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Sunday, August 19 2012

A "Revolution" catch-22

Watching the promos for NBC's new drama "Revolution" (whose premise is a sudden failure the electric grid failed, along with all other fuel sources) tonight on NBC, a question arose:

How would the market deal with the sudden shortage of horses, given a lack of instant communication?

The easy answer, I guess, is that there is no longer a single market, but thousands of markets, and buyers might be unlucky or lucky about the price they pay in the first few days or weeks.

Saturday, January 8 2011

The King's Speech - a film

I found out about this film via Talk of the Nation on NPR this week.

I haven't seen it yet, as there does not seem to be a theatre showing it in Evansville. (That could be because the film is six weeks old) But I do want to write a few words about the premise, and about the interviews that were part of Talk of the Nation on Tuesday.

In the film, King George VI (Colin Firth) is in middle age, trying to overcome a stutter from which he had suffered throughout his life. At some point, the King finds a psychologist, Lionel Logue (Geoffery Rush) who is able to assist after "traditional" doctors were unable to provide relief.

The thing is, even after several decades and much research, the science of the stutter has not progressed all that much. As the guests on TOTN suggest, Logue (who was a real person) became somewhat of a pioneer in the area. Vocal exercises and rather generic psychological techniques remain the primary tools in combating a stutter, although other high profile stutterers have found success with other methods.

One of the things I found interesting is the age at which Kristen Chmela (one of the guests in TOTN) sought help. She said she was in college. The other is that the cause of stuttering is unknown. And finally, I've heard people tease that it is cruel to put an "ess" sound in the name of another speech condition, the lisp. Well, it seems similarly cruel to put so many repeated sounds in the term for one who stutters, a "stutterer."

Saturday, July 17 2010

The People Who Like to Hear Themselves Speak

Some people like to hear themselves speak.

Traditionally, these are radio people. So much so that the "puking DJ" has become a staple of every-day conversation.

But the question entered my mind: Does George Clooney like to hear himself talk? He does essentially the same thing as the DJ, just in a more solemn and believable way. They both (theoretically, at least) earn fans when they nail their parts.

Why would Clooney (or any other actor of any serious cachet) not like to hear himself speak?