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Tooting the family horn

There's an article in the NY Times about the Black List, a list of top Hollywood screenplays currently in the pipeline. It's just a little thing, but... in the second paragraph, we find the following text:
Atop the 2007 list of 130 screenplays, which the list’s author, Franklin Leonard issued on Friday : "Recount," by Danny Strong, about the 2000 election battle in Florida; "Farragut North," a political drama by Beau Willimon; and "Passengers," by Jon Spaihts. HBO and Warner Brothers are already making the first two. The third, by a new writer, about a spaceship passenger prematurely thawed from a cryogenic slumber a century before anyone else, is available to studios or financiers, with Keanu Reeves attached to produce and star.

That's "Passengers" in the #3 slot, "with Keanu Reeves attached to produce and star"--a screenplay by "new writer" Jon Spaihts.

Whose butt I am currently trying to kick in an online game of Scrabble.

That's my brother.

I may eventually get used to this sort of thing, but at the moment, it still makes me stop short and then cackle with glee, every time.

And if (I hope it's "when"!) one of his screenplays gets made into a movie, I will be dragging just about everyone I know out to see it with me. You have now been forewarned.

CT Ren Faire photos

bratling has posted his photos from Connecticut Faire, taken third weekend. Includes images from Court, the first street dance set, and the Winnifred/Eyah fight, as well as some miscellaneous street shots.

It also includes possibly my favorite photo of Morgan to date, in which unpleasant mojo seems moments away:

Dramatic Morgan


Music recommendations!

Alright all,

I am seriously jonesing for a new music fix, and I have no leads.


What is the coolest music you know, that I might not know already?

(Assume that all genres are fair game. Weird stuff is welcome, but so is mainstream, and everything in between.)
Earlier, kaige_of_ct posted this, and the more I look at it, the more fun it is. It's an optical illusion featuring a silhouette of a woman spinning in circles, and the question is, which way is she spinning?

The blurb below the image posits that which way you see her spinning depends on which hemisphere of your brain is currently dominant; logical left-brain activity leads to perceived counterclockwise spinning, while creative right-brain activity leads to perceived clockwise spinning. I was initially very skeptical of this claim, but it's now seeming strangely plausible.

When I first looked at it this morning, in the course of planning my day, she was definitively spinning counter-clockwise, and I couldn't convince my brain to reverse it. I looked back at the page when I got back from work (after 45 minutes of singing in the car), and she was spinning clockwise, and again, I couldn't convince my brain to reverse it.

Just a few minutes ago, I checked again after dancing around my living room for 20 minutes--still clockwise--then got curious and started analyzing the illusion. In the process of said analysis, I glanced away from the screen for a fraction of a second, and when I glanced back, darned if she wasn't spinning counterclockwise. So I started playing with phrasing for a fluffier post on the subject. I clicked on the url to copy it; clicking paused the image for a fraction of a second, and when it started moving again, it looked like it was moving clockwise.

Somewhere in the midst of writing up this sequence, I glanced up, and she's back to spinning counter-clockwise. And I still can't make the image reverse through sheer concentration, like I can with most two-way optical illusions.

Is it tracking this way for anyone else?
I have just discovered Bobby McFerrin.

Apparently, I'm a little slow on the uptake, since he's been around for quite some time, and seems to be fairly quiet these days. At this moment, I cannot fathom why I have not been listening to his music obsessively for many years already, it is such a very great goodness, and so very much unlike anything else I can think of. Except, of course, that all I ever new of Bobby McFerrin was "Don't Worry, Be Happy," which, while highly entertaining and technically impressive, never really drove me to seek out more of the like. Apparently, it was only the goofiest representation of the artist's offerings, most of which are entirely more sublime.

Now I know, and now I have evangelized.
Just now I discovered, in the process of playing through one of those memes that passes by sometimes, that "Zanne needs" is a successful Googlewhack (two words that return exactly one result on Google). I am highly amused.

For the curious, the phrase I found was "Zanne needs to stop and smell the roses." Which is true, always and as a matter of principle.

(Edit: Except, of course, that in the nature of Googlewhacks, I ruined it by blogging it. Le sigh.)
Apparently, years after the first time I waxed rhapsodic about it, listening to the dance remix of the Hamster Dance can still pull me straight from a mild vegetative state into 3 minutes and 33 seconds of ecstatic cardio.

This is the wonderful and terrible power of "Cotton-Eyed Joe" in the hands of small electronic rodents.

(Edit: ...Or, the power of "Whistle Stop" in the hands of small electronic rodents. As the case may be.)

Public Service Announcement

J.K. Rowling has said a few words in follow-up to the final Harry Potter book. I am foolishly relieved about this, because I was pretty disappointed to think we'd never get the answers to these last questions. Apparently, I wasn't the only one.

Click this link only if you have already finished reading The Book.

Jul. 5th, 2007

Now that I've been made aware of it, I keep noticing more evidence of people's complicated relationship with monkeys.

EDIT: I suppose the complication here isn't evident unless you think of it from the perspective of whoever is dropping things on the monkeys.

more from the physics teacher

And now, just for the sake of follow-up, and because I find the saga amusing:

The public response to the previously mentioned global warming YouTube video was sufficiently vehement that it drove the maker into donning silly hats out of sheer frustration:

Then follows a second follow-up video, in which he attempts to respond to the two-thousand-some comments in less than ten minutes, which is actually pretty entertaining to watch, if a little short on eye-contact. (I particularly like his closing bit, wherein he points out that the US government got slammed for having forewarning of 9/11, but not taking sufficient action on it; how much more should we expect when the stakes are this much higher, and the evidence this much stronger?)

And then, just to finish matters off, he posts a third follow-up, which ends up being a fairly lucid summary of the "Why are we even still arguing about this?" angle, complete with little explosions:

But what ultimately stands out to me, is that the original video got over a hundred thousand hits (plus another six thousand on a different copy of the video), and at this point, there's value to anything that keeps this issue at the forefront of people's minds and gets them to think about the possibilities.