LifeTime Blog Archive Page
Sun, 26 Sep 2010 15:53:23 GMT
Find a City, Find Myself a City to Live In
by Vadim Rizov
Many directors would love to be considered the preeminent auteur of their area. Ben Affleck is not one of those people. Gone Baby Gone restored his reputation and got him critical waves and The Town ended up outperforming expectations to be the weekend"s number one movie. Nonetheless, in pre-release interviews he was sheepish about his relationship to the city. Asked whether he"d keep returning, he hedged: "I don"t know. I"m nervous. I don"t want to be pigeonholed as Johnny Boston filmmaker." Still, he knew what was at stake: "New York doesn"t so much care about a New York movie or a New York book or New York story. But Boston knows. Boston knows if you"re from there."
Boston certainly does: one reason for Affleck"s nervousness might be the burden of waiting for his hometown"s verdict. Peter Keogh said it "might be the best movie set in Boston since The Friends of Eddie Coyle," even as he lightly rapped Affleck on the knuckles for not getting his neighborhood accent quite right. Ty Burr was less impressed: "I don"t care what anyone outside the greater metropolitan area says," he growled. "The Town takes place in Movie Boston rather than the real thing," noting local audiences laughter at trailers suggesting Charlestown-Affleck"s setting this time out-was basically Compton in 1992. This kind of on-the-ground authenticity fact-checking justifies local film criticism, concluded blogger the Cinetrix: no one from outside could do it, regardless of their other critical acumen.
Posted by: ahillis Read more Source
Wed, 08 Sep 2010 12:47:26 GMT
Three Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg
by Brian Darr
The Criterion Collection lives up to its name, having in the past twelve years released over five hundred DVDs and box sets, generally with the best available image and sound quality, lovingly lavish packaging and supplemental features, a body of product containing a large proportion of the most noteworthy films in world cinema history. However, for every Jean-Luc Godard or Akira Kurosawa whose filmography has been well-served by Criterion"s curatorial mission, there"s a whole cinematic realm in which the company falls short. Films directed by women are few and far between, as are films from Asian nations other than Japan. Nothing at all has been released from South America or Africa, unless one counts Europeans" excursions there, such as Marcel Camus" Black Orpheus and Gillo Pontocorvo"s The Battle of Algiers.
Surprisingly, the entire silent era, representing over three decades of moviemaking history, has yielded only a handful of dedicated Criterion DVD releases thus far: Nanook of the North, Passion of Joan of Arc, Haxan, Pandora"s Box, King of Kings, and now a box set collecting three of auteur Josef von Sternberg"s few surviving silents: Underworld, The Last Command, and The Docks of New York. Setting aside the appearance of John Ford"s early Bucking Broadway as an extra on the recent release of his Stagecoach, with this Von Sternberg set Criterion has just quadrupled its catalog of silent features made in Hollywood (previously, only DeMille"s King of Kings fit in that category), a territory the company has largely ceded to other imprints like Kino and Flicker Alley.
Posted by: ahillis Read more Source
Mon, 09 Aug 2010 03:39:45 GMT
Usually when I link to Skywatch Friday, I post a sunrise or the blue, blue sky during the middle of the day. It’s time to post a sunset, when the day is done. No wonder sunset is a well used metaphor for the end of things.
This is not out in my Ozark forest but in the middle of an office park near my home. In fact the world headquarters for one of the major mobile phone companies is right across the street from where I took this shot. That’s little bluestem grass growing on the hillside. I’d been trying to line up this shot for weeks, but I was never in the right place at the right time. But good things are worth waiting for.
- Cuckoos (rain crows) return this week to nest.
- Fawns are born through late June.
Posted by: Roundrockjournal Read more Source
Mon, 09 Aug 2010 03:20:45 GMT
Many thanks to Tatcher a Hainu@Flickr (aka Eckhard Volcker) of Berlin, Germany, for submitting today"s micrograph via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool (original image). To view more of Eckhard"s micrography work, visit his site titled Wunderkanone (hint: click on Pflanzen for vascular plant imagery). You can also see a small gallery of his work via Labgrab.
As Eckhard explains in the comments accompanying his photograph, this is a 10x magnification of a cross-sectioned pedicel of a rose. His technique? A microtome, or a machine for slicing tissue (think deli meat slicer, but much smaller), is used to make the even cross-section. The sections are then mounted on microscope slides and stained with a dye (or dyes). Different tissues react to different dyes. Expert (and careful) technique can produce a range of colours, as seen here.
Working from the outside of the pedicel inwards: a red-stained cuticle is subtended by a single cell layer thick epidermis. The next dozen or so cell layers form a band called the cortex, consisting of the outermost ~4 cell thick angular collenchyma (provides supportive structure for new growth) and large, undifferentiated parenchyma. The band of colourful vascular bundles (or water and nutrient transport tissues) are next. At the bottom of this micrograph is another grouping of parenchyma, forming the pith.
Each vascular bundle is surrounded by yellow-stained cells that I believe are sclerified parenchyma; these have developed to provide support and protection to the vascular tissue. The orange-red stained cells are a bundle cap of fibres associated with the nutrient-carrying phloem tissue, which consists of the small densely-packed green-stained cells immediately below. The medium-sized bluish-stained cells toward the inside of each vascular bundle form the tissue called xylem, often associated with water transport (but also carry some nutrients). Between the xylem and phloem tissue is a thin band of vascular cambium, a meristematic (undifferentiated cell generating) tissue that will produce additional xylem and phloem with time.
By the way, if I"m wrong about anything, I"d welcome any corrections -- I"m not a plant anatomist, though had I been able to section and stain tissue with the skill that Eckhard has, perhaps I would"ve taken a few more courses on the topic.
Photography resource link: Local readers will likely be familiar with his work, but if you"ve never seen the photography of Chris Harris (photo gallery), you"re in for a treat.
Posted by: Daniel Mosquin Read more Source
Sun, 20 Jun 2010 00:12:12 GMT
Summer Calls For Motorized Blinds, Shades
Summer is finally upon us and what better way to celebrate the season of sunshine than making full use of the sun's life-giving warmth by letting its rays enter your home. So what are you waiting for? Go around the house and start raising those shades and opening those windows.
In a wired home, though, you don't need to run around the house just to flip the blinds and raise the shades of every window. In the modern, smart home, windows shades and blinds
are fitted with motors that make life a bit easier. Summer, after all, is a season for relaxation, especially if the kids are out of the house and you want nothing more than to lie down on that backyard hammock.
If you live in a wired home and don't have motorized blinds and shades, then you don't really live in a smart home. I suggest you hie off to the nearest home improvement store and get yourself a few of these motorized or automatic shades and blinds, which usually come with remote control systems.
Posted by: Linda Read more Source
Sat, 19 Jun 2010 23:29:06 GMT
Making Big Oil accountable
The $20 billion bucket
for claims that would be funded by BP, but run by the US government is hardly going to dent the BP balance sheet and P&L.
As Bernard Condon and Michael Liedtke write in Associated Press
, BP makes more money than Apple and Google combined and in the past three years the company generated $91 billion in cash flow from operations. Unlike the banks, BP has next to no debt which means it can raise billions more. Even in a worst case scenario, analysts say the company could wall of those liabilities.
But the big balance sheet test might be yet to come with the prospects of criminal charges. The New York Times
reports that BP's costs could soar to $63 billion if there were criminal charges, and that's not even taking into account the lawsuits.
But then as Michael Corkery writes in The Wall Street Journal
, BP is likely to survive this crisis in the same way that Union Carbide survived Bhopal. BP's greatest assets are 18 billion barrels of oil reserves. The value of these reserves, like Union Carbide's chemical technology, should see the company through.
In light of that, the challenge for the US government is to take steps to ensure this crisis does not happen again. Oil companies will continue to make massive profits but they need to be made more accountable.
Posted by: Bose Read more Source
Sat, 19 Jun 2010 23:17:34 GMT
Print Flyers, Hit the Beach
Business is business. It's more than just your professional commitment. You have the life you have (complete with a nice house and vacations in the Caribbean) precisely because you do what the business requires.
That includes drawing up the marketing brochure flyer
and then finding time to print flyers
- even if you're supposed to be home with your wife, packing to go to Virgin Gorda
While it doesn't have to be hard to get simple things (like printing your marketing brochures) done, stress and difficulty do come from the way life intertwines simple task (sometimes dozens of them) together into larger jobs where those simple tasks can't be easily untangled from each other.
Fortunately there are ways to get your flyers printed quickly. So now I'm reclining on the beach with a glass of rum, listening to the sound of the surf and feeling the breeze. Business can be business next week.
Posted by: Steve Read more Source
Thu, 01 Apr 2010 12:57:25 GMT
For Digital Photographers
With digital photography your images aren't complete until you've engaged in some form of post processing image manipulation.
That is unless you and your digital camera are so good that there is no need for further adjustments after you've taken a picture.
Well, for people like me, who at least take a quick look at all photo files using one graphics program or another, and then try to make the image better, we're always on the lookout for shortcuts and guidance.
If you're into Adobe products then you're in luck because their website has a great library of downloadable tutorials and "Adobe Actions" that will speed up the process of fine tuning your digital photos.
Here's the link to the first page of free Adobe downloads
Take a camera with you whenever possible, and look around, you'll find a picture somewhere.
Posted by: Karen Read more Source
Thu, 01 Apr 2010 08:12:59 GMT
The Skinny Jean for the Not-So-Skinny
The skinny jean was the best thing to happen to me since sliced bread. Hm. Actually, the skinny jean is better than bread, sliced or unsliced. There's nothing as good-looking as a skinny jean with a ballet shoe. It's super flattering, and I say that as someone who's not especially skinny myself.
I have a friend who always looks dynamite. We all have a friend like this: someone who is effortlessly fashionable who, even when she's in Sunday sweats, looks like she's ready for a fashion shoot.
It helps that my friend is very beautiful and incredibly petite in spite of the huge amounts of candy she puts away on a nearly daily basis. Oh, and she's a great person too. Sigh. Well, she gives me something to aspire to.
Anyway, she showed up to a movie date one evening in skinny jeans, and I noticed for the first time how flattering they are on the leg. How they forgive a drapey shirt (a safe choice when you're carrying a few extra pounds), and how they make a pair of ordinary legs like mine look, well.... svelte.
I went pronto to the True Religion
store and bought a pair.
Big mistake. I only bought one! I never take them off. So this weekend I'm on a mission to purchase more - lots more, several pairs more.
Outlet mall, here I come.
Photo above is from NeimanMarcus.com
Posted by: Doreen Read more Source
Wed, 31 Mar 2010 19:38:41 GMT
Twittering from the Grand Wall
It's easy in the investment world to think of China as one big business opportunity. But if you actually get to go to China, remember to budget a little time for seeing the place. Because China is much more than a business opportunity. It is a cradle of civilization filled with wonders, both natural and manmade.
A friend of mine was able to spend a couple of days touring China as part of a small delegation of business people from his state. He sent back links via Twitter
to some beautiful pictures of the Great Wall that he uploaded on a laptop he managed to get at a discount whit some Dell coupons
before he left on the trip.
The Great Wall is nice. It's part of the standard sorts of day trips and sight seeing adventures people go one from Beijing - along with places like Tiananmen Square, the Lama Temple, the Bell Tower, the Niujie Mosque, the Forbidden City. The list is much longer. But for my money I'd rather see West Lake in Hangzhou, or maybe the Yellow Mountains. And if time and finances allowed for it, I'd want to visit Guilin in the south and maybe see some of Yunnan Provinces mountainous terrain and tribal culture.
Like I said, it's easy to think of China as your own money garden. But if that's all it is to you, you're missing out on a lot that Chian has to offer.
Posted by: Wendy Read more Source
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