December 31, 2005
Special thanks to Nic for arranging this and getting the tickets. If we get into a brawl with
those lowlife inbred Philly drunkards overly-boistrous Flyers fans, I'll make sure to post pictures.
Update: What a game!!! The Capitals won 4-3 in a shootout. Forsberg was amazing, and Ovechkin was even more so. Great company, great times. Happy New Year to everyone!
Oh, and... Yay Hats!!!
December 30, 2005
Here's what that means:
For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress works to ensure that the film is preserved for all time, either through the Library's massive motion picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios and independent filmmakers. The Library of Congress contains the largest collections of film and television in the world, from the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture to the latest feature releases.
Each year, films are nominated by the public and are carefully evaluated.
Here's a bit more about the criteria:
"The films we choose are not necessarily the 'best' American films ever made or the most famous, but they are films that continue to have cultural, historical or aesthetic significance," Billington said.
This year, the films include a Buster Keaton comedy, the Christmas classic "Miracle on 34th Street", "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", and "Toy Story". See the entire list here. There are some surprising titles there.
More from the article:
Half the movies made before 1950 and 80 percent to 90 percent of those produced before 1920 have disappeared, [Billington] said.
Among the more interesting additions was a 1906 documentary about the San Fransisco earthquake and fire. The disaster was one of the first ever documented on film.
While you're checking out the site, follow the link to the Moving Image Archives. I think I'll be spending many happy hours there.
December 29, 2005
Thanks to Sheila for finding this one!
December 28, 2005
So head on over and check out one of the coolest Carnivals making the rounds.
The purple, it burns.
One tidbit that really caught my eye though was a brief discussion of German Alfred Maul, who was a civil engineer for the city of Dresden. He patented an early version of a photographic rocket in 1903 and was using an onboard gyroscope for rocket and camera stabilization by 1906. By 1912, he had developed a fully functioning recon rocket that boosted on solid fuel and took photographs from 2000 feet.
[It was] battle tested in the Turkish-Bulgarian War of 1912-1913. Anticipating today's reconnaissance satellites, it produced clear photographs of Turkish emplacements for the German-allied Bulgarian Army.
Some of these photographs still exists today.
Recon by rocket had advantages over using balloons, but the arrival of the airplane soon rendered the idea obsolete.
If you're into rockets or space technology, the Saturn Press books are excellent references.
And for some amazing modern-day rocket photography, check out Ray Dunakin's work, which I linked to here.
December 27, 2005
They'd go to war over it.
Too bad it's not quite that simple any more:
Scientists no longer are sure what a planet is and how many reside in our system.
The International Astronomical Union, a worldwide alliance of astronomers, has been struggling for about two years to agree on a definition for planets. Three proposed definitions are being studied, but a decision isn't likely until spring, according to Robert Williams, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
So Pluto, which most of us were taught as the ninth planet, may lose that status. Then again, maybe not.
"The discovery of the Kuiper Belt in the 1990s has given Pluto a place to call home, with icy brethren to call its own," said Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, in an e-mail.
"The Kuiper Belt is the largest structure in the solar system," Stern said recently. "We used to think Pluto was a misfit," he added. Now Earth and the other inner planets are the oddballs.
Depending on what definition of "planet" is chosen, our solar system may have as few as eight (demoting Pluto) or as many as seventeen (!!!) planets. Astronomers have already discovered a body larger than Pluto in the Kupier Belt.
The largest and most distant of the ice dwarfs is nicknamed Xena after the television warrior princess. Discovered in 2003, it's 1,600 miles across and 20 percent bigger than Pluto is. Xena has a moon of its own, named Gabrielle after the TV Xena's sidekick.
These bodies haven't been assigned official names yet, which is why you see whimsical designations like Santa (which has a moonlet named Rudolph), Easter Bunny, Orcus, Quaoar, Ixion, Buffy and Sedna.
Even asteroids have been discovered with their own moonlets, and at least four moons in our system are geologically active.
What a wonderfully messy and chaotic neighborhood we live in.
Thanks to Chris Hall for the pointer.
Liz thinks it's an age spot, but I've had it for years, and it's the only one. I look at it, and wonder if all the caucasion skin cells on my hand didn't get together and decide that all the darker skin cells should be segregated into their own little area. If they did, and the darker skin cells ever decide to rebel, they're sitting right at the base of my thumb, where they can take over an important digit and really raise hell.
I just wish they could all get along, like on my shoulders, where the freckles have co-existed peacefully for years with the rest of me.
December 26, 2005
December 25, 2005
First up, through Dogette - who has been sleighing me (get it?) me with her "12 Poops of Christmas" series (if you're not a PREMIUM USER, then you wouldn't understand) - I've met Jim of Parkway Rest Stop. He reminds me of CGHill's Dustbury, in that he combines charm and local color to create an always interesting and often funny visit. Give him a try, you won't be sorry. He's on the blogroll now too.
Speaking of Dustbury, I just had to include this bit:
Lawrence, Kansas Mayor Boog Highberger has proclaimed International Dada Month, and what's more, he's not adhering to that hopelessly-square business about having it one continuous month: it will begin 4 February 2006, end on 26 October, and occupy randomly-selected days in between.
The proclamation includes a classic line from German Dadaist poet Hugo Ball: "zimzim urallala zimzim urallala zimzim zanzibar zimzalla zam."
That kind of poetic genius just brings a tear to the eye.
Of course, any Christmas visit with Rocket Jones must include zombies! And in one of those frightrul synergystic happenings, we've got poetry about zombies!
Christmassy poetry about zombies!!!
I in my Kevlar(tm) and ma in Gortek(tm)
Had salvaged some canned goods from a truck that had wrecked
The children had rifles and covered our ass
As Grandpa raced over to siphon some gas
Bless us every one.
Finally, what would Christmas be without scantily clad asian ladies dressed up in red with furry white trim? Not safe for work. I'm going to check under our tree again, just in case Santa left me one and I missed it! I also learned that the name of the site, "Kimochi-ii", is Japanese for "feels goooood!". I've never watched Japanese porn, so I didn't know that. Consider that today's lesson in the "No Pervert Left Behind" curriculum.
Merry Christmas, y'all!
December 24, 2005
According to the rules of the Hockey Whoopass Jamboree, here is the logo of the Blues.
To all my friends, have a wonderful Christmas. May you have peace and joy, and may we all have health, good fortune and prosperity in 2006.
Click this to see a Christmas carol that I wrote years ago.
I sent out "Merry Christmas" emails to a bunch of people, if you didn't get one, check your old email accounts or leave a comment.
*Robyn and Rachael both work at a local answering service whenever they're home from college, and no student should pass up a chance for eight hours at holiday double time.
December 23, 2005
What will probably happen is that we'll ignore it, but wouldn't it be fun instead to kidnap a bunch of Italian aid relief workers in Iraq? Demand a dismissal of the charges or we'll make them sit in a cold room and listen to disco or something equally evil. Trust me, the Italian government will cave.
December 22, 2005
When he retired as a player, he became a coach for the Orioles, and has been the bullpen coach for 28 years. In all, Elrod Hendrix made more appearances in an Orioles uniform than any other man in club history.
He didn't keep a low profile either, he was the unofficial ambassador for the O's, making frequent appearances at youth baseball functions all over the area. It's often said of those who pass away that "he was loved by everyone". In Elrod's case, that was the literal truth.
We're going to miss him.
In other news, the San Fransisco Giants sent overpaid has-been Edgardo Alphonzo to the California Anaheim's of Southern Angels (or whatever the hell they're calling themselves this week) for overpaid has-been Steve Finley.
From the ever-quotable McCovey Chronicles:
Enjoy Alfonzo, Southern California. Enjoy him to the last drop. There is no injury that can explain away just how awful he was, and his age-related decline started when he was about 29. He's truly an artist, both at the plate and around the bag at second. Unfortunately, the artist is Robert Mapplethorpe, and you don't want to know where that bullwhip is going. You think you might get used to it, but you never do.
On the plus side, with the addition of Finley, the Giants can boast an outfield featuring Barry Bonds (age 41), Moises Alou (age 39), and Steve Finley (age 40). This might qualify them for discount contract insurance through AARP.
December 21, 2005
She said, "Excuse me, Sergeant Major, but you seem to be a very serious man. Is something bothering you?"
"Negative, ma'am," the Sergeant Major said, "Just serious by nature."
The young lady looked at his awards and decorations and said, "It looks like you have seen a lot of action."
The Sergeant Major's short reply was, "Yes, ma'am, a lot of action."
The young lady, tiring of trying to start up a conversation, said, "You know, you should lighten up a little. Relax and enjoy yourself."
The Sergeant Major just stared at her in his serious manner.
Finally the young lady said, "You know, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but when is the last time you had sex?"
The Sergeant Major looked at her and replied, "1955."
She said, "Well, there you are. You really need to chill out and quit taking everything so seriously! I mean, no sex since 1955! Isn't that a little extreme?"
The Sergeant Major, glancing at his watch, said in his matter-of-fact voice, "You think so? It's only 2130 now."
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