December 31, 2006

New Indy Film Nearing Start

The start of production for a fourth Indiana Jones movie is approaching. Yay!

AP via Yahoo News:

George Lucas said Friday that filming of the long-awaited "Indiana Jones" movie will begin next year. Harrison Ford, who appeared in the three earlier flicks, the last one coming in 1989, is set to star again. Lucas said he and Steven Spielberg recently finalized the script for the film.

The movie is scheduled for release in May 2008.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:11 AM

December 30, 2006

Presidential Passings

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of President Gerald Ford, who, as we all know, died on the day after Christmas.

I mean no disrespect, but his passing got me to thinking about the deaths of other U.S. Presidents. I remembered that another former President, Ronald Reagan, had also died recently, and in my unquenchable thirst to find ways to illustrate the failures of the Bush administration, I wondered if his term of office had seen the deaths of more former Presidents than any other.

Alas, this is not one that I can hang on President Bush. There have been three Presidents who each had three predecessors die during their term. Lincoln, Grant, and Nixon.

Now considering that one of the Presidents who died during Lincoln's term, was Lincoln himself, I don't think we can really credit him with three.

But Grant did have Andrew Johnson, Pierce and Fillmore die on his watch. And Nixon had Eisenhower, Truman, and Lyndon Johnson.

So, they are the ones who get into the book of records.

The media has pointed out that President Ford was the longest-lived President, dying at age 93. But he was not the longest to survive as former president. Ford was former president for 29 years, 11 months. But Herbert Hoover lived for 31 years, 7 months after leaving office. And, interestingly, way back in the beginning, President John Adams lived for 25 years, 4 months after leaving office.

President Carter who, happily, is still with us, has been a former President for 25 years, 11 months, and still counting. If Bill Clinton were to live to age 93, he will have been former President for 38 years, 7 months.

No President has ever died in May, and seven have died in July. Strangely, three of those July deaths were on the Fourth of July: Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe. The only other bad days for multiple Presidents were, March 8 when Taft and Fillmore died, and December 26 when Ford and Truman died.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:54 PM

This pic is for Sherman

New Years Snow

For my friend Sherman, who now lives in California, and thinks that he misses snow.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:26 PM

December 28, 2006

How much cheating is OK?

I think Bonds should be out of baseball. He should never be allowed to reach the home-run record.

As you can see, I feel pretty strongly about this.

The problem I have with all this is, when it comes to cheating in baseball, I am a hypocrite.

Read the whole thing...

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:42 AM

December 25, 2006

Sounds like it's funny

Didn't understand a word. But I still watched it all the way to the end. I'd like to see it with subtitles. I imagined it as one of the classic Smother's Brother's routines.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:03 PM

December 22, 2006

Thomas Paine quote

"The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind."

-- Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:30 PM

December 20, 2006

Joi Ito on the Eat to Live diet

Joi has started on the Eat to Live diet. The initial 6-week "detox" period sounds interesting. Although they seem to avoid calling it this, it basically means becoming a vegetarian.

Joi says he'll be posting as he progresses. It'll be interesting to watch.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:07 AM

December 18, 2006


Posted by jackhodgson at 11:13 PM

Calling Rick and Jo Ann

So I just sent email to two friends, who are husband and wife, who I talk with often in the comments of this blog, but who I email with not so often.

I figured that at least one of the emails I have for them would be current. But no.

Within seconds, both emails came back.

So, Rick, Jo Ann, where are you? Please send me your current email addresses c/o

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:54 PM

Geography Test Puzzle

A new version of the old reliable, "how well do you know the locations of the US states" game.

I scored:

Score: 94%
Avg error: 9 miles
Time: 349 secs

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:11 PM

December 16, 2006

Oddly addictive balancing game


Powered by:

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:42 PM

December 13, 2006

So? Our great-grandchildren will still be paying for the Iraq War.

According to this piece on the Motley fool website...

I read a very surprising article in USA Today the other day. It seems that we American consumers of telephone services have been paying an excise tax on our phone bills for a heck of a long time. Apparently, this tax was imposed back in 1898 -- get this -- to help pay for the Spanish-American War.

The good news is you can get a refund of this money on your federal tax return.

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:22 PM

Jib Jab's Year in Review

The content is fun, but not as revolutionary as some of the their past videos. Although, there's so much there I had to watch twice to get everything.

Technically/Artistically they continue to do really interesting work. The combination of photo-realistic and cartoon art, and the "choreography", is well-done I think.

And my favorite moment in this video is at the very end.

Watch it here.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:11 AM

December 12, 2006


Posted by jackhodgson at 09:52 PM

Gabe Kapler retires

One of my favorite players from the Championship Team, Gabe Kapler, announced today that he's retiring as a player. He's staying with the Sox organization though.

Popular Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler today announced his retirement, though he is going to stick with the organization.

The Red Sox named Kapler the manager of the Greenville Drive, the team's Single-A team in South Carolina (which plays in the South Atlantic League).

That reduces the number of remaining members of the Champ Team to 10, with at least two others likely to be gone before March.

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:42 PM

Very cool expanding table

I have a fascination with round tables. The idea of having everyone in an "equal" position at the table is interesting to me. Here's a really cool expanding round table:

This appears to be the website for the table. Looks like they specialize in making tables for luxury yachts.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:27 PM

December 11, 2006

No Studio 60!

I just realized that there's no Studio 60 tonight. That sucks. The show has been getting better and better.

Looking at the episode guide just now, I was surprised to realize that we've reached episode #11. That means we're halfway through the season. Time flies.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:54 PM

Blogging from Textmate

I'm evaluating the text editor TextMate. One of its features is as a blogging client.

I had a little trouble getting movable type to use Markdown for formatting. But I seem to have that licked.

More on TextMate later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:47 AM

December 08, 2006

Heroes is terrific

I just watched episode one of Heroes, and it is terrific. If the rest of the series as as good as this pilot, I'm hooked.

Past issues on NBC's website. They're also downloadable from the iTunes Store.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:39 PM

December 07, 2006

Cartoon trains

Over in comments JoAnn points us to this YouTube of a kinda scary train near-miss.

It's funny that she should warn me about this kind of thing 'cause I actually do have a sort of phobia about crossing train tracks. I am never comfortable when on the tracks. I must repeatedly be looking both ways to make sure there's no train coming.

I long ago realized that this is the result of repeated childhood exposure to cartoons with a train which can instantly appear out of nowhere.

That YouTube kinda shows that it's not just a cartoon thing.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:51 PM

Another great title for a blog

tarantism (TAR-uhn-tiz-uhm) noun

"An uncontrollable urge to dance."

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:15 PM

Congrats to the Veep

Congratulations go out to Vice-President Cheney who, it was announced the other day, is soon to be a grand-dad again.

The child will be Cheney's sixth grandchild.

This will be the first child of Cheney's daughter Mary and her partner Heather Poe. Mary and Heather have been together for 15 years.

More about this story in this abc news posting.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:40 PM

December 06, 2006

Deal or No Deal

This past week's episode of "Studio 60" contained a brief sketch parodying the hit show "Deal or No Deal". I had never watched this big-money game show, but the bit on "60" made me curious, so I set my TiVo.

I just watched my first episode, and it was really something.

It's actually a pretty silly game, but it was riveting to watch!

It's basically russian-roulette with money. It's totally luck, there's no real skill involved in the game. I suppose if you could do complex probability statistics in your head while on national TV you could apply some skill to the play. But as it is, it's mostly an exercise in luck and guts and greed.

And I couldn't take my eyes off it.

But I'm not sure how well it will age. Ie. will it continue to be interesting as you watch more and more? But the first game I watched was a lot of fun.

BTW, before this, I had gotten the idea that Howie Mandel, the host, played a nasty character in the show, but no, he was very nice. Rooting for the contestants, pacing the play, adding drama, making it fun. Good job.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:15 AM

December 04, 2006

Milton Friedman

One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.

-- Milton Friedman, economist, Nobel laureate

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:20 AM

Weird Weather

We're getting our first snow in Greater Boston this morning. It was forecast yesterday so no big surprise. There's maybe a quarter-inch dusting on all non-paved surfaces: lawns, buildings, etc.

The most interesting thing about this is, that up to this minute, we still haven't had the first frost of the season. The temperature in Boston still hasn't fallen below freezing. It's 33 right now. The low temp on Nov 21 was 32, but that's the coldest it's been so far this fall.

Global warming.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:58 AM

December 02, 2006


A good name for a blog:

hermeneutic (hur-muh-NOO-tik, -NYOO-) adjective

"Interpretive or explanatory."

From Word A Day

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:46 PM