In this corner, wearing the hockey mask...

Hollywood's new infatuation: pitting two popular villains or heroes against each other. Among Hollywood's upcoming projects:
Alien vs. Predator
Batman vs. Superman
Freddy vs. Jason
Michael Buffer must be wetting his pants (BTW, if you want to be jealous and spiteful towards anyone, is any target more deserving than Buffer? Has anyone in the history of man accomplished more with less? At least Anna Nicole Smith had to shack up with some 90 year old grandpa to earn her millions and her TV show).
What's sad about this all is that since the foes are of such high profile, you know that neither side will really triumph. No one's going to die off here. It's not as if the creative brians favor one side or the other, and it's especially true if the rivals are represented by different studios. When the Japanese made a film of the Godzilla versus King Kong, the two fought to something of a draw. There's an American cut in which King Kong comes off as the victor after tossing Godzilla around by his tail like a limp noodle, but the Japanese cut tips the scales in favor of Godzilla a bit more.
In any case, it's possible to make an interesting film in which two protagonists battle to a draw, but in these cases it's unlikely. At any rate, give me Tom Wolfe versus John Updike, or Tom Wolfe versus John Updike, Norman Mailer, and John Irving. Or Kasparov vs. Karpov. Ali vs. Frazier. Any battle involving two arrogant egos the size of Manhattan. Competition is spicy, and life is otherwise bland.

Blog Family Tree

A post for those of you with weblogs: a new site called Blogtree has been set up to allow bloggers to register their blogs and specify which blog(s) inspired their creation. Most webblogs are inspired by people who read someone else's webblog and decide they want one, too. I registered and cited my parent blog, Bean's Koraku.

Converging technologies

The National Science Foundation and the Department of Commerce collaborated on a 405 page report titled "Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science." Interesting interesting stuff, and best of all it's posted online for free. Nutrition for the geek in you.

Michael Specter

You know you're loyal to a magazine or newspaper when you start to know the names of the regular contributors. I always mention Malcolm Gladwell from The New Yorker (most known for his book The Tipping Point). Michael Specter has a website that looks just like Gladwell's, along with an archive of all his articles for The New Yorker. Specter writes in a different style than Gladwell but covers similarly diverse topics and phenomena. Among his interesting recent work are a piece on Lance Armstrong and an examination of the reliability (or lack thereof) of fingerprints.