Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Magic Sand... only Disney?

R1 and R2 love magic, Disney and dirt. Not necessarily in that order. This clip from Tkfore21at YouTube is the first of a series of clips that we'll be sharing that we found that just blew us away one day searching for sneak peaks into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Now that the park is open and those clips are easier to find, we'll get on with our sharing of these gems. More on Mr. Potter later. We promise.

Drawing on the sand and playing along with the storyteller looks really fun. What a great presentation trick.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Harry Potter's new trailer.

We are so thrilled about Harry. We've really introduced the girls to reading via this series. R1 (who is entering the fourth grade this fall) has been listening to the audio books for a while now. Recently she's finished actually reading the books and was treated to seeing the 6th movie in the theater. We screened it ahead of time so I was prepared to walk out with her if it was too much... that was a while back if you remember. Her reading prowess is remarkable to me. I was not a reader at that age by any means. She is definitely taking after her mother in that arena.

We Googled for this a few days ago and found all sorts of other clips. One even had a bloody Hermione. Quite chilling! Enjoy the show!

<a href="" target="_new" title="'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' Trailer">Video: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' Trailer</a>

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Empire Strikes Back Alternate Ending

LA Times photo essay on the oil spill.

Gulf oil spill -

Still alive but almost unrecognizable, a sea gull is paralyzed by oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island in Barataria Bay, La.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times / June 4, 2010)

This is why photography is so important. All the debate, all the prayers, all the plans, all the finger pointing, all the regret, all the best intentions. They all stop here. For this image. For all of Ms. Cole's images and the other photographers documenting this epic event. Thank you.

I can see the impact we have on our world.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Sarlacc Pit opens in Guatemala: Giant Could Get Even Bigger

Guatemala City is growing it's own Sarlacc Pit

It's starting with the pit first, which doesn't seem to be the best route for attracting such a creature to our planet. They aren't exactly the first stop for most tourists.

Attempting to attract the sarlacci (or space traveling spores) by creating a large pit for them to roost in just seems a little self-destructive to us.

This hole, currently believed to be void of any sarlacci,  has already eaten a three-story building and fortunately, as far a we know, no people yet. Good thing, too. It would take an agonizing thousand years to be digested.

Sarlacc photo from Wookipedia -

Photos below are from National Geographic. Please explore their amazing collection of this phenomena.

Sinkhole in Guatemala: Giant Could Get Even Bigger

Pictures: Giant Sinkhole Pierces Guatemala

Monday, June 21, 2010

Top twelve films... Not a dirty dozen

Alex J. Cavanaugh commanded: do The Movie Dirty Dozen Blogfest. Please be sure to click on his name to check out everyone else that's participating.

In five minutes this is the list I come up with for my best dirty dozen films. Better than a "best of" list, more like a, "you may not realize what you've missed" list. Yes a science fiction tinge, but that's what we've come to expect here. My list is a little 'shallow' into the depths of Science Fiction films, but still accessible for anyone who doesn't want to go TOO deep.

We'll explore these films and more in future posts. This blog exercise has been really thrilling. I've learned a lot about a bunch of strangers and confirmed quite a few things about films and share experiences.

These links are to Amazon, I'd rather give you links to Netflix. (I don't like purchasing those flat round plastic things anymore, myself, but Amazon has this amazing tool for making these links easy, and they are an excellent tool to search out your movies.)

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back - We had one of those HUGE satellite dishes when I was kid and while flipping through the Canadian channels I stumbled upon a broadcast of TESB in French. I popped in a tape and caught the second half. We like to quote Lucas as saying these are silent movies, but they really aren't. Pop in your DVD and listen to the French audio tracks... if you don't speak French. LISTEN to the sound and emotion and how LITTLE dialog there really is in the city in the clouds.

This odd trailer begins to show you want I mean. It's hosted from CineMagica.

"Should the girls see all of these just yet?"

No, but most would be fine...maybe not Twin Peaks. I'm not sure I was old enough to see it when it came out and I was in college. If you do go off to see Twin Peaks, you do have to watch the TV series FIRST. The movie is a prequel, but will have far less impact if you don't know any of the characters. Fire Walk with Me was the first and only movie I ever had to see again immediately. At the end of the credits I walked out and bought a second ticket. The music of Badalamenti cannot be better. Haunting.

This week we heard tributes (?) to him in True Blood's 2nd episode of season 3. Did you hear him as we entered Bill's basement to looking for the corpse...?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

All Grown Up! {HD}

Visiting at Grandma's the other day I caught a glimpse at "real TV" and thought that the little Rugrats had aged a bit. Since being in Tivo-land for almost 10 years, we've really been successful at making ourselves oblivious to these things. The babies of Rugrats grew up and had a whole other series for FIVE years while we've been time shifting other shows. It seemed to be just as funny and gross and the original, I really groaned and felt pained as they announced that they had painted the carpet. We miss some good shows I'm sure, but I hurts a little to see the girls sit and watch a stream of shows and commercials that endlessly flow out of the screen.

Tivo's Kid's Zone parental controls features work great. I choose the programs they subscribe to and pepper in some things I think they'll tolerate. When their show is over if they want to watch a documentary about pharaohs, they can, but otherwise the TV gets turned off with few hassles.

I've heard that this creates quite an issue at school since they cannot keep up with conversations about Pokey Mans and Cyber Chasing. But most of the other 3rd graders aren't reading 900 page books either.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Empire... 100 things you didn't know

A bit late to the Empire Strikes Back party, but here are many of the reasons we love Star Wars.

Just 100 things we didn't know... or 100 things YOU may not have known. (I knew some of them, but I'm almost as big a fan as this guy is.) Are you?

Article: 100 Things You Didn't Know About The Empire Strikes Back - Movies Feature at IGN

My oldest daughter loves the movies and the Clone Wars series. We're looking forward to the new live action series. The younger daughter expressly dislikes Star Wars, but that's okay, she's really into Legend of the Seeker, remember?

Q: So are the stormtroopers also clones?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Photocopiers have your goods.

How surprised are we really? I love the that copier companies have always offered the security features as an optional upgrade. Way to go! They're always looking out for us. One more bullet point at the FedEx office to look out for.
"Securely copy your documents - our copiers do NOT retain your documents electronically."
and we'll start paying a little more for that. Right?

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Writing Assignments

Red One and Red Two (yeah we call them that!) have a project underway for the summer. R2 graduated kindergarten and was a part of a writers group. I want her to write a story over the summer. I don't want just any story though. I'm steering her to write a story for an episode of one of her favorite TV shows. Get this: Legend of the Seeker. All of the girls started watching this a few months ago. Thanks, Netflix!

It's all about extremely powerful women. Not bad. I haven't had the pleasure yet to catch up, but I have time. I also get lots of recaps from little ones about the magic that's done. They love that one class of character can make you tell the truth.

So we're talking about this episode and R2 who is 6 and 1/2, may end up writing about an adventure a 6 year old girl might have in that world. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Blind river dolphins, reclusive lemurs, a parrot as fearless as it is lovelorn ... Douglas Adams' close encounters with these rare and unusual animals reveal that evolution, ever ingenious, can be fickle too -- in a University of California talk that sparkles with his trademark satiric wit.

Mr. Adams caught me off guard with his first comments about the lemur. Mr. Lemur is an old friend of mine and one the old pals will remember from a video we did about 20 years ago. Not to worry, it's safely stored on some ancient videotape somewhere in a box. Soon to be a pile of brittle bits of plastic.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Talk

Oh, my.

I hope when this day arrives, we'll be as calm. Julia Sweeney is a favorite. I could listen to her talk all day long.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Love you, Yoda. You to "me"

Yoda is on the verge of really gross and definitely not for the kids. I always just thought he was a puppet and then a cartoon, but really he's just a guy! Kind of like Danny Elfman, no, Danny Devito! (see Devito Yoda)

Not really. Not for work either. He's not that bad, just more funny and bawdy than your boss or IT people would probably care to know about. Other than that, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

under the sea - wonders and astonishments

David Gallo shows underwater astonishment | Video on

One amazing clip from TED. The most mysterious and cool things under that water. We had seen a lot about cuddle fish from the visit to the IMAX theater at MOSY in Tampa a few months ago.

Oh, dear. This next one was not a happy video. TED is full of great ideas. Not all of them will make you smile, but even these I'm glad to have shared and seen. The girls were most impressed with the size of the fish that we used to be able to catch. These pictures really hit home what's happening under the sea.


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