Thursday, June 30, 2011

Saudis and their poor maids

This Indonesian maid's employer claimed, in court, that these wounds were self-inflicted.

  1. Saudis hire foreigners to do their dirty work.
  2. Over 1.5 million Filipinos and over a million Indonesians work in Saudi Arabia.  Many are maids.
  3. The maids send hundreds of millions of dollars home in remittances.
  4. Many maids are abused by their employers.
  5. An Indonesian maid, pushed to the brink of sanity (not that that is an excuse), killed her employer with a meat cleaver.
  6. Said maid is beheaded with a sword.  The authorities don't bother to inform the maid's family about the execution until after the deed.
  7. The Indonesian and Filipino governments ask the Saudi government to provide more employee protections and to impose a higher minimum wage (to $400 a month).
  8. Saudi Arabia stops issuing work visas to Filipinos and Indonesians.
The Arab Spring/Summer couldn't arrive in Saudi any sooner.


Woops.  I think we all may owe this guy a huge apology.  Because I know you totally thought he was guilty.  Or maybe he is guilty.  Story here.

Minsk Belarus protest video

(Ed.: Blogger has been glitchy recently so please be patient with postings, as they may be sporadic.)

Outside of the Central Asian republics, Belarus probably has the most autocratic regime among the former Soviet Republics.  As the Belarusian economy goes into free fall, young people using social networks organized a silent rally in one of the capital's squares.  Protestors gathered and simply clapped their hands in unison.

Well, the government goons rounded them up and stuffed them into paddy wagons.  Though these short videos show no violence, they are chilling.

Also, look for a crackdown in China as we approach the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (July 1) and the second anniversary of the Xinjiang riots (July 5).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Greek protest video

Quick, what's the stock ticker symbol for Acme Tear Gas, Inc.?

Saab 900 convertible review

The term "mint condition" gets bandied about too often.  But the white 900 drop top I saw last weekend outside the local pizza joint truly lived up to the description.  It was flawless and looked as good as new.

Hugo Chavez and Simon Bolivar on a horse painting

At first, I admired Chavez's anti-imperialist stance.  Then, I thought he was a harmless clown.  Now, this painting has surfaced.  Because of his autocratic tendencies, there is going to be a huge power vacuum when he kicks the bucket in Havana from cancer (so goes the rumor mill).


Monday, June 27, 2011

Subaru Isle of Man record video

Iraq postcard

The postcard I just received was written on a 117 degree F (47.2 C) day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cars 2 with Vettel, Alonso, Petrov, and Winterbottom

Marketing geniuses, these people at Pixar.

German version with Vettel (next to Lewis):

Spanish version with Alonso (next to Lewis):

Russian version with Petrov (next to Lewis):

Australian version with Winterbottom (next to Lewis):

Finn McMissile toy car

Went and saw Cars 2.  It was fantastic.  There were Tatras, Figaros, even ZAZs!

I got the kids pack at the theater, which includes a small drink, popcorn, a fruit snack and this Finn McMissile toy.  The other choices were Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater.  Apparently, the character of Finn was inspired by the Peerless GT and the Aston DB4.

Peerless GT from Bringatrailer.

Aston Martin DB4:

John Morton BRE Datsun 510 racing movie Against All Odds

Datsuns and Alfas running circles around BMWs.  Check.
Pre-race cigarette breaks for drivers.  Check.
170 horses out of a 98 cubic inch engine.  Check.

The finale at Laguna Seca starting at 18:00 rocks.

Sauber F1's airplane is a Pilatus PC-12/47E


Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Car Show With Adam Carolla ads/promos

The intelligence/wit index is going to be exponentially above that of Top Gear USA.

Here's co-host and Pulitzer winner Dan Neil.

Here's the eponymous host.

Tiffany stalker documentary: I Think We're Alone Now

One (1) '80s pop sensation.  Two (2) stalkers nice guys with severe mental illness.

This is a fascinating hour-long movie.  It's hard to watch at times but ultimately is worth it.  It's available to watch online via Netflix.

The object of their obsession:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Heikki road trip video

How did such a kooky guy get hired by a straight-laced team like McLaren?

David Hobbs in Pixar movie Cars 2

Cars 2 premiers tonight!  Can't wait.  This is David Hobbs's character.  BTW, he's a part of Speed's F1 broadcasting team here in the States.  And here's his autograph.

Citroen helicopter

Powered by a Wankel rotary engine.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another uncontacted tribe found in Brazil

"Civilized" world to do list:
  1. Make contact with them.
  2. Hand out free "Miami Heat 2011 World Champion" t-shirts.
  3. Spread smallpox.
  4. Bug them about following this blog.

It's Garry Shandling's Show theme song

You'll be whistling it all day.

Ai Weiwei sunflower seeds documentary

The benevolent Chinese government graciously released tax cheat (and artist) Ai Weiwei.  Here's a look at this villain's dirty work.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Merkur in Pulp Fiction

New U.S. cigarette warning label pictures

South African Land Rover tear gas disperser

In a BBC piece today about Michelle Obama visiting Nelson Mandela, they showed stock footage of this being used in Soweto.  It's a cool rig that was used to defend an immoral institution.

Watch it in action here:

Boeing 787 Dreamliner debuts at Paris Air Show


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Miss USA believes in evolution (!)

Miss California won the pageant last night, even after taking the controversial stance of believing that evolution should be taught in schools.  The majority of the 51 contestants believe that alternative theories-- such as God leaving dinosaur fossils behind to test our faith in Her-- should get equal billing.

Here is the full video.  Prepare to laugh...and cry.

San Francisco Consulate Tour: Locations

Next month, my buddy B and I are going to visit all 63 consulates in San Francisco in one day.  My friend C volunteered to plot the consulates on a map.  Most of them are near the northeast corner of town.  Here are his findings:

  • 38 are located in the Downtown/Financial District areas (within a 15 block radius of the Embarcadero BART station).
  • 2 are in South of Market ("SOMA") (Belgium and Jamaica).
  • 3 are in North Beach (Cote D'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Indonesia).
  • 3 are in the Western Addition (Cameroon, China, Yemen).
  • 3 are in the Marina (Mauritius, Monaco, Russia).
  • 1 is in the Richmond (India).
  • 11 are near Russian Hill.
  • Some have random residential addresses.
Here are the consulates:
  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Barbados
  4. Belgium
  5. Belize
  6. Botswana
  7. Brazil
  8. Cameroon
  9. Canada
  10. Chile
  11. China
  12. Colombia
  13. Cote D'Ivoire
  14. Czech Republic
  15. Denmark
  16. Ecuador
  17. Egypt
  18. El Salvador
  19. Estonia
  20. Ethiopia
  21. France
  22. Germany
  23. Greece
  24. Guatemala
  25. Honduras
  26. Iceland
  27. India
  28. Indonesia
  29. Ireland
  30. Israel
  31. Italy
  32. Jamaica
  33. Japan
  34. Jordan
  35. South Korea
  36. Lithuania
  37. Luxembourg
  38. Mauritius
  39. Mexico
  40. Monaco
  41. Mongolia
  42. Nepal
  43. Nicaragua
  44. Norway
  45. Peru
  46. Philippines
  47. Poland
  48. Portugal
  49. Romania
  50. Russia
  51. Rwanda
  52. Singapore
  53. Slovenia
  54. Spain
  55. Sweden
  56. Switzerland
  57. Tonga
  58. Ukraine
  59. United Kingdom
  60. Uruguay
  61. Venezuela
  62. Vietnam
  63. Yemen
The next step: Finding the most efficient route.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 Lafayette Motorama car show pictures

Went to a car show today.  It's put on by the local Rotary Club.  Like last year's show, it leans heavy towards American cars.  Here's a Morgan parked just outside the show.

This Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk III was by far the star of the show.  Richard, the original and current owner, drove this as his company car when he worked as Aston's Resident Engineer here in the States.  In the 1970s, he found it in disrepair and restored it.  He is in the late stages of Parkinson's.  His son brought the Aston to the show.

Old (1961) Lancia.

Morris delivery truck.

Late model (relatively) Esprit.

For Long Roof Fans everywhere, a 1962 Chrysler Newport wagon.

A couple of Ford Fairlanes.

Opera glass-less Lincoln Mark V.

The innards of a Caterham.

Just as I was about to leave, they raised the hood/bonnet of that old Aston.  Are those spare plugs?

Bike guys, is this a 1967 Honda Scrambler?