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Speaking of tea parties . . .


“Alice in Wonderland,” Tim Burton’s reimagining of the Lewis Carroll tale, is doing more than setting box-office records for a 3-D movie. It’s serving as a showdown between two rival projector technologies.

On one side is the dominant format from RealD, a company in Beverly Hills. On the other: San Francisco’s Dolby Laboratories Inc., which rules the market for audio technology but remains an upstart in 3-D video.

U.S. theaters are using both companies’ equipment to show Walt Disney Co.’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which took in $116.3 million last weekend – a record premiere for a 3-D movie. While RealD accounts for most of the more than 2,000 screens playing the film, Dolby is counting on the movie to spotlight its technology, saying it provides better visuals without the need for special screens.

“We’re just getting started here,” said Josh Gershman, a spokesman for Dolby. “There’s a lot of room to grow.”

The rivalry stemmed from Dolby’s involvement in helping outfit theaters for 3-D in 2005, when Disney premiered “Chicken Little.” That film was the first with digital 3-D technology, letting audiences watch the sky fall off the screens into their laps.

This is one of those movies you shouldn’t wait to see on DVD because your television won’t do 3-D, even if you have high-def and you wear those funny glasses. Tim Burton is the only director with the imagination needed to make this film, Helena Bonham Carter is perfect as the Red Queen and Johnny Depp is performing the role he was born to play.

The Original Tea Partier

Doctor Grumpy:

The Mad Hatter is well known in English literature. He was created by Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) for the story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. An interesting side note is that the character was most likely based on a furniture dealer, and not a hatter.

The phrase “mad as a hatter” actually predated the story, and has an interesting neurological history.

Mercury is a metal with multiple human toxicities. It can affect many organ systems, and in sufficient amounts can cause brain damage. When this occurs common symptoms are memory loss, confusion, and behavioral changes.

Mercury poisoning is uncommon in modern medicine, but before it had been identified as a toxin it was commonly used in the cloth industry, in the manufacture of felt.

A hatter, obviously, is someone who makes hats. And in 18th & 19th century England, felt was commonly used in hats. So hatters had a fairly high level of exposure to mercury, and after several years of plying their trade they sometimes developed brain damage, and went “mad”. And that’s where the phrase came from.

Not all tea partiers are mad as hatters. Just the ones who think Obama is a socialist.


13 Responses

  1. LA Times:

    As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the “tea party” movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.

    “I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you,” she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.”

    But Thomas is no ordinary activist.

    She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.

  2. President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.”
    Jeebus…she is as bat-shit crazy as her husband…

  3. Saw it. Liked the artwork and Bonham-Carter. Thot the story was limp. It was off. Alice was kinda limp too. I like Depp but that dance at the end needed Men Without Hats type of music, not funky stuff.
    Ok, I’m picky. It could have been great. When it failed to be great, I was disappointed.
    But Brook *LOVED* it and I guess that’s all that counts.

  4. you shouldn’t wait to see on DVD because your television won’t do 3-D
    Unless you have a 3D TV and have specially formatted video streams with the 3D information in them.

    Loved the movie. But then I’m a crazy fan of that trio.

    The other tea party, not so much.

  5. myiq: are you a fan of Dr. Grumpy too, or was this just a coincidence? I love his site, especially when he writes about his family vacations.

  6. I bet he is perfect in this one!
    hi again Conf. & Co. missed ya!

    I love that picture of him as mad hatter.

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