Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Wildlife documentaries: routinely faked?
Fred Kaufman, executive producer of the esteemed PBS program "Nature," said the goal has always been to do "something that moves the bar scientifically." He condones the occasional use of captive animals when a filmmaker can't get the shot naturally.(Via Paul Chesser.)
"Whether it's a captive animal or a wild animal, it's an animal. It's unpredictable," he said. "I draw the line at putting someone in a gorilla suit."
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Very clever song: "Cheer Up, Hamlet," from the Canadian tv series Slings & Arrows. According to this page the lyrics are by Lisa Lambert and Bob Martin, the music by Greg Morrison; "the trio would later team with Don McKellar to create 'The Drowsy Chaperone' for Broadway."
Cheer up, Hamlet
Chin up, Hamlet
Buck up, you melancholy Dane
So your uncle is a cad who murdered Dad and married Mum
That's really no excuse to be as glum as you've become
So wise up, Hamlet
Rise up, Hamlet
Perk up and sing a new refrain
Your incessant monologizing fills the castle with ennui
Your antic disposition is embarrassing to see
And by the way, you sulky brat, the answer is "To be"
You're driving poor Ophelia insane
So shut up, you rogue and peasant
Grow up, it's most unpleasant
Cheer up, you melancholy Dane
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I was on Hugh Hewitt’s show last night, and he said that when he talks to Beltway GOP insiders he’s amazed at how out of touch they are. They’re not even sure about passing a ban on earmarks if they take the majority, much less more significant change. If they get the majority back, and blow it, they’ll be looking at a third-party challenge in 2012, and not just at the Presidential level.
Pakistanis are perplexed at how slow the world is to provide aid for victims of the huge floods of the last month. With nearly 2,000 dead and six million homeless, Pakistan is receiving less money than it did for the earthquakes that hit the northern part of the country five years ago. But some Pakistanis remember, and acknowledge that, in the wake of the earthquake relief effort if was found that most of the relief aid was stolen (as much as 70 percent by some estimates) and some of it was diverted to Islamic terrorist groups. The donors have not forgotten, although many Pakistanis would like to. Another factor dissuading many Western donors is the very anti-Western tone of the Pakistani media. The U.S. is a particularly popular target, even though the United States is the largest donor to the flood relief effort. In the last few weeks, for example, the U.S. has moved over 30 helicopters to Pakistan, for relief work. The choppers came from Afghanistan, and an amphibious ship off the Pakistani coast. Meanwhile, Islamic radical groups, especially the Taliban, have threatened to kidnap or kill Western aid workers. Some of the people left homeless by the floods, angered by the lack of government aid, have taken their frustrations out on foreign aid workers struggling to do whatever they can.
The flood damage has been devastating to the economy, causing, by one estimate, losses of over $40 billion (a quarter of last year's GDP, a similar disaster in the U.S. would have to cause $3,700 billion in losses). Pakistan is being offered large loans to recover from the damage, and assistance in spending the money most efficiently. The government has an incentive to do this right. If the aid does not enable the six million displaced to return to their farms, rebuild and replant, there will instead be millions of internal refugees. This kind of population just produces a lot of crime and easy recruiting for terrorists.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Passing some tax breaks for business won't save the Dems this year. First, the changes won't have much effect pre-elections. Second, they'll be seen, correctly, as an anomalous flail toward the free market. Real recovery will start only when employers feel confident that those in power aren't their enemies and are unlikely to become so. (Via Jim Geraghty.)