interesting close-ups of Firebird reacting to overhearing Jan and Hank discussing their relationship which is really good), and there's a lot of detail in terms of backgrounds. There's a sketchy quality to it as well, but i like the style. Wayne has some issues with the coloring, but i think it works. Here's a good interview with the artist. No spoilers beyond issue 3. Quality Rating: B+

Historical Significance Rating: Too soon to rate. Could be a 1 if it ends in a mind-wipe. Could be higher if there are important revelations about the Beyonder or the original Secret Wars story.

Chronological Placement Considerations:

  • Taking Spider-Man out of the picture removes any serious continuity concerns (Slight issue with the Space Phantom as a continuity save: when he takes over a person, he's supposed to actually displace them into Limbo. Which means if he's been posing as Spider-Man, Spider-Man should have been in Limbo at the time. So technically that means that this story has to take place at a time where Spider-Man looks and acts like the Space Phantom's version. But that's not a big deal. What's a slightly bigger deal is that i still have to go back and determine if at this point everyone knows that Spider-Man is Peter Parker. Even then certain characters (Kraven, Venom) already know, and others (Medusa, Firebird) probably don't care and wouldn't react if, for example, Venom referred to Spider-Man as "Parker" in issue 1, but it's worth a re-read before placement.)
  • Jan and Hank refer to not having talked "since London" but that may be an 'off camera' reference.
  • This will have to be placed some time after the last Deathlok (and possibly Dragon Man) appearances, but that shouldn't be a problem.

    Characters Appearing: Gravity, Firebird, Henry Pym, Wasp, Medusa, Kraven The Hunter II, The Hood, Deathlok, Dragon Man, The Space Phantom

    References: Comics from this time period do not make explicit references.

    Cross-over: N/A

    Continuity Implant? N

    Reprinted In: N/A


By fnord12 | September 9, 2006, 10:37 AM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link



September 8, 2006

Look what Robn is getting the band for Christmas...


By fnord12 | September 8, 2006, 2:46 PM | Music | Comments (3) | Link



September 7, 2006

CIA Seeking Buy-In on Torture and Secret Prisons

The newest ploy is to go public with the secret detention centers so that it will become more palatable.

"Finally the burden of this program will not rest only on the shoulders of the CIA," said James Pavitt, who headed CIA covert operations when the program was put in place, with White House approval, after Sept. 11, 2001.

Gee, i'm so sympathetic about the pressures you felt about keeping it a secret that you tortured prisoners in secret locations.

"This was a tough world and we were asked to do some tough things," he said, adding that such efforts were always within the law.

Yeah, that happens when you change the law so that what you do stops being illegal.

In the past year, the CIA has studied more closely the effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques it and other agencies have used and concluded that some of those were worth discarding.

"Harsh" interrogation techniques.

CIA officials have eliminated some of those techniques and, within the last two months, begun to consult for the first time with the full Senate and House intelligence committees about creating a new list of techniques.
...
The idea, said several administration officials, is to get Congress's political buy-in to a program that is fraught with some of the most difficult questions facing the government: how a country steeped in the rule of law should treat suspected terrorists it believes has valuable information.
...
Administration officials said Wednesday that the need for secret CIA prisons continues, but that they will seek legislation immunizing CIA employees from prosecution for anything they may have been asked to do that might now be considered illegal.

At the same time, the administration will ask the intelligence committees to give it guidance to draw up a separate, shorter list of harsh techniques it might still employee under certain circumstances.

The point, said one senior official, "is to make the program more durable" and not "subject to the pendulum swings" of Congress or the president.

Translation: They get Congress involved in making decisions on what's acceptable and what's not and when the shit hits the fan, Congress is just as dirty as the CIA so nobody is likely to get penalized. Good ass-covering strategy.

Prisoners were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques including feigned drowning, extreme isolation, slapping, sleep deprivation, reduced food intake, and light and sound bombardment -- sometimes in combination with each other.

Human rights groups and many international legal experts have said these techniques amount to torture. The administration insists, as Bush did again Wednesday, that it has never authorized or used torture.

Also, they investigated themselves and determined that everything they've done so far was legal and not torture.


By min | September 7, 2006, 3:25 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Milano Mosh by S.O.D.

You think that you're really hard
You think that you can mosh
Got your suspenders, and got your boots
You'd better wear armor, you fuckin' fool
WE MOSH, until we die
WE MOSH, until you fry
You think that you can try
But can you do... The Milano Mosh?


By fnord12 | September 7, 2006, 7:57 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link



September 6, 2006

Intersex Fish For Dinner....Yumm.....

Thanks to typer195 for the link:

Abnormally developed fish, possessing both male and female characteristics, have been discovered in the Potomac River in the District and in tributaries across the region, federal scientists say -- raising alarms that the river is tainted by pollution that drives hormone systems haywire.

Oh, ya think?

The fish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, are naturally males but for some reason are developing immature eggs inside their sex organs. Their discovery at such widely spread sites, including one just upstream from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, seems to show that the Potomac's problem with "intersex" fish extends far beyond the West Virginia stream where they were first found in 2003.

Millions of people get their tap water from the Potomac. You'd think this would cause a little more concern with the government, but no. Not even this can light a fire under their asses. That's why, 3 years later, they're still "studying" the problem, no closer to finding a cause.

But they're absolutely sure it's safe to drink your tap water.

"If they can't tell us what the problem is," said Ed Merrifield, executive director of a group called Potomac Riverkeeper, "then how can they tell us that they've taken it out of the water?"

Link


By min | September 6, 2006, 1:25 PM | Science | Comments (7) | Link



September 4, 2006

Cable & Deadpool #31

Since i've only got one comic this week, i'm gonna use my new template that i'll be using to log my comics for my chronology project:

Issue(s): Cable & Deadpool #31
Published Date: Oct 06
Title: Casualties Of War
Credits:
Fabian Nicieza - Writer
Staz Johnson - Penciler
Klaus Janson - Inker
Nicole Boose - Editor
Joe Quesada - EIC

Review/plot: Starts off with a good fight between Deadpool and some of the on-the-run heroes. Deadpool is defeated by Cable, who is exhibiting much higher telekinetic power levels than i recall him having (not a surprise that things have changed; i started this series on #29). After a funny scene with Deadpool duct-taped to a chair, Cable returns from a Civil War battle (seems to be the end of Civil War #3) to untie Deadpool and teleport them both to the White House. Cable argues with a president very similar to Bush II. Cable is not necessarily against super-human registration, but opposes the "50 State Initiative" which would place super-human soldiers in every state. Not sure that the 50 State Initiative is being referenced outside of Cable & Deadpool. Hokey: Cable can access the "Infonet", which allows him to download the Library of Congress into White House secret service operatives' brains. Issue ends with the President ordering Deadpool to arrest Cable. The book is funny, has some good action scenes, and is relevant enough to the Civil War plot to justify the crossover, but i feel like the main plot started in #29 (Cable trying to be a good ruler of a country) is basically on-hold for this. The art is good in the action/super-hero scenes, but the President is drawn inconsistently. Quality Rating: B

Historical Significance Rating: Too soon to rate but probably a 3 due to the Civil War crossover.

Chronological Placement Considerations: The big fight at the end of Civil War #3 seems to take place in the middle of this issue. Cable references Thor killing someone on Cap's side. Continuing from last issue, the person dressed as Daredevil is not Matt Murdock.

Characters Appearing: Captain America, Falcon, Goliath, Hercules, Daredevil (Iron Fist),

References: Comics from this time period do not make explicit references.

Cross-over: Civil War

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A


By fnord12 | September 4, 2006, 8:23 PM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link



September 2, 2006

Twisted Sense of Whahuh?

So, everytime A Twisted Sense of God Part I by the Fine Arts Militia comes on, the opening lines really bug me.

I was talking to my assistant a couple of months back, and while we were talking about the obvious differences in men and women, I had to give up and say that men couldn't handle the period cycles that women go through. She countered and told me that men do have periods...They're called WARS.

I appreciate the message of the song and everything, but this analogy is just stupid. Wars are about power and conquest and ego and money. I'm hard-pressed to draw any parallels to shedding the lining of my uterus once a month. The only similarity is that both experiences could prove to be unpleasant for those nearby. I feel it's one of those dramatic statements people make that sound impressive but lack substance. It takes away from my already tenuous enjoyment of this song.

It's also ridiculous to say that because men are men, the release of their aggression results in violent conflict such as war, implying that women, if in the same position, would not make the same decision. Look at Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Condoleeza Rice, and Hillary Clinton. Each one of these women would pursue a course of military action just as aggressively as any man in order to achieve their goals.

My other gripe about this song is that Chuck D. is pretty much just making a speech, with complete disregard for the music in the background. I am no fan of rap music, but at least they're usually working with the music. This song - and possibly all the songs on the album - are just spoken word with a beat in the background that has little to do with how Chuck D. delivers his lines. So annoying.

It's coming off the IPod.


By min | September 2, 2006, 11:44 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link



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