Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bush, Cheney: Absurd and Offensive 

No, I'm not insulting the President and Vice-President (yet). The words in the title of this post were how the two leaders of our nation described Amnesty International's allegations of human rights violations by the United States at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

Today at a press conference Pres. Bush stated that "It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world," and that prisoners "who hate America" are the ones making the allegations. He further stated:
In terms of the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is.

Thank you for that explanation of "dissemble." I'll try to remember that for your future statements. Vice-President Cheney stated during an interview for Larry King Live that he was offended by the report, and does not take it seriously.
Cheney said detainees at Guantanamo "have been well treated, treated humanely and decently." "Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment," Cheney said. "But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated."
So are they saying that because allegations of mistreatment of prisoners are being made by prisoners, the allegations are patently false? I would think that the prisoners, the very people alleged to have been abused, would be the prime source for such information. Bush continued his press conference with some criticism of the Russian judicial system's handling of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and allegations that his trial was politically motivated and predetermined.
"Here, you're innocent until proven guilty and it appeared to us, at least people in my administration, that it looked like he had been judged guilty prior to having a fair trial," Bush said. "We're watching the ongoing case."
Of course, just because you haven't been proven guilty or given a fair trial, or any trial at all (at least not without substantial protests by the Bush administration) doesn't mean you can't be held indefinitely as a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. And of course if you are a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, you're a prisoner who hates America and whose allegations of abuse should be dismissed as fabrications of someone with a grudge.

Except that even the Pentagon admits that they have confirmed at least 5 instances in which the Quran has been mistreated by Americans at Guantanamo, although they adamantly repeat that none of these instances involved flushing pages down a toilet, as Newsweek alleged and then retracted. Well, that's something, I guess.

Another except would be that there's the whole issue around blatant, ongoing human rights offenses as Abu Ghraib.

How do Bush and Cheney expect to be found plausible in their outright denial that ANY violations occur, supported solely by a statement that "The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world."? Yes, the US promotes freedom. Admirable as that is, and as honest, hard-working and respectful of the human rights of all as I would guess the vast majority of US military and civilian personnel are in this effort, what is absurd is a claim that no violations occur, ever.

But this is the driving philosophy of this administration. Black or white, Choice A or Choice B, with us or against us. Bush brought this approach to the press conference today in discussing those who have criticized his approach to the North Korean nuclear weapons issue. He put forth that his approach is diplomatic, so anyone who disagrees with him must favor a military solution. He's not ready to abandon diplomacy for military intervention, so he's just going to continue with his current plan. Like there is no room for other diplomatic approaches, as if "diplomacy" only encompasses one method - his.

Do we really have four more years of this?

Amnesty International's Report 2005 can be found here. You can read the whole thing or go directly to regional overviews, or reports by country. A transcript of this morning's White House press conference can be found here. A transcript of the Larry King interview with VP Cheney can be found here.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:01 PM

Elitist 

Well, it was down to the wire, but this morning I logged on to LexisNexis and received the last points I needed to put me into the ranks of the LexisNexis Ultimate Reward Elite Members. Whoo-hoo! Today was the last day to accrue points for the semester, and I needed 5 little points, so the 10 daily research points were more than enough.

Of course, I should have hit this mark yesterday, but last Friday the Rewards system had a glitch and I didn't get my 10 points. Given that I only had one day of leeway on the days remaining, you can be sure I fired off a desperate e-mail to the people behind the scenes of this program. They assured me that the points would show up, but that sometimes it can take a few days. Bullshit. The daily research points appear instantly or they don't show up at all.

So what does all this mean? I have now earned Elite status for next semester (it would have applied to the remainder of the current semester, but this semester's program ends today for LexisNexis), and during that time I'll get extra opportunities for additional points and prizes. Hopefully this will mean that I'll be able to earn the 2000 points needed during next semester to maintain the status for the following semester, etc. Then I get to cash in the points for cool stuff. I'll also have extra chances to accrue sweepstakes entries for the big drawing at the end of next academic year. This year the winner had his choice of a 2005 Lexus IS 300 sports coupe, 3 years of law school tuition (up to $50,000), or two million Ultimate Rewards points. He took the tuition. That's what I would do, too. Smart choice, dude.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:04 AM
Monday, May 30, 2005

Aspen Reading 

While The Girl and I were working on the wedding invitations (well, while she was addressing them and I was engaging in a futile attempt to write legibly), Aspen curled up with a good book.


Meanwhile, Mischief contented himself with surveying the sights and smells of the neighborhood now that the weather has warmed up enough to open all the windows. But don't panic - it's still raining. It cleared up a bit, but then the thunderstorms moved in.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:25 PM
Friday, May 27, 2005

That's Commander Geek 

Click here to take NerdTests.com's Star Trek Quiz.


You scored high enough to be a Commander. It would seem you have the knowledge to command a small vessel.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:10 PM

Friday Book Update: Week Two 

I've set myself a little goal (like I haven't stuck myself with enough of those) for the summer. I'm going to try to give a weekly update on the various fluff and other (not to be confused with Fluffernutter) books I've been indulging in during these nonschool months.

I've been riding with The Girl to her office in the morning, and reading in the car while she listens to her Dell DJ, then taking the bus and walking (too rainy to ride the bike) to my office, so I've been getting a lot done. The Girl was quite impressed with my ability to be reading away, but then periodically burst forth with little bits of professional back up singing with her music.

*Read read read*
"Good inside!"
*Read read read*
"Wanna be!"
*Read read read*
"You make me feel!"

(Click here for the song, to see if you're right.)

Yesterday morning it was "R-O-C-K in the USA!" while finishing up Becoming Justice Blackmun. So without further ado, here is how I spent the reading portion of my second week after finals (I'm still working on the last one listed below):


One note regarding the Star Trek: New Frontier books. As I was reading Book Five (Martyr), I was getting a little irritated, because it seemed like many of the storylines that had been left open at the end of the previous book were wrapped up behind the scenes. Book Five talked about how they had been resolved, but I hadn't been able to read about them "as they happened." Then when I had about five to ten pages left, I went into the home office to get Becoming Justice Blackmun off the shelf to put in my bag, and I noticed that Book Four (End Game) was still sitting on the shelf. Oops. I had gone directly to Book Five from Book Three. So once I wrapped up Book Five I went back and filled in the void. Surprise - all my questions were answered!

I've ordered the remaining books in the New Frontier series, plus the rest of the books in the Shatner penned Trek series. Plus a number of nonfiction for in between.


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:21 AM
Thursday, May 26, 2005

Spiritual Eclecticism 

From Life, Law and Gender comes a World View quiz. It seems to have captured my outlook fairly well, surprisingly. By the way, if anyone's wondering, L. Ron never sent me any literature (see outlook link above). Guess I didn't seem desperate enough.



You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative

88%

Existentialist

88%

Materialist

75%

Postmodernist

69%

Modernist

63%

Idealist

50%

Romanticist

25%

Fundamentalist

0%

What is Your World View? (updated)
created with QuizFarm.com

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:33 PM

Rumsfeld on the Speed of News 

Poor Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld just can't keep up with the news. Or more to the point, he can't keep up with the spread of bad news. During an address to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Rumsfeld described the rapid pace that news moves globally nowadays as a new wartime challenge:
"We'll need to develop considerably more sophisticated ways of using these new means of communication that are now available to reach the many and diverse audiences," he said.
Apparently all this newfangled technology that is being used to spread information (true or false), such as the internet, e-mail, cell phones, and digital cameras has been just too much for the military to keep up with. For some reason, he seems to be under the impression that it's all really, really new as well:
"This is really the first war in history that is being conducted in an era of multiple global satellite television networks, 24-hour news outlets with live coverage of terrorist attacks, disasters and combat operations," Rumsfeld said.
Is he kidding? Let's just set aside the notion that previous wars and military actions haven't been covered live in the internet age. He's lamenting live coverage of combat operations? The military embeds journalists in their units. They encourage this live coverage! They just don't like it when the coverage reveals less than glorious actions on the parts of the US military or civilian workers, or when one of those reporters is on hand to record and report on a terrorist attack as it's happening. Welcome to the Information Age, Rummy! It's been a while, but we're glad you finally figured out that we're here.

Now about those "sophisticated ways of using these new means of communication." Yeah, it's so sophisticated. These blog things are so high-tech and complex. Digital cameras - yikes! Where do people get these things? And you know what else might be a good idea? Stop doing things that either violate international law, human rights or the rules of war, or that give people the impression that you're violating these things. Hmm, what an idea...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:15 PM
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Serenity Comics Announced 

In news related to the previous post, Whedon also announced that a three issue set of Serenity comics will be released starting July 6, from Dark Horse Comics. He describes them as a transition between the tv series and the movie, and will also serve as a prequel for movie goers who didn't watch the series. You can preorder the comics from Dark Horse, and to entice multiple copy purchases, each issue comes in your choice of three different covers. The first issue options are Mal, Inara (the art doesn't do her justice) and Jayne. The 32 page first issue can be yours for the low, low price of $2.99 plus shipping and handling (or you can preorder now for $2.69).

Serenity #2 is scheduled for August 3, with cover art of either Book, Kaylee or Zoey. Info isn't yet posted on Serenity #3, but I would expect that it will be released in early September.

I've taken my step down the geek path, and preordered the first two issues, in each cover. I also requested the bag and board service to best preserve them. I think after I read them I'll frame them for display. Can't wait to hear The Girl's reaction to this! There may need to be some negotiation regarding in which room they can be displayed...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:22 AM

Whedon Gives Wonder Woman Hint 

Joss Whedon had this cryptic glimpse into his yet to be written screenplay for Wonder Woman:

"...this will be in the modern day, but Wonder Woman herself will never be in the modern day."
The comics and the tv series were set during WWII, with the Nazis and those helping them serving as ready made bad guys. So what will be the hook for this situation? Is some modern day hero communing through time with Wonder Woman, who exists in another time? Is it looking back at Wonder Woman's deeds in some earlier time? But that would really just set it in two different times, one of which is modern day. Who knows?

Whedon states that he won't be able to give this project his full attention until after the premiere of Serenity (!) on September 30.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:48 AM
Monday, May 23, 2005

Lingle v. Chevron: Takings 101 

A little public service announcement for anyone from my Property class who is still a little bewitched, bothered and bewildered by the federal takings case law, take a look at today's decision in Lingle v. Chevron.

Justice O'Connor wrote the opinion for the court (Justice Kennedy concurred separately) in this case involving the State of Hawaii having statutorily imposed a rent control system on oil companies who lease service stations to dealers in the state. The opinion, which reversed and remanded the Ninth Circuit decision, goes into great detail on the various means by which a plaintiff may argue an uncompensated taking of private property, and includes discussion of Lucas, Loretto, Penn Central, Euclid and Agins. The court then points out that the plaintiffs here instead argued a "substantially advances" theory, based on Agins in winning its motion for summary judgment in the lower courts. The court points out that this argument has been discussed before in decisions, but not as the basis for finding a taking, and holds that while it works for due process cases, it is not an appropriate sole basis for a Fifth Amendment takings argument.

O'Connor sums it up in closing:
Twenty-five years ago, the Court posited that a regulation of private property "effects a taking if [it] does not substantially advance [a] legitimate state interes[t]." Agins, supra, at 260. The lower courts in this case took that statement to its logical conclusion, and in so doing, revealed its imprecision. Today we correct course. We hold that the "substantially advances" formula is not a valid takings test, and indeed conclude that it has no proper place in our takings jurisprudence. In so doing, we reaffirm that a plaintiff seeking to challenge a government regulation as an uncompensated taking of private property may proceed under one of the other theories discussed above - by alleging a "physical" taking, a Lucas-type "total regulatory taking," a Penn Central taking, or a land-use exaction violating the standards set forth in Nollan and Dolan. Because Chevron argued only a "substantially advances" theory in support of its takings claim, it was not entitled to summary judgment on that claim.
Justice Kennedy concurs separately to voice his opinion that "today's decision does not foreclose the possibility that a regulation might be so arbitrary or irrational as to violate due process."

It's a handy review of the various tests and rationales used in the area of federal takings. Wish they'd issued this opinion a few weeks ago.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:03 PM

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 

Oh look, it's a wee little puppet lord!

(Caution, some mild spoilers ahead, but nothing specific.)

This was my thought when the newly Vaderized Anakin took his first tentative steps from the operating table and tried out his various artificial parts.

Then when he had his little moment of rage over the Emperor's bad news, I switched to thoughts of "Who's a little Sith Lord?" I swear, it was Gachnar revisited.

I did enjoy this final installment of the Star Wars saga, but I just felt like between this and the previous one they didn't allow us to see enough of Anakin's transition from good little boy to the man ready to become the Dark Lord. The entire time we've seen young adult Anakin he's been petulant, self-pitying ("It's not FAIR!"), impulsive, jealous, envious and frankly, rather stupid. I know, I know, the Sith Lord preyed upon his inner turmoil and slowly won him over, but we didn't really get to see the slow winning over - just the final chapter.

I think it didn't help that Hayden Christensen didn't project a very large range. When it came time to be intense, either in love or in hate, he did a good job. But in everything else he was just flat and rather lazy sounding. Like it was just too much effort to speak. Ah well.

As for everyone else - bravo! Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman (although they could have written a little more depth into her character), Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits (why does he not get more featured work? He's fabulous!), and Ian McDiarmid were great. Smit's Senator Bail Organa was like the Swashbuckling Senator of the Republic, with his own little Junior Jedi companion.

Great job providing the storyline for the change from Republic to Empire, and completing the tale of the stormtroopers that was started in Attack of the Clones.

And Yoda! And Chewbacca! Whee!

Good use of visuals and soundtrack to evoke the original.

Bottom line: I enjoyed it, and will probably see it again on the big screen. Then I'll get the original three on DVD to see how well this backstory fits into the original. It doesn't pack the same wallop as the original, but it was a suitable final chapter to set up the appearance of Luke, Leia, Han, and company.

But there may be more on the small screen horizon. I see from George Lucas' IMDB profile that he has two as yet untitled Star Wars series announced for 2006. "Untitled Star Wars Series" is speculated to feature new characters and take place between Episodes III and IV. "Untitled Clone Wars Series" is described as "Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and other Jedi knights fight the Army of the Republic." According to an MTV article, The Clone Wars series is to be a 30-minute animated series, while the Star Wars project is live action. I'll skip the cartoon, but I might check out the live action show, if it gets to the point of being picked up by a network and put onto next year's schedule. Sci-Fi Channel, anyone?

Reality Check: The Girl volunteered to go see it, but really doesn't dig the sci-fi genre. "How many light sabre fights can you watch?"

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:59 PM
Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dew Point 

Rain, rain, rain. That's all it does around here anymore. It's sunny out? Just wait. Is it supposed to rain today? Isn't that all it does? Oh, it'll blow over soon. Yeah, right. Rain, rain, rain. That's all it does.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:21 AM
Friday, May 20, 2005

How I Spent My First Week of Summer Vacation 

Weekend trip to Pennsylvania through NYC, via Greyhound and NJ Transit.

Selection and purchase of fabric for wedding outfit, purchase of pattern, and visit to tailor for initial measurements.

Trip to Ikea. Yay! The Girl had never been, so she didn't really get when I would wax nostalgic about having lived near Ikea while in college. Now she gets it. Massachusetts is finally getting our very own Ikea this fall.

Walking and taking the T instead of driving, sitting in traffic and paying to park.

Fluff reading, as follows (the last one is only partially completed. It will be done this evening.):


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:42 PM

Mass. to Native Americans: Welcome to Boston 

The Massachusetts legislature has passed and sent on up to Gov. Romney a bill to strike down a 330-year-old law that bans Native Americans from entering Boston city limits, on penalty of imprisonment. Romney's office has indicated that he will be signing the bill into law. You think?

Even good old Mitt isn't stupid enough to protest removing such a blatantly offensive and discriminatory law from the books. I mean, it's one thing for him to revive a long-unenforced nearly century old law based on anti-miscegenation in order to use it against those nettlesome out of state gays, but he's not a racist, after all. He's got an apparent presidential bid coming up, and he knows what's acceptable. Overt racism, bad. Politely phrased gay bashing, good.

Of note, the legislature's actions on the law coincide with the announcement that Unity: Journalists of Color is considering not having their 2008 convention in Boston, and taking their 8,000 journalists and $4.5 million in potential revenue to another city because of the law.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:10 AM

Friday Random None 

The MP3 player is at home. I have no random selection to offer you. Amuse yourselves as you see fit.

Although I do have this musical tid bit to offer: I rode with The Girl to her office this morning, in order to then catch a bus from down the road and into Watertown, from where I could walk up to my office. The initial catching the bus part of the plan went a little long, as there was some sort of problem with the earlier buses, and I ended up reading at the bus stop for over an hour. But that's not the musical tidbit.

The Girl had her Dell DJ on random, and just as we were exiting 128, a very familiar beat came on. My toes started tapping, my head started bopping, and I stunned and amazed The Girl with my thorough knowledge of Jim Croce's You Don't Mess Around With Jim. Yes, I know all the lyrics, all the nuanced scat sections. I've got it down and I'm not afraid to sing it. I attribute this to a childhood spent riding around in the VW Bug of my sister who's ten years older than me, listening to all her cassettes, and this was one of her favorites. One measure of an intro beat, and it all comes flying back from the recesses of my linguistic foundations. Resistance is futile.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:28 AM

Santorum Kicks It Up a Notch 

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), never one of my favorites, has now likened Senate Democrats to Hitler. It wasn't enough for him to equate same sex marriage with terrorism (and these well-phrased but unsubstantiated warnings after Lawrence v. Texas). Now he has made the filibuster and those who support it the equivalent of Nazis.

Responding to Democratic Senators who decry the proposed elimination of the filibuster on judicial nominations as being an attempt to consolidate power into the executive branch, and as being against history, tradition (two ideals Santorum generally relies on to support his own opinions - see above) and the constitional design, Santorum had this to say:
"It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942." He said Democratic protests over Republican efforts to ensure confirmation votes would be like the Nazi dictator seizing Paris and then saying: "I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It's mine."
The filibuster is designed as a means by which a large minority can protect itself from mob rule by a majority with extreme proposals. Yeah, preserving that is just like invading Paris and claiming it as your own. And killing millions of people for being who they are.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:56 AM
Thursday, May 19, 2005

Whence Go Joan Alums 

Let me just begin by admitting that this title features the incorrect usage of a word. I don't care. It felt right at the time.

We know that Constance Zimmer will be surfing over to In Justice on ABC in the fall, but I've just gotten some info on other Joan of Arcadia alums.

Sprague Grayden, who was even more fabulous once Judith became ghostly (who can forget the high dive starburst?), will be over on FX's new series Over There. This show sounds like a standard fare patriotic Army show, about a sergeant in Iraq, his platoon, and their families back home. But it does carry a double Joan whammy, since Season One poster boy of ambiguous morality, Erik Palladino, is also in the cast.

Annoying Iris, Misti Traya, will be back for the second season of Living With Fran, on The WB.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:11 PM

UPN Fall Shows 

UPN has so little to offer in the way of new programming that they've broken rank with the other networks and provided in the press release complete descriptions of not only the new stuff but the returning shows as well. The entire release is a fitting tribute to their apparent target audience, with much use of "bold," "aggressive," "hot," and of course, Smackdown!

Yes, they spotlight WWE Smackdown! as "one of the most established franchises on television." My sympathies to the younger/smaller sisters of all the adolescent boys out there who enjoy re-enacting the antics they witness on each Friday's broadcast. I've been there, and it's no fun.

Their self-proclaimed bold move is in being the only network to schedule a two-hour block of comedies on Thursday night.

They have a new hour long drama that appears to be a cross between Friends and Melrose Place. Denise Richards leads the eye candy, I mean cast, of Sex, Lies & Secrets. UPN describes it as a "hot, edgy new drama," then later as a "fresh, edgy new drama." Eric Balfour of very early Buffy fame (Xander's best friend who gets turned in the first episode) and later star of the cool but ill-fated Veritas: The Quest costars. This one's on Tuesdays at 9:00, opposite Commander In Chief.

Shannon Doherty has Charmed her way back to a starring role as a matchmaker who of course can't find herself a perfect match, on Love, Inc. Half-hour sitcom also starring Ion Overman (Carpenter Candace from Season 1 L Word) and Holly Robinson Peete (did you just love her on 21 Jump Street?). Will Shannon fare better than Alicia? I doubt it. You can see for yourself Thursdays at 9:30.

Now that Buffy is done and Enterprise has gone where no other Trek franchise boldly went at such a young age, I see no new incentives to tune in to UPN next season. It's not like they even tried very hard.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:02 PM

FOX Fall Shows 

Check out the press release if you're interested, over at The Futon Critic.

The descriptions are too long and overly detailed, the premises and characters appear designed around either ideas that have worked before on other networks or ideas that would have marketing tie-in potential, and/or they just seem completely contrived and implausible. Whatever.

They do have a lot of names cast, however. David Boreanaz has come back into the daylight after taking on the dragon in the alley of Angel's series finale and has signed on to Bones, about a forensic anthropologist who has a way with remains. She's the yin to Boreanaz's former Army sniper yang, and for some reason they have to work together, along with the rest of her team at the "Jeffersonian Institution's Medico-Legal Lab." Her colleagues (all brilliant and quirky, of course) include a genius at 3D crime scene reconstruction (she's described as "earthy and bawdy"), an young genius assistant who is too smart to be able to focus on finishing any one doctorate, an expert on insects, spores, minerals and conspiracies, and the requisite hard-nosed director. Bones airs Tuesdays at 8:00.

That's the only one I find worth even describing in any length. The other names can be found as follows:

Robin Tunney and Stacy Keach (guest star) are on Prison Break Mondays at 9:00. Well-intentioned good guy gets himself thrown in prison for the sole purpose of helping his convict (but of course probably innocent) brother (Dominic Purcell, briefly known as John Doe) then break out.

Chris O'Donnell and Adam Goldberg pair up on the same wacky legal shingle after meeting in a psych rehab center on Head Cases, Wednesdays at 9:00. They're joined by Rachel Leigh Cook.

Nicholas Brendan leaves Xander in the dust of Buffy and dons a chef's toque for Kitchen Confidential (I gave my mom the book on which it's based, a couple of Christmases ago), Mondays from 8:30-9:00. Half hour sitcom based around a former star chef whose return to success depends on his collection of "renegade colleagues." Uh-oh.

For anyone who hung on through the afterthought episodes of Tru Calling, you can catch Eric Christian Olson (aka med student Jensen - we knew his days were numbered anyway, what with that nagging wrist crossover injury and all) on the midseason starter The Loop, a half-hour sitcom about an apartment of 20-somethings of varying levels of accomplishment trying to navigate life and love. And hijinx ensued.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:36 AM

Lost - Exodus (1) 

Crazy Daniellen returns, this time by strolling on in to the beach encampment, armed to the teeth. We're treated to multifocal flashbacks this episode, where we see bits of immediate preflight past of Walt (he liked to watch Power Rangers at 5:30 in the morning), Michael (he liked to be sleeping at 5:30 in the morning), Sun (she overheard a snotty American woman making fun of Sun's servient attitude toward Jin), Jin (he wound up with a lapful of hot coffee after Sun overheard the previously mentioned comments), Sawyer (real name: James Ford. He was deported for head butting the Australian Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and other Critters in a bar fight), Jack (he was no longer married by the time of his trip to Australia, and Michelle Rodriguez was flirting with him in the airport lounge. Poor guy.), Kate (the air marshall was vewy, vewy mean to her. And she has a vewy, vewy bad termper), Sayid (he asked Shannon to watch his bag for a moment), Boone (pissed at Shannon, as usual) and Shannon (she left the bag and told a security guard that "some Arab guy just left his bag and walked away" to prove a point to Boone).

Crazy Daniellen waxes psychotic (new featured extra survivor Arnzt - he's the one that told them about the coming monsoon season in last week's episode) dubs her Madam Nutso) about how The Others are coming, and how they had come 16 years ago to steal away her little baby, Alix (a girl). The only warning was a black pillar of smoke (no new pope on the island, apparently), approximately 5 km away. She gives them their choices: Run, hide, or die.

For some bizarre reason Jack thinks that it would be really great if all 40 or so of them could get inside the sealed metal mystery tank and hide there. Nothing like consolidating the prey for The Others, eh Jack? Daniellen offers up that she's got some dynamite still tucked away at the black rock (in the Dark Territory) from shortly after her arrival, so a retrieval party heads out. Arnzt goes along because he's a science teacher and can tell them how to handle really old dynamite without going boom too soon.

Meanwhile, everyone gets the voyagers out to sea on their beautiful pea green raft. Lots of heartfelt moments. Walt gives Shannon Vincent to talk to about Boone, since Vincent was such a good listener when Walt's mom died. That really got to Shannon, who showed a little humanity hiding in her Borg heart, and she said that she would take care of Vincent until Walt comes back to rescue them. After launching, Vincent makes a valiant effort to swim out to the raft, probably because the idea of floating into monsoon season on a tiny bamboo raft seemed more pleasant than spending an afternoon with Shannon followed by a visit from The Others, but Walt convinces him to turn around and go back to shore.

Jin and Sun reconcile, but Jin still goes, because he must do what he can to rescue Sun. He feels he is being punished for being such a controlling ass to Sun back in Korea. That's all well and good, but then why would Sun be there too?

Sawyer gets no love or hugs, although Kate did try to find him before trekking off to fetch the dynamite. Jack runs into him, though, and wishes him good luck, after which Sawyer seems to have a struggle with his angels and finally gives in. He tells Jack about the barroom conversation he had with Jack's Dad, and how Daddy was sorry and was proud of Jack for being a better doctor and better man than he ever was himself. Jack cries, tries to hide it, and heads out to the black rock along with Crazy Daniellen, Kate, Charlie, Hurley, Locke and Arnzt.

To pass the time, Crazy Daniellen tells some nostalgic tales of her time on the island, one of which concerned someone named Montagne having his arm ripped out of his socket. Arnzt took this as his cue to head back to the beach. He does leave them with the advice to "be careful" with the dynamite. Good man. Somewhere midjungle the big noises and thumps start up, and Cowardly Lion Arnzt comes screeching back to the group. They all go running except for Locke and Hurley. Hurley really, really wants to run, but Locke maintains his grip and tells him to wait. Of course Locke's right, and the Big Scary Noisy Whatever Thing fades away as it heads in another direction.

Once they're all back together, Crazy Daniellen tells them that the Big Scary Noisy Whatever Thing is a security system. They ask what it's protecting, and she replies, "The Island." They then come to a stop, and Crazy Daniellen declares that this is the black rock. We see the group stare and slowly raise their collective gaze, so I got the idea that this is a really big black rock. Then the point of view changes, and we see that it's not a black rock, it's The Black Rock, a huge and very old wooden sailing vessel that has come aground in the middle of the island. Now I get it - The Others are descendants of pirates!!!!

As the raft sails away and the dynamite party stares at the Black Rock, they all notice the plume of black smoke about 5km away...

NEXT WEEK: The two hour season finale. Trouble with weather on the raft, trouble with Claire's baby going missing, trouble with Crazy Daniellen going missing, and lots of running and shouting and screaming.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:05 AM
Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CBS Fall Shows 

Yes, you read the previous post correctly: while The WB saw fit to renew Charmed for yet another year, CBS has tossed Joan of Arcadia off the schedule without a parachute. I know it got a little dismal and overly angsty (and too, too blue at the police station), but since Annie Potts' departure the skies have been clearing. Where it would have gone next, we'll never know.

Anyway, CBS has indeed announced its fall schedule. I refer you once more to The Futon Critic's timely posting of the official press release, which includes all the details on what's gone, what's back, what's new and what's on when. Here's what interests me (besides the premature slaying of Joan).

Cold Case will be back on Sundays at 8:00 (opposite both Charmed and West Wing. Since I've just started watching West Wing, but have much time invested in Charmed and Cold Case, West Wing's going to have to lose the Tivo competition). CSI: NY (The Girl enjoys this show, particularly Det. Bonasera. I can take it or leave it, but she'll be happy) will be on Wednesdays at 10:00 (opposite ABC's new supernatural drama, Invasion).

To replace Joan of Arcadia and her talks with God, they've added Ghost Whisperer, in which Jennifer Love Hewitt talks to ghosts. Dead people who need help seek it from her, but the messages are sometimes vague and confusing and other people often think she's kind of crazy. Big leap. Bring Joan back! But I'll try it. Fridays at 8:00.

Immediately following on Fridays at 9:00, Brent Spiner returns to regularly scheduled television on Threshold, along with Charles S. Dutton (hopefully this means he won't be making any more L Word appearances, because he was so not good for Kit) and Carla Gugino. The premise is that the Navy has discovered that an alien craft has landed in the Atlantic, and they call on Gugino and her team of contingency specialists to figure out what the story is, what the possible outcomes are, etc. Keeping Trek alum Spiner company will be executive producer Brannon Braga, who hopefully will do a better job conducting the affairs of this show than he did with the ill-fated and now terminated Enterprise. Also stars William Mapother, the late Creepy Ethan from Lost.

Lots of new legal and crime dramas this season, and CBS is doing their share. First we have Close To Home, on Tuesdays at 10:00 (opposite Boston Legal), which follows the back to work after having a baby adventures of a hotshot prosecutor who has never lost a case and who always takes on the tough ones. Christian Kane and his (hopefully still) washboard abs costars. This is yet another Bruckheimer production. I'm not feeling much hopeful vibe about this one, though.

Criminal Minds stars Mandy Patinkin in a "suspense thriller" about an "elite squad" of FBI profilers who bandy about the country from one evil psychopathic criminal to the next, hoping to stop their nefarious ways. It's been done with one Profiler - will making it a team bring ratings? Will Clarice be on the team?

Finally, two more I likely won't be watching but thought I'd mention for the Buffy connections. Alyson Hannigan stars in How I Met Your Mother, which does a flash back type of story telling by a man reminiscing to his young adulthood 20 years earlier. Kind of Wonder Years only looking back at his twenties instead of junior high. Half hour sitcom, Mondays at 8:30.

The Unit appears to be a gender role appropriate testosterone fest in which a bunch of male covert operatives run around blowing shit up while their wives maintain their cover at home. Amy Acker has washed off her Illyria makeup to join the cast. Also starring are Robert Patrick and Regina King, both of whom I enjoy as actors. Put a couple of women operatives on the team, and you might have me interested. Amy and Regina could certainly hold their own. This is a midseason starter, so they haven't yet announced the day or time.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:14 AM

CBS Gives Joan the God Wave 

Rather than try to bring Joan of Arcadia out of the doom and gloom that was the middle of this season, CBS has instead taken the fast road and cancelled the show.

Another fabulous show tossed to the curb.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:10 AM
Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Parisian Understatement 

"The jump didn't happen quite as he wanted," the police source said. "He died on impact."

Paris police source commenting on the death of a man attempting to parachute from the Eiffel Tower.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:46 PM

Endangered Species: Little Improvement 

In what appears to be the first step in an effort to update the Endangered Species Act, the House Committee on Resources chair today released the first comprehensive congressional study of the effects of the 1973 legislation. Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) announced the report, Implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, which calls for changes to the ESA that will hopefully enable better attainment of its established goals.

The report details the less than 1% recovery achievement level of the listed species, the number of reclassified or recovered species whose status was changed due to initial error, the amount of funds that have been expended on consultation and litigation activities instead of actual recovery activities, and the failure of critical habitat designations in aiding recovery due to regulatory inconsistency and "conflicting court rulings."

The report includes several specific recommendations, most of which seem to focus on either cleaning up earlier errors, requiring more detailed analysis be included in Reports to Congress, and making the data more easily accessible for review and research.

Sounds like Fish & Wildlife Service Acting Director Matt Hogan's got his work cut out for him in the coming years.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:47 PM

The WB Fall Shows 

Let the speculation end: Charmed is returning to its 8:00 time slot on Sunday nights. I have to give them credit - they won me back this year after last year's miserable storylines. I don't imagine that there will be more seasons after the upcoming eighth, so let's hope they go all out and kick some wiccan ass.

This bit of info comes courtesy of The WB's having announced its official fall line up for 2005. As with the ABC announcement, I refer you to The Futon Critic's in depth analysis of shows and scheduling that I don't mention. I, of course, will only mention what's of interest to moi.

Monday nights at 9:00 brings the new show Just Legal. Tuesdays at 9:00 (opposite Commander In Chief) is Supernatural. Along with Charmed, that's about it for my interest in The WB. Maybe I'll check out Related, on Wednesdays at 8:00.

Just Legal features a group of attorneys in Southern California, but this is no LA Law. This is about a burnt out, struggling criminal defense attorney who is joined by a 19-year-old legal prodigy who no one else will hire because of his age. They learn from each other and fight the good fight for innocent clients who are being railroaded. Sort of the pre-conviction In Justice. I know, it sounds rather idealistic and saccharine (can you say "Doogie?"), but the powers behind the show are also the powers behind CSI, Cold Case, Without a Trace (I've never seen this), The Practice and Boston Legal, so they've got a pretty good track record. I give In Justice a better chance, though.

Supernatural sounds like a maybe cool but in all probability doomed thriller. Two brothers (who have some sort of "eerie" family history) drive around the country in a 1967 Impala, searching for their missing father. Along the way they invariably run into an assortment of supernatural evil things, which they must then slay. I'll give it a try, but I can just hear The Girl now, reminding me of the 1.5 season experiment that was Tru Calling.

Related sounds a bit like Sisters updated. It revolves around four sisters (surprise), two of whom are attorneys. There's a 33-year-old legal aid attorney, an age-unspecified (somewhere between the 23 and 33-year-olds) high power corporate attorney, a 23-year-old celebrity event coordinator, and a 19-year old who is switching from pre-med to experimental theater. Issues of competitiveness, protectiveness, what qualifies as achievement and the usual family matters seem to be the source for plot material. It's described as a "comedic ensemble drama." It could work.

Oops - scrolling through the schedule, I find I must add one more show, if only out of loyalty to the out lesbian star (and new mommy), Sara Gilbert. She stars in Twins with Molly Stanton as twin sisters who take over their parents' business of miracle working women's underwear. Their parents are Melanie Griffith and Mark Linn-Baker (yes, the schlub from Perfect Strangers). Sara Gilbert's character is the brains (successful business woman), and her sister is the beauty (successful lingerie model). But it's a half-hour sitcom, and as I mentioned in my ABC rundown, these just haven't been doing it for me lately.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:24 PM

ABC Fall Shows 

ABC has made their official scheduling announcement for next season. The Futon Critic has an excellent summary of the changes, and has a day-by-day schedule posted.

Geena Davis' new show, Commander In Chief, will be on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm. She stars as the United States Vice President, who is elevated to President after her boss falls ill. The dying president and her party pressure her to resign rather than remain in succession, but she stays on to fulfill her duty. Apparently much of the show's focus is on her relationship with her husband and children (teenage twins and a 6-year-old), and the effect of her position on her family life. I guess it would be too much to ask to have the first woman president portrayed as a political leader rather than a working mother. Donald Sutherland co-stars.

Following Commander In Chief on Tuesdays is the answer to the Grey's Anatomy/Boston Legal scheduling question: Boston Legal will be moving to Tuesdays at 10:00 pm. In addition to the five unaired episodes from this season will be a standard 22 new episodes, for a total of 27 new episodes for season two. Yee-haw!

Lost is remaining on Wednesdays, but is moving to 9:00, followed by newcomer Invasion at 10:00. Invasion is the tale of a US Park Ranger who slowly uncovers evidence of an ongoing covert alien invasion, the signs of which have been masked as natural disasters.

A half-hour sitcom is moving in Fridays at 9:30. Hot Properties is built around the wheelings and dealings of four women who are real estate agents in New York. I've seen it described as having a Desperate Housewives vibe, so I'll give it a shot. I'm not signing any agreements yet, as sitcoms don't usually hold my interest for long of late.

Finally, Sundays will feature the return of power shows Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, at their current times of 9:00 and 10:00.

Two midseason starters of note to legal geeks are The Evidence and In Justice. They're both one-hour dramas, but the decision has not yet been published regarding their appointed times. The Evidence is set in San Francisco, and features two police inspectors trying to solve various crimes based on a set of evidence which is revealed at the start of each show. After we see the evidence, the show flashes back to the day of the crime and works forward from there. We'll see how long it takes the jury to determine whether this twist will make it or will be disallowed as an insubstantial gimmick. Note to sci-fi geeks: Martin Landau stars as Inspector Cole, the main character. The 74-year-old Landau seems an odd choice for a cop who's not yet retired, but who knows?

Calling all fans of Ex-Sister Lilly: Constance Zimmer is a regular on In Justice. What this means for her recurring role on Joan of Arcadia, Lilly's budding relationship with Kevin the Ego, or the return of Joan in general, only next season will show. Next season, and CBS's upcoming scheduling announcement. Anyway, In Justice revolves around Kyle MacLachlan as the head of an organization dedicated to freeing unjustly convicted innocents. He is assisted by young, idealistic and enthusiastic associates, of whom I'm guessing Zimmer is one.

So there you have it - all the ABC that's fit to interest me.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:41 PM

The Charmed Generation 

Last evening I was catching up on some Tivo'd shows, including the past two weeks of Charmed. During the previouslies, they included a clip of Sandra the Elder convincing Paige that she's got the knack for whitelighting. It suddenly dawned on me why she has looked so familiar all this time. It's Lt. Commander Shelby, aka Elizabeth Dennehy. She looks much taller in those robes, and not standing next to Commander Riker.

The Elders are kind of stacked with Next Generation alums, what with Q, aka John de Lancie also being among them, as Odin the Elder. I hear that Charmed has been renewed for another season. Perhaps Vash, aka Jennifer Hetrick could be added to the Elder roster. I see she did a guest appearance on Eyes this season, so she's still doing TV work. She could bring some attitude to the Elders.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:06 AM
Monday, May 16, 2005

NBC Fall Shows 

NBC has announced its fall lineup. Shows of interest to me are West Wing, which will be back but will be moved to Sundays at 8 pm, thus complicating an already crowded evening, and E-Ring, a new show which has been described as West Wing at the Pentagon.

I've just recently become hooked on West Wing, thanks to Tivo. I watched an episode that Tivo recorded as a Tivo Suggestion, and fell in love. Same thing with The Practice. I'm working my way through all the reruns of both.

E-Ring is a Jerry Bruckheimer production, and stars Dennis Hopper and Benjamin Bratt, among others. It will be airing starting in September, on Wednesdays at 9:00 pm.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:07 PM

Boston Legal Status - Back In the Fall 

Maybe everyone else already knew this, but I just came across this Zap2It story from April, which explains that Boston Legal will indeed be returning, but not until fall. The five season one episodes that were scheduled to be aired after Grey's Anatomy had its tryout will start out season two.

Grey's Anatomy did so well that it got to stay around and play out its season, double-teaming with Desperate Housewives for a Sunday night hit fest. Of course the 10:00 pm timeslot that Boston Legal and Grey's Anatomy danced around together is also the same time that The L Word and Queer as Folk occupy during their respective seasons. It's really good we have two Tivos. And by the way, I heart Sandra Oh. Ever since I first saw her as the obsequious vice-principal in The Princess Diaries. My love for her was cemented during her turn as Diane Lane's best friend in Under the Tuscan Sun. I even loved her in Sideways, although the film as a whole was not to my liking. I'm happy to see that according to IMDB she has two films currently filming and two in post-production, plus one that screened at Sundance and has been picked up by Lion's Gate Films. Go Sandra, Go Sandra!

The article didn't say what the scheduling will be for the two new fabulous shows. Will they share the 10:00 time slot, with their seasons running consecutively? Will one of them be moved to a different time? What will it be opposite? At least we know what it won't be opposite: Enterprise (went out with a, well, not so much of a bang or even a fizzle, but a completely empty feeling), JAG, Wonderfalls (yes, I'm still bitter), Firefly (yep, bitter), Tru Calling (bitter taste), or Queer as Folk (after this season - very sad).

But who knows what new viewing treats will be headed our way next season? We'll be getting glimpses this week, as the networks start unveiling their schedules. Can you hardly wait?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:29 AM
Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday Random Ten - Summertime Fun Edition 

School's out for summer! Summertime and the livin' is easy. Oh those summer nights! Turn on MP3 player, hit Random/Shuffle, list the first ten. No editing. List here, your blog, feministe.

L'Arena - Ennio Morricane - Kill Bill, Vol. 2 film soundtrack
Roy Rogers - Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Unchained Melody - Cyndi Lauper - At Last
C'est Trop Beau - Tino Rossi - French Kiss film soundtrack
Feels Like a Woman - Zucchero - French Kiss film soundtrack
What a Little Moonlight Can Do - Billie Holiday - Kissing Jessica Stein film soundtrack
Everybody Got Their Something - Nikka Costa - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale
If You Want To - Melissa Etheridge - Lucky
Brand New Day - Forty Foot Echo - Freaky Friday film soundtrack
Keep Myself Awake - Black Lab - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album

What's in your player?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:19 AM

Halfway! 

The Property exam was actually scheduled for only three hours, not four as I had thought. It didn't take the whole three hours, though, and I was out the door at 7:30. Phew!

The experience was a little less painful as my friend (and bridesmaid) CL brought in some fabulous cookies to have before the exam. Nothing like a yummy turtle cookie to get the blood flowing to your brain!

Overall, I'm comfortable that I did fine. The only thing that gave me a little trouble were the handful of recording questions. A conveys to B, who doesn't record. A conveys to C, who had notice of A-> B and immediately recorded. C conveys to D, who pays value and had no notice of A->B, and who records. In a race-notice jurisdiction, who owns? In a notice jurisdiction, who owns? Etc. These all make sense when I see examples and work through the explanations, but something shortcircuited on me last night. Oh well, they were worth maybe 4 points out of 80 (the first semester exam counts for the remaining 20% of the final grade).

Bottom line: 2L is over! The Girl and I are headed for Pennsylvania this weekend to get my sister's tailor started on my wedding outfit, and my bag is laden with sci-fi fluff. Ahh, nice!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:00 AM
Thursday, May 12, 2005

Anatomy of a Property Meltdown 

Vertical privity horizontal privity touch and concern wild deed Lucas investor backed expectations notice prescription Penn Central Penn Coal merger remedy constructive notice constructive eviction bona fide purchaser who the fuck cares anymore when will this torture be through?

At 10 pm, at the latest.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 4:40 PM

Goblet of Fire Trailer 

The teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is now available at Apple.com. Release is scheduled for November.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:54 PM

My Achy Breaky Everything 

Travel plans changed a bit yesterday. From the office I rode down to Watertown Square, then along the Charles all the way into town. I was aiming for Beacon Hill near the State House, but I overshot before crossing over Storrow, so I ended up at MGH. Back up the north slope of Beacon Hill (I made it half way up before having to walk it), then over to the other side to drop off some papers.

Then I rode over to North Station to catch the Orange Line. No problem getting through the gate with the folded bike, and no problem on the train. Then the ride from Oak Grove to home.

My total milage for the day was slightly higher than I had anticipated: 21.75 miles, with all but 6 of those in the afternoon. I was totally wiped by the time I got home, so I didn't get in quite as much Property studying as I had hoped. I'll have to do some additional afternoon review before the exam at 6:00 this evening (until 10 pm). But then I'll be halfway through: two years down, two to go!

I packed a Star Trek: DS9 book in my bag for reading on the train after the exam. It's time for fluff!!!


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:21 AM
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I Prefer Geek 

Via soxfan comes another quiz. My results:

I am nerdier than 70% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


If only they'd had some other questions, like "Do you have an Trek-related photos on your digital camera?" (yes, and I'll post it later). How many sci-fi books have you purchased recently? Or a bit of HTML code in which you have to locate the error.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:10 PM

Make Way For Goslings 

Took the Waltham express to The Girl's office and road the bike to my office again today. While crossing one of the picturesque wooden bridges they've constructed over the river as part of the walk/bikeway, I noticed my first gosling of the season. It was still all little and cute and yellow and fuzzy, and I just wanted to sit and watch him for a couple of hours. But instead I said "Hello," and continued on my way to work. Sigh. I'd rather be out in nature.

Later today I'll be making my first foray into the world of taking the folding bike on the T. I always get worked up and nervous when trying something new. It's just a thing I do. Will they tell it's a bike and can't go on during peak hours, even though when folded it's more like bike parts, and strollers are much bigger and they're allowed on anytime, not to mention all the travelers taking the Blue Line to the airport? Will the person in the booth notice me and open the gate to let me out past the turnstiles? What will I do, what will become of me?

I think my plan for today, to ease into this new world, will be to ride up to Newton Center, where I can get on the Green Line with no turnstiles or anything. Then I can switch to the Orange Line at North Station, where it's just a matter of walking across the platform. Of course I'll have to change trains at Government Center, since that's as far as the train from Newton Center goes. But it shouldn't be too crowded from Gov't Center to North Station, since those are the last two stops for now (until they finish the Big Dig related construction and get the new underground stations ready. Orange Line to Oak Grove, and I'll only have to deal with one gate. Then unfold the bike for a five mile ride and I'm home.

Piece of cake. Mmm, cake...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:59 AM
Monday, May 09, 2005

Geek Glasses 


New Geeky Glasses
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
These are the fabulous geeky glasses that I finally got (at half-price!) earlier this semester. No more Harry Potter for me!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:37 PM

The overflow table 


The overflow table
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
I have a secondary table on the side, since there's not enough room on the desk for the computer, tea, light, candle, notes, papers, and books. It's more of a command center than a study spot, I guess.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:24 PM

Desk at finals May 2005 


Desk at finals May 2005
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
But back to studying.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:22 PM

Digital Distraction 


Please can I study too
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
Yes, I'm taking a little digital photo break. Please indulge me.

Aspen hates it when I sit at my desk and don't allow him to occupy my lap. Note my stylish blue plaid loungewear.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:21 PM

The Boys 


The Boys
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
The digital camera purchased with my Westlaw Rewards points (10,000 of those babies) arrived in the midst of low level studying. I slept like shit last night and woke up with a killer headache, so I called in sick and slept in for several more hours.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:17 PM
Saturday, May 07, 2005

Me Talk Good 

I took the Commonly Confused English Words Quiz (from DJWriter), and received high praise. I don't know about all that. I think it just means I write for a living and had a mother who majored in English (and who made sure we learned proper grammar as well as how to make a bed according to Navy standards). And that I'm desperately seeking any reason to take a break from this Vile Take-Home Exam.

************************************
English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 93% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 64% on Beginner
You scored higher than 62% on Intermediate
You scored higher than 78% on Advanced
You scored higher than 92% on Expert

The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:01 PM

Stupid Internet Trick or Brutal Honesty? 

Check it out: a glimpse into the thoughts of RSLS. Scroll down to May 2 for a particularly memorable entry.

Via jen garrett, who secretly thinks this.
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UPDATE (5:41 pm): If you feel like I do about, let's say, a certain professor, check out this variant.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:13 PM

Vileness As Constant 

If someone, let's say a professor, has been the personification of vileness for a given period of time, let's say an entire semester, expect that particular characteristic to continue and be maintained until the end point of your interactions, let's say the formulation of a take home exam.

Do not be shocked if said take home exam consists of three or more times the number of essays of any other exam for classes of equal credit, or that the expected page count is the equivalent of a two month research project, even though you've only got a bit over a week between assignment and due date. Just get through it, turn it in, and state your mantra one last time.

Vile. Little. Man.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 4:05 PM
Friday, May 06, 2005

Let's Do the Time Warp Again 

Wil Wheaton posted a link to a very cool on screen timepiece. Check it out - you won't regret it.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:01 AM

I Admit It - I'm British 

I've been found out - I'm British. Well, largely British descent at any rate. My mom's side of the family is Brit through and through, but they're New Englanders through and through as well, having been here since that rock thing. My dad's side also came from the Isles, but by way of Nova Scotia or PEI and then migrating down the coast over the last couple of centuries. Lots of Scottish on that side. But according to the latest online quiz to be featured here (by way of feministe):



Jolly good, wot! Anyone for tennis? That'll be ten ponies, guv. You're the epitome of everything that is english. Yey :) Hoist that Union Jack!

How British are you?

this quiz was made by alanna


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:19 AM

Friday Random Ten - Got Some Attitude Edition 

Play random from everything on your MP3 player, list the first 10 that pop up on your own blog, here and at the host, feministe (althought she hasn't put hers up yet today).

What Did I Ever See In Him? - Vanessa Williams - Bye Bye Birdie tv soundtrack
Turning Japanese - The Vapors - Charlie's Angel's film soundtrack
Walking - Pocket Size - Anywhere But Here film soundtrack
Mistaken - Save Ferris - Modified (this is a good CD for today - I'll be playing this one through after the list is done)
Rainforest Suite: The Forest Dreams - Robert Rich - Rainforest
The Oldest Established - Nathan Lane & Cast - Guys and Dolls new broadway cast recording
Songbird - Eva Cassidy - Love Actually film soundtrack
Hush - Catie Curtis - My Shirt Looks Good on You
I Used to Love Him - Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
I Am Stretched On Your Grave - Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:57 AM

Morning Bike Commute 

Well, I finally got my new foldable bike out of its storage bag and onto the roads. I put it in the back of The Girl's car and rode to her office, then unfolded it and pedalled to my office, about 6 miles. Much of it was on the MDC trail along the Charles River, which was quite nice. They've done a lot of work on the footbridges and walkways, and it was pleasant to ride while checking out the various birds and nature settings.

Once I arrived, I just folded it up and carried it onto the elevator, then to my office. I've pulled it out into the hallway for three demonstrations already. This is going to be very handy once my office moves to Framingham, as I'll be able to take the commuter rail to Framingham or the Green Line to Riverside, then ride to the new office. At least in good weather.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:40 AM

Our Flight Is When? 

We had a lovely little voicemail from American Airlines yesterday. Our flight out of Boston for our honeymoon has been changed to 7:15 am!!!!! This is the morning after the wedding. We'll have to check in by 6:15.

Wedding guests will be welcome to dance the night away. The brides, however, will be departing well before midnight.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:36 AM
Thursday, May 05, 2005

34th Annual Key Art Awards Tonight 

Tonight the Kodak Theater (home of the Academy Awards Ceremonies) will be hosting the 34th Key Art Awards ceremonies. The awards are presented by the Hollywood Reporter to honor achievement in movie marketing and advertising for the previous year.

The Incredibles racked up 12 nominations, the most of any nominee. The complete list of nominees in the 29 categories can be found here. The categories fall under the headings of Print (posters, print ads, billboards and standees), Audiovisual (trailers, tv ads), Home Entertainment Categories (packaging, ads) and Other Categories (such as websites, motion graphics and best line).

This is an important event for film geeks of all flavors. A whole evening of trailers, posters, and movie-related stuff!!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the list of winners!


**********************************
UPDATE (5/6/05): The Incredibles received the most awards, with six (out of seven nominations). Ray was chosen Best In Show for print for its poster, and Sideways received Best In Show for audiovisual for one of its trailers. More details here. And yes, Saw received three awards for posters. I'm still not going to watch it.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:49 AM

Criminal Procedure: Check 

Made it through the Crim Pro exam last night, with 45 minutes to spare of the four hours allotted. Writing, writing, writing, writing. I feel comfortable with my performance on this one. Plus I had a chance to chat with some folks from my Environmental Law class, and it appears that we all felt the same way about that exam.

One of the essays last night was kind of fun. Based on statements made in the opinions in Thornton v. United States, we had to theorize that the court had decided a case in which it changed the bright line rule established in New York v. Belton. We then had to write a dissent to that imagined decision, and by that dissent make clear what rationales were presented in the decision, and present the dissent's arguments to those rationales. It was a nice change from the usual assignment to prepare a memo outlining the potential claims, possible defenses to those claims, and your recommendations to the client, blah, blah, blah.

What's left for this exam period? Take home exam for Law and Ethics of Lawyering, due 5 pm on Tuesday (5/10), and a 4 hour Property exam at 6 pm next Thursday (5/12). I'm hoping to have the Ethics exam completed by Saturday morning, so I can spend the rest of my time getting ready for Property, which promises to be a real bear.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:33 AM
Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Truth in Showtimes 

Proof of what The Girl reminds me each time we're running late to a movie: they don't start at the advertised time, because of all the commercials, PSAs and trailers. Loews Theaters has announced that they will now be including a disclaimer (they call it a "note") to that effect with their published showtime listings. The official Loews estimate is that feature presentation will actually start 10-15 minutes after the scheduled time. But they're confident that most people will still arrive early.

I'm one of those early arrivers. I like to scope out the seats, get a good one, get all settled in with my coat and concessions properly arranged, and then chat about the movie and the people in it. Once we get within minutes of the scheduled time and we're not yet at the theater or in our seats, my inner Movie Monster starts to break out of its containment field, and it's not a pretty site.

But I'm working on it.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:38 AM

Environmental Law: Done 

I was neither impressed nor appalled by my essay responses. I guess that's a good thing. Or at least not a bad thing. It's just a thing.

Countdown to Criminal Procedure: 8 hours, 40 minutes.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:18 AM
Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Office Massage 

The Girl wanted me to go have a massage yesterday on my day off, but I couldn't tear myself away from the books. I promised that I would go after exams were over, to release all that nasty tension that's been building up. Today I woke up still in the company of that low level headache that's become my constant companion, and at work The Guyfriend convinced me to take advantage of the Tuesday massage at work program at our office. Every Tuesday afternoon a licensed massage therapist comes in and provides 20 minute chair massages for $20. He even gave up his early afternoon appointment for me, since by the time I went to sign up there were only some late afternoon spots available, when I'll be in the library.

Twenty bucks well spent. She said that my upper back around my shoulder blades was just a stiff board of muscle tension, but it's a little better now. My neck is much less tight, and the headache seems mostly gone. Perhaps I'll be making this a weekly event for a few weeks.

Countdown to Environmental Law exam: 3.5 hours.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:32 PM
Monday, May 02, 2005

Studio, Studiare 

This is the way we hit the books, hit the books, hit the books. This is the way we hit the books so early in the morning.

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This is the way we prep for tests, prep for tests, prep for tests. This is the way we prep for tests so early in the afternoon.

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This is the way we bang our heads, bang our heads, bang our heads. This is the way we bang our heads so early in the evening.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:58 PM