Life in the North

netZoo correspondent D. Heimpel just returned from a trip to Israel with the following dispatch.

The thin black trunks of charred pine trees hugged the dusty road of the Biryya forest (map), 20 km south of Lebanon. A few weeks before, a rain of Katyusha rockets lit the forest ablaze. Heat, high winds and steep slopes had conspired to give the fire speed. The result: acres of nuked trees, dead but standing, sap leaking from heat induced cracks.

“What about the animals?” I asked Paul Ginsberg, director of the Forestry Department of northern Israel. The video camera on my lap bumped up and down the as we moved along the dirt road.
Continue reading “Life in the North”

ABC’s Controversial Mini-Series

It’s an insult, a pity, and an embarassment that ABC insists on airing “The Path to 9/11.” Despite pleas to pull it from Bill Clinton, Harry Reid, and others, Disney president and CEO Robert A. Iger is not backing down
mohammed atta the mouseketeer via americablog
ThinkProgress is leading the charge in asking readers to Tell ABC to pull “The Path to 9/11.”. Sheldon Rampton scrutinizingly details fiction in this post.

One of the most upsetting twists to this story, is that Scholastic has actually partnered with ABC to present discussion guides and class materials to contribute to the brainwashing of schoolchildren.

John at Americablog has the post of the week right here. “The Path to Mickey” is an historical look at bias and racism at Disney. Just like ABC’s 9/11 “docudrama“, John warns it is strictly a dramatization.

Pirates at the MPAA?

Ampersand points to a Bitch Magazine interview with Kirby Dick, director of the This Film is Not Yet Rated, now playing at a theatre near you.

The film lambasts the MPAA for its well-known rating system, first implemented in 1968 by Jack Valenti. But, in the Bitch interview, Dick reveals evidence that the MPAA — anti-piracy champion it purports to be — can be pretty casual about distributing illegal copies in-house. Kirby Dick:

Before I submitted the film, I called up the administration of the ratings board, and I said, “Can you assure me that there will be no copies made of this?” And they assured me, in writing, in e-mail, and on the phone, that not only would no copies be made, but that only the raters would see it. Well, I subsequently learned that an MPAA attorney had seen it. I learned that [MPAA president] Dan Glickman had seen it…

I got a call from an MPAA attorney who said “Look, Kirby, I have to tell you, we have made a copy of your film. But you don’t have to worry, because it’s safe in my vault.” [Laughs.] I can tell you that wasn’t reassuring. In a way I wasn’t surprised, but on the other hand, there’s such hypocrisy there. The MPAA has launched this huge antipiracy campaign, and on their website they define even one act of unauthorized duplication of material as piracy. And that’s exactly what they did.

I’m looking forward to checking this one out.

Watch the trailer.

Liz Losh highly recommends it here.