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Stone Knives and Bearskins

I am endeavoring, Madam, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins. -- Mr. Spock to Edith Keeler

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January 18, 2005

This blog has been abandoned 

For further contributions of mine, please see its successor blog, Changing the Subject.

April 08, 2004

Riceblogging plan 

Yes, I caught Rice's testimony on KQED this morning - most of it. Wasn't able to blog at all, though, since I had to go to work. So my first stop will be the transcript (surely it's on the Web by now) to refresh my memory. Then I'll post what I thought of the hearing and what I learned from it - then read a few blogs - then maybe respond to them. That second post may be delayed, maybe even to tomorrow, by the movie I'm going to in an hour (Hidalgo, in case you're wondering).

One thing I can say up front is how weird it was to go through my everyday morning routine (coffee, breakfast, shower) with this very serious discussion of national policy in the background.

April 06, 2004

Worth getting up at 6 a.m. for 

I've just heard that Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9-11 commission on Thursday morning will be broadcast live on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and NPR. Won't do all of us on the West Coast much good - we're still reeling from the change to Daylight Saving Time - but I'll be listening.

New leaf 3 

I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
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I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
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I will not neglect my blog.
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I will not neglect my blog.
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I will not neglect my blog.
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I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.
I will not neglect my blog.

March 12, 2004

Condolences for March 11 

Evan Kirchhoff has posted addresses and phone numbers of Spanish consulates in the USA for those who wish to express condolences on the subway bombings yesterday. (Link found via Instapundit, but Evan's blog is worth a look, especially for people interested in video game development or copyright.)

March 06, 2004

New leaf 2 

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February 14, 2004

An army of ghosts 

Der Meisterdrunk von Rothenburg 

This post by Joanne Jacobs about Zarqawi trying to "ferment" rebellion in Iraq fomented comments alluding to a picturesque incident of the Thirty Years' War which I'd never heard of before. In 1631 (the thirteenth of the thirty years), as the Catholic forces under Tilly approached the city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber (in southern Germany, between Stuttgart and Nuremberg), the mayor, a man named Nusch, challenged Tilly to spare the city if he himself could drink a 13-pint tankard of wine. Tilly accepted the bet, and honored it when the mayor won. Local history commemorates this event as the Meisterdrunk. (Article in German. Link located by Mike of the Blog Eclectic.)

February 13, 2004

Zatarain for President 

I have nothing to offer today but still another product endorsement.

This blog officially endorses Zatarain's Red Bean and Rice Mix, the solution to all the world's problems.

I am not likely, however, to mail-order 30 pounds of live crawfish anytime soon.

February 12, 2004

Funny how things happen 

Because of a miscommunication at work last October, I had occasion to FedEx several candy bars to San Diego (well, Chula Vista) today.

I mark this day with a York peppermint patty.

February 08, 2004

Revolt in Haiti 

There's some kind of revolt in Haiti.

UPDATE: Tacitus has picked up the story.

February 04, 2004

New world-watching links 

I wish I had thought of Matt Drudge's phrases for his weather and seismic links: "Weather Action" and "Quake Sheet". True, nobody bets on the weather (except at Tradesports, where you can bet on the snowfall in Central Park). But somehow this kind of environmental news seems just as urgent to some people, even if they know they'll be entirely unaffected. Yes, I'm one. The "Watch" section of my list of links is supposed to meet this kind of need.

Just now, I don't have time to code them into the list, but watch for these new arrivals:

I get my weather information from the U.S. National Weather Service. The unobtrusive space on the left that says "City, St" is the key to the whole site, of course. But there's one other feature, even more deeply buried, that I relish for sheer watch value: weather data from ocean buoys, updated hourly. See their shipboard observations too. For earthquakes, the first place I look is NEIC's worldwide earthquake map. For some parts of the US, particular earthquakes are accorded a USGS ShakeMap: aren't the colors pretty?

February 03, 2004

On a roll 

The cryptic post below is explained by my having successfully hard-coded a simple blogroll in the column to the left. It's such a relief to finally have it there. Weblogs without fixed links to other sources of information are often uncomfortable pages to visit -- not so much because their authors are eccentric as because of their very disconnection from that worldwide welter of discussion which the frustrated reader knows is going on all around them.

Of course, that's fine for blogs whose whole point is their own atemporality and evanescence, or where the contributors are having more than enough fun among themselves. Otherwise, however, the page looks shockingly incomplete; although a sharp, steady contributor, well-placed for observation, can still rescue even a blog with no external links whatsoever, as Samuel Pepys is proving, still I'm sure the effort requires the single-minded devotion he gave it; those of us who aren't even clear yet why we joined the blogging experiment, simply can't maintain an isolated blog through our wits and witness alone.

So kids, the lesson is this: Unless you know you're just going Pepys, when you go to the blog, make sure there's a roll.

Thank you. I'll be here all week.

ERRATUM: John J. Reilly's weblog, The Long View, also linked above, does in fact have a blogroll, but as it's vertically centered it isn't always visible in the window when the page loads. UPDATE: The Bellona Times has one too, sort of, but it's on a separate page, so I don't think it should count.

Behold! 

Okay, I think we can consider this leaf well and truly turned. Happy Groundhog Day +1, all.

February 02, 2004

Even better 

January 31, 2004

New leaf 

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January 18, 2004

Worst movie update 

I can't do with IMDB's polled list of the 100 worst movies what I did below with their 250 best, as I'm surprised to find that - except in the heavily edited and pre-mocked format of Mystery Science Theater 3000 - I've only seen one of them: The Avengers (now ranked 76th worst). I don't know that it deserved that rating, although any TV adaptation whose best points are the soundtrack and the art direction is plainly in trouble. (And the best point of the soundtrack, as I recall it, is the theme from the old TV series; the film composer, who couldn't leave it out, had the good sense to build around it so that it stands out like a jewel in its setting. When the theme came up during the hydrozorbing scene, just before the climactic fight, it gave me chills, I tell ya.)

Top unwatched movies 

While we wait for results from the Spirit probe's soil studies, we find that everyone else (by which I mean Michele Catalano) has been over at the Internet Movie Database, reeling from the effects of a poll of their "regular voters" to establish the Top 250 Movies ever made.

This list seems to line up with my own tastes better than it might have, with Peter Jackson's Tolkien trilogy all in the top ten, so I feel bound to take it somewhat seriously. Doing so brings home to me how many of the best movies I have never seen. Some (marked with an asterisk) I've never even heard of:

2. The Shawshank Redemption
3. The Godfather, Part 2
7. Schindler's List
16. Raiders of the Lost Ark - saw part of it
17. Memento
18. The Usual Suspects
22. Amélie
23. Psycho
26. The Silence of the Lambs
28. Goodfellas
29. American Beauty
33. The Pianist
34. Apocalypse Now - saw part
37. Taxi Driver
38. Once upon a Time in the West*
40. Paths of Glory
41. Fight Club
42. Spirited Away
43. Das Boot
45. Double Indemnity
46. Chinatown
49. Requiem for a Dream
54. Seven
55. Saving Private Ryan
57. City of God
59. Rashômon
62. American History X
64. Léon* (The Professional)
65. Life is Beautiful
69. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
71. The Great Escape
72. Reservoir Dogs
74. Amadeus
75. Modern Times - I may have seen this when I was a kid, but I don't remember it.
76. Annie Hall
77. Jaws
79. On the Waterfront
81. High Noon
84. The Sixth Sense
86. The Shining
91. Finding Nemo - Saw the first few minutes.
92. Donnie Darko
94. Toy Story 2
96. City Lights - As with #75, probably saw this when younger, but don't remember it.
99. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
102. Full Metal Jacket
103. Cinema Paradiso
104. Rebecca
105. Princess Mononoke
106. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
111. Manhattan
112. Patton
113. The Deer Hunter
114. The Best Years of Our Lives
116. Glory
119. The Bicycle Thief
121. Forrest Gump
123. Cool Hand Luke
124. Ben-Hur
125. The Green Mile
126. Shrek
127. Once Upon a Time in America
129. Talk to Her
131. Stalag 17
133. The Grapes of Wrath
135. The Night of the Hunter
136. The Wild Bunch
137. The Straight Story
138. The Elephant Man
139. A Christmas Story* (1983)
142. Platoon
143. The Hustler
146. Monsters, Inc.
148. Die Hard
149. Lost in Translation
150. Amores perros (Love's a Bitch)
152. The Grand Illusion
153. Almost Famous
154. Spartacus
158. The Conversation
160. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
161. Festen* (The Celebration)
162. Magnolia*
167. The Insider*
168. Wild Strawberries
170. The Battleship Potemkin
173. The Day the Earth Stood Still
174. All the President's Men
175. A Streetcar Named Desire
176. Mulholland Drive
177. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
178. Mystic River
179. The Exorcist
181. The Killing*
183. The Four Hundred Blows
186. Stand by Me
187. Twelve Monkeys
188. Three Colors: Red
189. Nosferatu (1922)
190. Dog Day Afternoon
195. The Right Stuff
196. Trainspotting
197. Network
198. Ying xiong* (Hero)
200. Midnight Cowboy
201. The Lion in Winter - saw part of it
202. Bonnie and Clyde
204. Rain Man
205. Minority Report
206. The Others
207. King Kong (1933)
208. 8½
210. Snatch
211. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
212. Stage Coach - saw part of it
214. Traffic
215. Hotaru no haka* (Tombstone for Fireflies)
216. The Untouchables
217. Whale Rider
218. La Strada
219. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
222. Rio Bravo
223. In the Heat of the Night
225. All About My Mother
226. The Passion of Joan of Arc
229. Good Will Hunting
230. Die xue shuang xiong* (Bloodshed of Two Heroes; The Killer)
231. Being There
232. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
233. A Beautiful Mind
234. Clerks
235. Red River - saw part of it
236. Bride of Frankenstein
237. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
238. X2 (X-Men 2)
239. MASH
240. Road to Perdition
241. The Man Who Would Be King
242. Sleuth
244. The Quiet Man
245. Heat
246. JFK
247. The Birds
249. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
250. The Sweet Hereafter*

Now, it looks as if the list changes from time to time: voting must still be going on. Once there's a final list, I hope to go over this post and update it.

Archives

07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003   07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003   08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003   08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003   09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003   10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003   11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003   11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003   11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003   11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003   11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003   12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003   12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004   01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004   01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004   01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004   02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004   02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004   02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004   03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004   04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004   01/16/2005 - 01/23/2005  

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