Apparently Keanu Reeves is actually a nice guy.
Keanu Reeves has shown his generosity by giving away 50 million pounds (not dollars) of his earnings from the Matrix sequels. The 38-year-old decided to hand over the money to the unsung heroes of the sci-fi blockbusters - the costume and special effects teams.From what the article says, that's more than 3/4 of his earnings from the movie. (But if you're wise, you won't trust my math, and you'll read the article for yourself.
Though do note that this is coming from the British tabloid Hello......
UPDATE: They were kidding.
"I'm trying to teach myself Swahili which is something that has proved a little harder than I thought. It's because of my love of Africa. It's an odd language to learn but I wanted to do something that was very specialised. I love the people of Africa and I'd like to know more about them - and to speak to them."
The title however is a bit misleading, the article is simply on human fascination with Mars, not discovery of proof that humans were originally Martians.
In Assyria, Mars was known as the "shedder of blood" while the Vikings, Greeks and Romans called it the God of War. It is easy to imagine why the planet looked to ancient civilisations like a drop of blood in the sky.Still interesting though.
Breaking news just in:
-- Police in North Carolina are seeking fingerprint records to confirm a man arrested Friday is Atlanta Olympics bombing suspect, Eric Robert Rudolph, a law enforcement spokesman said.Does this mean he's no longer the hide and seek champion?
The car is fixed to the tune of $275. A tune up took care of the hesitation problem. Power steering will remain broken, as fixing it would be more than $500, and we have been assured that when it goes out completely we won't die in a firey crash, we'll just need stronger arm muscles.
In a car with 150k miles, I can live with no power steering.
The President is going to Europe and the Middle East and more specifically to Poland. It was mentioned on All Things Considered that while he is in Poland he will be visiting Nazi concentration camps.
I am reminded of Louis Freeh instituting visits to the Holocaust Museum for FBI trainees...
"We do this early on in their training ... to remind them of the horror and evil which can result from not just a government, but particularly law enforcement, abandoning its mission to protect people and becoming the engine of oppression," Freeh said.
The trainees are given a guided tour of the Holocaust Museum here and instruction about Adolf Hitler's use of the police in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s to round up Jews, political opponents and other targeted groups....
It's hard to say whether the lessons of that museum were truly learned by trainees, but one can hope that the president will take a good look at the ground where he stands, and understand how easily abuse of power can occur, and how hard it is for the innocent to defend themselves from an unjust government, even one that may think it has the best interests of its citizens at heart.
Tom at Matrix Essays asked some interesting questions. I tried to comment there, but the comment form crashed, so I'll have to put my thoughts together here.
Some mysterious things in Reloaded that might be good topics for discussion or essays:
When the Oracle says to Neo, "you've made a believer out of me," what does she mean? A believer in what?
The Oracle tells Neo, "you've already made your choice . . ." But when did he make it? 5 minutes ago? The moment he met Trinity?
If Neo can fly away from the park where he battles the 100 Smiths, why can't he fly to it in the first place? Why does he have to go through the special door?
Why does Bane cut his own hand with the knife?
Why does Bane start to attack Neo, then change his mind?
Neo doesn't fly to the Oracle, but takes the backdoors, becuase he needs to know about and understand those doors before he meets with the Architect. It will be interesting if neo learns to use those doors in "Revolutions".
Re. Bane's masochism:
I think Bane cut his his own hand with the knife because Agent Smith has never experienced (physical) human feelings before. I would think that everything associated with the human body would be fascinting to him, but Agent Smith's very character seems to call for violence, even if self-inflicted.
Regarding choice, that was one of the few things the Oracle said that I felt I understood, perhaps more on an intutitive level than logically.
Where Neo is now, where each of us are now, is a result of choices we have made in the past. If Neo had not chosen the red pill, if he had accepted the word of the Oracle that he was not the one, if he had not stopped to talk to the spoon orphan, he may not have ended up where he was. Every one of those actions, large and small, led him there. The is not to say that he was destined or fated to end up "the one", he could have made a different choice at any one of the junctures and it may have placed him elsewhere.
Our life choices shape us into the people we are today, and as we go along that path, there are times where we are forced into a situation because of those past actions. When we look back upon our lives, there are many situationa where if we had chosen B over A, our lives would be completely and totally different from what they are now, although at the time the choice was made, we had no clue that the consequences would be so far reaching.
If Neo had not fallen in love with Trinity, he may not have made the choice he did--he might not have made many of the choices he did, but it was ultimately his love for Trinity, and all his actions along the path to becoming "the one" that shaped his choice with the Architect.
That is, I think, what the Oracle was trying to explain to Neo. He is where he is (and we are where we are), because every action has consequences. Some are immediate, some are far in the future, some are positive, some are negative, but they are consequences just the same, and are something with which we must learn to live.
"HUP" by The Wonder Stuff. Which was almost happy enough to remove the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach that came from dropping off the car to get repaired.
The rest of the week I was listening to "The Joshua Tree" by U2 (in the few minute increments I found to listen to my walkman).
This is today's amusement:
Wackiest possible ending I know won't happen: On Nov. 5th, everyone sits down to watch the third movie. The lights dim, the screen lights up. Then the lights come back on again, and the Wachowski Brothers explain: "There is no third movie. You've had six months to puzzle out an ending, so now we want everyone to get up and share their theory about how the movie will end" which will spark a global discussion about the film, and possibly a riot.from : Old Oligarch
It might spark a small riot....
I think I'm going to bury my head in the sand for a few weeks, at least until the bills stop coming in.
And you thought I was going to say something about politics, didn't you?
And while I'm completely babbling about nothing, does anyone know when Mozilla is going to implement a spell chequer?
As I was thinking about the architect’s speech, I was reminded of a famous passage:
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.Followed by:
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.(Both passages are from KJV, which is the version most readily available on-line)
It struck me that the assertion of the architect that Trinity, and Zion and the occupants of the matrix will all die may be little different than the assertion by God "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"? Trinity does not die, the Matrix seem still to be standing (despite the destruction wrought by Neo in his flight to save Trinity) and Zion is still standing, still has a chance to be saved.
Just as the lives of Adam and Eve were radically changed by choosing the fruit of knowledge (an apple only by tradition) so the lives of the occupants of Zion and the matrix will be radically changed by the choice of Neo. It would be death, in a way. For that choice creates profound consequences: expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the destruction of the Matrix. Both choices lead to death and destruction: the murder of Abel by Cain, the death of people who can not accept that the matrix is not real. And both choices lead to a situation that will make some survivors profoundly unhappy, those who would choose a dream over reality. But in the end, is not free will, free choice, and knowledge a better option?
Perhaps that varies for individuals, but for humanity I think that I choose free will.
I just read a fantastic essay on "The Matrix Reloaded" on Freedom, Determinism, Teleology and Foreknowledge in Matrix: Reloaded
Against Neo's worry that all his choices are illusory, the Oracle explains that, on the contrary, the outcome of the present situation is merely a product of decisions Neo has already made. She says that his present perplexity results from the fact that he has not understood why he has made those choices which have led him to the present moment. Understanding, more than choice, is crux of the issue, she seems to say.
Some people really grimace at this, since the Oracle, ostensibly the good figure in the movie, seems to be endorsing determinism here, like the Merovingian. This is a mistake. It isn't necessary to come to this conclusion. The Oracle does not say Neo's present choice to take the candy is determined by something or someone else, but rather by what Neo himself has already chosen, unconsciously, in moments up to now.
I highly recommend it, despite it's high geek factor. :)
Our soldiers are still dying in Iraq.
So the president managed to bully through his ridiculous tax package. The insanity of this I've already addressed, but there is one thing that really bothers me, and that is the new child tax credit.
Soon, people will be getting up to $400 per child in the mail as a return. I've talked about this a bit before, but it really irks me, so I'm going to rant again.
First, I have no problem with giving people who have one or two children a break on their taxes. Children are expensive; there is no two ways about that. What I do have a problem with is extra tax credits for people who have three or more children, and then expect everyone else to finance their part in over-population. I remember reading something in a news magazine (it was probably US News) several years ago, about a man who made several hundred thousand dollars, and who paid no taxes, because he had so many children (it wasn’t a family, it was a flock). You know what? Biologically a couple needs to have only two children, one to replace the mother, and one to replace the father. Anything more than that is a surplus which will contribute to the overpopulation burden in the world.
I'm not saying that people don't have the right to have more than two children, if a couple wants to have a dozen children, more power to them, but don't expect me to pay for them.
And if you think that society doesn't pay for children you're not paying attention. Parents get increasing tax relief the more children they have. Secondly, parents do NOT have to pay increased health insurance premiums the more children they have. When I was carrying Michael on my health insurance, I had to pay a family rate, and despite the fact that there were only two of us, I had to pay the same rate as a family with one, two or ten children. In essence, I am paying increased insurance premiums to cover those children (and the maternity costs of those children as well!) This is ridiculous. Why should I be punished for having no children? Why should someone with ten children be rewarded for overpopulation?
Don't get me wrong; I don't mind paying taxes for the most part. It is important that we pay for the things society needs, be it roads, or public schools, or public health. But I do have a problem with our increasing support of biologically foolhardy overpopulation. If a couple wants to have more than two children, that is perfectly fine, but it is not my responsibility to pay for that ecological irresponsibility.
maynard - Slang. 1. A goatee. 2. Anyone stupid enough to wear a goatee. 3. Anyone stupid enough to wear anything stupid.
ediotic - Describes a pointless or stupid piece of editing.
apathist - One who is apathetic towards most things.
Everyone is blogging about "The Matrix: Reloaded" They hate it, they love it. It was great, it was terrible. Do I have anything new to add? Nope. But there were some things that gave me pause for thought, so I'm gonna write about 'em.
First, I liked "Reloaded". I liked the way it made me think, and I like the way it is still making me think (except for the fact that I'm supposed to be thinking about school. That part isn't so great.) I love the way that it references everything from mythology (which has always fascinated me) to religion (which also fascinates me) to philosophy (which is also interesting, but not as fascinating to me) and throws it all together.
Basically, I like things that it makes me think.
But there were some things that bothered me. Some are small and petty, others less so. First, they live underground. There is no more sun. Shouldn't they be much paler than they are? I suppose that more pale would just have been creepy, but still. I suppose I should just be happy that pale is cool, and that perhaps it will catch on, and sunbeds will go out of business and skin cancer rates will plummet.
Anyway... Second, I wish that Trinity's character dressed better when she's in the Matrix. I'm sure that every guy whose seen the movie totally disagrees, but I think she is much more beautiful in the real world than she is in tighter than skin tight shiny black....whatever, with shoes that make my feet hurt just to look at them. Yikes!
So that's two. The third isn't a complaint as much as a curious question. How many people who watch the movie actually get the point? I read that you can buy Matrix sunglasses and all that, but isn't that missing the point? When you buy the sunglasses and the clothes and the stuff, aren't you buying into "the Matrix", to the very ideas that the movie rails against? It's all a complete facade, but people don't seem to get it. Instead of getting the ideas behind the movie, they are just buying further into the system.
That's not freedom, that's the opposite of freedom. If you need sunglasses and leather to be "you", because that is what is "in" following the wake of the movie, then you are possibly less free than the people plugged into the matrix, becuase you are voluntarily buying into the system, you are voluntarily plugging in and ignoring the message.
I read a copy of the script for "The Matrix", and there was a line that was left out, that I liked. When Trinity and Neo are by the phone booth after sending back Morpheus, Neo says "I want to kiss you" to which Trinity replies, "Not here, I want it to be real" That's not an exact quote, only my memory, but it gets the point across. The Matrix isn't real, the facade of clothing and things isn't real. What they feel for each other is real, and what they believe is real. Everything else is beside the point.
There is an interesting article in FindLaw about a procedural change in the Senate on filibusters proposed by Bill Frist and Orrin Hatch to attempt to push through the presidents hard right judicial nominations.
If you don't remember much about filibusters from school, this article nicely outlines the process--and the changes in the process that have occurred. But the more interesting point is what the far right proposes to do.
Rather than seeking a vote to change the rules of the Senate, the Republicans would instead seek a ruling from the presiding officer of the Senate - Vice President Dick Cheney - that Rule XXII, the cloture vote rule, does not apply to executive matters such as nominations submitted to the Senate by the president - including judgeships. Rather, the rule only applies to legislative business. Why? Because, they now argue, were it otherwise, the Senate would be able to filibuster the president's business, and that would be a violation of the separation of powers.
Needless to say, such a procedural ruling would be contrary to long practice. But this doesn't mean that Cheney would not give the GOP members exactly what they want. And if he did, there would be little left for the Democrats to do about the new interpretation: It would take a simple majority to override Cheney, and they don't have one.
I've been disgusted with the far right for years, but it seems that things become worse and worse the long this administration is in office.
There is just too much going on.
I'm trying to comprehend why I thought summer school would be a good idea. Maddness I say! Maddness!
I found out that my cousin Ryan goes in for surgery on the 9th. He is only 21 but was diagnosed with lung cancer. They may remove part or all of his lung, but my understanding is that his prognosis is good. The cancer was discovered after a fall, when they were afraid he may have broken some ribs. If you have any to spare, please send good thoughts in his direction. (The general direction is Baltimore.)
Our car is having fits. In the lower range of the gears, it does that shuddering thing that is reminiscent of a new driver.As I have driven standard transmission cars since I was 16, that is not what is wrong. The other problem is that the power steering is going in and out, which is disconcerting to say the least, and actually a bit of a problem right now, since my carpal tunnel already makes my wrist weak. Although it seems highly unlikely, I am hoping that the two problems are related, and will be inexpensive to fix. But I'm honest enough that I'm pretty sure they are not related, and that we are looking at a fuel problem and something with the power sterring.
But I still hope that the problems will be inexpensive.
The last thing is that we have almost finished my sister-in-law's website for her court reporting business, Meeks Reporting. Michael is still trying to get the form scripting to work, but other than that the basics are done. I've done everything she wanted, except for modifying one image, but I still feel like it needs something...It's kinda boring, but I suppose there is not much I can do.
Anyway, have a pleasant day.
I found this interesting quote:
Unfortunately, our millionaires, and especially their idle and degenerate children, have been flaunting their money in the face of the poor, as if actually wishing to provoke them. The rich prefer to buy immense cars which take almost all the narrow street or road, at such speeds as imperils the lives and limbs of everybody in their path.
--The North American Review 1906
Yes, 1906. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The quote is from a fascinating article on the 100th Anniversary of Ford Motor Company, and how the Model T changed America in the June/July 2003 copy of American Heritage magazine. There are some fascinating pictures, including some of Model Ts going places where even today's urban attack vehicles would fear to tread--even those driven by people who drive off road.
It is fascinating how the car has changed the world. It did give women a certain independence, and it did give people more time (far better to drive the miles to town or the nearest neighbor than walk or hitch up a horse) but it lead not to more free time, but to beltways and soccer moms transporting kids from activity to activity, and families complaing they have no time together.
Don't get me wrong. I have no interest in giving up my car, but I wonder about our current chaos and busy schedules, the nightmare of urban traffic, did Henry Ford have even the slightest idea what he was creating when he set out to "...build a motor car for the great multitude"?
I made a strange discovery about myself. It was something that I should have noticed before, but I suppose we're all blind to that which is closest to us.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I dress predominantly in black, white and gray, with the occasional green shirt thrown in for variety. I've bought and made things with color and patterns (I have a lovely purple flower-print dress in my closet that I've worn probably twice.) But ultimately I do not feel comfortable in those clothes and so never wear them. So I stick to my comfortable blacks, whites and grays.
What struck me recently, was that despite my dress, I tend to surround myself otherwise with color. The walls of my home range from pastel to bright and vibrant, but they are full of color. And more noticably, I grow plants and flowers of all hues and colors. I have always though that I hated the color orange, but the plants that I like best are oranges and yellows--colors I would not be caught dead wearing. And pinks, I have pinks as well, yet the last time I wore pink was to my great-aunt Sophie's funeral (pink was her favorite color, so I wore it for her, and then immediately gave the shirt to my grandmother, for I would never wear it again.) I like purples and lavendars, but couldn't tell you the last time I wore anything in those colors, yet my living room is pale purple/lavendar.
Perhaps it is the difference between the colors of nature and colors created by man? The colors of nature strike me as beautiful and vibrant, while man's attempts at those colors sometimes strike me as garish and gaudy. But I like the pastels of my walls, so it can't simply be nature versus man.
What does this say about me? What does it mean?
I'm pretty sure that it's the end of my identification as punk, unless you can be punk and like orange flowers. It boots me right out of the goth club (but you'll never get my "Sisters of Mercy" CDs.) Where does this leave me? Is this common? Or is it a sign of worse things to come? In the future will I spend my years in decline wearing the oranges and pinks so despised in my youth?
I'm sure that some would try to convince me that it's my innate sense of fashion, that I look good in those colors and thus naturally choose them to wear, but those are people who have quite obviously never seen me in person--seen my "innate sense of fashion" in action.
So I guess I'll just have to hope it is a quirk--an anomoly--and that I won't spend my retirement years wearing pink while growing black roses.
Though that might be cool....
This is not the day that the pools open.
This is the day we are to remember those who gave their lives for our country. Those who heeded the need of their country, of their fellow citizens, and gave their lives so that we can now have:
freedom of speech....
"Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind."
And for only $19.95 as well!
I always feel like I'm getting away with something when I find clothing I like for under $20. Perhaps it's because the stuff I'd make for myself (if I had time, material and a machine in working order) would cost me lots more than $20.
For someone who dresses and badly as I do, I certainly have expensive tastes.
I need a new jacket.
This shouldn't be such a big deal, but it always is. (Of course Michael doesn't think I need a new jacket, but he is the person who wears shoes and clothes until they are completely falling apart, so there.) The problem is that I know what I want, and no one wants to make it.
I suppose I should be glad, for I'm never thrilled when things I like become popular, but it's frustrating with jackets and shoes, because these are things I wear every day, and comfort is important.
So what I want is a black jacket. Kinda like the one I made for Michael, based on the Civil War pattern,
The problem with all this is that 1) There is no longer a decent fabric store in the area that would carry the material I want. 2) My sewing machine is really not working well. 3) I have no TIME!
Of course I could buy something, but the problem there is 1) I can't find anything I like. 2) If I find something I like, I can't afford it.
So we're still looking for that rich uncle (or aunt, we're not sexist) who wants to give us money--any takers?
Okay, this is funny...
Hell's librarian... How perfect.
As life goes on, we (Read: Michael) were doing some yardwork, when we discovered that last night some... person.... drove into our yard and ran into our light pole, knocking away all the bricks we have around it, and killing one of the two remaining sunflowers. There's a ding in the pole, with the outer coating busted up, and it blew the bulb and knocked the pole askew, but was otherwise easily repaired. The irritating fact was that someone did it and ran. We found a car part, and I am hoping it is important.
So, we put everything back together, and since almost nothing I planted there grew, we planted two hostas and two other plants, and mulched, and it looks quite nice now.
So, since we're now saving our pennies, we also bought a gerbera daisy and a jasmine, to plant along the front of the house, where it is bare. I really hope this is the last of the spending for awhile, since we do have more tuition to pay in 5 weeks.
Despite not knowing CSS, I think I have enough of a handle on what I'm doing, and am pleased with the results so far.
I think that I like MovableType quite a bit.
Which is a relief, because if I'd put all this effort into it and didn't like it...
...well, that'd have been typical, wouldn't it?
I found a nice blog on The Matrix at A Little Bit of Nowhere. (It's Blogger, so of course the permalinks don't work. Scroll down to Friday, May 23, 2003, and it's there.
Just so I'll have them at hand, here is a relisting of the interesting Matrix sites:
Goliath by Neil Gaiman
Philosophy & The Matrix
Gnosis and The Matrix
Forget sci-fi and guns - The Matrix is really about religion BBC article
Essay on The Matrix by Mike Athreton
Screenplay for The Matrix
If you were desparate to read my May posts from the old blog, they are located here.
Just in case you were really bored. (grin)
New color scheme (quite different from my previous) but I think that white text on a black screen is easier to read, so that's what I'm trying. The problem is that it's grey text on black background, and I never bothered to learn CSS, so I've got to decide if grey is okay to read, or do I have to figure out CSS.
All in all though, this was not as hard to set up as I thought it would be. Only problem is that I can't get it to show up in Mozilla, so I'll have to keep working with it.
No spell check though.
It's now working with Mozilla! Hoorah!
I've changed the text to white!
Still no spell check.
It's better than bad! It's good!