Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Craig Ferguson Explains the Vernal Exquinox

Now I get it :-)

For those using a reader, here is the Youtube video

By the way, where I live, spring begins tonight. The AP notes that:

Throughout the Mountain and Pacific time zones spring actually beings tonight.

Spring begins with the astronomical event called the vernal equinox, when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator. This year, that occurs at 1:48 am Thursday in the Easter U.S. time zone and at 11:48 tonight in the Mountain zone.

Truly, Madly, Deeply:

During our ritual, we will light candles in memory of Arthur C. Clarke and Anthony Minghella.

The Romans often bemoaned the fact that anything worth saying had already been said by the Greeks who came before them. Science Fiction writers often found that any story ideas they had, had already been written by the brilliant and prolific Mr. Clarke.

Those of us who admired Anthony Minghella will miss his many talents, his humanism, and his Renaissance mind. He died far too young and tonight we mourn the many films he might have made and cherish our favorites (1) among the ones he has left to us. (2)

The son of parents who made ice cream on the Isle of Wight, off the coast of England, Mr. Minghella used expansive tastes in literature and a deep visual vocabulary to make lush films with complicated themes that found both audiences and accolades..

"He was interested in the magic," Mr. Pollack said...the kind that occurs between people. Nowadays, everybody making movies wants to get the clothes off fast and the buns out guick, he was just the opposite. He was interested in the poetry, lavishing the view with story, scope and richness."

Goodnight, gentlemen, and thank you.

Wishing you renewal, creativity and joy, in this vibrant and magical season,


(1) From

Over the years, I've discovered that there's a kind of secret cult for Truly, Madly, Deeply. People who have no clue who Anthony Minghella is can passionately quote great chunks of dialogue from this film. The movie's potent appeal isn't surprising; how many psychologically accurate portraits of grief also hold up as romantic comedies that are both funny and madly romantic? I've recommended Truly, Madly, Deeply to friends mourning their own losses as a kind of homeopathic remedy. And I have one friend who watched it with his ailing wife only weeks before she died, both of them laughing and crying as they wondered what kind of ghost she would be.

(2) Including his last film, an adaption of a series for HBO that I love, The #1 Ladies Detective Agency:

Even at the start, Mr. Minghella said, the notion that an overweight lady detective would play well on film seemed unlikely. And the idea that “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” could be made in Botswana, which had never been host to a major film shoot, seemed far fetched at best. But as he and others describe it, bringing the story to film became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, a labor of love that overcame considerable obstacles.

The catalyst was Amy J. Moore, a New York independent producer who had worked and traveled in southern Africa, off and on, for two decades. Ms. Moore first came to Botswana as a student in the mid-1980s, “before the roads were tarred,” and fell in love. Later she headed a South African venture promoting African films, then took a play with an African cast to Off Broadway. In 2000 a friend gave her a novel set in Botswana by a Scottish writer obscure at the time, and she fell in love again.

“I was struck by an absolute fable,” she said, “that leading a good life is possible; that being a good person is possible; that being a good neighbor is possible; that truth can exist alongside beauty. I thought, this African book can teach the Western world a lot.”

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