Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hacking Democracy

If you believe in Democracy, you should see the documentary, Hacking Democracy (the clips are at the bottom). If you think I'm just some sort of conspiracy theorist, tell me how did Al Gore get -16,022 votes at a precinct in Florida? Yes... that's a minus sign. He got negative votes!!!
Even if the candidate that you voted for won, do you think its fair for your vote to NOT be counted? Do the ends justify the means?
I'm not saying that any party or candidate has rigged any election. I'm saying that if you can't trust the very foundation on which every democracy is based on, the counting of votes, then can you really be sure that you are in a democracy? Look at the picture below from the Washington Post (you can click on it for the full sized version). Even our slot machines are more secure than our voting machines!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

BMW Films: The Star
I know this is old but its a Must See for any car enthusiast, even if you don't care for BMW's. Be sure to have your speakers turned on or some headphones on. You're viewing patience will be rewarded.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Perfect Garlic oil Pepperoncino Spaghetti Recipe
I found out about this dish when I was at my friend's place. His fiance had boiled up some spaghetti noodles, but there was nothing else that even resembled a sauce. Strangely enough, she pulled out some packets of seasonings and oils (like the kind you get with instant ramen noodles) and proceeded to dump them on the cooked noodles and just like that, the dish was done. Note: the correct name for this dish is "Aglio Olio Peperoncino". The Japanese call this Peperoncino Spaghetti even though the peppers (peperoncino) make up only a minute amount of the whole seasoning payload.
It wasn't bad, I could definitly taste the garlic in there, but I felt that the flavors weren't strong enough. I guess that's what you can expect from a packet that's been sitting on the store shelf for a while. Anyhow, I decided it was time to make my own version, with fresh ingredients and a lot more flavor.

Ingredients: (1 serving)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
125 grams dry spaghetti pasta
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Hot Chili flake
2 slices of bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pinch finely chopped parsley (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a couple quarts of water to boil in a large pot. When its reached full boil, Add salt to boiling water until it becomes salty, then add your pasta. Meanwhile, cut up the bacon into bit sized pieces and fry in a skillet. In a separate pan, lightly fry the minced garlic and olive oil over low heat until golden brown. Season with two pinches of salt. Add chili flakes one minute before the garlic is done. Be careful not to overcook the garlic! If it becomes brown and bitter, its overcooked. When the bacon is done, drain them on a paper towel. Remove all the fat from the pan except for a tablespoon and saute the chopped onions until sweet and translucent. Season with salt & pepper. When the pasta is al' dente, drain and add it to the pan with the chopped onions. Toss with the bacon and fried garlic and oil and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley and ground pepper.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Geico Caveman Commerical
For some reason I really like the music in the latest Geico caveman commerical where the caveman is at the airport. Play the video below to see what I mean (Click on the play button on the bottom left to avoid leaving my site).

I found out that the song is "Remind Me" by Royksopp. Unfortunately, when I went to their site, their version of the song sounds very different (although the music video is pretty cool). See video below:

Luckily, I found what's been called the "Geico version", but this time the video is made by some guy on youtube, so you can ignore that.
Here it is:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Good Night, and Good Luck
The movie Good Night and Good Luck is one of the best civic minded movies to come out in the past decade. What a great movie to watch before our Nov 7th elections! It tells the story of Edward R. Murrow's courageous stand against Senator McCarty during the time in the US known as The Red Scare.
For those of you unfamiliar with US history, The Red Scare was a period in the 1940's-50's when people were deafly afraid of being labeled a communist. The fear was so great that suspicion was enough destroy careers and bring about convictions. Sen. Joesph McCarthy was responsible for finding and bringing people suspicious of communist activities to hearings and trials. However, in these trials, any semblance of a just hearing was thrown out the door as speculative, inconclusive, and sometimes made up evidence was presented against the accused. So great were these injustices that the term McCartyism was coined. Those who would stand up to McCarty feared that they too would be suspected of communism. It wasn't until an anchor from CBS, Edward R. Murrow, showed the public how McCarty's tactics were used to subvert the people's civil liberties. Murrow's reports galvanized the resentment of the American people to McCarthyism, which ultimately led to McCarthy's demise.
The Movie
The movie really shows us the finese that Murrow and his partner Fred Friendly uses to attack McCarthy. Particularly interesting is their discussion on what constitutes fair and balanced journalism. Although seeing how these two brought about the downfall of Sen. McCarthy was the main draw of this movie, the main idea underwriting this whole story is a civic one. That is, as citizens we cannot "confuse dissent with disloyalty." It is our ability to voice our dislike of policies and open discussion without reprisal that prevents us from succumbing to the fears that McCarthy so easily manipulated. Unfortunately today, the Republicans and the Bush Administration have been working diligently to connect the dots between dissent and disloyalty that they just make me sick!