Monday, November 9, 2009

Digging In - The Resonance Project

So there's this guy, Nassim Haramein, who developed the unified field theory. Along with it he created a video lecture series (a la Inconvenient Truth), and a couple of my friends have been trying to get me to watch it for a while now. The tipping point came today when the professor of my favorite class this semester suggested I check it out. So here I go, finally cracking the unified field theory. If you'd like to join me, go here for part 1. I know, it's a little cheesy, but here's a trailer.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Indie Film Watch - "Yellow Cake"

If you've been following news out of Iran, then you can probably guess that the title of this video "Yellow Cake" might have something to do with enriching uranium and nuclear proliferation. This animated short was described to me as Snow White meets The Battle of Algiers. There's definitely a lot of social commentary to pick up on the surface, but I would highly recommend a second or third viewing, because you'll catch something new each time. The piece was done by a Nickelodeon animator named Nick Cross, and has a running time of about 9 minutes. So here it is, Yellow Cake by Nick Cross.

Yellow Cake from Nick Cross on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Indie Film Watch - "Asshole"

Here's the Sundance short film "Asshole" from proud New Yorker, Gavin McInnes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shadiest Batteries Ever?


I needed some AA batteries. It was late, so I knew the usual places wouldn't be open. I came across a slightly unsavory looking convenience store. Went in, asked for batteries, paid and went on my way. I got home, and got a chance to take a closer look at the batteries and I noticed that something wasn't quite right. First, all the asian script makes the batteries seem slightly unofficial. Second and most importantly, there's a fuzzy pink bunny wearing a yellow "Duracell" tank top. I'm pretty sure the only brand of battery to feature a fuzzy pink rabbit is Energizer. Ah well, I'm pretty sure they'll work just the same.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Streaming Movie of the Week - "RiP! A Remix Manifesto"

This week I'm picking a documentary about modern copyright. It looks at copy right, and creative commons in a very cultural and media savvy way. I think it's a great watch for everyone, especially for those with strong connections to the internet. It's also a pseudo biography on mash-up maestro Girl Talk, who is featured throughout much of the documentary. So here it is friends, "RiP! A Remix Manifesto."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brief Thoughts

A public health system in America simply will not work. It's totally true, in fact, 9 out of 10 people that have absolutely no idea what they're talking about agree.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Editing Photos - What Have I Been Missing?!

So, I recently got a 17" MacBook Pro, and suddenly I see the world differently. Lights are brighter, colors clearer, edges more defined... in my photographs that is. I kept reading about all this work people did on their photos after they took them, but I had no idea what they were doing. So I was flipping through my photos in iPhoto (it's a Mac thing, no big deal) and I noticed a little button that said "Edit." I though "what a novel idea, editing photos." I picked a picture I took a while back and away I went, and subsequently, never plan to return. First there was the RGB scale, sliding the bars up and down effortlessly, as if a Ouija board guiding me to the perfect spot. Then, a tri-force of tuning; EXPOSURE, CONTRAST, SATURATION! What wonders! What idle hands could have crafted such witchcraft. Then definition, followed by highlights, and on and on until resting at de-noise. My breaths short, and my heart beats shorter I thought surely that was it, surely there couldn't be more... but then, there it was. Each letter sounded a symphony as I read it in my head, "Temperature." Doth mine eyes deceive me? With all disregard for my cardio-vascular systems, I slid the slider a cool, or should I say hot, 10 degrees to the right. I did not see a warning when I received my MacBook, I did not feel empty inside, yet I knew my soul had to have been taken, because this could only be the work of the devil himself. Beauty; simple and uncompromising. I am in love... with editing my photos.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Indie Film Watch - "A Spare Moment"

This beautiful short comes from a very close friend that I've worked with on a few projects. His name's Sunny and I found "A Spare Moment" to be very true to life. I'm a big fan of calm and quiet video pieces, especially when they're shot in HD. Great work Sunny.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Indie Film Watch - "Death to the Tinman"

Here's a student's short film I came across on my travels through the internet. It's called "Death to the Tinman," and I wish I had something like this under my belt. It's a little weird, maybe even a little creepy, but it's also a lot of fun to watch. Enjoy (hopefully).


Watch Death to the Tinman in Entertainment  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Adventures in (Un)questionable Eating

My normal questionable eating post involves some less than savory meals that come from a general lack of effort or ingredients... or both. This time around, however, I actually made a proper meal with all sorts of ingredients. I took the recipe from a book series I'm currently knee deep in. The book series is The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, and the meal is called Spice Soup. Mr. Goodkind actually had the original recipe up on his site that he created some years before writing the books but worked it in. Here we go...

1. The Ingredients

2. The Spice -
Frying some peppers in oil. After letting the peppers brown and release their heat into the oil. Then take out the peppers. We'll be mixing the oil in with the main soup.


3. More Flavor-
After taking out the peppers I put in the mushrooms and onions to saute everything for a bit.

4. Chop Chop -
I chopped up some pototaoes, carrots, celery, and zuchini.

5. So Much -
To the pepper oil, mushrooms and onions I added all the chopped ingedients along with a bag of frozen corn. This turned out to be more than this pot could handle...

6. Relocation -
So I moved to a cauldron and added a half head of cabbage.

7. Blood Red -
To the mix I added a large can of diced tomatoes.

8. Even More Flavor -
Here's where the soup bit comes in. I added a container of chicken stock.

9. Mix It Up -
Give everything a good stir.

10. Stew It -
I then let it simmer on the stove for about 3 hours.

11. Killing the Time -
While stewing and stirring I decided to do some reading. And in light of the situation, I was reading book 4 from the Sword of Truth series from which this soup came.

12. Sights & Sounds (sadly no smells) -
Here's a video of what I was listening to and looking at for the time it was simmering. It half looks and sounds delicious, but it also sounds kinda creepy. Yum!
video

13. And Then -
After simmering for a while, this is what it looked like.

14. Can I Get Some Herbs or What? -
For a finisher while I let it sit, I added some green parsley.

15. Enjoy!


In retrospect there are a few things I would have done differently. I would have used Chicken Base instead of Chicken Stock. The base is better for tweaking how much chicken flavor you get, slightly more complicated, but the soup could have used a little more punch. To the oil, in the beginning, I should have added some garlic for a little more body. I found that added a little vinegar to a bowl really helped. I think I would also have used more peppers to the oil just to add a little spice and heat. Overall though, I'm really happy that I made the soup. Now when I'm reading, and he describes sitting around a fire waiting to enjoy a hot bowl of Spice Soup, I'll know exactly what he means.

Here is Terry Goodkind's original recipe: http://www.sword-of-truth.com/spice-soup




Monday, June 22, 2009

"Octahedron" - Mars Volta's 5th


The ground is blue, the sky is a burning red. In the blue earth, you come across an eight sided object. The Octahedron. As soon as you touch it, a low electronic hum fills your mind. You recognize the sound your hearing as a precursor to commuincation with this object. Suddenly the object begins to levitate in front of you, and each side of the octahedron tells you their story. The last side of the octahedron tells a tale so harrowing and so wrought with despair and suffering that, when the story ends, you die.

That is the story I envisioned on my first listen to The Mars Volta's new album "Octahedron." In this, their 5th studio album, they've taken what might be called a more subtle approach... sort of. A lot more acoustic sounds, and a lot more moments of calm and quiet compared to their last album, "The Bedlam in Goliath." I say "subtle," but it is subtle in a very Mars Volta kind of way. As I described in the story above, the last track on the album brings a lot of action and sound. It ends in such a way that it feels like all the energy left in this Octahedron creature was expelled to bring you it's story. A story so powerful that it kills you at the end. That's one thing I love about all Mars Volta albums. The last tracks on the album are often, thematically, very much akin to the final act of a narrative. It is a sort of summation of what you have heard so far, with an extra dose of crazy heaped over the top. This album also continues to challenge my idea of when I should be bobbing my head to the music. Some parts seem as if they had a solid 4/4 chord progression but then added an extra upbeat on the end, just barely throwing you off. I got lost in the beat a couple times, but as soon as I started to pay attention to the snare drum, I found my way back. The snare drum was almost a safety line tied around my waste as I floated and spun around in the madness of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's creativity. I know the odd time signatures can be off putting to some, but I find it incredibly refreshing. I feel like the album, the music, and The Mars Volta are engaging me, rather than just allowing me to be a passive receiver. It makes me feel like they respect me as a listener, and for that, they will always get my support on release day. I can't wait to keep digging into this one. Marvelous.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Around Town: Wildly Innapropriate?

The billboard reads: "Child swallows toy. Gets cool X-Ray for show and tell. Great emergency care changes the story. Sparrow."

I was walking home from work one day and I saw the above billboard. It almost instantly struck me as innapropriate. At first I thought maybe I was just acting on some inbred-American knee jerk reaction to complain about everything. The more I thought it about it though, especially from a parents perspective, the billboard seemed callous. A child swallowing, or especially, chocking on a toy strikes me as a poor subject to make light of especially has a health care facility. If my child had been choking on a toy, and was then saved by a medical team, I would not think "Well at least we got this cool X-Ray." And a point my friend Dave brought up, I wouldn't want a kid to see the billboard and think "If I choke on my toy I can get a cool X-Ray." Were I actually a parent maybe I would think that children and the subjects surrounding them don't need to be treated so delicately, but I'm not a parent, and this billboard frustrates me. Maybe to hospital personnel, who have seen and experienced it all, these things don't seem that dramatic, but to the general public, I think those medical emergencies are still frightening.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Faith In Humanity (And My Lack There Of)

I am a regular reader of /Film (http://www.slashfilm.com). Today, they ran a story (link to original story) about a guy in his twenties that shot himself during a "Watchmen" screening. I didn't particularly think that the story warranted being on a film enthusiast site, but what do I know. I saw that there were over 60 comments on the story. I was a little worried what comments people could be leaving. I clicked through and read the comments. They left me with a disgusting feeling in my stomach, and tears running down my cheeks. Again, a kid has just killed himself. The headline of the story read: "24 Year Old Man Kills Himself During Watchmen Screening." Here are some of the comments:

"am i evil being that i could not stop laughing when i read that headline?"
- user gooso

"Haha"
- user Andrew Buckley

"damn that movie blew but come on man"
- unknown user

"So they employees had to clean up human bean juice? Eww...."
- user Homero Arellano

Recently, I've been trying not to swear, but what the fuck is wrong with you people? Supposedly, the thing that makes us inherently human is our ability to empathize, so should I waste time calling the comments inhumane when they are coming from non-humans? I just feel sick. I don't know what to think right now. One user, an employee at the theater, actually spoke up and I thank him for it:

"I work at that Regal and most of these comments are outrageously offensive. The fact that this story is posted and that people are making fucking jokes and laughing makes me sick to my stomach. This is a real story, that affected countless people and will forever change a place that my friends and I call our second home. The picture that accompanies this article completely disgusts me and is unbelievably disrespectful. If you don't have a heart, at least fake it for the sake of the rest of humanity.

My thoughts are with that man, his family and friends, the witnesses to this tragic event, and to all my fellow co-workers."
- user Static178

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuesday's With Eliza

Here's one of those pseudo-artificial intelligence programs. This one could use some work, but then again, so could I.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Looking (very) Forward: "Where The Wild Things Are"

Note: For best quality, watch it over at Apple Trailers



"Where The Wild Things Are," directed by Spike Jonze, has been in limbo for the past couple of years. There was even a stretch where is wasn't even going to be released. After years of not giving up though, Jonze finally has his release date. The wild things looks amazing. It gives me chills every time I see one in motion. This is also the first trailer, maybe ever, that has made me tear up. I love the book by Maurice Sendak, and I'm a big supporter of Spike Jonze. This is one of those stories that could have, in so many ways, turned out looking like shit, but it didn't. It looks amazing. It is more than I could have imagined. I cannot wait. So here I am, very very much, looking forward.

Looking Forward: Just Facts, No Fill.

Just to keep my public informed, here's a rundown of the summer blockbusters. I'm leaving the commentary out for now, because I am very tired at the moment.

May 1st - "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" [Trailer]

May 8th - "Star Trek" [Trailer]

May 15th - "Angels & Demons" [Trailer]

May 21st - "Terminator Salvation" [Trailer]

May 22nd - "Night At The Museum 2: Battle Of The Smithsonian" [No Trailer]

May 29th - "Up" [Trailer]

June 5th - "Land of the Lost" [Trailer]

June 12th - "The Taking of Pelham 123" [Trailer]

June 19th - "Year One" [Trailer]

June 26th - "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen" [Trailer]

July 1st - "Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs" [Trailer]

July 10th - "Bruno" [No Trailer]

July 17th - "Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince" [Trailer]

July 24th - "G Force" [Trailer]

August 7th - "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra" [Trailer]

August 21st - "Inglorious Basterds" [Trailer]

Monday, March 9, 2009

What Does It Mean? Does It Matter?

I was listening to the latest episode of "This American Life" and the theme of the show was "Human Resources." At the beginning, like any good documentary does, a history of the term "Human Resources" was given. They explained that human resources departments used to be called labor management, or some other such thing. The idea being that, psychologically speaking, the name "Human Resources" sounded to be more in the interest of the labor's well being and saw them as human beings rather than labor, or capital, or liability, or whatever. But now, and maybe always, I know exactly what human resources is. I know what they used to be called. I know that the name is illusory and is supposed to be comforting to me, but I don't buy it. So do other people buy it? And if they don't, what's the use in pretending it's anything other than what it really is? It's either the open palm, closed fist, or back hand of a giant corporation trying to keep people under the impression that they mean something to the people they sacrifice 8 hours a day, and 5 days a week to. Does human resources exist to tell people they are happy when they're worried that they might not be? Are we so easily pleased that even the thin veil is enough to trick us? or do we see behind the veil, but accept our fate and play the game anyways? Is one worse than the other? Is it worse that the truth is being hidden? or that the truth is being hidden by our fellow humans maybe at one time in the same position? Bah.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Found

Found this video. Hilarious. That is all.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A World of Containers

We live in a world of containers. Our organs are contained within our bodies. Our bodies our contained within our buildings. Our buildings are contained within or countries, which are contained within our plane, which is contained within our atmosphere, which is contained within space, which is contained within... well, more space I guess. But where does the container for space stop? Does it stop? Can it stop? If space is contained within something, what is past the container?

I was recently watching Nova, or some such program on television, and they were talking about the big bang. They talked about the big bang in a very nonchalant way. They said "well, there was a point, then a little boom, and a big bang, and wham, you got your universe. Next question." And I'm still trying to wrap my mind around what that tiny point, that eventually exploded into and became the known universe, was contained in. Was it floating? Does the concept of floating apply? Was the point as infinitely small as whatever it was resting in infinitely large? Do the concepts of large and small apply? Or is it all simply infinite, and size is simply a state of being? If we continue to dig smaller and smaller past the quantum world, will we keep finding more and more building blocks of matter, or is there a point where we stop finding something? And if we stop finding things, what is that emptiness? Is it the same emptiness containing our planet? Does the concept of emptiness apply? Can it apply? Is there really no such thing as emptiness? If so, then what is emptiness made of? Whew, like the blog says, a gaggle of questions, and squiggles for answers. Except in this case I really don't have any answers.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Looking Forward - "Big Man Japan"


I simply do not have the vocabulary to instill, upon you dear internet, how excited I am for this movie. I don't know what I could say to possibly add to the images from the trailer. So here I am, looking forward.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Watchmen 12" Picture Disk - Wahoo!

Recently, I ordered the Watchmen 12" picture disk vinyl of the internets and now it's here. Side A is a cover of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" by the infamous My Chemical Romance. I haven't heard the song, nor do I care to, but I love Watchmen, and vinyl records, and this is a combination of those things. Anyways, I'm just happy and wanted to share it with you dear internet.
Side A: "Desolation Row" by My Chemical Romance
Side B: "Prison Fight" by Tyler Bates

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Looking Forward - "Ballast"



Very rarely are there movies that I simply know nothing about. I don't mean to come off as cocky, but if a trailer makes it to Apple's trailer section then there's a good chance I've heard something. With "Ballast" I've heard nothing. All I know is that it looks absolutely gorgeous. Visually, the film looks like it was photographed, rather than shot. And it is so refreshing to see a quiet trailer. There seems to be a nobility and a confidence in its lower volume which really attracts me to the project. I don't know when or if this movie will ever be in theaters. I can only hope to see it in a few months on Netflix, but until then I'm just looking forward.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Can I Eat Meat Whilst Honoring Divinity?

In my world civilizations class, we're talking about Hindu religions and Buddhism. I don't want to go spouting off what I've read so far as truth. I don't want to be that cocky college student that thinks they now know it all and their about to drop some knowledge on everybody. I'm recognizing that this is all very new to me. So, naturally, I have a lot of questions. The one weighing on me right now is if I can still honor all sentient beings while being an omnivore.

In Hinduism, it tells you to honor every living organism as an expression of divinity, because it is. The idea being that one could not willingly bring harm or pain to the divine. And Buddhism similarly teaches a life of compassion. The Buddhist's define compassion as never willfully inflicting suffering on any sentient being. So can I show respect and honor to an animal while eating it? It had to die of unnatural causes to allow me to eat it. I didn't kill it myself, but it still had to die. While I'm not saying I'm a Buddhist, I am saying that I very much believe in never willfully bringing harm to any sentient being no matter how small. So if I'm not okay with killing the animal myself, can I in good conscience continue eating them? Obviously protein is key to human life, but protein can be found in places other than meat. And instinctual creatures eat other animals.

So Animals eat other animals. Do they take the same karmic hit even though they're not conscious beings? Does the gift on consciousness bestow some greater responsibility onto humanity? Is it my job to recognize that I am a conscious life form, and that I do not have to do as the instinctual animals do?

So if I do stop eating meat for a while, which I am considering, am I really making anything better? In our service industry and economy, even if I stop eating meat, the same number of animals will still be killed every year. So do I say "well, I'm doing my part. It's the though that counts"? Or is that simply feeding my Ego? Is it any better to stop eating meat so I personally won't be racking up the bad karma if those sentient beings in question are still "harmed"? Isn't what I'd be doing worse? Trying to save myself, while those creatures I claim to be honoring are being killed.

I am really torn on this one. I've been wanting to start meditating, so maybe this would be the perfect topic to think on. Ah well. It's all moot anyways when my stomach is digesting a bleu cheese and bacon burger from Clara's. Bah.

Friday, February 13, 2009

In Honor Of...

In honor of this day of days, I present the uncomfortably appropriate "It's Oh So Quiet" by the one, the only, the forever-jaded, Bjork. Favorite line from the song "So what's the use with falling in love."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Looking Forward - "Medicine for Melancholy"



I get excited about movies all the time, but rarely this excited. I love movies about people, as opposed to movies about the explosions happening around people, or the wacky/outlandish love triangle they end up in because their dead girlfriend comes back as a hilarious and wisecracking ghost. I love movies that feel like a camera just happened to be rolling as these people were living their lives. I also love movies that look different, and while "Medicine for Melancholy" isn't rewriting the book on how a film should look, it does have a very beautiful muted color pallet. And I especially love when comedians take serious roles. I want to clarify that I'm not saying there won't be funny parts. I'm saying that the comedian, in this case Wyatt Cenac of The Daily Show fame, is playing a character that happens to be funny rather than a funny character. The movie looks gorgeous, and right up my alley.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just Real Quick

Hello hello internets. Just a quick note, you can go to http://www.itunes.com/sundance and download 10, that's right, 10 of the film festival's shorts for, get this, free, that's even righter, free. I haven't watched them yet, so I can't speak to their quality (I'm sure they're not terrible), but you'll probably never get another chance to consume them after this, and, you can tell all of your friends how plugged in you are, and this sentence is kind of running on like omg lolz rofl-copter... what have I become?!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coming Soon (hopefully)

Coming Soon

Holy Shit - "Medicine for Melancholy"

Holier Shit - Vinyl. Love.

Holiest Shit - What Does it All Mean?