Nov 10, 2009

The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

For Facebook readers who can't see the embedded video, click here.

Today is much more amusing than the advent of my Jesus year :-)  Shout out to mom and dad!

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By the way, I haven't seen The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Just this clip.  Is it representative?

12:51 AM in AV, Misc. 2009 | Permalink | Comments (5)

Oct 07, 2009

Here Comes the Sun -- George Harrison and Paul Simon

For Facebook readers who aren't seeing the embedded video, click here.

We've had some grey days lately.  Not cold, but grey and a little bit wet -- the kind of mix that can send me confused in October when I'm fretting that the warm days are gone.

I'm grateful for today's sun and warmth.  And for this performance which I first saw in the early 90s.  Didn't see it again until recently. In my memory, the Harrison's harmonies were more distinct and more frequent.  But I'm OK with the tease, so long as the sun is out.

11:22 AM in AV | Permalink | Comments (1)

Oct 06, 2009

If You Are Going Through Hell, Keep Going

If you are going through hell, keep going.

- Winston Churchill.

h/t to Barry at En Revanche, who has recently posted an inspiring attorney's obituary.*

Rodney Atkins provides the country version of the Churchill quote.  Like many country singers, Atkins uses some, um, "least common denominator" language to get his point across.  And like many country songs, this one makes pretty decent sense.

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*In case you're wondering what tax lawyers do, in addition to making movies like The Firm, here's something from the Missouri Bar Bulletin.

Published on: 1/1/2006 Stanley Weiner 

The seeds of what would become Missouri's IOLTA program were planted in the early 1980s, when the Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar asked Kansas City attorney Stanley P. Weiner, a member of the firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, to chair a Special Task Force on Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts.

The Board charged the task force with looking into the feasibility of establishing an IOLTA program - a concept already operational in several states - in Missouri. 

"I was appointed to chair the task force because IOLTA had a significant tax issue, and I'm a tax attorney," Weiner recently recalled with a laugh."The analogy that tax people use is that 'whoever owns the tree pays taxes on the fruit.' When clients have their money in a trust account with an attorney, they own the tree.Theoretically, they should pay income tax on the earnings in that trust account.That was the tax issue. 

"Because of the fact that the amounts of money that would be generated in terms of [interest] income to clients are so small, and because attorneys combine many of their trust account monies together, the result is that accounting for who has $2.14 of interest on the $1,000 they left in a trust account for two months is just too expensive.Up until IOLTA, these trust account funds were put in non-interest bearing accounts because attorneys could not keep the interest themselves - it wasn't their money and it was unethical," Weiner said. 

"It was Florida that came up with the idea of changing it so that the income could be sent to IOLTA without accounting for the income as the client's," he added.The Florida program was also aided by a favorable Internal Revenue Service ruling stating that the interest generated by client funds held in an interest-earning trust account does not belong to the client. 

At the request of the Board of Governors, Weiner traveled to Florida to further investigate the operation of that program.

Joining Weiner on the fact-finding mission was Richard F. Halliburton, executive director of Legal Aid of Western Missouri. ... Weiner and Halliburton, along with the other members of the task force, then prepared a recommendation for a voluntary IOLTA program. ... "When the Supreme Court adopted the Board of Governors' recommendation, Missouri became the 30th state to adopt IOLTA," Weiner said. ... "Glenn shared the Foundation's emphasis that a minimal staff was essential," Weiner added. ... "It's hard to believe that it has been 20 years."

10:55 AM in AV, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jul 27, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3. Pushing Tin. New York Transportation Control on Hulu

By coincidence, perhaps, I just spotted two "New York transportation control"-themed movies on Hulu.com (note that they aren't available forever, so watch now or plan to rent).

In The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Robert Shaw and crew take over a New York City subway and hold its passengers hostage.  Subway exec Walter Matthau manages the crisis with the cool of Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon.  The writing and acting are top notch, and of a rhythm and style that we don't see these days.  Cultural bonus: it's a great look at 1974 New York -- very pre-Giuliani, and well before the spread of politically correct speech. Music bonus: a fine score by David Shire.  Trivia: this movie gave Quentin Tarantino the idea to name his Reservoir Dogs characters after colors.

In Pushing Tin, John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton are New York area traffic controllers.  (Note that this film came out in 1999, two years before 9/11).  I didn't much care for the whole movie (which also stars Cate Blanchett and Angelina Jolie for the drama parts) but I loved the air traffic control scenes, especially the opening flight sequence.  If you just want to see the air traffic control parts that I liked, watch the opening, the scene at around 27 minutes, and the scene at around 1 hour 26 minutes.

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Minor actor bonus from Pelham One Two Three: a younger Jerry Stiller, and Doris Roberts as the Mayor's Wife.  Roberts also has a small part in Walter Matthau's A New Leaf.

10:43 PM in AV | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jul 16, 2009

In B-flat, "A collaborative musical/spoken word project" by Darren Solomon

In b-flat screen

In B-flat is a "collaborative musical/spoken word project" by Darren Solomon.  It's brilliant.  Various folks recorded riffs in the key of B-flat, and Darren assembled them into a multi-voiced web instrument that you can mix and play however you like.  I started with the xylophone (upper left) plus the voice (guy with California t-shirt). 

Note:each panel has an independent volume control.

Note also: if you like In B-flat and you're in the Durham area, make sure to visit Christian Marclay's Video Quartet (click for brief video)  at the Nasher Museum of Art.  Up through July 26.

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Wired magazine brief notes on In B Flat

NPR notes on the strange life of B-flat, the note (not the art piece).

11:11 PM in AV, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nov 27, 2008

"You're Our Boy" -- Alice's Restaurant

For years, Thanksgiving was my reminder that I ought to mail the Alice's Restaurant LP back to the guy who lent it to me my sophomore year in college.  Eventually I quit worrying about it. 

Here's a clip from the movie:

If for some reason you don't know why I'm posting this on Thanksgiving, see the Alice's Restaurant wikipedia entry.

11:48 PM in AV | Permalink | Comments (3)