July 31, 2005

New!

There's a new Serenity trailer!! Woo! This is an opening day "must see!" for me and Nin!

Jay found it first.

Posted by Ithildin at 2:03 PM | Comments (2)

Harry Potter On Toast -- Literally

This is hilarious! But be warned, it contains a spoiler from the Half Blood Prince!

Posted by Ithildin at 11:50 AM

July 30, 2005

YKYBRTMHPW....

You read your horoscope, and think it means Voldemort.

Something wild's in the air today? Is it you or you-know-who? Either way, there's no point in trying to tame what can't be contained. Let loose instead -- you're in for a fantastic time.

(You know you've been reading too much Harry Potter when...)

Posted by Ithildin at 1:35 PM

Isn't That Nice?

John Podhoretz on The Corner passes on this love note from the Boston Globe movie critic:

Stealth' is a pretty fair military-hardware action movie until you start thinking about it -- at which point it turns incredibly sour in your mouth. I can therefore recommend it to any and all audiences lacking higher brain functions. Sea cucumbers, perhaps. Ones waving American flags.

Tell me about that unbiased media again...?

Posted by Ithildin at 1:20 PM | Comments (2)

Woof!

Check out the latest Carnival of the Dogs.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:13 PM

July 29, 2005

True Courage

Frontier women to defy Islamists' men-only ballot

MORE than a hundred tribal women have taken a stand against creeping fundamentalism in northwest Pakistan by declaring themselves candidates in local elections that Muslim leaders had decreed a male-only preserve.

Despite one in three local government seats being designated for women candidates, the governing Islamic alliance has ruled that women should neither contest the polls nor vote. It has warned women that they will be forcibly barred from polling stations and face hefty fines if they try to cast their votes.

At the last election in 2001 the women-only seats were left empty because of a ban by Islamists. However, the federal Government insists that women be guaranteed the same electoral rights as men. More than a hundred women have defied the locally imposed ban in North West Frontier Province.

The women, covered from head to toe by veils and protected by police, went to file their nomination papers in the remote Dir district yesterday.

[....]

The right-wing Islamic government in North West Frontier Province has recently passed legislation called the Hasba Act to enforce strict Sharia and to establish a religious police to “promote virtue and prevent vice”.

It proposes on-the-spot punishment for people who fail to adhere to Islamic values.

The federal Government has described the Act as unconstitutional and has vowed to block its implementation.

Political observers maintain that the law would lead to the “Talebanisation” of the province. The provincial government has already banned male doctors from treating female patients and segregated educational institutions. It has also banned male coaches from working with female sports team.

My apologies to NOW and their ilk. I realize the above isn't as important as getting into Augusta, but I thought I'd pass it on nonetheless. /sarcasm

Via The Corner

Posted by Ithildin at 3:36 PM

From The Balcony

Statler & Waldorf review the movies.

How kewl is that, I ask you?

Via K-Lo

Posted by Ithildin at 3:29 PM | Comments (1)

Mars On The Rocks

212-010705-1343-6-3d-01-CraterIce_L.jpg

Water ice in crater at Martian north pole

Posted by Ithildin at 10:49 AM

That's Entertainment

It's Friday! Yay! And that means pointless, but fun, weekend type blogging.

If you have a movie, book, TV, or music related post you'd like to share, trackback or put the URL in the comments. Maybe you can help some of us decide what movie to see this weekend, or what book to pick up.

And if you're a fanfic writer/reader, feel free to share those links as well.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:38 AM | Comments (4)

For Your Dining Pleasure

The latest Carnival of the Recipes!

Posted by Ithildin at 9:17 AM

July 28, 2005

"Sworn Friends"

I didn't realize such a liturgy had existed in my church.

The Church of England is being accused by a leading bishop of sexualising friendship. The charge is levelled by the Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Rev John Saxbee. Yet centuries ago, the church officially recognised "sworn friends" who would participate in a liturgy specially devised for the purpose, the bishop says. And in the new issue of The Lincoln Bulletin, his diocesan magazine, he gives as an example a 14th century prayer which said: “Send your holy angel upon these your servants, N and N, that they may love each other, as your holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and Andrew and James, and John and Thomas ... not through the bonds of birth, but through faith and by the love of the Holy Spirit, that they may abide in the same love all the days of their life."

Bishop Saxbee says: "Sadly, such respect for friendship as a faithful commitment made between a man and a woman, or between two people of the same gender, no longer finds expression in our repertoire of pastoral services. "One reason is that the Church has succumbed to the current tendency to sexualise friendship, so that any prayers said to support or celebrate a committed friendship, say, between two men or two women are assumed to be promoting homosexuality."

The bishop describes this situation as "so sad" because in the Bible friendship is something to be celebrated "as the image of God's faithfulness and commitment" and the church through the centuries has "offered opportunities for such Christian friendship to be prayerfully supported and celebrated."

I agree with the Bishop, it does seem that the trend is to sexualize relationships. There's almost always the assumption that Nin and I are in a sexual relationship. That's why we started introducing each other as "my sister" -- it was just easier. But I do like the term "sworn friends", because that's what we are. I've always mentally used the term Anne used in "Anne of Green Gables": kindred spirits :) I wish the service described in the article was something still being performed, because I'd love to be able to participate in it.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:33 PM | Comments (10)

July 27, 2005

Guess That Margarita Is Sending Me Straight To Hell

This made me laugh out loud for real:

Basically, having a glass of Chianti with my pasta is made the equivalent of worshiping the Prince of Darkness. Bizarre.

I remember well the church my mum belonged to: drinking, dancing, movies, TV, popular music -- all the road to hell. So the above really hit my funny bone! I think I'll go open that bottle of wine now...

Posted by Ithildin at 5:59 PM | Comments (2)

What's In A Name?

Falling in with the general name theme here and here, I got sucked into name websites. I love names!! I really do. So, this is for Fugitive Jen: At Least 175 Ways to Spell Jennifer.

And the whole website is pretty kewl if you are interested in Celtic names.

One of my favourite Scottish Celtic names? Lioslaith. Though I'd always thought if I'd ever had kids I'd name a girl Catriona or Trevyn.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:38 PM | Comments (1)

NYPD In Canada

The New York Police Department has taken the fight against terrorism into Canada. It's part of a NYPD plan to improve intelligence gathering and Intel sharing around the world. Currently there are NYPD detectives based in Toronto and Montreal in a counter terrorism cooperative effort.

NYPD Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told Canada Free Press, "Toronto and Montreal were obvious candidates because they have very good law enforcement and a nexus to Islamic terrorism."

The program was put into place after September 11, 2001, shortly after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was sworn into office. Top cop, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, appointed by Mayor Bloomberg, created the liaison program. Commissioner Kelly is accredited for transforming the existing New York intelligence division whose prior primary mission focused on coordinating security for visiting dignitaries and diplomats into a division dedicated to intelligence gathering and analysis with a global reach in the fight against terrorism.

Taking an untraditional route Commissioner Kelly persuaded and recruited former CIA Director of Operations, David Cohen, out of public life and charged him with task of heading up the massive restructuring of the New York City intelligence department. Cohen, now New York's Deputy Director of Intelligence, garnered thirty-one years of experience at the CIA specializing in analysis and intelligence.

Since it's inception almost four years ago the program has grown. In addition to detectives based in Canada there are NYPD liaisons assigned in London working with Scotland Yard, in Lyons working out of Interpol headquarters, Singapore and Tel Aviv with hopes to increase their presence in the Middle East. Canada Free Press has learned that an expected agreement with Jordan is due to be announced in the near future.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:32 PM

Luring Children

Happy Week leads to jail for women

Three women in Indonesia face jail sentences of up to five years if found guilty on charges of trying to convert children to Christianity. The case against Rebekka Zakaria, Ratna Mala Bangun and Ety Pangesti, stems from the trio’s involvement in a children’s holiday initiative -- Happy Week -- in West Java. The camp was organised for local Christian children, but allowed Muslim children to attend with parental consent and supervision.

The charges against the women was brought by the local chapter of the Indonesian Council of Muslim Clerics who alleged that the women enticed Muslim children to participate and also that they tried to convert the youngsters to Christianity. The women were arrested despite the fact that all children had full parental consent. None of the children changed religion and reportedly no complaints have been lodged by the children’s families.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:09 PM | Comments (4)

Funny Stuff

the Prankster (47% dark, 21% spontaneous, 11% vulgar) your humor style: CLEAN | COMPLEX | LIGHT


Your humor has an intellectual, even conceptual slant to it. You're not pretentious, but neither are you into what some would call 'low humor'. You'd laugh at a good dirty joke, but you definitely prefer something clever to something moist.

You probably like well-thought-out pranks and/or spoofs and it's highly likely you've tried one of these things yourself. In a lot of ways, yours is the most entertaining type of humor.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Conan O'Brian - Ashton Kutcher

Take the test yourself.

A hearty AVAST! to CTG for the link.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:05 PM | Comments (1)

"Tinkertoy Terminator"

Jonah Goldberg on Arnold Schwarzenegger and the recall.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:20 AM

Where Does It End?

Spanish Echoes Increasing in US Congress

I love how the author uses "daring" & "dared". Oooh! How brave! Personally, I think it would be more daring to buck the trend and not cave in to the pressure.

How long before federal government employees are required to speak Spanish as well as English? Think it can't happen? If we keep heading down this path....

A bit later: the flip side with some good news. (via The Corner)

Posted by Ithildin at 9:40 AM

Pretties

I love watches, and have a nice collection of them. I got an ad from Fossil for a Lord of the Rings Elven watch. It's so pretty!

slice_3.jpg

Of course, in my current dismal financial state, I can't afford it. Such is life.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:41 AM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2005

CSI: Sasquatch

Canadian lab to test 'sasquatch' hair

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The debate over the existence of sasquatch, aka Bigfoot, an ape-like creature said to haunt the wilderness of western Canada has entered the world of modern DNA testing.

A laboratory will test hair samples that several residents of Teslin, Yukon, say were left when the large, but so-far mythological creature made a late-night run through their community in early July.

University of Alberta wildlife geneticist David Coltman, who agreed to do the tests as a favor to a colleague, said on Monday that scientists have cataloged the DNA of nearly all large animals in the Yukon such as bears and bison.

"So we'll compare it to all of that, and if it doesn't match anything, then it's potentially interesting," said Coltman, who suspects the hair was actually left behind by a much more mundane Yukon bison.

"If sasquatch is indeed a primate, then we would expect the sample to be closer to humans or chimpanzees or gorillas," Coltman said.

The legend of a large, hairy, two-legged creature lurking in the mountains of western Canada and the United States dates back to before Europeans settled the continent. This was the second report of the creature near Teslin in just over a year.

In the latest sighting, a group of Teslin residents told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. they heard branches cracking and saw a large human-like creature run by a house. It left behind large footprints, they said, and the hair tufts that were given to wildlife officials.

Coltman expects to have his results on Thursday and said that even if the hair turns out not to be from a sasquatch, the process should serve as good way to get students interested in the field of DNA testing.

"It's sort of like a wildlife CSI story," he said.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:50 PM

'Cus Reading Is Good

Sharon has started up her own internet business selling books for children. If you have some -- children, that is -- check it out.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:17 PM | Comments (1)

"Star Date"

Star Date Honors Trekkies

Screenwriter Paul Hernandez told SCI FI Wire that he's preparing for his feature-film directorial debut: Star Date, about guys who throw a Star Trek viewing party in order to find like-minded girls, leading to the first Trek conventions. It's based on a true story.

In an interview, Hernandez described the opening scene as if making a pitch to a studio executive: "Picture this: In the opening scene it's 1972, and a couple is necking in this car, and this guy is very visibly a nerd, and you wonder what she's doing with him. Then, he notices the time, and he says he has to run home because there's a rerun of a Star Trek episode that he has missed, and he never saw it. Well, she breaks up with him."

Hernandez said that the guy then talks to his friends about finding girls who also like watching Star Trek, and they expect about 10 people. "The reality is that they end up getting about 10,000 people involved, and it's the invention of pop culture and results in the first convention," Hernandez said.

The Paramount movie will incorporate some original footage of the conventions three decades ago, showing a young William Shatner as Capt. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Spock. He's hoping they may be involved somehow in Star Date, too.

"I did go to a few of the conventions myself as an 11-year-old kid," Hernandez said. "In 1981 I went to the Shamrock Hotel, but I didn't get dressed up, because I thought that's just too much. [I] saw trailers for Tron and Time Bandits and then [Star Trek II:] The Wrath of Khan, and the next day we became Trekkie fans."

Hernandez wrote the upcoming movie Sky High with Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley; it opens July 29. Hernandez's first screenplay, Instant Karma, is in production, starring Pierce Brosnan and the voices of Dom DeLuise, Burt Reynolds and Eartha Kitt in a film about a safecracker who is reincarnated as a series of animals.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:08 PM

Scotty

In memory of James Doohan, the original Star Trek star who died on July 20, NASA's Opportunity rover team gave a set of small loose rocks on the Meridiani plains on Mars the name "Scotty."

Via SciFi Wire

Posted by Ithildin at 4:05 PM

Wouldn't This Be Great To See?

I saw the Tattoo once about 15 years ago, and it was a highlight of my first trip to Scotland. This year's looks to be a humdinger!

DRAMATIC scenes to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar will be beamed on to the walls of the Castle in one of the highlights of next month's Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The celebration of Admiral Lord Nelson's famous victory, which saw the Royal Navy overcome the combined might of the Spanish and French fleets, will be staged towards the end of this year's sell-out run of shows.

All 217,000 tickets for the three weeks of the annual event were snapped up months ago. Even seats for next Thursday's dress rehearsal were in high demand - selling out in just over an hour yesterday.

The same technology used to beam huge images on to Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations will be deployed to transform the Castle during this year's event, which will pay special tribute to the Royal Navy.

The Massed Military Bands, which will include the combined Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, will feature classics including Hearts of Oak, Rule Britannia and Jack the Lad.

A crack commando unit from the Royal Marines will perform dramatic "Indiana Jones-style" action sequences, including abseiling and death-sliding down on to the Esplanade from the Castle.

[...]

This year's Tattoo will also feature a poignant tribute marking 60 years since the end of the Second World War, when the entire 1000-strong cast perform the theme tune to the TV series Band of Brothers. The lone piper will also perform a specially composed piece, Lest We Forget.

It is also expected to be the first and last time all the Scottish regiments will perform at the event together.

The country's six infantry regiments are set to be merged into a single Scottish super-regiment later this year.

The Massed Pipes and Drums will feature all the bands from Scotland's infantry regiments, along with special guests from Australia's Rats of Tobruk, from Melbourne, the City of Wellington Band, from New Zealand, and the South African Irish Band, from Johannesburg.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:12 AM | Comments (3)

Dance Party

The latest Cotillion is up. Check out all four parts here, here, here, and here.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:28 AM

July 25, 2005

Weekend Bits

* Utterly awesome to come home after three days and find no spam on the blog! All the safeguards Russ implemented when he did my upgrade worked like a charm!

* Nin aced her first test, but she won't know on the second one for a month. She came back to Jen's about 1/2 hour after she left, and I thought something had gone wrong. She said, no, she'd just finished the test. It was supposed to be a 2 hour test!

* Dave took me and Nin on a date while Jen was at her riding lesson. We had a wonderful Malaysian dinner with a twenty-something Malaysian waiter who only had eyes for Nin and was so attentive, it was hilarious!

* Went swimming two days in a row, and for once, no sunburn!!

* LIFE/Pirates of the Caribbean edition, the tequila version!

The break was very nice, and I did my best to put my worries to the side, figuring they'd still be there when I came home Monday. And they are!

Posted by Ithildin at 4:33 PM | Comments (1)

30 Sec. Movie Review: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Jen & Dave treated me to a showing yesterday for my birthday. I have to say it was a wonderful movie. Everyone in the audience, from little ones to old ones, seemed to really enjoy it. It was visually stunning, the acting was spot on, and the musical numbers with the Oompa Loompas were roll in the aisle funny. Now if only the teenage girls next to me had just shut up for 5 minutes, it would have been perfect!

Posted by Ithildin at 4:26 PM | Comments (6)

July 24, 2005

I Should Go Away More Often!

I come home after three days away to see a trackback from Michelle Malkin! Kewl beans!

Posted by Ithildin at 9:57 PM | Comments (6)

July 21, 2005

For As Long As You're In Touch With The Inner Me

Currently popular weddings vows:

"For as long as we continue to love each other"
"For as long as our love shall last"
"Until our time together is over"
"For as long as our marriage shall serve the greatest good"

Posted by Ithildin at 4:05 PM | Comments (20)

Gone

Nin and I are heading out of town tomorrow morning so she can take her tests up in the Bay Area. We'll be back Sunday afternoon. See ya!

Posted by Ithildin at 3:12 PM

A Picture Is Worth A 1000 Words

The Anchoress has prepared a visual aid illustrating what came before the Iraq war.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:07 PM | Comments (6)

Half Blood Prince With Spoilers

Okay, if you don't want to be spoiled, DO NOT click on the extended entry!

There be spoilers ahead, mateys!

SPOILERS!!!

What I want to believe is that Snape had promised Dumbledore that if they were in a hopeless situation, that Snape would kill him to be able to carry on against Voldie. There was much made of Dumbledore making Harry swear he'd run away if there was any trouble during their mission to the caves, so I could see him forcing something similar from Snape. It seemed to me, at the end when Harry caught up with Snape, Snape could have killed Harry, or at least seriously injured him, but he didn't.

Also, Snape being "the Half Blood Prince" -- clever! And Snape is much more powerful than it had previously seemed. Not that he wasn't portrayed as plenty powerful before, but this puts him at an even higher level it seems.

Though Fleur annoyed me as much as Molly, I did like her sticking by Bill after he was mauled. Good for her!

What's with Percy? You'd think he'd get over himself already.

Happy that Draco still may be redeemable.

The most out loud laughter moment was the sign in Fred and George's shop:

Forget about You-Know-Who!
Get U-No-Poo!
The constipation sensation that's sweeping the nation!

I don't know why, but it tickled my funny bone.

I don't really trust the new Minister for Magic much more than the last one.

Do you think any of the other students will choose to not go back to Hogwarts next year and follow Harry?

Posted by Ithildin at 11:11 AM | Comments (3)

Waking Up To Bad News

Sometimes I dread turning the TV on after I get up in the morning. Yet again, I woke up to more bad news with more bombings in London. I'm very glad to read there doesn't appear to be any deaths this time.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:09 AM

July 20, 2005

Half Blood Prince

My copy came in the post this afternoon and I just finished it. I won't talk about it here since I don't want to spoil it yet. But if you have read it, and want to talk about it, Gennie set up a dedicated Harry Potter blog here.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:09 PM | Comments (5)

You Just Knew It Had To Happen

Just a few weeks ago, I was reminiscing about "Battle of the Network Stars", and wondering when they'd be recycling it. Well, the wait is over! I was watching "Blow Out" last night, and saw an ad for this.

.... The reality TV stars battling it out for cash and prizes include Chip & Kim and Charla & Myrna from the "The Amazing Race," Nikki McKibbin and Ryan Starr from "American Idol," Brittany Brower from "Americas Next Top Model," Heidi Bressler and Bradford Cohen from the "The Apprentice," Adam Mesh from "Average Joe," Tina "Fabulous" Panas from "The Bachelor," Will Kirby (winner) and Mike "Boogie" Malin from "Big Brother," Evan Marriott from "Joe Millionaire," Matt Kennedy Gould from "The Joe Schmo Show," Wendy Pepper from "Project Runway," Coral Smith and Mike "The Miz" Mizanin from "The Real World," Theo Gantt from "Road Rules," Duncan Nutter from "Showbiz Moms & Dads," Richard Hatch (winner) and Susan Hawk from "Survivor," Rachel Love Frasier (winner) from "The Swan," and Valerie Penso from "Temptation Island," among others.

The updated format of the much-loved series is complete with teams of sweatsuit and Speedo-clad reality stars that will partake in physical and aggressively competitive challenges reminiscent of the original program. TV's most cherished and loathed reality stars will compete in a joust, navigate a kayak race, and battle it out in the famed tug-of-war, among other challenges. In a nod to today's reality shows, twists and turns along the way force team members to vote each other off, create alliances, and generate unending drama and tears

Speedo clad?? Say it ain't so! .

Posted by Ithildin at 11:25 AM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2005

Perspective

When I read something like this, it certainly puts my problems in perspective.

.... China, in support of the North Korean regime and in violation of the United Nations treaty on treatment of refugees, arrests the refugees and sends them back to be interrogated, put in camps, and even executed. China reportedly has special units to hunt down and arrest refugees and pays bounties to people who turn in refugees in hiding.

Women and children are increasingly the majority of refugees crossing the river into China. If they can locate a friend or relative's house, they have a chance at finding a safe haven. But if the ethnic Korean Chinese traffickers find them first, they are abducted and sold, either to men as informal wives or concubines or to karaoke clubs for prostitution. Their price and destination are determined by their age and appearance. China's one-child policy has resulted in a deficit of women from selective abortions, infanticide, and the selling off of girl babies. Kidnapping and trafficking have become common ways that Chinese men acquire women.

The women are raped by sellers and buyers. Some of the traffickers are looking for a woman for themselves, and they sell the other ones. According to an activist who makes regular trips to China to assist refugees, women are mostly sold in cities in Jilin Province in northeast China. He has gone to karaoke clubs in search of women and found that the clubs were protected by Chinese police. A young woman refugee said that Chinese officials are complicit in the trafficking of North Korean women.

Once a woman is sold, she is completely powerless. If she offers any protest, she is threatened with exposure to the Chinese authorities. There are reported cases of vengeful men reporting women to the police. They are then deported to North Korea. Most often, women are resold to another man after the original buyer tires of them.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:06 PM | Comments (1)

In Retrospect

If I didn't have a misery inducing head cold, I would have thought of a really nifty title like this one, for the "elf zoning" post I made prior to this one. At least that's my little fantasy, and I'm sticking to it.

Also in retrospect, (and I'm blaming the cold again) this portion just seeped into my brain:

In Iceland, settled by Scandinavian Vikings and their Irish slaves in the 10th century, democracy preceded Christianity.

So now I'm wondering if there's a reparations movement, and if the elves are the instigators. You know what they say, "Never trust an elf!" (cus they'll toss you every time)

Yes, you have it in one: we're blaming the cold for everything, espceially this post.

Anyone have any Miruvor?

Posted by Ithildin at 3:09 PM

The Elf Next Door

Elf Zoning

When laying down roads and putting up buildings, residents of most North American and European countries worry about zoning codes. Icelanders worry about elves living in rocks.

"If there was a large stone in the garden, and somebody said to an Icelander, 'That's an elf stone,' would they blow it up? They wouldn't," Terry Gunnell, head of the folklore department at the University of Iceland, told the New York Times.

In the town of Kopavogur, a section of Elf Hill Road had to be cut back from two lanes to one in the 1970s when, during efforts to remove a large rock thought to house elves, construction equipment kept breaking down.

"A lot of people believe they still live there," said neighbor Gurdrun Bjarnadottir, "but I think they've moved."

In Iceland, settled by Scandinavian Vikings and their Irish slaves in the 10th century, democracy preceded Christianity. Although the population of 300,000 is modern and Internet-savvy, old traditions die hard and opinion polls show that a majority believe in elves.

"My next-door neighbor is an elf woman," explained retired museum director Hildur Hakonardottir. "She lives in a cliff in a rock in my garden."

In Kopavogur in 1996, someone tried to flatten a hill to build a cemetery, but bulldozers malfunctioned and television cameras trained on the site failed to work.

"We're going to see whether we can't reach an understanding with the elves," the construction project supervisor told a local newspaper at the time. "Elf communicators" were brought in and after some time work successfully resumed.

Elly Erlingsdottir, who heads the town of Hafnarfjordur's planning committee, said a committee member recently told a resident who wanted to build a garage that he hoped it was "OK with the elves."

Erlingsdottir also told the Times that some elves had borrowed her kitchen scissors, returning them after a week to a place she'd searched many times.

"My philosophy is, you don't have to see everything you believe in," she explained, "because many of your greatest experiences happen with closed eyes."

Posted by Ithildin at 11:13 AM

Dance Party

This week's Cotillion:

Dr. Sanity

My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Annika's Journal

Girl on the Right

Posted by Ithildin at 10:55 AM

July 18, 2005

World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: World's End

According to actor Martin Klebba's official website, the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie will be called Pirates of the Caribbean: World's End. Klebba plays the character Marty in the original Pirates of the Caribbean and the two sequels which are now being filmed back to back.
Posted by Ithildin at 7:15 PM | Comments (3)

July 16, 2005

Help A Guy Out

Brass needs your help in recalling the title and/or authour of a book he read years ago. Here's his description:

The book is about the Second American Revolution and takes place around the year 2076, the tricentennial. The hero is a female with exceptional martial arts abilities and the bad guys are the U.N. The U.N. forces feature cyborgs among other sci-fi goodness. Just for good measure, the author throws in an alien that had been stuck in suspended animation (via time dialation) for a very long time, if I remember correctly it was his race that started the human race on Earth. After reading the previous the book sounds really hokey, but it was actually put together very well. I read it about 3 times between 10 and 12 years ago and I think it had over 600 pages.
Posted by Ithildin at 1:58 PM | Comments (3)

Birthday Blogging

Light to no blogging today. At 3pm, a bunch of people are showing up to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, eat dinner and cake, and participate in dramatic readings from Harry Potter after appropriate amounts of sangria have been consumed.

Later!

Posted by Ithildin at 10:27 AM | Comments (7)

July 15, 2005

SciFi Friday

Man, yawning so much my jaws are cracking. But just before I collapse... Stargate was awesome! Ben Browder was an inspired casting choice. Battlestar Galactica had me on the edge of my seat.

I'm for bed, but feel free to discuss in the comments, and I'll catch up later.

Stargate email list.

And totally unrelated to Scifi, but who's counting? Have a dog? Want to share how much you love your pooch? Then check out Mickey's place.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:35 PM | Comments (2)

Blowing It Out Of The Water

Russ hasn't posted in a few days, but he made the wait worth it. He's written up a superb review on the movie, "Master & Commander" that you should scuttle off and read right now!.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:26 PM

Final Weekend!

Kathy is in the final days of her pledge drive for The Walk To Cure Diabetes. If you haven't read about her sweet little nephew yet -- and he's a cutie to boot! -- then please take a moment to do so..

Posted by Ithildin at 12:55 PM | Comments (1)

Admit it!

Who's searching my blog for 'voyeur'?

Posted by Ithildin at 12:32 PM | Comments (3)

Hey, I Grew Up In Berkeley!

I am 14% Hippie.
So Not a Hippie.
What? Am I a Republican? Why did I even bother taken this test?! I guess I’ll back to my George W. Bush fan club and tell them I just wasted 10 minutes of my life. At least I don’t stink, man.
Take the
Hippie Test
@ FualiDotCom

I blame the 14% on the tie dye shirt question! What do you think they have you make in a Berkeley elementary school arts and crafts class anyway?

A Hearty AVAST! to the Llama Dudes for the test.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:28 PM | Comments (7)

Extra! Read All About It!

Carnival of the Recipes! Come get your Carnival here!

Posted by Ithildin at 11:53 AM

July 14, 2005

All New SciFi

Just a reminder that Stargate, Atlantis, & Battlestar Galactica start up again tomorrow on SciFi.

If you want to talk about it after, check out my email list: Farscape SG1

Posted by Ithildin at 10:18 AM | Comments (3)

July 13, 2005

TV Goddess

If you're a fan of TV in general, and SF TV in particular, you need to be reading Maureen Ryan's "Watcher" blog for the Chicago Tribune. She is a goddess of the TV column :) No, I don't know her, I just think she rocks. How cool is it to be an SF TV fan and get paid to write about it? And she does it very well. Plus she's a big fan of "House", so what's not to love?

Anyway, she has a treasure trove of interviews and news on both Stargate/Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:15 PM | Comments (1)

Johnny Sparrow

I'd taped an interview with Johnny Depp that I finally got to watch last night. It was the oddest thing. The interview was done in the Bahamas where he's filming "Pirates" II & III, so he was half in his Capt. Jack garb, and his voice held an accent that was an odd mixture of Jack Sparrow and Depp's own speaking voice. It was a longish interview for a morning show, so we got plenty of time to listen to his voice and to watch the Jack Sparrow mannerisms with his hands! It was an interesting insight into how he works.

I've read that some of the Chocolate Factory print publicity interviews he's been givng have been in full "Jack" regalia. Now that would be something to see!

Posted by Ithildin at 3:56 PM

I Object!

This is part of an article inspired by the premise of a new movie called "The Wedding Crashers".


... The movie cashes in on two common stereotypes about weddings: that women hate attending nuptials alone, and that men, realizing how vulnerable weddings make single women feel, use the occasions to their advantage.

But how are true are these generalizations?

Very, according to experts.

"Women have so much trouble admitting they are single [that] they will bring anyone to a wedding," said dating consultant David Wygant. "They hate to answer this question at a wedding: ''Why is a nice girl like you still single?'

"So to avoid the embarrassment, they end up going with a guy they do not like and hoping to hook up with the hot out-of-town friend they met at the rehearsal dinner," Wygant added.

On the flip side, men aren't likely to bring a guest to a wedding unless they are very serious about someone, both out of fear of sending the wrong message to a starry-eyed date and also to make the most of the opportunity.

"As for the guys," Wygant explained, "we know how vulnerable woman get at a wedding, and why bring food to an all-you-can-eat buffet?"

Wygant even suggests a ready-made pick-up line: '"Hey, weddings make me realize how much I miss being in a relationship.' That gets them every time."

I've never taken a date -- desperate or otherwise -- to a wedding. And I've never been hit on at a wedding either. The closest thing I can think of was a woman telling me I was "brave" for attending a Tartan Ball on my own (I even got pity dances!)

Ladies, what say you? Are you a desperate wedding dater? And gentlemen, do you routinely take advantage of us "vulnerable women" at weddings?

I think this "dating expert" is full of it. Not to mention, what the hell is a "dating expert" anyway? Is that like, a real job? Really? Nice work if you can get it, I guess. And what a prince he is with his "ready-made pick-up line"! Bet he's beating the ladies off with that one. [insert eye roll]

(of course, this could just be another one of those gender questioning moments!)

Posted by Ithildin at 1:05 PM | Comments (10)

You Go, Girl!

'Toyboy', 31, marries his 70-year-old sweetheart

For sprightly grandmother-of-three Edna Townsend, it was definitely love at first sight.

And to Simon Martin, who was still in his twenties at the time, she was the woman of his dreams.

After that fateful first meeting, the pair began dating and soon embarked on a full-blown romance with little thought for the small matter of their 39-year age difference.

Two and a half years on, the newlyweds - now aged 70 and 31 - are off on a two-week honeymoon in Cornwall, proving that sometimes love can indeed conquer all.

Last night Simon, an accomplished organ player who has been profoundly deaf since he was nine, said: "I'd never had a proper relationship before I met Edna. My life was all about music.

"She's turned my life upside down. She is definitely the woman of my dreams. I couldn't be more happy and don't care about the age gap."

The couple, who live together in Worle, Weston-super-Mare, met at a concert where Simon was playing the organ. Edna restores the instruments.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:33 AM | Comments (5)

Wondering

Sometimes I wonder if my gender is in question too! Glad it's not just me...

Posted by Ithildin at 8:49 AM | Comments (14)

July 12, 2005

Donate

Kathy has a wonderful post up about her nephew who has diabetes, and the Walk to Cure Diabetes in which she and her family are teaming up for.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:30 PM | Comments (3)

Word

Was it La Femme Nikita that had one word titles season one, two words the next...? I know some series did, I'm just blanking on which one. Anywho... I was thinking (always dangerous) that it would be kinda kewl and happening if all my blog posts had single words titles. It could be my thing. Not sure I could sustain it, but it might be worth a shot, and at a minimum, amuse me for a few days!

Posted by Ithildin at 4:07 PM | Comments (2)

Canals

Ancient Canals Found at Arizona Construction Site

Archaeologists working at a proposed development site in Mesa say they have unearthed one of the largest integrated canal systems the Hohokam Indians ever built in the Phoenix area.

Twenty Hohokam canals, uncovered during an ongoing archaeological survey of the 240-acre site, have been found since October. The largest measures 45 feet wide and 16 feet deep.

"They are the size of canals in Phoenix today, but these were done with digging sticks and baskets,'' said Tom Wilson, an archaeologist and director of the Mesa Southwest Museum. "There are some extraordinary things there.''

Other archaeological remains were also found, including a half-dozen pit houses and hundreds of pottery fragments and artifacts.

Historians believe the Hohokam lived in central and southern Arizona for about 1,500 years, sometime between 300 B.C. and A.D. 1400. They were a largely agricultural community known for their sophisticated canal systems.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:05 PM | Comments (1)

I Know Why!

Brad Pitt Hospitalized in Los Angeles

A coworker of mine -- let's call him "B" -- just told me he met Pitt when "B" was working at Laguna Seca this weekend for the big races. Apparently Pitt was there and shook his hand when he walked by. So I told him, "You're the one that infected him and put him in the hospital!"

A little workplace amusement.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:11 PM

Partners

Anyone want to go in on a Scottish castle timeshare with me? Huh? Huh?

Posted by Ithildin at 12:57 PM | Comments (5)

Brownie Points

If McCain indeed said this, then he gets major brownie points.

Strong Words On Supreme Ct Nomination at Dallas Fundraiser: 'During the campaign, President Bush said he will appoint judges who will strictly interpret the constitution... thinking anything else is either amnesia or ignorance... elections have consequences... whomever he nominates deserves an up or down vote and no filibuster... and an up or down vote is what we will have'...

This should be a 'DUH!!!', but the Dems -- and some Republicans -- don't seem to get it.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:36 AM | Comments (1)

Morning Dance

The latest Cotillion is up for your reading pleasure!

~ Feisty Repartee

~ Villainous Company

~ Sisu

Posted by Ithildin at 8:15 AM | Comments (1)

July 11, 2005

When It Becomes Personal

I try to use "must read" sparingly, but I think this post: Domine Dirige Nos, merits it.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:36 PM | Comments (1)

Knock Me Over With A Feather!

I know you're going to be as shocked by this news as I was:

Bush finds no friends at networks

President Bush just can't win with the broadcast networks.

More than two-thirds of the news stories on ABC, NBC and CBS covering the first 100 days of Mr. Bush's second term were negative, according to an analysis released today by the District-based Center for Media and Public Affairs

/sarcasm

Posted by Ithildin at 12:29 PM | Comments (2)

It Is A Puzzlement

Local officials baffled

Local officials were baffled when they got their first look at the federal government's top priority list of potential terrorist targets in California.

Why was Emerald Hills Golfland, the South San Jose miniature golf course and water slide, on the list, along with more obvious targets like San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid and Oakland's McAfee Coliseum?

The statewide list was supposed to identify ``critical infrastructure,'' possible targets of high economic or social importance that would be eligible for special federal grants to provide extra protection.

``We doubled over laughing,'' said Frances L. Edwards, director of San Jose's Office of Emergency Services. ``It was comical.''

Although the entire list has never been made public, 259 sites in California are eligible for a share of nearly $13 million that's been promised to the state under the new federal Buffer Zone Protection Program. Each local government will get $50,000 a site for surveillance cameras, protective barriers or other equipment to discourage a terrorist attack.

``I would be real happy to bring 50,000 bucks to San Jose,'' said Robert Kenney, vice president of Golfland Entertainment Centers, which also has courses in Sunnyvale and Milpitas.

But even Kenney was surprised that San Jose's Golfland, with a maximum capacity of 750, would be on the same list as Disneyland and Great America. ``I'd be happy if the money was used not to defend Golfland but a more visible site,'' he said.

Golfland wasn't the only place that had local and state officials scratching their heads when the list was first distributed last fall. San Jose's downtown arena was listed twice, as HP Pavilion and under its old name, Compaq Center. Spartan Stadium, with a capacity of about 30,000, was there, but Stanford Stadium, which holds 85,000, was not.

[....]

In all, 18 sites in Santa Clara County and three counties to the south -- Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz -- are eligible for federal funding. It's been widely reported that California's list includes icons such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Disneyland, along with major stadiums and amusement parks. Locally, Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, with an estimated 2 million visitors a year, is among the obvious places listed.

But Lofgren said she was shocked by many of the things that were included, some that were left out and by the overall shoddiness of the federal effort.

``In Los Angles County, they had the district offices of some city council members but not others,'' she recalled. ``They had a check-cashing office.''

In one case, the branch office of a major Silicon Valley company was listed, Lofgren said, but not its larger, more economically significant Santa Clara County headquarters. Also missing, she said, was a company she regards as integral to the Internet and a facility elsewhere in California that she believes could be crucial to the state's water supply.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:10 PM

"They Can Grieve Later."

Found this over at David Frum's Diary on NRO. It's an email from a reader in London:

"It is simply ridiculous to state the one of the most important things to do is to grieve. Give me a break. People are free to grieve privately if they wish, but spare me the candle lit marches. I don't care why these people do things like this, they are going to lose. My kids were in school this morning on time, I was on the subway during rush hour, and everyone in my office was here on time, even though we're a stone's throw away from bombs. The Brits whine incessantly about health and safety, but they handle bombers well."

"On September 11 I told my sons that the day they wrap my daughters in burkas every single male member of our family had better be dead. I stand by that today. They can grieve later."

Posted by Ithildin at 11:16 AM

"BuffyAganza"

Lots of Buffy and Angel stars showing up in new series this fall. Full show descriptions if you follow the link.

Nicholas Brendan Was: Xander on Buffy Is: Bad-boy chef in Fox's Kitchen Confidential, costarring Bradley Cooper

Alyson Hannigan
Was: Willow on Buffy
Is: Newlywed nympho on CBS' How I Met Your Mother

David Boreanaz
Was: Angel, the vampire with a soul, on Buffy and Angel
Is: FBI Agent Seeley Booth on Fox's Bones

Christian Kane
Was: Lindsey on Angel
Is: Married to a lawyer on CBS' Close to Home

Seth Green
Was: Oz on Buffy
Is: Barry, one of four roommates in NBC's Four Kings

In the meantime, you absolutely should be watching another Whedonverse alum's show: The Inside on Fox, which comes from Angel producer Tim Minear and is really fantastic television...And about to be canceled if you don't tune in, so please--do!

And we can't forget yet another glorious return...Angel's Fred (Amy Acker) will be back midseason alongside one Mr. Noel Crane (Scott Foley) in CBS' The Unit. Yes, the Whedonites just keep coming and, of course, for good reason. They're good.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:38 AM

I Suppose It's Something

Congress Takes Closer Look at Illegal Immigration

The U.S. Congress is again preparing to tackle one of the thorniest social issues in contemporary America — what to do about the thousands of illegal aliens attempting to cross U.S. borders every year as well as the millions who are already here.

"It is affecting every member of Congress in their district back home, it is a top-tier concern," said Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz.

Shadegg said the issue is gaining so much attention from the public that border security trumped White House marketing of Social Security reform.

"We were at home aggressively doing town halls on Social Security and people were saying 'Hey, wait a minute, what about illegal immigration?'" Shadegg said.

An estimated 700,000 illegals entered America last year; the national total is nearly 11 million.

California and Texas lead the pack of states, with nearly 4 million illegal aliens combined. Florida follows with 850,000, New York with 650,000 and Arizona has 500,000. Illinois, New Jersey and North Carolina all top 300,000 while another 3.1 million are scattered among the other 42 states.

"The big shift this year is that something has to be done. In the past, immigration has been one of those issues that politicians would just as soon stay away from," said Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:25 AM | Comments (1)

Eagle & Child

My boss flew to London yesterday and will be working in Oxford all this week. His first morning out, he sent me a piccie!

DSC00700.JPG
Click for larger image

This is the Eagle & Child pub, where Tolkien, Lewis, and gang, hung out. My boss has instructions to take pics of anything Tolkien related, but I wasn't expecting a photo so soon!

Posted by Ithildin at 9:30 AM | Comments (2)

July 10, 2005

WWII Day

poppydrop.jpgA Lancaster bomber dropped 1m poppies over the crowds in a flypast
One million poppies have been dropped on thousands of people gathered in the Mall for Commemoration Day, marking 60 years since the end of World War II.

Part of a flypast of World War II aircraft, the poppies were released by a Lancaster Bomber over The Mall as the Queen and Royal Family looked on.

The Queen earlier addressed the crowd, speaking of the "present difficult days for London" after Thursday's bombings.

She said the people of the war generation had set an example.

In her address, she told those gathered in Horse Guard's Parade that the years of war had not been in vain - but sadly, it could not be claimed the world had been free from conflict or terror since 1945.

"It does not surprise me that during the present difficult days for London, people turn to the example set by that generation, of resilience, humour, sustained courage, often under conditions of great deprivation," she said.

"That example, and those memories, should be kept alive by younger generations as they in turn strive to keep the peace in our troubled world."

Posted by Ithildin at 5:02 PM

More "Me"

Okay, as is usually the way, I slept on it and recalled things I'd wanted to include. So my 'all about me' page is new and improved!

(what's with all the fighter jets around here this weekend?) (it's just a little odd)

Posted by Ithildin at 1:13 PM | Comments (2)

Truth

We all know who was to blame for Thursday's murders... and it wasn't Bush and Blair


.... Islamism stops being an ideology intent on building an empire from Andalusia to Indonesia, destroying democracy and subjugating women and becomes, by the magic of parochial reasoning, a protest movement on a par with Make Poverty History or the TUC.

Again, I understand the appeal. Whether you are brown or white, Muslim, Christian, Jew or atheist, it is uncomfortable to face the fact that there is a messianic cult of death which, like European fascism and communism before it, will send you to your grave whatever you do. But I'm afraid that's what the record shows.

The only plausible excuse for 11 September was that it was a protest against America's support for Israel. Unfortunately, Osama bin Laden's statements revealed that he was obsessed with the American troops defending Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein and had barely said a word about Palestine.

After the Bali bombings, the conventional wisdom was that the Australians had been blown to pieces as a punishment for their government's support for Bush. No one thought for a moment about the Australian forces which stopped Indonesian militias rampaging through East Timor, a small country Indonesia had invaded in 1975 with the backing of the US. Yet when bin Laden spoke, he said it was Australia's anti-imperialist intervention to free a largely Catholic population from a largely Muslim occupying power which had bugged him.

East Timor was a great cause of the left until the Australians made it an embarrassment. So, too, was the suffering of the victims of Saddam, until the tyrant made the mistake of invading Kuwait and becoming America's enemy. In the past two years in Iraq, UN and Red Cross workers have been massacred, trade unionists assassinated, school children and aid workers kidnapped and decapitated and countless people who happened to be on the wrong bus or on the wrong street at the wrong time paid for their mistake with their lives.

What can the survivors do? Not a lot according to a Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He told bin Laden that the northern Kurds may be Sunni but 'Islam's voice has died out among them' and they'd been infiltrated by Jews. The southern Shia were 'a sect of treachery' while any Arab, Kurd, Shia or Sunni who believed in a democratic Iraq was a heretic.

Our options are as limited When Abu Bakr Bashir was arrested for the Bali bombings, he was asked how the families of the dead could avoid the fate of their relatives. 'Please convert to Islam,' he replied. But as the past 40 years have shown, Islamism is mainly concerned with killing and oppressing Muslims.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:20 PM

Terror, Home-Grown

Home-grown Jihad in Britian

.... The exporting of home-grown jihadis — and their fanaticism — was confirmed in Iraq last month by a senior insurgent commander, “Abu Ahmad”, who revealed that about 70 volunteers had arrived from Britain. Two had been killed fighting alongside him against American troops.

One of these, a 22-year-old known as Abu Hareth, had been born in Britain of Iraqi parents. He was killed in fighting in Falluja in April last year.

“When the battle intensified and due to his lack of military experience I asked him to take shelter in a basement. He refused my advice and told me off for asking him to hide and he said, ‘I will hold this against you when the day of reckoning comes for you tried to prevent me from attaining martyrdom’,” Abu Ahmad said.

Two brothers — Ammar, 22, and Yasser, 18 — arrived in Iraq from Britain after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003: “They could not wait to go out and fight and kept on asking when they will go into battle.”

After about a month, Ammar was killed fighting American troops: “His younger brother Yasser, who witnessed Ammar’s death, surprised us by shedding tears of joy and praising Allah for his brother’s martyrdom.”

The commander continued: “When we returned to our base we asked Yasser to return home, telling him it was enough that his family had lost one son; it would not be right if the second son was also killed and that there were others who would fight on his behalf here.

“But he refused and told us: ‘What would I tell my mother? She will not accept me in the house for when she bid us farewell she told us either to return victorious or to achieve martyrdom. I cannot return. I have to finish off what Ammar my brother started here, and anyway I do not want to leave my brother all alone in this land. I want to be buried with him’. And he began to cry.”

Abu Ahmad said that having been ordered home, Yasser wrote a letter revealing that when he had arrived in Britain his mother had celebrated on hearing about Ammar’s death — “ululating with happiness and calling her friends and relatives to tell them the good news. She distributed sweets and juices in celebration to all those that came to pay their respect”.

[....]

THE ROOT of the problem in the eyes of many foreign security operatives remains London’s reputation as a haven for extremists.

“It may not be the moment to say it,” said a defence ministry official in Paris, “but London is paying for its mistakes, for allowing all those radical organisations from Saudis to Pakistanis to set up shop in London, put out newsletters, make recruits and gather funds to finance their activities.”

Young men from Algeria and Morocco, including members of Islamist armed organisations, came to Britain in the early 1990s to escape persecution by the security forces in their home countries. They were granted asylum and some have since lived on welfare. Supporters of the Armed Islamic Group, known then as the GIA, used mosques such as Finsbury Park and Brixton, in south London, to raise funds to buy guns and bankroll a terror campaign that cost tens of thousands of lives in Algeria. They engaged in blackmail, drug dealing and credit card fraud to support their fundraising in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

In April 1994, after raids on GIA suspects in Paris, police found documents said to be “GIA communiqués” sanctioning the murder of Algerian police officers. Fax numbers were traced to London addresses in Southall, Mile End, Brixton, Finsbury Park and Richmond. A French investigating magistrate came to London to try to interview eight of those linked to the documents. But he was apparently blocked by the British authorities.

The French were so concerned about the role of the GIA and other groups in London that they authorised illegal spying operations against them in London — without telling the British.

Reda Hassaine, an Algerian journalist who came to Britain in the early 1990s, ended up working for MI5 and French intelligence, reporting on radicals inside the Muslim community. But Hassaine believes that despite huge efforts, the government and the security forces have been been far too complacent in dealing with the threat.

For more than a decade, Hassaine says, Britain has been a “soft touch” for Islamist radicals who used it as a fundraising and propaganda base to launch attacks in Algeria and elsewhere: “The groups here now are much more independent of each other. There are plenty of them and they’ve been here in London for a long time.”

One former Algerian jihadi may hold the answer to the terrorist threat. When he was 24, Abdullah Anas reached a turning point in his life. A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and an imam, he had been brought up on stories of the long war for Algeria’s independence from France. Now he decided it was his turn to take up the gun for a cause: in his case, jihad.

Anas travelled to Peshawar in Pakistan and then walked for 40 days to northern Afghanistan. He lost most of his toenails, but “I felt I was reborn when I first got there . . . Even though I was sick for 10 days, I was so happy to be walking along with my Kalashnikov and with my brothers”.

He fought there for eight years, becoming close to Bin Laden. But he was eventually disillusioned. “I am proud God chose me to be part of that holy war. I went there prepared to become a martyr. But it was very sad for me to see that once they had liberated their own land, they were unable to build their country. It was a big lesson for me,” he said last week.

“I realised that Muslims can win the battle, but can’t stabilise afterwards and win the peace. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw the same in Algeria, where my father and grandfather fought for freedom from the French, but once we had it, it fell to pieces. The Muslim fighters know how to die, but not how to live.”

Anas was among the wave of Algerians receiving asylum in Britain. He learnt English and now works as a company secretary and teaches Arabic and Koranic studies. The board of trustees running Finsbury Park mosque since the overthrow of its radical regime regularly invites him to preach to congregations of 1,000.

His message is both outspokenly Muslim and adamantly against violence. London is a safe haven for Muslims, he says: “In some ways London is the closest thing we can get to the society described by the Koran. God said, I created you as many nations, tribes and languages. That is what we have here. None of us should seek to impose our views or values on the other.”

He says this way of relating to life in London, as set down by the Prophet, is not simply a choice: “It is an obligation. We are part of this society and I tell my congregations that this is why I want them to know what the Prophet himself did.

“Anyone targeting this society is my enemy. They are targeting me and my family as much as anyone else, no matter who they are.”

Posted by Ithildin at 11:58 AM

July 9, 2005

Unsolicited Advert

Tearing your hair out over your MT blog? Need an upgrade? A tweak? Troubleshooting? Exorcism? Then Russ is your guy, your hero, your "god-like man".

Neat, clean, and punctual. What more could you ask? Oh, and reasonable rates and attention to customer satisfaction!

Call RUSS! That's his name, so that's why you call him that.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:37 PM | Comments (5)

All About Me!

Remember a few weeks back I asked about the whole 'About Me" page? Well, the vote was an overwhelming, "do it!" (Bou was especially persuasive) So thanks to all of you for your input. My wretched offering can be found here. It's not funny, or clever, but it's there. and I've put a permanent link over on the sidebar.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:22 PM | Comments (7)

Right To Drunkeness?

Man Sues Mass. for Right to Get Drunk

Eric Laverriere, 25, of Portland, Maine, was taken into protective custody by Waltham police and locked in a cell for nine hours until the effects of the alcohol wore off.

Legal experts said his lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Boston, is the first to challenge a state law allowing police to lock up drunk people against their will for their own protection.

Laverriere argues that the Massachusetts Protective Custody Law was written to combat public drunkenness and that the police had no right to use it to take him from a private residence. He also says he had planned to spend the night at his friend's and wasn't going to be driving anywhere.

"One thing people should be able to do is drink in their own house," Laverriere told The Boston Globe. "That's the beauty of the land of the free."

Posted by Ithildin at 3:14 PM | Comments (2)

Birmingham

According to FNC, downtown Birmingham (the one in England) is being evacuated due to a security threat.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:50 PM

Boiling Kettles

Apparently, there are people who are scolding bloggers who didn't react in what they consider an appropriate way to the 7/7 bombings in London. So go read what Emily at Second Breakfast (where most favoured commenter Dave J blogs) has to say on the matter. What she said.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:54 PM

July 8, 2005

7/7 Links

Good roundup here of BFL members thoughts on the events of yesterday in London.

Also wanted to pass on that I heard from my cousin in London and he and his family are safe.

Later: Charmaine, a Cotillion member, was on the ground yesterday. She's been blogging from the G8 all week

Posted by Ithildin at 12:22 PM

Useless

I know I've been a useless blogger lately. I don't want to whine about my troubles, because God knows there's people who are much worse off than I am. But sometimes your own troubles just overwhelm you, no matter how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things. You all know Nin lost her job, and that was a hit, but yesterday, there was more bad news, and I'm just still feeling a little stunned over it all. One result is that I'm going to need a second job, so that search starts this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:38 AM | Comments (9)

July 7, 2005

union.jpg
Posted by Ithildin at 11:40 PM | Comments (5)

Bear With Us

The upgrade well along, but there's is some oddness. Comments are being held in a batch, and I haven't figured out where to turn it off yet, so if you post a comment and don't see it, it's there, it's just not here yet. K?

Is it just me, or is the new MT interface butt ugly? Why does making a program better drive them into changing stuff that was fine before? It just ticks me off. K, got that off my chest.

Super duper thanks to Russ for doing all this. He's da bomb :)

Later: well blast!! Turns out everything looks fairly normal in IE, but in Firefox, which is what I always use, it looks like crap. The interface that is. It's like using two different programs it's so different between broswers. GRRR!!!

Later Later: I thought I'd ticked off all the right boxes, but comments are still going to the comment waiting room for approval. I give up -- for now at least :)

Posted by Ithildin at 3:38 PM | Comments (2)

The Blog

Just an FYI that I think we're upgrading the site today, so if the blog goes away at any point today, that's why.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:34 AM

July 6, 2005

How Odd Is It...

to be reading an article from E! on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and read this:

"It's very scary," laughs Houston-based blogger Laurence Simon.

Like other moviegoers, Simon made the Depp-Jackson-Wonka connection almost instantly when he saw the Chocolate Factory trailer. An offhanded remark last month on his blog, This Blog Is Full of Crap (IsFullofCrap.com), about how much he wasn't looking forward to Burton's film led one commentator to crack, "What's the problem...? Don't have the stomach for Michael Jackson and the Chocolate Factory?"

A reporter mentions a blog and it isn't Instapundit! And it's a blog I even read. Will wonders ever cease?

Posted by Ithildin at 7:51 PM

Bwahahaha!

Russ put this link in the comments of my last post. I love it!

Posted by Ithildin at 3:25 PM | Comments (1)

Take That, Jacques

While I'm not sure that getting the Olympics is necessarily a good thing, I have to say it did my English heart good to see London wipe the floor with Paris this morning. And in the Scotsman today, there's a lovely little article: Enjoy your humble pie, Monsieur Chirac.

An excerpt below:

BRAVO Monsieur Chirac! Et bienvenue en Ecosse.

We, at Scotland's national newspaper, would like to present you with a special award to commemorate your visit to the G8 summit at Gleneagles. The Légion de Cliché (with oakleaf cluster and platinum air miles). We so hope you appreciate the gesture, as dozens of craggy-faced crofters in kilts had to be taken off their haggis-catching duties to mould the precious metal for your medal.

But what nation could resist responding to your comments about the link between international diplomacy and cuisine? Here in the concrete-and-bracken landscape of stereotype Scotland, where many of the luxuries which ease your elegant French life were first invented (a list of the top 40 can be delivered to your suite for a mere €200), we were shocked to read the Liberation report that Lord Robertson had once "forced" you to eat "an unappetising Scottish delicacy".

It seemed even more puzzling that your personal distaste for haggis should prove so globally influential; but your assurance that "from there sprang all our [France's] difficulties with NATO" has been noted.

Albeit with a giggle. We are most of us blessed with elderly relatives who believe the world's troubles stem from indigestion. However, your comments to Gerhard Schröder and Vladimir Putin - that "the only thing the British have contributed to European agriculture is mad cow", that Britain's cuisine is "the second worst after Finland", and that "one cannot trust people who have such bad cuisine" - have caused a bit of a stooshie.

You might call it a fracas, but our linguistic tendencies this week tend rather more towards Trafalgar than Auld Alliance.

The thing is, you are lamentably out of date. And - much worse - you seem proud of the failing.

To paraphrase Flo, "Kiss my haggis!"

Later: I had to pass this link on for the first sentence. I almost spit tea (it's too early for me to be drinking anything stronger).

Posted by Ithildin at 1:26 PM | Comments (3)

Jurassic Alaska

Dinosaur Track Found in Alaskan Park (photo at link)

A track from a three-toed dinosaur believed to be about 70 million years old has been discovered in Denali National Park, the first evidence that the animals roamed there, scientists said.

The footprint was found June 27 by a University of Alaska Fairbanks student taking a geology field course.

The fossil is 9 inches long and 6 inches wide, officials said.

The discovery's importance was its location in Interior Alaska, far from the coastline where other tracks have been found, said Anthony Fiorillo, curator of earth sciences at the Dallas Museum of Natural History.

"It's not necessarily the track itself that's significant," he said. "It's where it is that's got us all excited."

Posted by Ithildin at 12:40 PM

It's In TIME, So It Must Be True

I saw this photo in the paper edition yesterday, and sure enough it's on the website.

So, according to TIME, the liberals on the court are all 'moderate', but the conservatives are all 'staunch'. Hmmmm.... All bright red and pale blue in their world.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:29 AM

Cotillion

This weeks Cotillion can be found at Little Miss Atilla, The Anchoress, and Reasoned Audacity.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:05 AM

Standard

The latest edition of the Red Ensign Standard can be found here.

And in related Canadian content, Girl on the Right is organizing a letter writing project for Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan.

She says:

So what of our Canadian soldiers, stuck in Afghanistan with nothing but a rusted Korea-era tank and a potato gun? Nothing. No blogs that I could find, and worse still - no letter-writing organizations. They've been forgotten. By our government, by our media, by our citizens, and by our charitable Christian women's hearts. They fight shoulder to shoulder with their American brothers and sisters, who receive care packages from perfect strangers, and the Canadians remain unthanked.
Posted by Ithildin at 9:01 AM

July 5, 2005

For Carol

Carol from An American Housewife, lost her husband Thursday night.

Carol's paypal button is below. We know that no amount of money will ease her pain and the loss she feels but maybe we can help ease some of her stress and financial burden.

Donations for Carol and her children
Posted by Ithildin at 11:17 AM

July 4, 2005

For The Fourth

Yeah, I'm still around, but barely. Thought I'd share this article from the Scotsman. It's a small piece of it, but all of it can be found here.

.... But it is also important to say, this 4 July , that one need not have ever visited the US to feel in tune with what it means to be an American. It is an empire of the mind (and the imagination) as much as it is a military and economic superpower. The principles of the American Revolution remain sound. The World Trade Centre no longer stands, but the language of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights does.

No other country has embedded the "pursuit of happiness" - the great goal of mankind - in the foundations of the state; nowhere else is the idea of liberty so revered. There is such a thing as an American sensibility and it can be felt from the Baltic to the Pacific.

Could the United States be doing better? Wrong question. If not America, then who? No-one, that's who. At its best, America and American ideals remain, in Lincoln's famous words, "the last, best hope of mankind". The United States still believes in a place called hope. As it celebrates its 229th birthday today, we should too.

A bit later: The Cotillion has a special 4th salute to Milbloggers.

A bit more later: I just wanted to thank everyone for their good thoughts with the job loss this last week. Both Nin and I really appreciate it. Even though things pretty much suck right now, we're still feeling blessed to have such great friends and to live here in the U.S.A.. God bless America, and each and every one of you. And a special shout out to all those that serve our country here at home and all over the world. You guys and gals rock! Happy Fourth!

Posted by Ithildin at 12:25 PM