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Confused to see an entry from me?

Nov. 14th, 2008 | 10:22 am

It's for a good reason. I passed the New York Bar Exam. :)

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Great Moments In Advertising

Aug. 29th, 2008 | 07:52 pm

It's an ad sponsored by a New Zealand TV station for an upcoming showing of the Tarantino epic.

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Zeus versus Pele!

May. 13th, 2008 | 02:58 pm

The divine grudge match is settled tonight!

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Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

May. 10th, 2008 | 09:54 am

It's a tough choice for me. Either this:

or this:

(It's St. Edward's Crown, used to coronate the monarchs of England)

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What famous people have died on your birthday?

May. 6th, 2008 | 01:48 pm

In a recent post by manningkrull, he asked what famous people shared birthdays with the reader. In conducting my thorough Internet research, I discovered that George Bernard Shaw had died on my birthday. I've seen Manning's question a million times. I've never asked people to tell me who died on their birthday. So how about it, my few but faithful readers? What famous people have died on your birthday?

Aside from George Bernard Shaw, I've got:

- Theo Van Gogh (Dutch filmmaker killed in 2004 by Islamist extremists over his controversial new movie)

- Eva Marie Cassidy (singer-songwriter with a very sweet, light voice)

- Mary Lillian Ellison, a.k.a. "The Fabulous Moolah (a female wrestler who was the longest reigning champion in WWE history at 30 years)


Spread the meme if you feel like it. ;)

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Not content with their waffles and chocolate

Apr. 28th, 2008 | 08:02 pm

Just when you thought that the Diet Coke-Mentos meme was exhausted, some Belgians set a new world record. The last two pictures in this brief news story are magnificent.

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It doesn't matter how many states a Democratic candidate wins

Apr. 28th, 2008 | 08:41 am

Well, it does, but not in the way that most pundits keep repeating. Yes, Obama has won more states than Hillary. But since the U.S. uses an electoral college in its presidential election, the relevant question is which states you've won, not how many. I don't have precise numbers, but a candidate could probably win the 30 smallest states in the general election and still not become president. He or she would win more states, but lose the election, you lazy pundit jackasses.

Hillary's argument about her victories in swing states (which tend to be mid-to-large states in terms of population) springs from Obama's lead in total states won. It's the only argument in her favor with a scintilla of sense. Unfortunately for Hillary, this argument evaporates after a moment's critical thought. Once the Democratic nomination farce is over, I expect that most rank-and-file Democrats will line up behind Obama. Right now, Democrats can afford to be partisan and idealistic. Nothing's on the line for them. When the general election comes around, the Democrats will be able to sing a litany of woes over the last eight years of Republican Presidential rule. No sane Democrat will vote for a Republican to spite their own party. They may say that in opinion polls in April. Ask them again in October.

So who cares if Hillary wins some swing or big states in March and April? It's clear that Obama can't win those states competing against Hillary. Can Obama win those states against McCain? Polls give us contradictory answers week in and week out. One week, he's stronger than Hillary, the next he's weaker. Week in and week out, Clinton is beating up on Obama, and vice versa. The media hasn't yet sunk its teeth into McCain in a meaningful way. They're too busy covering a Democratic race which is already over (hint: Obama wins). Give McCain a chance to make real mistakes on the presidential campaign trail and I suspect he won't be much trouble for a Democratic nominee. Obama can beat McCain in November, regardless of a state's size.

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Flight of the Conchords

Apr. 24th, 2008 | 06:03 pm

Not since Fry and Laurie have I enjoyed such a clever pair of gents. Their songs aren't just Weird Al rip-offs. The songs are true, brilliant parodies of their source material. "The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)" drips with Prince's vocal and musical flourishes. I can imagine "Inner City Pressure" as an unreleased Pet Shop Boys track that they recorded as a laugh. "Bowie" is SO on target that it sends chills down my spine. This message is titled "Foux Du FaFa" because the music in that song resonates with the few French Pop songs I have on my iPod, things like "Verlaine" and "La Mer, by Charles Trenet. The lyrics of "Foux" are relentlessly silly, but the song remains dangerously sunny and infectious.

My only regret thus far is that my favorite song of theirs is only available (quasi-legally) as a YouTube video. If you haven't seen it, and care to, search YouTube for "Flight of the Conchords Jenny", for a song from their HBO special called "Jenny." If you like the Conchords, you will thank me.

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Movie Review: Primer

Mar. 28th, 2008 | 10:28 am

If you thought “Memento” was challenging to watch, but rewarding, then I’ve got a movie for you.
This ain't yer daddy's time-travel movie, Marty McFlyCollapse )

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No Country For Old Men

Dec. 5th, 2007 | 07:31 pm

I've seen this movie twice now and it's in my Top Five Of All Time (and Space). It's a stunning achievement on virtually every front. One of the movie's pleasures is how the Coen brothers indirectly communicate information about the characters without dialogue. I've been thinking of one example in particular.

At the start of the film, we see LLewelyn hunting antelope in Texas. Llewelyn rests his rifle on one of his boots (which he removed from his foot) and placed on top of a large rock. He's shooting antelope that are far enough away that he has to use a powerful scope, which he carefully adjusts before firing. After he fires his bolt-action rifle, he ejects the spent cartridge. He leans over and picks up the empty cartridge, slipping it into his breast pocket. He puts his boot on and sets to tracking the antelope he shot. Much later in the movie, we learn, in a bit of dialogue, that Llewelyn is a Vietnam vet. The movie takes place in 1980.

The first time I saw the movie, I didn't connect these two bits of information. The second time, it suddenly dawned on me: the Coens are telling me that Llewelyn was a sniper. Picking up a spent cartridge and putting it in your pocket is reflexive for a sniper. He's resting his rifle on his boot and careful concern for the proper scope setting show a sniper's careful care for getting a perfect shot. The entire movie rewards this kind of careful attention by the viewer. It's amazing.

Has anyone read the book? Is Llewelyn described by Cormac McCarthy as a sniper?

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