1. "General Zod.net": Truth. Justice. Zod.
["Zod on "Easter": General Zod knows all about the eggs which the bunny is trying to hide from him!"]
2. "The Cape Crusader": On this week's release of Superman II: The Richard Donner cut.
["Today's technology helped smooth out the re-edit, but there's only so much that could be done and there are a few clunky spots. And for a casual moviegoer who hasn't seen "Superman II" lately, they may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Aside from the gunplay scene and an opening sequence at the Daily Planet, plenty of the changes will fly right over the head of everyone except true believers. (A quick test: Does it make your heart beat faster to know that this time the bad guys destroy the Washington Monument, not Mt. Rushmore?)"]
3. "How Americans Are Living Dangerously": Jeffrey Alter's Time Magazine cover story.
["To probe the risk-assessment mechanisms of the human mind, Joseph LeDoux, a professor of neuroscience at New York University and the author of The Emotional Brain, studies fear pathways in laboratory animals. He explains that the jumpiest part of the brain—of mouse and man—is the amygdala, a primitive, almond-shaped clump of tissue that sits just above the brainstem. When you spot potential danger—a stick in the grass that may be a snake, a shadow around a corner that could be a mugger—it's the amygdala that reacts the most dramatically, triggering the fight-or-flight reaction that pumps adrenaline and other hormones into your bloodstream."]
4. "A Latino 'Spanking'": By Arian Campo-Flores for Newsweek.
["After making gains among Latino voters for three election cycles in a row, the GOP suffered a sobering reversal in this month's midterm elections. Exit polls show that Republican candidates won only 30 percent of the Hispanic vote—the fastest-growing segment of the electorate—while Democrats garnered 69 percent. Compare that with 2004, when President George W. Bush captured at least 40 percent of that vote. While Latinos were just as concerned about Iraq and the economy as the electorate generally, according to surveys, they were more driven than usual by immigration. A poll by Lake Research Partners found that half of Latino voters considered immigration important to their vote this year. Many Hispanics were clearly turned off by GOP congressional candidates like Randy Graf in Arizona, who vilified illegal immigrants. "Those candidates got the spanking they needed," says Lionel Sosa, Bush's longtime Latino ad man. "We as a party got the spanking we needed.""]
5. "A Folly, Two Misses, One Huge Loss": The latest writings from Fernando F. Croce, a terrific West Coast-based critic.
["I am moved by follies. Artists leave themselves exposed when they go off the deep end, vulnerable to ridicule yet closer to emotional truth—there is a feel of personal nakedness that makes pissing on a director's pet project to me akin to jeering at somebody's sallow daughter. The Fountain is Darren Aronofsky's sickly baby, complete with tumultuous pregnancy: origin as a Brad Pitt vehicle, reduced budget after studio cold-feet, delivery to festival divisiveness. People are either in awe or in stitches, I am told, and, whatever the faults, the film has the courage to offer itself frontally for the hosannas as well as the darts rather than seek the safety-net of crowd-pleasing pap. A Genesis quote segues into a glowing golden cross, then furry Hugh Jackman decked in conquistador regalia; jungle trekkers on a mission from Spain are skewered by native lances, a celestial orb glows in the sky as the hero climbs a Mayan pyramid to face a high-priest, who says "Death is the road to awe" before charging at him with a proto-flamethrower. Cut to Jackman, bald and in his jammies, orbiting through the cosmic void with the tree housing his beloved's soul. Cut (again) to Jackman as a modern-day scientific researcher whose wife (Rachel Weisz) gazes at dying nebulas and falls prey to the dreaded Ali McGraw Disease—nothing short of a cure for death is sought as the doctor insists on the force of love and awakens to the way Things Are Connected. (Of course they are: Weisz also plays Queen Isabella and sudden intergalactic apparitions, the film's title is the same as the dying wife's book finished by futuristic Jackman, and Aronofsky stitches them together with rhyming images and associative angles.)"]
"Links for the Day": Each morning, the House editors post a series of weblinks that we think will spark discussion. Comments encouraged.