Archive for the ‘Dead Trees’ Category

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Read These Books: An Honest Review of Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass (Northern Lights), Subtle Knife and Amber Spyglass

November 17, 2007

This trilogy is collectively referred to as His Dark Materials and has been in the news of late because the movie based on the first book is to be released on December 7th of this year. As I have previously mentioned, the fundies are up in arms about books with such potent ideas and have launched a spam-paign (yes, that’s an email spam campaign) against His Dark Materials alleging that castration and female circumcision appear in the books (they don’t, read my last post for more details) and that the protagonists “kill God” (they don’t, at least not really. When will these illiterate, facile people learn to read?!). With this in mind, I present to you a spoiler-free, honest review of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Buy the books, read them, then buy copies for everyone you know. These books could start thought revolutions, and that is what has gotten those forwarding flocks of sheep shit scared.

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OH MY GOD! They Killed God! Those Bastards!

November 12, 2007

Well, that’s it then. We should all gather in the town square to burn the books as we dance naked around the flames. Information is dangerous! If people have information, then they might start to think, and to question and then HOLY SHIT PEOPLE! Are you even remotely aware of what would happen if everyone were an independent thinker? If everyone was given all the information they needed to make decisions FOR THEMSELVES (and not as part of some collective hive-mind)? It’s getting harder and harder to oppress the unwashed masses as it is!

You know what’s worse than a book with information that endangers the world as we know it? A MOVIE BASED ON THAT BOOK. You know what’s even worse? If the people who made the movie TONED DOWN some of the book’s heretical messages so that people will be TRICKED INTO BUYING AND POSSIBLY READING THE BOOK. The world as we know it could end on or around December 7th 2007 (depending on how long it will take the unwashed masses to read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Personally, it took me 4 days, but I’m a pretty fast reader. I wouldn’t seriously worry until at least a week later).

Christians like feeling persecuted. Trust me, we do. It makes us feel better that there are a great many forces out there that disadvantage us. Plus, there is a certain romantic passion that comes with facing down our enemies as a united mass. That universal yearn to be martyred (without the attendant inconvenience of death) is fuelling an email campaign against Nicole Kidman’s latest outing to the silver screen. The two emails (sourced from snopes.com[1]) currently making the rounds are below the cut.

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News you should read about, the July 27th edition

July 27, 2007

(Via Boingboing) Senior Girl guides above 16 want to learn how to ‘manage their money’ and how to ‘practice safe sex’. Younger Girl Guides, on the other hand, want to learn how to ‘cook a healthy meal’ and how to ‘pitch a tent’.

(Via Feministing) A South African woman saw her house burn down earlier this week after she committed the grevious offence of wearing pants. Shit.

Over at Nerd World, Lev Gossman wonders how Harry and Ron eventually end up working as Aurors, seeing how they never really completed the school curriculum.

(Via Feministe) Drinking Aquafina and wondering why it tastes like tap water? Well, probably because it is tap water!

In Fast Company, it reports that one in six people in the world, or 1 billion people, have no safe portable water to drink, yet Americans move around 1 billion bottles of water across the country every week.

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I’m Fat. Fat Fat Fat.

July 23, 2007

For the longest time, I hated my body like I’m supposed to. I’m a size 12/14 and yes, that is actually me in the appended photo (I’m the one in the black swimsuit). I’m fat. I should be apologetic and I should strive to combat the (totally justified) assumption that I’m lazy, greedy and stupid by making sure that I work out (without exposing the world to my fat ass in tight gym clothes) and eat only fruit and cottage cheese in public. Last year I lost 50lbs (my goal was 80lbs, so of course I felt like a failure, as I well should) on a crash diet which I had researched before I embarked on it. Sure, the daily calorie count was so low that there was a chance that my hair would fall out, but better thinning hair than being fat right? Of course. I have since gained back 20lbs, and unless I’m part of the 5% of dieters who can keep off 10% of the weight they lost for more than 5 years, there’s a 95% chance that I’m gaining it all back.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that a report came out today that reveals that more women over 20 are succumbing to eating disorders. Doesn’t really come as news to me seeing as how my mother had bulimia when *I* was 16 (making her 40) and bragged about it years later (it came up because she was taunting me about the fact that I don’t have enough willpower to be anorexic).

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What’s Worse Than A Long Distance Relationship?

July 19, 2007

A relationship that happens to span not only space, but time as well. The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger has been on my bookshelf for a while now, and I’ve read it twice. It was one of those books that everyone you knew was reading/raving about/contemplating reading/has bought and stashed away for when they finally get some time to theirselves to read it. Oftentimes books that dominate the zeitgeist for a while are a bit of a letdown. Sentimental drivel at best *cough*The Alchemist*cough*, and wannabe-philosophical nonsense at worse *cough*Life of Pi*cough*, I find that it’s usually best to find someone you know and trust who reads everything anyway to give you their opinion *cough*me*cough*. Trust me when I say – this is a fantastic book.

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News you should read about, the June 25th edition

June 25, 2007

The Vatican has warned that buying a car as “means for outshining other people and arousing a feeling of envy” is bad. Very very bad indeed. But don’t worry! Ferrari’s general manager Amedo Felisa wants you to know that people generally buy Ferraris for the love of driving and not because, yknow, it’s flashy, a status symbol and an overall chick magnet. No siree! People buy it because they love to drive! “But you should commit at least one [sin] from time to time,” Felisa said. Oh, he’s the devil’s advocate, that one!

A film about India’s child prostitutes will be screened in New York and released in India later in September. Titled “Rivaaz”, meaning tradition, the movie depicts an age-old tradition practiced by a few underprivileged communities where women dress their daughters -some as young as 12- up for her first client, while her father and brothers solicit for customers. Reasons for the prostitution are varied; while some see it as ‘god’s will’, others merely do so as a way to earn money to repay their debts. Director, Ashok Nanda, says, “Family-based prostitution exists in more than 300 districts in India.It is so incredible that I did not believe this is true. Then I saw a UNICEF report and read up on this.” And there isn’t a happy ending, as many teenage girls end up with STDs and AIDS.

It seems that honesty isn’t really the best policy. An employee at Pizza Hut in North Carolina was fired by her employers after she notified the health authorities of rodents in the eatery. I guess that’s just even more reason to make your own pizza.

Not all booksellers are excited over the highly anticipated finale to the Harry Potter series – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. According to Forbes, small-time booksellers are feeling the pinch as their competitors are slashing prices and outdoing each other in discounts as a way to woo customers into their bookstores. Their biggest rival? Amazon. And Amazon isn’t even making a profit off the books. Jeff Bezos had to reassure shareholders that the company has more than 1 million books ordered to far, and hopes that their customers will place more orders to be sent alongside the Boy who Lived.

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Eating Veal and Other Lesuirely Pursuits

June 20, 2007

My housemate eats veal like it’s going out of style. He makes schnitzel (yes, he is German) and boils up veal ravioli as a snack. You heard that right – tortured baby cow ravioli. I mean it’s one thing to eat veal, it’s another thing entirely to eat it in a form where another meat would work just as well (I hear a blend of minced pork and chicken is virtually indistinguishable from minced veal). I have nothing against meat eating, god knows I do it often enough. What I do have problems with is making life hell for the animals before we eat them for Sunday dinner.

Increasingly, people like my housemate are in the minority. The growing consensus is that the process by which veal is cultivated is unnecessarily cruel. Here’s the kicker though – the multitude of people who wouldn’t even dream of eating veal (people who would rather eat tofurky than indulge in veal) would still eat factory farmed meat.

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