Sunday, February 27, 2005

Iraq and the Insurgents

Here's a heartening column on the state of the Iraqi insurgency from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"Lt. Col. Jim Stockmoe, chief intelligence officer for the First Infantry Division ... recalled the increasing missteps of the resistance in Iraq in an interview earlier this month ... 'There were three brothers down in Baghdad who had a mortar tube and were firing into the Green Zone,' Stockmoe said. 'They were storing the mortar rounds in the car engine compartment and the rounds got overheated. Two of these clowns dropped them in the tube and they exploded, blowing their legs off.' The surviving brother sought refuge in a nearby house, but the occupants 'beat the crap out of him and turned him over to the Iraqi police' ..."

According to the article, things really are getting better. For some good news, read the rest of it. Found via Lucianne.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hollywood's Oscar Blahs

Here's a story in the New York Times on the lack of interest in the Academy Awards to be held this Sunday.

"LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 - In the days leading up to the movie industry's most glamorous night, the Oscars, the word heard frequently around Hollywood this year is not glitz, or hype, or excitement. It is fatigue ... But another challenge this year seems to be the best picture nominees themselves: none have crossed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office. In previous years when films like "Titanic," "Forrest Gump" or "Gladiator" ruled the box office and the nominations, audience interest seemed built in."

The NY Times article points out that The Aviator hasn't even come close to earning back the cost of production ($89M versus $112M) and (yet another weird) Clint Eastwood-directed movie, Million Dollar Baby, has earned only $56M. These are, apparently, the front runners.

And NOWHERE mentioned in the article is Mel Gibson's 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, which earned - wait for it - $611M. Yep, and the enlightened minds who run Hollywood and who froze this expression of the 2000-year-old Catholic faith out of the Oscars, wonder why nobody cares about them. Duh.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Catholic Blogs

By way of Saintly Salmagundi, here is a list of Catholic blogs voted on for various categories: 2005 Catholic Blog Awards. I'm not familiar with the web site or how the voting process worked, but vote totals ranged from the three hundreds to over a thousand. If these numbers represent unique voters, then this list has possibilities. Categories include "Most Informative Blog", "Best Group Blog" (corporate authorships, in my experience, make for lots more activity), "Best Blog by Priest or Religious", and so on. Interesting and now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to check some of these out! :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

More About the "Da Vinci Code" Piece of...

Here's an article about a public presentation on the falsehoods upon which The Da Vinci Code is based. It is being held in the form of a "mock trial". Book sales have benefitted from the controversy it has generated, something that isn't terrible by itself. The malicious aspect is that the author covers himself with the usual "this is a work of fiction...". And problems arise because people are believing the stuff even so, something he isn't doing anything to discourage. Read the whole article. An excerpt:

"ROME - Art experts and conservative clerics are holding an unusual 'trial' in Leonardo da Vinci's hometown aimed at sorting out fact from fiction in the 'The Da Vinci Code' after many readers took the smash hit novel as gospel truth. The event in Vinci, just outside of Florence, began Friday with an opening statement by Alessandro Vezzosi, director of a Leonardo museum. He said he will produce photographs and documents as evidence of the mistakes and historical inaccuracies contained in Dan Brown's best seller."

Yes, I know people will liken this exhibition to an Inquisition. ("Nooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!") So what? It isn't and reasonable people will know that. Sod the others. I have written about Dan Brown and his book before...

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Slashdot Troll on the Gentoo Zeitgeist

Here's another good troll on Slashdot. Unlike my previous post about the Slashdot Macintosh zeitgeist, this one is too profane to post an excerpt here. But it's very funny IF you've ever installed a Gentoo Linux system. I have and I nearly spewed my morning coffee on my computer screeen when I first read it.

FYI, Gentoo Linux is known as a source-based distribution because it allows the user to download source code and compile it himself in order to wring out all of the performance there is in his computer hardware. It's a lot of fun but it isn't for newbies. People just starting out in Linux should use SuSE or Mandrake Linux.