New Year's Eve 2005!

What? Another year passed already?!

Looking back, it's been a truly wonderful 12 months.  Here's just a few of the things for which I am thankful to have been blessed by throughout 2005:

An awesome family -- immediate, in-laws, and tons of close friends (those more recently earned, and long-time pals both near and far) 

A beautiful, loving, funny, and talented life-partner -- of whose company I never tire

The gift of great work (and the probability of an exciting job offer early in the new year)

Lots of wind, and clear star-lit skies on Lac St. Louis during the far-too-short sailing season here in Montreal

Sam the wonder-dog reaching the 15.5 year mark, with her nose cold and wet, and her tail still held high

12 months of great music -- particularly with Dean, Nancy, and Erica. Notable high point (for me) was leading an amazing band pulled together for Robin and Sandra's "thank-you" celebration last Spring

A few more things scratched off my "to-do" list

Ah!

 

Auld Lang Syne

The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' Lang syne?
 
For auld Lang syne, my dear,
For auld Lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld Lang syne.
 
We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld Lang syne.
 
For auld Lang syne, my dear,
For auld Lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld Lang syne.
 
We twa hae paidled i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld Lang syne.
 
For auld Lang syne, my dear,
For auld Lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld Lang syne.
 
And ther's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld Lang syne.
 
For auld Lang syne, my dear,
For auld Lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld Lang syne.
 
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine;
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld Lang syne.

- Robert Burns, 1700's

 

clock Posted Sat Dec 31st 2005 - 11:55am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Raiding the Icebox

Behind Its Warm Front, the United States Made Cold Calculations to Subdue Canada

By Peter Carlson | Washington Post

Invading Canada won't be like invading Iraq: When we invade Canada, nobody will be able to grumble that we didn't have a plan.

The United States government does have a plan to invade Canada. It's a 94-page document called "Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan -- Red," with the word SECRET stamped on the cover. It's a bold plan, a bodacious plan, a step-by-step plan to invade, seize and annex our neighbor to the north. It goes like this:

First, we send a joint Army-Navy overseas force to capture the port city of Halifax, cutting the Canadians off from their British allies.

Then we seize Canadian power plants near Niagara Falls, so they freeze in the dark.

Then the U.S. Army invades on three fronts -- marching from Vermont to take Montreal and Quebec, charging out of North Dakota to grab the railroad center at Winnipeg, and storming out of the Midwest to capture the strategic nickel mines of Ontario.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy seizes the Great Lakes and blockades Canada's Atlantic and Pacific ports.

At that point, it's only a matter of time before we bring these Molson-swigging, maple-mongering Zamboni drivers to their knees! Or, as the official planners wrote, stating their objective in bold capital letters: "ULTIMATELY TO GAIN COMPLETE CONTROL."

* * *

It sounds like a joke but it's not. War Plan Red is real. It was drawn up and approved by the War Department in 1930, then updated in 1934 and 1935. It was declassified in 1974 and the word "SECRET" crossed out with a heavy pencil. Now it sits in a little gray box in the National Archives in College Park, available to anybody, even Canadian spies. They can photocopy it for 15 cents a page...

 

Read the rest here

Permanent link

See previous entry: Expansionist Party of the USA

 

clock Posted Fri Dec 30th 2005 - 10:35pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Web Zen: animal games

chicken tic-tac-toe
cow herding
pig balance
catching tales
dog frisbee
dog bounce
panda bounce
spider jump
bug on a wire
worm battleship
seagull bomber
bear and cat

 

web zen home

 

 

clock Posted Wed Dec 28th 2005 - 7:32am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Time well-wasted

If you have lots of holiday time to spare, do enjoy a protracted visit to Kevin Cornell's website, Bearskinrug.

 

clock Posted* Tue Dec 27th 2005 - 6:00am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

O Christmas Tree

We enjoy doing traditional things differently, and our Christmas tree is no exception!  Check out our Norfolk pine, decked out for the season:

 

clock Posted* Mon Dec 26th 2005 - 6:00am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

 God on earth, God among us!

clock Posted* Sun Dec 25th, 2005 - 6:00am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Portable Yule Log

WGN TV in Chicago traditionally broadcasts the video Yule Log. This year, along with an online version, they've become even more tech-savvy by offering a downloadable version for the iPod video.

Warm and fuzzy yuletide-ness to go!

 

Link

 

 

 

 

clock Posted* Sat Dec 24th, 2004 - 6:00am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Self-aware robot

Meiji University researchers built a robot that can recognize itself in the mirror. This form of mirror image cognition is arguably a step toward self-awareness. In another experiment, one robot representing the "self," imitated another robot, acting as "the other." Signals from the first robot apparently indicated that the first robot "understood" that the other robot was mimicking its behavior.

From Discovery News: "In humans, consciousness is basically a state in which the behavior of the self and another is understood," said (scientist Junichi) Takeno.

Humans learn behavior during cognition and conversely learn to think while behaving, said Takeno...

Imitation, said Takeno, is an act that requires both seeing a behavior in another and instantly transferring it to oneself and is the best evidence of consciousness.

Link

 

clock Posted* Fri Dec 23rd, 2004 - 6:00am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Holiday Movies

"It's a Wonderful Life" in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.

 

clock Posted* Thu Dec 22nd, 2004 - 6:00am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Christmas Holidays Reading List

Finally!  I'll have a week or so off between now and New Years -- so I'm hoping to tackle a few of the books in my "fun" reading pile, as I head south to spend Christmas with family.

 Here's the list (so far):

The Rule of Four, by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

The Greatest Sailing Stories Ever Told, by Christopher Caswell

Predator, by Patricia Cornwell

Atlantis Found, by Clive Cussler

the Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren  (...not so fun perhaps, but have been wanting to re-read this).

I'm already about a third of the way through the Rule of Four, and it's been hard to put down! (Will finish this on the trip down.)

 

clock Posted Wed Dec 21st 2005 - 12:55pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

I'll eat Kangaroo, if You'll eat Seal

Mmm-mmm!

New name cooked up for 'roo meat

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Does the idea of tossing a kangaroo steak on the grill upset you? How about a tender cut of australus?

A food magazine's hunt for a new name for kangaroo meat -- aimed at putting a spring in the step of efforts to sell the product -- has a winner, media reported Tuesday.

More than 2,700 people from 41 nations entered the Sydney-based Food Companion International magazine competition to rename meat derived from one of Australia's best-loved and most-recognizable animals.

Before settling on australus, judges skipped over suggestions including "kangarly," "maroo," and "kangasaurus."

Millions of kangaroos are culled each year, to prevent them eating crops and to supply meat -- but most of the kangaroo cuts go to pet food suppliers and only a small percentage is sold for human consumption.

Australia's kangaroo population fluctuates depending on weather conditions, but is estimated at up to 50 million -- more than double the country's human population.

Magazine editor Mel Nathan told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper "australus" sounded dignified and predicted it could be a breakthrough for the kangaroo meat industry.

Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia executive officer John Kelly told the Sydney paper that although the company sponsored the competition, it had no serious intention of changing the meat's name.

see previous entry: Save the Cod, Eat a Seal

 

clock Posted Tue Dec 20th 2005 - 9:01am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

U.S. pundit: Canada a 'retarded cousin'

By BETH GORHAM

WASHINGTON (CP) - Canada has been described lately by a conservative U.S. television host as "a stalker" and a "retarded cousin."

Another pundit recently asked if Canadians weren't getting "a little too big for their britches." There's been a spate of Canada-bashing by right-wing media commentators in the United States ever since Prime Minister Paul Martin's complaints about lumber penalties and U.S. policy on climate change. His remarks prompted an unusual rebuke last week from the American ambassador.

The attacks on Canada have had web bloggers typing overtime and a non-profit group that's monitoring the trend, Media Matters for America, says it's disturbing.

Yet Paul Waldman, a senior fellow for the group, said Monday the criticism is confined to the usual faction that erupts whenever there's criticism of President George W. Bush's administration and it probably won't last past Canada's Jan. 23 election.

"There are always going to be occasions when it pops up. But Canada is never going to occupy an extraordinary amount of American thought," said Waldman.

"It's more like: 'Who can we beat on today?' It's never going to reach the heights of animosity toward France in the run-up to the Iraq war."

Last week, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, a well-known conservative pundit, let loose with a string of anti-Canada rants.

"Anybody with any ambition at all, or intelligence, has left Canada and is now living in New York," he said.

"Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada."

Carlson also said it's pointless to tell Canada to stop criticizing the United States.

"It only eggs them on. Canada is essentially a stalker, stalking the United States, right? Canada has little pictures of us in its bedroom, right?"

"It's unrequited love between Canada and the United States. We, meanwhile, don't even know Canada's name. We pay no attention at all," he said.

The day before, Fox News host Neil Cavuto highlighted Martin's remark at a news conference that the United States is a "reticent nation" lacking a "global conscience" on climate change.

"So have the Canadians gotten a little too big for their britches?" Cavuto asked.

"Could our neighbours to the north soon be our enemies?"

Douglas MacKinnon, a press secretary to former Republican senator Bob Dole, also recently accused Canada of harbouring terrorists.

"Can Canada really be considered our friend anymore?" he asked in a recent commentary in the right-wing Washington Times newspaper.

"What other question can be asked when the Canadian government not only willingly allows Islamic terrorists into their country but does nothing to stop them from entering our nation?"

U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins warned Martin last week to tone down anti-American jabs or risk hurting bilateral relations. But Martin was unrepentant, saying he would "not be dictated to" by the United States and his hard line appears to be resonating with some voters.

While the offensive from American pundits isn't widespread, it still has the potential to affect cross-border ties, said Waldman.

"On Capitol Hill, the TVs are turned to Fox News. This kind of media environment is what the White House pays attention to," he said.

"That hostility is probably shared by a lot of people in the administration."

 

clock Posted Mon Dec 19th 2005 - 11:56pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Drunken Santas run riot in Auckland

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A group of 40 people dressed in Santa Claus outfits, many of them drunk, went on a rampage through Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, robbing stores, assaulting security guards and urinating from highway overpasses, police said Sunday.

The rampage, dubbed "Santarchy," began early Saturday afternoon when the men, wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes, threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an overpass, said Auckland Central Police spokesman Noreen Hegarty.

She said the men then rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage containers, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on office buildings.

One man climbed the mooring line of a cruise ship before being ordered down by the captain. Other Santas, objecting when the man was arrested, attacked security staff, who were later treated by paramedics, Hegarty said.

The remaining Santas entered another downtown convenience store and carried off beer and soft drinks.

"They came in, said 'Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves," store owner Changa Manakynda said.

Two security guards were treated for cuts after being struck by beer bottles, Hegarty said. Three people, including the man who climbed on the cruise ship, were arrested and charged with drunkenness and disorderly behavior.

Alex Dyer, a spokesman for the group, said Santarchy was a worldwide movement designed to protest the commercialization of Christmas.

 

Dec 20th update: Violent, drunken 'Bad Santas' wreak havoc worldwide

 

Scared of Santa

I'm re-posting the "Scared of Santa" photo gallery.

Also: "Yes Virginia... "

 

clock Posted Sat Dec 17th 2005 - 5:10pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

The bi-polar express

Tsk, Tsk. 

I'm not sure who exactly connotes a "religious whack-job" to Ed Naha (probably someone like me) however, I can agree that our collective rhetoric needs to be dialed back a notch or two...

The bi-polar express

by Ed Naha

Ah, Christmas is upon us. You can feel it in the air: the crispness of the breeze, the laughter of children, the sounds of caroling, the cling-clanging of Salvation Army Santas' bells, the whining of right-wing religious whack-jobs and the stench of the crap being flung at us by Fox News.

Yes, Christmas is upon us, once again. And, once again, Christmas is UNDER ATTACK! Run for cover, baby Jesus, you're being pummeled by stores and people who say the blasphemous... "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas!" Oh, the horror! The horror!

Ayup. It's seasonal schizophrenia time again, wherein self-proclaimed Christians attack and slur anybody or any corporation using the more inclusive "Happy Holiday" greeting instead of "Merry Christmas." (Forget the war in Iraq, this one is personal!)

The American Family Association has called for a boycott of all stores, including Target, that fails to use the word Christmas in their advertising or in-store promotions. "Target doesn't want to offend a small minority who oppose Christmas," says chairman Donald Wildmon. "But they don't mind offending Christians who celebrate the birth of Christ."

I don't know about you, but when I think celebrating the birth of Christ? I think Target. I mean, who needs churches for that kind of thing?

Read the rest of this at M. Kane Jeeves

 

clock Posted Fri Dec 16th 2005 - 8:44am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Slim for Him

Christian dieting and American culture.

by Grant Wacker | book review at Christianity Today

Several weeks ago my wife and I were driving home from Atlanta to Chapel Hill. A few miles out of the city, my eye caught a billboard featuring a lean young white woman pointing to her bare midriff. The caption read, "Look hon, no scars." The logo at the bottom directed viewers to the website of a local birth control clinic. Baffled (as usual) by the subtleties of modern advertising, I asked my wife what it meant. She patiently explained that it was an ad for tubal ligation. I drove on, thinking something deep like, "Oh."

After reading R. Marie Griffith's Born Again Bodies this past weekend, I saw the billboard in a new light. It is not often that a work of first-rate historical scholarship opens our eyes to the unspoken assumptions regnant in the world around us. But this one—written by a Princeton University religion professor—does. And no wonder. The book is exhaustively researched, elegantly crafted, methodologically self-conscious, and argued with moral passion. The volume marks a worthy successor to Griffith's influential Harvard dissertation on Women's Aglow, published in 1997 as God's Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission.

The scope of Born Again Bodies is intimidating. Though focused on the American story, it begins deep in the Middle Ages and ends yesterday. In the process, Griffith ranges back and forth across the Atlantic, lingers among Puritans and their evangelical successors, delves into the intricacies of 19th-century New Thought partisans, ventures into the hermetic realm of body purging and fasting zealots, surveys a plethora of Christian-inspired sexual prescriptions and proscriptions, investigates the largely unknown sideroads of phrenology, physiognomy, and soma typing, and finally ends up in the vast subculture of the contemporary Christian diet industry.

 

Read the rest of the review here

 

clock Posted Thu Dec 15th 2005 - 9:22pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Is the Pentagon spying on Americans?

Secret database obtained by NBC News tracks ‘suspicious’ domestic groups

MSN-NBC

WASHINGTON - A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the U.S. military.

A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a “threat” and one of more than 1,500 “suspicious incidents” across the country over a recent 10-month period.

“This peaceful, educationally oriented group being a threat is incredible,” says Evy Grachow, a member of the Florida group called The Truth Project. ...

 

Read the rest of the article here

 

check out the crank site infowars.com

 

clock Posted Wed Dec 14th 2005 - 2:45pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

HOW TO make a PC out of gingerbread

This Swedish website has step-by-step photo-illustrated instructions for building a detailed, accurate model of a PC motherboard out of gingerbread, gumdrops, and the like.

It's amazingly detailed -- separate gingerbread RAM, heat-sink, etc, all lovingly assembled on a gingerbread-board.

Link to the 64bits site

 

clock Posted Tue Dec 13th 2005 - 11:11am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Map of the Earth with countries sized by population

This map of the Earth shows countries sized relative to their population -- Asia is huge, Australia is tiny, and Europe is pretty teensy too.

 

189K JPEG Link (via A Whole Lotta Nothing)

 

 

 

clock Posted Mon Dec 12th 2005 - 10:04pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Saving Christopher Robin

Saw this disturbing bit of news on Reuters...

 

Disney gives Pooh a makeover for 80th anniversary

By Gina Keating

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Winnie the Pooh is getting a makeover as the Walt Disney Co presses its second-largest franchise into play for a larger share of the $21 billion preschool market, the company said on Wednesday.

Disney is readying a yearlong marketing push in 2006 to commemorate and capitalize on the 80th anniversary of the publication of "Winnie-the-Pooh" and expand the brand beyond The Forest and infant toys, clothing and furniture.

The tubby yellow bear will appear in brighter colors and Disney will emphasize the active side of Pooh's adventures as described in A.A. Milne's 1926 book to appeal to activity loving preschoolers, said Preston Kevin Lewis, global director of the Winnie the Pooh franchise.

"Trust, friendship and happiness -- Pooh doesn't lose any of those things, it just changes how we talk about him," Lewis said.

Disney is still battling an appeal of a 14-year-old Los Angeles lawsuit by heirs of Milne's agent, who claim they are owed millions in royalties.

The company won a dismissal of the lawsuit last year but had warned investors that it could be on the hook for "hundreds of millions" of dollars if it eventually loses the case.   (more here...)

 

 

 

OK, getting rid of Christopher Robin is just wrong

 

Bother!

 

See: Save Christopher Robin at Storynory

See: Christopher Robin at a Texas Abroad

 

 

 

clock Posted Sun Dec 11th 2005 - 10:07pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Car Styling, Nationalism, and the Post-9/11 World

By Gavin Green | Edmunds.com

It took the tragedy of 9/11 for American automakers to learn how to design American cars again. Before the Boeings hit the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center, the U.S. makers typically gave us styling Esperanto: dull amorphous automobiles that could have been Japanese (if they were better finished) or European (if they were better-looking). Only in trucks did the domestic makers offer distinctly American styling. This is understandable. The pickup is conspicuously American. To many in the U.S., it is the horse and cart of the late 20th century.

Read the full article here

clock Posted Sat Dec 10th 2005 - 8:02am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Shameless Promotion

I am blessed to have close friends (both near and far) with whom I share a love for creating great music.

Charlie Marks is a talented composer and singer/songwriter in Corpus Christi, who has released a CD of classic Christmas music.  In addition to being a talented guitarist -- Charlie is amazing with a synthesizer. These tracks are amazingly well arranged, and I have been playing the CD in my car. You can click on the pic at right to go to Amazon.com, if you want to get this.

Bobby Carter (no relation) is the consummate performer, and makes a living playing in South Texas. I'm not sure if Bobby has any new material he's about to release -- but I can tell you that his CD's are great listening.  Be sure to catch him if you are in or near Corpus Christi.  His music is available for sale on his web site. 

Steve Phillips just finished a long anticipated CD project.  Steve is an amazingly prolific songwriter with a bazillion tunes to his credit -- and I missed out on joining him on this last CD project, as was planned.  I'm not sure what happened there -- probably a case of not being in the right place at the right time.  I have not been able to spend much time in Corpus lately.

Ken Bresen is another gifted songwriter (here in Montreal), who rarely picks up his guitar much these days -- however, we keep bugging him.  He mentioned that he plans to re-mix an album recorded in the 70's for re-release.  I am very much looking forward to hearing the results!

My dear pal Nancy Ransom is planning to get into the studio soon and record some of her wonderful songs.  Nancy's music is inspired.  I am very much looking forward to the results, and am delighted to be helping out (on guitar). 

Woodwork, my own project, inches along.  I recently finished concocting a cool open D instrumental, which ended up sounding far more John Renbourn-ish than I had originally intended.  However, it's a keeper!  Another song, entitled "Where She Was and Where She is Going", is another fave.

 

clock Posted Fri Dec 9th 2005 - 7:23am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Remembering John Lennon (1940-1980)

I was exiting the east doors of the Place d'Armes metro station, early that December morning 25 years ago, when a co-worker asked me whether I had heard that John Lennon had been shot and killed.

As a 21 year old musician wanna-be,  working in a corporate mail room -- Lennon's 1980 comeback album (Final Fantasy) had infused hope that a guitar hero could make decent music at the ancient age of 40.  As for many of my generation -- something more than a rock-star's life was extinguished that day in New York. Lennon had been a prophet for those that embraced the positive social movements of the 60's, and many had been waiting in naive hope that the Beatles would somehow re-form, and make everything cool again. In reality, John had forever put away the persona that we had worshipped, in an attempt to embrace the simple (yet profound) responsibilities of being a husband and father.  Much of what we admired, had been in reality, our own smoke and mirrors.  However, his creativity was genius, and he raged against the machine and the man.

After John's death, it's as if we all -- collectively -- succumbed to our fates to be absorbed into the cultural/corporate machines that spat us out as the "me" folk of the 80's.

May his music be "timeless". 

Rest in peace, John.

 

"Possession isn't nine-tenths of the law. It's nine-tenths of the problem." - John Lennon

"Guilt for being rich, and guilt thinking that perhaps love and peace isn't enough and you have to go and get shot or something."-1980 - John Lennon

 

clock Posted Fri Dec 9th 2005 - 7:05am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I've been looking forward to seeing this first installment in the Narnia Chronicles (which is being released by Disney tomorrow here in Montral) in much the same way as I would look forward to seeing a long-lost childhood friend.  There is a tinge of wariness, as I really don't know what to expect. The trailer does look awesome!

Reading C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles has long been a part of my yearly Summer reading list, and I usually devour the books in a weekend.

ABC's Nightline ran a story last night, citing the controversy around both the release of the film, and Lewis' intended purpose for the books.

I'm not terribly concerned about whether this story should be viewed as an evangelism tract or not.  I simply like the story, and I hope others (who may not know it) may come to like it too.

 

See: Into the Wardrobe

See: the Wiki entry on Narnia

See: A very English wardrobe at ShipofFools

Addendum: The movie, the media, and the conservative politics of Philip Anschutz

 

clock Posted Thu Dec 8th 2005 - 7:54am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

The Plan to Steal Iraq's Oil

by Charlie Cray | Huffington Post

Halliburton Cheney, Rumsfeld and others who seem to view world politics as a ruthless game of Risk must be anticipating that the “privatization” of Iraq's key prize will be their ultimate vindication here at home. "The problem is that the good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas reserves where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the interests of the United States," the former Halliburton CEO proclaimed to a Nightline audience in April of 2002.

So they must be expecting that the many shortsighted naysayers who are starting to get cold feet and call for withdrawal will some day look back and thank them for staying the course and securing the vast pool of untapped crude that lies beneath the sand near today's battlefields.

Many, that is, whose children haven't by then had their heads blown off.

Although there hasn't been much coverage in the U.S., last week the UK-based PLATFORM revealed the strategy to take over Iraq's oil in a new report, "Crude Designs."

According to the authors, it's not quite the ownership of oil reserves that western interests are after, but an arrangement that will allow governments and companies to deny that “privatization” is taking place at all...

 

Read the rest here

 

clock Posted Wed Dec 7th 2005 - 11:01am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Print your own Monopoly money

Hasbro has downloadable PDFs of spare Monopoly money for you to print and cut out.  No more buying commercial spare Monopoly bucks at the game-store. 

Now It will be much easier for me to cheat (if and when I ever play Monopoly against my brother again).

Yay! Thanks Hasbro!

 

Link (via Boing Boing)

 

clock Posted Mon Dec 5th 2005 - 9:04am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Personal Jesus

Earlier this evening I took in the Depeche Mode concert at the Montreal Bell Centre with Nick D.

I had never been much of a fan, since my impression of techno-pop (as a music genre) during the 80's was that it was essentially "anti-guitar".  Nope, I was never much into Depeche Mode.

That is, until I saw Martin Gore on guitar steaming out riffs in front of 15,000 air punching fans...  Man!  I really dug Martin's little black angel wings  -- however, I don't think I could pull off the look.

My overall thoughts on the concert?  "Some dark material, but brilliantly executed".

 

See: Wiki entry for Depeche Mode

 

clock Posted Sun Dec 4th, 2005 - 11:34pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Piranha-shaped floss dispensers

These $15 plastic piranha dental floss dispensers come in five colors and turn the loose end of floss into a bit of gristle caught between the piranha's fearsome teeth.

 

Link (via Popgadget)

 

 

 

 

clock Posted Sat Dec 3rd, 2005 - 11:03pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Anglican Church of Canada facing extinction?

The Vancouver Sun reports that membership in the Anglican Church of Canada has been dropping two percent per year for forty years, and that if that decline continues, the church will be essentially gone by the middle of this century.

clock Posted Fri Dec 2nd, 2005 - 9:04am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Killer Squirrels

I have long held, what I believe to be, a healthy mistrust of squirrels.  This notion is shared by my dog Samantha, who has never met a squirrel she did not want to run up a tree. Given this story (via Bourque News), I am prepared to think twice about venturing into the deepest, darkest part of the park (Russian or not).

 

Russian squirrel pack 'kills dog'

BBC News -- Local people suggest hunger is driving squirrels to extremes Squirrels have bitten to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Russian park, local media report. Passers-by were reportedly too late to stop the attack by the black squirrels in a village in the far east, which reportedly lasted about a minute.

They are said to have scampered off at the sight of humans, some carrying pieces of flesh.

A pine cone shortage may have led the squirrels to seek other food sources, although scientists are skeptical.

The attack was reported in parkland in the centre of Lazo, a village in the Maritime Territory, and was witnessed by three local people.

A "big" stray dog was nosing about the trees and barking at squirrels hiding in branches overhead when a number of them suddenly descended and attacked, reports say.

"They literally gutted the dog," local journalist Anastasia Trubitsina told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

"When they saw the men, they scattered in different directions, taking pieces of their kill away with them."

Mikhail Tiyunov, a scientist in the region, said it was the first he had ever heard of such an attack.

While squirrels without sources of protein might attack birds' nests, he said, the idea of them chewing at a dog to death was "absurd".

"If it really happened, things must be pretty bad in our forests," he added.

Komosmolskaya Pravda notes that in a previous incident this autumn chipmunks terrorised cats in a part of the territory.

A Lazo man who called himself only Mikhalich said there had been "no pine cones at all" in the local forests this year.

"The little beasts are agitated because they have nothing to eat," he said.

 

clock Posted Thu Dec 1st, 2005 - 8:47pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

 

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