Thursday, December 30, 2010

st Catherine's monastery in Sinai, Egypt

St Catherine's monastery in the Sinai desert, Egypt, has the original burning bush mentioned by Moses in Exodus. This monastery is sacred to judaism, christianity and Islam. Mohammed (bless his name) gave it protection during the crusade wars. It is untouched, from the 5th and 6th centuries, best collection of icons. remarkable.

I might join up.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

God awful Liza Minnelli ding a ling xmas song

I think this is worse than the tro lo lo video, you decide. Liza has had her great moments, but for gods sake, this is really bad. her problem is that she blew her talent on dumb stuff like this, like her sainted mother did also. Judy Garland is a saint: she died for the sins of hollywood. bless you Judy, you tried hard.

and liza: try to live out your last years in happiness, ok?

Isabelle Caro

Isabelle died from anorexia. she had a successful modeling career but her illness became severe, she made public service ads about her illness, these ads were banned by some countries due to the disturbing images (Italy). She tried to warn women (and men) about the disease, the images that fashion portrays that is unhealthy, but in the end she herself died. very sad. god bless. very sad.

anorexia is a common yet poorly understood disease. It kills, It ruins lives, and it is based on the unreal images of women that are portrayed in the media. i was at mall today, and Nicole Kidman had a poster everywhere about something (her cologne?) and her billboard was obviously photo enhanced, cleaned up, she is middle aged, and has had cosmetic surgery, but the image was unreal, not the way she really looks. Women (and men) are given unreal images to imitate, and the result is unhappy women (young girls) who want to be thin, lanky, "sexy" and unhealthy. I once dated a young women in college who thought she was overweight (she wasnt) and she dieted (stopped eating) become very thin (like the 1960 model Twiggy) and she became sick, and no longer had a menstrual period. Wrong message, bad health.

Isabelle is a saint. bless her.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Letterman's fuck you Christmas guy is back!

here is my blog from last year about the fuck you guy on Letterman really sums up my feelings about this commercial hellscream holiday.

strangest christmas elf yet

this is shopping mall in catalonia, spain, where tradition is behind display of crapping elf. Some think this symbolizes fertility, preparing the soil for spring crops during the winter, or maybe its just someone's idea of what christmas means to them. especially in a mall.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fox News: propaganda and lots of bare legs (sexy!)

Here are some of the things Fox News viewers believe, in a recent poll:

91% believe that the stimulus has resulted in a loss of jobs
60% believe that climate change is no occurring
49% believe that federal income taxes have increased
56% believe that Obama initiated the GM_Chyrsler "bail out" (which is really a loan not a bail out and it was initiated by Bush)
63% believe Obama was not born in the US (including the medical doctor and Army major who is currently in jail because he refuses to obey deployment orders given by a President who has not proved he was born in this country)

In my American Gov class i discuss (I try at least) how media is biased in US to market their news to target audiences selected through marketing and focus groups. I give example like Fox, and CNN (which has become more conservative due to competition with Fox). CNN went along with official press conferences during Iraq war build up and initial occupation because they were afraid of losing more viewers to the patriotic Fox network and appearing "unpatriotic." If you remember, during the first Gulf war, CNN and former AP reporter Peter Arnett was portrayed as guilty of just about sedition due to his reporting of the Iraq war, including the bombing of a baby formula factory that the administration said was biological weapons lab (WMD - does it sound familiar?) After ward, it was determined that it was in fact a baby formula lab. His other reports on Vietnam were also attacked, and later proved accurate. This isnt about news, its about viewship, and viewers will not watch a program that is deemed unpatriotic or seditious by other networks or the US gov. So during the second gulf war, the networks completely threw out any pretense of "investigative journalism."

And that is why Fox is successful in dumbing down the nation - its good business. Also, women's shapely legs are also good for viewership - Fox shows more legs than any other network. in fact most networks only show shoulders and heads, Fox shows the whole female body including the shapely legs.e

What is with this Trololo stuf?

I didnt get this video until i watched this one. Turns out, the Trololo guy is from the 1970's in old Soviet Union (as in boris badinov and Rocky and Bullwinkle) and was supposed to sing on a winter holiday special on soviet tv. however his song was an American folk song about some guy riding a horse from kentucky to Tennessee to see his girlfriend and the soviet censors didnt like the glorification of american frontier freedom. So they told him he couldnt sing the words. So he had to go out and "sing" without lyrics. In a recent interview, he explains how hard it is to sing over two minutes without words. Given that, he did a great job. So much so, that Russians now love the so called Trololo song. He was actually singing Tra la la, but in russian, it is pronounced tro lo lo (so he explained). So once again, marxist-leninist ideologues are responsible for an other wise unexplainable phenomena - like soviet style architecture, soviet cars, and the new lands policy that transported millions of russia to siberia to "farm" (didnt work out) and now the cities they built in these isolated areas still exist but there is little or no economy for the millions of families relocated there - way to go Nikita (he was responsible for the new lands policy). or as they say in russia this time of year, Tro lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vatican exhibit Heinz History Museum

Vatican exhibit at the Heinz History Museum is great, but at times a little odd. The emphasis on art, especially expensive art, and its connection to the life and resurrection of Jesus is lost on me. The art was designed to communicate faith to the illiterate masses, but resulted in the masses praying to crosses, statues, and pictures. Sounds almost like the golden calf masses were praying to when Moses came down from the mountain with his stone Mitzvahs (commandments).

But the exhibit is great, amazing examples of art, over 1600 years of art from earliest church in Rome.

I really liked the Vatican shot glasses in the gift shop.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

John Lennon film is GREAT!

Wow what a movie! After a stressful day i walked to the oaks theater and saw this film about John Lennon's early life, just as he met Paul and George. It analyzes his relationship with his aunt and uncle who raised him, and his mother Julia who he meets when he is a teenager. Motherless, fatherless, Lennon seems to have no future. But his uncle provides him with a harmonica, and his aunt and mother provide him with what they can, a guitar. It really captures his sardonic wit, his rebelliousness, his anger at the world. Outstanding film. Also shows the grim lives of post war Britain.

US spaceship lands

This is the X37B, a pilotless space craft launched by the Air Force in California. Mission classified. It just returned to earth, automatic pilot, the first spaceship to "land" (not crash on ground or sea) by computer program. It makes me wonder what kinds of classified aircraft and other technology we might have that ordinary citizens dont know about. Do you think Pres. Obama was briefed about the aliens we are holding at area 51 in California? just kidding...maybe

Monday, November 22, 2010

Special Guest Presentation: Please attend

Publicists picture left, Wedding Picture below !

Paradox of Women in Islam

Thursday December 2

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

ATS Auditorium

Asra Q. Nomani

Asra Q. Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal correspondent, has also written for the Washington Post, New York Times, and Time magazine on Islam, and has covered the war in Afghanistan for She has spoken about women’s rights in Islam on CNN, PBS, NPR, and the BBC. A Muslim born in India, Nomani was raised in the foothills of West Virginia, and currently lives in Morgantown with her son, Shibli. Her latest book is Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The real Flo, very funny

Here is Stephanie Courtney, the real Flo, from her standup act couple years ago. very funny. I guess the progressive insurance bit pays the bills. I think she is wasting her talent, she really has good standup material.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Walter Breuning, 114 yrs old: "Let us be kind to one another"

Walter Bruening is now the world's oldest human, 114 yrs old.

He recalled "the dark ages," when his family moved to South Dakota in 1901 and lived for 11 years without electricity, water or plumbing.

"Carry the water in. Heat it on the stove. That's what you took your bath with. Wake up in the dark. Go to bed in the dark. That's not very pleasant," he said.

He said men and women may be able to enjoy life, but they can't be content without a belief or faith. His parting message to the crowd was one of tolerance.

"With all the hatred in this world, in this good world, let us be kind to one another," Breuning said. Wow. Strong message. Now if we could just get the world to listen....

Three Rivers Film Festival Coming Up!

Dont be square, be spherical and plan to visit the 3 Rivers Film festival. Watch this space for more info.

Movie: Vanishing Point, the end of the 1960's

Hard Days Night part one (kinda) here.

This is the beginnings of the 1960's, the youth decade, long hair, music, fashion, singing about love and dancing, and happiness.

Then, after JFK was assassinated, 1967 riots, MLK 's assassination, and then Bobby Kennedy's assassination, then Nixon's election, the polarization of the nation, and finally the 1960's "vanished."

Thats what the movie Vanishing Point is about: then end of the youth decade, gone forever, along with the optimism and youthful dreams.

"Gilda Texter On a rather ironic note, though her primary occupation is costume and wardrobe, her feature film debut was completely naked and on a motorcycle in the cult classic, Vanishing Point (1971)."

Barry Newman as Kowalski, Cleavon Little as the DJ (also starred in Blazing Saddles), Dean Jagger as the prospector, and Charlotte Rampling as hitchhiker.

Soundtrack includes Delany Bonnie and Friends (which included Eric Clapton at one point), Kim Carnes and Mountain.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pictures oakmont jogging route

here are a few of the beautiful homes in Oakmont that i pass by while i walk/jog. Oakmont known for its front porches and gardens, and brick streets. Victorian homes are common, a few earlier farm houses not so common but are scattered along my route. Oakmont cemetery also on my route, incredible history. Also Oakmont Civil War cemetery, in need of repair but very haunting, beautiful. Great place to live, good schools too, and homes for every price range.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nathaniel's Euro trip pictures

Here is the picasa link for nathaniel's pictures of Switzerland and Franceland.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Movie: Shutter Island

Wow what a great movie! Reading the book but now i finished the movie so the book is ruined, i guess, but the movie was great. Leonardo was great, script great, edited great, ending fantastic. Still trying to figure it out. I go along with the obvious movie ending, but there are alternative interpretations. great movie. disturbing, but great. definitely not a chick flick date movie.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

wyclef Jean for President of Haiti

Wyclef is running for Pres of Haiti - this will be a challenge. First he has no background in politics or administration. Second, haiti is a very corrupt nation, and the corruption is not just haitians, but the UN and the US and all sorts of shadowy aid organizations. Lots of money when there is foreign aid, esp after a disaster like earthquake.

I think he is a great guy, modest, profoundly talented artistically, perhaps he can make a difference. I would love working for him just for room and board. maybe i just volunteer my modest political and administrative skills.

He made the brilliant statement (i mean seriously brilliant) that to help Haiti about 1.5 million people should be taken off island and relocated somewhere else - and that was BEFORE the earthquake. he is right, too many people on that island, too few resources, he said the right thing, something needed to be heard.

God bless you Wyclef and we need to support you.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Basil Marceaux for Governor

great ad for Republican candidate for Governor Tennessee. This guy is for real. he has great ideas, see the other youtube videos.

Monday, August 02, 2010

nathaniel in switzerland

Nathaniel is in switzerland waiting for the green light to climb mt Matterhorn, weather problems, here are some hiking photos of him and his climbing partners (Nat in middle)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

nathaniel at the matterhorn

Here is nathaniel at the matterhorn in switzerland, getting ready for the climb i guess. sure looks steep.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cats that look like Hitler

cats that look like hitler, the latest cat rage. Does your cat look like Hitler?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

1949 Hudson for less than $8000

here it is, probably needs engine trans taken apart and reassembled but in good shape.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Real DB IV Aston Martin james bond car for sale

or is it a DBV? anyway, this is the real car from Goldfinger, with the guns, ejector seat, whole thing. I would love to have this car. drive to work everyday, somebody cuts me off, i cut off their tires. I have an obnoxious colleague in my car, zoom! the ejector seat goes off. and the guns in the front - for terrorists! I love these aston martins, they usually go for around $300,000 or less, but not much less. maybe $150,000, if it needs work, you know, bondo, rust on floorboards (just kidding these cars are kept pristine). I love this car, classic british styling. if you watch goldfinger, you can see that it does not accelerate very well, thats because of the weight of these special effect items, really increases weight, decreases performance.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel is moral loser in Gaza

Israel doesn't get it - whatever it does in Gaza, it is a loser on moral grounds. The latest: Israel stops boats/ships headed for Gaza, 11 people killed one report said. Israel's response was that they thought they were boarding boats with peace activists, didn't think there would be violence. The helicopters that boarded the boats were full of Israeli commandos, armed to the teeth, so how could they say they were expecting peace? They were prepared for war. They are enforcing a blockade that has made Gaza the worst living hell on earth. So if the boats made it through the blockade, Israel loses, and if the boats don't make it through because Israeli commandos stop the boats and kill 11 people, then Israel still loses. Some would say the Gaza arabs are the ultimate losers, but they are the pawns in the games of others. Gazans (Arabs who fled when Israel was created) have been pawns manipulated by France, England, Egypt, Israel and the United States. I doubt that anyone really cares about them - they are pawns. Talk about an existential dilemma: you are trapped in Gaza, blockaded, can't get out even if you want to get out, no where to go, no country will take you, but there are plenty of countries who will give you aid to stay, among them the US and the EU. But these countries also give aid to Israel and Egypt to continue the blockade and prevent you from leaving. All this, simply because you were born in Gaza - your crime is that you came out of the womb in Gaza, instead of Amman, or Cairo, or Paris, or Buffalo NY.

Back in Tel Aviv, great day to be on the beach ! Life is great in the Bubble. (And the Bubble is Tel Aviv, New York City, Pittsburgh, anywhere people can enjoy their freedom and prosperity without having to confront the lives of the Gazans).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pete the Moose saved !

Pete the moose was orphaned when some dogs attacked his mom. Raised in a private preserve, Pete has prospered. However, in the preserve are other animals, like non native Elk. The fear for wildlife officials is that Pete or the other elk will escape from their captivity, and spread disease among native species. Either pete and the others would be put down, or, the preserve would have to somehow become part of public protection which would cost taxpayers alot and create a precedent of having state care for orphaned animals from private estates. So, a Facebook page was made for Pete, and thousands of users petitioned to have Pete saved. Now the Vermont legislature passed a bill to allow private preserves to care for wild animals of non native species (not Pete, but his Elk friends) and also required higher fencing and prevention to stop any contact (even nose to nose) between captive and wild species. Some lawmakers think this is bad precedent, because they dont want to encourage anyone from creating private preserves for wild animals (good point). But Pete is still alive and is protected, and word has it that another moose in the preserve is carrying Pete's child - which presents another problem, which is another domestic moose that may have virus foreign to wild moose population.

Anyway, funny story, since lawmakers are usually obsessed with humans who are brain dead but should be kept alive (Terri Shiavo) or humans who want to die but we make them stay alive and suffer (Dr. Kevorkian's imprisonment). I am not sure if the Vermont leg did the right thing, but then again, Pete didnt do anything wrong other than being born so it does seem cruel to put him down simply because he was kept with some non native Elk. His protector, an older man who looks like Santa Claus (and who has cared for Pete since Pets' childhood, or Moosehood), says Pete wouldnt know one way or the other if he were dead or put down.....but I think that is not true - my experience with animals is that they do know they exist, they have their own identity, and yeah, being alive sure as hell beats being dead. I came home last night to the most beautiful sunset - its good to be alive, Pete !

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ghostbusters in NY Public Library - Improv Everywhere strikes again!

Here are the Ghostbusters in the New York Public Library, recreating the film. Improve Everywhere is a guerilla theater group that does improv performances in the subway, in central park, they even recreated a wedding reception and invited people at random to join in - everyone played along. the NY Public Library was calling attention to budget cuts, sooooo, who ya gonna call? they call Improv Everywhere to stage Ghostbusters - their patrons obviously enjoyed it. Doesnt the guy playing Binkman really look like him?

Pic is from their classic, "no pants day" on NY subway......check the other links on you tube

transcript of Katie Couric Sarah Palin interview: newspapaer and magazine questions

I thought Katie Couric's question to Sarah Palin was really shallow, but I was wrong - below is transcript, sounds like a legit question. Sarah just has a habit of blowing off questions with vague responses, I think she has gotten a pass before, but the national media is more demanding. "All of 'em" really isn't an answer. and Sarah was a communications major, and local TV "news" celebrity before she entered politics, so she should have known better.

Katie Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious: what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
Sarah Palin: I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media. KC: But, like, what ones specifically? I'm curious. SP: All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years. KC: Can you name a few? SP: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where, it's kind of suggested and it seems like, 'Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C. may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

Great book for gossip (journalism) about 2008 election

Great book for insights, almost gossip (stuff people only say behind someone's back) about 2008. But it just seems like a different book than say Joe McGinnis's "Selling of President 1968" - less analytical, more inside story. The emphasis on interpersonal relations is also revealing but not very analytical. Politicians as celebrities I guess. Politicians used to be products that would be sold, now they are celebrities with their posse's and their jealousies. It somehow makes politics trivial. If you want to hear how trivial politics can be, listen to a Matt Lauer or Catie Kouric interview....

"This shit would be really interesting if we weren't in the middle of it."
-Barack Obama, September 2008

In 2008, the presidential election became blockbuster entertainment. Everyone was watching as the race for the White House unfolded like something from the realm of fiction. The meteoric rise and historic triumph of Barack Obama. The shocking fall of the House of Clinton-and the improbable resurrection of Hillary as Obama's partner and America's face to the world. The mercurial performance of John McCain and the mesmerizing emergence of Sarah Palin. But despite the wall-to-wall media coverage of this spellbinding drama, remarkably little of the real story behind the headlines has yet been told.

In Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, two of the country's leading political reporters, use their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. How did Obama convince himself that, despite the thinness of his résumé, he could somehow beat the odds to become the nation's first African American president? How did the tumultuous relationship between the Clintons shape-and warp-Hillary's supposedly unstoppable bid? What was behind her husband's furious outbursts and devastating political miscalculations? Why did McCain make the novice governor of Alaska his running mate? And was Palin merely painfully out of her depth-or troubled in more serious ways?

Game Change answers those questions and more, laying bare the secret history of the 2008 campaign. Heilemann and Halperin take us inside the Obama machine, where staffers referred to the candidate as "Black Jesus." They unearth the quiet conspiracyin the U.S. Senate to prod Obama into the race, driven in part by the fears of senior Democrats that Bill Clinton's personal life might cripple Hillary's presidential prospects. They expose the twisted tale of John Edwards's affair with Rielle Hunter, the truth behind the downfall of Rudy Giuliani, and the doubts of those responsible for vetting Palin about her readiness for the Republican ticket-along with the McCain campaign staff's worries about her fitness for office. And they reveal how, in an emotional late-night phone call, Obama succeeded in wooing Clinton, despite her staunch resistance, to become his secretary of state.

Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasionally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

The Washington Post - Alan Wolfe

…[Heilemann and Halperin] not only tell the story of the 2008 campaign in an engaging and readable way, they come up with some real reporting. Much of that reporting, it must be said, is of the gossipy sort, such as Harry Reid's by-now famous comment about black speech. Still, although I had some sense of the dimensions of the Palin disaster before reading this book, the authors' account of how she failed to prepare for her debate with Joe Biden is chilling…I doubt that any other book about the 2008 election will top this one in narrative drive.

More Reviews and Recommendations


John Heilemann is the national political correspondent and columnist for New York magazine. An award-winning journalist and the author of Pride Before the Fall: TheTrials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era, he is a former staff writer for The New Yorker, Wired, and The Economist. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Mark Halperin is editor-at-large and senior political analyst for Time magazine. He is the author of The Undecided Voter's Guide to the Next President and the coauthor of The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008. He has covered six presidential elections, including during his decade as the political director for ABC News. He lives in Manhattan.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Cleanliness is half of faith" - Muslims all over the world pray together five times a day

Adhan is the calling of prayer five times a day. It is intended to be profoundly beautiful. check out other you tube videos of adhan, it seems everyone has their favorite one.

Quick five minutes guide to Islam for non muslims.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Joe Sacco

here is wikipedia about Joe Sacco.

here is a brief youtube video about joe's Gaza book

Here at is a complete presentation by Joe of his book, not the whole book, but a one hour in person presentation, an early history of Gaza, based on his book. good but long.

Guardian Britain's news source, videos about Gaza

here are videos about Gaza from Guardian, a news network from Britain.

Dr. Mona El-Farra's Blog from Gaza

Here is a blog from Gaza, last entry Feb 2010. Dr. El-Farra is a physician who lives in Gaza City, also travels extensively. Look at her profile, explore her links such as her favorite authors.