Wednesday, May 25, 2016

TV gold rush age

This article is talking about the current "gold rush" (my term) of TV production, which has seen new TV production companies, notably Amazon and Netflix, enter the market, investing big money in new shows and paying very high fees to famous film actors to join, thus driving up actor fees overall.

What I find interesting is that many quotes from actors and agents sound like they've just arrived in paradise, while showing no awareness of what seems obvious to me: this is temporary.

It's just like in the late nineties when you'd have money managers gloating about the new prosperity which would last forever, which it almost did, except for the dot-bomb at the millennium.

It's just obvious: if something expands extremely fast and it includes an entire market, it is temporary.  It's a bubble. I said so about the real estate market a couple of years before the bust in 2008. Where would the resources come from to continue such expansion without anything to expand into? I don't think these companies (barring maybe Amazon) have the money to continue these investments, it is simply that they are all fighting desperately for market share right now.

Pretty or Beautiful

I think I got an idea about the difference between Pretty and Beautiful. (In art, the world, or people.)

Pretty: harmonic and generic.
Beautiful: harmonic and unusual.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Night Light"

(Clickable as usual)

Re-evaluating beliefs (Jeff Bezos)

My respect for Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos (new interview) just increased tenfold. Apart from some spiritual teachers, I've don't recall hearing anybody say that one should not only be able to change one's mind frequently, but also even occasionally re-evaluate one's basic convictions. So beautiful. It has been perhaps the one most important thing I have learned in my life, and I came late to it. I think it's one of the hardest lessons to learn and apply, it is an ongoing process, for the mind is heavily geared to protect beliefs with our deep-seated human fears.

How deeply it is ingrained is evident (as Bezos also points out) from the fact that in politics it is suicide to change your beliefs. The broad public will instantly perceive you as weak and wishy-washy, and people want strong leaders, I guess because they want them to suppress their enemies for them.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Blue rain (and Canon GX7 II)

A couple of snaps from this wet but fine evening.

(Click for big pic)

Camera: The new Canon GX7 II. So far I like it a lot. Crucially it focuses very fast indeed, even in poor light. Until pretty recently this was a big weakness of compacts.
It has a tilt-screen and goes to a 100mm-e tele, both of which are important to me.
And high-ISO seems good, the first pic is at ISO 1200. (It has a large sensor for a compact, a "one-inch" like the Sony RX100.)
The look and feel of it is excellent.
It's not the smallest compact ever, but it does fit in a breast pocket.
It has some nice details, for example it does not open into the widest wide-angle view like most compacts, but in the middle. That often saves time.

A happy Chewbacca

Most contagious laugh ever. Unmissable, as they say on these isles. And the guy who played Chewbacca loved it. Thanks to Bert.

Update: this video is not even 24 hours old, and already breaking all records.

"Everyone has been really encouraging. My friends and family are saying it's not degrading or anything for me. It just makes other people laugh" Mrs Payne said. 
"I'm seeing how many people are saying 'I suffer from depression, and this video is the first time I've laughed out loud in like two months."


Gotta love pop and variations.

Trio, the original, English version, in a camp eighties video:

Elastica, perhaps my favorite and most avant-garde version:

Some Asian kid, but good version once you get past the video lull at the beginning:

Trio, orginal German version. Only a German band will sing in a pop song: "Ich liebe dich nicht, du liebts mich nicht"! So funny.

As the fake Hitler said in The Producers: "Ja ja, Ich liebe you, Ich liebe you, now liebe me alone!"

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A myopic "camera"

A new "camera", DYI, is called Le Myope. It does not actually capture the image it saves, instead it finds and shows you a similar picture it found online!

"You alright"?

Here in the Northwest England, many people, for some reason just women, use the greeting "Are you all right?"

And it was used best by sweet, dumb, sweet Jenny from the wonderful Mancunian ("from Manchester") comedy series Ideal (with Johnny Vegas).

I recommend Ideal. (Originally titled "I deal".) A bit far out and sometimes rather abstract, and I think very dang funny and very original.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stayin' Alive (metal cover by Leo Moracchioli)

This is too funny.

Stayin' Alive

My fave is the head-banging bunny.

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Overlords music

[By the way, is anybody interested in these music posts? They tend to attract a lot of crickets.]

The Overlords were much bigger in "the big foreign parts" (as Danes call the rest of the world), so I may not have heard of them if the creative mastermind Ian Ion (the talky chat in the brief Danish interview after the live video) had not been a close friend of one of my friends. But I'm glad I did, they did some great stuff.
(Ian also has or had a gorgeous girlfriend (Hi Jet) who makes a mean pasta.)

I think this live version of God's Eye is good. Though it's a bit on the long side, but that's expected of house/trance music for dancing. I really like the female singer. I think a female presence adds a lot to films and music.

Interview in Danish, Ian says: "I think there really is something to get when we go beyond the daily things. There is much more to life than what's on TV. So turn off your TV NOW!"
And the singer says: "I don't get why you say these things."

Here is one from their first album several years earlier, much different, this is a yang-version of Night Fever. It is funny too...

Friday, May 13, 2016

Funny Animals

I don't do this often, but some are too good.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Magnets and Marbles in Motion shared this great and funny video of a kind of Rube Goldberg machine.

A Rube Goldberg machine is a long mechanical process with no great purpose except fun. In Danish this is called a "Storm P. Maskine", after the comic Storm P. who did the same thing in Denmark. The two men were actually born almost at the same time, 1882/1883, so I'm not sure who invented it.

Rube Goldberg

Storm P.

David Bowie - Dead Man Walking

Not just a Bowie song from an underrated album, but I also now noticed that it is really is a strange combination of a grim title and dark lyrics with a very melodious song.  (Well, "melodious" for certain values of that word...)

This came out before Amazon took over my life, and I remember buying the CD ("Earthling") in a booth in the mall, and the sales girl said: "They said that this is Bowie back for real". I answered: "Heh, somebody says that for every album he comes out with."

I thought his previous album Outside also had some great stuff on it and was also underrated. Although pretty durn experimental, noisy and dark.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ugress returns

w0lws in the m0ss. Certainly an unusual video.
Though I guess my favorite Ugress song is still Decepticons -->

"Do not grieve. Soon I shall be one with the Matrix." - Optimus Prime
That is used to great effect in the song. Actually it is from the 1986 animated Transformers movie, which was just a kids movie I thought but had voices by such names as Orson Welles, Leonard Nimoy, and Eric Idle.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Any weird experiences?

Have you experienced anything weird or 'supernatural'?

Back when Edward Scissorhands came out, a friend told me that when he first saw the poster, he thought "Eolake is going to like that". And he was right, I'm attracted to weird in stories. It's refreshing.

But in life, I don't get it much, perhaps a good thing. Well, a small thing comes to mind: long ago I had sessions with a spiritual councellor, and the door in the room had a spring to close it but it tended to stick on the frame and not close. So one time I was through the door last and she said to me: "please push the door closed". I didn't think it necessary, so I just stared at the door, expecting it to close, and it did.

She said: "You did that, you know." I said: "I don't think so." So she said: "Try doing it while expecting it not to close." So I did that, and it didn't close.
Then she said: "now try to expect it to close again". So I opened it, and because the spring was kind of slow, I went and sat down, and as we looked at the door, it closed.

A friend of mine has a friend who more than once have demonstrated clear powers of telepathy and extra-sensory perception.

How about you?

TV show shuffling in the UK

Apropos TV, I have this mystery that's driving me crazy. Here in the UK, whenever any channel is running an old comedy show like the Simpsons or Friends, they NEVER run them in sequence, it's shuffled to complete randomness. Heck, even new shows they show a lot, like Disney comedy Liv And Maddie, are also shuffled.
(I'm a comedy fan myself, I wouldn't know Downton Abbey from Uptown Girl.)

I would have thought that the simpler thing would to play them in sequence, and for a continued-story show like Friends, it's just... illogical and disrespectful to the show and the fans. So, does anybody know why it is like this?

Ah, it seems the Downton Abbey makers are not adverse to a solid dose of comedy for a good cause, respect for that.

Don't trust the beard!

Chris Pine, below, is to have a part in next year's Wonder Woman movie. When I saw this picture, it struck me how rare it is to see a bearded man in the movies, unless he's a villain or a comic foil.

I guess it really is true that the broad public (in many countries) on some level distrusts bearded men. This makes as little sense to me as the antagonism some people have towards redheads, meaning none at all, I love redheads and I look better with a beard. But it must have some truth to it, because I believe that our movies (in whatever country) reflect our broadest feelings, beliefs, desires.

Looks promising.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Cheap lens

Inflation sucks caca shake through a broken sieve, but working against it is the fact that many digital and industrial products are getting so cheap you just can't believe it if you're "of a certain age".

For instance this 50mm 1.8 lens for Nikon, selling new, autofocus and all, for eighty-two dollars.
Granted we don't know yet exactly how good it is, but I'm pretty sure that 1: it's not as good as a $600 lens. 2: It is probably actually pretty good. It's been many years since I've heard of any new lenses which were bad, and those were even just some samples being duds. I would be quite surprised if this lens is not at least as good optically as the kit lenses coming with typical cameras. Not a zoom granted, but then it's faster and may have nice bokeh, background blur for portraits and such.