I wouldn’t have listed “Synecdoche, NY” as my #1 (I was fairly lukewarm on it, actually, and I believe most people wouldn’t like it), but I was delighted to see an obscure French-language film called “The Son” listed at #7. I have raved about that one to family and friends for quite a number of years now–the idea of “redemption” (in the nonreligious sense) being one of my favorite Grand Themes.
Also happy to see this year’s “Hurt Locker” on there at #2. This was directed by James (“Avatar”) Cameron’s first wife, and it should be interesting to see how their Golden Globe/Oscar fortunes fare against one another.
They do something or other in the electronics industry.
Still not finding much that gets me excited in the market these days–although it has ended up being a good year after all, with a 39% return over the course of the year compared to Dow’s 20% and S&P500’s 28%.
Matter of fact, ever since I have gotten back into the market in January, 2001, (after pulling out to celebrate Y2K) I have beaten the S&P500 each and every year, as follows:
I’ve written a time or two about a fascination with radio-controlled airplanes and, especially, the newer models that you can load small video cameras onto. Here’s another, with the guy’s friends shooting fireworks up at it. I want one:
It was a year of Hope — at first in the sense of “I feel hopeful!” and later in the sense of “I hope this year ends soon!”
It was also a year of Change, especially in Washington, where the tired old hacks of yesteryear finally yielded the reins of power to a group of fresh, young, idealistic, new-idea outsiders such as Nancy Pelosi. As a result Washington, rejecting “business as usual,” finally stopped trying to solve every problem by throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at it and instead started trying to solve every problem by throwing trillions of taxpayer dollars at it.
To be sure, it was a year that saw plenty of bad news. But in almost every instance, there was offsetting good news:
BAD NEWS: The economy remained critically weak, with rising unemployment, a severely depressed real-estate market, the near-collapse of the domestic automobile industry and the steep decline of the dollar.
PRINCETON, NJ — This Christmas season, 78% of Americans identify with some form of Christian religion, a proportion that has been declining in recent decades. The major reason for this decline has been an increase in the percentage of Americans claiming no religious identity, now at 13% of all adults.
The trend results are based on annual averages of Gallup’s religious identity data in America that stretch back over 60 years. One of the most significant trends documented during this period is the substantial increase in the percentage of American adults who don’t identify with any specific religion. In 1948, only 2% of Americans did not identify with a religion. That percentage began to rise in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Eleven years ago, in 1998, 6% of Americans did not identify with a religion, a number that rose to 10% by 2002. This year’s average of 13% of Americans who claim no religious identity is the highest in Gallup records….[Rest of article]