Seven Wonders of the Internet World

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn on January 30, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

Ever play this game? Seven Wonders of the Internet World–go:

1. Amazon
2. IMDb
3. Google
4. Facebook
5. Fark
6. Wikipedia
7. Youtube

Got different ones?

Gonna Have a Heart Attack and Die from Not-Surprise

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn on January 29, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

Handheld cell phone bans do not affect crash rates.

Next up: They will try to ban phones while driving altogether, handheld or hands-free.

Via The Daily Caller.

First They Came for the Toilets

Filed under:Not Cool,Politics — posted by Anwyn on January 28, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

…and mandated them all to low-flow, and I said nothing because I didn’t care. I just flushed a few more times … although others took a different approach. At some point they mandated the wine bottles, and I said nothing, because as long as they still have a hole in the top it doesn’t affect me.

Now they’re coming for the light bulbs, and most people seem completely insensible to the danger.

Yet about 75 percent said they are not aware of the impending federal requirement for greater energy efficiency that will lead to the phaseout of less efficient lighting.

“Less efficient” by a standard of raw energy consumed, perhaps. “Less efficient” by a standard of, you know, actually lighting things to a visible spectrum and being safe to handle around your toddler, not so much: Incandescents are far more efficient than flourescents on both counts. And there’s this ill-considered boilerplate from GE:

“We’re not sensing a rush by consumers to comply with the looming federal standards,” Kathy Sterio, GE Lighting’s general manager of consumer marketing said in a prepared statement.

“There’s a major shift to CFLs but it’s clearly is a matter of educated consumers choosing CFLs for their strengths,” she said. “Our marketing, advertising and packaging have espoused the value of energy-efficient CFLs for over a decade.”

Such a charming implication, that those of us who still prefer incandescents are uneducated yokels.

H/t J.

Sherlock Holmes Sequel Apparently In Development

Filed under:Cool,Movies — posted by Anwyn on January 27, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

Joel Silver says “the studio” wants him and Guy Ritchie to focus on a new Sherlock Holmes movie instead of something called Lobo, which, judging by the picture at the link, is a comic-book adaptation that I, personally, will not bemoan the lack of. IMDb lists “Untitled Sherlock Holmes Sequel” as in development, in content not available to those of us as yet unwilling to pay for IMDb Pro.

Hooray for more Downey-as-Holmes! Dear Mssrs. Silver & Ritchie: I loved Sherlock Holmes. Please get some wittier screenwriting this time around. Dear Mssrs. Downey & Law: Please carry on full speed ahead. Love, Anwyn

“Spending Programs” Will Fall Outside a Spending Freeze

Filed under:Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on January 26, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

Imagine that.

“You guys … are not only not talking about a second stimulus, you’re talking about trying to cut … the budget,” Maddow said. “I have to tell you, it sounds completely, completely insane.”

[“Top economic adviser to the president” Jared] Bernstein vowed “there`s going to be no stupid Hooverism around here, to use your, I think, very apt term.”

“Spending programs, in order to generate the kind of job growth that we need to offset this — the impact of what was the deepest recession since the Great Depression — generally will fall outside of this freeze,” he said.

But Michael Linden, associate director for tax and budget policy at the Center for American Progress, argued a week ago that this kind of a freeze would make only a dent in the country’s structural problems.

“The federal government spent a bit more than $625 billion on non-defense discretionary programs in 2009. The Congressional Budget Office projects that, in five years, the federal government will spend about $660 billion on the same programs,” he wrote.

“Freezing non-defense discretionary spending at current levels would therefore only produce a total savings of $35 billion in 2015. That year, the budget deficit is expected to be around $760 billion. Saving $35 billion would solve less than 5 percent of the problem. There may be some savings to be found in non-defense discretionary programs, but a spending freeze would accomplish extremely little in the way of measurable deficit reduction.”

Food stamp programs? Education programs? College loan programs? Even … spit … health care “reform” programs? No. Spending programs. Spending programs that will in no way be affected by a “spending freeze.”

Well, hell. Gotta admire a person who calls it what it is in defiance of his own political interest, right? Go ahead, keep stating your real goal out loud till everybody understands that spending was the real goal all along. Kthxbai.

The Proposal

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on January 25, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

Why did stars as big as Sandra Bullock and Mary Steenburgen do this movie? Heck, why did stars the size of Ryan Reynolds or Craig T. Nelson do it? Not even Betty White was able to perk it up. I don’t mind formulaic romantic comedies. I’m a girl. I mind formulaic romantic comedies that think they can get by on formula and star power while adding absolutely zero wit or character development.

Sandra Bullock’s character, Margaret Tate, is a bitch in four-inch heels who rules the office with an iron hand and her assistant (Reynolds’s Andrew Paxton) with a whip-hand. Though her manner is uncompromising and manipulative, interestingly–and it was almost the only interesting thing available in these characters–her actions, as demonstrated by the firing of a subordinate, are reasonable bordering on gracious. When she lets him go, she tells him exactly why, her reason makes sense, and she gives him “two months to find another job, and you can say you resigned.” Most people losing jobs nowadays should do so well.

The movie grinds through its “get married to avoid deportation” plot, takes Margaret home to Andrew’s Alaskan small-town mogul parents, runs through the usual physical and embarrassment comedy scenes, and winds up with Margaret leaving because she now likes Andrew too much to make him go through with the wedding. The only warm moment was The Kiss of True Love, and by that point I was thanking the Hollywood gods that they could get that much right, because they certainly didn’t show enough change in the thoughts, feelings, or manners of these characters to make us care otherwise. Andrew’s parents were ciphers with no depth, as was his Alaskan ex, and the movie followed the seemingly now-standard formula of “two endings”–the big, public denouement followed by the quieter “real” ending when the characters finally come together. But that routine has to be handled carefully to make it work; otherwise it just feels tacked on and deflated. And no part of this movie, including the ending, got very careful handling.

The direction was not altogether lacking; some interesting camera work tried hard to provide the depth that was missing from the script. And the idea certainly was solid–see also Green Card–but unlike Green Card, the comedy scenes were mainly mildly cringe-inducing and the characters just flat. They had chemistry, but it was all untapped. It could have been a good movie had it had a different script. Alas. But hey … Ryan and Sandy sure can kiss.

Leap Year

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on January 11, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

… was the cutest lame movie I’ve seen in a while.

Amy Adams and Matthew Goode are both absolutely charming, but their characters needed a lot of work. “Predictable” didn’t even make the running into a list of major problems with the film. “Predictable” is when a [snob, jerk, ass, obliviot, hateful cynic] of a [man, woman] and a [man, woman] who are nevertheless totally [hilarious, witty, insightful, devilishly charming, really soft and mushy inside if somebody would just SEE IT] eventually realize they are crazy about each other and live happily ever after, whatever other [men, women] might be in the picture to start with. While Amy Adams’s Anna at least has determination and with-it-ness to recommend her, Matthew Goode’s Declan pretty much has … his smile, beard, and Irish accent. There is very little indicator that either has much going on otherwise and very little development to go along with it. The dialogue is painfully lacking in wit and the physical comedy (which, I stipulate up front, is not my thing anyway) is just lacking.

More than anything, though, the whole thing, typified by the main characters, just lacks depth. But, as I say–still cute.

Way Ahead of My Time

Filed under:Food — posted by Anwyn on January 8, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

When I first moved out on my own, once upon a time in the mists of antiquity, I ordered a Domino’s pizza. I never did so again.

Apparently enough people did the same that they finally noticed.

“We’re Getting the Impression That You Think We Are Not Relevant to These Proceedings”

Filed under:Heh,Music,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 2:00 pm

You’ve peeved Ray Stevens now.

The man’s 70 years old and made this, and while I don’t know that he necessarily came out of retirement to do so ([to me it seems that way, but that might be just because] I haven’t followed him in a while, though when I was little, “Mississippi Squirrel Revival” was the funniest thing I had ever heard), I say … you go, Ray. I particularly like the embrace of the “yokel” image to make the point that the ones Obama et. al. would like to write off as “yokels” are quite capable of “yokeling” him et. al. right out of office. Seriously–I know a lot of people of my parents’ age who look a lot like the Ray playing the plunger, except they play real guitars–extremely well. His point is real and well made.

Next best line: “You might want to start looking for another line of work. How about the medical profession? Yeah, they’re going to need everybody they can get who will put up with the red tape and the pay cut.”

H/t See-Dubya.

Obama Official: Obama Being Accountable and Transparent is “Unusual”

Filed under:Heh,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 8:28 am

“The president also wanted to do something, I think, unusual today,” National Security Council Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said during a web chat after Obama’s speech. “Not only was this a very quick accounting, not only did the president accept responsibility for it, but the president also wanted to do this as transparently as possible.”

H/t Hot Air headlines.

Notice a Pattern?

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn on January 7, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

So Obama said “the buck stops with me” and Ace is unimpressed. So am I. First, his own text makes it clear that while he really believes blame lies somewhere else, he’s only saying this because he’s supposed to:

“I am less interested in passing out blame than I am in learning from and correcting these mistakes to make us safer. For ultimately, the buck stops with me. … When the system fails, it is my responsibility.”

He would pass the blame, but he’s more interested in something else, so, sure, he’ll grant that the buck can stop with him, if you’ll grant that we can talk now about how to learn and correct.

Second … it’s just the same old jerky Obama pattern that’s been evident since the beginning. He can’t disown Jeremiah Wright … until the growing unrest of the voters makes it clear that disowning is the winning position. He must close Gitmo … until the growing unrest of the voters makes it clear that not closing it is the winning position. He must end our involvement in Iraq immediately … except things are better there and abrupt pull-out would be silly, so not ending it immediately is the winning position. He says nothing about the underwear bomber … until the growing unrest of the voters makes it clear that he must say something. He says, and Janet Napolitano says, idiotic things about the underwear bomber until the growing unrest of the voters makes it clear that he must say something more forceful and definite. So he does.

For a guy with, as used to be said about Chamberlain, his wetted forefinger in the wind, he sure doesn’t seem to know which way it’s blowing until it ruffles his hair.


Filed under:Cool,Food — posted by Anwyn @ 11:52 am

A bunch of my favorite games, and a bunch I’ve never heard of, rendered in … cupcakes.

H/t: Daddyman.

Remember When…

Filed under:Movies — posted by Anwyn on January 6, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

…VHS tapes were released, and you could only get them by rental for months and months and they cost a hell of a lot of money to buy them?

Yeah, those days are long gone. Now you can’t rent them right away in case the delay might make you twitchy enough to go ahead and buy them.

SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix Inc. will delay sending out Warner Bros.’ latest movies by nearly a month in a concession that the DVD-by-mail service made so it could gain rights to show its subscribers more movies over the Internet.

Damn, you mean I can’t Netflix The Invention of Lying for another month? Sob.

Sop to the deal reminiscent, but not quite the same as, tobacco companies telling people not to smoke:

“If this causes more of our subscribers to drive down to a store to buy a DVD, we think that will be good for the entertainment ecosystem,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer.

Sure, why not? It’s not like the $17 customers plunk down for the purchase is going to come out of their Netflix budget. And Netflix is used to dealing with complainers. At least this time they have a contract partner to point to as the bad guy.

By acquiescing, Netflix will get a steep discount on Warner Bros.’ discs — savings that the company intends to use to expand the selection of movies and TV shows available for instant viewing over the Internet.

Warner Bros. already has agreed to contribute hundreds of additional movies to that service — triple the current catalog. They will include many titles that have only been out on DVD for three to eight months.

H/t: Slublog.

next page

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace