I felt a mixture of emotions leading up to these Olympics. Given the human rights record in China, and particularly given the ongoing conflict in Darfur and the continued tensions over Tibet, I wasn't sure what to think. I even participated in the torch protest in San Francisco when the torch stopped here briefly on its only American visit (ended up not ever seeing the torch as the organizers diverted the course at the last minute).
In reviewing this book, I’ll resist the temptation to tell you the story of how the author, Nathan Brown, made me buy it, and the story of his deep discontent with the book’s title and the sunflower on the cover, and even the completely irrelevant story of how he ran a red light, got a ticket, and had to take a breathalyzer test while driving me around Perth. I’ll cut straight to the heart of the matter: it’s an engaging, well-written, thought-provoking book, and you should read it.
In the climax of Babette’s Feast, the title character prepares an extravagant meal, the like of which I have never seen. My general requirements for food are “healthy,” “easy,” and “quick.” But when friends talk about the Slow Food movement and signature moments where extraordinary food has been a catalyst, I recognize that lentils on rice is not the only way to go.
I was leery about watching Lars and the Real Girl. From the little bit I knew about the film, it appeared strange, which could be good, and awkward, which, for my particular personality, is bad. It is a film about a man who thinks a sex doll is his girlfriend (not private lover, but public girlfriend). Enter everyone else stage right. How much more awkward could it get?
It was great to hear what you all have been watching this summer, so let's bring on the books! Summer is often known as a time for lighter reading, but I have a feeling with this crowd we've got quite a mix of books on the bedside stand or in the beach bag. What book keeps your attention right now? What books are challenging your assumptions? Inspiring you? Making you laugh?
We have waited a long time to have Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight hit out movie screens. And finally, it’s here! And dark it is -- more violence, dark humour, and much darker moral complexity. The story opens with a bank robbery in progress and as it proceeds we realise that these bank robbers are ruthless and motivated by an intense greed. The moral darkness of the whole film is set as we see the bank robbers turning on each other. Even the "honour among thieves" code is broken. Finally, the perpetrator of the bank robbery is revealed.
Australian Peter Singer is the the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. He is also arguably the most controversial philosopher alive today. His critics label him “the most dangerous man in the world”. Using an adjective like “dangerous” to describe a philosopher might seem vastly overblown or at least oxymoronic.