You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2008.

While I was absconding from this blog:

  • I had been hooked on to Heroes – “an epic drama that chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities”, in the network’s own words. It was this very description of the show and my disinterest in superhero stuff that had kept me from watching it. However, faced with limited choices after I had exhausted the 3 seasons of The Office that Netflix had to offer, I decided to take a bite off this sci-fi apple. What followed was a video-game like addiction to the series, eager interest accumulating with each episode, only to be halted abruptly by a pop-up 2 weeks ago and only 2 episodes short of the finale, stating that I had exhausted the 17 hour monthly online viewing limit. Here on begins the real-world twist. On Jan 15 at the Macworld Expo Apple announced its latest online movie rental service, much to the drooling delight of the ever appreciative Mac fan. My cause for content, though, was different. In a preemptive competitive move, Netflix removed the cap on online viewing time. I suppose I won’t have to use my superpowers to go back in time and view the pending episodes, risking a possible disruption of the space-time continuum. 
  • I watched most of the Planet Earth series. Truly fascinating accounts of the natural world in all its pristine g(l)ory that is beyond a description in words.  Video excerpt

I had a long argument once with a friend concerning the US involvement in Iraq. The specific point of contention was the international policing done by the US, and I argued against it reasoning, among others, that such tasks are better left to the UN. My favoring of the UN was countered by the argument that the UN had been ineffective in Darfur and it was up to the more powerful nations to take on this role. I must confess, ashamedly so, that I was not well aware of the specific details of the crisis in Darfur, let alone the role of the UN (or lack of it) in that region, until watching the Frontline documentary, On Our Watch, yesterday

If the United Nations could die of shame it would have been dead years ago.      

The above line (attributed to Tom Stoppard ) cited within the first few minutes of the documentary  sums up the consequences of UN inaction in Darfur. In my opinion, this inability highlights the apathy of its constituent member states, some more than others, and consequently our own individual apathy to what happens in a part of the world that appears to be of little consequence to our own lives, economically or otherwise. 4 years and 21 UN resolutions later, lack of concrete UN action has led to 200,000+ dead, not to mention other atrocities perpetrated on the affected people. 

There was one more thing I was not aware about – The Genocide Olympics, as the 2008 Beijing Olympic games have come to be referred by activists highlighting the genocide in Darfur. This was done to  draw attention to China’s support for the Sudan government that has been held responsible for the civilian killings in Darfur. It helps to know that even where nations fail as a collective, individuals can still make a difference. 

Three days overdue, I know. And this goes out to all ye irked by an overload of e-mail broadcasts with wishes for the new year. A friend of mine really hates receiving the spam of holiday e-mails from knowns and unknowns alike. I make it a point to wish him on each of these occasions, for that harmless sense of schadenfreude.

It feels like Y2K was only a couple of years ago. They ought to have a system akin to the weather forecasts for each new year – 2008 but feels like 2002.

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