May 2005 Archives

By Very Special Request


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First One Down


I just finished my first Global Blog Roundup. Should be fun to keep doing them…

Beer is Proof that God Loves Us


Gothamist interviews the Brooklyn Brewmaster, wherein he expounds on the pleasures of drinking good beer with food, a practice I heartily endorse.

I’m a very big fan of Brooklyn Pilsner; it’s an almost perfect summer beer. Unfortunately, it’s best enjoyed draft; the bottles I’ve had haven’t quite had the same tanginess.

As a side note, I think I have a friend who slept with the Brewmaster once…

Taking You Places You've Never Imagined!

We regret to announce that Oceanic Airlines has ceased all operations effective immediately.

For fans of Lost, there are hidden messages on the site. Rather amusing, I thought…

The Kumquat Is A Mighty Fruit

But really, they have no business being in a mojito.

Beijing Bureau Bosses Battle

I Think I'm In Lurrrrrve


What’s hotter than a self-portrait of a hot chick in a corset? A self-portrait of hot chick in a corset talking about dirrty left-wing mass consumer action, that’s what…

(this entry brought to you by gratuitous use of the letter “r”)

Love Potion Number 9

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The Number 9 is saying its last farewells. Unfortunately, the MTA Store doesn’t seem to have any 9 train memorabilia, which is kinda a shame. I woulda liked a 9 shirt…

Remember to drop by for all your New York subway minutia.

Glass For Sale


BTW, I’m trying to sell a 42-inch glass tabletop. If you’re interested, drop me a line and mention this site for the hefty discount…

Captain Antilles, I Presume


93824_R.jpg As observant readers might have noticed, I had a bit of subliminal Star Wars on the brain over the past week. Yesterday I tromped off to go see the latest (last?) installment in the franchise—a just reward for surviving my finals (Civ Pro in particular).

I liked it, and I liked it a lot.

It’s certainly not a great film, and, A. O. Scott notwithstanding, it’s definitely not the best film in the series. It is, though, the third-best movie in the franchise, brought low only by Lucas’ leaden ear for dialog and some unfortunate acting. The action sequences are spectacular, yet they never break down into incoherence (apparently, Steven Spielberg had a hand in designing several of them). Most importantly, the downfall of Anakin Skywalker is invested with Shakespearean depth (but, alas, without the Shakespearean language); he is undone by his own ambition and overreaching.

By far the best acting in the film is done by Ian McDiarmid, who plays the evil Palpatine; second honors go to Ewan MacGregor, doing his best Alec Guinness accent. Frank Oz, voicing an entirely computer-generated Yoda, more than holds his own, and even the much-lambasted Hayden Christensen manages to have some moments of his own. Natalie Portman, however, doesn’t have much to do in the movie other than look like she’s got a pregnancy prosthetic strapped to her belly.

One theme that ran through the entire film was how it was a transition to the the world of the first three films. The design of the artifacts in the film, particularly the spacecraft, look forward to what we’ll see in Episode IV (keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by the Millennium Falcon very early in the film), and the dialogue echos famous lines from the original trilogy, creating thematic bonds and resonances for the later films.

Overall, it’s not quite a masterpiece, but a very satisfying conclusion nonetheless. I just might have to go see it again.

Two side notes: near the end of the film, a character called “Captain Antilles” makes a brief appearance. Captain Antilles is presumably the father, or perhaps the uncle, of Wedge Antilles (aka Red 2), the only non-starring character in the first trilogy to appear in all three films. Denis Lawson, the actor who played Wedge, is the uncle of Ewan MacGregor… who, of course, plays, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

And second, Global Voices is tracking international reaction to the film. It’s truly a global phenomenon.

Now to get started on the $%@! writing competition.

This is Red Five: I'm Goin' In


3.5 hour exam starts at 2 p.m. EDT.

Wedge, cover me.

Almost there….



Taking a trip down memory lane: This was the first thing I ever bought from Amazon, all the way back in 1997. That was back when they just sold books, not everything under the sun, like they do now.

What was the first thing you ever bought on-line?

So, this makes me a postmodern existentialist?

You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Mankind is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.

Cultural Creative

What is Your World View? (corrected…hopefully)
created with

I’m actually mildly suprised by the low ‘cultural creative’ score. The rest of it, though, seems to be more or less right.

Red Five, Checking In


4.5 hour contracts exam Monday, 6 hour Property exam Wednesday, Crim Law tomorrow, Civ Pro and Con Law next week.

I don’t recall fall semester’s exams taking this much out of me.

Good People Doing Good Things

My friend and occasional drinking partner (when we’re on the same continent, that is) Jason Eng was in China recently, where he made a mini-documentary for Operation Smile.

Check out this really rather amazing film here.

Jedi This, Pal

From How Lightsabers Work:

Although a lightsaber is typically used as a defensive weapon by Jedi knights, the availability of lightsabers on consumer sites such as eBay is growing. It is a sad fact of life, but if a Jedi knight falls on hard times, his lightsaber is one source of quick cash. He can always build another one.

There are also pictures.

But there’s something slightly off about the caption for the photo below (taken from this article):


Anyone have a better caption?

Before I shut down for the next two weeks of finals hell (there is a theory going around that 1Ls in finals might be a good place to look for nuclear fusion, given the intense pressure inside their heads), I feel obligated to point out that the Yankees are in last place, and that gives me rather undue pleasure.

Triple Nickel

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Issues with upgrading simultaneously to a new computer and Tiger. That, plus finals, means that blogging will be rather light over the next few days. I leave you with a picture that answers the rarely-asked question: were there bathrooms on the Death Star?

Also, bidding for lunch has jumped all the way up to $15 and happy Cinco de Mayo, y’all…

Update: Mission Lunch

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Lunch with Chevy and Paul S. is now $3,377. Lunch with me is a bargin, though: bidding’s currently $2.98. Act now!

Ride In A Hole In The Ground

Until Brian Eno comes out with Music for Subways, I’m not sure that there’s more appropriate music for a subway ride than this piece (5.1 MB MP3 file).

Bless You


What does it mean when two of the three of the fortune cookies that came with last night’s dinner say “Blessed is that man who has found his work”?

(Oh, and on the back is the Mandarin for “gift”: “Li-wu”. And the lucky numbers are 5, 17, 12, 44, 37, 25.)

Illiquid Lunch


How’d you like to have lunch with Paul Simon and Chevy Chase? Well, as of Sunday morning, it’ll only cost you $2,877.

Since I’m shameless enough to plagiarize myself, I’m opening an auction for lunch with myself again. Bidding starts at $0.25 for this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Much cheaper than lunch with Paul Simon, and since my name is also Paul, it’s almost the same thing (and if you want, you can even call me Al)!

Bidding ends Monday, May 9, at midnight.