The Null Device
Humanity's baser instincts: Tacky ideas for reality TV shows keep coming. Following in the footsteps of Temptation Island, a Dutch company plans to put 12 overweight people in a house, competing for who can lose the most weight and fighting off temptations thrown at them by the producers. The winner gets their total weight lost in gold.
``It won't be like a freak show with sausages falling out of every drawer or something, but I can imagine the doorbell will ring and it's a pizza delivery boy with a pizza,'' Debbie de Jongh, one of the show's on-site producers, told Reuters.
Tonight I went to see Quills; I found it quite interesting and enjoyable. Geoffrey Rush plays the Marquis de Sade with great relish, revelling in his wickedness, with Michael Caine playing a larger-than-life monster. The sets, costumes and cinematography are also excellent, and add to the atmosphere. I will probably go and see it again at some stage.
(I was also reminded of another, thematically similar, film I once saw, Marat/Sade (to abbreviate its title somewhat), made in the 1960s, adapted from a play and starring Glenda Jackson; I remember that David Thrussell sampled part of the dialogue of it for one of his SNOG pieces.)
Australian moralist-conservative PM John Howard has purged his drug war council of advocates of law reform (i.e., desertion in the War On Drugs), and bolstered it with drug-war hard-liners. The council is already run by a high-ranking member of the conservative, zero-tolerance Salvation Army, whose fortunes have been bolstered by Howard's support, its operations staffed by work-for-the-dole conscripts (or so various anarchist types allege, anyway).
Australian politics; ignore if not interested: Greens beat Democrats in Ryan byelection; the main result is still in doubt, though Howard is already planning to spend more money buying swinging voters. Don Chipp's dire warning about One Nation becoming the third party, and holding the balance of power after the next election, may not come to pass. The Democrats' leader waffles about it, not acknowledging that the Democrats' complicity in passing the GST, and thus alienating their idealistic, left-leaning support base, is probably behind their slump from 8% to 5% of the vote.
Cats' purring strengthens bones; The low-frequency vibrations stimulate bone growth and regeneration, which contributes to cats surviving falls from great heights. The discovery of this mechanism may lead to "sound therapy" for bone disorders in humans. (Or would sharing one's lap with a contented cat help in itself?)