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Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
15:23 pm - Iran.
I am glad to see that the Iranian people have had enough.

Iranian woman standing up to a squad of police.

Iran is an interesting case because they have the forms and social conventions of democracy, whereas the actual government is anything but. The nation is ultimately governed by an unelected theocratic council.

Fire in the streets.A people in the streets.

That said, the presidency is important because the executive branch has significant control over day-to-day affairs.

Bloodied protester.Bloodied protester.

Freedom Is Never Free.

Godspeed, People of Iran. Godspeed.

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Monday, June 15th, 2009
1:12 am - UP
If you have not seen Pixar's UP, go and see it.

I went to see it in 3D with aelana today. The 3D actually adds to the film in non-stupid ways.




I'm still crying.


Yes, it's a "kids' movie" and no, the old guy and the kid don't die in the end.

It's just that touching of a film. They'd better nominate it for a REAL Oscar instead of just "Best Animated Feature".

Oddly, we'd all watched Gran Torino last night, and this film is almost perfectly the inverse. Both are about grumpy old men who alternate between clinging to the remnants of life and chasing a meaningful death.

The montage about five minutes into UP is a beautiful, fun, romantic tearjerker that is totally silent except for music. It sets up the whole premise of the film- that "Carl" clings so desperately to the memory of his dead wife that rather than be parted from "her", he embarks on a suicide journey to "Paradise Falls". As a young man, he promised his bride that they would go there. As an old man about to be forced out of the home they shared, he metaphorically "goes into the West", taking with him the house, and in so doing, his wife's spirit.

Time and again, this film's ability to tug at heartstrings amazed me. While there is plenty of good kid's stuff here and the scary scenes are cleverly leavened to avoid frightening children out of their seats, it is the very human quality of this film that so impressed me. Don't get me wrong, I loved WALL-E, but UP is a quantum leap in making animated films stack up to live-action cinema.


Oh, and The Proposal was way funnier than I expected. Thanks to larryboy and ichisan for dragging me to it. BTW, it turns out it was filmed almost entirely in eastern Massachusetts.

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
8:38 am - The Future is Now, Chummer.
Remember that real-time face remapping they "did" in the movie The Running Man?

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17226-instant-sex-change-served-up-by-video-software.html

Buckle up, chummer.

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Thursday, May 21st, 2009
22:52 pm - Terminator IV
Who's up for T4?

It has Christian Bale...

...you know, Batman?

I mean John Connor.



http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/terminatorsalvation/

Greenfield Garden has 7:00 and 9:30 PM.
Cinemark at 6:15, 7:40, 9:05, and 10:30 PM.
Showcase WS has 6:40, 7:10, 7:40, 9:30, 10:00, and 10:30 PM.
Entertainment at 7:00, 7:30, 9:35, and 10:05 PM

I think I might go to Ruby Tuesday, but I'm not sure.

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Friday, May 8th, 2009
8:09 am - Other interesting looking movies...
District 9 - Kinda like Alien Nation in Somalia?
http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/district9/

Battle for Terra - Humans as the alien invaders?
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/battleforterra/

Alien Trespass - 1950s-style cheesy sci-fi alien invasion.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/alientrespass/

Pandorum - Resident Evil in the Nostromo?
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/pandorum/

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8:06 am - Moon.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony/moon/

This looks interesting. It opens mid-June.

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Monday, March 2nd, 2009
5:44 am - Holyoke Schools are Closed Today
For those of you who teach in Holyoke, stay home. Don't get up and take a shower first.

http://ftpupload.wwlp.com/closings.html
http://wggb.images.worldnow.com/images/incoming/NewsroomSolutions/closings.html

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Sunday, March 1st, 2009
21:38 pm - Space is the new black.
Apparently the fashion world has decided that space-themed clothes are to be all the rage:

http://www.newscientist.com/gallery/dn16686-space-fashion/1

Maybe now I'll get my Mars colony or at least my flying car....

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Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
15:32 pm - Help name part of the space station "Serenity"
Gakked from tehuti:

Help NASA to name another important addition to the station - Node 3 and its cupola!

Voting will be open until March 20th, 2009. NASA will announce the winning name in April 2009.

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/name_ISS/index.html


Serenity currently has 82% of the vote. Suck on THAT, Enterprise! :)

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Friday, February 20th, 2009
23:43 pm - Music in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse
I like Joss Whedon's new show Dollhouse, but one thing has been sticking in my head. Has anyone else noticed that the "Dollhouse" background music (leitmotif in the Dollhouse itself) sounds remarkably like the theme motif from the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Running Man?


Starts about where the Dollhouse leitmotif begins.


Look between 4:10 and 5:15 for the Running Man motif.

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Thursday, February 19th, 2009
12:52 pm - The Quest For G...
Gakked from fireheart:

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Sunday, February 8th, 2009
0:50 am - Fanboys
Well, thanks to athene, I now have to see this:

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Friday, February 6th, 2009
20:46 pm - December 21, 2012 Anyone?
They forgot to mention the massive increase in volcanism and tectonic shifting...

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16545-antarctic-bulge-could-flood-washington-dc.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

"...Many previous models of the rising sea levels due to climate change assumed that water from melted ice sheets and glaciers would simply run into the oceans and fill them uniformly. These models predict a 5-metre rise in sea levels if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts, but fail to acknowledge three important factors.

First, Jerry Mitrovica and colleagues from the University of Toronto in Canada considered the gravitational attraction of the Antarctic ice sheets on the surrounding water, which pulls it towards the South Pole. As the ice sheet melts, this bulge of water dissipates into surrounding oceans along with the meltwater. So while the sea level near Antarctica will fall, sea levels away from the South Pole will rise.

Once the ice melts, the release of pressure could also cause the Antarctic continent to rise by 100 metres. And as the weight of the ice pressing down on the continental shelf is released, the rock will spring back, displacing seawater that will also spread across the oceans.

Redistributing this mass of water could even change the axis of the Earth's spin. The team estimates that the South Pole will shift by 500 metres towards the west of Antarctica, and the North Pole will shift in the opposite direction. Since the spin of the Earth creates bulges of oceanic water in the regions between the equator and the poles, these bulges will also shift slightly with the changing axis..."

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