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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost – The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham


You think you know someone, then they choke you to death with a rope you had planned on using to kill yourself. Sigh. Oh well. All’s well that ends well, right? These probably weren’t the first thoughts that crossed John Locke’s mind when he came back to life on the island, but they might be pretty close. It’s no surprise that the death and resurrection of the character would be so satisfying. After all, Terry O’Quinn’s performance throughout the series has always been on point. The difference between Locke as he is presented as a desperate old man to the Oceanic 6, then comparing that to the cool customer he is once he returns to the island is a display of how masterfully O’Quinn can portray the character.

The journey of Locke to persuade the Oceanic 6 to return and the subsequent resurrection on the island was both a heartwarming and heartbreaking one. Much like the scene this season where Sawyer (Josh Holloway) sees Kate (Evangeline Lilly) again on the island (How’s that for alliteration?), we were offered a glimpse into the more vulnerable side of Locke, even getting a little bit of insight into the one love that he lost. But did he really lose Helen Norwood? Maybe it’s just a case of trying to anticipate one twist before the next, but that gravestone we saw looked mighty ordinary. Could Helen still be alive?

The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham helped definitely draw the line between Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) and Charles Widmore (Alan Dale). What is brilliant about said division is that we genuinely have no idea whose side we or the islanders should choose. The coldblooded twist of Ben to manipulate Locke in order to get information about Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Eloise Hawking (Fionnula Flanagan) was not only downright evil, but it led to one of the best endings the show has offered in a while.

Is there anything that comes out of Benjamin’s mouth that we can trust? He told Locke last season that whoever moved the island couldn’t return. So why is he back? Was that not part of the plan? If so, then why does he tell Locke that he is going to miss him? Let’s go ahead and set the record straight. Benjamin Linus is one of the greatest and most complex characters we’ve ever seen on television.

The fifth season of Lost has efficiently tied up a great amount of loose ends, but the question is where are we headed now? Will Ben be able to convince Locke that the ends justified the means in terms of his death? What happened to Aaron? (William Blanchette) We’re not sure, but we are certain that Lost is hitting its stride. Wherever Lost takes us, we will follow.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Boy A (2007) DVDrip

I've been thinking for a while that after Hollywood stops trying to reinvent itself or more like cannibalizing itself by going back and remaking classics, mostly ruining classics, they should just look at the news, the really news, stop idolizing and picking on their own, and see what tragic or wonderful world, it can be. "Boy A" is a perfect example of what happens when the media gets a hold of a spectacular story, one that might be tragic or devastating, but it still offers enough drama to cast a spell on us. Write a good book about it ("In Cold Blood" comes to mind), adapt it into a couple of decent films, and you can certainly catch fire.

"Boy A" explores an obscure case in America, but apparently a very famous one in England, telling the story of a released convict who might have more than a few problems adapting back to society. It is essential that his identity remain secret because the consequences can be horrendous for all parties involved.

The audience's main concern at first appear to be whether the main character has been rehabilitated and is able to deal with his new freedom. Garfield's performance is so good, it brings to mind the vulnerability shown by Timothy Hutton in "Ordinary People", that of a bruised soul that is very strong but also quite close to an emotional collapse if not nurtured properly. Garfield's character is damaged from his early life to the abuse he suffers at the hand of his childhood friend, the one that eventually gets him in jail. It is not very clear how responsible he is for the crime that eventually incarcerated him, but what is clear is that he needs a lot of support, and any interference will be catastrophic.

In the end, we know there has to be some type of revelation, and it is the degree of the pain that the revelation brings that we want to see and we dread all the time. We grow to like this young man. Maybe because he might not be very different from many in our world, maybe because he is another victim of a cold and fractured society. The film will open wounds in many who have been disappointed and hurt, and it will mostly teach a few people a lesson about what we can do to prevent any more tragedies like these from occurring again.

It is an admirable achievement.

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Life is Beautiful AKA Vita è bella, La (1997) DVDrip


It's 1939. The ebullient, playful Guido comes to town. He works as a waiter under the watchful eye of his uncle, an elegant man who is a Jew. Guido falls for Dora, a schoolteacher, whom he calls "princess" and courts by popping up at unexpected times. She dumps her fiancé to choose Guido. The film jumps ahead to the war's last months. Nora and Guido have a child, Giosué, and when Guido and the lad are shipped to a concentration camp, Dora voluntarily follows. Although the men and women in the camp are separated and a child is in mortal peril, Guido finds ways to communicate with Dora, to hide Giosué, and to convince the boy this is an elaborate game, a special contest to win a tank.

The film starts in the 1930s when Guido relocates from the country to a large Tuscan town where he falls in love with schoolteacher Dora. She is already engaged to another guy, but Guido stills fights for her. The story continues 5 years later, during wartime, Guido is married to Dora and they have a son called Giosue. Guido is of Jewish origin, and he is sent to a concentration camp with Giosue and Dora follows them, only to be sent to another part of the camp.

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Malèna (2000) DVDrip

On the day in 1940 that Italy enters the war, two things happen to the 12-year-old Renato: he gets his first bike, and he gets his first look at Malèna, a beautiful, silent outsider who's moved to this Sicilian town to be with her husband Nico who promptly goes off to war, leaving her to the lustful eyes of the men and the sharp tongues of the women. During the next few years, as Renato grows toward manhood, he watches Malèna suffer and prove her mettle: her loneliness, then grief when Nico is reported dead, the effects of slander on her relationship with her father, her poverty and search for work, and final humiliations. Will Renato learn courage from Malèna and stand up for her?

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) DVDrip


The movie is absolutely hilarious. I loved it. It met and exceeded by (very high) expectations. Jason Segall proved he can hold down a leading role and an extremely funny script. Part of the reason this movie is so funny are the "funny 'cause it's true" aspects of Peter's method of dealing with his breakup. Although the honeymooner's plot was a little unnecessary, everything else was great. All the characters were really funny and the dialogue and situations were hilarious. Definitely worth paying for to see in the theaters and watching it with everyone else around you busting out laughing as well is a worthy experience too.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tight, Huh?

A guy and a girl are in a heavy make out session when the girl asks the guy to put his finger inside her. He does.

She asks him to put two fingers inside. He does.

She asks him to put his whole hand in. He does.

Then, she asks him to put in his other hand and clap. He puts in the other hand, but he can't clap.

She smiles, "Tight, huh? I told you I was a virgin!"

Punishment for Gates

Satan greets him: "Welcome Mr. Gates, we've been waiting for you. This will be your home for all eternity. You've been selfish, greedy and a big liar all your life. Now, since you've got me in a good mood, I'll be generous and give you a choice of three places in which you'll be locked up forever.

Satan takes Bill to a huge lake of fire in which millions of poor souls are tormented and tortured. He then takes him to a massive coliseum where thousands of people are chased about and devoured by starving lions. Finally, he takes Bill to a tiny room in which there is a bottle of the finest wine sitting on a table. To Bill's delight, he sees a PC in the corner. Without hesitation, Bill says "I'll take this option."

"Fine," says Satan, allowing Bill to enter the room. Satan locks the room after Bill.

As he turns around, he bumps into Lucifer. "That was Bill Gates!" cried Lucifer. "Why did you give him the best place of all!"

"That's what everyone thinks" snickered Satan.

"The bottle has a hole in it!"

"What about the PC?"

"It's got Windows 95!" laughed Satan.

"And it's missing three keys,"

"Which three?"

"Control, Alt and Delete."

Police chief hates you

Ten Signs The Police Chief Hates You

10. He sends you on drug raids....alone.

9. He refers to you as "Our Little Mascot."


8. The job description in your contract includes "crash test dummy" and "pepper-spray test subject."

7. Instead of a gun, you were issued a water pistol.

6. He always tells you that only wimps call for back-up.


5. He lied to you about an "officer exchange program" and put you on a plane to Siberia.

4. He doesn't like to be seen with you in public.


3. He makes up "missing persons" and then sends you to look for them.

2. You always get the patrol car with the flat tire, no gas, a dead battery, and a broken air conditioner.


1. Your locker is also the broom closet!!

Reasons to stay at work all night

1. Act out your version of a company takeover.

2. Find a way to change everyone's password to "chrysanthemum".

3. Around 3:20am, play connect-the-dots with lights still on in other office buildings. Keep going until you see a small woodland creature.

4. Sneaking in the boss's desk could land you an unexpected promotion.

5. Draw stick people in all the landscape pictures on the walls, and in the morning, be the first to point out "what a terrible thing that someone did this to such beautiful works of art".

6. Go into the other gender's bathroom without fear of being caught.


7. Run up and down the hallways screaming, hoping security will come so you can have someone to talk to.


8. Leave prank messages on the CEO's voice mail.

9. Finally, a chance to live out a dream and pretend to be your boss.

10. Elevator surfing!

Shottas (2002) DVDrip


A bit uneven, Shottas suffers from low quality transfers that just add to the film's problems. My dvd copy would sometimes cut to a black screen that would say: Insert more robbery scenes here. Technical problems aside: the meaningful dialogue is quite slim- character development seems aimed at an increase in robberies, the direction is lop-sided and meandering, never really wanting to show you much more than hot chicks and nice whips(would have made for a nice extended music video). While I did like the music, it's over-used and just sort of "there"- didn't do much for the film other than elicit some head-nodding on my part. The Anderson character is a joke-he's a political-bad guy cut-out. And how about that "tongue-in-cheek" joke about Wyclef's character banking on a music career? Horrible. Did I care what happened at the end of the film to the main characters? Not really, they were bad people who did bad things, a sentiment I held regarding Cess Silvera's directing effort.

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Kabluey (2007) DVDrip



For being a low budget movie, one doesn't expect the thrills and spills of the typical mainstream family comedies out there. A friend of mine recommended this as a great movie in which he 'laughed the whole way through.' I decided to check it out for myself. Optimistically, I sat down looking forward to a classic, but after 40 minutes of slow paced bad acting my patience was starting to grow thin. I thought the blue suit idea had a lot of potential and would take the main character on all sorts of wild adventures with all kinds of characters, however many dragged out boring scenes of the same characters (mad woman driving past in Ford Capri trying to run him over), which were unfunny in the first place consumed a fair proportion of this God-awful movie instead. This left me really frustrated and I've lost count of how many times I had to sit up to stop myself from falling asleep.

For the entirety I gave the movie a chance to get better, but it never did pick up. For being a comedy movie I was shocked,... I did not laugh once, nor did I find anything funny about the film. The storyline was boring (Father goes off to Iraq and brother takes care of his kids and his wife gets him a job, because she is fed up with him) and the acting was atrocious.

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Jumper (2008) DVDrip

In Ann Arbor, the teenager David Rice was left by his mother when he was five years-old; he does not have a good relationship with his father; and he has a crush on his schoolmate Millie Harris. When David gives a snow globe with the Eiffel Tower to Millie, the bully Mark Kobold throws it onto a frozen river. David tries to retrieve the object, but the ice shatters and David fall under the ice. Suddenly he teleports himself to a library and discovers that he has the ability to jump anywhere he wants. He decides to run away home, moving to New York, and uses his power to rob a bank vault. Eight years later, David is living in a fancy apartment in New York and having a life full of adventure, traveling to the most exotic places in the world. He decides to visit Millie in Ann Arbor and invites her to visit Rome. While in the Coliseum, David meets the jumper Griffin that explains to him that the dangerous Roland Cox and his team of Paladins are chasing him and his family and friends are in danger.

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Picture Perfect (1997) DVDrip

Kate is working on a career at Mercer Advertising, but she is passed up for promotion because she is 'not stable enough', still being single and having no ties to the company. She makes up a story about being engaged to Nick, a guy whom she just met at a friends' wedding. All seems to work out well for Kate. She even gets the attention of a colleague she had always wanted, but then events take a dramatic turn forcing her to 'present' her alleged fiancee to her boss.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Easter Jokes

Q: How do bunnies stay healthy?
A: Eggercise

Q: What do you get when you cross a chicken and the Easter Bunny?
A: A good Easter.

Q: What do you call Easter when you are hopping around?
A: Hoppy Easter!

Q: "Why are you studying your Easter candy?"
A: "I'm trying to decide which came first-the chocolate chicken or the chocolate egg!"

Q: What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?
A: A Hot Cross bunny.

Q: What do you get when you cross a bunny with a spider?
A: A harenet.

Q: What did the bunny say when he only had thistles to eat?
A: Thistle have to do!

Q: Is it true that bunnies have good eye sight?
A: Well you never see a bunny wearing glasses, do you?

Q: What did the grey rabbit say to the blue rabbit?
A: Cheer up!

Q: Why is a bunny the luckiest animal in the world?
A: It has 4 rabbits' feet.

A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside The Pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"

My friend replied, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."

The Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?"

He whispered back, "I'm in the secret service. "

Three blondes died in a car crash trying to jump the Grand Canyon and are at the pearly gates of heaven. St Peter tells them that they can enter the gates only if they can answer one simple religious question. The question posed by St. Peter is "What is Easter"?

The first blonde replies, "Oh, that's easy! It's the holiday in November when everyone gets together, eats turkey and are thankful..." "Wrong!, you are not welcome here, I'm afraid. You must go to the other place!" replies St. Peter.

He turns to the second blonde, and asks her the same question: "What is Easter?" The second blonde replies, "Easter is the holiday in December when we put up a nice tree, exchange presents, and celebrate the birth of Jesus."

St Peter looks at the second blonde, bangs his head on the on the pearly gates in disgust and tells her she's wrong and will have to join her friend in the other place. She is not welcome in Heaven.

He then peers over his glasses at the third blonde and asks, "Do YOU know what Easter is"? The third blonde smiles confidently and looks St Peter in the eyes, "I know what Easter is." "Oh?" says St Peter, incredulously. "Easter is the Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover. Jesus and his disciples were eating at the last supper and Jesus was later deceived and turned over to the Romans by one of his disciples. The Romans took him to be crucified and he was stabbed in the side, made to wear a crown of thorns, and was hung on a cross with nails through his hands and feet. He was buried in a nearby cave which was sealed off by a large boulder." St Peter smiled broadly with delight. The third blonde continued... "Every year the boulder is moved aside so that Jesus can come out and, if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pray For Gifts

Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents the week before Christmas. At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers when the youngest one began praying at the top of his lungs.

"I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE...
I PRAY FOR A NEW NINTENDO...
I PRAY FOR A NEW VCR..."

His older brother leaned over and nudged the younger brother and said, "Why are you shouting your prayers? God isn't deaf." To which the little brother replied, "No, but Grandma is!"

Blind Carpenter


A blind carpenter walks into a lumber mill and shouts out, "I am a blind carpenter and I need a job."

The foreman walks over to the blind carpenter and says, "If you're blind, how can you work in a lumber yard?"

The blind carpenter says, "I can tell any piece of lumber by it's smell."

The foreman says "O.K. I'll give you a test and if you pass the test, you've got a job."

The foreman takes the carpenter over to a table and says, "I will put some lumber on a table in front of you and you tell me what it is."

The foreman then puts a piece of lumber on the table and says, "Ready!"

The carpenter bends over and takes a deep sniff moving his head from one side to the other. He says "That's a number two pine, two by four, eight foot long."

The foreman says, "Duh! That's right, but pine is easy to tell by the smell and I think you guessed the rest. Here's another piece of lumber for you to identify."

The foreman puts a piece of lumber on the table and says, "Ready!"

The blind carpenter bends over and takes a deep sniff moving his head from one side to the other and says, "This is a tough one, please turn it over so I can smell the other side."

The foreman does this and says "Ready!"

The carpenter takes another deep sniff moving his head from side to side. He then says, "That's a clear heart red wood, four by four, six foot long."

The foreman is amazed and says "That's right, but I still think you're just lucky and still guessing. Let me try one more time and if you get it right you got a job."

The foreman then goes into the office and asks his secretary to help him stump the blind carpenter by taking off all of her clothes and laying down on the table. She takes off her clothes walks out of the office and lays face down on the table. The foreman says, "Ready!"

The blind carpenter takes a deep sniff moving his head from side to side. He looks puzzled and takes another sniff and says, "This also is a tough one, please turn it over so I can smell the other side."

The foreman gestures with his hand to the secretary, she rolls over, and the foreman says, "Ready!"

The blind carpenter moves his head from side to side again looking puzzled. He sniffs one more time, looks surprised, and says, "I got it. That's a shit house door off a tuna boat."

He got the job.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Student Fails ?

Why student fails in exam???????

Its not the fault of the student if he/she fails, Because the year has an ONLY 365 days. Typical academic year for a student.

1. Sundays- 52,Sundays in a year, which are rest days. Balance 313 days.

2. Summer holidays-50 where weather is very hot and difficult to study. Balance 263 days.

3. 8 hours daily sleep-means 122 days. Balance 141 days.

4. 1 hour for daily playing-(good for health) means 15 days. Balance 126 days.

5. Two hours daily for food & other delicacies (chew properly & eat)-means 30 days. Balance 96 days.

6. 1 hour for talking (man is a social animal)-means 15 days . Balance 81 days.

7. Exam days per year at least 35 days. Balance 46 days.

8. Quarterly, Half yearly and festival holidays)-40 days. Balance 6 days.

9. For sickness at least 3 days. Balance 3 days.

10. Movies and functions at least 2 days. Balance 1 day.

11. That 1 day is your birthday.


Three reasons

TEACHER :Give me three reasons why the world is round ?

Pupil : Well my dad says so, my mum says so and you say so !

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stumping Dear Abby

Dear Abby admitted she was at a total loss to answer these...

Dear Abby:

A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher, and the other is a social worker in her mid-twenties. These two women go everywhere together, and I've never seen a man go into their apartment or come out. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

-----------------
Dear Abby:

What can I do about all the sex, nudity, language and violence on my VCR?

-----------------

Dear Abby:

I have a man I never could trust. He cheats so much I'm not even sure this baby I'm carrying is his.

-----------------

Dear Abby:

I am a twenty-three-year-old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It's getting expensive, and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don't know him well enough to discuss money with him.

-----------------

Dear Abby:

I suspected that my husband had been fooling around, and when I confronted him with the evidence he denied everything and said it would never happen again. Should I believe him?

-----------------

Dear Abby:

Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own religion?

-----------------

Dear Abby:

I joined the Navy to see the world. I've seen it. Now, how do I get out?

-----------------

Dear Abby:

My 40-year-old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50 an hour every week for two-and-a-half years. Is he crazy?

-----------------

Dear Abby:

Do you think it would be all right if I gave my doctor a little gift? I tried for years to get pregnant and couldn't, but he finally did it.

-----------------

Dear Abby:

My mother is mean and short-tempered. Do you think she is going through her mental pause?

-----------------


Dear Abby:

You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor. Well, my husband lost all interest in sex years ago and he IS a doctor. What do I do?

Step, step, Roar

A little boy walked down the aisle at a wedding. As he made his way to the front, he would take two steps, then stop, and turn to the crowd, alternating between the bride's side and the groom's side. While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar. And so it went-step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR-all the way down the aisle.
As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard by the time he reached the pulpit.
The little boy, however, was getting more and more distressed from all the laughing, and he was near tears by the time he reached the pulpit.
When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed back his tears and said, "I was being the ring bear."

Sweet child

A certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply, "I'm Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter." Her mother told her this was wrong, she must say,"I'm Janey Sugarbrown."

The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said,"Aren't you Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter?"

With her mother standing just a few feet away, the little girl replied, "I thought I was, but Mommy says I'm not."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Fragment On Goverment


Book Description Originally prepared as a part of Bentham's collected works, this volume now makes one of the central texts in the development of utilitarian tradition available in its own authoritative 1977 edition.

Book Description
Bentham, Jeremy. A fragment on Government. Edited with an Introduction by F.C. Montague. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1891. xii, 241 pp. Reprinted 2001 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.. ISBN 1-58477-166-6. Cloth. $ 65. Bentham's first published work, an essay on sovereignty that criticizes Blackstone's Commentaries attacks and contemporary views on politics and law. This edition includes F.C. Montague's scholarly introduction that shows the significance of the fragment and includes a biography of Bentham [1748-1832] and a discussion of his role in the history of Jurisprudence. "The fragment on Government is primarily a criticism. If it were nothing more, it would have no interest for later generations, which do not regard Blackstone as an authority upon speculative questions of politics or history, and therefore do not need to have Blackstone's theories corrected or disproved. But in criticizing Blackstone's views, Bentham necessarily expounds his own. As Bentham is one of the few English writers of the mark upon the theory of political institutions, and as his Doctrine forms a link in the chain of English political philosophy, we still read the fragment of Government in order to see, not how far Blackstone was wrong, but how far Bentham was right. " Introduction 59.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Job Application

This is an actual job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's fast-food establishment in Florida... and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!

NAME: Greg Bulmash

SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.

DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.

EDUCATION: Yes.

LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

SALARY: Less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.

REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked.

HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.

PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?

DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS?: Of what?

DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: Yes. Absolutely.

SIGN HERE: Aries.

Daddy's Password


I know Daddy's password!
While my brother-in-law was tapping away on his home computer, his ten-year-old daughter sneaked up behind him. Then she turned and ran into the kitchen, squealing to the rest of the family, "I know Daddy's password! I know Daddy's password!"

"What is it? her sisters asked eagerly.

Proudly she replied, "Asterisk, asterisk, asterisk, asterisk, asterisk!"

10 Years


Back during the days of the Soviet Union, it took 10 years to get a car after you paid for one.
Once, a young guy went to the car dealership to order a car. He paid the money, and the asked when can he come and get the car.
"It will be here, waiting for you, exactly 10 years from today".
The man signed the papers, started waliking away and then stooped, turned and asked the salesman: "Wait, will it be ready at the morning or at the afternnon".
"What difference does it make?", asked the salesman.
"Well", answered the man, "the plumber is coming in the morning".

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jeremy Bentham photos
















Events

1748:
Bentham is Born.
David Hume writes Human Understanding.


1749:
Henry Fielding is writing Tom Jones.


1750:
Dr. Johnson is busy writing his dictionary.


1754:
The start of the Seven Years War.


1756:
Edmund Burke published A Vindication of Natural Society.


1759:
The British Conquest of America.


1760:
Twelve year old Bentham enters Oxford University.


1763:
End of The Seven Years War and the signing of The Treaty of Paris.
Lord Shelburne (1737-1805), an alumnus of Oxford, an army officer, a parliamentarian, and, who, was to become a powerful supporter of Bentham, is appointed the president of the Board of Trade (a very important position in those days ).


1765:
The Stamp Act is passed by the British Parliament.


1767:
Voltaire dies.


1769:
At around this time, Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780) brings out his Commentaries on the Law of England.


1770:
The members of the "Long Parliament" take their seats, it sat for 15 years, until 1785.


1772:
Having studied at Lincoln's Inn since 1763, Bentham is called to the bar.


1775:
Edmund Burke brings out On Conciliation with the American Colonies.


1776:
July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress carries a motion for the independence of the 13 states on the East coast of America. Two days later the Declaration of Independence is adopted.
Edward Gibbon gives forth with his first volume of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
David Hume dies.
Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations is published.
Bentham's work, A fragment on Government comes out.


1781:
British troops under Cornwallis surrender at Yorktown.


1783:
December 13th, penal laws against Roman Catholics repealed.
British evacuate New York.


1785:
The Big Bang of the Industrial Revolution occurs in England, when, for the first time, steam engines are used to power spinning machinery.
Bentham, in his travels around the continent, visits Russia, (1785-88).


1789:
Bentham brings out his Introduction to the Principles of Legislation and morals.


1790:
writes Burke Reflections on the French Revolution.


1792:
Paine's reply, The Rights of Man.
September massacres in Paris.


1793:
In January Louis XVI is beheaded.
Godwin's Political Justice appears.
The trials of the "Reform-martyrs," Muir and Palmer who were subsequently transported to Botany Bay, this was part of the larger government effort to prosecute editors, nonconformists and radicals who were arguing for Parliamentary Reform.


1794:
A simple device for separating cotton from seeds Lint is patented by Eli Whitney.


1796:
Edward Jenner discovers the prophylactic power of vaccination.


1797:
In January, with Bonaparte having successfully invaded Italy and Spain coming in on the side of France, Britain withdrew her ships from the Mediterranean, which was to become a "French Lake" from January 1797 to May 1798.


1798:
Malthus brings out his Essay on the Principle of Population. "
Coleridge and Wordsworth bring out Lyrical Ballads.
Nelson re-enters the Mediterranean in May, 1798, and destroys Napoleon's fleet.


1802:
The Treaty of Amiens is signed and the war between France and England is ended leaving France supreme in Western Europe and England supreme on the Ocean of the world.


1803:
Malthus brings out the second edition of his Essay on the Principle of Population. "


1804:
War between Britain and Bonaparte-dominated Spain breaks out on December 12th, 1804.
Napoleon becomes emperor of France.


1805:
In 1805, Trevithick adapts the Watt engine to a vehicle, and the locomotive comes into being. By the middle of the century a network of Railways had spread all over Europe.
Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.


1806:
In 1806 England abolishes the slave-trade (in 1833 slavery itself).


1807:
Fulton's first steam boat.


1808:
In support of a Spanish rising, in July, Arthur Wellesley (later to become known as the Duke of Wellington) leads the first small British force of 9000 men into the Peninsula of Spain; a gate into the hostile fortress of Napoleonic Europe.
Bentham meets James Mill.


1811:
Austen's Sense and Sensibility.
The English Parliament passes an anti-slave trade bill and the 1811 felony Act becomes law, and it killed the slave trade dead.


1812:
On 18 June, 1812, President Madison and the American Congress declares war on Britain.


1813:
It was during the winter that the news came of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow and his struggle to retain hold of central Europe.
In England, 13 "Luddites" are hung at the York Assizes.


1815:
June 18th, 1815, the Battle of Waterloo.


1817:
Ricardo's, Principles of Political Economy & Taxation.
Habeas Corpus is suspended as the war against the radical Press in England heats up.


1819:
"Peterloo:" On August 16th, 1819, "an orderly and unarmed crowed of about 60,000 men, women and children" assemble in support of universal suffrage, in St. Peter's Fields, Manchester. They were there to hear the speaker, radical Hunt. The Magistrates, in a move to arrest the speaker, the cavalry in order: "eleven persons, including two women, were killed or died of their injuries; over a hundred were wounded by Sabers and several hundred more injured by horse-hoofs or crushed in the Stampede. "(GM Trevelyan's British History in the Nineteenth Century, p. 189.)
Keats, Hyperion; Shelley, Promethus Unbound.
A Factory Bill prohibiting children under the age of nine to work in cotton mills is passed in 1819, this is the first of a series of parliamentary bills which were to be passed over the next forty years in a process of law Reform which was first prompted by the Writings of Jeremy Bentham.


1821:
Michael Faraday (1791-1867) discovers electromagnetic induction.


1822:
Shelley dies.


1824:
Lord Byron dies.


1825:
The first railway opens in the northern part of England, between Stockton and Darlinton; Stephenson's "Rocket," with a thirteen ton train, gets up a speed of 44 miles per hour.


1827:
On 27th March, 1827, Darwin gives a short talk to the Plinian Society, and communicates two Discoveries which he has made: First, "that the ova of the Flustra posses organs of motion, and the second, that the small black globular body hitherto mistaken for the young Fucus Lorius [a seaweed], is in reality the ovum of the pontobdella muricata [a Leech that infests skates]. At the request of the society he promised to draw up an account of the facts and to lay it, together with specimens, before the Society next evening. "


1828:
Wm. Cobbett and Richard Carlile put on trial for articles in the Press; Cobbett, at least, was acquitted.


1832:
Darwin sails on the Beagle.
The Great Reform Bill.
Bentham dies.



Source: blupete.com

Conclusions

While he did much to lay the ground work for the English legislative Reform which was to take place in the 19th century, Bentham's Conclusions on how law came about, his lack of understanding of the process which was more fully understood subsequent to his passing (Darwinian evolution), led his followers, in subsequent years, to apply positive law unworkable to the problems of social and industrial development. The fact is that no one mind, no group of minds in a collective, can devise laws for society, and certainly not within a single human generation. Jeremy Bentham was right to this extent: we are capable and it is right that we continue to examine the reasons for the various happy and sad conditions of man; and, in certain limited circumstances, we should pass restrictive laws to better guide the natural development of the Voluntary rules which are part of that which we know as natural law.

Source: blupete.com

Criticisms

Jeremy Bentham's thinking in respect to how laws come about and the need for coercive law, is, faulty. Bentham's doctrines, wrapped up and known as utilitarianism, as Chambers observes, "was crude and full of inconsistencies, basing itself on purely Quantitative considerations." Charles Kay Ogden (1889-1957) of Cambridge University, observed that Bentham had,

"... A very powerful influence in the political and legal sphere, but that as a thinker he was not very original, not even very profound, a trifle confused on ultimate philosophical issues and prone to over simplify complex problems and pedantic ... systematizer opinionated, radical overrated by his contemporaries ... "

Sydney Smith12, a contemporary, and who might be counted as one of Bentham's supporters, saw the Difficulty with Bentham's methodology:

"Mr. Bentham is long; Mr. Bentham is occasionally involved and obscure; Mr. Bentham invents new and alarming expressions; Mr. Bentham loves division and subdivision - and he loves method itself, more than its consequences."

I might add that if any of the 'Benthamites' had any knowledge of the theory of evolution (Darwin was later to came along in the 19th century) they might have admitted that tradition had a role.

We have already referred to Hazlitt and Hazlitt's views on Bentham as a writer, what did Hazlitt think of Bentham's view of legislation and its place in the guidance of men's activity:

"The gentleman is himself a logician capital; and he has been led by this circumstance to consider man as a logical animal. We fear this view of the matter will hardly hold water. If we attend to the moral man, the constitution of his mind will scarcely be found to be built up of pure reason and a regard to consequences: if we consider the criminal man (with whom the legislators has chiefly to do), it will be found to be still less so. "

Hazlitt points out that legislators and Criminals are quite a different species, and continues:

"Mr Bentham, in adjusting the provisions of a penal code, lays too little stress on the co-operation of the natural prejudices of mankind ... The laws of the country are therefore ineffectual and abortive, because they are made by the rich for the poor, by the wise for the ignorant, by the respectable and exalted in station for the very scum and refuse of the community. "

People value the good opinion of others and of their place in their family and in their society. It is for shame, not fear, that people obey laws. Hazlitt continues:

"You tell a person [a drunk, an idler, a gambler, a culprit, or a criminal] of this stamp what is his interest, he says he does not care about his interest, or the world and he differ on that particular. But there is one point on which he must agree with them, namely, what they think of his conduct, and that is the only hold you have of him. A man may be callous and indifferent to what happens to himself, but he is never indifferent to public opinion or proof against open scorn and infamy.
Shame, then, not fear, is the sheet-anchor of the law ... It is the apprehension of being stigmatized by public opinion, the fear of what will be thought and said of them, that deters men from the violation of the laws, while their character remains unimpeached; but honor once lost, all is lost. The man can never be himself again! A citizen is like a soldier, a part of a machine, who submits to certain hardships, privations, and dangers, not for his own ease, pleasure, profit, or even conscience, but - for shame. "

There have been many, through the years, that envisaged a perfect and well ordered society; Bentham was one, and he felt it might be achieved through legislation. Jeremy Bentham like many had an optimistic view that the nature of man might be changed. As Hazlitt observed, "Miracles never cease, to be sure, but they are not to be had wholesale, or to order."

Source: blupete.com

Bentham's Philosophy

Jeremy Bentham figured that laws should be Socially useful and not merely reflect the status quo, and, that while he believed that men inevitably pursue pleasure and avoid pain, Bentham thought it to be a "Sacred truth" that "the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. " Bentham supposed that the whole of morality could be derived from "enlightened self-interest," and that a person who always acted with a view to his own maximum satisfaction in the long run would always act rightly.

Bentham is to be compared to William Godwin: they resembled one another in their "blind contempt for the past." While each preached the need for nonviolent revolution, each had a different following. Bentham's revolution was to be effected by legislation, by godwin's arguments.

Jeremy Bentham was critical of the approach taken by Blackstone in his Commentaries (1765-9). Commentaries was written by Blackstone (university teacher, lawyer, and, in time, a judge); he meant it to be a clear and concise statement of the common law, and ordered elucidated, to be used by the busy practitioner. Bentham thought it deficient, as it did not consider the social impact of the law (however, I should say here, that it was not Blackstone's purpose to make any statement about the consequences of the law, one way or the other; Blackstone was not a law reformer.)

It was in his book, Introduction to the Principles of morals and Legislation (1789), Bentham strove "to cut a new road through the wilds of Jurisprudence." In it he was to develop the idea that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should govern our judgment of every institution and action. This simplified view, viz., We proceed with legislative action which will bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number, was, apparently, to be the only extent of Bentham's thought. Jeremy Bentham was not, according to William Hazlitt, an original thinker, he was, a compiler.

"But Mr. Bentham's forte is the Arrangement, and the form of truth, though not its essence, varies with time and circumstance. He has methodized, collated, and condensed all the materials prepared to his hand on the subject of which he treats, in a masterly and scientific manner; but we should find a Difficulty in adducing from his different works (however elaborate or closely reasoned) any new element of thought, or even a few fact or Illustration. His writing is, therefore, chiefly valuable as books of reference, as bringing down the account of intellectual inquiry to the present period, and disposing the results in a compendious, connected, and tangible shape; but books of reference are chiefly serviceable for facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, and are constantly liable to be superseded and to grow out of fashion with its progress, as the scaffolding is thrown down as soon as the building is completed.
"...
"There is a technicality of manner, which renders his Writings of more value to the professional Inquirer than to the general reader. Again, his style is unpopular, not to say unintelligible. He writes a language of his own that darkens knowledge. His works have been translated into French - they ought to be translated into English. People wonder that Mr. Bentham has not been prosecuted for the boldness and severity of some of his invectives. He might wrap up high treason in one of his inextricable periods, and it would never find its way into Westminster Hall. He is a kind of Manuscript author - he writes a Cypher-hand, which the vulgar have no key to. The construction of his sentences is a curious frame-work with hooks and pegs to hang his thoughts upon, for his own use and guidance, but almost out of the reach of everybody else. It is a barbarous philosophical jargon, with all the repetitions, parentheses, formalities, uncouth nomenclature and verbiage of law-Latin; and what makes it worse , it is not mere verbiage, but has a great deal of acuteness and meaning in it, which you would be glad to pick out if you could.

Source: blupete.com

Bentham's Life

Jeremy Bentham was born a London attorney's son; he was educated at Westminster School and at the age of twelve was sent off to Oxford (Queen's College). From 1763, he studied law at Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in 1772.

The story is that Jeremy Bentham was obliged to seek a date to meet with the Master in Chancery. Presumably Bentham got what he was looking for, or not (likely not); but, and the point is, that Bentham came away from one of his first court appearances with the view that it took three times the trouble and three times the money that it should: the law in Bentham's view was in dire need of revision and he set out, in his life's work, to reform it.

During 1776, Bentham brought out his first major work, A Fragment on Government. It was about this time, too, that Bentham was to become a friend with a powerful lord, Lord Shelburne (1737-1805). Apparently, through the auspices of Lord Shelburne, Bentham was able to take time, to travel and to write.

A number of years were to pass before Jeremy Bentham came to the attention of the juridic thinkers of the time (it was to be 1808 before Bentham was to meet James Mill). Bentham was thought to be more European in his views than English, but in time "a knot of able thinkers gathered round him." These included James Mill (the father of John Stuart Mill) and David Ricardo. The 'Benthamites' were to gradually gain ascendancy in political matters. Bentham, himself, in time, was to go on and be the founder of University College, at London.

"He [Bentham] has lived for the last forty years in a house in Westminster, overlooking the Park, like an anchoret in his cell, reducing law to a system, and the mind of a machine. ... His eye is quick and lively; but it glances not from object to object, but from thought to thought. He is evidently a man occupied with some train of fine and inward association. He regards the people about him no more than the flies of summer. He meditates the coming age. He hears and sees only what suits his purpose, or some 'foregone conclusion'; and looks out for facts and passing occurrences in order to put them into his logical machinery and grind them into the dust and powder of some subtle theory, as the miller looks out for grist to his mill!" (William Hazlitt.)

Hazlitt was to describe Jeremy Bentham as a person who had "an unconscious neglect of his own person," "good-humoured, placid intelligence," one who "is a beneficent spirit, prying into the universe, ... a thoughtful spectator of the scenes of life, or ruminator on the fate of mankind ..."

"Mr. Bentham relieves his mind sometimes, after the fatigue of study, by playing on a fine old organ, and has a relish for Hogarth's prints. He turns wooden utensils in a lathe for exercise, and fancies he can turn men in the same manner."

Source: blupete.com