A WordPress Skill Lab

Arts & Activities

A New Beginning

True to the original purpose of this blog, today I am starting a systematic study of  WordPress itself. My site is the simplest, cheapest offered, but with Premium membership for access to a huge array of themes that I plan to experiment with. My purpose is to learn to use as many features and edits as possible, while sharing my thoughts on many topics.

First I want to thank all the WordPress “Happiness Staff” who have rescued and educated me, especially during the past year. What a team!

And now, to start my journal, I share what has made me happy today: the photo quality from my Samsung S7 Galaxy’s latest full upgrade:

Rhody-1-2017

I just can’t take my eyes off it! And to think it’s “just” a cell phone camera . . .

Until later,  Mary


Hail Ceasar – Film Review

 http://moralpremise.blogspot.com/  by Stan Williams, PhD, date February 12, 2016

The Moral Premise Blog: Story Structure Craft

Hail Caesar BROLIN (1)

HAIL, CAESAR! (2016)

Writers/Directors: ETHAN COEN, JOEL COEN
Eddie Mannix: JOSH BROLIN
Baird Whitlock: GEORGE CLOONEY
Hobie Doyle: ALDEN EHRENREICH
Laurence Laurentz: RALPH FIENNES
DeeAnna Moran: SCARLETT JOHANSSON
Thora & Thessaly Thacker: TILDA SWINTON

I went for a lark.

I thought I’d go to the movies just this once for fun. No analysis, no timings in the back of the theater with my iPhone taking notes and risking getting kicked out. Pam was gone for the night, so I ate a Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad in the Emagine Theater parking lot as it started to snow. Went in, bought my Senior Discount ticket, got some chocolate covered almonds (Hey, Lent starts tomorrow), and sitting in my seat put in my new hearing aid so I could understand the dialogue.

I was expecting a brainless, escapism, night at the movies.

WELL!

Here’s a hint.

Hail, Caesar! is (at the same time) all about the fragility and splendor of being human. It is about the inability of humans to do what is right and their perseverance in trying to be better. It’s about the darkness of life and the candles we can ignite to bring light into that darkness.  And, it’s about how incompetent Hollywood can be and how, at the same time, utterly brilliant and talented the people there are. It’s about the difficult of doing what is right and not what is easy.  And all of that under the mercy of our creator. It is a pure movie about the human condition and how we help each other in this dark valley of tears.

HAIL, CAESAR! was entertaining (after a while). I cringed at first…it took a while to figure out what was going on. Hey, it’s the Coen brothers and they are two smart directors, but you have to stick with them—they will make you work. There were moments of profound seriousness and scenes that seemed obscure at best. And yet, there were scenes I could not stop laughing (although many of the jokes for me were filmmaking inside jokes. I’ve directed actors enough and been in editing rooms enough (even with uprightMoviolas), that the moments were gut busters…with many homages to the greats of the industry.   There were repeated sends-up of Hollywood and it’s ridiculous attempts to get things right but didn’t. (When you see the rear view of Jesus on the Cross is not satire of Christianity, it’s satire at Hollywood trying to tell the

story of Christ….big difference….don’t be confused). There is a dance number that puts Gene Kelly to shame, and Esther Williams’s grand water choreography makes an appearance. Enjoy the respites of talent, they’re there to remind you of humanity’s goodness and how the struggle is worth it.

Thus, I identified easily with the protagonist and his arc….Eddie Mannix, the CAPITAL studio head played by Josh Brolin. Watch him carefully. The movie is NOT about George Clooney’s character Baird Whitlock, although Baird’s predicament is what drives Eddie’s primary, physical goal.

I’ll watch it again and do a little amendment on the Moral Premise later. Let me know what you think.

 


NODEXL Graphic Gallery: The social Media Research Foundation

NODEXL Graphic Gallery

“The graph represents a network of 1,147 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained “‪#‎15ntc‬”, or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets, taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 18,000 tweets.”

“The network was obtained from Twitter on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 at 04:32 UTC.”

Graph-41086


Image

Another Face of Winter

frost2


Winter

Toby doesn’t understand

winter


Why Do Disco Clams Put On Brilliant Underwater Light Shows?

Why Do Disco Clams Put On Brilliant Underwater Light Shows?

A pair of disco clams share a crevice in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

disco-clam-mystery-1_87510_990x742

Photo by LINDSEY DOUGHERTY, University of California, Berkeley


Project Passenger Pigeon

“2014 marks the centenary of this extraordinary extinction. Project Passenger Pigeon will mark this anniversary and promote the conservation of species and habitat, strengthen the relationship between people and nature, and foster the sustainable use of natural resources.”

Visit their website: http://www.passengerpigeon.org to learn about the project and how to become involved. 

PassengerPigeon     

 

 

 

 

 

 


not in london, but foggy

A beautiful post from one of my favorite blogs.

not in london, but foggy.


Image

Dragonfly

dragonfly2

Dragonfly


Picture quiz: Do you know your world cities?

Picture quiz – do you know your world cities? | Travel | theguardian.com.

via Picture quiz – do you know your world cities? | Travel | theguardian.com.


Where she wants to be

A lovely tribute to her mother from a creative blogger:    where she wants to be.


Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek

See on Scoop.itOur Physical World

Fresh powder beckoned 16 expert skiers and snowboarders into the backcountry. Then the snow gave way.

See on www.nytimes.com


Aside

Cleveland International Film Festival

I spent many happy hours in Cleveland working on the International Film Festival:  CIFF website.

From September into January each year I review films submitted for entry in the festival.The culmination is the festival which lasts 11 days in March. I watch between 35 and 40 films. Some people watch more. It’s great watching with friends who are also film buffs and talking with the writers, producers, and other film-makers who are there with their films for Q&A.