So the wife noted recently how we managed to have a relatively illness-free winter down under. Whereupon I, of course, immediately got struck down by Phlegmius, the God of Mucus. In the absence *snnork* of good health, I offer random links that amuse or intrigued me of late:
• Witness the worst celebrity wax figures ever. I love the President Obama one, who looks like an old Jim Nabors figure spray-painted black.
• Y'know, in the accolades and appreciations after the untimely death of Patrick Swayze I realised I had never seen his 1986 masterwork "Road House," in which he plays a zen bouncer who's like the Confucius of bar brawls. It is not quite as awesome as "Point Break," mainly because it doesn't costar Keanu "Whoa" Reeves, but it is still startlingly cool as a piece of '80s cheese and übermanly exuberance. Plus, throat-ripping! Pop Matters examined "the Tao of Dalton" a while back, and it makes for excellent Swayze-musing.
• I never really thought about it before, but I do dig sci-fi movie corridors! In praise of the sci-fi corridor.
• Whenever a handful of really famous people die it really, really annoys me when people talk about a "plague" of celebrity deaths or the whole "they come in threes" myth, as if famous people (and regular, non-famous plebians) didn't die every single day just because that's what people do. So I quite liked this NY Times article which looks at the real reason the media/online world seemed to constantly be freaking out about people dying this summer: The Summer of the Celebrity Deaths? Boomers realizing they're not immortal? Egad!
• I've mentioned before that Leonard Pitts is probably my favorite current newspaper columnist (close runners-up being the NY Times Maureen Dowd, who sometimes is too clever for her own good, and San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Carroll, who sometimes is too twee for his own good). Pitts manages to bring a consistently thoughtful yet genuinely concerned tone to his left-of-center observations. Anyway, this piece by Pitts is superb as he looks at what he calls "the howl of the unhinged and the entitled" we keep hearing from the US lately: The 'Culture War' is real and scary.
• Man, I grew up reading Marvel's old Star Wars comics, but I have to admit, they could be pretty wonky tales sometimes. The 11 least necessary Star Wars comic book stories. A great list from the fab Topless Robot, but where is Jaxxon the giant green bunny rabbit, darn it?
• Here's the thing -- yeah, if you're wearing a yarmulke or a turban out or the like on the streets and get hassled for it, I can see the outrage. But if you insist on being a grown-up and going out in public dressed like a Jedi Knight and then want to sue over religious discrimination -- well, you're a dork. Jedi church founder 'emotionally humiliated.'
• Finally, because we all need more Lego art: A functional cello -- made out of Lego.