URLs du Jour

2008-04-28

  • Virginia Postrel notes yet another case of university professor plagiarism, the plagiarizee being… Virginia Postrel! But not only that:
    It's scandalous that a tenured English professor would lift my prose--scandalous whether it was intentional theft or incompetent research. But it's particularly galling that he changed the passage just enough to make it inaccurate.
    We've noted before that faculty should not get away with academic behavior that would land one of their students in very hot water.

  • Up at Granite Grok, Skip notes the reported efforts of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission to get a blogger to register as a Political Action Committee because he sinfully endorsed election candidates.

    Skip also notes the recently introduced Blogger Protection Act of 2008 which exempts "uncompensated Internet activity by individuals from treatment as a contribution or expenditure under the Act, and for other purposes."

    Skip thinks this is swell, and you may well agree, but I'm a little more fundamentalist on this issue. Patterico said it best: this is too much like asking our masters for permission to speak. So no thanks.

  • George F. Will's latest column is on the same topic, concerning Coloradans "who expressed a political opinion without first getting their state government's permission for political activity." I especially liked this aside:
    The regulator's motto is "Dirigo, ergo sum" -- I boss people around, therefore I am.
    Read the whole thing, especially the last paragraph, which perfectly encapsulates one reason I will have to hold my nose very hard to vote for John McCain this November.

    But Will's proposed motto applies to more than the Speech Police.

  • For example, behold the awesome judgment of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a division of Your Federal Government: their functionaries have ordered the Mt. Shasta Brewing Company of Weed, California to cease and desist!

    Mt. Shasta's crime: sealing their bottled product, "Weed Ales and Lagers" with caps that say "Try Legal Weed."

    Pun Salad's proposed FY 2010 budget for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau: $0.00. [Via Kip Esquire.]


Last Modified 2008-04-28 12:10 PM EDT

Cloverfield

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

It's the same story you've seen a thousand times: Boy gets Girl; Boy loses Girl; Demon Monster from Hell shows up; Boy tries to rescue Girl.

I'm sure I am not the first to point out: this movie is a combination of The Blair Witch Project and Godzilla. It follows a bunch of twentysomething Manhattanites around, first at a tedious party. But soon, five of them—oops, sorry, four of them—are on a nightmarish run from a very ill-tempered creature.

It's a kind of love-it-or-hate-it kind of movie, with me kind of loving it, Mrs. Salad kind of hating it. The protagonists are narcissistic and whiny. The movie is imagined to be shot from a single video camera they cart around with them. As the Rifftrax guys pointed out: it looks more authentic because it's poorly shot and the sound is lousy.

But to be fair, the special effects are impressive; given the premises, you have to admit, yeah, the results would probably look just like that.

It's short at 85 minutes, and they could have trimmed the party scenes more than a bit.


Last Modified 2012-10-12 8:33 AM EDT