Big Love Tonight

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

I avoided the first few episodes of Big Love because the basic premise (polygamy) just seemed too creepy, but my wife started watching it after I went to sleep, and now I’ve gotten hooked on it too. HBO is replaying the first four episodes tonight starting at 8:00 P.M. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to check it out.
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Drive Nowhere Day

Friday, May 26th, 2006

I hear on the radio that despite high gas prices the roads are going to be clogged and Americans are expected to drive 1% more than last year this holiday weekend, which gets me thinking: do we really need to do this? It’s a holiday. Why does every holiday inevitably involve getting in our cars and going somewhere? Why do we want to spend the holiday stuck in traffic? What if we stayed home for a change? What if we spent some time experimenting with where we can go without the almighty automobile? Perhaps in the spirit of Buy Nothing Day (the Friday after Thanksgiving) we should pick the Saturday before Memorial Day and declare it Drive Nowhere Day. The goal should be not merely to stay home, but to travel without personal automobile.
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The Three Laws of Comic Books

Friday, May 26th, 2006

After just watching X-Men 3 (short review: it’s the best one yet. Go see it.) I am reminded of the three immutable laws of life and death in the Marvel Universe:
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Verizon’s Getting Desperate

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

A few months ago I switched my phone service to Vonage from Verizon, which promptly cut my phone bill by about two thirds. Yesterday I got snail mail from Verizon offering me unlimited local and long distance for $29.99 (plus the usual unadvertised fees, which would probably raise the price to about $40. Vonage lies like this too. Their $24.99 plan is really a $30 plan.) The real kicker is that Verizon offered to send me a $25 check if I switched back to them. I haven’t gotten an offer like that since MCI, Sprint, and AT&T were duking it out in the early 90’s.

If Verizon had offered me this deal six months ago, even without the check, I probably would have stayed with them. As is, Verizon is still more expensive than Vonage (though it does offer somewhat better service) and switching back would be way too much hassle. Moral of the story: it’s cheaper to keep your existing customers happy than to reacquire new ones later.

Lost Where?

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

I’ve never been convinced by the hypotheses that the Lost survivors are either in the future, on another planet, in another dimension, or on some sort of Holodeck. After last night’s season finale, I am more convinced than ever that they are on Earth, in the present, probably on an island in the South Pacific. Minor spoilers follow.
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Congress Rediscovers the Constitution

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Gee, after years of marching in goose step with multiple administrations to gut the Constitution and take away our rights, Congress finally decides to take a stand when the president starts coming after them. Cue Martin Niemöller.