Andrew Irwin | 3 Aug 07:39 2011

Early Hitchcock film found in NZ

A rare early film from Alfred Hitchcock that was unearthed in New Zealand
has been labelled "priceless" by historians of the suspense master.

The National Film Preservation Foundation and the New Zealand Film Archive
found part of Alfred Hitchcock's 1923 film
<> The White Shadow
following an international search.

It is considered to be the earliest feature film for which the celebrated
director is credited.

Hitchcock, who was just 24 at the time, was the writer, assistant director,
editor and production designer on the melodrama.

The lost film starred Betty Compson as twin sisters - one good, and the
other "without a soul".

The New Zealand Film Archive announced today that the film turned up among a
cache of unidentified American nitrate prints held in the archive for the
last 23 years.

However, only the first three reels of the six-reel feature have been found
and no other copy is known to exist.

New Zealand projectionist and collector Jack Murtagh is credited for
salvaging the film, as well as other silent-era movies. After he died in
1989, the nitrate prints were sent to the Film Archive by his grandson, Tony
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Johne Cook | 1 Aug 18:06 2011

[John Scalzi] The Belief Schism

SF author John Scalzi tackles belief and believers (two related but distinct
things). I always find it fascinating to read the specific nuance that
thinkers have for their thoughts.
The Belief Schism
> *This article at New Statesman magazine<>
> ,* in which (mostly) prominent (mostly) British (mostly) atheists explain
> why they don’t believe in God, is both interesting in itself and causes me
> to remind myself why I’m an agnostic who presumes there isn’t a God, which
> is: there’s no evidence for God, or evidence that a god-like entity (or
> entities) ever crawled around the skin of this world, telling humans what to
> do with their lives. This is different than humans suggesting that a god (or
> gods) has spoken to them and told them that bananas are forbidden, or to go
> slaughter the people in the next town, or to wear day-glo orange pantaloons,
> or whatever. That process doesn’t actually need the involvement of a god; it
> just needs someone with a good enough understanding of primate grouping
> dynamics to sell it.
> It also reminds me why I don’t feel particularly antagonistic toward
> religion as a concept, which is: Hey, if ritual and belief help you get
> through your life, and doesn’t get in *my* way, enjoy. The fall down here
> is not the concept of religion, but the practice of it, in which many people
> seem to believe that it’s not enough that they have to live as their god
> tells them to, but I do too, and so does everyone else. I find this annoying
> and typically speaking not strictly required by the person whom the religion
> purports to represent, and I regret having to spend the time and effort
> pointing out such things to the practitioners.
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Andrew Irwin | 28 Jul 00:06 2011

RIP John Stott

John Stott died in his retirement home at St. Barnabas College at
3.15pm on Wednesday 27th July. He was surrounded by Frances Whitehead,
and a number of good friends. They were reading the Scriptures and
listening to Handel's Messiah when he peacefully went to be with his
Lord and Saviour.

Various tributes on the page follow...


I've been reading a lot of his books recently, and I'm going through
The Cross of Christ chapter by chapter with a friend. A very wise and
well thought out man, finally seeing his Lord, Saviour Father and
friend face to face.

Andrew Irwin


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Johne Cook | 25 Jul 21:27 2011

Pro bono laptop repair, Monsieur Hire, and jam

Some people mark the changing of time by the seasons, others, by the
beginning and ending of sports calenders. I mark the passage of time by how
often I am 'volunteered' to fix Alicia's laptop.

Alicia is sort of related. She is the younger sister of Mike Badtke, the
husband of my daughter, Ashlei. Alicia recently graduated from High School,
which means she still hangs onto the self delusion that she knows
everything. The fact that her mother, Cindy, approaches me on a semi-annual
basis to fix the laptop simply side-steps the issue, I think. Alicia doesn't
have to confess her ignorance or her (fairly common) internet indiscretions,
and I don't have to rub her nose in it. Cindy loves her daughter, and I
don't mind playing the geeky hero on occasion.

I was approached on Saturday to help Alicia get her new iPod Touch to work
with the laptop on Saturday. The presenting problem was simple: the iPod
could not be connected to iTunes, because iTunes wasn't connecting to the
iTunes store. I noticed that she had three different antivirus apps, all
expired. As I expected, none of them connected to the internet to receive
updates. While digging into the issue, I noticed that the weather app in the
sidebar also wasn't updating because it apparently couldn't connect to the
internet, either. However, her browsers connected to the internet just fine.
And then I noticed the Frostwire icon on the desktop. I looked at the amount
of battery she had left and closed the lid.

I said there were more things going on than I would have laptop battery
power available to fix that day, and asked for the family to take the laptop
back home and send it to church the following day with my daughter, Ashlei
(who lives near them and attends my church). I asked for them to send along
the new iPod and a power cord for the laptop.

(Continue reading)

Peter T Chattaway | 21 Jul 21:17 2011

Re: We can relax - Roger Ebert likes Captain America!

Not like this, no.

This email sent from my HTC smartphone

----- Reply message -----
From: "Karl Swenson" <karldswenson@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 11:53 am
Subject: [DADL-OT] We can relax - Roger Ebert likes Captain America!
To: "'DADL (off topic)'" <dadl-ot@...>

but it's all kind of undermined by the last few minutes, which exist only to
tie the film into The Avengers. 

***didn't ironman do that too?

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Johne Cook | 21 Jul 20:24 2011

We can relax - Roger Ebert likes Captain America!

  Captain America

 * BY ROGER EBERT / * July 20, 2011

 Cast & Credits
Capt America/Steve Rogers Chris
Peggy Hayley Atwell
Bucky Sebastian Stan
Col Phillips Tommy Lee
Schmidt/Red Skull Hugo
Howard Dominic Cooper
Dr Erskine
Nick Fury Samuel L Jackson
Dr Zola Toby Jones

Paramount Pictures presents a film directed by Joe
Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, inspired by the Marvel
comic books. Running time: 125 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences
of sci-fi violence and action).

*E-mail this to a
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Mike Findlay | 8 Jul 19:22 2011

Fill er up.

Cop:  I think you are driving drunk.
Driver: No, I'm not, give me a breathalyzer
Cop: No we don't like those anymore, pee in this cup.
Driver:  What?  You can't make me pee in a cup.
Cop:  Off to jail with you buddy and kiss your license goodbye.

Brave new world we got ourselves.

Mike F.  

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: TheNewspaper <sharedarticle@...>
To: mdfindlay@...
Sent: Fri, July 8, 2011 12:17:19 PM
Subject: Updates from

Updates from 


Minnesota: Appeals Court Expands DUI Implied Consent Reach 
Posted: 08 Jul 2011 01:59 AM PDT
Anyone accused by a police officer in Minnesota of driving under the influence 
of alcohol (DUI) can be compelled to produce a urine sample without a warrant, 
according to a June 27 decision by the state court of appeals. A three-judge 
panel weighed the case of Kim Marie Ellingson who had been stopped for speeding 
after midnight on May 3, 2009. The officer later arrested her for DUI.

Just days before, the state supreme court handed down its decision in the case 
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Johne Cook | 2 Jul 04:37 2011

Jon Stewart: Moral Kombat (with a nod to CA and WI)

Johne Cook
| | |*

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Peter Chattaway | 28 Jun 21:20 2011

160 Million and Counting

June 26, 2011

In 1990, the economist Amartya Sen published an essay in The New York Review of Books with a bombshell title:
“More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing.” His subject was the wildly off-kilter sex ratios in India,
China and elsewhere in the developing world. To explain the numbers, Sen invoked the “neglect” of
third-world women, citing disparities in health care, nutrition and education. He also noted that under
China’s one-child policy, “some evidence exists of female infanticide.”

The essay did not mention abortion.

Twenty years later, the number of “missing” women has risen to more than 160 million, and a journalist
named Mara Hvistendahl has given us a much more complete picture of what’s happened. Her book is called
“Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men.” As the
title suggests, Hvistendahl argues that most of the missing females weren’t victims of neglect. They
were selected out of existence, by ultrasound technology and second-trimester abortion.

The spread of sex-selective abortion is often framed as a simple case of modern science being abused by
patriarchal, misogynistic cultures. Patriarchy is certainly part of the story, but as Hvistendahl
points out, the reality is more complicated — and more depressing.

Thus far, female empowerment often seems to have led to more sex selection, not less. In many communities,
she writes, “women use their increased autonomy to select for sons,” because male offspring bring
higher social status. In countries like India, sex selection began in “the urban, well-educated
stratum of society,” before spreading down the income ladder.

Moreover, Western governments and philanthropic institutions have their fingerprints all over the
story of the world’s missing women.
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Peter T. Chattaway | 28 Jun 09:54 2011


with Mark and his guests David Arnold, Don Black and Tim Rice

Steyn on People
Saturday, 25 June 2011

For the first of our summer audio specials, we celebrate the work of James 
Bond's music man and the composer who defined the sound of spy music. John 
Barry died earlier this year, and we had so much response to Mark's 007 
double-bill Song of the Week that he decided it would be nice to hear a 
bit more of the music, and also some of the stories behind it from John's 
friends and colleagues. So to discuss the Barry style Mark rounded up two 
Oscar-winning lyricists and a composer. All three were part of the big 
memorial concert last Monday night at the Royal Albert Hall in London, so, 
if you couldn't get tickets, we hope you'll dial up our podcast as the 
next best thing:

Tim Rice and Don Black were guests on our Christmas Show two years ago, 
when they touched briefly on their Bond songs. Tim is best-known as the 
lyricist of Evita, Aladdin and The Lion King, but he also collaborated 
with John Barry on the theme song for Octopussy. And Don has written more 
James Bond lyrics than anybody else, from Thunderball to The Man With The 
Golden Gun, Diamonds Are Forever to The World Is Not Enough.

Joining Tim and Don is David Arnold, the composer of Independence Day, 
Godzilla, the remake of Shaft, Hot Fuzz, Voyage Of The Dawn Treader and 
the TV series Little Britain. But he's also John Barry's successor in the 
James Bond music chair. He's composed every Bond picture of the last 15 
years, from Tomorrow Never Dies to A Quantum Of Solace, and is about the 
(Continue reading)

david white | 28 Jun 04:25 2011

How Should Government Treat Energy Producers?

How Should Government Treat Energy Producers?

As the economy continues in its downward spiral and talks in Congress about reducing 
spending have only amounted to political theater, the subject of how the tax code treats 
energy has become a topic of controversy. Specifically, should we subsidize, enforce 
mandates, or give tax credits and deductions to industries like ethanol and natural gas? 
Having a thriving energy market domestically is a good thing and something the 
government should not hinder. Not only would decreasing our dependence on foreign 
oil simplify our foreign policy, but it would greatly enhance our anemic economy at 

Of course, the government should neither inhibit nor subsidize any particular type of 
energy. While many people agree with that statement, there is much confusion over the 
difference between government subsidies and tax credits or deductions. The difference 
is night and day, yet so many times they are all lumped together as evil government 
handouts. A subsidy IS a government handout. It amounts to the government taking 
money from the people and giving it to a favored interest. It is the worst sort of market 
manipulation and it is something I can never support. This kind of government mischief 
is anathema to the Constitution and the principles of freedom and the free market.

By contrast, with tax credits and deductions, industries, business, and individuals simply 
get to keep more of the money they have earned. Ideally, the tax code should not be 
used for social engineering, but, until we have true tax reform, I will always support tax 
credits and deductions that keep more dollars in the private sector where they are spent, 
saved, or invested. This means I will support tax credits and deductions for energy 
producers, farmers, homeschoolers, family child care expenditures, expenses of 
evacuees from disaster areas, and even adoption expenses. I've almost never met a tax 
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