March 31, 2003

Bend it like Beckham

We saw a really neat film on Friday, Bend It Like Beckham, which is as much feel-good fun as a movie can get without being formulaic.

Ignore the title if you're not versed in English football. The film is like "Greek Wedding" in tone (living life among a smothering-if-vibrant family) and "Billy Elliot" in theme (following a 'crazy' dream because of exceptional talent), with a great soundtrack and lots of girl-power goodness.

Posted by Chris at 03:57 PM | Comments (1)

War and wars

Perhaps you're sick of war coverage, but I thought it was refreshing to hear a balanced, thorough report of the mood in Baghdad by a BBC correspondent.

In other news, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld have started selling the next wars, just in case this one turns out to be profitable.

Posted by Chris at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

A hybrid that hauls

Steve pointed out a local project, started at SDSU, which created a diesel-electric hybrid sports car. 240HP, bright red, and it can run on bio-diesel at 80MPG! Pretty hot stuff, and it was made with mostly off-the-shelf components.

The site is a bit sparse at present, but more information and photos are available elsewhere.

Posted by Chris at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

What about the leg warmers?

It looks like the musical is jiggling back to life. Appaarently the producers of "Chicago" are making a new version of Footloose.

I think they should cast Kevin Bacon as the baptist minister this time. ;)

Posted by Chris at 10:01 AM | Comments (1)

March 30, 2003

You go, Michael Moore!

For those who were actually surprised by Michael Moore's comments at the Oscars (and especially for those who thought he was actually booed by fellow actors), he has recently explained his comments.

"And, as I walked up to the stage, I was still thinking about the lessons that morning at Mass. About how silence, when you observe wrongs being committed, is the same as committing those wrongs yourself. And so I followed my conscience and my heart."

Funny thing is, I was hoping he would say just what he said. I had read his comments just the day before, from another awards ceremony (I think it was the SAG awards.) I had waited through a lot of other syrupy speeches. When he won, I thought, "Finally! If Michael Moore doesn't say something, no one will."

Posted by Chris at 10:40 AM | Comments (2)

March 29, 2003

U.S. attack endangers more than Saddam

My high school biology teacher had a saying, "When bull elephants fight, the grass always loses." In this case, humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq (basic needs like water and food) is in a crisis, the U.S. government is doing little to help, and most countries are reluctant to assist because funds would go straight to the Pentagon.

Remember kids, we chose to inflict this harm. I didn't, maybe you didn't, but this country did, and now the world holds us responsible.

Posted by Chris at 07:17 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2003

New life for Apple batteries

Chuck brought this Apple article to my attention. Basically, there's a way to re-set the timer inside an iBook or TiBook's battery so that it will more accurately display the time/power remaining. Apple recommends performing this procedure "every few months", so I'm overdue on my TiBook and Karen's iBook.

Posted by Chris at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

The Core sucks rocks

Q: What happens when you put Stanley Tucci, Alfre Woodard, and Hillary Swank in a really crappy 50s-esque sci-fi movie?

A: Roger Ebert has a field day with it. I'm guessing that the Ebert piece is more entertaining than the movie, but that's just me. (Thanks, Deana.)

Posted by Chris at 03:05 PM | Comments (5)

You will go to the moon...

I'm goin' to Space Academy!

Details to follow.

BTW, Mars is getting more and more exciting. I'd love to think of that as an adventure trip for my 50th birthday.

Posted by Chris at 12:24 PM | Comments (1)

Seeing ourselves

"O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!"
-- Robbie Burns

Others aren't seeing us particularly favorably right now.

(Thanks to Deana for the link.)

Posted by Chris at 09:50 AM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2003

Sperm may 'sniff' their way to eggs

The Times (of London) writes: "Scientists from the Ruhr University in Germany and the University of California in Los Angeles have discovered a “chemical nose”, named hOR17-4, on sperm cells that allows them to sense high concentrations of a sperm- attracting substance called bourgeonal, which researchers believe works as a chemical road sign to mark the location of an egg."

Cool stuff. UPI has a good story about it.

Posted by Chris at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

The Conversation

This conversation about Iraq is much wittier than any I've had, but it sounds very familiar.

And yes, I'm stealing outright from Wil Wheaton's weblog.

Posted by Chris at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

Light echoes and mysterious stars

Karen sent a link to an article at about a bizarre new nova-like star that is expanding and cooling in a way astronomers didn't expect. At the same time, it's giving us a show: a light echo, which is light that bounced off larger and larger regions of dust around the star as the star got brighter.

Posted by Chris at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

Iraq and environment

There is a fascinating article at New Scientist.

It outlines some of the environmental repercussions of war in Iraq. These aren't things I've heard brought up in any other news. This is a very delicate ecosystem and the idea that we--both sides--could be causing horrible, irreversible damage just horrifies me.

Posted by Karen at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2003

Panda pr0n

The San Diego Zoo has streaming video (requires RealOne player) of Bai Yun and her new suitor Gao Gao... er... gettin' it on. You just have to play Barry White when you watch it.

Apparently this is a great success for the Zoo. They're hoping that Bai Yun will conceive naturally this time, even though artificial insemination worked well with Hua Mei.

Posted by Chris at 04:40 PM | Comments (1)

War and pleas

If you know me at all, you probably know that I'm not in favor of attacking Iraq. You probably also know that I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I like my science skeptical, and I like my arguments backed up by data.

So you can imagine how much this page rattled me. If you can't tell why, read the statement of principles on that page. Then read the names at the bottom. Then read the date.

OK, so it's not the smoking gun. It's basically a bunch of hard-liners whining, "We miss Reagan." However, when you think about statements like "challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values", you might decide that the people on that list were planning this war long before September 11th gave them an excuse. If you start sliding down that slope, maybe it'll occur to you that Afghanistan qualified as another "hostile regime", so maybe there were other reasons to attack them, too.

But that's paranoia, right?

Update: Jaime points out this story about the new "Moron Majority" that believes Saddam was behind the September 11th attacks. I wouldn't put it so strongly, but it really does surprise me how easily people are misled.

Posted by Chris at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

Mars in our own backyard

I didn't realize just how in-depth the Mars Desert Research Station mission was. Two rovers, a full hab, eight international crew and some brand-new space suit designs from Australia. Nice stuff!

The MDRS is a site in the Mars-like Utah desert designed to test protocols and hardware for Mars missions.

Mission control for the MDRS was provided by our very own San Diego chapter of the Mars Society.

Posted by Chris at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

Is this thing on?

There has to be some kind of default for first blog entries. If this was a computer program, I'd use "Hello, World!".

Heck, why not?

Hello, World!

Posted by Chris at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)