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Democratic Candidates, Ranked

So, it's officially after Labor Day. We've had three debates so far. Traditionally now is the time where people actually start paying attention a little bit to the race, so what better time than now to take stock about where the (still lamentably large) field stands, at least from my point of view. I'm honestly not sure what to think about the overall state of the race. Maybe it's the size of the field, but it feels like the debates aren't really clarifying anything in the polls- apart from Gabbard's attack on Harris' prosecutorial records in the second debate, nobody has really broken out in a major way. Everything feels strangely stuck and I'm not quite sure why.

Conventional wisdom seems to be that a lot of the moderates (Bennet, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Bullock) are sort of waiting around assuming that Biden is going to do what Biden usually does and collapse in a heap, leading to an opening for one of them to step in. Biden has run for President multi…

Netflix & Chill #66: Late Night

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Watched On: Amazon Prime
Released: 2019
Starring: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Max Casella, Hugh Dancy, John Lithgow, Denis O'Hare, Reid Scott , Amy Ryan
Directed By: Nisha Ganatra
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Pick: Mine

So I first heard about this movie way back in like January/February or so when it debuted at Sundance and got some buzz. Amazon snatched it up and I think it did a theatrical run for a bit, but it's finally on Prime Video. Now, I had heard mixed things about it- which surprised me, because Mindy Kaling is funny and Emma Thompson is awesome- and there's John Lithgow knocking around this movie as well, so who can beat that? But a lot of the reviews seemed fairly 'meh' which is kind of surprising given the Rotten Tomatoes score.

But, I guess I was reading the wrong reviews, because this was actually a really good movie.

Emma Thompson stars as Katerine Newbury, an acclaimed comic and light night comedian who's been doing it forever, but her show's ratings h…

Bookshot #122: Ready Player One

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Technically, I didn't read this book I listened to it. Yes, Ready Player One marked my first foray into the world Audible and Audio Books and I scored a sweet audio version read by none other than Will Wheaton himself. I wanted to try and finish it before I sat down and watched the movie-- but as it turns out, I tried to watch the movie with the kiddos (Eldest Spawn thought the racing scene in the movie was 'SO COOL' and was very excited by it) and between one thing and another I only saw bits and pieces of the movie- and surprisingly, I didn't really feel the need to sit back down and watch it again- which once again, proves that with surprisingly few exceptions the book is always better than the movie.

The main character of the book is teenager Wade Watts who lives with his aunt in Oklahoma City in the 'stacks' which is a poor district featuring trailer homes stacked on top of one another. He spends most of his time in the OASIS, a virtual reality, fully imme…

Merrily We Roll Along

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'Boyhood' Director Richard Linklater has signed on to direct a movie adaptation of the musical 'Merrily We Roll Along' which prior to today I don't think I'd ever heard of- except perhaps in a passing reference in an episode of The West Wing or Gilmore Girls. There's a catch though: it's going to take him 20 years to film.  If this seems like an odd way to segue into some more thoughts about Brexit, forgive me- but at this point, 'Merrily We Roll Along' seems like a deeply ironic sentiment to apply to the current political dumpster fire underway in the United Kingdom. And it may well take them twenty years to resolve, at this rate.

But congratulations though! I didn't think anyone could top the current dumpster fire that is the politics of our United States, but the UK has somehow managed it.

So where are we?

There's a joke that I think showed up on an episode of The Newsroom of all places about Jesus and Moses are playing golf. It'…

Led Zeppelin, Ranked

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A few months ago, we raided three very large boxes of CDs my parents didn't want and I ended up snagging just about the entire Led Zeppelin discography and then spent the subsequent months listening to all the albums I had and discovering the full depth of the awesomeness of the Greatest Rock N'Roll Band in history. I didn't have their entire discography of studio albums (I was missing Led Zeppelin III and Presence) but between CDs and judicious use of Spotify I managed to make my way through the whole set. Along the way, the secondary question came up: Led Zeppelin has made a lot of long songs over the years (for the purposes of this ranking, I went with any song above seven minutes in length)- which one is the best 'long song'? A lot of people will probably insist on 'Stairway To Heaven'- as you'll see below, I have a slightly different opinion.

So, without further ado: Led Zeppelin, Ranked.

THE STUDIO ALBUMS

1. Led Zeppelin IV
I really wanted to give …

Netflix & Chill #65: Idiocracy

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Watched On: Hulu
Released: 2006
Starring: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolpha, Dax Shepherd
Directed By: Mike Judge
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Pick: Mine

Idiocracy is one of those movies that I've spent years hearing about but never actually sat down and watched it all the way through. It'd be on various cable channels over the years and again, I'd see some of it, but never actually all of it. So, when I discovered that the whole movie was on Hulu, I thought I'd sit down and finally watch the whole movie once and for all.  And you know what? I would say that it lived up to it's name and a certain amount of it's hype.

In 2005, Corporal Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a US Army librarian is about as average as you can get- so, he's selected for a suspended animation experiment to preserve his average nature as the military is apparently concerned about the detriorating intelligence of future recruits. The military goes out and finds Rita (Maya Rudolph), a prostitute whose pimp 'Up…

This Week In Vexillology #294

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This Week In Vexillology, we're dipping back into the Lost Archives for a national flag from Africa and a subnational flag also from Africa! (Well, it's not really a subnational flag--more of a separatist flag? Maybe a rebel flag? I don't really know how to classify it- but we'll see!)

First up, Liberia:
Adopted on August 24, 1847 as the national flag of Liberia if you think that this flag looks a little familiar, well, there's a reason for that! The country of Liberia was founded by free people of color and freed African-American/Caribbean/West Indies slaves from the United States and the Caribbean with the support of the American Colonization Society.

(I feel like the American Colonization Society is worth a tangent here. The biggest proponents of the idea of creating a colony for freed slaves/free blacks were, unsurprisingly perhaps, Southerners. African-American leader ssuch as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and many others opposed it as they (correctly) sa…