Sep 282016
 

Yeesh.  There’s “no expense spared”, and then there’s no expense spared.

An exclusive live performance of songs from the Final Fantasy XV soundtrack was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra featuring an appearance from Final Fantasy XV composer, Yoko Shimomura at the world famous Abbey Road Studios on 7th September, 2016.

Sep 202016
 

In some ways it’s the quintessential “hard-to-watch” film.  The learning-curve is steep, but short…

This is the movie version of a broadway play (if that’s even the right fucking word), and in this case, “movie version” means they filmed it close-up with a few cameras.  It’s kinda hard to pigeonhole this thing, which is ironic given its brutal simplicity.

It’s the dramatization of the final minutes of a handful of aviation accidents and incidents (which is FAA speak for events in which people were and were not killed or injured, respectively).  It’s rigorously-based on Cockpit Voice Recordings (hence the title), and while a few college experiences left me with an abiding disdain for “theater people”, the verisimilitude of this is such that the troupe has been given kudos by Air Force generals and their performances have been taped by the Pentagon for training purposes.  Some scenes are disconcertingly short: one lasting only long enough for the pilots to take-off and register multiple bird-strikes moments before the mercifully antiseptic fade-to-black and the text-card reporting all crew and passengers lost.

This HuffPo article describes the production as being fairly non-renumerative for the theatre: “Nobody gets paid much, and everyone hangs on to day jobs. Daniels works construction, Berger is in robotics. ”  It characterizes the actors as being drawn to the production “not because they’re into the theater necessarily, but because they’re into the gear,” and says that the show’s “forensic accuracy” is counterbalanced by an “inescapable moral responsibility”, cautiously likening it to a memorial of sorts.

As I said, I have a special aversion to theater-folk, and was prepared to hate this from the get-go based on the Netflix reviews (the worse of which liken it to a “bad SNL skit”), as well as my admittedly-limited knowledge of aviation based on military history, “The Right Stuff”, and the autobiographical works of Chuck Yeager and Chuck Horner.  After 5 minutes I was ready to give it up, and after 10 minutes I was really ready, but around the 15-minute mark I started to appreciate what the Pentagon saw in it.  It’s damn good stuff.  Though, as others have noted before me, if you’re in any way afraid of air-travel, you should for-sure steer the hell clear.

Sep 172016
 

Random out-of-season post: as of midyear 2016, there have been 7 deaths and 98 injuries attributable to “Black Friday” (see BlackFridayDeathCount.com).  This has always blown my mind – there are some soul-crushing videos on YouTube.  While the numbers may be numerically insignificant, to me this statistic is the ugliest condemnation of our society imaginable.  By contrast, 38,300 died on US roads in 2015, but I get that: various geographical, historical, and cultural factors have led to us having the most commuter-hours in the world, and some fatalities are sadly inevitable.  The future’s going to solve that problem: self-driving cars, better safety technology, medical advances, whatever.  But when you have even the occasional person being trampled to death by consumers fighting to save $30 on the lowest-end television at Wal-Mart as part of a yearly marketing event revolving around what most Americans believe is the anniversary of the birth of their most sacred religious figure…  well it should go without saying, that’s pretty fucked-up.

Stuart – The Dead Milkmen

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Sep 122016
 

A timeless classic.  We have much to learn from our elders – except when we don’t.  But for better or worse, Stuart is not like the other kids, here, in the trailer park.

“Rick and Morty” does “The State of Georgia v. Denver Fenton Allen”

 Comedy, Journalism, TV, Video  Comments Off on “Rick and Morty” does “The State of Georgia v. Denver Fenton Allen”
Jul 272016
 

This is pretty great.  This video from Comic-Con is Justin Roiland from Adult Swim series “Rick and Morty” reading an insane courtroom transcript from a June 2016 Georgia murder trial, word-for-word, in the voices of characters Rick and Morty (with minimal animation added).  For more info see these posts from College Humor and slashfilm.com.  If you’re not familiar with the show, scroll-down and check out the opening scene from episode 1 first.

Wu-Tang Clan – Triumph

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Jul 232016
 

This just in, police are reporting that there’s a man on top of a skyscraper ready to jump.  I’m told that he is possibly “Ol’ Dirty”, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.  The police suspect that there could be some connection between this “old dirty man” and the killer bees.

 

ol dirty 2

Hugh Herr’s bionic legs

 Tech, Video  Comments Off on Hugh Herr’s bionic legs
Jul 162016
 

Watching these in action is surreal.  The panning-shot at 5:00 is feels like science-fiction: the sheer ease and grace of his stride’s almost spooky.  After losing his lower-legs to frostbite, Herr started developing simple prosthetics so he could resume rock-climbing.  Then he started adding computers and actuators into the mix.  The current generation senses nerve impulses and intelligently mimics a biological limb to such an extent that little training or acclimation is required.