Saturday, August 20, 2005

Kung Fu, Puzzle Cheating, Alan Lomax, Stetson Kennedy, The Freakos, Fritz Lang

First of all, if you haven't seen Kung Fu Hustle yet, go out and rent a copy right away. It's fantastic! If you're a Coen Brothers fan, you'll love it. Lots of Chuck Jonesish images. It's different from most movies you've seen, and whenever something is different, it gets an extra ten points from me, even if it's not that good. But KFH is different and good. I'm looking forward to watching the extras and commentary later today.

Here's Kevin Choset, Volokh's Puzzleblogger, with views on what constitutes cheating in crossword, trivia, and other puzzles. I am largely but not entirely in agreement with him. Even though I do it occasionally, I am reluctant to invite the comments of those with whom I happen to be sitting while doing crosswords (usually my lunchmates at work), but like him, I would never dream of Googling for anything. BTW, you've probably heard Carl Orff's work, even if you didn't realize it. They play it in a lot of movies right when the maniacal bad guy has unveiled his unstoppable plan for world domination.

I'm adding the official Alan Lomax website to the blogroll. Alan Lomax, who died a few years ago, was one of the 20th Century's foremost musicologists. He carried on the work that his father started by travelling the world and recording (in the field - often literally) the folk music of Europe, the Middle East, the American South, Asia, the Caribbean, you name it. I'd love to read a well-researched, definitive biography of Lomax, but as far as I know none have ever been written on him.

Also, lending evidence to my belief that most interesting things are connected to each other somehow, there is a tribute to Lomax on the front page of that site written by Stetson Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy is the man described in Freakonomics who went undercover as a KKK recruit so as to get the secret passwords that were immediately incorporated into the Superman radio show. Too long to explain if you haven't read the book.

Also about Freakonomics, I am going to vote for it in the newly established Quill Awards. If they lose, Freakonomics, 2nd ed. can have a chapter explaining how Web-based voting awards like this are almost meaningless. (I assume everyone knows who Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf was?)

I'm adding the U.K.'s Spike Magazine to my links, too. Here's an article from them on the great German director Fritz Lang.


Post a Comment

<< Home