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Video joy for the day: Free as a Bird (5.5MB QuickTime), by dv_girl.

UPS introduces Fully Comprehensive Continued Tracking. ^_^ (From the same origin, your daily moment of eww)

Two new trailers of possible interest: Dreamworks' Madagascar, and with what looks like quite a promising voice cast, Robots, from Blue Sky Studios, they of Bunny and Ice Age. Madagascar looks like it might be visually appealing, but, just going by the trailer, they might be straining with the script, along the lines of Father of the Pride; I might plump for Robots instead, particularly if Robin Williams' role isn't just a bit part.

Sonic the Hedgehog - implemented in Flash.

Altermeta may be in guest strips only at the moment, but that doesn't stop some gems from turning up. ^_^

'In the general population, men have a “digit ratio” of 0.98 on average - the index finger being slightly shorter than the ring finger. Women have a digit ratio of 1.0 on average, meaning the two fingers are the same length.' So, now, thanks to modern scientific research, you can check what gender you are just by looking at your hands. Don't say science never did anything for you.

Has anyone got opinions to offer on Willard (remake or original)? I've just noticed there was a sequel made, Ben, which featured that Michael Jackson track..

Yay! Episode 3 of Yakitate Japan is out. (Yakitate translates here as "freshly baked", and "pan" being the Japanese imported word for bread; given the premise is about the creation of distinctively Japanese bread, you can see the wordplay)

VLC 0.8.0 is now out, with quite a few new features and enhancements; at the moment, only OS X and Windows binaries, plus the source, are available - the others will be following in due course. One nice addition is, it seems, VobSub support. There's been a report on xlr8yourmac noting very slow performance, though it seems fine here; probably as well to keep your existing version until you've verified it on your setup.

Heh. Seems Tiger's date & time preferences include an option for what calendar system to use: Gregorian, Buddhist, Hebrew, Islamic, Islamic (Civil), or Japanese. I suppose there's emacs for everything else..

A handy guide to setting up chroot on Panther, so you can offer sftp to users, and have them confined to their home directory.
Has anyone got opinions to offer on Willard (remake or original)?

The original...what can I say but, I am who and what I am today because of 'Willard'. Next to 'Bambi', it was one of the truly seminal films of my boyhood. I saw 'Willard' when it was first released to theaters in 1970, when I was 16. The rat became my very first furry avatar; even moreso after I read 'The Wind in the Willows' wherein I met my first anthropomorhic animal hero, 'Ratty', at the age of 19.

Anyway, back to 'Willard'. I totally identified with the main character. I, too, was the shy, insecure son of a steelworks owner who was bossed and bullied by the people my father hired to run his factory, in which I got my first job at 16. It really was like the movie was made just for me. After seeing 'Willard', I wanted pet rats more than anything, but my mother forbade it. It wasn't until I went away to college that I got my first pet rat (white like the rat 'Socrates', of course!). Also when I was in college, I finally found the book the movie was based on, and it turned out to be an even closer reflection of myself than the film. And of course, soon afte VCRs came onto the market, I bought 'Willard' on VHS, even tho it would still be years until I owned a VCR of my own.

Notes on the films: the re-make is an almost word for word recitation of the original screen play, only the visuals and actors are different. The most serious flaw in the re-make is that Willard's gradual (and charming) process of bonding with his new rat friends is totally missing from the re-make. Speaking of missing, there's one scene in the first film that was never shown except during its initial theatrical release, and that's at the end, when the rats turn on Willard. There's a brief glimpse of the rats eating Willard's eyes out of their sockets that just about made me pee my pants in the theater. That was cut out of subsequent theatrical releases and was also not included in the home video version.

BTW, have a look at the very first drawing I ever made of an otter, when I was about 22 years old and just starting into my lutrine/mustelid obsession. That tail is remarkably rat-like, isn't it? The overall conformation of the body is also quite murine. And yes, that's my old 'chop' down at right. (It says 'otter' in ancient Chinese script.) ;-)