Tag Archives: movies

Life in a Day

Do you remember what you were doing on July 24, 2010? (I was returning a U-Haul after driving from Arizona to Pennsylvania.) The answer is definitely a yes for YouTube users that uploaded footage of their day for director Kevin Macdonald and his project.

Macdonald, director of The Last King of Scotland, took footage from users in more than 192 countries, and turned it into a 90-minute documentary called Life in a Day. The film was released to theaters last month, although I haven’t seen it anywhere nearby. But if you have two minutes to spare, I highly recommend watching the trailer. Even if you don’t get to see the film, which has already been met with high critical acclaim, the trailer is an inspirational piece in and of itself.

Source: NPR – All Things Considered

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Invictus

If you haven’t seen Invictus yet, you should. And if you have, then you will recognize the following poem (titled “Invictus”) by William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

(Read more about the poem here.)

What you might not know is that while Nelson Mandela did admire this poem, it was not the one that he gave to Francois Pienaar to inspire him before the 1995 Rugby World Cup. What he actually gave him was the following excerpt from a speech given by Teddy Roosevelt on April 23, 1910 at the Sorbonne in Paris:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

The full speech is called “The Man in the Arena”, and more information as well as the entire text can be found here.

A 15-link post

It’s that time again. My Firefox bookmarks have piled up again! What better way to clean them out than to make a blog post?

1. 15 Useful Google Chrome Plugins — One of the things on my backburner is getting around to trying out the new Google Chrome, which I have only heard good things about. Another reason to try it out is this neat list of plugins, which cover a pretty wide base of tasks!

2. If you have an iPod Touch or an iPhone, did you know it is possible to have more options than “.com”? If you tap and hold the “.com” button, it will bring up options for “.edu”, “.org” and “.net”. Thanks to A New Mac Tip Every Day for this little nugget of information.

3. I don’t think I’ll ever have to resort to this (and I hope you won’t either), but thanks to some creative – and bored – biologists on an oceanographic research vessel, here is a handy guide to brewing your own beer in a coffee maker. Naturally, it uses only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel.

4. From the Dot Earth blog on the New York Times website, here is an article on Obama and ‘Generation E’ in Arizona. It’s an interesting discussion on sustainability and the program at Arizona State University. An excerpt:

Arizona, to many, seems eminently unsustainable, but that is an overly simplistic (linear) view… I am often asked how there can be a city in the desert, to which I reply that is exactly where virtually all of the original cities in the world were established! … In a strange way Arizona has some of the most advanced and effective water management systems largely because it is obvious that if we didn’t this place would not work at all. That does not mean we haven’t made lots of mistakes here in terms of urban layout, resource use, etc. This all makes us a really exciting test case and one that may have more to say to the developing world (where rapid urban growth is the norm) than a city like Portland — which has a strong sustainability consciousness, but has more to say to a European city (that isn’t listening) than to where the real challenges are emerging.

5. Leon Trotsky Totally Looks Like Colonel Sanders – it’s true!

6. There is a phenomenon emerging called “sleeveface”, generated by this website. It defines itself as: “one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion”. Here are two of my favorites, or check out this post for more.

7. The 10 Smartest and the 10 Stupidest iPhone Apps – It amazes me how incredibly creative some of the applications can be – like Tipulator, Level, and LogMein Ignition. But advanced technology is always accompanied by people who would rather waste time creating an application that farts.

8. Speaking of cool apps for the iPhone, how about this one, which groups all of your rewards cards for grocery stores (and I presume other types of stores as well)? It’s a great way to reduce clutter and to keep all of your cards in one handy spot!

9. Another Mac tip: did you know that you can select text and drag it on top of the TextEdit icon in the Dock, and it creates a new document using that text? Yea, me neither. [Link]

10. There is an excellent blog post over at NPR.org pointing out the surplus of male characters in Pixar movies (and princesses in Disney movies). It’s called “Dear Pixar, From All The Girls With Band-Aids On Their Knees”. An excerpt:

Well, the whole big world has a lot of little girls in it, too. And not all of them are princesses — and the ones who are princesses have plenty of movies to watch.

And even many of them who do aspire to be princesses are mixing their princess tendencies with all manner of other delicious things. Their tiaras fall off when they skin their knees running at top speed; they get fingerpaint on their pink dresses; they chip their front teeth chasing each other in plastic high-heeled shoes.

There’s nothing wrong with the movies you’re making; I’m sure your princess movie will be my favorite one ever. I’m just saying, keep them in mind, those girls in Band-Aids, because they want to see themselves on screen doing death-defying stunts, too. You’re making some of my favorite movies in the whole world right now.

11. Did Conan model his new Tonight Show set after Mario Brothers? The picture is pretty convincing.

12. If you’re a fan of The Office, like me, then you’ll enjoy this compliation of the Top 5 Dwight Moments. The only thing is that they didn’t include my favorite Mozart and Butch Cassidy quote, which unforunately I couldn’t find on Youtube either.

13. In case you missed Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University this week, this article includes a great set of excerpts which are grouped by topic, as well as a video of the full speech for you to watch. But if you decide to watch it, then get comfortable, because the video is 55 minutes long.

14. My brother sent me this link to a documentary called “Throw Down Your Heart”. It follows Bela Fleck on a trip to Africa, and his interaction (or more accurately, his banjo’s interaction) with the people there. Check out the trailer. I think it’s going to be a great film, buoyed by great music.

15. And in case you find yourself with too much time on your hands, maybe you can get into the business of creating stop-motion videos as wedding invitations. Check out this video that a couple made to invite people to their wedding. It’s really creative (especially the GPS part) and must have taken a ton of effort!

Vampire!

For those of us sick of seeing the Twilight commercials (and tired of being sucked into the phenomenon!):