PS... A Column

on Things

By Paul E. Schindler Jr.
Vol. 4 No. 1

Some things are impossible to know, but it is impossible to know these things.

January 8, 2001

2001 Sure Ain't 2001

I have a day job, so I need to make it clear to anyone who comes here that the opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent those of my employer, my family, or your great-aunt Mathilda. Offer not valid in Wisconsin. You must enter to win.

Table of Contents:

  • 2001 Ain't 2001
  • Time On My Hands
  • More on Bob Noyce
  • Public Art in Seattle

Computer Industry News

  • None this week

Web Site of the Week

  • This and That


  • Election Wish


  • What Women Want
  • Cast Away
  • Family Man
  • Crouching Tiger
  • Chocolat


    • Praise for my movie list

General News

2001 Ain't 2001

You know, I still like 2001, A Space Odyssey, even though I hear it is Bill Gate's favorite movie. I was fascinated by the level of detail Kubrick included (for a brief moment, there is a shot of space toilet instructions). I also think it is interesting to note that the brand names shown in both 2001 and Blade Runner have already mostly ceased to exist. Well, that's capitalism for you, creative destruction and all that. Anyway, we're hardly at "open the pod bay doors, Hal," are we? I wonder what went wrong. Went wrong….

Time on My Hands

Time On My Hands, by Peter Delacorte

Dan Grobstein wrote:

I just got this book and read it in one night (couldn't put it down). A physicist finds a time machine and sends a travel writer back in time to 1938 to try to change Ronald Reagan's career so that he doesn't become president.

I haven't finished it yet, but that’s remarkable because I stay up late every night reading it. It is the reason PSACOT is late. I just love this novel. Order it, or find it in the library and see if you agree.

More on Bob Noyce

As an example of six degrees of separation, I offer this note from my college friend Harrison Klein:

Bob Noyce's father was the minister in Sandwich, Illinois, when my mother was growing up there in the '20s. The Noyces moved to Grinnell, Iowa, either before Bob was born or when he was very young, but my mother always had a fond spot for him because of her connection with his father. She saved a long magazine article about him which I recently read. Sharene and I are at the Hawaii house now and I don't have the article (and as useful as the Internet is, I don't know of a way to locate a 15-year-old magazine article using it), but I recall it credited a physics professor at Grinnell who had a connection to either Shockley, Bardeen or Brattain as being instrumental in the development of Noyce's interest and expertise in microelectronics, and pretty much panned MIT's early involvement. It was a thorough article, and seemed very reasonable to me when I read it.

Public Art in Seattle

Speaking of 2001, this from Craig Reynolds:

I liked the line in The Register's story: "It's too imaginative and intelligent to be the work of Microsoft."

In the Register:
Mysterious monolith appears in Seattle park

In the Seattle Times:
Anonymous monolith brings a landmark movie to mind

Computer Industry News

None This Week

Web Site of the Week

This and That

Marlow found this very odd set of New Zealand dogfood advertisements.

These two from a friend of Marlow's:

Lego Star Wars Trilogy

Ascii Animation

And a fascinating NY Times story recommended by an ex-UPI colleague:

Astonishing tale of gullibility, including what must be first ever faux and fatal pie-in-the-face incident, at the World Trade Organization.


Election Wish

The election is over, the results are known,
the will of the people has clearly been shown.
Let's forget the quarrels and show by our deeds,
we will give our leader all the help that he needs.

So let's all get together, and let bitterness pass,
I'll hug your elephant and you kiss my ass.


I saw 72 movies during 2000. Just wanted to let you know.

What Woman Want

You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.

Revealing an interest in this film: Cathy Yuspa, who wrote it with her writing partner Josh Goldsmith, is the niece of my friend and band colleague Dr. Robert Kaplan. I've been hearing about this film for some time.

OK. Mel Gibson can do comedy. We've established that. Can we move on now? And Helen Hunt--is she worried about incipient poverty? Relax, Helen, you don't have to appear in every film.

Anyway, it is a pleasant little film. The thoughts women are show as having are unrealistic at times, and even a little dopey, and the ending is quite abrupt, and the whole thing is a little too long, but its not offensive (mostly) and it is cute, amusing and romantic. OK to see.

Cast Away

You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.

Robert "Back to the Future" Zemeckis helmed this film, written by William "Apollo 13" Broyles Jr., and starring Tom "Everything you've seen in the last few years" Hanks and Helen "Almost everything else you've seen recently" Hunt.

There are 40 minutes where Tom Hanks doesn't speak, which probably means he's going to get an Oscar. Not a very deep film, but an entertaining one, which certainly casts Federal Express in a good light. If the whole thing were a half hour shorter, it would be even more entertaining. Watch for the uncredited cameo of a previous unknown in the role of Wilson.

OK to see,

The Family Man

You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.

That wacky Nicholas Cage and his odd choices. This time out he's Jack Campbell, a man so dumb he walks away from marriage to Tea Leoni. Then 20 years later, thanks to a magical intervention, he gets to see what his life would have been like if he had married her. It’s the usual kind of low-key magic that modern movies have taken to using, which is to say, no special effects, he just falls asleep in his old life, wakes up in his alternate life.

Again, nothing very deep, but entertaining and well acted. It won't provoke a single thought, but it moves right along and finishes with hope and yet ambiguity.

OK to see.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.

Ang Lee has created quite a stir with this film; a subtitled Chinese entry that everyone's picked for one of the year's 10 best.

Everyone except me. Just seems like a martial arts film with beautiful scenery and fanciful stunts to me. Again, (the theme of this week's column) OK, but not great. More hype than content.


You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.

The SF Chronicle summarized this film as, "beautiful woman, comes to town, makes chocolate, everyone has sex." Well, not on screen, necessarily, but you understand clearly what's going on in this film.

Juliette Binoche (Vianne), turns in another masterful performance. Lena Olin--who does she remind me of? Has mostly done Swedish stuff. Does anyone know what actress from a Woody Allen film she resembles? It's driving me nuts… Johnny Depp is surprisingly good as Roux, and Judi Dench has a scene-stealing turn as Amande. Alfred Molina is the funniest character actor whose name you don't know.

For director Lasse "Cider House Rules" Hallström, it marks a real change of pace, from ponderous allegory to the fluffiest of fantastic comedies--with a heavy side order of allegory.

Worth a look.


Praise For My Movie List

This came in over the transom:

Just wanted you to know that your site has been helpful to me. I'm a reporter at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) and I'm also working on a master's degree in journalism. For a research project, I want to do a content analysis of movies in which journalists are an intergral part of the plot, focusing on movies of the 1990s. … thanks for maintaining your website.
Tracy Courage

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