Happy Birthday, Mighty Atom!

If you read the story of Astro Boy, aka Mighty Atom, you’ll realize that Kubrik/Spielberg ‘borrowed’ parts of it for the movie “AI” (Artificial Intelligence.)
Astro Boy

April 7, 2003 marks the day Japan’s iconic emblem of post-war hopes for peace and prosperity, Tetsuwan Atomu, was “born.” Better known to his legions of Western fans as Astro Boy or The Mighty Atom, Tezuka Osamu’s most famous creation first entered the Japanese public’s consciousness in 1951. Astro Boy was a robot boy created by a scientist who had lost his real son and the original stories were set some 50 years in the future. With rockets in his legs, large fish-like eyes and a machine gun in his rump, Astro Boy was a friendly creation, always helping humans against monsters and other assorted foes. Unlike American comic-book heroes of the day, who were constantly fighting for “justice,” Astro Boy aimed towards the far loftier goal of “peace.” Initially a comic-book smash, Astro Boy’s fame was propelled around the globe with the advent of a ground-breaking, black-and-white TV series in 1963.

Another Update

angiej: Another Update

Another Update
We think Ali is okay.

Questioning his peers, and *pressing* them to remember, revealed much. Apparently, he talked to one of his friends the day before he left school. He told this student in confidence that he was going to “stay with his uncle in Europe, in Amsterdam”. So whatever happened, the family likely had anticipated it and left of their own volition. Also of note is the fact that he told another kid about it and not administration or teachers… not even me, who (I think) spoke with him most.

Where Have All The Muslims Gone?

angiej: Where Have All The Muslims Gone?

Where Have All The Muslims Gone?
Remember Ali, the Iraqi student I wrote about a few weeks before leaving for Italy when telling about going to the antiwar rally?

He’s gone. Disappeared.

His parents’ phone number is disconnected.

His mother cannot be reached at work.

His father disappeared first… and now, one of our babies is gone!

His counselor said to me this afternoon: “Either the parents have been called in by the government for questioning, or else they’ve all fled.”

Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side

Another Vietnam: North Vietnamese Images Show Unseen Side of War

Photographer Douglas Niven made more than 16 trips to Vietnam to look for images made by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong photographers during the Vietnam War. He found thousands of images, many of which had never even been made into prints.

One part of the interview I found interesting, though they didn’t have the picture on the site:

One really classic picture shows soldiers pretending to fire at wooden model enemy airplanes strung along a wire. When we see images like this, we can readily identify them as propaganda, but they’re also interesting from a documentary perspective. The purpose of that image was to show the Vietnamese people that with World War II rifles it is possible to shoot down American warplanes if they used the proper technique of shooting in front of the plane’s path. In fact, they did shoot down some American planes and helicopters with World War II carbines, and they used this same technique to shoot down even more planes once they had bigger guns. So this picture illustrates a home-grown technique that, in the end, was very useful to them.

One rule for them

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | George Monbiot: One rule for them

Five PoWs are mistreated in Iraq and the US cries foul. What about Guantanamo Bay?

George Monbiot
Tuesday March 25, 2003
The Guardian

Suddenly, the government of the United States has discovered the virtues of international law. It may be waging an illegal war against a sovereign state; it may be seeking to destroy every treaty which impedes its attempts to run the world, but when five of its captured soldiers were paraded in front of the Iraqi television cameras on Sunday, Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, immediately complained that “it is against the Geneva convention to show photographs of prisoners of war in a manner that is humiliating for them”.

News Sucks

You know, I hate CNN. Yup. Never liked em.
I hate them even more lately. You know that they’re enjoying themselves now, sort of – I mean, we have a bush in the White House and a war in iRaq Iraq. I mean, this is what made them famous, right? Dirk DigglerWolf Blitzer standing on top of some hotel, watching crappy, jpeggy night vision bombs going off some where.
Does it strike you as odd that the video quality hasn’t improved very much in 12 years? Well, the thing is, it has – but thanks to CNN in 1991, that crappy quality is what an Iraqi war is *supposed* to look like.
The same way Robert Capa’s WW2 journalism defined a certain look for battlefield photography, CNN’s late 1980’s technology defines how a modern war looks. Don’t believe me? Why is it that