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Friday, January 30, 2004

 
Thar she blows! Dead whale explodes

Just a humorous, and gross, story I came across this morning. The best part is that they show you a mound of whale guts with a scooter next to it for size comparison. Also of interest is the description of the dead whale as a tourist attraction -- primarily because of it's FIVE FOOT LONG PENIS. Ya gotta love it.

posted by Mike Hodge - 9:39:00 AM -- Link to this entry
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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

 
Oscar Time!

Well, this week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the nominations for this year’s Oscars. I only agree with part of their picks but then I only saw 29 of the films eligible for awards this year. From the movies I did see, my nominees for best picture are (and I get seven because it’s not an official list): AMERICAN SPLENDOR, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, BIG FISH, DIRTY PRETTY THINGS, IN AMERICA, LOST IN TRANSLATION, and WHALE RIDER.

With the best picture award going to: LOST IN TRANSLATION.

Tamara will undoubtedly have her own best picture pick (I hear she has a special place in her heart for UPTOWN GIRLS).

Here’s a list of the films eligible for this years awards that I did see. And after that are the films I’ve seen that were eligible in 2002, 2001, and 2000. Most of the films were seen in the year of eligibility but a few have been added since with DVD rentals. I’m not saying these are the best pictures of each year. I saw many films on these lists that I still want to see but haven’t yet gotten around to it. I’m not linking these to the Internet Movie Database (like I did above) but you can find information on all of them at that site.

2003 – 29 films
AMERICAN SPLENDOR
AMERICAN WEDDING
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM
BIG FISH
BULLETPROOF MONK
COLD MOUNTAIN
DAREDEVIL
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS
DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT
FINDING NEMO
FREAKY FRIDAY
HOLES
THE HULK
IN AMERICA
KILL BILL - VOL. 1
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
LOST IN TRANSLATION
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS
THE MEDALLION
PETER PAN
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
SCHOOL OF ROCK
SPUN
SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER
TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES
UNDERWORLD
WHALE RIDER
X2 (X-Men 2)
2002 – 26 films
ADAPTATION
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE
BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF
HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
IMPOSTOR
KISSING JESSICA STEIN
KUNG POW: ENTER THE FIST
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS
THE MASTER OF DISGUISE
MEN IN BLACK II
MINORITY REPORT
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING
THE POWERPUFF GIRLS
QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES
RESIDENT EVIL
SCOOBY-DOO
SECRETARY
SPIDER-MAN
SPIRITED AWAY
SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS
STAR TREK NEMESIS
STAR WARS EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES
STUART LITTLE 2
THE TIME MACHINE
Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN
2001 – 22 films
A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
AMERICAN PIE 2
FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN
FROM HELL
GHOST WORLD
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE
JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS
JURASSIC PARK III
LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER
LEGALLY BLONDE
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE
MEMENTO
MONKEYBONE
MONSTERS, INC.
OSMOSIS JONES
PLANET OF THE APES
POKEMON 3 THE MOVIE
RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS
SHREK
SPY KIDS
2000 – 21 films
THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE
ALMOST FAMOUS
THE BEACH
CAST AWAY
CECIL B. DeMENTED
THE CELL
CHARLIE'S ANGELS
CHICKEN RUN
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
DINOSAUR
THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE
GLADIATOR
HAMLET
HIGH FIDELITY
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
THE PATRIOT
PITCH BLACK
POKEMON THE MOVIE 2000
SPACE COWBOYS
TITAN A.E.
X-MEN


posted by Mike Hodge - 9:50:00 PM -- Link to this entry
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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

 
Gun Safety Programs For Kids Don't Work

Despite all of the good intentions of the NRA to keep children safe from unintended gun violence, it appears that the target audience doesn't get it. Darn those 4 and 5 year old kids.

So if you have a gun and you have kids, get a gun safe. Get trigger locks. And don't leave your guns loaded.

I know there are some who will say that defeats the whole point of owning a gun for home protection. But I'd rather someone steal everything I own, than have one of my kids accidentally kill themselves finding a loaded, unlocked gun. How important are your kids to you?

posted by Mike Hodge - 7:30:00 AM -- Link to this entry
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Friday, January 02, 2004

 
New Year's Resolutions and Civil Union thoughts

Well we're starting a new year and if you look at my blog you'll see that I do about a post a month. I'm pretty bad. Tamara does a pretty good job of documenting her life, and by association most of mine. But that's no excuse for me not posting every excruciating detail of my wretched existence. So my new year's resolutions for 2004 will start with:
  1. Post more often in my blog.
  2. Exercise more (than once a month). I'd like to get to the 3 times a week schedule with some sit-ups with Tamara
  3. Not screw up STAR OKC by action (or inaction)
  4. Get more done - I'm not sure if this is a time management issue or prioritization or just getting up off of my ass and doing stuff rather than watching TV.
  5. Do more with music - This relates to the last resolution but I felt like mentioning it separately.
That's it. I'd like to have someone good to vote for this November and I'd like to get GWB out of office. I'd like to think that even 4 more years of GW's BS won't permanently damage the country. I mean we survived 8 years of Reagan and 4 from Bush Sr. The US has seen darker days and I'd rather the days didn't get any darker.

Civil Union Thoughts

I've been thinking about the arguments for and against Civil Unions (also called Civil Marriage). I prefer to think of them as Civil Unions because of the hot-button issues surrounding the word Marriage and if the argument gets hung up on semantics then that can detract and derail from the meat of the intent; the privileges and responsibilities granted to heterosexual civil unions through the current practice of licensing marriages.

The first thing I think that needs to be done is to separate the concept of marriage as defined by a specific belief system from the registering of a union with a government to gain access to the legal aspects of a joined family (both rights and responsibilities). As far as I can tell no one wants to force a religion to accept a concept of marriage that is against it's teachings. But we have already established the concept of the civil marriage (union) performed by a justice-of-the-peace or other legal and not religious office, like ship's captain. So it is already possible for a heterosexual couple to get married without the consent or knowledge of any religious body. It is this linkage that anti-civil union groups use for many of the arguments against civil unions.

From the basis of a purely civil union, the argument that it is against god and nature holds no force. Arguments must be made in a purely civil way derived from the framework of civil discourse. The US Constitution is the basic civil document upon which laws, and the rules which implement them, and case law are founded. Currently there is the Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits federal recognition of anything but a monogamous heterosexual civil union. If this law were to be found unconstitutional then that could open the door to a civil union not restricted to heterosexual relationships much in the same way that laws prohibiting same-sex acts in private between consenting adults were found to be unconstitutional. It is for this reason that there is a focus on a constitutional amendment protecting the heterosexual definition of marriage. If you change the constitution then you can't say it's unconstitutional.

One argument I've heard is that same-sex civil unions are very much like mixed-race unions were considered 50 years ago. I've also heard (from supporters of the "traditional" monogamous heterosexual union) that this is not a good comparison. They've said race or ethnicity isn't something you can change about a person. This brings in the fallacious argument that it should matter if homosexual behavior is genetic or chosen. If your position is that it isn't fair to discriminate against genetic situations, like race or ethnicity, but it is for chosen activities what is to stop you from discriminating against other "chosen" activities. Is it OK to say that smokers can't marry because they can always quit smoking? Or to say that overweight people can't marry because they could always lose weight if they wanted to? The arbitrary nature of this argument exposes it as unsuitable for basing a legal system.

Another argument I've seen concerns the historic nature of civil marriage as a special contract between a man and a woman. If a civil union is placed in the arena of contract law then it seems to me that the hold becomes even more tenuous. Are supporters of traditional marriage saying that two men or two women or even a group of people of undetermined gender can't enter into contracts with each other. The idea is absurd. And in many ways it is in the area of contract law that civil union finds its greatest support. If you view a marriage license as a contract between two consenting adults and the government then it shouldn't matter the gender of the adults. As long as they fulfill the responsibilities of the contract they should enjoy the rights and privileges. For me, as long as the parties are adults capable of assigning consent then gender should not play a part in the civil union contract. Corporations are already recognized as genderless entities able to enter into extensive contracts. Should we give more rights to nonliving business entities than to living citizens? I don't think so.

So those are my thoughts on civil unions. I don't expect to change anyone's mind. And the constitutional amendment process is so lengthy that I don't expect that to pass either. But lots of earnest people will get a lot of mileage and money by pushing the issue.


posted by Mike Hodge - 7:54:00 AM -- Link to this entry
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