Saturday, July 30, 2011

Attention Hollywood: Stop messing with my childhood!

This weekend, we saw Hollywood release another feature-length live-action/CGI movie adapted from a classic cartoon series. It was considered yet another critical failure. I'm not even factoring in the 3D portion of the release. Yet, Cowboys and Aliens brought in more people but The Smurfs is likely to win the weekend on the heels of the increased money with ticket sales for 3D.

In other movie news, I am giving up on Hollywood when it comes to sucessfully adapting a classic cartoon into a full length live-action film. The past few movies that they tried this with have been utter failures, and that includes Transformers.

Don't get me wrong but I saw Yogi Bear despite the reviews and when I left the theater that day, I decided enough was enough. I think Neil Patrick Harris is a great actor but not even he could save The Smurfs if he tried.

The best movie with live action and CGI characters isn't even based on a cartoon. It's Enchanted, the 2007 movie released by Walt Disney Pictures.

Just look at the overall positive percentage of critical reviews:
The Smurfs 18%
Yogi Bear 13%
Alvin and the Chipmunks 27%
Alvin: The Squeakquel 21%
Scooby Doo 30%
Scooby Doo 2 21%
Fat Albert 23%
The Flintstones 22%
G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra 33%
Garfield: The Movie 15%
Garfield: A Tale of 2 Kitties 11%
Inspector Gadget 21%
George of the Jungle 55% (71% top critics, 10/14): This may be the only one that has decent replay value, seeing as how I bought it with my bar mitzvah money in 1997. I think I even sold it to half price but to be honest, I don't plan to upgrade.
The Last Airbender 6%
Marmaduke 9%
Underdog 15%

I don't need to deal with the Transformers movies but those are 57%, 20%, and 36%, respectively.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Congressman John Yarmuth is "sick of it"

Congressman John Yarmuth is "sick of it." Yarmuth addressed the House:
[M] Speaker – Congress’ approval rating is 10 percent. And given the debate on this politically-induced default crisis, I have to ask myself “Who are these crazy 10 %?”

The American people are looking at this institution right now and asking what on earth are you thinking?

They are sick of this and sick of us – they want this default crisis resolved now, they definitely don’t want to repeat it 6 months from now, and they understand that a real solution means a real compromise.

Our constituents have made it clear they want shared sacrifice, where millionaires, billionaires and oil companies contribute their fair share. They want their Social Security and Medicare benefits to be protected.

But this bill - the Republican Default Agenda - does none of that. In fact, this reckless bill is actually a stealth attack on Medicare and Social Security because it requires large cuts next year that can only come from those programs.

The Boehner plan would increase borrowing across the entire spectrum of American society including local and state governments, business, and our citizens, producing essentially a back door tax hike on the American people.

It does all this damage to seniors and middle class families while sparing the wealthy from even the slightest inconvenience.

We weren’t elected to Congress to run our economy and our country in the ground, to fail to respond to a crisis of our own creation – but here we are. The American people deserve better and are demanding better. We need to defeat this bill so we can move on to a real solution. I yield back.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Captain America

If you haven't done so already, get off of your tuchas or away from your phone and go see Captain America: The First Avenger.

I felt that this is Marvel's best film since the release of Iron Man back in May 2008.

Chris Evans has done a brilliant job in bringing Steve Rogers to the big screen.

May 2012 cannot get here soon enough.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Youkilis and Yom Kippur

This year, just like last year, the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur falls Friday night into Saturday night right after the baseball playoffs have started.

Kevin Youkilis has a decision to make. An important one that has been made by Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, and Shawn Green.
Kevin Youkilis says he truly doesn't know what he'd do if faced with the same dilemma as Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax and Shawn Green.

What if the Boston Red Sox are scheduled for a post-season game on Yom Kippur, which begins Friday night, Oct. 7.[...]

For the 32-year-old Youkilis, a two-time all-star currently among the American League RBI leaders, it would be a tough decision.

"I don't put religion into sports," Youkilis said last week during the Red Sox's three-game series in Philadelphia, which many believe to be a World Series preview. "I consider religion entirely different, so I don't bring it to the field.

"I've never played on Yom Kippur," Youkilis added. "Hopefully if we were playing, it would be a night game, not a day game."

He acknowledged a "lot of pressure" from the Jewish community not to play. "But you have to stick with your beliefs. You can't worry about people who aren't influential in your life who say things or tell you you're wrong.

"I know Shawn Green had a tough time with it. It just depends upon the community. In Boston, they probably don't even care. They'd want you to play."

For the kid who grew up in Cincinnati rooting for the Reds, who dutifully went to Hebrew school through Bar Mitzvah ("It was a long Haftorah," he recalls), before his parents allowed him to concentrate on baseball, playing in Boston has both its perks and drawbacks.

While you're an instant celebrity everywhere you turn, it also means you don't have much privacy, including at synagogue.

Comic book movies

Jacob Silverman looks at the recent trend of comic book movies over in Tablet. It's an interesting read for one. Here's a quick excerpt:
What happened? Popular entertainment, after all, need not shy away from complexity or genuine moral conflict; the recent revival of Batman as the Dark Knight proved that well. Rather, the problem is one common to most superhero movies: Too often, filmmakers treat comic books as a brand rather than as source material, emptying them of all the intricacies and ironic reversals that made the beloved characters beloved in the first place. Put simply, contemporary superhero movies suck because they’ve forgotten their Jewish roots.

What I’m advocating here isn’t a cartoonish resort to stereotypes—Wolverine working as a mohel, after all, is an incongruity most of us aren’t ready for—but rather a return to the dynamic, complex, identity-focused storytelling that the American Jewish fathers of the comic-book industry produced so well.

One of this summer’s superhero movies almost gets it right. X-Men: First Class, which tells the story of the formation of the first X-Men under the tutelage of Professor X and Magneto, opens with a harrowing scene in Auschwitz, where Magneto, né Erik Lehnsherr, is separated from his parents, who wear the obligatory yellow star. His power—the ability to manipulate metal and magnetic fields—manifests in that traumatic moment. Later in the film, when asked to think back to a time when he was truly happy, Lehnsherr flashes back to lighting Hanukkah candles with his mother.

These markers of Jewishness are briefly presented and may seem clichéd, but they make First Class not only a very Jewish film but also an interesting if ultimately flawed one, a work of popular fiction concerned with the ethics of revenge. As Lehnsherr spends much of the movie hunting down the Nazi doctor who killed his mother, he turns into a cold, scarred man and eventually develops some ideological commitments that are not too far off from those of his German tormentors.[...]

Perhaps because their creators were forced to reckon with their sense of identity (Stan Lee and many of his peers anglicized their names), comics have been better than their filmic descendants at pushing their protagonists to extremes. In 1941, the now-famous cover of Captain America No. 1 showed the Cap fighting Nazis. A nebbishy, desperately patriotic Brooklyn boy (read: Jew) who, with the help of a Jewish scientist, was turned into a physical specimen, Captain America was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, both Jewish. But even though he began as a Nazi-busting macho, he was never out of touch with the ambivalence with which so many Jews approach power. By 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War, Captain America has had a crisis of conscience, calling himself “an anachronism” in “the age of the rebel and the dissenter.” In Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, Reinhold Reitberger and Wolfgang Fuchs describe this Captain America as “torn by self-doubts: the Hamlet of comics.” Like Hamlet, Cap feels unequal to the circumstances he faces: “Perhaps I should have battled less and questioned more!” There could be no sentiment more Jewish—to feel painfully out of step with the society whose ideals one has so ardently tried to uphold—and no better prescription for drama. There’s also very little chance that any of this ambiguity would ever be permitted to make a cameo in Captain America’s current Hollywood iteration.

Flag Day, Washington's Newport letter, and more

I've been backed up on blogging subjects but this thing caught me eye on Flag Day and the history behind the underrated American holiday.

Albert Mohler suffers from foot-in-mouth disease. There, I said it. You happy now?!?

George Washington once wrote a letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island. Where is it and why? Paul Berger of The Forward explains.
During a lecture in England last December, Jonathan Sarna, America’s foremost scholar of American Jewish history, said he did not know the whereabouts of one of American Jewry’s most important documents: George Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation, in Newport, R.I.[...]

“For, happily,” Washington wrote to the Jews of Newport in 1790, “the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

More than a vital piece of American Jewish history, the letter is one of the primary documents guaranteeing religious tolerance in America, its famous words still quoted by community leaders and politicians whenever they want to underline America’s commitment to religious liberty.[...]

After months of searching, the Forward has found the elusive letter in an art storage facility in a squat, nondescript building in an industrial park in Maryland, a stone’s throw from the home of the Washington Redskins, at FedEx Field. The letter is owned by the Morris Morgenstern Foundation and has been on loan to the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum for more than 50 years.

The letter has not always been hidden from sight — it was originally displayed in the exhibition hall of B’nai B’rith International’s headquarters, on Rhode Island Avenue, in Washington. But when B’nai B’rith sold that building and moved to smaller offices in 2002, there was no longer space for the entire collection, and so a significant portion of it was put into storage.

Over the years, the Library of Congress asked for permission to exhibit the letter, as did the new National Museum of American Jewish History. All requests were denied. During the Forward’s investigation, it became clear that many scholars did not even know where it was, who owned it and why it was not on public view.

B’nai B’rith would not give permission to publish a photograph of the original letter in the Forward.
You really should read the entire article.

Samuel Freedman looks back at the life of Sammy Davis, Jr.

Ron Paul won't run for re-election. Now, can we get his son out of DC, too?

Jewtopia is being made into a movie.
Love Hewitt, who starred in the television show "The Ghost Whisperer," and "Crossing Jordan" star Ivan Sergei will head the cast in an adaptation of the hit play and best-selling book, Variety reported.

"Jewtopia" is the longest-running off-Broadway comedy in history, with more than 1,200 performances.

Sergei will play Christian O'Connell, a non-Jewish plumber who wants a Jewish girlfriend to make all his decisions for him. He poses as a Jewish doctor with the help of his Jewish childhood friend Adam.

Love Hewitt will portray Alison Marks, who meets Christian at a singles mixer at a synagogue.
Gwyneth Paltrow, whose father was Jewish, wants to raise her children Jewish.

Katzenberg talks 3D and movies.

I've been keeping busy of late. Between watching LOST and a vacation to Disney World, I've been keeping busy. That's in addition to working on a scifi story that continues to evolve over time.

Anyway, on the subject of movies, Man of Steel, the Christopher Nolan-produced reboot to the Superman franchise, is going to see a June 2013 release as opposed to December 2012. At this point, all I care is that it is done correctly. If you remember, The Avengers was supposed to come out this month but it was pushed back until next year.

Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke recently about the 3D craze and what's happening to it. Here's the transcript. He does have an angle to it that I agree with. It's not being used for the creative storytelling. Rather, it's being used for greed. Hollywood studios want money but with using 3D as a gimmick, films make more money with less viewers. That's in addition to the frequently rising prices of movie tickets.
JEFFREY KATZENBERG: Sure. I mean, well, for sure it came, and for sure the bloom is off the rose for a moment in time, driven by a singular and unique characteristic that only exists in Hollywood, greed. And, you know, so I think there were, unfortunately, a number of people who thought that they could capitalize on what was a great, genuine excitement by movie goers for a new premium experience, and thought they could just deliver a kind of low-end crappy version of it, and people wouldn't care, or wouldn't know the difference. And anything ‑‑ you know, nothing could have been further from the truth.

So, I think that it's a ‑‑ I think Hollywood has managed to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory here. And with time we'll get back there again, but it's only going to come by understanding and embracing this as a creative, storytelling tool, and a way of giving an enhanced movie theater experience, premium experience. So, our great film makers that are using these tools today, Marty Scorsese, Stephen Spielberg, Peter Jackson, more and more of the really, I think, great users of both technology and great storytelling are now starting to get at it, and they will deliver good experiences to people, and I think it will take us a while, but we'll earn it back.
Later on, Katzenberg asked the audience for "a show of hands of people that would say the last seven or eight months of movies is the worst lineup of movies you've experienced in the last five years of your life."

It's no lie. We have movies being labeled as Hollywood blockbusters because people go see them. However, you look at something like Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Paramount is using excerpts to praise the film when it is not just critically panned but even the audience members wished they never wasted money on it. I'm not gonna complain about the action aspects of it--because the special effects were good--but the story as a whole was one big crock of shit.

Friday, July 08, 2011

An Apatow Roundup of sorts

There's much do to debate about Judd Apatow's string of films lately, whether it be one that he produced or directed. However, Bridesmaids has been a runaway hit. It has passed Knocked Up and Sex and the City to become the highest grossing movies for Apatow and R-Rated female comedies respectively.
Through Tuesday, Bridesmaids' North America gross was $148.1 million, just behind Knocked Up, which cumed $148.8 million in 2007, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which earned $148.2 million domestically in 2006. Barring unforeseen interference from the Transformers sequel, Bridesmaids should pass both those movies Wednesday night.[...]

In the U.S., Bridesmaids was released May 13 and is still playing in a little fewer than 2,000 theaters. Sex and the City grossed $153 million in 2008 but had the advantage of being based on a popular HBO series, which contributed to a whopping $57 million opening weekend. Bridesmaids, on the other hand, opened at a strong-but-not-blockbuster $26 million yet has continued to lure audiences based on strong word-of-mouth.
Director Paul Feig talks about the success of the movie and talks of a sequel. Feig is at work writing Dumb Jock, which is expected to star both Jon Hamm and Melissa McCarthy.
So, what are you doing to celebrate becoming the biggest Judd Apatow production ever at the box office?
I’m still kinda buried at work right now, but I’m just really, really happy. It’s kinda what I secretly hoped would happen. The funny thing was, pretty much from the moment we wrapped and started editing, Judd would always — joking, but serious — refer to this as his most successful film. It was really exciting that it actually turned out to be that.[...]

When that phenomenon happens in Hollywood it seems like a sequel has to follow. Would you do a Bridesmaids 2?
It’s not officially been moved toward, but I’d be very open to it. It would just have to be as good or better than this one. What you don’t want to do is the one that ruins the memory of the first one. But nothing would make me happier if we could make another one with this amazing cast, and people go, “That’s awesome!” If it’s as good or as better than the first one, that would be fantastic. Because everything around it was great — the cast, the people behind the scenes, the stories we’re telling, the fact that we get to do movies for and with hugely talented women. What could be better than that? It would be great to carry that on, but, again, it has to be high quality.
In other comedy news, Seth Meyers talked to the Chicago Tribune about how he went from being an improviser in Chicago to a member of the SNL cast.
Q: But this time, you're doing stand-up. What do you plan to talk about?
A: I enjoy talking about politics a great deal. And I get to talk about myself a bit more than I do on "SNL." It's nice to have an hour on your own without the repercussions of how it will effect the sketches on either side of you. It's also really nice to do comedy again while standing up. It's weird to sit as a comedian. Being still drives me crazy. I somehow have a job that means I have to sit and wear a tie.[...]

Q: How much longer on "SNL"?
A: I want to do the job for a couple more years. Being bored is the thing I'm most afraid of when I leave, Chris. I love the pace of TV.

Q. You could do movies.
A: I don't think I'm particularly good at them. It's nice when I get offered small parts. But I really think that "SNL" is what my skill set is best designed for. I feel that less on a movie. I have managed to work my job into where the only range required of me is that I have to dress up.

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:
New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Independence Photos

G-d Bless the USA

G-d Bless the U.S.A
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again
with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars
to be living here today,
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom
and they can't take that away.

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
G-d Bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota
to the hills of Tennessee,
Across the plains of Texas
from sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston
and New York to L.A.,
There's pride in every American heart
and it's time we stand and say:

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
G-d Bless the U.S.A.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Neack publishes ebook

Harry Neack, a former president of the College Democrats of Kentucky, has published a scifi ebook through Amazon.

The synopsis for Neack's book, The Grand Stratagem:
Since leaving Earth more than a millennium ago, humans have traveled across the expanse of the galaxy. Over half of the galaxy is controlled by several major commonwealths in which humans and nonhumans live in peace. Now because of a warning from an escaped slave, a plot a thousand years in the making that will threaten galactic order has been revealed. The election of a fervently nationalistic leader in a human commonwealth has given the conspirators an opportunity to make their move. Old alliances fall and new ones arise in the face of impending war, and no one can remain neutral.


I have to thank Ken Levine for bringing this to my attention! If all theaters were like the Alamo Drafthouse, I would be so happy!

From the Alamo Drafthouse's youtube page for the video:
We do not tolerate people that talk or text in the theater. In fact, before every film, we have several warnings on screen to prevent such happenings. Occasionally, someone doesn't follow the rules, and we do, in fact, kick their asses out of our theater. This video is an actual voicemail from a woman that was kicked out of one of our Austin theaters. Thanks, anonymous woman, for being awesome.
They deserved for their ass to be kicked out.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Is KG thinking retirement

While it is hard to imagine the Boston Celtics roster without NBA all-star Kevin Garnett, it's inevitable. Nobody seems to know how long the NBA lockout will last so his retirement may be during the lockout. No one really knows for sure.

Bleacher Report looks at Garnett and 5 others. Bleacher Report also looks at the Celtics future if Garnett does actually retire.

In other news, the Celtics have picked up their option on Avery Bradley.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Americans are not educated

A new Marist poll shows more examples of people like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. It's very sad and depressing example of Americans that never took the time to learn and be educated in American history. United States history was one of my favorite subjects growing up and remains so today.
Only 58% of residents know that the United States declared its independence in 1776. 26% are unsure, and 16% mentioned another date.

There are age differences on this question. Younger Americans are the least likely to know the correct answer. Only 31% of adults younger than 30 say that 1776 is the year in which the United States broke away from Great Britain. 59% of residents between 30 and 44 report the same. Americans 45 to 59 — 75% — are the age group most likely to have the correct answer. Among those 60 and older, 60% report that 1776 is the year in which the United States declared its independence.

When it comes to gender, men — 65% — are more likely to respond with 1776 than are women — 52%.

And, for the second year, about one in four Americans doesn’t know from which country the United States declared its independence. While 76% correctly cite Great Britain, 19% are unsure, and 5% mention another country.
For many years, while on vacation, not only did we attend a Major League Baseball game but we also visited a historic American site, one that related to presidential historic sites as well.

1996: The Arch
1997: MLK Musuem
1998: I have to think about this one
1999: Philadelphia, Gettysburg
2000: Truman Library and Museum
2001: Boston
2002: Washington, DC, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Fort McHenry
2003: Bill Clinton's birthplace, Sixth Floor Museum
2004: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential center
2005: Lincoln library and musuem
2006: The place where Roosevelt was inaugurated and Fillmore's grave
2007: Philly x2
2008: I'm not sure
2009: Not sure
2010: Not sure
2011: Polk grave and The Hermitage in a few weeks