Personality Quiz Question

May 7th, 2008

43. Please finish the following statement:

"I find clowns to be..."

A. Funny
B. Disturbing
C. Erotic
D. I find answer 'C' disturbing.

Latest Books: Dissolution, Constantinople, The Amulet of Samarkand

April 29th, 2008

Dissolution by C.J. Sansom - 7.5/10 Very interesting period, and well-conveyed. As a mystery novel it wasn't very, well, mysterious, but the characters were compelling and the historical setting was fascinating. The dissolution of the English monasteries took place in a startlingly short time, all things considered, and did away with centuries of accumulated traditions, as well as wealth. I shall be reading the sequel.

Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium by Jonathan Harris - 7/10 A book focused on the physical geography of Constantinople. What the city looked like: its major monuments (which essentially meant churches, palaces, and pillars) and how they were adorned. A good companion book for someone well versed in Byzantine history, but a bit too disjointed to be an excellent stand-alone piece. Still, worth the read.

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud - 6/10 Having grown up reading and re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia, I do enjoy to read young adult fantasy now and then. This book came highly recommended - but ultimately it disappointed me, for that most typical reason: none of the characters are particularly likable. The protagonist is witty and charming but is, in fact, a demon and thus not particularly someone to associate with. And everyone else is, basically, a jerk, and what's more jerks who show no hint during the entire book of changing their spots. I may read the next book in the series but feel no particular yearning to do so.

Totalitarian Thought Same the World Over

April 18th, 2008

The various protests which accompanied the Olympic torch through Western countries have, it seems, really irked not just the Chinese government but also the Chinese citizenry

'Lots of Chinese people now view the Western media, human rights groups, and Western leaders' criticisms of their country as part of the Racist Western Conspiracy to Stop China From Being Successful.' One of the most vocal appeals by the Chinese blogs, forums, and text-messages has been to boycott French goods in response to the protests that accompanied the torch relay in Paris. One response post reads, 'Who is abusing human rights? Who is bringing violence to this world?'

It's striking how exactly parallel this is to American Conservative thought. A knowing rejection of objective reality, a captive media that carefully feeds the belief system through half-truths, and a vicious us-versus-them mentality - the Bush voter watching Fox News and the Chinese boycotter watching the State Media are essentially the same person, save only for the belief-chip implanted in their head.

Speaking of Charleton Heston

April 16th, 2008

A thirty-six year old man was driving down 280 with his two children in the car, en route to pick up his wife, and apparently he ticked someone off because another car pulled up next to him and shot him. To death. With his two kids in the car.

Yeah, having all the handguns we could possibly want is working out great. Thanks, Chuck!

What Inflation?

April 16th, 2008

Well, the dollar is at its lowest ever against the euro, and oil prices are the highest ever... but don't let that fool you. It's going to get worse. If you lived through the seventies I hope you liked them, because they're back.