Some things I noticed recently:
One gets a much more measured treatment of the ongoing disaster in Haiti from the NYT than one does from the TV news in Sydney: even the ABC. That's not unusual, but it's still disappointing.
A biologist's love-letter to Avatar. The film itself: wow. The praise is all true, and some of the criticism is true too. This old Alien fan certainly enjoyed the fact that Sigourney Weaver was having the time of her life, both as her character, the splendidly named Dr Grace Augustine, and as that character's alter-ego, a cheeky twentyish eleven-foot tall blue chick with a yen for basketball. (Another nice nod to the Alien films, there.) And amidst all of the reactions to the film, it was very instructive to read a discussion with the Osservatore Romano reviewer whose previous remarks have been taken, as they say, out of context.
The remarkable American strongman Joe Rollino has has died at 104
The director Eric Rohmer also died recently: the NYT has both an obituary and an appreciation by A.O. Scott. I have only seen a few of his films but would happily see the rest, just on that basis. If it were 10 or 15 years ago, I'd expect SBS to put on a retrospective. But now?
In other cinema news, there is a good NYT article on the wonderful Laura Linney: longstanding theatre and film actress, a superb talent with a sharp mind and a professional's attitude, always a little under-the-radar and a little under-rated on the street. And wasn't she superb as Abigail Adams?
The NYT has put out an interactive timeline on the Science and Politics of Climate Change, with links to various historical stories, for example from 1956 and from 1979: the latter of these being the rough period that I would have become aware of the issue. I find this interesting because, as a science brat with all sorts of age-innapropriate concerns and sources of knowledge (and values, and prejudices, and ...) it isn't always obvious to me what other people had access to, when, and on what terms. This article appears to have been from a supplementary section of the paper: a good paper, admittedly, but a regular daily nonetheless.
xkcd on the truth lying between two extremes