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The Day The Earth Stood Still - 2008 Remake
Topic: Arts 4:15 pm EDT, Jul 18, 2008

Keanu Reeves as Klaatu?

John Cleese as Dr. Barnhardt?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I wasn't planning on drinking this weekend, but now that I've seen the details, I have a reason. In case it went by too quickly in the trailer, I've posted a shot of the new Gort, below. Ugh.

The Day The Earth Stood Still - 2008 Remake

NASA's Deep Impact Films Earth as an Alien World
Topic: Science 9:19 am EDT, Jul 18, 2008

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has created a video of the moon transiting (passing in front of) Earth as seen from the spacecraft's point of view 31 million miles away. Scientists are using the video to develop techniques to study alien worlds.

NASA's Deep Impact Films Earth as an Alien World

New Photos of Mars Offer Further Evidence of Water in Past
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:28 pm EDT, Jul 16, 2008

Now these astonishing new images - captured by a European spacecraft in orbit around Mars - are helping to fuel that fascination. They show in astonishing detail a network of giant valleys, vast plains and towering waterfalls carved into the surface of our neighbouring planet, millions of miles away.

And while Mars today appears lifeless and parched, they are a reminder of how its surface was shaped by fast flowing streams, rivers and oceans. The pictures were captured by the European Space Agency's Mars Express Probe - a spacecraft the size of a large fridge-freezer that has been circling Mars since Christmas 2003.

New Photos of Mars Offer Further Evidence of Water in Past

American Autobahn
Topic: Society 10:42 am EDT, Jul 10, 2008

tac·ho·pho·bi·a — n.
1. The irrational fear of speed.

Mark Rask should be running for President, especially now that those wimps at are starting to make headlines. We shouldn't return to failed policies.

American Autobahn

The Godfather Collection on Blu-ray
Topic: Arts 11:44 am EDT, Jul  9, 2008

The BD release is set for Sep 23, 2008. Supposedly, Coppola is personally involved in the restoration and remastering for high definition, so maybe it will be a significant improvement over the DVD release, which wasn't as good as it could've been. I've been impressed by the Blade Runner and Dirty Harry BD collections from Warner, and if Paramount can give The Godfather the same treatment, it'll be worth rebuying the trilogy (hopefully, for the last time).

Speaking of Warner, I'm still waiting for a BD release date for Forbidden Planet (it's still listed as "pending"). I don't know what's taking Warner so long, considering they've already remastered it for the HD-DVD release on November 14, 2006.

The Godfather Collection on Blu-ray

FUNimation Will Distribute Geneon's Anime Titles
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:14 pm EDT, Jul  3, 2008

Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. shut down last year, leaving the future of many anime titles up in the air (regarding distribution in North America).

FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America

First Titles Scheduled for Release in Late Summer

FLOWER MOUND, TX, July 03, 2008 -- FUNimation Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Navarre Corporation, and Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc., a leading producer of Japanese animation, announced today their partnership to distribute select DVD titles in North America.

Under the terms of the agreement, FUNimation Entertainment obtains the exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of established Geneon titles, including international successes "Ergo Proxy", "Hellsing Ultimate" and "Black Lagoon".

Among the first titles to be released includes the special edition of "Hellsing Ultimate", directed by Tomokazu Tokoro and produced by Satelight (“Aquarion” and “BALDR FORCE EXE Resolution”).

Follow up releases include "Black Lagoon Second Barrage", “Karin”, "Kyo kara Maoh! Season 2", and "Lyrical Nanoha".

“Geneon is a strong producer, known for excellent production and quality of its anime series,“ said Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment. “We are pleased to partner with them and we are committed to the successful release of these series.”

"FUNimation's momentum as the leading anime distributor continues to build," said Yushin Soga, president and CEO of Geneon. "We are sure this partnership will only grow the prominence of our portfolio."

Additional titles include: “Black Lagoon”, “Elemental Gelade”, “Fate/stay night”, “Kamichu”, “Ninja Vixens”, “Paradise Kiss”, “Rozen Maiden”, “Rozen Maiden - Träumend”, “Shana”, “Shonen Onmyouji”, “The Familiar of Zero”, “The Story of Saiunkoku”, “When They Cry”, and “The Law of Ueki”.

Kyo Kara Maoh!, Hellsing Ultimate, and Black Lagoon are the main titles I was concerned about. This is welcome news!

FUNimation Will Distribute Geneon's Anime Titles

Army criticizes itself in Iraq invasion report
Topic: Society 5:10 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2008

The 720-page report compiled by the Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, details the effects of having too few coalition troops on the ground when the reality after the fall of Baghdad was "severely out of line" with the anticipated conditions.

"We had the wrong assumptions, and therefore, we had the wrong plan to put into play," Gen. William Wallace, who commanded the Army's V Corps during the invasion, told the authors.

But some of the most critical decisions were made between May and August 2003, which some participants called a "window of opportunity that could have been exploited to produce the conditions for the quick creation of a new Iraq."

Army criticizes itself in Iraq invasion report

Aztec Whistles Of Death
Topic: Science 2:39 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2008

MEXICO CITY — Scientists were fascinated by the ghostly find: a human skeleton buried in an Aztec temple with a clay, skull-shaped whistle in each bony hand.

But no one blew into the noisemakers for nearly 15 years.

When someone finally did, the shrill, windy screech made the spine tingle.

If death had a sound, this was it.


On another site, I found the MP3 file of the whistles being played, by archaeologists, I assume. [Not Safe For Life]

Aztec Whistles Of Death

Sony Gives PS3 a Shot of Adrenaline: Movies and a Twirling Globe
Topic: Technology 9:42 am EDT, Jun 27, 2008

Sony's Blu-ray won the battle of high-definition DVD formats, but its PlayStation 3 gaming console has been losing the war over networked home entertainment. That will change this summer, promised Kaz Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, during a Tokyo press conference announcing new PS3 services for the U.S. market.

Sony will roll out on-demand movies and TV shows for download via the PS3's broadband-enabled PlayStation Network. It will also launch Life With PlayStation, offering news headlines and weather information with a spinning-globe user interface reminiscent of Nintendo's Wii News.

Sony has lost more than US$3 billion on the PlayStation 3 since its launch, but additional networked services and cost-trimming will bring the PS3 business unit to profitability by March 2009, said Hirai. "Sony said the things they needed to say," Gartenberg remarked. "What Sony has found in this generation was a Microsoft that was much stronger than it had been the last time around. It came to market a year ahead (with the Xbox 360) and didn't squander that year. At the same time, it's facing a revitalized Nintendo, which was the last thing everybody was expecting. All of this is putting tremendous pressure on Sony."

Sony Gives PS3 a Shot of Adrenaline: Movies and a Twirling Globe

Historic Congressional Hearing on Workplace Protections for Transgender Americans
Topic: Society 8:20 pm EDT, Jun 26, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, today participated in the first-ever Congressional hearing exclusively on the issue of workplace discrimination against transgender Americans. The hearing, held by the House Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, was titled "An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans." Coordinated by Congressional allies, including Subcommittee Chairman Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), as well as a coalition of GLBT groups, the hearing was intended to send a strong message to Congress about the need for fully-inclusive federal workplace protections.

Frank hasn't exactly proven himself to be an ally, but I'll let that go.

HRC Business Council Member Diego Sanchez:

"It’s an injustice that we are ever evaluated for employment based on other people’s comfort with our existence… I am before you today to affirm that transgender and transsexual people, including me, are equally human and deserve to be treated like other people."

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese:

The transgender community, too long marginalized in American society and even within the gay, lesbian and bisexual community, has made enormous strides in recent years. There are many reasons to hope that the future holds even greater acceptance and understanding, including full equality under the law. But hope alone will not protect the transgender woman in Topeka, Kansas who loses her job and health insurance when co-workers learn that she is transitioning or the transgender man in Shreveport, Louisiana who, despite an advanced engineering degree, must work in a fast food restaurant. It is critical that Congress act to protect these, our transgender friends and family, colleagues and neighbors."

Historic Congressional Hearing on Workplace Protections for Transgender Americans

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