Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thanks For The Pasta Sauce

“The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”- Paul Newman (from the obituary in the Times.)
Of all his films, my favorite film is probably Sidney Lumet's "The Verdict". That one scene in the film is all the proof you need that a great actor can make a great script even greater.

Here's that monologue in its entirety:
You know, so much of the time we're just lost. We say, "Please, God, tell us what is right; tell us what is true." And there is no justice: the rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time, we become dead... a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims... and we become victims. We become... we become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today you are the law. You ARE the law. Not some book... not the lawyers... not the, a marble statue... or the trappings of the court. See those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are... they are, in fact, a prayer: a fervent and a frightened prayer. In my religion, they say, "Act as if ye had faith... and faith will be given to you." IF... if we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves. And ACT with justice. See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"No Sock Left Behind", "Black Sock Down" Etc Etc

One fine black Gold Toe sock has fallen behind the dryer. The dryer's too wide (and high) for me to lean over and across its top and retrieve the sock. So I look around the room for some tools and find the following:

A collection of short stories by Balzac
Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal"
A week-old issue of the New Yorker
A compilation of E.B. White's writings
A four-inch tall "Laughing Buddha"
Lip-gloss, moisturizer and an almost-empty can of deodorant

Let's see if you lateral thinkers can help me get my Gold Toe sock back out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

All Your Trademarks Are Belong To Us?

Every Marx Brothers fan knows the legend: the brothers set out to make a film titled "A Night in Casablanca", Warner Bros. threatened them with a lawsuit (they had just released "Casablanca") and Groucho fired off a letter to the studio, famously stating that the Marx Brothers had been brothers long before the Warner Brothers and therefore their case had no merit.

Sixty three years later, it appears that Warner Bros. just got told off again, this time by a court in India, over a film called "Hari Puttar". So do the studios think spoofing a title is not cool but ripping off an entire plot is OK?

But back to "Groucho v. Warner". The story is false, of course. The real story is funnier.

Monday, September 22, 2008

For The 4 People In The World Who Don't Own IV...

Amazon's selling Led Zeppelin IV for $1.99.

Good deal. The concrete-hard snare drums on "When the levee breaks" alone are worth four bucks. (Sure, that other song on IV threatens to diminish the album's value to some ridiculous negative number but still...)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


It's like "PostSecret", only without the forced attempt at eloquence: Commonties (Warning: some posts are NSFW)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two DFW Links

David Foster Wallace, interviewed by Charlie Rose, back in 1997. And his commencement speech that OTP forwarded me a few months ago.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"By The Way You Look Fantastic, In Your Boots Of Chinese Plastic"

Hare Krishna, Hare Rama too,
Govinda I am still in love with you
I see you in the birds and in the trees
that's why they call me Krishna Mayee

Chrissie Hynde pays a cool, bouncy tribute to Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish leather" on her new song titled "Boots of Chinese plastic" (from the Pretenders' new album, "Break up the concrete").

The mp3 is here. Great stuff!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bihar Flood Relief

Thanks to a crazy work schedule over the last two weeks, I had almost overlooked all news reports about the millions affected by floods in Bihar. (Link to BBC)

If you would like to help, Association for India's Development (AID) is raising funds for relief work in Bihar. (On the main page, click on the "All India Relief Relief Fund" link).

MSF has filed a field report on Bihar.
"Some areas remain totally cut off and stories from those in the makeshift camps indicate that entire villages have been destroyed by the floodwaters with no inhabitants surviving. These areas are now starting to face acute food shortages."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008