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Archive for February, 2011

At Eleven, Still a Workin’ Dog.




A dogblogging aside; Berkeley, GitM’s longtime resident ombudsheltie, is eleven years old this morning. [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.] As you can see from the pics, he’s celebrating the day by hanging around the office. (Hey, it’s tough out there for an old dog — It was either this or greeting at Wal-Mart.) Happy b-day, little buddy.




The Coming of Carmelo.


‘Wow, just had the craziest 12 hours of my career,’ Anthony said on his Twitter account last night.” That late-night booyah! sound you heard the other night? That was Knickerbocker Nation reacting to the happy news that, after a half-season of crossed fingers at the Garden, the impressively over-performing Amar’e Stoudamire will get some much-needed help in Carmelo Anthony (not to mention veteran Chauncey Billups, who will take over for Raymond Felton at the point…at least until Chris Paul can get free…)

To make this dynamic duo happen, we had to give up Felton, streaky scorers Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, 7-foot prospect Timofey Mozgov, X-factor-gone-bust Anthony Randolph, the ghost of Eddy Curry, some future draft picks and some cash…For the record, I am totally ok with all of this.

As ESPN’s Ian O’Connor writes, “This is a great deal for the Knicks, a greater moment for their fan base…[I]t’s one of the best trades this team has made since Eddie Donovan acquired Dave DeBusschere in 1968.” Let’s hope events bear out this sportswriterly exaggeration — The Carmelo Era at MSG begins tonight at 7:30.

A Last Round for the Brigadier.


[M]y first Doctor was Jon Pertwee and with him came a supporting cast that remains one of the best ever…[A]t the very heart of that grouping was Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. A man to whom no alien incursion was a problem – he was a calm, pragmatic, military man…in many ways he was the perfect foil to the Doctor. Watson to his Holmes, Jim Gordon to his Batman.

Nicholas Courtney, a.k.a. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart of Pertwee and Baker era Doctor Who, 1929-2011.

Palantir Pervasive.


After the Anonymous attacks and the release of Barr’s e-mails, his partners furiously distanced themselves from Barr’s work. Palantir CEO Dr. Alex Karp wrote, ‘We do not provide — nor do we have any plans to develop — offensive cyber capabilities…’ But both of the Team Themis leads at these companies knew exactly what was being proposed…They saw Barr’s e-mails, and they used his work. His ideas on attacking WikiLeaks made it almost verbatim into a Palantir slide about ‘proactive tactics.’

Strange powers have our enemies, and strange weaknesses! In Wired, Nate Anderson of Ars Technica fdelves into the story behind the highly troubling HBGary leaks. Among other things, these leaks have already revealed that:

  1. Bank of America contemplated hiring private-intelligence goons — the aforementioned HBGary, the aptly-named Palantir Technologies, and third-wheel Berico Technologies — to spread anti-Wikileaks disinformation discredit Salon’s Glenn Greenwald.

  2. The Chamber of Commerce has been using their services to conduct surveillance on and smear progressives and unions.

  3. These organizations are manufacturing sock-puppets wholesale to create an “illusion of consensus” on behalf of their clients.

  4. Private security firms like the aforementioned ones above are, as Marcy Wheeler puts it, deploying “intelligence techniques developed for use on terrorists [against] citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.” And

  5. These morons actually tried to charge their clients $2000 a day for what amounts to trolling services.

As HBGary target Glenn sums it up: “What is set forth in these proposals for Bank of America quite possibly constitutes serious crimes. Manufacturing and submitting fake documents with the intent they be published likely constitutes forgery and fraud. Threatening the careers of journalists and activists in order to force them to be silent is possibly extortion…Attacking WikiLeaks’ computer infrastructure in an attempt to compromise their sources undoubtedly violates numerous cyber laws. Yet these firms had no compunction about proposing such measures…and even writing them down. What accounts for that brazen disregard of risk? In this world, law does not exist as a constraint.

In other words, they do not fear the law because it has forsaken these lands. And, hey, when you consider that nobody has yet gone to jail for lying the American people into a trillion-dollar war, setting up an illegal, unconstitutional, and inhumane torture regime, or fraudulently abetting or even precipitating a multi-trillion-dollar economic meltdown, their brazen calculation seems like a pretty safe bet.

(Belated) Love Songs, ’11.


So baby don’t worry, you are my only, You won’t be lonely, even if the sky is falling down, You’ll be my only, no need to worry, Baby are you down down down down down?” One of the unfortunate casualties of the work-bomb and accompanying radio silence the past ten days was the annual Valentine’s Day music post (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09. ’10.) D’oh!

To rectify the V-day oversight in part, below are a few peppier-than-usual ditties to help winter ease into spring. If, like me and the ladyfriend — yes, I’m very happily un-single these days! — you’re a fellow Dance Central enthusiast, or for that matter just a proponent of #gettngslizzard, you’ll recognize several of these.

Poppin’ bottles in the ice, like a blizzard…

Push me, and then just touch me, tll I can get my satisfaction…

Fear and panic in the air, I want to be free from desolation and despair…

I get my kicks on channel Six. I get my kicks on channel Six…

And, until next year…

Happy belated V-day, y’all.

Silence of the Hares.


Apologies for the recent quiet ’round these parts — work has been kicking mighty hard of late. I feel bad about not keeping up-to-date here on recent events in the Middle East and Middle West. I feel bad about being several reviews behind on the movie front. But, more than anything, I just feel bad about letting down the bunnies.

Sigh…anyway, I hope to rectify in the days and weeks ahead. (Besides, after the under-reported fiasco that happened here last week, I may well find myself with more time than usual on my hands come March.) In any case, thanks, as always for coming by. (Disapproving rabbit via Cute Overload and, um, Disapproving Rabbits.)

Banes of Smaug, Allies of Sauron.


Mr. Freeman at least lived up to Mr. Jackson’s billing, offering a comic denial that the ‘Hobbit’ project was cursed. Despite the many setbacks the films had faced, Mr. Freeman told Agence France-Presse, “we’re ready to go – just as soon as 2015 comes around.” While PJ recovers from recent surgery, the cast of The Hobbit get ready to embark on a grand adventure. Cue the Glenn Yarborough

In related news: In Soviet Russia, the Ring carries you…Salon‘s Laura Miller takes a gander at Yisroel Markov’s The Last Ringbearer, a Russian fan-fictiony novel purporting to tell the War of the Ring from Sauron’s side. “In Yeskov’s retelling, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science ‘destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men!’ He’s in cahoots with the elves, who aim to become ‘masters of the world,’ and turn Middle-earth into a ‘bad copy’ of their magical homeland across the sea.

I’m Not There.


Liu Bolin’s body art began when he lost his house in Beijing for the city’s preparations for the 2008 Olympics Games. He used his body to camouflage in his surroundings as a sign of protest.” A friend passes along this intriguing collection of pieces by Chinese artist Liu Bolin, the “invisible man.”

Bruce Gets Incepted.

Gotham in Limbo? Take it for what it’s worth, but rumors abound that Inception alums Joseph Gordon-Levitt (long rumored as Joker 2.0) and Marion Cotillard have both joined Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (which already includes Tom Hardy and Michael Caine), as Alberto Falcone and Talia Al-Ghul respectively. In movie terms, that would mean the son of Tom Wilkinson and the daughter of Liam Neeson from the first film, but I’m only familiar with the latter character.

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