28 March 2007

SPOTD E-mail on the Web (#121)

Hola. I hope that everyone is doing well. First and foremost I would point your attention to the Spanish Phrase of the Day blog, where you will find, not one, but TWO excellent videos of Joseph III. The first is my favorite, but I happen to like them both.

This is a good edition. ¡Mucha información!

Today's phrase:
From Confucious

Algún dinero evita preocupaciones; mucho, las atrae.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Ahl-goon dee-nair-oh ay-vee-tah pray-ah-coo-pah-syown-ace; moo-choe lahs ah-tra-ay.

Some money limits worries; much attracts it.

Good quote, but I'll still take the dinero.

Blog Recap
Just a review of some of the things that I have talked about lately on the Spanish Phrase of the Day blog.
-I showed some photos of my new house and praised the film Open Range.
-I attacked the Gore version of Global Warming as a dangerous ideology
-I posted a very funny, short video on the Walkie-Talkie
-Elliot Yamin of American Idol has a new album out. The video can be seen on the blog. It really is a good CD.
-Cuba's leaders are hypocrites- Go figure.
There are also new posts on Right Wing Pundit to please (or enrage) the politically minded.

The cover art for the next and final Harry Potter book has been released. It will be a big seller (no surprise) and with each of the principal stars signed through the seventh film, it will be a big movie too.
American Idol: I don't know what the deal is with Sanjaya. It's time for him to go home, but we must suffer through another week.
Lacy and I watched Fun with Dick & Jane. It was amusing and it helped that we had low expectations for it.

Funny Tax Deductions
Why not? The deadline is around the corner- maybe you can incorporate some of these nifty ideas.

Gym Class Heroes
I'm always a fan of the insertion of rap in a "non-rap" song (see my appearance in the 2002 smash hit Poision by Anonymous) and the song Cupid's Chokehold by the above-named band is pretty catchy. The lyrics are interesting (you can see and hear the video on their MySpace page) and I think it is saying that his girlfirend really isn't that great? If you can clarify, let me know. Catchy little ditty.

Sweep the Leg
This is the video of a song by that title, and it actually stars a lot of the cast of the original Karate Kid, including Ralph Macchio and Billy Zabka and the body bag guy. As an added bonus, Mr. Belding makes an appearance. It's an interesting bit of work, but I'd skip it if you're not a fan or if you're offended by a speedo-wearing rollerblader and an exploding Cobra.

This is one of the funniest columns by Eric Snider that I have ever read. Remember, it's satire.

Link of the Day
I think that 30 Rock is one of the funniest shows on TV. It is excellent satire, and although there is sometimes a liberal bent to it, it is so funny that I don't mind.
That is pretty direct humor.

27 March 2007

Cuba e Hipocrecía

The entire existence of the Spanish Phrase of the Day is rooted in my heritage. My mother came from Cuba with her family in 1961. They fled Castro's communism, and were fortunate to do so. Cuba is repressive economically and politically, and it is about the latter that I choose to comment today.

Yesterday I read this blog post from David Corn. He is not someone I read often, as we fall on very different sides of the ideological divide. He is responding to a piece written by the President of Cuba's National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon. Alarcon writes in praise of a U.S. communist, C. Wright Mills, that persisted in writing and working even in the face of McCarthyism. Corn finds exception with Alarcon in this way:

Imagine a Cuban who wants to write and publish a Cuban version of The Power Elite [Mills' book]. That person would be locked up in a modern-day dungeon by Alarcon and his comrades. Alarcon, thus, has no standing to bemoan the harassment of Mills or to pontificate about the glories of pursuing establishment-defying truths. (Stating the obvious about the gross absence of political and human rights within Cuba should not be equated with support for the economic embargo maintained by the Bush administration against Cuba. The wrongs of each side do not justify the other.)
"Today," Alarcon writes, "Cuba forges a path to craft its own unique socialist system, rooted on its own historical experience and with the active participation of its people." Not the active participation of anyone who wants to write or report news and ideas not sanctioned by Alarcon and his colleagues. It takes nerve for a person who runs one of the ten most censored countries to praise a pioneering and influential free thinker. That's why Alarcon's accolade for Mills is best read as farce.

I despise communism, therefore I enjoy any opportunity to showcase its inevitable hypocrisy. I don't care for the work or ideas of Mills, Alarcon's subject, but I am glad that I live in a country where he could live and write. I wish it were so from Cubans. Someday it will be.

24 March 2007

Joseph in Action

Here is the first of two new videos I've made of Joseph. Most of the footage was done on the same day, but I split it into two parts, one of him talking to the camera and the other of him jumping around. Included in the latter video is Joseph playing with the rocks in our little courtyard.

Joseph talking:

Joseph jumping:

He's as fun as they come.

23 March 2007


Anyone who is a fan of American Idol will remember Elliot Yamin from Season 5. He was not the most photogenic contestant that season, but in my opinion he was the best singer. I'm not alone in that sentiment, and so I imagine that some of you will be interested to know that he has an album out. Here is the video:

I don't think the video is a good representation of the record. I downloaded it today from iTunes and it isn't bad. This definitely isn't the best song on it.

21 March 2007

Warming Shwarming II

My crusade against the extreme environmentalist ideology continues continues at Right Wing Pundit. To me it is not an issue of right or left. I won't be bullied by the ideology.

Read more here.

20 March 2007


This is a pretty funny riff on the Walkie-Talkie by comedian Brian Regan. I like it.

It's time for something funny after learning about the coming demise of our very civilization.

19 March 2007

Warming Shwarming

I've been stewing over this issue for a little while, and it's finally time to get up on the soapbox. I am going to do my best to back up my points with good information, so follow the links if you want more detail. It's a long one so hang in there.

There are a few major viewpoints on the issue of Global Warming. I'll do my best to outline them here, but I may leave some aspect out:

  1. Global Warming is caused in large part by man, is a grave crisis, and man must act immediately to prevent disaster (Al Gore).
  2. Global Warming is real, may be caused by man and could be problematic for the future.
  3. There is no "Global Warming," aside from the normal cyclical changes in climate that have occurred many times in history.
  4. There is no warming. There may even be cooling.
My own opinion is closest to #3. But my purpose is not to convince you of my viewpoint. My purpose is to provide, at the very least, a healthy skepticism for #1. #2 does not pose the danger that #1 does as it fails to cross into the realm of ideology. Here goes:

A major premise behind the Global Warming alarmism espoused by Al Gore is that coming worldwide climate change will have cataclysmic effect. First we will deconstruct the idea of "global temperature," a necessary component of Gore's warming. From ScienceDaily:

"It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth", Bjarne Andresen says, an an expert of thermodynamics. "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate".
He explains that while it is possible to treat temperature statistically locally, it is meaningless to talk about a a global temperature for Earth. The Globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless. Or talking about economics, it does make sense to compare the currency exchange rate of two countries, whereas there is no point in talking about an average 'global exchange rate'.

So it is impossible to make blanket predictions of global phenomena based on a supposed "Global Temperature." Therefore it is also impossible to blame recent warming trends, or some kind of man made warming, on recent climatological events. That hasn't stopped Gore and the Hollywood machine, something that is of concern to scientists:

Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier, both Royal Meteorological Society figures, criticised fellow scientists they accuse of "overplaying" the message.
They sparked controversy after saying statements made by the highly respected American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) were not justified.
The AAAS said last month: "As expected, intensification of droughts, heatwaves, floods, wildfires, and severe storms is occurring, with a mounting toll on vulnerable ecosystems and societies.
"These events are early warning signs of even more devastating damage to come, some of which will be irreversible."
Professor Collier said that while he is not sceptical that such events could happen, it is important to be "honest" about the scientific evidence behind projected future impacts.

Professor Hardaker warned against the "Hollywoodisation" of weather and climate seen in films such as the 2004 smash hit film The Day After Tomorrow, which depicts terrifying consequences after the melting of the Arctic ice shelf.
Such films, he said, only work to create confusion in the public mind.
"I don't think the way to make people pay attention is to make them afraid about it," he said.

OpinionJournal's John Fund reports on the controversy surrounding this issue:

The New York Times last week interviewed many scientists who say they are alarmed "at what they call [Mr. Gore's] alarmism on global warming."
...Even James Hansen, a scientist who began issuing warning cries about global warming in the 1980s and is a top adviser to Mr. Gore, concedes that his work may hold "imperfections" and "technical flaws." Other flaws are more serious, such as Mr. Gore's depiction of sea level rises of up to 20 feet, which would cause Florida and New York City to sink below the surface.
Sober scientists privately say such claims are exaggerated. They point to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body that released its fourth report on global warming last month. While it found humans were the main cause of recent global warming, the report also indicated it was a very slow-moving process. On sea levels, the U.N. panel reported its s best high-end estimate of the rise in sea levels by 2100 was three feet. The new high-end best estimate is less than half the previous prediction, which was still far below Mr. Gore's 20 feet. Similarly, the new report shows that the panel's 2001 report overestimated the human influence on climate change since the Industrial Revolution by at least one-third.

So the alarmism promoted by Al Gore may not be justified. The science on warming is not "settled" as some have claimed.

Another part of viewpoint #1 is that man must do something to counteract climate change or face dire results. Assuming that reversing a warming trend is a good thing, is it even possible? From the National Review:

These are the sources for the notion that we have only ten years to “do” something immediately to prevent an institutionalized tsunami. And given that Gore only conceived of his movie about two years ago, the real clock must be down to eight years!It would be nice if my colleagues would actually level with politicians about various “solutions” for climate change. The Kyoto Protocol, if fulfilled by every signatory, would reduce global warming by 0.07 degrees Celsius per half-century. That’s too small to measure, because the earth’s temperature varies by more than that from year to year.The Bingaman-Domenici bill in the Senate does less than Kyoto — i.e., less than nothing — for decades, before mandating larger cuts, which themselves will have only a minor effect out past somewhere around 2075. (Imagine, as a thought experiment, if the Senate of 1925 were to dictate our energy policy for today).

Assuming that warming IS occurring, IS man made, and IS a solvable problem, the prescription is much more complex than what the average person understands. The threat of international terrorism and rogue state nuclear opportunism is of much greater concern to me. I just wanted to try and punch some holes into an ideology that is counterproductive and that threatens to take much of our attention from where it belongs.

17 March 2007

Quick Hits

These are just a few things on my mind:

  • I put some new pictures of Joseph up on my website, as well as some thoughts about what a great little kid he is.

  • I rewatched the movie Open Range when it was on AMC. That is one fine western. It was directed by Kevin Costner, was somewhat successful and generally well-received by critics. The cinematography is great. The interaction between Costner and Robert Duvall seems true to what those kind of men would be like, and the final gun battle is ugly, long, and as real as I imagine I've seen.

  • Here are some photos of our new house. We're pretty excited about it, and especially about the backyard. It is larger than we intially expected it to be, and it should be a great place for Joseph to play, especially as it is fenced in. And as Joseph gets bigger, there's always the old summer classic, the Slip'n'Slide.

16 March 2007

SPOTD E-mail on the Web (#120)

This edition is a short one.

Today's phrase:
From Napoleon Bonaparte:

Con constancia y tenacidad se obtiene lo que se desea; la palabra imposible no tiene significado.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Cone cone-stahn-see-ah ee tane-ah-see-dahd say oab-tyay-nay low kay day-say-ah; lah pah-lah-brah eem-po-see-blay no tyay-nay seeg-nee-fee-cah-doh.

With constancy and tenacity one obtains what they desire; the word impossible is without meaning.

Recapping the Blog
I thought I'd highlight a few of the items that I've posted previously here on the Spanish Phrase of the Day blog.
-Reggae covers of Radiohead are pretty awesome.
-The Chinese(?) make a pretty funny commercial
-The SPOTD NCAA tourney contest began Thursday. 19 people are participating.
-Does racism affect the overseas box office performance of black actors?
Scroll down to see more. More to come.

Travel Notes
Just some observations.
1. When you are going through security at the airport, the only things that belong in the plastic bins are laptops, cellphones and jackets. Everyone seems to think that their backpack or shoes belong in the bin, so you have one person with 3 bins and that sure helps the line move along, doesn't it?
Note: I received an e-mail from friend and reader Lisa Chau. Sometimes it is justified to have 3 bins, especially if you are a woman and have expensive shoes and handbag. I will be more compassionate from now on.
2. These days, most people have connecing flights so when the flight lands late, just assume that most everyone has somewhere to be and that waiting your turn is the right thing to do.

Stories about sick kids are hard for me to read, but this one has a good ending.

Link of the Day
If you are a fan of The Office then you must watch this little clip.

15 March 2007


I bought this CD on iTunes a few months ago. It's a reggae cover of Radiohead's OK Computer by a group called Easy Star All-Stars. If you are a reggae and/or Radiohead fan you must check it out.

If you go their MySpace page you can listen to some of the tracks from the album, including my favorite Let Down.

14 March 2007

Racism and the Box Office?

I thought this was an interesting article from the New York Times. I get sick of Europeans telling us how superior they are. They shun capital punishment and tout the virtue of their socialist health care and progressive safety nets. All of this posturing masks some ugly trends, racism among them.

The article details the way that films starring black actors often struggle overseas. You need to be registered with the NYT to read it.

13 March 2007


It's tourney time again!

Go here right now to create your bracket. The password is spotd.

Here are the rules:

  • Unlike last year you get one entry in the group
  • That's pretty much it.

Best of luck.

09 March 2007

Go for the Best

I saw this video, a subtitled Asian commercial, and had to post it here. Its short, very amusing, and worth a look.

06 March 2007

SPOTD E-mail on the Web (#119)

Not much is new, aside from this brand-spanking new SPOTD e-mail. The SPOTD is also available at the SPOTD blog, along with other quality content. I update it pretty frequently these days. I update the SPOTD website and Right Wing Pundit much less frequently.

You might notice a few links on the sidebar to Lillie (sister-in-law) and Chris & Rachelle (brother & sis-in-law). Of special importance- Lacy, the SPOTD-wife, has started a blog of her very own- http://lacylowry.blogspot.com. You can read the title if you visit the site (I came up with the title, but she was definitely the inspiration).

Today's phrase:
From Ludwig Von Beethoven. An interesting thought.

El único símbolo de superioridad que conozco es la bondad.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Ell oo-nee-coe seem-bow-low day sue-pore-ee-dahd kay cone-oze-coe ace lah bone-dahd.

I do not recognize any sign of superiority but kindness.

I'm excited by the coming Transformers movie. Together with GI Joe, it was the favorite toy and cartoon of my youth (He-Man in 3rd place). Now there is news that a GI Joe movie is in the works! This is a big deal. Snake Eyes was the man.
Music & Lyrics: This was a pretty good chick flick. I enjoyed it, and it was worth watching if only for the music video. You can see it below.
Pale Rider: There is a scene where Clint Eastwood's preacher character is offered bribes by a greedy mining baron. He takes a drink from his glass and gives this glare. It's a great moment. "How much is it worth to have a clear conscience?" Classic movie.

Go Canes
The University of Miami has a new football coach, Randy Shannon. I'm optimistic about his chances in the long run, and think that he'll be good for the program.

A pretty cool site, Dunkathon, with some quality videos from the past.

I chew a lot of gum. I decided to give this new brand, Stride, a try. My normal brand is Orbit. Guess what? My normal brand is still Orbit. I prefer the texture to Stride, and despite Stride's claims to be "ridiculously long-lasting" there isn't much of a difference. Orbit also tastes better.

"Jazz flute Mr. Burgundy"
In SPOTD #117 I linked to this guy, who has some real talent.
Peter and the Wolf & Sesame Street.

Link of the Day
From the aforementioned Music & Lyrics

03 March 2007

Wacky Board Meeting

This is a pretty funny SNL short. Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight on The Office, leads a meeting that descends into absurdity pretty fast.

02 March 2007

Hollywood Stock Exchange

There is a great website where movies and actors are traded instead of companies and mutual funds. You can open an account, take your starting funds, and begin trading right away. It's called the Hollywood Stock Exchange. If you like movies, and think you can do a good job of predicting which films will succeed at the Box Office, check it out.

I've managed to double my money in a few months, but it took a little while to understand how the site works. You have to follow movie news and make some pretty big bets at times. Speed Racer (to be directed by the Wachowski bros. of The Matrix fame) has payed off pretty big for me.