My Fellow Citizens
I come to you today under very trying circumstances and via a car without a number plate. I come to you today to let you know that we the Government didn’t burst the financial bubble but it was busted in another country by somebody else. I come to you today not to explain Torouba, the Hyatt, my arrogance, my pink tie, why the Summits still on, why we didn’t clean the drains or even why The Pompeck still so irritable. I come to you today to let you know the Government will be cutting back without cutting back the kick backs. I also come to you today to let you know I will be setting an example and cutting back on the BS. I come to you today to let you know, my fellow citizens, that only today my dear wife used one less egg in the macaroni pie and half the amount of cheese, which you may already know, is not good for my heart. I come to you today to let you know the pie was ok. I come to you today to inform you, the gullible public, if the Government cuts back on expenditure too much the economy will crash but if you, my fellow citizens, cut back on that chicken you had your eye on since last Christmas, the economy will do well. I come to you today because world leaders seem to be taking this financial thing seriously I must also appear to be doing the same, especially since we will be hosting two very extravagant summits next year and you know how dem world leaders does like to run dey mouth. That was the main reason I came to you today.
So Thank You and Ah Gone
Girl looks on in horror as car and mud easily bond in public
I believe in keeping mud and car separate. Though mud and car appear to coexist peacefully and though they appear to like each other and bond to one another regardless of weather condition or resurfacing efforts, I believe each would do better on its own.
Mud and Car - So Peaceful Together
Mud and car do not present the same problem as the chicken and the egg once did since it is well accepted there was mud long before there was even Toyota. In fact, some scientist would have us believe that we are all made from some type of common mud or fish. I don’t intend to debate in this blog whether man is a product of mud, fish, or sex, or a combination of all three. What I intend to do is make a plea to that unknown force, which makes mud and car stick together, to please take the appropriate action so I can spend quality time with my car instead of sharing my precious time with that thing called mud.
Terrorism will never go away once terrorists believe their most valuable contribution to humanity, and their God comes from killing others. While the world struggles to move forward and try to overcome catastrophes such as starvation and diseases there are groups that believe their best efforts must come from shedding the blood of the innocent. These regressive groups believe that showing kindness and compassion to others is not as valuable as shooting them with an AK-47.
- We have just enough religion to make us hate but not enough to make us love one another. Jonathan Swift
- The pleasure of hating, like a poisonous mineral, eats into the heart of religion, and turns it to rankling spleen and bigotry; it makes patriotism an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other lands: it leaves to virtue nothing but the spirit of censoriousness, and a narrow, jealous, inquisitorial watchfulness over the actions and motives of others. What have the different sects, creeds, doctrines in religion been but so many pretexts set up for men to wrangle, to quarrel, to tear one another in pieces about, like a target as a mark to shoot at? William Hazlit – On the Pleasure of Hating
Interpretation is Everything
Predictions for 2009 and beyond for Trinidad and Tobago
- Revenues from advertisements in the newspapers will drop as the economy slows to a crawl. This will eventually cause the price of newspapers to rise to $1.25. This price increase will make the budget minded buy daily newspapers every other day resulting in more congestion on the roads as drivers struggle to find change and as newspapers vendors struggle to embrace change from moving vehicles.
- Foreign exchange will evaporate faster than water from a WASA dam and this will cause the TT$ to depreciate. However, citizens who cannot take it any more will be urged to rest comfortably at any of the nearby Tsunami shelters or aluminum smelters.
- Because of popular demand the Ministry of Education will be forced to introduce banditry as an official subject in secondary schools. It is rumored that the Ministry has already commissioned the books “From Bully to Bandit – Making School Life Profitable” and “BAM! – Knocking Your Fellow Student Unconscious with One Easy Blow – Book 1”
- The PM will insists people are better off than seven years ago but he will claim we are too preoccupied with avoiding stray bullets, recoiling from food prices and wondering how to remove mud from carpets and blood from shirts to notice.
- Suitably qualified locals will be given preferential employment during the construction of the aluminum smelter. The locals must however be born in China to Chinese parents.
- Gas projects will continue causing all parliamentarians to be fed more beans.
- A great flood will once again plague Port of Spain in November 2009, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government (HOG) meeting. The PM will boast to his fellow HOG that the roads of Port of Spain were designed to take both road traffic and boat traffic. The PM will also claim the city is merely in the transition from roadway to waterway and the project code name is Venice. The Minister of Agriculture will insist the mud deposited on the city streets will be reallocated to the agricultural sector when he finds out what agricultural sector means.
- Barack Obama will turn down attending the Summit of the Americas in 2009 citing the precarious state of the US economy and “Who is Pathos Anyway.”
- The price of oil will stabilize at around US$30 per barrel, just a shade below the cost of a barrel of water from WASA, a hand of fig from Grenada, or three bundles of chive from the market.
Our Fellow Citizens,
We, The Government Ministers of this once blessed land, would like the public to know that we were in no way associated with the real God and his actions in Trinidad over the last few days, namely the ungodly rainfall and the associated soaked mattresses along with those floating fridges we see on TV and in our neighborhood drains everyday. Though we, the Government Ministers, regularly portray ourselves as Gods in the form of our arrogance and the highhanded manner in which we behave when dealing with regular citizens and even special citizens aka: party supporters, we are only Gods of The Good Times. The bad and hard times fall squarely on the lap of the real God and the opposition.
The ungodly rainfall was caused by tall rain clouds refusing to move when told by both the Met Office and the PM to move down South. The water from those clouds had no choice but to quickly run off the treeless hills we approved for development, namely illegal, and/or immoral activities like quarrying and condominium building by the big boys, for the big boys, bringing with it mud, rocks and a few unfortunate people.
We would like to let every citizen, both dumb and smart, know we have both good and bad news for you. The good news is we sent the real God a special prayer for all those who are hugging rocks instead of pillows or other citizens tonight. The bad news is that we sent it via TTPOST. God help us!
We would also like to take this opportunity to inform the general public that God will be forcing us to tighten our belts in the coming weeks, months and years because we, your local pretend-Gods, squandered over $200 billion dollars over the last few years on nothing that would have benefited regular citizens. Clearly, this is another act of God like those stationary rain clouds and our low collective IQ.
Thank You and Goodnight!
Face and Smile Detection is no Laughing Matter
Some digital cameras are now so smart they can recognize a face and give the photographer a message like “that looks like your cousin’s neighbor from South.”
Ok, that is not what face recognition means on the latest digital cameras but that is what I hoped it would have meant. For now, camera face recognition simply recognizes the faces in the photo, and adjusts the focus and exposure appropriately. To be honest, if a photographer doesn’t know he is focusing on a face he is in the wrong hobby or maybe that assumed-face should not be photographed. It would also be embarrassing for the subject if camera refuses to accept the subject’s mug is a real face – error, no face detected.
Face recognition is not the only development from those idle camera scientist and there is now blink recognition and smile recognition. What is the use of these super features if the photographer does not even know he is photographing a face? What photographers need is a camera that tells them if the subject deserves to be photographed since recognizing shades of ugly has been one of the biggest challenges for both photographers and scientist alike. I am sure scientist are trying hard to not only develop the perfect ugly algorithm, but to also take the art out of photography. Soon enough a photographer would only have to put the camera on the lap of his robot and press “START” and the robot would not only take the photographs, but decide what is to be photographed, edit the good stuff, and laugh at the photos at night.
Freida Pinto at the Directors Guild Awards - 2009
British film, Slumdog Millionaire, might turn out to be the sleeper hit for 2008 and will be widely released on the 27th November 2008. I noticed Slumdog Millionaire when IMDB had a write up about movie two weeks ago but only paid attention this morning when Yahoo said Indian actress Freida Pinto, the co-star of “Slumdog Millionaire,” recently skyrocketed an astonishing 65,740% in one day. From the few photos I have seen it is not surprising Ms. Pinto is the new Buzz. Some critics are already claiming Freida Pinto is much more than a very pretty face and she is also a very good actress. I can’t say if Freida is a good actress or not until I see the movie but I can confirm she is indeed very pretty.
Space Shuttle Discovery, Mission STS-120 - Orlando View
I took these pictures in October 2007 from Orlando (not Disney). I estimate the distance from the car park where I stood to the Kennedy Space Center was about 70 km or 43 miles in American distance. The experience was awe inspiring especially when I stopped to think that there were people in that space shuttle. It was the moment I became aware I didn’t have my zoom lens. It was also the moment I realized that potholes in Trinidad cannot be repaired because most of the technology needed to execute those repairs were tied up in space.
Space Shuttle Discovery, Mission STS-120 - If you have good eyes you can actually see the fire of the rocket
STS-120 was the 23rd shuttle mission to the International Space Station and there were seven astronauts onboard.
Space Shuttle Discovery Mission-STS-120 - No Longer in Sight
This Beach Called Life Blog Stats
October was another Very Good month for This Beach Called Life: The aka_lol’s Blog
Here are the stats for the month of October 2008:
Total visits: 9,193
Average visits per day: 297
Best October Day: October 8th – 617 visits
Top Post for the Year so far:
|Trinidad Carnival 2008 Pictures
|Rihanna – Umbrella – The Song To Change
|Life on Mars and Halle Berry
|Everything You Wanted to Know About aka
|Movie Taglines – The Untold Story…So F
|Maria de Lujan Telpuk and the Playboy Co
|It feels so good
|Will M. Night Shyamalan be Happening?
|Bikini Carnival 2008
|Carla Bruni and The Model’s Man
|From Apple’s Core
|Flow Trinidad Internet Services – a Revi
|Who Is The Iron Man And Do You Really Ca
So far November looks like it will be even better than October with an average of 367 visits per day.
Baraka - now on Blue Ray
After Toshiba pulled out of the High Definition(HD) DVD race because misguided movie companies supported Blue Ray, I predicted Blue Ray would be successful only if the players were cheap. This has not happened in any significant way up to today and with the world economy in a recession a new format may not be what consumers would use to save money.
Low priced Blue Ray players have been selling for about US$200 (Samsung), US$300 (Sony) and US$400 (Sony 80G Playstation 3 Game System/Blue Ray player) but Blue Ray has not yet convinced the world why Blue Ray must live. Some reviewers say these low end players (not PS3) have long boot times and suffer from bugs that are the envy of Microsoft. A regular DVD player boots up instantly and is cheaper than a battery for a Fuji digital camera. That is what Blue Ray is competing against. Why should movie companies invest and produce two versions of the same movie, one for regular DVD that may sell 500,000 copies and the other for Blue Ray that may sell 10,000 copies? I understand it is also more costly to produce a Blue Ray disc because of higher initial production and manufacturing cost. If the volume of sales for Blue Ray doesn’t take off then Blue Ray my end up simply being the proprietary format for the Sony PS3 since movie houses would lose interest.
The Polk Audio DS7200 Home Theater System
The ads might be enticing but a Blue Ray player cannot impress anyone as a standalone unit. A Blue Ray Player has to work with an HDMI digital ready TV that has a resolution of 720p or better to show its video superiority. To appreciate the superior sound of Blue Ray the player must be connected to an HDMI receiver that processes uncompressed sound using Dolby TrueHD. It is true that optical and coaxial connections from regular DVD can provide digital audio outputs but the audio advantage can only come from receivers processing uncompressed audio from Blue Ray. The receiver cannot work alone and must be connected to a good 5.1 or a 7.1 speaker system. When you do the addition a US$200 Blue Ray player can end up costing US$2000 at the low end if you really want to impress those fickle friends.
The 007 Symbol of Success
I first met James Bond on a flight from Trinidad to Miami in 2007. He was flying economy because, as he would later explain, he was undercover. I didn’t recognize him at first since he had changed so many times over the years but what eventually gave him away was the use of his precise British accent to pick up the flight attendant and the manila folder on his lap marked”Double-Oh-Seven- Top Secret – For Your Eyes Only, Mr. Bond.” Naturally he denied he was 007 but I was persistent and he finally caved in. Caving in to a layman was not what one would have expected from the best and longest surviving Secret Agent the world had known. I felt he needed someone to talk too and I later realized that carrying the burden of secrecy year in, year out can crack even the oddest ball.
Bond was hesitant to talk about his job at first and explained that he was in Trinidad for a holiday but as he was about to lay down his head, M called with a new mission which had knocked the winds out his sails. He said he went from hero to zero in no time but I suspected he was the victim of great expectations. Bond had to get the first flight out of Trinidad and he never realized that there were so many. I said Trinidad was a place that people liked to leave but Bond failed to notice my attempted humor since, I assumed, he was distracted by his mission and windless sails.
James Bond as he boarded a flight from Trinidad to Miami
I was eager to find out about the Secret Agent business since I often pretend I was a Secret Agent making calls from my shoe instead of my cell phone. Bond admitted the Secret Agent business was overrated and many of the secrets of the business could be found in any Robert Ludlum book or Google. I was more interested in the women aspect of the business and he said he it was the main reason he stayed for so long. Bond revealed he was writing a book he was going to either call Women I Bon(d)ed or Women in Bondage. I said the name didn’t matter once there were pictures and Bond agreed.
007 grew more talkative as the Martinis flowed. He talked about Odd Job, Goldfinger and our very own Mr. Big. He spoke fondly of Ursula Andress, Michelle Yeoh and Halle Berry in a bikini. Bond recommended BMW passionately but wondered if The Prime Minister will give Benz, Audi, Jaguar and Aston Martin a chance to bid. James was bitter when I asked about MI6 (Emm eye six) and said he was seriously thinking about leaving and joining the CIA now that Barack Obama was the President. Bond also complained about Tom Cruise, called him pretentious and short, and said there were very few people who understood what was impossible about Cruise’s missions. Bond thought people were mainly interested in the special effects and Tom’s sultry women. I said people were also saying that about Bond and he seemed quite surprised and drunk.
The Air Marshals had to restrain Bond and carry him off the plane when he started to let out top secret information and show passengers his gun. I felt sorry for the Secret Agent who had sacrificed so much of his life saving the world from misguided villains and Republicans but who had now become a little bananas. I realized that Bond’s main source of stress was that he had many women friends who looked so good that it was driving him insane trying to remember their names and tatoo locations. Luckily, before Bond was arrested I was able to get his little black book from his pocket, a book which promised to give me, the new 007, a Quantum of Solace.
Sunrise in Trinidad
I took the visitor to Curepe to get doubles near Curepe Junction. He hardly remembered what doubles tasted like and wanted genuine Curepe Doubles. The Junction was its usual chaotic and lawless self where the regulars were not bothered because they knew how to adapt to the environment of the Junction to survive. The visitor asked if the drivers at the junction “still fraid police more than God.” I knew where he was coming from but I pretended I didn’t and allowed him to explain. The visitor said that all these drivers would say they are afraid of God and that God is everywhere but yet they would break the law and inconvenience everyone for their selfish needs as if there was no God looking. “Aren’t they afraid that God would send them to a Hell worse than Curepe Junction?” He went on to say if one scrawny policeman came to the junction peace and order would be restored instantly. “Why is that?” the visitor asked. I didn’t have an answer and simply accepted the fact that people believed God was everywhere except Curepe Junction.
We left The Junction with my thoughts too deep for a “doubles morning” but the visitor had a knack for derailing your thoughts. On the way back home we drove pass a house where an old woman was beaten to death by an intruder less than a year ago. I eagerly pointed out the house as if it was a tourist attraction. The visitor said it was a pity and wondered why God didn’t intervene to save the old woman. I said because the house was probably too close to the Junction. He didn’t laugh and I regretted what I had said. We were both silent until we got home and the bottom of the brown paper bag carrying the doubles gave way causing all the doubles to splatter on the driveway and my shoe. It was the perfect end to the morning and, I suppose, God’s will.
A Trinidad Butterfly
A Trinidadian, resident in the US, returned home for the first time in 23 years for a short visit. He said Trinidad seemed more built up since he left and some parts were not even recognizable. He also said the place was now crowded and the people were more hostile than he remembered. But he found one thing did not change and that surprised him the most. I asked if it was the butterflies but the visitor said no, it was the pothole outside his parents’ home which was still there. I laughed but said I was sure the pothole was repaired many times in those 23 years but there was something he must know and that is potholes in Trinidad cannot be permanently repaired.
I went on to explain that though people could put a man on the moon since the sixties and perform soybean oil breast implants since 1995 the technology used in countries like the US, Germany, and Somalia to effectively repair potholes had not reached Trinidad and Tobago. I said I did not know why the technology eluded us but there were also drains which had to be repaired every year because they kept using the same technology and mentality from the Stone Age. The visitor was shocked and then asked how the new interchange will work and I said they are keeping it quiet for now but it will not. “So there will be no relief for the motorist then?” he asked. I said not much relief before 2012 and only if the money doesn’t run out. He bent his head and looked disappointed. I told him he looked sadder than a Republican but we in Trinidad and Tobago were happy to be alive and not get mugged or shot at and that was all that really mattered. But then my face lit up and I reminded the US resident in a short time they will have Barack Obama. His face also lit up but then I grew sad when he reminded me who we will still have.
This was the second most amazing event for the night! A real Hologram looking real. CNN blowed away the other networks on Election Night but this hologram was the icing and cherry on the cake.
Needless to say holograms will make life more interesting for certain types of video conferencing where realisim will be desirable. The future is getting closer.
And here is Will.I.am
Wrap Rage is no laughing matter
The US Presidential Election is held every four years on the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November and since the last US Presidential Elections was held in 2004 that day is today.
Amazon.com, the largest on-line retailer in the World, has unwittingly given the newly elected President of the US something to legislate about. That thing is Wrap Rage. Wrap Rage can be defined as the frustration a person experiences while trying to open a package that was designed not to be opened by anyone regardless of how much the person paid for what he or she is trying to open. Wrap Rage has affected all consumer items like light bulbs, memory sticks, MP3 players and more recently, kurma in Trinidad and Tobago. Amazon has made it quite clear where it stands on the topic of Wrap Rage and it is their focus for the Christmas season. Amazon has my full support and I will also be willing to take part in any public outcry they may organize during working hours once I can get home before the road rage starts.
The first symptoms of Wrap Rage may go unnoticed...or not
Up to 9:00 am yesterday morning I didn’t know there was a name given to this seemingly trivial but sometime life-threatening occurrence. Wikipedia has defined it, Consumer Reports has documented it, and trained psychologists are now stationed at some of the larger malls in the US to offer counseling to victims. With a little luck and much public outcry laws may be drawn up to help eliminate the source of wrap rage, which may not actually be China or Sony. There are rumors floating around that the newly elected US president does not have this issue on the front burner for some strange reason and the US public may demand answers from The Man. Wrap Rage is worse than war with the garbage people, worse than slipping on a banana peel on a busy sidewalk while wearing a very short skirt and no underwear, and even worse than having smoke come out the back of your new flat-screen TV.
Wrap Rage, like road rage and slow-cashier-rage serves only to compound the various rages we feel everyday but can’t define. By identifying these rages they can be dealt with either by elimination of the source or tranquilizers. There is a website already dedicated to finding the cure for wrap rage. How well consumers will deal with Wrap Rage this spending season is anyone’s guess since the World is distracted by the US elections and the recent phenomena called no money in the banks of the World except in Trinidad and Tobago.