June 19, 2010 archive

Norman Spinrad: “He Walked Among Us” (A Review)


I was surprised when I was at the bookstore and saw Norman Spinrad had come out with a new book.

It had been a while and I figured Norman was old and senile and probably wouldn’t write any more.

I was wrong.

He’s old.  He’s not senile.  He is more evil than ever, Praise the Lord.

He is even more handsome, it seems, than when he was younger:


Meet me below the flip and I’ll give you a review.

Open Tea


News at Noon

From Reuters

Partner puts blame on BP as spill costs grow

by Jeffrey Jones

June 19, 2010

Louisiana (Reuters) – BP Plc’s costs for the worst spill in U.S. history appeared set to rise as a partner in the out-of-control well laid the blame at BP’s feet and the new federal czar overseeing damage claims said BP would pay more if $20 billion was not enough.

The British oil company said it would not be distracted by a dispute with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. The owner of a quarter of the well gushing into the Gulf broke its near-silence on the spill to squarely pin blame — and financial responsibility — on BP.

“There appears to be gross negligence or willful misconduct,” Houston-based Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett said in an interview that helped to drive his company’s shares up 2.2 percent in after-hours trading on the hopes it could avoid multi-billion-dollar liabilities.

Related Stories:

Gulf oil spill to pressure oil exploration-Chile minister

Docudharma Times Saturday June 19

Saturday’s Headlines:

Anti-Taliban tribal militias come with baggage

World Cup fans champion beer as breakfast choice


Peddling Relief, Industry Puts Debtors in a Deeper Hole

U.S. military criticized for purchase of Russian copters for Afghan air corps


Lavish royal wedding stirs up Sweden’s republicans

Germany and France examine ‘two-tier’ euro

Middle East

Police building attacked in Yemen

Does Israel suffer from ‘Iranophobia’?


Strikes threaten China’s status as the factory of the world

UN launches $71m appeal for Kyrgyzstan refugee crisis


Rwanda frees US lawyer

FIFA making enemies at World Cup in South Africa

Late Night Karaoke


Random Japan


A 45-year-old cop in Niigata was arrested for molesting a 15-year-old girl whose contact info he gleaned from a law enforcement database.

Police at Narita arrested a former diplomat from the Ivory Coast for running a gambling ring out of his apartment in Minato-ku.

The 73-year-old wife of former Education Minister Takashi Kosugi was busted for a string of investment scams that are thought to have netted some ¥90 million.

Two Japanese men were arrested in Bangkok for running a human smuggling ring that “exported Thai people to Japan [and] exported Chinese people to United States or Canada.”

Talk about chutzpah: police say that a Tokyo-based internet advertising company released a virus that leaked users’ details online, and then demanded money from victims who asked the company to delete the info.]

Police arrested a 45-year-old Hiroshima man for mailing a memory stick containing copies of five PlayStation Portable games to a friend in Tokyo.

Wistful Friday Evening. The First Anniversary Since the Divorce 20100618

No popular culture post tonight, or anything resembling it.  I will come back at this time next week for the installment about Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.  I just did not feel like writing about them for tonight.

Due to the results of my actions, which I will not address here (I have covered them in detail over the past several years), the former Mrs. Translator and I are no longer married.  No fault belongs to her; the fault is all mine.  That is not the point of this post.

Original v. Cover — #30 in a Series

Jester Pictures, Images and Photos

Remember 1979?  Disco ruled.  This week’s selection was one of the rare non-disco #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts that year, reaching that coveted pinnacle on April 14, 1979, where it remained for a week.  In 1980, the song would garner Grammy Awards for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year.  Michael Jackson claimed to have contributed at least one backing track for this recording, but was not so credited.  

This week’s song, written by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, was first recorded and released on Loggins’ 1978 album, Nightwatch and again on his 1980 album, Kenny Loggins Alive. These recordings were not a commercial success, however. The version that would become a hit would be released five months later.

Four years earlier, in 1974, Steely Dan retired from the road.  Co-founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker decided to use only session players from that point forward.  Their guitarist, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, suddenly looking for work, managed to land a job with an already successful San Francisco-based rock group, having previously performed session work with them on the pedal steel guitar.    


Since last week, I decided that until the oil gusher in the gulf was stopped, my distractions would be exclusively about underwater life.

I know BP has been distracting us all to keep our eyes away from what`s really happening, especially with the use of dispersants, which hide the extent of the amount spilled from the surface view.

What many of you may not know is that the dispersant in the water column, is maybe even more dangerous to subsurface life than is the oil.

Here is a series of images not necessarily native to the gulf, but you get the picture.

All this would soon be dead if it was in the gulf.



Friday Philosophy: Standing on the Shoulders of Others

Most of you know that June is designated as LGBT Pride month because of the Stonewall Riots, which began on June 28, 1969.

At Wikipedia, one can find the following statement:

They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

The only problem with the words above is that they are not quite true.  Almost three years before, there had been a blow struck for freedom on the other side of the country.