28 October 2006


I just watched Nacho Libre for the first time. I really liked it, and this is one of my favorite parts. This song is so moving.

27 October 2006

Cubanos say no

I'm linking to a story in today's WSJ (subscribers only) by Mary Anastasia O'Grady. She writes about how Cuban dissidents are making the most of this uncertain period of Castro's rule. After Brasilian president Luis Da Silva mentioned Castro as if he were deceased (later claiming to have misspoken), rumors have persisted about the life or death of the dictator.

O'Grady discusses how the uncertain political climate in Cuba may be affecting Raul's plans to assume full and permanent control of the island, as well as the opportunity to stir the pot that this provides to dissidents like Jorge Luis Antunez (shown in the above photo). Even in the midst of what has been a 16 year stay in Cuba's prisons, he urged other patriots to fight the government's oppressive ways.

We should revere these heroes of freedom.

24 October 2006

Crazy Russian Climbers

My friend Joe Miller sent me this link and it shows some really impressive physical tricks. Some of it is hard to see, but it is pretty amazing stuff.

No wonder the Russians been great gymnasts for so long. Look in the backgrounds. It doesn't look like there is anything else to do there.

23 October 2006


I like Tiger Woods. I'm not one of those people that resents his dominance. I find him likeable and the intensity with which he tackles the game is remarkable. I also like to see the lighter side of Tiger Woods, which doesn't come through very often. It does in this article by Bill Simmons, about a video game battle between "the world's greatest golfer and the world's greatest video game golfer." It's an amusing read.

20 October 2006

Go Canes

Last Saturday I was watching the Miami-Auburn game on ESPN, and was as surprised as anyone to see the massive brawl between the University of Miami and Florida International University. The fight was shocking and unfortunate, and the actions of players on both sides cannot be condoned. Having been a longtime fan of the Canes, its possible that I was readier to forgive them than most, but what I have seen over the past week has been astounding.

Stewart Mandel is a writer for Sports Illustrated. He was quite critical in an article this week on SI's website, but it is his follow-up that I wanted to mention. He questions that zeal with which many commentators have criticized Miami's program:

You might not believe this -- you might not want to believe this -- but over the past decade, Miami has had fewer player arrests or NCAA-related incidents than almost any other major program in the country. Miami has not had 20-plus incidents involving shoplifting, assault, gun charges and failed drug tests over the past two years, as Tennessee has. Miami has not had to dismiss a star player for earning money through a phony job, as Oklahoma has. Miami has not had a star linebacker accused of sexual assault on the eve of its bowl game as Florida State did last year. And Miami's most recent Academic Progress Rate (956) placed it in the top 20 to 30 percent of all Division I football programs.

What the Miami players did was wrong, but the self-righteousness of the Sports media disgusts me.

18 October 2006

Atlas Shrugged

I'm excited that one of my favorite novels, Atlas Shrugged, is due to be made into a movie. I am hopeful that it will be adapted faithfully. Keep your ears listening for more news.

16 October 2006

The Devil's Miner

Lacy and I just finished this film, about the children that work in the silver mines of Potosi, Bolivia. It was particularly poignant to Lacy, as she lived in Potosi while a missionary for the LDS Church. The mines in Potosi are in the Cerro Rico, one of the world's richest silver mines, and one exploited heavily by the Spanish during their dominion over the region.

It is an excellent film, well-made and straightforward. It moved us both.

A Truly Great Idea

I was very pleased by the selection of Muhammad Yunus as the recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Recent history has not shown the selection committee to be very wise in their choices.

I was fortunate to hear Mr. Yunus speak while I was a student at Brigham Young University. His program is the very essence of good sense. Micro-lending is about providing opportunity and accountability, all without abandoning good business practices. Mr. Yunus explained how micro credit might be applied in the U.S. in an excellent Op Ed in the WSJ (also found at Opinion Journal):

Many people ask, Why not just give free cash, especially under such dire circumstances? In Bangladesh, we've learned that when aid is free, not only do the poor get the least of it, but everyone inflates their needs. While some handouts are clearly necessary in such times, we focus on lending small amounts of money. This lets us keep costs down and rebuild funds for the next disaster. Most importantly, our Grameen banks are ready to act at a moment's notice. They can respond to a disaster without waiting for anyone's permission, immediately becoming like humanitarian agencies by suspending loan payments, and providing cash, food and medicines. Once rebuilding starts, the bankers keep detailed records of the money lent, and people are allowed to repay bit by bit.

That is the strategy we followed after the 1998 flooding, which covered 50% of Bangladesh's land and affected customers at about 70% of our branches. More than 700 Grameen borrowers or their family members were killed and just over half (a million borrowers) were affected by the flooding. That represents a small percentage of the overall population affected, but the Bank and its staff where there right away to help with immediate needs. Later, microlenders helped people restructure their loans or gave out new loans on more favorable terms.

Microlending has already helped millions reach a better life through their own initiative. It has also given them valuable skills as well as crucial financial back-up in case they ever face a natural disaster like Katrina. So it might be time to think about another type of support for Katrina's victims: the microloan. As our small, flood-battered country has learned, giving someone a hand up doesn't always require a handout. The most important thing is to help people get back to work while letting them hold on to their self-respect. Microloans can do just that.

I couldn't agree more. Micro-lending works. For more info on Yunus, check out the following:

14 October 2006

What if?

I love the Lord of the Rings, both written and film versions. This is still very fnnny. Caution: Cartoon mooning.

09 October 2006

A Must for Lost Fans

I didn't know that YouTube has a treasure trove of videos that provide information about the back story of Lost, the Dharma Initiative, and the Hanso Foundation. This video actually provides a fair amount of information into the 6 numbers and the purpose of the island. Check it.

08 October 2006

Duke LAX Case

This case is probably old news to a lot of you. Most probably didn't care that much to begin with. What interests me most about it are the procedural issues that seem to have been royally messed up by the police and District Attorney.

If these things are of interest, you won't be disappointed by this post.

05 October 2006

Funny Stuff

This is from The Tonight Show. I think this video is hilarious.