“That message, sent to the bank’s executives in July 2004, referred to a UBS plan to help rich customers evade taxes by hiding money in offshore havens like the Bahamas. The memo, along with dozens of e-mail messages like it, were disclosed on Thursday in a blistering court document filed by the Justice Department, which sought to compel UBS, based in Switzerland, to divulge the identities of 52,000 Americans whom the authorities suspect of using secret offshore accounts at the bank to dodge taxes.”—
I’m surprised this isn’t getting more play on the web. There are already vague rumors that a few of the names on the first set of 250 are recognizable. If the DoJ gets any sizable set of names out of UBS, there going to be complete pandemonium.
“In the graphic novel, Doctor Manhattan’s peen is modest and understated (do a Google Image Search), symbolizing the character’s impotence in the face of human evil. Adding inches to its length or circumference undermines everything Alan Moore was trying to say about politics, society, and the human condition.”—
UGHHHH. I’m like 50 years too late to this non-stop girl-child stiffie-literary party. I have no one to talk about it with except for tacky lit majors. I was blushing and writhing for 5 hours on a flight. I AM BURSTING TO TALK ABOUT IT.
“The roots of California’s inability to address its budget woes are statutory and political. The state, unlike most others, requires a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature to pass budgets and tax increases. And its process for creating voter initiatives hamstrings the budget process by directing money for some programs while depriving others of cash.”—California Lawmakers Struggle to Strike Budget Deal - NYTimes.com
“But instead, of course, in come the future space alien robot survivors of the Great Frost or whatever and another 25 of the most frustratingly saccharine but also retarded minutes in any movie ever, with some kind of pseudo-reincarnation slash mind-meld thing that I’m not even going to go into, and the robot boy’s one dream fulfilled which is living for a whole day with only his mommy and no one else around to take away her attention. It’s weird, and it is simple-minded, and it is intensely Oedipal. You know that old story about how robot boys want to use their laser eyes to murder their male owners and sleep/standby with their mommy owners? Classic.”—A.I. - The Hunt For The Worst Movie Of All Time - Videogum
“A Columbia University scientist who studied the quake has said that it may have been triggered by the weight of 320 million tons of water in the Zipingpu Reservoir less than a mile from a well-known major fault. His conclusions, presented to the American Geophysical Union in December, coincide with a new finding by Chinese geophysicists that the dam caused significant seismic changes before the earthquake.”—Possible Link Between Dam and China Quake - NYTimes.com
“Three skiers are stranded on a chairlift and forced to make life-or-death choices that prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death.”—Actual logline for the movie Frozen. Currently in production. (via drewhancock)
All the younger kids know what it means to be “goth.” A third-grader showed me her nails, which were painted for the first time I could remember. They were black. “Do you think I look goth?” she asked. “My brother says I look kinda goth.” I shrugged. I usually shrug in that situation.
A second-grader was writing out sentences for his spelling words. For the word “black”, he wrote “My room is black.”
I asked him, “Is that true?” He howled in denial.
“That would have been an interesting choice,” I said.
He made a fake-angry face. “Do you think I’m goth?”
No shrugging this time. “I guess you’re right. You don’t seem very goth.”
He nodded. “Black is goth.”
In high school expository speech competitions, you’re given a current events topic and a half hour or so to prepare, and then have to give a ~5 minute speech on it, complete with evidence clipped from recent news publications that you had prepared in advance. In Minneapolis, it was mostly populated with debaters who were looking for a way to fuck around during the offseason. Our team had a canned opening for any economy-related topic. It was something like, “Former President Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘Talking about the economy is like peeing in your pants. It relieves pressure and makes you feel better, but you’re really just embarrassing yourself when you do it in front of other people.”
The great thing about this line is that it was completely bogus. Roosevelt, as far as we knew, said no such thing. Someone had invented the quote a few years previously and it had been handed down, year after year. Sometimes people would slyly modify it to apply to other topics, like arms proliferation or welfare. And I quite clearly remember one kid proudly recounting how when faced with a panel of extremely old judges, he began, “Former — and well-respected — President Theodore Roosevelt…”
I’m watching Jurassic Park, which still has the most seamlessly realistic CGI of any movie to date. Which is getting embarrassing, since it was made in 1993. I said, “You can still tell what is computer-animated and what is a puppet but it is edited so well that you can just accept that there are fucking DINOSAURS”
I hate to quibble with Lambert, but Zodiac is more seamless than JP, except for that one shot of the Embarcadero.
Also, that editorial is killing me and my love of TRON. A friend who grew up in Slovakia was staying with us a few years ago; he had seen TRON growing up on television. It was in German, which he didn’t speak, but he had been captivated. So we watched it again, since it’s one of about five DVDs I own. And… he concluded it was better in German.
Nonetheless, TRON is complete genius. It may be the purest expression of camp produced in my lifetime. It also presents, with great seriousness, an alleged reality which bears no resemblance to anything ever. And it has Bruce Boxleitner, in what is probably his greatest role ever. Because he plays a computer program. Which is the only role that can handle his complete lack of emotional range as an actor.
“Three Sunni candidates were assassinated Thursday, just two days before provincial elections. They came from three different blocs and all three were shot to death — one in Mosul, one in Diyala and one in Baghdad. The deaths bring to six the number of candidates that have been killed.”—Three Candidates Are Killed in Iraq - NYTimes.com