Rachel Maddow Goes Nuclear

Last night’s Rachel Maddow show focused exclusively on the breaking story that the U.S. relieved Mexico of all of its highly-enriched uranium.  This is one of those good things going on quietly in the background: our government is securing thousands of pounds of radiological materials, toxic and weaponizable.  When the Radical Right calls for disbanding the Department of Energy, this is one of the things that wouldn’t be happening.  Here’s her opening segment:


This isn’t the kind of traditional fodder that drives the news cycle; it’s real news and it’s really geeky.  That’s part of what makes Maddow show watchable to me; she’s smart and interested and doesn’t talk down to her audience.  She also has a sense of fairness unusual for pundits on either side as demonstrated during her marathon interview with Republican Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe.  I have to wonder: Is there is a Right-wing equivalent to Rachel Maddow?

My Philadelphia Film Festival 20 Schedule

Philadelphia Film Festival 20Somehow the 20th annual Philadelphia Film Festival snuck up on me despite plenty of email from filmadelphia.org and even the physical guide being stuffed into my mailbox. However, I’m done with the spreadsheets.  You can find my schedule and reviews here:

For people on Twitter, there are a few more ways to follow me and the festival:

Don Lemon is in Anchorman Hell. @donlemoncnn

Don Lemon is a CNN anchor: He’s out, looks half his age, and tries to be a real newsman on a America’s Most Trusted Source of Infotainment. This segment from last night’s The Daily Show has some great clips of him responding to the carnival antics of the rest of CNN’s “news” staff:

I have to wonder what happens when the cameras are off. Do the other reporters take their “work” seriously, or do they secretly agree but do what they must to get a paycheck. I picture it like the Siouxsie and the Banshees song Peek-a-boo, about an adult dancer and her seething contempt for the audience she’s forced to titillate.

I also have to wonder if Lemon’s actions and Stewart’s spotlight will lead to change, either Lemon moving on to a more serious but less visible news stream or CNN acting with a little more decorum.

He tweets at @donlemoncnn, and his book, Transparent, is on my so-neglected reading list.

My QFest 2011 Schedule

Links:  My Schedule & Reviews | @thecorefiles | #qfest | Official Site

QFest is here again! I’ve scheduled 32 movies for this year with another 5 maybes depending on mood, weather, and word of mouth.  Hope to see you around town and at the movies!


Eating Out – Drama Camp
Q. Allan Brocka’s reliably delivered fun films in previous years.

“Spanish. Unclassifiable. Award-winning.”  Therefore, a must-see for me.

Iceland produced two of my favorite shorts in previous years.  Time to try a feature.

The Night Watch
Waters’ Affinity and The Secret Diaries of Miss Annie Lister are two of my top rated.

Karate-Robo Zaborgar
Such films can be hit or miss. When they hit, I need a respirator; e.g., Surive Style 5+

My QFest 2011 Page

Check out my web page for schedules, reviews, and running tallies on this year’s QFest. My goal is to update it daily before my first film, but a long night before an early weekend film may cause some lag.  For up-to-the-minute information, follow me …

On Twitter as @thecorefiles or with hashtag #qfest

This year I will continue to tweet movie and event reviews along with general festival goings-on.  The official hash tag this year is simply #qfest, so please remember to tag when you tweet about the festival so all fest-going Twitterers can see.

Philadelphia QFest 17 Official Website

Many of the films this year have trailers, so check them out if you’re undecided from the blurbs in the guide.There don’t seem to be many changes in the website itself this year.  It’s perfectly functional, although I do miss the social media features when B-Side hosted it.

My Lastest Gastropub Hat Trick

Philadelphia has a diverse food scene, but sometimes a boy just needs to stick to the basics. As much as I love variety in food (and “other things”) I had no trouble hitting pubs with lunch partners three days in a row:

Thursday: Moriarty’s Pub with Craig. Mushroom burger and fries. Boddingtons Pub Ale.

Friday: Good Dog Bar with Hazel. Duck pot pie and blueberry cornbread. Southampton Double White Ale.

Saturday: Race Street Cafe with Joe. Cubano sandwich and fries. Great Divide Chocolate Yeti Imperial Stout.

Best food goes to Good Dog.  The duck pot pie is excellent by itself but not quite filling. That’s an excellent excuse for a side of crumbly butter-slathered blueberry cornbread.

Best brew goes to Chocolate Yeti. Rich, dark, and heavy but not too thick in the nose or on the tongue. I must admit, I had two and was feeling the 9.5% ABV on our stroll along the absolutely amazing Race Street Pier 11 Park (which words or pictures cannot do justice).

Honorable mention to Race Street Cafe for getting back on track with their fries. Some kitchen staff changes led to a period of fry inferiority, but they’re back in running for best fries–a competition almost as fierce as the years-running win-win Burger Wars that escalated into open conflict this year on the streets (and grills) of Philadelphia [2011 Burger Brawl].

The only sour note was Boddingtons is no longer on tap at Moriarty’s.  I’d normally rate it a solid B, but the canned experience was underwhelming; I’ll have to pay more attention to the draught list next time.

Dan Savage and The Choicer Hypothesis

Dan Savage has an interesting hypothesis about anti-gay arguments based on the false premise that it’s a choice around 09:30 into this web-only interview with Keith Olbermann: The people making these argument are gay or bisexual people who have chosen to be closeted and deny their own natures.

The idea that the loudest homophobes have issues with their own sexuality is nothing new, but it’s a fascinating possibility that they argue being gay is a choice because they themselves have chosen to deny their own sexuality.  They want it to be a choice as a framework for their own self-delusion, and their vitriol against the out and proud is a mix of jealousy and a real threat to the rationalization they use as a coping mechanism.

Even so, I can’t feel much sympathy for such people. They cause as much harm–maybe more–than people like Santorum who use gay rights as a hot-button issue for political or financial gain. I just hope that increasing gay visibility now inoculates future generations against hurting themselves and others because of lives constructed on such faulty premises.

The Bleat of Cthulhu

Oh, Internet!  Yet again you have brought me something seemingly tailor-made for my personal insanities.  Take a sheep, some carnivalesque music, and add effects that make this beast seem less like Mary’s little lamb and more like the Scape-sheep of Azathoth

UPDATE 03:02 — This is not the artist’s only glimpse into an electro-pop Lovecraftian nightmare. There is also this: The Cows of Cthulhu get down in the Meadows of Madness …