Archive for the ‘blackberries’ Category

End Of The Era Of Books, Author Says

January 21, 2009

Novelist, essayist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry makes a rare Houston speaking appearance Wednesday night when he delivers the 2009 Friends of Fondren Library Distinguished Guest Lecture.

Best-known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novelLonesome Dove, the 72-year-old McMurtry remains extraordinarily prolific. He contributes frequently to the New York Review of Books. His screenplay for Brokeback Mountain, co-written with Diana Ossana, won an Academy Award in 2006.

And while he has turned in the last decade to memoir, chronicling his evolution as a writer and antiquarian-book dealer, he’s not done with fiction. His 29th novel hits bookstores later this year.

McMurtry also continues to operate Booked Up, his massive used- and rare-book shop in his hometown of Archer City.

He talked by phone with [Houston] Chronicle books editor Fritz Lanham.

Q: What will you talk about at Rice?

A: The end of the culture of the book. I’m pessimistic. Mainly it’s the flow of people into my bookshop in Archer City. They’re almost always people over 40.

I don’t see kids, and I don’t see kids reading. I think little kids love to have stories read to them, but when they get to 10 or 11 or 12, they run into this tsunami of technology: iPod, iPhone, Blackberries.

They don’t resist it, and it’s normal that they wouldn’t; it’s their culture. I’m not so sure they ever come back to reading. Some will, but most won’t.

Read the rest:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hea
dline/features/6221607.html

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Mumbai attackers more tech savvy than the police

December 14, 2008

When the attackers arrived on the shores of Mumbai last month, they had studied satellite images of the city, were carrying handheld GPS sets and were communicating with their handlers via the Internet and satellite phone.

Many of the Indian police they encountered did not even have walkie-talkies.

The Mumbai gunmen not only overwhelmed security forces with their weaponry and willingness to die, but also with their sophisticated use of technology, security experts said.

By MUNEEZA NAQVI and MIN LEE, Associated Press Writers

“These (terrorists) are well aware of the technology available and also know that the police are several steps behind. And a lot of this technology is extremely easy to use and to learn,” said Pavan Duggal, a technology expert and New Delhi-based lawyer.

India‘s underfunded and poorly trained police force is simply unable to compete, experts said.

“Crimes that involve technology usually make the police very nervous,” Duggal said.

An Indian policeman stands guard at a police complex believed ... 
An Indian policeman stands guard at a police complex believed to be housing the lone surviving gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab from the recent attacks in Mumbai December 11, 2008. Indian police will charge the lone surviving gunman of last month’s Mumbai attacks on 12 counts, including waging war against the state, officials said on Wednesday.REUTERS/Arko Datta (INDIA)

To prepare for their Nov. 26 assault, militants examined the layout and landscape of the city using images from Google Earth, which provides satellite photos for much of the planet over the Internet, said Mumbai’s chief police investigator, Rakesh Maria.

The 10 gunmen also studied detailed photographs of their targets on laptop computers, Maria said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap
_on_re_as/as_india_shooting_technology_1

This Nov. 26, 2008, file photo shows a gunman walking at the ... 
This Nov. 26, 2008, file photo shows a gunman walking at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India. The lone gunman to survive the Mumbai terror attacks was a petty street thug from a dusty Pakistani outpost who was systematically transformed into a highly trained suicide guerrilla over 18 months in jihadist camps, India’s top investigator into the attacks said Saturday. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, 21, was one of the 10 men who came ashore on small rubber raft Nov. 26, divided into five pairs and attacked some of Mumbai’s best known and most beloved landmarks.(AP Photo/Mumbai Mirror, Sebastian D’souza, File) CREDIT MANDATORY

Sex, Pop Culture, Drugs, Computers, Toys Are New ‘Opiate of the People’

December 14, 2008

Al Gore has accused the world of having more interest in Paris Hilton, OJ Simpson and Anna Nicole Smith than saving the planet.

He made the remarks while attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan.


Paris Hilton

The Oscar and Nobel Prize winner Mr. Gore  has learned an ugly lesson about our “modern” society: sometimes it seems nobody is thinking and nobody cares.

Karl Marx said “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”  But now even religion is dead and cast aside, if one believes cascading church attendance records.

It seems to us that a world-wide self-absorbed interest in sex, drugs, pop culture and pop stars added to a growing immersion in computers, cell phones, Blackberries iPods, and other gadgets and toys is jeapordizing many character building elements of former societies.


During the last two years, pop star Amy Winehouse became a poster child for sex, drugs, booze and bad behaviour…

Just last night we placed two articles with sexual and drug themes  here on this web site.  We had our most “readers” ever.  If we had all the videos of  “Dances with the Stars”e could have mesmerized the planet.

The cover of the Mexican Playboy magazine. (AAP)
The cover of the Mexican Playboy magazine. (AAP)

This is not a scientific observation.  But like Al Gore, we do notice trends and voice concern.

And we wonder, is this a good trend and where are we going?

Related:
Al Gore: World cares more about Paris Hilton than saving the planet

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Will Smith: Helping Others

Will Smith is bringing the message of his new movie “Seven Pounds” to the Midwest with a promotional tour that also turned into a fundraiser.

In the film, which opens nationwide Friday, Smith portrays a suicidal man determined to change the lives of several strangers.

In this Dec. 9, 2008 file photo, actor Will Smith attends the ... 
In this Dec. 9, 2008 file photo, actor Will Smith attends the premiere of ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’ in New York. Smith promoted his new movie ‘Seven Pounds’ in Edina, Minn., Friday, Dec. 12, 2008, by combining interviews, private visits at schools and hospitals, and a red-carpet local premiere for the film.(AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

“If there’s a message, it’s ‘you gotta help somebody.’ Even if it’s somebody’s car breaking down, use your cell phone. Something little like that. We gotta help one another to get the quality of life we’re all striving for,” he said in an interview with the Star Tribune.

Smith’s appearance Friday for a local premier at a theater in suburban Edina was also a fundraiser for Second Harvest Heartland, the state’s largest hunger-relief organization. Tickets were given to the first 250 people who donated nonperishable food. He and Vikings player Bernard Berrian also donated 300 holiday dinners to the organization.

“It’s cool to have the goal of being the biggest movie star in the world. But why? It’s been revealed to me that the question is: Whose life is better because you woke up today?”

Smith said he realized he had drifted out of contact with everyday people on Nov. 4.

“I sat there with my children and my 16-year-old son couldn’t understand how I didn’t know (the election) was over already. He was like ‘You’re out of touch,'” he said.

Read it all:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap_on_en_mo/people_will_smith

What We Know About Mumbai Terrorists: Mad Dogs Off The Leash

December 3, 2008

In Mumbai, it is now apparent that the terrorists that struck the hotels and other sites, killed nearly 200, tortured Jewish prisoners before putting them to death, and threw around hand grenades indiscriminately, were not your grandparents terrorists.

Because the Indian police captured one terrorist alive and a wealth of material and forensic evidence, we know several facts about the Mumbai terrorists:

–The surviving terrorist has told authorities he and the others were trained in Pakistan by the Islamist militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

–The terrorists were well armed with modern, first-rate automatic weapons and hand grenades.

–They used every conceivable modern technology to assist them in their deadly task: cell phones, GPS, Blackberries, text messaging and other tools were found.

–They had prepared physically and mentally for a long siege.  The dead terrorists are “beefy” well muscled men who seem to have worked out physically for months recently. There is some evidence that the terrorists used steroids.

–The susviving terrorist has spoken about mental and Islamic readiness and the fact that none of the terrorists had any fear of death.

–The terrorist, though Islamic fanatics, used cocaine, LSD and other drugs to assist them to stay awake and “one the edge.” Syringes, paraphernalia, and steroids were found on some of the terrorists.

–At least one terrorist wore a shirt bearing the Versace logo; a kind of Muslim taboo.  The use of the logo indicates that these men are unafraid to embrace what some Muslims consider “decadent.” 

The wearing of the “decadent” logo might seem a small, seemingly unimportant fact. But it could be evidence, combined with the drug use and other evidence, that these terrorist are unencumbered by any religious, cultural,  moral or other restrictions.

A criminal psychologist schooled in terrorism told Peace and Freedom, “these are mad dogs off the leash.”

Related:
Mumbai Terror Survivor Bought Cheap and Promised Pay “Dead or Alive” By Pakistan Handlers

This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with ... 
This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with a “Versace” logo carrying an automatic weapon as he enters a train station in Mumbai, late November 26. The man, Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, is being interrogated in a safe house in Mumbai, reports said.(AFP/NDTV/File)