Iron man & roast duck

So Jamie more or less forced us to watch iron man on Thursday in some nondescript multiplex cinema in Swansea, Wales. Definitely not the worst film i have ever seen but for some reason these comic book adaptions fail to really excite me (except for film versions of comic books by enki bilal that is). Out of curiosity i also bought a DVD version of some DVD hawker in the restaurant Hai Ha (they do make really nice special roast duck in that place) on Mare street in hackney on Friday. As one could…

The Power of Nightmares

Just finished watching the BBC documentary (from 2004) ‘the power of nightmares – the rise of the politics of fear‘ by Adam Curtis. This three part mini series compares the rise of the American Neo-Conservative movement and the radical Islamist movement, making comparisons on their origins and noting strong similarities between the two. Curtis argues that the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organized force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, is in fact a myth…

The knowledge vs GPS

I have written about virtues of ‘the knowledge‘ and the dangers of GPS to human evolution before. Now the good old BBC is running an article that actually pits the one versus the other in some kind of technology versus humans death match. They held a race through London in which a cab driver (in possession of ‘the knowledge’) had to compete against a BBC hack who was following the instructions of a Tom Tom GO 720 navigation unit: We chose waypoints that took us through extremely busy parts of Lo…

'We behave like bitches'

So i am back at London heathrow, waiting for my connecting flight to Amsterdam. To get from my arrival gate to the departure hall i had to clear a third(!!) security check since arriving at the airport in Delhi. (the first one being the standard delhi airport one and the second a special one by BA just before boarding the plane because they are obviously not trusting the Indian authorities). Now they must be selling explosives and machine guns on board of planes these days otherwise searching ev…

The knowledge

Ars technica has a sweet little write-up about the fact that London cabbies apparently reject satellite navigation devices (which they are allowed to use since beginning of this year). The main reason seems to be pride in having passed the notoriously difficult exam (‘the knowledge‘) which is required to get a license: Cabbies have two basic reasons for not embracing the systems, one rooted in technology and the other in psychology. For one thing, the devices still do not give the kind of perfec…

I am sick of it...

Actually i am sick of a number of things at the moment. Has a lot today with what the media reporting, but this evening i am particularly sick of how the media are reporting. Around 2000h yesterday evening the germen news-portal spiegel online had a breaking news alert on top of their frontpage: Why is that important? Even the most stupid intern doing a sunday afternoon shift in the news room while it is summer outside must have noticed that up until now more than 150 people have been killed in…

Playboy == hijab?

Another trip to london another blurry phone-cam picture of girls in black (here is the last one). i was sitting on the Hammersmith tube on my way to the hotel when two college girls stepped in. One of them was wearing a black dress and a black headscarf quite obviously for religious reasons. Generally one would assume that women who dress this way do this to comply with the modesty that the Qur’an requires from muslims. However this girl was openly carrying a playboy branded notebook which – at…