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Showing posts from April, 2011

"A Tear, Sarah Jane?"

Well, I (like most Doctor Who fans at the moment) am fairly gutted. We've lost one of the icons of the program. A heroine of our childhood. Elisabeth Sladen, who played dear, plucky Sarah Jane Smith on the program from 1973-1976, has passed away from cancer, aged 63.

I really don't know what to say. This is all very shocking. She'd kept her cancer battle close to the vest, so very few people knew. And 63, while not a spring chicken, is still too young to die in this day and age. Her friends and family, and the family of Doctor Who fans who grew up watching her during the '70s and '80s, as well as the young fans of today who watched her series The Sarah Jane Adventures, have lost someone special today.

May she rest in peace.

Sapphire

This past Saturday was cold and overcast, so Ashley & I stayed inside (mostly) and watched a couple of movies. One of them was the 1959 British film "Sapphire," directed by Basil Dearden. This is one of four films that constitutes the Criterion Collection Eclipse set of Dearden films released from 1959 - 1962, all of which focus on modern societal issues, quite a bit ahead of their time. One of the films, "Victim," deals with the blackmailing of homosexuals, while "Sapphire" is about the murder of a young woman who appeared to be caucasian, but was in fact bi-racial (caucasion and black), although like many bi-racial folk, she is considered to be strictly black (or "coloured," as they refer to blacks in the film).

"Sapphire" is a taut, well-directed, well-written and well-acted movie that kept me engrossed from the very first scene of the title character's lifeless body being dropped onto the ground in Hampstead Heath. The pol…

Apple vs. the World

Over on his blog, Louis Gray has a thoughtful post about Apple's latest attempts to legally thwart its competitors, this time in the arena of patent-infringement. Here's a good point that Louis makes:

But the volley of lawsuits smacks of preemptive desperation, not from a company in trouble by any means, but by one that wants to make sure it won't ever be.

In March of 2010, former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz wrote a post, titled, in a nod to Jobs, "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal". In the post, he claimed that Apple going after the competition raised their visibility and relevancy to the market.I have to say that this sounds pretty spot on. A lot of regular folks (i.e. non-techies) are aware of the iPhone and the iPad, but I'd wager that they're not as familiar with the Samsung Galaxy phones and Tab. But they probably soon will be, if Apple keeps this up.

This also smacks a bit of being ever-so-slightly overly litigious. While no one can dispute that …

Pic of the Week

It's been awhile since we've had a Pic of Week. This week, it's actor Alex Pettyfer (who happens to turn 21 today). Enjoy.

The Rich Get Richer

Roger Ebert has new post up which is both hard to read but necessary to read. It pertains to the ever-dwindling American way. The rich in our soceity become more rich, while the middle and lower classes keep sinking. And this isn't through a fair, equitable system of hard work paying-off. It's through the plundering of all that makes American great.

Money quote:

Consider taxes. Do you know we could eliminate half the predicted shortfall in the national budget by simply failing to renew the Bush tax cuts? Do you know that if corporations were taxed at a fair rate, much of the rest could be found? General Electric recently reported it paid no current taxes. Why do you think that was? Why do middle and lower class Tea Party members not understand that they bear an unfair burden of taxes that should be more fairly distributed? Why do they support those who campaign against unions and a higher minimum wage? What do they think is in it for them? If it is "socialist" to beli…

Vote!

Election Day is this Tuesday, April 5th, and we have some very important races -- and some very good candidates -- to vote for. For those of you living in the City of Champaign, the Unit 4 school district, and the Parkland College district, here are my endorsements for some of the candidates running in those races....