Duck!! Cheney’s Got a Gun!!

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Journal, News & Politics | Leave a comment

White House under fire in Cheney shooting accident.

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If you’re not reading DARYL CAGLE’S CARTOON WEBLOG, you really ought to start. The latest news on the Cartoon Riots and all the most relevant political cartoons regarding any madness in the world can be found there.

Cool New On-Line Comics Website!!

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Art, Comic Books, Journal | Leave a comment

Check out ACT-I-VATE!!

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More Work From Neill Blomkamp, the man responsible for “Alive in Joburg”

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Cool Stuff!, Film & TV, Journal | Leave a comment

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Neill Blomkamp continues to use Science Fiction to explore social issues in post-apartheid South Africa with this short film TETRA VAAL.

“After you see it once, replay the video and pay attention to some of the poses that the robot makes. Let us, for example, take a look at the robot holding the machine gun upright in a rather patronizing and authoritative manner while patrolling the streets of Johannesburg. Then there is the car ride and casual looking through the window in a slight mixture of relaxation, readiness and anticipation we would expect from say, a NYPD officer ready to go to action in some American movie. Perfect analogy to human behavior and some good cliche pickups make quite a combination.”

However, TETRA VAAL isn’t nearly as cool as the absolutely extraordinary ALIVE IN JOBERG which is everything that genre should be, at least to my mind.

Some people have been calling his stuff derivative, with ALIVE IN JOBERG being a take on the film ALIEN NATION and TETRA VAAL being a riff on ROBOCOP. But the work has such resonance as social commentary that the updating of these ideas in his hands seems almost necessary (of course ROBOCOP is a top notch example of relevant social satire in and of itself).

If you’re feeling it, also check out Neill’s great commercial for Citroen called ALIVE WITH TECHNOLOGY.

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Cartoon Riots

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Art, Comic Books, Journal, News & Politics | Leave a comment

First, credit where credit is due…much of this post is ripped from an MSNBC blog called DARYL CAGLE’S CARTOON WEBLOG. What follows here is a sort of Cliff’s Notes of all his hard work. If you want the links and a more in-depth look at the story you have to go to his blog and generate hits for him. Thanks!

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A protester demonstrates in front of the French Embassy, over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, which were published after a Danish newspaper editor issued an invitation to cartoonists to submit drawings of the Prophet. The cartoons have sparked outrage across the Islamic world, although Britain’s normally provocative newspapers have so far refused to publish them.

HERE are the original 12 offending cartoons. Very tame by our standards.

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Bangladeshi activists from Oikya Jote, one of two Islamic parties in the Bangladeshi government’s four party coalition, burn a Danish flag during a protest in Dhaka as riot police approach. Appeals for calm in the furor over cartoons went unheeded as police shot dead four more protesters during rioting in Afghanistan.

A French newspaper reprinted the Jyllands Posten caricatures of Muhammad yesterday.
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The paper ran a Headline that read, “Yes, we have the right to caricature God” with a cartoon of Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim gods floating on a cloud, with the Christian god saying, “Don’t complain, Muhammad, we’ve all been caricatured here.”

Jacques Lefranc, the editor of France Soir, was promptly fired. The BBC quotes France Soir owner, Raymond Lakah, a French Egyptian, saying that he:

” … decided to remove Jacques Lefranc as managing director of the publication as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual. We express our regrets to the Muslim community and all people who were shocked by the publication.”

Journalists at France Soir disagreed with the firing in a front-page editorial that read in part:

“Religious freedom gives people the right to practice their faith or not, but should not become a means to impose the rules of a single religion on society as a whole.”

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The USA took a position on the Muhammad cartoon controversy, on the side of the offended Muslim countries. Reuters quotes State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper:

“These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims. We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable.”

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Reuters went on to note:

American Muslims welcomed the U.S. position, although it stopped short of urging American media not to republish the cartoons that include depicting Mohammad as a terrorist. Cooper said he had no comment as to why the United States chose to pass judgment in a dispute that ostensibly does not involve America … The U.S. response contrasted with European governments, which have tended to acknowledge the tension between free speech and respect for religion but have generally accepted the newspapers’ rights to print the cartoons.

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By Feb 6th four had died in Afghanistan as security forces opened fire on demonstrators. At violent protests in Iran the Austrian embassy was pelted with Molotov cocktails and stones. Iran withdrew its ambassador from Denmark and blocked the import of Danish goods.

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A 14-year-old boy was shot and killed in a cartoon protest in Somalia as demonstrators hurled stones at international aid groups. The biggest city in Indian Kashmir shut down all shops for a day of protest as crowds filled the streets, burned Danish flags and hurled rocks at cars. Street protesters in Indonesia threw rocks at a Danish consulate. Muslim leaders in Australia demanded that the News Corporation apologize for printing the cartoons.

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On Tuesday crowds of demonstrators clashed with police near Bagram, Afghanistan as cartoon protesters tried to break into a US base. Some of the protesters shot at the base, and police shot back. Four people were killed and 19 injured. There were more protests at embassies in Iran, Indonesia and Afghanistan with rock throwing and burning Danish flags.

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A Danish lawyer was shot and killed in Moscow by a man from the Muslim Caucasus region of Russia, and the killing was attributed to the cartoons. The Prime Minister of the Russian state of Chechnya announced that Danish humanitarian organizations would be expelled from the state.

For my thoughts on why a comic book (which is different than a cartoon) would incite such anger, in this case in the Muslim world where terrorists amazingly do not, please see my old, and only barely relevant post COMICS! PERFECT FOR PROPAGANDA!!

Alright, I’m off to Wondercon in San Fran… buh bye…

Has BYU prof found AIDS cure?

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Journal, Science & Tech | Leave a comment

Two exciting possibilities in the fight against AIDS have emerged in the mainstream press the same week as the “Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections” was held in Denver…

Compound could be long-sought breakthrough

“We received these agents [from BYU] in early October and our initial results began to culminate by November 2005. We have since reproduced all our results many times,” he said. “We have some preliminary but very exciting results [but] we would like to formally show this before making any claims that would cause unwanted hype.”

What studies to date show is a compound that attacks HIV at its molecular membrane level, disrupting the virus from interacting with their primary targets, the “T-helper” class white blood cells that comprise and direct the human immune system. Further, CSAs appear to be deadly to all known strains of HIV.

In addition to being a potential checkmate to HIV, the compounds show indications of being just as effective against other diseases plaguing humankind – among them influenza, possibly even the dread bird flu, along with smallpox and herpes.

and…

Drug combination prevents HIV infection in monkeys.

“An injection of two drugs normally used to treat HIV patients completely protected monkeys from becoming infected with the AIDS virus, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

While it is too early to tell whether people can pop a pill and escape infection, the study provides the strongest evidence yet that it might be possible, the researchers said.”

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