monday morning musings

last week i was kvetching about monday’s late-winter snowstorm and subsequent single-digit temps. today it’s nearly 65 degrees at 9 a.m. yay, march.

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atheists are responsible for the dwindling percentage of christians in the united states. (maybe they’re eating them?) and i should move to vermont. except for that cold thing.

nifty charts here.

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almost everything i read online this weekend was about death and dying. one friend’s father passed away in late february. another friend’s mother, over the weekend. my great-uncle, on thursday. g’s grandmother was hospitalized with chest pains. then a friend’s dog had to be put down. isn’t spring supposed to be a time of rebirth?

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as i tweeted on saturday, the best time to watch watchmen is the 9:00 showing. with the coming distractions and a run time of 163 minutes, it means you’ll be out of the theater at five to 12:00. freaky. even freakier: billy crudup’s blue CGI dingle, which doesn’t dangle much.

great flick, btw. and fantastic use of leonard cohen on the soundtrack (and muzak tears for fears), but other people differ. (contains some spoilers.) although i have to ask: how do you put together a 3-hour movie set in 1985 without a single duran duran song? they’d released duran duran

, rio

, and 7 and the ragged tiger

by that point!

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i’m not much of a batman fan, but the first issue of neil gaiman’s two-part “death of” is storytelling at its finest. and what a story it is.

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and finally, in news of the sane, today obama will “issue a presidential memorandum aimed at insulating scientific decisions across the federal government from political influence.” the circular argument about that itself being political influence that will affect scientific decisions aside, it’s good to see obama continuing to dismantle the politicoreligious machine of the bush administration.

from his prepared remarks:

“This Order is an important step in advancing the cause of science in America. But let’s be clear:1 promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it is also about protecting free and open inquiry. It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda — and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”

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1 am i the only one who would be happy if obama excised “but let’s be clear” from his vocabulary? i’m getting tired of being lectured at.

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