Dunkirk

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:11 pm
lauradi7dw: (Default)
[personal profile] lauradi7dw
We saw the 70mm film version at the Somerville Theatre. It was worth it. Amazing, in an old fashioned kind of way. Those were real Spitfires, and some of the original little boats appeared as themselves, though the whole cast and specific plot points were fictional. At 1:42, Arthur thought it was longer than necessary. Acting very good. We both felt that the music was meant to be manipulative, and we resented it. I think it might have been better to have no music at all, just ambient sound. Filming took place in Dunkirk, Britain, the Netherlands, and a bit mysteriously, the US, probably California. Arthur has acquaintances among the stunt people. We were surprised that in a crowd of people to whom actual film matters, only a very few of us stayed for all the credits.

vacaaaaaaation

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:51 pm
watersword: Fall foliage on the edge of a lake (Stock: autumn)
[personal profile] watersword
I have done everything that needs to be done outside my apartment building except get food for the plane. Now it is merely domestic things (laundry, cleaning, packing) and time which stands between me and blissful freedom. I await a delivery burrito (not for the plane).

I still feel like I don't have enough ebooks.

"Never let anyone hold you back!"

Jul. 20th, 2017 03:53 pm
notmypresident: (Donna Live)
[personal profile] notmypresident
The music industry is rife with talented people who never quite reach the heights of stardom. Is it because they had bad management? Because they lacked drive? Because they were secretly assholes? Because they were overweight or unattractive? There's no way of knowing for sure.

Martha Wash is one such talent. Oh, the über-talented Ms. Wash has enjoyed some success as a recording artist — she's had 12 #1 songs on the Billboard dance charts, after all. But I don't think that anyone would categorize her as a major star these days. It's a shame. Of course, I've loved her since her Two Tons of Fun days when she sang backup for Sylvester. She later gained a lot of publicity for the world-wide smash "It's Raining Men." But that achievement didn't help years later when she was repeatedly denied recognition for her singing on several major hits (where a thinner, younger woman was hired to stand in and lip-synch for her in music videos). Wash sued and won her cases, but at what cost?

I personally don't care for all of her studio albums, but I recognize that the best songs are sold to the top acts. Wash can't compete in that area. Still, she's had some choice records, of which these are two. Here's hoping that Wash some day earns the recognition that she's due.


Which brings me to Another Hot Guy.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • I have limits as to what I will do to get a great photo. The limits of others may be more elastic, too much so even. VICE warns against this excessive dangerous.

  • Lifehacker shares some quick tips to people looking for obvious signs of a photograph being doctored.

  • These obviously NSFW photos from pre-AIDS New York City by Alvin Baltrop capture the ephemeral scene beautifully.

  • Niko Kallianiotis' photos of small-town Rust Belt Pennsylvania are evocative. I recognize this kind of landscape.

notmypresident: (Bette Davis Marked Woman)
[personal profile] notmypresident
It will come as a surprise to no one that Bette Davis is my favorite actress. I am, after all, a middle-aged Gay man. Which is not to say that Bette was the most talented actress ever (that would be Meryl Streep), and she certainly wasn't the most glamorous (take your pick from the Golden Age of Hollywood). But she was a consistently good actress, and an over-the-top celebrity right up until her death. I've been watching a good many of them over the past few weeks. Her films are a particularly good way to end the day after I've crawled into bed and fired up the TV.

Bette made several films during her career that covered a character at various stages in their lives, and it's really fascinating to see how Davis gave careful consideration to these roles. She didn't simply rely on the makeup artist to age her character, she herself brought physical touches (sometimes subtle, sometimes not) to convince us of the changes. The Old Maid is one good example of this, as Bette moves from a sunny Southern belle to a defeated woman in her 50s, sad and bitter about losing her out-of-wedlock daughter to her wealthy cousin.


But Mr. Skeffington is a much better display of Ms. Davis' talent for portraying someone at various points in her life. Bette is cast as a beautiful spoiled heiress who has all the men in New York City at her feet. She weds a lonely businessman (Claude Reins) to reacquire the family's wealth that's been squandered by a her deadbeat brother, but she continues to court the attention of any man within arm's reach — at least until a debilitating disease robs Davis of her beauty and forces her to realize she's only ever been loved by one man: her former husband, Mr. Skeffington.

I always had a tough time appreciating Mr. Skeffington because I always found Davis' kewpie-doll voice for Franny to be grating and affected. And it is affected, no doubt. But Davis manages to mold the sound to fit whatever age Franny is shown as: a young woman, a married woman, a middle-age flirt, and (finally) a broken old woman. Once I realized what Davis had achieved in Mr. Skeffington, I came to a new appreciation of the film.

I should also mention that Mr. Skeffington has a rather daring (for its time) portrayal of a Gay man in the person of Franny's "cousin from California," George. While (of course) George is never presented outright as being Gay, he is one of the only straight men in the film who not only never falls for Franny, he is never shown to have a wife or girlfriend, and he is also the only one to confront Franny on her bad behavior. He's actually the voice of reason for just about everyone. That's a pretty rare portrayal of a Gay man in Hollywood at that time.

Looks as if I've come to Another Hot Guy.

Life imitates Illuminatus! again

Jul. 20th, 2017 02:33 pm
supergee: (eye-pyramid)
[personal profile] supergee
J. Beauregard Sessions sez, “Don’t let them immanentize the eschaton.”

ETA: And Clarence Thomas understands civil forfeiture better than he does.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • blogTO notes apartment complexes will soon be rezoned to allow them to host more businesses.

  • Torontoist's Tamara Yelland argues against Matt Gurney's dismissive take that people who can't afford Toronto housing should go.

  • Global News reports on the bidding wars for condo rentals in Toronto.

  • At CBC, Doug George-Kanentiio argues in favour of renaming Ryerson University, perhaps giving it a First Nations name.

  • The Toronto Star's Martin Regg Cohn reflects on his experiences around the world, seeing statues to past regimes taken down.

I sorta wanna blame facebook.

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:30 am
fflo: (Default)
[personal profile] fflo
I don't get on facebook much any more, but I was on there yesterday, and here in the mammogram harem waiting lounge I ran out of phone game interest, and I looked again.  And there were a coupla nice things to see, but ugh to others.  The worst was the obit for a man made out to be a hero who was ongoingly raping his daughter for years, and had his hooks in her ever after, in multiple debilitating ways I don't know the half of.  So much of her difficulty in life seems tied to that soul-terrorizing monster-gaslight crap that he did.  And she has had tremendous difficulty.  It makes me nauseous, reading about---thinking of---his lauding, now that he's dead, like his lauding while he was alive.  She isn't the only victim of his I know about, either, and there were probably still others, gotta figure.  A charming and vile man who enjoyed himself and life and his self-importance and what he could take from others, regardless of the consequences for them, to the hilt.  Makes ya wish there were a hell for him.  Makes ya wish there had been a hell for him here.  His daughter is still in the hell he sent her to, built for her, consigned her to.

As I typed that last bit, the tech came to tell me I'm good to go, no need for biopsy, come back in a year (not even 6 months).  This is good.  I am grateful for this.

And that man was bad.  It's not facebook's fault.  But seeing him praised there came to me through that app/messenger, and isn't helping my sense of the bullshit and hostility and brutality and callous selfishness of humanity.

My new brown roof is on, and the gutters were about to be installed when I left for this appt.  My pets and I are basically well.  I got a good night's sleep.  My job is super-cool about me taking time off.  There may be a thunderstorm this afternoon.  Maybe I'll get a good night's sleep tonight, too.

This is me talking me down.


[BLOG] Some Thursday links

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:46 am
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • James Bow considers the idea of Christian privilege.

  • Centauri Dreams reports on the oddities of Ross 128.

  • D-Brief shares Matthew Buckley's proposal that it is possible to make planets out of dark matter.

  • Dead Things reports on the discoveries at Madjedbebe, in northern Australia, suggesting humans arrived 65 thousand years ago.

  • Bruce Dorminey reports on the idea that advanced civilizations may use sunshades to protect their worlds from overheating. (For terraforming purposes, too.)

  • Language Hat notes the struggles of some Scots in coming up with a rationalized spelling for Scots. What of "hert"?

  • The LRB Blog considers the way in which the unlimited power of Henry VIII will be recapitulated post-Brexit by the UK government.

  • Drew Rowsome quite likes the High Park production of King Lear.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel considers the idea that Pluto's moons, including Charon, might be legacies of a giant impact.

  • Unicorn Booty notes the terrible anti-trans "Civil Rights Uniformity Act." Americans, please act.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers/u> the perhaps-unique way a sitting American president might be charged with obstruction of justice.

Review: Kingdomino

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:46 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
When I saw that it had won the 2017 Spiel des Jahres I took a look at Kingdomino. On discovering that it was only £15, and that games could be played in about 15 minutes I decided to pick up a copy.

So far I've played games with both [personal profile] swampers and [personal profile] danieldwilliam and both of them picked it up quickly and enjoyed playing it.

It's based (surprisingly enough) on the idea behind dominoes - or, at least, the part of dominoes where you have tiles with two ends and need to match them against each other. In this case the different ends are different terrains (grass, mountain, etc), and you score by forming areas of the same terrain*. Each turn you have to make a judgement between going for the tiles that score the highest, versus going for lower-scoring tiles which allow you make the first move the next turn.

I enjoyed it, and I'm definitely taking it on holiday. If you're looking for a filler game then it'll do a great job of that.



*It's a bit more complex than that, but not a lot.

Interesting Links for 20-07-2017

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Stupidity never dies

Jul. 20th, 2017 06:59 am
supergee: (horse's ass)
[personal profile] supergee
Beer for Her is the latest gendered idiocy.
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I posted yesterday about the media using "X defends against accusations" as a way of making you think that there are widespread attacks on them.

47 people clicked through to that post from Facebook. 5 from Twitter.

The 5 from Twitter all did so within an hour of the post going up.

The 47 from Facebook did so over the course of the following 12 hours (19 of them within an hour, but then an ongoing curve downwards).

Which indicates to me that Facebook does a pretty good job of knowing when something is interesting to my friends, and keeping it "active" for a while, whereas Twitter sweeps it away near-instantly, and unless it really grabs people it's gone.

And looking at my overall referrer stats, Facebook gets between three and six times the number of clicks that Twitter does.

(Just had a look at my actual LJ statistics too - yesterday I had 145 readers, of which 100-ish were reading via their friends-page and 45 were going direct to my posts/journal. Sadly I don't get the same info from DW, but Google Analytics tells me that 78 people visited that post on DW.)

Poem of the week

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:09 am
cmcmck: (Default)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 Sometimes a poem is just so bad that it is absolutely wonderful.

This is other half's favourite McGonagall poem :o)



The Funeral of the German Emperor

YE sons of Germany, your noble Emperor William now is dead.
Who oft great armies to battle hath led;
He was a man beloved by his subjects all,
Because he never tried them to enthral.

The people of Germany have cause now to mourn,
The loss of their hero, who to them will ne’er return;
But his soul I hope to Heaven has fled away,
To the realms of endless bliss for ever and aye.

He was much respected throughout Europe by the high and the low,
And all over Germany people’s hearts are full of woe;
For in the battlefield he was a hero bold,
Nevertheless, a lover of peace, to his credit be it told.

’Twas in the year of 1888, and on March the 16th day,
That the peaceful William’s remains were conveyed away
To the royal mausoleum of Charlottenburg, their last resting-place,
The God-fearing man that never did his country disgrace.

The funeral service was conducted in the cathedral by the court chaplain, Dr. Kogel,
Which touched the hearts of his hearers, as from his lips it fell,
And in conclusion he recited the Lord’s Prayer
In the presence of kings, princes, dukes, and counts assembled there.

And at the end of the service the infantry outside fired volley after volley,
While the people inside the cathedral felt melancholy,
As the sound of the musketry smote upon the ear,
In honour of the illustrous William. whom they loved most dear.

Then there was a solemn pause as the kings and princes took their places,
Whilst the hot tears are trickling down their faces,
And the mourners from shedding tears couldn’t refrain;
And in respect of the good man, above the gateway glared a bituminous flame.

Then the coffin was placed on the funeral car,
By the kings and princes that came from afar;
And the Crown Prince William heads the procession alone,
While behind him are the four heirs-apparent to the throne.

Then followed the three Kings of Saxony, and the King of the Belgians also,
Together with the Prince of Wales, with their hearts full of woe,
Besides the Prince of Naples and Prince Rudolph of Austria were there,
Also the Czarevitch, and other princes in their order I do declare.

And as the procession passes the palace the blinds are drawn completely,
And every house is half hidden with the sable drapery;
And along the line of march expansive arches were erected,
While the spectators standing by seemed very dejected.

And through the Central Avenue, to make the decorations complete,
There were pedestals erected, rising fourteen to fifteen feet,
And at the foot and top of each pedestal were hung decorations of green bay,
Also beautiful wreaths and evergreen festoons all in grand array.

And there were torches fastened on pieces of wood stuck in the ground;
And as the people gazed on the weird-like scene, their silence was profound;
And the shopkeepers closed their shops, and hotel-keepers closed in the doorways,
And with torchlight and gaslight, Berlin for once was all ablaze.

The authorities of Berlin in honour of the Emperor considered it no sin,
To decorate with crape the beautiful city of Berlin;
Therefore Berlin I declare was a city of crape,
Because few buildings crape decoration did escape.

First in the procession was the Emperor’s bodyguard,
And his great love for them nothing could it retard;
Then followed a squadron of the hussars with their band,
Playing “Jesus, Thou my Comfort,” most solemn and grand.

And to see the procession passing the sightseers tried their best,
Especially when the cavalry hove in sight, riding four abreast;
Men and officers with their swords drawn, a magnificent sight to see
In the dim sun’s rays, their burnished swords glinting dimly.

Then followed the footguards with slow and solemn tread,
Playing the “Dead March in Saul,” most appropriate for the dead;
And behind them followed the artillery, with four guns abreast,
Also the ministers and court officials dressed in their best.

The whole distance to the grave was covered over with laurel and bay,
So that the body should be borne along smoothly all the way;
And the thousands of banners in the procession were beautiful to view,
Because they were composed of cream-coloured silk and light blue.

There were thousands of thousands of men and women gathered there,
And standing ankle deep in snow, and seemingly didn’t care
So as they got a glimpse of the funeral car,
Especially the poor souls that came from afar.

And when the funeral car appeared there was a general hush,
And the spectators in their anxiety to see began to crush;
And when they saw the funeral car by the Emperor’s charger led,
Every hat and cap was lifted reverently from off each head.

And as the procession moved on to the royal mausoleum,
The spectators remained bareheaded and seemingly quite dumb;
And as the coffin was borne into its last resting-place,
Sorrow seemed depicted in each one’s face.

And after the burial service the mourners took a last farewell
Of the noble-hearted William they loved so well;
Then rich and poor dispersed quietly that were assembled there,
While two batteries of field-guns fired a salute which did rend the air
In honour of the immortal hero they loved so dear,
The founder of the Fatherland Germany, that he did revere.












rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Coffee Time, Dupont and Lansdowne #toronto #wallaceemerson #dupontstreet #lansdowneave #coffeetime


The Coffee Time restaurant located at 1005 Lansdowne Avenue, on the northeastern corner of Lansdowne and Dupont, has long had a bit of a scary reputation. The restaurant's lone reviewer at Yelp rates it only one star, noting that the crowd hanging out here, in a traditionally poor neighbourhood close to apartment towers once linked to crime including drugs and prositution, is "interesting."

The transformation of the neighbourhood into one populated by tall condos and relatively affordable rentals is ongoing. Will this Coffee Time survive, or will its legacy be reduced to passing mentions in archived discussion threads about a neigbourhood transformed beyond recognition, like here and here? And what will become of the crowd?
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Johann Hari writes for Open Democracy about what may be the beginning of the end of the drug war in Germany.

  • I am not in agreement with Joseph Couture's argument in NOW Toronto that the Internet has ended gay communities. (Convince me.)

  • Samantha Edwards reports in NOW Toronto controversy regarding the Parkdale feminist street art event. Was it really intersectional?

  • James Cooray Smith wonders--or "wonders"--why some Doctor Who fans are so upset with a woman portraying the Doctor.

  • In MacLean's, chief Perry Bellegarde argues that more Canadians should be concerned with the too-many deaths of young First Nations people in Thunder Bay.

  • The National Post tells the story of how Australian senator Larissa Walters had to unexpectedly resign her position on account of her Canadian birth.

  • Via James Nicoll, a paper claiming evidence of human presence in northern Australia, in Madjedbebe, 65k years ago.

  • National Geographic tells of the peculiar way some Gulf of Mexico dolphins prepare their catfish. Is it cultural, culinary even?

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