Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Movies To See

78th annual Oscar nominations

1. Best Picture: "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Crash," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "Munich."

2. Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"; Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"; Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"; Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"; David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck."

3. Actress: Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"; Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica"; Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice"; Charlize Theron, "North Country"; Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line."

4. Supporting Actor: George Clooney, "Syriana"; Matt Dillon, "Crash"; Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man"; Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain"; William Hurt, "A History of Violence."

5. Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, "Junebug"; Catherine Keener, "Capote"; Frances McDormand, "North Country"; Rachel Weisz, "The Constant Gardener"; Michelle Williams, "Brokeback Mountain."

6. Director: Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"; Bennett Miller, "Capote"; Paul Haggis, "Crash"; George Clooney, "Good Night, and Good Luck."; Steven Spielberg, "Munich."

7. Foreign Film: "Don't Tell," Italy; "Joyeux Noel," France; "Paradise Now," Palestine; "Sophie Scholl - The Final Days," Germany; "Tsotsi," South Africa.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, "Brokeback Mountain"; Dan Futterman, "Capote"; Jeffrey Caine, "The Constant Gardener"; Josh Olson, "A History of Violence"; Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, "Munich."

9. Original Screenplay: Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, "Crash"; George Clooney & Grant Heslov, "Good Night, and Good Luck."; Woody Allen, "Match Point"; Noah Baumbach, "The Squid and the Whale"; Stephen Gaghan, "Syriana."

10. Animated Feature Film: "Howl's Moving Castle"; "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride"; "Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit."

11. Art Direction: "Good Night, and Good Luck.," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "King Kong," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Pride & Prejudice."

12. Cinematography: "Batman Begins," "Brokeback Mountain," "Good Night, and Good Luck.," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "The New World."

13. Sound Mixing: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "King Kong," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Walk the Line," "War of the Worlds."

14. Sound Editing: "King Kong," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "War of the Worlds."

15. Original Score: "Brokeback Mountain," Gustavo Santaolalla; "The Constant Gardener," Alberto Iglesias; "Memoirs of a Geisha," John Williams; "Munich," John Williams; "Pride & Prejudice," Dario Marianelli.

16. Original Song: "In the Deep" from "Crash," Kathleen "Bird" York and Michael Becker; "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow," Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard; "Travelin' Thru" from "Transamerica," Dolly Parton.

17. Costume: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Mrs. Henderson Presents," "Pride & Prejudice," "Walk the Line."

18. Documentary Feature: "Darwin's Nightmare," "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," "March of the Penguins," "Murderball," "Street Fight."

19. Documentary (short subject): "The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club," "God Sleeps in Rwanda," "The Mushroom Club," "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin."

20. Film Editing: "Cinderella Man," "The Constant Gardener," "Crash," "Munich," "Walk the Line."

21. Makeup: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "Cinderella Man," "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith."

22. Animated Short Film: "Badgered," "The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation," "The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello," "9," "One Man Band."

23. Live Action Short Film: "Ausreisser (The Runaway)," "Cashback," "The Last Farm," "Our Time Is Up," "Six Shooter."

24. Visual Effects: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "King Kong," "War of the Worlds."

 

Monday, January 30, 2006

house worth big $? get a boat!

2 articles I noticed today. One was in the LA Times about the LA boat show. I guess boat purchasing has been going nuts the past few years, as a result of people taking out a 2nd mortgage on their LA home that recently doubled in value. (this same type of thing is happening nationwide of course) Also, this AP article reports on how people are saving less... might want to invest that extra cash instead of blowing it on a boat?

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WASHINGTON

Americans are spending everything they're making and more, pushing the national savings rate to the lowest point since the Great Depression.

Soaring home prices apparently have convinced people they don't have to worry about saving, a belief that could be seriously tested as 78 million baby boomers begin to retire.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that Americans' personal savings fell into negative territory at minus 0.5 percent last year. That means that people not only spent all of their after-tax income last year but had to dip into previous savings or increase their borrowing.

The savings rate has been negative for an entire year only twice before _ in 1932 and 1933 _ two years when Americans were having to deplete savings to cope with the massive job layoffs and business failures caused by the Great Depression.

This time the reasons for the negative savings rate are vastly different. Americans are spending all their incomes and then some because they feel wealthier because of soaring value of their homes, which for many Americans is the largest investment they own.

But analysts cautioned that this behavior was risky at a time when 78 million Americans are on the verge of retirement. The baby boomers start turning 60 this year, which means they can begin retiring with Social Security in just two more years.

Analysts said with this huge wave of pending retirements, the savings rate should be going up rather than being on a steady decline over the past two decades. The savings rate stood at 10.8 percent of after-tax incomes in 1984 and has been declining steadily since that time. It was down to 1.8 percent in 2004 before turning negative last year.

"Americans seem to have the feeling that it is wimpish to save," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York. "The idea is to put away money for old age and we are just not doing that."

Analysts said that not only rising home prices but a rebound in stock prices following the 2000 market collapse have many Americans feeling more wealthy, and that wealth effect is a major pillar supporting consumer spending.

"Americans have been content to spend a lot more than is good for them or for the economy," said Lyle Gramley, senior economic adviser at Schwab Washington Research Group.

After setting records for five straight years, sales of both existing and new homes are expected to decline this year under the impact of rising mortgage rates. The weaker sales will translate into slower price appreciation which in turn will slow consumer spending, analysts are forecasting.

That slowdown in spending should help the savings rate rise back into positive territory. But analysts are not expecting sizable improvements in savings, because as baby boomers begin to retire they will start tapping into their savings to pay for medical bills and other consumption.

The expected slowdown in consumer spending is one reason many economists are looking for overall economic growth to slow further this year. The gross domestic product grew 3.5 percent last year, down from a five-year high of 4.2 percent in 2004.

The Federal Reserve, trying to engineer a slowdown in growth that will keep inflation under control, is expected to boost rates for a 14th time at its Tuesday meeting.

A price gauge closely watched by the Fed that excludes food and energy rose by a tiny 0.1 percent in December, down from a 0.2 percent rise in November, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

For December, consumer spending rose by a bigger-than-expected 0.9 percent while incomes were up by just 0.4 percent. That forced the savings rate down for the month to a negative 0.7 percent.

A Picture of Google China Censorship

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kayak Buzz

This Kayak.com Buzz tool is worth checking out. That link should list/map current deals for LAX.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Google China















Google will censor search results for the commies in China? Whats up with that?
Free Tibet maybe? Beer? Democracy? Not with Google.cn

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why America Has To Be Fat

Is this guy high? What? Why America Has To Be Fat

Here’s a good rebuttal

This reminds me… I need to exercise more!

I do see his point that with a strong economy people can afford to be lazy and eat lots of food etc.. but is that what we should be doing? Do we have to do that?

This reminds me of a quote that goes something like: we spend all our time getting money, and then spend all our money getting our health

NY Times Earnings Plunge

I posted last month how ridiculous I thought “TimesSelect” was over at NYTimes.com. Why am I not surprised by their earnings news today? There’s obviously some other factors, but I still think their site could be doing a whole lot better. (I gave up ever trying to read it)

Monday, January 23, 2006

White House Search Ad

How to piss off George W: buy Google keyword for "white house" and run the below ad. (someone was doing this today)

Just Like Adolf Hitler
George W Bush
Is Spying On You!
whitehouse.gov

Parking Lot Con-Artists

What’s up with me getting hassled in parking lots by con-artists? These aren’t your usual people asking for spare change, I’m talking about con-artists! The Costco I usually go to is famous for them (famous to me at least). One of the (obvious) cons is: someone approaches you in the parking lot with an empty gas can and asks you for $5 so they can fill-up their gas can to get home. I’ve gotten that one at least twice at the same Costco. Last Friday, on the way home from work, I went the that Costco and right when I step out of my car this lady rushes over to me with a stroller and rattles off her plea for money, explaining she has two kids and needs to feed them etc… The way she carried herself and explained her situation was so insincere it was obviously a con. Then, on Saturday, I was in an Expo parking lot and right as I get back to my car a lady stops her car behind me and asks for help. I thought she need directions or a flat-fixed or something, so I listened to her. She rattled off a story about how she got kicked out of her apartment and had to borrow a car from a friend to drive around and ask for money. Again, her story sounded so scripted and insincere it was probably a con. These people seem to frequent parking lots of stores with nice stuff (Expo), or stores that people often carry a lot of cash to (Costco). My point is: you never know who is a con and who isn’t… so if you really want to help people give your money to a reputable charity who can make sure your money is getting to the right place.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Google Video

You can find the most random shit on Google Video. Here's a couple: mosh viet rap
You can also find interesting stuff, like Larry Page's recent keynote at CES

Maryland Wal-Mart Decision

I totally agree with this article. The recent anti-Wal-Mart state measure in Maryland is idiotic. It’s bad for business, bad for consumers, bad for the state, and bad for the people of Maryland.

 

The measure would require companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8% of their payroll on health benefits, or pay the balance into a state low-income health insurance fund”

 

Where did they come up with 8%? Did they draw that number out of a hat? I hope California doesn’t get any ideas.

 

Extreme Skipping

This video is like freestyle walking, but it’s extreme skipping

 

 

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Che Stormtrooper

From boingboing…

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This short video features a quick-cut montage of stickers bearing the notorious Imperial Stormtrooper-as-Che image, stuck in various urban places, or being held up by people, with a soundtrack comprised of a DJ-scratched version of Vader's Imperial March -- it's really slick! Link

Take my money!

Man Robs Store With 'HIV-Infected' Syringe

POSTED: 11:35 am EST January 17, 2006

UPDATED: 11:38 am EST January 17, 2006

Police in Rockland, Mass., are searching for a man who robbed a liquor store with a needle and syringe he claimed was infected with HIV-infected blood.

Investigators said Vinay Patel, 29, owner of Station Liquors on East Water Street, said a man in a dark hooded sweatshirt walked into his store and threatened to stab him with the HIV-infected needle unless he handed over cash.

The man was videotaped lunging forward and threatening to stick Patel.

"It's the AIDS virus he said he had in the syringe," Patel said. "It looked like blood."

Patel handed over about $1,000 from the store's register and the man fled on foot.

"I wasn't expecting anything like this here," Patel said.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

 

 

Monday, January 16, 2006

Rubik's Cube

Ok, I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than a few minutes trying to solve a Rubik’s cube, but apparently there are people out there memorizing ways to solve it faster and faster? This guy did it in just over 11 seconds…

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Should we cut

This guy’s balls off! This is outrageous. A 12 week old!!

 

 

Monday, January 09, 2006

$600

Rashtchy is confident enough in his calculations to raise his one-year price target for Google's stock from $445 to $600, which would give Google a market cap of about $175 billion, making it the fourth largest company on the Fortune 500, just behind WalMart, Exxon Mobil and General Motors.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Fountain

What make a urinal art? Is this art?

The most influential modern art work of all time?

(now you comment on my blog and tell me what you think)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Louis Braille Google Logo








Is Google's logo today clever or lame? I'm not sure...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Easy$

Why didn’t I think of this? He’ll be imitated, but nobody will pull this off as easy and as profitable! It pays to be first… Here’s the site: million dollar homepage