05.20.02 >1929

Meanings of Meow: "While domestic cats may not know language, a study suggests the animals, which have lived alongside people for thousands of years, have adapted their "meows" to better communicate with humans." (link via Webcrumbs)

05.17.02 >2230

Saw AOTC tonight.

Yoda is da bomb.

There were some other parts that I thought were downright corny or too scripted to be real, but for the most part I liked the movie a lot.

05.16.02 >1841

Pro-West Putin Snubs His Public: "Russia has to prove to the international community why Russia is still important," [Ivan] Safranchuk said. "Russia has to state why Russia is Russia, and not merely Cote d'Ivoire with weapons." Still too many questions go unanswered about Putin's decisions from this week, however. One thing that perturbs me is that although Russia's making efforts to cooperate more with the West, that doesn't mean the U.S. will reciprocate efforts to cooperate more with Russia. An article on the same subject from the CSMonitor offers a different, more optimistic point of view.

Calls for reparations brew revolt of blacks: "Reparations would be 'an insult to hard-working blacks to insist they need some kind of government aid because of something that happened over a century ago,' [Joe Hicks] says."

The Clone Debate - Inside and Outside of Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Modern technology, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings - can't get any better 'n this!

Come Mud or High Water: A Washington Post reporter spent the day running through various trials and tests with first-year "plebes" from the U.S. Naval Academy. I would say "fun," but I think I'd regret it later.

05.15.02 >1814

A couple articles that relate (one way or another) to the last post:

How sick is Europe? "IT IS tempting to think that there is something profoundly and newly rotten in Europe. In the past few months, violence across the continent has been perpetrated against synagogues and other Jewish buildings, raising the spectre of anti-Semitism reviving in the continent that spawned it. In a number of apparently civilised countries, such as Austria, Italy and Denmark, political parties hostile to immigrants and in some cases with fascist antecedents now participate in coalition governments or prop them up. Last month this trend seemed to sharpen when Jean-Marie Le Pen, a populist thug, won enough votes in France to knock out the main candidate of the respectable left to reach the final round of the presidential election. And last weekend brought a new shock: Pim Fortuyn, the leader of a far-right party that still has a chance of holding the ring after next week's general election in the Netherlands, was shot dead. Little wonder that many people, connecting the dots, are asking whether violence and racism might become Europe's new norm."

The next threat to NATO This is an oldie but a goodie from The Atlantic, esp. since the Balkans and post-Communist Eastern Europe has been such a big interest to me thanks to my Int'l Relations class. (And, well, it also helped that I had to write a huge "transitional report" paper on one of the post-Communist countries in the region, though I can't say I was too enthusiastic about doing it.)


I have a little time before my next class, so I wanted to think aloud about what we talked about in Int'l Relations.

Our discussion circled around the recent news of the meeting between NATO and prospective members and how this relates to the post-Communist era - that and this little tidbit about Russia becoming a NATO partner. I would have to say that the discussion didn't focus so much on these happenings themselves as much as it did on the impact they'd have on the whole alliance and its new mission.

I've wondered often why the heck NATO is still around since the Cold War's been dead for ten-plus years. A couple people put forward the argument that since the U.S. is the dominant military power in the alliance, that it would use NATO to press its agenda in Europe and maintain its influence in this part of the world. (If you remember, the U.S. used NATO forces during the Kosovo conflict to deal with "Big Bully" Serbia.) So what would happen if the Europeans didn't like this and wanted to get out of NATO?

Also pointed out during the discussion was the observation that a divergence between the U.S. and Western Europe on security and economic policies has begun to appear. We have the European Union, which is seen as a stepping stone for candidate countries to join NATO or vice versa; where the populations have grown increasingly unhappy because their countries no longer have sovereignty and this has given way to nationalistic fervor and a large anti-immigrant movement. Why is joining either of these organizations such a big deal for the candidates? How would EU or NATO entry affect these countries' economies? Their control over their own militaries?

Time for class. More later...

05.14.02 >1804

Utter stillness, serenity, this silent world. Nothing to listen to save for the brief crunch of footsteps and the constant hiss of rain meeting the pavement, like oil sizzling in a pan.

The atmosphere shimmers with heat and wetness. I stand with my face raised to a night dark sky, arms outstretched, and droplets form on my splayed fingertips, trickle down my neck, saturate my clothes. Above me the rain falls in small and cold but gentle rainbows, fading into the sky but slowly collecting as they prepare to meet earth and mortal.

I am alone. I stand on an empty street, with only a tall streetlight, unassuming and formidable, for a companion. Not even heaven's light that flashes across the sky can move me.

The storm has come. The storm and I are one.


Thanks to Jason, I've been in a haiku (or senryu) mood for several days now!

Falling, slipping near,
The cliff edge looms like the grave
But You hold me close
All yesterday morning I'd been privately anguishing, for the lack of a better word, about what I'd do this summer. Since my chances of finding any work that had to do with my future career (journalism) couldn't be had in San Francisco, and since my license agreement renewal for the apartment was due, I finally made a decision after some prayer and some discussion with my dad and a friend.

I am not staying in San Francisco this summer. After feeling adrift for the past few weeks concerning the next few months, it was nice to finally know the direction about where to go next. Finding work isn't really a priority to me right now, though I can assure you that I won't be sittin' on my hiney all summer long. But I feel much better about myself, about where God wants me to go and what He wants me to do, and His peace about anything is definitely the best feeling in the world.

05.12.02 >0909

To the woman in my life who matters most: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Tenderness abounds
Despite my anguish and faults
Mom, I love you so


05.11.02 >2147

A very handy Glossary of Hardboiled Slang.

Way koo-el, baby. Way koo-el.


Families of 11 dead illegals to sue U.S.: "The families of 11 immigrants who died illegally crossing into Arizona from Mexico have filed a $41 million claim against two federal agencies, saying the government's refusal to put water out in the desert contributed to the migrants' deaths."

Uhhh - why don't these families sue the morons who led their loved ones on this fatal escapade instead? Oh, wait, they don't have millions of U.S. dollars in their pockets...ok, carry on. Go ahead and file suit against the feds of a country whose borders they didn't have permission to cross in the first place. Maybe I should start a "The Stupidest Reasons Why to Sue Someone" column.


Anti-American boycott grows in Arab world: "American support for Israel, especially during its recent military offensive in the occupied territories, is driving a grass-roots effort to boycott American products throughout the Arab world. With word spread via the Internet, mosque sermons, fliers and even cell phone messages, the boycott seems to be slowly gathering force, especially against consumer products."

Schröder calls on EU leaders to quell far right: "Speaking at the end of a tumultuous week in the continent's affairs that saw the anti-immigration Dutch politician, Pim Fortuyn, assassinated and nearly six million French people vote for an overtly xenophobic Jean-Marie Le Pen, the chancellor said: 'In France, and possibly also in the Netherlands, the right has been getting stronger because, among the public, a feeling prevails that the question of internal security - the protection of people - has not been adequately addressed'."