February 28, 2007


Filed under: art, graffiti — ted @ 1:42 pm

This piece by Blu is marvelous:

Via Wooster Collective


You Showed Them

Filed under: graffiti — ted @ 1:39 pm

Via Neatorama.

Sam I Am

Filed under: ephemera, music — ted @ 11:22 am


Via Backwards City.


Filed under: politics — ted @ 11:17 am

Despite having absolutely no plans to run for president, Al Gore has as much — or even more — support than John Edwards:

The latest poll put Clinton at 36 percent, Obama at 24 percent, Gore at 14 percent and Edwards at 12 percent. None of the other Democrats running received more than 3 percent. With Gore removed from the field, Clinton would gain ground on Obama, leading the Illinois senator 43 percent to 27 percent. Edwards ran third at 14 percent. The poll was completed the night Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Academy Award.

The real point of the Post article from which this is taken is the gain Obama is making on Hilary, as black voters begin to shift their support to Obama.

February 27, 2007

House Art

Filed under: art — ted @ 1:00 pm

People of this small Russian town Borovsk are fond of painting their houses with different kind of stories. Some prefer pictures from past, some are more modern oriented.Visitors of the city can get a special map with all the sites of interest across the town.

See tons of pictures here.

The Special Risks of Poetry

Filed under: censorship, literature, politics — ted @ 12:09 pm

A report in yesterday’s Guardian describes a book of poetry written Guantánamo Bay detainees that is to be published later this year, and the legal trouble it has encounter on its way to publication:

Many of the poems deal with the pain and humiliation inflicted on the detainees by the US military. Others express disbelief and a sense of betrayal that Americans – described in one poem as “protectors of peace” – could deny detainees any kind of justice. Some engage with wider themes of nostalgia, hope and faith in God.

But most of the poems, including the lament by Al Hela which first sparked Falkoff’s interest, are unlikely to ever see the light of day. Not content with imprisoning the authors, the Pentagon has refused to declassify many of their words, arguing that poetry “presents a special risk” to national security because of its “content and format”. In a memo sent on September 18 2006, the team assigned to deal with communications between lawyers and their clients explains that they do not “maintain the requisite subject matter expertise” and says that poems “should continue to be considered presumptively classified”.

The defence department spokesman Jeffrey Gordon is unsurprised that access to detainees poetry is tightly controlled. “It depends on what’s being written,” he says. “There’s a whole range of things that are inappropriate.” Of course poetry that deals with subjects such as guard routines, interrogation techniques or terrorist operations could pose a security threat, but Gordon is unable to explain why Al Hela’s poem is still classified, saying “I haven’t read any of these [poems]”.

February 26, 2007


Filed under: politics, web — ted @ 1:54 pm

Eyeteeth has just begun a series reviewing the websites of major-party presidential candidates. First, he considers Barack Obama’s site, which, as he explains, has fully embraced the promises of social networking:

Users can create groups, and according to the site’s blog, more than 1,000 groups already exist, from the Pasadena-based Macs for Barack (for Apple users) to the local Minnesotans for Obama. With a nod to hipsters and open-sourcers, there’s a Creative Commons bug at the bottom; for the youngsters, a link to Obama’s Facebook and Flickr sites. For the deeply interactive, there’s YouTube; for the literary, speech transcripts; for the non-voter, a link to a registration site. Truly, whatever way you want to access information,this rich site has it: XML syndication; a store, where one can buy union-made T-shirts for the cutesy price of $20.08 apiece; and a campaign blog that gets both updated and comments, lots of ’em.

Sweating those Sweaters

Filed under: baseball — ted @ 12:59 pm

A great post today on Uni Watch features pictures of a long-forgotten part of the baseball uniform: the sweater.

I want one of these:

On the March

Filed under: nature, photos — ted @ 12:45 pm

A mess of sea cucumbers, all heading in the same direction:

February 24, 2007

Oscar Picks 2007

Filed under: movies, oscar — ted @ 1:53 pm

After last year’s catastrophe, I resolved not to follow the Oscar’s as closely as I did then, and I’ve kept my word: no Oscar blogs, no pouring over summaries to learn more about all the categories, no investing myself in the outcome. That being the case, I still did see enough of the nominated films to make some picks in the major categories — so here they are.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

After watching Iwo Jima last night, and having my fears about its quality confirmed, I’ve managed to see all five of candidates. Babel is by far my least favorite, and I’d be very upset if it wins. The Queen probably has the least chance.

Will Win:  Letters from Iwo Jima
Should Win: The Departed

Achievement in Directing

Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears for The Queen
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel
Paul Greengrass for United 93
Martin Scorsese for The Departed

Please, please let this be the year that Scorsese gets his long-awaited and denied Best Director award. He should have won at least twice already. The Departed is not even close to his best work, but I think it’s finally time.

Will Win: Martin Scorsese
Should Win: Paul Greengrass

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole for Venus
Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland

Somehow I managed not to see any of these films, despite wanting to see all five. Accordingly, my “Should Win” is meaningless — but that won’t stop me from picking DiCaprio, who I adore.

Will Win: Forest Whitaker
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Penélope Cruz for Volver
Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren for The Queen
Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet for Little Children

This one’s in the bag, which is too bad for Kate Winslet. Judi Dench and Meryl Streep just keep racking up nominations.

Will Win:
Helen Mirren
Should Win: Helen Mirren

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children
Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg for The Departed

This race, as far as I can tell, is very close — neck and neck between Eddie Murphy and Alan Arkin. If only Mark Wahlberg had a slightly larger role; he was awesome.

Will Win:
Alan Arkin
Should Win: Mark Wahlberg

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Adriana Barraza for Babel
Cate Blanchett for Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi for Babel

Also in the bag — but how did Babel get two? Yuck.

Will Win: Jennifer Hudson
Should Win: Jennifer Hudson

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Happy Feet
Monster House


Will Win: Cars
Should Win: Cars

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

After the Wedding – Denmark (Susanne Bier)
Days of Glory (Indigènes) – Algeria (Rachid Bouchareb)
The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) – Germany (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
Pan’s Labyrinth – Mexico (Guillermo del Toro)
Water – Canada (Deepa Mehta)

I can’t wait to see The Lives of Others, which just opened here.

Will Win: The Lives of Others
Should Win: Pan’s Labyrinth

Adapted Screenplay

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Children of Men
The Departed
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal

Watch Infernal Affairs (which is also awesome) and then tell me The Departed shouldn’t win this.

Will Win: The Departed
Should Win: The Departed

Original Screenplay

Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Queen

If I were picking, Babel and Iwo Jima would be in the “worst original screenplay” category. Stop Haggis!

Will Win: Little Miss Sunshine
Should Win: Little Miss Sunshine

Achievement in Cinematography

The Black Dahlia
Children of Men
The Illusionist
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Prestige

Quickly becoming my favorite category. Give to Emmanuel Lubezki!

Will Win: Children of Men
Should Win: Children of Men

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