Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Muppets (2011)*
Huge step down for the Muppets. Not funny, not original, and the tone is one of contempt for the audience. Even little tots will be affronted.
I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)***
How a romantic comedy is to be made. Take great actors, cast them well, construct a believable, interesting story, set it in a place and culture seldom scene on film and direct with style and wit. Treads close to the mawkish at times (hard to believe Scots are ALWAYS loving and kind to everyone) but chooses to remain bound to the real.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mad Love (1935)***
Peter Lorre is sensational as the mad doctor and Karl Freund's direction is stylish and evocative. Only sore spots are Colin Clive and Ted Healy. Unfortunately they are in lead roles.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Timeline of a mass extinction - MIT News Office:
“'The rate of injection of CO2 into the late Permian system is probably similar to the anthropogenic rate of injection of CO2 now,' Rothman says. 'It’s just that it went on for … 10,000 years.

"Rothman says the total amount of CO2 pumped into Earth over this time period was so immense that it’s not immediately clear where it all came from.

"'It’s just not easy to imagine,' Rothman says. 'Even if you put all the world’s known coal deposits on top of a volcano, you still wouldn’t come close. So something unusual was going on.'”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mimicking the brain, in silicon - MIT News Office:
"The MIT researchers plan to use their chip to build systems to model specific neural functions, such as the visual processing system. Such systems could be much faster than digital computers. Even on high-capacity computer systems, it takes hours or days to simulate a simple brain circuit. With the analog chip system, the simulation is even faster than the biological system itself.

"Another potential application is building chips that can interface with biological systems. This could be useful in enabling communication between neural prosthetic devices such as artificial retinas and the brain. Further down the road, these chips could also become building blocks for artificial intelligence devices, Poon says."

Go ahead, cling to your mind is more than the brain beliefs. You'll be able to argue about it with your robot soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Out of the Past (1947)***
Archetypal noir given something extra by the nascent star power of Mitchum and Douglas. Might seem cliched now, and some of the dialogue is a bit too cute but in its time this was thrilling.

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Shootist (1976)**
The Duke is fine, but the direction is 3rd rate, the supporting cast, except for Stewart and Bacall, is laughable, the writing is of the most cliched variety. Wayne's final film.
Penn State sex scandal engulfing revered Paterno:
"Sandusky was described by Keith 'Kip' Richeal, co-author of his autobiography 'Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story,' as a loving father of six adopted children.

'I hope to God it's not true because I admire the man very much,' Richeal said. 'All I saw was Jerry was kind to kids of all ages, including the students he dealt with.'"

Jesus H. Christ! There are enough alarm bells in just those few sentences to alert a one-eyed deaf monkey to potential abuse. Paterno et al need to be up on criminal charges. At some point, as a nation, as a society, we have to get back to EVERYONE being held accountable. Not just people on the lowest economic strata of society, but everyone.

Six adopted children. Loves to hang around kids. His fucking autobiography is called "Touched" for crying out loud.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Sleeper (1973)**
More silly than funny as Woody Allen resorts to goofy sight gags too often. Not one of the better Allen comedies.
The Ghost Train (1941)**
Enjoyable comedy thriller from wartime England. Rather bland direction overcome by a good cast.
Neuroscience And Justice Edge Master Class 2011 | Conversation | Edge:
"We have this thing over here, in the left side, that we've called the interpreter. It's not in the right hemisphere, you can't get the right hemisphere to do this kind of thing. The interpreter is just weaving the story, the narrative that makes sense out of these modules that are constantly bombarding us with information, with actual behaviors, with felt states, with everything. We've got to tell a story about what's going on and that's what we think this narrative function does."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Nutty Professor (1963)**
Silly riff on the Jekyll-Hyde legend is nonetheless a showcase for director Jerry Lewis' distinctive visual style, excellently rendered by his frequent cinematographer W. Wallace Kelley. Beautiful looking film.
The Men Behind The War On Women:
"When asked about the dissonance among Catholics and the leadership on abortion and contraception issues, Bishop Lori said that divisions were beside the point.

'It's not for a government to exploit fault lines within religious institutions,' he said. 'We recognize that not everybody shares that teaching; nevertheless, it is a fundamental right for the church to stand by their convictions.'"

Just as in the priest child rape cases, these bishops declare their religious liberty is at stake if they are not allowed to be above the law. This is an extremely disturbing and disgusting group of men.