Neanderthal’s last stand
Gibraltar may have been the last refuge of the Neanderthals, according to the results of a six-year archaeological dig. The youngest Neanderthal artifacts to date, a couple of thousand years younger than any others, have been found there.
Via Glenn Greenwald, an update on the two men who had been denied re-entry into the United States without due process, as I mentioned here some time ago.
The decision to (hopefully) allow the two men to return seems as arbitrary as the one that put them in the sights of the FBI in the first place. Kafka and Dosotevsky might have described Imperial Russia, but its scary how well they are describing War on Terror America.
Bush as a modern day Tsar.
Sharp, funny view of a stupid future Via Billmon, the story of a Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead) movie that sounds very much like a film adaptation of the cynical, satirical story “The Marching Morons” by Cyril Kornbluth.
20th Century Fox is releasing it as minimally as possible. I will have to wait for it on DVD.
NPR: Longevity in the United States
A new study on longevity in the United States shows that the life expectancy in the US does vary somewhat widely in the US by state.
At the top of the list is Hawaii, where the average person lives to the age of 80. D.C. ranks last, at 72 years.
However, as far as the lower 48 states are concerned, the place to be is my very own state of Minnesota, where the average resident lives to the age of 78.8 years.
Check out where your state ranks!
NFL.com – Indianapolis at New York Game Recap
When you make mistakes when down only a few points against one of the best teams in the league, its very very difficult to win. A missed field goal, a fumble, and a missed field goal sunk my boys in blue.
And so the season begins.
Locus Online: Lawrence Person and Howard Waldrop review The Wicker Man
Lawrence Person and Howard Waldrop have a scathing review of the new Nicholas Cage remake of The Wicker Man.
It sounds like I, with little screenwriting talent or skill, could have done a better job of this. It might be worth Netflxing in a year, just to see how bad it can be (and to steal ideas for a game scenario that does the material better…)
The Loom : Sexual Cannibals in Gould’s Shadow
Carl Zimmer links to a NY Times article on predation in female arachnids and insects on their male counterparts. Controversially, it might be that one species of chinese mantid’s females actually use sexual pheromones to lure males not for mating, but expressly for dinner (as opposed to mating and then cannibalism)
Shot in sepia and employing old-style pupil scene transitions, The Illusionist has an old time feel that reminded me a little bit of Shadow of the Vampire, or the 30’s era L.A.scenes in The Thirteenth Floor.
The movie revolves around Edward Norton’s Eisenheim The Illusionist, a mysterious entertainer whose feats of illusion and conjuration become the delight of early 20th century Vienna. Paul Giametti is the Inspector who investigates Eisenheim at the behest of Rufus Sewell’s Crown Prince, and Jessica Biel plays Sophie, the fiance of the Crown Prince, who seems to have known the mysterious Eisenheim when they were both children…
And therein lies the tale.
The performances are riveting and interesting and the central mystery of the movie compelling. None of the actors really over-awe each other, although Norton’s Eisenheim is the focus of the movie. I don’t want to ruin the movie by saying much more, but there is a mystery, and a conflict between the major characters, and the movie slowly unfolds toward its conclusion. There is even a magic trick in the movie which is completely explained that seems to work and might win you a bet or two.
The marketing and release of the film has been slow and patient, opening in a slowly increasing set of theaters.
This is the best movie I’ve seen in a theater this year, and I definitely will purchase it on DVD.
On September 4, 476 AD, the barbarian Odoacer, former mercenary leader for the Western Roman Empire, deposed the last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus, and proclaimed himself King of Italy.
The (Western) Roman Empire was at an end. The Eastern Roman Empire, of course, would last nearly 1000 years longer.
A Reality-Based Blog for Paul Weimer's interests, including but not limited to Science and F/SF, books, Movies, NFL Football, Role Playing Games, Photography, and why 6*9=42. "Living in the Science Fiction Present", Proudly supporting Anti-Mundane SF, and aware of all internet traditions! I'm just this guy, you know?