June 20, 2014

My Five Favorite Films From...1993

1993 was a powerhouse year for the movie industry. The sheer number of quality films that came out just boggles the mind. I had to struggle to pick my favorites.

Honorable Mention (x2) – Carlito’s Way and Dazed and Confused: Already I can’t pick just one film. Carlito’s Way is a fantastic gangster film and what I think is Pacino’s last great role. As for Dazed and Confused let’s just say that not only was it funny, but I was in my senior year of college and definitely enjoyed many of the same things the characters did. And I don’t mean Wooderman and high-school girls.

5. Schindler's List: An incredibly powerful movie. It seems ridiculous in retrospect that it took this movie to re-ignite interest in the Holocaust and preserving the memory of that evil as a warning to us all. But that is just how good it was. And that girl in the red coat…

4. True Romance: An excellent reminder that Tarantino has been writing great scripts for a while, Tony Scott could direct a film without gimmicks* and Christian Slater could act his ass off. And who knew that Balki from Perfect Strangers made such a good coke-head?

3. Shadowlands: I love this movie. If you told me 20 years ago that a British film about the relationship between C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham would be a personal favorite, I’d have laughed in your face. But I do so love this film.

2. Army of Darkness: You have to love The Bruce in his seminal role as Ash. It’s corny and funny and ridiculous and I love all of it. Even people who don't like horror movies like this movie. Because The Bruce is awesome.

June 17, 2014

Oh. Hell. Yes. US Beats Ghana.

Purging the hex that Ghana has held over the US in the last two World Cups was ever-so satisfying. Having one of Klinsmann's new German-American kids (John "Never has to buy a drink again" Brooks) score the goal was even better. Coming so late in the game? Amazing.

As remarkable as it was, the US still has some concerns. Jozy Altidore straining his hamstring is a huge blow. He is the only striker on the side that can really play with his back to the goal and do it well. Hopefully Matt Besler is okay as well, though that cautionary substitution for him allowed Brooks into the game.

Most concerning, to me, was Michael Bradley's poor play. He always seemed a step behind the play. His passing was, in a word, atrocious. Hopefully it is a one-time thing because his poor form resulted in the US spending too much time in their own half defending against Ghana (40% of the US possession was in their own third). Overall Ghana out-possessed the US 59%-41%.

The US couldn't pass effectively but still got the win. They cannot do that against Portugal or Germany. On the upside, advancement just got very easy for the US. Beat Portugal and they are in (excepting a couple of crazy scenarios that would include Ghana trouncing Germany). That is a big ask, to be fair. But Portugal, for all their talent, is a very undisciplined team (see Pepe: Headbutt). And Ronaldo, as good as he is, has a bad habit of trying to do everything on his own. A good, disciplined US defense that can successfully pass out of their own third, moving to a US midfield that can maintain possession, will beat Portugal.

But for now, let's savor the moment. Just like Mr. Brooks.

June 16, 2014

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Of course, you are almost asking for this to happen when some of your biggest donors are oil companies. But that doesn't change that this is complete and utter crap (Dallas Morning News via io9).

The Dallas Morning News has learned that the Perot Museum failed to display a panel that spelled out the link between burning fossil fuels, higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a warming planet.

The 4-by-2.5-foot panel had been designed to hang in its earth sciences hall but was lost in the bustle leading up to the museum’s opening in December 2012, said Steve Hinkley, vice president of programs at the Perot Museum. He did not learn of the panel’s omission until a reporter began inquiring about it earlier this month.


The missing panel, titled “Changing Climate,” states that “Volcanic eruptions and burning fossil fuels increase the amount of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. This warms the Earth and can cause sea levels to rise and climates to change.”

A caption below a photo of what looks like a smokestack added: “Humans have altered Earth’s climate by burning coal and other fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide,” according to an image of the panel provided by the Perot Museum and by the panel’s designer.

The article goes on to have Hinkley state the reason the panel is missing is that it was improperly designed for the space and they need to make a new one. Of course, this problem arose a year and a half ago and I am willing to wager it doesn't take that long to make a new panel.

No, the problem is much simpler. Big Oil/Gas/Whatever donates money to these museums and then makes sure that scientific facts that would hurt their bottom line simply disappear or get crowded out by a bunch of noise.

Site of Future Awesomeness

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Site of Future Awesomeness

Coming soon