Tuesday quiz

If Friends final season begins September 25, and Ben and JLo are to be married September 14, and Joey Tribbiani's character will be spun off into a new show called Joey after Friends 10th and final season, which event will occur first: Ben and JLo divorce or Joey is cancelled?

Spellbinding!

I finally got around to seeing the documentary Spellbound, about eight contestants in the 1999 National Spelling Bee over the weekend, and what a film! If you haven't seen this yet, I highly recommend it, especially if you're any sort of language nerd and enjoy weird words. It also provides insight into all kinds of American families, from various geographic regions, ethnic backgrounds, financial strata, etc. and demonstrates an intriguing combination of hard work and luck. It was also emotionally uplifting and funny. What more could you ask for in a film? Check it out if you haven't had a chance.

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Before I left for Nantucket I finished reading Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis and (once again) I couldn't stop talking about the book and sharing its insights with whoever would (or even wouldn't) listen. It was especially cool because my family watches a lot of baseball, so I found I was applying principles as I watched Little League World Series games and even the Sox vs. the A's themselves! Anyway, this was a great book and I really recommend it, even if you're not that interested in baseball. Ev summarizes it well when he writes, "Excellent book about winning by questioning the things everyone knows are true — and caring about results more than perceptions." Maybe I'll post some choice quotes later, because my copy is at home.

Iron Blimp

Mark and I are making progress with our Led Zeppelin cover band, Iron Blimp. We practiced Dazed and Confused earlier today and decided that we're going with an all-acoustic approach (Iron Blimp unplugged) and that I'll simulate bass and drums with my as-yet-under-developed human beat box techniques. My HBBTs will also be used to replicate those crazy theremin sounds, and I'm going to grow my hair out, and work on strengthening my scream. Also we'll need to get our livers back in shape for the workout that our rock-n-roll lifestyle will require of them. One Jack Daniels — attaboy big L! Two Jack Daniels — keep it up. Three Jack Daniels, push it liver, push it!!

A favor?

For reasons I can't really explain, I really would like to listen to Jenny from the Block. If you happen to have a copy of this song that you'd be willing to lend me for evaluatuion purposes, I'd appreciate it. You can email me. Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got… Done. Thanks.

From the New Yorker archives

David Denby's got a review of Seabiscuit (the film) this week in the New Yorker, and the magazine's dug into its archives and pulled out a profile from 1937, "detail[ing] the busy life of Man o' War, from birth to stud." Of course, Man o' War is another famous racehorse and "Seabiscuit was a grandson of War Admiral's father, the legendary thoroughbred Man o' War." (Wait, does that mean that War Admiral is the Biscuit's uncle?) Anyway, here it is: Big Red by Arthur Bartlett from 12/18/1937 issue of the New Yorker.

Seabiscuit misc.

The American Experience episode Seabiscuit will be re-run on Monday, July 28, 2003 at 9pm ET (check local listings). I caught this back in April and it was quite good, lots of information and original footage.

Here are some photos from the premiere last night in LA. There aren't any of any horses though, didn't they get invites too?

And I got tickets to Seabiscuit, alas I had to buy them myself for a Friday (opening night) showing. My experiment in getting tickets through the site failed. Waaaaaahhh! But I also learned a lot, like I should have started earlier because big movies like Seabiscuit have screenings further in advance. But no matter, I don't care. If I survive until the end of the week, it will all be worth it so I can go see Seabiscuit.

Oh, and there's a bunch more stuff about Seabiscuit at EquiSearch's Seabiscuit Central. [thanks Lenny!]

And Seabiscuit director Gary Ross on NPR's All Things Considered, from yesterday.

Can you help me out with Seabiscuit?

Consider this an experiment in weblogs-as-PR machine, or weblogs-as-journalism…

If you've been reading this site for any amount of time, you probably know that I'm all gaga about Seabiscuit (the horse, because of the book), and am highly anticipating the film's opening on July 25th. What I'd like more than anything is to go to a preview screening before it opens. In return, I promise to write a review of the film here on my site on opening day. So if you, or any one you know, could get me access to a press screening, or some other showing, I'd super appreciate it. You can email me meg@megnut.com.

As proof of my passion/crazyness/obsession, here are older megnut posts about Seabiscuit: Seabiscuit: An American Legend, a book review; The Biscuit, an obsession; I see the film's preview and whine about its far-off release; and finally Seabiscuit is coming!, wherein I anticipate the American Experience episode about the Biscuit.

Also, ESPN Classic is showing a program called, Seabiscuit — The Making of the Movie with airings scheduled through the end of August. I saw it last night and it was pretty interesting, and further piqued my interest in the film. The camera work looks amazing, they have these really long booms that get the cameras right in between the horses during the race scenes. And I hadn't realized but jockey Gary Stevens plays jockey George Woolf in the film. My only concern still is that the film will be all about the men, and not enough about the horse.

And finally, last thing on this topic (at least for today), I promise: if you haven't read the article in The New Yorker, A Sudden Illness – How My Life Changed, by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand, you absolutely should. It is beautifully-written and inspiring, and I find I am more in awe of her accomplishment with Seabiscuit: An American Legend than ever.

Winged Migration

Last night I went to see Winged Migration, an amazing film that follows various migratory birds on their journeys. Like Director Jacques Perrin's previous documentary, Microcosmos, I felt completely transported into the film's world. But I was really saddened by a scene towards the end, when a mean bird killed a baby penguin.

The penguins didn't seem organized to fight at all! I mean, there were only two mean birds and many penguins, and I think they could have totally taken those nasty birds in a fight (remember how Tsar vs. serfs turned out in Russia a while back?). All they need to do is organize. They've got sharp beaks and I bet they could do some serious pecking. Instead, they just squawked and squawked, and the mean birds were not deterred by this at all. I know we don't want to disturb nature's delicate balance, but I think we should help the penguins mobilize. Who's with me?