October 22nd, 2003


Local Matrix Reloaded trivia.

The scene in Matrix Reloaded where Morpheus is riding on the top of a truck, trying to protect the Keymaster is actually a Matrix-like false reality. If you look at the skyline in several shots, you'll see that the truck is driving towards San Francisco, but if you check out the road signs, you'll notice that the truck is approaching Redwood City, driving south on Hwy. 101. (See the map.)

And yes, if you've seen the chase scene, there really are that many cars on the road, though normally they don't move quite so fast.

On the wrong side of the fence.

The UN general council voted 144-4 to oppose Israel's building of a wall across Palestine, saying that it contradicts international law.

Israel, the US, and two former US - administered colonies, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia, voted against the resolution opposing the wall. Perhaps it's worth pointing out that the CIA World Factbook mentions Micronesia's "overdependence on US aid" and that "US Government assistance is the mainstay" of the Marshall Islands...

Which leaves several countries in the "abstain" column (such as the UK and Australia...) and the rest of the world willing to say that something against international law is, infact, against international law.

Israel has vowed to oppose the decision, which, of course, carries no legal weight in the UN, where the only decisions that count are the ones which the US can veto. Of course, if the US actually believed in international law, they'd have built a mechanism into the UN so that general assembly votes could override vetos from permanent members of the UN security council, but I digress...

How I spent my summer vacation.

When NeXt, the Buffalo News' youth paper, asked readers to respond and let them know what they did on their summer vacation, they didn't expect a letter from a soldier in Iraq...


My name is Deanna Nagel. I read the article in NeXt that said to take NeXt on vacation. I know that I am past the due date and I am not 18 years old or under. I am 21 and also that I am not exactly on what you would call vacation, but it is pretty interesting.

I am in the Army National Guard out of Buffalo. I am a military police officer. In February my unit, the 105th MPs, got activated for up to 365 days. We are presently stationed in Iraq just south of Baghdad. The camp in the background is a camp that we singlehandedly made ourselves. We put up tents, built our own showers and bathrooms. We do our laundry by hand and if we are hungry for lunch we get MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). For breakfast and dinner the food isn't much better. Thanks to my mom, she sends ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese that I can make. Army food just isn't good. My unit has come under attack over 80 times in a six-month span. Once they actually hit our base camp.

I know some of this information children shouldn't know but this is the life we are living right now. We have some 18-year-olds with us experiencing this stuff at that age and even my age. Heck even some 50-year-olds here can't handle it.

If you don't want to publish my "vacation," I completely understand. I just want people to understand what we are going through. I am still here, it will be 179 days on Oct. 14. That was the day we were supposed to go home. But now it looks like it won't be for some time. Well I must be going. Thank you for your support.
- Sincerely, Deanna Nagel