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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Religulous

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Religion is a sensitive subject for a lot of people, so let’s be careful with this movie, but let me be the first to say that this documentary looks phenomenal. Religulous is a documentary simply looking at Bill Maher’s take on the current state of world religion. It’s a very interesting subject to focus on, especially at this rather important time in America’s history. And I’ll be damned if this trailer isn’t amazingly well put together! It’s the perfect tease to get you completely interested in what Bill Maher has in store for us with Religulous. You don’t want to miss this trailer!

Watch the trailer! (or in HD)

Written by Tom Adams

June 19th, 2008 at 10:21 am

Posted in Humour,Politics,World

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Expelled!

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This is golden!

There is a rich, deep kind of irony that must be shared. I’m blogging this from the Apple store in the Mall of America, because I’m too amused to want to wait until I get back to my hotel room.

I went to attend a screening of the creationist propaganda movie, Expelled, a few minutes ago. Well, I tried … but I was Expelled! It was kind of weird — I was standing in line, hadn’t even gotten to the point where I had to sign in and show ID, and a policeman pulled me out of line and told me I could not go in. I asked why, of course, and he said that a producer of the film had specifically instructed him that I was not to be allowed to attend. The officer also told me that if I tried to go in, I would be arrested. I assured him that I wasn’t going to cause any trouble.

I went back to my family and talked with them for a while, and then the officer came back with a theater manager, and I was told that not only wasn’t I allowed in, but I had to leave the premises immediately. Like right that instant.

I complied.

I’m still laughing though. You don’t know how hilarious this is. Not only is it the extreme hypocrisy of being expelled from their Expelled movie, but there’s another layer of amusement. Deep, belly laugh funny. Yeah, I’d be rolling around on the floor right now, if I weren’t so dang dignified.

You see … well, have you ever heard of a sabot? It’s a kind of sleeve or lightweight carrier used to surround a piece of munition fired from a gun. It isn’t the actually load intended to strike the target, but may even be discarded as it leaves the barrel.

I’m a kind of sabot right now.

They singled me out and evicted me, but they didn’t notice my guest. They let him go in escorted by my wife and daughter. I guess they didn’t recognize him. My guest was …

Richard Dawkins.

Source: EXPELLED!.

And there’s a follow up.

Written by Tom Adams

March 23rd, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Humour,Politics

Setting the tone

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This morning we saw the historic apology by the Australian Government to the indigenous people who were forcibly removed by the Government, the Stolen Generation. I for one whole heartedly agree with this apology, I only wish the previous Government would have done it sooner [1]. As for compensation, I think the Government is ethically and morally obliged to compensate people for this action of forced removal.

If nothing else is achieved by this apology, it (and the opening of Federal Parliament with a traditional welcome to country) set the tone for this Government’s term. It sets the tone for unity over division, positiveness over negativeness and hope over fear (something I’m seeing parallels with in the US primaries).

May this be the first of many changes in the world for the better of all of its citizens.

[1] It’s telling that all living former Prime Ministers except John Howard were present in parliament.

Written by Tom Adams

February 13th, 2008 at 8:58 am

Posted in News,Politics,World

Lessig on Obama

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Written by Tom Adams

February 12th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Politics

Yes, we can

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For some reason, I have an unusual (for an Australian) interest in American politics. When I lived in the US I witnessed the farce that was the last presidential election (swift boats anyone?), but based on the reporting we’re seeing here, have higher hopes for this upcoming race.

I’ve been sitting on the fence with relation to the Democratic candidates, but Obama comes out again and again and impresses me. Dave has just posted this video – I’m assuming it’s from the Obama campaign – of celebrities and musicians paraphrasing one of Obama’s speeches. Not that having these people lends any real credibility to him, but the video is nevertheless powerful.

Written by Tom Adams

February 8th, 2008 at 9:23 am

Posted in Politics

Refuse The Terror

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Via Bruce Schneier comes Refuse the terror, very American focused, but good none the less, all I can say is I’m very glad the our previous Government was voted out of office.

See also Downsize DC, a group that appears to have similar aims of reducing the fear.

Written by Tom Adams

January 17th, 2008 at 9:00 am

Posted in Politics,World

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

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Following on a little from yesterday’s post on stuff, here’s a video about how having too much choice may not be a good thing.

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central belief of western societies: that freedom of choice leads to personal happiness. In Schwartz’s estimation, all that choice is making us miserable. We set unreasonably high expectations, question our choices before we even make them, and blame our failures entirely on ourselves. His relatable examples, from consumer products (jeans, TVs, salad dressings) to lifestyle choices (where to live, what job to take, whom and when to marry), underscore this central point: Too many choices undermine happiness.

Source: The paradox of choice.

Written by Tom Adams

December 12th, 2007 at 11:21 am

What is the Story of Stuff?

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From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Source: Story of stuff.

Written by Tom Adams

December 11th, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Australia’s RFID Passport Turns 1!

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We should all send little Johnny and Alexander a card to celebrate the first birthday of Australian passports containing RFID chips.

In anticipation of this event, Bruce Schneier has a nice little article extolling the virtues of RFID chips in passports. Speaking about US passports:

If you have a passport, now is the time to renew it — even if it’s not set to expire anytime soon. If you don’t have a passport and think you might need one, now is the time to get it. In many countries, including the United States, passports will soon be equipped with RFID chips. And you don’t want one of these chips in your passport.

By itself, this is no problem. But RFID chips don’t have to be plugged in to a reader to operate. Like the chips used for automatic toll collection on roads or automatic fare collection on subways, these chips operate via proximity. The risk to you is the possibility of surreptitious access: Your passport information might be read without your knowledge or consent by a government trying to track your movements, a criminal trying to steal your identity or someone just curious about your citizenship.

If you need to find out if your passport contains an RFID chip these images should help. The little logo (“gold international ePassport symbol”) on the cover is an international standard identifying passports with RFID chips.

Written by Tom Adams

October 24th, 2006 at 12:32 pm

Cornucopia of Links

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Written by Tom Adams

October 12th, 2006 at 12:53 pm