TSUNAMI: Okay, I'm giving in to my better nature. If you're feeling like Lennon at the end of Sgt. Pepper's, there are many groups to which you might donate a few bucks. USAID lists a bunch of them. The Command Post has even more. You can even give to the Red Cross at Amazon. If you want more info -- including amateur video -- on the story, you can look here, here, and here. BuzzMachine has a quick hit on the blogging of the tsunami. For my part, I intend to console injured supermodel Petra Nemcova over the loss of her boyfriend. After all, if Indian sex workers can pitch in, it's the least I can do.
BTW, if you check out those lists of groups providing aid, it may occur to you that Americans provide a lot of help to people around the world through non-governmental organizations. So when some U.N. stooge implies that we're stingy (and has to backpedal), it should be noted that the number he's using for foreign aid represents cash payments to other governments, which is a fraction of what Americans give. It also excludes aid given in the form of food; for example, the U.S. gives 57 percent to the budget of the World Food Program to help feed 104 million people in 81 countries. So the next time someone making a tax-free, six-figure salary from an organization that let Saddam Hussein skim some 21 Billion dollars in food aid into arms and bribes wants to deliver a lecture on foreign aid, he might want to remember the old saying about attracting more flies with honey than vinegar.
HOW 'BOUT THEM CLONES?
CATS AND DOGS: get armor.
HAD I RECEIVED MONEY for Christmas, I might have gotten this before the tsunami hit.
THE NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY recognizes an eclectic group of movies, from Schindler's List (full disclosure: a family friend adapted the screenplay) to Jailhouse Rock, from Unforgiven to Eraserhead. Ann Althouse covers the inclusion of the classic 1951 civil defense film, Duck and Cover.
SUSAN SONTAG, dead at 71.
STEAM-POWERED CAR: It looks cool and goes pretty fast, but is impractical for regular travel, sadly.
OSCAR HANDICAPPING: The Hot Blog notes that the likely Best picture nominees have not had such low box office since 1989. I don't know whether that's a bad thing, however.
THE INVENTOR OF CDs AND DVDs made very little money. Neither did Tim Berners-Lee, who created the world-wide web, but some group just wrote him a big check to say thanks, iirc, so this other guy can hope his story gets wide circulation.
LOW CULTURE notices an odd pattern at The New York Times.
KATE BOSWORTH: Gawker excerpts some of her wit and wisdom from a GQ interview.
THE NEW YORKER notes the impact of the murders of Theo Van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn on the Netherlands. Which is more than can be said for most of the big media outlets in the U.S.
I'M A COKE ADDICT. Okay, a Diet Coke addict. Imagine my glee in seeing an op-ed defending soft drinks in the Boston Globe.
ELVIS PRESLEY, wherever he is, would enjoy this approach to computers.
PSYCHIC PREDICTIONS FOR 2004: Not so psychic. Who'da thunk it?