1) I’m sure Melania Trump is a very intelligent and smart woman but she didn’t write her speech. Would you write your speech if you were in here place? You wouldn’t. You wouldn’t for a number of reasons that I shouldn’t have to outline. You don’t have experience in writing speeches for conventions, you wouldn’t want to ruin your husbands campaign by saying something dumb, you wouldn’t want to make mistakes for your own sake, etc. So no sane person would write their own speech in this situation. Which leads us to conclude that it was written by a speechwriter. Which brings us to…
2) A Trump campaign speechwriter. Imagine the staff that is running this campaign. The last I heard there were 30 people… Total. For a national campaign for president. There were 30 people. Nobody in the Republican party is really helping, I mean, would they be allowed to be part of the TRUMP campaign spectacle? Of course not. This is all being done by hype masters and overseen by the Donald himself. And this is a non important speech so if there are more than one speechwriter, this one is probably the most junior. So I conclude, the speechwriter is probably not accomplished at all and is most likely someone who is severely under-qualified. Which brings us to…
3) Under-qualified person writing a speech for a national party convention? Is it possible that they caved under pressure? Is it possible they copied parts of a speech from the other party from 8 years ago? It sure is. Clearly this was incompetence. Of course no one caught it, there are no political junkies working that campaign. They don’t need to be. This is an operation being run as cheaply as possible. Do you know why?
Because none of the Trump voters care. They are going to vote for the Donald because of what he represents : He’s not a politician. He’s a regular guy who made it big in America and he’s going to sweep out all of the bullshit in our government and make America better again.
I predict the following :
1) There will be no apology
2) There will be no firing of anyone in the Trump campaign
3) There will be no changing of polling numbers over this
4) This will be a non issue after one news cycle
The other day I was walking through the city with some people from out of town and while crossing the street I made them look down at a Toynbee Tile. Of course, they had no idea what it was so I started to tell them the story. But it’s a story that needs details and references and such so I decided to make a post about it here instead.
While you are reading this post I’d like you to click this link and listen to its soundtrack. This is a track called The Toynbee Suite by an artist named Lushlife. The story of this track deserves its own post but I’ll give you some info. First of all there is Lushlife. Lushlife is a (mostly) rap musician from Philly named Raj Haldar. He is crazy talented and very well known in the music circles. Here is his soundcloud. There is GOLD there.
So the Toynbee Suite was recorded and mixed over a weekend for a documentary/educational group called Shaking Through. I am always amazed and impressed by the Shaking Through episodes and this one is one of the best since it is so complex and long. I support Weathervane Music who are the producers of Shaking Through and after checking them out I bet you will too!
Ok, so back to Toynbee Tiles. What can I add to the wiki page or the great website about them? I can tell you this about them. I have always noticed them and been fascinated by them and I would often point them out to people (who mostly didn’t care) until I was talking to someone about them and they told me a friend of theirs was making a documentary about them. I was super psyched to hear this and immediately dropped some dollars onto the kickstarter for it. That became the film : Resurrect Dead.
Jon Foy, Colin Smith and Steve Weinik did a great job with the film and I was super happy to meet and hang out with them at the Philly premiere. This was after they won an award at Sundance for it. I was super happy to have helped them in my tiny way, make it happen.
So next time you are walking the streets of Philly, keep looking down and you may see something cool!
Saw The Imitation Game today as part of my yearly pilgrimage to see all the Oscar Nominees. Here’s some quick thoughts about the movie…
First of all, almost nobody can do wrong by me by brining the story of Alan Turing to the world. He is one of the true hero’s in my book. Here is the man who pretty much single-handedly won WW2 for us and kickstarted the computer sciences. The sad part of his story was that he had to keep his work secret even by the time he died so to him, nobody knew what he did. The sadder part is that he killed himself, most likely because he was shameful over the fact that his homosexuality was exposed.
So, I’m super happy that a story highlighting Alan Turing was told, and also happy that was done very well by Benedict Cumberbatch. But what I’m not happy with was the many historical inaccuracies in the movie. As well as the many strange plot devices. For example, at one point Turing in the movie is being held up from working on things by his commander at the base so he writes a letter to his commander who is Winston Churchill and even though we know nothing of the contents of the letter, in the next scene Turing is now in charge. I mean, what the hell just happened? Why is this plausible? It’s not, it’s a plot device and it’s dumb. And it has no place in a movie up for best picture.
So what other things didn’t I like? For one, there was an incredible obvious use of exposition. In one case we see a scene explaining the Enigma device that is painfully stupid and implausible but then, not 10 seconds later we hear in an overdub voice the entire explanation rehashed. Why?
And for a movie about a technical subject like codebreaking there is little or no technical things happening at all.
I also didn’t like the ‘disney’ moments. There is one cliche scene where Turing is about to be fired and his machine (the bombe, although never mentioned by name in the film) destroyed. In the last second, just as things seem to be about to go to a point of no return, one of his co-workers (who the movie spent so much time showing us that he didn’t like Turing since turing was gruff, but all of a sudden decided out of the blue that Turing was indeed right!) comes out from nowhere and says “If you fire Turing, you will have to deal with me leaving!” and then another says “and I as well!”. It was a scene you’ve seen in a dozen films before. What makes it worse is that this never even came close to happening in real life. The real story is completely different. In short, he was never about to be fired and his team always liked him.
Bleh. This was a shitty movie. I’m sorry. The only reason it got nominated was that the Weinsteins produced it and you know they know how to lobby the academy.
Ugh. How was this movie nominated for best picture? I found it entertaining but I also found a lot of faults with it. I don’t know the director well so I don’t know if he/she has directed before but I’m going to guess that they never directed a feature before. There were a few things that a good director wouldn’t have let happen. For example, the usage of extras was really poorly done. I cite for you the pizza shop scene where I got majorly distracted by the extras for two reasons : First was that they were all overacting and being obvious but secondly was the aperture/focal length which really kept much of the background action in focus where it really shouldn’t have. Another directory thing that I found annoying was that even though I was supposed to feel like this school in the movie was in NYC it felt like a completely different city. I would venture a guess it wasn’t even shot in New York. If it was, then he somehow made it look like another city entirely.
Then of course was the fact that the protagonist was not consistent in his tone and personality. At first we are led to believe that he’s a nerdy/shy/introverted kid but then about a third of a way into the movie he’s at dinner with some family friends and he’s all of a sudden bold and outgoing and brave. And then he later changes into someone who is just insanely motivated to succeed. Not even being in a car accident and having his car flipped over will stop him from performing. Believable? Um, no. And at said performance he is covered in blood and cuts and yet nobody, not one person questions it.
And then there is the teacher dude. He actually had a consistent personality but what school would allow someone to go unchallenged and unsupervised to the point where he is slapping students and throwing chairs at them? Not one student in the history of this teachers tenure complained to anyone? And then we are to just accept that he puts 3 students up for 5 hours of abuse with no breaks and nobody complains or steps in?
I guess overall the movie to me felt completely unbelievable and that really bugged me a lot. For a first time director/feature, ok. But to have it nominated for best picture and best screenplay? Uh. No.
Author Free Piano
Comment Free Piano I found your blog web site on yahoo and examine just a few of your early contents. Proceed to keep up the very good operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to us RSS Bar News Reader. Searching for forward to reading super from you later on!?I am…
I was trying to remember my past year in food, music, movies, books and adventure so I started trying to compile it from my calendar, Facebook, photos, amazon orders and the like and while I was doing it I figured I would just make a blog post about it. It’s a long one, but I think this covers my year pretty well. Enjoy.
My new year started off with a crazy terrible flu like illness. I remember sleeping with a sweatsuit, hat, gloves and super thick socks and still waking up shivering while I was trying to sleep. The best part was that Sam had to dig my car out of the snow to take me to the hospital (I insisted since my fever had gone up to 103 all of a sudden and I had about had it for being sick). Apparently I only had the flu and they sent me home. Also capping off a lackluster month I had officially broken up with Sam and she had moved out. It was very rough getting adjusted to that.
We also had a bunch of snow. I remember one day coming home from work and waiting out in a blizzard for an hour for a bus. Another day Lila and I were snowed in due to a major storm. There were many days my car wouldn’t move an inch due to its summer tires. (flash forward to today and have I gotten new tires yet? Um. No)
Lastly, Lila got lice. I cut off all of her hair. She then proceeded to look amazing with her super cute buzz cut. But overall that experience was insanely trying!
Now this is the way to start off a month. It turned out that some of my best and oldest friends were having a “girls weekend” in Miami. I really needed to get away so I begged to crash and they said yes so on Feb 1 I landed in Miami and proceeded to have a fantastic weekend. Thank you to Starr, Dara, Sylvana and Brandi!
Then later in the month I headed to Annapolis to help Starr and Jeff rebuild their bathroom. Driving home I almost died 2 times on I95 due to the fact that there is a blizzard happening and my car refuses to drive in snow of any kind.
My friend David came over and took some photos of my beautiful child.
In The News : It’s alleged that Woody Allen molested his daughter.
TV : Legit season 2 (though sadly it was cancelled). Nick Elmi wins Top Chef. The Sochi Olympics happen and they have the most amazing opening ceremony I’ve ever seen (even with the broken ring thing) . But for the second month in a row Girls kills it : “”Which real housewives locale is most appealing to you? … Um, the one in Prague?”
Achievements : My Lobster Mobsta Card is filled out and put on the wall at Lukes Lobster. Yummy! Lila releases an amazing video on Facebook.
Food : I discovered the Good King. Wow!
Movies : I start to watch all of the Academy Award Best Picture nominees : 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips are first up.
Music : Listening to Midlake a lot. My friend Ben introduced me to them. I love the track “Roscoe”
TV : I give Season 2 of House of Cards a shot. This is the post I write on FB just before I start “Little girl is asleep. Time to see how Frank Underwood is doing. If he kills anyone though, I’m done.”. So you know how that went.
Food : I have a terrible meal at Stateside. It’s no longer my favorite rest.
March was filled with a bunch of life. Nothing super special happened but I know I watched a lot of movies and played a lot of boardgames.
Movies : I finish up watching my nominees and post about them (8 out of 9 seen) and then watch and see who won and I retweet the now famous Ellen Selfie.
Games : I got my copy of Caverna. This becomes one of the most played games I own.
Adventures : Sam and I start going to hang out with the Penn Board Game club.
Food : Studio Kitchen was my winner in March. I also tried Noord and was not impressed. But I did fall in love with Bufad pizza!
Best quote of the month : “His cologne smelled like Novocain”
Music : I discover War on Drugs, and also listen to a bunch of Beck “Morning Phase“. Also I go and see Arcade Fire with a friend. It’s been a while since I saw a super big concert.
TV : Girls still killing it. This was an amazingly awesome season.
Books : First I finish Fooling Houdini which is a cool book about magic. I love magic. But most interesting is this book called The Martian which if you are in any way a nerd you will totally dig. This guy gets stuck on Mars and has to survive there using all the MacGyver he can muster.
This was a cool month. It started out with a 2 week jury duty where I really felt like we the jury did our duty as we spent 3 days deliberating all the fine points of the evidence. It was super rewarding.
Also, my friend Heather got married in April and she thankfully does the wedding up here in Philly instead of her new/original home in Alabama.
Best thing that happened in July was our Adventure Club trip to upstate New York on our camping/canoeing trip : The Seven Carries in Saranac Lake.
July was also a month of huge debate over the Israel/Palestine conflict in Gaza. I actually lost a few friends over this one. On a lighter note, my friend Mickey has her 50th birthday catered by Talula’s Table. Yummy! I move into a new office and decide to hang my Lego Imperial Star Destroyer from the ceiling. I fail miserably. I should have used the Kragle.
Lastly was another Adventure Club trip, this time to Centralia Pa.
Quote : from Reddit : “If all the original members of a band were replaced, most people would argue that it’s not the same band. But a sports team replaces all of its members after a certain number of years, and it’s still the same team.”
Movie : “Side by Side” : a documentary about film production and the usage of digital over film made by Keanu Reeves!, “Sound City” : a doc about a soundboard and an amazing recording studio. “Tim’s Vermeer” yet another documentary. This one about a mad genius non painter who paints a masterpiece using his incredible ingenuity.
One great adventure happened. Me, Eammon, Tim and Vincent climb a mountain (a small one called Mt. Tamminy).
I also get to do some sailing at the Corinthian Yacht Club. This proves to be my only time in a sailboat all year 🙁
Also, construction (digging) finally begins on the new Comcast Center and I immediately become enthralled. I have always wanted to see a skyscraper built and now I have a front row seat!
Podcast : I discover and love 2 amazing podcasts. First is 99% invisible. Here is a perfect example of the kinds of things they do. The other is “Love and Radio”. Check out this episode about a back man and the KKK.
Quote : “Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.” – Fahrenheit 451
Obsession : I can’t stop buying Swatch watches!
Movie : “Maindentrip” : how in the hell does a 14 year old girl circumnavigate the earth on a tiny sailboat? Watch this and be amazed. And I re-watched “Buffalo 66“.. still love it.
Book : “A Mile Down” Here is my review : “This guy is the biggest moron I’ve ever seen. The number of mistakes he made from minute one are just incalculable. He was too naive a businessman and too trusting of people and just not suited to be running a charter business. However, I do have one positive thing to say : This guy is a dreamer and unlike me and many other people with grand plans and ideas, he actually had the balls (stupidity?) to actually try and follow his dreams no matter what and I have to respect him for that! Read this book and tell me if you agree.”
September started quite well with Lilas first day in Kindergarden. Then it took a shaky turn. I had been riding my bike to and from work every day and one morning I had a major crash. Luckily I wasn’t hit by a car but I did get some serious road rash.
News : The Fappening happens. Followed shortly after by David Chase telling the world that Tony Soprano died in the final episode of the Sopranos. I told you so! (one of the most intense explanations ever is right here. Read it. I have 2 times)
Food : As part of my trip up to NYC for the march, I spend the evening on a ‘date’ with my friend Dara. She takes me to not one but two amazing places : Oysters at the incredible Maison Premiere, followed by a really splendid meal at Vinegar Hill House. Go to these places!
In Philly I discovered a pretty damn fine burger at Good Stuff.
Music : Tom Yorke drops “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes”. I listen to it a bunch but it’s nothing special.
TV : I start to watch and get addicted to “The Chair“.
Quote : “This is not a partisan debate; It is a human one. Clean air and water and a livable climate are inalienable human rights, and solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation” – Leo DiCaprio
October was filled with a little bit of insanity. Like really. Part of it was in my dating life and the other part was in a huge work project that I took on. The work project ended up successful, the dating part resolved itself though it took me a while.
One fun thing I did was the Hunt For Red October Lobster pub crawl which was benefiting Nichole Canuso Dance. Me and a couple of other friends competed hard and won many of the trophies. I also met some new dancer type friends. This was a great night!
One of the most awesome things I did all year happened in October. It was Escape the Room. Me and 9 other friends had an hour to escape a room filled with puzzles. It was so intense and really a ton of fun. You should do this. I wish I could do it again (and I’m not the only one).
Once again to end the month I was happy to be part of what is seemingly becoming a tradition with me, Sam and her friends : The Henri David Ball. This year we were the cast of Twin Peaks.
Theatre : I went up to NYC to see Then She Fell. I’m so glad I did. Immersive theatre at it’s best. It was super.
Media : I discovered the really cool short series “& Teller”
Books : “Command and Control” : an epic journey from the invention of the atomic bomb all the way through today. I learned so much about the American Nuclear program! This book is highly recommended!
TV : Penn and Teller Fool Us. Just gorgeous tv (if you like magic).
I am sitting in Rittenhouse square, freezing holding a rose. It’s the coldest day in recent memory and I have just a simple jacket on. And I’m waiting and waiting and waiting when finally a woman walks up and I give her the rose. This is one of many she gets this day as she meets her fiancee at the end of her journey and they kiss and they will be married.
Art : I went to the Barnes. Here is what I had to say about it : “Holy Fucking Hell. I have just had one of the most amazing aesthetic experiences of my life. Renoir and Van Gough now have new meanings to me. But even more is the building and the presentation. Just incredible.”
Quote : “If this were 1600s Salem, that catch would be grounds for stoning” .. from here.
Movies : Hunger Games on Thanksgiving was pretty awesome!, also “Jodorowsky’s Dune” .. this is an amazing Documentary about a genius at work.
Media : I fall in love with, and watch about 1000 times a 6 second vine clip. It’s here (scroll down).
Music : I listen to this Weathervane produced epic track by Lushlife over and over again. I’m listening to it now in fact. Are you? Also A lot more Songs: Ohia. But my favorite thing in Novemeber is the release of the newest Royksopp Album called “The Inevitable End“. It’s catchy as fuck.
TV : No doubt the best thing I saw all year on TV was an episode of Frontline called “United States of Secrets“. It was about the warrantless wiretapping that started after 9/11 during the Bush days and continues pretty much to today. What makes this show incredible is that they interview the people involved. None of this would be possible without Ed Snowden. Watch This! You need to do it. Do it now!
December was a good month, but the best thing that happened was the fact that I won my Fantasy Football league. Yes, I know that sounds dumb but for 5 years I’ve been obsessively reading stats and reading blogs about football and trying to get the right combination of luck and skill together to win this and I finally did. Interesting fact of the season? I didn’t watch one full game of football all year!
Space : The Orion launch happens and I am blown away by the tracking video footage of it’s reentry. It’s simply incredible.
Food : 2 times I was able to get to Studio Kitchen!
Music : Phillip Selway drops a solo album and it’s not too bad. Here’s a cool track.
Movies : Best movie I’ve seen in 2014 and maybe more : Birdman. I loved this film. It was funny, it was thought provoking, it was technically amazing, it was acted so well.. Wow. It was great! I also saw The Interview. It was funny, but nothing amazing.
TV : Black Mirror. This show really made me think a hell of a lot. Also Mike Tyson Mysteries.
I really love the Dan Carlin “Common Sense” podcast. Dan seems to really have a way of seeing the world that lines up almost perfectly with me. His most recent show (titled : “Riding Chaos to Stasis”) is something that you all should listen to if you are even a tiny bit interested in what’s going on in Iraq right now. Dan is a historian and he gives us a little history lesson about the region which is super enlightening. It really taught me a lot about how the borders of Iraq (and other countries in the area) were drawn and how England and France and the like really messed things up after WW1.
The episode also talks a bit about ISIS and after you hear it I’m not sure you won’t be convinced that we should just leave things alone. I certainly don’t want the US getting involved in that region and especially in Iraq.
Well I saw 8 out of the 9 nominees for best picture and I figured that I would order them and give mini reviews for those interested. Also, I’m going to tweet stuff during the show so if you’re interested, tune in to me at @neodem.
First off, it’s important to note that I’m listing these in my order which is heavily based on which movies entertained me the most, seconded by which ones I’d watch again and of course which ones were made the best (production quality). Also, maybe a also a bit of how well acted they were. But if I were voting in the AAwards I would probably put more acting weight into the acting categories. Anyway, here we are:
1) Wolf of Wall Street. Say what you want about the excess portrayed in this film, it was fun as shit and I could have watched another 3 hours of it if I could. Like, maybe there needs to be a tv series about the Wolf and his buddies. This movie was super fun and was basically Goodfellas set against the backdrop of Wall Street.
I want to see this again just so I can see Jonah Hill and Leo and McConaughey.
I mean this was just an epic rags to riches story and it was such a fun ride. Sure there were drugs and hookers and greed but that was the story and I simply loved it. And wow, it was funny as hell. Lastly, the fimmaking was pretty awesome. Not flashy, but you never felt that the story was constrained due to the inability to visualize something. It was all there. There were over 300 sfx shots and you didn’t notice one of them. (check out the Wolf reel at Brainstorm Digital)
2) Gravity. This film was just awesomely beautiful. It was so skillfully made and the shots were simply gorgeous to look at. I felt like I was in space and I also felt like I wanted to be there, to see the Earth the way it was shown. I know the movie and the plot was a bit implausible but I didn’t care. I enjoyed the ride just way too much. Ans I admit I’m a space nerd so a lot of my enjoyment came from the realistic seeming space stuff.
3) Her. The vision of the future that they came up with was just so plausible and also kind of beautiful. I wasn’t as moved by the relationship stuff as others have been but overall I really liked the story and Joaquin was really perfectly cast.
4) Captain Phillips. Maybe because I have a fascination with boats and have wanted to join the merchant marines but I loved the feel of being on that huge ship. And I loved how real it seemed. The story was super compelling (although maybe not true, who cares) and it moved along at a great pace. When we got to after the rescue Tom Hanks played a dude in shock so well and the doctor on the ship was taking care of him and I was just stuck there in shock with him. It was an intense and awesome moment. I really found this movie way better than I thought I would.
5) 12 Years a Slave. I was dreading going to see this film. I really wasn’t looking forward to 3 hours of period stuff about slavery. I know it’s important and I know it’s moving but I’ve seen Roots, I’ve seen other slavery films. I get it. That period was fucked beyond all recognition and it was awful. What I didn’t think was that I would find the film really beautiful and moving. It was shot so well and it was acted even better. And the story was so interesting and sad and powerful. It was truly a great film. I have a few tiny complaints but overall it would deserve it if it won (which I suspect it will).
6) Dallas Buyers Club. Great performances from M McConaughey and also Jared Leto. But the story was kind of uninteresting and the way it was shot wasn’t too compelling either. I think this was a fine film but no where near the above 5. I think this and the next 2 just didn’t deserve to be here.
7) Nebraska. I was so looking forward to seeing this film and it was good but it wasn’t oscar worthy. It was kind of neutral. There were funny parts and good performances but… eh.
8) American Hustle. Why do people love this film? The acting (except for Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence and maybe Bale) was kind of terrible. It was unclear if this was a comedy or a drama. The story could have been so interesting but it felt confusing. The characters didn’t develop properly. I think that the main issue was the direction. This film was kind of shitty. I have seen way better in the last year.