Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Teaching Part I

Do you like ideologies? Do you like screaming political arguments? Then "education" is the subject for you!
Why is education so fraught? I seriously have somewhere from little to no idea. In the USA, education takes up a very large amount of tax money. The strange thing is that the taxes are almost all local -- usually in the form of real estate taxes. The Federal government spends a relatively small amount of the money which is spent.
The percentage of GDP the US spends on education seems fairly average. But that's a wack way of describing spending. One might intuit, for instance, that poorer countries would spend a larger portion of their GDP on education. And except for Cuba that doesn't seem to be the case.
A better way might be looking at the percentage of education spending of the GDP/capita. Although honestly I can't even read the charts.
Much of the fights in the US has to do with class sizes. Nobody argues that smaller class sizes aren't better. They clearly are. But the question is do we want to spend that much money on education?
To me it's kind of stunning that the answer many people have to that question is "no".

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Vincent Marano in Clonehunter
I've done a terrible job of talking up the festival that's going on right now. Mostly because I've been calling it by the wrong name. Vincent Marano, who is producing tonight's City Samanas/Tyrannosaurus Mouse show, is producing 5 short plays. You only have a week left to see Vinniegenius What I Meant Was.

Vincent Marano and David Ian Lee (with Angela Funk just visible) in Clonehunter.
And check out the review in (Thanks to DeLisa.)
Buy your tickets now!


Editor J. Blake Fichera interviews Steve Cropper.
Blender 3D has a motion tracker! It does not look easy to use. One day I'm sure it will be. But having a built-in motion tracker is super tres awesome.
This is a pretty good list of 6 Things About Shooting Fight Scenes from the Angry Nun.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nat Cassidy

Nat Cassidy won the IT Award for being awesome his solo performance of Things at the Doorstep. Here he is with Basil Twist.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Outstanding Stage Manager

Who won the Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Stage Manager in 2011?
Laura Schlachtmeyer with her 2011 Outstanding Stage Manager Award
Why it was Laura Schlachtmeyer! Nominated for two (!) shows she was an amazing recipient who had to follow three actors: Greg Bodine, Nat Cassidy, and Rob Neill giving her props before they called her up.
Then it was all red carpet treatment for the Queen of Mars.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

There's really not a lot to say about this

Biggest Brother

Here's mah bigger brother David. He's all retired now.
I really like this picture. Taken at magic hour at my parent's in Princeton. I realize his eyes are dark. And yes, that is his travel coffee mug to scale.
But I think we've persuaded him to keep his hair (this) long rather than getting a buzz cut just 'cause it looks so nice.

Speaking of Computers

Or: Drew was wrong.

My parents had the worst Internet connection of anyone I knew. "Had". My eldest brother Dave, with whom I've been wrong before, bought our dad a new router for his birthday. I said that "no way is that going to work."
Well, it worked smashingly. YouTube videos come right up. You can surf anywhere and do anything at any time.
I have no idea. I guess that really was the bottleneck. Oddly, my dad's computer was actually hard-wired into the router and still was slow as molasses.
In furtherance of the demonstration of my ignorance:
Video cards confuse me to no end. The numbering and nomenclature of the things just... well it seems random and insane.
Find the Best has a comparison chart of graphics cards. Tom's Hardware, of course, probably has the definitive comparison.
The thing about Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul is that nobody cares about your soul. It has no value whatsoever. Which is actually more than your movie is worth. Ha! The only examples of movies which make a little bit of money are documentaries that hit up some under-served demographic.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Post 2500

Erf. So I'm at my home with all my siblings and they insisted on watching our new movie. Of course, nobody can understand the movie. And ergads. The mix has what we might call problems.
This is from the DVD I just got from Amazon.
I don't know exactly what's wrong. At first I thought the surrounds were up way too loud. But it's only a stereo mix.
So now I'm thinking that we're hearing both the main stereo mix and the M&E mix at the same time. I've heard that sound in my life. And this is what that sounds like.
That means the dialog is about 6dB quieter than it ought to be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Email Wages and Watches

Alex Epstein mentions the "one point per email" thing. Some people can seriously only handle you making one point in an email. They can only respond to one point. I'm not one of those people. That being said, I try to only hit those kinds of people (if I can identify them) with only one point in an email. It's just one of the multitudinous ways in which all of mankind is different. Ahh... the Xanax is kicking in...
Here are wage-and-hour resources for employers. I can't fathom why any commercial employer would want to have a lower minimum wage. Every employer I know of needs people to have money to buy whatever they're selling. So, uh, yeah. The Quaaludes are just now kicking in...
Mitchell, who is the king of the new and the cool, has a couple of these LunaTik watches. Mmm... the opium is kicking in...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Dark Day Indeed

Rebecca Kush went to get chocolate today. Only to find this:

The horrors. Varsano's is closed today.
I have to wait like 20 hours just to get some chocolate.
Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I'm not sure how I'll make it overnight, but I'll manage. Somehow.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Banta Pudu!

From David Ian Lee, via rawrimagoat. Maybe that's the other way 'round. Anyway, this composite looks better than what they did in the movie.
I love how the ears pop up above the letterbox.
Also, man, they got the eye lines right. Ha!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Classic Science Fiction

The Classic Science Fiction Channel.

The new Blogger interface has found drafts of things for me.

I may have already published duplicate copies.

I don't know. I may never know.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Real Numbers

Kameron Hurley writes some real numbers regarding the advance and sales of her book.
The bugs are yukky but I dig her novels. Or at least the one I read. The second one ain't come out yet.
If this blog were a book it'd be 880 pages long. Or thereabouts. I mean, if it were laid out as a book-from-a-blog using BookSmart or some such.

Red Bleeds

I don't really know why, but on both video and film the color red tends to bleed and get smeary. And red it so much fun as a color. (Ironic that it "bleeds" no?) So I feel that red is under-represented on this blog.
Here you can see the smearing in the background and in the hanging thread. Still, it's a beautiful effect.

There are less-saturated reds one can get away with on video and film.

I love the eye makeup in this image.


Did I publish this post a long time ago? It's been saved as a "draft" in my blogger.
Ninite. For Windows and Linux. It's a multi-installer for a whole batch of useful programs.
I've been reading some labor-law blogs. They're pretty much all universally anti-union. They seem anti-union even when... there's no reason to be.
Labor Board delivers a three-punch knockout for Unions.
  • if an employer voluntarily recognizes a union as a collective bargaining representative for a particular unit of the workforce, then employees in that bargaining unit must wait at least six months to file a decertification petition.
I'm not sure how this is a knock-out punch for unions. On the face of it, this sounds like a good deal for employers. The employer can force employees into the union of the employer's choice -- for at least six months.
  • an existing union will have at least six months after the parties' first bargaining session and no more than one year after the start of bargaining to bargain with the successor company.
I don't really see how this is that big a deal for an employer. If you buy another company, you are beholden to the contracts the company signed. So what? Were you hoping when you bought the company you could abrogate all the debts and contracts?

  • this decision now clears the way for unions "to organize sub-units of an employer -- such as employees of one department -- as opposed to an entire facility." Imagine having to negotiate with ten different micro-bargaining units. Oy! 

Um. Don't you have to do that anyway? If you have a company that big, don't you have an HR department? I mean, really? Isn't negotiating pay your job?
It seems that a lot of management-oriented folks are knee-jerk anti-union. I don't really see the purpose to being anti-union just for the sake of being anti-union.