Posts Tagged ‘Roger Ebert

22
Apr
14

4.22.14 … On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” – Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, Animated in Motion Graphics,  Brain Pickings:  Happy Earth Day!

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

via Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, Animated in Motion Graphics | Brain Pickings.

 ‘Artisanal’ Toast, The Salt : NPR: 

The TIY Verdict

If you’re looking for a delicious treat — and a few extra calories — try pan-fried toast. To impress your friends, pull out the blowtorch. And when you’re stuck in a motel room and get a hankering for toast, the coffee maker should do the trick.

Or just wait for a toastery to open up in your neighborhood.

via We Didn’t Believe In ‘Artisanal’ Toast, Until We Made Our Own : The Salt : NPR.

Worth sticking with one airline?, Atlanta Forward, frequent flyer miles: 

Maybe, just maybe, more customers will make a rational decision about their next flight itinerary — not one distorted by a pathological obsession with miles, but based on ticket price and convenience. A veil is slowly being lifted from the traveling public, and at last, they’re seeing loyalty programs for what they really are: habit-forming schemes that impair your ability to make a clear-headed decision about travel and that almost always benefit the travel company more than you.

via Worth sticking with one airline? | Atlanta Forward.

Cloud Photo Storage, Family Pictures, WSJ.com: 

In my hunt for the best cloud photo option, five services stood out: Dropbox, Flickr, Shutterfly, SmugMug and the powerful yet clumsy combination of Google GOOGL +1.14% Drive and Google+. In the end, only Flickr managed to satisfy all my requirements, though SmugMug was a close second

via Cloud Photo Storage: The Best Ways to Bank Family Pictures – WSJ.com.

Survivalist Seder, Passover, go bags: Loved this!

That all changed Monday night, when he decided to use the first night of Passover to talk openly about emergencies and evacuation and disaster “without delving into paranoia and fear.”

Aaron had been thinking for a while now that for Passover, which comes with its own stash of basement boxes—foods and dishes to be used only for eight days a year—we’re all forced to create what he calls “a mini household in a closet.” And the Passover story, at least as he thinks about it, is really all about leaving home quickly in an emergency, with only the stuff you can carry.

So Aaron sent out an email to our Seder guests simply asking “for everyone (kids included) to take some time this week packing a ‘bag’ of your necessities if you had to pack up and leave your home as our ancestors did. The only requirement is that it should be something that you could reasonably carry without having to ask someone else to do it for you.” It was our first ever Emergency Preparedness Seder. We will probably do it again next year (if we make it to next year).

via Survivalist Seder: This Passover, we packed go bags..

 George F. Kennan’s Diaries, Reviewed, New Republic: Worth your time …

He is a relic of the nineteenth century, a misfit in modern times. The achievements of science, medicine, and technology leave him cold; he sees only the defilement of nature wrought by the automobile, and the corruption of the spirit brought on by consumer society, whose blight he laments with numbing frequency. (“With all due effort to avoid exaggerated pessimism and over-dramatization,” he writes, in a typical passage, from 1978, “I can see no salvation for the U.S. either in its external relations nor in the development of its life internally.”) From urban decay to the decline of the schools, from the media’s crass commercialism to sexual libertinism, he sees all about him a decadent society—late Rome—offering grounds only for hopelessness.

via George F. Kennan’s Diaries, Reviewed | New Republic.

Indy churches,  share spirit — and their space: 

Nesting, where a congregation welcomes another flock to share its home, isn’t new, but it’s a growing trend as churches face challenging demographic and financial changes. The sharing is sometimes between an established church with a dwindling membership and a newer church that can’t afford a building, although some established and healthy churches do it as an outreach, a Christian helping hand.

via Indy churches share spirit — and their space.

 Ender’s Game Movie, Roger Ebert: I actually liked it.  Worth a Redbox rental.

The movie version of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” is way too kind, and the drama suffers greatly for it. The movie packs too much plot into 114 minutes and has serious pacing issues, and because its makers don’t have a eye for spectacular set pieces, it never looks as grand as it should. But the film’s biggest problem is a matter of tone and characterization: the characters constantly talk about how mean they can be, but their actions suggest otherwise.

via Ender’s Game Movie Review & Film Summary (2013) | Roger Ebert.

Veriditas, labyrinths, history:

The labyrinth design used by Lauren Artress is a replica of the Eleven-circuit Medieval Labyrinth from Chartres Cathedral in France. This pattern, made of Beauce quarry stone and an unnamed black stone to delineate the path, was inlaid into the stone floor in 1201. For the last 250 years, however, it has been forgotten and covered with chairs until Artress led a small group of people into Chartres cathedral to remove the chairs to experience the meditative walk first hand.

After her experience in Chartres, she returned home to Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, painted the design on canvas and opened it to the public. In 1994 the indoor tapestry labyrinth — open during cathedral hours — was installed and in 1995 the outdoor terrazzo labyrinth — open 24 hours a day — was installed in the Melvin E. Swig Interfaith Meditation Garden. Literally millions of people have walked these labyrinths. In the summer of 2007, Grace Cathedral replaced the tapestry labyrinth with a beautiful new limestone and marble labyrinth in the floor of the cathedral.

After introducing the labyrinth through the International Transpersonal Association in Ireland in 1994 and to Switzerland, Germany in 1995, her work began to focus intensely in both Grace Cathedral and Chartres Cathedral. She has led workshops around the United States, Canada, the UK and Europe. In 1997 she began to train facilitators to present the labyrinth in their communities. Now, over 4000 people have been trained in this transformational work.

Labyrinths are currently being used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, recover a balance in life, and encourage meditation, insight, self-reflection, stress reduction, and to discover innovation and celebration. They are open to all people as a non-denominational, cross-cultural blueprint for well-being. The practice of labyrinth walking integrates the body with the mind and the mind with the spirit. They can be found in medical centers, parks, churches, schools, prisons, memorial parks, spas, cathedrals and retreat centers as well as in people’s backyards.

Go to our world wide labyrinth locator to find a labyrinth near you!

via Veriditas – About the Labyrinth.

South Africa’s Pistorius trial, Justice, The Economist:  So is this a trial of a society.

Campaigners highlight what they see as South Africa’s dangerous proliferation of firearms. The trial has brought to light several incidents when Mr Pistorius carelessly fired a gun in public, once in a crowded restaurant, another time out of his car’s sunroof after an argument with a policeman.

Some thus see him as a product of the country’s malignly macho gun culture. A string of South African men have recently shot family members after apparently mistaking them for intruders. But others point out that the number of guns in South Africa has fallen sharply since the end of apartheid in 1994 to 12.7 per 100 people, not least because stricter laws were enacted in 2000. In comparison, Americans on average own one gun per head of population. Britain has 6.7 per 100.

When Mr Pistorius declared in his testimony, “I shot out of fear,” he became the voice of many white South Africans. They tend to see themselves as living in the shadow of violent crime, retreating behind high walls, electric fences and steel doors. From there they can summon private security guards, who are twice as numerous as policemen, by pressing a panic button.

The trial has revived a long-running debate about other aspects of crime. South Africa’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world: 30.9 for every 100,000 people, compared with 4.7 in the United States. Yet the rate has fallen by half in the past 15 years. Rich whites, the most fearful among South Africans, are actually the least endangered. Most victims are poor and black.

via South Africa’s trial: Justice, after all, is being done | The Economist.

Bubba Watson,  $148 Tip at Waffle House, Bleacher Report: You rock, Bubba!

But that’s just “Bubba being Bubba,” according to USA Today. So it was hardly a surprise when Watson celebrated this year’s Masters victory win with a trip to Waffle House. He tweeted a selfie with his wife and some friends on that evening.

And it was even less surprising when Meg Mirshak of The Augusta Chronicle reported he was more than generous with the tip he left:

A waitress told a customer Tuesday morning that Watson left a $148 tip on the bill. When asked to confirm the amount, Knotts declined to say how big the tip was but said three employees split the money.

‘It was above and beyond what would have normally been shared,’ [manager Ken] Knotts said. ‘Bubba was just so gracious about everything.’

Steak n’ Shake franchise owner Preston Moss said Watson left a $24 tip on his milkshake bill.

Watson has become one of the most likable players in the game, and his dominance at Augusta means he’s one of the better players, too. Big things will be expected of Watson, and the golf world eagerly awaits to see if he can win another major outside of the Masters.

We are still awaiting a dynamic personality in golf in the post-Tiger-Woods-dominance era, and Watson is a colorful figure who is easy to root for. But we also partly cheer for him because, let’s be honest, we’re all a bit curious to see where Bubba might celebrate next.

via Bubba Watson Reportedly Leaves $148 Tip at Waffle House | Bleacher ReportA.

 

 Mt Everest Avalanche:

The avalanche struck around 06:45 local time (01:00GMT) in an area known as the “popcorn field”, just above Everest base camp at an elevation of 5,800m (19,000ft), an official told the BBC.

via Everest avalanche: Ten climbers missing (Video/Photos) – Newsfirst.

 Miniversion of Wrigley, Freeport,  chicagotribune.com: Love this one, too!

ct-little-cubs-field-talk-20140419-001

Little Cubs Field is a miniversion of Wrigley Field, including everything from the green scoreboard to the WGN press box and even a Harry Caray statue.

The park, about one-quarter the size of Wrigley, is used for youth baseball and other Freeport functions. Wrigley’s been around for a century. Little Cubs Field is starting its seventh season.

Little Cubs Field was Garkey’s brainchild. In 2002 he pitched to the local park district his dream as a place where kids could play ball, but it took a village to build it and continue improving on it, he said.

via Miniversion of Wrigley a hit in Freeport – chicagotribune.com.

Shakespeare, Davidson College, Radio Play Live on WDAV, Davidson College:

“Performing Shakespeare,” a seminar regularly taught at Davidson College by Dana Professor of English Cynthia Lewis, has been reimagined for the airwaves.

The title of the course was changed to “Radio Shakespeare,” indicating that the class will be presenting the playwright’s work on the radio rather than on the stage.

Lewis’s students will perform a broadcast of The Merchant of Venice for a live audience at the college’s radio station, 89.9 FM WDAV, at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 26. This production of the Elizabethan classic harkens back to the heyday of radio drama, and occurs on the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s baptism.

Bracketing the live broadcast on April 26, Lewis’s radio Shakespeareans also will present performances before studio audiences at WDAV on Friday, April 25 and Monday, April 28. WDAV engineers will record the three performances in the studio and compile the strongest elements from each into a single podcast, which will be available for download.

The “Radio Shakespeare” students also will present another, non-recorded staged reading of The Merchant of Venice at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 27, at “Pian del Pino,” the Italian Renaissance-style villa of Margaret Zimmermann and Price Zimmermann, a former academic dean at Davidson.

The public is invited to all four performances, but space is limited. Contact Radio Shakespeare with reservation or information requests.

via Shakespeare Students Will Perform Radio Play Live on WDAV – Davidson College.

 Chicken Thigh Recipes,  Bon Appétit:  Favorite piece of chicken …

Chicken Thigh Recipes Slideshow

via Chicken Thigh Recipes Slideshow – Bon Appétit.

14
Jul
13

7.14.13 … worst airports … “the only alternative is to become guest of honor at the crematorium” … 10 Degrees South … Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ … “To thine own self be true” … RIP, Finn … I am J.K. Rowling …

Beijing, World’s Worst Airports, lists, WSJ, kith/kin:  My personal experience supports this.

Stories of travel in Chinese airports are a horror genre in their own right, and with good reason: When it comes to on-time arrivals or departures, the country’s airports are literally the worst in the world.

According to FlightStats, which tracks airport statistics, Beijing’s airport ranks dead last among the world’s top 35, with fully 82% of flights failing to leave on time. Second worst was Shanghai, at 71%.

Such chronic tardiness has led to periodic passenger meltdowns and even physical altercations. Last year, the country’s Civil Aviation Administration was prompted to issue a circular urging officials to maintain better order and ensure that overexcited passengers who vent their rage by “smashing counters and rushing onto runways” are punished.

Even Hong Kong, which prides itself o

via Beijing, Shanghai World’s Worst Airports for Delays – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Malala Yousafzai, United Nations, education of women, worth watching:

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, celebrated her 16th birthday Friday at the United Nations by demanding that world leaders provide free

via Malala Celebrates 16th Birthday With UN Address – YouTube.

The Quartet , Roger Ebert:  Who recommended The Quartet?  With lines like, “the only alternative is to become guest of honor at the crematorium,” I am not not so sure …

In a luxurious British retirement home for retired musicians, two questions circle each other. One involves former opera stars who were once married, long ago and briefly. The other is about a gala that may be able to raise enough money to keep the home from closing.

We understand that these characters made a lot of money in their lifetime and can afford this expensive retirement. But practical details at Beecham House are murky. There seem to be no elevators, and all the octogenarian residents, even Jean with her hip replacement, use the stairs. The staff consists of the supervisor and a few nurses. We understand why that would be enough for the stage, but Hoffman’s film accepts all the limitations of a stage play and just doesn’t care. It’s curious, for example, that not a single one of the residents seems to have a single relative. No children. No grandchildren. Nobody.

This movie will no doubt be pitched to the same audiences that loved “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It even brings Maggie Smith along. But it lacks that film’s life, intelligence and spirit. It has a good heart. I’ll give it that. Maybe what it needs is more exotic marigolds.

via Quartet Movie Review & Film Summary 2012 | Roger Ebert.

10 Degrees South, restaurants, Atlanta GA: South African restaurant … very good. 🙂

BOBOTIE SPRING ROLLS $8.50sweet ground beef curry, served with chutney.

BILTONG $10.00cured beef slices.

CALAMARI $9.00grilled and tossed in lemon caper butter sauce.

LOLLIPOP LAMB CHOPS $14.00 two marinated chops, served over mashed potatoes.

via 10 Degrees South menu – Atlanta, GA 30342 – (404) 705-8870.

JK Rowling Pseudonym, Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’:

The novel was published in April by Sphere in the UK – the same imprint at Little, Brown as her first fiction novel after Harry Potter, The Casual Vacancy. Set in London, it features a one-legged private detective called Cormoran Strike, who is hired to investigate the death of a supermodel called Lula Landry. The book’s description on Amazon says “You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.”

Harry Potter fan site The Leaky Cauldron says the book has so far sold just 1,500 copies, and that a second Galbraith book is to be published next year. Update: Since the news broke, New Statesman reports that the book’s Amazon sales have gone up more than 150,000%.

via JK Rowling Pseudonym: Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ Is Actually By Harry Potter Author.

Born in 1968, Robert Galbraith is married with two sons. After several years with the Royal Military Police, he was attached to the SIB (Special Investigation Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for protagonist Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who have returned to the civilian world. ‘Robert Galbraith’ is a pseudonym.

via JK Rowling Pseudonym: Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ Is Actually By Harry Potter Author.

Ten things, freshman,  college, lists, http://www.ajc.com, worth reading:

10. Use this time to plan for your future.

“Know thyself” (Socrates), “To thine own self be true” (Shakespeare), and “Just do it” (Nike) are good words to live by, Appleby said.

“College is a time to explore and get to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, dreams and passions,” he said. “If you do that, you’ll make a plan to take the courses that will help you be who you want to become.”

via Ten things that every freshman needs to know about college | www.ajc.com.

RIP, Finn, 

Cory Monteith, ‘Glee’ : Sad …

 

Cory Monteith, the handsome young actor who shot to fame in the hit TV series “Glee” but was beset by addiction struggles so fierce that he once said he was lucky to be alive, was found dead in a hotel room, police said. He was 31.

Monteith, who played the character Finn Hudson on the Fox TV series about a high school glee club, was found dead in his room on the 21st floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel on Vancouver’s waterfront at about noon Saturday, according to police.

Deputy Police Chief Doug Lepard said there was no indication of foul play. Monteith’s body was found by hotel staff after he missed his check-out time, Lepard said.

“We do not have a great deal of information as to cause of death,” Coroner Lisa Lapointe said.

Lepard said Monteith had been out with people earlier and that those people are being interviewed.

“I have no words! My heart is broken,” Dot-Marie Jones, who plays football coach Shannon Beiste on “Glee,” said in a post on her Twitter account Saturday night. She called Monteith a “hell of a friend” and an “amazing” man.

via Cory Monteith, Star of Hit Show ‘Glee,’ Found Dead – ABC News.

Twitter, favorites:

Jane Austen ‏@DailyJaneAusten 3m

“It is not every man’s fate to marry the woman who loves him best.” ― Jane Austen, Emma

via Twitter.

Albert Brooks Verified account@AlbertBrooksFilmmaker, actor, author Albert Brooks. Originally joined Twitter to promote my book. Now trapped. Cant get out. Help. http://amzn.to/gUl6Fb

I am J.K. Rowling.

via 12 Twitter.

17
May
13

5.17.13 … very random … let’s meditate on them …

meditation, integrative medicine program: 

unlikely prescription: meditation.

“I recommend five minutes, twice a day, and then gradually increase,” said Aditi Nerurkar, a primary-care doctor and assistant medical director of the Cheng & Tsui Center for Integrative Care, which offers alternative medical treatment at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. “It’s basically the same way I prescribe medicine. I don’t start you on a high dose right away.” She recommends that patients eventually work up to about 20 minutes of meditating, twice a day, for conditions including insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome.

Integrative medicine programs including meditation are increasingly showing up at hospitals and clinics across the country. Recent research has found that meditation can lower blood pressure and help patients with chronic illness cope with pain and depression. In a study published last year, meditation sharply reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke among a group of African-Americans with heart disease.

via Doctor’s Orders: 20 Minutes of Meditation Twice a Day – WSJ.com.

photography,  kith/kin: When great design and family antics catch your eye, capture the memories with photos that tell a story …

After you take the photo, bring it back home and make adjustments to the exposure, saturation and cropping. Read the info about your phone’s camera and practice using different settings. Use fun effects like those on Instagram. Lots of software programs and phone apps can help you make these adjustments, and many are free or low cost. Look into Pro HDR, Magic Shutter, Camera+ and other apps in your phone’s app store. GIMP has free photo retouching software, too.

via When great design and family antics catch your eye, capture the memories with photos that tell a story.

face of God, Christian community, Daily Meditation, Henri Nouwen:

 

The Mosaic That Shows Us the Face of God

A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself.

That is what our life in community is about. Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world. Nobody can say: “I make God visible.” But others who see us together can say: “They make God visible.” Community is where humility and glory touch.

via Daily Meditation: May 3, 2013 | Daily Meditation by Henri Nouwen.

Mt. Everest, climbing, Then and Now,  National Geographic:

 A lot has changed since the world’s tallest mountain was first climbed in the 1920s, when climbers donned reindeer fur boots and rusty steel crampons. See the evolution of gear and local culture in this gallery, then learn more in The Call of Everest from National Geographic Books. Next: See Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1953 gear compared to 2012 climber Hilaree O’Neill’s.

via Everest Climbing Gear—Then and Now – National Geographic.

The Avengers, movies,  reviews, Roger Ebert:

 Avengers however do share the same time and space continuum, although in recent years, they’ve been treated in separate, single-superhero movies. One assumes the idle Avengers follow the exploits of the employed ones on the news.

“The Avengers,” much awaited by Marvel comics fans, assembles all of the Avengers in one film: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, the Black Widow and Hawkeye. This is like an all-star game, or the chef’s sampling menu at a fancy restaurant.

viaThe Avengers Movie Review & Film Summary (2012) | Roger Ebert.

scripts, voice-over commentary, Downton Abbey, Poldark, Ellen And Jim Have A Blog, Two:  Loved this and I had completely forgotten about Poldark!

It may be much of the original cast is now dead most of the principals are, but I’ve listened to and watched a DVD of the 1963 Robert Wise film of Shirley Jackson’s Haunting, where what was left of directors and writers and the cast produced intelligent insightful features and voice-over commentary — I took substantial notes on how the film was made. I suspect Poldark as a film still suffers from its original labeling as “swash-buckling soap opera,” and its not having had a widely-prestigious and single auteur type instead many directors, writers, directors. By contrast, Downton Abbey now has had at least two books The World of, The Chronicles of and the first of three projected scripts produced.

via From the Scripts and Voice-over commentary: Downton Abbey | Ellen And Jim Have A Blog, Two.

 

14
Apr
13

4.14.13 … Life of Pi … gorgeous …

Life of Pi. movies, cinematography, film lit, Roger Ebert, French India: a boy, a tiger and a boat … that’s all i knew … And now that I have watched it, twice, I am still trying to figure it out.  The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous … but i had still had many questions after I’d watched  it twice.  I am motivated to read the book to really understand. Somethings I thought were interesting …”French India” being first and foremost.

Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” is a miraculous achievement of storytelling and a landmark of visual mastery. Inspired by a worldwide best-seller that many readers must have assumed was unfilmable, it is a triumph over its difficulties. It is also a moving spiritual achievement, a movie whose title could have been shortened to “life.”

via Life of Pi Movie Review & Film Summary (2012) | Roger Ebert.

French India is a general name for the French establishments set up by the French East India Company in India from the second half of the 17th century onward, and officially known as the Établissements français dans l’Inde from the resumption of French rule in 1816 to their de facto incorporation into the Union of India in 1949 and 1954.[1] They included Pondichéry, Cawnpore in Uttar Pradesh, Karikal and Yanaon on the Coromandel Coast, Mahé on the Malabar Coast, and Chandernagor in Bengal. French India also included several loges (subsidiary trading stations that all European East India companies maintained in a number of Indian towns), but after 1816 these were to be nominally French only.

The total area amounted to 510 km2 (200 sq mi), of which 293 km2 (113 sq mi) belonged to the territory of Pondichéry. In 1936, the population of the colony totaled 298,851 inhabitants, of which 63% (187,870) lived in the territory of Pondichéry.[2]

via French India – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

13
Apr
13

4.13.13 … bloody big ship …

art, SkyFall,  JMW Turner’s  The Fighting Temeraire, Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses, Bond Lifestyle, Roger Ebert:  Watching Skyfall for the second time … noticing some details.

.

The Fighting Temeraire in SkyFall James Bond

This oil painting painting is one of the most famous works by Turner. It depicts one of the last second-rate ships of the line which played a distinguished role in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the 98-gun ship HMS Temeraire, being towed towards its final berth in Rotherhithe south east London in 1838 to be broken up for scrap.

In 2005, The Fighting Temeraire was voted the greatest painting in a British art gallery. The painting gets some great screentime in SkyFall, so if you’re looking for an art print of this painting for your collection, check out cards, posters and canvas prints in all shapes and sizes of The Figthing Temeraire on the National Gallery’s website, Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

The painting hangs in Room 34 the National Gallery in London and that’s exactly where James Bond (Daniel Craig) is looking at it while waiting for Q (Ben Whishaw). Q, after sitting down next to Bond, talks about the painting:

Q: It always makes me feel a little melancholy. Grand old war ship, being ignominiously hauled away to scrap… The inevitability of time, don’t you think? What do you see?

James Bond: A bloody big ship.

Another artwork in SkyFall that clearly references to the issue of the relevance of MI6 and Bond, is the excerpt from the poem, read by M (Judi Dench) to the Minister during her hearing. The part read out loud is the last 5 lines of the poem Ulysses, by Lord Tennyson, written in 1842.

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

M admits to dislike poetry, but these lines are very much in line with Old vs. New theme in the movie. SkyFall has proven that the real world James Bond franchise is clearly not ready to yield, but seems stronger than ever.

via Art in SkyFall | Bond Lifestyle.

I will miss Ebert’s reviews …

In this 50th year of the James Bond series, with the dismal “Quantum of Solace” (2008) still in our minds, “Skyfall” triumphantly reinvents 007 in one of the best Bonds ever. This is a full-blooded, joyous, intelligent celebration of a beloved cultural icon, with Daniel Craig taking full possession of a role he earlier played well in “Casino Royale,” not so well in “Quantum” — although it may not have been entirely his fault. Or is it just that he’s growing on me? I don’t know what I expected. I don’t know what I expected in Bond No. 23, but certainly not an experience this invigorating.

via Skyfall Movie Review & Film Summary (2012) | Roger Ebert.

06
Apr
13

4.6.13 … Lincoln … Two Thumbs UP … I would like to be a cultural thinker … :)

Lincoln, movies, history: I knew I was going to see it, but waited  ’til it was out on DVD.  I wanted to watch it multiple times.  I friend’s son was in it … still looking for the dead soldier in the battlefield and his big shot as an escort (and his friend as a dancing extra at the ball). I thought the acting was very good, Lincoln especially.  Some  were still too much of themselves, or were they?

What really interested me was how little I knew about the history.  I now have a research project.  Where do I begin?

So from that standpoint alone, raising interest in history, I give Lincoln 2 thumbs up.  RIP, Roger Ebert.

There is an earlier shot, when it could have ended, of President Lincoln walking away from the camera after his amendment has been passed. The rest belongs to history.

via Lincoln :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.

Steven Spielberg,  Lincoln, The New Yorker:

I now think that I initially reacted to “Lincoln” the way that so many Radical Republicans reacted to Lincoln himself: I was demanding perfection, and pouting when perfection wasn’t forthcoming. But compromise is inevitable—in life, in politics, in movies. That’s one of the movie’s messages, and one of its meta-messages, too. On second viewing, I put aside the nitpicking. I realized that the very narrowness of my complaints was backhanded evidence of the enormous amount that the film gets right. And, indeed, virtually every point that the story and script of “Lincoln” makes is grounded in historical fact, even if the conventions and limitations of a theatrical film, especially one that eschews narrations and “crawls,” sometimes require awkward or contorted “exposition.” If some of the dialogue “sounds written” rather than spoken, that is because so much of it is drawn directly from letters, memoirs, and speeches. (Also, sometimes fact is stranger than fiction: for example, the scene with Tad that I describe above in item eleven turns out to be mostly true, although the theatre manager’s behavior was less callous, because his announcement came after the rumor had already spread throughout the theatre.)

There is no doubt about the integrity and seriousness of purpose of Spielberg and his screenwriter, Tony Kushner. They took on an immense, probably insuperable challenge. If they did not fully meet my hopes and expectations (nor, I suspect, their own), they succeeded in making a very fine film, one that has no equal, no parallel that I know of, in the entire movie canon. “Lincoln” will be watched for many decades to come. It will be a standard resource in high school and college curricula, a wedge to lure students into deeper inquiry. As for me, I’m looking forward to seeing “Lincoln” a third time when the DVD comes out. And maybe a fourth.

via What Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln Got Wrong, and What It Got Right : The New Yorker.

Roger Ebert, RIP, film criticism: cultural thinkers…

No one will be able to recreate Ebert’s unique path into so many people’s lives. But curious and teachable cultural thinkers are already charting new ones.

via What Will Roger Ebert’s Death Mean For The Future Of Film Criticism.

Roger Ebert, TEDTalk, TIME.com:  Worth watching …

The late Roger Ebert was always candid about his battle with thyroid cancer and the toll it took on his body. As his cancer progressed, Ebert lost his ability to speak and the once-voluble film critic was forced to grapple with the loneliness and the loss of identity he experienced over relinquishing his voice, but not his ability to communicate. Turning to social media and the internet, Ebert continued to assess movies with his trademark directness and wit, even chronicling his experience as a cancer patient in his blog, Roger Ebert’s Journal.

In a gripping TED2011 talk, Ebert spoke with the help of a computer voice, two close friends and his wife Chaz, about how the Internet and digital revolution gave him his voice back.

via WATCH: Roger Ebert’s TED Talk On Losing, and Regaining, His Voice | TIME.com.

 

24
Feb
13

2.24.13 … feasting on facebook …

Lent, organic smoothies, feast days:  On my feasting day, i saw this … maybe I should try it for a week and then see if I want to go back on …

Here’s a POWERFUL Healing Tonic to help reduce inflammation:

source:Jay Kordich Organic ALKALINE Powerhouse! (makes over 1 quart/ 32
ounces) 1 large (unwaxed) Cucumber (English) 2 Limes peeled 1 cup
Spinach 1 cup Parsley 1 Green Apple 6 ribs Celery 1 inch Fresh
Ginger Root If you drink a tonic like this DAILY, in 30 days you
will notice a big difference in your skin, in your daily challenges
with swollen fingers, hands and your digestion will improve. 90
days of juicing this way, the chronic inflammation you may be
experiencing WILL significantly decrease. Granted, you need to also
mirror your food habits by eating Alkalizing foods as well.
via Facebook.

history, historical films,  Argo, NYTimes.com: Since seeing Argo , I’ve wondered how
much was true.

This awards season, though, some
of the Dream Factory’s highest-profile contenders — “Lincoln,”
“Argo,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Django Unchained” — have been
subjected to unusually insistent fact-checking from journalists,
politicians and op-ed pontificators. Among the accusations:
Connecticut congressmen did not vote against the 13th amendment in
1865, as shown in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Iranian
Revolutionary Guards did not chase a plane carrying six American
Embassy workers down a Tehran airport runway in 1980, as they do in
the climax of Ben Affleck’s “Argo.” And a freed slave in 1858 did
not lay waste to a Mississippi plantation called Candyland to free
his German-speaking wife, as in Quentin Tarantino’s brazenly
fantastical “Django Unchained.” Arguments over these movies raise
familiar questions about art and its uses: Is art supposed to make
us better people, give us moral instruction, work toward the social
good or exist merely for our personal pleasure? Above all, does it
have to be true? When it comes to this recent crop of historically
informed movies, these eternal conundrums have been intensified by
an acute contemporary anxiety about the truth that has less to do
with how rightly or wrongly “Argo,” for instance, gets its facts
than with the crumbling monopolies on the truth held by
institutions like the government and the press. … Movies tend to
tell more than one story. “Argo” isn’t just about a thrilling
rescue: it is also about two powerful institutions — the American
movie industry and the Central Intelligence Agency — that are
masters of dissembling. … Given some of the stories that
politicians themselves have peddled to the public, including the
existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, such concern is
understandable. It can often seem as if everyone is making
stuff up all the time and in such a climate of suspicion and
well-earned skepticism — punctuated by “gotcha” moments of scandal
and embarrassment — movies are hardly immune. But invention remains
one of the prerogatives of art and it is, after all, the job of
writers, directors and actors to invent counterfeit realities. It
is unfair to blame filmmakers if we sometimes confuse the real
world with its representations. The truth is that we love movies
partly because of their lies, beautiful and not. It’s journalists
and politicians who owe us the truth. via The
History in ‘Lincoln,’ ‘Argo’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ –
NYTimes.com
.

Argo, BBC News:

The central element of the story sounds
incredible but is in fact true. The CIA cooked up a plan to spirit
the six out of the country on a scheduled flight from Tehrans
Mehrabad airport, masquerading as Canadians working on a
non-existent science-fiction film. via BBC
News – Argo: The true story behind Ben Afflecks Globe-winning
film

snark v. sweetness, Harvard Business Review: interesting …

Sweetness has a couple of faces. It expresses an openness to the world, a wish to be useful, an
innocence, a goodness, a guilelessness, a disinclination to insist
on your own interests. If there is a poster girl, it is Jess (Zooey
Deschanel), the female lead in New Girl, the new show from Fox. New
Girl turns out to be a veritable shrine to sweetness, as four
roommates rescue one another from the stream of misadventures with
madcap enthusiasm and a touching generosity.

Why sweetness? Well, we are coming out of an era of some darkness. We
seemed almost to celebrate skepticism and snark. We dwelt upon the
grimmest aspects of the human experience. TV and movie making were
increasingly ghoulish, with new standards of viscera and depravity.
Shows like CSI and NCIS dwell lovingly on the crime victim. Bright
lights and strategically placed towels protect our sexual
sensitivities, but everything else on the autopsy table is
enthusiastically examined. Once the standard bearer of
heartlessness, The Silence of the Lambs (1991) now looks a little
quaint. Since its release, we have seen a succession of werewolves,
vampires, serial killers, and human monsters of every kind. If you
are 40 or under, you’ve grown up on a steady diet of heartlessness.
via The Decline of Snark and the Return of Sweetness – Grant McCracken –
Harvard Business Review
.

Evolution Of Mom Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama), YouTube, LOL:

Evolution
Of Mom Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama) –
YouTube
.

In honor of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign, and to
encourage parents everywhere to get up and get moving with their
kids, Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama present the “Evolution of Mom
Dancing.” via Evolution
Of Mom Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama) –
YouTube
.

Smart Ass Cripple, twitter, Roger Ebert:  A tweet I just had to follow up …

Roger Ebert
(@ebertchicago)

2/23/13, 11:15 AM Smart Ass Cripple
gets the last laubit.ly/121KLdB

I’ve found a new way to
amuse myself, which, after all, is what life is all about.One Last
Laugh First, I picture some anthropologists about a thousand years
from now discovering my crippled skeleton. That makes me chuckle.
My skeleton will be a keeper for them because they’ll know right
away it belonged to a cripple.  It bears the ravages of
sitting on my ass all day. It’s twisted and bent. It’s contracted
up fetal. The bones are soupy soft. Sitting takes a toll. If God
intended for humans to sit on our asses all day, she would have
made us all Congressmen. But my body either sits in a wheelchair
(or on a crapper) or lies in bed. Every day I abuse my body by
making it get out of bed.

via Smart Ass Cripple: One Last Laugh.

history, literature, novels:  I feel stupid … I have not read any and have not even heard of all of them.  😦

According to the
novel’s liveliest, undisciplined, and most raucous traditions (and
to the word “novel”‘s etymology), the purpose of fiction is to
bring readers “news” of the real state of things as experienced and
expressed in everyday speech. The novel’s job is to reflect the
truth of our lives in common in a way that official and respectable
languages—whether these be Latin, law, economics, public policy,
cybernetics, or professional humanism (the list goes on and
on)—can’t. History is one of those respectable languages by which
we expect to be instructed in navigating the present by placing
that present within a story of grand human development headed
toward some benign purpose.

via 10 Books That Rewrite History.

Banksy, public art, ownership, Bloomberg:  Who owns it?  good question.

BBC News – ‘Banksy’ boy worker image on Poundland shop wall.The stencilled image depicts a poor child making Union Jack flags on a sewing machine and was located on the wall of a Poundland discount shop in the Wood Green area of north London. The work was later removed and was to be auctioned in Miami. It was withdrawn
moments before the auction. Photographer: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

via Bloomberg.

Michelle Obama’s Bangs, midlife crisis: .Michelle Obamas Bangs

Michelle Obama’s Bangs The Result Of Midlife Crisis? First Lady Jokes About Hair During Interview

via Michelle Obama’s Bangs The Result Of Midlife Crisis? First Lady Jokes About Hair During Interview.

Paul McIlhenny,  Tabasco,  RIP, NOLA.com:  RIP, Mr. McIlhenny.

Paul McIlhenny, an ebullient executive who for 14
years led the family-owned company that makes Tabasco sauce and who
reigned as Rex in 2006, died Saturday at his New Orleans home,
apparently of a heart attack. He was 68. Mr. McIlhenny, whom The
New York Times once called “The Scion of Spice,” became the
company’s president in 1998 — the sixth family member to hold that
title — and chief executive officer two years later. At his death,
he still held the latter position and also was chairman of the
board of directors, but a cousin, Anthony “Tony” Simmons, was named
president last year. The company, which was founded by Edmund
McIlhenny in 1868 on Avery Island, near New Iberia, sells Tabasco
sauce in about 165 countries and has 11 websites outside the United
States, in North and South America and Europe. During Mr.
McIlhenny’s years at the helm of the McIlhenny Co., he worked
aggressively to expand the number of items to which the familiar
Tabasco logo could be affixed. They include T-shirts, aprons,
neckties, teddy bears and computer screensavers, as well as seven
varieties of hot sauce. via Paul
McIlhenny, CEO of the company that makes Tabasco sauce, dies at 68
| NOLA.com
.

stress, health:

Roughly 25
percent of people say stress gives them an upset stomach or
indigestion, according to a survey by the American Psychological
Association. Here’s why: Prolonged anxiety slows digestion as your
nervous system directs its energy toward the organs and muscles
most critical to survival. This, in turn, can cause nausea,
constipation, cramping, and bloating.

via Side
Effects Of Stress: How Stressing Out Hurts Your
Body
.

Downton Abbey, Jane Austen, Journal of Victorian Culture Online:
Two of my favorites … linked …

But the connections between Downton Abbey and the
nineteenth-century novel (and Jane Austen’s novels in particular)
go far beyond the American penchant for indulging in the love
stories of “our betters” that come to pass while drinking high tea
in corseted costuming. Even a cursory glance at film adaptations of
Austen’s novels staring Downton Abbey actors reveals the
similarities between the events at Downton and the plots of
Austen’s novels. via Downton
Abbey & Jane Austen; Or, in Praise of Lady Mary | Journal
of Victorian Culture Online
.

The Pope, Twitter:  No surprise …

The Pope Is
Quitting Twitter

The Pope is giving up Twitter
when he leaves his office later this month. via The
Pope Is Quitting Twitter
.

House of Cards, NYTimes.com:  On my list to watch …

The Washington
that majestically unfurls in the credits for “House of Cards” is
recognizable to anybody who has spent time there. But even though
it can be a monumental kingdom filled with portent, it can also be
a fairly quotidian and sometimes ugly small town — but that’s not
the kind of place you make a huge, expensive television show
about.

An original series picked up and distributed by
Netflix, “House of Cards” is a great looking, lavishly made
13-episode series based on a BBC mini-series. It was developed and
produced by Beau Willimon, a guy steeped in politics as an aide to
Charles Schumer, Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton and who also wrote
“The Ides of March,” a film directed by George Clooney that got
high marks from politicos for its verisimilitude. “House of Cards”
revolves around Frank Underwood (played with lizard-like glory by
Kevin Spacey), a Democrat and House majority whip, who, when passed
over for a promotion to secretary of state wreaks revenge on all
who would lay him low. His willing partner is Zoe Barnes (played by
Kate Mara), a reporter/blogger at The Washington Herald, a
fictional establishment newspaper in the capital. via “House
of Cards”: Two reporters talk deconstruct the deck. –
NYTimes.com
.

apps ,
iPhone, Android , Digits – WSJ
:  I am such an iPhone loyalist … but I have friends that love their android …

When it comes to developing apps, the iPhone is
usually the first option. Look at apps like Instagram, which was
exclusive to the iPhone for an extended period of time before
landing on Android. But there are plenty of reasons to want to go
with an Android phone.

via Apps That Might Make You Want to Switch to Android – Digits -WSJ.

Danica Patrick, Daytona 500, firsts, kudos:  Congrats …

 

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Congratulations to Danica Patrick for becoming the first woman in history to win the Daytona 500 pole on Sunday.

via (1) Facebook.




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