Late Night Open Thread

I just finished watching this week's "24" about a terrorist attack on the White House. It was way better than the Bachelor Finale. Jason is now the butt of jokes everywhere from Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon. He knows he's gone from Most Eligible of the Year to Most Hated of the Year... but it's only March. So he's embarked on a media apology tour, groveling for forgiveness on Ellen and Extra... just pitiful.

What's going on in your neck of the woods? This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Ted Wells Discusses Scooter Libby's Conviction | WaPo: Obama Like Bush >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    The NCAA gave FSU 4 years (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Amiss on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:04:30 AM EST
    probation for their academic cheating scandal.

    The NCAA said 61 Florida State athletes cheated on an online test from the fall of 2006 through summer 2007 or received improper help from staffers who provided them with answers to the exam and typed papers for them.

    The NCAA said the school must vacate all wins in contests in which athletes involved in the cheating participated. That could involve up to 14 football victories.


    The horror, the horror! (none / 0) (#18)
    by Fabian on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 05:16:55 AM EST
    I feel for all the academically gifted athletes who suffer because of their academically incompetent teammates.  The dumb jock stereotype has survived for a reason - there's a steady supply of athletes who fit the mold.

    My mother is on MySpace! (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by nycstray on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:29:55 AM EST

    So after seeing the posts and commenting on the FaceBook thread, I find out tonight my mother has a MySpace page. She's in her mid 70's. Of course I was too shocked to ask for a link, lol!~ We were discussing my weekend food/CSA related plans and I was telling her how I had (in my brain numbing work haze) put together layouts for my CSA group and a blog/sites for myself. She thought it was great and talked a bit about social networking and that she has a MySpace page. Oy! I'm suddenly behind my mom in internet/tech/networking?!?! I'm guessing MySpace is fairly easy? Haven't had to do any "tech" work from across the country! Geeze, I remember the day I bought her internet access for Christmas. We actually got in an argument about whether it was going to be another "problem" that she would have to deal with . . . nevermind that I still get phone calls about email "issues", lol!~

    I am laughing so hard (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by oldpro on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:09:04 AM EST
    I almost wet my pants!

    It all rings so true (your mother is my age, give or take a year or two) and my tech-terrific son just rolls his eyes when he has to teach me something about my DVD player or my new wireless laptop or anything more complicated than "plug it in, turn it on and hit 'go!'"  If I had a MySpace page (or even knew what FaceBook was or is), he too would freak out.

    Keeping you kids alert is one of the few things we live for these days, so watch it Cookie.  You never know what we'll do next!


    For the record . . . :) (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by nycstray on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 02:12:09 AM EST
    Not rolling my eyes (too much!), but it's a tad frustrating when mom calls and wants help. She has this idea that I can see her screen!!! I remember one night it was a photoshop question (YES! my fault, I gave it to her!!) and she was talking to me like I could see that "little pointer on the screen"! I've gone into auto-solve mode and it's been working. She calls with an email issue and I run her through "typical" solutions and we usually hit it pretty quick.

    I know she reads blogs and stuff, but I sure didn't expect "social networking" cheerleading from her, or to find out she had a MySpace page, lol!~  I'm almost afraid to ask for the link. I remember one time when she showed me the pics she carried around of me in her purse. O.M.G.!!! The 80's, need I say more?!

    I'll have to give her a call tomorrow. I'm now curious if it was her knitting groups or my niece (20's) that moved her to MySpace :)

    The internet sure adds a new dynamic to families, eh? What's funny is my niece is living with my parents, so she's prob more tech educated (maybe why I haven't gotten a phone call?!) net wise, but as the "old standard", it's me, lol!~ I will say I'm proud that they managed to "wireless" the house without me. Mom used Apple Help line for setup help."Whew", another computer issue I wouldn't want to deal with from the opposite coast!


    What? You live on the (none / 0) (#22)
    by oldpro on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 10:24:09 AM EST
    opposite coast from your Mom?

    A big part of the problem.  Who moved?  You...or Mom?

    And your niece has moved in with Mom?  And is helping her with stuff?  Hmmm.

    Better check to see if you're still in the will!


    New Surgeon General (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:41:06 AM EST
    Hmmmm... According to that story... (none / 0) (#13)
    by EL seattle on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:17:56 AM EST
    CNN said two White House officials noted that, while it is too early to compile a list of candidates for surgeon general, they did not rule out Dean getting the job.

    So, was Gupta the only one they'd been considering for the position before he dropped out?  Or were they planning to wait until springtime to spend time to get the position filled?


    Am I wrong (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Steve M on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 08:47:27 AM EST
    or could the story have equally well been about how I am a potential candidate for Surgeon General?  Because, I mean, it's too early to compile a list of candidates, but they haven't ruled me out.  Or you.

    Having built in oh so much (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:27:31 AM EST
    suspense before announcing Obama tapped Biden for VP--let's try that again.

    Somehow (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:38:59 AM EST
    I don't see millions signing up to get their exclusive alert on this on Twitter or email or Ipods or whatever. . . .

    Update (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:15:41 PM EST
    Dean not interested.

    CNN said he had privately made clear that he is interested in the job. But a source close to Dean told Reuters he was not.

    Friday Night Lights (none / 0) (#4)
    by hitchhiker on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:49:52 AM EST
    I'm addicted.  

    My insomnia-based google search (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:50:33 AM EST
    was for "fiscalizing a deficit." I was reading about deficit monetization on the wikipedia page about hyperinflation.

    One of the first results was "Will Bank Bailouts Bust Budgets? Fiscalization of the East Asian Financial Crisis" (PDF) by Jay Rosengard.

    I'm about to find out if I have the economics background to understand the article. . .

    Or (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by squeaky on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:51:39 AM EST
    Have your insomnia cured...

    Indeed (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:55:54 AM EST
    I've already about given up. . .

    Before you totally immerse yourself, (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:54:19 AM EST
    how did the oral argument go today?

    Very, very well, thanks (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:55:38 AM EST
    Though I was told at the end that I made the mistake of sarcastically insulting the Petitioner. Knowing myself, I am quite sure that I did.

    Ha. Unconsciously, no doubt. (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:58:11 AM EST
    Not exactly. . . (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:02:53 AM EST
    Thanks for the laugh (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by nycstray on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 02:19:06 AM EST
    I don't know enough about the oral arguments you were doing, but your knowledge of yourself and admittance of perhaps being "sarcastically insulting" brought a smile to my mug. I think I may be able to relate, lol!~ I think it's a good thing I went to art school, and you just reminded me of another reason why  ;)

    Does it "harm" you in your future endeavors (that it was called out)?


    No, no harm (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 09:21:25 AM EST
    just a small note about my personality. . .

    Did you accept that as constructive (none / 0) (#30)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:21:51 PM EST
    criticism with an intention of working at taming that habit?

    I would think that being respectful to all people in a courtroom (well, everywhere, actually) would be an asset.


    I given this some thought. In light (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:10:41 PM EST
    of your history here, did you say:  I am done engaging with you?

    Heh, no (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:06:34 PM EST
    I was not disrespectful to the judges.

    "With all due respect, . . ." (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:10:42 PM EST
    rofl (none / 0) (#31)
    by Steve M on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:31:24 PM EST
    Good one oculus!

    Moot court can be a valuable experience.  I still remember, and try to live by, advice I received while doing mock trials in high school.


    I did mock trial in HS too (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:53:21 PM EST
    A different animal. . .

    In fact (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Steve M on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 02:13:37 PM EST
    I'm pretty certain mock trial is a more useful process to go through, but you take what they give you.  I always agreed with Judge Kozinski's criticism of moot court personally.

    If only interrupting the judge while (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 03:04:56 PM EST
    judge is asking a question would cause that judge not to ask any further questions!

    Hilarity in the footnotes: (none / 0) (#34)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 02:45:47 PM EST
    many moot court programs have trouble generating interest among the larger student community - such as at Yale where attendance at mock trials got so low that, instead of inviting the likes of John Sirica or Gerhard Gesell to judge, Yale students invited, as a publicity stunt, Judge Wapner of People's Court fame.

    Ironically enough (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Steve M on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 02:50:30 PM EST
    our moot court finals were judged by... Judge Kozinski.

    heh (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 02:54:55 PM EST
    BTW, I disagree with n4. This is just one of those situations where it would not be fair to have moot court replicate real life.

    Well (none / 0) (#39)
    by Steve M on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 03:27:07 PM EST
    Generally speaking, I think it is good to get students out of their comfort zone and force them to try and figure out the arguments for positions they may disagree with.  I learned a lot in a business ethics class when I got assigned to argue Ford's side of the Pinto debacle.  But that specific example goes far enough that I would agree with you...

    I think there is a line you can draw (none / 0) (#40)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 03:29:07 PM EST
    in an academic environment, and the example in n4 goes over it.

    Watchmen - no. Coraline - yes. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Fabian on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 06:11:36 AM EST
    Poor Alan Moore.  The man has yet to see any of his books adapted successfully into movies.  Most of the problem is that the best candidate for a movie adaptation is a short story, not a full length novel.  Novels generally have too much material and too many characters to translate well to the screen.  Movie scripts usually center around a handful of characters, a couple of locations and ideally take place in a few days in order to keep the pace up.

    Moore writes as much about the society his characters inhabit and he keeps a large stable of characters.  Since he writes about society, he usually goes back into the past to illustrate how this particular society came to be.  He's right about Watchmen being "unfilmable" because the novel has all the wrong components for being a good movie.  It could be a fantastic series on cable, but that lacks the profit potential of the big screen.  

    Reviews say "Nice try, but...." so I'll pass.

    Coraline is by another Brit - Neil Gaiman.  It's not a short story, but it is a short book.  That's a point in its favor.  It has one main character - Coraline - and the narrative centers solely on her.  A huge plus for a movie adaptation.  It moves quickly.  In the book once the initial scene setting process ends and the story gets underway, it takes three days from beginning to end.  It's brought to life by the same animator who did A Nightmare Before Christmas.  It all sounded very promising and then I read the reviews.  Few complaints, much praise.

    So instead of seeing a movie adapted from a "mature readers" graphic novel, I'll be going to see a movie adapted from a "young readers" book/graphic novel.  

    Hey. Are you one of those Amazon (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 10:49:20 AM EST
    citizen reviewers?

    No. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Fabian on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 11:41:25 AM EST
    I've just been hoping against hope that someone will do an Alan Moore adaptation that does the source material justice.  There's just NO way Watchmen can be done as a movie.  Movies give you a little over two hours to introduce characters, tell a story and wrap it all up.  That's a single issue of a comic book - and comic books assume you are at least somewhat familiar with the setting and characters.  Watchmen is twelve issues, which means it is twelves times too long for a movie.

    The part I'm really going to miss seeing is where the police go on strike as a protest against the costumed heroes/vigilantes.  The concept surprised me at first, but then I realized that it made sense.


    As I recall review from NPR, (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:09:31 PM EST
    "Watchmen," the movie is almost three hours long.  Sounds like trying to make the O'Brien series of books into one movie:  "Master and Commander."

    I've kind of read (none / 0) (#38)
    by Fabian on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 03:21:57 PM EST
    the O'Brien series.  I was getting into the Good Doctor becoming a opiate addict.  And, of course, he knew exactly what he was doing - or so he told himself.  Doctors should be the last people to become addicts because they should know exactly what the dangers are.  That just means they have a unique lie they can tell themselves: "I'm a professional, I know exactly what I'm doing!".

    But yeah, they scrunched the most exciting bits of several books into a movie.  Why they couldn't have made a movie based on just one book, I don't know.  Probably wasn't "exciting" enough for Hollywood.

    Brian Michael Bendis wrote a lovely little book called "Fortune And Glory" about pitching an idea to Hollywood.  He was pitching his own graphic novels (good ones too) for movies.  The responses he got are entertaining, alarming and baffling.  Between Bendis' Hollywood experiences and Neil Gaiman's experiences, it's kind of amazing that Hollywood produces anything of quality and not at all surprising that they produce loads of mediocre tripe.

    Honestly, the Watchmen movie is better than I expected.  I expected it to be dumbed down into a costumed hero action flick.


    Ken Burns' Watchmen (none / 0) (#41)
    by Fabian on Sun Mar 08, 2009 at 12:29:08 PM EST
    Yes, that's the kind of approach it would take.  The book is loaded with history - history of the first masked heroes, history of the Cold War before and after Dr Manhattan, the personal histories and changes of the heroes themselves.

    If someone could crunch the entire Civil War into less than three hours without shortchanging any aspect (social, political, military), I'd be impressed.