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Oil Reserves Are Growing – Should We Cheer or Remain Vigilant?

Photograph by Plamen Petkov for Bloomberg

Photograph by Plamen Petkov for Bloomberg

I read a Bloomberg Businessweek article here and I found it really interesting. Amid the long clamorous campaign of most of our society (perhaps mostly the environmentalists) to reduce the use of fossil fuel (mostly oil), there is an astonishing idea from Daniel Yergin who claimed that the technology advances and new discoveries have led worldwide oil reserves to growing. This is the main claim: “For every barrel of oil produced in the world from 2007 to 2009, 1.6 barrels of new reserves were added“. Well, that seems good for human being, but most likely bad for mother earth. In fact, it is the benefit of human being that allows mother earth to suffer more. Why is that? The first plausible idea is perhaps this will ease the alarming awareness (or fear) of tackling climate change that has been enforced internationally both in macro and micro level. However the article doesn’t reveal the mechanism behind this oil-reserve expansion.

Before we delve into the next ideas outlined by Bloomberg, let us play some math here. If you compare the data of global oil reserves from here and global oil consumption from here, then we can do simple calculation to predict the bussinessweek claim. I wish to find the recent data, but it seems hard to find all the countries update their reserves and consumption. Even the Wikipedia version doesn’t cover the recent one. By doing the calculation of dividing the total data of oil reserves with total data of oil consumption (both globally) then we end up in the number arround 47 years. That’s not so far from bloomberg calculation. Perhaps the most recent data suggest that bloomberg’s number (38 years). But this number doesn’t mean so much. It is frivolous to just use all the reserves completely with the current consumption rate, right? There must be new resources of energy being generated during that period, there must be new efficiency of oil usage by discovery of new technology, and the list will go on. So 38 years later won’t be the peak oil. There seems no doubt about the prediction.

Next thing, in that article Bloomberg claimed that expanding resource (oil and minerals) reserves means great news for poor countries which are home of many mineral’s discoveries. Well this is very debatable seeing the obvious facts of how resources such as oil has become the major problem in developing countries either in politic or economic climate. But I agree with the article that extracting most of these abundant resources seems lunatic to do. Beside the fact that it will seriously damage our Earth even further, the political and social turmoil it may inflict is enormous for sure. So, there should be no way these countries (where under their geographical areas myriad oil exist) proactively engage in new deal with oil companies to extract these hidden oil reserve. Perhaps, they may opt for it, but it shall not the main objective they pursue in fulfilling their countries’ energy needs. Given these tempting facts, the ongoing idea of developing new energy resources (of course the renewable ones) should not dwindle any little. It should remain being focused in order to gradually replace our old “black gold”. Therefore, instead of being cheered up by this fact, we should better remain vigilant in utilize it.

 

Ryan Gosling’s Overrated Movies

These two movies (I bet you know the titles already) seem to be great and worth to give a punch among all movies this year. But if I ponder it myself further, I think they deserve clear lower credit. Let’s just jump to the first one.

This movie is the one with huge overrating. It scores 8.1 in IMDB. What a shame. The plot is quiet simple. Not so complicated. But what makes it flopped is that it’s very easy (at least for me) to predict the next scenes. You have this guy of psycho personality who worked as  a driver for action movie. He doesn’t talk a lot which I think  was the strategy of the director to deliver a portray of non-talking hero. However again, it fails. Ryan Gosling‘s face is not psycho enough for this type of character.

About the action part, it has nothing to compare with most action movies which feature car race scene. Perhaps credit can be given for many of the sadistic way of kill done by Gosling. Still this can’t outweigh the flaw the drama delivers.

Even if you look at the movie poster, it is a vehemently inappropriate design. The font of “Drive” word gives impression that this movie is all about romance along with Gosling’s uncool face at the poster. I personally believe “Drive” deserves 6 instead of 8 rate out of 10.

The second one of Gosling’s overrated movie is The Ides of March. This one is a little bit better than the previous one, albeit this scores lower in IMDB. Again, I’ll start  first from the poster. The two faces of Gosling and Clooney is a poor choice for the content of the movie. The movie is not solely about the competition between the two. Yes it’s about political campaign running for the presidency of United States. But it involved more characters both from the Morris side or the Pullman side, or even the media. If you examine in detail, Clooney played fewer scenes than the other unmentioned players. The title is about the “ides of March” which is about the 15th of March. However this movie only mentioned it once without relating the remaining plot to the title. I mean what’s going to happen on the 15th of March?

Now the plot has been arranged quiet neat from the beginning. Revenge, loyalty, blackmail are the main recipes of any politics movie. However the movies failed to execute its climax with a great touch. I was really wondering what Gosling gonna do with his Steven Meyers role knowing that he was cornered into a complicated position. Well the movie doesn’t satisfy it. At the very end of the movie, when he came into the press room – ready for revealing whatever inside his mind – what you will see is just black screen with “Directed by George Clooney” words. WTF. Poor you Clooney. It’a a very disappointing finishing. I didn’t see any final blow to end the movie perfectly. Now many people believe Gosling deserve to be nominated in the next Oscar – I quiet agree (he performed quiet well in depicting his role here). But the movie being nominated? I completely disagree. Even Clooney doesn’t deserve to be nominated at all with his horrible remark. 6.5 is good score for this movie from me.

From Warrior With Love

Unorthodox may sound good to label this movie. In fact it deserves more than that. A mixed of ‘fabulous’, ‘excellent’, ‘trembling’ and ‘poignant’ is a better one to describe the movie in a nutshell.

Warrior (2011) is a movie you’ll never seen. Unlike other boxing movies (such as the legendary Rocky for instance) I think this one depicts the best mix of ‘fighting’ and ‘feeling’. You’ll get aroused while watching the fighting scenes (thanks to my Audio-technica ATH AD300 for staying on my ears to listen to the beats) and you’ll get sympathized while watching the drama parts.

Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte) is a former boxer who for whatever reason had done something wrong in the past. The movie doesn’t provided much scene regarding his past. But for sure, he left his wife and 2 sons due to his alcoholic-related habit. Well, then the story says the mother died and Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) and Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton) lived on different path. Tommy went to Corps where he was famously known to be a hero in battle in Iraq, while Brendan transformed to be a high-school physics teacher (despite the movie also says he fought in UFC previously).

The main plot began when Tommy came back to Paddy (I don’t know why his sons call him ‘Pop’) and he still seemed very upset for Paddy’s past misconduct. You’ll see the true heart of a father from the beginning of this scene. Paddy is so patient in dealing with Tommy’s cold behavior. Then Tommy attended a fighting gym and registered as its member. While the gym has its best fighter, Tommy asked him for a fight and the result is very surprising for the gym’s members. Since that fight, Tommy was regarded as the gym’s best fighter for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament called ‘Sparta’.

Far from the fierce fight, Brendan lived as a happy father with two lovely daughters. You’ll never expect him as a fighter given his career as physics teacher. His students love him as well. However, the happy life got troubled when the guys from bank asked him to pay for his house; otherwise they would foreclose it (I think it’s the remnant of 2008 financial crisis that hit United States). Given that financial problem along with the bank’s decision to not give him prolonged time to pay, he desperately attended a fight at a strip bar. The result was out of question; he won the game (he was former UFC fighter though) and was paid some amount of money.

Furthermore, Brendan knew that there was this upcoming MMA competition with a prize worth of $5 million, a sum of money he thought could solve his family’s problem. On the other part of the spectrum, Tommy also saw this as a good chance to obtain the money. For that reason he asked Paddy to be his personal trainer (Don’t think that he had forgiven Paddy– no, he remained cold as ever). You might ask, why would this cold Tommy want the money? You should watch the movie yourself to grab the answer.

So, how about the fight? I can tell you that it was really depicted so close. You can hear the sounds of the fight and this will deliver you with a sense of trembling as if you really want to join the fight. Although Tommy is plotted to be the ‘monster’ here, I enjoyed more the fighting scenes of Brendan. He’s really good at defending and grappling. While Tommy is shown to be a ‘quick’ fighter that always knocked down his opponents as fast as possible.

I really amazed with the way Nick Nolte painted his role as Paddy. There is this scene where he was really chided down to his heart by Tommy who told him to become beggar instead (I believe this is one of the best scene in the movie). But the best part of the movie lingers at the last battle between Tommy and Brendan (I thought Tommy will be the instant winner, but no, it is extremely an unpredictable battle of brothers). Deep inside the battle, you’ll find the true love of a brother. From brother with love. From warrior with love.

3 Samurai Movies You Should Watch

It started when I was curious about one Japan movie I had in my notebook. I knew from many forums that this movie is damn good. So I gave it a shot and the result is considerably great. I rarely watched Japan movies. The last J-movie I watched before these three is Death Note (which also impressed me well).

But I really amazed the way these J-movies provided. So who are them? Let’s delve into the details one by one.

The first Samurai movie I meant is “13 Assassins“.

The movie is all about 13 assassins which composed of 12 samurai and 1 rogue (I don’t know the exact word to describe this one, but approximately he is a rogue) who went on a mission to kill an atrocious Lord named Naritsugu (Goro Inagaki). Beware of the way you’ll see how he demonstrated his cruelty in this movie. You could feel the same anger caused by his dishonorable conduct the same way Shimada Shinzaemon (Kôji Yakusho) felt. Shinzaemon, who is the leader of the assassin group, was asked by the Council Elder to kill Naritsugu. Then Shinzaemon began to gather his men, from his best disciple to his own nephew. All these samurai were high-skilled samurai at that time, since the time plot of the movie is at the end of Shogunate era (arround 1860s) where it was quiet hard to find good samurai amid the arm gun advent at Japan.

Two things appeared prominently in this movie. The first is inevitably the action. What made me enamored is that the fighting scene is much more detailed than most of Chinese colossal movies. You could feel the anger of the samurai when he is surrounded by the enemies. You could also feel that it is hard for the enemy to attack the samurai even from behind. This is what I don’t see in most Chinese fighting scene (those who are usually place at open field with thousands of soldier running into messy chaos).

The second thing that the movie depicted is the tactic used by the assassins. Yes, they were using bombs but they utilized it beyond what you could expect. Trap, buffalo, arrow are the main weapons they used to get the advantage over hundreds of Naritsugu’s men. This movie has successfully described the best samurai fighting scene you expect to see. Very worth to be added to your list if you like non-arm-weapon war.

The second samurai movie is “The Twilight Samurai

Now ease your fighting-thirst because you won’t get it in this movie. The movie is rather about the struggle of a samurai, Iguchi Senbei (Hiroyuki Sanada), who had to take care of his sick wife, 2 daughters and old mother. It was a very tough task for a samurai who also worked at local food store to sustain his family’s life. According to the movie, he was valued 50-koku (this was the way a samurai was valued at that time to determine his wealth) which was very low compared to other samurai.

He was nicknamed “Twilight” by his workmates because Iguchi always came home hastily to serve his family when his friends asked him to go to tea-house together. It is very touching when you watch his struggle. The romance came when he must accept the challege from another higher-rank samurai to defend his childhood friend, Tomoe Iinuma (Rie Miyazawa). In addition to that, he was later ordered by his clan to kill a disobedient samurai of great sword skill. The final battle is rather boring compared with that you see in 13 Assassins but what the movie tried to expose is the romance between a poor samurai and his beloved.

The last movie of the list is “Love and Honor” which is also Yôji Yamada‘s film beside the previous one.

The theme is pretty similar to the previous one, but I personally believe this one is more superior in describing the romance. Name it, you have a blind samurai, Shinnojo Mimura (Takuya Kimura), who got poisoned when he served as a ‘food-taster’ for his High Lord. So there was this rule that before a High Lord eat something, the food must be tasted first by his samurai to check whether it contains poison or not. I don’t know whether this practice really happened in the past. Further research might answer.

Shinnojo was quiet lucky for having a wife, Kayo Mimura (Rei Dan), who served him very well especially since he became blind. Not to mention his subordinate, Tokuhei (Takashi Sasano) who was very loyal to him since Shinnojo’s father passed away.

But that’s not the entire story yet. The problem came in when Kayo tried to ask help from a higher-rank samurai, Shimada Toya (Mitsugoro Bando) to help her husband. The prominent difference of this movie from The Twilight Samurai is that it was the wife who struggled to sustain her family. However, Shimada cunningly asked Kayo for her body, something that Kayo forcedly did. This secret was finally revealed to Shinnojo who furiously evicted Kayo from the house – leaving only Tokuhei to serve his master. Shinnojo, who felt very dishonored by Shimada’s conduct, planned to challenge Shimada for a duel. At first, I thought he would cancel the plan due to his blindness. However with the help of his sensei during the ‘blind-fighting’ training, Shinnojo really managed to do it.

I was really impressed by all those movies. They provided me the way a samurai at that time struggle till death to defend his honor. Amid the crowd of today modern life, I wonder if we could have the same courage to defend our honor like those samurai did. We perhaps don’t need  sword as our weapon. Instead our wisdom and guts do suffice.

NB : There are many samurai movies that I haven’t seen yet. Mostly they are from this list. I’ll post some of them later if I find another great movie.

Bashar Assad, the next Gadhafi?

I’ve never heard before, a Middle East country’s president being so ostracized by his very neighbors in the region. Bashar al-Assad, the current president of Syria is that culprit. Since the opposition movement in the country launched its huge protest in March this year, 3,500 people have been killed, according to United Nations (link). Human-rights monitors mentioned that the number is 400 this month (link). The chaos is diffusing, from the capital city, Damascus, to Homs and Idlib in the north-west to Hama. The more Assad attempts to defy the protest, the more the rebellious tide runs against him. Last week, the Arab League decided to suspend Syria’s membership. Only Lebanon and Yemen kept voting in favor of it.

The worst part is, the hostile punches are coming from the other members. Algeria and Sudan voted against Assad. King Abdullah’s of Jordan has frankly suggested Assad to give up. But the bigger upper-cut comes from Saudi Arabia, who has long ago opposed Assad. Even Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has criticized Assad’s statement of  ‘Syria will not bow down‘ by comparing his conduct to that of Gadhadi’s one. He claimed that Assad’s statement is similarly the same like the one Gadhafi had mentioned. Yet Erdogan said that Assad can be killed in the same way by being that resistant towards his people. Turkey is now a close friend of Syrian National Council (SNC), the main opposition mover, and even has threaten to cut off electricity to northern Syria.

The clobbering doesn’t end there. British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, arranged a meeting with the chairman of SNC. Hague mentioned that ‘I think the Assad regime will find that more and more governments around the world are willing to work with the opposition‘. It’s a crystal clear then, that the West is also demanding the same. Assad’s resignation and the establishment of new government. The situation is pretty different with the withdrawal of Papandreou of Greece and Berlusconi of Italy from their last office. Besides their resigning is much more peaceful than Gadhafi’s one, there was almost no bloodshed following their stories. Now, Bashar must be thinking which way of withdrawal he would like to choose. The same with those ex-European leaders’ way or Gadhafi’s style.

The Kickoff

It’s a long time before I realize this wordpress blog. In my previous blog I babbled a lot about movies. This time I’ll try to express many of my minds in this new blog. I’m gonna post about my major (electrical engineering), my debating experience, or anything come across my mind. Hope you enjoy it!

While writing this first post, I’m watching a football match between Indonesia versus Malaysia. The match is intense (as it should always be). One thing that ring in my mind is about my friend’s facebook post this afternoon about an article made in kompasiana of  how Indonesia’s supporter booed the national anthem of its opponent in badminton match. I said “wow” that’s pretty disgraceful. Not only at badminton game, many times in football games the supporter at Gelora Bung Karno stadium boo the opponent’s national anthem (especially Malaysia). I try to verify this at this night game. And it’s really true. The supporter kept using their trumpet to make noise and disturbed the Malaysia’s national anthem.

And I said, the Karma came when just several minutes ago, we lost in the penalty shoot-out. 4-3 is the penalty score. A very close result. But I think it’s not the time to put a blame on Ferdinand Sinaga or Gunawan Dwi Cahyo who missed their penalty kick. It’s not also a blame for Indonesian supporters’ disgrace behavior. Unnecessary, I think, the misconduct of them. In fact, I’m not trying to link this lose to the word “Karma”, but this tragedy shows that no room for ridicule even when we win the game. Now, that we lose it, it should silence those shameful supporters.

Hope in the next event, we can be a much more friendly host. Congratz for the “Garuda Muda” who has shown unceasing determination during the game.

The Malayan tigers were exhilarated by their success to grab the champion title