Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Film Review: Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

Last night, I watched Client 9 via netflix in my home from 10pm to 12am. It is a documentary on Spitzer's rise to power, who he went after when he was Attorney General, his brief stint as governor, and the prostitution-finance network in Manhattan.  I strongly recommend on account of its insight into the lives of prostitutes and the culture of entitlement on Wall Street.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why the Habs Should Retire Koivu's Jersey

I had posted this on the official Montreal Canadiens message board, here:
Why the Habs Should Retire Koivu's Jersey
35 of 107 people who voted on the poll agreed, 68 disagreed and 4 voted "don't know". The topic generated 149 posts over 8 pages at the time of my reposting it here.


One of my first memories of the Habs is the 1993 Stanley Cup Win. Either way that cup would be something to celebrate, as if it were not the Habs winning it would be Gretzky winning with the Kings. The Habs won, I was 9 years old. I was watching the game at Chili's with my sister, and people were celebrating... I think we really nailed that game five and I remember thinking "oh cool this is historical", or something like that.

In the 1993 entry draft, we somehow managed to draft Saku Koivu at 21st overall. It was widely seen as a good pick, so it's nice if a Stanley Cup winner goes on to get a future. He didn't play in the NHL the following year when the Habs did badly. I remember hearing Saku Koivu described as "the best player in the world not playing in the NHL. Not sure if that was 1993-94 or 1994-95. In his rookie season, 1995-96, he went off to a good start, with 20 goals and 25 assists. He would eventually be the first European captain of the Habs, captaining them for 13 seasons, the longest stretch of any Habs captain.

Earth/Moon would look like twin planets to Mercury-Based Astronomers

Discovery News 

Image taken by the Messener Spacecraft.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I've Now Watched All Nine Seasons of the X-Files

Last November, my roommate, bought a box-set of The X-Files and over the last nine months I've watched the nine seasons. That gives an immediate measure of my assessment of the series -- I liked it well enough to watch the series from start to finish, unlike, say Six Feet Under. However, I did not like it so much to race through it at a non-leisurely pace, it did not take over my life the way Babylon 5 or The Wire did, two 5-season shows that I finished in less than 6 weeks.

The X-Files is a 1990s-era show about two FBI detectives, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who navigate various paranormal cases dealing with elements such as God, the afterlife, demons, magic, mutants, premonitions, and most famously, extraterrestrial life and a government conspiracy of involvement with said extraterrestrial life and the cover-up thereof. The first few nourish the episodic elements of The X-Files, whereas the last one lies at the heart of the show's 9-season story arc(s). It makes for an interesting dual nature. Popular culture's fantasies of yesteryear, such as demons, fulfill the role of antagonists within the more stylistically conservative stream of the show, aka the episodic stream. Our more modern irrational paranoia of extra-terrestrial invasion is what lies sweeping the more contemporary and superior trend of long-form story arc.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Astronomy Decadal Survey

Good Preview at Cosmic Variance:
Julianne Delcanton

Here's the home page of the released documents:
Astro 2010

If they actually manage to put these projects through I'll be satisfied, I wish they'd build SIM.

Gary Kurtz on Star Wars

LA Times

“Star Wars” was born a long time ago, but not all that far, far away. In 1972, filmmakers George Lucas and Gary Kurtz were toiling on “American Graffiti” in their San Rafael office when they began daydreaming about a throwback sci-fi adventure that channeled the old “Flash Gordon” serials as opposed to the bleak “message” movies that had taken over the genre.
“We had no idea what we were starting,” said Kurtz, who was the producer of the first two “Star Wars” films and also a second-unit director. “That simple concept changed Hollywood in a way....”

There was a bittersweet tinge to Kurtz’s voice, and it’s no surprise. This year is the 30th anniversary of “The Empire Strikes Back,” the “Star Wars” sequel that many fans consider the pinnacle moment in a franchise that has pulled in $16 billion in box office and merchandising. But 1980 was also the year that Kurtz and Lucas realized the Jedi universe wasn’t big enough for the both of them.

“I could see where things were headed,” Kurtz said. “The toy business began to drive the [Lucasfilm] empire. It’s a shame. They make three times as much on toys as they do on films. It’s natural to make decisions that protect the toy business, but that’s not the best thing for making quality films.”
 Edited to add:

Gawker - A deleted scene from Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi