Monday, June 25, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Great Estonian Music Video
Monday, June 18, 2007
Last night I watched an advanced screening of SiCKO, Michael Moore's new documentary. The movie is about the US health care industry and how poor the level of care is for a lot of people. He doesn't spend a lot of time on the topic that 50 million Americans don't have insurance, rather he focuses on the rest of Americans who do have it but still get terrible service from their insurance companies and are often denied vital procedures so that the insurance company doesn't have to pay out cash. A lot of the people he talks to have truly disturbing stories, many of which end in death, serious disability or bankruptcy after being denied service by the HMOs.
He spends a lot of time in countries with socialized medicine (Canada, UK, France and Cuba) to show that this type of system not only provides better service to all citizens but also provides good lifestyles and freedom for doctors who work in the system. As with any documentry you only see one side of these other systems but he does try to address some of the weak points of universal health (long wait times, less choice, etc).
I enjoyed the movie, it was a bit of a departure from Moore's other works as he has toned down the rhetoric and doesn't lash out at the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies or government as you might expect (although there is still a fair bit of criticism). What he spends his time on is real life stories of people and how other countries manage to provide universal health care without becoming commies. By not spending the whole movie on the attack Moore ensures that the movie will have a wider audience and people who normally think he's a liberal nut case will be able to watch the movie without much prejudice.
Watching SiCKO makes you realize how important universal health care is and makes me feel good that Canadians place a high value on our system.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
First Impressions: Macbook
[Edit - I thought I posted this weeks ago, turns out that I hit "Save Now" instead of Publish. Oops]
I got home yesterday evening to be greeted by my new MacBook which had been delivered earlier that day. I've never owned a Mac and have limited experiences on them (although I do fondly remember playing Civ1 on a Mac for the first time at Arlen's house) so I'll post my first impressions after playing around with it for a couple of hours last night.
- Design is beautiful as is to be expected. Too good perhaps as now I'm worried about scratching the black surface. Not sure why other manufacturers find it so hard to come up with a comparable product, even most high end machines pale in comparison to the Mac.
- White cables with a black laptop, what's up with that? Same thing happened with my iPod. You'd think they could produce a couple of black cables to complete the package.
- Setup was quick and relatively easy. Although I somehow forgot my admin password in 5 minutes and had to reset it and the Mac wouldn't recognize the WEP security on my router so I had to change it to WAP in order to get it to work.
- The remote, I love it. I spend a lot of time watching and listening to things and the remote makes that so simple and fun. This feature blows away and multimedia feature I've ever seen on a Windows box. The only thing is that this feature on the Macbook makes iTv even more worthless imo.
- So far I haven't had any trouble getting software that I need for it, didn't really expect to have any problems but it's good to know that I can still do all my favorite things.
- Parallels or Dual Book? At some point I may want to install Windows to play games or do something different and I'm not sure which approach is best. I'll research more before installing anything.
- My Macbook get's hot. Real hot. I downloaded a little program that helps speed up the fan when that happens and it seems to help.
- Where's the Page Up and Down keys? I use these all the time, especially when scrolling through web pages. Hopefully I can figure out how to configure the keyboard to get this work.
- And finally, I still have a lot to learn. I'll be playing around with my new toy for awhile. :)
There's probably a ton more I could write but I'll wait a bit until I get more time to play around with it.
Short Sopranos Thoughts
I haven't posted in awhile, little free time. I've been to the cottage a lot and in the evenings I'm either not interested in posting because of the heat or playing with my new laptop (BTW - Safari on Windows? I don't even use it on my Mac).
This past weekend was the Sopranos season finale. If you haven't seen it and want to then stop reading now. I thought the ending was great, most people seemed to disagree. I think people are used to have things wrapped up in nice boxes at the end and wanted Tony to either die, go to jail or flip to the feds. Personally I think leaving the ending open and showing that Tony is at heart just a family man is exactly the premise of the entire series. I did think my download cut out at the end but that just added to brilliance. There are a ton of little details that were never resolved in the show (was Paulie ratting to NY, what happened to the Russian, etc) but that is simply the way life is. The reaction to the ending was caused by the terrible series finales that have occurred (remember Seinfeld!) that try and wrap up the show and close all possibilities, most of the time that isn't possible.
For a great analysis and back and forth of the series check our Slate.com.