"No, I won’t sit idly by as you hurl cliches at me…" - [X-Files 6x20 I The Unnatural]
Famous deaths invite hyperbole. The news that Philip Seymour Hoffman was discovered dead today in an apartment bathroom, with a syringe sticking out of his arm, seems like an occasion to overreact with some exaggerated summary of his career—something like “most talented and kaleidoscopic actor of his time.”
Except, in this case, the compliment isn’t hyperbolic at all. It’s just an accurate description, as true yesterday as it is today. And the competition isn’t even that close.
The first thing about Philip Seymour Hoffman—that is, the first thing most audiences saw—is that he looked unremarkable, even boring. He had a hangdog countenance, often sliced with the swoop of his receding blond mane, with small, firm eyes. He wasn’t strikingly handsome, nor strikingly unhandsome, neither thin nor obese, not blessed with any distinguishing gosh-wow feature that would make somebody watching an early performance in Twister or The Big Lebowski exclaim, “I think we’ve found our next Brando.” Instead of standing out in these early films, he stood within them—gauging the pace and tone of the action around him and blending in so delicately that it’s not uncommon for even Hoffman fanatics to look back on his career and think, I forgot he was in that.
Read more. [Image: Sony Pictures Classics]
Toddler: Mama, get my ladybug down! I behave with it!
Me: You didn’t behave with it before, that’s why it’s put away.
Toddler: I behave now!
Toddler: Luna, say thank you!
Dog: (eats dinner)
Toddler: Mama, Luna not say thank you!
Anybody up for a dip in Lake Michigan?
About 45 percent of Lake Michigan is considered to be frozen, according to NOAA (who also provided this shiver-inducing photo).
You can see how icy the rest of the great lakes are (and have been in past winters) here.
- Erie: 95% ice covered.
- Superior: 85%
- Huron: 70%
- Ontairo: 25%
12 inches is accurate for Michigan. In Connecticut, school has been cancelled twice already - once for five inches and once for half an inch.
A federal lawsuit filed last week in Louisiana contains some of the most startling allegations you will ever see against public school officials accused of unlawfully turning their school into a bastion of Christian belief. In western Louisiana’s Sabine Parish, one family alleges, teachers preach Creationism and mock the theory of evolution, routinely lead their students in Christian prayer, give extra credit for Christian responses to assignments, and actively question or deride the religious beliefs of non-Christian students and parents.
I wrote about the allegations in this case over the weekend for The Daily Beast but return to this story now because it has not yet flowered into the national story it deserves to be. You simply have to read the complaint, and the other court papers, and see the photos, to believe it. This is not a case about a few student-led prayers at graduation or a Christmas display. It is not a case about one odd educator. This is a case that digs down to the foundation of the wall that is supposed to separate church and state.
Read more. [Image: David Goldman/AP Images]
If this wasn’t in Mississippi I would have assumed this was my high school. That the author finds it “shocking” is quite funny. Welcome to life in places that aren’t New York or the West Coast. It’s not a national story because it’s the norm in a lot of places. The reason more lawsuits aren’t filed is because once you’ve filed that suit, you can consider your life in whatever town you’re in as good as over. You will be ostracized.
I’d like to believe this lawsuit could change things, but the more likely scenario is that the religious types will simply use it as evidence of their “persecution.”
My throat is still sore from my cold so I asked him to “read” his book to me.