1/26/2005

The Media and Medievalism

An article to read...

I found this at a forum I frequent. It's fascinating, and I recommend reading it. I will dissect it at a later date.

1/19/2005

Latest Purchase

Last night my husband and I bought a digital camera. It's the Sony Cybershot DSC-P73. As soon as we've had a chance to play with it, I'll give you an update.
One thing is certain, it will be great not to fiddle with film again. My old camera had a problem with film, and an entire roll of film from my brother-in-law's wedding didn't turn out as a result.

1/17/2005

Cool

I just discovered that Google has its own blog.
I find that very cool.

1/15/2005

What's his name again?

I started thinking about that professor from the University of Waterloo. It occurred to me that I hadn't heard anything in the news about him in a long time.
What's his name again?
Ah yes, Elmasry.
I wonder what happened.
Did the University of Waterloo fire him or let him stay? I searched their site and found these
two entries in their newspaper. The second one has very little in it, but I was profoundly disturbed by this paragraph:
In fact the only item that's specifically identified in the AF&T report is the recent controversy over political remarks by electrical and computer engineering faculty member Mohamed Elmasry -- which, the report says, "was settled by an apology".
If you will recall, his original statement was that he agreed that "Anyone and everyone in Israel, irrespective of gender, over the age of 18 is a valid target." This has somehow been downgraded to a mere "political remark," instead of the blatant racism that it is. But enough of that.
Let us review the apology.
Dear Dean Dixon: I would like to elaborate on my earlier public apology of October 27, 2004 regarding my remarks on the Michael Coren Show. As you know, I made statements during the course of a television program on Oct. 19, 2004 to the effect that the targeting of Israeli civilians was an acceptable course of action.
These public statements were totally unacceptable. They have understandably offended members of Canada's Muslim, Jewish, Palestinian and Arab communities and Canadians at large. They have also offended members of the University of Waterloo community.
I offer my unconditional apology to all these communities for the statements I made and for the distress they have caused.
I categorically retract the statements I made on the Michael Coren Show with respect to the targeting of civilians. The statements were an aberration. It has always been a core belief of mine that killing civilians -- any civilians for any cause, is an
immoral act.
I recognize that the University of Waterloo is an inclusive, tolerant community and that statements of that kind are abhorrent and in conflict with the values for which the University stands.
As a faculty member at this University for many years, I can provide you with an assurance that there will be no repetition in the future of any such statements by me.

Very eloquent of you, Dr. Elmasry.
However, I wonder if you or anyone else actually recall your original statement? I suspect not, because you did not refer to civilians. Here' what you had to say:
Elmasry: "The totally innocent people [are] obviously the children, but they are not innocent if they are part of a total population which is the total population of Israel [which] is part of the army... They are part of the Israeli army, even if they have civilian clothes."
You were referring to the total population of Israel which is part of the army. I won't bother discussing the fact that the draft is not forced upon all Israeli citizens. I just want to point out that you were NOT discussing civilians. You were discussing members of the army in civilian clothes. Because you (incorrectly) believe that this would be the entire adult population of Israel, anyone over the age of 18 would be a target.
Your apology refers only to civilians, that is, non-military personnel.

I still think the University of Waterloo would do well to be rid of him.

1/06/2005

November 17th, 1978

It is a day that will forever live in infamy. The Star Wars Holiday Special was aired for the first and only time. I watched it last night for the first (and probably only) time.
I am sure many a Star Wars fan is more than familiar with the elusive Holiday Special. According to urban legend, George Lucas got rid of it and vowed it would never be aired again. This, of course, makes it highly desirable for nerds, geeks and fans. The memory of this disaster must be preserved.
Highlights of the show, for those who have not seen it:
  • The first five minutes contains nothing but untranslated Wookie grunts.

  • Being a musical, there are a number of interesting and highly unusual songs inserted throughout. My favorite is probably the Grand Finale, the Ode to Life Day, sung of course to the Star Wars theme.

  • For his life day gift from the trader, Itchy, that is Grampy Wookie, gets an interesting holographic woman. It apparently is supposed to reflect what Grampy finds most sexy. Anyone curious as to why they used a human woman for this holograph? I know I am.

  • The "Cooking Show." Whip stir, whip stir, whip whip stir.

  • Cut scenes from Star Wars. Brilliant idea. I could not tell at all!


1/03/2005

The new AOL commercial

Have you seen the new AOL commercial?
A fellow is leaning against a wall, saying how he'd like his computer to be slower. The voice-over then begins, and your friendly, neighbourhood, AOL sales representative tells you, the dumb consumer, about how so many people leave themselves wide open for viral attacks. They are about to come to your rescue and provide you with free protection.
As for myself, I am still struck by that opening scene.
"I'd like my computer to slow way down."
It's a study in irony.
This is, after all, an AOL commercial.
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