Category: Media

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‘The Edukators’

My 2005 work schedule has been brutal, with too few cultural breaks but DVDs. Catching movies on DVD puts me about six months behind showings, as was typical this weekend when I watched “The Edukators.” I give the the film high recommendation.

I immediately identified with the main characters, but not their captive, even though he and I are close in age. While I make quite a bit more money than the three protagonists, I can’t even relate to the lavish lifestyle of their antagonists. Like the three Edukators, I am highly critical of the truly wealthy, even though I would easily qualify, based on income, as a bourgeois. I live in a humble home (rented) and drive an old Volvo (dented and purchased quite used). My wife shops at thrift stores and we give more than 10 percent of yearly income to church, charity, people in need, or friends. 

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‘Walk the Line’

I am not much of a country music fan. My mother predicted that when I grew older, my tastes would grow more country. That simply never happened. Today’s playlist included songs by Arcade Fire, Jack’s Mannequin, Nelly Furtado, Something Corporate, Snow Patrol, Simple Plan, and Sum 41. No country.

But I do like good movies, even about country music singers, particularly when the actors do their own singing (no lip syncing, please). Country singer Johnny Cash did cover songs spanning many genres, even if he put his own twang on them. So I couldn’t resist “Walk the Line“, which I watched this evening. The star performances make the show. 

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Towering Over Thanksgiving

My daughter and I just got back from Tower Records (while my wife stayed home to review home school materials). I was so stunned by the posted holiday hours, I just had to ask at the counter about them. My local Tower Records will be open 10 to 10 on Thanksgiving. Oh, did I mention Tower has Christmas hours, too?

I pretty much had accepted McDonalds’ half-day Thanksgiving hours, but 10 to 10 over at Tower Records? Geez. Get a life! I’m tempted to drop in and see just how is business, considering not only the holiday but day before Black Friday. 

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No One is Safe

I am increasingly troubled by the implications of the Sony rootkit DRM, uncovered on Halloween by renown Windows expert Mark Russinovich. Essentially, Sony used a cloaking mechanism, typically the tool of malicious hackers, to hide digital rights management software installed on PCs from copy-protected music CDs. Like malware, the rootkit occasionally sends out information (to Sony), is nearly impossible to remove and when removed usually damages Windows.

I’ll skip over all the ways that Sony has turned its copy-protection mechanism into the worst kind of public relations disaster. I couldn’t imagine how any company could create more negative perception about DRM, but I’ll skip that, too. 

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It’s Miller Time No More

Earlier today, the New York Times officially dismissed reporter Judith Miller. In a to-the-point, bare-most-of-the-facts story, Times reporter Katharine Seelye writes of her colleague’s departure. While the Times and Miller “reached an agreement yesterday that ended her 28-year career,” it was a dismissal, as far as I’m concerned. The story carries tomorrow’s dateline.

I cheered for Miller when during summer she went to jail rather than give up a source. But since, oddities emerged about her involvement in the CIA leak case, her real reasons for going to jail, and her eventual testimony before a grand jury. 

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Girl in the Window

I am debating whether to keep the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens. My main reason for choosing the lens was the f/2.8 (and, of course, the “L” glass). I sparingly use flash and wanted a lens more suited to this shooting preference.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, I took the lens out at dusk for some difficult shooting. The picture here is of my daughter, goofing off through her parents’ bedroom window. I had to adjust this image quite a bit, using Apple’s iPhoto to change the brightness, contrast, and exposure.