Monday, July 28, 2014

Disgustingly Cute: Little Rascals

Since for the foreseeable future I'm going to obsess about Guardians of the Galaxy and Rocket Raccoon, here are a few other raccoons to help while away the time until the movie opens on August 1. 

"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ruined everything"

This open disgust comes from Haaretz, Israel's version of the New York Times.  Looks like more smart diplomacy in action.

This sums it up:
Kerry's recent efforts to negotiate a ceasefire have come to nothing in part because his proposals treat Hamas as a legitimate organization with legitimate security needs, as opposed to a group listed by Kerry's State Department as a terror organization devoted to the physical elimination of one of America's closest allies. 

Monday Therapy: Need Some Help With Your Coiffure?

OK, so this is really for the ladies in the audience, but ... Hey, a comic actor AND action hero who can also braid your hair for you?  THAT'S HOT.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Faith, Hope, Love, and FLAMENCO

Check out Spain's dancing priest Father Pepe.

Headline: "Russia Needs to Learn the Value of Human Life"

Good luck with that.

Got Stock in Malaysia Airlines?

DUMP IT NOW, because evidently that airline is run by crazy people.

Astronaut's-Eye View: Gaza From the International Space Station

Tunnel Vision: Digging Trenches in Military History

A history professor at the University of St. Andrews takes a look in light of the current conflict in Gaza and Hamas tunnels.

UPDATE: It keeps getting worse the more we dig into the topic.

China: Frozen Dumplings, Fridges, and Environmental Impact

Here's a stat for ya: 
In the 12 years between 1995 and 2007, China’s domestic refrigerator-ownership numbers have jumped to 95 percent from just 7 percent of urban families.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Movie Review Madness: 4 Grades

I owe you movie reviews, but since I'm a wee bit too busy to write full posts for each flick right this minute (I'll try to do that later), here are the grades I've given the last 4 summer movies that I've seen:
  • Chef: A
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2: A
  • Maleficent: C+  (please refer to La Parisienne's review)
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction: F-

Next on the to-view list: 
  • Hercules (which I am hoping is a lot of silly bombastic popcorn fun with the Rock!) 
  • Snowpiercer (sci fi with brains, so I hear)
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (which I expect to be AWESOME)

If you haven't yet seen Edge of Tomorrow, get to the theater while it's still playing!

Kurds vs. ISIS

The Kurds of northern Iraq want and need US aid to fend off ISIS.  

Taiwanese Defense and the UN Charter

Is it technically illegal?  Whatever. Does anyone really think the major players in Asia are going to care about use of force rules in the UN Charter if/when things get dicey?  Give me a break.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Middle East Friendship Chart

Obviously it's reductive and imperfect (where is Jordan?  I didn't see Lebanon either), but this chart is an interesting attempt to begin to think about the complexity of relationships in the Middle East.  I kind of want to add "Frenemies" as another relationship option and "Kurds/Kurdistan" as another player.  Note, though, how ISIS is pretty much hated by everybody.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Awesome: The First Space Selfie!

Cakes In Spaaaaaaaaaace!

On this 45th anniversary of the lunar landing, Cake Wrecks is celebrating with a gallery of cakes that are out of this world!

Cartoon Commentary on Hamas in Gaza

As Israel-bashing in the media and commentariat reaches new heights (or depths?), maybe we can remember just how the current Gaza situation started.  Palestinian civilians are suffering for it, but I'm pretty sure Hamas doesn't care about civilians.

Wuv, Twue Wuv, Will Fowow You Foweva

Brilliant.

Lowe's Does Customer Service Right

A wonderful story. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

In Russia, Beach Hits You!

Just another day in paradise as the temperature suddenly plummets 40 degrees and the sky hurls golfball-sized hailstones at fleeing vacationers.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Drone Surveillance of China's Coast: Made In Taiwan?

The apparent goal is to keep tabs on the 2000+ coastal missiles that China currently has aimed at Taiwan.

I am also bemused by this related note: "the U.S. has expressed concern to Taiwan over how its drones are being deployed."

O RLY?  Last I heard Taiwan hadn't used any of its drones to kill people and prompt a barnstorming filibuster by Rand Paul.

Quote of the Day as Israel Hits Hamas

Around the 8:30 mark: "Sometimes you just have to fight against people who want to murder you."

World Cup 2014: Germany Wins It All!

Die Mannschaft beat Argentina 1-0 and the Germans are now the Weltmeister.  I was also amused by the various sartorial antics of the fans, not to mention this comment on the president of the hilariously corrupt FIFA and his companions:
Since this IS 2014 and no event is complete without a selfie or two, here you go. The selfie game is strong with this one.

Congratulations to the Germans! And I'll say that if I want to. I've already been disowned by several furious Latin American friends. Whatever, man! I've been a fan of Die Mannschaft for years. They play a beautiful game beautifully!  Besides, isn't it poor social skills and bad sportsmanship to disown a friend who happens to support a team other than your own?  Even if that team crushes yours?  Come on.

UPDATE: The Onion comments hilariously.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Letter From 1944

Extraordinary letter to Mom and Dad from a son shipping out to war.  Here's a piece of it: "Do not pray only that I shall return, but that I will have the power to do my duty."