How They Are Paid In Gold

[scam]

… just to babble in the back room:

  • Consumer note: I got paper mail from the "Domain Registry of America" urging me to send them money for domain renewal services. Looks very much like a bill. (Amusingly, it was addressed to "NONE PAUL SAND", based a bit too literally on punsalad.com's whois data.)

    The Wikipedia page for "Domain Registry of America" shows the company is hovering on the edge of illegality, and has been doing so for many years, so if you get a similar notice… well, as one guy put it: that's why they make shredders.

  • Our periodic look at presidential candidate phoniness is restricted to the current campaign, but Ed Morrissey has retrospective phoniness from four years back, as then-candidate Joe Biden threw some red meat to Iowa progressives:
    And I want to make it clear, and I'll make it clear to the President: that if he takes this nation to war in Iran, without Congressional approval, I will make it my business to impeach him.
    But (as we've said before): that was then, this is now. Ed points out not only the phoniness, but also more than a bit of stupidity: Biden, being a Senator at the time, had no input into even a theoretical impeachment, that being the responsibility of the House.

  • At Language Log, Mark Liberman puzzles over the utterances of Diane Sawyer on ABC World News last night:
    And it is hard to imagine
    or to underestimate or overestimate
    what it took in those heart-pounding moments when the pilots had to eject
    the incredible velocity of that
    But that Sarah Palin sure is stupid, isn't she?

    (Free verse formatting supplied by Liberman.)

Unstoppable

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

Why yes, this is my second Kevin Corrigan movie in a row. Good catch. He's a railroad safety expert here, while in The Next Three Days he had a brief but critical role as a sleazeball drug dealer. He's utterly believable in both roles. Somebody give him an Oscar, OK?

The story: up in northern Pennsylvania, an idiot railroad employee (Ethan Suplee) cuts one too many corners in his effort to get a freight train on the correct track, and sends it hurtling southward, unchaperoned, with a load of toxic molten phenol. Meanwhile, down south, a newbie conductor (Chris Pine, the new Captain Kirk) gets teamed up with a grizzled train veteran (Denzel Washington) as his engineer. As luck would have it, Chris and Denzel are the only people who can stop the train from visiting death and destruction when it—literally—hits the small city of Stanton, PA.

This sounds clichéd, and it is. Are the young guy and the old dude initially at odds, but then develop a grudging respect for each other? You betcha. Are pictures of children shown? Yup. Are the efforts to save the day hampered by a bunch of clueless, arrogant railroad company executives, full of bad ideas and too concerned with the company's bottom line? Yes indeed. (And is the CEO shown on a sunny golf course, making his imperious poor judgment in a hasty cell phone call? Sure.)

Is there a plucky and competent young woman of color helping our heroes out at the risk of her job? Affirmative: played by Rosario Dawson.

And yet, it all works wonderfully well. Most of it due to Denzel-magic, I think; he's a lot of fun to watch. It was nominated for a Best Sound Editing Oscar, but I enjoyed it even though my crappy-sounding TV.


Last Modified 2012-09-27 9:27 AM EDT