The New York Times had a really neat interactive graphic, You Draw It: What Got Better or Worse During Obama’s Presidency. They show seven stats, showing the graph for the Bush years with space for the Obama years for you to fill in and then compare with history. I was pretty good on three of them. Right on average on two and grossly wrong on two. Give it a try.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Saturday, January 14, 2017
The NYT’s Upshot charted How to Prevent Gun Deaths? Where Experts and the Public Agree. “We conducted a survey on 29 gun control ideas, looking for the intersection of effectiveness and popularity.”
Our expert survey asked dozens of social scientists, lawyers and public health officials how effective each of 29 policies would be in reducing firearm homicide deaths, regardless of their political feasibility or cost. Policies deemed both effective and popular appear in the upper-right corner of the matrix. Less popular, less effective measures fall lower down and to the left.
The two policies ranked most effective were those requiring all sellers to run background checks on anyone who buys a gun, and barring gun sales to people convicted of violent misdemeanors, including domestic assaults. The experts were more skeptical of other much-debated proposals, including a national gun registry and an assault weapons ban. The idea of requiring states to honor out-of-state concealed weapon permits was ranked low.
The academics in our panel — many of the country’s best empirical researchers on gun policy — were far more likely than the general public to support gun control. But nearly all of the policies that experts think could work have widespread support from the general public.
The article goes much deeper, showing the graph highlighting: - What Does Trump Support? - What About Mass Shootings? - Measures Supported by Academics Opposed to Gun Control - Things Law Enforcement Likes
This is really an issue where the public wants more done and the GOP is entirely captured by the NRA which is captured by the gun industry and not the gun consumers.
Since Lawrence Kudlow and Stephen Moore are now advisors to Trump, Mark Thoma explains yet again Here’s what really caused the housing crisis.
“A lot of the narrative of the financial crisis has been that this [loan] origination process was broken, and therefore a lot of marginal and unsustainable borrowers got access to funding. In our opinion, the facts don’t line up with this narrative. … Calling this crisis a subprime crisis is a misnomer. In fact, it was a prime crisis.”
There are other reasons to doubt that subprime borrowers were responsible for the financial crisis. For one, a large number of subprime mortgages originated in non-CRA banks, and “none of the 300+ mortgage originators that imploded were depository banks covered by the CRA.”
As noted in a study by McClatchy from 2008, “Federal Reserve Board data show that more than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions;” “private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year;” and “only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that’s being lambasted by conservative critics.”
A second question to ask is why, if the CRA and subprime borrowing were the problem, did a very similar housing bubble and financial crisis occur in scores of other countries that didn’t have legislation like this?
A third argument, the one Kudlow and Moore cite, is that declining lending standards by Fannie and Freddie brought about by the requirements of the CRA helped fuel subprime loans. But once again, this argument doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
As Barry Ritholtz pointed out in 2011, “The relative market share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped from a high of 57 percent of all new mortgage originations in 2003, down to 37 percent as the bubble was developing in 2005–06.”
The reason Fannie and Freddie were losing market share is that loan standards on mortgages issued by private lenders were falling. Fannie and Freddie eventually adjusted some of their conditions for obtaining a loan in an attempt to prevent a further loss in market share, but it’s very clear that they were followers, not leaders, in the erosion of lending standards.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey have mapped the elements of life across the Milky Way
‘For the first time, we can now study the distribution of elements across our Galaxy,’ says Sten Hasselquist of New Mexico State University. ‘The elements we measure include the atoms that make up 97% of the mass of the human body.’
The new results come from a catalog of more than 150,000 stars; for each star, it includes the amount of each of almost two dozen chemical elements. The new catalog includes all of the so-called ‘CHNOPS elements’ – carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and sulfur – known to be the building blocks of all life on Earth. This is the first time that measurements of all of the CHNOPS elements have been made for such a large number of stars.
While humans are 65% oxygen by mass, oxygen makes up less than 1% of the mass of all of elements in space. Stars are mostly hydrogen, but small amounts of heavier elements such as oxygen can be detected in the spectra of stars. With these new results, APOGEE has found more of these heavier elements in the inner Galaxy. Stars in the inner galaxy are also older, so this means more of the elements of life were synthesized earlier in the inner parts of the Galaxy than in the outer parts.
While it’s fun speculate what impact the inner Galaxy’s composition might have on where life pops up, we are much better at understanding the formation of stars in our Galaxy. Because the processes producing each element occur in specific types of stars and proceed at different rates, they leave specific signatures in the chemical abundance patterns measured by SDSS/APOGEE. This means that SDSS/APOGEE’s new elemental abundance catalog provides data to compare with the predictions made by models of galaxy formation.
Also they’ve updated Origin of the Elements in the Solar System.
Friday, January 13, 2017
The Atlantic reports A Woman Was Killed By a Superbug Resistant to All 26 American Antibiotics
Funny—by which we all mean scary—because yesterday afternoon, the CDC also released a report about a Nevada woman who died after an infection resistant to 26 antibiotics, which is to say all available antibiotics in the U.S. The woman, who was in her 70s, had been previously hospitalized in India after fracturing her leg, which led to an infection of the bone. There was nothing to treat her infection—not colistin, not other last-line antibiotics. Scientists later tested the bacteria that killed her, and found it was somewhat susceptible to fosfomycin, but that antibiotic is not approved in the U.S. to treat her type of infection.
The most worrisome kind of colistin resistance is caused by a single gene called mcr–1. The bacteria that killed this woman did not have mcr–1; it’s still unclear how they became resistant. Other cases of colistin resistance have emerged before though. What makes mcr–1 special is that sits on a loop of free-floating DNA called a plasmid, which bacteria of different species can pass back and forth. And there are many plasmids out there with genes that confer resistance to this or that class of antibiotics.
Turns out, the weather doesn’t make your joint ache any more or less. Why patients blame the weather for aching joints
In the new study on knee osteoarthritis, the researchers asked 345 patients to log onto a website every time their pain flared up for eight hours or more — and then the team linked those episodes to the temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, and precipitation recorded in that patient’s neighborhood around that time by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The researchers also looked at the weather on days when the patients had no flare-ups. They found no significant relationship between pain and any kind of weather change. The same was true for the study on back pain.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
I watched a fair amount of the Jeff Sessions hearings yesterday. Samantha Bee is the only one I’ve seen report on the scariest thing I heard him say. When Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) asked if secular federal attorney’s had anything to worry about he flustered.
Whitehouse: And secular person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is religious Sessions: Well I’m not so sure.
That’s really not out of context.
Trevor Noah had Johnathan Chait on to talk about his new book, which sounds very good.
And Jimmy Fallon had a cute segment with Michelle Obama
Monday, January 09, 2017
I’ve seen a number of bio-pics from the 30s and 40s about people like Madame Curie, Lou Gehrig, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison and famous presidents and patriots and I wonder why they don’t make movies like this anymore? Yes they covered up character flaws and weren’t always the most historically accurate, but they were dramatizations and could make you feel good and want to research the people more. Isn’t that valuable? Didn’t Shakespear do that?
Well this year they made one like that again. Hidden Figures is the little known story of NASA’s “colored computers”, African-American women who did a lot of the number crunching for the space program. Yes there were white wome who did that too but as you might imagine, the black women faced even more difficulties. Hidden Figures Movie vs the True Story of Katherine Johnson, NASA explains some of the liberties the movie took. Nevertheless, these women were exceptional individuals and this movie is an exceptionally well told story.
Ten years ago Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world and changed what the term “smart phone” meant. It was probably his greatest demo. If you have a an hour and a half watch it here. Warning, once I started I couldn’t stop.
I had forgotten some of the innovations:
- Visual Voicemail
- Separate ongoing sms conversations
- a widescreen touch based iPod with coverflow
- the accelerometer that could switch between portrait and landscape
- multitouch - listen to the cheers at scrolling and pinch-to-zoom
- I forgot about WAP, good riddance
- I have no memory of Apple making an old-style one ear bluetooth headset
- It was at this event that they changed their name from Apple Computer to Apple
Some things are now quaint:
- The “giant” 3.5" 160ppi screen
- Sync’ing everything with iTunes was a feature
- How slowly web pages loaded, but how fast it seemed
- Yahoo Mail was the biggest mail provider and it was a big deal that push iMAP was free
- 4GB and 8GB models
Friday, January 06, 2017
I’m no meteorologist but I’ll hazard a snow prediction (it’s more like a hope). I noticed that this century we’re in a 5 year pattern of low snowfall. So I’m going to guess Boston will get less than 20" of snow this winter. Of course I’m saying that having gotten 5.9 inches in Dec, an inch today and about 3 more expected tomorrow. Still, fingers crossed.
Thursday, January 05, 2017
In 2016 I saw 259 feature length movies and 49 short films (those under 40 mins). That’s the most I’ve seen in a year other than 2011 where I went crazy and saw 366 features and 30 short films.
80% first run features is basically average for me.
I rate on the Netflix 5 point scale where 1 is hated, 2 is didn’t like, 3 is I liked it, 4 is really liked and 5 is loved.
I had a pretty average curve for me.
I saw 83 features in the theater and most of the rest on cable. I only watched 3 films on Netlix this year, none on DVD or Blu-ray and only 1 online.
I’ve got a few theaters I go to regularly, though the Somerville gets so much because of IFFBoston. The shorts I see in the theater are the Oscar nominees, this year I saw them at the Kendall, the others at the Somerville are some shorts packages at IFFBoston. Assembly Row opened in 2015, it’s nice but I only made it 4 times.
My monthly viewing was a little odd with big months in January, July and December. Maybe I just binged in weather that was too cold or too hot. This year IFFBoston was split over the end of April and beginning of May so neither month peaked too high. But I caught 40 of the 2016 films, 18 features, and 22 shorts.
Yet again, my viewing was really skewed towards recent films this year. I saw 79 features from 2016 and 67 from 2015. All the shorts I saw were from 2014 or later.
Last year April was the only barren month for Oscar nominated films, this year it’s just February which seems odd, I guess I caught all the nominees in Jan or during the year. These are films from any year that got a nomination or won, not just from last year’s Oscars. They also (obviously) don’t include any films that came out this year that will get nominated later this month.
Yet again I feel like I need to see more foreign films:
I break down films into five genres that I’m pretty happy with. I then use some sub-genres and I still have a hard time putting every film in one. There are lots of Dramas and Comedies that have no sub-genre. But here’s how it looks for this year:
Below are all the films I saw in 2016:
|Jan 3||Top Five||2014||Feature||US||4|
|Jan 3||Shadow of the Thin Man||1941||Feature||US||3|
|Jan 3||The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel||2015||Feature||Britain||3|
|Jan 3||The Billion Dollar Brain||1967||Feature||Britain||2|
|Jan 3||What We Do In the Shadows||2014||Feature||New Zealand||2|
|Jan 5||The Hateful Eight||2015||Feature||US||4|
|Jan 9||Mad Max: Fury Road||2015||Feature||Australia||5|
|Jan 9||The Hundred-Foot Journey||2014||Feature||US||3|
|Jan 9||Dear Albania||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Jan 16||Dead End||1937||Feature||US||4|
|Jan 16||St. Vincent||2014||Feature||US||4|
|Jan 16||Jackie Brown||1997||Feature||US||3|
|Jan 16||Listen to Me Marlon||2015||Feature||Britain||3|
|Jan 16||52 Pick-Up||1986||Feature||US||2|
|Jan 17||What Happened Miss Simone?||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Jan 17||The Revenant||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Jan 18||The Blue Bird||1918||Feature||US||2|
|Jan 19||The Danish Girl||2015||Feature||Britain||3|
|Jan 21||The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs||2015||Feature||US||4|
|Jan 23||Avengers: Age of Ultron||2015||Feature||US||4|
|Jan 24||45 Years||2015||Feature||Britain||3|
|Jan 25||The Best Years of Our Lives||1946||Feature||US||4|
|Jan 25||The Helen Morgan Story||1957||Feature||US||2|
|Jan 27||The Imitation Game||2014||Feature||Britain||4|
|Jan 28||Winter on Fire||2015||Feature||Ukraine||4|
|Jan 31||Bear Story||2015||Short||Chile||4|
|Jan 31||Sanjay's Super Team||2015||Short||US||4|
|Jan 31||We Can't Live Without Cosmos||2015||Short||Russia||4|
|Jan 31||Catch It||2015||Short||France||4|
|Jan 31||World of Tomorrow||2015||Short||US||3|
|Jan 31||If I Were God||2015||Short||Canada||3|
|Jan 31||The Loneliest Spotlight||2015||Short||US||3|
|Jan 31||The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse||2015||Short||France||3|
|Feb 7||Hail, Caesar!||2016||Feature||US||2|
|Feb 13||Kingsman: The Secret Service||2015||Feature||Britain||4|
|Feb 13||The Leisure Class||2015||Feature||US||1|
|Feb 14||Day One||2015||Short||US||5|
|Feb 14||Ave Maria||2015||Short||France||3|
|Feb 14||Everything Will Be Okay||2015||Short||Germany||3|
|Feb 21||Magic Mike XXL||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Feb 29||San Andreas||2015||Feature||US||1|
|Mar 1||Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens||2015||Feature||US||4|
|Mar 2||Knight of Cups||2016||Feature||US||1|
|Mar 6||The Witch||2016||Feature||US||2|
|Mar 10||Eye in the Sky||2015||Feature||Britain||3|
|Mar 12||Love & Mercy||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Mar 13||10 Cloverfield Lane||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Mar 16||Body Team 12||2015||Short||Liberia||4|
|Mar 19||Avengers: Age of Ultron||2015||Feature||US||4|
|Mar 19||Still Alice||2014||Feature||US||4|
|Mar 19||Big Eyes||2014||Feature||US||3|
|Mar 20||Hello, My Name is Doris||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Mar 30||The Dark Horse||2016||Feature||New Zealand||3|
|Apr 3||Midnight Special||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Apr 5||Ori & Addison||2014||Short||US||4|
|Apr 5||Hunter's Moon||2015||Short||US||3|
|Apr 16||Ricki and the Flash||2015||Feature||US||2|
|Apr 17||We the People: The Market Basket Effect||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Apr 18||Everything is Copy||2015||Feature||US||4|
|Apr 20||Never Weaken||1921||Short||US||4|
|Apr 20||From Hand to Mouth||1919||Short||US||3|
|Apr 21||The Cardinal||1963||Feature||US||4|
|Apr 24||Sound of Redemption||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Apr 24||Miles Ahead||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Apr 27||The Hollars||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Apr 28||Five Nights in Maine||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Apr 29||Presenting Princess Shaw||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Apr 29||Always Shine||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Apr 30||Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World||2016||Feature||US||5|
|Apr 30||Class of '27||2016||Short||US||4|
|Apr 30||A Living Wage||2016||Short||US||3|
|Apr 30||The Champion||2016||Short||US||3|
|Apr 30||The Dwarvenaut||2016||Feature||US||3|
|May 1||Balcony Scene||2016||Short||US||5|
|May 1||Hunt for the Wilderpeople||2016||Feature||New Zealand||5|
|May 1||Ori & Addison||2016||Short||US||4|
|May 1||My Dark Side and My Light Side Meet in a Bar to Discuss the New Star Wars Movie||2016||Short||US||3|
|May 1||Teenage Cocktail||2016||Feature||US||3|
|May 1||Forever, Your Fireplace||2016||Short||US||2|
|May 1||Blast Beat||2016||Short||US||2|
|May 2||The Lost Arcade||2016||Feature||US||3|
|May 3||Don't Think Twice||2016||Feature||US||4|
|May 3||Little Men||2016||Feature||US||3|
|May 4||The Intervention||2016||Feature||US||3|
|May 5||Going the Distance||2016||Short||US||4|
|May 6||My Brother is a Zombie||2015||Short||US||4|
|May 6||The Itching||2016||Short||US||2|
|May 7||Captain America: The Winter Soldier||2014||Feature||US||5|
|May 7||Fantastic Four||2015||Feature||US||2|
|May 8||Captain America: Civil War||2016||Feature||US||4|
|May 15||Money Monster||2016||Feature||US||3|
|May 17||Wet Hot American Summer||2001||Feature||US||3|
|May 19||Z for Zacharia||2015||Feature||US||3|
|May 19||Mr. Holmes||2015||Feature||US||3|
|May 21||All the Way||2016||Feature||US||5|
|May 22||The Nice Guys||2016||Feature||US||3|
|May 23||Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation||2015||Feature||US||4|
|May 27||Love & Friendship||2016||Feature||Ireland||3|
|May 28||The Intern||2015||Feature||US||3|
|May 29||Under the Gun||2016||Feature||US||4|
|May 29||The Lobster||2016||Feature||Greece||2|
|Jun 2||The Scarecrow||1920||Short||US||3|
|Jun 2||The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean||1972||Feature||US||2|
|Jun 3||Tale of Tales||2016||Feature||Italy||3|
|Jun 5||Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping||2016||Feature||US||2|
|Jun 7||The Martian||2015||Feature||US||5|
|Jun 8||Good Kill||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Jun 9||Room 237||2012||Feature||US||2|
|Jun 11||Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight||2013||Feature||US||4|
|Jun 11||Pal Joey||1957||Feature||US||3|
|Jun 11||Meet the Hitlers||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Jun 12||The Fallen Idol||1948||Feature||Britain||4|
|Jun 12||The Searchers||1956||Feature||US||3|
|Jun 12||Alexander Hamilton||1931||Feature||US||3|
|Jun 13||Lawrence of Arabia||1962||Feature||Britain||5|
|Jun 18||Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1||2012||Feature||US||4|
|Jun 18||Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2||2012||Feature||US||4|
|Jun 18||The Alamo||1960||Feature||US||4|
|Jun 19||De Palma||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Jun 19||The Walk||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Jun 24||Batman: Under the Red Hood||2010||Feature||US||3|
|Jun 24||The Good Dinosaur||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Jun 26||The Man Who Knew Infinity||2016||Feature||Britain||3|
|Jun 28||Swiss Army Man||2016||Feature||US||5|
|Jul 2||Go West||1925||Feature||US||4|
|Jul 2||Shaun the Sheep Movie||2015||Feature||Britain||4|
|Jul 2||O.C. and Stiggs||1985||Feature||US||2|
|Jul 2||Laurel Canyon||2002||Feature||US||2|
|Jul 3||Path to War||2002||Feature||US||4|
|Jul 3||Gangster Squad||2013||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 3||Ted 2||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 3||Batman: Year One||2011||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 4||Get Shorty||1995||Feature||US||4|
|Jul 7||A Walk Among the Tombstones||2014||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 7||Project Almanac||2015||Feature||US||2|
|Jul 8||The Normal Heart||2014||Feature||US||4|
|Jul 9||Black Sunday||1977||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 10||Broken Blossoms||1919||Feature||US||4|
|Jul 10||Swiss Army Man||2016||Feature||US||5|
|Jul 11||Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars||1973||Feature||Britain||2|
|Jul 11||The Game||1997||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 17||Straight Outta Compton||2015||Feature||US||4|
|Jul 24||Star Trek Beyond||2016||Feature||US||2|
|Jul 29||Thunder Road||2016||Short||US||3|
|Jul 30||That Cold Day in the Park||1969||Feature||US||2|
|Jul 30||Cesar Chavez||2014||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 30||High Anxiety||1977||Feature||US||4|
|Jul 30||Atari: Game Over||2014||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 31||The 33||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Jul 31||Jason Bourne||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Aug 4||The Rocketeer||1991||Feature||US||4|
|Aug 5||My Left Foot||1989||Feature||Ireland||4|
|Aug 6||Boyz n the Hood||1991||Feature||US||5|
|Aug 7||Shalll We Dance||2004||Feature||US||3|
|Aug 7||Captain Fantastic||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Aug 14||Black Girl||1966||Feature||France||3|
|Aug 16||Complete Unknown||2016||Feature||US||2|
|Aug 19||Things to Come||1936||Feature||Britain||3|
|Aug 20||Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country||1991||Feature||US||4|
|Aug 20||There Will Be Blood||2007||Feature||US||4|
|Aug 21||Office Space||1999||Feature||US||4|
|Aug 28||Movie Crazy||1932||Feature||US||3|
|Aug 28||Hell or High Water||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Aug 29||The Lady in the Van||2015||Feature||Britain||3|
|Sep 3||The Silencers||1966||Feature||US||3|
|Sep 3||In the Heart of the Sea||2015||Feature||US||2|
|Sep 4||Jane Wants a Boyfriend||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Sep 4||It Follows||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Sep 4||The Stanford Prison Experiment||2015||Feature||US||2|
|Sep 5||The Rat Race||1960||Feature||US||3|
|Sep 5||The Quiet American||2002||Feature||Britain||4|
|Sep 6||Black Sea||2015||Feature||Britain||2|
|Sep 6||The Jerk||1979||Feature||US||4|
|Sep 6||Leon: The Professional||1994||Feature||US||4|
|Sep 7||Very Semi-Serious||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Sep 7||Coney Island||1917||Short||US||3|
|Sep 11||Star Trek III: The Search For Spock||1984||Feature||US||3|
|Sep 19||Star Trek V: The Final Frontier||1989||Feature||US||1|
|Sep 22||Shakes the Clown||1991||Feature||US||3|
|Oct 1||Whiskey Tango Foxtrot||2016||Feature||US||2|
|Oct 2||Command and Control||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Oct 8||13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Oct 9||The Birth of a Nation||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Oct 17||Borrowed Time||2016||Short||US||3|
|Oct 19||Never Happened||2016||Short||US||4|
|Oct 22||Blazing Saddles||1974||Feature||US||5|
|Oct 25||The Handmaiden||2016||Feature||Korea||5|
|Oct 26||I Am Not Your Negro||2017||Feature||US||5|
|Oct 27||After the Storm||2016||Feature||Japan||3|
|Oct 27||The Autopsy of Jane Doe||2016||Feature||Britain||4|
|Nov 2||Manchester by the Sea||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Nov 6||Doctor Strange||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Nov 15||Noctural Animals||2016||Feature||US||3|
|Nov 19||By the Sea||2015||Feature||US||1|
|Nov 20||The Edge of Seventeen||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Nov 22||The Martian||2015||Feature||US||5|
|Nov 24||Funeral in Berlin||1966||Feature||US||4|
|Nov 24||Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House||1948||Feature||US||5|
|Nov 26||Nanook of the North||1922||Feature||US||4|
|Nov 26||Zero Days||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Nov 26||Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice||2016||Feature||US||1|
|Nov 27||Harlan County U.S.A.||1976||Feature||US||4|
|Nov 27||The Peanuts Movie||2015||Feature||US||3|
|Nov 30||Ace Ventura: Pet Detective||1994||Feature||US||2|
|Nov 30||2 Guns||2013||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 6||Much Ado About Nothing||2013||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 8||Casino Royale||1967||Feature||US||2|
|Dec 8||Mad Hot Ballroom||2005||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 9||My Blueberry Nights||2007||Feature||Hong Kong||3|
|Dec 10||Paris Blues||1961||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 10||The Drowning Pool||1975||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 10||The Brothers Grimsby||2016||Feature||Britain||2|
|Dec 15||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Dec 16||Star Wars IV: A New Hope||1977||Feature||US||5|
|Dec 17||Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Dec 17||Eddie the Eagle||2016||Feature||Britain||3|
|Dec 18||La La Land||2016||Feature||US||2|
|Dec 21||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||2016||Feature||US||4|
|Dec 24||The Invisible Man||1933||Feature||US||2|
|Dec 24||Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens||2015||Feature||US||4|
|Dec 25||Keeper of the Flame||1942||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 26||Bubba Ho-Tep||2002||Feature||US||2|
|Dec 26||City by the Sea||2002||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 27||Mr. Smith Goes to Washington||1939||Feature||US||4|
|Dec 27||The Life of an American Fireman||1903||Short||US||2|
|Dec 27||The Musketeers of Pig Alley||1912||Short||US||3|
|Dec 27||The Beau Brummels||1928||Short||US||3|
|Dec 27||Ball of Fire||1941||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 27||Punch-Drunk Love||2002||Feature||US||4|
|Dec 29||Meet John Doe||1941||Feature||US||4|
|Dec 29||Jeff, Who Lives at Home||2012||Feature||US||3|
|Dec 30||Sushi Girl||2012||Feature||US||3|
Thursday, December 29, 2016
They claim it’s not CGI, as if pianos float…
“Back in June, as part of an advocacy campaign aimed at protecting the Arctic Ocean from oil and gas extraction, Greenpeace sent its ship Arctic Sunrise northward with some unusual cargo. The ship carried renowned pianist Ludovico Einaudi, a grand piano, and a floating wooden platform made up to look like a glacier. They put the platform in the water next to the Wahlenbergbreen glacier in Svalbard, Norway. They put the piano on the platform. And there, Einaudi played a short original composition: ‘Elegy for the Arctic.’”
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
The National Film Registry announced their 2016 inductee, With “20,000 Leagues,” the National Film Registry Reaches 700
Films Selected for the 2016 National Film Registry:
- Atomic Cafe (1982)
- Ball of Fire (1941)
- The Beau Brummels (1928)
- The Birds (1963)
- Blackboard Jungle (1955)
- The Breakfast Club (1985)
- The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
- East of Eden (1955)
- Funny Girl (1968)
- Life of an American Fireman (1903)
- The Lion King (1994)
- Lost Horizon (1937)
- The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)
- Paris Is Burning (1990)
- Point Blank (1967)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- Putney Swope (1969)
- Rushmore (1998)
- Solomon Sir Jones films (1924–28)
- Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
- Suzanne, Suzanne (1982)
- Thelma & Louise (1991)
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)
- A Walk in the Sun (1945)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
I’ve seen the bold ones, links are to the films on YouTube.. I’m thrilled to see The Princess Bride and The Breakfast Club included and it’s always nice to see Hitchcock even if The Birds isn’t my favorite. Film descriptions here.
Friday, December 23, 2016
For more than a century, the state of Florida has presided over one of American history’s single most effective and enduring efforts to disenfranchise voters. By far the most populous of the three states that strip lifelong voting rights from people with felony convictions, Florida is home to some 1.5 million residents who can never again cast a ballot unless pardoned by the state’s governor, according to a calculation by The Sentencing Project.
Yet in recent weeks, even without any significant organizational backing, a coalition composed largely of disenfranchised Floridians quietly reached a new landmark in a long and laborious fight to overturn the state’s law. On Monday, after organizers had spent years gathering the requisite 68,314 petition signatures, Florida’s high court announced it had set a March date to consider the proposal to allow a referendum on the 2018 ballot asking voters to roll back the state’s felony voting restriction.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
A few weeks ago Time Magazine listed 100 Photographs | The Most Influential Images of All Time. I know many of them, many of them I don’t.
“It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion—and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 11 billion?”
The Guardian lists The 12 key science moments of 2016.
- World Health Organisation declares a public emergency of international concern over Zika
- SpaceX demonstrates a big step towards fully reusable space craft
- Portugal is entirely powered by renewable energy for four days
- New reserves of helium discovered
- Confirmation of the discovery of a nearby habitable planet
- Our last universal common ancestor gets a makeover
- The legacy of a celebrated neuroscientist is contested
- Greenland sharks live for a very long time
- CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere passes 400 parts per million
- A bad marriage can lead to an early death
- Arctic and Antarctic sea ice volumes both fall to an all-time low
- Scientists modify photosynthesis to boost crop yield
Then again, Michael Mann wrote in the Washington Post, I’m a scientist who has gotten death threats. I fear what may happen under Trump.
Also, The Arctic could end a year of record-breaking temperatures with a heat wave. “In a year of record-high temperatures and record-low sea ice, the Arctic appears poised to witness another frightening scenario: temperatures at the North Pole so high that they might even swing above freezing, something not typically seen until May.”
The differences in this version of the movie, in which different wavelengths of light from ultraviolet to visible to infrared have been assigned colors, show a distinct contrast between the types of atmospheric particles inside and outside the hexagon. Inside the hexagon there are fewer large haze particles and a concentration of small haze particles, while outside the hexagon, the opposite is true. The jet stream that makes up the hexagon seems to act like a barrier, which results in something like the ‘ozone hole’ in the Antarctic.
This movie shows a view from directly over the north pole, keeping up with the rotation of the planet so that all the motion seen on the screen is the motion of the hexagonal jet stream or the storms inside of it, without any added motion from the spinning of the planet itself. The original images were re-projected to show this polar view.
The eight frames of the movie were captured over 10 hours on Dec.10, 2012. Each of the eight frames consists of 16 map-projected images (four per color filter, and four filters per frame) so the movie combines data from 128 images total."
Friday, December 16, 2016
It’s very good. It’s like a Star Wars version of the Guns of Navarone. I went into it knowing virtually nothing about it, having seen only one trailer a few months ago. I left very happy. It’s not without flaws, but I enjoyed it and the third act worked very well. I can quibble about some things, but that makes for fun post movie discussion.
I saw it in IMAX 3D in the second row. I even saw it in the only laser 4K projector theater in New England but I still want to see it again in 2D. I don’t think it will make much of a difference. I didn’t like wearing the glasses, I felt like I was watching through a porthole. Also lots of shots were composed for 3D, so when people are standing around talking, there’s someone’s back in the foreground covering half the frame and it’s very blurry and then there’s someone facing the camera in focus and then there’s background out of focus. The depth of field in a lot of shots seemed unnecessarily shallow. It got much better in the climax. If there’s a 2D IMAX version (I’m not sure there is) I’d go for that.
I left with a question that I can state here without spoilers. The Star Wars universe has some interesting future tech and seems short changed in some other ways. They don’t seem to have decent encryption for secret transmissions, so they have to messenger things around. There’s a bit of computer tech in Rogue One that just had me scratching my head of why someone would invent something like that. So here’s the question. How long until Star Wars becomes the old Flash Gordon serials, where the tech is no longer futuristic?
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Monday, December 05, 2016
Some really stunning photos in The Atlantic’s Top 25 News Photos of 2016 “The past twelve months have been an eventful time for news stories, from the unpredictable and tumultuous U.S. presidential election, to continued war and terror in the Middle East and refugees fleeing to Europe, to a historic World Series win for the Chicago Cubs, ongoing protests demanding racial justice in the U.S., the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, and so much more. Today, we present the Top 25 News Photos of 2016—and starting tomorrow will be presenting part one of a more comprehensive three-part series, 2016: The Year in Photos. Warning, some of the photos may contain graphic or objectionable content.”
Saturday, December 03, 2016
Gizmodo reports Your Periodic Table Is Officially Out of Date
Scientists with the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) have officially approved the names of four new elements, completing the seventh row of the periodic table.
The four elements, discovered between 2002 and 2010, aren’t new per se, but the names are. IUPAC officially recognized the discovery of the super-heavy, highly reactive elements in December of 2015, and announced the suggested names back in June of this year. After a five-month chill-out period for the world to digest the new monikers, the bureau made the names official this week.
- Nihonium and symbol Nh, for the element 113
- Moscovium and symbol Mc, for the element 115
- Tennessine and symbol Ts, for the element 117
- Oganesson and symbol Og, for the element 118
Japanese researchers proposed Nihonium, which means Japan, and a team of scientists from Russia and the US named Moscovium for Moscow and Tennessine for Tennessee. Oganesson was named in honor of Yuri Oganessian, a Russian chemist. The additions replace the current seventh row placeholders, ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium, ununoctium (and good riddance)."
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Last year, a 225 square-mile chunk of West Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier broke off and tumbled into the sea. Now, Earth scientists at Ohio State University have pinpointed the root cause of the iceberg calving event: a crack that started deep below ground and 20 miles inland. It’s like nothing scientists have witnessed in West Antarctica before, and it doesn’t bode well for the ice sheet’s future.
One can’t help but note that NASA’s Earth science program, which makes such data available to scientists and the public, faces the possibility of major cuts under a Trump administration. These cuts would come at the precise moment when our planet is changing in rapid and hard-to-predict ways, which is when Earth science research is needed the most. Like cracks in an ice sheet, the irony runs deep.
Ars Technica reports It will soon be illegal to punish customers who criticize businesses online “Congress has passed a law protecting the right of US consumers to post negative online reviews without fear of retaliation from companies.”
The Consumer Review Fairness Act voids any provision in a form contract that prohibits or restricts customers from posting reviews about the goods, services, or conduct of the company providing the product or service. It also voids provisions that impose penalties or fees on customers for posting online reviews as well as those that require customers to give up the intellectual property rights related to such reviews. The legislation empowers the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the new law and impose penalties when necessary. The bill also protects reviews that aren’t available via the Internet.