Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things

This Facebook message has gone viral. Since I don't have George Bush to complain about anymore and thus not much to write...I figured I'd put my list here as well:
Write 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. Tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.

1. I hate the feeling of suede.

2. I have an unnatural affinity for all things Mac.

3. I have virtually no memories of my childhood.

4. I once laughed in class and a giant bugger flew out of my nose, in front of all the students.

5. I love the taste of aspirin.

6. I have no depth perception. Yet am a great parallel parker. Go figure.

7. I really really want to winter over at McMurdo Base, Antarctica.

8. Bananas used to make the insides of my ears itch. I outgrew it.

9. I flunked my French quals 5 times in grad school, until they finally lowered the departmental requirement to match my highest score. So where was my home base for many years working in Jerusalem -- a French monastery!!

10. I really hate the sound of chewing.

11. I was once the target of a ring tailed lemur stink fight. (I was trying to catch them with a net to take blood samples so I deserved it).

12. Spiders have no business being on the same planet with me.

13. I've always wanted to be an astronaut. Still do.

14. I had to wear a patch over my right eye for a few years as a kid, and don't much like pirate stuff as a result ('cept maybe the skull 'n crossbones thing ;-)

15. When I first heard the song "Pink Cadillac" I thought one of the verses went: "in love with a Peking man" - and sang it as such for ages until a friend heard me and stared in disbelief.

16. I make all my own jewelry.

17. I can't watch enough Stargate SG-1.

18. I like Perry Como music.

19. I haven't balanced my checkbook since 1985.

20. I can't sleep without noise. Actually, I can't much sleep, ever -- but definitely not when it's quiet.

21. The night John Lennon died...I had no idea who he was.

22. I once held a baby aye-aye, and it still ranks as one of the coolest moments of my life.

23. I have a giant birthmark on my elbow that a classmate once named "Bertha" and used to say hello to every day in Geometry class.

24. I have an unnatural affinity for all things Mac. (did I say that already ;-)

25. I can recite entire Star Trek episodes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Be Careful What you Cite

This is pretty funny. A nice cautionary note about citation.

And even more impressive...I actually have a skeleton action figure to match the story (sort of ;-)

Peer reveals 'cello scrotum' hoax
Jan 28, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sinister Hand Wine

To celebrate the inauguration, I opened a bottle of one of my favorite wines -- Sinister Hand. It is an Owen Rowe wine from Washington state, I first tried at my sister's. I've made a tradition of picking up a few bottles each Christmas when I'm visiting family. Since it's not widely known (and because this has been a boring weekend and I don't have much else to write about ;-), I thought I'd blog it.

The story of the label goes: The Sinister Hand label is a family crest - a depiction of a severed left hand that tells the story of a rowing competition among O'Neills and O'Reillys (Owen Roe was an O'Neill). Whoever touched land first after rowing across the lake was rewarded with the land he touched. Lagging behind, one of the kinsfolk grabs his sword and cleaves his hand and pitches it ashore to touch land first. He won the land and eventually ruled over it as king.

The version available now is the 2007 variety. It is quite good, but I think previous years have been better (2004 or 2005) in particular. Try it if you can -- and when next at my house, ask me to open a bottle...assuming any is left ;-)

Compliments of Jaime

If you can't read this, just click on the comic for a larger image:

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I found a fun new application today, let's you posterize yourself in the style of the iconic Obama "Hope" poster. Go to

And if that wasn't good enough, today my new boots came in.

Admittedly, I have great boots from my Antarctica trip, but they are overkill for a whole day - which is the length of time I have to wear 'em on teaching days because I don't have a place to store them. These are much lighter-weight.

Plus...they have skulls all over them (in case you can't make out that fact from the picture). They are even better than the pair I bemoaned missing out on two Decembers ago.

Class-y. Michelle Obama WISHES she had a pair!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Somber Evening

I went to the Signers' shiva tonight. As in his work, Michael brought together a diverse group of friends. It was nice to again visit with many friends from Temple Beth-el, although it saddened me to realize how long it's been since I've seen many of them. Betty shared some wonderful stories of Michael's final days, and the peace he found in friendship. He passed away on Shabbat, which somehow seems fitting. Cried a bit, laughed a bit, hugged a lot.

This an obituary that recently appeared on the Notre Dame website:

Rabbi Michael A. Signer, Abrams Professor of Jewish Thought and Culture at the University of Notre Dame, died Saturday (Jan. 10). He was 63 years old.

“We are saddened at the loss of our dear colleague Michael Signer,” said John Cavadini, chair of theology at Notre Dame. “His leading work in Christian-Jewish dialogue and his scholarship in medieval biblical exegesis made him a beloved teacher and scholar whose loss will be keenly felt not only by his colleagues and students in our theology department, but by the theological community worldwide.”

A member of Notre Dame’s faculty since 1992, Rabbi Signer was a professor of Jewish history at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles from 1974 to 1991.

Rabbi Signer was an international scholar with wide-ranging expertise. In addition to Jewish history, liturgy and Biblical commentary, he was particularly interested in the multiple relationships between Judaism and Christianity. He initiated and directed the Notre Dame Holocaust Project, an interdisciplinary group of faculty which designs educational opportunities for the study of the Shoah.

Rabbi Signer was graduated from the University of California Los Angeles in 1966 and earned a master’s degree from Hebrew Union College in 1970, the same year as his rabbinical ordination. He became interested in interreligious affairs as a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, where he wrote his dissertation on Andrew of Saint Victor, a 12th century Biblical scholar. While in Los Angeles, he participated in numerous dialogues between Catholic priests and rabbis, taught Bible courses to Catholic seminarians of the Los Angeles archdiocese, and organized retreats for his Jewish, Catholic and Protestant colleagues.

Throughout his ministry and career, Rabbi Singer followed what he once described as “the impulse to explore relationships between Catholics and Jews by encouraging students to investigate the darker moments of rivalry and even persecution that mark the pages of history to those invigorating engagements between scholars of our two communities.” He said he cherished his years at Notre Dame because they provided him “the opportunity to engage in the day to day lives of Christian colleagues and students as they wrestle with what it means to live their tradition in the modern world. Their struggle to discover how their faith can guide them as they negotiate a path to discover meaning in the pluralistic society that surrounds them without surrendering a distinctive religious identity awakens many echoes of the Jewish tradition which has in the past and continues to chart its course between assimilation and resistance to contemporary culture.”

A well-traveled theologian, Rabbi Signer also taught courses at the Institut Kirche und Judentum at Alexander von Humboldt University in Berlin and for the Catholic theology faculty of the University of Augsburg and several Catholic universities in Poland, including the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow.

Rabbi Signer was the author and editor of numerous books and encyclopedia articles on topics ranging from medieval Latin biblical commentaries to contemporary Jewish-Christian relations. He also was one of the authors of “Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity,” a document signed in 2000 by more than 220 rabbis and intellectuals from all branches of Judaism.

In 2005 Rabbi Signer was designated a “Person of Reconciliation” by the Polish Council of Christians and Jews, an honor annually awarded to an individual advancing Jewish-Christian dialogue in Poland.

Rabbi Signer is survived by his wife, Betty, and their daughters Aliza and Hanna.

A funeral service for Rabbi Signer will be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 14 (Wednesday) at 2 p.m. at Mount Sinai Memorial Park. Donations may be made in his memory to the Michael A. Signer Memorial Funds at the University of Notre Dame or at Hebrew Union College in New York City.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I've been like a moth to a flame watching all the festivities. I gave my students a group of questions to answer about today's events, so I flipped back and forth between MSNBC and FOX much of the day taking notes. Subtle but significant differences between the two, really quite amazing. And said with some contempt for both stations at times, I must admit.

Nevertheless, it was a glorious day. I'm very hopeful. Just looking at the diversity and size of the crowd is awe-inspiring. I really wish I'd ventured to D.C., despite all the difficulties. I know I had a much better view on TV, but something was missing. I had the opportunity to attend several Watch Parties today, but decided I'd like to have the time alone to really take in what I was viewing -- maybe that was a mistake, indeed it seems something that should be shared and celebrated in a crowd perhaps. Live and learn.

Right now, I'm watching the Obama's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, and am scared to death. GET BACK IN THE HERMETICALLY-SEALED CAR!! People keep drawing parallels between Obama and Lincoln, Kennedy, and/or King...and all I can think is, they shared one thing in common beyond brilliance. GET BACK IN THE CAR!!

On a day of otherwise unsurpassed glee, I have to admit to one disappointment. I went to check my Bush countdown clock, hoping for fireworks or something (Stephen Colbert threatened that it would explode) -- nothing but zeros. Admittedly, that's a gift unto itself, but still, I wanted a little fanfare.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Day!!

A totally ridiculous but cute skeleton action figure movie. Kinda expresses my glee at this being Bush's last day in office.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Battlestar Countdown

Still cold as can be here...but I'm too busy counting down the minutes 'til Battlestar's final (sniff) season premiers.

Tonight: the final cylon will be revealed. I can't stand the anticipation ;-)

UPDATE: Boy was that FRAKIN' good!!! (Can I say "fraking" in a post?? I sure hope my parents can't figure out what it means in Galactic-ese...) If the rest of the season is like tonight, it's gonna be a fun ride!!

Bush Legacy Tour

In honor of last night's pathetic "Farewell Address". Four days and counting...

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I just got home, walking out to my car in -12°F weather (I put several pieces of my Antarctica gear to good use today). The Jeep was none too happy about starting up, made sounds I've never heard before. And the roads are like skating rinks since the salt can't melt. Pretty ugly.

Sadly, due to fear of pipes freezing, the buildings are sweltering hot (that's according to the students, not just me and my penchant for chilly temps).

I'd complain more, but I'm watching the news reports of the plane crash, and the hell in Gaza. Doesn't seem so cold after all...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh, Snap!!

Three great pieces of news tonight --

Myron Rolle, the FSU football player who won a Rhodes Scholarship, and was likely to be a top round draft pick, decided on the Rhodes. He'll be getting his Master's in Medical Anthropology at Oxford. Score one for anthropologists!!

- and -

V. Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopalian bishop, has been asked to give the opening prayer at the start of the week of inaugural events. This helps counter the decision to have Rick Warren -- the homosexual marriage is equivalent to incest and pedophilia...and...only people of faith (which faith???) should be allowed to hold public office Rick Warren -- give the invocation for the inaugural address.

- and -

Bye bye "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." A goofy, flawed policy whose shelving is long overdue. Maybe having a third "group" in the army will help take some of the pressure off women as well - the more diversity, the more commonplace and acceptable it becomes (one hopes). Regardless, it's death is welcome.

I Love It!!

Obama had dinner with a group of conservative writers last night. Made me smile for a variety of reasons:

1. As Chris Matthews pointed out, it says "you're my critics, not my enemies;"
2. It is so utterly different from something W or Cheney would have done;
3. It marginalizes the likes of Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh et al.;
4. He's smart enough to hold his own with thinking opponents.

Add to that - Obama is hosting a dinner in honor of McCain on Monday. Quite encouraging that we're in a new era. Class act. I don't expect to agree with all of his decisions (already don't), but I DO like his style.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Urban Legend

Mea culpa. Apparently the bit about reversing the order of your PIN number is not true. Numbers that are identical forward and backward (ie 9009) won't work, so while the system was developed, it was never implemented. Seems as tho' banks could simply program their machines to keep people from selecting palindrome numbers, but I guess it's not in the cards.

I hope nobody was robbed at an ATM over the past day and a half and bitterly disappointed when the police didn't show up.

Guess that'll teach us to listen to FOX news... ;-)

UPDATE: Here's what has to say on the subject (thanks Yorke) --

False, for now. The technology exists which would allow ATM users to contact police in an emergency by punching in their PIN (personal identification number) in reverse, but as of this writing it has not yet been implemented anywhere in the United States.

Lawmakers in the states of Kansas and Illinois introduced legislation calling for the institution of reverse-PIN emergency notification systems (also known under the brand name SafetyPIN) in 2004, but the Kansas bill stalled in committee and the Illinois bill was watered down at the behest of the banking industry, making the adoption of the technology purely voluntary -- which it already was.

According to a story published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last year, bankers are opposed to the reverse-PIN system because of safety concerns. They worry that ATM users might hesitate or fumble while trying to enter their PINs backwards under duress, possibly increasing the chances of violence. The banking industry is in favor of finding a means to protect ATM customers, a member of the American Bankers Association said, but question whether the reverse-PIN solution is the right one.

Inventor of PIN number reversal system says banks 'in denial'

The inventor of SafetyPIN, Joseph Zingher, claims the banking industry is afraid to admit the growing extent of the crime of ATM robbery. Exact figures are hard to come by because ATM holdups are lumped in with other types of bank robbery in the FBI's annual crime statistics. Of the 8,000 to 12,000 bank robberies per year counted by the FBI over the past 15 years, 3,000 to 4,000 (or just over one-third) were ATM robberies, according to the banking industry. Some crime experts suspect the figure is actually higher.

Bankers, for their part, insist they do acknowledge the problem of ATM crime and recommend that customers exercise due caution and be aware of their surroundings when using automated teller machines.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Joe the Middle East "Expert"

Today must've been a day for inane news - first Bush's news conference, then footage of Joe the Plumber in Israel. We need his opinion, why??? Here's his brilliant insight:

“I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting. You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, ‘well, look at this atrocity,’ well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it."

Never mind that his trip is "reporting" (if you can call it that). What a dolt, why do we still have to listen to this boob???? McCain lost, that should've been the end of it. It's bad enough we still have to hear from Palin, but please, not Joe too!!!

ATM Robbery

I got this from a friend made on my trip to Antarctica. Pass it on:

Recently a young woman was kidnapped and eventually killed after she had repeatedly gave the kidnapper a wrong PIN to her ATM card. If she knew the method below, she could have been saved.

If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your Pin # in reverse.
For example if your pin number is 1234 then you would put in 4321. The ATM recognizes that your pin number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine. The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the policewill be immediately dispatched to help you.

This information was recently broadcasted on FOX TV and it states that it is seldom used because people don't know it exists.

Final Press Conference

Over the past 8 years, I've been mad, infuriated, bemused, and flabbergasted by our outgoing President. But today's final press conference was nothing short of disgusting.

The man is utterly divorced from the pain he has caused, seemingly oblivious to how inept most of the country finds him. He claims it's just the "elite" who think our moral standing has suffered under his reign...never mind that he's from a wealthy family, went to Yale, just bought a multi-million dollar home, etc...all of which I think qualify as elite.

His "life lesson" today about the lack of a "burden" to being president, followed by his patronizing follow-up about how self pity is disgusting, actually caused me to spontaneously throw something at the TV. The whole press conference was him sitting on a giant pity-pot!! Admittedly my outburst came after listening to him discuss how the lack of WMDs was a "disappointment" (dare I suggest "catastrophe"), accepting no blame for this pointless war or the economic crisis, etc, so I was primed.

God it will be good to have a someone in office who recognizes the world is a complex place. In case you missed it, here is the full conference:

Lesson Learned

Whew, waited too long to clear the driveway, the snow was over the snowblower. Took two passes, which ended up being the easy part -- the bottom of the driveway was about 3 feet deep and icy. Thank you Mr. Snowplow Man.

I won't be waiting so long in the future. We're due for another 2-8 inches over the next few days, I'll definitely be out there in between storms.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rabbi Michael Signer

Yesterday Michael Signer lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Michael was the Abrams Professor of Theology and Director of Notre Dame's Holocaust Project, whose research focused on various aspects of Jewish-Christian relations.

I had the good fortune to have my office next to him for several years, some of the best I've spent at Notre Dame. When I first began to travel to Jerusalem, I audited 4 of his courses, took Hebrew classes with his help, and learned the traditions of Judaism through the hospitality of he and his wife Betty. Notre Dame is richer for his time here, I wish it had been much, much longer.

This is a message from Betty, with funeral and donation information included --

Dear friends,

On this Shabbat, the heavens opened up so that my dear Michael could be at peace. He so wanted to linger and not miss out on one moment of life, but his body was not as strong as his spirit.

He didn't want anyone to be sad about his life since he told me he was so blessed to be part of a great adventure that he felt he had experienced. So on this day, this very sad and lonely day I will try and celebrate the spirit of how he lived, the many friends, students and family who enriched his life and the love he had for books, learning, ideas and promoting and nourishing relationships.

His absence leaves a huge void in the world but I know each of you carries a part of him in your heart. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow him and he shall dwell in the house of the Lord peace, calm and love. May his memory be a blessing.

Michael's service will be at Mount Sinai Cemetery in LA, probably Tuesday. In lieu of flowers donation funds will be set up at HUC and Notre Dame.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Big One (so far)

We've managed to dodge the big snowfalls this winter...till today. Between 5-9 inches predicted, on top of what is already on the ground.

Guess I'd better read the Owner's Manual for the new snowblower today. Wish I had a bottle of champagne to christen it properly ;-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Stargate News

I was surprised by the end of tonight's "Stargate Atlantis" to realize that it was the series finale, not just the end of the season. In my grief, I went online, to find out that - yippee - there is a third Stargate series on the way, due to start this summer. In my glee I created this little skull graphic.

Get ready Jaime and Lesley...should start in time for the Field School ;-)

Here's the AP blurb:

The third show to spin-off the hit Sci-Fi series 'Stargate SG1' was Green-Lighter a day after the announcement that Stargate Atlantis will be canceled after it's fifth season run. Stargate Universe will premiere with a 2 hour movie in 2009 and land in a regular time slot next summer, at least one known actor will join the cast along with new fresh faces.

After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate's ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Books Read in 2008

I did not read nearly as much in the Fall semester, the majority of the books below were completed prior to September. Probably because I became a major news junkie due to the election, and have not weaned myself back off the news feed.

Favorite Book

I really enjoyed THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova. It was a fun tour of Europe, history...and had a vampire thrown in for good measure. Learned alot about Vlad the Impaler.

PERFUME by Patrick Susskin ran a close second. Although I liked the movie of the same name, the book was far more enjoyable. A quick read.

Least Favorite Book

This is likely a sure sign of ignorance on my part, but the book I least enjoyed, and indeed only got thru two-thirds of as a result, was SNOW by Orhan Pamuk.

Mind you, it won a Nobel Prize, hence my attempt to push through it...but I failed. I have to assume the Nobel was for Pamuk's body of work, not just this book. Or so I hope, since I just couldn't see the brilliance the award implies.

Book(s) From Which I Learned the Most

I did not know much about Mongolia or the history of Genghis Khan prior to reading Conn Iggulden's two books on the subject (GENGHIS: LORDS OF THE BOW - and - GENGHIS: BIRTH OF AN EMPIRE).

Having read these books made the watching of "Mongol" much more enjoyable (understandable), and rocketed a visit to Mongolia to the top of my travel wish list. Already sent off for travel package information, maybe in a year or two.

Mindless Fun

Okay, I admit it, I read the whole "Twilight" series. And liked it. Couldn't put 'em down - once I started a book, it was an all night endeavor to finish it. And throughout I kept asking myself "why are your enjoying a book meant for high school sophomores??" Never answered it, but kept reading.

Which gave me some serious street cred at Christmas when I found my niece on book 3 of the series ;-)

Here's the year's list:

• BLACK ORDER by James Rollins
• BLASPHEMY by Douglas Preston
• BREAKING DAWN by Stephanie Meyer
• DREAMERS OF THE DAY by Mary Doria Russell
• ECLIPSE by Stephanie Meyer
• EXCAVATION by James Rollins
• GENGHIS: LORDS OF THE BOW by Conn Iggulden
• HUNTERS OF DUNE by Brian Herbert & Kevin Anderson
• NEW MOON by Stephanie Meyer
• PERFUME by Patrick Susskin
• QUARANTINE by Jim Crace
• SANDWORMS OF DUNE by Brian Herbert & Kevin Anderson
• SNOW by Orhan Pamuk
• THE DEVIL'S BONES by Jefferson Bass
• THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova
• THE JUDAS STRAIN by James Rollins
• THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy
• THE TESTAMENT by Eric Van Lustbader
• THE WHEEL OF DARKNESS by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
• TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyer

Movies Watched in 2008

It's a little late for a "Best of ...." list, but here goes. These are the movies I watched this year. There were some definite winners and losers. The "winners" include only those movies I saw for the first time this year. I did indeed re-watch favorites like "Children of Men", but that got singled out last year.

Best Movie (The Man From Earth)

This synopsis does not do the movie justice, I HIGHLY recommend watching it - very thought provoking, and fun. I found it on Netflix: After history professor John Oldman unexpectedly resigns from the university, his startled colleagues impulsively invite themselves to his home, pressing him for an explanation. They're shocked to hear his reason for premature retirement: John claims he must move on because he is immortal, and cannot stay in one place for more than ten years without his secret being discovered. Tempers rise and emotions flow as John's fellow professors attempt to poke holes in his story, but it soon becomes clear that his tale is as impossible to disprove as it is to verify. What starts out as a friendly gathering soon builds to an unexpected and shattering climax.

Worst Movie (10,000 BC)

Complete schlock. IMDb summary: A prehistoric epic that follows a young mammoth hunter named D'Leh's journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe. When a band of mysterious horse-riding warlords raid the Yaghal camp and kidnaps his heart's desire - the beautiful Evolet along with many others, D'Leh is forced to lead a small group of hunters south to pursue the warlords to the end of the world to save her. Driven by destiny, the unlikely band of warriors must battle saber-toothed cats and terror birds in the Levant.

Movie That Made Me Cry Uncontrollably (Bridge to Terabithia)

I never read this as a kid, and knew nothing of the story when I watched it. I was expecting a Narnia-esque story, sat in stunned silence when the girl dies. Cried from then till the end. Seemed cruel and unusual for a supposed kid movie!! An excellent movie, but have a box of hankies handy! Disney summary: Bridge To Terabithia, the exhilarating and heartwarming fantasy-adventure about the power of imagination and the magic of friendship. Tired of being bullied at school and neglected at home, Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke escape into the woods, where Leslie opens Jess's mind to the amazing kingdom of Terabithia. It's a secret land where they reign supreme among the giants, ogres and other fantastical creatures they create. As their imaginations soar and their friendship deepens, they discover how to rule their own kingdom, fight the forces of darkness and change their lives forever. Based on the Newbery Medal-winning book

Honorable Mentions (Ironman, The Dark Knight, Into the Wild, Lion for Lambs)

Rarely am I happy when I watch a movie after having heard a lot of hype. These few lived up to their hype. Ironman was quite fun, The Dark Knight was terrific, and Into the Wild an unexpected surprise.

Lion for Lambs almost made my "Best Movie" category, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and found the message particularly useful to professors and students.

Here's the list of movies viewed for the first time in 2008. Too many movies this year...

* 10,000 BC [2007]
* 3:10 To Yuma [2007]
* A Mighty Heart [2007]
* A Perfect World [1993]
* Annapolis [2006]
* Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [2007]
* Battlestar Galactica: Razor [2007]
* Beowulf [2007]
* Blades of Glory [2007]
* Bridge to Terabithia [2007]
* Charlie Wilson's War [2007]
* Cloverfield [2007]
* Derailed [2005]
* Disturbia [2007]
* Dragon War [2007]
* Eastern Promises [2007]
* Elizabeth: The Golden Age [2007]
* Get Smart [2008]
* Gone Baby Gone [2007]
* Hitman [2007]
* Hulk [2008]
* In the Valley of Elah [2007]
* Into the Wild [2007]
* Iron Jawed Maidens [2004]
* Ironman [2008]
* Judgment at Nuremberg [1962]
* Jumper [2008]
* Keeping the Faith [2000]
* Lion for Lambs [2007]
* Love in the Time of Cholera [2007]
* March of the Penguins [2005]
* Meet the Spartans [2008]
* Michael Clayton [2007]
* Mongol [2008]
* My Heros Have Always Been Cowboys [1991]
* National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets [2007]
* Neverwas [2006]
* No Country for Old Men [2007]
* Once Around [1991]
* Open Water 2: Adrift [2006]
* Opposing Forces [1986]
* Other Boleyn Girl [2008]
* Prisoner [2008]
* Rambo [2007]
* Recount [2008]
* Rendition [2007]
* Rescue Dawn [2007]
* Saw IV [2007]
* Semi-Pro [2007]
* Smokin' Aces [2007]
* Something the Lord Has Made [2004]
* Stardust [2007]
* Stop Loss [2008]
* Sunshine [2007]
* Sweeney Todd [2007]
* T3: Rise of the Machines [2003]
* The Brave One [2007]
* The Dancer Upstairs [2002]
* The Dark Knight [2008]
* The Deer Hunter [1978]
* The Golden Compass [2007]
* The Hoax [2007]
* The Hours [2002]
* The Invasion [2007]
* The Kingdom [2007]
* The Man From Earth [2007]
* The Marine [2006]
* The Official Story [1985]
* The Other Boleyn Girl [2008]
* The Ruins [2008]
* The Weather Man [2005]
* There Will Be Blood [2007]
* They Are Among Us [2004]
* Trade [2007]
* Transformers [2007]
* Triumph of the Spirit [1989]
* Tropic Thunder [2008]
* Vantage Point [2008]
* Widow on the Hill [2005]


Sorry for the protracted silence, my computer went in for some 'brain surgery.'

I heard a great bit on NPR this morning about amblyopia. For years I've joked in class that I'm not a true primate because I don't have stereoscopic vision, and am always asked "so what does that look like??" Well, that's kinda hard to answer since I've never seen otherwise, but I usually resort to saying "close one eye and walk around outside for awhile."

Today's story did a GREAT job of describing the phenomenon, and about some new research in the area. Like me, the reporter was born with the disorder, as well as crossed eyes. An operation straightened the eye, but since the brain couldn't fuse the two images it receives, it learned long ago to shut down one eye, thus leaving the world rather flat.

Worth a listen, pretty cool (tho' I might be biased):

Learning to see in stereo, Jan 8, 2009
Morning Edition