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War and Peace

April 6th, 2014

About 9 hours into my flight from Singapore to Istanbul I turned on the flight info map. As the map views flipped between the whole world, one hemisphere and the region I noticed two city names on the map: Homs and Aleppo. Two cities I would know nothing about if it weren’t for listening to the BBC World Service in the mornings while driving the kids to work. Two cities which are locked in their, what is it now? Third year of a brutal civil war?

After landing in Istanbul I decide to take advantage of the long stop over and head into town. I visited I The Blue Mosque, The Grand Bazaar and The Basilica Cistern. Then I spent two hours in Hagia Sofia, my favourite building, even with the scaffolding it’s still one of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth. I also spent 40 minutes or so just sitting on the carpeted floor of The New Mosque, which I think is the most beautiful of the Imperial Mosques and an amazingly peaceful place.

Now I’m back in the airport waiting for my flight to Tel Aviv, in which I will fly right by the hell that is Syria, Homs and Aleppo suffering another day of civil war.

Sandman should be on HBO.

March 26th, 2014



Logline: Neil Gaiman’s classic graphic novel about Dream and his siblings, finally appears to be coming to the big screen.

Status: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who probably has the juice to make things happen right now, is producing with the possibility of starring and directing. Jack Thorne (How I Live Now) is writing the screenplay, based on a pitch by David S. Goyer.

From Upcoming Genre Movies That Aren’t Sequels, Remakes or Reboots [] on io9

Not as a movie! Sandman should be an HBO series. All 76 issues done, basically as is. Spend the money on special effects and whatnot! Not a two hour movie; a movie can’t do Sandman justice. I think only HBO can do Sandman justice.

Ways not to use text messaging

March 24th, 2014

“[A]fter the airline sent a text message to relatives saying it “deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those onboard survived.”

From ‘All lives are lost’ []
By Michael Pearson and Jethro Mullen on

What the fuck? A text message? An SMS? Wouldn’t want to be the person who decide that was the best way to inform people their friends and family on MH370 are dead. Worse than firing people by SMS.

Liberal Modernity and Secularism

February 28th, 2014

[M]odernity (especially liberal modernity) makes things difficult (perhaps uniquely difficult) for people of faith. It fosters a pluralism that denies any one religion the power to organize the whole of social life. It teaches that public authorities must submit to the consent of those over whom they aspire to rule, thereby undermining the legitimacy of all forms of absolutism. It employs the systematic skepticism of the scientific method to settle important questions of public policy. It encourages the growth of the capitalist marketplace, which unleashes human appetites and gives individuals the freedom to choose among an ever-expanding range of ways to satisfy them.

Damon Linker, in Is secularism inevitable? [] from The Week

Making decisions based on trees and flowers

February 14th, 2014

Of course there are several major differences between human and bee consensus, not the least of which is that we are not part of a hive mind, despite how much the internet often feels like one. Also, we don’t usually make decisions based on trees and flowers, though maybe we should.

Annalee Newitz, in This video of a honeybee swarm reveals why humans can’t form consensus []