Monday, April 30, 2007

A State of Mind

Last Friday, Sophie, Neil, and I went to see A State of Mind at the Urban Nomad Film Fest. Despite "donating" a lot of blood to the voracious mosquitoes out that night, we thoroughly enjoyed the movie and got to chat with the producer, Nicholas Bronner, afterwards. The movie is a documentary of the Mass Games in North Korea, the world's largest choreographed spectacle with over 100,000 participants. The documentary follows two girls as they prepare for their roles in the Mass Games, and it is an interesting and fascinating look into such a mysterious country.

Here's a music video of Faithless' I Want More, with video footage from the movie. Amazing stuff.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yeah, but...

There's a saying, "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Yeah, but all societies have crazy people, and there is a difference with what is easily accessible to them. There's an interesting article in the Economist this week about how politicians in America have avoided talking about gun control.

Did you know that "since the killing of John Kennedy in 1963, more Americans have died by American gunfire than perished on foreign battlefields in the whole of the 20th century. In 2005 more than 400 children were murdered with guns."? I didn't. That's an amazing figure.

Writes the Economist:
No phrase is bandied around more in the gun debate than “freedom of the individual”. When it comes to most dangerous products—be they drugs, cigarettes or fast cars—this newspaper advocates a more liberal approach than the American government does. But when it comes to handguns, automatic weapons and other things specifically designed to kill people, we believe control is necessary, not least because the failure to deal with such violent devices often means that other freedoms must be curtailed. Instead of a debate about guns, America is now having a debate about campus security.

No civilian needs an AK-47 for a legitimate purpose, but you can buy one online for $379.99. Guns could be made much safer, with the mandatory fitting of child-proof locks. A system of registration for guns and gun-owners, as exists in all other rich countries, threatens no one but the criminal. Cooling-off periods, a much more open flow of intelligence, tighter rules on the trading of guns and a wider blacklist of those ineligible to buy them would all help.

Let's hope the rest of American develop louder voices than the NRA.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

fun *and* helpful party accessories

You know how at parties, people always confuse whose drink belongs to whom? In the end, you have to toss out unclaimed drinks. Well, I hate waste. As soon as I saw the Wine Lines from See Fred, I had to have them (we got the Vintage version). They're great because now everyone can identify their glass. What's not-so-great is the print started rubbing off after the first time we used them, and they only work for wine glasses.

See Fred also says Beer Bands, but today I found these clingy labels from Betsybaloo, that would work just as well. All options are reusable - you just have to remind guests not to toss them, if you happen to be using disposable cups.

Paper for your Email

I missed GMail's April Fool's Day joke, but I finally caught up. You have to love their humor: "The cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements, which will appear on the back of your Gmail Paper prints in red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica."