Thursday, November 29, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of November 29, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of November 29, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
I think it's a good idea for you to give up mediocre pleasures that drain your energy and diminish your intelligence. I also wish you would sacrifice irrelevant fantasies and deluded hopes that lead you away from your riveting dreams. On the other hand, I will rejoice if you commit yourself twice as intensely to the robust pleasures that refine your energy and boost your intelligence. And I will love it if you take three practical actions to supercharge one of your riveting dreams.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of November 22, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of November 22, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were great leaders who were instrumental in creating the United States, but they shared a flaw with most of the other founding fathers: They owned slaves. Only one of the men who midwifed the birth of the nation freed his human chattel: Virginia plantation owner Robert Carter, whose heroism has been largely unsung in the history books. Make him your role model in the coming weeks, Capricorn. It's a good time to meditate on those people you've held down, oppressed, or manipulated (even if it was inadvertent or unconscious), and then correct for how you've interfered with their full blossoming. I'm not saying you're any guiltier of this sin than the rest of us; just that this is your special time to atone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Avett Brothers

Saturday was a nightmare day. I am still trying to untangle my banking mess from having my identity co-oped. I got a last minute ticket to see Alenia Davis, Will Hoge and the Avett brothers at Webster Hall.

Alenia Davis was good. Part gillian welch, part kate campbell. Her songwriting was solid and she was just long enough.

Will Hoge, part springsteen, part steve earle, part Black Crowes. Southern folk rocker. Souther Rocker filled the stage with his band. He looked like he was having fun.

The Avett brothers are an event. Like Texans at a Robert Earl Keen show or Great Big Sea fans or even Fruheads to Moxie Fruvous. There was song lines being shouted at appropriate times, jumping up and down. All to encourage Seth or Scott to break strings or break an instrument. BAnjo, guitar and upright bass they make those instruments rock in a away with songs with lyrics shouted or harmonies so sweet.

the Avett Brothers have a loyal fan base that come from far to sing along and join hte event. it is just that another event band.


Friday I went to Lincoln Center to see the third of the fall offerings. Cymbeline, the Shakespeare play, a bit of comedy (very little), a bit of tragedy, a bit of a bore. It was a long play and i was pretty annoyed that i wasnt more passionate or interested. Seeing it was a long week and I had to teach on Saturday at 9am, I left at intermission. That got me home at 1030 and in bed by midnight. Maybe if i had eaten dinner...Maybe if i had eaten dinner I would have fell asleep. If i stayed it would have been midnight before i got home if i was lucky and a 130 am bedtime. I had to choose for the former and i am not sorry that I missed act 2. I will be able to stay til the end when i teach next semester at 11am or when will i learn not to go out on Friday nights.

While at Lincoln Center, I saw Marion Seldes in the Lobby - who looks better than this picture. And i think Chris Noth and his pregnant girl friend were seated after the lights went down.

Cymbeline will open in a few weeks and I will see what the reviews say. Maybe I missed a gem. Martha Plimpton was scrumptous and Felicia Rashad puts on this fake accident when she does live theater. It was supposed to sound more Shakespeare but it sounded fake. She was straining to speak. The plot was precious and the actor who wanted to win the bet couldnt decide who to flirt with Martha Plimpton or her husband.. I was working too heard to hear the players and it wasnt interesting enough to keep me there...Sorry Cymbeline, i should have passed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

National Book Award Finalist Reading

National Book Award Finalist Reading held at the New School for Social Research on November 13th at 7pm. A speed reading event with groups of 4, one from each catagory reading from their nominated works. Sponsored by the New School and National Book Foundation. Sen Bob Kerry and Bret Anthony Johnston hosted.

National Book Foundation
in partnership with
The New School Writing Program
presents the
2007 National Book Award Finalists Reading
Tuesday, November 13, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.
The New School, Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street, New York City
(between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Master of Ceremonies: Bret Anthony Johnston
* Note: Actor Neal Huff will read in place of Denis Johnson.


Mischa Berlinski, Fieldwork (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) - Interview
Lydia Davis, Varieties of Disturbance (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) - Interview
Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End (Little, Brown & Company) - Interview
Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) - Interview
Jim Shepard, Like You’d Understand, Anyway (Alfred A. Knopf) - Interview

Fiction judges: Francine Prose (chair), Andrew Sean Greer,
Walter Kirn, David Means, and Joy Williams.


Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I’m Dying (Alfred A. Knopf) - Interview
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
(Twelve/Hachette Book Group USA) - Interview
Woody Holton, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution
(Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux) - Interview
Arnold Rampersad, Ralph Ellison: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf) - Interview
Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
(Doubleday) - Interview

Nonfiction judges: David Shields (chair), Deborah Blum,
Caroline Elkins, Annette Gordon-Reed, and James Shapiro.


Linda Gregerson, Magnetic North (Houghton Mifflin Company) - Interview
Robert Hass, Time and Materials (Ecco/HarperCollins) - Interview
David Kirby, The House on Boulevard St.
(Louisiana State University Press) - Interview
Stanley Plumly, Old Heart (W.W. Norton & Company) - Interview
Ellen Bryant Voigt, Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006
(W.W. Norton & Company) - Interview

Poetry Judges: Charles Simic (chair), Linda Bierds, David St. John,
Vijay Seshadri, and Natasha Trethewey.


Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
(Little, Brown & Company) - Interview
Kathleen Duey, Skin Hunger: A Resurrection of Magic, Book One
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers) - Interview
M. Sindy Felin, Touching Snow (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) - Interview
Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic Press) - Interview
Sara Zarr, Story of a Girl (Little, Brown & Company) - Interview

Young People’s Literature Judges: Elizabeth Partridge (chair),
Pete Hautman, James Howe, Patricia McCormick, and Scott Westerfeld.

Capricorn Horoscope for week of November 15, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of November 15, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
A marathon séance took place at the Burning Man festival last August. Top psychics managed to channel floods of data from dead celebrities. Among the fascinating revelations they retrieved: Princess Diana would like Gwyneth Paltrow to play her in a movie about her life; John Lennon would have preferred it if the Beatles' song "All You Need Is Love" was not used in a TV commercial for diapers; Ronald Reagan regrets having invaded the tiny nation of Grenada in 1983; and Nostradamus neglected to mention in his quatrains that in mid-November of 2007, Capricorns will enter a phase when they're likely to get a lot of useful information from what's seemingly dead and gone and past.

Monday, November 12, 2007

August Rush Premier Screening

August Rush

By Kirk Honeycutt

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Magical realism meets a modern-day Oliver Twist in "August Rush," an often charming urban fantasy that teeters perilously on the brink of preciousness but never quite topples over.

It's a tightrope act from the first frame, but Kirsten Sheridan in her second outing as a director -- 2001's "Disco Pigs" was her first -- infuses her film with rapturous music and imagery. The story is about musicians and how music connects people, so the movie's score and songs, created by composers Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer, give poetic whimsy to an implausible tale.

Warner Bros. will rely on the cast to help sell this movie. Freddie Highmore again demonstrates he is one of the industry's top child actors, while Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers continue to climb to stardom in roles that demand the utmost sensitivity. The film should attract a loyal following, but critics will be mixed.

"August" adopts the structure of "Oliver Twist" whereby an orphan runs away to New York and falls in with a Fagin-like character. Instead of a gang of young thieves, the "Wizard" (Robin Williams, doing his best with a poorly written role) operates a team of young musicians who live in an abandoned theater and play for money on street corners. Evan (Highmore), whom he renames August Rush, is a child prodigy whose skills reward him with a prime spot in Washington Square.

It is in Washington Square 11 years ago where Evan was conceived. In flashback, a young Irish guitarist-singer, Louis (Rhys Meyers), encounters a shy, young cellist, Lyla (Russell), on a rooftop overlooking the square. The two spend the night only to be torn apart by circumstances. When the pregnant Lyla is hit by a car and gives birth prematurely, her father (William Sadler), mindful of her career, gives the infant up for adoption but tells his daughter that her baby died. Shattered, she loses interest in playing and relocates to Chicago, where she teaches music. Louis, too, gives up music, opting for a business career in San Francisco.

A kind social worker (Terrence Howard) urges Evan into family placement, but the boy never gives up hope of finding his parents. He believes he can reach out to them through music, that they can "hear" each other. His musical gifts explode when he comes to New York. Its sounds resonate in his head: In the whoosh of subway trains, noise from cars, thumps of a basketball and the clatter, hum and buzz of everyday life, he feels music flow through him.

When August wanders into a church, the pastor (Mykelti Williamson) is so impressed with the boy's organ composition that he brings the youngster to the Juilliard School of Music. In no time, he has composed a symphony. It will be played in Central Park, where Lyla is a featured cellist and Louis is nearby, reunited with his old band

Clearly, the film does not work on any realistic level. "August" is driven by its music. From gospel and rock to classical and symphonic, music carries its characters and story ever forward to their destiny. John Mathieson's inspired cinematography turn contemporary Manhattan into a Dickensian world where an orphan might triumph and people feel the sound of healing music. And nearly stealing the film is young Jamia Simone Nash with her sassy line readings and astonishing voice.


August Rush: Freddie Highmore

Lyla Novacek: Keri Russell

Louis Connelly: Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Richard Jeffries: Terrence Howard

Maxwell "Wizard" Wallace: Robin Williams

Thomas: William Sadler

Arthur: Leon Thomas III

Capricorn Horoscope for week of November 8, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of November 8, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
An atheist won't be elected President of the United States anytime soon. Polls show that every other minority is viewed more favorably than the God-is-a-fraud crowd. I think that's a shame. Even though I myself am a big fan of the Creator, I'm sure She loves cynics who don't believe in her just as much as She loves the most pious worshipers. Furthermore, I suspect that Her good will is sorely tested by the "religious" fanatics who spread hatred in Her name. So what does this have to do with your current horoscope? This: My analysis of the astrological omens suggests that you'd be wise to do as I just did, which is to declare your support for people whose ideas you disagree with.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

the wild and weird things that you see in NYC.

Neysa Malone

Neysa Malone hangs out in the train platform at 14th street- she is a Madonna wanna be singer who dresses in 1980s Reeboks and does Jane Fonda aeorbiccs to bad Karaoke. She entertained me this week while i waited for the train.

I also saw a homeless man, with his belongings and empty bottles and cans reading a beat up copy of Jack Kerouac...

I also saw a man with a jazz band blowing two trumpets at one the 14th street platform

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Candy has a Hierarchy says scientists

The data presented below were first published after Halloween in 2006, here at The World's Fair. We were fortunate after that publication to receive further (non-anonymous) peer review and thus we re-present below the hierarchy with amendments and adjustments, but no retractions, this time just ahead of Halloween and Ghost season.

For example, one reviewer, Prof. Turcano, rightly observed that Smarties "are clearly an index candy for the Middle Crunchy Tart Layer," and that addition was made. Another reviewer, Dr. Maywa, noted that "anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers" were most definitely indicative of the "how dare they call this a candy" layer. I think some of Charles Lyell's earlier work indicated much the same, but then the Royal Society got all up in the mix and it fell out again. (There's a uniformitarian for you, right?)

To repeat our earlier claims to the report: Although there were some intra-family disputes about what belongs where, we did derive a basic candy hierarchy, and I do think it is more or less sound. This taxonomy is based on years of research and debate, on thorough testing and re-testing, on statistical comparison and quality measurement, on focus group testing, and on a series of FTIR scans that reveal various hydrocarbon peaks and whatnot.

It's sound science.

And so to you the 2007 Candy Hierarchy, with uncertainties acknowledged:
(not surprisingly, exclusively chocolate-based)
Milky Way --- Snickers --- Hershey's Kissables --- Peanut M&M's --- Regular M&Ms --- Junior Mints --- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups --- Three Musketeers --- regular old Hershey Bars* --- Twix

(also exclusively chocolate, after fending off a few intruders)
Kit-Kat* --- Nestle Crunch --- Mounds --- Tootsie Rolls* --- Whoppers**** --- Dark Chocolate Hershey Bars --- Fair Trade Chocolate --- Butterfinger --- Pay Day

(also referred to as the chewy range or, in some circles, the Upper Chewy or Upper Devonian)
Milk Duds --- Benzedrine -- Jolly Ranchers (if a good flavor)** --- 100 Grand Bar --- Almond Joy --- Candy Corn --- Starburst

(the Lower Chewy and Gummy-Based, also the Middle Crunchy Tart Layer)
Dots --- Lollipops --- Nerds --- Runts --- Trail Mix ---Swedish Fish --- Mary Janes --- Gummy Bears straight up --- White Bread --- Licorice -- Anything from Brach's --- Hard Candy --- Bubble Gum --- Including the Chiclets (but not the erasers) --- Black Jacks --- LemonHeads --- LaffyTaffy --- Good N' Plenty --- Jolly Ranchers (if a bad flavor) --- Bottle Caps --- Smarties --- "those odd marshmallow circus peanut things"***

Tier so low it does not register on our equipment
Healthy Fruit --- Pencils --- Lapel Pins --- Extra Strength Tylenol --- "anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers" --- Now'n'Laters --- Hugs (actual physical hugs) --- Whole Wheat anything

*These indicate the intra-family disputes. For example, I would keep Kit-Kat where it is, while other unnamed members of the family demand that it be given Top Tier Classification. That same other unnamed member of the family would not put Tootsie Rolls as a top-tier get, though I would've. Shockingly, there was no unanimous decision on the placement of Candy Corn, which as of 2006 remained unclassified, but as of 2007 has been tentatively placed in the Upper Chewy/Upper Devonian.

**Remains an outlier, since it is in no way "chewy." Further studies have not resolved this inconsistency.

***The literature shows that these are perhaps "an abomination too evil to distribute to the young nowadays."

**** Prior studies show that "the whoppers that never properly whopped and are chewy, however, should always be a top tier item."

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Outstanding work. However, I must object to this:

**** Prior studies show that "the whoppers that never properly whopped and are chewy, however, should always be a top tier item."

Anonymous comments received during peer review do not constitute "studies." Plus, un-whopped whoppers are nasty.

Posted by: qetzal | October 29, 2007 9:37 AM

I would point out that Payday bars are definitely not chocolate. However, IMHO, they definitely belong in the second tier. Perhaps their presence there also points to the reason for the Jolly Ranchers (if a good flavor) in the third tier. Yes, they are outliers, but plainly demonstrate the survival of the fittest.

I'm also somewhat disturbed by the total absence of Baby Ruth, which would appear to be the earliest surviving example of the evolutionary transition from the crunchy/chewy to the the dominant chocolate realm.

Posted by: chezjake | October 29, 2007 10:49 AM

What about Super Piratos? A salted licorice candy from the Danes. What is the salt you may ask? Ammonium Chloride. Drop one of these and your mouth, and it feels like an instant nose-bleed. - The candy if you really want to buy it. A Dane reminiscing about a stronger version of Super Piratos.

Posted by: Grieve | October 29, 2007 11:16 AM

Is further analysis possible to indicate at what point further exposure to a Top Tier candy reduces that candy to a lower tier? Likewise, at what point does exposure (over-exposure, really) to a candy at one tier elevate a lower tier example to a higher tier, and does such an elevation require a marked difference between texture, consistency, etc., of the example candies?

I certainly hope that the data supports such further analysis!

Posted by: Snigglefritz | October 29, 2007 12:52 PM

I note that you completely ignored the odd items like snack-sized bags of chips. Salty might be a catagory of it's own.

Also, theoretically, where would choclate-covered pretzels rank in the heirarchy? Being both chocolate and salty would they be ranked separately in two catagories?

Posted by: Rob Jase | October 29, 2007 1:39 PM

We always make sure to have one bag of candy with no chocolate and one bag of candy with no nuts. There's nothing worse than being a little kid at Halloween and not being able to eat the candy you collect because it could literally kill you.

Perhaps this means there is a separate ecosystem of candy, one in which the tiers are radically changed due to a different environment. In this case, candy like Starburst or Jolly Ranchers would be top tier.

Other rankings would be dependent on local cultural whims. As a kid, Black Jack gum was the cool gum.

Posted by: Bob | October 29, 2007 3:47 PM

As a child, one of my main criteria for candy was its time value, i.e. how many minutes of happiness per mass or volume of candy. Milk duds and those cow things (black cows? chocolate carmel on a stick?) were the big winners.

Tootsie roll pops would represent a transitional form between tiers 2 and 3, being essentially a tootsie roll wrapped in a good-flavored Jolly Rancher. Although now that I think about it, technically they are an example of endosymbiosis.

Posted by: Diane | October 29, 2007 6:12 PM

I'm not sure I understand the whole heirarchy system. What criteria are used to determine the tier to which a particular candy belongs? The top two tiers are both listed as being exlusively chocolate, but outside of that, what differentiates the two?
Also, do the tiers represent an inherent value in the candy or is it strictly categorical? If the top tiers are supposed to be "better" candy than the bottom tiers I am going to have to disagree and point out that they are different types of candy altogether.
Comparing chocolate candies to the friuty-flavored/sour candies is comparing apples to oranges. Both have their own qualities that make them good (or bad) candies and should be treated accordingly.

All that aside, where do dark chocolate m&ms fit in? Are they first-tier with the other m&ms or second-tier with dark chocolate?