Random news

A court in San Francisco ruled against Napster yesterday. RIAA lawyers and record label reps are all excited, but it's a hollow victory. The days of song swapping over the Internet are not over. Lawyers don't have that kind of power over the Internet, no matter how much they get paid.
Scientists may have discovered a tetrachromat, a person with four cone photopigments instead of three. The first mutants are among us, and their secret power is to have a richer visual experience than the rest of us. Unfortunately, tetrachromats seem to be only women.
Also in the Red Herring, supposedly they've discovered a fifth taste, called
, distinct from sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. It has its own receptors on the tongue. Supposedly if you block all the other taste receptors and eat MSG, you'll taste a strong umami flavor. Foods that have an element of umami include miso soup, green tea, dried shitake mushrooms, and Havarti cheeses.
Odd, this proliferation of the senses. I imagine myself talking to my grandkids one day, "Sonny, when I was growing up there were just five senses..."
Oscar nominations announced:

Best picture

  • "Traffic"

  • "Chocolat"

  • "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

  • "Erin Brockovich"

  • "Gladiator"

  • Best actor

  • Javier Bardem ("Before Night Falls")

  • Russell Crowe ("Gladiator")

  • Tom Hanks ("Cast Away")

  • Ed Harris ("Pollack")

  • Geoffrey Rush ("Quills")

  • Best actress

  • Joan Allen ("The Contender")

  • Juliette Binoche ("Chocolat")

  • Ellen Burstyn ("Requiem for a Dream")

  • Laura Linney ("You Can Count on Me")

  • Julia Roberts ("Erin Brockovich")

  • Best supporting actor

  • Jeff Bridges ("The Contender")

  • Willem Dafoe ("Shadow of the Vampire")

  • Benicio Del Toro ("Traffic")

  • Albert Finney ("Erin Brockovich")

  • Joaquin Phoenix "Gladiator")

  • Best supporting actress

  • Judi Dench ("Chocolat")

  • Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollack")

  • Kate Hudson ("Almost Famous")

  • Frances McDormand ("Almost Famous")

  • Julie Walters ("Billy Elliot")

  • Best director

  • Stephen Daldry ("Billy Elliot")

  • Ang Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon")

  • Steven Soderbergh ("Erin Brockovich")

  • Ridley Scott ("Gladiator")

  • Steven Soderbergh ("Traffic")

  • Best screenplay (original)

  • Cameron Crowe ("Almost Famous")

  • Lee Hall ("Billy Elliot")

  • Susannah Grant ("Erin Brockovich")

  • David Franzoni, John Logan and William Nicholson ("Gladiator")

  • Kenneth Lonergan ("You Can Count on Me")

  • Best screenplay (adaptation)

  • "Chocolat"

  • "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

  • "O Brother, Where Art Thou"

  • "Traffic"

  • "Wonder Boys"

  • Non-English language film

  • "Amores Perros" (Mexico)

  • "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (Taiwan)

  • "Divided We Fall" (Czech Republic)

  • "Everybody Famous" (Belgium)

  • "The Taste of Others" (France)