Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Movie Page

Top 20 Most Enjoyable Films

My good friend Tina was the first to introduce me to many movie classics and I owe her a many thanks for bringing James Cagney into my life. Ironically, though she is a walking internet movie database, it was only with me, ten years ago, that she first saw the Star Wars Trilogy. Her gasp of shock and surprise when Darth Vader told Luke, "I am your father" was priceless.

So, though Tina may dispute many of my choices, here is a list of some of my favorite movies:

1) The Star Wars Trilogy (I'm putting all three movies here since really, they're one - although I think most people would agree that The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the three)
2) The Wedding Singer
3) Dead Poet's Society
4) Four Weddings and a Funeral
5) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (not putting all three here since, please, The Temple of Doom...)
6) Lost in Translation
7) The Public Enemy (James Cagney version, 1930)
8) Cinema Paradiso
9) Somewhere in Time
10) Pride and Prejudice (BBC version)
11) The Godfather part II
12) Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the Ring
13) The Bourne Identity
14) Noises Off
15) The Best Years of Our Life
16) Ordinary People
17) The Graduate
18) When Harry Met Sally
19) Gandhi
20) Bend it Like Beckham

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Animal Section

"The greatness of a nation
can be judged by the way
its animals are treated."

The U.S. certainly has a standard of living that allows for animal rights to be a priority with our lawmakers. I am continually amazed at the number of disgusting forms of violence that are perpetrated against animals everyday. Just go to your local Humane Society page and you will see animals that have been mistreated and abused by seemingly normal people - perhaps even your neighbors.

In addition to ensuring the rights of dogs, cats and other domestic animals, an often overlooked animal rights issue is the keeping of large and exotic animals. This is a much bigger problem than people realize. It is also not just an animal rights issue. In many states, if your neighbor decides to buy a tiger and put it in their backyard, there isn't much you can do about it. It is truly shocking that there are some people who think it is OK to put a tiger or a mountain lion in their backyard or in their house.

Did you know that there are more tigers living in captivity than in the wild?
As of 2005 there are somewhere between 200-400 Siberian and less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild yet there are more than 15,000 tigers in captivity. They aren't living in zoos or animal parks - 90% are in backyard breeder facilities, roadside zoos, and PEOPLE's BACKYARDS.

No person in the United States should have the right to own a tiger or other exotic animal as a pet.

There are many great, highly reputable organizations that work to insure the safety and well-being of all types of animals. The Humane Society of the United States is one. Please check out their web site and take a look at the section dealing with legislation and laws. Here you can read all about the public policies - both state and federal - supported by the Humane Society. There are links to the pending laws as well as links to petitions to send off to your senator.
Also go to Shambala and the Roar Foundation's website or Big Cat Rescue to learn more about legislation to stop the breeding and selling of exotic cats. The Roar Foundation is This organization is located in Tampa, Florida but there are many others including Tiger Haven in Tennessee that also care for abused big cats from all over the U.S.

Does this look like the face of an animal your neighbor should own?

I don't think so...

Images - Cats in Italy. 2005

Cat in the doorway of a shop in Orvieto, Italy. February, 2005.

Cat by the Collesium. February, 2005.

The cats at the Collesium are a bit skiddish but this one seemed quite peaceful sitting in the sun. The cats in Rome have a hard life even though there are many people who donate their time and money to feeding them.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Images - Pushkar, India

Camel in the street in Pushkar.

Camels have the reputation for being ornery and this one was no exception. Then again, I might not be too happy having to pull a cart all day either.

Monkeys at the local temple.

My neighbors in Pushkar sharing their dinner.

The Swiss scientist and his girlfriend were staying in Pushkar for a greater part of the year. He was a PhD student studying the cow population. Conversation was a bit difficult because his English was limited to vocabulary related to cows. Luckily, he spoke some French as did my travel companion. They were great neighbors...the monkeys on the other hand, not so much.
A group of monkeys lived on the roof above our rooms and like boys on a playground they swung on our clothes line and wrapped on our windows and doors every morning. They stole our clothes and, obviously, ate our food. Discipline was out of the question - we were their guests and we all tried to be as hospitable as possible.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Images - South Korea. 1998

Woman praying at a temple. Unknown location. Korea. 1998.

Korean Traditional Drumming. Seoul, 1998

Buddha's Birthday. Seoul, 1998