The Atlantic finds the best podcasts of 2016 so you don’t have to.
Backpacks, backpacks, come get your backpacks!
This is one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen. It’s a great look into the incredible mind of Stanley Kubrick. Even if you are not a fan of this work, you will be a fan of how he worked and this documentary.
I was tweeting this out the other day and was told how incorrect I was. Apparently my ranking of Star Trek: The Next Generation was too low for almost all of you. Still I stand behind my statement. The Next Generation sucked but not as much as The Original Series.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dark, moody, had a two year long war that saw hundreds of Federation ships destroyed. Gene Roddenberry would have hated it but it’s my favorite. Also Avery Brooks who played Captain Sisko was Hawk on Spencer for Hire.
- Star Trek: Voyageur: I liked it even before Seven of Nine joined the crew. My only issue was while almost everyone else got a promotion, Ensign Kim never did. Was his performance so middling he couldn’t have been made a lieutenant?
- Star Trek: Enterprise: The idea of Starfleet going out with in deep space with an under performing Enterprise helped by duplicitous Vulcans, I’m okay with that. Plus it had a beagle on board.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Enterprise D was ugly, Riker can’t keep the shields up, Tasha Yar was killed off in a horrible way. Outside of the Borg episodes and the one where they brought Yar back, the series sucked. Okay that one episode when the U.S.S. Phoenix went rogue was pretty cool. The Nebula class starships look so much cooler than the Galaxy class ships.
- Star Trek: TOS: I’ll watch it if nothing else is one.
That being said, I am a huge fan of the movies including The Next Generation movies. Of course the premise is often darker, the sets are better, the uniforms look good. If only Riker could keep the shields up.
"The issue was ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,’" Lucas said. "People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera and it’s all about family problems – it’s not about spaceships. So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing so I decided, ‘fine…. I’ll go my way and I let them go their way.’"
This marks the first time Lucas is not intimately involved, which Lucas compared to a breakup.
"When you break up with somebody, the first rule is no phone calls. The second rule, you don’t go over to their house and drive by to see what they’re doing," he said laughing. "The third one is you don’t show up at their coffee shop and say you are going to burn it… You just say ‘Nope, gone, history, I’m moving forward.’"
Before we feel bad for George Lucas, how many billions of dollars did he get from Disney? So Lucas gets $4.06 billion to sell Lucasfilm and now is sad they didn’t want his ideas. Well, I hope the $4 billion is enough to console them.
But near the end of the 60s and well into the 70s, the cracks started to show. Snoopy began walking on his hind legs and using his hands, and that was the beginning of the end for the strip. Perhaps he was technically still a dog, but in a very substantial way, Snoopy had overcome the principal struggle of his existence. His opposable thumbs and upward positioning meant that for all intents and purposes, he was now a human in a dog costume. One of his new roleplays was to be different Joes — Joe Cool, Joe Skateboard, etc.
None of this had any greater, narrative payoff, or ended with Snoopy realizing he was a dog. It was always a pure visual gag, and it lacked the subtlety, pain, and vision that had previously been the strip’s trademark. In short, there was no balance. It was just a series of Snoopy in new costumes, almost as if Schulz was anticipating merchandise demands. Cuteness had replaced depth in a strip that had always celebrated the maturity and adult-like nature of precocious children. And since the strip had become globally, universally loved, there was little impetus to revisit the darker social commentary of years past.
Snoopy even passed for a human in many circumstances — Peppermint Patty referred to him as the “funny-looking kid with a big nose,” and took him to her school dance. And thus, the ‘humanizing’ of Snoopy also meant that the real kids were used less and less. Snoopy filled their roles, and eventually, many human characters were discarded altogether. By the 80s, Shermy and Patty, who started the strip with Charlie Brown and Snoopy in 1952, were gone, or reduced to brief cameos. Violet and her high bred snobbery were gone. Frieda, who used to challenge Snoopy more than any of the other characters, was also gone. Instead, we got more strips of Snoopy in cute costumes.
A little known fact is that my first stuffed animal as a kid was named “Noopy”. Apparently I didn’t’ pronounce “S” well.
Each year I put together some holiday and Christmas gift guides for the people in your life. Wendy wrote the first one and here is my first one; a holiday and Christmas guide for the women in your life.
Wendy is hard to shop for. She never makes a list until it’s too late and doesn’t really crave a whole bunch of things which makes Christmas (and birthday) shopping hard. In case your wife is awesome like Wendy but hard to shop for, here are some Christmas gift ideas to consider.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
The alluring Original Star K Heart Shape 8mm Love Pendant, crafted in 925 Sterling Silver. This beautiful design is set with 1 Heart Shape stone prong set , 1 stone prong set colorless Round Cubic Zirconia. This product measures 8 mm wide, 18 mm long and is a great looking while affordable necklace and pendant.
Why would you get her a iPod Nano when she probably has a smart phone. Two reasons. Smartphones tend to fill up with apps and if you have a 8gb or even a 16gb iPhone, she may not have enough room to have much music on it. The second reason is that she may have an Android or a Blackberry meaning that managing your music with iTunes is a pain in the neck.
An iPod Nano gives her 16gb of storage in an extremely compact package. It may not do everything that her phone or an iPod Touch does but it plays her music really well at an affordable price.
Wendy has always loved music and has always wanted a massive stereo system. Since we have a small home, the dream has never come true. Lucky for Wendy there are some excellent compact speaker systems as options. Here are a few of them.
I have traditionally recommended the Bose Wave home audio system. It provides legendary sound, is $499 but has fallen behind the times. It bugs me that even with the new version you have to add an optional and costly Bluetooth receiver to stream music wirelessly from your iPod. Yet if the women you are shopping for still prefers CDs to iTunes, it is probably the best audio system you can get for her.
For the iPod/Android crowd, I am suggesting you get her a Big Jambox.
The Big Jambox turns any mobile device (phone, tablet, media player, computer) into a portable, hi-fi sound system that wirelessly delivers amazingly clear, full audio at any volume.
- They are available from Amazon and are $277. If cost or size are a factor, check out the Jambox Mini for $99.
Help keep her warm this winter with a faux fur blanket. Perfect for outdoor, watching TV. Stay warm this winter and feel great with this faux fur throw. Unbelievably soft and plush. Dynamic decor piece to throw over a couch or chair, it serves as a fashionable, functional accent piece. Perfect blanket to cuddle up on a chilly evening without any of the guilt and cost of using real mink fur.
The ultimate garden book “both a collection of gardens from around the world and a resource for those seeking inspiration on garden design and planting. Featuring over 250 permanent gardens by leading garden designers, horticulturalists and landscape architects, from the 14th century to the present day, and covering all key types and styles of garden, this well illustrated compendium combines images, text, key information and captions for each of the featured gardens, appealing to both amateur and professional gardeners, as well as garden designers.
Samsung’s Chromebook laptop has been deemed by many to be a success. Lightweight, inexpensive and practical as everything operates off your Google Drive, the Chromebook is great for any career woman on the move.
Chromebooks are great if you are comfortable with using Google Apps but if she is the type that wants to do more with a computer, check out the Acer Aspire E-11 Netbook.
It runs Windows 8.1, has 2gb of RAM, and is totally silent as it is cooled passively. No fans means no noise. It’s only $200, runs iTunes, some games, Microsoft Office (or Open Office). An amazing netbook for the money.
Jean Dubost Laguiole 3-Piece Cheese Knife Set is a great holiday gift for anyone who loves hosting a great dinner party and doing so in style.
This set of cheese service knives includes a spreader for soft cheeses like Montrachet a serving knife for Gruyere and Gouda and a cleaver for hard cheeses such as Parmigiano. Sparkling stainless steel handles carry the signature logo of the Laguiole ‘Bee’. A wooden gift and storage box completes this gourmet set.
Wendy works full time and then has to come home to a household of two sons and me. In other words she puts up with days that make mine seem like a meditation retreat. Give your wife a break from the chaos with these noise cancelling headphones. If you are on a budget, check out the Sony MDR-NC7 Noise Cancelling headphones for about $40 or JVC HANC250 Noise Cancelling Headphones for about $120.
She’ll love this mug.
Wendy has sensitive skin and watches irritate her horribly. So when I gave Wendy this Timex Ironman watch, she had some serious doubts over whether or not she could wear it. A year later, she is still wearing it every day. Because the watch and band are all one piece, it is an incredibly comfortable watch to wear. Because it is from Timex, it takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.
It is only $27 at Amazon and if you ask Wendy, she will tell you it is worth five times that amount.
Here is what you want to know: Yes, the Kindle Voyage is better than the Kindle Paperwhite. It’s thinner, faster, brighter, lighter, newer, has a better screen, has more memory (4GB vs last year’s Paperwhite’s 2GB) commands more magical elf armies, owns a Ferrari, and is nicer to your grandmother.
The iRobot Roomba 880 is the ultimate high performance robotic vacuum cleaner. Featuring the revolutionary new AeroForce Performance Cleaning System and AeroForce Extractors, it’s proven to remove up to 50% more dirt, dust, hair, debris and harmful allergens from all floor types and is virtually maintenance free.
Of course the best part of this gift is that it saves you and her time, time that you can spend together.
So there you go. I assume I have forgotten, many, many ideas so let me know what I have forgotten the comments below. You can check out the other Christmas and holiday gift guides while you are at it.
The victors strode into the CBCâ€™s Toronto headquarters at 250 Front St. West on June 1 in an especially humiliating denouement for what was left of the public networkâ€™s sports department and its version of Hockey Night In Canada.
Not only had Rogers Communications Inc. wrenched the Canadian national broadcast rights to NHL games from the CBCâ€™s grasp with a stunning $5.2-billion payout over the next 12 years, but the Visigoths were actually at the gate. Part of the ensuing deal, in which those in charge of the CBC meekly handed over the companyâ€™s airwaves for free, was that the Rogers people connected to Hockey Night, along with some people hired from rival TSN, would use the CBCâ€™s studios and take over the showâ€™s office space on the north side of the eighth floor â€“ the plushest in the building thanks to the showâ€™s status as the networkâ€™s biggest money spinner.
The cash-strapped national broadcaster may have lost a Canadian institution it held for 62 years because it could not hope to match the money Rogers threw at the NHL, but no one was actually going anywhere. The showâ€™s staff stayed put and the new bosses moved in. Hockey Night will continue to be broadcast on the CBCâ€™s stations across the country â€“ the show makes its season debut Saturday night after Rogers officially unwrapped its new toy this week with Wednesday Night Hockey to cover the NHLâ€™s opening night â€“ but the money all goes to Rogers now.
The only revenue the CBC will get is from renting its studios, offices and some staff to the conquerors.
Not long after the Rogers people moved into the CBC building, a notice went up: The eighth-floor boardroom was now off-limits to CBC staffers. If they wanted to use it, a request had to be made through Rogers.
â€œIâ€™d say weird is a great way to put it,â€ one Hockey Night staffer said of the atmosphere in the offices on the eighth floor, adding that another emotion has a greater hold. â€œIâ€™m angry at the CBC for how they handled this. I think a lot of people are mad. They fired 50 people in sports and those are people with families. This didnâ€™t have to happen.â€
It didnâ€™t have to happen, staff at both the CBC and Hockey Night say, because they believe NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his marketing chief John Collins were willing to offer the CBC a compromise that would have saved a scaled-down version of Hockey Night for the network that still would have been a significant source of revenue. Those staffers also believe the CBC executives missed this chance because of their failure to recognize the changed broadcast landscape and to see the threat posed by Rogers and BCE Inc., which owns the TSN and CTV networks. The CBC negotiators insisted throughout an exclusive negotiating period with the NHL that any new deal would see the network stick to a regional and national schedule by carrying all games played by Canadian-based NHL teams on Saturdays.
A humiliating blow to the CBC which will have an impact on Canadian broadcasting for years to come.
Wendy is upset (as she always is) because I thought this song
was a rip off of this classic McDonaldâ€™s commercial
Anyone could have made this mistake. Â Anyone I tell you.
I may never live this down.
The imminent news of Johnsonâ€™s hiring comes after Star Wars owner Lucasfilm appointed two other young directorsâ€”one of whom directed Chronicle and the other the recent smash, Godzillaâ€”to helm Star Wars films that for the first time will not be part of a single saga. The spin-offs, rumored to star Yoda and Boba Fett, were part of the plan when Walt Disney acquired Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012. Disney seems to be following the game plan of its other subsidiary, Marvel, which it bought for the same price in 2011.
By hiring talented but untested directors and taking some creative risks, Marvel set out to create individual franchises set in the same world, just as in the comics. In this way, audiences have bought into individual characters like Iron Man and Captain America, and each exists as its own money-spinning franchise against the backdrop of a larger universe. Fans are buying into a characterâ€™s journey, rather than a Marvel sequel. And stories that unite the universe, such as The Avengers, become must-see global blockbusters that bring together these different fan-bases once every few years. The Marvel method has upended the blockbuster formula, which, ironically, was created by the original Star Wars film in 1977.
Will Disney be able to do the same with Star Wars, credibly expanding the universe beyond the story of the Skywalkers? We will begin to find out when the next film, Episode VII, currently filming with the original cast under the hands of Star Trek director JJ Abrams, is released in December 2015.
(crickets) It will cost you $1 million. Â That makes the $30-40k that it would cost you to have Collective Soul play seem like a bargain. Â Check the entire list to see how much your favourite band will sell their souls for. (In case you want to get me Bon Jovi for my next birthday, it will cost you more than a million dollars)
This guy is playing the accordion and making it look cool.
Q: Where did the idea of, in Seinfeld, your character being a comedian for a profession, but be the straight man for your friends, come from? I always thought that juxtapositioning for the show was genius.
A: Very good observation and analysis on your part, Baxter. You are truly exhibiting a good comedic eye. The reason I would play straight was it was funnier for the scene. And very few people have ever remarked on this, because it was a conscious choice of mine, only because I knew it would make the show better, and I didn’t care who was funny as long as somebody was funny and that the show was funny. So you have hit upon one of the great secret weapons of the Seinfeld series, was that I had no issue with that.