And then there’s this nostalgic take… Love it. I grew up with Dr. Who, and remember clearly the first Dr. Who I saw–Leela walking over a pit filled with grub-like monsters. I must have been 3 or 4 years old–and I think that I did indeed hide behind the couch, as it were.
Of course I realize that being a fan qualifies me to hang with the geekier elements (fringes?) of society, but I’m an unapologic and inveterate fan. He’s the biggest humanist of all, has had some very fetching companions (lots of crushes on these gals as I grew up, Romana, Nyssa, Sarah Jane), is a true Brit (and now Scot) and a true gentleman…
Granted, the show historically suffered low budgets and special effects, but the writing now, despite the untraditionally very believable and modern effects, is as faithful as ever to the ethos that developed from 1963 through the early 80′s–corny, humanist, British, and apolitical. Few Americans really understand just how much of a British national institution Dr. Who is, such is the fondness over there. With Chris Eccleston’s Doctor and now David Tennant’s, the show’s writing is fantastic, and I think fans have high hopes that we’ll make it through all 12 lives, despite the three or so sadly squandered ones thus far.
Scott v. Harris, 127 S.Ct. 1769 (2007), involves a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against a state police officer. Harris was involved in a high-speed chase, during which he was being chased by the police. Deputy Scott pulled Harris over by hitting the rear of his car, known as Pursuit Intervention Technique, attempting to get him to come to a stop. Harris lost control, crashed, and thereafter found his limbs inoperative.
Harris sued Deputy Scott on the theory that hitting the back of his vehicle was excessive force resulting in an unreasonable search under the Forth Amendment. The 11th circuit held that Deputy Scott was not entitled to immunity, because the law was sufficiently clear at the time to give reasonable law enforcement authorities fair notice that ramming a vehicle under the circumstances of this case was unlawful.
The Supreme Court found that the threshold question of whether Deputy Scott violated the Fourth Amendment was resolved, in large part, by the video Continue reading
You may have heard something over the last few days about the discovery of a hoard of Viking treasure in northern England. It has been reported in most major news outlets, and the treasure has recently gone on display in the British Museum. More than 600 coins and 65 other silver and gold objects were found, including items acquired via trade or plunder from Scandinavia, Russia, Afghanistan, and France, among others. The hoard was discovered by a father and son who were prospecting with metal detectors. This news is a good example of the positives and negatives about Britain’s treasure trove law.
Without going into too much detail, the treasure trove law (as modified by the Treasure Act of 1996) determines the destination of objects that are found and for which no owner can be determined. Under British common law, if ownerless objects are merely lost (like change falling out of your pocket), they belong to the finder. If they are deliberately stashed (like the hoard in Continue reading
A recent study shows that Americans are more scientifically literate than Europeans or Japanese. But, at 28% we still have some way to go. On the bright side, that figure was 10% in the 1990′s.
Steven Mufson of the Washington Post has a grave assessment of Congress’ ability to make even a dent in the dire issue of climate change:
Here’s the good news about climate change: Energy and climate experts say the world already possesses the technological know-how for trimming greenhouse gas emissions enough to slow the perilous rise in the Earth’s temperatures.
Here’s the bad news: Because of the enormous cost of addressing global warming, the energy legislation considered by Congress so far will make barely a dent in the problem, while farther-reaching climate proposals stand a remote chance of passage.
Despite growing public concern over global warming, the House has failed to agree on new standards for automobile fuel efficiency, and the Senate has done little to boost the efficiency of commercial office buildings and appliances. In September, Congress is expected to start wrestling with more ambitious legislation aimed at slowing climate change; but because of the complexity of the likely proposals, fewexpect any bill to become law. Even if passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, the final measure may not be tough Continue reading
Clearly this Canadian anchor thinks little of the U.S., but Ayaan Hirsi Ali, known more for her fierce characterization of Islam as antithetical to free will, will have none of it, saying choicely: “You grew up on freedom, so you can spit on freedom.” Hirsi Ali’s repeated defense of America against all those who reflexively attack modern American culture in favor of “traditional” values or cultures (which I can only surmise need such affirmative action in defense of some alleged intentional American imperialist design) cuts to the bone: “My criticism of the West, especially of liberals, is that they take freedom for granted.” This interviewer provokes her again to the same point: it’s not about America’s failures, and indeed, they are many–it’s about what America offers to every American. Here’s the video:
The Somali refugee who sought political asylum in the Netherlands, and eventually became a member of that country’s lower house of Parliament, who faced death Continue reading
Steve Jobs new iPhone is getting mostly rave reviews (check out WSJ’s Walt Mossberg’s video review HERE), and Steve Jobs’ name again gets linked with eminently good taste.
In an equally smart move, Mr. Jobs, who’s both a member of Disney’s Board of Directors and Disney’s largest shareholder, was reportedly a “decider” (or at least an “influencer”) in Disney’s wise announcement last Friday: Disney will no longer make those atrocious direct-to-DVD animated sequals.
Parents everywhere: rejoice.
Those of you who are parents know that those DVDs are enjoyed by few in the family but the little ones who are sucked in by the lure of those (erstwhile) luminous characters from the originals.
Or, as Mr. Jobs put it: “If you look at the quality of [the direct-to-DVD] sequals it’s pretty embarrassing.”
Hear hear. We save money, and Disney puts its money into more quality original fare.
Reported in Yahoo News
In the picture below is Ms. Diaz wearing a bag emblazoned with the slogan “Serve the People.” This was a political slogan of the murderous leader Mao Zedong.
This was understandably upsetting to the people of Cuzco, Peru as Shining Path was the cause of some 70,000 deaths in the 1980s. Shining Path was inspired by Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China. Camron Diaz, like the vast majority of morons donning Che t-shirts, has no idea what she is doing.
Ernesto Guevera was the commander of a prison in Cuba, where he presided over the show trials and executions of former members of the Batista government. It is therefore quite fitting that he was executed in a schoolhouse in Bolivia. Prior to this demise, Guevera held a number of other high-level posts in in Castro’s government.
Left: Che Conducting Summary Executions
Right: Che About To Be Summarily Executed
What about Himmler? He was in charge of Nazi prison system, why not a t-shirt for him? Himmler, Goring, Goebbels, were all revolutionaries that engaged in murder just like Che. Himmler even has a better mustache and better hair than Che.
P.S. This does not constitute an endorsement of an official yojoe Himmler t-shirt. The point is, we should not celebrate any of these people.
[UPDATED 26 Jun: the full 702-pages of primary source materials, referred to below, were posted today on GWU's National Security Archive. Download or keyword-search the files, HERE (24 meg, .pdf). GWU's summary of the documents is HERE, with links to brief/meaty selections.]
Thank “nature’s God” (or your own preference) each day you’re able to discuss and debate the merits of Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, and other matters du jour. Although I leave my own personal opinions out of many of these matters, the freedom to blog and debate is quintessentially the right of a free and democratic people–relish it. History, too, must inform our debates: Jefferson presciently believed that an educated electorate was the sine qua non of democracy. With that in mind, A.O. welcomes the yesterday’s revelations about CIA history.
In recognition of the need for “Government of, by, and for the People,” the Central Intelligence Agency will as soon as next week declassify materials revealing some 25 years of illegal domestic spying activities against Americans until official investigations and reforms took place in the 1970s. CIA Director General Michael Hayden made the announcement Thursday, 21 Jun 07, in a speech to a conference of foreign policy historians. For decades, the documents to be declassified had been sought under the Freedom of Information Act by Americans, but the requests had been Continue reading
Life is very difficult for former Iranian “reformist” president Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005) these days. As the video below (after the break) depicts, he shook
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (left hand unaccounted for)
hands with women on a recent trip to Italy–and is now facing trial following condemnation by Iranian conservatives. Ultra-conservatives a protest in the city of Mashhad and delivered a formal complaint, along with copies of the below film, to a special clerical court calling for Khatami to be put on trial. Placards carried by the crowd read, among other choice phrases, “Death to the Clerics’ Foe.” A second lawsuit has also been filed against Khatami by the Hezbollah militia for the handshakes.
As a matter of fact, the results of a new survey, released in the latest American Scientist, reveal something to the contrary, at least, with regard to evolutionary biologists. The “so many scientists believe in God, and that’s proof there’s no conflict” argument, of course, is one of the arguments forwarded by proponents of “Intelligent Design” as proof of the lack of any real conflict between teaching of both creationism and evolution.
The results, depicted in this chart, revealed that of 149 evolutionary scientists, approximately 80 percent stated they did not believe in God. These evolutionary scientists were comprised of scientists whose specialties included organismic evolution, phylogenetics, population biology/genetics, paleontology/paleoecology/paleobiology, systematics, or organismal adaptation or fitness.
This was a drastic change from the 1914 poll asking the same questions: then, 32 percent of the Continue reading
I’ve just discovered Flickrvision, a very entertaining new web app created by web developer David Troy. It’s a running “stream” of photos in near real-time as they’re being posted to Flickr, superimposed on a map of the Earth, showing you where the pictures originate. The site’s simply intriguing, and showcases the power of the internet. Take a look.
An article over at PBS.org also details just how broad this new internet mapping craze has gone, from the now taken-for-granted mapping technology in Google Maps and Windows Live Earth that enables users to immediately map and find the closest sushi bars, to Google Street View (allowing you to navigate city streets in 3D, as if you’re walking down the street), to sites that allow the addition of user-selected and statistical data to manipulable maps like Geocommons and Swivel, to the social-networking sites like Flickr. Check out the PBS article here.
Well, not really. But the incomparable fellow Law Professor Ann Althouse does indeed claim, tongue-in-cheek, that this bloke’s posts give her bouts of ADD (as I think they do me), and I venture that perhaps a well-timed lawsuit might be one way of finally ridding ourselves of this biting midge.
Greenwald and his daily self-affirmation
Many of you are aware of my appreciation of Professor Althouse’s judicious analysis. In deference to fellow (and apparently truant) editor Fredegar, I have refrained from posting my own thoughts on Salon’s Glenn Greenwald’s daily spoutings. (Well, that, and I don’t see any need to dignify Greenwald’s spoutings with any additional links or airtime. Others have astutely dubbed him He Who Must Never Be Noticed.)