End Oct. 16 Column
The Queen

Bing, Lasusa Links, Dalton on the Housing Bubble, Peterman on Films, Amazon Author Rankings, Dan Grobstein File

Reader Rich Pearson wrote:

Groundhog Day is definitely in my top 5 movies which is why I started surfing the net looking for other fans who might be interested in a Ned Ryerson inspired "Bing" contest at www.bing.com. My 9 year old and I played the scene back 5 times before we were happy with our "bing".

Tom Lasusa and friends surf the net so you don't have to… A Toke a day keeps the forgetfuls at bayCure hiccups with a finger up the assAstronomers see that Milky Way is packed with earth-like orbsSouth Park: Make Love Not Warcrafthidden rooms on the rise… Someone get these MuthaF'n zombies off my MuthaF'n...well, you get the rest of it… 'Flintstones' Artist Ed Benedict DiesMouse finds plant. Mouse climbs inside plant. Plant eats mouse.Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea? David Bowie!Christopher Walken stars in "Balls of Fury" (No, I'm not kidding)… What's irking Extremist Muslim now? How about Apple's NYC 5th Avenue Store?… Ray Villafane's marvelous carved pumpkins What would happen if all humans disappeared from the Earth?

Richard Dalton wrote to me last week about the San Francisco Bay Area housing follies:

Palo Alto-based friends, who live in a very pleasant but not lavish neighborhood, are visiting and told us that their next-door neighbor just sold their home for $6.7 million and, yes, it's a tear-down.

Why do we live on Cape Cod? You can get an impressive home here with panoramic ocean views for about $1-$1.5 million. You can even find quite comfortable places in the $350,000-$450,000 range--and you don't have to live in Des Moines to get that kind of pricing.

This is what they say in the seven counties that form the SF bay area:

"This of the kind of home you could buy with that money in Kansas"
"Yeah, but every day when you wake up, you're in Kansas."

The line lacks something when compared to Cape Cod, I'd say. And in fact, an MIT friend of mine from the South lived in Kansas for a few years, and he didn't mind it much.

Regular correspondent Kent Peterman checks in with a web site full of movie scripts (Copyright violation much?) and a great deal of fun at notstarring.com, the opposite of that Jeopardy category "Actors and Their Roles." In this case, it's actors who were considered for parts they didn't get. Checked out my personal favorite movie, and I am sure you will agree with me that Tom Hanks would not have been as good as Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. The film might still be a classic, but wouldn't be as good as it is with Murray.

I find Amazon rankings frustrating. I know there is a publicly available API to massage the information, but as I am not a programmer and my interest is casual, I have no motivation to write my own queries or even query tool. But if you'd like to quickly pluck out rankings by author or title, check out http://www.titlez.com/.

Dan Grobstein File

  • Q. Why don't republicans use bookmarks?
    A. Because they bend over pages.
  • Armscontrolwonk.com has a lot of interesting speculation about the North Korean test. This particular post closes with this:
    "I close this discourse about operational confidence by noting that the United States has built a missile defense that does not work, to defend against a North Korean missile that does not work, that would carry a nuclear warhead that does not work. This is all very postmodern."