Archive for February 2005

And now that the Oscars are over, my personal Top 20 of ’04

Selecting only from movies I’ve seen and ranked according to an arbitrary amalgamation of “Best”, “Favorite” and “Most meaningful to me”.

1. Garden State
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. Spider-Man 2
4. Closer
5. The Aviator
6. The Passion of the Christ
7. The Incredibles
8. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
9. Hotel Rwanda
10. The Dreamers
11. Man on Fire
12. Saved!
13. Finding Neverland
14. Sideways
15. Ray
16. Shaun of the Dead
17. Kill Bill: Volume 2
18. Collateral
19. The Terminal
20. The Butterfly Effect

Pro-Syrian Lebanese government resigns

The Lebanese government abruptly resigned Monday during a stormy parliamentary debate, prompting a tremendous roar from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in Beirut’s Martyrs Square.
The demonstrators, awash in a sea of red, white and green Lebanese flags, had demanded the pro-Syrian government’s resignation — and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon — since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, a Lebanese opposition figure called for popular protests in Beirut to continue until Syria leaves.
“The battle is long, and this is the first step, this is the battle for freedom, sovereignty and independence,” Ghattas Khouri told a cheering protest in central Beirut, according to Reuters.

I think you’d have to call this good news.

For the record…

The 2004 movies that I have seen, sorted by release date:

January 16 Along Came Polly
January 23 Butterfly Effect, The
February 6 Dreamers, The
February 13 50 First Dates
February 20 Eurotrip
February 25 Passion of the Christ, The
February 27 Broken Lizard’s Club Dread
March 5 Hidalgo
March 12 Spartan
March 12 Secret Window
March 19 Dawn of the Dead
March 19 Taking Lives
March 19 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
March 26 Jersey Girl
March 26 Ladykillers, The
April 2 Hellboy
April 9 Whole Ten Yards, The
April 9 Shade
April 9 Alamo, The (2004)
April 9 Ella Enchanted
April 9 Girl Next Door, The (2004)
April 16 Kill Bill: Volume 2
April 16 Punisher, The
April 23 13 Going On 30
April 23 Man on Fire (2004)
April 30 Mean Girls
April 30 Godsend
May 19 Shrek 2
May 28 Saved!
June 4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
June 18 Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
June 18 Terminal, The
June 23 Fahrenheit 9/11
June 30 Spider-Man 2
July 9 Anchorman
July 16 I, Robot
July 23 Bourne Supremacy
July 28 Garden State
July 30 Village, The
July 30 Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
July 30 Manchurian Candidate, The (2004)
August 6 Collateral
August 6 Little Black Book
August 20 Without a Paddle
August 27 Jet Li’s Hero
September 10 Cellular
September 10 Resident Evil: Apocalypse
September 17 Wimbledon
September 17 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
September 24 Shaun of the Dead
October 1 Celsius 41.11
October 22 Sideways
October 29 Ray
November 5 Incredibles, The
November 12 Finding Neverland
November 26 Very Long Engagement, A
December 3 House of Flying Daggers
December 3 Closer
December 15 Million Dollar Baby
December 17 Spanglish
December 17 Aviator, The
December 22 Hotel Rwanda

Total Movies 62
I think that’s a complete list if my memory doesn’t fail me and the list at The Numbers is right.

Looks like Cincy City Manager Valerie Lemmie could be on her way out

With 10 months left in Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken’s term, City Manager Valerie Lemmie also may be preparing for her exit from City Hall.
With rumors circulating among political circles in both Cincinnati and Dayton that Lemmie is interviewing for a job at the nonprofit Kettering Foundation, Lemmie declined to confirm or deny the speculation.

Post-Oscar thoughts

Well that pretty much sucked.
Why was there a cartoon character saying “Holy Sh*t Dude!” in the first 3 minutes?
Rock should have avoided the politics. His minute mocking President Bush immediately followed him saying he wouldn’t mock President Bush. His John Kerry-Oprah thing brought back memories of Oprah… Uma… Uma… Oprah. Note to future hosts… Oprah is Oscar comedy death!
Giving out the awards at the back of the theater? Bad idea.
Bad directing of the show. Glitch after glitch after glitch.
Too much Beyonce. One song, fine. Two songs, maybe. Three songs? There’s just no excuse for that.
Should Yo Yo Ma really be pulling attention away from the people who passed away? These people died but they have to make sure he gets recognition for performing something that could just as well have been done by the huge orchestra they already had on hand.
A glut of boring acceptance speeches. One laundry list of thank-yous after another. The closest they got to a good/memorable acceptance speech was Foxx and that simply pales in comparison to former winners.
Million Dollar Baby winning Best Picture was just a major disappointment. I didn’t think any of the other 4 nominees were a clear winner, but I thought MDB had MAJOR screenplay problems in the last third of the movie.


It’s hard for me to really root for anybody when the only noms my personal top two films of the year (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Garden State) picked up are Winslet’s Best Actress nom and Eternal Sunshine’s Screenplay nom.
Oh well…


Someone is finally talking reasonably in the debate between intelligent design and evolution.

Many letters to the editor propose teaching ID and evolution and letting the students decide which to believe. Yet ID and evolution are not rival scientific ideas but answers to two different questions. ID asks who created our world; science asks how life has progressed on our planet.
There is no conflict in believing that an intelligent designer created our world and that evolution is the way life has progressed. Most scientists and science teachers I’ve met believe both. There is no conflict between maintaining a philosophical answer to one question and a scientific answer to a different question.
Barry Riehle – Cincinnati Enquirer

Next thing you know they’ll have to card you when you try to buy that box of Morton’s

A consumer group sued the federal government Thursday, saying that salt is killing tens of thousands of Americans and that regulators have done too little to control salt in food.
Despite advisories to take it easy on sodium, Americans are now consuming about 4,000 milligrams a day — nearly double the recommended limit to keep blood pressure under control, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said.
So the CSPI renewed a lawsuit first filed in 1983 to ask federal courts to force the Food and Drug Administration to declare sodium a food additive instead of categorizing it as “generally recognized as safe.” This would give the agency the authority to set limits for salt in foods.
My Way News

And you’ll probably need a federal permit to walk out of the store with one of the 40-pound water softener bags. 🙂


[Spanish Prime Minister] Zapatero said he was anti-Bush, the complete opposite of former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. But ever since his election, Zapatero has spent much of his time shadowing Bush and attempting to shake his hand. On Wednesday, he was waiting in the shadows, and made his move when Bush was talking to Tony Blair. Bush, who I suspect didn’t really know who Zapatero was said

More on E-check

The Equirer and the Post both have anti-E-check editorials today.
The Enquirer’s offers this warning:

Some E-Check haters may now be leery: Be careful what you ask for. Costs of alternatives are likely to be passed through to consumers in other ways. Ohio EPA says cleaner-burning fuels would cost motorists about 3 cents a gallon more – around $30 a year for the average driver.
Cincinnati Enquirer

Fine. At least that way my money will go towards cleaning the air. As it currently is, 97% of tests are simply $19.50 charges that result in no difference in air quality.