Items on the Agenda
I can't believe I've gone this long never having found the blog of The Incredible Hulk. Excerpt: Do you know what Hulk really, really likes to eat for breakfast when he knows he's going to be smashing stupid bad guys all day? He likes to eat Cream of Rice! Thor is all about Cream Of Wheat, but if there's one thing Hulk has learned from his years of smashing bad guys (yes, Juggernaut, Hulk knows you're out there just wait a minute while Hulk writes in his diary that is on the internet, ok?!?) it's that you need to have good rice energy and not heavy wheat energy because rice energy is what Shang-Chi and Iron Fist use and have you seen those people fight? They are unstoppable when they are flying around and flipping and kicking stuff in the air.
With Vertigo and North by Northwest, Hitchcock concluded two quartets of films – four with James Stewart, four with Cary Grant. From Rope to Vertigo, Stewart was closer to a representation of Hitchcock himself than any presence until Sean Connery's in Marnie. Elsewhere one of Hollywood's clearest exponents of the ordinary man as hero, Stewart's image was reshaped by Hitchcock to conform to much in his own psyche. He is in important ways what Alfred Hitchcock considered himself: the theorist of murder (in Rope); the chair-bound voyeur (in Rear Window); the protective but decidedly manipulative husband and father (in The Man Who Knew Too Much); the obsessed, guilt-ridden romantic pursuer (in Vertigo). These four roles provided James Stewart with the most substantial roles of his career and Hitchcock with an alter ego attractive enough to engage the sympathies of his audience.
Cary Grant, on the other hand, represents what Hitchcock would like to have been: the suave, irresponsible playboy (in Suspicion); the ultimate savior of a blond he nearly destroys (in Notorious); the wrongly accused hero who wins the glamorous Grace Kelly (in To Catch a Thief); and finally (in North by Northwest) the theatergoing executive whose frantic, perilous journey ends with the blond lifted up from espionage to bed.
Charles Darwin stories popping up everywhere lately. Here's the 11/28 cover story of Newsweek, and a featured article from Smithsonian Magazine. Mother Jones contrasts Darwin with Adam Smith and presents Smith as proponent of Intelligent-Design economics-- a view I do not embrace (MJ's, that is -- not Smith's), but then MJ never saw an invisible hand it didn't despise.
This sounds like a great movie, via Language Log. Excerpt: What Spellbound did for spelling bees and Word Wars did for Scrabble, a new documentary hopes to do for the world of crossword puzzling. The Sundance Film Festival has announced its 2006 lineup, and among the 16 entries in the documentary competition is a film called Wordplay, directed by Patrick Creadon. This should be of even greater interest to word buffs than Spellbound or Word Wars, since as Lauren Squires recently pointed out on Polyglot Conspiracy, national spelling bees and Scrabble tournaments are "not really about the words."