Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now I Can Feel Guilty About My Coffee

Did you know that it takes 1,120 litres of water to produce 1 litre of coffee? Taken further, that also means it takes a staggering 280 litres of water to make your morning cup of coffee. The water is needed for growing the beans, packaging them and getting them to your kitchen cupboard.

Now I have something else to add to my Things To Feel Guilty About In My Life list. It's quite long.

The Economist  published the graph above to show you how much water is needed for other everyday things you use. Read it and weep, and be sure to collect your tears to offset these thirsty products.

For the full article, go to this page on the Economist.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Night! (One Day Late)

For the first time in many years, I didn't pull an all-nighter and watch the Oscars last night. I know all five of you are disappointed. It's just that I couldn't face a day at the office after spending a whole night trying to stay awake. Let's be honest: the best thing about the Oscars is the frocks, and the occasional funny moment during the ceremony, for which you have endure four full hours of other stuff.

I did stay up and watch the red carpet, and I nearly relented and bought the special cable channel I needed at 1 a.m. so I could watch the ceremony, but I resisted. So now it is 24 hours later, I've studiously avoided all news outlets all day, and I'm watching the highlights show on Sky One, where they compress the entire ceremony into 90 minutes.

Here are my random thoughts, of both last night's red carpet, and tonight's results:

-How could you not love Slumdog Millionaire after seeing the six children who played the young Jamal, Latika and Salim? Though really I wanted to reach into my TV and smack Ryan Seacrest upside the head when he turned to youngest Latika and said, "I love your dress. Who's it from?" I'm just so sad for him.

-I just watched the "Those who've gone this year" clip job (a linchpin of every Oscar telecast) and it made me sad again when I was reminded that Paul Newman died this year. He got the honored "last one mentioned" slot, which went to Heath Ledger last year.

-I found myself intensely studying the body language of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick to see if their marriage really is on the rocks, like the magazines say. I couldn't figure it out, but I did notice that she didn't let him say who made his tux on either E! or Sky One. What, is he not allowed to talk about fashion?

-Who is Jessica Biel and why is she famous? Isn't she the one who's dating Justin Timberlake? That's all I know her for; I couldn't name one movie she's been in. By the way, I hated her dress and also want to know why it was too much trouble for her to wash her hair before the Oscars.

-Why do they treat Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie like royalty? I couldn't believe how excited the announcers where when they stepped out of their limo. What I REALLY wanted to see, but what wasn't in the highlights show (don't know if it made the full show) was a reaction shot from Brad AND Angie when Jennifer Aniston strode on stage to present the best animated feature.

-Mr. Movie (and the rest of us) all predicted that Wall-E would win, and it did. Justice has been served.

-I like how they got former winners up on stage to present the big awards. It really worked. But I don't know if this telecast was much shorter, as they hoped it would be.

-I'm with Camilla: what in the world is hanging from Angelina Jolie's ears? And I don't like her dress either. For that matter, I don't like Nicole Kidman's (her presenter) dress either. Though kudos to Angelina, but she seems genuinely pleased that Kate Winslet won. Then again, she is an actress.

-I'm starting to think this Highlights Show is the way forward. I would be on my fifth cup of coffee by now, when they present the Best Actor award.

-Michael Douglas has won an Oscar?? (A quick check of IMDB shows that he's won TWO, for "Wall Street" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.") Who knew.

-I'm glad Kate Winslet won. I wasn't sure about her dress at first, but it grew on me. Best of all, I loved her acceptance speech, especially when she asked her dad to whistle so she could find him in the crowd.

-I see that Brad and Angie got the "Jack Nicholson" seat: the one in the front row that the cameras always pan to. I guess Jack was busy.

-Why do they keep saying that "The Wrestler" is Mickey Rourke's big comeback role? Haven't they seen "Stormbreaker," released in 2006, when he played the baddie? (If you have any children under the age of 14, you should see it. It's James Bond for kids, and London looks GREAT in it.)

-I know Sophia Loren is beautiful and a legend, but she just looks really odd tonight. I don't know if she's been in the tanning booth too long or what, but she doesn't look good.

-I only saw two of the Best Picture nominees (but all of the Best Animated Features), but I loved, loved, loved "Slumdog Millionaire." I hope it gets everything, and the way it's looking now (with only two awards to go), it looks like it's going to be a romp for it.

-Gotta love that Danny Boyle channelled the "Spirit of Tigger" when accepting the Best Director Oscar. (That will make Mr. Movie especially happy, given that he is also a Tigger fan). Danny Boyle also swore on TV! He said Bloody! That's a bad word, Americans!!

-Why is Phillip Seymour Hoffman wearing a wool hat to the Oscars? Is it cold in Los Angeles?

-It's making me cry that they let all the "Slumdog" kids up on the stage when it wins Best Picture. Utterly fantastic. If you haven't yet seen it, go. It was so good (sad and horrorific and gut-wrenching, yet good at the same time), I was sad to see it end.

Until next year, when perhaps I will Live Blog the Red Carpet, but not the ceremony. Not when I can get it over and done with in 90 minutes.

Go see Slumdog.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Snow! Snow! Snow!

Surveying the slope.

A wayward kite gets caught in a tree.

This was on a gate this morning, but there's much, much more now.

Last night, when I didn't think it would last, we went on a snowy walk through Greenwich rather than doing our homework. It was a good choice, but only the beginning of the snow.

Superlative Snow Day

Our day started at midnight, with Mr. MarathonMum and me, sitting on the sofa cheering on the Steelers in the Super Bowl on the other side of the Atlantic. We were positive, cocky even, that the game would result in a W at that point. Three hours later, we weren't so sure. But after some fantastic work by Big Ben (the quarterback, not the clock) and the sure footedness of Santonio Holmes, the Steelers won. Before heading off to bed at 3:45 a.m. (that's some dedidation for Steeler Nation), we admired the snow outside, and it looked beautiful.

When we woke up, there was even more snow on the ground. We sang "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." I don't know who was more excited that school was closed for a snow day: me or the boys. We headed to the park and had a blast flirting with a trip to the A&E as we sledded down the steepest hill in Greenwich Park. Snow has continued throughout the day, so it's likely school will be cancelled again tomorrow.

In the movie "Groundhog Day," Bill Murray has to relive Feb. 2 over and over and over again. Can I relive this Feb. 2? It's been fantastic.

I don't know how long this fun will last, but for now, we're having a blast!