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Africa: Fact And Technically Fiction

Last weekend, I watched more research material. Somewhat anyway. After watching The International, I wanted to see The Interpreter, a movie the former supposedly was a rip off from. I didn't see that at all. Sure one had Nicole Kidman and the other had her best friend Naomi Watts but that's really where the similarities end. Sean Penn here reminded me more of Kevin Costner than Clive Owen.

And while setting it at the UN, that was really as "global" as it got. It was a great film in it's own right. I have to give a shout out to my book group for understanding the plot's real life origins. If I hadn't read When A Crocodile Eats the Sun I probably would have said Mandela as someone I watching it with did. No, the dictator threatened was clearly based on Robert Mugabe. Some of you will probably laugh but it also reminded me of the Manchurian Candidate...and Star Trek VI...

On Thursday, I went with the Seminary community downtown to hear the Soweto Gospel Choir. There was reception a a local restaurant that used to be a Methodist church. Unlike the imagined fare at Alice's Restaurant, this was a fancy place. A glass of pino grigio was six bucks! There was a pasta bar and appetizers. While mosty chicken, one of the other apps was a duck confette taco. While better than I thought, it was a bit too chewy for my tastes.

The concert itself was awesome. There were times it was easier to understand when they sang in South African than in English but still awesome nonetheless. I'm glad they let us get up at the end and dance. My seat was fantastically dead center orchestra section.

I end this post with something completely unrelated: I finished a Christmas book. After Michael Crichton died, a final novel was found in his files. I'm curious to know the story behind that, did he die before he could tell anyone? Did he write it and shelve it because he wasn't satisfied? Or did the publisher get all "It's not a techno thriller!" I know John Grisham has had similar arguments...

Pirate Latitudes is a pirate novel set in 17th Century Caribbean; mostly Jamaica. While there was no bibliography with this book, Crichton is one of the few authors who definitely his research so the historical details were very convincing. The plot: A privateer English captain is assigned to attack a Spanish stronghold. It was a fast moving and engaging tale and a welcome break from the book group...

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