All the tablet pundits predict that tomorrow Amazon will formally announce their 7-inch Android tablet which is rumored to be called the Kindle Fire. The predicted price is $250.00 and the machine will be geared towards surfing the net but mostly for buying more stuff from Amazon and streaming Amazon’s movie content but only in the US as Amazon is not permitted to stream to folks in this part of the world. Amazon Prime members in the US are currently able to stream many movies at no extra cost but Prime member outside the US will just have to suffer without any extra benefit for the same price. The Amazon device most likely will not have the E ink screen, but a color touch screen like any other tablet. The 7-inch tablet is supposedly designed to be addictive and cause people to be more tied to Amazon than they already are. It is expected there will be a huge rush to buy this tablet as the mindless gift-buying for those special someones season approaches. On a related issue, Netflix is now allowed to stream to the Caribbean and Latin America but if you are a typical movie and TV series viewer from Trinidad and Tobago, you will find half of Netflix’s content is in Spanish with no English option. The other half is mostly garbage. However you can sign up to Netflix for the first month free and see if you have to stamina to weed through the garbage to find the odd gem.
I noticed only today there was a sudden price drop at Amazon of the Samsung Galaxy 7-inch, 16 GB, Wi-Fi tablet from $350 to $300, indicating a tablet price war may be looming as tablet makers come to terms with another potential Amazon bulldozer. Hooray for the strong-minded consumer who is strong enough to survive outside the Amazon box. I am not very sure how useful a 7-inch tablet will be in becoming a person’s soul mate but I think a 10-inch device will perform much better than a 7-inch one despite being more expensive and a shorter battery life. Good things will come to those who wait for the early-adopters bugs to be ironed out.
2008 in eastern China's Zhejiang province. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
By a strong display of cheerleading sexiness, China is proving to the world that it is up to the task of being the biggest and baddest superpower after the United States gives up the mantle for economic reasons. The ability of a country to produce super cheerleaders is a major way of displaying world supremacy and China, after some false starts, has triumphed.
Like sexy girls wearing short skirts in an office or short shorts in a carwash, sexy cheerleaders can, without any effort, raise a man’s eyebrow and other vital body parts. However, too much sexiness is not always a good thing as it can lead to distraction of the competing teams, spectators and even photographers. At the recent Guangzhou Asian Games, the cheerleaders got more media attention than the games but who is really complaining. It is now well known that due to the sexiness of the Chinese cheerleaders, many men didn’t even remember who played and many more had no recollection of what sporting event they attended. They only remembered the cheerleaders, and that is male biology at its best.
While the police was busy tracking down and arresting gang leaders, gang members, gun makers, drug pushers, lords and other assorted big fish, the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, quite rightly, went to the United Nations and suggested “the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon consider the appointment of a special envoy to deal with the issue of non-communicable diseases.” Non-communicable diseases are a major killer in Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the world, taking more lives than gangs, foreign-used car drivers and scrap iron yards. Wikipedia says “The World Health Organization (WHO) reports NCDs to be by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing over 60% of all deaths.” Also “the WHO’s World Health Report 2002 identified five important risk factors for non-communicable disease in the top ten leading risks to health. These are raised blood pressure, raised cholesterol, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and overweight.” Our current Minister of Health, Faud Kahn, wants to tackle MSG while the former Minister, Jerry Narace, wanted to zap sugar. Both are honorable intentions but we should take in front.
The police and regiment are risking their lives making Trinidad and Tobago a safer place, but we are celebrating the likes of McDonald’s and Wendy’s when they open their doors in Trinidad and Tobago. We complain about Mr. Big and Mr. Big Fish while chugging down doubles and washing it down with a Solo, completely ignoring the Big Killers that are more terrifying than an out-of-control Colombian drug gang, if human body count is considered, that is.
It would appear that the late Dr. Atkins got it more right than wrong, and we should read and understand the works of people like Gary Taubes, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick and Dr. Arthur Agastston just to get an understanding of the bigger and hidden picture. We have to forget what simply taste good and worry about what is good for our health. It will be no point taking guns and drugs of the streets while letting killer foods roam the country like an honorary citizen with diplomatic immunity.
Chickens, and poultry across the world are in an uproar as their name has been tarnished, once again, by the discovery of 31 million dollars worth of marijuana in container number 31 at the Port of Point Lisas, Trinidad and Tobago. The marijuana was found in the refrigerated container that was supposed to contain only chicken parts. This latest incident only adds to the mystery as many questions remain unanswered for several years such as why did the chicken cross the road, which came first, the chicken or the egg, and how many minutes for a poached egg. The new question on the tongues of everyone is not why did the the marijuana accompany the chicken parts but who stole the chicken parts.
The businessman who the container was consigned is said to be furious as several of his high quality chicken parts (mainly breast, legs and thighs) were missing from the 40-foot container. “This will certainly create a shortage on the market” the businessman was overhead telling one of his cooks who had just finished grinding up some fresh seasoning destined to marinate the chicken parts that went missing. It is alleged that the parts are somewhere in Jamaica where the parts were stolen and replaced with ganga. Interpol is said to be hot on the trail of the chilled chicken parts and hope to recover the parts and ship them to Trinidad before the refrigeration system runs out of gas, and the businessman goes bankrupt. It is rumored that the goods were not insured.
Chicks, cocks, hens, a few ducks and several yard fowls expressed shock and horror on hearing how the parts went missing. One hen was said to be on sedatives and is refusing to lay any more eggs until the security of bird parts can be guaranteed by the Government. One cock also expressed shock, but he said this will not stop him from doing his part for the chicken parts industry. “Parts are our future” he was quoted as saying. When asked to comment, a duck that was said to be close to the situation, was grabbed up by his owner before he could quack a word to this blogger. Strong curry odours could be smelt coming from a nearby warehouse.
Have you seen any unaccounted for thighs, legs or breast recently?
Sources close to both the Government and Mr. Big told Big the State of Emergency (SOE) would only be lifted after a certain amount of guns and ammo was recovered. So Big hatched a plan and ordered his minions to disperse some old crocus bags filled with assorted illegal drugs and old guns through the country and inform the Big TV man where he could find these stashes. Big told his people to stagger the information so everything wouldn’t be found the same day thus making it look like real reality TV. He warned his people to tell only TV Big and not the police as the corrupt elements in the Force would gobble up the stashes like rats in a police station.
After the first find was shown on TV with amateur Blair Witch drama, Big wondered why they didn’t come in daylight. Maybe it would be better for TV ratings if they came at night, he thought. One caller to the program asked TV Big why they didn’t stakeout the site to see who was collecting the stash, to which TV Big replied in true political style “Timing is everything. Next Caller!”
Big knew he had nothing to worry about with the SOE as the country was a jokey country run by jokers and letters to the editor. One thing that had Big very amused was when he read how the President decided to take that much-needed vacation while the country was on a heightened security alert. That was like parents going on vacation just after admitting their child to hospital with dengue hemorrhagic. Big was even more amused when he heard the media reporting that the police was now acting on intelligence. It was the first time he ever heard the words police and intelligence used in the same sentence in the country. Big had to admit the police seem revitalized by the SOE especially the popular rouge-element that seem to be enjoying their new-found powers to beat man left, right, and centre. Big wasn’t worried about the alleged intelligence of the police as he knew people couldn’t get bright overnight, even in Trinidad and Tobago.
Naturally, with the country locked down, his business would slip a bit but where there is a demand, there will be a supply. His customers need him and he will not let them down. Big had big plans for the country.
Police suspect that the hundreds of gallons of diesel spilled on the highway last Saturday was deliberate. Also, nobody is saying anything about the cause of a ruptured natural gas line off Point Galeota, which happened over the weekend. I think these two incidents are connected and for these reasons I can’t help but feel something sinister is brewing in this country which might be the real reason for the State of Emergency. It might be organized crime run by Mr. Big and Co, Ltd. at work, but it might even be something more menacing trying to regain control of the country.
The plus side of extending the SOE and increasing the number of hot spots by eleven is that the criminal element will be even more dormant. But dormant means asleep and like all hibernating evil creatures, once awake will be hungry like a starving giant.
It was a morning like any other for Mr. Big. He woke up, stretched, yawned, and squeezed his flannel balls while trying to remember the names of the women in the his bed. He was bored and even the view overlooking the sea from his mansion on the cliff, the easy availability of shapely women, his golden toilet bowl or the State of Emergency didn’t excite him any more. Life was a bit too easy he thought with foreign exchange flowing into holes in his back yard like water from a busted water main. He was even running out of backyard space just like the Central Bank was running out of foreign exchange.
Mr. Big checks out the headline of a daily newspaper
Mr. Big went to the kitchen and was happy to see the newspaper on the kitchen counter. He poured himself his morning fix of freshly ground and brewed Colombian Coffee and started to read. He chuckled as he saw again that several people, including key politicians knew who Mr. Big was but somehow they never managed to call his name in public or say it to the police. Of course, they wouldn’t call his name as they were on his payroll even if not directly. What was more important to Big was that the politicians knew who was in charge. Mr. Big had so many people from all walks of life on his payroll, he had to use a computerized payroll system and hired some honest accountants to manage it.
Mr. Big was just like God – he was everywhere but yet never seen, but if you closed your eyes long enough and said his name over, and over you might even see his image on a bolt of cloth, a brown paper bag or a foreign-used car engine. Sometimes Mr. Big wondered if he was real or a figment of the imagination of a nation that preferred to buy pirate DVDs than a book. He often speculated why people thought he was so powerful and yet local. The inability of the authorities to even come close to capturing him made him feel like a small Big. Surely, Mr. Big thought, if he was that big and powerful and notorious, and for so long the Almighty Americans would nab him, just as they did to a certain ruthless terrorist in a certain ruthless country. Some even say Big’s real name is Keyser Soze. “WTF!” Big would say every time he heard this. “The Usual Suspects!” he would add before rolling on the floor with laughter.
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.” ~ The Usual Suspects
In about ten thousand years from now, the toys shown in the photos above may be worth the price I paid for them in the tourist trap known as the souvenir shop. I am not complaining since no tourist will ever feel fulfilled unless he or she buys souvenirs for friends and loved ones that will look cheap and tacky in even the cheapest and tackiest parts of any home. Giving someone a tacky souvenir is the way we tell people how we felt about them while we were having a good time in a foreign country.The only souvenirs that are not tacky are toy cars as toys will be toys even if made in China.
Photographing toys is almost as much fun as playing with them and even more fun than buying them. For men, there is something very compelling about toy cars and I suppose it is the same compulsion women feel when they see shoes, handbags, clothes, a sign marked SALE or the able wallet of a man. The photos were taken with a Pentax 50mm 1.4 FA lens. The light was natural and the table top old.