Michelle Obama gives a great speech at DNC

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Diary

No Comments 5 September 2012

Gotye’s amazing Video Remix of his imitators

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Music, Pop

No Comments 1 September 2012

The Clint Eastwood show at the RNC

image Two minutes after ten Thursday night, I turned on my TV to watch Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech. But there was Client Eastwood, giving an improvised speech that struck me as bizarre. During the past two days, the Client Eastwood show is the talked about event. If you have missed what Eastwood said, here is a transcript of it or the video.  MICHAEL BARBARO and MICHAEL D. SHEAR in the NY Times report how Clint Eastwood was allowed to speak unscripted in an otherwise fully scripted convention.

Before Eastwood’s Talk With a Chair, Clearance From the Top

TAMPA, Fla.—For all the finger-pointing about Clint Eastwood’s rambling conversation with an empty chair on Thursday night, the most bizarre, head-scratching 12 minutes in recent political convention history were set in motion by Mitt Romney himself and made possible by his aides, who had shrouded the actor’s appearance in secrecy.

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Diary

No Comments 1 September 2012

The Family Stone

image There are many films about Christmas time and families coming together for a few days. This film is special in that it captures very well the rhythms of these family reunions. Most families find it difficult to keep any tensions that might exist under raps. The days move slowly, punctuated by rituals of eating, chatting, playing, waiting, and sometimes arguing.  Everett (Dermot Mulroney) one of the five children coming home to the parents suburban home for Xmas is brining his new girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker). Even before her arrival, one family members labels Meredith as uptight and unlikable. Soon the entire family seems to be against her and when they find out that Everett wants to propose the next day, all but one person wants to torpedo that plan. This sets the stage for interesting drama with twists and turns.

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Movies, Drama

No Comments 31 August 2012

A Thousand Words

image Eddie Murphy is one of most talented comic actors.  Unlike Ted which was fresh and made me laugh throughout the entire movie, 1000 Words has a few good scenes but remains pretty mediocre.  Murphy plays Jack, a high-flying literary agent, who is angry that his father abandoned the family when he was around 10. As he trying to sign a Deepak Chopra like figure for his agency, a tree suddenly appears in his garden and for every word he speaks another leaf will fall of the tree. When all leafs are gone, the tree and he might die. As he trying to conserve words, his marriage falls apart and he is fired.  To rescue himself, Jack needs to get in touch with his inner true self.

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Movies, Comedy

No Comments 30 August 2012

Where Eagles Dare

image The Alps are a natural spectacle. Many directors, of course, have realized this. The Sound of Music, for example, was filmed in and around Salzburg. 50 Kilometers south of Salzburg lies the fortress “Werfen.” Where Eagles Dare exploits the dramatic scenery of the fortress and its vicinity to stage a James Bond like spy story set during World War II. Germans have infiltrated the British Secret service and now it is time to find out who is the mole. If you in the mood for spy film set in the Alps, this is the film for you.

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Movies, Drama

No Comments 26 August 2012

The Ghostwriter

image Many of recent Roman Polanksi film were masterpieces. The Pianist was breathtakingly good. The Ghostwriter manages to create a special atmosphere. But the ending was a complete letdown. I understand why Polanksi is not very pleased with American authorities who have been trying to arrest him for over 30 years. (See my recent review). Anyone who follows the news realizes how incompetent the CIA was in assessing the economic situation in the Soviet Union before its downfall and the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The ending attributes competence to the CIA that bears no resemblance to reality.

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Movies, Drama

No Comments 20 August 2012

Pussy Riots is punished to two year of forced labor

I am too far away from Russia to have a sense whether Putin was clever or stupid to put a rock band behind bars for two years. Pussy Riots will become infinitely more famous after this judgement.

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Diary

No Comments 17 August 2012

America’s Aversion to Taxes

image Eduardo Porter in the NY Times gives a good overview of the relative taxation level in different countries. What he is leaving out is that the US at least twice as much on military expenditures than the other industrialized countries.

There is something to be said for universal health care systems.

When my son developed a rash on an Italian vacation in Liguria last month, the pharmacist showed me to the doctor downstairs, who diagnosed the problem at no charge and sent me off with a handshake and a joke about a daughter in med school at the University of California, San Diego.Italy may be in a funk, with a shrinking economy and a high unemployment rate, but the United States can learn a lot from it, and not just about the benefits of public health care. Italians live longer. Their poverty rate is much lower than ours. If they lose their jobs or suffer some other misfortune, they can turn to a more generous social safety net.

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Diary

No Comments 16 August 2012

The Olympic Puzzle: Why does India only have 6 medals?

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There is a correlation between population size and medals won. But India is the puzzle. Britain did well, which seems to suggest that having the games at homes leads to better performance.

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Diary

No Comments 12 August 2012

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