My neighbor is moving out. In the past four years of living here he has given me free internet for 18 months, a classical guitar, a guitar effects box worth hundreds, and most recently a Nintendo 64 with Zelda and a paper cutter. I feel the need to reciprocate, but with what? Anyway, I hope that by blogging about him I can express my gratitude to world. (Did I mention he watched my cat several times while I was away?)
He’s got a little pug named Dante who for some reason does not scare my cat who has never seen another animal save the squirrels and birds that flit past the rear window. Though, skittish, she doesn’t run from him. I’m sad to see both of them go.
Lauren McLaughlin sent me this link to Escape Pod, a science fiction podcasting site which offers free readings of stories. As I write this, today’s story is called “Wetting the Bed” by Heather Shaw, and billed as “Rated G – It’s Apocalyptic Fantasy for Kids!” Sounds like a lot of today’s prime time television.
WNET Thirteen, one of the few interesting channels when you don’t have cable, aired an excellent documentary by Frontline on the prisoner abuses of Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Perhaps it’s just my lack of reception, but I haven’t really seen too many “inside” scenes from the Iraq war. Though this film certainly wasn’t meant to air on Fox, it did show the inside of Abu Ghraib like I had never seen, and though I suspected this before, the film confirmed that the abuses that took place there were not isolated incidents. It’s war, and in war people do crazy things to survive. But I agreed with one general who said at the very end (paraphrased), “We must not stoop to the level of our enemy in order to defeat them. We have to stand for the ideals of the United States and the Geneva convention.”
The Brits are re-evaluating their position about sending astronauts into space. The current UK policy allows taxpayer money to only be used for non-manned missions, but it appears this may soon change. From the article: “Recent developments across the world strongly suggest that, after a 30-year lull, space-faring nations are gearing up for a return to the Moon and then to Mars.” I would have to agree totally. Human expansion and colonization into space can be concomitant with our settling of issues here on Terra Firma, i.e. space exploration doesn’t mean we ignore issues at home. Can anyone say that the first humans on the Moon did not change the way humanity sees itself? How would we feel, say, if we looked up at Mars at night and knew humans were living there, not just sojourning there, but living there?
The news I’ve been reading has been remarkably silent about Harriet Miers’, the Supreme Court nominee’s, past. The Village Voice has put together a timeline from public records. But upon a cursory reading, does this look like the career of a Supreme Court Justice? She’s certainly accomplished, but I think the position of the highest court in the land demands an exemplary record. That’s why John Roberts was such a lock-in. Though the Democrats could not agree with his views, no one could criticize his record. Not so with Ms. Miers.
Finally, to end on a lighter note, I saw a preview last night for Steve Martin’s Shop Girl . I had read the book a year or so ago and found it funny and well written, and I look forward to seeing it in film. From the website, it looks like it’s being released only in a few theaters, perhaps to gague how well it will do in a larger distribution and/or to create a buzz which would drive moviegoers without having to advertize. I’ll see it just because I enjoyed the book.