So someone on /. mentioned it…

…and I realized that we had a copy of Dan Brown’s ??The Da Vinci Code?? sitting around–Anne’s mother had read it and sent it to us when done with it (all hail the First Sale doctrine).

So, looking for something to keep me busy while my brain was idling, I read it. Didn’t take particularly long, which is just as well, since I would have to begrudge more time spent on it.

Me, I’ll take Umberto Eco’s ??Foucault’s Pendulum?? any day. That’s a book that takes a lot of the same base material and does something that is not pat and predictable and Hollywood.

I mean, it’s not that ??The Da Vinci Code?? is _bad_, per se–the writing is perfectly workable, doesn’t clang on the ear like, say, Tom Clancy, the plot is internally consistent, etc. It’s just that it’s a perfect movie in book form, and if you know me well, you’ll know that that’s really not intended as a compliment.

It’s like listening to ??Kingdom Come??, who could never in a million years have produced anything like the first four bars of Led Zeppelins ??We’re Gonna Groove?? (why that track? I just saw the new live LZ DVD, and that opening just blew me away). Just go to the source.

I call your attention to Josh Marshall…

who makes this “terrifyingly good one-sentence argument for why our efforts in Iraq may well fail”:

bq. Is it really reasonable to expect that the values which undergird liberal democracy in America will be effectively spread abroad by the most illiberal people in America?

Christmas for Spammers

Ken McLeod has an update on the classic carol, “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”:

No, I haven’t seen that movie.

I still feel a little scarred from the second one. But “this review of ROTK”: had me laughing right out of the gate with its discussion of the inevitable disappointments of third movies in trilogies.

That its derision for such is generally couched in homophobic terms is unfortunate and deplorable, etc., etc., but was ultimately not enough to stop me from nearly spewing coffe out of my nose.

bq. This movie will make you forget that if you stick a knife in your belly you’ll bleed to death so do not bring a knife to this movie.

So much for Uma Thurman…

What can I say, “I find intellectual narrowness unattractive”:

I guess Hollywood’s self-obsession taints everyone eventually.

Yeah, sure…

“Blender gets raytracing”:, blah, blah, blah. I just think these are the coolest sample images I’ve ever seen: “monkey1”:, “monkey2”:

Things you learn on IMDB

First, Ozzy Osbourne was apparently “very seriously injured”: in what sounds like a daft accident.

I’ve watched the Osbournes precisely once. I can understand the amusement factor, but it made me kind of sad to see Ozzy being portrayed as a mumbling, bumbling buffoon, even if he knew it was being done and didn’t mind.

I sincerely hope he recovers completely–I think he’s a very important person in the history of rock and roll.

I know it sounds silly, given popular perception of the music he’s made, but I think a lot of those perceptions are a result of the sheer number of slavish imitators and mediocre knock-offs of his early stuff, both with Black Sabbath and on his own. It would be like talking about Led Zeppelin based on listening to Whitesnake or Kingdom Come–Black Sabbath, right up to the bitter end of his tenure with them, is unlike anything before or since.

In lighter news (considering it must be one of the signs of the impending end of the world), Baz Luhrmann is working on a movie about Alexander the Great “starring Leanardo di Caprio and Nicole Kidman”: while Oliver Stone is working on one starring “rather a larger number of famous people”:

Stop. Think. _Baz Luhrmann_ and _Oliver Stone_ are both working on a picture about Alexander the Great.

Put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye.

Yeah, well, fuqueue!

Let me first note that I have the greatest respect for the gigantic volumes of people who work on the linux kernel, and communicate on a daily basis using a technical vocabulary in what is *at least* their second language.

Hell, Linus’ command of idiomatic english is actuall pretty goddamn scary, and has been as far back as I can remember.

None of which makes this less funny.

bc.. Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 17:30:31 -0600
From: Matt Mackall <>
Subject: Re: [RFC/PATCH] FUSYN 5/10: kernel fuqueues

On Wed, Dec 03, 2003 at 12:51:34AM -0800, wrote:
> include/linux/fuqueue.h | 451 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> include/linux/plist.h | 197 ++++++++++++++++++++
> kernel/fuqueue.c | 220 +++++++++++++++++++++++
> 3 files changed, 868 insertions(+)
> +++ linux/include/linux/fuqueue.h Wed Nov 19 16:42:50 2003

I don’t suppose you’ve run this feature name past anyone in marketting
or PR?

Matt Mackall : : Linux development and consulting

McCain-Feingold has been upheld.

I could give you my rant about how the stupidest thing that was ever done in this country’s legal system was extending legal status mirroring that of actual individuals to corporations–which gives them a pretext for claiming that their “First Amendment Rights” are being abridged.

However, I will just sit back happy that the Supremes didn’t let us down, while meditating on Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O’Connor’s all too true assessment that:

bq. We are under no illusion that (the law) will be the last congressional statement on the matter. Money, like water, will always find an outlet. What problems will arise, and how Congress will respond, are concerns for another day.

Eisenhower, on Vietnam

bq. Without allies and associates the leader is just an adventurer, like Genghis Khan.

This in response to the desire of many in his administration to get the US involved militarily in Vietnam in 1954.

So, I’ve been reading Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam: A History

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

bq. The outcome at Ap Bac aggravated the friction then growing between the American government and the news media. Neither Kennedy nor his successors would impose censorship, which would have required them to acknowledge that a real war was being waged. Instead, they wanted journalists to cooperate by accentuating the positive. Just after the Ap Bac battle, when Peter Arnett of the Associated Press asked him a tough question, Admiral Felt shot back: “Get on the team”

Of course, Ap Bac–this is the January, 1963 battle of Ap Bac–was, in terms of the engagement itself, utterly unlike anything in Iraq, if only because US troops weren’t actually involved.

That last bit sounds just like Rummy and the rest of the Imperialists, though. I wonder if they would sound like that if they’d actually served in Vietnam?