Almost Nude – A Quest For Happiness

Lohan almost nude

Most ancient books of Wisdom agree that you can tell how happy citizens of any country are by examining aerial snapshots of major road networks during the peak hours, the faces of the citizens while they try to access public services, the arrogance and delusions of politicians, the price of cheese, the reliability of the Internet Services Providers and the amount of times birds crap on the cars of ordinary citizens right after they are washed on a Sunday afternoon.

There are no guarantees that if you do good deeds you will be happy or reduce your chances of being a victim of crime since criminals, like politicians and gun toting cowards, don’t know or care how kindhearted you are. The fact is that bad things happen to good people more often than the odds would suggest and you only have to look at how many times politicians steal from and lie to their own children and other citizens. Similarly, good things happen to bad people and some even win elections.

Despite adverse and desperate situations, there are people in many other countries worldwide who are happy, or seem to be. Sometimes this happiness comes about by an acceptance of the fact that you can’t fight City Hall and sometimes it comes from antidepressants. It is doubtful that people of yesteryear were happier than people of today because the history of the World is the history of bloodshed, war, deceit, the Yugo and haircuts of the Sixties. The history of the future will be no different.

It is human nature to strive for happiness and to go to extreme measures, like shaving the last remaining hairy parts of one’s body, or posing nude behind a silk scarf, when happiness seems elusive. Everyday scores of new books and magazines – not including porn – promoting happiness are published, yet people are only briefly happier. Our desire to be happy is the reason we want to live and the reason we want others to die. I doubt there is an easy way to become happy if you don’t have a reliable high speed Internet connection, or support a winning cricket team. Happiness is a quest and only recently became one of the top ten Wonders of the World because no one knows exactly how it was constructed or how it even got here.

Lunar Eclipse – 2008

Partial Lunar eclipse - 20th February 2008

The above photograph is that of the partial lunar eclipse which occurred before the full eclipse on February 20th, 2008 . The photograph was taken at 21:59 from St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. To get this photo I had to place my head at an angle that no sane human would place his head or her head while outdoors at that hour and alone.

Full Lunar eclipse - 20th February 2008

The full lunar eclipse is even more specular once the exposure is right and the sleep isn’t too great.

HD-DVD is Dead

Blue-ray vs hd-dvd

For all intents and purposes Toshiba has dropped its HD-DVD format allowing Sony to dominate with its Blue-Ray. For those who do not know, HD-DVD from Toshiba and Blue-Ray from Sony were the two competing formats for High Definition DVD. High Definition looks much better than standard DVD if you have a HD TV. It was the retailers’ and movie companies’ preference for the commercial sounding Blue-Ray which made the difference and not any technological superiority. I feel cheated but early adopters of competing technologies run the risk of supporting a soon-to-be obsolete technology. Does this mean I am stuck with a three-month-old Toshiba A3 HD-DVD player and seven HD-DVD discs? It seems so but when life gives you a lemon I always say make lemon chicken with a nice custard batter like the one from House of Chan so I am expecting a fire sale of HD DVDs from Amazon by the end of the week. What I can’t understand is why Blue-Ray won apart from its catchy name. The most popular Blue-Ray player is the Sony Playstation 3 Gaming Console which cost around $US400 for the low-end model and after that there is a Samsung player for about $US360. The Toshiba A3 sells for about $US120 but even the lower price couldn’t save HD-DVD from the jaws of Sony. It now appears that retailers and movie companies backed the Chief Greedy Horse, or maybe I am just a sore loser.

Cloverfield – A Camcorder Gone Mad


“My name is Robert Hawkins. Approximately seven hours ago, uh, some *thing* attacked the city. Um, if you found this, if you’re watching this, then you know more about it than I do.” ~ Robert Hawkins – Cloverfield

“If this is the last thing you see… that means I died.” ~ Hud – Cloverfield

“Warning: May cause motion sickness” ~ Cinema Owners

“We have no more shrimp” ~ Movietowne

Cloverfield is a down-to-earth movie not only because it was filmed from the perspective of a small group of friends using a camcorder, or that monsters invaded New York again. It was realistic because it caused motion sickness and did not appear to have a happy end, unless you are a 9/11 terrorist that is.

Warning Cloverfield was based on reality therefore the camcorder batteries lasted just under 1h:24m and had a night vision mode. I didn’t actually see anybody puke or stumble out of the cinema but I did hear cries of “Ah wan mih money back!” and “Don’t touch me!” Despite Matt Reeves’s overdone attempt to make this a reality monster movie, it was a movie worth seeing. The characters were heroic and the Army was typically organized and defenseless. When characters died the audience felt the loss. When the Statue of Liberty’s head came rolling down a Manhattan street the audience sighed “Not again.” The movie was dark, dismal, poorly lit, occasionally nauseous with rodents and camera-shake. It was the truth of everyday life gone worse. Reality shows are normally aimed at those who want to be easily entertained by putting their brain in surface mode but Cloverfield did not attempt to easily entertain. It was made to challenge the emotionally mature and those who are willing to consider the fact that despite our best efforts, life can have an unhappy end in Manhattan.

There is a Cloverfield part two in the works and I am suggesting it be called Cloverfield – Batteries Recharged or I am Legend. Several people didn’t like the uncertain or the more than likely tragic end to Cloverfield and therefore a sequel is needed as an apology and a money spinner. I recommend you go and see Cloverfield and remember that nobody knows what a cloverfield is but only the Army called their monster-containment operation just that.

Cheese – The New Gold

Cheese Farm

The grocer grunted a smile when I asked how come the cheese was selling so fast. It was a mystery to me that full shelves of almost priceless cheese would become empty in a few hours so I decided to force an answer from the knowledgeable Chinese grocer.

“Investors. That is how.”


“Yes, investors and speculators have been buying up every block of cheese in the open supermarkets because cheese prices are out of control. This sends the price up even more”

“That is clever. Now why didn’t I think of that?”

The grocer rolled up his eyes and shook his head.

“You want the cheese or not?”

“I will take these two blocks then.”

“Planning for a happy retirement I see.”

“You can’t start too early.”

“How are the cows making out with this sudden windfall?”

“They are rolling in dough and not grass. Some are even going on cruises to Alaska and the Mediterranean. The big cows are also hiring the little cows to provide milk and moo when the farmer and schoolchildren pass by. A dairy farm is not what it used to be.”

“How did the price get to this unethical and immoral level? Only investors?”

“Do I look like an economist?”


“Well I am, Toronto trained to boot.”

“Ok, Great One, spill the beans.”

“It’s not beans it’s corn and oil.”

“Corn oil? Who would have thought?”

“Not corn oil, corn and oil you idiot. The price of oil is at its highest ever, forcing nations to look at alternative fuels such at ethanol. The Green Movement also likes ethanol very much. And guess where ethanol comes from?”


“No fool, corn! Corn is also used for cattle feed and for ethanol, making the demand for corn and wealth the highest ever.”

“So it’s the corn farmers who should be rolling in dough and not just the cows. So where are the Chinese in all this?”

“Look around you bro, the Chinese are everywhere and they love cheese.”

“That is depressing.”

“What? You no like the Chinese? Look, you get out my shop before I kung fu kick you butt outah here!”

“No! That’s not what I meant. I meant the whole cheese thing is depressing, not the Chinese thing.”

“You are depressed? You should see Papa John.”

“So what is the solution to all this, Mighty One?”

“How should I know, I am only an economist.”

Maco Caribbean Living

Pretty Carnival

One of my Carnival photos has appeared on the Maco Caribbean Magazine website. Ok, so now I am proud again. It seems that I might be mildly famous for one picture in my lifetime and this one is it – fortunately or unfortunately. The picture, which I will now call Pretty Carnival, was used to promote a party at a night club in Germany during the last World Cup. Also, early last year K. Madison Moore asked if I would grant her permission to paint the picture, but I am not sure if she did anything yet.