Link Dump

Time is short this week, so a few quick links:
  • The 1,000 Greatest Films: Aggregated from 1,193 individual critics' and filmmakers' top-ten lists. They've got all sorts of different ways to look at the numbers, including a way to keep track of which ones you have seen. As you might expect, the list is diverse and somewhat contentious, with lots of foriegn films and some very questionable choices. There are tons of films I've never even heard of. The list is somewhat skewed towards older films, as they use some older lists (some of the lists used are as old as 1952), but then, that's still to be expected. Older films tend to get credit for their importance, and not as much because of their entertainment value today (I'm horribly understating this issue, which could probably use a blog entry of its own). As an aside, the list sometimes reads like the Criterion Collection catalog, which is pretty funny. I used the listkeeper site (which is pretty neat and might help make these type of memes a little easier to deal with), and I've apparently seen somewhere around 16% of the list. Given the breadth of the films covered in the list, I think that's pretty impressive (though I'll probably never get past 30%).
  • Shuttle Launch Seen From ISS: Photos of a Space Shuttle launch as seen from the International Space Station. Neato.
  • A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates: Ok, so this is a book comprised solely of a bunch of random numbers, and that's it. Nothing funny or entertaining there, except the Amazon reviewers are having a field day with it. My favorite review:
    The book is a promising reference concept, but the execution is somewhat sloppy. Whatever algorithm they used was not fully tested. The bulk of each page seems random enough. However at the lower left and lower right of alternate pages, the number is found to increment directly.
    Ahhh, geek humor. [via Schneier]
  • BuzzFeed: A new aggregator that features "movies, music, fashion, ideas, technology, and culture" that are generating buzz (in the form of news stories and blog posts, etc...). It's an interesting idea as it's not really a breaking news site, but it seems to have it's finger on the pulse of what folks are talking about (on the homepage now are sections on the Wii, PS3, Borat, and (of course Snoop Dogg's new line of pet clothing). It's not like Digg or Reddit, and thus it doesn't suffer from a lot of their issues (unless they branch out into politics and religion). I'm sure some people will try to game the system, but it seems inherently more secure against such abuse.
That's all for now.

Update: This Lists of Bests website is neat. It remembers what movies you've seen, and applies them to other lists. For example, without even going through the AFI top 100, I know that I've seen at least 41% of the list (because of all the stuff I noted when going through the top 1000). You can also compare yourself with other people on the site, and invite others to do so as well. Cool stuff.