February 22, 2002



Awesome documentary on PBS' Frontline last night... "Rollover," about the SUV industry, and the danger of rollovers in pre-2000 SUVs. The most amazing moment is at the end, when, just out of camera range during an interview (but not out of range of the microphone, and in full view of the interviewee) an SUV actually rolls over, injuring the woman driver. Sometimes you find the story and sometimes the story finds you, I guess.

In other news, eminent historian Jack Granatstein has come to the same conclusions I did re Canada's defence policy: we're never going to spend the extra $5 billion a year it would take to produce a force capable of pursuing independent military policy, so the only sane response left is to find a couple niches that make us useful to the United States, and do those well. Being a longtime pessimist in these matters, however, I have no doubt the national defence review announced yesterday will only produce an opposite and counterproductive result. Oh, well: it's not like Western civilization is lacking its defender right now. If anyone's looking for us for the next century or so, we'll be on the sidelines... or over at the concession stand, I suppose.

Posted by BruceR at 12:38 PM



Time to spend some time away from the university desk job getting back in touch with my khaki-clad roots. I haven't had a photo go nationally in a little while, so the shutter finger's already twitching a little... but they're promising a lot of cool kit and explosives on the particular maneuvers I'm covering, so it'll be fun regardless. See ya all Monday.

In the meantime, a buying recommendation: if it's not in the remainder bin near you yet it soon will be (I got it at half-price), but Microsoft's Crimson Skies is just about the cutest little computer game I've played in a while. Excellent visual quality, great plot, and the kind of hopelessly generous flight physics that just piss true flight sim fans off, but allow the rest of us to at least pretend we're von Richthofen for a little while, convincingly. Fun manual, and acceptably modest required system specs too... the theme, 1930s aerial combat in an alternate timeline seems designed only to people of my father's generation who thought Captain Midnight and the Secret Squadron were the epitome of radio entertainment... but the first time you zoom climb out of the superbly rendered volumetric clouds to realize there's no way you're not going to collide with that pirate Zeppelin... well let's just say I've more than recouped the discounted price in play value.

Lots of mail... will try to answer some of it when I get back. Cheers.

Posted by BruceR at 11:37 AM