Monday, November 14, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 7:36 PM
Sunday, October 09, 2011
1) Angry Birds
Yes, I can hear you all groan. It's a time-waster, a brain-sucker and might be the worst new movie of 2012. It's also one of the best ways to get young minds behind the idea of physics and engineering. Because to get three stars in any level you have to understand the most economical way to destroy the pigs constructs, and you have to learn to adapt to new capabilities of the new birds and new environments.
Do I have to state why this one is a good one? I've found myself mining skills I haven't used in years in coming up with 6 letter words that let me beat "Norm" by 100 points. Anything that gets your kid to start thinking about vocabulary as something that's a competitive sport is a good thing.
3) L. L. Bean Moose
A memory game that might be better for us adults than the kids, but sharpens memory skills for all that play it, You can do 12, 20, or 36 tiles where you have to match up variously clad moose with their twin on the board. It sharpens visual acuity and promotes memory.
Posted by tmp00 at 9:18 PM
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 10:12 PM
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 8:18 PM
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Thursday, July 07, 2011
NextBus has an iPhone app for Los Angeles METRO
Yes, Metro has finally ditched it's own worse-than-useless app and joined the early aughts. They are now using NextBus' proven app that relies on the buses own GPS tracking to tell when, well, the next bus is coming. While it's better than nothing, here's a few reasons I find it be be kind of a fail. (disclaimer- this opinion is based upon a month of using the app daily on my commute from Beverly Hills to downtown and around the Westside. Your mileage may vary)
- It's not accurate. I've stood on the corner in the morning where the app insists that my next bus is 7 or 8 minutes away, while I can see it turning onto my street. Conversely, I've had it insist that the bus has arrived and gone past when it hasn't shown up yet.
- It's not accurate. There are holes in the GPS coverage big enough to, well, hide a city bus in. For the past two days NextBus has told me that the bus I was waiting for was coming in 15 minutes. When I walk to the stop then it insists that the next bus is in 50 minutes. Thinking that perhaps the bus had broken down I got the car to drive to work. Today when I was pulling out of the alley, I saw the phantom bus turning onto my street.
- It's not accurate. METRO is notorious for running truncated lines. This app will insist that the #4 bus coming is going to Santa Monica when it's only going to West LA. The same thing happens if you're taking the 14, 16, 20, 704 and 720. In other words, every bus that I take.
- It's not accurate. In areas crowded with bus stops, the app cannot be set to drill down to show you what bus is stopping at the place you are actually standing at. It will tell you every bus in a certain radius, forcing you to scroll through multiple screens to get the bus you want, every time you check. Not so bad if you want to know when the next #14 is coming (although it will still lie to you and tell you it's going to Beverly Hills when it's not) but when you're at the stop for the 728 if can be a bit annoying.
Posted by tmp00 at 1:57 PM
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 8:02 PM
Friday, June 17, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 9:02 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
"Desperately Seeking Susan" is on Netflix Streaming..
It's hard for me to believe that this movie, which launched Madonna's short-lived career as an actress is now over 25 years old. Madonna plays the title character, a free spirit who becomes a fixation for New Jersey housewife Roberta (Roseanna Arquette). Roberta is bored with her life in Fort Lee: she walks out of her party in the middle of her husband Gary (Mark Blum) debuting his latest hot-tub commercial so stare longingly across the Hudson at the spires of New York City.
Having noted a personal ad in a local tabloid that Susan's boyfriend has arranged a meeting with her (we're told this is how they communicate in the days before e-mail) at Battery Park, Susan shows up to do a little stalking. What neither Susan nor Roberta know is that the earrings Susan pinched from the random guy she bedded at a New Jersey hotel are stolen, priceless, and wanted very badly by a very bad man (Will Patton) who is willing to kill to get them. A blow to Roberta's head ensures that Susan and Roberta's lives intertwine as both the killer and a handsome movie projectionist (Aidan Quinn) mistake amnesiac Roberta for Susan while Roberta's husband and sister (Laurie Metcalf) enlist Susan to help find the missing woman, who the police suspect of being an on-the-run hooker.
It's a fun movie that glosses over some of the gamier aspects of the story. Susan is a charming amoral thief who uses and discards men. Gary is having an affair behind Roberta's back and seems more concerned at how Roberta's disappearance will affect his status than for her welfare. But it's fun to see a flashback to the NYC of the 80's of my yoof. St. Marks Place, the East Village, Danceteria, even the scaffolding around the Statue of Liberty during it's renovation are showcased. The fashions were believe it or not fresh at the time; this is the Madonna that launched the craze for cropped tops and gloves and wearing tons of rubber bracelets.
I didn't even know this, but there was a short-lived musical version that played London's West End that closed in record time and lost £3.5 million. A YouTube news clip about the fiasco is below,
Posted by tmp00 at 9:52 AM
Friday, April 29, 2011
"Angel, Angel Down We Go" is on Netflix Streaming..
Posted by tmp00 at 7:16 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Bette Davis in "Beyond the Forest"
Bette Davis was one of the best actresses working, responsible for such classic performances as Mildred in “Of Human Bondage”, Regina Giddens in “The Little Foxes” and Margo Channing in “All About Eve”.
Rosa Moline in “Beyond the Forest” was arguably her worst performance.
40-ish Bette stomps around picturesque Loyalton, “Wisconsin” snarling one liners, chain-smoking and shooting small animals (“They irritate me” she sneers). Young Rosa is unhappily married to the town Doctor (Joseph Cotton), a do-gooder whom she despises for his lack of desire to actually collect his fees. She’s hot for Chicago Industrialist Neil Latimer (David Brian) and the rich, big city life she feels is her due. Needless to say, she’s willing to do anything, anything to get it. And does, to unintentionally hilarious effect.
The movie is considered a camp classic: Bette is, as she said herself far too old for the role and cranks her personal acting switch up to 11, perhaps to try to make us not think about the plot, which has holes large enough to pilot that Chicago-bound train she’s always mooning over through. It doesn’t help that it’s directed by King “subtlety? never heard of it” Vidor who gives her free reign and matches her with directorial choices that redefine “over the top”.
But, if you’re a fan of these sort of eye-popping things you won’t be disappointed. I wasn’t.
Long unavailable except on overpriced VHS tape, someone posted it to YouTube in 10 minute increments. Click on above to watch, before someone makes them take it down.
Video Source: YouTube
Posted by tmp00 at 9:20 AM
Friday, April 15, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 9:31 PM
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 11:59 AM
Saturday, February 19, 2011
A little harsh. Yes, the cheese factor is high (the sets I referred to as "Frank Lloyd Wrong") and to modern audiences some of the plot holes are pretty evident. But there are shots in this that in this post 9/11 world where we are more aware of the issues facing first responders can't help but resonate. Oddly the building itself it prescient: we don't have 138 stories of mixed use, but the idea of a tower that combines residential on a narrow top and offices on a wider base was way ahead of its time in the 70's.
It's a perfect popcorn movie for a rainy night like this one in LA.
Posted by tmp00 at 8:39 PM
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 11:42 PM
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Posted by tmp00 at 9:48 PM