To let the voices be heard

From a friend of mine:

Two days ago, I received a text message from my father. It was a forwarded message that he had received from his friend Mads, a Norwegian doctor currently in Gaza. The message made a very strong impression on me, and after pondering on it a few days I feel I have to share it with as many people as possible. The text message is obviously in Norwegian, but I’ve translated it for you.

“They bombed the central vegetable market in Gaza city two hours ago. 80 injured. 20 killed, everything is coming to Shifa. Hades! We are up to our knees in death. Blood and amputated parts. A lot of children. A pregnant woman. I have never experienced anything this horrible in my life. We are now hearing tanks. Spread the message, forward the message, shout it out. DO SOMETHING! DO MORE! We’re living on the pages of history right now.
Mads G. 3.1.09 13:50 Gaza, Palestine”

He has also been interviewed by CBS, this turned up in my RSS reader today:

Another interview with Mads:§ionid=3510302

I hope you understand why I can not sit here with these messages from my father’s friend and not show everyone. I’m safe and comfortable in my own home, and it’s so easy to close your eyes and ears to what is going on out there. Don’t close your eyes. Read. Watch. Listen. And most importantly – talk about what’s happening. Don’t let it be ignored.

Author’s novel invitation to home

A 93-year-old woman who has had her first novel published has bought a house in Devon so she can help friends stay out of nursing homes.

I think this is awesome. So many old people have problems that could just be solved by them living with family or at least not living on their own – like for the most part being able to look after themselves, but just getting anxious because they live alone.

There should be more of this. Totally.

Number of cinema-goers drops

The number of people going to the cinema in the UK fell for the second consecutive year in 2006, despite an increase in the number of films shown.

…going to the cinema is bloomin’ expensive and there seems to be some surprise that less people are going?

For one adult ticket at my local cinema it’s about £7.50. Now on orange Wednesdays, I bring my mum along and then it’s two for £7.50. Which is tolerable, except I like going to the cinema on my own.

In Birmingham however, one adult ticket is about £3.50 and then with Orange Wednesdays again, it’s two for £3.50. Far more tolerable.

So why is there the huge variation in ticket price? For the cost of one ticket to my local cinema, I could WAIT until the film comes out on DVD and then buy that. It’d probably end up cheaper.


Iran condemns Hollywood war epic

But Iranian culture was strong enough to withstand the assault, Mr Shamaqdari insisted.

“American cultural officials thought they could get mental satisfaction by plundering Iran’s historic past and insulting this civilization,” he said.

“Following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Hollywood and cultural authorities in the US initiated studies to figure out how to attack Iranian culture.

Apart from the bit where the film is based on a graphic novel right?

Saddam Hussein executed

From the BBC:

Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging at a secure facility in northern Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

Iraqi TV said the execution took place just before 0600 local time (0300GMT). A representative of the prime minister and a Sunni Muslim cleric were present.


Saddam Hussein was led up onto the gallows platform and a dark piece of cloth placed around his neck, followed by the noose.

When the hangman stepped forward to put the hood over his head, Saddam Hussein made it clear he wanted to die without it.

The hanging itself was not broadcast.
Saddam Hussein’s rule

In pictures
The execution procedure took just a few minutes.

My first reaction is… that it’s all happened very quickly. Usually there are appeals and stuff and it takes ages before someone is executed.

I still don’t feel that execution is the right thing to do, for anyone, even someone like Saddam Hussein who has done so many terrible things.

US President George W Bush hailed the execution as “an important milestone” on the road to building an Iraqi democracy, but warned it would not end the deadly violence there.

I hope it’s not “an important milestone”. The rebuilding of Iraq shouldn’t be based on death and it’s not like his execution is actually going to magically solve the problems there. Argh. I don’t know. I don’t agree with the death penalty, but I don’t know what I would have done instead (well, apart from less of a shambles of a trial, less of a shambles of a war, less of a war). In some ways, I’m glad that I don’t have to make any of these kinds of decisions myself.