URLs du Jour

2006-01-22

  • True fact: You can learn enough economics from South Park to refute a Harvard economist. Lawrence H. White offers an example. (Via EconLog.)
  • Victoria Toensing's WSJ op-ed on FISA and its ineffectiveness is now available online.
  • Coming up on the 20th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, Jay Tea at Wizbang reminisces. (Also see his note about New Hampshire's other major connection to the space program: Smilin' Al Shepard.)

Foundation

[Amazon Link]

I have very fond memories of joining the Science Fiction Book Club as a greasy geeky teenager, paying ten cents (plus shipping and handling) for a fat hardcover titled The Foundation Trilogy by the great Isaac Asimov. That book had pretty shoddy binding and is now lost forever, but the memories remain. I recently decided to read the Good Doctor's SF novels in order, and it was time for this one.

It holds up pretty well. It isn't "really" a novel, but five short stories exploring the founding and early history of the Foundation, ostensibly designed by psychohistorian Hari Seldon to shorten the age of barbarism following the fall of the Galactic Empire from 30 millennia to one. Asimov advances the plot mainly via conversations between characters; very little "action." For an easily-distracted reader like me, it's kind of surprising this works as well as it does.

The main difference: suspension of disbelief is quite a bit tougher when you're in your 50's.


Last Modified 2012-10-25 2:57 PM EDT

Hide and Seek

[Amazon Link] [3.0 stars] [IMDb Link]

This movie, rented on the urging of Mrs. Salad, is a run-of-the-mill psychological thriller, redeemed somewhat by Dakota Fanning, who does an outstanding job of playing a Creepy Little Girl role.

Robert DeNiro is (of course) good too, although the script pretty much calls for him to one-note his Concerned Father performance through most of the movie.

It's a mediocre script, though, with people showing up who might as well have "Red Herring" buttons pinned to their shirts. Even at 100 minutes (according to the IMDB), it seems to be too long. The DVD includes 4 alternate endings, but none of them are noticeably better. Not recommended for viewing by small children or cats.


Last Modified 2012-10-25 2:57 PM EDT