Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Film on UBB

Friday, April 29, 2011

Superman abandons "American Way"

Looks like Superman now pledges allegiance to the U.N.

The Man of Steel’s declaration has caused consternation online among readers who believe he is abandoning his ideals of “truth, justice and the American way”.

In a speech before the United Nations, which appears in the latest issue of Action Comics, The Man of Steel said he wants to become a citizen of the world, after he is accused of causing an international incident by flying to Iran amid a large protest.

The nine-page story was written by David S. Goyer and was drawn by Miguel Sepulveda.

“I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of US policy,” the superhero says in a short story in the issue, Action Comics No. 900.

“‘Truth, justice and the American way’ — it’s not enough anymore,” he says. “The world’s too small, too connected.”

In the comic, Superman never actually renounces his citizenship, he only talks about his plans to do it.

Commentators reacted with disgust to the new storyline.

In a blog post at The Weekly Standard, senior writer Jonathan Last questioned Superman’s beliefs, now that he seems to have rejected the United States.

“Does he believe in British interventionism or Swiss neutrality?” Last wrote. “You see where I’m going with this: If Superman doesn’t believe in America, then he doesn’t believe in anything.”

The new plot twist for Superman comes as the Kryptonian, who was raised by a Kansas farmer and his wife, looks to take on a more global mission for his battle against evil.

DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio seemed to downplay their landmark superhero character’s latest declaration, in a joint statement.

“In a short story in Action Comics 900, Superman announces his intention to put a global focus on his never ending battle, but he remains, as always, committed to his adopted home and his roots as a Kansas farm boy from Smallville,” they said.

It is not the first time a comic character has been fed up with being seen as part of U.S. policy.

In the 1970s, Marvel Comics’ Captain America gave up his famed suit and shield and adopted the identity Nomad around the time the Watergate scandal began heating up.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Silly Earth Day Predictions

From here.

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

Earth Day was founded in 1970 by a US Senator called Gaylord Nelson to raise awareness of environmental issues. In the first one, 20 million Americans participated making it the single largest national demonstration in US history. (Hat tip: Roddy Campbell).

Here are some of the disasters that environmentalists were predicting in that year. (Thanks: Washington Policy Center)

• “…civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind,” biologist George Wald, Harvard University, April 19, 1970.

• By 1995, “…somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” Sen. Gaylord Nelson, quoting Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Look magazine, April 1970.

• Because of increased dust, cloud cover and water vapor “…the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born,” Newsweek magazine, January 26, 1970.

• The world will be “…eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age,” Kenneth Watt, speaking at Swarthmore University, April 19, 1970.

• “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” biologist Barry Commoner, University of Washington, writing in the journal Environment, April 1970.

• “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from the intolerable deteriorations and possible extinction,” The New York Times editorial, April 20, 1970.

• “By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half…” Life magazine, January 1970.

• “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich, interview in Mademoiselle magazine, April 1970.

• “…air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone,” Paul Ehrlich, interview in Mademoiselle magazine, April 1970.

• Ehrlich also predicted that in 1973, 200,000 Americans would die from air pollution, and that by 1980 the life expectancy of Americans would be 42 years.

• “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” Earth Day organizer Denis Hayes, The Living Wilderness, Spring 1970.

• “By the year 2000…the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America and Australia, will be in famine,” Peter Gunter, North Texas State University, The Living Wilderness, Spring 1970.

Luckily none of this happened. So it must mean that Earth Day worked. Hurrah for Earth Day, saviour of the planet!

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Toronto Slutwalk

I think I'll go to work on Monday in my underwear and scream and sue if I'm discriminated against due to my appearance.

TORONTO — Thousands were expected to strut their inner slut Sunday in Toronto at the first-ever SlutWalk — a grassroots march organized to voice outrage over a police officer's recent suggestion that victims can be blamed for sexual assaults because of how they dress.

"Our stance is that a slut is an attitude, not a look," said march organizer Sonya JF Barnett on Friday. "We want people to come as they are. If they're comfortable in fishnets and stilettos, great. If they want to wear jeans and a parka, that's great too."

Barnett, 38, and her friend, 25-year-old University of Guelph student Heather Jarvis, came up with the idea for SlutWalk a few weeks ago in response to a Toronto police officer's comments at a university safety forum.

On Jan. 24, Const. Michael Sanguinetti told a group of students at York University "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."

Both the police force and the constable have since apologized for the comments.

But Barnett said the fact that an officer would make those comments in the first place points to systematic issues of "victim-blaming" within the police service.

SlutWalk, which started as just a small gathering of a few friends, is expected to involve more than 3,000 people. The march and rally will start at Ontario's legislature with speeches and then wind its way to Toronto police headquarters.

Many of those who signed up did so on Facebook and Twitter.

Barnett said she is still in shock at how much the idea has "snowballed" into a movement, as organizers from across Canada and the U.S. plan similar walks.

Ottawa and London, Ont., have scheduled their own SlutWalks next week while protesters in Vancouver, Dallas, Boston and Birmingham, Alabama, are also in talks with her about doing their own satellite events.

"We're doing this to re-appropriate the word 'slut'," said Barnett, a Toronto resident who works in the arts sector. "It doesn't mean necessarily a woman but it does mean someone who is sexually confident and isn't ashamed to enjoy something like sex. Sluts aren't immoral or unethical people."

Those planning on attending the march come from all walks of life, she said: men, women, seniors, university students, parents, gay and straight.

Organizers of SlutWalk say they expect the march to be an annual event. They say they hope to start a dialogue on retraining police officers and provide a outreach program to high school and university students.

Toronto police spokeswoman Const. Wendy Drummond said no one from the force will be speaking at Sunday's event, but officers will be there to monitor the march, which is a standard practice for all demonstrations.

"Those comments by that one officer were not reflective of the service," she said. "That is not how we trained our officers and who we are and for that we apologized. It simply is not how we do business."

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