Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year from Mad Minerva

I'll be offline for the rest of today and for most of tomorrow. It's time for welcoming 2008 with friends and family -- lots of food and fun and games.

In fact, I'm wearing green velvet as I'm typing; I'm waiting for the Cinema-Mad Sibling to fetch me so we can go meet some friends for dinner, then a little dance party organized by another friend (and by "little" he meant 90+ people are invited), and then coffee and snacks and games until midnight.

Tomorrow will be sleeping late, then meeting more friends for more fun. One -- the infamous Il Barista -- has challenged the Sibling and me to Wii (!) tomorrow night.

So, Happy New Year as I log off! I give you some gorgeous eye-candy from the awesome Aussies, who -- as one of the first nations to see midnight -- lit up Sydney harbor with a galaxy of fireworks plus fun party music.

Happy 2008 with Asian-Pacific flair!

And also of course from the celebrations in Taiwan -- check out Taipei 101's vertical fireworks!

Euro Notes: Terror Threat Cancels New Year's Celebration in Brussels

New Year's celebrations are canceled in Brussels.

No fireworks, no ice skating, no shopping. No fireworks??

I don't know about you, but I seem to recall how New York City carried on with celebrations despite terror threats on every New Year's Eve since 2001.

Hello Kitty Monstrosity of the Day: Il Barista Tries to Kill Me with a Hello Kitty 2008 Calendar

I simply have to post this.

My dear old school friend Il Barista -- yes, Il Barista of Satan Coffee infamy -- has given me a new calendar for 2008. This sounds generous, sweet, and thoughtful, doesn't it?

Think again, buddy. THIS was the calendar!

When I tore off the pretty gift-paper and saw what horror lay beneath, I screamed -- and he laughed and laughed. "It comes with stickers!" he crowed. Oh, yes, it comes with stickers -- 75 nauseatingly cute, little pink Hello Kitty stickers. There you have it -- the first Hello Kitty monstrosity of 2008.

With friends like Il Barista, I don't need enemies! (And La Parisienne was in on it, I know!)

You want a war of cute? It's ON.

Funny Video of the Day: JibJab's Review of 2007

The humorists at JibJab have done it again with their musical retrospective of 2007.

Go and enjoy!

Looking Back at 2007

Welcome to a new blog home!

Let's start a new year by looking back at the year that was. It did go by so quickly!

MM's Person of the Year:
Time magazine's choice of Vladimir Putin as its Person of the Year has caused quite a stir. Admittedly, the choice rests on influence, not on whether that influence was positive or not.

I have my own choice for Person of the Year: I give you . . . General David Petraeus.

Honorable mention must go to the late, great professor Liviu Librescu.

A Year in the News:
What are your picks for most important news stories of the year?
The UK-Iran captured-sailors incident? The debut of the world's most famous polar bear cub? The EU's 50th birthday? The Don Imus snafu? Virginia Tech? The rise of Sarkozy in France? The wretched immigration bill that blew up in May-June? Tainted goods from China -- with poisonous lead in almost everything? Major war games in Taiwan with jet fighters on Sun Yat-sen Freeway? Enormous doping scandal at the Tour de France? The Live Earth concert madness? Petraeus's surge in Iraq? The assassination of Benazir Bhutto? The Spice Girls reunion as a sign of the coming apocalypse? The start of the fractious political horse race for the 2008 U.S. Presidency? The debut of the iPhone? The end of the Harry Potter saga? The self-parody of Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize? Bobby Jindal winning the Louisiana governor's election? The famous King Juan Carlos smackdown of Hugo Chavez? "Don't tase me, bro"? More rioting in Paris? Lee Myung-bak's new role as South Korea's president? The Frankenstein-like revival of the EU Constitution? Libel lawsuits by Arabs against academic presses in the UK and US? The baseball scandal? Oh, and news that didn't deserve to be news -- every single, stupid, degrading celebrity "story" that sullied the airwaves through the entire year.

The Best of MM in 2007:
This is quite a load of self-referential tripe, I'm afraid, but it might be fun to look back at 2007 in the blog. These aren't news links, per se. These are my picks from Quirky Asia Files, Quirky Euro Files, and various nerd notes. Here's a glance back at a year of rants, laughter, thoughts, and concerns.













That was the year that was!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Blog Relaunch in January 2008!

Dear friends and gentle readers,

My blog (currently at will be moving to this new address ( on New Year's day, 2008!

Update your links, and I look forward to seeing you here for "Mad Minerva 2.0."

Best wishes,