Emily Blunt is hot.

Or: Oh no, they didn’t!

Or: How the hell is this released on DVD before even get to see it in the cinema?

Or: Dan in Real Life.

The Good

Did I mention Emily Blunt is hot? So is Juliette Binoche. Kinda. Also, if you look really hard (well, not that hard) there’s a pretty clever subtext beneath it all. And it doesn’t really make the movie any less enjoyable. The acting is fine, the story’s all right, the soundtrack’s nice. Also, interesting use of light when Marie is declared to be like an angel. Really does make her look somewhat like an angel.

The Bad

Yeah, the story without the subtext – I said it’s all right but that doesn’t mean it’s good. It’s more bad than good. Rather silly, above all. Wife dies of cancer, big happy family, playboy brother. Yep, big deal. I really don’t care all that much for the repeated cancer storylines. Sure, I understand that it’s common and that it’s painful and hard an terribly tough for those involved and that films that deal with the issue in a convincing way might help. That’s just not the case here – the dead wife is simply used as a plot point to establish the various characters and to have that scene with the youngest daughter’s painting. I repeat: not convincing and rather cheap.

The Ugly

Let me refer you to the “Oh No They Didn’t” alternative for the title of this post. In the scene where Emily Blunt (who, by the way, is really hot!) goes on a date with Dan – Dan’s brother (and then Marie’s boyfriend) is obviously attracted to her and all I’m capable of thinking is “Don’t you DARE go there! Don’t you fucking there go there!”. Yeah, turns out they do dare go there. Marie dumps brother, Dan gets Marie, brother gets Emily Blunt. Oh what a cop-out. This truly ranks right there in the “ugly” category. As does the fact that he apparently gets his nation-wide column in the end.

Oh, and did I mention the whole fucked up Emily Blunt storyline? I think I did. If you want the brother’s character to look like a playboy – and you do, if you have him run off with Blunt’s character a day or two after breaking up – then they can’t still be together at the marriage of his brother. That’s just a 7th-Heaven-ish cop-out. Or at least that’s what I’d imagine a 7th-Heaven cop-out to look like.

6 out of 10. And I’m being incredibly generous here.

The ten most unreasonable parking fines of all time

The Daily Mail, via Reason.

Personal favourite:

“Do something amazing today” runs the slogan of the National Blood Service. In Sutton, a traffic warden did just that – by ticketing a blood donor lorry.

The mobile National Blood Service truck had parked at the same spot in Sutton, Surrey, for four years when the zealous parking attendant issued a ticket while donors gave blood inside.

And as a close second:

Manchester bus driver Chris O’Mahony pulled up at a bus stop in his No 77 to let passengers on. While he was handing them their tickets, a Manchester City Council parking attendant handed him one.

Passengers looked on in disbelief as the warden joined the queue to prepare the parking ticket, deposited the £40 notice and walked off.

The driver, apparently, had parked in a restricted area. The attendant said he’d been told to issue tickets to buses that park.

Midas Mulligan: Addicted to Human Food

Yeah, great band with a gread name. 😉

Listen to their music here – I especially like “Best Laid Plans”.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one to recognise that symbolism…

Don Boudreaux needs much less space to say basically the same thing I said yesterday.

So I commend you on your “Earth Hour” effort.  Persuading people across the globe to turn off lights for one hour supplies the perfect symbol for modern environmentalism: a collective effort to return humankind to the dark ages.

Yeah, I should’ve thought of that metaphor. 😦  Shoulda, coulda, woulda. More clever stuff:

 By the way, of course, the WWF should award some special prize to the North Korean government, for that government keeps North Koreans not in any meager “Earth Hour,” or even “Earth Day,” but in what WWFers might call “Earth Decades” — very little light everThis picture of the Korean peninsula speaks volumes — the Dark Ages today; a society keeping its carbon footprint tiny.  Of course, in doing so it keeps itself also desperately poor, often even to the point of starvation.

Nothing I could really add to this. Plain beautiful.

Price mechanism at work

Yep, they do. Wanted to buy chicken today – but prices had jumped to roughly 55$ per kilo. No buy. Fucking unbelievable.

I’m torn between thinking this was a giant screw-up (likely, something like wrong price tags) or there’s an incredible shortage. Does chicken go on and off season? Don’t really think so… Usually it’s more like 32$/kilo…

Well, there certainly was plenty of chicken left at those prices…

The idiotic symbolism of climate change

I’m torn on whether or not to believe that the environmentalists actually understand what kind of message they are sending with these “actions”…

What they are basically telling us is that, if we want to “save the planet” and/or “stop climate change” (which is extremely stupid in a “I-don’t-know-whether-to-laugh-or-to-cry” way), is that we’ll have to give up all that technology we’ve acquired over the last few centuries. I don’t think there’s anything that symbolises this as well as “electricity” does – and what better way than “artificial light” to highlight that. Make an entire city go dark.

Read that last sentence again. Make an entire city go dark. To me, that doesn’t sound like something we’d want to achieve – that sounds like a horrible threat, the consequence of something going terribly wrong – not something that we’d want for pretty much any reason.

On the one hand, this is reassuring – as it means there won’t really be any terribly damaging measures in the name of fighting global warming because as soon as you start really inconveniencing people, they’ll start pushing back. Sure, “let’s fight global warming” but don’t you dare take away my American Idol!

On the other hand, it’s terribly frightning. I don’t belive that a majority of people understands the underlying message they are sending – the end of civilisation and progress as we know it. But I’m sure there’s a minority who do. These people aren’t worried about climate change or about the environment in any way, shape or form – they simply see it as the newest fad to use in trying to (re-)introduce their collectivist ideas. For now, they probably have the upper hand – with no way of ever winning a decisive victory, mind you – but I’m sure this’ll change over time. After it becomes more clear what exactly it is they are trying to achieve, “the public” will be less quick to embrace their messages.

I don’t really want to venture an opinion on climate change as I don’t feel sufficiently informed. To put this post into context I will say where my head’s at in terms of anthropogenic global warming nonetheless (and, rest assured, many other people have no such a doubts when spewing their uninformed BS):

I think it is probably real and there will be some consequences from it. I don’t think these consequences are as grave as they are made out to be by some people and by most major mainstream media outlets. I do belive that some scientists and most politicians are following a “hidden” agenda when talking about climate change and see it as more of a tool than a real problem.

With my – albeit fairly limited – economics background and some reading on the possible solutions, I can say that quite a few measures certainly won’t work and even some of the more convincing ones probably won’t be enough or even help significantly. In general though, I consider the costs of doing something drastic about climate change (and anything else wouldn’t be enough, right?) far too high. The costs of dealing with problems as we go along (and especially if I’m right and sea levels don’t rise 20 feet, for example) and bump into them seem far more reasonable. That solution would also make it possible to ensure continued economic growth and technological progress – but then again we’ve now come full circle. That’s probably more important to the people with the agenda: no more growth, no more progress – we already have “enough”, don’t we?

Andy McKee – Rylynn

I’ve found myself listening to this piece (on youtube, which can bee pretty annoying, since my ubuntu seems to be somewhat at odds with simultaneously running flash applications (As soon as I have 2+ flash applications running (in separate firefox tabs)  my laptop perceptibly slows down) ) quite often these days, so I thought it deserved to be mentioned here. (Although I doubt that it needs the little buzz we create, as it is already quite renowned)

It’s a remarkable acoustic guitar piece: