Many countries have imaginative place names (my favourite in the UK is probably ‘Lytchett Matravers’), but I bow down before the inhabitants of the world’s largest coral atoll, Kiritimati. The four villages on the island are London, Tabwakea, Banana, and Poland. As French cycling fans are wont to say in deference to an inspired performance, “Chapeau*, people of Kiritimati, Chapeau!”

(*literally, “Hat!”)

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Well it appears the bots have now worked out that the blog has changed format. The existing moderation options I already have turned on seem to do a good prophylactic job, but I may make things more challenging soon.

Acid Test

This is interesting:

…the House and Senate passed a major budget bill by the narrowest of margins in both chambers, including a tie-breaking vote in the Senate case by Vice President Cheney, but it turned out that the bill passed the House and Senate in different forms.

…what the president signed is not a law. Laws, as Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution makes clear, must pass both chambers of Congress in identical form and then be signed by the president.

Hat tip: TPM

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Snakes and Fireflies

Here’s an interesting story about the influence of fans on the film industry:

The audio bit uses a Jackson sound-alike shouting, “I want these mother******* snakes off the mother******* plane!” Soon, the growing legion of fans added their voices as they demanded that that phrase also appear in the movie.

Apparently, the studio got the hint. When Ellis assembled Jackson and others for the recent shoot, the filmmakers added more gore, more death, more nudity, more snakes and more death scenes. And they shot a scene where Jackson does utter the line that fans have demanded.

Those involved with the film said the reshoots weren’t prompted by fans but rather by the existing footage that already was a hairline into R territory. Within the studio, the thinking was, “We’re already going to get an R, why not go all the way?” But the filmmakers do concede that the Jackson line will be in the movie for the sake of the fans.

It reminds me of the pressure put on just about anyone who’d listen to create a movie of Firefly. The DVD release of Serenity covers the issue, including a phrase from an episode of the series that, for all its corniness, still makes me smile…”We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.”

While I’m on the subject, I’ll mention in passing that…wait, first, I shouldn’t have to tell you this because you should have seen the movie already. If you haven’t, and you’re short on cash, go cancel the order you just placed for a Mac (you did order one, right?) and use the money to buy the DVD instead.

Anyway, in the movie something shocking happens. The movie was previewed for months before it was released, from working cuts up to a near-finished film. Literally tens of thousands of people saw these previews. I regularly read the main gathering sites for such fans, so was clearly exposed to way more information that the man on the street. I heard not one mention of the surprise, and in fact to this day I’ve not stumbled upon a spoiler outside of places like Wikipedia. That’s how much people love Serenity.

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