Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nobody is going home on leave. We have only won the war. The revolution has just begun.

While we are on Egypt Revolution, live on TV for the last 16 days, I managed to watch a great movie about a great human being who had inspired me somehow during my New Zealand days.

Read and admire his struggle for the people. He was loved, feared, hated and he was important.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary who was essentially Fidel Castro's number two guy. He helped lead the revolution in Cuba, was a great tactical leader, a poet, doctor, theorist and a man who stood for justice. Whether or not people liked Fidel Castro, everybody loved Che. Even today I see Americans and Latinos alike all wearing Che's picture on their clothes. He stood for justice and he stood for revolution. Guerrillero Heroico, a photograph of Che has been called and voted the greatest photograph of all time. So it would come to no one's surprise that he would be the topic of many pop culture references. Songs have been written about him, books have been written and his picture can be found in countless numbers of movies. He wasnt named in Time's 100 most influential people of the 20th century for nothing. He was loved, feared, hated and he was important.

In 1997 a documentary on Che Guevara was made and Benicio Del Toro, who loved Che and was going to play Che even before the movie was announced, picked up the rights. But after two years of shopping for a director and writer for a new film, a more traditional tale of Che, Del Toro and the producers went hunting for research. They met with people who knew Che through all parts of his life, read all the books on Che, met his widow and even met Fidel Castro himself and talked with him. Finally, after getting all the info they could find, getting Steven Soderbergh to direct, and finding all diary entries and journal entries and postcards ever sent by Che, they started shooting in 2006.

The film was going to be an epic. The story of Che is the story of one of Cuba's biggest heroes. Its the story of a man bigger than life. Its essentially the story of Cuba as a country itself. So instead of just making a two hour movie, they made a 268 minute long movie split into two distinct parts.

The first part is called "The Argentine" and follows Che's early life as a revolutionary, meeting Fidel Castro and staging a massive coup. It shows Fidel and Che winning the Cuban Revolution but, stating the quote above, the war may have been won but the revolution was just getting started. The Argentine is shot in more Hollywoodistic style, very big colors, cranes, stedicams, cut aways, long voice overs and big special effects.

The second part is "Guerrila" is about Che's time in Bolivia and his undercover guerrila warfare he did there when he was trying to help the people. The film is told in days with the last day being the day when he was finally executed. Its split up with title cards and is shot in a much more simple hand held style. Very indie feeling.

The story is massive but is easy to summarize. In 268 minutes they tell the life story of Che beginning with the revolution. Its shot in two distinct ways, both extremly well done and very fun to watch. Like Doctor Zhivago and Lawerence of Arabia, this is a big epic with a lot to say.

The acting is awesome. Benicio Del Toro IS CHE. His acting is so good that I really do believe that that 10 minute standing ovation at the Marxist theatre in Cuba was neccessary. He is brilliant as Che and ecompasses the life of a great man. Whether or not you like Che or have ever even heard of Che, this is an amazing movie that everyone should see. Yeah its over four hours long but if you got the time than this is a must see film.

Egypt's state-run media starting to shift from pro-Mubarak coverage

The clip below - Propaganda from Egypt State TV

Over the past few days, journalists working for Egyptian state media have orchestrated a remarkable uprising of their own: They have begun reporting news that casts the embattled government in a negative light.

Whether the change is a sign of a weakened regime that is losing control or the result of a decision by the government to loosen its grip on information remains unclear. But the shift has been hard to miss. State-run television and newspapers such as the iconic al-Ahram initially dismissed the mass demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak as nonevents. As the crisis has unfolded since Jan. 25, most people have relied on Arabic satellite channels such as al-Jazeera and news accounts from independent Egyptian dailies and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to keep up with events.

As protests against Mubarak's nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule intensified, state television reported on the first lady's gardens and call-in shows featured hysterical women and men entreating people to stop demonstrating. Protesters began carrying banners in Cairo's central Tahrir Square denouncing state-run media and calling the news organizations "liars."

Hoax in the Holy Land: Jerusalem UFO a Proven Fake

Several videos have surfaced online that supposedly show a UFO hovering over an Islamic shrine known as the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem's Temple Mount some time after midnight on Jan. 28. The videos have sparked a furious debate about whether we finally have evidence of UFOs.

As a veteran investigator of many UFO photos and videos, these images strike me as highly dubious, and all signs point to a hoax.

Why are the Jerusalem UFO videos suspicious?'s sister site, Life's Little Mysteries, counts the ways:

First, no one knows who took the videos. In UFO Reports, as in police investigations, anonymous reports are usually a red flag that something's bogus. There are very few legitimate reasons why a genuine witness would not want to be identified. (For example, fear of reprisals from gang members or the mafia; though it seems unlikely that the aliens threatened anyone to keep quiet.)

If you were one of the first people in the world to capture some of the most amazing video footage of a UFO taken in the past decade, why would you post it anonymously on YouTube instead of either submitting it to professional analysis, or making money by selling it to CNN or MSNBC? (In fact, there's some speculation that most or all of the videos were actually posted by a single person, which would guarantee a hoax.) Surely at least one of the videographers -- or someone working with them — would have come forward in the past 10 days to sell their story to a newspaper or tabloid. Suspicious.

Second, not only do we not know who took the footage, but no one other than the videographers reported having seen the lights. The Dome of the Rock is one of the most famous and important religious sites in the world, and there are well over a million people in Jerusalem at any given time—many of them religious tourists near the Temple Mount. It's probable that there were thousands of people in the area at the time, yet no one else reported seeing or videotaping the bright light? Very suspicious.

Jerusalem's dubious UFO.

Third, though one woman can be heard in a videotape saying that the mysterious light was so bright that "you can almost hardly look at it," the object does not seem to reflect any light from the gold-plated dome below it. This is very mysterious indeed, and strongly suggests that the "UFO" light was digitally inserted into the scene. (Note also that a generic light would be among the easiest "UFOs" to fake; you don't need to worry about drawing or animating spaceship windows or wings or shadows on the craft itself.) Super suspicious.

Then there's the strangely small size of the supposed alien aircraft, which can be roughly determined by comparing it to the size of the Dome over which it hovers. The UFO appears to be no more than about fifteen feet long, which seems awfully small for a spacecraft that presumably made it across the universe for its camera cameo.

For anyone who still sees a UFO through the sea of red flags, there's the video analysis that shows evidence of fakery. Robert Sheaffer, a longtime skeptical UFO investigator and author of the Bad UFOs blog told Life's Little Mysteries that, "the original Jerusalem UFO has now been definitely shown to be a hoax. Effects of the video processing software are clearly seen. The hoaxer used Motion Tile effects with edge mirroring to introduce camera shake into the video. You can see the mirroring effects along the edge of the video. This proves that the video did not go directly from the camera to YouTube, that it made a stop in between inside a sophisticated video editing software suite. Once you start editing it like that, a skilled hoaxer can put practically anything in it."

The Jerusalem UFO videos have created much controversy since they first appeared, with many believers vigorously defending the videos as real. They dismiss skeptical explanations such as these, but do not offer any better analysis. In science, of course, it's not enough to simply criticize a theory or explanation — critics are expected to put forth a better solution that fits the facts.

The appearance of the UFO over Jerusalem is ironic; for many, belief in UFOs is based on faith, not evidence.

Benjamin Radford is managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. His web site is:

Life's Little Mysteries is a sister site of