Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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37 Responses

  1. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I saw American Hustle on Christmas Eve and thought it was very good.

    Yesterday, I started reading The Making of Victorian Values: Decency and Dissent in Britain 1789-1837.Report

  2. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I am still going back and forth about whether to see Wolf of Wall Street or wait for netflix.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      That’s the one I still want to see.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        I kind of do as well but critics I really respect have both praised and trashed the movie (obviously different critics in different reviews) and at three hours, it might be a wait for netflix.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

        Don’t go in expecting a treatise on the failures of Wall Street capitalism. This is a Sodom and Gomorrah tail, where you’re kind of on Leo’s side for most of the story, largely because he is the protagonist.Report

  3. Avatar Will H. says:

    Reading the description of Her; this reminds me of the “User Notes and Known Issues for Wife 1.0” that was circulating a number of years back.

    It took so long for Hobbit 2 to come out, I actually forgot the movie was in two parts.
    I think I’m more interested in seeing the Battle of Dale.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Three parts. Unfortunately.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        I’m not usually a stickler about movies following books, but the fact that this trilogy is called “The Hobbit” sticks in my craw a bit. The screenplay is totally fabricated. I saw the first one – which I thought was pretty dern poor – but don’t think I’m gonna see the rest. I’m a protest singer singing a protest song.Report

  4. Avatar greginak says:

    Seeing the Hobbit this afternoon. I do dread the inevitable 20 minutes for previews of movies i don’t care about and likely excessive length of the movie but it should be good.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I’ve been seeing a lot of movies lately.

    American Hustle is terrific fun. Christian Bale changed himself into a shlub so completely that he’s unrecognizable. Literally. DeNiro, who’d met him before, had no idea who he was. Of course, once he realized Bale had put on 40 pounds for a role, he entirely approved.

    The Hobbit is a bloated mess. Peter Jackson actually ignored large amounts of genuine Tolkien story to add pointless battles and N ybir gevnatyr nzbat Yrtnybf, Xvyv, naq n ynql rys. (I am not making this up.) I enjoyed the first one, but in this film the actors are so overwhelmed by effects and staged fights that it might as well have been X-Men:Middle Earth.

    (Also, Smaug’s voice is so processed that the most I can say is that I have no reason to disbelieve that it began as Cumberbatch.)

    Her is pleasant and touching, and quite funny at times. Also reminiscent of a lot of classic SF, particularly Helen O’Loy.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      That Rot 13 of The Hobbit 2 reminds me that I have this collection of Piers Anthony short stories I’ve been somewhat hesitant to dive in to.
      It’s pretty much a guarantee that each story will be either really cool or so dumb I can’t stand it; but they’re all short, which was the point in getting the short story collection in the first place.Report

      • Avatar Will H. says:

        The SS collection is actually Philip Jose Farmer, not Piers Anthony.
        Probably easier to see the connection with the correct author listed.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I want to see Her. Did you ever see Eternal Sunshine? Different director etc., but also a sort of “stealth” SF movie, under the guise of romance.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      American Hustle is indeed great. The performances are all top notch… not a surprise given the four main leads… but even Renner and other supporting roles were very well delivered. I was a little surprised to see that Renner was getting his name mentioned alongside the other four in some adverts, thinking, “One of those things is not like the other.” But he did a good job. Bale, as @mike-schilling notes, was phenomenal. Cooper held his own. I am increasingly impressed with the latter’s acting ability. More to the point, he also seems to make wise decisions about his films. At this point, if I see him attached to something, I’m pretty confident it is going to be a good piece of work (yes, yes, I know the Hangover sequels were terrible but I assume he was contractually obligated to those).Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I should note that I had a minor quibble with Jennifer Lawrence’s character only because she seemed too young given her character’s backstory. Zazzy and I argued about this. Being a PreK teacher, I was a stickler for the details surrounding her son. “No way a 4-year-old draws that picture of the baseball stadium.” She’s a good 15 years younger than all the other actors and looked it giving the way they were costumed.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

        If I remember, the whole point of Lawrence’s character was that she was young and grabbed on to the guy who most could make her and her son comfortable. I mean, there were single moms in their early 20’s in the mid 70’s.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        That was it, @jesse-ewiak , but the kid looked to be about 7 to me. And Lawrence looked to be about her age (22-23). That means she was 15 when she had him. Possible but a bit of a stretch for a movie that had so much attention to detail otherwise.

        Again, I’m begin nitpicky and it it no way takes away from the movie or the performances if you are a normal human being.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Okay, I saw Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth Themed Movie Product As Inspired By The Simarilion and The Hobbit.

      Dude, that was exactly my issue with Smaug’s voice.

      They get this great actor, or so I’m told he’s a great actor (haven’t really seen him in anything, I don’t think), and they make him up so gaudily that you can’t even tell.

      That’s my problem with the Hobbit movies. They’re gaudy.

      That said, Smaug wasn’t bad. He just wasn’t “HOLY CRAPOLA I AM TERRIFIED” the way he was in the 70’s.Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Read The Truth and (re-read) Thief of Time by TP. Both are awesome (Thief of Time is my favorite Discworld book so far.)

    Saw Ron Burgundy, which is pretty fun except for the ridiculous train-wreck ending. Also saw Gravity in 3D on Christmas Eve, which was quite good.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      The Truth shall set you free.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Have you gotten to goin Postal yet? I’m not certain if you’re reading them in order. Pratchett is a genius but he’s been slowing down badly as he’s gotten older and sicker, the poor chap.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        North, I’m reading them in order so I haven’t gotten to Going Postal yet. More precisely, I’m reading them in order constrained by what’s available on kindle, which doesn’t include The Last Hero – which is a Rincewind book! I’m guessing that the illustrations accompanying the text are the reason Amazon is playing this cruel trick on me.Report

  7. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Today was football day. So not much reading, not much media other than the NFL.

    However, I found this weekend that I need more practice making pasta (tastes good, but feels doughy) and that applewood smoke infused popcorn is delicious, and… I made candy! Peanut-and-cashew brittle, to be exact. This has eluded me in the past so I’m unreasonably proud of myself for creating good product now. A weekend with substantial time in the kitchen is a good one indeed.Report

  8. Avatar North says:

    I saw the Hobbit 2 too. Objectively it was a good Hollywood movie but as a Tolkien fan and as a childhood reader of The Hobbit it was a shambling abomination.

    The hobbit and the dwarves of the novel are pretty much polar opposites of the hobbit and dwarves of the film. In the books the dwarves are somewhat petty, amusing fellows who sort of blunder from one misadventure to the next with only very rare moments of heroism. The dwarves of the film are bland noble heroic characters with no depth or complexity (but for the obligatory funny fat one and our new casanova dwarf). The hobbit of the book was a reluctant fellow, your every day ordinary upper middle class dude thrust into a situation he didn’t wish to be in, desperately trying to survive/escape it and then finally, reluctantly, growing to match it. The hobbit of the film was a cliché hero-who-didn’t-know-it-yet figure who began shining the moment they left the Shire (and he volunteered to leave the fishing Shire in the film!!)

    If the book and the film ever came face to face the latter would undoubtedly be wearing antlers; they’re thesis and nemesis.Report

  9. Avatar Kim says:

    Reading a Christmas Gift. (Yes, I know, I’m jewish. That just means I don’t GIVE Christmas presents).
    Reading a friend (of a friend’s) webcomic, and realizing that he really, really won’t mind that we didn’t get him anything.
    … and just now realizing that my husband might have gotten him something.Report

  10. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Inspired by the tagline for the post, I looked up “She” on IMDB. Looks cheesy, but maybe fun! Ursula Andress (fresh off her ultrasexy turn in “Dr. No”), Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee — not a bad cast at all, and a silly enough premise.

    I could even see a remake, with, let’s say, babe-of-the-moment Scarlett Johansson, Alan Rickman, and Jonathan Rhys Myers. Anyone have better casting choices to offer?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I paid more attention to the 1982 one. The plot, as summarized by the wiki, in its entirety:

      Set 23 years after an event called “The Cancellation”, the film follows Tom, whose sister is captured by a local tribe. He sets out to find and rescue her, while avoiding the dangerous tribes he encounters along the way. Sandahl Bergman plays “She” who ends up aiding Tom after he escapes from her. She decides to help after learning of a prophecy given to her by a local seer.

      The heroes have to face a tutu wearing giant, a psychic communist, toga wearing werewolves and mutants bandaged up like Egyptian mummies.

  11. Avatar Maribou says:

    between the days when Jaybird was at work and I wasn’t really doing anything, and the travel days, I read A LOT. and I watched A LOT. but i was traveling all day today so it’s all kind of a blur. i’m excited to read a book about the Galileo mission that Boegiboe gave us (the prefatory material was really up my alley) and i’m savoring carolyn heilbrun’s book about life beyond sixty and i read a LOT of chicklit-ish fantasy which was all fun. especially lies and prophecy by marie brennan.

    oh, and i finally finished the 2nd volume of marchands reflections and letters of alfred russel wallace which was endearing and alienating by turns. and sven birkert’s my sky blue trades was rather more than the sum of its parts. and mayyyybe i will keep reading charlie chaplin’s autobiography or maybe i won’t.

    watching wise, i saw the hobbit again and still liked it more than it deserves. and (despite that evidence of my poor taste) i recommend the netflix series continuum to anyone who likes don’t-think-too-hard action scifi series. like fringe only with different goals and foci.Report