The Light Was Ebbing

[Who Is He]

… and Eddie Willers could not distinguish the bum's face:

  • So you seriously mean to tell me that Atlas Shrugged is playing in eight Massachusetts theatres, while in the Live Free or Die State, it's playing in zero point zero?

    Dude. That's an outrage. Click here, Granite Staters.

  • Since attending Vice President Biden's speech last week announcing Your Federal Government's Bold New Steps aimed at University-based sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination, I've been paying a bit more attention than I would otherwise to naysayers. I've already noted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education's misgivings about the Bold New Steps likely trampling student's First Amendment rights.

    At the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Open Market blog, Hans Bader has a couple outraged posts describing how the new policy is meant to alter the status quo in handling sexual harassment cases: doing away with the presumption of innocence and changing the burden of proof

    Gosh, it's not as if Universities didn't already have a problem in this area.

  • Bruce Schneier has a fascinating post describing some recent research in how the brain works.

    1. People are notoriously bad about applying the rules of formal logic in "word problem" type situations.

    2. Unless—and this is the interesting bit—the "word problem" involves cheating in a social context. People do much better then.

    The conclusion: our brains are hard-wired to "detect cheaters in in a social exchange."

This Gun For Hire

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Another Netflix oldie, a 1942 noir. In addition to the usual Amazon Link, I will screw up the article formatting by showing you the original movie poster:


Cool, huh? Even with Veronica Lake's giant floating head sneaking up behind Alan Ladd? It made a list of the Best Movie Posters Ever, so there you go.

Alan Ladd plays "Raven"; in the first few scenes of the movie we learn that (a) Raven likes kitties; (b) Raven can be brutish to people who don't like kitties; (c) Raven's a ruthless hit man, even taking out (d) defenseless terrified witnesses, but not (e) crippled young girls.

Raven gets paid off by Willard Gates, played by the very entertaining Laird Cregar. It's a double cross: Gates has already reported the serial numbers on the payoff currency as stolen, hoping that the cops will take Raven off the table. But Raven escapes, setting out on a mission of revenge against Gates. Along the way, he meets up with songbird/magician Ellen Graham (Veronica Lake!) who, in a truly Dickensian coincidence, has just been hired by Gates for his nightclub. And she's also the girlfriend of the detective (Robert Preston!) assigned to the stolen-cash case.

So don't think about how unlikely that is. Just enjoy.

Last Modified 2014-11-30 1:51 PM EDT