Blog Ipsa Loquitur

I love the movie Groundhog Day — it popped up in several of my philosophy classes in college, and again in law school. The Library of Congress has a copy archived, because the movie is a significant cultural work. Phil spends years trapped in a time loop, but the movie never specifies how many. I just read the most definitive deconstruction of it:

The first stage is to work out how many separate days are shown on screen during the movie. So here’s a good old-fashioned list of them:

  • Day 1: Groundhog Day
  • Day 2: The first repetition
  • Day 3: The fixed pencil
  • Day 4: Punching Ned
  • Day 5: Deceiving Nancy
  • Day 6: Robbing the bank
  • Day 7: Seeing Heidi 2 with a French Maid
  • Days 8-12: Engineering the near-perfect date
  • Day 13: The bad perfect date
  • Days 14-21: One for every slap
  • Day 22: “Phil you look terrible!”
  • Day 23: Jeopardy
  • Day 24: “This is pitiful!”
  • Days 25-27: Breaking the alarm clock
  • Day 28: Kidnapping Punxsutawney Phil
  • Day 29-31: Phil’s suicides
  • Day 32: I’m a God!
  • Days 33- 35: First piano lessons
  • Day 36: Sexually harassing Ned
  • Day 37: Looking after the homeless man
  • Day 38: The final Groundhog Day

Read the rest at Obsessed With Film.

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

From Hulu Reworks Its Script as Digital Change Hits TV:

But [Hulu’s] owners—industry powerhouses NBC Universal, News Corp. and Walt Disney Co.—are increasingly at odds over Hulu’s business model. Worried that free Web versions of their biggest TV shows are eating into their traditional business, the owners disagree among themselves, and with Hulu management, on how much of their content should be free.

[Hulu’s new President and COO,] Mr. Carey had a very different vision for Hulu, according to people familiar with the matter. The former head of satellite operator DirecTV, Mr. Carey was a big believer in the subscription-TV business. He worried that online video would train a generation of people to expect entertainment for free with advertising. He thought Hulu should be supported by both subscriptions and ads, those people said.

CBS. Fox. ABC. NBC. We can disagree whether this business model is legitimate in the digital age, but let’s not pretend this is unproven ground. Also, let’s not pretend that Hulu is an unprofitable business. They make money.

Filed on under The News

I love how in Italy, if you’re accused of having sex with a couple of seventeen year old prostitutes, your two best defenses appear to be (1) yes, I had sex with those minors, but I didn’t pay for it; and (2) yes, I paid for sex with those women, but only after they were adults.

Mr. Berlusconi has now been accused of sexual relations with a second teenaged prostitute:

The girl, named as Iris Berardi, was known to police as a prostitute, Italian reports say, and attended one of the events days before turning 18.

[…]

[The age of consent in Italy is 14.]  Using the services of prostitutes is not a crime in Italy, but paying a prostitute aged under 18 is an offence.

via BBC News.

Filed on under The News

This is one of the most romantic things I’ve ever read:

People pretty much thought we were crazy. A wedding for under $2,000? On a Saturday evening? In July? With just seven months of planning?

[…]

At times, we thought we were crazy, too. As we piled 64 rock-hard avocados into our shopping cart at Sam’s Club four days before the wedding, I wondered, “Can we really make guacamole for 80 people on our wedding day? Will these avocados even ripen in time? What were we thinking?”

But it was important for us to make it work. We were tired of all the propaganda from the Wedding Industrial Complex telling us that we needed the perfect flowers or the perfect centerpieces to make our day perfect. We didn’t want to obsess about surface details or let the wedding overshadow our relationship. We wanted our wedding to be sincere, authentic, and memorable—a wedding focused on community and connection, not my wedding dress.

Read the whole thing at 2000 Dollar Budget Wedding: From Conception to Reception.

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

I have never heard of the web site “Improbable Research” until yesterday, when they posted a video of cats falling in low gravity. Look at them go!

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

I’ve avoided the whole Amanda Knox news story. I generally try to avoid reading about things that happened on slow news days and then exploded on cable news, resonating around the echo chamber for weeks, months, and years longer than they ought to. I’m glad that Legal As She Is Spoke has explained the issues in the case clearly and succinctly — suffice to say that you won’t get analysis like this on CNN:

The media has focused on the sexier aspects of the case, but has largely failed to discuss the intricacies and vagaries of Italian law that are crucial to understanding the court’s decisions.

These include: 1) Italy’s lack of DNA certification requirements and standards regulating the integrity of forensics; 2) the enormous discretion afforded judges in Italy to control the admissibility of evidence at trial; and 3) the lack of evidentiary rules in Italian criminal trials.

Certain characteristics of the Italian criminal justice system make it prone to abuse in the form of contamination of evidence and poor DNA testing analysis.

Read the rest of Foxy Noxy Might Outfox the Italian Justice System at Legal As She Is Spoke.

Filed on under Legal Theory