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Follow the Bouncing Dot.

“‘We are trying to understand how human motor performance changes with age,’ the researchers say. ‘We believe that research should be done in collaboration with people—with people like you who are interested in learning about themselves and helping research.'”

An online Harvard experiment tries to guess your age by evaluating your mouse-clicking ability. Hard to say how good it is, really. It deemed me thirty — eight years too young — but then again, with blogging and gaming both ranking high among the extra-curriculars, I probably use a mouse more than most people too.

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…

Not that any more egregious timesucks are needed ’round these parts at the moment, but in case you find yourself with a free quarter-hour or three: Kris at Webgoddess recently pointed the way toward a fun movie-hangman game, Famous Objects from Classic Movies. (Most are pretty easy, although I’ll admit to having googled for a swing set.)

And, if that doesn’t do you, their constant begging for a subscription fee can’t kill the crack-like entertainment value of Lumosity’s addictively addictive Word Bubble game, sent to me by a co-worker. (My current high score is 4320, although that is after a lot of playing. When I first started, breaking 2000 was a good game.)

Can I Quote You on That?

I’m not normally one for blog memes here, but this movie quote game via Divine Comedy of Errors looked like particularly good fun. The rules, as direct from DCoE: “1. Pick 15 of your favorite movies. (Ok, I picked 20.) 2. Find a quote from each movie. 3. Post them here for everyone to guess. 4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie. 5. NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search or other search functions.” Gotta stress that last one, y’all. That’s not cricket.

1. “The rest of the country looks upon New York like we’re left-wing Communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers. I think of us that way, sometimes, and I live here.” [SB got it. This is Annie Hall (not Manhattan.) Hard to pick one quote from this great, great film.]

2. “Are we like couples you see in restaurants? Are we the dining dead?” [Tessa pegged it: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, from the Chinese dinner scene where Joel and Clementine wallow in quiet desperation. Sunshine, by the way, often gets particularly quality remix treatment on Youtube.]

3. “Sister, when I’ve raised hell you’ll know it.” [sb got this one too: Miller’s Crossing, concluding one of the classic Tom-Verna dust-ups.]

4. “Defeat! Shameful, ignominious! Defeat that set back for twenty years the cause of reform in the U.S.” [An old wooden sled to sb, who correctly identified this as Citizen Kane. The line is from the News on the March newsreel opening the film, when Charles Foster Kane loses the governor’s race, on account of what we would now indelicately call a “bimbo eruption.”]

5. “Three: If asked if you care about the world’s problems, look deep into the eyes of he who asks, he will not ask you again.” [Props to Rob Newland (nee Aaron Jacob Edelstein.) This is one of the “Seven Simple Rules for a Life in Hiding” from I’m Not There, my favorite film of last year (and, still, I think, one of the more underappreciated.)]

6. “Nothing is f**ked? The goddamn plane has crashed into the mountain!” [Mark it eight: CJS correctly conjured up The Big Lebowski, still a treasure trove of hilarity for these dark times.]

7. “I got the *right* man. The wrong one was delivered to me as the right man, I accepted him on good faith as the right man. Was I wrong?” [A bit of a stickler for paperwork, J. Dunn got this one. It’s GitM’s namesake: Brazil. The line is Jack Lint (Michael Palin) rationalizing his murderous interrogation of Tuttle, ‘er, Buttle.]

8. “That Casey. He might have been a preacher but he seen things clear. He was like a lantern. He helped me to see things clear.” [10 points for Gryffindor and Kris. This is Tom talking about the Rev. Casey in The Grapes of Wrath. (Of course, if you’ve never read the book or seen the John Ford film, the Boss can summarize it for ya in 4:24.)]

9. “So I graduate, I call him up long distance, I say ‘Dad, now what?’ He says, ‘Get a job.’ Now I’m 25, make my yearly call again. I say Dad, ‘Now what?’ He says, ‘I don’t know, get married.’” [Kudos to Eric Sipple, despite his breaking the first two rules of Fight Club.]

10. “As Bertrand Russell once said, ‘The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.’ I think we can all appreciate the relevance of that now.” “Was that on a beer mat?” “Yeah, it was Guinness Extra Cold.”” [MattS correctly called it for Shaun of the Dead. Good on ya, mate.]

11. “We were frightened of being left alone for the rest of our lives. Only people of a certain disposition are frightened of being alone for the rest of their lives at the age of 26, and we were of that disposition.” [Also got by MattS, this is High Fidelity, another very quotable movie. Rob (John Cusack) is talking about his dalliance with Lili Taylor’s Sarah.]

12. “Everybody liked me. I liked myself.” [SB knocks it down with Amadeus. Salieri is referring to the good ole days before God’s Instrument arrived in Vienna.]

13. “Let’s get down to brass tacks. How much for the ape?” [Recognizing the hand of the Good Doctor, CJS got it: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. (And it seems the line actually made it into the trailer as well.)]

14. “Daddy what’s gradual school?” “Oh Gradual school is where you go to school and you gradually find out you don’t want to go to school anymore.” [Not even an Ellen Jamesian, mikefromeseattle made the call: The World According to Garp.]

15. “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” [Kris beat several others to the punch here: The Empire Strikes Back. This deal is getting worse all the time…]

16. “Have you never heard of situationism, or postmodernism? Do you know nothing about the free play of signs and signifiers?” [Trust an academic and music lover, Ted, to get this one. It’s 24 Hour Party People, as Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan) is explaining to a reporter why “Joy Division” aren’t in fact a bunch of Nazis.]

17. “You’re born, you take s**t. You get out in the world, you take more s**t. You climb a little higher, you take less s**t. Till one day you’re up in the rarefied atmosphere and you’ve forgotten what s**t even looks like.” [Welcome to the Layer Cake, claxton6. (This is Michael Gambon explaining the title.) By the way, I just learned very recently that chameleon Ben Whishaw played Sidney in this flick. Must’ve been focused on something else…]

18. “I was told to tell you that you’re a fascist pig.” [Points for Eric & Wendy: This is from Children of Men, when Clive Owen is making contact with Michael Caine’s police “friend.” (My favorite line from the movie would’ve been a dead giveaway: “Well that was even worse, everybody crying. I mean…Baby Diego ? Come on, the guy was a wanker!“)]

19. “You broke into my house, stole my property, murdered my servants and my pets, and THAT is what grieves me the most!” [Stephen recognized this as Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian. But does he know the riddle of steel, and what is best in life? One hopes, or Crom will cast him out of Valhalla!]

20. “You’re going to make yourself a new home out there. You’re a New Yorker, that won’t ever change. You got New York in your bones. Spend the rest of your life out west but you’re still a New Yorker. You’ll miss your friends, you’ll miss your dog, but you’re strong.” [Ted also caught this one. It’s from the final Brian Cox monologue of The 25th Hour, still arguably the best movie yet made about the impact of 9/11 on NYC.]

Desktop Timesuck.

Just in case you were lacking for things to do this New Years’ Eve, two rather addictive online games: First up, Desktop Tower Defense, which my family spent a good deal of time on over the Christmas break. Second, Travelpod’s Traveler IQ Challenge, a test your geography knowledge sorta thing. So long, Spider Solitaire.

The Dancer Upstairs.

Ok, this one’s a bit creepy. By way of Webgoddess, watch the rotating dancer to ascertain whether you’re left-brained or right-brained. I’m pretty right-brained, it seems (which makes sense, since I’m both left-handed and left-footed). But, if I changed tasks while the dancer was on — say went to click another window or focused on the list at left, she’d sometimes switch direction. Weird…well, I just hope my right-brain knows what my left-brain is doing.

The SAT of Yore.

Who was Alexander Hamilton — Alexander Humboldt — Alexander Pope?…Mention any work by Chaucer — Thackeray — Tennyson — Washington Irving — Whittier.” Could you have been a top-tier engineer in the Gilded Age? Try your hand at the MIT entrance exam of 1869-1870, a test in four parts. (Via Cliopatria.)

Sixty films, invisible.

By way of a Netflix/History friend, here’s a fun Excel-based timekiller: An “invisible movie” identification quiz (along the lines of the many here.) With a little help, I got all 60…eventually.

Matt Daemon?

No, Mayra Daemon, as in Mayra the Hare, because I’m apparently “modest, humble, spontaneous, inquisitive, and solitary.” (Well, they got the solitary part right.) Discover your daemon at the official Golden Compass movie site, which does a decent job of trying to explain the basics of Philip Pullman’s world to non-readers. (And, sorry, Mayra m’dear, but I’ve already got a power animal…no hard feelings.)

Oops, sorry Kentucky.

By way of Do You Feel Loved and Ed Rants respectively, see how many member UN nations (143) and American states (49) you can name in ten minutes. Harder than you might think, particularly if you go about it randomly rather than systematically. (Or, at least, that’s my excuse.)

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