February 23, 2008

Online calendar

I started using Google Calendar last month. It's useful and very fast. But then I'm bothered by its lack of a task list. Yahoo Calendar has a task list, but their calendar service isn't as fast and convenient. (I have used the Yahoo task list before, so sometimes I look at the tasks I set in 2003 and think how weird it is that they're still there. I wonder if I ever printed out those lecture notes from Chapter 10 -- whichever class that was -- or completed my site inventories for Bank of America.) Yahoo and Google can't share the same file formats, so there is no direct importing and exporting. I guess I will continue my search for an online calendar solution, and maybe one day I'll even have a smartphone to access it.

February 17, 2008

12 Angry Men

I have finally seen the 1957 movie 12 Angry Men. It wasn't the most exciting thing to watch these jurors sit around in a room deliberating over a verdict in a murder trial for the whole movie, but it had enough highs and lows to keep my attention. At first, eleven of the twelve voted for a guilty verdict, but the one doubting juror started a series of questions and discussions that resulted in a unanimous verdict of not guilty. There were all the dramatic moments of fiery discussion in which those who were sure of guilt inadvertently argued their way into expressing doubts, and some of the jurors had to face their own prejudices and personal demons in front of the group.

I don't know what real jury deliberations are like because I haven't served on a petit jury and probably never will. That's something special about a jury: it operates in a black box that cannot be penetrated by an inquiring court unless there is some kind of improper outside influence. Juries even have the power to ignore the law and render a not guilty verdict for someone they actually think is guilty (jury nullification). Our institution of the jury is 800 years old but is kept a somewhat mysterious invocation of humanity and values.

February 09, 2008

Saving Silverman

Saving Silverman is a hilarious movie. I was skeptical because a lot of movies with people like Jack Black and Jason Biggs are just stupid and formulaic. But the thing about this movie is that it entered the next level of absurdity. It wasn't one of those nearly believable movies with slapstick action and bad jokes added -- those movies are like leftovers warmed up. This movie was so comfortable with its absurdity and contrived developments that it was pure comedy, much like a cartoon instead of a comedy that tries to be endearing in some way. I found bad reviews online, but that just shows that the reviewers didn't get it.

Nose blowing

I do not like to blow my nose when it gets mucousy. Why? Glad you asked. Let me explain. If I try to blow my nose I do not get good results. First, my nostrils just get clogged up. I would rather suck in the small amount of mucous that is there, even if snorting sounds gross you out, because if I have snot in my nose then there's more where that came from. Second, it causes sinus pressure in my head to increase, and that hurts. So I am just going to inhale and snort, and don't suggest that I blow my nose -- I already thought of that.