King Kong vs. Godzilla

6-Month Trend

kingkong_vs_godzilla.png

Well, this is probably a no-brainer with the new Peter Jackson movie that just came out (movie site). Messages about King Kong have jumped over 10-fold in the last month. There’s just no love out there for the big green guy. Here’s a snapshot of what bloggers are saying about King Kong and Godzilla:

Bombadil’s » movie comparision
“After reading an article about great movies and not liking some of his choices and a small conversation earlier today with the wife I decided to throw out a small movie comparison type post. I tried to pick movies that were close in genre, where the one I choose is laregely considered inferior to the other or ones that might spark some conversation.

The Ten Commandments over Ben-Hur
Goodfellas over The Godfather
Glory over Saving Private Ryan
Platoon over Apocalypse Now
Ninja Scroll over Akira
Rear Window over North by Northwest
Nightmare on Elm Street over Friday the 13th
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly over The Searchers
King Kong over Godzilla
The Usual Suspects over Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction over Memento
L.A. Confidential over The Maltese Falcon

phin’s blog: Phin Beware!
“Scientists have just discovered an Ancient Godzilla which was actually a marine crocodile with a dinosaur-like head and a fish-like tail that likely terrorized the Pacific Ocean 135 million years ago.

As he was discovered in Argentina he has also been dubbed: “the ‘chico malo’ — ‘bad boy’ of the ocean.””

‘King Kong’ flunks biology | Popwatch
“Spoilsports at Forbes note that a gorilla the size of Kong is biologically impossible; for one thing, a creature that big would barely be able to walk. (He’d also need to eat the equivalent of 15,000 Big Macs or 65,000 Pop Tarts every day.) But the movie gets high marks for Andy Serkis’ aping of gorilla behavior. No word on how accurate the T. Rexes and giant spiders are.”

Joe’s Dartblog: Monkeys, Tribesmen, and Race, Oh My
“Matt Drudge refers this morning to Jim Pinkerton’s Newsday column which alleges that Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong is a racist film. These three articles argue similarly. At Slate, the “implicit racism of King Kong? is discussed and in the Washington Post it is described as “a parable of exploitation, cultural self-importance, the arrogance of the West…?

That charge was bandied about after the first film was released in 1933. The claim now, near as I can tell (and, this being utter silliness, I’m not exactly close-reading these critiques) is that director Peter Jackson, working in our enlightened age, ought to have known better. Why weren’t the chracters—ape included, of course—in his film all of a bland orange skin tone with moderate temperaments and non-descript languages and uncertain sexuality? Moreover, why didn’t he use computers to ensure that all of the characters look the same, to avoid any possible charges of discrimination? Because, as we all know, when a director makes an actor do something in a film, and that something is a bad thing, that director almost certainly believes that all people who look like that actor are, in actuality, bad people…”

Gothamist: King Kongs New York
“The big budget spectacle, King Kong, will open in two weeks, and while most of the trailers seem to play up a fight with Godzilla and lots of jungle scenes (Naomi Watts – hot and sweaty!), part of the story does more to New York. Now, director Peter Jackson decided not to film in NYC because finding 1933 New York in today’s New York is difficult. (Gothamist sorta buys that, but we actually believe that once you’ve created Middle Earth, then you’ve got a god complex.)…”

Hybrid sales dive in November, even the Prius – Autoblog
“No hybrid was safe from sagging sales in the month of November, including the King Kong of hybrid sales, the Toyota Prius, sales of which were below 8,000 units for the first time in eight months. That’s still enough to call the Prius the 800-lb. gorilla of hybrids since the second best seller, the Highlander Hybrid also from Toyota, sold only 2,353 units in comparison.”

Exclamation Mark’s B-Movie Reviews: The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
“I always get a warm feeling while watching this movie. Ironic, considering the opening scene is set at the North Pole.

I think it has something to do with the familiarity of the story: A prehistoric beast is unleashed on the world while scientists conduct an A-bomb test. The beast eventually makes its way to a major city (in this case, New York City) and wreaks havoc.

It’s certainly a tale you’ve heard before, but this is the first of the genre. In fact, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms inspired a Japanese production entitled, Gojira, which you may recognize by its American title, Godzilla, King of the Monsters.”

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Weekend vs. Holiday

6-Month Trend

weekend vs. holiday
The ‘weekend effect’ on Friday’s Republican vs. Democrat duel got me interested in the topics that blog authors discuss on weekends. These figures are all relative to the total number of posts that take place on a given day, so for a drop in messages dealing with political parties, there should be a rise in messages covering other subject matter. One obvious place to look is at the discussion of the term ‘weekend’ itself.

Here is a comparison of the 6-month trends for blogs that included the terms ‘weekend’ or ‘holiday’ in a message. ‘Weekend’ is a popular blog term, contained in anywhere from 1.5% to 7% of messages over the course of the week. That works out to 2,317,877* messages over the past three months.

The pattern of ‘weekend’ use in blog messages has two peaks during the week. The first peak occurs on Fridays as bloggers head into the weekend. The number of messages that contain the term drops over Saturday and Sunday and then there is a larger peak on Monday. This is a very regular pattern that was sustained over the entire six-month period.

Notably, messages that contained the term ‘weekend’ far outnumbered those that included the term ‘holiday’. There have been five peaks in the use of ‘holiday’ over the last six months. The first occurred on the 4th of July (Independence Day in the United States). The second was on September 5th, the Labor Day holiday in the United States. The smallest of the five was on October 10th, Columbus Day (United States). October 31st (Halloween) included discussions of Halloween itself (which is not in fact a ‘holiday’) as well as the upcoming winter holiday season. Last, but not least, Thanksgiving clocked in with the largest peak in holiday posts on November 24th. Over the last three months, 601,253* weblog messages have used the term ‘holiday’, an average of 0.85%* of all messages posted each day.

So, weekend bloggers aren’t discussing their weekends. We’ll see if a pattern emerges with another search term…

*Data from IceRocket.com
Trend used with permission (Blogpulse.com)
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Democrat/Liberal vs. Republican/Conservative

6-Month Trend

democrat_vs._repub.png

Bloggers have never been timid about sharing their thoughts on members of the major political parties in the United States. This trend shows the percent of weblog posts that have included the terms “Republican” OR “conservative” (R/C) compared with those that have contained the terms “Democrat” OR “liberal”(D/L).

There is a pretty interesting pattern here. First, both sets of terms clearly follow very similar trends with tall narrow peaks that occur at the same points in time. Posts that contain the terms “Republican” or “conservative” outnumber those that contain “Democrat” or “liberal” at nearly every point over the last six months. According to data from IceRocket, the 3-month mean proportion of daily posts that include the R/C terms is 0.4399% (~2,946 posts per day). For D/L, the 3-month average is 0.3745% of all posts (~2,525 posts per day). These figures represent a difference of 38,282 posts over the last 3 months.

If you take a closer look by decreasing the interval to two months, the regular oscillating pattern is easier to make out:

2-Month Trend


democrat_vs._repub2mo.png
Notice how the peak to trough and trough to peak times are similar and span a relatively short period of time. The pattern suggests that these are messages which are generated around topics that both heat up and cool off fast. Sounds like your typical political blog, right? The mean duration of time from trough to peak is 3.3 days for R/C posts. Back down from the peak to trough is 4.7 days. The figures are nearly identical for D/L posts. The variation from this pattern at the right hand side of the figure occurred around Thanksgiving.

My initial feeling was that the sawtooth pattern was not terribly suprising based upon the subject area, but I was a bit puzzled by how consistent the pattern was. If you look closely at the troughs, they occur over two day periods. Yeah, you probably guessed it. All of the troughs before Thanksgiving on this plot are weekends.

There was a great deal of overlap of terms on both conservative and liberal blogs, both within the same message as well as on separate messages on the blog. Below is a sample over the six month period of the types of posts that were being pulled by these searches.

Sample Posts About Democrats/Liberals and Republicans/Conservatives

Power Line
“The Post’s Peter Baker compensates for Fletcher’s relative objectivity in a companion piece called “An Offering of Detail But No New Substance,” but at least Baker’s piece is presented as “analysis.” The label may be generous, though. Consider the title. What does the author mean by “no new substance?” The headline to Fletcher’s piece states that Bush offered a plan to win the war. Liberals have been carping for several years that Bush has no plan. If so, then the president did offer new substance. In reality, while the president has had a plan for victory, he hasn’t done an effective job spelling it out, nor have liberal organs like the Post been willing to report the plan to the extent that administration officials have articulated it. Indeed, Baker himself makes no effort to inform readers of Bush’s plan.”

SCOTUS:Desperate for Attention – Wonkette
“Democrats finally have a talking point against Samuel Alito handed to them on a platter – he really is against abortion. And conservatives have the fight they’ve been dying for. Still, the hardest part in all of this has been paying attention.”

Horowitz Targets Toddlers – Think Progress
Right-wing activist David Horowitz has been leading an aggressive effort “to limit what teachers may discuss and to bring more conservative views into the classroom.? Now he’s taking his ideological campaign to elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. The Christian Science Monitor reports:

“The last six months [have] been kind of a watershed for the academic-freedom movement,? says Bradley Shipp, national field director for Students for Academic Freedom, a group founded by conservative activist David Horowitz in 2003. “It is going to filter itself down to the K-12 level.?

It’s an important battle front, proponents say, because younger students are more impressionable.

California’s Two Electorates – The Volokh Conspiracy
“But I do think that this should remind us not to be surprised when Californians consistently elect Democratic House delegations and legislatures, but often elect Republican governors and U.S. senators, and enact more conservative ballot measures. And we should expect the same in other states that have a lot of immigrants (who are more likely to be noncitizens) and a lot of nonwhites (who are more likely to be underage, and more likely not to vote when eligible).”

Replace Lithwick – ProfessorBainbridge.com
“Driving into work this AM, I heard Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick using the term wingnut on NPR in referring to conservatives. So much for journalistic objectivity; there is no longer any real space between Lithwick and the liberal bloggers among whom that derisory term has become so popular. (On which subject, see Beldar’s blast at Lithwick re her coverage of CJOTUS nominee John Roberts.)

Of course, as a journal of opinion rather than news, maybe that’s what Slate wants. If so, however, there are any number of liberal blawggers Slate could hire to replace Lithwick who provide analysis that is usually more objective and always considerably more intelligent than what comes out of Lithwick’s computer. Some who spring to mind are Jeff Cooper, Michael Froomkin, Jeralyn Merritt, Eric Muller, or CE Petit.”

Captain’s Quarters
“It seems like the Bush White House has suddenly acquired a tin ear for politics over the past fortnight. Just weeks after Republican Senators angrily asserted that religion should have nothing to do with the confirmation of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, the White House has openly embraced religion as a key qualification for the nomination of Harriet Miers, creating a new controversy for the new nominee”

Murtha Calls for Immediate Redeployment of US Troops from Iraq – AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth
“CNN just carried live a speech by Congressman John Murtha, a conservative Democrat from Pennsylvania, who is calling for immediate redeployment of US troops from Iraq. He is widely viewed as the the top Democratic hawk in the House and his word carries enormous weight on these issues. Murtha said that the Iraq war is a failure and “it’s time for a change of direction.” AP has an article on the Murtha speech now, too.”

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Peanut Butter vs. Jelly

6-Month Trend

pb_vs_j.png

Here are two topics that you would expect to go hand in hand, but suprisingly they don’t. While most of the peanut butter peaks appear to just be random clusters, the peaks in mid-October preceded Halloween. Alot of bloggers had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on their mind during this period. The jelly posters are a pretty diverse group covering everything from Jelly Belly’s jellybeans to cranberry jelly (Thanksgiving posts) to breast implants (must be silicone).

Here are the stats from Icerocket: The average number of peanut butter posts per day over the last 3 months was 709 (64,531 total). Jelly commanded an impressive 691 posts per day (62,882 total).

Peanut Butter Posters

Peanut Butter Pleasures – Mangoes & Papayas
“Nowadays, I find myself craving peanut butter more than chocolate. Peanut butter donuts, sandwiches, peanut butter on crackers, Reese’s pieces or even a lip-smacking glob of gooey, sickeningly sweet peanut butter on a spoon (gotta cut down on the bread)!”

Sleezy Sherm’s Peanut Butter Porter v0.1 – AzianBrewer’s Recipes
“This is actually Sleezy’s first Peanut Butter Porter!!!! It is a beverage that came with a bang!! Here’s is his Sleezy recipe.

Grain:
8oz Chocolate Malt
12oz Black Malt
4oz Roast Barley
3oz Rolled Oats (aka quaker oatmeal)
13oz Cystal Malt
60 L5lbs Light malt extract (liquid)

Hops:
2oz Willamette AA 4.8%
Other:
4oz Natural Peanut Butter (with the oil removed)

Method:
Heat the grains in 2 gallons of water at 155 F for 1 hourBring the wort to a boil and add the malt extract, peanut butter, and 1 oz of hopsBoil 30 minutes, add additional 1/2 oz hopsBoil 15 minutes, add additional 1/2 oz hops + Irish MossEnd at 1 hour total boilTransfer to fermenter for 10 days, transfer to a secondary for 10 days.If you still see oil floating on top, transfer again every 2 days until you rack out the oil.”

Lost: Never Put a Fat Guy in Charge of The Food – TVgasm
“Anyhoo, in this episode we get even more mysteries. What’s behind all that concrete? Who and what are those other people on the island? Exactly what is the size of the branch stuck up Michelle Rodriguez’s ass? And why do I have such a craving for chicken and peanut butter?”

10/31/2005 12:23:56 AM – telekinesiskyle’s Xanga Site
“I’m also looking for a donation of no less than 26 tons of peanut butter m&m’s. Trust me, its necessary. Times a factor people…..”

Kiss May Have Been Fatal For Teen With Nut Allergy – Attu Sees All
“A 15-year-old girl in Quebec’s Saguenay region is believed to have died as a result of an allergic reaction to her boyfriend’s kiss.

An autopsy will be performed on the body of the teen, who was allergic to peanuts.

Officials said she did not consume the nuts, but they believe she had a reaction to kissing her boyfriend, who had eaten peanut butter.”

The Jelly Roll

Life is not About the Jelly – Boudicca’s Voice
“So anyway, I know certain chains have doors inside… like the Marriott and so I tend to try to frequent them. Not familiar with Best Westerns I said to Bones, “I don’t know if we’re staying there or not.?

He looks at me desperately and says, “But Mom! We have to say there! They have all sorts of different kinds of jelly for breakfast!!!?

Jelly? This is where he is basing where we lay our heads at night? On the kinds of jelly they serve at breakfast for his toast? And does anyone out there think for a minute that when they were making this commercial for Best Western that the artistic director thought for even 1/10th of a millisecond, “Gotta get some damn good shots of jelly here. That could make someone want to stay…?

Well, sorry, Jellyboy, we aren’t staying at a place based on the array of jellies their commercial says they serve in the morning. I’ll stick with my paranoid parameters…”

Wine belly? – Sydney Food Diary
“Strangely fascinating (and probably a good education tool for thirsty toddlers).

WineX Magazine has created combinations of Jelly Belly jellybeans to make classic wine varietals and styles.”

Closer the dark side comes – lilgreenfreak
“Saved, my farrberry bush was not. Into a jelly it was made and now strong I feel. Yes, strong and good and alive! *Literally bounces off the walls* To Yaddle I shall give a jar. Maybe then, headaches she won’t have hmm?

Good with The Force this jelly is. Try it everybody should, yes? Hmm, especially good for green people it is. Yes, good for green people. A party we will have, for little people, green people, or little green people only. Bring out the special tea I will and strong with the Unifying Force we will be. Oh yes, visions we will have. Great visions we will have. Hahahahahahaha *Rubs webbed palms together* And droids too. Serve WD-40 for Artoo I should. Test him I will.”

starbucks coffee jelly frappuccino® – The Scent of Green Bananas
“the starbucks coffee jelly frappuccino®: whatever that milky coffee frap stuff is and a healthy serving of coffee-flavoured gelatin cubes. unlike the coffee jelly found in boba-tea outlets, which are just unflavoured brown tinted gelatin cubes in a coffee syrup, the starbucks brand is purported to be made from the brewed house blend. tiny and tender, they make a refreshing addition to the ice blended drink. it used to be a seasonal specialty, but it has since moved to the permanent menu (in the philippines, anyway).”

Annie Modesitt’s Blog
“I’ve just about blown my wad energy-wise, so when Gerry gets home from work (yes, he works today. The news, or whatever it is he works on, doesn’t stop on Thanksgiving!) he’ll take over the finishing touches. Steaming the broccoli, mashing the potatos which are boiling right now, browning the brown and serve rolls – oh, crap – I forgot the cranberry jelly! It just won’t be the same without the numbers on the bottom of the round, lined gelatinous tube of glistening red. Darn”

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Love vs. Hate

6-Month Trend

love vs. hate.png

Love and hate. These two poles of emotion are prevalent topics in the blogosphere. Combined, the terms ‘love’ or ‘hate’ were included in 10% – 18% of all posts over the last six months. It appears that love has trumped hate in the blogosphere with an approximately 3-fold higher volume of posts over the entire period. While the proportion of weblog posts that include these terms has been relatively stable, there has been a decrease in the use of both terms over the past month. The use of ‘love’ has dropped by approximately 33% (13.5% to 9% of all weblog posts) and the use of ‘hate’ has declined 25% (4% to 3% of all weblog posts).

It’s an interesting phenomenon that I can’t explain. Have we become less polarized on issues over the last month? Doubtful. It would be interesting to take a look at longer term data to see how much variation there has been in these numbers so that we can determine whether it’s real or not.

A Sample of the Lovers:

BuzzMachine… by Jeff Jarvis
“I have been desperate to see a movie for weeks — I love popcorn — but I haven’t been able to find one worth the trip.”

Documentary looks at online dating – TV Squad
“I’ve never been big into the whole online dating thing, choosing instead to meet all my dates via telegraph. Still, it’s an interesting product of our age, and the subject of a new five-part documentary from ABC News called Hooking Up. The series will follow twelve women in Manhattan as they try to find love among the pop-up ads.”

Pro-American Protestors Drown Our Radical Imams – In The Bullpen
“Personally I don’t care if Kuwaitis love the United States or not, but I do not want them to hate us”

A Biker with a Bike Tattoo – Gothamist
“You might love your bicycle– but are you as hardcore as this dude?”

Why So Much Miers Chatter – PoliPundit.com
“Partly of course, it’s because of the scope of the issue – a Supreme Court Justice is always a major figure, in some ways more crucial to the direction of the nation than even a President, since the appointment is for life. But also, and especially in this case, it’s because Americans love our right to dissent.”

Why Some Of Us Once Loved Apple Computers – Dean’s World
“He’s indisputably right about one thing though: those of us who loved those old machines most loved the fact that everything about them was completely open. You could find out anything you wanted to know about their innards if you were curious and just put some time into it, and bend them to any purpose you imagined.

That’s why I love the Open Source movement today.”

Why do we give? – Signaling Success
“Successful people give with no expectation of a return. They never “give to get.” They give unselfishly. Successful folks give from the heart, don’t they?

Mother Teresa said it best, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

Enjoy this holiday season, in the most giving way…”

And a Sample of the Haters:

Perhaps You Should Look at Your Tag – Overheard in New York: The Voice of The City
“Hipster girl: Post-hipster is like post-irony, you’re being ironic about irony.
Hipster guy #1: Wait, so you can be a hipster and hate hipsters at the same time?
Hipster guy #2: I am so post-hipster!”

Today on Today: The Fat Ladies Sing – Gawker
“The segment is titled “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Fat,? and as these woman sadly present their stories, we’re left with a major question: Are we supposed to not hate them despite their being fat, or we shouldn’t hate them specificially because they’re fat?”

Another reason the UN is useless – The QandO Blog
“Maybe it’s time to seriously discuss a “League of Democracies” or some alternative world organization where being a tin-pot dictator actually disqualifies you from memebership instead of automatically providing you with a forum, paid for by others, from which to spew lies, disinformation and hate.”

This blog is not a democracy – MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
“Don’t let the agenda-driven mainstream media distort reality (again) and fuel the anti-American hate machine – spread the word!”

Top ten former Astros who I’m glad aren’t a part of this World Series team – TBIFOC
“I’m sure that George Steinbrenner is much nicer about sandbagging dorks who hate the fans, hate the team, and pitch like a Little Leaguer on crack.”

DEATH TO AL-ZAQUEERY – The Jawa Report
“Both our pressure and the pure evil of their tactics have put the writing on the wall. The harder they try the more people hate them including peoples all over the Middle East. The world is shrinking every day for Al-Qaeda soon they will be history.”

Ten Bloglines Hacks – Micro Persuasion
“Don’t you hate it when your favorite frequently updating sites don’t have RSS feeds?”

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World AIDS Day 2005

world aids dayToday is World AIDS Day. The disease statistics are staggering. Here’s an overview from One.org:

“World AIDS Day is a yearly, global event started in January 1988 to promote awareness and action in the fight against HIV/AIDS. According to UNAIDS estimates, there were 37.2 million adults and 2.2 million children worldwide living with HIV at the end of 2004. During the year 4.9 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35. Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world. In Africa alone, more than 17 million people have died from AIDS and another 25 million are infected with the HIV virus, approximately 1.9 million of whom are children. Every day in Africa, HIV/AIDS kills 6,300 people. 8,500 people are infected with the HIV virus and 1,400 newborn babies are infected during childbirth.”

Sub-Saharan African nations are particularly hard hit by the disease, with the prevalence of the disease approaching 40% of the population in some of these countries. Here is a map that demonstrates the impact of AIDS across the African continent. Please take the time to educate yourself about the disease, its impact on individuals around the world, and consider how you can help combat its spread.  Thanks!  Now back to regular programming…

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Avian Flu vs. HIV/AIDS

6-Month Trend

hiv_vs._avianflu.png

Blog posts on the HIV/AIDS epidemic have remained steady over the last six months, ranging between 0.125% and 0.300% of all published weblog messages. There was a brief peak in HIV/AIDS posts in early July that occurred around the time of the Live8 concerts. The proportion of posts on the topic have remained within a relatively stable range over the last four months.

The emergence of avian flu (aka ‘bird flu’) posts occurred in mid-September when the United Nations Health Chief issued a warning about the potential for a deadly pandemic resulting from transmission of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus from fowl to humans. Around the same time, initial reports of avian flu-related deaths in Indonesia emerged. The avian flu posts peaked on November 1st, the day that President Bush announced his initiative to combat the looming pandemic and have since declined by over 50%. Despite the waning interest in recent weeks, the death toll continues to rise as the eighth death attributed to H5N1 in Indonesia was announced earlier today.

Update (12/2/05): The trend was regenerated today because of a technical problem.  As you can see, there was a large spike in HIV/AIDS weblog posts that occurred on December 1st which was World AIDS Day.

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