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Make Your Last Year Count!

Happy New Year!!! It’s 2012, and we still have no commercially viable jet packs. But we do have something special to look forward to this year: the apocalypse. And not some run-of-the-mill, Christian, religious apocalypse like Harold Camping missed the mark on last year (twice, I might add). No, this time, it’s the Mayans that are the architects of our demise. Don’t try and deny it with your cold logic about how ridiculous eschatology in general is, or that fistful of facts that everyone and his mother has picked up about the Mayan long-form calendar from the History Channel. (It’s just the end of the calendar, like December 31; aren’t you frigging clever?) NO! I was denied Y2K in 1999, I was denied by Harold “I speak directly to God” Camping last year (twice), and I will not be denied my apocalypse this year! I’m hoping this is the one …

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Burning the Midnight Celluloid

What a year, huh? There were some phenomenal movies that came out in 2011. Tree of Life, Hugo, The Interrupters … and then there were movies that people actually saw! Green Lantern, Transformers 3, Conan the Barbarian … and then there were the movies that were good AND people saw them! I found myself popping into the local theater more than once (more like a dozen times) to catch the latest Hollywood thrill ride as it premiered in town at a midnight showing over the course of the past year. This made for many a wondrous and exciting experience. Among them were X-Men: First Class, Super 8, and my surprise of the year, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. That was a movie I dismissed initially, solely based on the superfluity of prepositions in its title. I’m just glad they didn’t add another definite article at the beginning of …

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2011: The Year in Review, Part II

July A recurring theme for the second half of the year is the federal debt, which at its present pace will exceed the $999 trillion mark by the year 2211. The good news is that mathematicians have plenty of time before then to come up with a number higher than a trillion. In the ’60s (the 1960s, not the 1860s), the late Senator Everett Dirksen, when speaking about the federal budget, was fond of saying “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” At the time, everyone thought this was quite funny and laughed, because the senator was in the late stages of dementia. Little did they know that one day the government would have to throw away trillions of dollars before it amounted to real money. I often wonder if anyone would notice an item in the federal budget for $1 billion for …

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