The lovely and talented Mrs. Azgreenday is always showing us old black and white movies, no doubt hoping that we’ll take a cue from the leading men and be more romantic.

She’ll have to let us know how that’s working out for her.

In any case, she thought we might appreciate the Jimmy Stewart classic “You Can’t Take It With You,” which, oddly enough won the best picture Oscar for 1938.

We say oddly enough because it was up against ‘Wee Wee Monsieur,” the immortal Three Stooges classic where they join the French Foreign Legion, and “Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb, ” the first Stooges film to use the classic collapsing bunk beds gag.

How those were overlooked by the Academy Philistines is nothing short of scandalous, but we digress.

In the movie, Jimmy sits  in the moonlight with Jean Arthur, trying to get her to show him her tattoos when all of the sudden he starts rhapsodizing about his dream of harnessing the sun’s energy:

“There’s a tiny little engine in the green of this grass and the green of the trees that has the mysterious gift of being able to take energy from the rays of the sun and store it up,” he says.  “If we could find the secret of all those millions of little engines in the green stuff, we could make big ones and then we could take all the power we could ever need right from the sun’s rays.”

We fell asleep before we could find out whether Jean fell for such a lame-o rap, but still it was kind of cool to hear people talking about solar in 1938.

We did some poking around and found out that Capra was actually a little late to the game. None  other than Thomas Edison, the guy they named all the electric companies for,  spent a lot of time finding alternative energy sources for that first bulb, including wind power.

As early as 1912 he spoke about the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, and in a famous conversation with Henry Ford in 1931, he said solar was the technology of the future.

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy, he said. “What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

Unfortunately we’re still waiting. Let’s just hope it didn’t take Jimmy as long to get to see Jean Arthur’s tramp stamp. Or that it doesn’t take as long for Mrs. Azgreenday to find romance.

— John D’Anna


Our friends at The Daily Green point out two new studies that show hurricanes are getting bigger and stronger.

Of course this has long been heralded as a consequence of climate change and indeed is foretold of in The Book of Revelations, although you have to read through lots of stuff about trumpets, famine and pestilence to find it. We think it’s in the chapter with the seven seals – or were they sea lions?

Anyway, we digress.

One study shows that Atlantic hurricanes are more numerous and intense than anytime in the last 1,000 years, or roughly since Larry King started looking like a lizard.

The other one, however, counters that while there appear to be more hurricanes and tropical storms, particularly in the last century and a quarter, it may be because we have better technology to track them with.

We’re sure there’s a lot of other important stuff in the studies, but frankly there a lot of big words for us to sound out and we got distracted by the list of names for the upcoming hurricane system.

Bill? Claudette? Larry?

Seriously? When was the last time you were menaced by someone named Claudette?

We think they ought to hire the guy who comes up with all the MMA nicknames, like Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson or Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva.

Either that, or come up with some names that will get people’s attention.

Here’s a few we’d like to see:

1)      Otis. A nod to our brothers on the copy desk – easy to fit into a headline and reminds of Otis Sistrunk – a guy you wouldn’t want to see across from you on the line of scrimmage.

2)      Cherry.  She’s the chick in Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse who has her leg amputated by zombies and replaced with a prosthetic machine gun. You wouldn’t want to mess with her.

3)      Tony. Yeah, there’s the whole Sopranos thing, but we’re thinking Tony Twist, one of the greatest fighters the National Hockey League ever saw.

4)      Sookie. She sleeps with vampires in True Blood. ‘Nuff said.

5)      Tito. As in Ortiz. See the above MMA reference. We hear he’s coming back to the UFC.

6)      Sigourney. She was badass in Alien.

7)      Boris. The name screams KGB, and if that doesn’t instill fear, there’s always Karloff.  Or Badenov.

8)      Brody after Brody Dalle, lead singer of the Distillers.  She just sounds like someone who’d bring a gun to a knife fight.

9)      Henry. As in Hill. You got a problem with that?

10)  Insert name of your mother-in-law here. You know why.

— John D’Anna