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{ Monthly Archives } February 2010

Zombies and the First Ammendment

From The Raw Story They’re said to utter little more than an occasional groan, but zombies — the blood-drenched monsters of Hollywood “B” movies — still have a right to free speech, a US court ruled this week. An appeals court in the northern US city of Minneapolis, Minnesota on Wednesday allowed a group of […]

The Brothers Bloom

Why haven’t you seen this movie yet? The Brothers Bloom is an irreverent oddball character caper movie, not unlike one of my all-time favorites, Rushmore.  I’d say Rushmore wins in a head-to-head, but if you like Wes Anderson’s masterpiece, you probably will like The Brothers Bloom too.  A few thoughts: The opening sequence has the […]

Iron Man: The King of Pop?

Avery has an edition of the kids’ game Memory where all the cards are images of characters from Spider-man and friends, a version of the superhero story where all the characters are children, somehow. It’s weird.  Anyway, we’re playing and I uncovered the Iron Man character and Avery declared that he was “Michael Jackson.” Now […]

Zombies for Zombies

Advice and Etiquette for The Living Dead by David P. Murphy I got Zombies for Zombies as a Christmas gift and enjoyed it moderately.  Best read in short bursts, the book comes from a post-zombie apocalypse future in which some zombies (who make a strong effort early on) are able to keep roughly 30% of […]

The public perception of the academy

I arrive earlier than most of my colleagues in the English department because I teach a 9am class and like to prep beforehand.  Because of this, I often encounter students looking for instructors or something like that.  The other day was a strange one.  I came out of my office on the way to the […]

Percy Jackson, where art thou?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief We saw The Lightning Thief at a local dinner movie theatre, which the waiter described as a “full service restaurant and bar where we happen to show a movie.”  It was a fun experience, and probably something we’ll do again.  Alas, the movie itself was okay but […]

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Wilhelm Puncher

On Community, the group gathers in Abed’s room to watch terrible movies, including Kick Puncher, the Robocop ripoff whose punch is as hard as a fist.  At one point, in the background, we hear Kick Puncher hit someone.  The sound they make when they fly through the wall? The Wilhelm Scream.

The ABCs of Avatar, part 2

Second half of my ABC list about James Cameron’s movie.  This time, it’s the fun ruminations.  While I will try not to spoil anything, I’m not guaranteeing there aren’t spoilers below, so be warned. Nerds: Once again, in the story of the Man of Action vs. the Man of Knowledge, the man of action shows […]

The ABCs of Avatar, part 1

Last time I wrote about Avatar, I was thinking about the politics and stuff.  This time, it’s the fun ruminations.  While I will try not to spoil anything, I’m not guaranteeing there aren’t spoilers below, so be warned. Blue: why is there so much blue on this planet?  I learned on Radio Lab‘s “Placebo Effect” […]

The Thin Man

by Dashiell Hammett I usually suggest books to my mystery book club that make them grumble. I’ve asked them to read City of Glass and Gun with Occasional Music and Storm Front, none of them a conventional mystery. This time around, I picked The Thin Man, which a few people in the group had read, […]

Politics and Environmentalism in Avatar

So I saw Avatar in 3D last Saturday, and there’s lots to say. The obvious allegory for the European settlement of North America and for the current environmental approach to the world and its resources. When people confront facts and stories that make them feel uncomfortable, there are many ways to resolve them.  Some people […]

Wilhelm Target x2

We’ve seen our good ol’ friend the Wilhelm Scream in two episodes of Human Target so far: The first episode, when Chance kicks a dude out the back end of the train.  Wilhelmed! In the third(?) episode, when monk’s-habit-wearing Chance kicks a dude out of a cable car over a mountain.

Drabbling along

So I’ve been a regular listener of the Escape Pod podcast for a while now, and I really enjoyed the rotation they did last year when Steve Eley took a break. They brought in two other hosts, one of whom had a smooth and kind of creepy persona with a wicked sense of humor.  When […]

American Gangster

and Other Tales of New York by Mark Jacobson; narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner Jacobson specialized in “slice of life” features for New York periodicals.  His stories have won numerous awards and spawned a number of other texts, including the television show Taxi and the feature film based on the title article mentioned above.  Jacobson brings […]

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In which my wife rightly points out my know-it-all tendencies

Jenny, my mom, and I are watching something on television.  Say psych. Something brought to mind some fun facts: Me: Did you know that the Earth’s days are slowly getting longer? Mom: Oh really? Me: Yep!  As the Moon orbits the Earth, it pulls on us, trying to get us into a paired orbit where […]

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