Watched most of “The Debt” [8/10] and would watch the rest later if it was convenient to do so. It’s about spies in East Germany attempting to kidnap a Nazi. The plan goes wrong.
I watched “Pacific Rim” [7/10] after “Super 8″ [7/10] and was not as impressed by either as I’d hoped to be. First, I can’t hear Pacific Rim any more without thinking Job after, thanks to the team named that at Owl Pub Trivia I go to frequently. Second, the movie is the same script as Indpendence Day, so that was sort of sad. The whole part of flying out of the atmosphere, using wing flapping, was a little unbelievable too. A lot, I mean. Super 8 was more believable, for another alien flick.
I helped invent and host a city bus tour to a movie theatre from the Riddell Centre on Tuesday evening. It went very well, even though our bus was 20 minutes late when first leaving. The weather was astoundingly perfect, and the ten people who went all seemed to enjoy the evening very much. I think UR Sustainability Club will organize another tour like this one, later this semester.
Half of the group saw “Elysium” [7/10] a futuristic movie about a man dying to get to a satellite habitat where magical medical technology can heal nearly anything. The other went to the World’s End, or something like that. They seemed shocked by what they saw. The movie I saw was alright, but probably won’t watch it again.
What’s it like for a Regina cyclist to go see a movie?
Can you see drivers being as patient and persistent as Regina’s cyclists? Despite the flooded dead-ends without detour signs, I made the 11km bike ride from the south west, to the north east in under an hour, so I could catch the latest “Star Trek Into Darkness” [10/10]. I’d highly recommend trying it. The film was great fun too. *rim shot*
Taking some time on the weekend to waste a little time, I caught up on some movies. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” [6/10] was extremely uncomfortable at times, and oh so predictable, but still enjoyable enough to get a passing mark. The Spock on TV joke during the movie helped me figure out the voice of Sentinal Prime, who I recognized eventually as Leonard Nimoy’s, but couldn’t name at first. They later had him make another Star Trek joke, claiming “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. On Friday I’d watched the end of “Star Trek Generations” [7/10] and all of “Star Trek First Contact” [10/10]. I finally finished watching “X Men First Class” [8/10] after starting it months ago, then not having an easy means on hand to watch the conclusion after the Russian mansion is stormed.
All that wasn’t enough. I also watched the alternate reality WWII film “Inglorious Basterds” [8/10] and found it less gruesome than I expected for a Tarantino movie.
Watched “Django Unchained” [7/10], and realized that bodies were exploding because it was a Tarantino movie. It went about as expected. Some parts should not be watched, or it will cause trauma; Like the dogs ripping someone apart. However, I was pleasantly surprised to hear this Jim Croce song.
Before arriving at the Golden Mile theatre, there was a white husky dog with a green (shock?, tracking?) box collar on, and a Regina tag, but I couldn’t get the number on it to call the City because the dog would nip when I held his collar. It ran off to a car to investigate a barking dog, and I let nature (and the SPCA) take its course.
The problem with how Sweden, the UK, and the United States have been treating Julian Assange of Wikileaks, has dragged on for years. It’s left the foremost journalist in the world stuck in a London apartment building that houses the Ecuadorian Embassy where Assange is trapped as a political prisoner. He sought asylum from the Swedish extradition order, and Ecuador granted him that request. Assange’s home country of Australia has sided with the United States in wanting him imprisoned and taken offline, because they’ve failed to negotiate his safe return to Australia or Ecuador where he could be free.
In February there was a great response to a New Statesman article by a former Assange supporter who has now betrayed him by working for Hollywood/CIA who is set to smear him in a widely distributed film.
Khan complains that Assange refused to appear in the film about WikiLeaks by the American director Alex Gibney, which she “executive produced”. Assange knew the film would be neither “nuanced” nor “fair” and “represent the truth”, as Khan wrote, and that its very title, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, was a gift to the fabricators of a bogus criminal indictment that could doom him to one of America’s hellholes. Having interviewed axe-grinders and turncoats, Gibney abuses Assange as paranoid. DreamWorks is also making a film about the “paranoid” Assange. Oscars all round.
It’s also worth reading this summary by WikiLea’s J. Farrell, of Assange’s present legal and political problems:
Over a lunch you [, Khan,] questioned this fear of extradition to the US, and when I asked you what you would do in his position you refused to answer the question. I asked you more than six times what you would do in his shoes. Having offered to cooperate with the Swedish investigation non-stop for the past two years and been refused with no proper explanation, and believing that you would end up in an American prison for decades, in solitary confinement and under SAMs, what would you do? You never gave me a concrete answer. Instead, you skirted the question with another question and discounted the numerous legal opinions out there, favouring instead an article by David Allen Green. I reiterated that Julian had never said that it would be likely in practice that he would face the death penalty, although the Espionage Act permits this. But more to the point, and one that everyone always ignores, there was (and still is) the fear of being extradited to face life imprisonment and almost certainly torture or other inhumane and degrading treatment for his publishing activities.
I told you that the Swedish authorities could, if they wanted to, charge Julian in absentia. Even if they were to do that, they should, according to their own procedures, conduct an interview with him before requesting his extradition. I repeated that he remains available even in the embassy for questioning by the Swedish authorities should they wish to employ the standard procedures they use regularly in other cases.
I think it was David Allen Green who I was arguing with once on Twitter about WikiLeaks. He’s clearly not very objective, and is out to present the situation in a way that will result in Assange ending up imprisoned.
In response to the sexual assault allegations, here are people who recognize what is going on:
Khan is rightly concerned about a “resolution” of the allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. Putting aside the tissue of falsehoods demonstrated in the evidence in this case, both women had consensual sex with Assange and neither claimed otherwise; and the Stockholm prosecutor Eva Finne all but dismissed the case.
As Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape wrote in the Guardian in August 2012, “. . . the allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction . . .
“The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will . . . [Assange] has made it clear he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step to their investigation? What are they afraid of?”
They are afraid of Skype, or a plane flight to London. Here’s a fricken map for them to find Julian Assange for that interview they claim to want on behalf of Assanges’ accusers.
I grew up thinking that Killer Robots From Venus was a pretty amusing song. Now that we’re living in 2013, the ‘future’, we have to seriously contemplate the implications of building robots that can kill as their intended purpose. Our next-future expectations depend upon what we choose now. I’m not okay with building Terminators, just because we have the technical capability. We should be seriously concerned, even if we don’t think a Skynet scenario will play out as it did in the movies.
The consequences are dire and deadly even if the machines don’t ‘decide’ to turn against their human programmers.
“Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch. “Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimising civilian deaths and injuries.”
US political activist Jody Williams, who won a Nobel peace prize for her work at the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, is expected to join Sharkey at the launch at the House of Commons. Williams said she was confident that a pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons could be achieved in the same way as the international embargo on anti-personnel landmines. “I know we can do the same thing with killer robots. I know we can stop them before they hit the battlefield,” said Williams, who chairs the Nobel Women’s Initiative.
“Killer robots loom over our future if we do not take action to ban them now,” she said. “The six Nobel peace laureates involved in the Nobel Women’s Initiative fully support the call for an international treaty to ban fully autonomous weaponised robots.”
“They may be metallic, but they’re just like me and you.” – Arrogant Worms.
No, they are not just like me and you; they’re killing-machines. Don’t let computer scientists program killer robots.
We can’t even seem to convince some people that it’s a good idea to harness wind energy, yet those same people might defend the creation of deadly robots that could quite literally be turned against them and their family giving a worst case scenario.
I’d suggest people watch “Flight” [9/10] if you like deep movies about alcoholism. You might end up cheering for the drunk and feeling bad for doing so.