Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Guatemalan Jail finally under control

After ten years (that's NOT a typo), this infamous Guatemalan jail is finally under control.

I used to drive up there all the time because an ex-girlfriend of mine lived close by. It was basically a crime town where the prisoners got to do whatever they wanted.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Path to 9/11

So after seeing the movie (two parts on ABC) and realizing that it was partly based on a book that I had read a long time ago, I went back and found the little review I did for it when I was doing book reviews on my website.

Here's what I had to say:

This book examines what happened inside the FBI and CIA, as well as the US government, prior to 9-11. There is a lot of information in this book, and it really helps set the tone for what ended up happening on September 11th. The scary thing, and it really is scary, is how many mistakes the terrorists made and how many times they should have been caught. There is a lesson to be learned, and it is that the CIA and FBI both need major overhauls with respect to their bureaucratic way of going about things as well as their intelligence gathering and sharing.

Quote: "...mounting government regulation and an internal culture of careerism and risk-aversion had shackled a field officer's [CIA] ability to develop agents..." Pp. 126.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Philip's Interesting Ad angle

Check out this idea by Philips. Instead of buying ad time and airing their commercials during that time, as is standard, they are giving the time back to viewers.

They'll be paying for premium content to be opened to everyone on ESPN.com and WSJ.com for select days. They even bought all the ad time during a 60 Minutes episode and ended up giving some of it back to lengthen the news segments.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Guatemalan Independence Day

185 years and counting...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

No TV Part III

So tonight was the perfect example of why I should institute this No TV experiment. While I ate, I watched The Simpsons. That ran into Seinfeld so I watched the end of that. So now it's 7pm and I turn it all off and read (9/11 Commission Report). That lasts all of 40-45 minutes as I go online and do some errands (the computer is the TV's close cousin, and it too should probably go). Next thing I know it's ten to 9 and I know that the White Sox are on at 9, which means I'm fucked.

So that's what I'm watching now, and it will probably take me into midnight, which will make me exhausted tomorrow, let alone frustrated at wasting so much valuable time.

In Paris I would sit there and stare out the window as I ate lunch or dinner. That was my entertainment. Sometimes I would read, but for the most part I would just sit there and stare at the people in the building in front of my window. And it worked. It was relaxing and it got me thinking. It felt good.

Now I can't seem to get my apartment to shut up. There is too much going on for any kind of concentration or focus to go down. It's horrible.

And I don't even have cable people.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The ABC 9/11 Special

I watched this last night, even though I was really turned off by all the controversy. Then I was surprised to find out, right before it started, that is was partly based on a book I had read many years ago: The Cell.

Which I remember enjoying. A lot. I also remember the whole gist of what the book made me feel: These guys (the hijackers) were extremely lucky to pull this off. The system just wasn't set up to stop them, only to monitor and track them.

I think the movie, as a movie, was great. I can't wait to see part two tonight. But I'm really turned off by the positive reviews that highlight how "Clinton messed up," or the negative ones saying "It's all lies."

I guess it always comes down to partisan politics, and that's a shame because most Americans will never read The Cell or the 9/11 Report, so this movie is the only way to expose millions of citizens to the information that is out there about what happened before and leading up to 9/11.

Did Clinton mess up? Was it Bush's fault? Who is to blame?

It's clear that the system is to blame. And unless we stop blaming the other party we will never focus on the system, which is always going to be there no matter what party is in power. So we better get to working on that ASAP, because, as the 9/11 Commission has told us, their recommendations have NOT been instituted - not even close.

By the way, that's next on my reading list, the 9/11 Report. I bought it like 5 months ago and now feel like an ignoramus for not having read it already.

Friday, September 1, 2006

No TV Part II

The more I think about my idea of getting rid of my TV, the more I realize how different it will be from Paris. For one, I have a job, not a 4 hour class. So that's less time at home right there. Two, I have a girlfriend, and her place has cable, so if I'm over there and she wants to watch something, then what? I won't watch? What if she wants to watch something at my place? I always have to go to her place?

It gets complicated, but because I don't spend THAT much time at home, alone, as it is, it wouldn't be nearly as hard/rewarding as I would've hoped.

But I don't know, something about trying it still calls to me.

I think I should do it. The whole idea is to free myself of these kind of trifling "problems" ("But we can't watch it here..." and so on).

MTV Awards

Unfortunately, I watched this last night. I agree with this guy, what a big suck.

EA cuts deal to put real-time ads in video games

Just a matter of time I guess, especially with all the new consoles having internet support.

Check out the details here.