Monthly Archives: August 2007

Dumb Just Got Dumber

If we are not the stupidest humans on the planet, then we ought to be!


Filed under Digressions

Whistle Blowers Facing Penalties and Worse


Here’s a recent article by an Associated Press writer about how whistle blowers on contractor fraud in Iraq have faced severe retaliation. Continue reading



Filed under Essays

Yahoo! and Lawful Interception

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Today on the radio, I heard that Yahoo! is being sued in connection with certain human rights violations against Chinese bloggers who had been arrested and tortured by the Chinese government. Apparently, the international human rights community and others are enraged with Yahoo!’s actions, but are Yahoo!’s actions or those of the Chinese government so different from what is happening elsewhere in Europe and the United States in their fight against terrorism or child pornography? Continue reading


Filed under Essays

I Thought About You

As promised when I wrote “From Madrid to Segovia“, here is my half-assed video from another train ride — Washington, DC to New York City — with Frank Sinatra’s version of “I Thought About You”. The train took me from DC to NYC through Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, and Newark. And on the way back, well, I had to go first from Queens to the Bronx and then back to Manhattan to get return train. New York City is all about the weather and traffic reports. In other words, it is just like any Seinfeld episode. Thanks to my bro, I had all of the bases covered. Continue reading

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Bay Bridge

When I was a little, I loved bridges and tunnels. My favorites were the Delaware Memorial Bridge (what we called the “Giant Bridge” ), the George Washington Bridge, and the Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor tunnels. I still remember as my all time “bestest” Christmas present a cardboard model of the “Giant Bridge”.

Then when I was probably around ten, we started going to Bethany crossing over from Annapolis to the Eastern Shore, taking the 4.3mi/7km Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Since then I have taken the (round) trip over the Bay Bridge at least once a year. Nowadays, I no longer enjoy bridges and tunnels as much as I used — I get a touch faint if I am the one driving — but I still thought it would be nice to shoot one of my low budget videos going over the Bay Bridge. Unfortuntately, it was a horribly rainy and overcast day, so the views weren’t that great. The music is Susheela Raman singing one of my favorite Joan Armatrading songs, “Save Me”.

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Apri la tua finestra

This morning I woke up in Bethany Beach, Delaware at 4:30am due to jet lag. I could hear the heavy rain and the breaking waves through the window. I love the rain and haven’t heard such nice rain in quite a while. I waited for it to get light enough out and then opened the window and started filming another one of my ghetto, low budget videos. This time to Enrico Caruso’s version of “Apri la tua finestra” (from Mascagni’s Iris) recorded some time between 1902-04.

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The Long Way Home

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Yesterday I finally arrived home to Maryland/Washington, DC. For some reason the eight hour flight seemed longer than usual — and I was taking a direct flight from Madrid for the first time in six years. One thing that I found interesting while looking at those maps they show on the screen on the flight was just how immense the world was. I was about two hours out over the Altantic and the map was showing cities like Paris, Madrid, Santiago, Rabat, and others. The couple sitting next to me where Indians who had emigrated to the US about 10 years ago and had three very nice boys. Two rows ahead of me was my co-worker Gon’s sister and two daughters. I was thinking about how rich the world was with such diversity of people and places.

Anyways, I arrived home saw my father, cleaned up a little, and about one hour later left to Bethany Beach with my mom where her youngest son and his girlfriend were waiting for us. As when I am always about to go home, I go onto Amazon and buy all of those books I have trouble locating in Europe and all of the music I can’t find on iTunes. So when I arrived yesterday afternoon, I found the following books and music waiting for me, which I put in my bag and set out for the beach: Continue reading


Filed under Digressions, Friends / Family, Jazz, Literature

Max Roach

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Jazz drummer and innovator Max Roach has just passed away. Roach, along with Elvin Jones and Roy Haynes, is one of my all time favorite drummers. In particular, I am fond of his work with the late Clifford Brown and the album Money Jungle with Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. His We Insist! Freedom Now Suite was one of the first jazz pieces to cover issues such as racism and slavery at the very commencement of the Civil Rights Movement. Continue reading

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A couple of pictures of Binisegarra, the house I stayed in while on Martin’s farm in Menorca earlier this month. Thanks to William and Yasmine for the photos. Continue reading

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Filed under Digressions, Friends / Family

From Madrid to Segovia

Yesterday was August 15th, which means it was a holiday in Spain (and most Catholic countries). Instead of lounging around the house all day, I decided to take the train from Madrid to Segovia. The train takes close to two hours, due to the fact that it is a commuter train, whereas driving would probably be more like 45 minutes to an hour. With its Roman aqueduct and the Alcazar castle, Segovia is one of my favorite day trip destinations from Madrid.

My original idea was to create one of my low budget, ghetto videos on the train to Segovia with Frank Sinatra’s version of “I Thought About You” in the background. Finally, I decided to reserve that song for another train ride, maybe from Washington, DC to New York City. Instead, I used Ilham Al Madfai’s version of “Ch’lounek Habibi” .

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