Friday, January 24, 2014

IN SOVIET RUSSIA, BOOKS WOULD READ YOU! As the ThingThrowers have done in the past, my mother has a request for reading picks for an upcoming trip:
Our next trip is coming in May...this time to Eastern Europe with stops in Warsaw, Auschwitz, Krakow, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Prague.  Can you please poll your loyal readers for suggestions?  Would love to hear your recommendations, especially fiction and biography!
I'm sure you folks will have some advice.
hello. The Apple Macintosh personal computer first went on sale 30 years ago today. As an early reviewer had to explain:
To select a program, you move the mouse to the icon and press the button on the top of the little rodent. If there are any additional options, they are displayed at the top of the screen, so you can move the mouse to make the appropriate selection. When this process was described to me, it sounded cumbersome, especially since I'm already comfortable with using a keyboard. But the mouse is so much more intuitive. As infants we learned to move objects around our play pens. Using a mouse is an extension of that skill.
See also the original Consumer Reports review, which as Consumerist notes, "While the original Mac only had 128 KB of memory, the PDF download below of the review is 3.2 MB."

HANX FOR THE MEMORIES:  Before you go ahead with your own life, surely you have eleven minutes today to watch Adam Scott, Paul Rudd, and a cast of notables create The Greatest Moment in Television History.  (This experience is gonna make a great book.)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?  Disney is releasing a sing-along version of Frozen to theaters next weekend.  Not sure how keen I am on listening to an audience sing instead of Idina Menzel, though.  There's even rumor afoot that Disney is already at work on changing Maelstrom (AKA, the only real ride in that half of Epcot) into a Frozen attraction.  It's easy enough to imagine --rather than a troll, it's the Yeti chasing folks, and the post-show movie is "Let It Go" in 3D with a little added material.
DO THAT TO ME NO MORE TIMES: Toni Tennille has filed for divorce from "the Captain" Daryl Dragon after nearly forty years together, a sentence of zero relevance to any readers below ... 35?  Here's a performance from happier days.
SHATTERED YOUTH:  I did not need to know that all Froot Loops are the same flavor, regardless of color.
THERE WILL BE MATH:  Mark Harris explores the curious phenomenon that as the number of films nominated for Best Picture has expanded, the diversity of films nominated in the other major categories has sharply decreased:
In a good year for the Oscars, voters reach out toward a wide variety of deserving pictures, directors, performances, and scripts, choosing to herald outstanding work even when it’s in a movie that has little chance of becoming a Best Picture nominee. The greater the number of films that are embraced, the clearer it becomes that voters have done their homework. And those “outlier” nominations tend to withstand history’s verdict rather impressively: David Lynch for Blue Velvet. The scripts of Trainspotting and Election. A teenage Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson. Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream. Christopher Nolan himself, for his Memento screenplay. For movies, but also for the reputation of the Oscars, one major nomination truly is better than nothing. 
And for at least a quarter-century before the rule change, that type of nomination was routine. In 1988, for instance, all five nominees for Best Supporting Actor came from movies that were not nominated for Best Picture. That kind of energetic, far-reaching voting was absent this year, when, for instance, James Gandolfini (Enough Said), Daniel Brühl (Rush), David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Paul Dano (Prisoners), and John Goodman (Inside Llewyn Davis) might all have credibly served to represent movies that were otherwise almost completely shut out. In their place, the five Supporting Actor nominations all went to actors who costarred in Best Picture nominees.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

IT IS, NATURALLY, FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF EXCELLENCE:The Baseball Assistance Team (MLB's charitable arm) is handing out awards this week, including the first Commissioner Bud Selig Leadership Award, which, naturally enough, will be presented to Bud Selig.
FALL INTO THE GAP:  Since enough time has passed since Friday's thread on cultural gaps, I've set up a Doodle Poll to test which cultural gap is the biggest.  Check the box if you've read at least one book by the author/in the series.  We'll keep it up for a couple of days, and see whose shame is the greatest.
GUARANTEED CLICKBAIT:  And CBS Sports has the picture you'll want to see: "Norwegian curlers plan to win, wear wacky pants."
THERE WILL BE BLOOD:  For random amusement, inspired by Lone Survivor (and an active Reddit thread), name a movie whose very title is a spoiler.
BLIZZAPOCALYPSE JANUS:  Let us know how things are going while a giant snowy dolphin perches itself on the Eastern Seaboard.**

** Yes, okay, this blog's weather reporting (like most of what we do) has a decidedly East Coast bias.

Monday, January 20, 2014

AND ON A HILL, THERE STANDS SHERMAN, SHERMAN AND HIS MATES:  Given that I've long been in favor of taunting in the NFL, you shouldn't be surprised that I'm still Team Richard Sherman after last night, and his column today for MMQB only solidifies it:
It goes back to something he said to me this offseason in Arizona, but you’d have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don’t like him.  
It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am. I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person. When I say I’m the best cornerback in football, it’s with a caveat: There isn’t a great defensive backfield in the NFL that doesn’t have a great front seven. Everything begins with pressure up front, and that’s what we get from our pass rushers every Sunday. To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.
Will Leitch has more: "Richard Sherman is everything one could want in a professional athlete. He is a walking example of the difference sports can make, of how one man can channel fierce intelligence and an almost frightening competitive fire into something productive and riveting. He is precisely the type of person you should cheer for."

Sunday, January 19, 2014