“Hey, check this out. There’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out.”
So recalled David Murfee Faulk, a former NSA employee explaining his job at the agency listening in on phone calls from around the world.
It was like skipping through songs on an iPod, Faulk recalled. If they were “entertaining” enough, some workers would share the content of the calls – often between U.S. military stationed overseas or even people working for organisations like the International Red Cross or Medicins Sans Frontieres – around the office.
He may deny it but Team Sky's Chris Froome is the almost unbackable favourite heading into the Tour de France.
Barring injury or illness we now have a better idea of what the 100th Tour de France will look like come 29 June, and the race is Team Sky's to lose.
Froome's 2013 season has followed the same arc as Bradley Wiggins's in 2012, successfully completing all of his objectives before a likely metronomic victory in Paris.
Using its depth of talent, Sky suffocated the race and snuffed out any hope the pretenders had of winning. It did so with Froome, who finished second by Wiggins's side.
A good opening to the festival, a jaw-dropping one to the competition.
The Sydney Film Festival could almost think about cancelling the screenings of the remaining 11 films in the official competition, given it has already give us a likely and more than worthy winner in Joshua Oppenheimer’s extraordinary hybrid documentary, The Act of Killing.
It quickly became apparent on Thursday night why the film kicking off the competition screenings has received raves wherever it has screened, its influential admirers including Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, who signed on as executive producers after seeing early edits.
The Act of Killing is one of these exceedingly rare films that changes the way people see the world. Having sat through its riveting 159 minutes with lower jaw almost permanently dropped in disbelief, I can state confidently I’m unlikely to ever forget it. (Neither am I likely to ever forget the eejit who chose the film’s intensely emotional climax to light up her iPhone and start scrolling through her Facebook. Where are over-zealous bouncers just when you need them?)
The celebrated Daily Show host is directing a drama based on the harrowing true story of a captured journalist.
Before he was the host of The Daily Show, the satirical news comedy that allows him to combine a quick wit and current affairs, Jon Stewart was a comic and middling actor. Obviously he retained some dormant ambitions from those years, because Stewart is about to take eight weeks off from his award-winning television show to direct his first feature film. Rosewater is an adaptation of Maziar Bahari’s book Then They Came For Me, which documents the Iranian-Canadian journalist’s incarceration and torture in Iran when he was arrested while covering the country’s 2009 elections. Bahari was brutally interrogated for 118 days before his release was obtained.
One of the claims made by his interrogator (who Bahari remembers smelling of rosewater) was that he must be a spy because he’d appeared on a lighthearted Daily Show segment where the program’s correspondent was comically pretending to be an American spook. That came to Stewart’s attention and his involvement now extends to directing the movie. As Bahari, who was 42 at the time of his arrest, Stewart has cast the impressive Gael García Bernal, who most recently starred in No and The Loneliest Planet. Bernal has long been linked to a reboot of the Zorro series, but his choices continue to be eclectic and intriguing. Hopefully Stewart’s transition will pay off, although it could set a dangerous precedent: no-one needs Karl Stefanovic to direct a film.
This Saturday night’s movie is a rare example of authentic Australian family life on the big screen.
Most Australians have direct experience of being parents of young children or have been exposed to it through family and friends. Yet the stress and banality, frustration and joy felt at that time in the cycle of life is hardly ever depicted in feature films made in this country.
My Year Without Sex, which screens on SBS ONE at 9.30pm this Saturday, stands out not just because acutely observed contemporary family life is central to the film – stock-standard middle-class Australian suburban family life – but also because the behaviour of the characters, including their self-deprecating humour, is so powerfully, authentically, recognisably Australian.
[ Australian Film Season:Full Schedule ]
The Australian dollar has taken another hit today, falling to a fresh 33 month low.
The market is pricing in an earlier than expected easing of economic stimulus measures by the US Federal Reserve, which in turn, has strengthened the greenback.
So where to now for the Australian dollars, and for those Australians heading overseas to escape the local winter for a northern Hemisphere summer in the next few months, should they exchange now?
SBS Business Reporter Ricardo Goncalves spoke with NAB’s Global Co-Head of FX Strategy, Ray Attrill.Continue Reading "$A hits a 33-month low. Exchange now or later?"
There couldn't be a better time to kick off a blog about mountain biking than right now and thus I enter the trail head of the well worn single track that is a cycling blog.
Unlike that guy you ride with who's always telling you you're either doing it wrong or absolutely need that new wheel size, carbon doodad or less chainrings, I'd prefer to highlight all the awesome stuff that's happening in mountain biking.
My brilliant yet sometimes blinkered colleague Mike Tomalaris said on Cycling Central last week that he felt that MTB was in decline.
And while it's true that rider numbers in the "as traditional as it gets in MTB" discipline of Olympic format Cross Country (XCO) are pretty low these days, his guest Sid Taberlay made the point that there's still plenty of people racing mountain bikes, it's just that the scope and diversity of events has massively increased over the past decade since the 'glory days' of MTB.
If the peloton of the 65th Critérium du Dauphiné kept their wits about them last Sunday, they would’ve never let a guy like David Veilleux get away with so much. They won’t again – Anthony Tan is sure of it.
I have what it takes. The opportunity will arise one day.Is David Veilleux is the product of more than a decade’s over-reliance on race radios? Or do we attribute it to conservatism by the bigger teams, who have bigger fish to fry in July? Or did he simply get lucky?
In case you missed him – just like most of the Critérium du Dauphiné peloton did last Sunday – the 25-year-old Europcar rider, along with three others whose names you’d probably never heard before, broke away three kilometres into the opening stage of the week-long race that, along with the Tour de Suisse, serves as the final litmus test before The Big Daddy, a.k.a. Le Tour de France.
It wasn’t till the 40-kilometre mark, when the quartet had established a maximum and rather sizeable double-digit advantage of 10 minutes and 10 seconds, that the peloton thought it wise to form a chase.
So here we are again, another Giro d'Italia positive, another Italian, and another from the same Pro Continental team, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia.
A couple of weeks ago it was Danilo Di Luca who fell foul to the drug testers, this week it's the turn of team mate Mauro Santambrogio, who won the 14th stage of the first Grand Tour of the season.
There was the usual opprobrium from all quarters, as there was with Di Luca. It's a rising chorus when you add the immediate responses published to social media.
"Of course I am not happy, but I am not even surprised," said Giro d'Italia race organiser Michele Acquarone to TuttobiciWeb.it. "The nice thing is that the group is rebelling. The peloton is no longer accepting these things."
I recently decided it was time to move away from my comfort zone of cake baking and cook something a little meatier – literally. This Sephardic Jewish beef short rib and meatball soup seemed like the perfect dish.
Traditionally eaten on the Sabbath (day of rest), the dish was designed to be partially cooked the night before, then left to finish cooking overnight in the cooling coals of a baker’s oven. There are as many dafina (or cholent) recipes as there are Jewish mothers, but all are meat-based and include some kind of legume. Our recipe uses beef short ribs (ask your butcher) and herbed meatballs. I was worried that there wasn't quite "enough" to this soup and that the flavour would be a little bland (I had my srichacha at the ready). Well, my apologies for underestimating this one – it was robust, full-flavoured and a big hit with resident meat fan Mr Ed.
I'm not sure that I did the silverbeet quite right, but it added a lovely smokey flavour to the dish. This makes four very generous portions and could easily feed more if served with couscous or barley.
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