“[I]t probably has a solid surface just like Earth. Much more important, it sits smack in the middle of the so-called habitable zone, orbiting at just the right distance from the star to let water remain liquid rather than freezing solid or boiling away. As far as we know, that’s a minimum requirement for the presence of life.“
Some might remember that Gliese 581c was all the rage two years ago. Apparently, this one — in the same solar system but only just discovered — is even closer to the real deal. (Good thing the NASA authorization just passed…)
“‘I’m telling you, I’m lucky to be me,’ the former Bernie Schwartz told a Buffalo News reporter in 1993. ‘When I was a kid, I wanted to be Tony Curtis, and that’s exactly who I am.’” Tony Curtis, 1925-2010. “‘I feel that he’s the great farceur of his generation,’ said former Times movie reviewer Kevin Thomas in 2007…’what I came to respect so profoundly was that Tony always gave his absolute, total best.‘”
Out of the frying pan, into the fire: Still reeling from MGM’s dismal cashflow situation and the departure of Guillermo del Toro, The Hobbit now faces another threat from — according to Peter Jackson, at least —an Australian actor’s union muscling in on Kiwi turf, and potentially sending the Land of Middle-Earth over to Eastern Europe.
The link above is PJ’s account of where things stand. I understand he’s management in this instance, but, speaking as someone who’s very pro-union in general but has had issues with some specific organizing tactics in the past, his summary sounds eminently plausible to me.
“The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and ‘if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.’” As part of a continuing pattern of late, President Obama tells Rolling Stone that progressives need to stop whining about the way things are going and get happy, because, in what’s become a new talking point, “If you look at the checklist, we’ve already covered about 70 percent [of the 2008 campaign promises.]” (70%?! Uh, can I see this checklist?)
Anyway, this latest weird effusion against the base has already been well-critiqued and well-answered many times. See, for example, Glenn Greenwald and David Dayen: “I’ve never seen a politician run an election with the message ‘Don’t be stupid, quit your bitching and vote for me.’” I would only add two things:
1) As it turns out, the unhappy Dems among us are more likely to vote, so perhaps berating them for not clapping enough is not altogether productive. (Unless, of course, the WH is doing it as a Sistah Souljah bank shot to get independents, on the classic establishment premise that indies love hippie-punching.)
2) I’d love to live in a world where progressive bloggers have the power to move ginormous voting blocs, I really would. But it takes a certain type of top-down, Beltway-obsessive mentality to think that’s what’s going on here. The biggest reason voters are depressed is because the economy is, quite obviously, not doing so well at the moment, and people are feeling the pinch. And, that aside, most Obama voters don’t need blogs to tell them that this administration, on all too many fronts, hasn’t lived up to its promises.
If this White House wants to engage the base (and I really, really hope they do, for reasons personal, professional, and patriotic), then, for Pete’s sake, don’t browbeat and lecture the Left for being disappointed — Try to make them less disappointed! Give them some red meat, respond to their concerns, and, you know, do the things you were elected to do. Why this even has to be said is beyond me.
“When you can read an entire column by the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz and never once feel the urge to cut out your own heart with a dull knife, you know that you no longer have the sense of outrage that is essential to reporting from our nation’s capital.” In related news, and via Glenn Greenwald, Harper’s editor Ken Silverstein bids a pithy farewell to his DC beat.
In the trailer bin of late:
“She had the ability to see the point of a scene and to see the bigger picture simultaneously…I learned a lot from Sally. She just loved editing and loved working with Quentin. They had a truly unique relationship.” Sally Menke, long-time editor to Quentin Tarantino, 1953-2010.
“I think he’s up there with Sidney Lumet and several others who really understand acting and know how to get the best out of a performer,” he said. “And I think he, as opposed to a lot of directors who have theatrical origins, had a real cinematic sense. There’s nothing stagy about ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ or ‘Little Big Man.’” Arthur Penn, veteran director, 1922-2010.
“[M]ostly she played what Stuart later dismissed as ‘stupid parts with nothing to do’ — ‘girl reporter, girl detective, girl nurse’ — and ‘it became increasingly evident to me I wasn’t going to get to be a big star like Katharine Hepburn and Loretta Young…[But in 1997] ‘I knew the role I had wanted and waited for all these many years had arrived! I could taste the role of Old Rose!‘” Gloria Stuart, ingenue-turned-Rose,1910-2010.
Take that, Pulitzer people. Wire mastermind David Simon, among others, receives a MacArthur Genius Fellowship. “His first reaction was to deflect the money (paid quarterly for five years) to charity, but the foundation urged him to take time to absorb the news.” Hey, money ain’t go no owners…only spenders. [Full list of winners.]
Ninety-one years after the terms were first agreed to, Germany makes its last WWI reparations payment this weekend. “Hatred of the settlement agreed at Versailles, France, which crippled Germany as it tried to shape itself into a democracy following defeat in the war, was of significant importance in propelling the Nazis to power.”