April 30, 2006

The Wizard of Flaws

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 7:11 pm

Almost everyone knows that Buddy Ebsen (aka Jed Clampett) was the original Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, but had to bow out when he had an allergic reaction to the silver makeup he had to wear.

But didja know that Margaret Hamilton was seriously burned when she went up in her puff of smoke?  And that Toto was out of commission for two weeks after getting stepped on?

These stories are true (got them from a Roger Ebert book), unlike the “Munchkin hanging himself in the background” myth.  (Look again–it’s a peacock).

Coolest Wiz fact of all: Start Pink Floyd’s DARK SIDE OF THE MOON right as the MGM lion roars at the beginning of the movie.  Trust me–it’s eerie…

Translation of the Arabic Post

Category: Opinion,Technology — jerry @ 10:07 am

That Arabic translation was done using  GOOGLE’s new (beta) translator here.

What I used for input in English was: “What is all of the fighting about?  We all worship the God of Abraham.  Is this not like fighting over which knee goes forward when you genuflect?”

“Cuz ya had a bad day…”

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 10:00 am

Bill Gates lost $3 billion last Friday with the Microsoft stock dip.


My First Arabic Post

Category: Opinion,Technology — jerry @ 9:53 am

The Immigration Issue

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 9:45 am

How many of you have ever moved to a new town to “better your life”?

Just wondering.

(If it was illegal to move to “the next town over” from where you are right now–but only wink-wink-nudge-nudge illegal–and members of your family were starving or in dire need of medicine, would you be comfortable technically breaking that law to work in the next town over?  Just wondering.)

Books About Books

Category: Books — jerry @ 9:37 am

This last year, I’ve read several “books about books”–including Michael Dirda’s BOUND TO PLEASE and Nancy Pearl’s BOOK LUST and MORE BOOK LUST.  Great books to read  to help answer the question of “what to read next”.

But the best one of all was THE KNOW-IT-ALL, by A.J. Jacobs, wherein he describes a year he took off to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.  I laughed more while reading that book than any other I’ve read in the past several years.  Trust me, it’s hilarious.  (Certainly the funniest book about reading encyclopedias anyway…)

April 29, 2006

Speaking of diversity…

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 11:10 am

…of opinion, the 15-year-old girl who did this Flash animation has received several death threats since.

Watch it and tell me you’re not moved. 


Update: This entry has reappeared on my blog as one of the randomly selected archive pieces–and the original video is gone. The link above doesn’t work. The girl who did the animation is on her way to college now and has a website with more videos that she has done–so check it out!


A Vatican official…

Category: Books,Movies/TV,Opinion — jerry @ 10:21 am

…named Monsignor Angelo Amato has apparently called for a boycott of the movie THE DA VINCI CODE, stating that “Slander, offenses and errors that if they were directed toward the Koran or the Shoah would have justifiably [!] provoked a worldwide revolt.  Yet because they were directed toward the Catholic Church, they remain unpunished.”


I’m relatively pleased, however, that the current state of the Christian religion is that it is not particularly likely to put a fatwa out on Tom Hanks because some of its True Believers disagree with some of the movie’s premise.  (Much improved over its past treament of witches and people who dared to speculate that the Earth revolved around the Sun…)

By the way, I’ve yet to meet anyone who actually read the book that didn’t enjoy it!


April 28, 2006


Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 10:17 pm

I just watched this movie today–winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Audience Prize this last year.  I got it from Netflix.  It’s Danish or something, but I’ll give it 5 out of 5 stars–which I only give to about 1 in 20 movies I watch.  I was unaware that the female lead was the lovely Connie Nielsen (One Hour Photo, Gladiator, The Devil’s Advocate)–who must be originally (?) from Denmark.  Every time I see her in a movie, I don’t realize who it is until the credits.  (The same thing happens with Gary Oldman movies).  Highly recommended.

We would all be millionaires…

Category: Books — jerry @ 10:06 pm

…if our mothers hadn’t thrown out all of our comic books.  (But who knew?)

There’s an article in the latest WIRED magazine that wonders why Marvel and DC Comics haven’t put out their back catalogue on DVD.  (MAD Magazine did that a few years back.  The NEW YORKER recently did so, also–and, I think, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC).

Surely I’m not the only imminently-retiring Boomer who wants to spend his retirement re-reading old comic books!  There’s a fortune to be made!

Somebody start a petition!