URLs du Jour

2006-04-16

  • Paul Hsieh operates GeekPress, a great daily stop for geeks. In an unusual move, he recently penned a longish (for him) article on global warming skepticism and goes into (as he puts it) soapbox mode.

  • Paul points to this Richard Lindzen article (as I did a few days back) which refers to global warming non-alarmists being "libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse." At Tech Central Station, Nick Schulz analyzes another example of that scurrilous trend, the latest issue of Vanity Fair sliming Frederick Seitz.

  • But it's not just global warming alarmists who want their opponents to Shut the Bleep Up; out in the wilds of Northern Kentucky University, one Sally Jacobsen undertook what Greg Lukianoff deems "the most perverted inversion of the concept of free speech I have seen in a long time". (Since Greg is the President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, that's quite a distinction.) Prof Jacobsen urged students in one of her classes to go out and destroy an anti-abortion display of about 400 small crosses on campus. In a docile effort to please the teacher, they proceeded to do so; Jacobsen apparently participated in the destruction as well.

Last Modified 2006-04-17 7:05 PM EST

The Constant Gardener

[Amazon Link] [2.0 stars] [IMDb Link]

Not my cup of tea, sorry. This is a manipulative political thriller, based on a John le Carré novel, where a handful of saints go up against a conspiracy involving corrupt British officials in league with a couple of murderous international drug companies. It's set mainly in Kenya. Rachel Weisz plays Tessa, who is murdered early in the movie, but keeps showing up in flashbacks. The movie revolves around her husband's (played by Ralph Fiennes) efforts to pierce the coverup erected by the conspirators, and to find out what Tessa was up to. The ending is bleak.

The acting is first-rate, and the director, Fernando Meirelles, is the same guy who did City of God, and he does as good a job of depicting African squalor as he did Brazilian squalor. The critical praise for the movie seems mainly based on its wise choice of villains, primarily drug companies. Corrupt African officials are brought in mainly as window-dressing; the United Nations folks, as near as I can tell, are uniformly honest and hard-working.

I will not be holding my breath to see an equivalent movie based on a more realistic premise of UN corruption.


Last Modified 2012-10-24 4:20 AM EST