Whether you want a revolution or to maintain the status quo, voting is the democratic equivalent to revolution. On election day we go to war by casting our ballots. The majority wins — sorta. (Don’t get me started on the unpatriotic and treasonous misuse of gerrymandering, and the ridiculously outdated electoral college.)
We encourage everyone to vote, either at the polls or by absentee. Personally, I’ll be out of the country during the November 6th midterms, but I made absolutely certain that I’ll have my absentee ballot emailed to me and I can email it back. (Really, this is the way voting should work all the time.)
What I like best about absentee voting is it gives me an opportunity to research the lesser known issues on a ballot. I know who I’m voting for when it comes to representatives and such, but some of the local county officials and issues are totally unknown to me. Now I can sit and research what I need to know, in order to cast an informed vote.
Learn more about voting from Vote.org, a non-partisan organization that assists everyone in getting out to vote.
Please, I beg you, make sure you and everyone you know is prepared to vote well ahead of the November 6th midterms.
Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to what people can be deceived into believing. But in my humble opinion, it is criminal for a media company, or anyone, to knowingly deceive people just to get views. Please watch the Vox.com video (below), but please don’t watch Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. The Discovery Channel needs to learn what it’s like to get bitten by the public for their lies.
How do you feel about shows like this? I’d like to read your comments.
Megalodon, meaning big tooth, is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 2.6 million years ago. For reference, the age of dinosaurs (Mesozoic Era) was 245-66 million years ago — so, 43 million years separated megalodon from the dinosaurs. It’s a fish, not a dinosaur, for your distinction. Just a mega-sized one. And, yes, although it is classified as Extinct, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some sort of hold out in a kind of “lost world scenario — its happened before. We can allow this this conceit without too much suspension of disbelief. Okay so far?
It was this big Megalodon wasn’t just gigantic compared to other sharks; it was gigantic for any marine creature, ever. Fossil records indicate it was up to 59 feet (18 m) from nose to tail. The Megalodon in the movie The Meg is 75 feet (23 m) long. That’s only 27% larger than what the fossils indicate. By Hollywood standards that’s remarkably conservative, especially when you consider that, while not widely accepted by the scientific community, some marine biologists believe Megalodon could have been even larger than The Meg, reaching lengths approaching 82 feet (25 m). (Maybe the creators are saving the ridiculously large Megalodon for Meg II.)
The Megalodon isn’t the only titanitifish — I made that up just now — to get the Hollywood Treatment. The Mosasaurus from Jurassic World was shown chomping on a Great White Shark (as a little Sea-World type “treat”) early in the movie, and then later taking down the Indominus Rex, of which there was no real contest. Mosasaurus was a big gal in the Jurassic World films! It is estimated to have been around 56 feet (17 m) long, roughly the same size of a Megalodon, depending on which scientific paper you put the most stock in.
Quick aside: the Mosasaurus isn’t a dinosaur. It’s an aquatic lizard. Although I doubt if the victims of its appetite had any concern for that distinction while being digested. 😉
Never ask a female Megalodon her weight It isn’t just the length of the Megalodon that is “jaw” dropping. Its weight is truly unfathomable. Male Megalodons had an estimated mass with an upper bound of around 34 metric tones (75,000 pounds). Female Megalodons were considerably larger than their male counterparts, at 60 metric tons (132,000 pounds). Therefore, realistically speaking, the Meg in question would almost certainly be female.
132,000 pounds is as meaningless as saying it’s 239,000 miles (384,000 km) to the moon. Those numbers are too far outside the realm of experience to grasp. A better way to comprehend the size of a female Megalodon is that it is about 735 times larger than a 180 pound (82 kg) man. If it helps, consider that a 180 pound man is about 735 times larger than a newborn kitten. Therefore: a man is to Megalodon as a kitten is to a man. (With the notable difference: a Megalodon doesn’t look at a man and think, “Awwww, how cute.”…so much as “Mmmm. Scooby Snack”.) 🙂
Teeth. We need more Teeth… An upper anterior megalodon tooth has been found whose height is 7.25 inches (18.4 cm) , one of the largest known tooth specimens from that shark. By comparison, the T-Rex had teeth that were slightly longer, 9 inches (23 cm) long. However, they were long and thin in comparison to the broad, flat, teeth of a ‘meg’ shark. Thus by mass, the Megalodon had far more massive teeth.
Not only did Megalodon have huge teeth, it also had a lot of them — approximately 250 serrated teeth in a mouth as big as 6.6 feet (2 m) across. The T-Rex had about 50 teeth. Big difference to scientists, but less comforting if you’re the chompee.
Must go faster… A study linking shark size and typical swimming speeds estimated that Megalodon would have cruised at 11 mph (18 kph), but would have been able to achieve much higher speeds in short bursts.
Habitat is crucial to the story
The majority of Megalodon fossils have been discovered in warm waters. It is believed that oceanic cooling, associated with the onset of the ice ages, coupled with the lowering of sea levels and resulting loss of suitable nursery areas, may have contributed to its decline. Also, a lot of its larger prey species died off.
Let’s face it, the spy/comedy genre isn’t exactly littered with high quality films. The genre leans on the fantasy of what it’s like when average people become enveloped in an international crisis…so we can eject ourselves from the drudgery of everyday life and fantasize about a life unplugged from the conventions of society.
That’s the situation Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) find themselves in. They are two individuals, very different from each other, who support each other like sisters. It’s basically a bro-mance for women. (A sis-mance?)
Where The Spy Who Dumped Me shines is exploring how two friends can support each other into concurring unbelievable obstacles. The creators clearly wanted to create a narrative of female support and empowerment, and kudos to them for not making it painful to watch. During the movie I never felt the subplot of exploring how women solve their own problems, sans men, was forced.
What I find unique about this movie is that an external force introduces the two friends to the situation, but they decide to jump in anyway. They’re not dragged into it and then abandoned to their fate. They walk in willingly. And on top of that, they go in alone. There have no one to lean on, or trust, but themselves.
Everyone who goes to see this movie is probably only hoping for a few hours of crazy action, a few laughs…followed by a little day-dreaming of what we’d do if we were surreptitiously tossed into a real life drama of running around Europe — fighting and fleeing — from international terror networks. However, I think the real takeaway this movie provides is the alternative narrative that inspires us to ask: could I be as supportive to my friends and family in a situation like this?
We may not be able to live the life of a spy, unplugged from the conventions of society, but we can live a life where we create inspiring relationships with those we are closest to. It’s not often that a silly spy/comedy movie can actually give us attainable fantasies to strive for.
About the Peetimes: I found 2 good Peetimes that didn’t have any humor or action — which is really the best parts of the movie.
As silly as this movie is, there is some character development here, and there that makes the relationships meaningful. That’s why I would recommend the 1st Peetime over the 2nd: because the 2nd has a tiny bit of character development.
I re-watched the previous Mission Impossible movie — Rogue Nation — last night, and boy am I glad I did. MI: Fallout follows closely on the heels of the previous movie and if you, like me, haven’t watched it recently, you might want to give it a re-watch before heading out to see the sequel. If you don’t have time, you can read my What you need to know before seeing MI: Fallout article that will refresh your memory about the key elements from the previous movie.
In my review for MI: Rogue Nation I gave it an “A,” and it’s hard to find a meaningful difference between the two. In many respects these two movies are just one long movie, with a three year intermission.
If there’s one glaring difference between the two films, it’s that Jeremy Renner, who played William Brandt in the previous two MI movies, isn’t seen or mentioned in Fallout. (Find out why.) The space for a new character is taken up by Henry Cavill (a.k.a. Superman) who fills a similar role on the team, that being an equal to an Ethan who can oppose his ideas…but Cavill’s character doesn’t come close to providing the same levity. (Not the actor’s fault. The character just isn’t written that way.)
The twists and turns of plot in this movie require a lot more attention. We should all pity those moviegoers who don’t have the RunPee app, and get up between the 2nd and 3rd Peetime. They’ll come back and be completely baffled.
Peetimes: We have 4 Peetimes, 2 of which are recommended.
Personally, I’d suggest the 3rd Peetime. It’s one long scene that continues well after the Peetime ends. You won’t miss anything important, just some running, and a bit of mild humor.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is determined to prove the existence of the Syndicate, a criminal consortium the CIA does not believe exists. Ethan is captured by the Syndicate at a record shop in London, while their leader, a blond man in glasses, kills the IMF agent stationed there.
Ethan escapes a torture chamber with the help of disavowed MI6 agent and Syndicate operative Ilsa Faust.
Back in Washington, D.C., CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) testifies before a Senate committee charging that the IMF is destructive. Hunley succeeds in having the IMF disbanded and absorbed into the CIA.
Cut off from the IMF, Ethan follows his only lead: the man in glasses, later identified as former MI6 agent Solomon Lane.
Six months later, Ethan enlists former colleague Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) to attend an opera in Vienna, predicting that an assassination attempt will be made on the Austrian Chancellor. Ethan and Benji stop two snipers, and meet Ilsa who is also there to kill the Chancellor, but her loyalties are… complicated. (She’s sent by MI6 to infiltrate the Syndicate.) Ethan and Ilsa escape the opera house together, believing they have saved the Chancellor, but he is killed by a car bomb, and Lane is still not found.
Ilsa convinces Ethan that she has to stay undercover and jumps out of the car, pretending that Ethan captured her but she got away, so that the Syndicate agents will pick her up and return her to Lane.
Benji stays with Ethan instead of reporting back to the CIA, despite knowing his action amounts to treason.
Ethan, blamed for the Chancellor’s death, is pursued by the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Former IMF teammate William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), who now works with the CIA, contacts Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) to find Ethan before the CIA does. Luther tracks Ethan, Benji, and Ilsa to Casablanca, where they acquire a secret file from a secure building. Ethan drowns during the mission, but Ilsa rescues him and uses a heart defibrillator to resuscitate him. Ilsa then flees with the data, evading both Ethan and Syndicate members, although Ethan kills the pursuing agents.
Benji reveals he copied the data onto a second USB drive, as Luther and Brandt catch up to them.
Ilsa returns to London and attempts to use the file to quit her mission to infiltrate the Syndicate, but her MI6 handler, Atlee, compels her to continue, whilst discreetly wiping her drive. Meanwhile, Ethan learns that the data is an encrypted British government red box that requires the Prime Minister’s biometrics to unlock.
Lane’s henchmen abduct Benji , and use him to blackmail Ethan into decrypting the data and delivering it to them. Ethan agrees to the ultimatum.
As part of Ethan ‘s plan, Brandt reveals their location to CIA Director Hunley. During a charity auction Hunley, Brandt, and Atlee (Ilsa’s handler) take the British PM to a secure room to protect him from Ethan. Brandt has the PM confirm the existence of the Syndicate, a project proposed by Atlee to perform missions without oversight. After the PM reveals the origin of the Syndicate to CIA Director Hunley, Atlee reveals himself as Ethan in a mask.
When the real Atlee arrives, Ethan forces him to admit that he continued with the plans to create the Syndicate without permission and that he has been covering up its existence after Lane hijacked the project and went rogue, turning the Syndicate against him and MI6.
With the PM’s biometrics, Luther discovers the file contains access to £2.4 billion in various bank accounts, which would allow the Syndicate to continue their operations unnoticed; Ethan promptly destroys the data.
Ethan meets Benji and Ilsa at an outdoor restaurant. Benji reveals that he’s wearing a suicide bomb and has an earphone so he can deliver the message from Lane.
Ethan tells Lane he destroyed the drive and memorized the data and offers himself in exchange for Benji and Ilsa. Lane is forced to deactivate the bomb and let Benji go. Ethan and Ilsa are chased through the streets of London by Lane’s men. Eventually Ethan is wounded and chased by Lane. He lures Lane into a sealed glass cell where he is gassed unconscious and taken into custody.
Hunley, having witnessed an IMF operation’s success firsthand, returns with Brandt to the Senate committee and convinces them to restore the IMF by covering for Ethan and his team. After the meeting, Brandt congratulates Hunley, who is now the new IMF Secretary.
Tom Cruise (Ethan) and Ving Rhames (Luther) are the only two actors to appear in all the Mission: Impossible movies. However, the previous two movies — Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation — have begun building a consistent team around Ethan and Luther with the addition of Simon Pegg’s Benji, Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust, and to a lesser degree Alec Baldwin’s Alan Hunley (as the IMF Director). There is even a consistent villain presence between Rogue Nation and Fallout, with Sean Harris’ character Solomon Lane.
The missing piece is Jeremy Renner as William Brandt. He isn’t seen or even mentioned in Fallout. The film’s director, Christopher McQuarrie, blamed Renner’s omission on bad timing:
At the time, when the movie started, we didn’t really have a screenplay, so it was very difficult for us to say who would be in the movie for how long and on what days, and he had a commitment to Marvel. So there was just simply no predicting. If we had a finished script, we would have been able to say, ‘Yes, this will work and we can let you go for this time’, but there was just no predicting what those roles were going to turn out to be. It was just an unfortunate case of bad timing.
Personally, I’m not buying it. If it were just bad timing, they could have at very least mentioned Brandt’s name, and given an excuse for him not being available to help — thus making it easier to bring the character back in a future MI movie.
It’s also possible, given Renner’s price-tag for appearing, added on top of the high price of Cruise and addition of Henry Cavil, they just didn’t have the budget for a character that could easily be omitted. If so it’s a pity, but that’s the economics of Hollywood.