After such a long, long, wait—during which time many of us didn’t even realize we were waiting for anything—it looks as though the Top Gun sequel might really be a thing, except maybe not. The latest news is that Val Kilmer is officially attached to the project, except that he’s not officially attached to the project. Maybe this is the vagaries of the movie biz, or maybe a bunch of old people are having some fun trolling the kiddos on the internet.
Regardless, I have a request/demand for whomever ultimately makes what is sure to do for Pete “Maverick” Mitchell what two recent sequels did for John McClane. (I find it unlikely that any Top Gun sequel would be as surprisingly good as another late franchise entry, 2006’s Rocky Balboa. At least there hasn’t been an Indiana Jones movie since 1989…..nope, no movies at all….)
Anyway, should a new Top Gun get made, I simply must insist that it include the following scene:
Back in college, my time-management skills were about as terrible as they are today (although I didn’t have the benefit of an ADHD diagnosis back then, whatever that benefit might be.) I would occasionally find myself facing a due date for a paper—for which I had not even started preparing—that was, in the context of the time, “tomorrow.” This necessitated that time-honored college tradition, the “all-nighter.” I couldn’t tell you how many of those I pulled back in the day. (Left entirely to my own devices, I think I’d still be primarily nocturnal, but that’s a story for another day.)
Unlike many college-age kids, though, I was never very good at going without sleep altogether. Upon wrapping up my 5-to-7-page tome comparing and contrasting Henry Kissinger’s The White House Years to William Shawcross’ Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon & the Destruction of Cambodia at around 4:00 a.m.*, I still felt the compelling need for sleep. I developed a technique I referred to as “the sneak” (mostly because I was too tired to think of a better name for it.) Continue reading →
Apparently the Republican debate tonight, in which ten candidates will be participating, will be limited to a total of two hours, including commercials. If we assume 18 minutes of commercials per hour (it seems like most hour-long TV shows are around 42 minutes long without commercials), that means that, if we ignore the time needed for the moderators to ask questions, each candidate will get 8 minutes and 24 seconds total—assuming they divvy up the time evenly.
The ten participants, according to Politico, are Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, and John Kasich.
A summary of recent polls at Real Clear Politics shows Christie in last place out of this set of ten candidates, with 2.4 percent.
I am simultaneously impressed and repulsed by the ad campaign for the “Squatty Potty,” a device that helps you, ahem, move more naturally (h/t Lynn).
How does one advertise a product aimed at bowel evacuation? It is difficult to go wrong with unicorns, but you don’t want to stray too far from your central message. The people behind the Squatty Potty decided to hearken back to the centuries-old urban legend about soft-serve ice cream actually being the poop of enchanted unicorns. (You might just want to stop reading here.) Continue reading →
It’s worth pondering for a moment just how difficult it is to survive on $2 per day. That’s a single gallon of gasoline. Or half a gallon of milk. If you took a D.C. bus this morning, you have 25 cents left for dinner. Among this group in extreme poverty, some get a boost from housing subsidies. Many collect food stamps — an essential part of survival. But so complete is their destitution, they have little means to climb out. (The book described one woman who scored a job interview, couldn’t afford transportation, walked 20 blocks to get there, and showed up looking haggard and drenched in sweat. She didn’t get hired.)
Edin is a professor specializing in poverty at Johns Hopkins University. Shaefer is an associate professor of social work and public policy at the University of Michigan. In several years of research that led to this book, they set up field offices both urban and rural — in Chicago, in Cleveland, in Johnson City, Tenn., in the Mississippi Delta — and tried to document this jarring form of American poverty.
If you don’t know by now that you should always Google the subject matter of a meme before re-posting it, then you are either (a) too young to use a computer yet, or (b) hopeless. That said, it is now becoming clear that you shouldn’t always trust a debunking of a meme.
A series of images making their way around the web show huge numbers of people piling onto some rusty, rickety ships. The description often accompanying the image suggests that these are Syrian (or Libyan) refugees headed for Europe, with sinister suggestions for what that implies…
What’s also perfectly clear is that a series of horrendously edited videos accusing Planned Parenthood of ghoulish criminal activity has effectively amplified the anti-choice outrage machine, which has to include the well-known terrorist fringe of the movement. As with the connection between the protest and the attack, there’s no way to know at this point whether the terrorist or terrorists responsible were specifically incited by the videos, but it’s reasonable to conclude that the videos, while being fraudulently produced, have touched off a new chapter of unmitigated sanctimony and bug-eyed fury over Planned Parenthood and other clinics that offer reproductive services for women.
Of course, the fakery of the videos, as well as the reality that Planned Parenthood saves considerably more lives than abortion services performed is irrelevant in the face of single-minded automatons who are feverishly motivated by the very thought of an aborted fetus. Nothing, in their minds, morally outweighs the photographic images of fetuses. Nothing. Yes, it’s all very graphic to laypeople, but the procedure shouldn’t in any universe morally justify threats or acts of terrorism. The same can be said about too many congressional and state level Republicans who are wasting untold millions of dollars in taxpayer revenue to investigate Planned Parenthood based on completely false charges. No wonder Florida Governor Rick Scott scrubbed the results of his investigation when they ended up showing zero wrongdoing on behalf of the clinics.