Friday, December 03, 2010

"Avatar" versus "Gone with the Wind"

Movie history was made in 2010, when James Cameron’s Avatar surpassed his previous blockbuster, Titanic, as “the most successful movie ever”, based on worldwide box-office. The problem is, this is all Hollywood hype. A look at Box Office Mojo, and their list of the all time top movies adjusted for inflation, shows that it's a mere 14th place, well behind the likes of Doctor Zhivago and 101 Dalmatians! Even Titanic makes it to #6. For all the hype, "adjusted" is the only fair way to measure box-office success. In US box-office, Avatar's adjusted gross is $773,179,000. The champion is still Gone with the Wind (1939), whose adjusted gross is a huge $1,606,254,800. In 1939 dollars, that was only $198,676,459 - but it means that it was seen by considerably more people than Avatar, and those dollars could buy you a heck of a lot more 71 years ago than Avatar's comparatively meager returns could buy you right now. While it’s impossible to work out the worldwide gross, let’s just say that, even in the UK, the story of Scarlett O’Hara was the biggest film ever.

The Great Recession?

Interesting: Two years into the Great Depression, a quarter of Americans were unemployed and the US steel industry was at 10 percent capacity. The Ford Motor Company slashed its workforce from 130,000 to 37,000 (no GM-style bailout there!), wheat halved in value in the Midwest, and even if you somehow had a job, your monthly salary fell from $50 to $16.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Super Bowl

Who won the Super Bowl this year?

Yeah, that's who...the New Orleans Saints!

I'm still thrilled!

Ken Griffey, Jr. retirement

I'm sorry that Ken Griffey, Jr. suffered so many injuries over his 22-year career; otherwise, I think he easily would've become baseball's home-run king. Even so, I believe he ended up with, what?, 630 home runs, 5th overall in baseball.

classic "Golden Girls" moment

In honor of Rue McClanahan's death today:

Rose Nylund: This is exactly what happened during the Great Herring War.

Blanche Devereaux:
The Great Herring War?

Rose Nylund:
Yes, between the Lindstroms and the Johanssons.

Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak:
Oh, THAT Great Herring War.

Rose Nylund:
The two families controlled the most fertile herring waters off the coast of Norway, so naturally, it seemed like it would be in their best interest to band together. Oh, boy, was that a mistake. You see, they couldn't agree on what to do with the herring.

Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak:
Oh, well that's understandable. I mean, the possibilities are overwhelming.

Rose Nylund:
Exactly. The Johanssons wanted to pickle the herring, and the Lindstroms wanted to train them for the circus.

Blanche Devereaux:
Weren't they kind of hard to see riding on the elephants?

Rose Nylund:
Oh, not that kind of circus. A herring circus. Sort of like Sea World, only smaller. Much, much smaller. But bigger than a flea circus.

Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak:
Uh, tell me, Rose, um... Ah-ha ha ha!... Did they ever shoot a herring out of a cannon?

Rose Nylund:
Only once. But they shot him into a tree. After that no other herring would do it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Parades and I don't get along! I made it a mile in the Melrose Memorial Day parade today before my back gave out. I've got to get in better shape, sooner rather than later. Got the Bonnie Brae games next Saturday in Liberty Corner, NJ, and then the Bunker Hill Day Parade the following weekend. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

new job

I begin my new systems administrator (PC and Mac support) at Harvard Business Publishing on February 1. I'll miss my friends at Putnam Investments, but I need to move on from a contractor job to a permanent job. Looking forward to being back in the Harvard system.

Go New Orleans Saints!

Go, Saints, tomorrow. I'm nervous about the game: they're so close to the Super Bowl and a Super Bowl title, but yet they're also so FAR away. Here's hoping. If the Saints weren't in the run, I'd be for Brett Favre and the Vikings.

almost a year

Wow! It's been almost a year since I've posted to this blog. I need to get going with something!