One: The Loneliest Number
It rains again.
I am torn, for on the one hand I am thankful for the cooler temperatures (70s F, mid-20s C) and I love the rain, love the storms, puddles, patter and splatter, the pedaling of dripping cyclists, the head-covered-by-arms running of summer-dress-dressed long-haired city-dwellers, the grey overhead combatting blue horizons, and the post-cumulus aroma. Yet a part of me yearns for that burning and thirstifying heat-wave ... a few days are annoying, a week torture, but when you move toward records sensual pleasure and discomfort give way to desire for abstraction and a drive to be the best, even if it is only the best of the worst, to say I was there when it sucked!
It sucks: today is the 2nd, and on the 16th I have an afternoon date with an international airport. Much to do: cancel BahnCard, close bank account, notify authorities of departure, pack, perhaps ship ...
I look at my stuff and think, you know, I could almost take all of it on the plane. I'll toss a lot of clothes; some pants have too many holes or rips, some t-shirts are too old, some footwear has put on too many miles. I have made an attempt not to gather too many new items this last year, but I did pick up a dozen new books, and another dozen or so were sent from the States, along with a winter jacket and blazer. Another suitcase could handle it ... check two, carry on the laptop.
When J visited one of her bags ripped so she purchased a replacement suitcase, one almost large enough to replace both of her original ones, and since it was not terribly expensive, I am tempted to check my luggage allowance ... it likely would be less expensive than sending too many things by regular mail. I traveled here with just my backpack and laptop—there is some room for expansion.
Two: The Other
Manohla Dargis ponders:
Watching Alec Baldwin stick his 48-year-old tongue in Nikki Reed's 18-year-old mouth may explain why a gifted actor wasted his time on this trash, but it can't account for why reliable performers like Jeff Goldblum, Carrie-Anne Moss and Luke Wilson also went along for such a dead-end ride.
Answer: they got their tongues down her throat off-screen.The Quiet—I thought, Poison Ivy meets The Ice Storm meets Cruel Intentions, based on the Apple description, but the trailer itself is considerably more promising, and while the reviews have been mixed, I at least hope for some camp or guilty pleasure potential.
The Illusionist–at first I thought, a Prestige clone, but with Jessica Biel instead of Michael Caine, but the trailer picks up steam and goes in a different direction than that other movie ... reviews so far has been rather positive.
Set for December release (curious, that), The Nativity Story is the less-violent prequel to Mad Max's Easter entertainment. It casts Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary, so she's moving from whale rider, to queen of Naboo (visited by a christ-figure), to teen mother. Next they'll combine the last two roles by getting her to play Queen Elizabeth I.
The actors do their best to keep us awake, though it's clear from the performances, which veer between the oversized (Ms. Moss) and the underbaked (Mr. Wilson), that Mr. Guthe didn't offer any useful guidance. This doesn't pose a problem for a pro like Mr. Baldwin, but it's bad news for an actress as untested as Ms. Reed, who for all her pretty and poisonous pouting holds neither the screen nor our interest, even with the camera nosing up her skirt.
Three: A crowd
- Nanotechnology and Medicine: "7. An application: artificial mitochondria"
- "Nude Volleyball" by Peter Paul Reubens: "Nude volleyball thrived in Western Europe in the early 17th century. Here we see a popular team known as 'The Three Graces' huddling during a break in the competition. The number of members on a team was wildly inconsistent and The Three Graces would often have to compete against teams such as The Seven Deadly Sins and The Twelve Apostles."
- Gibson: 'I am not an anti-Semite': "[H]is film company, Icon Productions, had been producing a mini-series set during the Holocaust for ABC. The television network announced Tuesday that it was dumping that project."
- Museum uses bible to tell earth's history: "John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, an organization that promotes creationism, said the museum will affirm the doubts many people have about science, namely the notion that man evolved from lower forms of life. 'Americans just aren't gullible enough to believe that they came from a fish,' he said."
- Homosexuals found particularly liable to common viruses: "Some studies speculated that the weakening of the immune system could be linked to a virus, often sexually transmitted, called cytomegalovirus. [...] However, Dr. Siegal and a journal editorial discounted this theory, noting that viruses and homosexuality have been around for a long time but the syndrome is only a few years old."
Four: 2+2, 2*2, 22
A good idea ... I remember visiting the site a half decade ago or so. The Idaho parody was one of the more amusing ones, quite pre-"Napoleon Dynamite" and accurate enough in a way. Only two videos, both amusing. I went back a month or so ago for some reason, only to discover that it no longer had any content, and then, last week, I read about the firing of Melanie Martinez and realized, hey, I know of that person, and I know that site. Quite a few other sources have discussed it. I read the PBS Ombudsman's report [permalink/print-version] and the accompanying comments. The lack of editorial principle or integrity (see the Ken Burns issues, etc.) disturbs me, and although I've always supported PBS, and still think it is a great idea, as long as such spineless and worthless individuals run it, I will not be sending any money.
Asshole of the day goes to Robert Appleby, Monrovia, MD:
Thank you for the firing of Melanie Martinez after you became aware of the "Technical Virgin" video. This is obscene and ridiculous for her to be involved with. Good for PBS for doing the right thing.
In this context, it is amusing to remember that Bob Saget was Danny Tanner on Full House to/for a generation of kids.
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