links for 2009-02-28

Brothers at War

This looks good.

Brothers at War is an intimate portrait of an American family during a turbulent time. Jake Rademacher sets out to understand the experience, sacrifice, and motivation of his two brothers serving in Iraq. The film follows Jake’s exploits as he risks everything–including his life–to tell his brothers’ story.
“Often humorous, but sometimes downright lethal, Brothers at War is a remarkable journey where Jake embeds with four combat units in Iraq. Unprecedented access to US and Iraqi combat units take him behind the camouflage curtain with secret reconnaissance troops on the Syrian border, into sniper ‘hide sites’ in the Sunni Triangle, through raging machine gun battles with the Iraqi Army.
“Ultimately, the film follows his brothers home where separations and life-threatening work ripple through their parents, siblings, wives, and children. Brothers at War is a rare look at the bonds and service of our soldiers on the frontlines and the profound effects their service has on the loved ones they leave behind. For more information please visit – www.brothersatwarmovie.com.”
The film is executive produced by Gary Sinise (CSI: New York, “Lt. Dan” in Forrest Gump), who said, “The media took the 15 people of Abu Ghraib and made them the face of the military. This [movie] is a true portrait of our military and their families.”

links for 2009-02-26

  • "I've never found it very easy to choose which theme to use when constructing a book in iPhoto. Part of the problem is that the sample pages that the program shows you when you choose the theme don't give you nearly enough details. If you want more details, you've come to the right place. On this web site, you'll find an exhaustive desription of each iPhoto book theme, complete with examples of each type of layout that is possible within each theme.

    "Even if you don't want quite so much information, the first few paragraphs about each theme can give you a summarized idea of the possibilities available within each one: the general feel of the layout, how many photos you can put on a page, what fonts are used, what text options are available, and more."

  • 'Before taking office, President-elect Barack Obama declared, "There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy." Vice President Joe Biden added recently, "Every economist, as I've said, from conservative to liberal, acknowledges that direct government spending on a direct program now is the best way to infuse economic growth and create jobs."

    'Despite the administration's efforts to stamp out opposition, however, the Cato Institute compiled an impressive list of economists who disagree with the DC strategy of Keynesian spending to help the economy.'

Today’s Genius function result

We’ve all had that song that gets stuck in our head. That happened to me today. Not sure how it happened, since I didn’t hear the song in a commercial or TV show, or anything like that. Just one second, it was there.
The song? “Edge of Seventeen,” by Stevie Nicks.
So when it came time to go pick D up from school, as we departed from the house, I cranked that very song in the truck for S and I to enjoy. While sitting at a stop light, I decided to use the Genius function to create a playlist of like-minded songs, and here’s the result:
* “Edge of Seventeen” — Stevie Nicks
* “The Chain” — Fleetwood Mac
* “Magic Man” — Heart
* “Wheel in the Sky” — Journey
* “Hungry Like the Wolf” — Duran Duran
* “Heat of the Moment” (Acoustic) — Asia
* “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” — The Police
* “Hold The Line” — Toto
* “Sharp Dressed Man” — ZZ Top
* “Brass in Pocket” — The Pretenders
* “Your Love” — The Outfield
* “These Dreams” — Heart
* “Baby, I Love Your Way” — Peter Frampton
* “Leather and Lace” (with Don Henley) — Stevie Nicks
* “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” — Dead Or Alive
* “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” — Rod Stewart
* “Go Your Own Way” — Fleetwood Mac
* “Renegade” — Styx
* “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” — Journey
* “Crazy On You” — Heart
* “So Caught Up In You” — 38 Special
* “Dream Weaver” — Gary Wright
* “Just What I Needed” — The Cars
* “Here I Go Again” — Whitesnake
* “Won’t Get Fooled Again” — The Who
The inclusion of “The Chain” raised my eyebrows. I expected Fleetwood Mac to make an appearance, given Nicks’ membership in the band. The rest of the list, mostly staples of the ’80s, is also not surprising, except for “Dream Weaver” and “Here I Go Again”. Losing the former makes the playlist that much better, and the only reason it’s in my library is because it was on a soundtrack (likely Wayne’s World) or compilation.

links for 2009-02-25

  • "My name is Mike Kobold, I'm a watchmaker and an armchair explorer. Unlike some of the hard-core professionals who wear my watches -divers, astronauts and explorers- I'm pretty much just a regular guy. Like most people, I have downfalls, shortcomings, and a number of irrational fears. For one, I'm scared of heights and am therefore risk-averse. I have ADD and am mildly dyslexic. Food is my downfall and I eat considerably more chocolate than anyone should. My job is sedentary and so is my lifestyle.

    "Yet I've made it my goal to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. How do I go from here to there? Training and nutrition only get you so far, which is why I'm having to learn to control my fears and to overcome my weaknesses. My goal is to raise money for the Navy SEAL Warrior Fund. Because even a regular guy should do his part to help those who have risked their lives in the line of duty."

This is the issue

“This is the issue: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them for ourselves. … Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.” –Ronald Reagan, 1980

If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
–Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishment, quoted by Thomas Jefferson in Commonplace Book, 1774-1776