No Cars Go

Posted in Life on August 18th, 2007 by Tom

My car’s odometer rolled over to 100,000 miles the other day.
It’s weird how excited I was about it; I was totally thrilled, like it was some milestone day.

I feel like it should’ve coincided with some big, important event. But it didn’t.
It happened while I was merging onto the highway.

How characteristic of life is that?

From Russia With Love

Posted in Politics on August 7th, 2007 by Tom

So I’m kindof irritated with Russia, on the whole.

I’m not going to get into that whole business with Putin suspending little bits and pieces of the constitution here and there; though that is markedly uncool. No, I’m talking about more recent developments. We’ll first begin with the scary one, that being that Russia may have fired a bomb at Georgia.

The idea that Georgia would be so crass as to make this up is rather ridiculous. What the hell was Russia thinking? My biggest question is why the bomb didn’t go off. Was it a mistake, or is Russia just sending a warning? I don’t really know. It seems though that the Russian Federation woke up one day and decided that they needed more land. And if they can’t take it from Georgia, they’ll take it from the ocean, so to speak.

Russia is hell-bent on extending their claim of the continental shelf of Eurasia. At first glance, this seems silly: What in the world would they do with all that extra ocean? Answer: Drill of Oil. (It seems to be the answer to a lot of recent, silly questions)

Before the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf would approve their claim for this extra bit of ocean belonging to Russia, however, they demanded more research. So Russia set off in a sub named MIR (like the spaceship, but traveling in a James-Cameron Abyss rather than a Stanley-Kubrick one) to take a look at what the ocean floor looks like up at the north pole. While they were there, they dropped a flag.

The audacity of that!
I wasn’t alone in my principals:

“This isn’t the 15th century. You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say ‘We’re claiming this territory’,” Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay told CTV television.

Or can you?
I can’t decide whether I’m really, really irritated with Russia have the audacity to drop that flag, interpreting it as them already feeling that the land is theirs, and granting them an explorer’s right to leave their mark where they’ve gone for the first time.

[Secretly, I hope the American government stages a rogue operation to capture the un-rustable, titanium flag the Russians left, and replace it with a small castle made of caviar cans, populated by those stacking-dolls. We’ll melt the flag down and cast it into a missile, and give it to the Georgians, for their trouble.]

Leaders of Men

Posted in Nerd, Politics on August 5th, 2007 by Tom

Last night Ethan and I finally beat Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. It was pretty satisfying, except for the part where you have to kill the ‘Dark Fantastic Four’ like… 10 times over… oh yeah, and the part where the game hung up and froze during the closing cutscenes. That was bad too.

So it was like… 1 AM, and we were kinda hacked about the game screwing us at just about the last possible second. So what did we do? Got on the computer. Initially, we just wanted to find out what we’d missed in the closing scenes. When we couldn’t find that though, we just got on Wikipedia and wasted time looking up the lyrics to ‘Iron Man’ by Black Sabbath to see if it had anything to do with the Marvel character of Tony Stark / Iron Man.

If you were wondering… it does not.

Somehow though, this lead to me telling him about ‘The Elders’, which is, among other things, a group of former world leaders that’ve gotten together to bash some diplomatic skulls. Their roster includes:

  • Nelson Mandella
  • Desmond Tutu
  • Kofi Annan
  • Jimmy Carter

Along with a handful of other people; but the above is what I would call the “MVPs” of the Elders. Anyways, Ethan and I found our way to their Wikipedia entry. They sounded so much like one of the global super-hero agencies that we’d been hearing about in Marvel: UA that we decided to spice their membership up just a little bit:

That’s right. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a member of the Elders. Or at least he was. His tenure lasted from about 1 AM until 6:15 AM today, when the file was reverted to it’s pre-Tom-and-Ethan-M:UA-induced-stupor-edit version. However, I’d like to say instead that Fury was kicked off for his tendency towards forming task forces of super-power humans to beat the crap out of people and/or things, as well as his distaste of diplomacy in general.

See: “One of these things is not like the other.”

In any case, it made us laugh really hard for about five minutes, so now I’m retelling the story with the screen-capture to prove it.

[A Final Note: Nick Fury jokes aside, I think the concept of ‘The Elders’ is really cool, and I’m interested to see how much they’re able to accomplish.]