White Guys Can Dance

For those that think that white folks can’t dance check the Evolution of Dance by comedian Judson Laipply, a white guy. In a six minute clip Judson dances up a storm starting off immitating classic Elvis moves, followed by Chubby Checker’s twist, and all the way through to Jay-Z’s Dirt off your shoulder. Judson also covers 70’s disco, 80’s rock, 90’s band boys, and today’s hip-hop dance moves.

[tags]dance, dance moves, comedy, video, elvis,[/tags]

Immature At Heart

Discovery News is reporting that “that grown-ups are more immature than ever.” You might think that these immature grownup are the twenty and early thirty sometimes that live at home with their parents and play video games during their free time. But don’t blame video games for this generation’s immaturity level, blame education. From the article:

“By contrast, many modern adults fail to attain this maturity, and such failure is common and indeed characteristic of highly educated and, on the whole, effective and socially valuable people,” he said.

“People such as academics, teachers, scientists and many other professionals are often strikingly immature outside of their strictly specialist competence in the sense of being unpredictable, unbalanced in priorities, and tending to overreact.”

The Last Tree Of Tenere

In Collapse Jared Diamond asks, “What did the Easter Island who cut down the last palm tree say while he was doing it?” This always seemed like a interesting and legitimate question but maybe the last tree wasn’t cut down… I found a fascinating story via BoingBoing that tells of the fate of the last tree in Tenere, in northeastern Niger. From The Last Tree of Tenere:

The Tree of Tenere, as it came to be called, had no companions for 400 km in every direction. Its roots reached nearly 40 m deep into the sand. In 1973, the tree was knocked over by a drunken Libyan truck driver.

The region of Tenere was once a lush forrest and now it is a desolate desert. Wikipedia has more information on the sad fate of the last tree of Tenere.

[tags]collapse, niger, easter island, logging, environment[/tags]

Alizee Redux

I recently discovered the music of Alizee. I went to iTunes but couldn’t find her music there (at least in the American version) but I found more videos at here. There is an English version of Jen Ai Marre. I think Alizee sounds better in French. I mean when she sings in French I know what the hell she is talking about. Once I found out that Jen Ai Marre is about bubbles and water I didn’t find it as exotic and mysterious.

I also recommend Moi… Lolita (Me.. Lolita) and Contre Courant (Against the current). There is something airy about her music, in particular her voice. She is a pop signer but not the manufactured pop that I am so accustomed to. She is like organic pop as opposed American artificial flavored and colored culturally bland and processed pop.

[tags]alizee, french, singer, france, pop, music, gourmandises, contre courant, hot[/tags]

Alizee

As a non French speaker, I just discovered the Alizee. In my naivete of French music I innocently compare Alizee to Britney Spears circa Opps! I did it again. Both Britney are Alizee are from the south of there perspective countries except that the south of France conjures images on refined taste and chateaus while with the American south one is reminded of deep fried bananas and trailer parks.

French singer Alizee

You can find several videos of Alizee on Google Videos and what you cant find on Google you will find on Wikipedia. French is a romance language and Alizee pronounces it especially well in Jen Ai Marre and this performance of Gourmandises.

If I had one negative critique of Alizee it would be her dancing. I don’t think she would get selected as a finalist on So you think you can dance! Alizee’s moves are more akin to that of a stripper, somewhat amateurish.

[tags]alizee, britney, french, singer, france, music, gourmandises, hot[/tags]

Missed Opportunities

There are reports that al-Zarqawi could have been taken out a several times before but the President Bush did not the opportunity. I just can’t understand why President Bush, a trigger happy war hawk president, would hesitate to apprehend a ‘terrorist,’ and I quote the word terrorist because not bring a criminal to justice is almost like giving him a license to commit crimes…

The Guardian Unlimited states:

The blog quotes an NBC report saying the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out Zarqawi’s terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself – but never pulled the trigger.

This begs the question, has President Bush missed opportunities in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice? How can it be that Osama has evaded capture for his crimes when Americans can’t even evade the tax collectors. It is interesting to note that the infamous mobster Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion and not for the murders attributed to him.

[tags]bush, osama, al-zarqawi, zarqawi, capone[/tags]

al-Zarqawi Dead

The United States finally bagged, as in body bagged, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. al-Zarqawi was the al-Qaida mastermind in Iraq. The death of al-Zarqawi does not by any measure mean the end of al-Qaida’s reign of terror in Iraq but it does signify a major victory for the American forces in Iraq.

al-Zarqawi was taken out by two 500 pound laser guided bombs dropped by F16 jet fighters as he was lounging it in one of his safe houses. This demonstrate that their is no house safe enough the American military might. The military has released a video of the bombing which has already spread across the web. The video shows the pin point precession of the American armed forces.

Reports indicate that a snitch from within al-Zarqawi’s organization sold him out for the $25 million bounty. If you can’t trust your fellow jihadist who can you trust? Osama bin Laden should not even trust the bats that inhabit his cave since he also has a $25 million bounty on his head. I send my tip to the US military indicating that he is hiding out in the mountains in eastern Afghanistan in hopes that I get paid when gets caught.

[tags]al-zarqawi, al zarqawi, al-qaida, osama, iraq[/tags]

Turmoil Of The Week

Iraq is not the only country marred by chaos, violence, and upheaval. This week the award for War of the Week goes to Timor Leste. Timor Leste, or East Timor, is a small island nation east of Indonesia. Timor Leste was a Portuguese colony from the 16th century until 1975. In 1975 Timor Leste declared its independence from Portugal and enjoy it for a total of nine days before Indonesian forces occupied it. In 2002, Timor Leste again won its hard fought independence.

From what is widely understood the violence erupted when a group of soldiers went on a strike because of what they deem as discriminatory environment in the military. It seems that most military officials of East Timor are from the east. The striking soldier were dismiss at which point they fled to the mountains and started a rebellion at which point armed civilians took to the street.

The lesson to learn from all, which seems blatantly obvious, is to not fire angry soldiers while they are holding onto their weapons.

Stay tune next week as we analysis the War of the Week.

[tags]colinization, war, turmoil, chaos, civil unrest[/tags]

The Lost Continent

Africa is the dark continent. I recently saw a night satellite image of the world and could not believe how dark Africa is. The United States, Europe, and Japan are the most lit. Eastern China, Indian, and Indonesia also glow in the satellite image but Africa, for the most part, is a dark void.

Africa is the lost continent. It is as if the world has lost sight of Africa as she has come to grips with the ravages of war, ethnic cleansing, AIDS, and poverty. According to The Economist’s Pocket World in Figures booklet 23 of the 25 countries with the lowest life expectancy are African. If you where to live in Swaziland your life expectancy would be thirty years. The figures for HIV/AIDS is almost the same and in almost the same order as that of the life expectancy. According to the Pocket World in Figures 26 out of the top 30 least literate countries are African with Burkina Faso having only a 12.8% literacy rate. African nations also top the list in highest foreign dept (as % of export goods), lowest purchasing power, and lowest GDP per person.

[tags]africa, gdp, aids, life expectancy[/tags]

Flat World

I’m reading The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. Well, I am actually hearing it during my commute since I bought the audio version. The premise in The World is Flat is that the playing field is being leveled in business, education, technology, etc. Now because globalization and a broadband connection smart people in India and China are competing with smart people here. It is interesting to note that the combine population of China and India is about one third of the world population so you now that there are a lot less educated Americans than there are educated Chinese and Indians combined.

But the playing field is also being leveled for individuals and startups that want to compete against entrenched corporations. For example, you don’t have to be a publisher to publish a book. The June 2006 edition on Business 2.0 has a nice write up on Lulu, the self publishing internet startup. With Lulu you can publish a book and make it available on Amazon.com. With on demand book publish and The Long Tail principle Lulu and Amazon add value by allowing small and lesser known authors into their network.

A flat world is a positive thing. In theory a flat world would removes barriers, borders, and hierarchies. A flat world would elevate the level of education in the world and bring health care to those that require it the most. But the world is not that flat yet. For one, the United States is building and militarizing borders instead of tearing them down. China and other repressive countries are using Flat World technology and companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Cisco to censor and suppress their own people. And Africa, the lost continent, has been largely ignored by the Flat World as it suffers from AIDS, genocide, ethnic violence, and high unemployment rates.

A flat world is a positive thing, but I think that those that are driving the flatting of the world are doing so at the expense of those that are being flatten.

[tags]flat world, globalization, the long tail, censorship, lulu, thomas friedman[/tags]