Forecast: Increased use of Accuweather

Richard Morrison at the Open Market blog relays a report that The Weather Channel (TWC) is planning on moving its "brand" from "functional to emotional." One important component is fear-mongering on global warming. (I mean, fear is an emotion, right?)

TWC's "Heidi Cullen, Climate Expert", blogs here. Her most recent post tut-tuts that a DC "local meteorologist" (one Brian van de Graaff) was caught expressing uncertainty on global warming. Heidi was not slow to threaten Mr. van de Graaff with professional death:

If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. … If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval.

Charming. But not an unusual tactic from that crowd.

Howl's Moving Castle

[Amazon Link] [4.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

This is the usual work of genius from Hayao Miyazaki. There's more beauty and creativity in five milliseconds of this movie than in the entirety of Barnyard.

The hero is young Sophie, who lives a humdrum life, employed in a hat store. The hat store is, however, set in a world of steam power and magic, where a far-off castle wandering in the hills is seen by people as just a slightly unusual occurrence. One day, however, Sophie's—literally—swept off her feet by a wizard. And it's off on a life-changing adventure.

As is the norm in Miyazaki's work, not everything is as it seems initially. The plot is devilishly complex, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do well on a quiz. The world you're dumped into is full of characters that are operating under their own rules and motivations, most of which aren't spelled out. Never mind, it's fun to watch.

The talent brought in to do the voices in English is first-rate: Jean Simmons, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Christian Bale, and Billy Crystal.

Last Modified 2012-10-21 6:43 AM EDT