Saturday, April 08, 2006

Vindication!

1 -- Judge Disses "Da Vinci" Lawsuit. Common sense prevails, for once! You just can't have it both ways. If Baigent and Leigh's book is non-fiction, there is no case. You can't copyright facts. If it's fiction, then they join Frey on the hot seat. Either way, they are not the only ones to have made these claims; they're centuries old. Realistically, I agree with the writer of this article: Baigent and Leigh got what they were after -- publicity and enough present and future sales to more than make up the cost of the suit. Personal aggrandizement trumps all.

2 -- "Casablanca" named greatest movie script. That has been my contention since the first time I ever saw this movie way back when. It is quite simply the best movie ever made. Not the "colorized" version, either. The black-and-white is an integral part of the film's atmosphere, and the play of light and shadow is astoundingly beautiful. Ingrid Bergman was a stone babe, too. What I find so marvelous about this is that this screenplay was literaly written on the fly. When they started filming, nobody knew exactly where the story was going or how it would end. For this screenplay to have engendered so many wonderful lines* is an amazing exhibition of writing talent.

* "Here's looking at you, kid."
"We'll always have Paris."
"If you don't get on that plane, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life."
"Louis, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
"Round up the usual suspects."
"Everybody comes to Rick's."
"You played it for her, you can play it for me. Play it, Sam." (NOT "Play it again, Sam.")
"The troubles of two little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this old world."
Etc., etc., etc.

My Birthday in History

tambo posted this meme, and it looked interesting, so here goes:

Go to Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/). Type in your birth date (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal.

3 Events:

1818 - Illinois becomes the 21st U.S. state.

1967 - At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, a transplant team headed by Christiaan Barnard carries out the first heart transplant on a human (53-year-old Louis Washkansky).

2005 - XCOR Aerospace makes first manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail in Mojave, California.

2 Birthdays:

1857 - Joseph Conrad, Polish-born British writer (d. 1924)

1948 - Ozzy Osbourne, British singer

It was really hard to just pick 2. A lot of interesting people share my birthday.

1 Death:

1894 - Robert Louis Stevenson, British writer (b. 1850)

Another tough one.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Going Under the Knife

My polysomnography (that's "sleep study" to them's that don't know) was negative. As in I do have apnea, but it is so mild that CPAP treatment is not appropriate. Insurance won't pay for it untl it's a lot worse, either. So.

On Friday, April 14, I will have a septoplasty and turbinate reduction done. Those are fance names for some very minor out-patient surgery with a very, very small chance of complications. I'll just miserable over that weekend. If it helps me breathe better, let's go.

That's about the extent of the excitement in my life right now. I'll try to come up with something cogent and compelling in the next day or two. I may even throw in a quotation or two. Melly.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

10 Useful and/or Fun Sites

1. What's Next -- Searchable database of adult books in series. From the Kent District Library in Comstock Park, MI.

2. Juvenile Series and Sequels -- Index to children's and YA series from the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, MO.

3. Online Conversion Calculators -- Need to convert lux to footcandles? Feet per second to miles per hour? Pica to points? Conversion calculators for damn near anything.

4. Martindale's Calculators On-line Center - over 21,000 calculators from a lot of different fields.

5. RSS feeds for weather alerts from the National Weather Service.

6. RSS feeds for hurricane advisories from the National Hurricane Center.

7. Get a Human -- Instructions and phone numbers for bypassing automated phone systems and reaching a human being at lots of large companies.

8. Roadfood.com -- Where to eat when you're on the road.

9. The American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress. Fascinating stuff.

10. Directory of Open Access Journals -- lots of reseach and scholarly articles free for the reading.