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Showing posts from January, 2010

Robert Duvall, scene stealer

Why is it that EVERY movie Robert Duvall acts in, he somehow manages to equal or outshine the leads? He did it again in Crazyheart, an excellent film with Jeff Bridges as a washed-up, broken country singer. Solid performances all around, but in many ways I'd hate to act in a film with Duvall, the audience would forget about me.

Mirror in the Bathroom

Do you have this problem: you check your look in the bathroom before leaving--not bad, you think. You go somewhere, someone takes your picture, you see the picture, you feel wretched. Why was I even allowed to leave the house? What happens to your appearance between this mirror and that lens? Better yet, why do you choose to photograph me as horribly disfigured?
Is this the same as hearing your own voice on a recording? People tell me I have good vocal quality, I believe them, and yet when I hear that horrible nasal sound on some playback device I ask, "WHY? WHY DO YOU FEED ME LIES FROM THE SULPHUROUS PITS OF HELL?"

Economy vs. Ecology

Here's a perfect example of the foolishness of our leaders.
(From today's Detroit Free Press (I couldn't embed the link for some reason))

Asian carp DNA found in Great Lakes
By TINA LAM

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
The Army Corps of Engineers announced new DNA findings Tuesday that show Asian carp, a voracious fish that many experts fear could wreck the food chain in the Great Lakes, may already be in Lake Michigan.

DNA tests show the presence of carp at the breakwater of Calumet Harbor in Illinois, be­yond the nearest lock. The breakwater leads to the open waters of Lake Michigan.

The announcement came just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Michigan’s plea to shut down the locks leading to the lake.

Federal officials suggested the DNA could have come from ballast water carried by barges from carp-infested rivers downstream.

“We do not believe that’s plausible,” said Lind­say Chadderton, one of four members of the Uni­versity of Notre Dame who developed the DNA test and have d…

Good reads of 2009

I haven't made a list like this in a while, and I believe I discussed most of these on the blog as I finished them, but I thought I'd make a handy short-hand list for you and me. These are only in the order I read them and do not indicate any preference.

The Open Door * Frederica Mathewes-Green
The Children of Hurin * J.R.R. Tolkien
The Omnivore's Dilemma * Michael Pollan
Agrarianism and the Good Society: Land, Culture, Conflict, and Hope * Eric T. Freyfogle
Wonderful Fool * Shusaku Endo
Up the Rouge: Paddling Detroit's Hidden River * Joel Thurtell and Patricia Beck
Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction: Christianity and the Battle for the Soul of a Nation * Rodney Clapp

(I started the following in December, but I haven't finished them--so far they are excellent: Love and Hate in Jamestown * David A. Price and The Picture of Dorian Gray * Oscar Wilde)

Try one of these--let me know.

That Old House

My family and some friends of ours spent a portion of last evening at Birmingham's First Night celebration. The details of which don't matter, except for one aspect; our second stop at the Allen House. This was a house built in the first third of the 19th century, and has to be the oldest existing house in Oakland County--and it's located in a park in downtown Birmingham.
We were able to walk through the house and talk with the three interpreters who knew most of their "stuff." What's truly fascinating though is we were walking through the 19th century, while outside most people were looking forward to the next year of the 21st century (which unless I'm mistaken still has one more year to go before a new decade starts). The plank floors creaked under us, the dull iron and whitewashed walls caught our eyes, while outside cars rolled by and people spoke on cellular phones. Within the surprisingly quiet confines of the Allen house, we could take a mome…