Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gift Idea

As always THC seeks to meet the needs of its readership.  With the holiday season approaching here's a great gift if you know a fan of King Leonidas and The 300 - the Sparta Knife Block.  Courtesy of missingdigit.com.  For more background see Go Tell The Spartans.
Better get your order in soon - they can't keep up with demand!

Sparta Knife Block - Maple & Walnut

Friday, October 17, 2014

Richman, Richman

A follow up to What? Richie Richman is a Democrat? 

The chart below is based on data from Opensecrets.org which has a large database on political contributions.  Notice something?  The top contributors send their money to support liberal causes.  Interestingly, once you get below the top 10 contributors on the second chart the contributions are almost 50/50.  In other words, the 1% of the wealthiest contribute heavily to Democrats and Democratic causes.

Really no surprise since, as the Associated Press recently reported, the six wealthiest Congressional Districts and eight of the top ten districts are represented by Democrats.

 Gee, why do you think that is?

The truth is both liberal and conservative candidates and causes get a lot of money from the wealthy. 

Big Money Donors Are Leaning to The Left


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hey, Those Are My Soldiers!

THC had this exact set.  Must have been around 1960.  From Jon's Random Acts of Geekery.  Those were the days when a buck ninety eight really went far.  And the quality was just as good as it looked - every piece made from "pure molded plastic"! 

alarmingadventures01_33

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top Men

(Inspired by yesterday's post on Raiders Of The Lost Ark)

As crazy stuff seems to be erupting all around the world just be reassured that "we have Top Men working on it right now":

Monday, October 13, 2014

Raiders In Black And White

This is stunning.

It was a Friday morning in June of 1981 when THC and his consulting firm colleagues learned they had just lost a major project proposal to a competitor.  Expectations had been high that they'd get the job which was critical to the continued viability of the small firm so everyone was very discouraged.

A couple of hours later the boss came around and said "there's a new Spielberg movie coming out today, let's take the rest of the day off and go see it" and so it was that in early afternoon they found themselves in a theater in downtown Boston for the first showing of Raiders Of The Lost Ark which had just opened nationwide.  It was an exhilarating experience not to be repeated with the later films in the series which lacked the element of the unexpected, something Raiders had in spades.  Crushed spirits disappeared for a few hours and thirty plus years later THC can't remember what the project proposal was about but clearly remembers going to the movies that day.  Now that's good managing!
http://www.panicposters.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/f63dc5ec28f3175f8a7f615bd217eb71/p/p/pp31453-raiders-of-the-lost-ark-poster.jpg
Recently the director Steven Soderbergh (THC favorites of his visually distinctive films are Out Of Sight, The Limey, Ocean's Eleven and Solaris; he's also made some lousy ones) created a new take on Raiders on his website about which he instructs viewers to:

"think only about the staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are"
adding:

"this filmmaker forgot more about staging by the time he made his first feature than I know to this day."
And to enhance your focus this version is in black and white, with no sound except for a soundtrack added by Soderbergh!

THC didn't exactly follow Soderbergh's instructions; he just enjoyed watching the reimagined film.  You don't miss the dialogue since for years it has been mandatory for every American to watch the film often enough to know the story and in black and white you see many new details (Soderbergh tells us the cinematographer was Douglas Slocombe, known for his high contrast lighting style which converts well to black and white).  Seeing the film this way gives you more chance to focus on the details.  In crowd scenes look as far as you can into the picture and see how well Spielberg builds the scene from back to front.  Also look at the little visual details in every scene. The overall effect is of something familiar yet different.

Watching this version is rewarding whether you do it from start to finish or just dive in at different points to see specific scenes and leaves you appreciating both Spielberg's original and Soderbergh's approach.  The video cannot be embedded so you have to go to Soderbergh's website to view it and read more about his purpose in creating this version.

And THC left the company early in the following year.




So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order? - See more at: http://extension765.com/sdr/18-raiders#sthash.5q5HPdXp.dpuf

So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order? - See more at: http://extension765.com/sdr/18-raiders#sthash.5q5HPdXp.dpuf
So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order? - See more at: http://extension765.com/sdr/18-raiders#sthash.5q5HPdXp.dpuf