mental vacation over

Christmas was a little gruelling. Have hung out, gone on long walks (Living in Thorndon is cool. Walking to town through the botanical gardens is better than walking home from town through the gardens.) and watched movies lately instead of being productive.

Dune was okay, and very eye candy. Without having read the book I didn’t get what wasn’t meant to make sense about the Lynch version of Dune. It was a bit choppy and summary at times, with voice over excising years at a time, but what was going on was relatively coherent, though on the whole the set up was better than the delivery.

Felt like reading a fantasy novel and didn’t have one around so went to see The Golden Compass. It was okay. Very much part one. The novels are probably way more interesting, cos there is the definite potential for depth in the world; the supporting cast in particular suffering in adaptation, at a guess.

A Scanner Darkly was well adapted. And boy is it downbeat as a film. I’d forgotten. No wonder it didn’t get a general release. Rotoscoped scatter suits are funky. PKD would be happy. Oddly, the best anti-drug
movie ever? Just through the realness of druggie loserdom.

Time to move on and do stuff.

Merry time of year.

Lakota secedes from US

“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said.

A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the U.S., some of them more than 150 years old.

The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free – provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship, Mr Means said.

This is being reported all over; this is the Lakota’s official site.

How this pans out will be absolutely fascinating.

It’s nice to see someone making a run for freedom in the US, while domestic satellite surveillance and RFID tracking in schools are being introduced.

I am Beowulf! Gur!

Went along and saw Beowulf in 3D last night. The 3D was a lot like those old viewfinder goggles with the switch that toggle through a story in pictures; a bit weird at first but fine. The story was huge amounts of fun, balls out old school escapist fantasy with half a brain. Good source material adapted pretty well. Good monsters, good nastiness, and the bad stuff was funny.

Recommended suitably enhanced.

money, slavery, and the future

Fascinating interview with Aaron Russo, director of America: Freedom to Fascism. He talks about the movie, which you can watch for free with his blessing, how the monetary system works to enslave people, the future of a chipped population, and the need for civil disobedience.

Mobile Labs to Target Iraqis for Death

I first blogged about the possibility of this back here; now it’s coming.

U.S. forces in Iraq soon will be equipped with high-tech equipment that will let them process an Iraqi’s biometric data in minutes and help American soldiers decide whether they should execute the person or not, according to its inventor.

“A war fighter needs to know one of three things: Do I let him go? Keep him? Or shoot him on the spot?” Pentagon weapons designer Anh Duong told the Washington Post for a feature on how this 47-year-old former Vietnamese refugee and mother of four rose to become a top U.S. bomb-maker.

Though Duong is best known for designing high-explosives used to destroy hardened targets, she also supervised the Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facilities project, known as a “lab in a box” for analyzing biometric data, such as iris scans and fingerprints, that have been collected on more than one million Iraqis.

The labs – collapsible, 20-by-20-foot units each with a generator and a satellite link to a biometric data base in West Virginia – will let U.S. forces cross-check data in the field against information collected previously that can be used to identify insurgents. These labs are expected to be deployed across Iraq in early 2008.

Yeah, and the data collected previously will naturally be as infallible as all the other data gathered in the “war on terror”.

Far out. The machine says you die, you die. And wait until it’s just a robot with a gun and a license to kill matching irises and fingerprints.

Of course, it would never happen here, and who the hell cares about those damn towelheads anyway?

(via Cryptogon, my new favourite website.)

Documentary moose

So tonight we finally got finalised permission to make the documentary.

Woo-ha!

ho ho ho

First person accounts from and interview with an innocent man subjected to 19 months of imprisonment, interrrogation and torture at the hands of the US under the auspices of the war on terror.

Meanwhile, in more Eidolon-coming-true news,

The appeal of online virtual worlds such as Second Life is such that it may trigger an exodus of people seeking to “disappear from reality,” an expert on large-scale online games has said.

Finally, Christmas has snuck up without me noticing it at all yet, making no impression at all; in fact, the absence of any impression is what I noticed.

gazing out the window into a navel

The other day at the library sale I bought a bunch of cheap books, including most of Steve Aylett’s back catalogue, even though I don’t really care that much for the stuff of his I’ve read, because they were stupidly cheap.

Today I had a one day only 50% off voucher at Borders and couldn’t find anything worth half price. Came close, a few times, but nothing got me. Odd.

This is why I don’t blog about my life.

How odd

The personal blog of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Led Zepellin playing Kashmir live in London two days ago.
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There’s a bunch more of it on YouTube.

Odd, if not surprising in the least:

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a draft report (pdf) Monday alleging that the Bush administration “engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.”

powering the future

I mentioned this coming a little while back: now the NY Times reports Oil-Rich Nations Use More Energy, Cutting Exports

The economies of many big oil-exporting countries are growing so fast that their need for energy within their borders is crimping how much they can sell abroad, adding new strains to the global oil market.
Experts say the sharp growth, if it continues, means several of the world’s most important suppliers may need to start importing oil within a decade to power all the new cars, houses and businesses they are buying and creating with their oil wealth.

Which should set some serious alarm bells ringing.

Meanwhile, this sounds promising; mag lev wind turbines. Capable of producing power equivalent to 1000 conventional wind turbines and occupying about 1/60th of the space. Not sure how viable they are yet: to a quick read the materials to build them sound a little complex, and the first major effort to build them got underway last month in China.

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