February 2010!

I can’t believe it’s really February already.

I’m becoming addicted to the chips from Food Should Taste Good (interesting review of the chips).

Hat tip from Angry Asian Man: a cool profile on Grant Imahara from “Mythbusters” on Discovery Channel.

Another hat tip from Angry Asian Man (and here too): Yet another one of those “What is it with Congress?”  – when the ABA unanimously approved a nominee for federal district court, and the judiciary committee approved, apparently the Senate Republicans opposed U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward Chen’s nomination for an Article III Federal District Court judgeship for Northern District of California, only to get his name back for renomination. Can they please get this done already?

Is this some kind of joke? Dante’s Inferno – as an EA video game? (nope, it’s for real).  Dante, the knight, who returns from the Crusades to find that Lucifer killed the beloved Beatrice and then goes on a rampage of vengeance? I’ve read “Inferno” three times and wouldn’t have expected Dante to be an action hero in this way; talk about dr…amatic license. Plus, what’s Virgil’s role? Is he the video game’s Gandalf or something? They’re even comparing it to “Dungeons and Dragons.” What?!

Very cool stuff: a NY Times article on the capabilities of learning languages on-line, including how BBC’s website offers a way to learn foreign languages online for free.  I don’t see them offering Cantonese Chinese, but the French section seems pretty nifty and maybe I’ll try it to learn Spanish in a very rough way.

Check out the NPR coverage on this great stuff from Baroness P.D. James – I doubt that I can write like her or comment on crime and justice, etc., with grim characters, but I really want to read her new book about the subject of detective fiction.  Sounds so good.

Slate’s Daniel Gross with an interesting article about how the investment banks ought to make a choice; don’t go crying about how the gov’t’s so mean to you, when they’re bailing you out; and if you don’t want their help, then go bail yourself out.  He concludes:

The public—as aggrieved owners, taxpayers, and savers—has every right to question the banks’ methods and practices. If they don’t want us poking around their businesses, they can shrink their balance sheets, replace government-subsidized debt with market-rate debt, stop relying on the Federal Reserve for funding, and get out of our index funds. As film mogul Samuel Goldwyn once said: “Include me out!”

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick with a solid point, as she compares the experiences of US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, in his Citizen United dissent, and Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, in his memoirs: “Side by side, Sachs and Stevens reveal that this is an odd constitutional moment indeed in America, in which corporations are treated like living persons by judges who aspire to be machines.”

The video of President Obama’s taking on the Republican representatives’ questions (which I accessed via the Time blog “Swampland”) was an hour of listening/watching; probably worth it, just to see the President in a roomful of Republican congressmen. I read somewhere that a commentator compared this to marital counseling; perhaps forcing the Dems and Republicans into a room to actually talk to each other and answer each other’s questions in …a civil manner might help (granted, this isn’t a Parliamentary system, but it can’t hurt).  Can we get things going to do stuff, as noted above about the judgeship confirmation?