Saturday, December 18, 2004
With the emergence of one actually convincing (incredibly enough) arab-american champion within the ranks of the bad actor-cladden WWE (one who claims to be fighting back for all the post 9/11 anti-arab backlash in America's heartland...),
it is interesting to see that more and more arab actors are clamoring for their rights too - although not as loudly as the WWE's resident Arab now...
DUBAI (Reuters) - Sayed Badreya doesn't act very well, but then he never really had to -- Hollywood has only ever wanted him to look crazy like a terrorist.
Now the Egyptian actor who played the bad guy in films like "The Insider," "Three Kings" and "Executive Decision" has got his own back with comic drama "T for Terrorist."
(Luminous Whimsical Note: you mean, there are other Egyptian actors in Hollywood... besides Omar Sharif?!?). (*lol*)
Badreya plays a bit-part actor who looses his temper at a director's demands for more and more wild-eyed looks in a "terrorism scene." So he holds up the set at gunpoint and forces the pasty-faced director to play the gun toting lunatic.
But it turns out to be a dream and the short film ends as a resigned Badreya resumes work with: "On your knees, you stinking Americans! In the name of Allah I will kill you all!"
The $30,000 film, which has toured the U.S. festival circuit over the past year, was shown this weekend at the Dubai International Film Festival as part of movies focusing on East-West relations.
Badreya, a large man with bulging eyes and a beard, saw the film as evidence that Hollywood was beginning to question the stereotypes of Arabs it often projects.
"There is a movement in Hollywood to allow us to tell our own story, because there is no Arabic story on the screen," he told a seminar, adding that the actors, including well-known Arab-American Tony Shalhoub, had taken part for free.
"There is no Arabic story on the screen. The Americans and Europeans tell our story, and if Americans and Europeans tell our story it's not going to come up smelling of falafel."
Arabs and Muslims have complained of ill-feeling toward them in the United States after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Anti-U.S. sentiment is strong in the region because of the Iraq war and perceived U.S. support for Israel against the Palestinians.
Center stage at the festival was taken by films about the Arab world but made outside the region, usually by non-Arabs.
Leading Egyptian actor Hussein Fahmy said the ailing Arab cinema industry had become incapable of promoting its own self-image to the rest of the world.
"Eventually all we'll have left is American and Indian cinema because they alone have the power to distribute films in their theaters. Producers see big returns," he said, adding that in the Arab world "we're all losing money in movies."
Hollywood actors who made the journey to the glitzy Gulf city of Dubai said the Arab world was still low down on Hollywood's priority list for re-evaluation.
"Middle East film makers are not the only people that have a problem getting their films across," "The Grudge" star Sarah Michelle Geller told reporters.
"To this day a woman cannot open an action movie like Tom Cruise can or a comedy movie like Jim Carrey can."
But "T for Terrorism" director Hesham Issawi saw hope in Hollywood: "They don't hate Arabs, that's not true really. They don't know us, so it's more about ignorance than hate."
Wow... if they had told me, weeks or even months after 9/11, that within a relative short period of time they would make a comedy/drama titled "T for Terrorism" - I would not have believed it! What is next - an Irwin Allenesque "9/11 -The Movie" blockbuster film... directed by Oliver Stone and starring... Tom Cruise and Sayed Badreya as one of the most visible suicide plane hijackers - if not Osama himself!
Coming to theaters in 2009...
Friday, December 17, 2004
Chaste America... pfffffftttt...!!!
U.S. study says fewer teens having sex Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Fewer teens are engaging in sexual activity than in the past, and those that do are more likely to use contraceptives, the government said Friday.
The National Center for Health Statistics said that for girls aged 15 to 17 the percentage who had ever had intercourse declined from 38 percent in 1995 to 30 percent in 2002.
For boys, the agency said, the decline was 43 percent to 31 percent.
"There is much good news in these results," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said in a statement. "More teenagers are avoiding or postponing sexual activity, which can lead to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy or emotional and societal responsibilities for which they are not prepared."
In addition, the agency said that when teens do have intercourse, 79 percent reported using contraception in 1991-2002 compared with 61 percent in the 1980's. The agency said the increase in contraception is consistent with a decline in teen pregnancy.
The report was based on data collected by the center, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the previous survey conducted in 1995.
While there was a drop in sexual activity at ages 15 to 17, the share of never-married females aged 18-19 who had ever had intercourse was 69 percent in 2002, up from 68 percent in 1995.
By contrast, for 18- and 19-year-old boys the share dropped from 75 percent in 1995 to 64 percent in 2002.
Teen girls' first sexual partners are most commonly boys one to three years older than they are, usually a steady boyfriend, the report said.
In a separate report, the agency said that for women aged 15 to 44, the leading methods of contraception in the United States in 2002 were the oral contraceptive pill, 11.7 million women; female sterilization, 10.3 million; the male condom, 6.9 million; male sterilization, 3.5 million, and the Depo-Provera injectable, 2.0 million.
They need to take into account women aged 45 to 69 (...) - it seems that they are taking over from the once out-of-control teens... and making up for lost time?
Men aged 15 to 99 are always takers - everybody knows that! Thus, no need for any "study/report" on THAT particular side of things...!
Thursday, December 16, 2004
LONDON - Baby songbirds can sing a complete melody after hearing only snippets of the tune, researchers have found. They say the findings could offer clues about how humans learn to talk.
Scientists played a recording of several verses to white-crowned sparrows. Then only the overlapping parts of the verse were played back to the young birds.
White-crowned sparrows like this one helped scientists to understand how birds learn to sing. (Courtesy: Franz Goller, University of Utah)
The sparrows were able to learn the entire song, ABCDE, just from the overlapping pieces, such as AB, BC, CD, DE.
When the birds heard the overlapping parts in reverse order, they sang the song completely backwards as EDCBA, the researchers found.
There are parallels between how songbirds learn to sing and how humans learn to speak, said Gary Rose, a biology professor at the University of Utah.
"Like humans, songbirds learn particular regional dialects, so they represent excellent opportunities to study the physiological basis of language," said Rose, the principal author of the study in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
"If we can understand something about how song is represented in their brains, then maybe we can better understand how speech learning occurs in humans and, when it goes awry, how we might go about fixing it."
Rose's team found young songbirds lay down a long-term memory or template of a song that they later use to sing.
The new findings imply that since the template represents sequence information, it doesn't need to represent the whole song.
"[The results] add confidence to the view that over the next decade there will be dramatic progress in tackling the fundamental physiological questions about the song system, said Daniel Margoliash of the University of Chicago in a commentary accompanying the study.
Written by CBC News Online staff
And, as usual, the scientific eggheads missed out completely on the obvious and the practical of the whole thing, while they were on the subject with them birdies - how to get them to shut their yaps!!! LOL
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
The Story of a Son...
everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would
often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very
courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father
was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the
A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He
said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son
gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to
safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He
often talked about you, and your love for art" The young man held out
this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist,
but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package It was a portrait of his son, painted by
the young man. He stared in awe! at the way the soldier had captured the
personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the
eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man
and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay
what your son did for me. It's a gift."
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came
to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed
them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his
paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the
great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his
gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will
bid for this picture?"
There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the
famous paintings. Skip this one"
But the auctioneer persisted. "Will somebody bid for this painting. Who
will start the bidding? $100, $200?"
Another voice angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"
But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the
longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the
painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
"We have $10, who will bid $20?"
"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."
"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10.!"
A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."
"What about the paintings?"
"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a
secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that
stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be
auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate,
including the paintings.
The man who took the son gets everything!"
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the
auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON,THAT WHOSOEVER
BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5 NKJV
PASS IT ON... Jesus is the reason for the season!
"Sure ain't "Santa"... eh?" - Anonymous
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
But he's so cuuuuute, mom...!
comes for them to choose a mate...?
How many wind up choosing... their murderer? Most though choose merely a "doomed-to-wind-up-divorced" mate... And that is tragic enough in itself... Unless you buy into the crap Larry King uses to justify his masculine rendition of the Elizabeth Taylor ways... in other words, "serial monogamy"... sheesh!
It is just like collecting palimony suits and alimony debt - and liking it! Makes very little sense to me!
So many jerks though "get the girl"... that it is appalling!
Even more appalling, of course, is their treatment of the girl afterwards...
Case in point... "not-so-great" (as it turned out - indubitably) Scott here...
Peterson jury recommends death sentence CTV.ca News Staff
Ending a trial that has gripped America for nearly two years, the jury that convicted Scott Peterson of murdering his wife and unborn baby has recommended he be executed for the crimes.
Court clerk Marylin Morton read the sentence Monday afternoon.
"We the jury ... fix the penalty at death," the clerk said in an audio-only feed from the San Mateo County Courthouse.
The California jury of six men and six women reached its unanimous decision after three days of deliberation, broken by a weekend break during which they remained sequestered at a local hotel.
The approximately 12 hours they actually spent weighing a life sentence without parole against death by lethal injection was almost double the time it took them to reach a guilty verdict in Peterson's murder trial.
The 32-year-old former fertilizer salesman was convicted on Nov. 12, of first-degree murder in the death of his wife and second-degree murder in connection with their unborn child.
Prosecutors claim Peterson somehow suffocated Laci at their Modesto California home and dumped her body in San Francisco Bay on or around Christmas Eve, 2002.
Laci, who was seven-and-a-half months pregnant when she died, washed ashore about four months later. She was found just miles from the spot where Peterson claims he was fishing the day she was reported missing.
Police later picked him up in the San Diego area, with his hair bleached blond and $15,000 US in cash. When police questioned him about his activities that day, they said he couldn't remember what he had been fishing for.
During a sensational trial that has been a staple of tabloids across the U.S., prosecutors painted Peterson as a liar and philanderer. Peterson's attorneys acknowledged his affair with a woman named Amber Frey, but maintained he was framed for his wife's death. The prosecution's case, they argued, hinged on a web of circumstantial evidence and a single narrative from Modesto Detective Craig Grogan.
In the seven-day penalty phase of his trial, defense attorneys called 39 witnesses while prosecutors called just four of Laci's relatives.
Throughout his trial, Peterson never took the stand.
San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Alfred A. Delucchi, who will formally sentence Peterson on Feb. 25, can reduce the jury's recommendation to life in prison with no chance of parole. Had the jury recommended life, he would not have been able to impose a capital sentence.
Maybe one day the girls out there will quit falling for the WRONGEST party...
Basing themselves solely on appearances - and the act the guy puts on.
Speaking of which, I did base myself -partly- on Peterson for the execrable
villainous machiavellian type on my blogged novel, a NaNoWriMo Winner (although I, unlike others, did not bother to download the damn anthropomorphically ridiculous little icon that certifies the victory... !!!). Having admitted so, Peterson was really nothing more than the outer hull of the character in said novel - because, as a main antagonistic character, Peterson sucks. I had to add a lot of layers to him, heavy doses of evil were injected into the character, to spare the reader any ill-advised sympathy for THIS devil (such sympathy is ALWAYS ill-advised to begin with anyway...!). I had to put in a twist for the macabre - otherwise, a mundane and all-around charmer (cause he's so cute) real monster such as Scottie here would have STILL gained some fans somewhere...! When even rotten to the core dirty scoundrels out there have no respect for his intrinsic incompetence, the layman (and some easylaywomen too...) would actually STILL TAKE FOR THE GUY...! (Hey - they got a Superman to play him for his TV movie biopic... did they not? When a Daredevil is actually closer to being his true physical resemblance... But Bennifer costs too much now - his ego has become such a huge star now and all - hey, the Red Sox WON!). Peterson, thus, is a monster and a loser so very well wrapped up - in a sugar bear package, no less! He would be the most pathetic villain in any kind of drama; even "bat-villains" had more sensible plans when they went up against Adam West and Burt Ward than this guy displayed going about his "plan"... Truly pathetic... And a sad, sad thing that he almost succeeded anyway, while being so profoundly inept... not to mention heartless and hideous.
Ineptitude is not just for cops though - it is for criminals too.
Monday, December 13, 2004
The awful truth...
Christmas in Washington
The Supreme Court ruled there cannot be a nativity scene in Washington, DC
This isn't for any religious or constitutional reason, they simply have not
been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the nation's capitol.
There was no problem however finding enough asses to fill the stable.
ROTFLMAO Ahh... the key to a really good laugh - when it rings TRUE!
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Supreme is not the word...
with luminous commentary interspersed in there... read on...!!!
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the government has the right to legalize same-sex marriage, but it didn't say whether the current definition of marriage is unconstitutional. (Nothing like some suspense to hook the crowds, eh?).
The court's ruling, which was unanimous in a vote of 9-0, is in reference to four questions on the federal government's proposed legislation changing the definition of marriage. (Irony - some of my favorite all-time scores have been 9-0 finals. Boston Bruins 9 Buffalo Sabres 0 for one... Lop-sided affairs are never good though in a long-term optic; after that game, the next one always starts at 0-0 y'know...!).
The court said today that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms clearly protects religious freedoms, but that times have changed and that the legal definition of marriage should also change. (Hey - the climate is also changing... so let's all adopt a polar bear and set the creature up real cozy in our backyards... eh?).
"Several centuries ago, it would have been understood that marriage be available only to opposite-sex couples." (Duh...)
"The recognition of same-sex marriage in several Canadian jurisdictions as well as two European countries belies the assertion that the same is true today."
Prime Minister Paul Martin applauded the decision, and said the government would now move forward with the legislation. He said the bill would be tabled in the House of Commons after the holiday break.
"We are proceeding because quite simply we believe in the Charter of Rights and the guarantee it provides to equality," Martin said in a statement read to reporters in Ottawa. (Hmm... equality equates mediocrity... no?).
He said it was a decision he has personally struggled with "but fundamentally it comes down to the equality rights under the Charter."
Three of the questions were put forth by the government under former prime minister Jean Chrétien in July 2003. (Ah... Chrétien - the most popular halloween mask of recent years... AND Robin Williams' favorite Canadian!).
First question: Does Parliament have the exclusive legislative authority to change the legal definition of marriage?
Supreme Court's answer: Yes
Luminous Ruling: Wrong answer... Besides, any legislative authority one can think of has limited scope when one deals with such things... if you know what I mean... now, DO you know what I mean...?
Second question: Is extending the capacity to marry persons of the same sex consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
Supreme Court's answer: Yes
Luminous Ruling: Why not also ask if the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has any rhyme or reason while you're at it...? What's next - people who want to jump off bridges will be allowed to do so - because we ought to respect their "rights and freedoms" too...?!?
Third question: Are religious leaders protected under the Charter of Rights from having to marry same-sex couples?
Supreme Court's answer: Yes
Luminous Ruling: religious leaders have more common sense anyway...!
They need not to be "protected"...!!! (If some newstyle odd couple
would threaten to sue them for not officiating in such an "union",
a truly capable religious leader would clamor, high and mighty, "hey
you cannot sue me - I work for a Higher Office - above your
pettifogger's reach...!". End of story I say...! Besides... why
do gays want the religious blessing now...? They sneered at all
that the Pope had to say about sex, saying he has NO sex life -duh
really?- and now they want his blessing? Puh-leeze...).
After taking over from the Chrétien government, Prime Minister Paul Martin added a fourth question:
Fourth question: Is the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman constitutional?
Supreme Court's answer: The Court exercises its discretion not to answer this question.
Luminous Ruling: I will dare answer this... not a Supreme Coward like those old geezers there... Anything BIBLICAL can damn sure be perceived as CONSTITUTIONAL... only a peabrain like Paulie there is not sure about THAT...!!!
Oh - and the So-called Supreme Court judges as well... of course!
Calling the decision a "huge victory" for the Conservative position, Opposition Leader Stephen Harper said he is encouraged by the court's muted rebuke of how the federal government has handled the issue. (Hmm... if that is being conservative, one can shudder at the thought of what REALLY being liberal can entail...).
"We're encouraged also by the fact that the government was effectively chastised by the court for not appealing lower court decisions." (Ok, but... like... how low can you go with this appeal after appeal crap... hmm? ;).
Justice Minister Irwin Cotler rejected that assessment, saying the court went as far as it could to support the draft bill, and is now handing it over to Parliament.
(Hmm... sounds like shady dealings somehow... eh?).
"They can't direct us as to what we should now do but they've gone as far as they could legitimately go," Cotler said. (Thank Goodness they can't go much further, yeah...!).
He said the court is essentially affirming the decisions handed down by lower courts in seven jurisdictions that ruled that the traditional definition of marriage is unconstitutional. (The clouds are gathering on the horizon thus...).
"Now it's up to us to assume the responsibilities as a government, and happily we've got the Supreme court's support to assume that responsibility." (Happily? Oh joy... We are having a gay old time - aren't we? LOL).
Martin will hold a "two-line whip" on the vote, meaning cabinet ministers will have to vote for the bill. However, backbench MPs will be free to vote as they choose. (Nothing like a two-line whip to split up the party in two - welcome extra dose of dissension in the already well-divided ranks! Whip it good now...!!!).
"Individual members of Parliament should be and will be free to vote as they see fit. However, the position of the government is definitive. For that reason, cabinet members will be required to vote in favour of the legislation," Martin said. (The position of the government has to be definitive for it to be able to usurp, in style and mere appearance, the omnipotence and omniscience it does not, cannot and will never have in a million years... or million elections! In other words, government does NOT equal God! Somebody please tell Paulie...).
Political analysts suggest the bill will likely pass, but only by a small margin. (No 9-0 score there... proof that they still have some brain cells left when they are at Parliament... Those that get to preside in the Supreme Court are the only ones who lose them almost completely overnight...).
The move toward legalizing gay marriage began in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. (A recognized triumverate of d.c.a. - debauchery, crime and assorted activities...!). Rulings in those provinces were followed by similar court decisions in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon. (Three likely sheep-mentality provinces... and one surprising territory to jump on THIS bandwagon. And no - my American "friends" - the Yukon is NOT Canada's Yucca Mountain... ok?).
If the legislation eventually passes in Parliament, Canada would be among the first countries to officially recognize gay and lesbian marriages.
They wish - any dubious "honor" is craved by Canada it seems... first in nothing, practically... The country really suffers from a bad case of trying to measure up to its big great sibling... But really now, who are they kidding here...? Several countries in the world have "officially recognized" this sort of union... If you want to be truly original, Canada, try and be the first to legalize pot! I know some folks who will see their business boom as a result... right Timmy? ;)