Monday, December 31, 2001

Friday, December 28, 2001

Y-O-L-A Yo La (Tengo)

Yo La Tengo will back up Ray Davies on his solo effort. I'm not sure how recent the article is; it was news to me though. On an unrelated note, this Mr. T vs. Santa Claus storybook was fresher a few days ago. (via Ultimate Insult)

Friday, December 21, 2001

Of Course Not

Let the backpedalling commence. Will our "war on terrorism" extend to China now? Will conservative hawks and shills turn on the Shrub if he doesn't treat China like he promised to treat all countries that aid and support terrorists? Or, will they reset their spin engines and fall into line in support of their clown prince? Whatever happens I pray this doesn't turn into an even bigger mess than it already is.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

Recognizing the work of an obsessive fan...

Somebody must've put a fair amount of time and energy into this map of Springfield. I can't speak to it's accuracy and I was hoping it would have links to screenshots or at least episode numbers (guess the fan isn't that energetically obsessive after all) -- still, it's an impressive accomplishment. (via Ultimate Insult)

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Peter Jackson delivers...

Fellowship of the Ring was pretty amazing. You knew it would be a visual triumph with Jackson at the helm and the budget to do it up fancy ... though there are two or three spots where the effects break down: Gandalf and Frodo talking, but obviously not being able to make eye contact appropriately due to the sizing effects; one scene where a cg orc is duplicated on top of himself a bit off center; an unconvincing Legolas dummy riding the cave troll .. that sort of thing. Nice job tightening up the story, though without the background, you don't get a full apprectiation of Merry and Pippin's characters. So, yeah, some nitpicks, but only nitpicks ... it was rousing, rollicking, occasionally ethereal, and sly. This is one I'll go back to the theater to see one more time.

Monday, December 17, 2001

Where do you score...

on the political compass?

I tested out at Economic Left/Right -6.00, Authoritarian/Libertarian -6.56. You'll have to check the sight to see what that means; it plots you on a graph. My nearest historical figure was Ghandi, but they've only got a few plotted.

(link via Why Oh Why)

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Lord of the Rums

I did a geekish thing the other day (astonished gasp!) and bought one of those Lord of the Rings light-em-up "goblets" from Burger King. It was a total spur of the moment thing and I still don't know why I did it because I'm not a collector of this sort of stuff, or even really that big of a Rings fan. But I did it. So today I'm looking at what's in the fridge the drink and there's fruit punch and ginger ale and rum and I'm thinking they'd all go well together so I pours a healthy dose of each into my fancy goblet and I end up with this illuminated rum punch to kick back and watch football with and it's kinda cool 'cos it's so full of rum and I tell myself it's literally glowing with how full of rum it actually is and you all must think I'm some kind of alky Frodo freak and I don't care. Look at the rum a'glowin'! Mmmmmmmmm.....

Saturday, December 15, 2001

Finally, a blip on the KSR radar!

Kim Stanley Robinson's next will be The Years of Rice and Salt. Information on it so far is sketchy, here's what I could find: synopsis and book cover shots, may be possible to get an advance copy from here (I'll know as soon as I get offline to try it out), a hint of where the title may have come from in this text on gender roles in premodern China (long, the reference is a third of the way into the page, the gist of it is: Women in elite households called the childbearing years of marriage the years of "rice and salt," and they generally constituted the busiest time in a woman's life. Duties connected with raising children, looking after sick or aging household members, and managing certain economic aspects of the household required much time and energy, even with the assistance of servants.). By all accounts, the novel is set in a world where the Black Plague destroyed European civilization, with India and China becoming the world's dominant societies. That's all I could gather. Scheduled for release Feb 2002.

Sunday, December 9, 2001

"Write down in my victory notebook: another victory!"

More hep comix: Pokey the Penguin, low tech penguin comic antics with lines like: "Write down in my victory notebook: another victory!" I laughed as I puzzled through the clunky art and virtually subliterate dialogue: brilliant! Also sprach Bob the Golferthustra. (the former directly, the latter indirectly, via out of our trusty referral log)

Ocean's 11

Saw Ocean's 11 Saturday night and am glad I did for two reasons: (1) It was a funny,smart, hip-but-not-too-hip bit of fun that sat nicely with the Red Bull and Raspberry Stoli buzz I carried in, and (2) I finally discovered the secret genius of Julia Roberts. What secret genius is that, you ask? I'll tell you. It's her mouth, which we already knew was somehow unnatural, but I finally recognized in what specific way it's unnatural -- she's got it on upside-down. It was so obvious I almost missed it, like when Whoopi first showed up as Guinan and I couldn't quite put my finger on what was off with her face. Humans, you notice, by and large have an upper lip that is thin in relation to their lower. Julia's upper is easily 3x the size of her already Jagger-esque lower. Once you realize what she's done, the full monstrousness of it hits you. I have a feeling she'd've had her nose done up that way too if she weren't afraid of drowning in the shower. It's freakish and insane and I'm so glad she and her surgical abomination of a piehole had only a few minutes of screen time.

Thursday, December 6, 2001

Movies on the Horizon

Three movies I'm anticipating seeing before year end (links to official sites): Fellowship of the Rings, Ocean's 11, and Ali. Fellowship is both a Peter Jackson film, reason enough to be jazzed, and based on a cool book. The trailers look pretty wild and I've got high hopes. O's11 is Soderbergh, therefore worth looking forward to, but the cast scares me a bit. Too much 'star power'? Ali is a Michael Mann movie, which does nothing for me, and biopics tend towards hagiography, a treatment Ali doesn't need. This has the most potential to disappoint, but it's giving Fellowship a run for most highly anticipated on my list.
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