All your snakes are belong to us

It works on so many levels…

This is the part where I’m supposed to make some intelligent comment about how the nature of the Web, social networking, cheap bandwidth, and digital video are encouraging content creation and remixing on an unprecedented scale, but I think I’ll skip that in favor of snaking about the snakes that are out there snaking somewhere.

As long as the sequel isn’t called Snakes 2.0, no one gets hurt.

For the uninitiated, the Wikipedia entry on All Your Base Are Belong To Us.

Doing the South(east) Asia thing

No, not me, but lots of my friends this summer.

Daniel went to Nepal, Diana went to the Phillipines, Kent went all over the place, and Tom is back in Laos, after rambles all over Thailand and Myanmar and those sorts of places.

All of them are photographers or writers or both, and not just in a “travel” sort of way — one has published a book, two are photojournalism students at SJSU, and another one is a real live movie cameraman and lighting guy who is working on a book of his own.

That would be Tom.

Tom’s been looking for some journalistic credentials to give himself a little credibility as he strolls around a tightly-controlled society trying to get people to talk about the not-so-pleasant past, so if you’re looking for a stringer who can shoot, drop a comment on Tom’s blog or check his profile for his email address, and hook him up with a gig. I’m sure he could turn out a great photo page without thinking about it too hard.

photo by Tom Guiney

Photo by Tom Guiney, copyright 2006

Late breaking update: It looks like Tom has attached himself to an Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) clearing NGO, and is preparing to head off to the country somewhere to trail a crew while they train the locals. Sounds like fun, eh?

Give him some interviewing tips. He’s used to having a film/video camera and a sound man around to document everything, so he needs all the help he can get.

Check out more of his photos here.

Making the inconvenient accessible

We finally made it out to see An Inconvenient Truth last night.

Remind me again why Al Gore isn’t running for President in 2008? Sorry, but I haven’t heard a good enough reason.

Personally, I’d like to see him grow his beard back, put on a flannel shirt and a pair of jeans, and go on a “No Bullshit” tour of the country where he gives the global warming talk, and then goes ahead and gives us some data on poverty, hunger, war, crime and health care, where he applies the same passion and attitude we see in Inconvenient Truth to issues that lots of different folks will see as “their” issue.

Oh, and screw the Democrats, Al – you don’t need a party. Just run. I’ll vote for you.

In other words, the movie is great and informative and digestible, and everyone should go see it. I worry that he’s preaching to the converted, but I still left the theater with a clearer understanding of the science behind the issues, and places like Mother Jones will give me all the political background I need to understand.

So, friends, go see An Inconvenient Truth, and then tell two friends about it. And then blog about it. In fact, you probably already did, and I’m late to the party.

Independence Day

It’s July 4th in Santa Cruz, which means thousands of pie-eyed tourists will be giving the locals puzzled looks when they tell them there are no fireworks here tonight.

More accurately… there are no sanctioned fireworks here tonight.

Santa Cruz, for whatever reason, decided years ago to not put on any sort of official fireworks show during the height of the summer tourist season, opting instead for an off-peak celebration in October, on the anniversary of the city’s founding or incorporation or something.  Not sure which founding that celebrates, really – sort of like the Spanish discovery of a hill on which to plant a flag and a mission.

Anyway, the residents of this fine city, as well as thousands of folks from around the Central Coast area, will, in fact, descend on the beaches of Santa Cruz today, fog or shine, and unleash a spectacle of insanely unsanctioned proportions as night falls.

That’s right — it’s amateur night.  Rumor has it that some pros show up, too, but the last time I was over by the harbor on the 4th of July, I saw toddlers walking through the smoke while roman candles popped over their heads and spinners sparked away on the sand.

It was chaos.  It always is.

And yet, the local newspapers, every year, run their routine stories about how the police are really cracking down this year, checking bags and coolers at the entrances to all the city’s parks and beaches.


As much fun as it is to dodge bottle rockets sailing by our heads, I’m getting a little too old for that crap, so our Independence Day plans at the moment are pretty wide open.  We’ll stop by a local bar this afternoon to watch our hard-to-love Italy take on Germany in the World Cup semifinal.

Prediction?  Uh, that’s a dangerous business, but we’re hoping it doesn’t go to penalties.  If it does, expect Italy to find a way to lose.  Otherwise, I’ll say Italy 1-0 on a goal scored off a corner or free kick by Totti headed in by anyone.

Happy Independence Day, y’all.