you can try to swim away but you will only die tired... bringing you the political, military, international and domestic news you didn't even know existed or wanted to know more about...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Watching the world

I love traveling the world, seeing other people and cultures, how things work. Since I can't always afford to travel I do the next best thing, I journey to places vicariously through various mediums; whether it be through internet TV or people simply sharing photos online. Dare to explore...

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Jesus Tomb

If there is one thing I love it's controversy. I'm definitely going to catch this documentary. Let's add some butter in the pan.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

More on Prince Harry

Thank goodness there is other news besides Anna Nicole Smith, like a prince going off to war. Now if the media is so concerned about Prince Harry and his safety, why do they constantly let out information like this?

Prince Harry will be guarded by SAS troops, Prince Harry will be assigned this mission, Prince Harry will do this, Prince Harry will be stationed here, etc. The MOD needs to stop sharing information with the media about where Prince Harry is going, and about other security concerns. No wonder he's going to become a bullet magnet, the media has practically put him in the gallery.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My new Bates boots!

I blithely took ownership of a pair of Bates Stingray Side-zip Duty Work Boots today, and I can attest that these are some of the best, most comfortable footwear I’ve ever worn. They were on sale on for $39.97, and since these babies usually retail on the internet for $90 bucks or so, I had to strike while the iron was hot. Deals like these are simply fabulous darling.

Volunteer firefighters

I have a deep respect for firefighters, they rush in when others rush out. I admire volunteer firefighters especially because they don't even get paid for what they do; and they put their lives on hold, and sometimes they lay down their lives, so others may live. They also have a great sense of humor. I love this picture I found. You guys do know that there is a house ON FIRE behind you?!!! ahhahahaha

Fighting crime the Swedish way + The Case of the Crashed Ferrari

Step 1: Arrest police officers and not criminals
Step 2: Give lenient sentences to criminals who actually commit crimes
Step 3: Victims are usually to blame for criminals committing crime against them

Sweden has one of the more "progressive" criminal justice systems in the world. Stories that inmates can watch cable TV and have PlayStations are not unheard of, and what is perhaps most shocking is that police actually pay attention and arrest people who do not place the proper garbage in the right recycling bins! Criminals are becoming more and more violent in society and police tactics remain unchanged, it’s not unusual for criminals to go in and out of jail because there is no real punishment, and sentences are light compared to American incarceration. Swedes believe strongly in rehabilitation, and we can all see how well that works by the number of people who get rearrested. According to The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet - Brå), “[T]he statistics show that the proportion of those convicted of offences that reoffend has varied a little from year to year. An average of 22 per cent of those convicted for offences between 1991 and 2000 reoffended within a year of the initial conviction. The proportion reoffending within a three year follow-up period was approximately one-third (an average of 35 per cent). This means that in slightly over half of the cases of recidivism noted within a three-year period, the first reoffence occurs within a year of the initial conviction.”

Police officers are also arrested quite frequently for just doing their jobs, like shooting an armed robber, or like the following story illustrates, for trying to prevent a speeder from killing an innocent person.,2789,1005459,00.html

Apparently IT consultant Bo-Göran Sederlin was on his way to some conference in his modest Ferrari 360 Modena when he saw another Ferrari. As these things go, they just had to race and in almost a cliché they sped past an unmarked police car. The unmarked police car took off in pursuit, but since it didn't have any blue lights according to Sederlin, he thought it was a carjacker (honestly how many carjackers are there in Sweden?), but if you are driving a Ferrari I guess I can understand that. Trying to get away from the police Sederlin put the pedal to the metal and hit 300 km/h, almost 190 mph, he also drove on the wrong side of the road. The police set up road blocks but Sederlin managed to avoid them. Honestly people, if you see a phucking road block you gotta figure out that it’s the police after you! After all, this isn’t Baghdad streets we are talking about.

After a few more kilometers of pursuit the police man decided to put a stop to the car chase by ramming the Ferrari, something which police in America do all the time. I don’t blame him, Sederlin could have killed somebody with his reckless driving, and if he was so worried about carjackers he should have called the police. Don’t tell me that there isn’t a Swede without a cell phone! So the car gets slammed into the railing and the pursuit ends. Instead of thanking him as a hero for ending the pursuit, the district attorney arrests the police officer for reckless driving!!! Of course Sederlin got charged as well, but why anybody wants to be a cop in Sweden is beyond me, especially if you can get arrested for just doing your job.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wonder Washer

I would like to give an accolade to the Wonder Washer. Always being in search for a money saving device, I was quite astonished that something I saw on TV could actually work, and quite well at that. Sure it requires a lot more work (read wringing) than putting a few quarters into a laundry-o-matic, but it is well-worth the investment for any college student or poor apartment tenant who wants to save a few bucks. It's actually quite fun too watching the clothes sloshing around in the bucket as well, so kids will be easily entertained, or child-like 30 year olds like myself. I highly endorse this product, and using Tide Coldwater makes my undies smell really good, not that I smell my undies, but if I did, they'd smell pretty good. Just don't forget to wash them a few times and rinse them out between washes. Happy washing peeps!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Driving on the Iraqi beltway

If only my daily commute was this easy... But you can see how effective our campaign of "winning hearts and minds" is, the Iraqis are very hospitable in moving over.

Dancing at the cafe - Bande a Part (AKA Band of Outsiders)

Thanks to MisterSix for digging this classic up on YouTube. Why is everything so much better in French?

Prince Harry to Iraq

So Prince Harry is going to Iraq and everybody is up in arms that he will become a "bullet magnet." I've got a clue for everybody, ANY British soldier in Iraq is a bullet magnet! Come on people. I for one think Prince Harry is showing leadership, and is trying to be a good officer after minor scandals that he missed training with his troops, etc.

I also don't understand why everybody is up in arms about him going to fight in Iraq. People are saying, "oh he can't go fight because he's a royal," or "what's going to happen if he dies?" etc. I'm sorry but back in the day kings and emperors went off to war and nobody said, "oh he's too cute to go fight, or what about the monarchy?" Gustav Adolphus fought like hell and he wasn't a prince, but a friggin' king! Good on you Harry!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The State Within on BBC America

One of the best TV movies I've seen this year! Well done BBC America! Very relevant, very gripping drama.

Kang tagged me

Okay, so Kang tagged me so I gotta do it...

Decide what you prefer:

American Football or Basketball? = Baseball
Beatles or Rolling Stones? = Rolling Stones
Schwarzenegger or Van Damme? = Schwarzenegger because he actually cares about environmental issues and wants health care for his people, and nobody phucks with The Terminator
Beer or Wine? = Both phool!
Los Angeles or New York? = New York, I won't set foot in LA unless they make me a movie star
Car or Bike? = SUV
Pizza or Burger? = Both
PC or Apple? = PC for games, Mac for being creative
Day or Night? = Nightstalkers Don't Quit
Internet Explorer or Mozilla? = What's Mozilla?
Black or white? = Black
Coffee or Tea? = Tea, preferably Turkish gunpowder tea
Coca or Pepsi? = Fanta and Fresca
Chocolate or Chips? = You mean potato chips?
Winter or Summer? = Winters in Gstaad and summers in St. Barts
Ski or Beach? = Both, see above
Letter or EMail? = Letters from girls, email from peeps
Dog or Cat? = Neither
BMW or Mercedes? = Nissan Xterra all the way, there's a reason they come with first aid kits, because we go out and play!
Simpsons or Spongebob? = Simpsons
YouTube or myVideo? = I like and

Friday, February 16, 2007

Kang Phorum + Canadians in Afghanistan + Shawn Hlookoff + iTunes + Wonder of the Internet

Once again the power of the internet has proven itself. It started on the Kang Phorum with a new topic called Spanning the Globe. Now I'm always the one to shamelessly self-promote myself, so I will tell you that I was one of the key players in actually getting that topic set up, but that's besides the point. What happened was that True Canadian posted a thread called Canadian facts and as always I tried to find a gripping video involving Canadians. What I found on YouTube was a great Canadian tribute video of soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

The song on that video was so moving, sung by a guy named Shawn Hlookoff, that I went to iTunes to buy that song. For those people who want to ban music videos or songs on YouTube, I say to hell with you! If I hadn't seen that video on YouTube, I would never have found out about this talented artist named Shawn Hlookoff and I would never have bought his song on iTunes. I am fully for supporting brilliant artists, and I believe that artists who share some of their content freely on the internet will reach more people who would be willing to spend their money to support them. This is what happened when I stumbled onto the Celtic Women, I loved them and I bought their music. I saw their content free, but I was so enthralled that I bought their product. Negative recording companies who want to limit their artists' access to the internet are losing out I believe. Rather than fighting the internet, like Metallica, they should embrace it. The age of going to the music store to buy a CD is going the way of the cassette tape so you better get onboard! Not everybody on the internet is a freeloader. We actually DO BUY quality products.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Smiling fashionistas

Inevitably any fashionista will find themselves connected to New York City somehow. Paris, Milan, and London might be giants, but New York City has its own charm, its own vibrancy. The people of New York are some of the most interesting in the world, and one of my favorite New York blogs is I Do Nothing All Day's blog. Only a New Yorker could create a blog that combines subtle voyeurism with the latest fashions, infused with music, in a tactful and delicious compact package. The blog always leaves me with a smile, and New Yorkers have a lot to smile about:

Why we don't kiss our siblings...

State Farm pulls out of Mississippi

Like a good neighbor State Farm will leave you. State Farm took a gamble when it insured the good citizens of Mississippi, they figured they could make a few million dollars without too much risk, afterall, when is a Level 4 hurricane going to hit? People paid their high premiums, the money kept rolling in, and everybody was happy. Then one day Hurricane Katrina comes barging in, and now State Farm doesn't want to pay up. What is flooding is wind damage and what is wind damage is flood damage, the excuses and accusations go flying back and forth between destitute homeowners and State Farm. State Farm wants us to feel sorry for them, and have public affairs campaigns to tell us what a great company they are and how many claims they have already settled, etc. They don't have enough money to cover all the claims and might go bankrupt, etc. Honestly, have you ever seen a national insurance company go under?

Now I don't have all the details, but I think if you are paying your premiums and have been a loyal customer for many years, you ought to get your money. If the insurance company doesn't want to honor your claim they should at least give you back all your money you've given them over the years. What is at stake here is greed, corporate greed. The homeowners just want to rebuild their homes, their businesses, and their lives. Now if State Farm doesn't want to insure them after that, that's fine, but at least honor legitimate claims.

Here are some interesting things I found on in the comments section:

Monday, February 12, 2007

PS3 vs. Wii like a PC vs. Mac commercial

Must Love Jaws

hahahaha almost like Brokeback Mountain on water.


Thanks to Shazzerspeak for introducing this to me:

Dolphins and sealions to the rescue!,2933,251598,00.html

Is that Senator John Kerry reporting for duty? No, it's the Navy's latest weapon against intruders.

Strategy for Victory: Clear, Hold, and Build in Iraq

The Bush administration is treating Iraq as some gigantic Lego set. Don't like the instructions that came with the box? Change them. Don't like the pieces? Change them. Break it up, tear it down, rebuild. Sadly the pieces they are dealing with are human lives, both Iraqi and American.

The White House is touting the success of Tal Afar, but let's not forget that Tal Afar is only one town, and for true stability to return we'd need to station troops everywhere in Iraq, and 20,000 some troops are not going to cut it. I particularly find this of interest, "As Iraqis see the benefits of liberty, they will gain confidence in their future - and work to ensure that common purpose trumps narrow sectarianism." Iraqi confidence is at an all-time low, and Iraqis would rather have security than libery at this point. Most Americans don't even have confidence in their own future, despite having liberty - or what's left of it - so how can we expect Iraqis to be all cheery about picking up body parts of their family members in the town square?

Sadly there is no way out of Iraq with honor. The cut and run method, or phased withdrawal will only display weakness, and in that part of the world weakness is a griveous sin. In my opinion the US will at some point engage Iran in a skirmish thereby taking the focus away from Iraq and allowing the US forces to realign themselves for an eventual withdrawal. A situation pretty similar to the Cambodian invasion which aided Nixon in getting the troops out of Vietnam will result. We call this a smoke screen, and it will be a big one.

Air Force recruiting

I think if we ever have problems with recruiting we can just show this picture :) The Air Force does have a monopoly on beautiful women, followed closely by the Navy.

Napping on the job reduces heart attacks

I think we should institute mandatory napping all across the board, from nuclear power plant engineers to air traffic controllers! :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

100,000 Club

I just realized that if I were to add up the number of pages that I've read in my life so far it must add up to more than 100,000 pages. Who else is a member of my club: the 100,000 Club!

Ode to public libraries and rediscover your love of reading

No matter where I've lived I've always gotten myself a library card. It is perhaps the greatest thing a common man or woman can do to better themselves. We all pay taxes for it, and it is one of the few things that I do think our taxes should pay for. I love libraries, and despite my apprehension about germs on books, I believe that reading is the best art. The written word is the most powerful force in the world, and combined with an idea it can make or destroy worlds.

A friend of mine recently introduced me to goodreads , a website where you can share your reviews of books you've read with your friends. I think it's a brilliant concept and has reintroduced me to the wonderful world of reading. People who say they have no time to read a book are mistaken, they can watch four hours of TV a night but can't pick up a book? I prefer books because I can make my own images of characters and places in my mind, and the possibilities are endless. The bonus factor is that people think you are pretty smart if you are reading all the time, nobody says, "that guy Joe is so smart because he watches TV every day."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Broken Windows lead to more crime theory

The classic theory presented by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in The Atlantic Monthly; March 1982; Broken Windows; Volume 249, No. 3; pages 29-38.

The Beautiful Country, a must see...

The most moving picture I've watched in a long time. I think the reviews you can read over the internet will do the movie justice, and I will not attempt to do one here, but I urge you all to see this movie by yourself. It tackles everything from illegal immigration to the American Dream, to the timeless love of family and the seach for oneself. This one is a tear jerker, a heart-puller, and a punch in the gut.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Crown Princess Victoria in camo

One thing I've always liked about royalty is their close connection to the military. Some like Prince William and Harry join the military as an occupation, while others like Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden get a basic course and understanding. I only wish that the children of the American upper crust did the same so that they have some appreciation of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. But somehow I don't see the Bush twins running out and joining up anytime soon.

BTW, this is also an excellent illustration of the effectiveness of the Swedish zig-zag pattern of camouflage.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How Switzerland maintains its neutrality...

Since I used to live in Switzerland I always get people asking me, "Shark, how did Switzerland manage to remain neutral all these years?" I offer them this explanation,

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Swedish UN peacekeepers in Liberia do their take on "Baywatch"

Eurovision, melodifestivalen, Ines, Anna Sahlene, Estonia... the mind of the Shark

Unbelievable where your mind leads you sometimes. It started with the previous post about your life in song through iTunes, etc. Memories came flashing back to me as I looked at the songs that had impacted my life. As the name Eda-Ines Etti once again graced my mind, I recalled how fitting it was that in the year 2000 I was on a booze cruise from Stockholm to Estonia. Ines was performing for Estonia that year in the Eurovision song contest. If there is one thing that's better than sliced bread it's the Eurovision song contest, I'm a virtual addict. I offer this flash back for the faithful.

Now Ines was going to perform for Estonia again, but backed out at the last minute, and the Swedish singer Anna Sahlene took over. Anna Sahlene is a very talented and sexy singer, and I salute her with this:

Like a blonde Carola she rises from the ashes to warm this shark's heart. Carola has probably carried the Swedish torch to the Eurovision song contest more times than any other Swedish singer. And out of deep respect I humbly submit:

Now incidentally, if we can backtrack a bit, the 2000 Eurovision song contest was one of the best ones in my memory. Not only did Holland field such heavy weights as (perhaps quite literally) Linda Wagenmakers but

the Russian bombshell Alsou also made quite debut.

Now Linda Wagenmakers is Holland's favorite "musicals" singer, most famous for playing against Tony Neef in the Dutch version of Miss Saigon. Their rendition of "de laatste nacht" always brings me to tears.

She was our equivalent of Lea Salonga in the Dutch version of Les Mis as well, but just for our own edification I offer Lea in her best role:

And there you have it folks... thanks for the memories

Soundtrack Of Your Life…

I guess A Bowl of Stupid started this one and I found out about it on Kang's blog.

The rules:
1. Open your music library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc.);
2. Put it on shuffle;
3. Press play;
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing;
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button; and
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…


Opening Credits: O Holy Night - Luciano Pavarotti

Waking Up: Here in my room - Selena

First Day at School: The body of an American - The Pogues

Falling In Love: Goodbye my lover - James Blunt

Fight Song: I love you - Lorie

Breaking Up: Give me good sex - E-Rotic

Prom: Ameno (Dance Radio Edit) - Era

Life: No remedy for love - Owl Creeks

Mental Breakdown: Once in a lifetime - Eda-Ines Etti

Driving: Buy me a rose - Kenny Rogers

Flashback: Pity the child (from Chess) - Murray Head

Getting Back Together: You were mine - Dixie Chicks

Wedding: See you again - Jenny Bliss

Birth of Child: Ma meilleure amie - Lorie

Final Battle: We've got tonight - Kenny Rogers

Death Scene: Commitment - LeeAnn Rimes

Funeral Song: Deliver me - Sarah Brightman

End Credits: Free - La Cream

Monday, February 05, 2007

More digital camo for the fashionistas

Okay, we've already discussed the inventive camouflage pattern found in the movie Children of Men, a pattern based upon the British Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM) and the US Army's new ACU digital camo. I also briefly made mention of the Multicam pattern by Crye Industries. Now there is yet another contender for the best camouflage of 2007, the Digital Tiger Stripe pattern by Tiger Stripe Products. Based upon the tiger pattern used by special forces during the Vietnam War, the Tiger Stripe pattern looks very effective when offered in a pixilated form.

Will Florida tornado prompt more Christian converts?

I find it particularly interesting that so much focus has been placed on the Church of God in Lady Lake, Florida and its congregation members. 1,500 homes have been damaged, 20 people have died, yet the central focus point seems to be the rebuilding of the church. Even Florida Gov. Charlie Crist could not resist the urge to make an appearance at last Sunday's church service. I wonder if he would have shown up at a collapsed synagogue or a mosque?

In a way this story reminds me of a story I read about the Asian tsunamis where the flood waters spared a church but ruined the rest of the village. God surely works in mysterious ways, particularly when you add government into the equation. I'm always amused when neocons espouse their views that the Founding Fathers did not really want a separation of church and state and that their intention was for the US to be a Christian nation. If you read what they wrote, particularly Madison, you might gain a little more insight into their thinking. But I'm not going to deny you your intellect by telling you what he thought about the subject, do you own homework.

As a Christian I prefer to read the Bible and meditate upon God's word by myself, and as an American who believes in the US Constitution I do not have a problem with a Muslim reading the Koran, or a Jew reading the Torah, or the Buddhists the Tripitaka, etc. What I do have a problem with is when politicians try to reinterpret the Constitution for their own gain, or when they blatantly let their own religious beliefs favor one group over another. Then again, I'm probably one of the few Americans who still believe in the Constitution; and seeing as the president doesn't seem to care about it, I don't blame other Americans for not caring either, after all, chasing after that latest iPod is hard enough for the electorate. For people saying these are necessary evils in the fight against evil doers, I suggest they read up on jingoism and fear mongering. Of course they've probably never heard of those words either.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Five things you don’t know about me

Continuing Kang's blog tag:

1. I'm an avid reader of non-fiction.
2. I'm a closet author, mainly because I keep all my works in my closet.
3. I used to be a MacAddict.
4. If I could eat steak every day I would.
5. I wish my blog wasn't so boring.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sarah Silverman

Don't forget folks that The Sarah Silverman Program is debuting tonight on Comedy Central. This is mandatory viewing for Kang.

Exxon Mobil soldiers on

As I'm digging in my pocket for spare change to fill up my gas tank I hear that Exxon Mobil posted a record profit over the radio. Exxon was close to making $40 billion dollars in profit, making it the largest annual profit in US history. Well good for them, if I ran a company I'd want them to make a huge profit. Who wants to be a loser? We Americans can gripe about the price of gas, but we've got some of the lowest prices for gas in the world. We can spend $5 dollars on a cup of Starbucks coffee but we can't shell out $5 dollars for 2 gallons of gasoline? I don't blame Exxon for making a product that we are dependent upon, they are just catering to our needs.

I'm glad that American automakers are finally waking up to the fact that they need to make some more fuel efficient vehicles. Vehicles in Europe are very fuel efficient, and stylish, and have impressive handling. American appetites favor large, bulky pick ups and SUVs, but even they are weaning. Pick up and SUV sales are declining. My parents tell me that their friends in Europe who drive SUVs are paying $100 dollars every trip to the station. Though America will probably have a revolution before that happens, we need to start thinking about alternative fuels and equipment. Interestingly enough the companies that we criticize, such as Exxon, or Shell, or BP, are at the forefront of alternative fuel research. They don't pocket all of that $40 billion dollars, they invest a chunk of that in ethanol, hydrogen, and other alternative fuel research. They also donate a lot of money to environmental protection and even global warming mitigation initiatives, if you can believe that. Still, they could always do more, but quite frankly, what would you do if you ran a large, profitable, and successful company? It's always easier to criticize when you are a have-not like myself, but what if the roles were reversed?