Ronaldo, of course, was his usual self.
Maybe I have lived in DC too long, but I think this is the raddest thing ever. Considerably better than the first two, which aren't exactly shabby.
I am thinking that, if anyone ever takes the obvious step of creating a series of films based on Iain Banks' Culture novels, John Berkey would be the perfect visual touchstone.
Some scientists think Komodo dragons are poisonous. Others disagree:
Dr. Schwenk also doubts that venom is necessary to explain the effect of a Komodo dragon bite. "I guarantee that if you had a 10-foot lizard jump out of the bushes and rip your guts out, you'd be somewhat still and quiet for a bit," he said, "at least until you keeled over from shock and blood loss owing to the fact that your intestines were spread out on the ground in front of you."
I think this is a good parallel to the global warming 'debate'. Some scientists say this! Some scientists say that! Competing epistemologies! How will we ever learn the truth?
[the photography of Josef Schulz, via but does it float]
I'll admit that I thought it was a bit of a joke that Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as governor, but it does seem that he has the tendency to speak his mind plainly, which seems like a simple thing, yet eludes the vast majority of the political class:
"VENTURA: No, I live in Mexico now, Larry. So I do a lot of reading. I don't watch much TV. This year's reading, I covered Bush's life. I covered Guantanamo and a few other subjects. And I'm very disturbed about it.
I'm bothered over Guantanamo because it seems we have created our own Hanoi Hilton. We can live with that? I have a problem. I will criticize President Obama on this level; it's a good thing I'm not president because I would prosecute every person that was involved in that torture. I would prosecute the people that did it. I would prosecute the people that ordered it. Because torture is against the law.
KING: You were a Navy SEAL.
VENTURA: That's right. I was water boarded, so I know -- at SERE School, Survival Escape Resistance Evasion. It was a required school you had to go to prior to going into the combat zone, which in my era was Vietnam. All of us had to go there. We were all, in essence -- every one of us was water boarded. It is torture.
KING: What was it like?
VENTURA: It's drowning. It gives you the complete sensation that you are drowning. It is no good, because you -- I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.
KING: Even though you know it's not going to happen -- even though before it, you know you're not going to drown.
VENTURA: You don't know it. If it's -- if it's done wrong, you certainly could drown. You could swallow your tongue. You could do a whole bunch of stuff. If it's it done wrong or -- it's torture, Larry. It's torture."
Later in the interview, King asks Ventura, "Is it true that once a SEAL, always a SEAL?". Ventura responds, "Absolutely. Would you like my poetry?" Which seems nonsensical, but makes sense if you finish the transcript.
As footsmoke explains:
"I think this is the dream for most of us (except maybe Chelsea fans and stubborn fans of the Premiership who, given circumstances, might not be able to admit it). We want a team's function to grow out of its form, or vice versa. We want surreal and fluid soccer over calculated tactical positioning that stifles the organic nature of the game. This isn't to say that defensive soccer cannot be beautiful, or that the tearing pace and sharp angles of the Premiership do not give it a form. But its form, both sleek and powerful, is somehow too real, too adaptable, too logical in the way it works to have the same kind of soul-lifting warmth as Barcelona's. Barcelona plays like a dream. And us romantics want our dreams to bloom, to become more real. We want them to mean something. Right now, for those who pray to the lyrical Gods of the game, Barcelona represent a team on the trembling verge of a clarifying coherence between both form and function. For this reason, Barcelona's season has taken on much more significance than results. They are playing for immortality, to uphold a form that fans might remember as it: the most beautiful soccer ever.
A team in the truest sense, this year's Barcelona team plays a game so deft and connected that you don't want to touch it. Their goals hang like dewy webs, too fragile and perfect and mysterious to replicate. Then you see another one, and another. They play whole games that hang together like the most illuminating prose of this, or any, language. As Phillips suggests [link here -- also a must read], their artistry eschews the way most teams rely on, and adapt to, the game's inherent elements of chaos and entropy. While big-money Premiership teams tend to employ negative defensive schemes, while they openly commit fouls to break up attacks, while they hammer the ball over-the-top to over-priced strikers in the hopes that one defensive mistake will change the game, Barcelona weave every stitch in time and space. They score despite perfect defenses. Not only do they control the game's order, they create it."
Interesting thoughts from James McWilliams in this interview with Rod Dreher:
"There's an instinctive and quite understandable tendency to look at the problems of industrialized food and seek solutions in the agricultural past. The assumption, however, that our forebears hold all the answers is a bit romantic. We have to keep in mind that the world's population has more than quadrupled since 1900, so the pre-industrial food systems that we often mythologize were nowhere near as burdened to achieve high yields. Beyond that, I've never been terribly convinced that pre-industrial food was so safe or ecologically correct.
The future of food production must achieve a balance between high yields and high sustainability. The only way I see this happening is if we stop polarizing our discussions of food into big industrial and small organic, and start seeking common ground over compromises that split differences. We'll have to eat much less meat, many more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes; tolerate the judicious use of chemicals in the production of our food; keep an open mind to the potential benefits of biotechnology; and worry less about the distance our food traveled than the overall energy it took to produce it."
Which, if correct, might be taken to mean that the future of farming looks quite different from both this and this; perhaps a bit more like a cross between the urban farming utopias of this AA studio and the aestheticized irrigation circles of Corner and MacLean?