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The coming moon war

Major doings at NASA! Rocketships canceled. A moon mission spiked. Fury in Congress. I tuned in to the NASA telepresser and, when the Q&A time came, asked one question -- where, exactly, are we going to go other than the ISS? Answer: TBD. But we're going to develop new technologies. We'll have orbital refueling. We'll have new propulsion. So we'll be all dressed up and ready to go -- somewhere.

[Here's my web story on the NASA budget.]

The battle over space has begun. And it's likely to be brutal.

The Obama administration is attempting to kill NASA's ambitious back-to-the moon program, an effort that carried the imprimatur of George W. Bush. The Constellation program had already run through about $9 billion to develop a new crew capsule, Orion, and a new rocket, the Ares 1. Both are vaporized by Obama's new NASA strategy.

Instead of going back to the moon, the administration wants to invest $6 billion over five years in a commercial taxi to orbit. The idea is to let the private sector take over the routine flights into space.

But change does not come easily or quickly in the complex, costly and highly political enterprise that is space travel. Key lawmakers are furious at the prospect of losing jobs and NASA dollars. Also in an uproar are companies that will see billions in expected contracts fail to materialize.

"The president's proposed NASA budget begins the death march for the future of U.S. human space flight," Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) said Monday morning. "The cancellation of the Constellation program and the end of human space flight does represent change -- but it is certainly not the change I believe in."

Last week, anticipating the news about the Constellation, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), whose state stands to lose 7,000 jobs when the space shuttle program ends next year, said, "[T]he president's green-eyeshade-wearing advisers are dead wrong. And I, for one, intend to stand up and fight for NASA, and for the thousands of people who stand to lose their jobs."

Obama's 2011 budget request calls for $19 billion for NASA, a $276 million hike from the previous budget. The language in the budget repeatedly emphasizes technological innovation to make space travel less expensive.

The change in course is hardly shocking given the events of the past year. Obama appointed a committee, led by retired aerospace executive Norman Augustine, to examine options for human space flight. The Augustine panel saw no chance that Constellation could succeed in its goal of a 2020 landing on the moon.

"We were not a sustainable path to get back to the moon's surface," NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a conference call Monday. He said Constellation was eating up money that could have gone to innovations in space flight. The budget calls for billions in coming years dedicated to new technologies that, Bolden said, could make it possible for astronauts to explore the solar system.

"Imagine trips to Mars that take weeks instead of nearly a year," Bolden said.

Former astronaut Sally Ride, an Augustine panel member, described the strategic shift as a "significant vote of confidence in NASA" that brings it "back to its roots as an engine of innovation."

Obama's budget document intimates that Constellation, with its ambition of a moon landing and a lunar base, was always a rather stale idea, in addition to being unrealistically expensive. Constellation, the budget states, "was planning to use an approach similar to the Apollo program to return astronauts back to the Moon 50 years after that program's triumphs."

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, a company that could bid on a commercial contract for a crewed mission to orbit, said the administration was simply being realistic in its cancellation of Constellation.

"If you've got a program where success is not one of the possible outcomes, you just can't bury your head in the sand," Musk said. "There is no way there's the appetite for another Apollo-like program with Apollo-like budget expenditures."

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 1, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
 
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Next: Who lost the moon?

Comments

Where did everybody go, to the moon?

Hmmmpppt. I can boodle today?????

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | February 1, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Don!

Yep, tough choices. I hate to see us cut back on space technology, but maybe it's necessary.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 1, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

This has been a long time coming. Constellation could have worked, if it were funded properly at the start. But it wasn't and there's not chace of it being so in the current budget climate. It's just not going to work.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 1, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Don!!! **Snoopy happy feet dance**

Way back in the early years of the race for space there was a kiddie record about going to the Moon.

"We're going to the Moon, we're going to the Moon. Everybody hold your hats, we're going to the Moon!"

Oh, well. that was then.

My budget post on the last kit got mudged. I'll not repost it here.

I'm not convinced private money is the way to go. But I'm open to debate on that.

As I posted a few kits back, until humanity cleans up the stuff we've left in space and on the Moon and develops a no-littering policy when visiting or settling non-Earth celestial bodies, I would prefer our staying off them.

Posted by: MsJS | February 1, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

What does TBD mean???

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 1, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

To be determined

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

To be determined, Jumper...

Posted by: slyness | February 1, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yawwwwwwwwwn.

Posted by: jezebel3 | February 1, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Yawwwwwwwwwn.

Posted by: jezebel3 | February 1, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

If you are bored, go outside and play.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 1, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A,

Maybe it's my eyes, but I see a close-bracket at the end of "Here's my web story on the NASA budget." And I missed the open-bracket further up.

Posted by: MsJS | February 1, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

As football season winds down and college hoops start to heat up, Joel is apt to get a little fast and loose with his brackets, MsJS.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 1, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

**rimshot to Mudge**

Posted by: MsJS | February 1, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Here are two missions of the type I support wholeheartedly. The Japanese Haybusa did not perform well. Our U.S. Dawn mission is proceeding well but hasn't reached destination yet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayabusa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_Mission

I wonder what fancy new tech Bolden is referring to. Ion propulsion, maybe tethers?

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 1, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I think that not having a viable rocket system to deploy astronauts to the ISS is a strategic mistake which may cost Obama politically. It's a potential "missle gap" opening as well as a jobs-destruction story.

In the Denver Post today, a major story is on the impact the cuts will have on the big Lockheed rocket factory south of town where a lot of the Ares/Constellation work is going on.

Given spending by the federal government over the last several years, I would have hoped that a billion or two of stimulus dollars couldn't have been rerouted to NASA. Additionally, this budget contains an additional $17 billion for Pell Grants. This budget contains staggering amounts to train and equip the Iraqi and Afghan armies. 1/20th of the AIG bailout money would have been significant in this context.


Posted by: Awal | February 1, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Joel is dealing with L.A.T.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 1, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Elon Musk was a political supporter of Obama.

Elon Musk got $700 million in the stimulus for an electric car.

Elon Musk is getting $6 billion from NASA budget.

Elon Musk is not a US citizen.

Elon Musk of SpaceX, a company that could bid on a commercial contract for a crewed mission to orbit, said the administration was simply being realistic in its cancellation of Constellation.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 1, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Is this the same Elon Musk as PayPal?

PayPal?

Electric Cars?

SpaceTaxis?

What next?

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 1, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

One of the budget problems is that this budget for the first time really, includes the costs of the wars. Under Bush, this was all done off-budget. Some folks raised the issue about needing to fund the conflicts, but that would likely have meant raising taxes, and no Repub with have any of that, so the funding just became part of the deficit. Now that we can see it for real, some other things are going to have to take a hit. Space is no longer "sexy", beyond the Hubble, to most folks. They just want their job with Boeing, or GM, or the local machine shop back. This whole discussion points up what I essentially said at the very beginning - A government program, once funded and running, attains its own advocacy group, which usually includes members of Congress as well as all of locals who depend on it in some way. They become almost impossible to terminate.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 1, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

It's a false decision, but I'm going to throw it out there anyways. The budget for the entire Department of the Interior is $12 billion compared to $19 billion for NASA. I went to at least six national parks last year. Nobody has invited me to ride the space shuttle. If NASA were a little more open to tourism, it might garner more support.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

There is a very neat little trap concealed inside this NASA budget thing, which is that most of the major NASA sites where most of the jobs are, are in Red states: Florida, Alabama, Texas. Most of the people who will begin howling about lost jobs, etc., are Republicans, both in Congress and governors. Yet these are also the same people who are howling about reducing the federal budget, reducing taxes, shrinking the deficit. So they want to shrink the budget--but not cut any programs in THEIR jurisdictions.

So these same Republicans can all of a sudden either start lobbying to restore the NASA cuts in Obama's budget -- and look like spendthrift idiots -- or roll over and play nice (on that part of the budget) while Obama gets what he wants, a cut in what the WH views as expenditures we can do without. And if they still howl, Obama's got 'em hoist on their own petards. He's trying to be prudent and fiscally responsible, and the GOP won't let him.

And with new unemployment in their districts, maybe they'll start asking for fed help on that. Or else tell their own now-unemplyed constituents, sorry, fellahs, we don't believe in helping you folks out.

Very nice. Me likey.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 1, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The last time I got Elon Musk from the drugstore for my wife as a present she just threw it out. She likes those high-end perfumes from Sephora and places like that.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Finance our mission to Mars as a reality show. Get Elliot Gould, James Brolin, and Brenda Vaccaro to host. Each week from a secret desert studio, one contestant gets shoved out the airlock.

I'd love it. Sign me up for Capricorn Season One.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I love Musk's phrase "a program where success is not one of the possible outcomes". I must remember that on the very off chance that I ever become an executive, I can sourly ask whoever's pestering me, "Is this one of those programs where...."

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 1, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Then Republicans will be viewed as just a bunch of stray animals.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 1, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. I was catching up on the last Kit; after y'all left, the front-pagers took over. Brrr.

Speaking of brrr, it is still ice & snowy here, and my windowsill are dripping.

I appreciate the Moon kits and am really enjoying the various thoughtful and well-informed comments. I'm neither, I'm afraid, so I'll just note that my mental image of the title was little Moon people brandishing pointy spears. Arthur Rackham, or maybe Steadman again.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Of course the budget aspects are fascinating. Mudge, I like your appreciation of the quandary red-state legislators face as they either demand more money for NASA or face job losses. However, I'm afraid it won't play out as embarrassment. The cognitive dissonance required in opposing gummint spending while saving state jobs is something with which most red-state legislators and voters seem very comfortable.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

They were not budget cuts strickly speaking. W said we will get back to the Moon in 2020 (in a typical fashion without adding a red cent to the NASA budget). The current admin basically said, we have other priorities and did not allocate the necessary money.

I'd too to have Emmilou Haris and Michel Rivard to sing at my funeral. I don't think that will happen though. The URL says it all.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Kate+McGarrigle+beautiful/2508030/story.html

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Heck, they can't sing at my funeral. I want Michel Rivard to sing for (to) me while I'm still around to appreciate it!

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

With respect to the previous kit, I used to be in accounting and now I am not. It always gave me a tummy ache. This is why I knit.

I read the kit. I have a tummy ache.

With respect to this kit, if I am knitting a sweater that is a size small, but I mean the sweater to be for me, a size large, I am smart enough to know I must take it apart and start over.

Sometimes it just takes a few adjustments to the pattern and sometimes you have to start right from scratch. Seems to me that finally, they are doing it right.

Now if only space exploration could be accomplished as easy as knitting.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 1, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

SCC I'd love...Harris *gawd*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The Kennedy Space Center area has two members of Congress. One is a Democrat elected in 2008, thanks to the very conservative Republican incumbent self-destructing (golf with Abramoff). The other is also new for 2008 and sort of a Tea Party type. He'll happily sacrifice the moon stuff for a reduced deficit.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 1, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

My wife tried knitting. She kept getting about half way done, noticing some flaw and then starting over again. She never did finish anything. There's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Parker Griffith. Need I say more?

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/01/the_parker_griffith_switch_wha.html

Anyone care for tea in Huntsville, Ala., on April 4?

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/local.ssf?/base/news/126484656023260.xml&coll=1

Posted by: laloomis | February 1, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, re. your 5:14 PM, I was thinking about this topic on the Long Commute Home and pondered those very ideas, sir.

You laid it out it well. Not sure it was an intentional trap from the beginning, but they sure looks like the WH boxed some of those folks in, and it's unlikely that any of them emerge from this smelling like a rose. A nice high-level game, well-played. Wonder how much could that's going to affect the fall elections (ya know the Dems are already formulating game plans)?

Having said that, I'm not sure I'm buying into Musk's somewhat self-serving assessment of the potential success of Constellation. SpaceX seems to have gotten it's act together with Falcon, but learned a few things the hard way (still 2 fer 5 on successful launches). They have put an unmanned payload into orbit, which is more than the Scaled Composites folks can say, but conversely, the SC folks have built a single piece of people-rated hardware that achieved more than 100k in altitude repeatedly (but now no highter than the ceiling of the Air & Space Museum downtown). We'll see if SC's SpaceShipTwo or -Three can duplicate that success rate...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 1, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Ah, but yarn is the infinite mulligan. If you make an error and you rip it back it becomes just a pile of string. A pile of string has infinite possibilities. You don't even waste the time. Knitting errors usually teach you something. (generally that counting to 2 is harder than you think)

Not so with hardware.

What we really areissing is a vision for where we go next as nations and as a continent. It doesn't matter what kind of vision, we just seem to be missing something big to look forward to. If the sixties and the later half of the previous century stand out through the eons, it will be because of the wonders of the vision we had of where we were going to next.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 1, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"most of the major NASA sites where most of the jobs are, are in Red states: Florida, Alabama, Texas."

Another neat piece of trivia in here is that most of those states were blue when the space program elements were stuck there as gigantic pieces of pork. It's odd how the Solid South seems to have always been solid, but not consistently the same party.

Posted by: Section506 | February 1, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that the knitting projects keep reminding the knitters of their spouses at the time the project was started. The lesson is no projects for friends and spouses - grandchildren only.

Posted by: engelmann | February 1, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

SCC areissing ought to read are missing

Posted by: --dr-- | February 1, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

According to a 2007 article in the NYT, Elon Musk *is* an American citizen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/us/21rocket.html

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 1, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

LOL, engelmann. I started a beautiful lacy baby blanket for my eldest future niece when she was just an idea. By the time my eldest was born, 6 years later, it was done! So I swaddled both mine in it, and it is waiting, beautifully preserved, for grandbabies. So these things have a way of working out.

The babies don't notice the flaws. My perfect target market.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Not quite so solid any more, as North Carolina proved in 2008. Of course, the established wisdom is that it was the newcomers in the urban areas outnumbering the rural areas that caused NC to go blue. There is something to that, but as a third generation NC Democrat, I can say it's not everything.

Of course, I've voted for two Democratic candidates from eastern NC who were elected over two Republican candidates from my very own city.

My point is that we should never say never about the South.

Posted by: slyness | February 1, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

That is exactly what seems to be happening at Nasa.

Consider the grandchildren!

Posted by: --dr-- | February 1, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Other knitting lessons:

1. If someone else is going to have to finish the sweater you're planning on starting, don't go around taking all the credit or it will never get done.

2. Don't promise a sweater when you only have time for mitts.

3. Some projects are too big for one knitter. A patchwork quilt is better than no quilt at all.

Posted by: engelmann | February 1, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Using the moon to get to Mars is akin to using Letterman to get to the White House -- it's a side trip (sorry, just read the article On John Stewart). It could certainly be done without, but it helps. I remember reading a book way back in the 70s that laid out the economics of transporting raw materials up from Earth in order to build Mars crafts in LEO vs. mining the moon for those same materials. (If you want to go to Mars, you build ships in orbit that don't have to withstand the trip up from sea level.)

Seemed perfectly reasonable to my then-teenaged mind. Seems perfectly reasonable to me as a taxpayer now. I can't imagine not reaping the technological rewards of such an effort. Who'd have predicted all the incredible medical spin-offs of Apollo (remote-sensing, to name one)?

To inisist that we know the outcome of such an enterprise ahead of time is folly. Science should not be run by accountants or vacation tour planners (9:00 Tuesday, stop at moon... you will have five hours to shop before the Science departs for its next great discovery, with plenty of time for dinner at the Captain's table by 8:00...)

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

Just as relevant today...

Posted by: wdrudman | February 1, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Nice, engelmann. Especially Rule #2 - very important to choose projects wisely. I have found that a washcloth or a pair of socks is much more satisfying for me than embarking on a sweater or afghan which will take me years to finish (and for this, I have dr to thank). And do not talk to me of lace.

How this relates to space, I have no idea. I guess for me, even small steps will do when the big ones are out of reach. Let the grandkids go to Mars.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 1, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Some time ago I finally looked up and found the answer to a question I always had when hearing that speech. What were "the other things?"

1. Climbing the highest mountain
2. Flying across the Atlantic
3. Playing Texas (speech was at Rice)

Posted by: engelmann | February 1, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

One thing we should do differently though -- when some company profits off of a technology that came from goverment-funded research, then the U.S. Treasury should be getting a royalty off of every sale.

Posted by: wdrudman | February 1, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I was visualizing a Braveheart-style scenario with both sides mooning each other.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 1, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

The New York Times has a new blog on numbers:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/from-fish-to-infinity/?ref=opinion

Still not as funny as the Achenblog.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

My wife tried knitting. She kept getting about half way done, noticing some flaw and then starting over again. She never did finish anything. There's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt

****

That's not a metaphor. That's just a knitting project in progress. (You'd have spotted it more quickly if 2nd-last sentence ended with the word "yet.")

dr, The Lovely Mrs. byoolin nodded in agreement when I read your words, "yarn is the infinite mulligan," to her.

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 1, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow - stealthkit while the trolls are tearing up the front page link. Joel's is truly a superior kung fu.

DR, you nailed exactly what bugs me - that sense that the long term vision is gone. I need to read some more of the fine print in the coverage, see what projects are actually on the table, but the few comments I've seen sound like they're just imagining toys that might get built some day.

Then again, more R&D and less hardware could mean considerably more jobs (unfortunately for some also different jobs). Hardware is insanely expensive. That might be the idea.

Posted by: qgaliana | February 1, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Its not a metaphor, it's an irrelevant!

-Pace Flanders & Swann-

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I just took a brief walk. Beautiful out but very eerie. We've had mist/fog since yesterday: misty during the day, ice fog at night. Since the ice began Thursday it has never got quite dark at night or quite light during the day. I wonder if this is what it is like to live near the Arctic as summer approaches.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, are you aware your e-mail is going insane, and has sent out the same message 6 times?

(Sorry for using the Boodle for a private e-mail. but Scotty's e-mail has been taken over by a poltergeist, and I didn't want to risk e-mailing him directly if his system is being hijacked by a deranged djinn.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 1, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

And it kept telling me it "couldn't connect with the network."

*SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

My apologies to those suffering multiple doses of my inanities... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 1, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The mayor of New York takes out after salt, the main ingredient in corned beef. A Republican wins the special election to fill the seat vacated by the death of Senator Kennedy. Sports pages are once again filled with stories about whether or not Brett Favre will retire.

You would think this might be an optimal environment for relocating to the moon, but no!

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 1, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Is the ISS poltergeist-proof? Any funding in the budget to determine that?

Posted by: MsJS | February 1, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

douglaslbarber, it may be the end-days.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Two sent at 7:17, one at 7:19, then 7:23, 7:29, and then 7:54. Hope that might help with the diagnosis, somehow.

great line from this new episode of House:

House: "The opossum was meant for me."

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 1, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Not funny at all yellojkt, but deeply and sincerely profound.

I am felled by the grace and beauty of what he writes: " our freedom lies in the questions we ask — and in how we pursue them — but not in the answers awaiting us."

Works for way way more than numbers.


Posted by: --dr-- | February 1, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon5, since reading your comment I've been getting a sinking feeling that when J. D. Salinger's safe is opened, it will contain only a single strip of paper with "The possum was meant for me" scrawled on it.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 1, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

And the paper will have my fingerprints on it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 1, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. David McCullough is narrating 'The American Experience' on my PBS Detroit feed.

Its the subject matter, not the voice. Reeeeeeeeally.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 1, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

And mine.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Laughing, my Y.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 1, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

There you go.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Yoki & Curmudgeon, you're cracking me up. This is an amazing spot, prozac for anyone maxed out on comment insanity. Unique in all the world, even.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 1, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

'mudge! We thought we were sugar, but it turns out we're Prozac TM.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

This explains my sleep-walking.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 1, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeardley Smith on The Big Bang Theory. Nerdvana.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

And later there was a Big Cigarette.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 1, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else when clinking glasses across a crowded dinner table get the urge to shout "don't cross the streams"?

Posted by: qgaliana | February 1, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Bill Watterson interview. Rare. New.
http://ow.ly/12MII

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 1, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Every. Single. Time.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I be the walrus.

Schools closed tomorrow due to bad road conditions. Bastages. Cowards.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Wusses!

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

IMom, looks like you need the big guy's help with the snow.

http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2406

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 1, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Just watched Stalag 17. great movie

Which made me think of Catch 22. Which got me thinking about all the dif titles considered for the book.

I propose Catch 22 as one of the best book titles ever. Or am I too late

Posted by: omnigood | February 1, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Yep, DNA Girl, that'd do it.

The big guy could leave the snow, if he'd just zap the roads clear. They're trapped in the building once they get there anyway. At this rate they'll be in school well into June (in theory classes end before Memorial Day).

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Major Major

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

puppies any day, definitely by next wed. went to charleston to see some dog show friends this past weekend. checked into the hotel around 10.30, and by 10.45, the commode had overflowed. the hotelier came up with a plunger, a refund, and relocated us, thus a free room. i didn't expect it. went to the city on sunday to peruse the market, and happened upon the corner where the carriages post up for riders. it happened to be the annual free carriage ride day. nice. went to the apple store, left empty handed, but with addenda to the when i'm big wish list. missed the storm, but it may get nasty again tonight . well, relatively nasty in the context of location. MOTS this weekend. cabin fever. yeaaaahhhhh.

Posted by: -jack- | February 1, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

absolutely irrelevant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvUbbYX9BMs

Posted by: -jack- | February 1, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Arr, the buttered eggs. Jim! And the blaaack spot.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

funny you should mention that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IHdhsmEkBQ&feature=related

Posted by: -jack- | February 1, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Funny

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Milo Minderbinder's chocolate-covered Egyptian cotton.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Well done, Tim.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

This is how Obama creates jobs. By cutting them. Modern liberal logic at work. Sorry to all the folks in Florida who are out of work because of Barry.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | February 2, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Bush came up with the idea of Constellation 6 years ago but never properly funded it. It’s years behind schedule and way over-cost, and a lot of people think it’s a lemon that has serious design flaws. We already proved 40 years ago we could go to the moon. Let’s reach beyond. If Nixon hadn’t killed the Apollo program in the 1970s, we might have gone to Mars 20 years ago. But our will to explore died after we beat the USSR to the moon, and the government didn’t want to spend the money necessary for a Mars mission. We’ve been stuck in earth orbit ever since. The Area rocket wasn't going to take anybody back to the moon for another 18-20 years anyway, and wouldn't even be able to take crews to the ISS for anther 6-7 years. It was really pointless because that "transportation gap" was going to be there regardless and a couple years after it would have been ready to fly, the ISS is scheduled to shut down.

Posted by: jcarey2 | February 2, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I can't wait to see Geraldo's face when he finds that scrap of paper in J.D.'s safe.

We only had a light dusting of snow. We need more.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

jkt, just a note that a company where i used to work copyrighted Nerdvana. I won't report you though. I have spent the morning whistling "Happy Birthday" at least 20 times.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 2, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, hi Cassandra! It looks like we dodged the weather bullet: rain and 36 degrees so no slippery roads. I assume school will be in session. But no walk again this morning, I'll ride the exercycle. I can handle it for a while, but it does get boring, I much prefer the walk.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Actually, 'Mudge, I think it was a afrit in the e-mail...

And I swear I need to just set my camera up in the window here at the office and take sunrise pictures... Instant calendar material!!! :-) Had a brief window to catch a fiery tableau this time.

I'm happy to hear sanity prevails in Culpeper County schools:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/01/AR2010020102427.html

*Taking-a-side-trip-to-the-ATM-before-the-morning-coffee-run Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Decamping from the big city today for the middle of nowhere, and precinct caucuses. We have 5 precincts meeting in Our Fair City's community center. Will be surprised if more than one or two show up from each. In '08 we had a record of 40ish. With a total of 30 candidates from the 3 major parties the governor's race is still wide open.

It snowed all day yesterday leaving everything but the roads looking a lot cleaner, they look and are quite slick. Glad I don't have to leave until after rush hour.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

rt,
Think you are going to find plenty of prior art on Nerdvana. It's in urban dictionary already.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

The boodle will appreciate this photo:

http://www.booneweather.com/Photo+Of+The+Day

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Ouch. Just burned my hand when a microwaved Hot Pocket slipped out of its pocket and went I went to catch it, it decided to surrender its shell-like integrity and rupture. Another molten-cheese-related workplace industrial accident.

I've always postulated that breakfast was the most dangerous meal of the day.

'Morning, Boodle.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' 'Mudge lotsa aloe vera and one of those hi-temp silicone oven gloves* :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

In order for manned missions to space to become viable, there must be return on investment. Robots can acquire information about space more cheaply.

Since the US and the Soviets agreed not to militarize space, a major incentive for spending money on the space program vaporized. I might note that China made no such agreement.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Mentioning Hot Pockets reminds me of the Jim Gaffigan routine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xlN_ltZ3Ug

His beard comb over spot on the Superbowl broadcast a couple of years back was the funniest ever too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFn2su4JLV8

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

One honeybell orange and 15 minutes of the Muppet Treasure Island and I am ready to plunge into my day. Thanks for the links, Jack.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

jkt... what does that have to do with the fact?

I've been around for a bit, you know. Most people refer to me as old.

I've also been around nerds since the advent of abacusi.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 2, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about your workplace injury Mudge!

Dinner is on the stove, already. It may even be ready for a late lunch. Spicy red sauce (gravy) with boneless country style ribs simmering away.

jkt, mudge, everyone, come on over, just remember that I have no wine. Wouldn't be a bad idea to bring a nice full bodied Red.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 2, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Prozac, ey? Knew there was a reason I was happier since happening upon the boodle.

TWC is getting about 2 inches of new snow this morning. Looks pretty.

I usually put a paper towel over anything I nuke that could eject its contents onto my person. Either before nuking or after nuking but before removing from the nukaorium. I have prevented many ouchies as a result.

Happy Ground Hog Day, too.

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Interesting reporting an ABC News during the last 24 hours.

Last night, a story on the evening news about attempts to put the brakes on the Pentagon and the unnecessary acquisition of C17s (even McCain is against buying more than we need), the contracts spread across numerous states.

This morning, a segment by Jon Karl about $54 million spent on moving the tracks and redoing the station of the Napa (Calif.) wine train, a stimulus project to prevent flooding of Napa with work done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but with the train as clearly the most obvious immediate beneficiary.

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Ooh-Ooh Weed, I got handi-wipes and 2 bottles of burgundy!

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The Napa story gets more interesting the moer its scratched. An op-ed from the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat:

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20100201/OPINION/100209957/1042?p=2&tc=pg

Excerpts:

The boondoggle here is how the money made its way from Washington to the Napa Valley via an Alaska-based corporation that was able to secure a no-bid contract.

As noted in the story from California Watch, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, the no-bid $54 million federal contract went to Suulutaaq Inc., which has special access to such federal funding. Why? Because it’s founded by Alaska Natives, and under measures crafted by former Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, Alaska Natives have special access. Yes, that would be the same Ted Stevens of “Bridge to Nowhere” fame whose career ended in shambles after he was indicted for failing to report gifts from corporations and others. ...

Fortunately, Suulutaaq has contracted with a respected engineering firm to do the Napa work. According to the story, federal records show that Suulutaaq is paying the contractor $28 million — and keeping $20.4 million or 38 percent of the total contract.

The biggest waste in all of this is that the people of Napa need to depend on an Alaska-based corporation with special access to federal taxpayer money to get help paying for a long-needed flood control project. And for every $10 that was appropriated for the project, $4 will stay in Alaska with a company that now refuses to be talk. California Watch reporters said the company declined to answer any questions about the project and its funding.

Does this corporation enjoy special no-accountability status in addition to getting preferential treatment on federal contracts? It would seem so.

Enough with the complaints about the Wine Train. It’s this Alaska gravy train that needs to be stopped. ...

Fortunately, Suulutaaq has contracted with a respected engineering firm to do the Napa work. According to the story, federal records show that Suulutaaq is paying the contractor $28 million — and keeping $20.4 million or 38 percent of the total contract.

The biggest waste in all of this is that the people of Napa need to depend on an Alaska-based corporation with special access to federal taxpayer money to get help paying for a long-needed flood control project. And for every $10 that was appropriated for the project, $4 will stay in Alaska with a company that now refuses to talk. California Watch reporters said the company declined to answer any questions about the project and its funding.

Does this corporation enjoy special no-accountability status in addition to getting preferential treatment on federal contracts? It would seem so.

Enough with the complaints about the Wine Train. It’s this Alaska gravy train that needs to be stopped.

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm bringing Jessica Rabbit to lunch, as you requested, Weed.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm... Perhaps the Academy Awards should have expanded "Best Picture" to 10 nominees years ago, check the list:

“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9″
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”

Two sci-fis and an animated feature! Wow!

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

SCC: more interesting the more it's scratched

Jon Karl, more homework please.
(almost as bad as calling smallpox a bacterium when you were reporting for CNN) *w*

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The Nerdvana blog:

http://nerdvana.freedomblogging.com/

Good stuff.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

No, the Academy shouldn't have expanded the list for best picture to 10 a year ago. Some of this year's nominees are just popcorn flicks, reflective of an expanded push by the Academy to market Hollywood. Five was good and should still be good. The long awards night show will just be that much longer.

This year's list could have been pared down by eliminating:
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
A Serious Man
Up

*we recently rented Up on DVD and, trust me, this is no Best Picture contender. I hated it. Ellie was certainly worthy and deserving of having a late-life adventure, Blech.*

Bah to the Academy...

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Why am I thinking Kathleen Turner?

Posted by: russianthistle | February 2, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I put that image in your head, Weed.

Okay, no I'm not.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Don't know Weed, but I'm thinking of Glenn Close and bunnies.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

MsJS, shall we start with some snails?

Possibly some parsley and garlic sauce.

I am also partial to some of the cheeses that I have from Burgundy. Goat cheese, anyone?

Posted by: russianthistle | February 2, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

( )( )

Posted by: Boko999 | February 2, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It will now cost you about $100 to comment on the best picture from a position of knowledge.

Of course, Hurt Locker, Up, Inglorious Basterds and District 9 can already be rented so that lowers the cost some.

Not stopping me, the first few minutes of Up, telling the back story of the old man is a work of film genius.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Boys...ahem.

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I loved Up but then chacun a son gout.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

edbryonadams, it's so much more fun to comment on movies based on commercials, trailers, and reviews.

MsJS, I'd forgotten all about Groundhog Day.

On another note, I'm feeling particularly proud of myself. I just had a visit from someone who periodically feels the need to tell me that I'm no value-added. Usually I sputter in protest, but this time I just kept saying "I'm sorry you feel that way" and "I understand where you're coming from" until he finally ran out of gas and left.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 2, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Weed, I'd probably eat cardboard if it were bathed in garlic sauce.

I know they get boring, but I did bake cookies again yesterday. Soft ginger cookies and chewy chocolate cookies. Both favorites of MrJS but there are plenty to go around.

A dessert of a couple of slices of strong cheese and a chewy choc cookie is pretty yummage, BTW.

Early oddsmakers are going w/ Avatar for pic and Cameron for director.

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. I don't know, space travel sounds like fun to me. I mean going to the moon was the biggie at one time, but being able to travel in space as in commercial flights has some appeal too. And all of this from one that is scared to fly. Feel free to disregard the opinion.

I knew there were going to be compromises in trying to get health care and some of the other programs, but many come with a bothersome string, as in cut your own throat. Here in North Carolina, Medicad has been cut by millions which means those receiving Home Health services will feel the pinch big time.

A little story...

During our high school years, my mother moved in public housing, a step up from the houses we used to live in. My mother, and three teenage girls in an apartment. My father lived in town, but not with us. One day, a man that also lived in the neighborhood knocked on the door wanting to speak to my mother. My mother came to the door and talked with this man, and she sent him away with some not so good words. She was very angry when he left, and I asked what was wrong. She said the man told her he wanted a "dough roller". He thought she would be interested in sending one of us to his house. His wife was dying of cancer, and the "dough roller" meant someone to make bread and be his wife. Boy, was she angry. Later we laughed about it. My mother was determined her girls would finish high school if nothing else, and all that without the baby. I thought about that while making bread this morning.

Scotty, Martooni,Yoki, Mudge, Lindaloo, and all the gang have a wonderful day.

Slyness, it's raining here. Y'all got ice?

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Think about it, Raysmom. Why would someone expend energy in your general direction if you're no value added?

**sending mega-cheers Raysmom's way**

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

That certainly is a wonderfully eclectic list of movies Scottynuke. I like the fact that the Academy is moving away from "serious movies that nobody saw" to the inclusion of movies that actually speak to a larger audience. The notion that movies that many people want to see can't be any good never really made sense to me.

And I am delighted that I've actually seen a lot of these movies. I really enjoyed District 9 even if it didn't make too much sense in the details. (Still, few SciFi movies really do.)

And I loved Up. To me, it was about buffeting the injustices and tragedies of life without succumbing to cynical nihilism. Not a bad message if you ask me.

Alas, I have, unfortunately, not seen Inglorious Basterds. Perhaps I shall wait for the musical.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't know much about the movie "Precious," but find it highly irritating that somebody thinks it's important to add to the title "Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire."

I was pretty capable of figuring out that it didn't need to be "West Side Story: Based on the Play 'Romeo and Juliet' by the Bard," or that "My Fair Lady: Based on the Play "Pygmalion" by George bernard Shaw, Which Was Based on the Greek Legend by Pretentius."

I'll bet there are some other movies that have been based on books from time to time.

I've heard good things about "Up: Based on the Theory of Gravity by Sir Isaac Newton," and "Up in the Air: Based on the Weather reporting of NOAA and Al Roker."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

**sending mega-cheers Cassandra's way, too**

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' Raysmom a gold star for excellent converstaional skills* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Not a really great year for films. My vote goes to "Hurt Locker" with "An Education" second. Give Cameron a statue for technical achievement, but his storytelling skills are weak and the flick is just not better than its competition. Besides, how cool would it be for Cameron's ex-wife to beat him out with a film that cost 3% of what he spent?

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Opinion piece by Mike Thomas, a privatization-oriented Orlando Sentinel columnist.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/os-mike-thomas-nasa-moon-020210-20100201,0,7013310.column

I'm persuaded that the Space Station has become worthwhile, now that the actual laboratory modules have been installed.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, perhaps we could include "District 9: Marginally Based on Kafka's 'Metamorphasis' "

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Happy Groundhog Day! I have a friend who claims that this day should be properly celebrated with pork sausage. (Think about it.) But he has issues.

And, speaking of movies, I loved the movie "Groundhog Day." And not just because I've had a thing for Andie MacDowell ever since "St. Elmos Fire.")

It had, to me, a wonderful aesthetic of celebrating the moment. Sort of Buddhist in a way.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

You know, I never realized that "Precious etcetera etcetera" was the complete name. I wonder if this was some requirement imposed by the author of the book. Because I haven't seen such an ungainly title since "Oriole Park at Camden Yards"

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

When deciding which Boodler's opinion to trust on the artistic merits of motion pictures that I have not seen, kguy and/or rashomon top my list. As it happens, I *have* seen Up, and I loved it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Hurt Locker gets my vote despite the fact that the early fatal injury was not believable.

Please note, I have seen 5 of the 10.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I would *also* like to see a movie that has strong female characters doing interesting and unlikely and anti-stereotypical things. As it happens, Up doesn't happen to be that movie, and I won't fault it for not being a different movie. The movie that it chose to be, it did very well. That is where, for example, Avatar falls down -- the movie that it chose to be, it did not fully realize.

"Groundhog Day" is not sort of Zen Buddhist. It is intentionally so. Watch the DVD extras.

Andie MacDowell was in "St. Elmo's Fire"? I first became aware of her in "sex, lies, and videotape." "St. Elmo's Fire" (trite and silly though it was) was where I first became aware of Demi Moore.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

There's a channel on television called Planet Earth or something like that, and I saw an interesting show this morning.

They sent young people, that spent their time at home shopping and buying clothes all the time, to India. To the sweatshops where these fashions are made. Not only sent there, but had to live with families there, and work in the sweat shops. Boy, was it an eyeopener for them. They cried, they begged, they couldn't breath because of the stench, it was a mess for them. But, oh, the lesson. Words would never have conveyed the life lessons learned in that time. They were changed people when they left that place.

Any of you ever watch that channel?

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

good morning boodle and happy groundhogs day.if i was still living in west by god,it would be time to take the christmas tree down.

my dad would have been 92 today if he was still on this earth with us.mom and i are visiting the cemetary later today.

i had 3 teeth taken out yesterday and after a painfree,but restless night's sleep,i feel much better today.

i hope everyone has a great day and be kind to your favorite groundhog.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 2, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

There will be no groundhog here, because there is no sun. Just a vaguely bright grayish sky, with occasional fog.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I truly miss going to the movies, but it's been a long time and not enjoyable when unable to hear it all.

No sun here either, Ivansmom. Rain and more rain. I'm glad it's not ice, so there is a ray of sunshine after all.

My dad still with his sister. I got a chance to see him before the weather got bad. He doesn't talk about how things are going with him, and I don't push. I know he wants to get back in his own place, but I think there just might be a problem with the insurance company or his hope of owning a home again at his age. I try to find out, but don't get any answers.

I'm heading out to the laundry room. They're going to open up at noon. Hang in there folks, no matter the weather.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I have not seen the show Cassandra, but I felt that many of our young folk would benefit from seeing how the world really works. In their day, I felt that way about my own kids. Still they turned out pretty good.

I'm voting for Up, not that I have a vote with the Academy or anything. At least this year, I can support one that I saw. I have heard many good things about Precious, so that may just be my second pick.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Is Millbank jealous?

Posted by: bh72 | February 2, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

SciTim, Inglorioius B's has no less than TWO "strong female characters doing interesting and unlikely and anti-stereotypical things." And how!

I've only seen three: Hurt Locker (about which I boodled a long time ago); Inglorious, and District 9. I liked D-9, found it...um...interesting, but I'm not sure it deserves to be nominated. I think it got thrown into that expanded batch to fill a spot (Quirky Foreign Film But One Where Some of the Characters Except the Space Aliens Speak English).

I haven't seen Avatar, but am sympathetic to Kguy's view that it should get a special effects award, but not best picture. I'd have to see Up in the Air before I could rate it against Hurt Locker.

I have mixed feelings about Hurt Locker. On the one hand, I think it was quite good, but I wonder if it was THAT good enough to win best picture. On the other hand, I have to admit I spent nearly every freaking second of the movie literally sitting on the edge of my seat with my fists clenched-- and not just because I had to go to the bathroom but refused to hit the pause button. So yeah, maybe it was that good after all.

Plus it had Evangeline Lilly in it for 8.437 seconds, which pretty much clinches it for me.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

That guy Pretentius sure could write. I heard he lived in Maryland in his later years.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

More than half his life, actually.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I just had this video brought to my attention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4g930pm8Ms

It represents world air traffic over 24 hours. Unfortunately, all I can find is repostings of the video. I have not been able to find a posting that claims to be the authoritative source. I would really like to see if there are videos for other specific dates -- like, say, 9/11 would be really interesting to see how an entire nation (nearly a continent) suddenly shuts down all air traffic.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Mudge -- just wanted you to know someone reads *every word* you write. Even the imaginary ones.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I haven't seen that particular show, but I've been to India. It has 5 times the people of the US in 1/3 of the land, so land is very expensive, especially in the cities. There is no garbage pickup, so people throw trash outdoors and wild pigs eat garbage.
The slums also make urban poverty look like luxury.
The "rich" area I stayed in was so new it didn't have running water. What they had were tanques (tanks) that were filled by truck and which would provide drinking and bathing water for a week or two.

When we were there, we all had cholera and there was a water strike. We wound up leaving town just to get a toilet we could flush.
If I am being too graphic, I apologize. But safe water is far more precious than Americans realize. Thousands, if not hundred of thousands die yearly due to lack of access to clean water.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Time Warner was here for 45 minutes, lots of issues, but not with the young tech Cesar, who is quite nice. Disappointed that we were mislead about getting a new remote that is more ergonomically friendly for the visually impaired. The new one Cesar brought out is the same as the one we have--and this is absolutely the least of the issues with Time Warner.

I, too, would like to see "Hurt Locker." It had a short run in the theaters here, IIRC, and our attempts to get it on DVD within the last three weeks have been frustrating. We have an account at the local video chain store, and they have gotten only one copy within the store. We spoke to Michelle in management, who informed us that each store in the chain got only one copy of "Hurt Locker." It's not possible through this store to make a reservation for "Locker,", getting the one copy is first-come, first-served. Michelle thinks the movie is being held back in the very likely event that the movie will be re-released before the Academy big-sheew.

If the movies are a mirror to America, then I'm unhappy with--not so much the state of the movies--but America.

The geezer in "Up" takes on the Scout because the father is absent and gives his attention to a girlfriend, rather than the son--and the devoted loving wife never fgot her adventure. The widespread corporate layoffs in "Up in the Air." As for "Precious," what kind of a sicko father rapes his own daughter? (Anyone here a rape victim?)

-more-

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Tim, I remember seeing something like you describe for air traffic for 9/11. Not sure if it was "real" or an animation. I live in the vicinity of 3 airports, so I remember how eerily quiet it was on 9/11 and the days following when no planes were in the air.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 2, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

And the female roles? I've already provided a link to why Julia hates Julie. For best female actress, I think it'll be a choice between characters (and the actresses who play them): a tall, Amazonian British woman, childless, who loves sex and food, and develops a career out of fine cooking, her role still tied to the traditional kitchen. Or a fabulously wealthy, attractive, white-woman blonde mommy, who takes in a needy black kid off the streets who has no family to care one wit about him (disclosure: I've yet to see "Blind Side"). And where is this kid's family? Why do people plop out kids into the world without taking responsibility for them?

It reminds me in small part what Jared Diamond said during his talk last night: that the gated communities in Los Angeles are a great metaphor for what's wrong in this country. The elites have money so they don't have to worry about finances or Social Security, the elites don't have to worry a lot about health care or reform of the sytem because they can buy and afford what they choose, they don't have to worry about water quality because they can buy bottled water (questionable about the water quality, but they do all share the same smoggy air in the L.A. Basin). The gated elites are out of touch with the anger that erupted after the Rodney King beating, Diamond said--and Watts, for that matter. Diamond spoke of yellow police tape that was used to rope off Hollywood after the King riots, a gesture that amy not work the next time aroudn, Diamond asserted.

These elites attempt to live serenely in their own little enclaves, above the fray of what's happening beyond the high walls of their pampered lives. Diamond contrasted the Los Angeles elite situation with the far-seeing, more egalitarian people of the Netherlands. (Don't get me started on Diamond, as I've enough to Boodlehog the rest of the day and well into the night.)

So the Awards ceremony is just more whipped sugar on the icing of the elite multi-tiered, overly decorated and too much ooohed and awed Hollywood cake. Several hours of escapism in each movie experience to prevent is from looking at the real world too seriously.

Argue with me until you're blue in the face, I still think people will pick their own movies, root for their favorites, and the Academy should still pick only five for its most prestigious prize. Or is it just making nods at niches in the American demographic--kids as just one example?

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

One other thing about James Cameron- he really believes in the institution of marriage. He's been married five times so far.

Sharon Williams (1978–1984)
Gale Anne Hurd (1985–1989)
Kathryn Bigelow (1989–1991)
Linda Hamilton (1997–1999)
Suzy Amis (2000–present)

All of which leads me to wonder who was he with 1992-1996 and why wouldn't she marry him?

There's a marvelous line in "The Importance of Being Earnest" where Lady Bracknell tells Mr. Worthing:"To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness."

I would paraphrase in Cameron's case-

To have one ex-wife may be regarded as the fruits of immaturity, to have four looks like serial infidelity.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge does indeed come up with some great imaginary words, no argument there.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, yopu are not being too graphic, you are being spot-on! Bravo!

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, how's about reposting your take--written some time ago--about "Hurt Locker"...

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Are we doing a subtitle game?
Inglourious Basterds: almost but not quite completely unlike Little Women (with apologies to D.Adams)

I haven't watched the Oscars since Colour Purple was shut out and I probably never will.

Posted by: qgaliana | February 2, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Fun with Google Maps: locating places that probably will never be visited by you or anybody else.

I submit: Danger Island!

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=&sll=-6.38866,71.240759&sspn=0.114725,0.072098&ie=UTF8&ll=-6.38866,71.240759&spn=0.114725,0.072098&t=h&z=14

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry you feel that way.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 2, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I hope you have a happy birthday, Weed, assuming it is yours. If it is not happy, at least there is music for it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_VsL7hpvqM

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 2, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Mudge, I thought Scotty's email was a little Groundhog Day joke. Happy GH Day, y'all.

So much to comment on, so little time.

I'd have to agree that Up was one of the best movies of '09, and that if nothing else, the first 10 minutes are flat-out-all-time-classic. Wonderful film for the young and young at heart. Thought D-9 was pretty good, heavy with apartheid references and metaphor, but also not sure it's Oscar-winning material. I'm OK with it being mentioned as an achievement, anyway.

I'm just sorry the Academy chose not to include "Zombieland" and "The Hangover."

Speaking of "Zombieland," Bill Murray deserves a special award for today for his years of film work and raising the level of Groundhog awareness (think of Carl the Groundskeeper, right?)

Someone already mentioned the Watterson interview yesterday, which put a smile on my face.

Greenie, sorry to hear you had those teeth removed. So, from where upon your person were they extracted, and who bit ya? Hope you're feeling better soon.

Cassandra, hope you're getting around better now, and that the weather I see coming up the seaboard remains rain for you... (1-3 more inches of snow predicted for us DC folks tonight. Sheesh).

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Parents who fail to care for their offspring?

I think birth control should be used on every conceivable occasion! (unless the point, of course, is to conceive)

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

A photo-and-text visit to Mauna Kea, assembled by our own Mauna Kea Girl and a science writer here at the nation's Center that is Responsible for the Universe (this is our official mission statement -- or at least, it was, back when mission statements were all the rage).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/4325348250/in/set-72157623334794330/

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm only 40% on the Oscar movies. I'm also 40% for Actor, Actress, and Director. I go up to 60% in Supporting Actress because two got nominated from Up In The Air. But in Supporting Actor I am skunked. I haven't seen a one of them.

And I too am rooting for the ex-Mrs. Cameron even though I haven't seen her movie. Just for the schadenfreude.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I've been out in the icky cold. No ice, Cassandra, but a cold rain that will chill a person to the bone and back. Hopefully the rain has now ended and we will see some sun. We need to remember this day in the heat of August.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's some more fun with Google Maps:

1. From the maps homepage, google Lakewood. Of all the "Lakewood" places in the world, every time I do it it comes up with Lakewood, WA, Australia as the only pick. Guess it's the biggest or something.

2. Get driving directions there from wherever you are.

Apparently it will take me about 56 days 3 hours to go 15,743 mi. I think they strongly overestimate my kayaking abilities. Especially dragging my car, which I apparently need to drive across Hawaii.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | February 2, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

kguy:

it may be that Cameron is just insufferable enough that women can only take four years of him.

Posted by: wdrudman | February 2, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for The Hurt Locker, it is the only one I've seen. Got to move my a$$ to see Avatar while it is on the big screen in 3D.

In the mean time the good Doctor Wakefield is in trouble.
The Lancet retracts controversial MMR research paper
"An eminent journal which published a controversial research paper sparking concerns over a possible link between the MMR (mumps-measles-rubella) vaccine and autism retracted it from the public record today."
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/the-lancet-retracts-controversial-mmr-research-paper-1887208.html

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A,

Ahem, it's February.

On January 22 you bet dollars to donuts on there being a POTUS hardhat photo op before the month was out. I put up a half-dozen donuts to that bet.

No Obama-in-a-hardhat.

Or were you engaging in literary license?

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Evaluating a movie solely upon the subject matter is to reduce movies to nothing but propaganda.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Nice pics and display Tim. I don't pretend to understand much but the summit pic reminds me of Haleakala on Maui.

To me, the Academy Award show is more a curiosity (fashion, emcee failures, weird speeches, etc.). How many times has an award been given (or not given) for the wrong reasons? There are more important things for me to get upset about if I was so inclined. I think being nominated is probably the best honor, the rest is often a popularity contest.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra,
That was a very interesting vignette. I love your little histories. Your mother was a strong woman.

While not as detailed as the wonderful book by Michael Lewis, the movie version of The Blind Side does describe the circumstances of Michael Oher's parentage and how his mother was not particularly responsible largely because of her substance abuse issues.

Many people equate the film with Avatar as being racially insensitive and focus on the role of the rich white people helping the poor black person. It is a true story, so to tell it any other way would be wrong. But while the Tuohy family, particularly Sandra Bullock's character, is the focus of the movie, I also admire Oher for the way he successfully navigated the hazards of living homeless in the projects and still maintained a strong sense of right and wrong.

It is a tearjerker movie, but it is done well and respectfully towards the real people it is based on.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

MoftheMountain, that is the funniest thing I've seen in ages! I particularly like all the directions in kanji as you cross Japan.

And the assumption that "everyone" can kayak.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow. A question so inappropriate that I stopped in my tracks.

If were the victim of something so terrible, the first thing I'd do is to post it here, just for you.

Oh, right.

Nine.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Here ya go, LL:

Watched a great movie yesterday afternoon, called "The Hurt Locker," about an EOD bomb disposal guy in Iraq, well played by Jeremy Renner. Theoretically, the movie also stars David Morse, Raf Fiennes, Guy Pearce and (be still me heart) Evangeline Lilly. And indeed they are all in it. Morse appears for perhaps 45 seconds and has four lines. Pearce is in it for 72 seconds and has five lines. Fiennes is in it for 48 seconds and has six lines. EL is Renner's wife and is in it for perhaps 38 seconds, and has two lines, both of which I can repeat here:

[spoiler alert]

First line (answering telephone): "Hello? [pause] Hello? [pause] Hello? [he, Will, is calling from Baghdad, and hangs up without talking] Will?"

Second line: EL and Will are in the kitchen. He's telling her about an incident in Iraq. She's washing mushrooms in the sink. EL: "Will you chop these up for me?"

That's it. I'm not kidding or exaggerating.

The rest of the movie is all Renner and two guys you never heard of, but who are very good. And for all my carping, it is very good, very tense. I really did spend the first hour sitting on the edge of my seat, and especially during two bomb disposal scenes (among half a dozen) in particular where I couldn't help saying, "Ohhhh s----."

There's also a very good, very tense sniper-versus-sniper scene in the desert.

Apparently it is some kind of small Indy film directed by a woman named Katherine Bigelow. You don't normally think of a woman directing macho guy war movies, but she does a great job, and really knows how to build in tension.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, nellie! I discovered that on my blackberry app while I tried to find where in the world the minor league baseball team the Lakewood BlueClaws were from. I think Australia was a bit TOO worldly...

This is such an awesome picture, I thought I'd share: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100202.html

Lunar bows, who knew? Another thing for the bucket list. I love rainbows. I've been known to stop on the highway to look for one when I think the conditions are right.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | February 2, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The full title of "Precious" is indeed precious. I'm left with a suspicion that the novel had a lousy title ("Push" might be good for a biopic of Jesse Jackson), but the author wouldn't part with it.

In terms of movies and sound, I've become accustomed to watching subtitled films, and have long since realized that, much of the time, for many movies, reading those subtitles isn't nearly as important as actually paying attention to the movie.

Jared Diamond is a fine observer, but he's built on pioneering work by Alfred Crosby, among others. Which brings up the uses of independent bookstores. The one that used to be across from the University of Florida on University at 13th is where I found Crosby's first book, printed by an obscure publisher. I'd like to know how many rejections Crosby suffered, and how the book got shelf space.

The other book that I still have from that store is what also seems a classic, on space and illusion in the Japanese garden. Not that I've managed either successfully in my own back yard.

Thinking of going to Lakewood, or wherever, Japanese seems no better suited to Chinese characters than English. I wonder whether some crazed intellectual has developed a system for expressing English in Chinese characters with Japanese or Korean syllable symbols.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Loomis wrote: "For best female actress, I think it'll be a choice between characters (and the actresses who play them): a tall, Amazonian British woman, childless, who loves sex and food, and develops a career out of fine cooking, her role still tied to the traditional kitchen." and I've no idea what character she is talking about. I can't recall a character who is a tall "British woman."

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Are you talking about "America, Russia, Hemp, and Napoleon: American Trade with Russia and the Baltic, 1793-1812," Dave?

It's clearly an academic title; I don't think an academic press would reject it. Clearly the Ohio State University Press liked it. They published it in 1965. I admit, it's no "Origin of Species" or "Captured by Aliens," but so few books are.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

That's probably Meryl Redgrave, who portrayed Margaret Thatcher in "O Calcutta," Nellie.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge, I forgot that one completely.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

And Loomis, if you are thinking of Julia Child, she is a Californian, just like you.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Nine, my arse! This one's for you, Cutt-throat!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/opinion/30kristof.html?scp=1&sq=rape%20Nicholas%20Kristof&st=cse


Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee. Good catch Nellie. But I'm still trying to get past the implication that Julia Child is a negative stereotype and hence Ms Streep is unworthy of a nomination.

Whatever.

As badsneakers points out, these are just movies.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, I have known at least six wonderful children whose birth-parents were unable or unwilling to care for them properly, not even counting the numerous people I have known who were adopted by parents who raised them years before I met them. Some of those birth-parents were actively dangerous, some were legally incompetent or legally indisposed, some came to a conscious realization that they were unable to be parents. Some people I have known were raised by parents who SHOULD have come to such a realization, but did not. It is apparently shocking to you to discover that such persons are real, and that they have stories worth telling. Even more, because their stories are not recognized as the norm in our society, their stories are even more worth telling, so that the rest of us can learn to see beyond our own blinkered and relatively privileged lives -- the blinkered and privileged lives that you decried in a posting earlier today. Yes, it would be better if such birth-parents were sufficiently responsible as not to bring a child into such a terrible situation. Seeing as how their irresponsible choices (or stupid bad luck) are in the past, what is your Plan B for society? We do not euthanize stray humans in this society, so we need to find a home for the children. When we fail to find such a home, it creates a story that we can hope will compel us to redouble our efforts to find or make good homes for children who need them.

"Precious" and "The Blind Side" are both films I have not seen myself, both derived from books that at least purport to be an accurate portrayal of reality. According to yellojkt's report, the film of "The Blind Side" is reasonably faithful to the content of the book. I do not know about "Precious".

I'm not really clear on what you intended to convey with the coda to your 12:40. Yes, we live in a world in which there are some fathers who rape their own daughters. This is a terrible thing, but it is hardly an exclusively American thing. And it's not just fathers who can be horrific monsters. Some years ago, Maryland had on its death row a woman who sorely tested my opposition to the death penalty. She had held down her own 12-y.o. daughter and suffocated her while the woman's boyfriend raped the child. If that story makes you want to recoil in horror, good -- it should. There are not many monsters, but there are some, and they are real. We need to be aware that such things go on in our society, and we need to understand that these monsters can be defeated.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking of "The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492", published by The Greenwood Press. Wiki says that at the time it was a little start-up, now it's big. Google Books provides the new forward and preface to the 2003 reprint. Both are fine reading.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh good grief. Who was implying rape isn't serious? Nobody here. bc's point is that asking if anyone was raped is a startlingly inappropriate non-sequitur. And I cannot quite grasp that this isn't self evident.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

My husband's new favorite expression... "The Grammies? Oh they're nothing but a popularity contest!"

I thought Oscars went to actors and actresses, not characters. I may be wrong; I often am.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I see a headline that VA legislators may make it illegal to require the purchase of health insurance. That would make Medicare illegal in VA, wouldn't it? One is required to pay taxes.

LTL-CA

Posted by: Jim19 | February 2, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Although I hop it was clear my 2:20 was in response to the 2:11 and not any of the excellent points SciTim made.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point TBG.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Good catch, Nellie! But what about the strange accent that Meryl Streep affects? Maybe it's just an odd voice or lots of time on the East Coast. Attended Smith, the college founder on the family tree. Guess that makes Molly Ivins a Californian, too, if place of birth is the determining factor.

More on Alfred Crosby, please?

No mistaking Jared Diamond for a Californian. His Boston accent is quite pronounced, and the auditorium on Trinity's campus last night was almost filled to capacity. A man, who, by his own words, is neither optimist about the future, nor pessimistic, but cautiosly optimistic.

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen 'Blind Side' but did read an excerpt of Michael Lewis's book. Quite a tale, and a perfect one for Lewis to tell.

President Obama is just now in New Hampshire, demanding Congressional action on health care.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Academy did give an award to John Wayne for portraying Rooster Cogburn. *l*

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

But you've just made TBG's point. The Acadamy was honoring Wayne, not honoring Cogburn.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Not a negative stereotype (read, folks, read) but a traditional one. Besides, it's in the bucket for Bullock, who has never won one Academy Award, while Streep, an extraordinary actress, has been nominated 16 times as of the is morning, and has taken home two of the little gold guys. I think it's often more than acting, more more of Academy insiderness.

*remember Rooster Cogburn!*

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, your angry 2:11 suggests that you think we have shown insensitivity to the evil nature of rape. In what possible way does it show indifference to the crime of rape that one might suggest that it is inappropriate to casually call for a public self-identification of those who have been raped? If you are seeking to establish some form of moral authority by the argument "I have been raped, and you have not", then you need to say so directly and you will have my sympathy. If this is not your intention, then you are asking out of trivial curiosity, which is indefensible and you should expect no positive comment. There is an appropriate context in which these questions can be asked sensitively and with due concern for the privacy rights of those affected in order to discover things that need to be known for the benefit of society in aggregate. The Achenblog is not that context.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Right, the Academy *was* honoring Wayne, but hardly for his performance in or portrayal of Cogburn. *l*

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

But that's still supporting of TBG's point. It wasn't and endorsement of the character.

Likewise you still imply that the role is "traditional" somehow invalidates the skill of Ms. Streep being celebrated. Of course, I question if Julia Child could be considered "Traditional," but that isn't the point.

The point is that movies are not propaganda. They are art and must be evaluated on those terms.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, RD, & *Tim.

You said it well -- those were the points I was trying to make.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Have we ever discussed rape here on the Achenblog? Ever? Even in a general sense? Where's Boodlestats when I need him or her? It's evils? Its effect on the victim? The motive(s) of the rapist? Kristof at the NYT is one of my hereoes for his ability to discuss what others dare to tread to discuss.

It's a rhetorical question *only* because I don't think anyone here would step forward--man or woman. So, get over it.

So, has anyone seen "Precious"? How does the yong woman deal with having been raped and impregnated by her own father? Should this be the best picture of 2009? How's its gross at the box office? What's the gross for the movie in which Colin Firth plays a gay man? Just askin'.

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Crosby is a retired historian at the University of Texas. http://www.awcrosby.com/

He describes himself as having gone no further in biology than reading "Natural History" magazine when he got the notion to study the Columbian exchange--that new preface to the book, available at Google Books, strikes me as an excellent intro to the man.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

IMDB lists about a dozen movies and television series titled "Push". The most recent one was about a group of people with supernatural powers on the run from the government. I imagine the producers of "Precious: yadda, yadda, yadda" chose to avoid confusion among movie-goers and Netflix subscribers.

My wife and I went to the AFI Silver to see Chocalat once as part of a Johnny Depp film festival, but instead they had the 1988 French version about a plantation owner in Cameroon. About five minutes in they stopped the film and gave everybody a refund and a voucher. So we went and rented it on the way home.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Again, it is the *gross* inappropriateness of the question that is the issue. This was *profoundly* rude and could potentially be very painful to someone here. And that you, Ms. Loomis, don't recognize this fact alarms me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, I have answers to your questions. You are not entitled to them.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Tim, thanks for the vote of confidence earlier in my movie judgement, but I'm about the worst person around to ask about current award-worthiness. As movie ticket prices have inflated beyond reason over the last few years, the number that I actually see in a theater has dropped to one or two a year. I tend to wait until I can find a really cheap dvd on ebay -- sometimes years later.

The only one on the current list that I've seen is Avatar, which I finally saw last week. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but there's no denying the story's lack of originality. I'd call it "Solaris" meets "Dances With Wolves." I found it particularly disappointing that Cameron's godlike, self-aware, planet-wide neural net couldn't come up with anything better to stop dangerous invaders than a last-ditch firefight. I also wish that the aliens had been a little more, well, alien. I would think that a race that can tap directly into the aforementioned neural net would be decidedly non-human, psychologically. But I suppose sympathetic, humanlike aliens are pretty much a given when you need to recoup nine-figure production costs.

I'd put its chance of a best-picture Oscar at about zero. Both because of the academy's record of unwillingness to seriously consider science fiction for top awards, and because it doesn't deserve it.

But it was really cool to feel like I was inside a Roger Dean painting.

Posted by: rashomon | February 2, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The thing is the question wasn't posed "Anyone want to discuss the serious topic of rape" Rather, the question was tossed out "Anyone here a rape victim?"

One is an invitation, however off topic, of a serious discussion. One is a profoundly invasive intrusion.

And anyone who cannot tell the difference, I respectfully suggest, should seriously consider why.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

rashomon - based on that review I wish you had seen the other films! That was a wonderful.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

So why not a Lifetime Achievement Award for John Wayne instead of a Best Actor nod?

http://www.filmsite.org/bestactor.html

Oscar victories for Best Actor haven't always been for the stars' best work either, but have often been an effort to right past injustices, or retroactively for an entire body of work:

56 year-old Ronald Colman's ...

62 year-old John Wayne's belated win as Best Actor for True Grit (1969), when he should have been honored years earlier for Stagecoach (1939), Red River (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

James Stewart's ...

Jack Lemmon...

Paul Newman's ...

Al Pacino ...

Sean Connery...

John Gielgud...

Henry Fonda...

Feel free to go to the site for details about these other "older man" Academy Awards


Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Sigh, Nein

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Dave, that was Crosby's second book, published seven years after the first. Huis third was called "Epidemic and Peace, 1918," and was later republished as "America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918" in 1989 with a major update in 2003. It was this book that was cited quite a lot in the Boodle and elsewhere during all the discussion a year or so ago about the flu and John Barry's book "The Great Influenza."

Crosby beat Barry and Kolata to the flu story, and he beat Diamond to the guns/germs/steel business. He was an early, early activist in Civil Rights, Anti-Vietnam and Migrant Farm Works stuff way back in my day and was one of the earliest white guys to advocate black studies programs as an academic discipline. He once said he couldn't be a Marxist radical because he wasn't that optimistic about the human species.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

That's an interesting question. But it still doesn't deny TBG's point. Actors win awards, not characters. Whether they actors get an award for one character or many over a lifetime isn't the issue.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, once when my sister was visiting, we watched the movie Chocolat, which is set in Cameroon. I had taped it, and I think I had the idea it was about something else. But we watched it - unfortunately it ran longer than the TV listing had indicated, so we didn't see the ending. Not a very pleasant movie, IIRC.

My movie buff friend who sees everything liked Precious, and I believe it's an uplifting story. She said Monique is quite good (she plays the awful mother). I have to go check out the nominations.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 2, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Just so you know, RD nein was not meant for you. I agree with you completely.

Nein was aimed at something completely different. Big boodle out of order and submit before I was done typing. I'm not going to go back that far to restate.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Men have consistently trivialized women here. Over and over and over. I recall something about Hillary Clinton needing a collar. The list, sadly, goes on and one.

http://mediamatters.org/research/200801080007

And the question of rape as a serious topic is not off-topic, considering the topic has meandered to the Academy Awards and one of the films with a handful or more of nominations is "Precious" which portrays the subject of incest.

And the review of "Hurt Locker" deals mostly with Evangeline Lilly? And I think someone got the gist of Avatar rather backwards.

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Almost on-kit, it's about NASA anyway:

There will be a news media telecon on Thursday at 1pm eastern featuring the latest Hubble images of the dwarf planet Pluto.

If they 'wow', would you please provide for the boodle after the telecon, Mr. A?

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Thank you dr.

I hate it when I boodle out of order too. Hence my message to SciTim above.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The more I think about it, the less I can see anything about Julia Child being "traditional."

She discovered cooking not from years spent in a kitchen at her mother's knee, but through a deep appreciation of good food.

Her drive to learn how and then to teach and share her skills is hardly the "barefoot and pregnant" that the reference "traditional kitchen" brings to mind.

But again, that's just my opinion.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Twelve. Not sure if that's a record.

Here are the current domestic grosses for all the Oscar nominees.

http://boxofficemojo.com/oscar/chart/?view=allcategories&yr=2009&p=.htm

Avatar is just under $600 million. A Single Man barely broke $5 mill. Some of the movies in the Best Supporting Actor category have yet to make their first million. No wonder I haven't seen them.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, DotC. I think I have Crosby's "Columbian Exchange," but never made the connection or leap to Diamond via Crosby (if they are indeed connected?).

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Ms. Loomis, now you are tossing in another non-sequitor. That men here are horrible to women and pulling a long-ago resolved Faux Pas. That isn't the point. I believe that several of us have stated the point quite clearly, and I don't see a whole lot of boodlers rushing to your defense on this matter.

So if you wish to continue a "But what about this?" argument, that is your prerogative.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, Wiki has Julia's biography. Her mother was a paper-company heiress. She attended boarding school starting in 10th grade in Ross, Calif., went to an elite women's college (the Ivy Leagues at that time weren't open to women). As much a story of elitism and privelege as "Blind Side," I think, having not yet seen "Blind Side."

Bet Julia never tasted bon bon terre. Did she concoctdelicious recipes for Euopean rabbit (Robben Island) or was that not appetizing to the American palate?

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I have tried. I give up.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Again, what's the relevance? Even if Julia Child represents a "story of elitism and privilege," this doesn't deal with the underlying point that it is the actor not the character that matters.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Rhetorical is rhetorical, and I think it's fairly obvious who here has axes to grind.

And it's a no-brainer that people don't use their real names but rather rely on faux identities because it would certainly eventually expose those who Post here on the Achenblog--revealing that a fairly significant number are Boodling while "supposedly" at work--in positions both federal and in the private sector.

Now, has anyone seen "Precious" and if so, can or will talk about it?

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Again, that's not the point. I am multi-tasking today, as is my habit. I don't have to defend my productivity. Now you are introducing a personal attack, which is where the "but what about this" approach inevitably leads.

The only axe I have to grind is that I defend boodlers whom I agree with when attacked.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I think it's obvious too.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Although far from his best performance, "True Grit" won the Oscar for John Wayne because Academy voters realized that this guy had made a lot of money for a lot of people in Hollywood, his health was not great, and there was never going to be another chance to honor his contributions. He was up against Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole,Dustin Hoffman, and Jon Voight, none of whom could contend with the Duke's filmland cred. "The Searchers" was a far better performance in a far better film, but neither was even nominated in 1956 ("Around the World in 80 Days" won for Best Picture!).

The Academy Awards have little meaning except for their commercial value. Frequently great film makers have been snubbed for years- Scorcese and Hitchcock most famously. Paul Newman was nominated for Best Actor six times before winning.
*****************
From Wiki-
The Hurt Locker was released in the United States on June 26, 2009, with a limited release at four theaters in Los Angeles and New York City.[51] Over its first weekend, it grossed $145,352, averaging $36,338 per theater. The following weekend, beginning July 3, the film grossed $131,202 at nine theaters, averaging $14,578 per theater.[52] It held the highest per-screen-average of any movie playing theatrically in the United States for the first two weeks of its release, gradually moving into the top 20 chart with much wider-released, bigger budget studio films. It held around number 13 or number 14 on box office charts for an additional four weeks.[53] Based on that success, distributor Summit Entertainment went wider to more than 500 screens on July 24, 2009.[2][54][55][56] As of October 3, 2009, the independently produced and financed film has grossed a total of more than $16 million worldwide.[2

Internationally, Avatar opened on a total of 14,604 screens. As of January 31, 2010, Avatar has grossed over $595 million in the US and Canada, and $1.446 billion in other territories for a worldwide total of $2,042,741,709.
***************

It's all about fannies in the seats.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to discuss Helen Mirren's, Carey Muligan's, or Gabourey Sidibe's performances for best actress?

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Sean Tuohy who played basketball at Ole Miss made his fortunes as a franchise holders for Yum Foods. The product placements for KFC and Taco Bell are completely in-line with the story.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

No.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

And the number of seats available to sit in.
Avatar's marketing budget was reported at being nearly $300 millions, that is half of the already indecent cost of production. The production companies made sure there were plenty of seats awaiting popcorn munching, big slurpees sipping customers.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, many issues here are unresolved. Let me play the broken record one more time. I am entirely in favor of moderated discussions. All posts must be on-topic. I'm also a great fan of people registering for these topical discussions by requiring real names (and unpublished addresses or e-mail addresses--the latter the NYT set-up).

Attacks are based on nits here and too often spiral out of control.

The original point that I made earlier this morning is that films reflect the real world and the state of the real world is a pretty sad place--including the sexism within an supposedly innocent cartoon movie.

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

kguy,
Exactly correct on John Wayne! Exactly--your first graf in your 3:34!

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the alert on more Hubble treats coming our way. I LOVE Pluto. I believe that the cultural definition of planet can encompass that small, dark frozen planet like object near the Kuiper Belt.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm attempting to make a meatloaf (beef&veal) with a mashed potatoe topping. The loaf is Eyetalian-inspired but the weirdness of the Irisho-Italianese nature of the thing makes me doubt. Je suis comme la truie qui doute, tout d'un coup.
I'm too committed to back off anyway so let's charge into that breach and get those potatoes boiling now.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I think the reason no one is talking about it is because no one has seen it, Loomis.

I will when it goes to video. If it already is, it hasn't made it to the previously viewed aisle here yet. From what I have read and heard, the movie seems to be about what she does next and how she gets there.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Sd, this makes me laugh

irisho-Italianese

I might modify this to Irisher but tis more melodic as you type this.

Potatoes into the breach...

Any minute now, Englemann or Wilbrod or somebody will rewrite the Saint Crispin Day speech but with spuds as bruders...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Talking dogs have been well-represented in the movies lately. I stumbled on Beverly Hills Chihuahua this weekend and was thoroughly charmed despite my best intentions to despise it. It helps that Piper Perabo is easy on the eyes and nearly the acting equal of a CGI iguana.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

CqP: I don't get into the definition-of-a-planet debate, I just look at the pictures. I freely admit to oohing and aahing over pretty much any photo from Hubble.

I sometimes make videos for kids made from still photos and the Hubble collection is a great source of material (and yes, I give credit where credit is due, just as NASA asks).

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

There can't be too many talking animal movies.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Shriek: Is this sort of like shepherd's pie? That's the only stew/meatloaf sort of dish MrJS likes. A thick beef stewy sort of thing topped with mashed spuds.

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Yoki: Maybe more than you think. Here's a list of top 25 grossing talking animal flicks since '82.
http://boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=talkinganimal.htm

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

SQUIRREL!

mo

Posted by: mortii | February 2, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

That is not like a Shephard's pie at all. It is really a meatloaf with a mashed potatoes topping. A bit like this South-African meatloaf with the egg topping (can't remember the name of that thing for the love of me) but with potatoes.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Loomis there is no sexism in UP. Ellie could never had had the same relationship with Russell that Carl did. It wouldn't have been UP if the movie would have had Elie and Russell be friends on Carls death.

Ellie would have never sent a little boy on a snipe hunt now would she? Maybe a different person than Ellie, but not the Ellie in the movie. Ellie in the movie always put her hand out to help the more timid and Carl loved her for it.

If you watch the movie again, I think you would see that the portrayal of Ellie is not at all stereotypical. She is shown as a youngster who leads the club, as a young woman who shares fully in the construction projects, in her wedding dress no less. She is the one with the vision that leads their dreams. She is anything but a stereotypical.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, a lot of boodlers know each other. We know each other's names, spouses' names, and children's names. We know where each other works, what we do for fun. We know who likes oyster shooters and who likes a good half-price burger. Who gets the Yueng Ling, who gets the wine, who gets the soda. It's *you* who we don't want to know about us. We know how you are. We've seen your handiwork.

Your question is yet another clear example of the difficulties you have with social situations and appropriate behavior.

Get help.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

SD --more of a shep's pie gal but if you are cooking, I shall eat, enjoy, sigh, AND then do your dishes.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I stumbled on that Chihuahua movie and, while I couldn't take much of it, it was much more charming than it deserved or I wanted to admit.

I see you're talking about award for actor vs. character - not sure why - but as one related to and friends with lots of actual professional actors I can assure you it is the actor every time. Never the character. An award may be given for what a particular actor has done with, or through, a character - often with an unspoken comparison to what another actor may or may not have accomplished had they played the same character, but not always - but the focus is always on what the actor did, not as whom.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, yello. And Wilbrod, your descriptions are spot on. It was an interesting program.

Many of us have been through trying times and situations in our lives. It doesn't matter your station or one's economic class, these situations always tend to cause pain and sometimes, unbearable hurt.

So just leave it there, please.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The other irritating storyline at the Oscars is the "it's enough of an honor just to be nominated" BS. Look, if Carey Mulligan gives the best performance, she should win, period. We all know that's not the way it works. Hell, I've had bouts of hiccoughs that lasted longer than Judi Dench's screen time in "Shakespeare in Love" and she won the award for Best Supporting Actress!

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Shriek: It does sound yummy. Enjoy!

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

since this kit has moon mentioned in it.i am dropping my pants and shooting you the moon ms loomis,not a day goes by when you don't seem to p*** off someone here.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 2, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Look, we can bash the Bush administration for underfunding Constellation (and we should), but it least it provided a coherent plan for space exploration. The administration's proposal is even more significantly underfunded (we ain't flying people to the ISS for $6 billion split among multiple companies); ignores that the federal government is the only market for this newly privatized service; and flies in the face of the decision post-Columbia to make safety paramount in space travel. Oh, and by the way, somehow we are spending more money under the new proposal. If you don't believe that space exploration is important, then shut down Johnson, Marshall, and Kennedy Space Centers and cut the costs.

Posted by: Dunkman | February 2, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I never get out for movies, for the usual top three reasons. I did rent Inglourious recently, and thought it was really good. The scene in the pub and the tension over whether or not their cover would hold was fantastic.

I would love to talk someday with a movie buff about The Searchers. From my perspective, you have to watch a few stock westerns of the time to appreciate the difference because parts of The Searchers seemed formula to me.

Posted by: engelmann | February 2, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, but the awards are subjective. Hard to compare. So, we know it's a marketing ploy, but it's fun to talk about (usually). I think that's why the blockbusters are overlooked - they don't need the help. Not sure why that doesn't apply to Titanic and Avatar.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/01/AR2010020103710.html?sid=ST2010020103791

Posted by: seasea1 | February 2, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Did you all ever think that perhaps there is no "Loomis; it is an app to increase page views?

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Just like complaining that the movie one saw wasn't the movie one wanted to see, complaining that the blog one participates in isn't the blog one wants is a useless practice.

According to the Future Buzz blog, there have been 133,000,000 blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002. I'm sure many of them include moderated discussion groups.

This one is more self-moderated, which is why everyone is able to say pretty much what they want to say. Most people are able to figure out what is appropriate and what is not.

Most of us are here for the good discussion, nice company and rare internet politeness. Those who are looking for something else usually go somewhere else.

I can't imagine why anyone would stick around if this isn't what they want. There are 132,999,999 other choices.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, that's not gonna help.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

My wife made herself stew over the weekend, so I baked a potato and topped it with shredded Mexican blend cheese. I felt so multi-culti.

Tet is just around the corner, so if you want to kill two holidays with one meal, book your Valentine's Day dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. We already have sticky rice cakes coming over the transom already.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I can think of at least one talking-animal movie too many: the live-action "Scooby Doo" movie. (holding nose while waving air away from face)

Posted by: rashomon | February 2, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Heck, I got five or six of those other blogs all by myself. Nothing keeps anybody from starting their own. Then it truly is the marketplace of ideas.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Not a fan of the genre myself, rashomon.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Vile animal cinema:

Alvin and the Chipmonks
Dr. Doolittle with Eddie Murphy
Those 2 dogs and a cat in the wilderness things with Mike J. Fox
Anything with Rob Schnieder

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The average gross for the movies up for Best Art Direction is $166 million. The average gross for Best Costume Design is $8.8 million. Seems those blue people don't wear many clothes.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Indeed TBG. Indeed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Yoki and Rasho, in eavesdripping on your convo, I read this statement

Not a GEN of the FANre myself, rashomon.

And, this made sense to me. I better seek coffee or let the wordsmithing go for knitty thingies.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Example of GREAT animal cinema: Babe

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I like animal books better:

Salar the Salmon
Ring of Bright Water
Call of the Wild
even
Watership Down

the movie versions are forced to me; easier to write realistically about animals....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Charlotte's Web
Stuart Little
A Cricket in Times Square

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Greenman, I'm surprised at you! Also ROTFLMAO.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Faxing CqP good yarn.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I love(d) Charlotte's Web and a Cricket in Times Square! Haven't read them in years. I think Mom has them in her attic. Mr. Popper's Penguins, too, even though it was a lot sillier.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | February 2, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I see TBG beat me to it with Babe. One of my favorite movies. I love the fax scene.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 2, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I want a pony.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 2, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The South African meatloaf with eegg topping is the bobotie.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobotie

10 years ago, I would have remembered that name.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

One of the things I love about Babe is that all the animals call the farmer "the Boss," but the cat calls him "the Boss's husband."

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I like Babe and all of Dick King Smith's books.

i want to live in a house that is styled and colored like Stuart Littles...that green gold flush of the forties....and I so want a tiled checkerboard entryway.

Thank you DR....shall make a fine cloak of civility .....your lovely yarn makes it possible....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

seasea, faxing you a my little pony left over from dots....tis yellow with purple markings in an appaloosa fashion...I am including a comb and brush....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'd forgotten that, TBG! That is great.

I also loved the way it took place sort of noplace, in no particular time. Lots of intention anachronisms. Fab.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The advantage of talking animal books over talking animal movies is that the talking is in our head, and we seldom imagine things which annoy us. Not for the length of a whole novel, anyway.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Talking animal books, talking animal movies, eh.

Give me animal haiku any old day.

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Nice link, Dave of the C. Reckon he's Diamond's untold guru?
I stumbled on another Crosby in a 13th Street bookstore near University once...

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 2, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I love a good movie, just have to wait for the DVD or cable. I find as I get older my taste runs more to animated kid pictures like, Shriek, Kung Fu Panda, etc. That's probably the g-girl's influence. My grandsons are into the games on their hand held technology and television. I don't have a clue about that, but I enjoy them trying to teach me.


After reading the comments here concerning the recent movies, I'll know what to look for. I think I've read Blind Side, not sure. And I want to see Precious. And Avatar. Perhaps some of the others too.

It's still rainy and cold. A long day tomorrow if life last. Have a good evening, everyone. Night, boodle.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

oh Babe,I just loved that movie.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 2, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Jumper,
I haven't checked Diamond's references to see how he connects to Crosby, partly because having read Crosby and a few others, Diamond has seemed a bit redundant. I'm impressed that Crosby, a historian, did so well at some very technical stuff. Good thing he was too naive to be scared away.

Environmental history seems to have grown. One volume I've got to poke at, if not actually read, is "Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Precolumbian Americas" edited by David L. Lentz. Tim Flannery's "Future Eaters" is a fascinating read.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I *loved* the original Babe. The climactic line "That'll do pig" always brings out a manly tear.

I've never seen the live action remake of Charlotte's Web, but I hear it isn't dreadful. Of course, as Ivansmom points out, talking animal movies are seldom as good as the original books. I mean, who can match the genius of the original Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, or, of course, that literary classic Garfield Gains Weight.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

In another department, the Morehead Planetarium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is unveiling its new $1.5 million digital projection system this week.

The 40 year old Zeiss mechanical marvel only did stars, the new setup projects anything, presumably including things like the Apocalypse of the Dinosaurs. The new setup puts Morehead in the major leagues.

The last time I was in that building, a kitchen fire sent everyone fleeing...

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Count me as one who loved Babe and Charlotte's Web, and they are probably two of the more recent movies I have seen :-).

Hey all.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Carroll Ballard's kid-and-animal movies are good, even if Duma (boy and cheetah) seems to be in a South Africa that never existed.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I remember going to shows at the Morehead Planetarium when I was a kid, Dave. Now another excuse to go to Chapel Hill, as if I needed one.

I will say the quality of shopping on Franklin Street dropped precipitiously when the Intimate Bookshop closed. Still miss that store...It was owned and run by Charlie Kuralt's brother.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Engelmann, I'd be delighted to discuss "The Searchers" with you any time. I am a great admirer of it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 2, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Stuart Little was so my favorite book as a kid. I never even read Charlotte's Web. It was too girly.

And I read Watership Down when it was just recently released and not ruined for kids by making it assigned reading. My son and his friends hated it. So unfair.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey dmd, how's the new job?

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember who else here is a "Lostie." Are you ready for tonight's final seaseon season-opener? Liz and Jen C. have been in full swoon for a week.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 2, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

If we're talking about E.B. White's animals, don't forget Trumpet of the Swan. I always liked that swan.

I remembered enjoying the Cricket of Times Square, and I thought about buying it for my niece this Christmas, but I held off for now because of the stereotypical Chinese character who talks about the "clicket." He may even say "ah sooo." He's a nice guy, but I think he might confuse this half-Chinese little girl or offend her parents. Maybe I'm overly sensitive -- she liked Mulan, after all, and Disney doesn't exactly deal in fully-fleshed out characters. I don't know. Maybe in another year or two.

Posted by: -bia- | February 2, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

*&$%#$@ Latest forecast is for 4 inches of snow here tonight in suthin' Merlin, 5" in DC, more north and west.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 2, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Good Badsneaks, thanks for asking. People are very friendly, relaxed atomosphere, I have walls and a door on my office and the commute is 4 minutes. Will take me a while to understand all that goes on in the office but they are helpful and understanding so all is good.

We have a large collection of swag - cool!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

It's a hard day's night
Been working like a dog...oh,
Already written?

Ode to turkey, then?
Gobble, gobble, slurp and burp.
Wattle up? Naptime.

-Wilbrodogzzzz-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Justin Bieber is part of the We Are The World remake:

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1631021/20100202/west_kanye.jhtml

A simple apology won't make this right.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Already snowing here. I bet all the kids have their pajamas on backwards.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Ice cubes are already in the toilet, yello!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

D*amn it Yello, I have ceased to apologize for our schlock, I am done. Two words Hanna Montana - I believe you owe me.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Wicked wiccans!

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-wicca3-2010feb03,0,3367750.story

made me laugh. Perhaps my response is not correct.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

An NPR interview with Michael Lewis from 2006 about The Blind Side that predates the movie and actually talks football.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6241687&ps=rs

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

*snort*

Two can play that game.

Michael Buble
Celine Dion
William Shatner

Need I go on?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I want a pony too, Seasea. Whenever my daughter gets in touch with her inner Varuca Salt I remind her of this fact. I tell her that I've heard that lots of other Dads get ponies. Some of them even run races with them and everything.

She invariably responds that I am too *old* for a pony. That grownups aren't s'posed to have ponies. And that I would mush one.

I always think that last bit is her just being a meanie.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Indeed it is snowing. Which will mean more shoveling. Have these wee children with backwards jammies no pity?

Now, where did I hide the Sodium Naproxen?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

dmd - you...have...walls?

Even better than a pony.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I bet dmd gets free coffee too.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Uh...ice cubes in the toilet?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 2, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Would those be lucky things to do for a result of no school?

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, sneaks! And put a spoon under your pillow, I think, is another one.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't hog all the snow, we need some. If it doesn't snow soon I'm making a photospread of Yellow Snow. You don't want that, trust me.

The meatloaf turned out very well. Excellent stuff. Good enough to mellow out the Fungi who sharpened all my kitchen knives.
I should learn the trade (cutlery, bladesmithing?) before he leaves the house. I can sharpen simple knifes well enough on the ceramic rods but he does curved blades very well and rebuilds rounded tips to their former pointed selves. It's the diamond plates and flat stone that I don't master at all.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Well there is a coffee pot, and little containers of cereal, fruit loops, frosted flakes - have yet to partake of those!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

An Afghani siren:

http://dlf.tv/2010/ariana-delawari/

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Shiek when I came home from work I noticed all our snow 1/2" had melted again, we have another fresh dusting but really not even shovel worthy. Haven't even removed the bag of salt from my car this year.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Just flipping though the TV channels and noticed Caddyshack is on - now where was the Oscar for that performance - love that gopher.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I've always been inexplicably fond of the Francis the talking mule movies, at least the ones with Donald O'Connor. And the Wizard of Oz, of course -- a talking lion and flying monkeys.

Posted by: rashomon | February 2, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC Shriek, so sorry.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

It seems that the DC area is getting all the snow that usually would be yours dmd and sd, and ours too!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting better and better with the oiled flat stone, shriek. It really is a matter of practice and trial and error. I kept one very old dull knife to practice on, and only did my real knives after I had gained some skill.

I do find it helps to hone them on a steel before every use, just like a real chef.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

At least it was a k dmd.

Yeah sneak, they are being selfish b@stards this year.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I do the steel debrring too Yoki, but since I've discovered the rods to do an OK job I lost my flat stone mojo. Any idiots can use rods, so they are a godsend for me.
But the rods are not any good to restore tips and I lack the skills to make a good curved blade on a deboning or slicing knife. In a future life, maybe.

It hasn't really snowed for a month. The VLP drinks at least 3-4 liters a day, the Ghost of the Giant Black Lab maybe 2-3 liters. You can't miss our place. We are the house of the Yellow Snow.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

SCC deburring

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Okay, this is the first I've heard of this but if you think Groundhog Day is silly, you ain't seen nothing yet.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/02/quentin_the_qua.html

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Dr writes: Loomis there is no sexism in UP. Ellie could never had had the same relationship with Russell that Carl did. It wouldn't have been UP if the movie would have had Elie and Russell be friends on Carls death.

Ellie would have never sent a little boy on a snipe hunt now would she? Maybe a different person than Ellie, but not the Ellie in the movie. Ellie in the movie always put her hand out to help the more timid and Carl loved her for it.

If you watch the movie again, I think you would see that the portrayal of Ellie is not at all stereotypical. She is shown as a youngster who leads the club, as a young woman who shares fully in the construction projects, in her wedding dress no less. She is the one with the vision that leads their dreams. She is anything but a stereotypical.
***

We must be living on different planets.

Ellie had *exactly* same dreams as Carl, she knew of the explorer and his blimp, she was as wild for adventure and excitedment as a yong person as Carl. It would have been very interesting to see Ellie have a relationship with Russell, had she lived, given that she had the same spirited dreams as Carl when they both were young, before they wed and became settled. [Please see the equivalent movie, "Revolutionary Road" with DiCaprio and Winslet.]

Ellie suffered a painful miscarriage, so therefore I doubt that Ellie would have sent Russell on a snipe hunt. Because, because, because she always has to play the maternal role, having been a typical housewife and mommie-wannabe. I forget who she helped who was timid? I do remember Ellie sweeping, cooking, being in the family photo album in her cozy chair next to her husband's. Sweet, syrupy treacle.

Sure, sure, how real is it to engage in construction and redecorating in one's wedding dress? The wedding dress is such an obvious symbol of her wedded union and unspoken contract with her husband. Is Carl equivalently in his wedding tuxedo while doing these chores? *LOL*

Sorry, I don't see Ellie as having any more vision that Carl and leading the pairs' dreams. If, as a woman, you're a traditionalist, and want to see a picture that mirrors your own path in life, then so be it.

I, for one, would have liked to seen a movie in which 78-year-old Ellie has the "parenting relationship" with eight-year-old Russell, made the trip to the exotic waterfall, seen her youthful dream with Carl fulfilled by making the balloom trip, towed the house around by its balloons, sat around a campfire in a foreign locale at night, challenged and fought the explorer. Now that would have been some animated and animating movie, far more interesting that what Disney-Pixar gave audiences in its far-too-traditional Up! No shaling up the status quo on the part of Disney-Pixar. No, far from it.

If tradition is what you want, then tradition is what you choose to see. Up is a male-buddy-bonding movie, gramps and the ignored kid, the usual plot devices: talking animals, a good guy who is not really the good guy--the famed explorer, a chase scene. ZZZZzzzzz. Not something I would take my kids to see if I had kids.

kguy, your 4:17 had me rolling out of my chair with laughter.

Now I really should tell you about the question(s) that I asked Jared Diamond last night--and his sideways or indirect reply. Perhaps later. I will add that two women, complete strangers, approached me after Diamond's talk and thanked me for asking the question(s) I did of Diamond. One on the steps on my way to the restroom and the other in the women's restroom.

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Dr writes: Loomis there is no sexism in UP. Ellie could never had had the same relationship with Russell that Carl did. It wouldn't have been UP if the movie would have had Elie and Russell be friends on Carls death.

Ellie would have never sent a little boy on a snipe hunt now would she? Maybe a different person than Ellie, but not the Ellie in the movie. Ellie in the movie always put her hand out to help the more timid and Carl loved her for it.

If you watch the movie again, I think you would see that the portrayal of Ellie is not at all stereotypical. She is shown as a youngster who leads the club, as a young woman who shares fully in the construction projects, in her wedding dress no less. She is the one with the vision that leads their dreams. She is anything but a stereotypical.
***

We must be living on different planets.

Ellie had *exactly* same dreams as Carl, she knew of the explorer and his blimp, she was as wild for adventure and excitedment as a yong person as Carl. It would have been very interesting to see Ellie have a relationship with Russell, had she lived, given that she had the same spirited dreams as Carl when they both were young, before they wed and became settled. [Please see the equivalent movie, "Revolutionary Road" with DiCaprio and Winslet.]

Ellie suffered a painful miscarriage, so therefore I doubt that Ellie would have sent Russell on a snipe hunt. Because, because, because she always has to play the maternal role, having been a typical housewife and mommie-wannabe. I forget who she helped who was timid? I do remember Ellie sweeping, cooking, being in the family photo album in her cozy chair next to her husband's. Sweet, syrupy treacle.

Sure, sure, how real is it to engage in construction and redecorating in one's wedding dress? The wedding dress is such an obvious symbol of her wedded union and unspoken contract with her husband. Is Carl equivalently in his wedding tuxedo while doing these chores? *LOL*

Sorry, I don't see Ellie as having any more vision that Carl and leading the pairs' dreams. If, as a woman, you're a traditionalist, and want to see a picture that mirrors your own path in life, then so be it.

-more-

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, would have liked to seen a movie in which 78-year-old Ellie has the "parenting relationship" with eight-year-old Russell, made the trip to the exotic waterfall, seen her youthful dream with Carl fulfilled by making the balloom trip, towed the house around by its balloons, sat around a campfire in a foreign locale at night, challenged and fought the explorer. Now that would have been some animated and animating movie, far more interesting that what Disney-Pixar gave audiences in its far-too-traditional Up! No shaling up the status quo on the part of Disney-Pixar. No, far from it.

If tradition is what you want, then tradition is what you choose to see. Up is a male-buddy-bonding movie, gramps and the ignored kid, the usual plot devices: talking animals, a good guy who is not really the good guy--the famed explorer, a chase scene. ZZZZzzzzz. Not something I would take my kids to see if I had kids.

kguy, your 4:17 had me rolling out of my chair with laughter.

Now I really should tell you about the question(s) that I asked Jared Diamond last night--and his sideways or indirect reply. Perhaps later. I will add that two women, complete strangers, approached me after Diamond's talk and thanked me for asking the question(s) I did of Diamond. One on the steps on my way to the restroom and the other in the women's restroom.

You know, come to think of it, Bill Maher pisses off a lot of people, too. *l*

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey, there are people who ain't seen the movie who just might want to see it someday without knowing every detail involved.

Crazy, I know.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

O.K., I'll try to remember to issue a spoiler alert.

Oooooooooh, gotta read this on the homepage. Armao on the *ten* Oscar picks for best picture:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: laloomis | February 2, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

But, I've already seen "Harold and Maude". I want to see a different movie.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Maude was 75 or so in 1971-72, I'm quite sure she's dead. Or at least very old, a remake would be problematic unless Meryl Streep decides to take on the challenge.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Traditionalist? I can think of only one woman on the boodle who stays home and takes care of the house for her working husband.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Not that there's anything wrong with it, either.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I would also note that Maher has apologized for making insensitive and hurtful comments, is extremely well-paid for what he does, and has had the plug pulled on some of his shows when he's indulged in excesses (supporting racial profiling and comparing mentally handicapped people to dogs, suggesting that religious people have disorders, etc.) and pi$$ed too many people off. He pulls up stakes and moves on when he's not wanted, though.

Last time I checked, there was no moderator on Real Time, and I cannot recall his complaining about that fact. Just one of the benefits of having his own show, I think.

Supports Obama and Health Care reform, does he not? Hmmm.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

So, Ellie is a traditionalist who lives a syrupy, treacly life of ignorant service to Carl? Ellie's dreams are the dreams given to her by Carl and by tradition? Ellie's life is a giant stereotype?

Good heavens, laloomis, what movie did you see? I saw "Up". Sounds like you saw "Down." You sure as heck did not see the movie that the rest of us saw, although the same pictures may have flashed on the screen. It's just barely possible that rather than all of us being stupid ignorant hidebound "traditionalist" rubes... I say, it's just barely possible that we are not the ones compelled to see the movie in the mirror of our own tepid little limited lives.

I am put in mind of some years ago, when Nani shared a heart-warming story about how her father overcame his own culturally-limited vocabulary for expressing emotion to share with her what she already knew, that he loved her. And you were stunned by this interpretation and could not understand why we did not perceive it as a testament of detestation for an emotionally stunted worm of a man, a reading that took an incredible effort of will to twist the plain words of her story into something awful.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

For Linda Loomis -- listen


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWmvfUKwBrg

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

nellie,
Watching that side by side with this is just uncanny.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/3523/saturday-night-live-the-french-chef

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

But Meryl would have to lose the British accent, of course dear chap.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Maher also says some abundantly stupid and ill-informed things about pharmaceuticals, foods, industry, science. He does a good job of being an instigator. My impression is that he understands that that is his role, not a font of wisdom.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Okay. Stopping now. I have finished laundry to wash and clean dishes to fold. Traditionalist that I am. I shall not return until there is a new Kit.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Somebody has a faulty heart valve.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

To imply that because Maher ticks people off means that all who tick people off must somehow possess the compensating qualities of a Maher does not follow. That is a classic logical fallacy.

It's like saying that since dogs bark and have have four feet, then all animals who have four feet must also bark.

People can be annoying for lots of different reasons, not all of them imply some underlying virtue.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Groundhog day (le jour de la marmotte) is also a semi-religious/layman's holiday in some catholic countries; la Chandeleur (feast of the candles).

It means one thing in France: pancakes! (we had ours last Sunday at lunch, in solidarity)
http://www.lefigaro.fr/sortir-paris/2010/01/28/03013-20100128ARTFIG00768-fetez-la-chandeleur-.php

Apologies to non-reader of French, but the pictures are telling.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

yello, it was spot on with the voice! And the wiggles! And the props!

Not so good on the British accent, tho.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

(Every day is a holiday somewhere!)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

slyness,
There's a new "book store" in the Franklin Street area of Chapel Hill. The photo makes it look vaguely like a Nordstrom department store, with a sprinkling of books instead of carefully-presented clothing. I assume there's plenty of folding chairs for events. The Intimate Bookstore of years ago was low-budget charming. For some reason, I don't recall State College, Pa., of the same era having a bookstore, other than the sort that sold textbooks and maybe newspapers.

My favorite relic from the Intimate is a little paperback, "The Art of Bodysurfing", which introduced the world of the Newport Wedge. The author was a rather distinguished local judge.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Dave otc -- just stumbled on your kitchen, and it is quite beautiful!

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

You know, just as there are many narratives that are consistent with a given set of facts, there are many interpretations that can be given a given narrative. And that's fine. Not everyone must get the same message from a movie. How dull would that be?

The problem is when a given interpretation is presented as being "the truth." This implies that something is objectively true for everyone, when it is really just subjectively true for certain individuals. And maybe just one.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember the name, I wanna say Avid Reader, but maybe not, but there was a used bookstore right on Franklin Street. I had bought so many books that he gave me a free tee shirt. I wore that shirt for years.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Loomis? If as a woman? How does my gender come into this? My gender has nothing to do with this movie or my views of it. That you cloud your views of the movie with your gender, well, that is your business, and from your experience.

My views on the movie are based on something far simpler, an extensive knowledge of little boys and a lifetime of watching boys form relationships with the old men who are their grandpas and great grandpas, uncles, great uncles and elderly cousins.

If you believe in the movie you would like to see so much, write the story, and shop it around.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I'd also like to point out that your way of expressing that Ellie and Carl lost a child and could have no more, is about as sexist a statement as I have ever read.

Fathers lose children too. To ignore that is to belittle almost half of humanity.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Bless you dr.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Now, now, now, dr.
That's the mad moose meat talking. You've got to put some civilized meat (groundhog maybe?) in that stew to mellow it down. Laugh it off.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Actually, dr, I'd love to read any story you wrote.

When we met a few years back I was immediately struck with your natural storytelling gift.

It was a privilege listening to your kind and imaginative way of seeing the world.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, I take it Loomis made some comment which appears to be generally viewed as clearless, apparently related to "Up". No point in going back to see what it was.

I'll just note that Up has talking dogs. And when the balloons go high enough it is darn close to space travel.

School tomorrow, hurrah. Time for bed!

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

TBG-your 9:18 and 9:24 almost made a lot of tedious back boodling worthwhile.

I guess I don't get the format of the unpleasantness competition. I was told once the lifetime achievement award was earned it would be retired-like a champion's number.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, DBG, SD. Amen. You just never know when the mad moose stuff will strike. Nine chances out of ten, what is coming from the freezer this winter, is, indeed, moose.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

A blast from the past:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/10/AR2005051001265.html

Joel on the road to Mars.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Ah Shriek, French is a language that smooths over all the bumps in speech. "Le jour de la marmotte" sounds good enough to have for dinner.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 2, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. While I didn't see Up, Sis1 watched it with DC one night so I could be somewhere else, and told me about it. She said the first 10 minutes she was tugging at the tissue box, but then it lightened up. Said it was a touching love story, and how the relationship with the boy was a vehicle for illuminating the man's process of understanding that he and his wife had a truly wonderful lifetime of adventure together.

I have the impression (though I can't really remember how) that a photo album is significant. Something too about a little boy eating an ice cream cone and saying something about the best things being not splashy, all crazy over-the-top events.

And then she zipped right into this day we had as kids, where at one point, we were all sitting on a wall, eating sandwiches, goofing off. Long line of kids having a great day. I remember that day too. A good one. And obviously, memorable.

If Sis1 completely missed the boat on this one, I'd be surprised. She's not one to miss subtle (let alone blatant) portrayals of the subjugation of women. But it seems to me that if someone who didn't even see the movie got something halfway decent out of it, can’t be all that bad. Maybe someone should give it an award.

Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Geez Nellie, I can't find any recipes for Groundhog. Maybe a recipe for skunk or muskrat could be converted. Honest I looked but my trusty 'Genuine' Wilderness Kingdom New Cookbook came up empty.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

be sure to brush before retiring.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7WMABRjTjM

Posted by: -jack- | February 2, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Rombauer somehow overlooked the possibility of groundhog, but my vintage edition of The Joy of Cooking has this to say about woodchuck, which I assume is fungible with groundhog:

"After field-dressing a woodchuck and hanging it for 48 hours, skin as for rabbit, but watch for and remove 7 to 9 small glands under the forelegs. Soak refrigerated overnight in salted water. Drain and wipe dry.

Take 1 woodchuck.

Bring a dutch-oven of salted water to the boil. Add the woodchuck, and
3 cups of light stock
1 rib celery, chopped
1 sliced medium-sized onion
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Simmer until tender, about 2 1/2 hours."

Yoki: That is one bland woodchuck!

OR, one could treat it as raccoon.

"Skin and remove glands of 1 raccoon.

Remove all fat, inside and out. Soak overnight refrigerated in salt water.
Blanche for 45 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and continue to cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
Drain and wash in warm water. Put in cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 150
Stuff the raccoon with Sweet Potato and Apple Dressing (374).
Bake, covered, about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer before serving."

Yoki: Well done raccoon! Yum.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

the voiceover for the cavity sounds like crocker from the fairly oddparents.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCxDdLVRKjc&feature=related

Posted by: -jack- | February 2, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

LiT, I believe Up won at least one Golden Globe award last month.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

If anyone is planning to eat opossum, porcupine or muskrat, I can post those recipes too.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Holdy Cats. You can still get this cookbook. $2.75

And there is another there that I have! Blueberries and Polar Bears, written by the cooks at a far north fishing camp..I forgot about this book.

I found another one while digging, Where People Feast. Interesting Book. Has recipes for Fireweed Tea and Oolican Oil. I think I will have to make some of the tea this coming spring, but I'm not going to touch the oolican oil with a 10 foot pole

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

yoki.

Posted by: -jack- | February 2, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, now I am envious of my sister. She has a really old copy of the Joy of cooking. We each got cookbooks when we were 15 and 16 for Christmas.

We think our mother, or maybe our father, was desperate. Woodchuck? Racoon?

Maybe I need to look through some of my vintage reprint books

Posted by: --dr-- | February 2, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

dr, don't be put off by the Oolican, wiki says it is just smelt

"Smelt (Eulachon, Oolichan, Candlefish, Hooligan), How To Cook Smelt" (Wiki)

but then we are left with "smelt oil" which probably did. Smelt.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 3, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

i have TJOC that belonged to my Mom. lots of interesting recipes like the one you quoted that involve animal parts. long ago and far away, i was coaxed into eating sweetbreads. interesting, but i wouldn't have it again. at least without sunny side up eggs for the purpose of dipping.

Posted by: -jack- | February 3, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

jack

I eat veal sweetbreads (ris de veau) in good French restaurants.

I draw the line at muskrat and beaver, however. Blech.

I don't think eating country food necessarily makes one desperate, just thrifty. I am prepared for the coming guerilla war in Rainy River, between Mrs. Rombauer and The Fanny Farmer from 1939. Plenty of "rationing" recipes in that one. Ritz Crackers Apple Pie, etc.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Groundhog is woodchuck. AKA Whistle-pig and land-beaver.

Posted by: omnigood | February 3, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Isn't that what I said?

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

As you all may have guesses I am on somewhat of an oldies flick kick. Just watch West Side Story for the second time. Eleven AA noms and ten wins. All deserved in my book. Though I think they messed up in not giving a nom or award to Maria (er um) I mean Natalie

Posted by: omnigood | February 3, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Groundhog Day coincides with Candlemas, and also St. Brigid's Day and an old Celtic day known as Imbolc.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I lit a fire and brandished a limb of blackthorn for Imbolc just yesterday.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning,friends. I misspelled, Shrek. Oh my, as much as I look at that movie I should have the name down pat. Sorry.

I suspect it's time for a new kit. Not trying to tell anyone how to do their business, JA. It's been long though.

Yello, you're good. I'm glad you enjoyed my story. I live alone, and I like sharing with my friends. It's not my intention to make anyone feel bad because of my life. Not trying to spread guilt or any of that. I'm hoping you might get a laugh or two. When I think back on some of those experiences I can laugh now. Life really is too short to hold hurt, envy, madness, or any of those things close. It's a journey, we're just passing through, here is not our home.

Time to get ready for the day. It's Wednesday, and I love it. I get to do stuff. I get to see the kids. I get to see members of the church family. I get to see my neighbors if they show up for Bible study. And it's all promising to be a lovely warm day. God is good.

Mudge, Yoki, Scotty, Martooni, Lindaloo, and everyone here, have a beautiful day. I love you all.

Slyness, hope your neck of the woods get some of that promised sunshine and warmth.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 3, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Nellie, I think I would enjoy trying oolican oil, but the book has how to make oolican oil in the traditional way. I'm sure there is a modern way to process it that requires a little less ageing. Or at least I hope so.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 3, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Cassandra! I hope it will be a nice day here. My plan is to take a walk, which I haven't done since the end of last week. It's time to get out and see the neighborhood!

Dave and Yello, thanks for the info on Franklin St shopping. Not only has it changed in the last 30-40 years, my needs and perceptions have changed, so that I don't have particular need of much of the merchandise on display any more.

A busy day ahead for me also. Bible study, then a funeral. Time to get moving!

Posted by: slyness | February 3, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

And good morning everybody. I'll put the coffee on.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 3, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

But if you need some Tarheel gear, Franklin Street is the place to go.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I was going to link to the Frazz in the paper today since it was tangentially boodle related. However, since WaPo only publishes four of the six daily strips each week (and in Kids Post no less), they seem to have taken a strip from later in the week for today. Which may or may not make it even more meta.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Everyone!

What a beautiful snow. Driving down the Parkway was like being embedded in a delicate sculpture of frosted glass. I'm just glad there wasn't more of the stuff for neither my shoulder nor the powerlines could likely take it.

As I said yesterday, there is no single valid interpretation of a movie. But I really liked Up, and this is why.

Yes, on some level a large chunk of the film could be described as an Adventure Tale for Boys. That one of the boys was an elderly man and the other a cherubic Asian lad does, I assert, give it a bit more complexity. And, let us not forget that this section of the film also featured a very strong and assertive female character. A mom as well.

But what makes this a great movie and not just a good movie is the emotional meaning of this adventure. And this is all about Ellie.

Consider Carl's motivation for taking this trip. He is overcome with grief that Ellie didn't live to fulfill her dream. He is keenly aware that she deserved such a late-life adventure, and probably feels a certain amount of guilt that this vivacious energetic green-eyed redhead (yowser) had spent her life trapped in domestic mediocrity living with a schlump like him. So he goes on this trip as a way to honor her.

But the adventure, in and of itself, doesn't pan out the way he would like. Really, it ends up being quite the downer. What redeems it, of course, is his discovery of the friendship with Russel. But what really makes the movie marvelous is his unexpected discovery of evidence that he was profoundly wrong about Ellie.

She was way ahead of him emotionally. Instead of becoming a dyspeptic bitter old woman facing an untimely death, she reveals herself to be grateful for all the good things that life had given her. For her, the *real* adventure was her life with Carl. Her final concern, is that Carl would fail to realize this and waste his final years in remorse.

Now, people are free to roll their eyes at this, but I found it uplifting and wonderful. And most importantly for me, my daughter liked it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

BTW - anyone who wants to see an animated movie with an empowered female lead, should check out "Monsters-vs-Aliens." Also, wicked funny.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming momentarily...

Posted by: joelache | February 3, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

It's up now.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Lots of fun here in Ill-In-Oys on the Day-Apres-Primary.

The primary races on both sides for Governor are still too close too call.

The race to fill Obama's Senate seat (now occupied on an interim basis by Burris the Hack, who wisely decided not to run for a full term) should be fun. The contestants are Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL), who somehow has a reputation for being a RINO when he's actually quite conservative, and Alexi Giannoulias, the current Ill-In-Oys Treasurer who got his money-management experience in a family-owned bank that's now about to go under.

There will be much slinging of wet earth and odiferous projectiles over the next 8 months, all in the name of the democratic process. Everyone duck.

Posted by: MsJS | February 3, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Elon Musk was a political supporter of Obama.

Elon Musk got $700 million in the stimulus for an electric car.

Elon Musk is getting $6 billion from NASA budget.

Elon Musk is not a US citizen.

Elon Musk of SpaceX, a company that could bid on a commercial contract for a crewed mission to orbit, said the administration was simply being realistic in its cancellation of Constellation.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 1, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like you're pretty jealous of Elon Musk.

Posted by: Attucks | February 3, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What is our ultimate purpose? Science. Science, is the great adventure of the human race. Does again going to the Moon really serve that purpose? We have been starving space science for decades; but one Hubble space telescope is worth a hundred space stations. Why, instead of launching a new one, have we continued a patch the old one? For a fraction of the cost of Constellation, we can launch an Armada of space probes to investigate our solar system. The knowledge we gain will pay off in technological advances (Robotics? Artificial intelligence?). Focusing on the generation of fundamental scientific knowledge would be the right thing to do, even if our reduced circumstances were not a factor.

Posted by: ffoulks | February 3, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Yoki wrote, "I lit a fire and brandished a limb of blackthorn for Imbolc just yesterday."

Having availed myself of Wikipedia to try to interpret this cryptic utterance, I'm left wondering whether you slurped some sloe gin, brandished a walking stick in menacing fashion, or wrote a manuscript.

I'm guessing you were maniacally waving a walking stick!

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 3, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

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