Monthly Archives: December 2007

The Most Amazing Man in the World

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Alexis Lemaire, mathlete.

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Jack and Diane Movie Greater Than Eponymous Song

Let us begin with some basic information: John Mellancamp is kind’ve a hack, and Ellen Page is, I think, It. Or she’s got It. Or she’s next. Or she’s now. Hot? Everybody like Ellen Page right now, because this trailer for her film, Juno, is fabulous, and the movie has received what Metacritic calls “Universal Acclaim”.

Well, being a bored and curious fellow, I decided to see what else the title star is up to, and found, disappointingly, a movie on her schedule called “Jack and Diane”. Now, “Jack and Diane” is the title of the most popular song by the singer John Couger Mellancamp, who, lately, is mostly known for his work in Chevy commercials. Grudgingly, I went to the IMDB page for this movie, to see how somebody would flesh out a story about “two American kids growin’ up in the heartland”.

Well, here’s the plot, according to IMDB:

Jack and Diane, two teenage lesbians, meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane’s charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack’s tough skinned heart. But, when Jack discovers that Diane is leaving the country in a week she tries to push her away. Diane must struggle to keep their love alive while hiding the secret that her newly awakened sexual desire occasionally turns her into a werewolf.

Yeah, I didn’t see that last sentence coming, either.  Let’s just analyze the basic stories we’ve got happening here, in a single movie:

  • Forbidden love (lesbian love).
  • Teenage love
  • Brief love
  • Lust
  • Werewolves

So, we’re working with elements from (at the very least), “An American Werewolf In London”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Lost in Translation”, and “Brokeback Mountain”. Apparently, the plot is also “Ginger Snaps”, but in reverse. I’ve never seen that movie, so I can’t really comment on it, but, I mean, the rest of the movies were pretty good, right? Doesn’t this movie have every pubescent tease in it, somewhere? Werewolves, lesbians, adventure, drama, comedy, sex, and violence?

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Progressive New Jersey

New Jersey has a lousy reputation in the US.  Especially in the Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas, Jersey is often derided as a second-class state, filled with the northeast corridor’s version of hillbillies and hicks.  A state filled with urban pollution, but without the vaunted urban cosmopolitanism.  A state with the backwoods ideals, personalities, and mullets of the Deep South, but without any of the beauty.

Of course, given the sympathies and general contrarianism of the Curious Mechanism, this site wholly endorses New Jersey as one of the very best states in the US.  It has gambling in Atlantic City, for those who like to gamble.  It has easy access to two major cities, Philly and NYC.  It has a passable shore.  And somewhere it’s got the best corn  east of the Mississippi.   Oh, and it has a few thousand 24 hour diners, and really, the value of being able to get decent eggs and toast, and a bottomless cup of strong coffee at 3AM cannot be undervalued.

Well, New Jersey has just raised the bar for a lot of other states.  It’s officially abolishing its death penalty.

Now, this isn’t a hugely significant in terms of prison sentences, as Jersey’s death row only has eight inmates presently, and NJ hasn’t executed anyone since the 1960s.  While all eight inmates will now have life sentences instead of death sentences, the biggest impact will come as, perhaps, New Jersey’s actions could lead other states to their own abolishments of the death penalty.  By the time I’m an old, old man, the federal government might be seriously talking about abolishing the death penalty.

It’s a good step in the right direction.

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Money! Get Your Money Here!

From the Associated Press, via AOL:

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced a novel approach to injecting money into the banking system as it struggles to combat a severe credit crunch that threatens to drag the country into a recession.

The Fed said it would conduct two auctions next week where banks can bid for up to $40 billion in loans, money that they will have to bolster their own reserves. It marked the Fed’s biggest concentrated effort to inject liquidity into the banking system since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The hope is that the extra funds will spur increased lending on the part of the banks and combat a serious credit crunch that has made loans harder to obtain for many businesses and consumers.

To sum: banks will bid to buy money from the government, at an interest of around 4.75%.

Having worked for the banking industry, I understand the need for this.  I can understand that banks are in need of money, and that this is a potential quick-fix to get some cash invested in the economy.  But, in the end, the government is just selling $40 billion.

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Back Soon

whitecontraption.jpgSorry there haven’t been any new posts lately.  The Curious Mechanism has moved into a new house, and we’re still waiting for the Internets to get hooked up.  Hopefully, a spectacular number of posts will start appearing again within a few days.

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