May 2017


spilloverSpillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

  • Author:  David Quammen
  • Published:  2012
  • Publisher:  W. W. Norton & Company
  • Pages:  587
  • First Line:  “The virus now known as Hendra wasn’t the first of the scary new bugs.”
  • Last Line:  “It all depends.”
  • Awards:  Shortlisted for PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award  /  finalist for Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
  • First Read:  Fall 2012

I get a lot of books out of the library, in the same way that I used to read new books at various stores back when I worked at bookstores.  I rarely, however, read those books more than once.  That’s why I buy books: so I can read them again and again.  But every now and then there is a book I go back to and I pull out of the library again.  Such a book is Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, which I first grabbed off the shelf when it was a brand new book and I was working at the Booksmith and which I just dived into for a second time because it keeps pulling at my brain.  There’s a reason for that.  It’s not only a really well-written book, one that tells a good scientific story, a fascinating human story and does it all very well.  It’s also because I have an interest in viruses. (more…)

The DiCaprio side of the DiCaprio-Scorsese collaborations takes a quantum leap.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Aviator  *
  2. A Very Long Engagement
  3. Sideways  **
  4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind  *
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  6. House of Flying Daggers
  7. Closer
  8. The Incredibles
  9. Kill Bill Volume 2
  10. Silver City
  11. Hero
  12. Hotel Rwanda
  13. Million Dollar Baby  *
  14. Spider-Man 2
  15. Kinsey
  16. Bad Education
  17. Finding Neverland  *
  18. Vera Drake
  19. Shrek 2
  20. Mar Adentro

Analysis:  Ray and Eternal Sunshine actually tied for the 5th Consensus nominee spot.  Million Dollar Baby, with a third place finish, is the first Oscar winner not to be #1 or #2 at the Consensus Awards since 1995, and no film has finished below 2nd since (through 2016).
All 20 of these films are **** and there are no other **** films.  It’s a magnificent Top 10 and the third best Top 20 to-date. (more…)

The gang’s all here. And hey, look, Frozone found his super suit!

The 77th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2004.  The nominations were announced on 25 January 2005 and the awards were held on 27 February 2005.

Best Animated Film:  The Incredibles

  • Shrek 2
  • Shark Tale

Most Surprising Omission: The Polar Express

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #8

Oscar Score:  76.9

Alternate Oscar Score:  91.8 (more…)