Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beyonce Video: sexy or not?

Okay, so I just watched "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyonce---the video. What caught my eye was (again I swear I am heterosexual) the sexy picture of her by Scott Gries, Getty Images North America on She looked pretty smexy, so I thought I would check out the video. Something about the video was off. I'm not sure if it was the costumes, the dance or what. The ladies looked short and chunky (in a sexy way). The dance seemed a bit awkward and not sure if it was sexy or not, frankly. Please watch it and give me your opinion. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

dancing in tiny white pants

I make no secret of the fact that I have a bit of a crush on Russell Brand.
He is a highly intelligent person, an admitted sex addict, and a comedian---what's not to crush on? This being known, my bestest friend gave me a link to a recent article in the Daily Mail.

Apparently, Russell picked up two blondes and took them home to his apartment where he engaged in some pre-mating ritual which included tiny white pants and gyrations. First of all, the blondes were total skanks. Anything that completely shows the shape of one's hooha is definitely skanky unless worn in the swimming pool or in the privacy of the home. Yes, the other sort of had hers covered but just barely.

Secondly, those girls KNEW what they were being taken back to the apartment for. COME ON, he is a SEX ADDICT for crying out loud.

Plus, I TOTALLY believe Russell when he stated that he believed the women were washer repair professionals there to fix his washer and that he was only preparing to wash his laundry, thus stripped down to his tiny white pants. The alleged dancing around, I'm convinced, could be attributed to the chilly temperatures. After all, it IS a human tendency to jump about in an effort to keep warm....

On the other hand, he could be reprising his role from his recent movie in which he engaged in a similar pre-mating ritual. I'd go for it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Robots on the Battlefield

One of my favorite things to listen to on the radio is NPR (National Public Radio). Oh stop! I can hear your groans from here. If you are one of the ones who thinks that NPR is for nerds and old people, I suggest you give it another whirl. There really is something for everyone. If you don't have the patience to listen, check out the website-- You can even listen to the stories!

Browse your areas of interest. I always recommend it to my students, especially the AP ones. Great examples of educated discussions, articles, essays, music, history. You name it; they have it.

Okay, so Saturday I was listening to a very interesting discussion about the use of robots in Iraq. Apparently before the war, US had very few robot planes but now there are over 5000 patrolling the skies. At some point, the decision was made to arm the drones with weapons which has changed the culture of war significantly. There were little if any land robots in use but now there are over 12,000 on the ground in Iraq. They even have cool names like "Predator" and one type even looks like R2D2 of Star Wars fame, only bigger.

Some of these robots (drones) are used to find IEDs and to spy, etc. Now they are able to do what humans have traditionally done. This has led to some unique dilemmas, questions, concerns. What previously was only possible in the futuristic Sci-fi movie has now become a reality. Really makes one wonder how much of fiction is going to become fact!

It's not like there are soldiers hiding in a dugout with a joystick controlling these robotic devices either. Apparently they can be controlled from across the world--Nevada for example!! SO somewhere there is some military techno-geek sitting in front of his computer screen blowing up stuff in Iraq. Scary. Which brings me to the most pathos laden part of this story.

The young techno-warfare expert P.W. Singer who wrote a book entitled Wired for War, was apparently one of those sitting at a computer while a drone was being operated in Iraq. They had information that Chemical Ali was holed up in a particular residence and sent a drone in to bomb the house. The first attempt fell short and hit a house three houses away.

Once again, the device was locked, loaded and on its way when the men, via their computer monitor watched an old Iraqi walking by the targeted home, causing them to joke about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Seconds later, the screen went white with the explosion and when dust began to settle a flailing body was seen to bounce on the ground---once again causing the observers to joke around. A week or so later, Singer was face to face with an old Iraqi across the crater left by the bomb, listening as he described the horror of losing his family and the devastion from an earlier blast two houses down. All in all 17 civilians were killed but not the targeted Chemical Ali. He was captured later. It's one thing to effortlessly click a button, move a mouse seeking out and bombing a target half way around the world, but quite another to realize that what seemed almost a game resulted in real time traumatic devastation and loss of human life.

The young expert changed sides to become a proponent of human rights if I remember correctly. These robots are made by well known American companies. In fact, one producer of these drones is the one that makes those robotic vacuums. Interesting! The clincher is that ANYONE may purchase them!!!! Apparently, a private militia group patrolling the American-Mexican border uses them to assist in preventing illegal entry into this country.

The technology has limitless possibilities embedded with countless possible consequences. Sometimes, we seem so eager to develop new devices and technology that we don't take the time to fully survey the benefits and weigh them against the possible consequences. Think people, THINK!!! Listen to the full interview with P.W. Singer.

Read PCMag's article on technology and warfare.