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The Thin Man: The basic cable package here includes 2 million channels, give or take a million. These include a couple that we actually like, like TCM and a channel that only shows science documentaries, whose mascot should be Professor Science. So we are Tivoing old movies which we will eventually watch. First up was The Thin Man, which was really funny. Man, the main characters were constantly drinking! Even by the standards of their time, Nick and Nora were such lushes that TCM felt the need to follow the movie with an anti-drunk-driving short as a chaser.

In said short, the Highway Patrol officer of "one of our western states" solemnly told us that, even though you may not feel anything, scienticians have proven that a mere four cocktails can affect your reflexes.

The mystery in the movie wasn't that interesting but we kept laughing and laughing at the character studies. We loved the dysfunctional Arrested Development-type family, including Lucille; a classic Buster+George Michael+Tobias; and Cesar Romero, probably my favorite movie-grade-spanning actor, as George Sr.+G.O.B. As Joel Hodgson once said, "Render unto Cesar what is Cesar's!" Also, there was a cop who gave a good impression of what Clark Kent would be like if he wasn't also Superman.

[Comments] (4) Cool Charts: Sumana's got this big wall chart of human civilization ("Hammond Ultimate Civilization Chart") which we hung up in the living room and it's pretty nice but it's got a couple big problems. One is a big blob of something I don't know what it is or want to touch stuck to it. The other problem is that even though the copyright date is 1989, it was obviously made in the 1970s:

According to the chart, civilization stopped in the 1970s. Which it did, but it started back up again a bit later, and I'd like a chart that reflects that. Also, it's got some fossils of errors that died out in the 1970s. One of the first items of civilization is "Negroes move into Africa from Asia". Uh, no. It also looks like the 1970s, and in general I try to banish the 1970s from my house.

So I'm wondering what kind of cool wall charts you people know of. I've found various sites for updated charts, but I don't know which one's better, or what else is out there. Basically I want something for people to stare at if they're visiting us and they become incredibly bored, because sometimes that happens to me at other peoples' houses and things to stare at are much appreciated. The other main thing I want to get is the National Geographic map of the universe.


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