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Last update: 29 Jan 2007 -- 3:35pm

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29 Jan 2007

The cam is down right now since Cryptic is in the middle of a move. The move is across the street into a much, much larger space.

28 Jan 2007

The Last Templar, Raymond Khoury

I chose this book from the New Year's Yankee Book Exchange sponsored by Devo and Jen. It promised Templars, secrets, plots, and "deadly game of cat and mouse" right on the back cover. It is a NYT Bestseller.

It is banal, trite, boring, and shallow. I will spare you the time it takes to read the 523 pages and summarize the entire book here.

The Templars know a secret. They hide proof of it somewhere. The Templars are destroyed by the Church. A encrypted letter points to the prrof. The proof may destroy Catholicism by proving that it's all a sham. Perhaps this is real proof. Perhaps it is a Templar ruse. An archeologist and and FBI agent are thrown together to find it. They have a budding romance so painful that you wish they Catholic assasin would kill them repeatedly. Everyone (and a giant storm) converges at the proof. Guns, drowning, explosions, shipwrecks. Bad guy goes down. The agent and archeologist are washed ashore, with the proof. The proof is the gnostic gospel of Jesus, They fight. Bad guy falls from a sea cliff with the gospel pages drifting into the sea with him. No more evidence, and no way to tell if the gospel was real or not. Epilogue: It was faked by the Templars.

Garbage. I suppose that this general plot could have been written such that the journey through it was fun or engrossing. But it was a spare as what you see above. Gratuitous and unconvincing action scenes are inserted inappropriately followed by the weakest possible historical exposition.

Go read The Gnostic Gospels (Elaine Pagels) if you are actually interested in gospel history.

Avoid. Even on the plane.

14 Jan 2007

Comet McNaught is visible in daylight right now. This is the brightest comet in 30 years.

Go outside and stand in the shadow of a building. Face south. The comet lies 5 degrees to the left of the sun. (Five degrees is the width of your fist held at arm's length.)

9 Jan 2007

Children of Men (IMDB 8.1|Rot 91%)

The human race is sterile and an 18 year old, the youngest person alive, is murdered. As this last child is killed, we see how the world has unraveled for the last 18 years. The world is in turmoil and anarchy, but "Britain Soldiers On" as a xenophobic police state. Children of Men looks at the struggle to live against this backdrop of despair and oppression.

Though thought-provoking, it is also has plenty of action, intrigue, and drama. It's filmed brilliantly. The camera unwaveringly shows us squalid refugee camps, torture, over-the-counter suicide pills, and terrorist bombings. Nonetheless, I feel the overall tale is one of hope and humanity. The absence of hope, humanity, children, etc magnifies how especially precious they are.

I am being purposely vague here, not because there are any particular twists in the plot, but because I think that the movie is best experienced with a fairly clean slate.

Go see Children of Men.

Please sponsor my friend Iwan for the Gulf Coast Triathlon. The donation goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

7 Jan 2007

Wicked cool: The apparent size of the Andromeda galaxy compared to the apparent size of the moon.

5 Jan 2007

I'm back from the Christmas break. I'm going to leave the foamy music up for a bit longer as I'm not quite ready to let the holidays go.

Travel went fine and on time, more or less. TSA opened all my luggage and pawed through it. (I hope they enjoyed all my dirty clothes. Man, that job must suck. I'd want to wear a hazmat suit.)

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