News and Notes
Jorge Colombo is an accomplished illustrator living in New York who has, for the last few years, been drawing New Yorkers, one at a time, as he sees them out in public. He makes note of what a certain person looks like, then goes home and makes a lovely watercolored drawing of them. After September 11th, his portraits change from amusing observations into documents of the city's sudden, jarring transformation.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Perhaps the most under-celebrated work by one of our most celebrated children's authors, Fantastic Mr. Fox is the captivating and delightful story of Mr. Fox's efforts to preserve his family and the community of animals they live with from three evil farmers ("Bogus, Bunce, and Bean, one short, one fat, one lean") who are determined to eradicate them all. The comic Herculean efforts of the farmers are met and thwarted at every turn by the clever and determined Mr. Fox. From the opening pages where the farmers shoot off his tail, the magical story unfolds as Dahl brings the animals and their world alive with his usual flair. An absolute must read for all children.
The General is not only one of the greatest films of the silent era, but one of the funniest movies ever made. Keaton's masterful physical comedy brings to life a simple Civil War story about a young man, his girl, and his train. At an economical 75 minutes, there isn't a wasted scene or action; every gag drives the plot forward or adds to character development. And then there are the gags: whether he's struggling to fire a cannon from one moving train to another, or simply sitting atop the turning wheels of a locomotive, Keaton's sense of what was funny (and what was human) never failed.
It's armageddon on the web. Brought to you by swirve.com, Earth 2025 may be the most addictive interactive game going. Build up your country's prosperity and military, then go to war! Every couple months the slate is wiped clean and you start over. The "tournament" version keeps track of your rank and puts you into a new round with others who did as well as you. Use your military to grab land and money from weaker opponents and build your empire. Balance your research, farms, economy, military production, and most importantly, your alliances as you navigate treacherous politics and master the art of growing bigger without getting noticed by the "big fish" in the world of Earth 2025. Caution: don't start this game if you are closely supervised at work. You'll won't be able to log off once you start.