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March 26, 2006

RIP Richard Fleischer

Writing about web page http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/2006-03-24/celeb/11

Thats right – he's dead. Ironically the director of Soylent Green managed to live until he was 89. What a man. Its ok, I'm sure they will remake Soylent Green pretty soon, giving Heston a cameo part. I don't know what Fleischer managed to do to coax such a brilliant performance out of him though – the amount of emotion emanating from the line, "Its people!" – WOW. That Fleisher managed to find time to Direct Conan the Destroyer as well as Soylent Green is a remarkable achievement. One of America's greats. I'm off to listen to Beethoven's 6th in tribute to him.

March 24, 2006

Oh its on!

So I've just finished watching 30 minutes … oh dear.

Having had the message 'Private schools bad, Private schools evil' thrown at me continually to the point where one of the interviewees effectively accused parents who send their kids to private school of being racists. What happened? The second rate polemicist being this episode simply nodded.

He characterised the argument of parents who send their children to private school as being economically justified on the grounds of the following line of reasoning
1. Private schools have better teacher's.
2. Better teachers => better Exam Grades for children being taught
3. Better exam grades => better university accepts up
4. Better univesity => Better job => more money.

He then proceeded to counter argue this by throwing mud on what he was offered, without going into too much detail, I'll just raise a few issues.

My parents sent me to a private between the ages of 7 and 18 in order to give me a better education. This is not measured by the quality of exam results, how many pieces of paper I have with the letter A on, or any metric. In my opinion the only important element of the educational process is to teach the child to think. Once they know how to think for themselves everything else is ephemeral.

This is the opposable thumb of education: that one difference that draws the line between an advantageous education and one that offers nothing of practical benefit upon the person to which it is bestowed. I credit my middle school Religious Education teacher: Mr. Matthews (now Dr. Matthews) for helping me with that. By offering a rationally well thought out philosophy based upon his Religious views that forced me to challenge my own aetheist position and my worldview of the time. The worldview got changed, the aetheism didnt: but after him teaching me for a few years I had reasons why I held my views – and bloody good ones considering my age.

Perhaps Mr. Phil Beadle should give 30 minutes of his time to consider whether its fair for many independant sector schools to be put under financial pressure because the British University system is becoming increasingly pressured by the media to legitimise discrimination against independant schools. This is something that Mr. Beadle believes, if one is to judge his program as an honest account of his beliefs and yet something that he offers no criticise of.


March 18, 2006

spam?

"sound. San Diego Good. The noises in the churchyard.

The open garbage can overflowed onto the floor and emitted the warm reek of spoiling food, but that wasn't the only thing wrong, or the worst smell. It was a bent and twisted chunk of bobby-pin. There was a floof! Just stay cool. when you finish the book. The driveway was neatly plowed, a testament to the fact that she did indeed use the blade, but he could not see the road the house cut off the view. There was another that seemed to exist mostly in his mind, but which was no less real for that. Fancy that!"

Frankly I'm impressed that gmail spotted that as spam. (the real message was in an image)


March 06, 2006

Pub Quiz

Traditionally the Sunday pub quiz provides a couple of hours of entertainment, combined with the amount of beer that gets won over the course of the year makes for a reasonably cheap night. Last night was a bit of an exception.

Well they managed to get a question wrong during the history round. If a wrong about this I would like a correction.

Ford, not Nixon, was President when The US evacuated Saigon:
link

Secondly, and more importantly the new announcer is rubbish. Firstly his appearance on the scene has ended the continued running joke of my pub quiz team of using words that sounds funny when pronounced in an Irish accent as part of our name. How the heck are we expected to silently mock this new guy's accent? The team who won the best team name had such an unmemorable name that I can't remember it, and we failed to win a prize. Loud sigh.

On the upside, this is a great picture:

I am eagerly awaiting a kick the sarcasm out of football Mourinho doll.


February 21, 2006

Nude Rambling

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4735024.stm

This is all very well and good, but why do it during one of the colder times of the year? Surely you could challenge public attitudes to nudity during the summer when its nice and warm?

February 08, 2006

Cartoon Crisis

Well its been nearly a week and one coursework deadline since I last blogged, and I 'm rather tired and irritable. This hardly puts me in a mood to figure out the current international crisis. It seems like we have one every week – I wonder if someone collects stats on these things. I know somewhere people keep tabs on the number of times the word 'recession' is mentioned in major newspapers, and apparently its quite a good indicator of negative economic conditions.

So, lets run through whats happened:

1. cartoon published, a few people notice and kick up a fuss.
2. a few months this grows into a major row as more people hear about the problem.
3. publication criticised by many, replicated by others.
4. embassies burn

Well, I'm sure its a little more complicated than that but that'll do for the minute.

1. I can understand – who reads the Danish press in the middle east?
2. Word of mouth, understood.
3. Criticism – justified, it was insulting. Replication – given the current fear about freedom of speech in light of the terrorism legislation getting knocked around in the uk I am surprised no one here copied the image. I am not aware of how much this is an issue on the continent.
4. Its quite hard to see how we got here from 1–3 on the surface of things. It looks really bad: cartoon about terrorism leads to riots and violence. But that analysis kinda misses the point. This Guy puts it best as far as I can tell. "But imagine if we had stayed quiet, the day after tomorrow they would do something much worse than this against our beliefs." Its an engineered situation of binary opposition. Look at all those snippets in all 7 of them its the 'us vs them' attitude.
Its gone so far that Denmark, a small country famous for using goalkeepers to advertise bacon (sic), is being targetted. America would be expected, but Denmark?
Set in this light the burnings suddenly are comprehensible, if not expected. This isn't so much a reaction against the cartoon, but another event in the current chaos. I'm sorry if readers were looking for something more insightful. I cannot offer it, why and how this happened is bloody obvious, to be completely frank.

I only state it because some people seem to think its about a cartoon. Just look at some of the other blogs on this website.


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