Friday, November 24, 2006

7-wonders silliness

Here is a site that is trying to get people to vote on the new 7 wonders of the world, but the list of candidates is patently ridiculous. The original 7 wonders were wonders for the scale of the achievement, given the technology of the time. As Michael Williams points out, they left out two of the greatest achievements in history: the American flag on the moon and the Panama Canal. They also left out the first manned space flight, the Manhattan project, and the German WWII fortification of Europe, just off the top of my head. Every one of those projects was a tremendous achievement, dwarfing many of the candidates on the list.

The list includes such relative trivialities as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and the Sidney Opera House. None of those required anywhere near the investment of national capital that a real Wonder requires.

enemy propoganda

Patterico has some strong evidence that the LA Times is publishing enemy propoganda.

Patterico is obsessively cautious, so he leaves open the possibility that the military is lying and that the Times was the only newspaper to report this incident accurately, but I think the possibilty can be discarded. We are long past the point where the Times or the Western media in general can plausibly claim to be seeking the unbiased truth in this war. It is beyond dispute that (1) the enemy has a policy of manipulating the media with false stories, (2) the enemy has infiltrated the media with stringers to place false stories, (3) the enemy threatens to kill witnesses and their families if they contradict the false stories, and (4) the US military makes an effort to only tell the truth. But in spite of this the media continues to report the words of its stringers and witnesses and give them equal or greater prominence to US military reports, and fails to explain to their readers why the stringers and witnesses cannot be trusted.

I can think of no possible explanation for this other than that the media is a willing conspirator with the enemy in placing these false stories. They keep their hands clean by not doing the investigation necessary to know that any given story is false, but by failing to let their readers know how unreliable the pro-enemy stories are, they are deliberately helping to give credence to those stories while knowing that that the stories are very probably false.

Large segments of the American media would rather have America lose a war than have a Republican president win it. And the rest of the Western media just want America to lose the war, period.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

reading glasses

Well, it's finally happened. I've owned reading glasses for a while now, but they were only for occasional use; I never carried them with me. Lately I've been having so much trouble that I am now carrying a pair in my shirt pocket while I'm in the office.

I'm a little depressed about this...

Mist Magic part 19

The story begins here. The previous week begins here.
Aegus did not become king of that city of pirates by being the sort of man who is slow to recognize an opportunity. The king of Athens jumped onto the dock and stopped the murders. Then he closely questioned Androgiar and the other ship's officers until he was convinced that Androgiar was telling the truth. In those days no one could become a king of Kadlandith without a couple of sea voyages behind him, and so Presaron had sent his oldest son with this ship to gain the experience he would need to be king.

Aegus had the surviving prisoners transferred to his dungeon for a few days while he consulted the gods through an oracle. On the fourth day, he freed them all and sent them back to King Presaron for a ransom. It was the kind of foolish bravado that would normally have gotten an entire Greek city destroyed by the wrath of the Valangzar, but this time the Greeks were lucky, for Presaron was as cowardly as his son. The king of Kadlandith immediately set about fulfilling the ransom demands.

If the ransom had only been wealth, then Presaron would only have been a coward, but king Aegus demanded more than wealth for Presaron's son; he demanded power. And for giving that power to Aegus, Presaron was not only a coward, but a fool and a traitor as well. That was the beginning of the end of the Aghianar.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mist Magic part 18

The story begins here. The previous week begins here.
One day, Aegus, the king of Athens found a ship in his port that belonged to Presaron, king of Kadlandith. Being a Greek, and therefore a murderous pirate (I quote verbatim), King Aegus invited the captain and the valangzus of the ship to his palace where he poisoned them. With the valangzus safely out of the way, Aegus led a mob of soldiers down to the wharf to confront Androgiar, the principle officer of the ship, demanding that he surrender and promising that he and his crew would be safe. Androgiar, being the sort of coward who would rather give his life over to a man that has already proven himself a lying murderer than fight valiantly to a likely death, surrendered.

The Greek soldiers began tying Androgiar and the prisoners to the posts of the wharf as Aegus personally searched the ship. King Presaron of Kadlandith was the wealthiest of the Aghianar kings, and so Aegus expected treasures of immense value. At first he was disappointed because the ship seemed to contain only normal trade goods, but when Aegus heard the screams of the Aghianar captives, he went out to watch the executions and there discovered the real treasure.

Out on the wharf, a Greek soldier was walking down the line of bound captives and slitting their throats with a dagger. The dagger was not especially sharp and so each execution involved some amount of sawing and screaming. The rest of the Greek soldiers were enjoying the spectacle --laughing, taunting the doomed prisoners, and making wagers. In addition to the noise from the soldiers, many of the prisoners were screaming or weeping loudly or begging for mercy, but even in all that din, one shrieking voice stood out. Androgiar was screaming that he was the son of King Presaron.

Monday, November 20, 2006


The new Storyblogging Carnival is up over at Reason and Rhyme.

I forgot to enter this one. Nuts. I blame it on the cold I had the end of last week...