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Another Spiderman Review

Rating: 3.5 of 5

I really did like this movie, for the most part. This was quite a different perspective on the psychology of the super-hero and the villain, with some nifty perspective special effects (the fight between Peter Parker and Flash, for instance). The plot line was pretty good, albeit predictable. Exceptions: the carjacking after the wrestling events and the big choice Spiderman has to make near the end were unexpected and delightful.

Yet there was something lacking. I can’t really put my finger on it. The addition of something could have pushed this to the next level and made this a truly fantastic movie. Maybe the persona of Harry could have been developed a little more. Yes, we know he turns into a sour ungrateful fellow as time goes on, but his psychology is perhaps not as well explored as it should be. After all, he is more important to the overall storyline than his father.

The acting was above average. Toby Maguire did a fine job as Peter Parker. Willem Dafoe did quite well as the Green Goblin. He certainly shined in the arguments between the scientist and the Goblin. Kirsten Dunst played Mary Jane very well, but I didn’t feel she gave it her all.

I recommend this movie on the big screen, because it has some elements that must be experienced in that way. (The Spider’s perspective on swinging between buildings, for instance.) The sensitive person should perhaps beware some of the violent scenes, although it is “fake violence.”

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One Helluva Blaze, US Government Screws Up Again

So, a government official started the .5 million acre fire in Arizona. To put this into perspective, take 1,500,000 of the plots of land I live on and put them all together in a contiguous area. All destroyed, all ready for the next cycle of nature a little earlier than expected. Imagine the number of trees, birds, squirrels, deer, and other life ended or displaced. Imagine how many families will be walking back to the ashes that once held their well being.

All because of some bozo with something to prove.

There is no punishment to fit the crime. There is no justification, no excuse. “I didn’t mean to” rings empty to you when the love of your family is put through the ultimate test. “I didn’t know it would be this bad” doesn’t adequately answer the question, “Why?!”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that government officials have screwed up to the point where their actions could be considered criminal. Only two years ago we had forest fires on government-managed lands in Montana. This time, it was the National Forestry Service’s mismanagement that ruined the livelihoods of not a few people and the lives of who knows how many animals.

Rightly so, the man who started the Arizona fires will be tried. His punishment won’t–can’t–fit his crime. The only punishment I can think of is tying him up in a public place with a sign above his head, “I am the man who started the half-million acre fire in Arizona,” for the rest of his life. Maybe the awful looks, the shaking heads, and the constant ridicule will come close.

But, unfortunately, this man will only serve as a lightning rod, and draw attention away from the real issue: our government is a terrible environmental steward. It mismanages, it takes the most talented and bright people in the world and squashes their talent, it pollutes, it destroys. And it owns over 1/4 of the land in the US. This land is some of the most polluted, contaminated, wasted land in the world.

Let the man who started the fire get his due. But until we get the government out of the land management business, this won’t be the last time we hear of a story like this.

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On ceilings colored Marilyn-Manson-red

When I moved in I imagined Trent Reznor using my bathroom to work himself up for concerts. The previous owner had rather peculiar tastes, I must say. Fortunately, the red paint had bonded with the grey paint layer below it, and much of it peeled off easily. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the paint on the ceiling. When we get through with it, though, I won’t have to go into the world feeling on the edge of a temper tantrum.

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Ode to learning

I haven’t been learning this fast since I was in school. Learning is a good feeling–mental masturbation if you will.

I’ve relearned, for example, that I learn best under deadline. Well, a big deadline is coming up tomorrow and you can bet your bottom dollar I learned what I need to (how to develop a Java web application, if you must know). People skills are also growing. Of course, learning leadership skills now is a swim-or-die endeavor, as I am in a leadership position.

I’m also learning how to plan for professional development. Learning (again) how to learn, one could say. I have to justify attendance at conferences and courses, which means I have to plan several months ahead. Where do I want to be in a year? How do I get there?

For the longest time it was “easy.” I had simply stated concrete goals: get a PhD, get married, get into a position where I could buy a house, start a family. Now that three of those four goals have been attained, I started wandering listlessly for a while, but now I’m forced to think ahead.

Certainly a good thing, if draining. Now I just need to start a hobby.

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Out of touch and lovin’ it

I have barely kept up with the news these days. Moving, graduating, and starting a new job certainly take time away from the news of people stabbing other people in the back—both literally and figuratively. I must admit, I’ve been a little happier about not keeping up. Somehow painting, fixing things under my house, or doing other little side chores seem more pleasant than watching the aftermath of a bomb in Israel or the antics of Congress.This is a perilous path. At the end is apathy and lethargy. To be sure, it is good to let things go while you recharge, as long as you know there are good people keeping the dream of freedom alive. But soon enough, work begins again.This vacation from the world was stressful in some ways, but all in all was relaxing. Time to a look at the Nuze and get rolling.