Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ribbleway Footbridge...

Length: 44 meters per arm
Clearance: 8 meters
Where: Lancashire, England
Opened: tbd
Use/Status: Pedestrian Bridge / planning stage
Official Name: Hacking Ferry Bridge
Crosses: Confluence of rivers Ribble and Calder
Design: Flint & Neill Partnership with Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Structural Type: Three Pronged Arch Bridge using GRP Permanent Formwork

Monday, October 30, 2006

Rolling Bridge...

Total Length: 45 ft
Clearance: less than two feet.
Where: Grand Union Canal, Paddington Basin, London, UK
Opened: 2004
Use/Status: Pedestrian Footbridge / in use
Official Name: The Rolling Bridge at Grand Union Canal
Crosses: Grand Union Canal
Design: Thomas Hetherwick Studio
Engineer: SKM Anthony Hunt with Packman Lucas
Builder: Littlehampton Welding, Ltd.
Structural Type: Curling Bridge

This playful steel and timber footbridge set in a new residential and retail quarter of London appears normal enough to pedestrians until a boat comes along. At the press of a button, hydraulic rams built into the handrails curl the eight sections into a tight octagonal ball, like an armadillo under siege. The bridge rolls up for the weekend, each Friday at noon, a spectacle that draws huge crowds of tourists and note-taking engineers. The Rolling Bridge won the British Structural Steel Design Award in 2005.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Calatrava's Sundial Footbridge...

Total Length: 700 feet
Clearance: 80 feet
Where: Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California, USA
Opened: 2004
Use/Status: Pedestrian Footbridge / in use
Official Name: The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay
Crosses: Sacramento River
Design: Santaigo Calatrava
Engineer: Tensor Engineering, Buckland & Taylor Ltd.
Builder: Kiewit Pacific Co., USI
Structural Type: Cantilever Spar Cable-stayed Bridge

A single 217-foot inclined pylon holds up this steel, glass, and granite footbridge which doubles as a working sundial, one day a year. The transparent walkway enables pedestrians to see the river passing under them. Many of the townspeople of Redding were shocked by its appearance and $23 Million price tag. Still, environmentalists love the bridge because it never touches the water, leaving salmon and other aquatic life undisturbed (birds, on the other hand, are learning to fly around it). Kids love the bridge because of the cool Star Wars sound effects the cables make as they walk across.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Millau Viaduct...

Total Length: 8071 feet
Clearance: 886 feet
Where: Millau, France
Opened: 2004
Use/Status: Automobile Bridge / in use
Official Name: Le Viaduc de Millau
Crosses: The Valley of the River Tarn
Design: Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foste
Engineer: Setec
Builder: The Eiffage Group
Structural Type: Fan Arrangement Cable-stayed Bridge

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Lupu and Nanpu Bridges...

Total Length: 12,795 ft (Lupu) / 2,509 ft (Nanpu)
Clearance: n/a
Where: side by side in Shanghai, China
Built: 2000-03 (Lupu) / 1989-91 (Nanpu)
Use/Status: Automobile Bridge / both in use
Official Name: Luwan-Pudong Bridge and Nanshi-Pudong Bridge
Crosses: Huangpu River
Design: Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute
Engineer: Lin Yuanpei (Lupu), Buckland & Taylor Ltd. (Nanpu)
Builder: Shanghai Huangpujiang Bridge Engineering Construction
Structural Type: Arch Bridge (Lupu) / H-pylon Cable-stayed Bridge (Nanpu)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Firth of Forth Rail Bridge...

Built: 1882-90
Status: In use
Location: Near Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Crosses: Firth of Forth
Structural Type: Cantilever Bridge
Function: Railroad Bridge

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Had you forgotten, like me, that your life flashes before your eyes when you die? At least this is what individuals who have had near death experiences report. They say that the review is never censored or cast in any moral light. It is a strangely impersonal occurrence accompanied by neither thought nor feeling. The review is exclusively visual, there are no words or sounds or tastes or sensations. (One wonders what blind people might see.) Is this the movie we've all been waiting for? The biggest blockbuster you'll ever know that only sold one ticket?

OK, Cut. Back up. Rewind. Start again. Optional read below...

Imagine that every waking moment of your day is filmed. At the end of the day you get into bed and watch the movie (in some magically sped up form that doesn't detract from its impact, but doesn't take all night to screen). Think how much you would learn about yourself and how you interact with the world. Golfers and tennis players have been benefiting from watching themselves and doing replay analysis for years. Who knows, you might improve your swing...

Which is the point. After a couple of these late night screening sessions don't you think you would start to watch your steps a little more during the day? Behave in a more appropriate or "photogenic" manner? Make slightly more cinematic choices so that your life would take on a more concise narrative structure? Or would you try to beat the system? Fake it out? Of course, you could try to act naturally, but the thought of the camera recording your every move would never fully leave your awareness. Having this kind of perspective on yourself would probably be a major burden. Part of what makes life bearable is the disappearance of time - not having to listen to the sound of our own voice at lunch, not having to see our double chins as we bow our head to read the menu. The Horror... The Horror.

Of course you could argue that while we are not being followed by a camera crew all day long, we are exposed to enough media to alter our sense of self. At some level we are aware of the cinematic world - a place where things are enhanced, art directed, and carefully scripted for some effect. And so we have fashion, fancy cars, special haircuts, walls of books we never read, one-liners we use over and over. Even though the present slips through our fingers, we are always secretly preparing for a close up in one movie or another...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

On the town...

There are so many aspects of Los Angeles to enjoy at night. Waiting at a velvet rope is usually not one of them. Sarah Bay and I went to a fashion week event at Cafe les Deux and the publicist in short shorts had us all waiting as she searched her soul for the decisive moment of entry. In this case the brief wait was worth it as it provided these somehow emblematic moments, captured digitally for your viewing pleasure... It suggests a snappy new city slogan: "What happens in Los Angeles, happens to people who aren't in wheelchairs!"

Monday, October 23, 2006


If you've got chemistry, having no plan is sometimes the best plan. Stuff happens. It's as if the universe hands out rewards for people who trust in chance and emanate a combined spirit. A completely impromptu visit to Venice Beach yields a completely unexpected, full-blown display of fireworks at the Pacific's edge... what's the occasion? Who knows? Who cares?

The word "serendipity" comes to our language from a letter Horace Walpole wrote to Horace Mann on January 28, 1754. In this letter he refers to, "a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip in which, as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of."

You want more? Julius H. Comroe, a biomedical researcher, suggests that "serendipity is looking for a needle in a haystack and finding the farmer's daughter." In 2000, The Boat Owners Association of the United States reported that Serendipity was the tenth most popular name for pleasure craft. In that same year, serendipity was also voted Britain's favorite word.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The colorful surface...

Note to self: The hard pillow gives hard dreams. Plotless dreams of industry, clanking machinery... wordless, backbreaking toils, frightful illogic, and jarring nonsequiturs that punish the dim, sense-making bulb of consciousness exiled in sleep. I must come to terms with computer operating systems - the illusory desktop screen with all of its friendly icons and intuitive navigation. Each click and drag and drop is a play put on for me, my human brain. Underneath this skin of digital visualization lies an avalanche of mysterious number languages and codes. It is too much to fathom. A craving for the analog, for cars you can take apart and put back together and run on french fries. For bodies with knowable insides, where a tear or a donor organ is absorbed into the biological weave. Like tissue to like tissue. The thatch of flesh. Tonight the soft pillow.

(photo by Edgar Martins)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Some days you wait...

I'm often stopped on the street by people who say, "Pablo Gazpachot, where do you get all those magnificent ideas for your blog?" "Well," I tell them after signing the obligatory autograph and posing for a snap with the newborn, "it certainly is a challenge." Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Like most people, I wake up with weird ideas in my head. I have simply committed to jotting one down per day as a joyful means of lubricating the brain and the finger mechanisms for the busy day ahead. Of course, there are days when you wake up and you can barely find one brain cell banging around your skull. You wring the gray matter like a dirty dish sponge hoping for a drop of, well, anything. You look into space spacily, and nothing arrives. Interestingly, these blanks tend to come the morning after vodka tastings at the Swedish-American Cultural Center. Someone ought to look into this astonishing correlation.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Chrono Porn...

I haven't worn a watch since I was a teenager. Frankly, time has never been a close ally. More of a respected challenger, really. But as obscure objects of desire go, they're right up there with helicopters for me. I'm a huge fan of the timepiece of the Italian Royal Navy - Panerai. These are massive watches for men with wrists like soup cans. They also cost about as much as a Hyundai. But simplicity, precision, and beauty have always been dear. The folks at Officine Panarai are not big on variety - what they do, they do perfectly - such that each tiny modification merits a brand new model and elicits shivers of delight from the legions of "Panaristi" across the globe.

I'm also very fond of Chopard, but you've got to be careful with this snooty lot. Most of their ultra-staid watches look like something Francois Mitterand would have been buried in (...yawn). But their sporty Mille Miglia line is a stunner, and if you're willing to shell out a hundred grand + for a watch, their muy elegante L.U.C. "Specials" line is beyond mouth-watering.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


"Idealism is the enemy of politics," says pal Todd. "Of course, you need some idealism, but if you go looking for any kind of perfect candidate or flawless solution, you've completely missed the point. Politics are, by nature, deeply flawed, chaotic, compromised, messy, human systems." "It's a contact sport," says Bill Clinton. "You need to adapt as you're doing battle."

Agreed. The problem here is that it's hard for your average citizen, me for example, to perceive this messy battle in a way that makes much sense. What are the metrics for choosing a leader? Charisma and clarity are the old standby criteria, but do they carry over? Do inspiring candidates and election winners make good navigators of political tsunamis?

We seem to live in an era of "zeroing out" politics. One party gets their moment of power and they do as much as they can to push the agenda in their own court. Then the next party gets into power and they spend their energy trying to undo the damage, to get back to a "zero" mark. Rinse. Repeat. In this climate, progress becomes something very sad: the leftovers we are saddled with, the things that can not be changed in two, four, six or eight years. Is history made of scraps that fall between the cracks while the battling powers try to negate each other?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tax Man...

Alas, as the Santa Ana's blow into town, tis also the day for us good little indie contractors to bite bullets and sort through the dirty dosh we owe the govy. Good fun!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Message from Universe 2...

Today is a very special day I'm told by my friend Lune in Bratislava. I'm just going to put it out there as it came to me, and suggest that perhaps now is a good time to rethink your attitude and outlook. Be a good person today. I mean, how often do the folks in Universe 2 ask for anything?


A cosmic trigger event is occurring on the 17th of October 2006.
This is the beginning, one of many trigger events to come
between now and 2013.

An ultraviolet (UV) pulse beam radiating from higher dimensions in
universe-2 will cross paths with the Earth on this day. Earth will remain
approximately within this UV beam for 17 hours of your time.

This beam resonates with the heart chakra, it is radiant fluorescent in
nature, blue/magenta in colour. Although it resonates in this frequency
band, it is above the colour frequency spectrum of your universe-1, which
you, Earth articulate in. However due to the nature of your soul and soul
groups operating from Universe-2 frequency bands it will have an effect.

The effect is every thought and emotion will be amplified intensely one
million-fold. Yes, we will repeat, all will be amplified one millions time
and more. Every thought, every emotion, every intent, every will, no
matter if it is good, bad, ill, positive, negative, will be amplified one
million times in strength.

This UV beam thus can be a dangerous tool. For if you are focused on
thoughts which are negative to your liking they will manifest into your
reality almost instantly. Then again this UV beam can be a gift if you
choose it to be.

Mission-1017 requires approximately one million people to focus on
positive, benign, good willed thoughts for themselves and the Earth and
Humanity on this day. Your thoughts can be of any nature of your choosing,
Remember whatever you focus on will be made manifest in a faster than
anticipated time frame. To some the occurrences may almost be
bordering on the miracle. All we ask is positive thoughts of love, prosperity,
healing, wealth, kindness, gratitude be focused on.

This UV beam comes into full affect for 17 hrs on the 17th of October 2006.
No matter what time zone you are in the hours are approximately 10:17 am
on the 17th of October to 1:17 am on the 18th October. The peak time will be
17:10 (5:10 pm) on the 17th October. You do not need to be in a meditative
state through out this time, though would be beneficial.

Perhaps at the peak time if you can find a peaceful spot or location
to focus. The optimum is out in the vicinity of grounded nature, likened
to that of a large tree or next to the ocean waves. Focus on whatever it is
you desire. What is required for the benefit of all Earth and Humanity is
positive thoughts of loving nature.

We call this UV beam trigger event, g818Ÿ gateway. Please forward this
message to as many people as you know who will use this cosmic trigger
event to focus positive, good willed thoughts. We require approximately
1-million people across globe to actively participate in this event. Please
use whatever communication mediums you have at your disposal.

This is your opportunity to take back what is rightfully yours i.e. Peace and
Prosperity for all Earth and Mankind. This is a gift, a life line from your universe
so to speak. What you do with it and whether or not you choose to participate
is your choice.



> > > >

Monday, October 16, 2006

Brace yourselves...

Can anyone explain to me why Hillary Clinton is the Democratic front runner? Who had a say in this? Polls? What polls? What has this woman done? Why should she be considered? Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the idea in theory, once she's showed her cards a little more, that is. To simply push her into the top slot because, 'well, who else is there?', seems pretty lame. Do people think having her run implies a return to Bill's old US agenda? I love Bill as a fallible character, he's cinematic. But I think we can do better. How about this Bill? At least we know he knows how to clean up.

But seriously, why Hillary? Is she the winner us lefties are looking for? Or is she a red herring tossed out to make us wince while the Dems search for an electable candidate?

Sunday, October 15, 2006


We've got two dogs this weekend. I forgot how much dopey fun they are. That's Lucy, a beautiful barkless Basenji (who is barking as I write this), in the red camel coat, and Ponty, a helicopter pilot from Mississippi, in black. Lots of toenails scritching on wooden floors. Great!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Lunar Mod...

Old news to everyone but me apparently... my head has been under a rock lately. So sue me. As the rumor goes, in early 1968, Stanley Kubrick was secretly approached by NASA officials who presented him with a lucrative offer to "direct" the first three moon landings. Read the whole unbelievable tale here. So that's pretty interesting. Then Sarah dropped another lunar bomb on me last night: all of the best quality original Apollo 11 footage was lost. The images we see when we see that "one small step" are supposedly shot off of a NASA monitor (which would account for their truly awful quality). Not sure if that supports or debunks the Kubrick angle. Anyways, read all about the lost footage here. This touches off a memory of Brian Eno's Apollo Atmosphere's & Soundtracks album which was ostensibly a music for a film made from NASA's Apollo footage. Stuff about that here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What of Ataturk's Turkey?

First of all, congratulations to Orhan Pamuk on his Nobel Prize. I salute a man who dares to tell the truth with fiction. No, I have not read "Snow", but it is on my list (right after Jack London's "The Sea Wolf" and Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita" - both of which I should have read 20 years ago, I know). Turkey is certainly in the crosshairs these days. They've always pulled mileage from the whole "East meets West" thing, but now... wow. Seems they are a thriving progressive secular country simultaneously teetering on the brink of a return to religious fundamentalism (sound familiar?). Talk about volatility. It is possible that Pamuk's exposé along with Chirac's passing of a law making it illegal in France to disavow the Armenian genocide will be the straws that break the back of Ataturks secular vision, that send Turkey it reeling back in time?

Which brings me to my real topic of curiosity today, a little something I call - The Conservative Enemy Generation Strategy. Is it too cynnical to suggest that conservative leaders willfully create enemies around the world in order to create clear tensions that require bold action? I mean if you happen to be a bible-believing head-of-state it's really a win-win approach...

Either... you get to pump up a handfull of two-bit despots into the cinematic likes of Auric Goldfinger or Ernst Stavro Blofeld and then go off and kick their evil little axises, all the while pulling domestic shenanigans under the cloak of war.

Or... those villains go nuts, get nuclear weapons, and blow the planet to smithereens. It's Armageddon!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Loss of Urban Grit...

These days it is hard to tell NY and LA apart what with all the shiny stores and streets and people. Not many will pine for the old days when NY was filthy and gray and deadly, but who can deny it had good teeth? I remember being truly scared walking around certain parts of Alphabet city after dark when I was a teen. Today the only thing that might scare me in that neck of the woods is an $18 mojito served by someone so cool I would have to slit my wrists in a gesture of sacrifice to their fashion sense. NY might have been dangerous and grubby in the 70s and 80s but ironically it somehow seemed more innocent, or at least more purely corrupted in its pre-branded phase. Actually, I would say that of the two cities, LA retains something far more pure and lovable in its sprawling awfulness.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Good music...

Musicianship is great, but it's overrated in my book. I'll take someone with an ear over someone with "chops" anyday. Sometimes you get both as in the case of Fela Kuti. What I mean is that I seem to like music that shows deep concern for the end quality of the sounds and rhythms and their intended impact on the listener. Of course, the danger here is overproduction or preciousness, which is equally problematic. Still, nothing grates my nerves more than mindless sonic noodling (typically smooth or fusion jazz genre but prevalent all over the musical spectrum) in which each musician gets a chance to show off their sixteen years of training on an instrument that sounds like spray cheese. That sort of music completely lacks that critical enzyme which allows it to cut into the nervous system of the listener. Instead we are left with the smug expression of a plump goateed drummer railing away on a twenty thousand dollar drum kit in a Hawaiian shirt, Kangol hat on backwards... Yeah man we're making beeootiful music... Oh please... music should never be endured, it should transport in a seemingly effortless manner. A good musician is not just playing an instrument, they are playing the emotions, the memory banks, and the brain chemistry of the listener.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Control Freaks & Passive Aggressives 101...

Do you suffer from exposure to a control freak? First, it is ok to say: "I have a control freak problem." Go ahead, say it. Say it! Sorry... what I mean is that of course Y-O-U are not a control freak, but you do seem to have lived a life in which they make regular appearances. These power-hungry folks will gladly jam your system, cross your wires, uproot your vines, and generally use every manipulation in the book in order to assert their own dysfunction over yours. In the process of being controlling, their actions say, “You’re incompetent” and “I can’t trust you.” (this is why you hate them). The control freak is usually fighting off a deep-seated sense of their own helplessness and impotence. By becoming proficient at trying to control other people, they are warding off their own fear of being out of control and helpless. Controlling is an anxiety management tool.

So how do you get these meddlesome lamprey out of your face? Challenging a control freak can go south fast. Then again, if you assert yourself as a fellow control freak the playing field will be equal - but volatile and truly dysfunctional. If you really aren't the overly assertive controlling type, best not to pretend to be one. Your face might get stuck that way.

Subliminal confrontation is a good place to start: Peppering straightforward conversation with your control freak (which will inevitably reveal some triflingly pathetic control maneuver) with lilting, playful, chiding remarks such as "my, you are... powerful, in control, alpha, etc." will serve to loosen the soil so at least you can plant your shovel under this aggressive weed. At the very least, the controller has been made uncomfortably aware that you are on to them. Or, if they are completely unconscious beings, these remarks will haunt them in their dreams. Either way, a good place to begin.

Now you are ready for advanced tactics. You must master the art of allowing a control freak to think they are in control. You must harness their control as a form of energy that traps its owner and sets you free. This might require a bit of role playing, even perhaps a submissive gesture or two, but hey, you want out from under this gallumpf, right? Silence and surrender and patience will be in your toolkit. You are building false trust, sending a message that says: your controlling behavior is ok. The control freak will gradually get soft and settle like a pudgy pasha into their imagined superiority. When the moment to act comes you will know it: The control freak will be out of control. Their inherent weakness will be oozing from the cracks in their armor. Here, a subtle move by you, a simple sentence, the tiniest tap, deftly placed, can swing the polarity of the relationship forever (or at least a very good while). You must choose your words and your actions wisely. You must be ruthless and draw metaphorical blood. A clean straight razor swipe approach is best. No need to use a chain saw. Let the control freak know that the tables have turned. Offer a clean kerchief to clean and protect the wound. Smile. Ask yourself: what will I do while I'm in control? But oh how different things look from this side of the coin! And thus the cycle continues...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hippie Babysitters...

Many people have childhood memories of alien abduction, sexual abuse, trips to faraway places, and a host of other recollections of indeterminate veracity. Memories can feel true even if they are unconsciously manufactured. So... All I'm asking is, is it remotely possible that as a child growing up under the care of freewheeling hippie babysitters in the early 1970s, that I was fed an amount of LSD, or other such consciousness altering hallucinogen, on one or more occasions? Memory says, "Sure, why not?" After all, it would explain an awful lot!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Assignment X...

GZ to HQ, GZ to HQ... reporting full engagement in designated territory... need 5 (five) days min. to complete assignement... communications blackout in effect... will trigger Zone 5 GPS flare when ready for tactical unit pick-up... pushing onward... god save queen... GZ out...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fall, Moonquakes, TLP, and space words...

The arrival of Fall in LA is a subtle but definite event. The light changes, the sky has clouds, the days grow shorter, and nights are noticeably cooler. Somehow all of this briefly snaps the attention away from the "endless summer" effect, and we become, momentarily, aware of the Earth as a living, breathing animal of sorts. I arrived in LA in the Fall, so maybe that's why my nerves are stippled with lurching earthquake "pangs" at this time of year (all new Californians expect immanet quakes).

Most people don't know that there are regular quakes on the Moon. They were first discovered by the Apollo astronauts. They tend to be mild; however, shallow moonquakes can register up to 5.5 on the Richter scale. One possible explanation is that relatively young craters may shift and slump. Moonquakes may be responsible for something called "transient lunar phenomena" (TLP). These are lights, colors, or changes in the landscape claimed to be observed on the moon. Usually short-lived (or "transient"), such phenomena have been observed since at least the 1500s, and some have been observed independently by multiple witnesses, or by reputable scientists. On April 23, 1999, amateur observers reported another TLP event in the vicinity of the "Cobra Head", the name for the bulbous start of the Vallis Schröteri adjacent to the Aristarchus crater. The Clementine spacecraft took before and after pictures of this region, and definite color changes were observed.

The lunar names are all so spectacular. Space names in general. Who's in charge of that gig? What are the criteria for naming? Does a name have to sound awe-inspiringly cool and celestial in order to function? Has that metric been quantified?

("Aristarchus and Herodotus Craters" taken from orbit during Apollo 15 mission)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Facts of Idi...

Idi Amin Dada (1924-2003), Uganda's eccentric, dictatorial leader from 1971 to 1979, gave himself this title: "His Excellency President for Life Field Marshal Al Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, King of Scotland, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular." The Conqueror of the British Empire, or "CBE," is a title he bestowed upon himself after the British shut down their embassy and severed diplomatic ties with Uganda. The "Dada" part of his name is of unknown origin, though it is not imagined to reference the art movement. Some say the nickname was acquired while serving in Kenya; every time he was caught with a woman in his tent, he pleaded that she was his "dada" (Swahili for sister), in order to be let off the hook by his commanders. Rumors of Amin's purported cannibalism have never been substantiated. His affinity for Scotland however, is well documented, in life, as in the new (not so great) film The Last King of Scotland. After he was removed from power in 1979 he escaped to Saudi Arabia where he lived until his death in 2003. His regime is said to have killed somewhere between 80,000 and 500,000 of his own people.

What is it about these charismatic, despotic leaders? They never clue in to just how cracked they are. They always want to return and believe their people still need them. In 1989, Amin, and who never expressed remorse for the abuses of his regime, attempted to return to Uganda, apparently to lead an armed group organized by Col. Juma Oris. He went as far as Kinshasa, Zaire, where Mobutu forced him to return to Saudi Arabia, where he died in 2003. Although it was threatened, Amin never faced a war crimes tribunal, which can not be said for his brother in blood, Saddam Hussein. On a side note, how is it that Idi Amin can efforlessly sidestep the murder of half a million people, while I am held to the furthest extent of punishment for every single parking ticket I get?