Monday, June 30, 2008

Smooth Criminals

The first contestant (Shared by Lucienne (Thank you Lulu))

Compare with: The Original Smooth Criminal

The judges say: Michael Jackson wins!

Gay Marriage Is Bad, M'kay?

From: Jesus' General (

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Five Things I Didn't Know I Could Do With My Cellphone

Via Kisses & Roses:

There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. 
Checkout the things that you can do with it. 

Subject: Emergency

The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112.  If you find yourself out of the coverage area of yourmobile network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number, 112, can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

Subject: Have you locked your keys in the car lately?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday.  Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at home press the unlock button, holding it near their cell phone on their end. Your car will unlock.  Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone that has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Editor's note: It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over the cell phone. 

Subject: Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your cell phone battery is very low. To activate, press the keys Star 3370 pound (*3370#).  Your cell phone will restart with this reserve power and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery power. This reserve will get recharged when you charge your cell phone next time.

Subject: How to disable a stolen mobile phone

To check your mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: Star pound 06 pound(*#06#). A 15 digit code will appear on the screen.This number is unique to your handset.  Write the number down and keep it somewhere safe. When your phone gets stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless.
You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use or sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.  

Subject: Information calls (for those of you in the US)

Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory around in our pocket or vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial (800) FREE 411 , or 800-373-3411 without incuring any charge at all. 
Program this into your cellphone now. 

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Heart Sutra

Click to enlarge

The Heart Sutra is the best known and most popular sutra among Buddhist practionners.

(From Wikipedia) The Heart Sutra describes the experience of liberation of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara, as a result of insight gained while engaged in deep meditation to awaken the faculty of prajña (wisdom). The insight refers to the fundamental emptiness of all phenomena, the five aggregates of human existence (skandhas) — form (rūpa), feeling (vedanā), volitions (samskārā), perceptions (saṁjñā), and consciousness (vijñāna).

Heart Sutra by Taiwanese artist Hung-Chih Peng

Avalokiteśvara famously states that "Form is emptiness (Śūnyatā). Emptiness is form" and declares the other skandhas to be equally empty — that is, empty of an independent essence. Avalokiteśvara then goes through some of the most fundamental Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths and explains that in emptiness none of these labels apply. This is traditionally interpreted as saying that Buddhist teachings, while accurate descriptions of conventional truth, are mere statements about reality — they are not reality itself — and that they are therefore not applicable to the ultimate truth that is by definition beyond dualistic description. Thus the bodhisattva, as the archetypal Mahāyāna Buddhist, relies on the perfection of wisdom, defined in the larger Perfection of Wisdom sutras to be the wisdom that perceives reality directly without conceptual attachment. This perfection of wisdom is condensed in the mantra with which the Sutra concludes.

The "Wisdom Path" in Hong Kong is the Heart Sutra (心經) carved on wooden posts and placed in the shape of infinity. One post near the top of the arrangement is blank. It symbolizes the concept of "emptiness".

The Heart Sutra has been translated into many languages of course, but the mantra is always recited in the original Sanskrit, because it is believed that sounds have their own powers, transcending the meaning of words.

So the mantra for the Heart Sutra goes: Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bhodi Svaha (meaning: Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, Praise the awakening).

The Heart Sutra has been put to music or integrated into songs:
American composer Lou Harrison set Esperanto language texts translated from the Heart Sutra to music in his 1973 cantata La Koro Sutro.

The Band Akron/Family set the English version to music entitled Gone Beyond on their album, Meek Warrior.

Peter Rowan incorporated a musical setting of the Heart Sutra in the chorus of "Vulture Peak" on his 2001 album Reggaebilly.

Cantonese new age musical arranger Imee Ooi also performs electronic versions of Buddhist sutras, notably the Heart Sutra, in Sanskrit, and Mandarin.

Chloe Goodchild, British singer and composer, completed a version of the Heart Sutra on her album "Fierce Wisdom"

American Hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan has included the Heart Sutra in their album the 8 Diagrams. It was performed in Mandarin by Shifu Shi Yan Ming in the last track titled "Life Changes" as a tribute to the late Old Dirty Bastard.

Salmon Heart Sutra by Sandy Eastoak

Here are a few other versions.

Chanting by Tibetan Monk:

As sung by Imee Ooi:

"Emptiness is Form" by Kavyasiddhi

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Great! Another Two Solitudes!

Via SuperFrenchie: (http://

Speaking of Doritos Ads, which version do you prefer?

Version one : Sizzling

Version two : Bold

Version three : Exotic

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

High Tech Noon

When I was young(er), one of my favorite films was High Noon, with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. My readers are probably too young to know or to even have heard of that film (sometimes I feel like I'm the oldest person in the world).

From Wikipedia:

High Noon is a 1952 western film directed by Fred Zinnemann, about a newly married town marshal who is forced to face a gang of killers by himself.

Will Kane (Gary Cooper), the longtime marshal Hadleyville, has just married Amy (Grace Kelly), turned in his badge, and is preparing to move away to become a storekeeper. Soon after, the town learns that Frank Miller, a criminal Kane brought to justice, is due to arrive on the noon train. Miller had been sentenced to the gallows, but was pardoned due to a technicality. In court, he had vowed to get revenge on Kane and anyone who got in his way. His three gang members wait for him at the station. The worried townspeople encourage Kane to leave, hoping to defuse the situation... In the end, Kane faces the four gunmen alone. He guns down two of Miller's men, though he himself is wounded. Amy chooses her husband's life over her religious beliefs and kills the third gunman by shooting him in the back. Miller then takes her hostage and offers to trade her for Kane. Kane agrees, coming out into the open. Amy, however, claws Miller's face, causing him to release her. Kane then shoots and kills him. Then, as the cowardly townspeople emerge, Kane contemptuously throws his marshal's star in the dirt and leaves town with his wife.

In 1989, High Noon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", entering the registry during the latter's first year of existence. The film is #27 on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of great films.

Anyhoo, somebody did a remake of the climax scene: the final shootout, by turning the bad guys into robotic aliens, and creating another masterpiece.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Disappearing Act

High Tech Car Doors, sent by Sam (Thank you Sam!)

With a Little Help From Benny Lava

I love to post YouTube videos of Indian songs with crazy subtitles from Buffalax. For example, the infamous Benny Lava.

But as I was having my innocent fun, someone accused me of racism for mocking Indian music. I didn't have a reply to that smear, until today, when I went to Jesus' General's site ( and found this:

I still like Indian/Pakistani music videos, with or without Buffalax substitles. Check out this reply video to Benny Lava:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Meet the New Politics, Same as the Old Politics

From Zuzu at Shakesville (

This is wrong on so many levels.

Sources at the [Congressional Black Caucus] meeting said that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, a Clinton supporter, expressed the desire that Obama and his campaign would reach out [to] the millions of women still aggrieved about what happened in the campaign and still disappointed that Clinton lost.

Obama agreed that a lot of work needs to be done to heal the Democratic Party, and that he hoped the Clinton supporters in the room would help as much as possible.

According to Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Obama then said, "However, I need to make a decision in the next few months as to how I manage that since I'm running against John McCain, which takes a lot of time. If women take a moment to realize that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it."

Come on, ladies! Get over it! I don't have time to deal with your issues!

Where to start? Well, I guess with some caveats: this is by Jake Tapper, with some atrocious editing. But it does have named sources (including my Congresswoman, Clarke), so at least it's not an anonymous hit piece.

So, if we can assume that Tapper has reported Clarke's comments correctly, and Clarke has reported Obama's comments correctly, then where does that leave us?

With a candidate who's STILL Not Quite Getting It. Here's what he's not getting: the women who are angry about the way that Clinton was treated during the campaign, and about Obama's silence -- what one British writer aptly termed the "malign acceptance" of misogyny -- are not under any illusions that John McCain is better on women's issues than Obama would be. The relative positions of the parties is beside the point. What they don't want to hear is what Obama's saying here: I don't have to deal with your silly issues, which I don't consider to be important or central, because where else are you going to go?

I've been paying attention to the people who are fed up with that line, and I can say one thing: that's just not going to work anymore. They've heard this for decades now, and nothing gets any better, because the party knows they have nowhere else to go. It's not about McCain being some champion for women's rights; they know he's not. What it *is* about is Obama, and the Democratic Party, and the fact that Obama is running to be President on the ticket of the Democratic Party, which is ostensibly supposed to champion women's rights. But this year, that was revealed to be an expedient lie. And the people who are fed up with the lies want to give the Party a wakeup call, and to let the party -- and Obama -- know that they expect action, not just promises and lies.

Because really, what has the Democratic Party done for women lately? It hasn't stood firm on Roe; instead, it's allowed our reproductive rights to be chipped away so far that even contraception is threatened now. Roe has had only one use for the Democratic Party in the past 25 or so years -- as a club to beat women with every four years. Because they have nowhere else to go, right?

Fair pay? Health care? Domestic violence? Where has the Party been on those issues?

But the laughs don't end there, folks! Obama wasn't finished; pay careful attention to this exchange (emphasis mine):

Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., a longtime Clinton supporter, did not like those last three words -- "Get over it." She found them dismissive, off-putting.

"Don't use that terminology," Watson told Obama.

Clarke did not react the same way.

"I, personally, as a Hillary supporter, did not take that as something distasteful," Clarke said. "Nothing like that."

But, Clarke said, Watson "latched on to those three words."

In Clarke's view, Watson thought Obama had just told her to "get over it." She didn't appreciate that, and she told him so and emphasized that it was a heated campaign and lot of healing remains to be done.

"I agree," Obama said. "There's healing on both sides."

Obama then said two sources at the meeting said that he'd held his tongue many times during the campaign against Clinton in the interest of party unity and sensitivity. Clinton and her allies had suggested he was a Muslim, had said he wasn't qualified to be president.

Did you see what he did there?

The discussion started off being about women and their reaction to the way Clinton was treated. Obama turned that around to sniffling that Hillary was mean to him, and he could have said something, but didn't.

Well, first of all, suck it up, pumpkin. You're running for office, and politics ain't beanbag. Second, are you still repeating that "Hillary said I was a Muslim" smear? That's been thoroughly debunked (and by the way, you might want to reconsider the idea that being called a Muslim is a smear. Muslims are Americans, too, yanno). And when you run for President after eight years as a part-time state legislator and less than a full term in the Senate, your qualifications are very much fair game, so you need to find a way to deal with the experience issue other than whining about it and trying to pin all the blame on Hillary. Because the Republicans? Would have noticed this all on their own.

Which, again, gets us back to you Not Getting It. Instead of making it All About You, and trying to blame Hillary instead of taking responsibility for your own shortcomings as a candidate, maybe you could listen to people like Sheila Jackson Lee and Diane Watson and perhaps find a moment in your busy, busy schedule when you're not dealing with John McCain to find out why there are so many people who feel slighted by you and by the party. Because you're now the putative head of the Democratic Party, and therefore it's on you to deal with these problems.

You want to know who you should ask about this? Hillary Clinton. Because she Gets It (emphasis mine):

But the Clintons’ frustration with Obama’s people pales beside the simmering anger they harbor toward the media. And in this they are not alone. For months now, my e-mail box has been full of messages from women across the country, explaining what Hillary’s run meant to them, why it was so important. The reasons vary depending on age and race and region, but the one element almost all my correspondents express in common is a furious resentment at the press for what they see as blatant misogyny in the coverage of Clinton.

When I mention this to Hillary, she laughs and exclaims, “I’d love to get a look at your e-mail!” And then, more soberly, she goes on, “There’s a reason for the resentment. The level of dismissive and condescending comments, not just about me—what do I care?—but about the people who support me and in particular the women who support me, has been shocking. Shocking to women and to fair-minded men. But what has really been more disappointing to me is how few voices that have a platform have spoken out against it. And that’s really why you seen this enormous grassroots outrage. There is no outlet. It is rare that you have anybody on these shows or in a position of responsibility at major publications who really says, ‘Wait a minute! What are we talking about here? I have a wife! I have a daughter! I want the best for them.’ ”

Clinton is fairly worked up now, but she’s far from finished. “I didn’t think I was in a position to take it on because it would have looked like it was just about me. And I didn’t think it was just about me. So the only time we took it on was in the thing about Chelsea, which was so far beyond the bounds, I mean, what planet are we living on? But nobody said anything until I made it an issue. So I just want everybody to really think hard about the larger lesson here. I know you can’t take me out of the equation, because I’m in the center of the storm. But it’s much bigger than me. And women know that. Because if it were just about me, those who sympathize with me would say, ‘I’m so sorry.’ But instead it’s, ‘Wait a minute! This is not just about her! It’s about us! And when are we going to see somebody stand up and say, What are you doing here?’ ”

Old, bitter and clinging to guns and god

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh Saigon

Oh, Saigon is a 2007 personal documentary by Vietnamese American director Doan Hoang about her family that is separated during the Fall of Saigon and her attempt to reunite her family after years of separation. Oh, Saigon was executive produced by Academy Award and Emmy winner, John Battsek. Oh, Saigon won prestigious film grants from the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, ITVS, the Center for Asian American Media, and the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. (from Wikipedia)

The film received an 8.3 rating (over 10) from the IMDB.

Official website:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Believe in Miracles

My new diet seems to work. And black is so slimming, don't you think?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Le déclin de l'empire américain

photo fournie par v tran

Ce blogue sera en berne pendant une semaine, pour digérer la victoire de St Obama.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm laughing!

I'm laughing because I just sent my final translation to the agent and now I'm free!! Free!

Hahaha! Who's gonna watch TV tonight after supper? Me, that's who! Hahahahaa!!

They could have told me they sent me 10,000 more words to translate for Monday! Grrr!