Monday, August 2, 2010

Round-Up: Monday, Aug. 2, 2010

News: The cap-and-trade bill may be dead, but the issue of dealing with climate change is not going away.
But the main reason is simply this: at some point, the country is going to have to raise revenues to fix the deficit. And cap-and-trade, if done the right way -- if permits are sold, rather than given away to the industry -- can produce quite a lot of revenues...
Most of those costs will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher energy prices -- although interestingly, the CBO analysis suggests that the public will bear less of the cost if the permits are indeed sold to produce revenue rather than given away.
But my premise is that tax increases are inevitable: it's a question of who bears those taxes and how they bear them. And at some point Congress -- which is surely headed for some massive showdowns over the budget at some point in the next several years -- might conclude that cap-and-trade is a more acceptable way to raise revenues than an omnibus tax increase... But other than increased taxes on the very wealthy, and some gimmicky stuff like sin taxes and windfall profits taxes that don't have all that much revenue-generating potential, it polls a lot better than other types of tax increases, and may be a more politically palatable compromise.
Picture: Los Angeles parking fun (via)

Video: Ridiculous compilation The Chairman announcing every "secret" ingredient on Iron Chef America.

Video: The "rapist" video I posted last week gets the Auto-Tune remix treatment

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Round-Up: Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Diddy: The Awl Makes a Good Point: "I Don't Think The Word 'Humble' Means What Diddy Thinks It Means"
Vibe: Dr. Dre said that the last beat that floored him was 'All About the Benjamins.' How does that make you feel?

P. Diddy: "It’s humbling. I was in the studio with Dre the other day. He started working on a record for me. Watching him as a producer is watching greatness. We had a lot of similar traits. It was like looking in the mirror. He would ask questions like, 'How you feel about this?' People don’t really understand true producers want to know how you feel about things. We are some of the most observant people on the planet."
Sometimes humility doesn't last very long.
List: Top Ten Foreign Films of the Decade

Video: And here I thought the local news was a waste. At least check out the 1:00 minute mark (Via)

Imagine: What the posters would look like if films followed their original casting

Watch: Buzz and Woody Talk Dreamworks

Watch: Sitcoms "filmed before a live disappointed audience"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Round-Up: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quote: “I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”  - John Steinbeck, East of Eden (h/t Slaughterhouse 90210)

Chart: Quality of Death analysis courtesy of the Economist Intelligence Unit:

Video: Check out this CNN Video about Sarah Palin Making Up a Word (h/t Lacey)

Watch: Kevin Devine "I Could Be With Anyone." Simple concept, but emotionally effective in my opinion

Read: Rare interview with Bill Murray.
GQ: Is the third Ghostbusters movie happening? What's the story with that?
BM: It's all a bunch of crock. It's a crock. There was a story—and I gotta be careful here, I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. When I hurt someone's feelings, I really want to hurt them. [laughs] Harold Ramis said, Oh, I've got these guys, they write on The Office, and they're really funny. They're going to write the next Ghostbusters. And they had just written this movie that he had directed.
GQ: Year One.
BM: Year One. Well, I never went to see Year One, but people who did, including other Ghostbusters, said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen in their lives. So that dream just vaporized. That was gone. But it's the studio that really wants this thing. It's a franchise. It's a franchise, and they made a whole lot of money on Ghostbusters...
Okay. Well, how about Garfield? Can you explain that to me? Did you just do it for the dough?
BM: No! I didn't make that for the dough! Well, not completely. I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I'd never done that. Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, "So-and-so and Joel Coen." And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They're funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I'd like to do that. I had these agents at the time, and I said, "What do they give you to do one of these things?" And they said, "Oh, they give you $50,000." So I said, "Okay, well, I don't even leave the fuckin' driveway for that kind of money."
GQ: And it's not like you're helping out an indie director by playing Garfield.
BM: Exactly. He's in 3,000 newspapers every day; he's not hurtin'. Then this studio guy calls me up out of nowhere, and I had a nice conversation with him. No bullshit, no schmooze, none of that stuff. We just talked for a long time about the movie. And my agents called on Monday and said, "Well, they came back with another offer, and it was nowhere near $50,000." And I said, "That's more befitting of the work I expect to do!" So they went off and shot the movie, and I forgot all about it. Finally, I went out to L.A. to record my lines. And usually when you're looping a movie, if it takes two days, that's a lot. I don't know if I should even tell this story, because it's kind of mean. [beat] What the hell? It's interesting. So I worked all day and kept going, "That's the line? Well, I can't say that." And you sit there and go, What can I say that will make this funny? And make it make sense? And I worked. I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and the lines got worse and worse. And I said, "Okay, you better show me the whole rest of the movie, so we can see what we're dealing with." So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, "Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the fuck was Coen thinking?" And then they explained it to me: It wasn't written by that Joel Coen
GQ: And the pieces fall into place.
BM: [shakes head sadly] At least they had what's-her-name. The mind reader, pretty girl, really curvy girl, body's one in a million? What's her name? Help me. You know who I mean.
GQ: Jennifer Love Hewitt?
BM: Right! At least they had her in good-looking clothes. Best thing about the movie. But that's all ugly. That's inappropriate. That's just… [laughs] That's why, when they say, "Any regrets?" at the end of Zombieland, I say, "Well, maybe Garfield."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Round-Up: Monday, July 19, 2010

News: Comparing the Costs of American Wars
"More than a trillion dollars has been appropriated since September 11, 2001 for U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  This makes the "war on terrorism" the most costly of any military engagement in U.S. history in absolute terms or, if correcting for inflation, the second most expensive U.S. military action after World War II.
A newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service estimated the financial costs of major U.S. wars from the American Revolution ($2.4 billion in FY 2011 dollars) to World War I ($334 billion) to World War II ($4.1 trillion) to the second Iraq war ($784 billion) and the war in Afghanistan ($321 billion).  CRS provided its estimates in current year dollars (i.e. the year they were spent) and in constant year dollars (adjusted for inflation), and as a percentage of gross domestic product.  Many caveats apply to these figures, which are spelled out in the CRS report.
In constant dollars, World War II is still the most expensive of all U.S. wars, having consumed a massive 35.8% of GDP at its height and having cost $4.1 trillion in FY2011 dollars."

Read: Great interview with the chemist in Inception where different theories on the film are discussed at length.

Watch: Seinfeld Trailer - "Serenity Now"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Round-Up: Friday, July 16, 2010

Listen: Paste's Awesome list of "50 New State Songs For the 21st Century."

Film: Aaron Sorkin is one of my favorite writers. He can (almost) do no wrong in my eyes. I just hope he doesn't screw this one up: "Aaron Sorkin appears to be bold enough to take on the life of John Edwards, the philanderer with a $500 haircut. Sorkin has optioned The Politician, the tell-all written by aide Andrew Young, and plans to adapt it for the screen, producing and directing."

Did You Know?: From The Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollan's book I am currently reading
1. One-fifth of America’s petroleum consumption goes to producing and transporting our food

2. Most researchers trace America’s rising rates of obesity to the 1970s.This was of course the same decade that America embraced a cheap-food farm policy and began dismantling forty years of programs designed to prevent overproduction.

3. Early 1800s, American farmers were producing far too much corn. Corn whiskey, suddenly superabundant and cheap, became the drink of choice, and in 1820 the typical American was putting away half a pint of the stuff every day. That comes to more than 5 galls of spirits a year for every man, woman, and child in America. The figure today is less than one.

4. Switching a cow’s diet from corn to grass or hay for a few days prior to slaughter reduces the population of E. coli 0157:H7 in the animal’s gut by as much as 80%. But such a solution (Grass?!) is considered wildly impractical by the cattle industry and (therefore) by the USDA.

5. You hear plenty of explanations for humanity’s expanding waistline, all of them plausible. Changes in lifestyle (we’re more sedentary; we eat out more). Affluence (more people can afford a high-fat Western diet). Poverty (healthier whole foods cost more). Technology (fewer of us use our bodies in our work; at home, the remote control keeps us pinned to the couch). Clever marketing (supsersized portions; advertising to children). Changes in diet (more fats; more carbohydrates; more processed foods).

List: Cerebral Sci-Fil Films That Wipe Our Minds


Download: Collection of Free Mashups from Bootie LA
Titus Jones – Imma Stop Loving Drugs (Ke$ha vs. Glee Cast vs. La Roux vs. Black Eyed Peas vs. Iglu & Hartly) 

LeeDM101 – (Find Myself) A Heap of Love (Florence & The Machine vs. Depeche Mode vs. Imogen Heap)

Mochi Beats – Time After Romance (Lady Gaga vs. Cyndi Lauper vs. Three 6 Mafia)
(This one goes out to Courtney Alev)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Round-Up: Thursday, July 15, 2010

Good News: FDA Takes a Anti-Antibiotic Stance in Meat Production:
"Perfectly healthy farm animals needlessly consume 70 percent of the antibiotics in the United States. Farmers administer low levels of the drugs to their charges simply because they make animals grow faster. This creates ideal conditions for the evolution of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics that formerly killed them, bad news when animals or humans develop infections that need to be treated.
Late last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came out with a guidance proposal saying that using such drugs merely to increase production was not judicious. The proposal has no force of law behind it, but it is seen as a warning shot from the FDA that future regulatory action may be in the works. In the meantime, if you want to steer clear of antibiotics in your burger or chicken, buy organic. Antibiotics are banned in USDA certified organic meat production."

Review: Excerpt from Pitchfork's review of M.I.A.'s new album (it got a 4.4/10):
Right or wrong, the social contract is simple: If you bring the hits, we'll put up with your shit. With /\/\/\Y/\, M.I.A. has broken that contract.
Slideshow: Enjoy some weird looking creatures courtesy of the LA Times.

Watch: Jewel Karaoke's in Santa Monica