Big News: my twins, Caelan and Tiernan, turned 2 on the 14th! Feels strange because a) it doesn’t seem like it was 2 years ago, and b) Since they came 6 weeks premature and as a quasi-emergency C-section that was a little traumatic for me, so it’s odd to celebrate the day. I think I’d almost rather celebrate their birthday when we got to bring them home safe from the NICU as that was a lot more exciting- in a good way.
Also, in the zero hour my husband got our taxes done and the first time in 8 years we actually have a refund coming back to us. Being self-employed has always made tax season especially miserable, and for about the last 5 – 6 years we’ve also had to pay quarterlies. That made April extra especially suck-ass because it’s the 4th month so it would be the first set of quarterly taxes due plus whatever additionally we owed from the previous year’s taxes. So while most people were whistling ‘Dixie’ about their tax refund we usually had a $5-6K check to write Uncle Sam. For the first time in a long time I’ll get to breathe a little easier this year and actually have a little cash to put in savings and maybe get something fun. 🙂 ~woot woot~
Ok, let’s get started. First, many moons ago there was the Thomas Crown Affair remake done with Renee Russo and Pierce Brosnan. I bothered to watch the original with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway (who makes a cameo in the remake as Thomas Crown’s therapist) and honestly I liked the pace and the chemistry between Russo and Brosnan a lot more than McQueen and Dunaway’s movie. The major plot point difference between the two movies is Brosnan’s Thomas Crown decides to steal a painting just for the thrill, McQueen’s a bank robber for a thrill/money. There is one crucial scene that had always plagued me in the remake. When Brosnan steals the Monet he puts it in a fancy brief case and closes the case. You clearly can see the picture frame takes up the entirety of the case while it’s completely open and when he closes it you hear a “crack” of what I would imagine is the frame breaking. Later in the movie you see him pulling the painting out of the same brief case only to see it is unblemished and he hangs it in the secret spot on the wall in his den.
They call this a continuity error- usually it’s just an ‘Oops’ like how in half of the 3rd movie in Lord of the Rings the big scratch on Frodo’s face is on one cheek for the trek up Mt. Doom and then for another major portion it’s on the other cheek. Pop over to YouTube if you want to see a funny scene about continuity from Jack Films.
For the Thomas Crown Affair remake John McTiernan, the director, admitted he thought the audience wouldn’t like the idea of Thomas Crown breaking the priceless painting so for the other scenes who showed the painting unscathed and didn’t think people would notice.
Really, John? It was pretty friggin’ obvious (<– click that and watch it)!
Next, the Washington Post had its 5th annual Peeps Diorama contest. Peeps are those indestructible marshmallow candies that show up for Easter, so it makes sense they’d be holding their diaroma contest at this time of year.
Here is the link to the main article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/peeps-show-v/2011/04/11/AF3NYHSD_gallery.html
The grand prize winner and my other favorite submissions are below.
Happily there was also a good stack of oddities in the latest News of the Weird from Chuck Sheppard.
Government in Action- or inaction…
The CIA recently won two court rulings allowing the agency to refuse comment about its former contractor Dennis Montgomery — rulings that issues involving him are “state secrets” (despite strong evidence that the main “secret” is merely how foolish the agency, and the U.S. Air Force, were to pay Montgomery at least $20 million for bogus software following 9-11, according to a February New York Times report). Montgomery, a small-time gambler who said he was once abducted by aliens, convinced the two agencies that his sophisticated software could detect secret al-Qaida messages embedded in video pixels on Al Jazeera’s news website. According to the Times report, Montgomery has not been charged with wrongdoing and is not likely to be, since the agencies do not want their gullibility publicized. [New York Times, 2-28-2011]
For about a year, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has been facilitating Mexico’s increasingly bloody drug wars by turning a blind eye to U.S. gun sales to the cartels — even though those very guns account for some civilian deaths as well as the December fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. According to the senior ATF agent who supplied evidence to CBS News, neither the Mexican government nor many U.S. officials were aware of the program (called “Fast and Furious”) until mid-March. ATF allowed the sales so it could track the guns’ locations, to facilitate, at some future date, bringing indictments against drug traffickers. [CBS News, 3-3-2011]
Until recently, many pregnant women at risk of delivering prematurely could be aided by an obstetrician-recommended workup of a chemical compound, at a cost of about $10 to $20 a dose. However, in February, the Food and Drug Administration approved a specific commercial version, K-V Pharmaceutical’s Makena, which K-V began pricing at $1,500 a dose (citing its need to recoup “research” costs). K-V also began threatening dispensers of the workup compound, since FDA had anointed Makena with “market exclusivity.” (Update: FDA changed its mind in March and announced that providers of the workup compound could continue to offer it.) [Los Angeles Times, 3-9-2011; FDA statement, 3-30-2011]
I give this guy ‘snaps’ for being creative…
Britain’s Border Agency announced the firing of an immigration officer in January. The man had apparently turned sour on his marriage, and while his wife was on holiday with her family in Pakistan, he quietly added her name to the terrorist list of people not allowed into the country. [Daily Mail, 1-30-2011]
I always love it when Oregon makes the stupid criminals list…
In Houston in February, Christopher Harding, 23, was sentenced to three years in prison for beating up his mother (who is disabled and requires a caretaker) and yanking out her dentures. [Houston Chronicle, 2-24-2011]
In Long Beach, Calif., in February, police arrested two 19-year-old men, Kirk Lewis and Daniel Bard, and charged them as two of the three men they sought in the robbery of a 5-year-old girl. [Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.), 2-25-2011]
Intra-Geek-Community Crime: In March, a teenager was charged with attempting to rob the Fun 4 All comic-book store in Southfield, Mich., with a homemade bomb (that looked realistic but turned out to be harmless) and presenting a list of the specific collectors’ merchandise (not money) he wanted. After the clerk balked at the demands, the robber relented, paid cash for a few of the items on the list, and left. When arrested later, he called the incident a “social experiment.” [WJBK-TV (Detroit), 3-9-2011]
Timothy James Chapek, 24, was charged with burglary in March after he broke into a house in Portland, Ore., and took a shower. Unknown to him, the resident was in another part of the house and came, with his two German shepherds and a gun, to confront Chapek through the closed bathroom door, while calling 911. Fearing the dogs and the gun, Chapek simultaneously dialed 911 himself, begging that officers come quickly and arrest him. (Chapek, later released on bond, was re-arrested two days later in Chehalis, Wash., while, according to police, loading shoplifted goods into a stolen car.) [The Oregonian, 3-8-2011] [KATU-TV (Portland), 3-10-2011]
Jason Davis was sentenced in December in Burlington, Iowa, to five years in prison for one crime, but still pending is his August 2010 arrest for shoplifting at Westland Mall, which ended with Davis passed out after making a crime-scene boo-boo in his pants. [The Hawk Eye (Burlington), 12-10-2010]
Michael Trias, 20, was arrested in March in Mesa, Ariz., after a botched residential burglary. According to police, Trias had come in through a window but had landed in a clothes basket made of PVC and netting, and become entangled. His flailing attempts to free himself alerted the homeowner. [Phoenix New Times, 3-11-2011]
I’m posting this because they put the words ‘rogue’ and ‘taxidermy’ in the same sentence…
In February, a New York City gallery began offering classes in “anthropomorphic taxidermy,” described as a “Victorian hobby” in which mouse carcasses are not only meticulously cleaned and stuffed, but outfitted in handmade miniature 19th-century clothing, such as bloomers. British practitioners are said to have created elaborate scenes featuring scores of the costumed bodies. Class instructor Susan Jeiven said the mice have to look “classy.” “I don’t like rogue taxidermy.” [New York Post, 2-13-2011]
Salt Lake County (Utah) corrections officer Robert Monson, 38, was charged in December with having sex with a female he had met while she was in lockup. According to the woman, the couple’s trysts were not impeded by her ankle monitor, which Monson insisted was “sexy.” (In fact, shortly after the monitor was removed, the relationship ended.) [Salt Lake Tribune, 12-9-2010]
A 50-year-old man was charged with indecent exposure near Yakima, Wash., in March when he jumped in front of a woman, genitals exposed, but otherwise dressed in a diver’s wet suit, mask and bright orange gloves. [Yakima Herald-Republic, 3-16-2011]