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John Barry, ‘James Bond’ composer, passes…

SkyHarbor, 2011/01/31 

John Barry’s fine work should be noted:
BBC: John Barry, composer, dies at 77

Think ‘Goldfinger’… good stuff!

The Tea Party Recruitment Song.

byronius,  

They got me. I’m gittin’ my bags and headin’ fer the park.

On a slightly more ambulatory note…

SkyHarbor, 2011/01/30 

Theo Jansen of the Netherlands has created these improbable ‘beasts’ to roam the beaches of the North Sea… In my opinion he has succeeded BRILLIANTLY!

Not a computer or servo motor to be seen… ALL driven by the WIND!

As I wrote earlier to my friend who first e-mailed this to me… I waxed somewhat philosophic… (what a surprise ;-}):

I may be getting a bit far afield (there’s an ancient phrase!), but Mr. Jansen’s creations remind me strongly of the principle of EVOLUTION. Many American Christians have serious problems with that concept (no one else does). But they are WRONG. Evolution is NOT a ‘theory’ any longer. It is a demonstrable FACT. It’s just the way stuff WORKS! Theo’s work just shows that we are approaching a stage where we can DIRECT that evolution to a certain extent. Whether that’s for good or ill remains to be SEEN.

I sincerely hope we don’t screw things up! But we walk/stride/stagger/plod into the FUTURE… there’s simply NO WHERE ELSE TO GO!

‘nuf said!

Whence Egypt?…

SkyHarbor,  

Being a bit of a political junkie, I’ve been pretty much glued to CNN watching the revolution currently occurring in Egypt…

Mubarak is finished. That much is becoming clear. We’re seeing nearly 30 years of resentments finally come to a boil.

But Mubarak’s government was stable if oppressive. And he’s kept his predecessor Anwar Sadat’s treaty with Israel (a cold peace, but peace nonetheless).

I applaud the Egyptian people rising up to gain their just rights, but I must admit that the future looks murky at best… What I fear is that a radical Islamic faction could take over there. The Egyptians tend to be some of the best educated and most cosmopolitan people of the Arab world, so I hope they’ll have the good sense to avoid that. But just today I’ve heard chants of “down with Israel” right along with “down with Mubarak”… not a good sign.

A militant Islamist Egypt actively hostile toward Israel would be the WORST possible outcome.

My fondest hope for Egypt is that they are able to form a true secular democracy… but only time will tell.

Are We Doomed?…

SkyHarbor, 2011/01/29 

I just watched a show on the History Channel… “Prophets of Doom”. I thought it was just another one of those silly “apocalypse”/”wrath of god” films, but it turned out to be a serious show interviewing futurists and scientists, discussing in alarming detail how this civilisation is quickly exhausting its resources and faces dire consequences if we don’t change our ways NOW.

Not terribly uplifting stuff! But I found it hard to argue with most of the points made about oil, water and our whole economic system. UNSUSTAINABLE!
What I find most distressing is the thought that after we’re gone (soon enough, soon enough), it will be the children and grandchildren of our generation who will be presented with the BILL and they will look back and CURSE us for our stupidity and greed!

We were supposed to make things BETTER for our kids, weren’t we?

Admittedly (hopefully?) it’s a pessimistic ‘worst case’ scenario. But I can’t argue the fact that we humans have a tendency toward ‘cognitive dissonance’ when faced with really BIG problems… we simply PRETEND it’s not really there!

I’ve been monitoring Egypt’s implosion on CNN, so perhaps that colours my thoughts…

But I’d like to meet the ad man who came up with ‘Clean Coal’… ahem, CLEAN? COAL? Really? REALLY?

Running Out of You

raison detre,  

new music with Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1986 film, Offret

Gary

Cat eyes, 2011/01/28 

Gary is the name of the guy that used to live in this house. The neighbors tell me he was a contractor. Unless this is code for someone unable to do anything correctly I have the deepest pity for anyone who actually hired him. The number of surprises and WTFs as well as Holy F****** S*** are endless. The biggest puzzle of all however is the one that I was aware of – emphasis on one – the hose for the refrigerator ice maker being laminated over with flooring and the water cut-off still connected and functioning. Turn on the water and you get a bubbling, dancing floor from which water seeps. Go figure. Or not. I’ve given up. There is not a single vent cover, shutter, hinge, or fixture that makes use of all the holes available for screws. Some are attached with only one screw, most only two. Wow, what a cost savings that must have been. Then there is the mortar on the chimney – if you can call it that based only on its location between bricks. I’ve seen toothpaste more durable. Oh wait, maybe he did use sand and toothpaste. There are miles – I do mean miles – of wires and cables hung on the eaves outside and webbing the interior of the attic, and upper reaches of some of the ceilings. There was a pile of wires and cables as tall as me after a wire removal day. But that is all of them yet. The worst are the ‘hot’ electrical wires that lead to nowhere and have only one of the leads wire-nutted or electrical taped. I still have one hot one running through the back yard because I have to find the junction where I can disconnect it without interrupting the circuit to part of the house. The toilet has a 10 inch offset – short by modern standards. Gary chopped a toilet like some folks chop cars to make two different toilets into a new whizzer that leaked in several places. No matter, you just needed to turn the water shut-off handle between flushes. The tile on the kitchen counters is done with two inch square pieces with a full half inch grout line. Worthless in a kitchen, in fact it is a detriment. Oh and the grout is the same as the mortar more like hard sand. But it is the back yard that really gets me. It looks on the surface like every other back yard. But it isn’t. Beneath the dirt between anywhere from two to 24 inches is cement, both in chunks and in large poured masses. Some of the dirt is orange. Some is gray and some is actually brown. And the pool – is really a land fill that alternates uses as a mud pit after a hard rain. Every new WTF I now call a Gary and when I hear the contractor groan, I know it’s just another Gary.

Think Frickin’ Positive.

byronius,  

Here’s a great example of making lemonade outta burning tires:

I feel frickin’ better already! Frick! FRICK! Right Fricking ON!

I feel like going fricking Egypt on their fricking ass, is what. Fricking Rollerball-Stupid America. Prizewinners all. You know what? We’re going nowhere. ‘Cause while they’re only maybe 40-45% of the voting electorate, they physically outweigh us two to one. And that’s a steep fricking hill. And the winch is fricking broken.

Can anyone spell ‘Cataclysm’?

Star Trek… or something…

SkyHarbor, 2011/01/27 

I suggest we lighten things up a bit!

Belushi & co.

John Belushi and the SNL cast… still pretty forkin’ fun stuff!

Bikram Yoga

Max,  

I’ve never done yoga, believe it or not. I’ve actually wondered if it might be a nice way to bring a more physically energetic element into my new-found spiritual existence. I can tell you what I won’t be doing though. Bikram Yoga.

As of 2006, there were 1600 Bikram studios around the world.

Teacher training fees for each prospective teacher are $7000, much higher than the average yoga teacher training.

Bikram owns more than 40 Rolls Royces and Bentleys, as well as over 100 designer watches.

You can buy almost anything with a Bikram label on it, including a Set of Two Handmade SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL Glasses with Bikram Logo for only $75. Wine after yoga perhaps?

When asked about how much money he’s making, Bikram himself responded “It’s huge,’ he says, ‘I’m making – I don’t know – millions of dollars a day, $10 million a month – who knows how much?”

Sounds like deep spiritual practice, doesn’t it?

That’s capitalism for you I guess. What’s particularly bothersome about this to me though is that poor, suffering Bikram is suing any yoga studio or teacher who dares to teach anything resembling Bikram yoga without sending a sizable amount of the income directly to him. Now, I guess I’m being mildly hypocritical in that I don’t mind, say, Apple behaving this way when their business model is threatened. I guess it has something to do with the idea that yoga is supposed to have a spiritual element, and this seems really crappy.

Bikram Yoga: The End Logic of a Love Affair with Capitalism

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