Sunday, June 29, 2008

IMAX - Wikipedia
I saw Speed Racer today at an IMAX theatre. My last experience at what I thought was an IMAX theatre turned out to be an OMNIMAX theatre which is very different than current standard IMAX. So I was disappointed to say the least. Not in the film itself, which not only holds up upon repeat viewings, but becomes even better. (John Goodman's performance is very good by the way.) If you have access to a digitally projected film theatre, there is no difference in clarity between that and IMAX. Not to my eyes. Yes, the IMAX screen is taller, but that is not relevant to a conventionally shot movie which is typically wider than it is tall. OMNIMAX is the greatest film experience but for some reason still deemed too expensive to film and there are not nearly enough screens to support such a film if it was to be made. I am hopeful that digital cameras could be cheaply made to support the OMNIMAX format and that digital projection of such "films" would be far cheaper and encourage the building of OMNIMAX screens.
WALL-E (2008)***
I liked the opening of the film and for the first 30 minutes we get a glimpse of what "life" is like for WALL-E the robot, left all alone to take all the mountains of trash in what appears to be NYC and stack it into neat and orderly cubes as tall as skyscrapers. But then EVE comes into the picture and things start to go downhill into ordinary Pixar-land. It's not nearly as profound as it wants to be, but the animation is so perfect and seamless, it never ceases to be interesting...except when it is on the spaceship. If they could have done the whole picture without any humans in it at all it would have possibly been a major work of art. As it is, it's an enjoyable piece of family entertainment.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A real pain in the gas - Folsom:
"“Then, apparently to make sure the way was opened really wide to potential market oil price manipulation, in January 2006, the George W Bush administration’s CFTC permitted the Intercontinental Exchange, the leading operator of electronic energy exchanges, to use its trading terminals in the United States for the trading of U.S. crude oil futures on the exchange in London - called “ICE Futures.”

The editorial takes the position that “how today’s oil prices are really determined is done by a process so opaque only a handful of major oil trading banks, such as Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley, have any idea who is buying and who is selling oil futures or derivative contracts that set physical oil prices in this strange new world of ‘paper oil.’”

Ties exist between Phil Gramm and investors, including Goldman Sachs, who helped move regulation of WTI offshore, with the ICE Futures Europe purchase."

Phil Gramm is John McCain's economic "advisor".

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Dana Milbank - It's a Mitzvah -
"A mere 12 hours after claiming the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee yesterday -- and changed himself into an Israel hard-liner.

He promised $30 billion in military assistance for Israel. He declared that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force has 'rightly been labeled a terrorist organization.' He used terms such as 'false prophets of extremism' and 'corrupt' while discussing Palestinians. And he promised that 'Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.'

Vowing to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon, the newly minted nominee apparent added: 'I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally, Israel. Do not be confused.'

I think I'm going to be sick. My only hope is that this is just for the election. Isn't that sad? That you HOPE your candidate is just a cynical anything-to-win pandering asshole? How can he not see that the entire fucking world is resting their hopes on his presidency and to turn around and pull this? This deal with Israel is just like Cuba. It's a small, powerful, moneyed group that influences, almost controls, our government's actions. I think most of us thought Obama would change stuff like that. I guess we were wrong. So friends, it's not going to be this guy but maybe the next one. We have another lesser-of-two-evils election coming up.
U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:
"“Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence,” Rockefeller said. “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

“It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa’ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. To accomplish this, top Administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa’ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11. Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses.

“There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate."

Um, I'm just a poor ignorant caveman, but doesn't this mean that Bush et al are guilty of war crimes? At the very least, shouldn't there be a trial? Isn't this significant enough evidence to have a fucking trial? How many more investigations, memos, testimonies, tell-all books is it going to take to get this man and his murderous cohorts in jail? You know, this isn't about lying about getting a blow job, lying about a civil lawsuit that was without merit to begin with, this is about lying in order to kill people. Human beings. Doesn't that matter to anyone? Isn't that significant? This needs to be on the front page of every newspaper, the lead story on every newscast, from now until the man is brought to justice. It boggles my mind why this is not the case.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Clinton wins, but Obama closer to nomination - Yahoo! News:
"Clinton's win in Puerto Rico, a territory where residents are not allowed to vote in the November election, gave her more fuel for her argument that she has won more popular votes in the five-month nominating fight and is the best Democrat to face Republican John McCain. But the results pushed Obama closer to the magic number of 2,118 delegates needed to become the nominee, and the Illinois senator already has turned his attention to a general election fight with McCain."

Will someone please tell me just what Ms. Clinton wants? She used to seem to be at least a rational person and at least fairly intelligent. But her behavior the past couple of months borders on idiocy. Each day she stays in this race she hurts her future chances of doing ANYTHING. The ability to understand when further action is HARMFUL not only to you but your allies, friends, compatriots is ESSENTIAL to a president. She has proven over and over again that she does not possess the ability to discern that. What a total moron.

UPDATE: James Fallows suggests an answer here.