Category Archives: Commentary

One man’s trash

At first glance, this looks a bit like a stained glass window.

Mandy Barker

Perhaps that was photographer and graphic designer Mandy Barker’s inspiration.

But her creation uses material debris found in the sea, not glass.

It’s part of her art series ‘SOUP’ which seeks to raise awareness of the mass accumulation of plastic in the world’s oceans. Mandy has even been nominated twice for the Prix Pictet Award, which is the world’s leading photographic award in sustainability.

I’ve learned a couple of things I didn’t know, so I’d say her artwork is doing the trick.

 

Fine print

Men usually get dinged for not reading instructions or maps, but I’m just as guilty.

samsung galaxy s5When I recently upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S5 — from my beloved S3 — I didn’t even crack the manual cover.

Big mistake.

Just today I realized that I could increase the sensitivity of the touch screen so my phone works when I’m wearing winter gloves.

Does your fancy iPhone do that?

It’s a real question.

(I haven’t read those instructions, either.)

 

Image

Truth

being a geek

Touched

As a city dweller sans car, I must employ a lot of strategery when out-and-about shopping.

For example,  you want to buy the big items last (so you carry them the shortest distance), which makes pre-planning your route key.

That’s why I am particularly excited about this new store in South Korea.

image

The items are actually touchscreen; you tap the ones you want, and they are waiting for you at checkout — no more shopping carts!

Brilliant.

ImPressed

Back in June, I discussed Eric Devine’s young adult novel Press Play, which has since been published in October.

press playIt tells the story of a high school student who accidentally captures footage of the violent hazing practices of the lacrosse team while filming his documentary film project.

I was impressed by Devine’s idea to create a book trailer — like a movie trailer, but for his book — and display it at the local movie theatre in his home town of Waterford, New York.

A film features prominently in the book, and Devine is using the movies to promote it.

Devine’s book trailer was played multiple times before the films, inviting viewers to purchase Press Play at the mall bookstore where the cinema is located.

I think this is inspired.

Even better — Devine saw my blog post about his book trailer and was nice enough to share a link so we could all take a look:

Thanks Eric — and congrats again on the book and your brilliant marketing campaign!  Can’t wait to read it.

 

 

I’m still waiting

I saw Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1 this morning.

mockingjayI don’t want to offend anyone with a Twilight comparison, but it reminded me of Twilight Eclipse –

Stuff happened, but it was very much a placeholder until the final installment hits theaters next year.

This Hunger Games has no games, so the energy is inherently lower.  Katniss and the rescued survivors are living below ground in District 13, where everyone wears identical grey jumpsuits — no flaming dresses or garishly bright clothing, even on Effie who is almost unrecognizable.

We only see the folks from the Capitol — including Peeta, who we assume is being held prisoner — on small video screens. But those scenes are, for me, some of the most compelling.

By movie’s end, Katniss and the rebels have rediscovered their energy and purpose, and things are getting really exciting…

And then it’s over.

Should be a great finale…next year.

Whadda I have to do

I love the sitcom About a Boy on NBC.

AboutABoyIt has the pedigree of the great Hugh Grant movie of the same name. The cast is quirky and funny, the writing fresh.

And last night they used the Violent Femmes’ ‘Prove to You’ as the soundtrack for a montage of Marcus and his crush.

Any sitcom that uses the Femmes deserves an automatic renewal.

I’m pretty sure that’s a rule of broadcasting.