News & Politics

NetNomad 49

Five offbeat, timely reviews of Web sites on the arts, politics and news -- with a dash of the absurd thrown in for good measure. This week: . . . Postal Experiments . . . Pathology in the Hundred Acre Woods . . . . . . Brother, Where Art Thou . . .
Postal Experiments

Here is one of the funniest studies we've ever seen. The Annals of Improbable Research set out to do a study of the post office. The study entailed sending off various items through the postal service, sans wrapping. Stamps were affixed, to either the item or a card attached, and then the researchers sat back and waited to see if the items would arrive and, if so, how long it would take. Items sent included a rose, a hammer, a can of soup, a dollar bill sealed in a plastic envelope, a pair of expensive tennis shoes tied together with duct tape and many others. The experiment yielded a 64 percent delivery rate!

Pathology in the Hundred Acre Woods

There are those who pray that this is just a spoof, but the Canadian Medical Association has published a study of what it calls the "neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne." Indeed on the surface the world of Pooh "is an innocent world" but trouble lurks beneath the surface. Pooh has the dreaded Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and is in need of intervention. Piglet suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Owl is "obviously bright, but dyslexic." On second thought, maybe it is a joke after all!

We've got a flashback for you, but not the kind you're thinking. Flashbacknow is an insanely simple idea. Just pick the year you were born (or any other year for that matter) and you'll be presented with a page of links to artists that were popular that year. We tried 1983 and were presented with links to The Simpsons, Married with Children, Trainspotting and more. The database runs from 1930 until 1995 but we've got a feeling that many of the years contain the same information. Still great fun, however.

O Brother, Where Art Thou,7220,110196,00.html

The masterful Cohen Brothers are back again with a film entitled O Brother, Where Art Thou. The writing-producing-directing team of Ethan and Joel Coen, known for films "Barton Fink," "Fargo," "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "The Big Lebowski" never do take the easy road if the can find a more difficult path. As we learn at this DirectorsWorld site, the Coens wanted to film their latest without the color green, but unfortunately chose to set up production in Mississippi. In the middle of summer, no less. A time known for lushness. The solution: Easy. They used using "a digital intermediate process," also used in "Pleasantville," to eliminate the color. Keep an eye open for the movie soundtrack as well. It is wonderful.

Frida Kahlo was a painter and wife of renowned Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Although she never received any formal art training, her circle of friends and supporters are said to have included Picasso, Leon Trotsky and the Rockefeller family. This site is dedicated to a film being made about Kahlo and, given the detailed information found here, it is rather surprising to discover that the film in question is still in pre-production. Filming is not even slated to begin until March 2001. The earlier the better, we discover here, since Jennifer Lopez is rumored to be preparing to star in a film called "The Two Fridas."
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