Michael Moore, Al Franken, and the NYTimes

Posted in In The News, Pop Culture on October 6th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: When Michael Moore‘s book, Stupid White Men, appeared in print after some post-Sept 11 delays, it shot to the top of the NYTimes Best Seller List, remained there for weeks, and was the best selling non-fiction book of 2002. Nonetheless, the NYTimes never published a review of the title (I’ve never found one on the web site, and a review never appeared in their book review section). Al Franken’s new book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, has been #1 on the list for five weeks, having been bumped to #2 this week by none other than Franken’s drinking buddy and book cover subject, Bill O’Reilly. A review of Franken’s book appeared recently, written by former NYT chief film critic, Janet Maslin. Oddly enough, Moore’s new book, Dude, Where’s My Country?, goes on sale tomorrow, and what do you find in the Times this morning? Well, hush my mouth – a review by Janet Maslin!

This fascinating observation suggests the NYTimes Best Seller list is revealing that, after perhaps a decade of domination by right wing authors, the playing field has been levelled by an equally successful number of writres from the left. I bought the Franken book on the weekend, it’s next on my list of must reads. I hope to buy the Moore book later this month.

This Movie is Real, and Watch That Segway

Posted in Film, In The News on September 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Robert sent a note about The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. At first I thought it was a joke, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t appear to be real. Check out the trailer on the official site, or watch it here. The FAQ clears up a few issues. I checked the IMDb, and sure enough, there’s an entry for it. One of the stars, Fay Masterson, was in Eyes Wide Shut (sorry, the WB site doesn’t function these days). The first question I have is, what took anyone so long to make such a spoof – it’s a no-brainer. Second question: will it be funny? My favorite line from the poster: “This was the day the Earth was disembowled in terror!

:: The Segway, invented by Dean Kamen, is in a bit of trouble. 6,000 of the units are under voluntary recall because of a problem with the battery that may result in the rider falling off the unit as the battery nears the end of its charge. (From: The Gothamist)

I haven’t seen a Segway yet, and don’t know if any are in Edmonton. Personally, I’d like to see DEKA develop the Stirling Cycle Engine, which doesn’t require gas or oil to function, into something that could be economically viable so that it could be used in mass market applications (like automobiles and other gas powered vehicles, which at the moment isn’t feasible) and present a direct challenge to the oil industry (which will have to happen eventually, anyway – we will run out of oil someday). Here’s an analysis of one of DEKA’s patents on the Stirling engine by the American Stirling Company.

Annals of DUH

Posted in In The News on August 13th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Like I needed research to confirm this: Researcher confirms existence of ‘earworms’ – 98% of people have had songs stuck in their head. (From: Shifted Librarian.)