30 April 2008

We killin' some people

This one's for the ladies (and guys) who like the Twilight series.

29 April 2008

Summer Season

I am very excited about several movies this summer, most notably Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight. I already have my tickets for Indy for opening night, but will have to bide my time for the latter, seeing some more pictures of Batman.

Here they are.

28 April 2008


More Colombia stuff:

  • This is an Op-Ed from the Wall Street Journal by former Secretary of State James Baker. It is further repudiation of the FTA's politicization.
  • The announcement of a biofuel agreement between the US and Colombia is welcome news. Although relatively small in scope ($1 billion) anything that helps an improving democracy strengthen itself against regression to a a more violent time is a good thing.

27 April 2008


The University of Miami saw its 14th straight year of having at least one first round pick in the NFL Draft. This is the continuation of their record streak, one that seemed less sure until the selection of Kenny Phillips with the last pick in the 1st Round.

The Miami Herald's Manny Navarro has a retrospective on Miami and the draft. Miami has produced 47 1st rounders since 1984, more than any other school. In addition to that, many have been extremely productive, and often in their first seasons.

Go Canes!

26 April 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXXI

These are two funny videos. The first one is a nice commentary on the silly way that many people get up-in-arms about book-to-film (or comic-to-film) adaptations.

I almost didn't post this one because it may cross the line into poor taste. Still, I laughed, so here goes.

25 April 2008


23 April 2008

A Raulity Check

My interest in Latin America coincides so well with Mary Anastasia O'Grady's weekly Americas column in the Wall Street Journal. This week she analyzes the real impact of the Raúl Castro government's supposed reforms.

In terms of a real improvement in Cuban liberty, there hasn't been one. Fortunately, in the tradition of oppressed people everywhere some Cuban's aren't waiting for the government to save them. From a recent event given by Ricardo Alarcón, communist bigwig:

Student Eliécer Ávila got most of the international attention with a line of inquiry he read from a notebook. He wanted to know why workers are paid in a worthless local currency, while things they want to buy, like shampoo, are priced in "convertible" pesos, which have the value of dollars. Why are hotels and resorts off limits to locals? Why can't Cubans travel to Bolivia to see where Che Guevara died?
Alarcón seemed stunned. In a rambling, 30-minute response, he defended the hotel ban by saying that as a Hispanic he had been barred from hotels in New York City. He also gave a bizarre explanation for the travel ban: "If all the world, some six billion people, could travel whenever they wanted, the jam in the skies would be enormous."

That last quote is hilarious. Either Alarcón is a complete idiot, or he thinks the Cuban people are.

Warming Shwarming Update

Some proponents of the more alarmist sect of Global Warming have attempted to make a link between climate change and recent hurricane activity.

Not so fast.

The only thing we know is that we don't know much.

SPOTD #138

Howdy folks. I hope all is well.

Today's phrase:
Whatever we're going through, chances are we've been there before. From Lord Byron.

El mejor profeta del futuro es el pasado.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Ell may-hore pro-fay-tah dale foo-too-row ess ell pah-sah-doh.

The best prophet of the future is the past.

Only 4 more months until the college football begins. This is a very positive article about the BYU Cougars and the resurgence of the program as led by Coach Bronco Mendenhall. It's been fun.

This is a very interesting transcript from a short segment on NPR.

This is a great review of the Porsche GT2. It is blazing fast. It never ceases to amaze me what Porsche can do with a 6 cylinder engine.

Eric's Bad Movies
Eric Snider is my favorite movie critic. A few weeks ago he began a feature where he reviews bad movies. This one is for Superman IV, a movie I enjoyed a great deal as a kid but now find mostly unwatchable. It's a good review.

Popular Mechanics has pointed out several aspects of US Infrastructure that need attention. Soon.

Dad's No Dummy

Advertisements portraying fathers as stupid are neither effective nor creative.

Link of the Day
Speed Racer looks crazy, and I think it will be awesome. Here's a little clip.

21 April 2008

Sit and think about it...

As my brother Chris reminded me, everything comes down to it.

19 April 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXX

I came across thing on a blog somewhere. It's always funny.

15 April 2008

When Fools lead the Blind

This is an important post.

I wish I could say that the Politicians pushing for the death of the U.S.-Colombia Free-Trade Agreement were merely ignorant. Instead I would say that it rises to a level of ideological corruption that indicates the real stuff that Pelosi, Obama, and Clinton are made of. Their stance is opposed by many other Democrats, as shown in today's Wall Street Journal.

Among the reasons given by the FTA's opposition is a stated concern about the union worker. This Boston Globe editorial by Edward Shumacher-Matos explains how the pact would actually benefit U.S. exports into Colombia by lowering tariffs on U.S. goods significantly:

US goods, however, still face tariffs of 35 percent and higher. Under the new agreement, 80 percent of US auto parts, medical equipment, and farm and other products will be duty free immediately. The rest will be phased in over 10 years.
The Colombian government is making the bigger sacrifice because a permanent agreement removes uncertainty for investors. Trade, combined with US support for Colombia's military and justice system, have helped Colombia beat back a leftist insurgency, largely demobilize right-wing paramilitaries, and spark a boom that has reduced poverty, unemployment, and the economic weight of drug mafias.

In fact, many Colombian Unions are in favor of the pact. Mary Anastasia O'Grady had a must-read article in yesterday's WSJ. The FTA will bring investment and should promote economic stability. In spite of the competition that it may expose them to, they recognize the net benefit of freer trade. For more see the video below.

I've had an interest in Colombia for many years. It's sad that this issue has been politicized to the point of jeopardizing the tremendous progress made in that country during this decade.

12 April 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXIX

Just because I can, here is the most recent episode of The Office. There are some really funny moments. Enjoy.

09 April 2008

SPOTD #137

It has been a long while since the last SPOTD, although I have posted here at the blog (http://blog.spotd.net) regularly. The blog is less dependent on my laptop, which was un poco enfermo until last week. It is a short one, but I hope you enjoy.

Today's phrase:
We were invited to the house of some friends for dinner last Sunday. They made a fantastic meal of authentic mexican food- rice, refried beans, and best of all- tamales. Real, homemade tamales. These take hours to make. It was a treat, and gives rise to this thought:

Panza llena, corazón contento

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Pawn-zah yay-nah core-ah-sewn cone-tain-toe.

Full stomach, happy heart.

I enjoyed this Spanish-language film Ladrón que roba a ladrón (Thiefs steals from thief). It is an Oceans 11 style film about some thieves who plan a major heist using immigrants. It's short, humorous, and clever. It should be available at your local Blockbuster. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it was entertaining.
We took Joseph to see Horton Hears a Who and it was surprisingly (to me) enjoyable. I recommend it.

I haven't played golf in months, and have little time to do so as it is, but this article makes me want to keep at it. It's a nice story about that beautiful game.

I was saddened by the passing of Charlton Heston. This is a nice interview with him done by Entertainment Weekly in 1999.

Arthur Clarke
I'm a lifelong fan of Science Fiction, and Arthur Clarke was one of the pioneers of that genre. What is so interesting about writers like him is the tremendous impact that they've had on actual science and technological development. Get a sense for his life here.

Link of the Day
I thought this was a pretty great advertisement for BMW. I found it through Instapundit, who provides some interesting technical background into how they shot it.

08 April 2008

Props for Property

I think that Mary Anastasia O'Grady does a great job in her weekly Wall Street Journal article "The Americas." This week discusses the tremendous task of liberalizing Mexico's economy.

Mexico has real troubles ahead if they are unable to address their tremendous problems with property rights and monopolistic practices. Watch the video for more.

06 April 2008

Good News from Iraq

Check out this post from Michael Barone on the Kagan report.

RIP Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston has died. From a young age he impressed me with his presence as an actor. I appreciated his politics as well.

Entertainment Weekly has a brief look at some of his notable roles. The man had some good times.


UPDATE: Lappy's back. Breathe a sigh of relief why don't you.

My laptop is in the shop, so the purpose of the post is to explain that in its absence most of my posts will be shorter. I use my laptop to blog and write SPOTD's at night, but without it I will likely have shorter posts than normal, as I am generally too busy at work. I hope you can survive until then.

NEW POSTS will appear below this one until "Lappy" returns home.