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Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Great older movies: Scorsese, Kubrick, Weir

These great older movies are either underrated, not well-known, on my top 10 list, or just what came to my mind today. I suggest you rent or buy them if you care:

The King of Comedy: by Martin Scorsese (written by Paul D. Zimmermann), recently out with Oscar-free Gangs of New York, and one of the greatest living directors. Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) tries a career as stand-up and pesters late-night show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). Endlessly watchable classic that shows De Niro did comedy even back in the earlier days.

The Color of Money: Scorsese again, with pool-shooting Tom Cruise & Paul Newman.
Not agreed with E! Online who put this classic in their Worst Sequels Top 10. Pfui!
[Tagline: “The hustler isn’t what he used to be, but he has the next best thing: a kid who is”].

Lolita: by Stanley Kubrick, based on the Nabokov novel, with chameleon actor Peter Sellers in several roles. (Not to be confused with the 1997 version by Adrian Lyne.)

War Games (aka WarGames): fun 80s computer-retro by John Badham, yes, director of Saturday Night Fever, with Matthew Broderick as teen-hacker David Lightman. Some stuff in that movie is actually quite realistic, compared to pseudo-hacking like seen in trashy “Hackers” (yeah, the Angelina Jolie one) et al.
[Tagline: “Is it a game, or is it real?”]

Man Bites Dog (C’est arrivé près de chez vous): disturbing, graphic, and ultra-dark social satire, following the tracks of a ruthless (but humorous) serial killer. Actors use their real names in this pre-Dogma Black & White film from Belgium. Try to get the French-language version with English sub-titles if you’re not put off by the adult theme.

Words we basically don’t need

I’ll start my Save Trees & Bandwidth campaign with a list of words we basically don’t need in the English language:

Come on, those are either ambiguous, underused, hard-to-spell, or plain annoying. Let’s not even get me started with overused (dead) words.

Let’s put all of them to the fiunary (which, according to “The Meaning of Liff” by Douglas Adams, is the word for “The safe place you put something and then forget where it was”).

This one’s OK though:

Nudidity - Excessive or prolonged nudity; more nude than naked.
(Ex. ’You know why summer’s great? It’s not the heat; it’s the nudidity.’)
– Natalie (

The German language is full of body metaphors. “Earworm” [1] describes a song that you can’t get out of your head (wether you like it or not).
“I got my nose full” and “I got such a neck” both refer to the state of utter frustration. “With body and soul” [2], “in the blink of an eye”, and “gooseneck” have their English counterparts and need no explanation. However, could you guess the meaning of “humping one’s knee"? Well, it’s the same as when a German says, “kiss my bum” (which you probably understand).

Now, you’re “walking on your gums” when you’re broke, while others have “hairs on their teeth”. “Pulling it out of your hair” [3] is making it up. (Liars often have a “big mouth” or “open their mouth wide”.) A “hairy” situation is a dangerous one. Maybe you want to let others know about it, because it “burns on the tips of your fingers”. (The tip of your index finger is also the area where you sense subtle things in Germany.) If you don’t tell someone, the issue might “lie heavily on your stomach” [4], and you need to “carry it on your shoulder”. (You better not go on “silent feet” about it.)

Did you “throw your eye on someone” [5]? Well, that must mean you like that person. (You might go out on a limb and initiate flirting, but need nerves of steel, since the other one might want to split hairs with every word that’s lying on your tongue, and will “lie on your ear" for the rest of the conversation.)
If you’re unlucky, you’ll end up hanging “out of the neck” [6] of the other person (which simply means you were annoying).

[1] “Ohrwurm”
[2] “Mit Leib und Seele”
[3] “An den Haaren herbeigezogen”
[4] “Etwas liegt schwer auf dem Magen”
[5] “Ein Auge auf jemand werfen”
[6] “Etwas hängt einem zum Hals raus”

Why Google loves blogs:

“[Weblogs are] frequently updated websites crammed chockfull of tasty links.”
– John Hiler

I found this annoying enough to share:

An RSS feed is a computer-readable index of your website. Instead of using HTML, which is designed for formatting on the screen, you use XML, which is designed to be easy for computer programs to read. It’s a really simple way for a web site to syndicate its content ...”
CityDesk Knowledge Base

Sorry, HTML is not for formatting on the screen, nor was it ever designed to be, and there’s no reason why HTML shouldn’t be in XML (after all, XHTML is). This article on RSS feeds is more balanced.

Noteworthy Google Answers questions lately are What language was [Microsoft] Windows written in?, Is there such a thing as a smell detector and [Do Stupid Peacenicks Know That Dictators Have Killed More, Than All Wars?]. Also: Markabe asks How to Write a Book Quickly and Easily.

All things Google. Ask yourself: Does Google like you? Get to know the tricks for searching with Google. New articles on Top 10 Errors in Web Design and Top 10 Positive Tendencies in Web Design. Also, a short overview of correct web terminology. Unrelated: My new site Authorama - Public Domain Books went online.


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