Obviously, an insanely talented and funny woman. I think, of all her movies (and I have enjoyed so many, notably Heartburn and When Harry Met Sally) Sleepless in Seattle provides the funniest scene. Rita Wilson has just finished describing the last scene of An Affair to Remember (a movie for which I don't much care) and dissolves into tears doing so. Tom Hanks counters by describing the end of The Dirty Dozen (a movie I adore) and dissolving into tears. Perfect.
Don’t like drone strikes? Get rid of your terrorists. Otherwise, we intend to defeat the terrorist networks that declared war on the US and succeeded in murdering nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Those networks grew into lethal form long before we stated targeting them with drone strikes, something that Carter’s trite and insipid argument that “the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations” ignores. In fact, it’s a lot more true that Carter’s year-long demonstration of impotence at the hands of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini boosted jihadi recruitment a lot more than drone strikes ever did.
Interestingly, Carter and Obama are the two worst American presidents of my lifetime (if not of all time).
Italy totally dominated the game -- were on the attack from the first second. The English were great at defending but...they never seemed to own the ball. I will, however, give them credit for having two guys named "Ashley" on their team. I love that name for a guy. It's very Gone with the Wind.
I find it odd that UEFA sets things up so incompetently that the Germans have two more days of rest than the Italians. Odd, but not surprising -- having lived in Europe I believe that, generally speaking, the Continent is not inclined to considerations of fairness or logic.
In early 2005, I started to lose weight. I lost, by the summer of 2005, 45 pounds. I had been overweight and blissfully unaware of how much weight I was carrying. I never weighed myself, so if I wanted to eat something, I ate it. And if I had had a bad day, I ate more of that something. Then my doctor weighed me, as part of a check-up prior to orthopaedic surgery, and cheerfully told me I weighed 165 pounds. 165. What the hell? I was in shock. That must be a mistake, I told him. No, no, he said. No mistake.
“Didn’t you notice you could pinch an inch?” he asked, gesturing pinchy-fingers in the general direction of my hips. Thank you, doctor.
Um, no. I was in shock. I went home and called my mother. If I ever get that fat again, please say something, I said to her. She didn’t correct me – you know, as in, “You’re not fat!” She just laughed, so I knew the doctor was right. I am 5’10”, so 165 isn’t morbidly obese, but it’s definitely more than I need to weigh.
Feeling somewhat frustrated by life's many vagaries and injustices, I am posting this picture (from Thursday's Italy-Croatia match) to make myself feel better. Not that that particular match made me feel much better...Here's hoping today's Italy-Ireland match gives me reason to rejoice.
People: behold as President Napolitano of Italy visits the Italian team in the locker room after the Italy-Spain match (which ended in a 1-1 draw, which gives you an idea of how worried Italians were about it if they are celebrating a 1-1 draw, not to mention that this was the first match of the tournament for Italy -- I find it odd to have the president visiting after the first match). Lucky guy. The clip opens with shirtless Andrea and Napolitano says something to him, which now that I speak Italian I am fairly certain translates to, "My God, you're hot, aren't you, young man?" Unfortunately, the whole clip isn't Andrea, although there are glimpses of him all the way through, so keep one's eyes peeled (ouch!). You do get to see Gigi Buffon in a tight blue undershirt, and Daniele De Rossi (unfortunately entirely clothed) standing around looking handsomely scruffy.
The downside of this clip is that you have to see shirtless Antonio Cassano. I guess the Italian team has to have a token not-good looking guy. Just avert your eyes at that point. (It should be said that he may be a very nice person.)
Father Patrick Desbois is a man desperately racing with death. By his own calculations he has six, perhaps seven years at the outside in which to complete his work: a task, which until the reaper renders it impossible some time in the not-too-distant future, is at once unimaginably chilling in nature and nightmarishly ambitious in scale. For the 53-year-old French priest, with an easy laugh and shining eyes, has made it his holy mission to recall for the world the slaughter enacted by the Nazi mobile death squads, the feared Einsatzgruppen, which roamed and murdered Jews and Gypsies with impunity in the remote villages of the former Soviet Union between 1941 and 1944.
It was, until the intervention of Father Dubois, a largely overlooked episode in one of the grimmest chapters of the Second World War. But for the last 10 years the priest and his helpers have painstakingly gathered the testimony of the survivors of this period, travelling to some of Europe's most abject places where, without judging, they have listened as a procession of elderly men and women recalled – often for the first time – how, a lifetime ago, they became teenage helpmates to the Nazi killing machine.
Today these witnesses have grown old and infirm and many are already dead. Living in countries where the average life expectancy for a man is little more than 60 years, those who experienced first-hand the Nazi genocide in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Ossetia are steadily dying out. When they are gone, Father Desbois fears, so too will the memory of what they saw – and with it a truth which exists only in the conscience of Europe's poorest people.
During the course of the last decade, Father Desbois and his team from Yahad in Unum, a French organisation dedicated to Christian-Jewish understanding, have recorded conversations with more than 1,000 witnesses to the mass murders on Hitler's Eastern Front. So far they have discovered some 850 unmarked graves – the majority of them previously unknown – including a site at Bodgdanivka which contained the remains of some 42,000 Jews.
No matter what the topic of conversation, you have something to say about it. I mean, of course you do! You took a lot of history and science courses in college, and you keep up with the latest news — from more than just one source, thank you very much. So what's the question, again? The problem with fracking? Eurozone economic collapse? Sewage in ancient Rome? Something about bee keeping? Yes, you have an answer. And you also suffer from one of the most common geek afflictions in the world. It's called "answer syndrome."
I have been remiss to not pay tribute to our Queen. Gotta love Liz. (Not so sure about her pill of a son.) Here the Guardian offers an impressive photo compilation of her reign. And here is "her" faux Twitter feed, and while faux, it is clearly written by someone with both humour and enormous respect for her leadership (and yes, she has been and remains a leader, regardless of how she got the job).
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:
You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.
Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.