Friday, May 29, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: The NEW Point Break... and MORE!

Happy Friday!  It might have been a short week, but it still seems to have had its full share of business and insanity.  Let’s get to it, shall we?
In 1991, what appeared to be a serious movie was released by 20th Century Fox, a serious movie studio. The movie, “Point Break,” featured two serious movie stars, Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. It was helmed by serious talent Kathryn Bigelow, who would become the first female director to win an Academy Award (for “The Hurt Locker,” in 2008). It cost serious money — $24 million — and made very serious money, grossing more than $80 million dollars. And now, it’s getting a 100 percent serious $100 million remake, the trailer for which was released Tuesday (see above).

Yet, “Point Break” was transparently ridiculous.

The Post reviewer seems to hate Point Break for some reason, but I’m not sure that either he or the makers of this new version fully understand what the movie itself was about.  Which is weird because it’s not that hard.
Johnny Utah was a college football standout.  Maybe he could’ve made it in the pros, but it was hardly a lock, especially with a lingering knee injury.  So he becomes an FBI agent instead.  For his first assignment, Utah gets put on the Dead Presidents Case, which concerns a series of bank robberies by guys wearing presidential Halloween masks.  From polluted hair samples, his partner gets the idea that the Presidents are actually surfers, which seems ridiculous but is the closest that they’ve got to having a lead.  So Utah goes undercover as surfer.
But he doesn’t know how to surf.  It’s in the process of learning the basics of his assumed identity that he discovers himself – or that part of himself that seems to have gone missing since he stopped playing football, anyway.  It’s hard to be a straight-laced professional in a suit.  Compared to that, being a surfer seems to mean something.  Johnny’s just not sure what.  His new best friend Bode has it all figured out, though.

The movie is Fight Club ten years early, only it’s about surfing and rather than underground boxing.  It’s terrific, not least because it ultimately comes down on the side of law and order and finding a way to live and accept what real life actually looks like.
I’m guessing that’s not gonna be in the remake.
Patients with aggressive skin cancer have been treated successfully using a drug based on the herpes virus, in a trial that could pave the way for a new generation of cancer treatments.
The findings mark the first positive phase 3 trial results for cancer “virotherapy”, where one disease is harnessed and used to attack another. If approved, the drug, called T-VEC, could be more widely available for cancer patients by next year, scientists predicted.
Crucially, the therapy has the potential to overcome cancer even when the disease has spread to organs throughout the body, offering hope in future to patients who have been faced with the bleakest prognosis.
Not much to add, but this is a fascinating potential technology.
3. Friday Hair Metal: Roller Derby Queen

As Senator Bernie Sanders kicked off his presidential campaign in Vermont on Tuesday afternoon, he told Americans something everyone wants to hear as the summer heat sets in: take more time off.
“We need paid sick leave and guaranteed vacation time for all,” said Mr. Sanders, an independent who is challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton the Democratic nomination…
If Mr. Sanders’s long shot bid for the White House catches on, he will most likely use his influence to help implement a more European holiday system.
As he said in 2008, when the Finnish ambassador visited him in Vermont: “As part of a very competitive economy and strong middle class, Finnish workers receive a minimum of 30 days paid vacation.”
He also wants to make tuition free at public universities.  For the record, I would vote for both proposals in a heartbeat.  Both are clearly in my personal best interests.
To recap the whole situation: In 2011 and 2012, Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, used an off-books email account to discuss national policy with a private citizen who might have been violating the law by participating in the conversation, who had a related business interest (though not a "financial interest"?) in the subject of his advice that he may or may not have disclosed to the government, and who was simultaneously employed in a questionable "full-time" capacity at significant expense to a nonprofit that has been accused of acting as the bag man for a Clintonian influence-peddling operation.
An excellent recap.  Anybody still think there’s nothing there?  Or that Clinton can actually win an election with this kind of scandal mongering just in its early stages?  After all, this is a race that still has a year and a half to go.
It’ll be interesting to see if Bernie Sanders can get any traction with the Democratic base.  He’s an interesting candidate at least in part because he’s clearly to the left of Secretary Clinton.  To the extent that most Democrats are questioning her campaign, it’s on the very valid grounds that she doesn’t seem to be against any of the Big Money/Business-As-Usual policies that have Washington sitting with its head so far up its ass these days.
I want you to know that after last week's formatting issues, I went through and spent an extra half-hour on this stupid post just to get it to look -- mostly -- right.  This, unfortunately, is what I get for writing in a word processor and then trying to drag that over into Google Docs and then into Blogger's half-assed html editor.


Have a good weekend, yeah?  See you next week.


  1. Thanks for that melanoma update... I didn't think this was the place I'd find news like that. As a melanoma survivor, I can't help but laugh at the idea of giving cancer herpes.

    I often compose my posts in Google Docs, then paste them into Blogger; then I have to 'correct' every contraction (e.g. didn't) as it treats the apostrophe as a mistake until I replace it with... an apostrophe. WTF?

    1. It usually works best if you Publish To The Web and paste in the html. I was having a problem because I somehow let an extra space get added between the lines. So I had to go through and figure out what happened and how to correct it, and that's a pain in the ass.

      Glad you survived!