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Loud, Honking Dignity
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Curtis Holman's LiveJournal:

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Monday, March 26th, 2012
5:35 pm
Friday, May 27th, 2011
2:54 pm
I also like this as reading for a funeral service
“Still, statistically the probability that there are other thinking beings out there is good. Nobody knows how many stars there are in the Milky Way – estimates range from 100 billion or so to perhaps 400 billion – and the Milky Way is just one of 140 billion or so other galaxies, many of them even larger than ours. In the 1960s, a professor at Cornell named Frank Drake, excited by such whopping numbers, worked out a famous equation designed to calculate the chances of advanced life in the cosmos based on a series of diminishing probabilities.

"Under Drake’s equation you divide the number of stars in a selected portion of the universe by the number of stars that are likely to have planetary systems; divide that by the number of planetary systems that could theoretically support life; divide that by the number on which life, having arisen, advances to a state of intelligence; and so on. At each such division, the number shrinks colossally – yet even with the most conservative inputs the number of advanced civilizations in the Milky Way always works out to be somewhere in the millions.

"What an interesting and exciting thought.”

Current Mood: calm
Thursday, May 26th, 2011
8:57 pm
I think this would be a good reading at a funeral service
"Atoms are fantastically durable. Because they are so long lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms – up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested – probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven and any other historical figure you care to name. (The personages have to be historical, apparently, as it takes the atoms some decades to become thoroughly redistributed; however much you way wish it, you are not yet one with Elvis Presley.)

"So we are all reincarnations – though short-lived ones. When we die our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere – as part of a leaf or another human being or drop of due. Atoms go on practically forever."

-- Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

Current Mood: calm
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
9:14 pm
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
10:37 pm
Saturday, June 19th, 2010
8:30 pm
Saturday, June 5th, 2010
9:49 pm
Saturday, May 29th, 2010
7:31 pm
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
8:34 pm
"I bring you love."
To me, the exchange that goes "I bring you love." "It's bringin' us love! Break his legs!" kind of sums up the relationship between Barack Obama and the Tea Partiers:

4:51 pm
Mr. Links
Our road-trip themed 2010 Summer Guide is out today, which features a humor (knock-wood) sidebar from me about How To Stay Sane While Driving With The Family (you may see familiar faces in the accompanying photo).

I also offer my predictions for The Summer's Best Films -- In Order. Other stories include a piece about the graphic novel series The Walking Dead (an AMC TV series of which is being filmed in Atlanta);a review of the six episode of "Treme;" review and Spoiler Questions for the Russell Crowe Robin Hood; and reviews of Letters to Juliet (ugh) and the Argentinian Oscar-winner The Secret in Their Eyes (pretty good!).
Monday, May 10th, 2010
12:30 pm
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
8:33 pm
Question time: The Web
Are (m)any good web comics out there that I can set up as feeds on my Friends page? I would welcome suggestions.
Monday, May 3rd, 2010
3:40 pm
Quick n timely writing update
Here's my review of last night's "Treme," an interview with visual artist Michael K. Manning ahead of The Plaza's "Art Opening and a Movie" screening tomorrow (the film? Brazil!) and a special Running Dialogue podcast about "Lost."
Friday, April 30th, 2010
9:13 pm
Free Comic Book Eve update
Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day, so I wrote a Creative Loafing cover story (my first in a while) on the event and the Atlanta Comic Book Scene. First there's an overview piece on Atlanta comics; a Q&A with an illustrator and a colorist at Gaijin Studios; a piece on SCAD-Atlanta's sequential arts program; a run-down of some of this year's potentially good giveaway titles; and suggestions for graphic novels you can BUY on Free Comic Book Day (including neat new stuff by Peter Bagge and Daniel Clowes). If anyone wants to add suggestions to that last one, feel free.

I haven't linked to my stories in like forever, but here's some recent ones. My favorite film of 2010 so far is the documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop (the possibility that aspects of it might be a hoax only enhances its themes). The worst film I've seen in 2010 is Furry Vengeance (it's even more terrible than you might guess). I recently reviewed Kick-Ass, The Secret of Kells, The Square, The Eclipse, a chilling documentary called Cropsey and wrote an extended piece that was nearly a cover story on comedy and The Atlanta Film Festival. (I also plan never to see The Human Centipede.)

Non-film related pieces include continuing episode reviews of HBO's "Treme," play reviews of His Eye is on the Sparrow, and Lookingglass Alice, a piece on Alcove Gallery's Lunchbox-themed show (fun!), an interview with playwright Topher Payne about writing about and playing Joan Crawford.

Have started reading Man Booker Prize-winner Wolf Hall. It'll be a race to finish it before it's due at the library.
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
11:13 pm
Saturday, April 24th, 2010
8:18 am
Curt's Read-Bag: Pope John XXIII
Book: Pope John XXIII
By: Thomas Cahill (Penguin Lives, 240 pp.)
Concerning: The brief, progressive, wonderfully anomalous papacy of John XXIII (aka Angelo Roncalli), who initiated the Second Vatican Council, placed in the context of papal history. From the author of How The Irish Saved Civilization.
Quotation: "Just as banks can make people poor, hospitals make them sick and schools make them ignorant, Churches can make them evil -- and the history of the papacy is embarassingly full of examples."
Verdict: Quite good. I picked this up because I've read many of the other books in the Penguin Lives series, and I wanted to put the current, infuriating Catholic sexual abuse scandals in some kind of context. This book really did the trick: the first 70 pages summarize the evolution of the papacy, the Catholic hierarchy and its various schisms, and the last 30 pages look at the institution in John XXIII's aftermath. Cahill's clearly a huge fan of John XXIII as a Pope and as a person, and has plenty of anecdotes about him as a short, corpulent, humble figure with an easy sense of humor. Of John Paul II, Cahill says: "Whereas the pontificate of John XXIII gave us a pope who more and more spoke not only for the world's two billion Christians -- a third of the planet -- but for humane aspirations everywhere, this pope [still alive at the time of the book's writing] in his contentiousness has found it harder and harder to convince anyone that he speaks even for the world's Catholics." (Cahill even makes a couple of mentions of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and was probably horrified when he became Pope.) John XXIII provides an example of a Vatican leader who doesn't just serve the institution. I like that pope.
Sunday, April 18th, 2010
10:10 pm
I love Wikipedia: Stage plays with Daleks
Friday, April 16th, 2010
8:43 pm
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
4:25 pm
Thursday, April 1st, 2010
11:36 am
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