25 May 2012
This is a seriously big excavating machine. As you might have guessed, it's manufactured in Germany - by the folks at Krupp, who made heavy siege guns during World War I and Panzer tanks during World War II. I suppose the saw end on this thing was meant to slice up France and the rest of Europe...
Speaking of Teutons, I watched two Werner Herzog (shown) productions this past week:
Into the Abyss (2011) - Werner Herzog doesn't approve of the death penalty, so he flew into Texas to make this documentary to highlight its supposed cruelty. Problem is, however, his subject is richly deserving of death. (The noble young man in question was convicted of shotgunning a woman down as she was baking cookies and, later, involved in the death of two others so he could joyride in their Camaro.) Details here, if you have a mind.
It reminds me of a line in the 1983 film The Big Chill, when the idealistic young 1960's liberal who became a lawyer intones: "But they're all so... guilty." The interviews with the relatives of the victims are heartbreaking - that works against Herzog as well. But... credit to him for painting a complete picture. The director's even handedness keeps this from becoming propaganda.
My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done (2009) - You might think that a film which begins "David Lynch presents a Werner Herzog Film" and centered upon a young man who feels compelled to reenact the Greek tragedy Elektra by killing his mother would be at least interesting in an offbeat way. This film checks off the offbeat boxes, all right, but not the interest ones. It's a mere exercise in contrived strangeness, and most of the time the action is tedious and pointless. There are a couple of scenes which end with the actors freezing - holding their positions. Why? Who cares? Roger Ebert liked it, but I suspect he's just reaffirming his academic art school credentials. Ostriches and flamingos are featured.
...which is my segue into the book I am now reading, What Makes Flamingos Pink? by Bill McLain, another work about why things are the way they are. I have a number of books like this - I find them in yard sales fairly often. There's a page about the dreadful black mamba snake. Why did the Lord create such monstrosities? I say introduce the formidable Honey Badger - who doesn't care - into the black mamba African homeland and let 'em go at it.
Oh, flamingos are pink because they eat algae and crustaceans which contain carotinoids, a reddish pigment. If they didn't, they'd become white and not at all suitable for Florida postcards or plastic lawn ornaments.
A curiosity I posted to Burbankia yesterday: Sturdy Cat Food, made in Burbank. 1.) I don't normally think of cats as being "sturdy," and, 2.) Is the cat food itself "sturdy?" Poor choice for an adjective, I think.
I lost .6 pounds since my weigh in last Friday, but so what - it's .4 pounds more than what I weighed when I first stepped on a scale after being in Los Angeles. I'm not sure if I've arrived at the dreaded "dieter's plateau" or if that lower weight was an anomaly (perhaps I was dehydrated.) I'll see next week. I have lost 33.4 pounds so far.
Three day weekend and the start of summer! The pool opens tomorrow! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
Have a great weekend! And... remember the veterans who gave all.
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