Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Last year, a group of friends of my younger brother got together and organized a "Soirée" at a large Chinese Restaurant with live music provided by Younger Brother's own rock band (he plays the guitar or something). Since most of the band members were babyboomers, the band's repertoire was mainly music from the 50s, 60s and 70s. It so happens that the Vietnamese community in Montreal just loves 60s music. The soirée was such a success that the organizers decided to turn it into an annual event.
So tonight, Asparagus, B-Boy and I went to the 2nd annual soirée. The food was better than last year, and so was the music. I danced up a storm, B-Boy showed off his breaking and popping moves with his cousin Soy Sauce, and a good time was had by all (we didn't get thrown out by the Security, for a change) .
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
The Party venue was very very far and it was soooo cold that night, but we managed to get there on time. The organizers have rented a huge hall, that normally serves as an athletic and racetracks ground; there must have been at least a hundred tables set up. On one side was the elevated podium for the dancers and singers and on the opposite side was the food area, with about 20 lines for people to queue up to a buffet, with the food being served by young volunteers.
We shared a table with an Iranian family; they were very nice and hospitable, although the communications were a bit hesitant, half-French, half-English, with lots of smiles and nods. The food was simple, but delicious, and we all had seconds and thirds.
Meanwhile, B-Boy and his partner kept asking the Iranian friend who got them the gig when they are going to perform and each time, they got wishy-washy non-commitmental answers: soon, any minute now, after this number, etc.. Eventually, he said: You will perform last, after all the other acts. We would find out why, later on.
Meanchile, despite repeated warnings from the Iranian friend of the importance of restraint and modesty in this conservative family environment, Girlfriend, who is a pale blond Irish girl and stood out like a fly in a milk saucer, decided that it was a good idea to be all over B-Boy, pulling him to her, kneading his thighs at the table, etc.. She was the perfect clichéed image of the over-sexed white bimbo that Middle-Eastern mothers warn their sons about. The Iranian women at our table asked me whether Girlfriend was my daughter-in-law, and without thinking, I said: "No, she's my son's friend". I immediately realized my mistake when they said: "Oh.. friend", with such a tone, dripping with contempt.
So it was no surprise when the security guards arrived to question us and challenge our right to be at the Party. B-Boy called the Iranian friend who arrived and mumbled and fumbled for a long time with the security people. Turned out he did not get the proper authorization to offer a gig to B-Boy and his partner. The Peruvian b-boy was very upset because he was convinced he was singled out because of racism. I guessed that I would be very upset and embarrassed too, if I were a normal Vietnamese. As it is, I felt sorry for the Iranian friend for his huge loss of face, and for B-Boy and the Peruvian partner, because they had trained and prepared for this gig for naught.
Anyway, we decided to leave. And that night and the next day, B-Boy, Girlfriend and I, we all had diarrhea. As Yosemite Sam would say: "That'd learn ya!".
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ong_Bak_2
Ong Bak 2 is a 2008 Thai martial arts film co-directed by and starring Tony Jaa. It is a prequel to Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior.
Early press release stated that the story will be adapted from Ai Noom Saraphad Phid, a low-budget martial arts film Jaa developed with his mentor Panna Rittikrai, but was never released because it was shot on expired film stock. The action will incorporate khon, the sacred Thai masked dance. The title roughly translates to "venomous boy" and involves a character whose dark side is dormant until he's transformed by the gracious power of khon dance.
Shooting of the film began in October 2006. It was released in Thailand on December 5 2008.
A new trailer for the movie was released in the mid 2008, showing a fictional fantasy setting where Tony Jaa's character was rescued in the jungle by a group of martial artists of various styles and trained to unify these different styles of martial arts.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The Greater Mekong, which is made up of 600,000 square kilometres of wetlands and rainforest along the Mekong River in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and China, is also home to striped rabbits, bright pink millipedes laced with cyanide and a rat that was believed to have become extinct 11 million years ago.
A host of new species has been found in the area, which is so full of life that previously unknown animals and plants have been turning up at a rate of two a week for a decade.
At least 1,068 new species were identified in the Greater Mekong from 1997 to 2007 along with several thousand tiny invertebrates, the Times reports.
Pictures at http://tinyurl.com/6phbbp
Monday, December 15, 2008
I was hoping more for a trial and indictment as a war criminal at The Haye Tribunal, but humiliation by shoe lapidation is a good start, I guess.
Update: Of course, there are many other blogs that are also featuring video clips of Bush being pelted with shoes. One of them (SuperFrenchie) has a write-your-own-caption contest, with hilarious results. My favourites: "Lame duck", "Time will heel", "Shoe-In for the Hall of Shame", "I said: Throw flowers, not shoes!", "Coup de pompe", "C'est le pied!", etc..
Update: 16 December
Thanks to KCA for pointing me to some more variations of "Bush: My Pet Shoe" at BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/12/15/iraq-shoe-tosser-guy.html
More update: 16 December
The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush has been, and is being, tortured, according to credible reports
Albaghdadia, the TV channel where the Iraqi Journalist Montather Al-Zeidi works, reports that an Iraqi MP (Ms. Zainab Al-Kanani) informed them that Montather’s hand was broken in jail. This confirms a lot of reports and rumors about Montather being subject to torture while the Iraqi authorities are interrogating and detaining him in some unspecified location.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Fine, you say, but how is the "Big Sister" and previous Center of the Universe accepting the new baby sister? Two words: Deux Solitudes.
Right side: I am ignoring you, you don't exist.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
"While Madonna was in Hungary filming her latest magnum opus, Evita, she was interviewed by the Budapest newspaper Blikk. Questions in Hungarian were translated into English and asked of Madonna, whose replies were then translated back into Hungarian for consumption by her Budapestian fans. Shortly after publication, USA Today requested that the entire interview be translated back into English. This is the result.
Blikk: - Madonna, Budapest says hello with arms that are spread-eagled. Did you have a visit here that was agreeable? Are you in good odor? You are the biggest fan of our young people who hear your musical productions and like to move their bodies in response.
Madonna: - Thank you for saying these compliments [holds up hands]. Please stop with taking sensationalist photographs until I have removed my garments for all to see [laughs]. This is a joke I have made.
Blikk: - Madonna, let's cut toward the hunt: Are you a bold hussy-woman that feasts on men who are toys?
Madonna: - Yes, yes, this is certainly something that brings to the surface my longings. In America it is not considered to be mentally ill when a woman advances on her prey in a discotheque setting with hardy cocktails present. And there is more normal attitude toward leather play-toys that also makes my day.
Blikk: - Is this how you met Carlos, your love-servant who is reputed? Did you know he was heaven-sent right off the stick? Or were you dating many other people in your bed at the same time?
Madonna: - No, he was the only one I was dating in my bed then, so it is scientific fact that the baby was made in my womb using him. But as regards these questions, enough! I am a woman and not a test-mouse! Carlos is an everyday person who is in the orbit of a star who is being muscle-trained by him, not as a sex machine.
Blikk: - May we talk with you about your other `baby,' your movie, then? Please do not be denying that the similarities between you and the real Evita are grounded in basis. Power, money, tasty food, Grammys - all these elements are afoot.
Madonna: - What is up in the air with you? Evita never was winning a Grammy!
Blikk: - Perhaps not. But as to your film, in trying to bring your reputation along a rocky road, can you make people forget the bad explosions of Who's That Girl? and Shanghai Surprise?
Madonna: - I am a tip-top starlet. That is my job that I am paid to do.
Blikk: - OK, here's a question from left space: What was your book Slut about?
Madonna: - It was called Sex, my book.
Blikk: - Not in Hungary. Here it was called Slut. How did it come to publish? Were you lovemaking with a man-about-town printer? Do you prefer making suggestive literature to fast-selling CDs?
Madonna: - These are different facets to my career highway. I am preferring to become respected all over the map as a 100% artist.
Blikk: - There is much interest in you from this geographic region, so I must ask this final questions: How many Hungarian men have you dated in bed? Are they No. 1? How are they comparing to Argentine men, who are famous for being tip-top as well?
Madonna: - Well, to avoid aggravating global tension, I would say it's a tie [laughs]. No, no, I am serious now. See here, I am working like a canine all the way around the clock! I have been too busy even to try the goulash that makes your country one for the record books.
Blikk: - Thank you for your candid chitchat.
Madonna: - No problem, friend who is a girl."
You realize of course that the whole thing looks like a hoax. One clue would be that they are talking about Evita winning a Grammy, while the film is supposedly still in the making at the time of the interview. I guess it's just a joke, made at the expense of the supposedly quaint Hungarian language and of Madonna. Still funny, though.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
When I was young (I heard that!), anything coming from the West was the epitome of civilization and coolness: fashion, music, cuisine, litterature, everything! Vietnamese girls wanted to have light skin and big round eyes, like the French (we didn't care too much for their big nose and hairy arms, but even those defects were better than being short and yellow, we thought). I had a huge crush on Ricky Nelson and a lot of contempt for local heart throbs like Hung Cuong. In other words, I was an Oriental Micheal Jackson, embarrassed by my own race and envious of the white race and yearning to be accepted in their midst.
I've learned since to accept and appreciate my Asian looks. I also found out very early in life that there was no welcome wagon waiting for me on the other side, no matter how completely westernized I have become. And now, it seems like the pendulum has swung the other way.
Nowadays, Japan is considered the source of cool technologies, developments and trends. Korea is the mecca for breakdancing, having won several times the International Battle of the Year in Germany. Oriental food is now served and appreciated all over the world. Ramen noodles, pho and Vietnamese sandwiches are the mainstay of students diet in North American colleges.
But the most striking aspect of this phenomenon, in my opinion, is the number of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai films that are being copied or remade by Hollywood. In the past, it was one or two exceptional films, such as the Seven Samurai, that are adapted in the West, once in a while. But nowadays, the list is endless: The Ring, Dark Waters, The Grudge; Mirrors, Shutter, etc...
And today, I learned that they are planning a remake of the classic film "47 Ronin", with Keanu Reeves as the lead. Keanu Frigging Neo Reeves!!
My point? Be yourself, it takes too much energy to be not-you. And if you don't like yourself, wait. You'll become trendy eventually.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
New arrival at The Buddhist's mansion: Toffee The Teckel (soon to be called something else).
She's 5 years old, a refugee from a puppy mill where she was kept in a garage and forced to breed (She breeds, You die). She's safe with us now. It seems like all she does all day is eat, sleep and piss/poop everywhere (with a clear preference for antique Persian carpets). We love her to pieces.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Comme tout le monde sait, le gouvernement conservateur minoritaire du Canada (dirigé par Stephen Harper) ayant fait preuve d'incompétence extrême dans son plan d'action contre la crise économique, l'opposition, en l'occurence le Parti Libéral et le Nouveau Parti Démocratique (NPD), a formé une coalition pour le renverser, avec l'appui du Bloc Québécois. La coalition a été placée sous la direction de Stéphane Dion, du Parti Libéral. Devant cette menace contre son gouvernement, le Premier ministre Harper a rapidement demandé la prorogation (le gel) de la session du Parlement et annoncé la préparation d'un nouveau plan économique moins con. La réponse à ce discours a été une vidéo de M. Dion, livrée avec une heure de retard aux studios de télévision et techniquement tellement mauvaise qu'elle risque de tuer son projet de coalition dans l'oeuf. Voyons ce qu'en disent les médias.
Stéphane Laporte du quotidien La Presse (un autre Stéphane, oui, suivez-moi bien, ne vous laissez pas distraire par tous ces Stephen-Stéphane) a fait la meilleure analyse du fiasco, ou comme moi, Stéphanie Boudhiste, j'appelle ce nouveau scandale, de l'affaire Videogate.
"Tous les commentateurs se sont scandalisés de la piètre qualité de la vidéo du discours de Stéphane Dion réagissant à l'adresse à la nation de Stephen Harper. Qui a réalisé cette oeuvre? Qui était derrière la caméra? Michael Ignatieff? Pierre Falardeau? Stevie Wonder? Cessez vos sarcasmes, ignares que vous êtes! Comme tous les grands génies créateurs, Stéphane Dion est en avance sur son temps. Jean-Luc Godard, aussi, était un incompris.
Stéphane Dion a produit la première vidéo politique d'avant-garde de l'histoire. Et il peut en être fier.
Toute la facture du tournage fait très téléréalité. Comme si une caméra motorisée captait le message. Comme si personne ne la manipulait. Il n'y a que Dion et nous. Pas d'intermédiaire. Comme si Stéphane était en train de «chatter» sur un site de rencontres. Avec sa petite caméra branchée sur son ordi. Stéphane veut nous séduire. Et il le fait à la 2008. C'est raw. C'est rough. C'est New York. C'est branché.
Les critiques se sont, encore une fois, mis un doigt dans l'oeil.
On reproche au clip de débuter sèchement, sans aucun préambule. Voyons donc! Quelle idée moderne d'entrer directement dans le vif du sujet! Pas de fausse mise en scène. Pas de pause affectée. De «Chers Canadiennes, chers Canadiens» interminables! Dion débute son discours comme si on venait de zapper sur lui. Comme si on arrivait au moment important. Il sait que l'heure est grave. Que chaque seconde compte. Et il nous épargne les formules d'introduction toutes faites. Il nous saisit et capte notre attention. Quel innovateur.
On a aussi attaqué le teint rouge de leader de la coalition. Franchement, c'est simple à comprendre. Stéphane Dion est rouge parce qu'il est libéral. Stéphane Dion est rouge parce qu'il fulmine contre l'inertie des conservateurs. Stéphane Dion est rouge parce que le Canada est dans le rouge. Cette coloration est pensée.
Subtilité qui vous a sûrement échappé, à la fin de la vidéo, Stéphane Dion est rendu vert. Parce que la solution à tous nos problèmes ne peut-être qu'environnementale. Enfin un politicien qui ajoute du subliminal à son propos. Si son visage avait été bleu ou jaune, j'aurais pu comprendre qu'on ne comprenne pas, mais rouge et vert, à quelques jours de Noël, c'était facile à décoder.
Comme Hitchcock, Fellini ou Bergman l'ont fait pour le septième art, Dion a révolutionné le clip politique grâce à un cadrage particulièrement original. Son gros plan favorisant le regard rappelait les westerns spaghetti de Sergio Leone. Et l'analogie est brillante. Car le drame de la Chambre des communes n'est rien d'autre qu'un western spaghetti, la coalition nous rappelant Le bon, la brute et le truand. Avec Stéphane, dans le rôle du Bon, Jack (Layton, chef du Nouveau Parti Démocratique), dans celui de la Brute et Gilles (Duceppe, chef du Bloc Québécois) dans celui du Truand. Stephen Harper incarnant la mouche qui tourne autour d'eux. En sortant son cou et son menton du cadre, les Canadiens ne pouvaient que remarquer les yeux à la Clint Eastwood de Stéphane Dion. Un regard de héros. Un regard qui tue.
Trop souvent la cravate d'un homme politique nous déconcentre de son propos. Sergio Dion a réglé le problème. La cravate n'est plus dans l'image.
Le clip est légèrement hors foyer, et ça aussi c'est savamment réfléchi. Le message est simple: tant que Stéphane Dion ne sera pas premier ministre, nous vivons dans un flou économique. Seul lui peut faire la mise au point. Seul lui peut faire disparaître l'ambiguïté de notre existence.
Vrai, la vidéo de Stéphane Dion est arrivée en retard à Radio-Canada, mais vous comprenez maintenant pourquoi. Reproche-t-on à Coppola d'avoir livré Le Parrain en retard? Retournez vite voir ce chef-d'oeuvre sur YouTube, maintenant que vous êtes en mesure d'en saisir toutes les subtilités. Profitez-en pour revoir aussi la vidéo de Stephen Harper, vous constaterez à quel point elle est plate, fade, sans aucune recherche artistique. Un plan moyen fixe, montrant deux feuilles sur son bureau qu'il ne consulte jamais. Derrière lui, des volets fermés, comme s'il se cachait pour faire un mauvais coup. Aucun zoom avant, aucune proximité. Harper garde ses distances avec le peuple. Tandis que Stéphane se colle sur nous. Le plan est tellement serré qu'il est prêt à nous «frencher». Ça, c'est de la passion. Stéphane aime son Canada.
Riez, riez, les Jean Lapierre, Michel C. Auger, Vincent Marissal et autres, quand Stéphane Dion ira chercher sa palme d'or à Cannes, c'est lui qui rira le dernier. Malheureusement, on ne le verra pas, car sa bouche sera hors cadre."
Friday, December 05, 2008
1. - Sony Rolly MP3 Player - US$ 400.00 for a 2Gb
Luckily for you, it's not available in North America yet, but you can order it from Sony Japan.
2.- USB 2GB Flash Drive Bracelet - US$ 19.99 at Amazon.com
3.- Hello Kitty USB Die cut Speakers - US$ 49.99 also from Amazon.comhttp://www.violight.com/zatosa.html
Voyons ce que dit le blogue :
« Bonne nouvelle : on peut faire de l’humour sur le handicap, tout en servant la cause… mais il faut être en Norvège.
Si, comme moi, vous êtes allergiques à la célébration compassionnelle du Téléthon (ce dégoulinement de bons sentiments sur fond d’amassage de pepettes), le phénomène norvégien des Boys on Wheels (garçons sur roues) va vous réjouir.
C’est un boys-band de paraplégiques en fauteuils roulants. Ils détournent des tubes de variété et font se gondoler le pays en chantant “my balls are OK” (mes couilles, ça va) ou “at least, I’m not gay” (au moins, je suis pas gay). Le message est toujours le même : je suis paralysé, je suis malade, mais je suis vivant : j’aime, je rêve, je vais aux toilettes et surtout je ris !»
J’ouvre le clip YouTube enchâssé dans l’article, pour voir le show des Boys on Wheels. Taberwouète!! Non seulement les Boys chantent faux comme des casseroles, leur répertoire de chansons est minable, et en plus ils sont homophobes! Une de leurs chansons en anglais dit : «There are guys with bigger problems. Happy today, at least, I’m not gay», ce qui, apparemment, fait se gondoler le pays. Comme quoi, même si on est tout en bas de l’échelle, on trouvera toujours une catégorie de gens pires que soi pour se consoler en leur crachant dessus.
Je suis complètement déçue par l’inanité de l’article, et je vous présente ci-après ma propre liste (non exhaustive) de vérités politiquement incorrectes.
· Les gens en fauteuils roulants et autres handicapés ne sont pas une espèce protégée. On peut les critiquer, parce qu’ils sont comme tout le monde! Il y en a de beaux, de laids, de gentils, de méchants, de génies, d’incompétents, etc. et surtout, il y a beaucoup de cons, comme partout. Voir les Boys on Wheels, avec leur homophobie.
· L’état de mère (ou de père) ne change pas le véritable caractère d’une personne. Parce qu’ils ont eu des relations sexuelles fertiles, les gens reçoivent le titre de parents. Mais un imbécile reste bête, une salope ne devient pas sainte, etc.. Tout le monde connait l’histoire de Lori Drew, une mère de 47 ans, qui a monté tout un complot sur MySpace pour harceler une jeune fille de 15 ans, ex-amie de sa fille, jusqu’à ce que la petite se suicide. Et pourtant, les enfants de tous âges idéalisent leurs parents ou refusent d’en voir les défauts. Chez les Vietnamiens surtout (et certainement dans d’autres cultures), on ne peut pas dire du mal de ses parents et donc la société vietnamienne toute entière est composée de saints et de saintes. Les salauds, les méchants, les cons, les brigands, les assassins, etc. sont des gens sans enfants.
· Les enfants ne sont pas tous des anges. Il y a des méchants, des vicieux, des mythomanes, etc.… Oui, on peut les réhabiliter, mais certains sont incorrigibles. Corollaire : tous les bébés ne sont pas mignons. Je veux bien subir les photos des enfants de mes amis, quitte à leur imposer ultérieurement les photos de ma chienne, mais les photos de 99% des nouveau-nés (surtout endormis) sont carrément hideuses et parfois même grotesques; svp ne pas les imposer aux autres.
· Les religieux ne sont pas au-dessus de tout soupçon. Chez les Vietnamiens, encore une fois, on ne critique pas un bonze, c’est un « péché » de le faire. Tout le monde est au courant de leurs nombreuses frasques (sexuelles, financières, criminelles, etc.), mais les coupables sont toujours les bonzes d’autres pagodes, celles qu’on ne fréquente pas. Comme disait le Président Roosevelt à propos du dictateur Somoza : « He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch! ». Donc motus et bouche cousue.
· Les « experts » ne sont pas toujours compétents. Vous les connaissez, ces experts : le critique gastronomique qui dit des âneries dans sa rubrique, parce qu’il ne connait pas la cuisine qu’il critique (« Le ‘pho’ vietnamien est une imitation coloniale de la bouillabaisse française », « I found the dish quite bland, until the waiter told us we were supposed to dip the roll in the sauce »); le dentiste vietnamien qui arrache la mauvaise dent d’un patient et qui lui facture ensuite l’extraction des deux dents; les listes des dix, vingt ou cent meilleurs films/acteurs/livres, etc.. remplies de choix douteux et d’omissions flagrantes; les critiques de cinéma qui recommandent des films obscurs que personne ne va voir et critiquent des films qui font des millions de recettes, etc., et surtout, surtout, les météorologues, les économistes, les tireurs de cartes et autres voyants, qui disent n’importe quoi, qui se trompent sans cesse, mais qui continuent d’avoir un travail rémunéré.
La liste continue...
Thursday, December 04, 2008
A few days late, but I just found out via Anglachel (http://anglachelg.blogspot.com/), wonderful pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope which you can uncover one per day until Christmas: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/12/hubble_space_telescope_advent.html. So bookmark the page and go there to unveil a new picture every day, until the 25th.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
From The Telegraph (United Kingdom) (http://tinyurl.com/6fnx98) :
A vicar attended hospital with a potato stuck up his bottom - and claimed it got there after he fell on to the vegetable while naked. The clergyman, in his 50s, told nurses he had been hanging curtains when he fell backwards on to his kitchen table. He happened to be nude at the time of the mishap, said the vicar, who insisted he had not been playing a sex game. The vicar had to undergo a delicate operation to extract the vegetable, one of a range of odd items medics in Sheffield have had to remove from people's backsides or genitals.
A & E nurse Trudi Watson, of Sheffield's Northern General Hospital, said: "... It's not for me to question his story. He had to undergo surgery to have it removed." She advised anyone tempted to use such objects in sex games to think again: "It can be very dangerous and potentially life-threatening," she said. "Surgery can lead to infection, nasty scarring, and it could possibly end up with the person having to use a colostomy bag as a result."
And remember, last year, this report from The Smoking Gun ? (http://tinyurl.com/22rbcb) :
An Alabama minister who died in June of "accidental mechanical asphyxia" was found hogtied and wearing two complete wet suits, including a face mask, diving gloves and slippers, rubberized underwear, and a head mask, according to an autopsy report. Investigators determined that Rev. Gary Aldridge's death was not caused by foul play and that the 51-year-old pastor of Montgomery's Thorington Road Baptist Church was alone in his home at the time he died (while apparently in the midst of some autoerotic undertaking). While the Montgomery Advertiser, which first obtained the autopsy records, reported on Aldridge's two wet suits, the family newspaper chose not to mention what police discovered inside the minister's rubber briefs.
I rest my case. At least, when buddhist monks practice sex, it's just boring sex with other monks or with women from the congregation. None of that kinky stuff (as far as I know) !!!
Monday, December 01, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
From Lifehacker and elsewhere, some videos explaining you how to do stuff.
How to fold a T-shirt (explanations in Japanese, but you don't need to know the language)
If, like me, you are utterly incapable of following the instructions, here's a complete detailed step by step explanations in English. If after that, you still can't do it, you're hopeless and beyond help.:
How To Open A Beer Bottle With A Piece Of Paper:
How To Unlock A Car Door With A Tennis Ball:
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
True Blood is an American television drama series created by Alan Ball, based on the Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris. The show, which premiered on September 7, 2008, has been renewed for a second season. True Blood details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional small Louisiana town.
Thanks to a Japanese scientist's invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many remain apprehensive about these creatures "coming out of the coffin." Religious leaders and government officials around the world have chosen their sides, but in the small fictional Louisiana town of Bon Temps, the jury is still out. Local waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), however, knows how it feels to be an outcast. "Cursed" with the ability to listen in on people's thoughts, she's also open-minded about the integration of vampires — particularly when it comes to Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old living up the road. But as Sookie is drawn into a series of mysteries surrounding Bill's arrival in Bon Temps, that tolerance will be put to the test .
I find that Vampire Bill has the appropriate dark and mysterious look of a typical Hollywood vampire. In fact, he looks a bit like the main character of the anime Vampire Hunter D.
Anna Paquin however is extremely irritating to watch. First of all, she has a gap between her two front teeth ( like Lawrence Fishburn and Madonna), which the camera keeps zooming on, preventing the viewer to concentrate on anything else, except maybe her rough bumpy skin magnified by the extreme close-ups. To make matters worse, Paquin has only one acting face: she delivers every sentence of the dialogue, no matter how banal and mundane, with Elvis-twitching, trembling lips, so that when she says: "I'll bring you the ketchup", it looks like she's announcing that the end of the world is nigh. And of course, all that twitching and trembling can only direct more attention to her gappy dentition. Very distracting. Grrrr!
So anyhoo, here's the trailer:
After Quasimodo's death, the bishop of the cathedral of Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bellringer was needed. The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process. After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills, he decided to call it a day when a lone, armless man approached him and announced that he was there to apply for the bellringers job.
The bishop was incredulous. "You have no arms!" "No matter," said the man, "Observe!" He then began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon. The bishop listened in astonishment, convinced that he had finally found a suitable replacement for Quasimodo. Suddenly, rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped, and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below.
The stunned bishop rushed down to his side. When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, "Bishop, who was this man?" "I don't know his name", the bishop sadly replied, "but his face rings a bell."
(but wait, there's more...)
The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the bishop continued his interviews for the bellringer of Notre Dame.
The first man to approach him said, "Your excellency, I am the brother of the poor, armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty."
The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and as the armless man's brother stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest and died on the spot.
Two monks, hearing the bishop's cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side. "What has happened?", the first breathlessly asked, "Who is this man?" "I don't know his name," sighed the distraught bishop, "but he's a dead ringer for his brother."
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Un extrait du site:
see more pwn and owned pictures
Toshi Maeda of Reuters reports on a new trend in Japan (Of course. Japan has always been the avant-garde of new and mostly cool stuff, the Land of the Rising Trends) : bras for men.
If I may comment as a woman and a lifetime bra wearer: Men, please don't!! If you're unconfortable wearing a tie, you wouldn't enjoy yourself wearing a bra, believe you me.
I wanted to buy a hybrid initially, but I don't think the technology is mature enough for the Canadian weather. And I don't like the idea of being on a waiting list for the privilege of handing my money to a car dealer. So the next best thing, IMHO, is a diesel car. If you're interested, here's a review and specifications for the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/automobiles/autoreviews/23-vw-jetta.html?em
Here's a recent press release about the Jetta TDI:
For this honour, the Jetta TDI Clean Diesel topped the other Green Car of the Year nominees: BMW 335d, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid, and smart fortwo. According to Green Car.com, "this is the first time that a clean diesel model has been awarded the title Green Car of the Year(R)". The jury included editors from Green Car Journal, automotive icon Carroll Shelby, 'Tonight Show' host Jay Leno, Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope, Natural Resources Defense Council president Frances Beinecke, and Ocean Futures Society president Jean-Michel Cousteau.
"The Volkswagen Jetta TDI rose to the top as Green Car Journal's 2009 Green Car of the Year(R) for some very important reasons," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. "Hybrids have dominated the discussion of environmentally positive vehicles in recent years. The highly fuel efficient, 50 state emissions certified Jetta TDI shows that advanced clean diesel has arrived and is poised to change this dynamic. With its affordable price point, refined ride and handling, and high fuel economy, the Jetta TDI shows that hybrids now have a strong competitor in the marketplace."
In an interview with Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press, Cogan added, "The Jetta TDI epitomizes what the Green Car of the Year(R) honor is all about. It raises the bar significantly in environmental performance...the kind of fuel efficiency offered by gasoline-electric hybrids but in a more affordable way".
Prices for the 2009 Jetta TDI Clean Diesel start at $24,275 for the sedan and at $25,775 for the wagon.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tom Paine (http://tominpaine.blogspot.com/) explains the Clinton's nomination as SoS:
Back in June after the last primary when Obama went for a secret meeting with Clinton at her Washington townhouse, I wrote a piece called "Whatever Lola Wants Lola Gets".
Now we know what actually went on in that closed door meeting at Clinton's Washington home back in June when Obama went to see Clinton hat in hand after Pelosi horsewhipped super delegates to come out and declare for him. Now we know what Lola wanted. And now we know what Lola got.
Four months before a stock market crash and a collapsing economy that all but sealed the victory for any Democratic candidate no matter who it was, Obama surely felt that he couldn't and wouldn't win as the nominee without Clinton's support or her voters. So he requested that meeting at her house which took place behind closed doors. The inside information at the time was that he offered her the Vice-Presidency in return for her support and she turned it down, understandably since, while Cheney had been the ventriloquist and Bush the dummy, usually the VP job is purely symbolic with no official Constitutional duties.
But it doesnt take much logic and insight to see now what was probably negotiated at the time. In all probability, after turning down the offer of VP, Obama offered her any job she wanted in an Obama administration if he should win, in return for her support. And she agreed. Which now explains a lot of Clinton's seemingly over the top support of someone she had campaigned against saying he wasn't qualified ( which happened to be the truth).
Clinton could have tried to fight it out and in my opinion if she had she would have won the nomination. But it was a risk. This deal was probably the next best thing and contained little risk for her other than giving up her campaign for the Presidency.
It's probable that since Obama's victory, Clinton has been pondering whether she wanted Attorney General or Secretary of State. It's no coincidence that a few days after Holder was named Attorney General, the news was leaked that Clinton will be offered Secretary of State. It is obviously the job she decided she wanted.
It is unlikely Clinton would have agreed to take the job if she had any substantial differences with Obama over foreign policy. So it is very likely that Obama's foreign policy will have more of a Clinton stamp than an Obama one since there is no way she would have agreed to carry out a foreign policy she didn't agree with.
The odd man out is Bill Richardson who, to believe James Carville, double crossed Clinton at the last minute by supporting Obama, probably in hopes of getting this job which he wanted really really really badly. This was to be Bill Richardson's twenty pieces of silver. Politics being what it is, it wouldn't surprise me if Clinton chose State partly to screw Richardson out of the job he coveted. It's also the second most important and visible job in any administration.
Of course some Obama sycophants in the press, David Bromwich over at Huffington Post to name one, have become apoplectic over Clinton's impending nomination as Secretary of State probably because it's making him look like a fool after bad mouthing Clinton for 9 months in support of Obama, and now those in the press who spent 9 months tearing her down are going to have to eat their words. And who better to make them look like idiots than Obama himself?
Clinton as Secretary of State says a lot of things. First it says what was apparent back in June when Obama asked for that meeting -- that she was the one in the drivers seat calling the shots and told him what it would take to get her support. Obviously he made the deal. And now the IOU is being paid. Second, it shows that Obama knows he is in over his head and will have to surround himself with the best people he can find, and since he is going to have his hands full with a collapsing economy he obviously needed someone at State that had the visibility and impact to carry out foreign policy with almost the same authority as the President himself. So it's unlikely we are going to hear any more from the press about Clinton's trip to Bosnia as First Lady.
And one other thing. With Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and Obama realizing this isn't going to be a book signing tour, it now seems fairly certain that an unofficial economic advisor who goes by the name of Bill is probably waiting in the wings.
3. Fin de la détresse
Sunday, November 23, 2008
via Miss Cellania (http://www.misscellania.com/)
From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe. This and other songs such as "One Love" will be released as digital downloads soon; followed by the film soundtrack and DVD early next year.
Sign up at www.playingforchange.com for updates and exclusive content available only to those who...
Join the Movement to help build schools, connect students, and inspire communities in need through music: http://www.playingforchange.com/
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Politics is a cruel, cruel game...
Update - 21 November 2008: From Yuré, a commentator at Cynical-C
"I try not to ruin your blog (my favorite internet addiction)with my broken-english-comments; but, as a diplomat I have to say that usually you don´t shake hands with the main host of a summit (specially when you just meet with him in private, as it is custumary)."
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Gender analysis: http://genderanalyzer.com/
"We guess http://samsarashmamsara.blogspot.com/ is written by a man (58%), however it's quite gender neutral."
I thought I was being insufferably and unequivocably feminist in my writing, but I guess that could be gender neutral.
As mentioned in a previous post, my blog's worth has actually gone down over the years (See thingie on the right side of your screen). In other words, my readership (LOL!!!) is shrinking. My income from ads after 5 years must amount to almost $0.004.
Type analyser :http://www.typealyzer.com/index.php?lang=en
The analysis indicates that the author of http://samsarashmamsara.blogspot.com/ is of the type: INTP - The Thinkers
The logical and analytical type. They are especialy attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.
They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.
The last part is so true!!! I'm too impatient and cannot seem to get my messages accross. As for the rest...meh.