Wednesday, August 21, 2019

What does that mean?

Nerdy James Bond fans the world over emitted squeals of excitement...or more likely scratched their chin and softly exclaimed, "hmm," with the official announcement of the next James Bond movie, No Time to Die. As you can see from this screen capture, whoever was responsible for writing the press release for the announcement made a boo boo by writing the movie's title as A Day to Die.  There are two possible explanations for this error. It was a typo, or A Day To Die was a title under consideration until No Time To Die was finally selected, and it was in a draft release or on the mind of the writer. 

Whatever the title means, the plot of the film, and the choice of font which looks like it belongs on the cover of a paperback novel from the 1970s, all will be revealed when the film is released in April 2020, when Daniel Craig makes his last appearance as James Bond.  

Friday, August 16, 2019

Set your hopes up way too high

The Living Daylights - UK cinema poster.jpg
Quad poster for The Living Daylights
Long before the proliferation of suburban multiplexes, and when film piracy was less of a problem, major studios often staggered their biggest film releases around the world. Summer blockbusters released during the northern hemisphere summer were released in the southern hemisphere until the southern hemisphere summer.

The Living Daylights was Timothy Dalton's debut appearance as James Bond. The theme song to the James Bond movie of the same name, performed by Norwegian pop trio A-ha, in Australia it was released months before the movie, which wasn't released there until November 1987. Arguably, this is one of the reasons why it wasn't much of a hit in the Australian singles charts, peaking at number 29 later that same month. It would have made more sense to release the movie and the song simultaneously. It was a bigger hit in the UK, where this was done,  it peaked at number 5.

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Link

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A gallery of evil?

I came across this on social media today. According to the original poster, this is a reproduction of an educational chart of Great Dictators of the World. Apparently it is used in Indian schools. Its educational value is highly questionable. The likes of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Napoleon, Mussolini, and Mao were unquestionably dictators, but not the rest of them. 

The artist, whoever he or she is, has done a patchy job of depicting each of the figures named. Somehow, former American President Franklin Roosevelt looks more like former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and George Washington all legitimately held their positions, with constitutionally limited powers, whereas dictators can do what they want, with no checks and balances. As such, they were not dictators, unless the authors are radical revisionist historians. 

As for the rest of them, Garibaldi and Joan of Arc were military leaders. Catherine the Great took power by deposing her husband. Charlemagne was a powerful ruler, but not a dictator. I'm guessing that "Chenkiskhon" is a transliteration of Genghis Khan, who was ruthless, as was Ivan the Terrible. Henry VIII was a flawed ruler, but describing him as a dictator would be overstating things. Former President of Egypt, Gamal Nasser (Nazar) had an appalling human rights record, but was also popular with the Egyptian people. I had no idea who "Mazni" was. After a quick search, I established that he was Giuseppe Mazzini, who helped to bring about the unification of Italy in the 19th century. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Snowflakes keep falling on my head

Labor Senator Kristina Keneally has made headlines recently with her opposition to the Australian CPAC conference, to be held in Sydney in a few days time. Firstly, she campaigned for one of the conference speakers, Raheem Kassan, to be refused entry to Australia. In an interview today, she called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to condemn the conference, and claimed that it would disseminate dangerous "alt-right" extremism, and just days after two mass shootings in the United States, sought to link it with the National Rifle Association, which opposes restrictions on gun ownership.

I am not comfortable with the idea of governments arbitrarily shutting down individuals simply because they disagree with their ideas. It would be far better to let their ideas be discussed and debated openly by the Australian public. That's how a healthy democracy is supposed to work. I don't need to be protected from ideas that offend me, Senator Kenneally. Nor, dare I suggest, do the majority of the people of Australia.

I went to hear you speak at a public forum once, Senator. From what I know of your political, economic, and theological views, there's not much that I agree with, but I wanted to hear what you had to say regardless. Can we not extend the same courtesy to the CPAC conference? Let people attend and engage with the ideas presented without unnecessary governmental interference.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Let my people go

I recently discovered Tubi. Think of it as like Netflix, only free, and with possibly lower quality content. This documentary series, The Biblical Plagues, is in my queue. I assume it will be one of of those documentaries that discounts the supernatural, and seeks to deconstruct these events by finding natural, scientific explanations for them. For example, the Nile River didn't really turn into blood, as recorded in Exodus 7:14-25. It was actually caused by a red algal bloom.

Whomever was responsible for creating the thumbnail for this documentary on the Tubi menu screen made a boo boo. As you can see, they have incorrectly spelt "biblical." It doesn't speak much for the quality of the documentary. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

My megaphone is bigger than your's

When I saw this meme, I had to post it. There is no question that social media has altered the dynamics of discourse in society. Anybody with a social media account can share their opinions with the world. People often assert that their personal opinions on subjects are of equal value to those of experts. Indeed, there is plenty of research from psychologists that associates social media use with a rise in narcissism.

I have encountered this directly, especially in debating contentious social, religious, or political issues, or a combination of them. I also frequently found that when I reference the work of an expert with a proven and sound understanding of a topic, they respond by dismissing or slandering their character. This is where the narcissism comes in, when someone responds emotively, claiming that their personal experience of an issue is somehow a strong counter argument.

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't want to sound elitist, and suggest that the average quiet Australian should not get involved in discussing these issues. I simply suggest that it is a good rule to not express opinions on issues you don't understand properly. If you don't understand the issue properly, keep your mouth shut. That means that I'll leave it to others to find solutions to the problem of social media narcissism.,5&as_vis=1&q=%22social+media%22++narcissism&scisbd=1

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

They're not twins

Monty Python star Michael Palin has announced that he will soon undergo heart surgery to repair a leaky heart valve. Look down the page on the link below, and you will see a picture of the surviving members of the Monty Python troupe. As the picture is under copyright, I cannot legally use it here. Pictured left to right are Terry Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, and Palin. Unfortunately, the caption confuses Jones and Gilliam. Jones is on the far left, and Gilliam is second from the right.