Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturd80's: Donnie Darko Edition

I've been pretty knocked out with a cold or flu for the last few days, and haven't come into Interzone since Wednesday. I've been told quite a number of times that I should watch Donnie Darko. I had been told the big spoiler, so I went into the movie knowing what was going on- to an extent- and didn't find it as strange or confusing as I would have otherwise. Still, I found it wonderfully bizarre, and bizarrely moving; there were at least four points during the film that I found tears running down my face. I won't give you the spoiler here (you might find some at Wikipedia), though my own feeling is that I enjoyed it more knowing the twist at the end than I would have otherwise. I can also say that it is, without a doubt, a movie I will go back to repeatedly, partly for sheer enjoyment, and partly to try to figure out what are answerable questions, what are differences of perspective, what are red herrings, and what are irreconcilable paradoxes (because life- and this movie- has those too, you know).

One more notable aspect of this film, which is set in 1988, is that it reminded me of quite a bit of 80's music; some was too poppy for my taste then, but is sort of nostalgic now, some had new covers done which I liked to varying degrees, and some I had just forgotten.

This is the original Tears for Fears version of Mad World (with a student-filmed video), which I prefer over the movie cover. I should add the proviso that in my opinion the cover fits the mood of the movie better. (The cover version can be seen here.)
Oingo Boingo, Stay:
Echo and the Bunnymen, Killing Moon:
If you like the surreal, puzzles and ambiguity, I do recommend Donnie Darko. Thanks to all the young friends who told me I'd enjoy it. It was sad and funny and very human... and I did.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


A year ago today, this drill rig had a gas problem and went "boom." Eleven people died outright, and the ensuing disaster lasted 85 days. An estimated 200 million gallons of crude spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, disrupting the lives of people throughout the region, and killing tremendous number of other creatures. The above image is from In Focus, where you can, if you have the stomach for it, see 38 other photos from this sickening disaster.

The Guardian answers a number of key questions regarding the spill.

The Christian Science Monitor asks another important question: In the end, did huge Gulf oil spill underwhelm oil-hungry Americans?
As shocked and angry as I was at the way the disaster unfolded- and the way it was handled- I'm chastened to be reminded that no one was as heavily impacted as the families whose loved ones were lost in the initial seconds of the disaster. (picture from the linked article)

And if anything, The Rude Pundit is even more pissed about the situation than I am. Oddly, it's the relative lack of profanity in this post that puts me in mind of Eastwood-esque cold fury in this post... most of his work is much saltier.

On a lighter note, it's also Hitler's birthday. (If you aren't familiar with Hipster Hitler, today's strip is a good one. I guess it helps if you're familiar with hipsters, too.)

Followup: Oh yes... Skynet was activated last night, becomes self-aware any time now, and launches Judgment Day sometime tomorrow. In the movies, it always looked like mid-afternoon LA time, so adjust to your local time zone, and lather up with sunscreen as needed.

Wednesday Wednesday

(EpicPonyz) I haven't watched (or listened to) the Rebecca Black video and have no intention of doing so. I have enough difficulty with musical mindworms infesting my thoughts to begin with. For example, I've had Copperhead Road running through my skull since I posted it last Saturday. But see, I like that song (even if I am getting tired of it). The last thing I want is to infect my head with a song that everybody loves to hate. Think of it as preemptive meme vaccination.

So while I'm not all that okay with the amount of abuse Miss Black has had hurled in her general direction (c'mon... she's a 14-year-old KID, people), I'll second the above sentiment: No. It's Wednesday.

Guess Who?

From an article at NYT; answer in the comments or click over to the article. Mind=Blown.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Scenes like the above are one reason (among many) that I love living here. The above is from an article at OregonLive on a proposed suction dredge gold mining operation on the Chetco River which has had its permit denied. The full-size image is beautiful.

I had the good fortune to visit a placer gold mining operation along a tributary to Quartzville Creek in the mid nineties, and was pleasantly surprised at how little material escaped into the creek, even though a very large excavator and bulldozer were in use. At the confluence of the two streams, only 20 meters or so below the work site, there was no mud outflow noticeable. It was a small operation- according to the claim holders, about 6 to 8 ounces a day came from their work. Nevertheless, the potential for messing up a gorgeous, pristine stream was very definitely there, and it was a real pleasure to see how cautious, responsible stewardship could allow a mining operation to be carried out with minimal impact.

The Chetco is a stunning river, and I'm glad its protection warrants this move. If the miner works at his impact plan more thoroughly- and implements it carefully; there have been way too many violations in the Klamath area- I don't doubt he might eventually get his permit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shake, Rattle and Roll

105 years ago today, a great earthquake struck San Francisco and northern California. I wasn't going to mention it, but a couple of related items have come across my screen that have motivated me. First, the above photo from OregonLive shows a rather amusing situation as an auditorium full of civil engineers at an earthquake conference are shaken by, yup, you guessed it.
Steven Kramer, a University of Washington earthquake expert, wasn’t sure what was happening Monday in Tokyo when an alarm interrupted a lengthy briefing by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers. An announcement came on in Japanese, a language he doesn’t know. The large auditorium fell silent.

Harry Yeh, an Oregon State University tsunami expert who speaks Japanese, leaned over from the seat next to Kramer. "There’s been an earthquake," Yeh said, "and it will arrive here in eight seconds."
I find it very cool that the technology exists to warn that seismic waves are on their way and will arrive in eight seconds. Seven. Six...

The second item was that the geotwittersphere was in turmoil a couple of hours ago as a 3.8 (revised) 3.4 "commemorative" quake occurred on the San Andreas Fault. Dave Schumaker just happened to take a photo at Lotta's Fountain a mere three minutes before the quake struck.

For more information on The Great San Francisco Earthquake, see Dave Bressan's post at History of Geology, and Austin Elliot at Trembling Earth has a very interesting chart of estimated shaking intensity during the quake, as well as an update to address today's tremor.

Moonday: Mimas

Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy posted this image last Wednesday, and I feel compelled to pass it along (full size here). That flat ding on the right of this moon is not an image artifact; it's the side view of an enormous crater.

Voyager 1 passed through the Saturn region in November of 1980, just three years after the first Star Wars film was released. Though Mimas had been discovered in 1789, the views sent back from that flyby immediately gave the moon it's nickname, the "Death Star moon." According to Wikipedia (which is also where the image below comes from), "The impact that made this crater must have nearly shattered Mimas: fractures can be seen on the opposite side of Mimas that may have been created by shock waves from the impact travelling through the moon's body." More information at the Wikipedia link and at the Bad Astronomy post.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Funnies: Civilization Edition

What is the opposite of civilization? Objectivism!Lawyers, Guns and Money
Dr Boli
So Much Pun
Bits and Pieces
Pundit Kitchen

Clay Bennett
Sober in a Nightclub
What Would Jack Do?
The High Definite: "Justice League: The Adorable Version."
The High Definite
Senor Gifs
Engrish Funny
The Far Left Side That should be "do" in the first line, but I'm not going to get all anal over a gag this funny. Just kinda anal.
From Lawyers, Guns and Money, a writing class assignment: above, an uncaptioned comic, below, the "clear and unambiguous winner:"

Married to the Sea
Walking in Squares
Hacked IRL
The Daily What: "Keep your Boehner out of my uterus."
Above and below from Dark Roasted Blend
Speaking of which, there have been a number of stories about a syndrome in which baby penguins fail to develop feathers as they should, and for which scientists do not yet have an explanation. Physics/humor blogger Swansont knocked the ball out of the park with this clever headline: Scientists Baffled By Naked Chicks.Slowpoke
political pictures - canada - army - Bearded Warriors
see more Political Pictures
Sober in a Nightclub
Funny Celebrity Pictures - Yoda Never Talked About His Life On Endor...
see more Lol Celebs
demotivational posters - THE ETHER WAS WEARING OFF.
see more Very Demotivational
Abstruse Goose
Comic JK
Sober in a Nightclub
Bit and Pieces
demotivational posters - EQUALITY
see more Very Demotivational
Sober in a Nightclub
demotivational posters - MATURITY
see more Very Demotivational
naughty memes - LITERALLY
see more Memebase After Dark
funny pictures - The Master is Gonna Laugh in Your Face!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
funny pictures history - Centuries ago cats were worshipped as gods... ...they have not forgotten this.
see more Historic LOL
Sober in a Nightclub
The Far Left Side
Cats Vs. Shadow Monster Gif - Cats Vs. Shadow Monster
see more Gifs
funny pictures history - Three bottles of wine and a dirty limerick later Betty and Jean thorougly ruined their friendship..........
see more Historic LOL
Sober in a Nightclub
Bits and Pieces
4koma comic strip - Easter Bunny HATES Water
see more Comixed
Bits and Pieces
funny pictures - Teh wut???
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Non Sequitur
Clay Bennett
Sober in a Nightclub
demotivational posters - CANADIAN
see more Very Demotivational
political pictures - john boehner - Wishful Thinking
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