Sunday, November 21, 2010
Though many people question the value of a degree in History in this endeavor, I know the value.
My degree shows the world that I have the critical thinking skills to address a problem, the persistence to see the solution through to the end, and an open mind that only comes with a balanced education that includes knowledge and a deeper understanding of people and cultures from around the world.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Bernstein's music coupled with the touching and deep story of To Kill A Mockingbird, deeply affected me. The theme, according to Bernstein, was composed as though a child were humming it, or playing it on a piano. The music, which opens the movie, puts the audience into a wondrous state of mind, that of a child. The story is told through the perspective of Scout (Mary Badham), child of Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) a lawyer in the town of Macon, Alabama. Finch is entrusted with defending Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), a black man charged with raping a white woman. During the story we also meet Jem (Philip Alford), Scout's brother, and Dill ( John Megna). The movie has a very stirring courtroom scene, which must have played a large role in Gregory Peck's later winning of an Oscar for the movie. The ending of the movie is very well done, with a great message that all that watch the movie should heed.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I have just finished a large part of Asimov's Foundation series
( Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation), as well as Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth. These books, especially the original trilogy are outstanding. The best thing about Asimov's stories is that they are character driven. Though the series is set in a highly advanced future, with wondrous technologies, the characters are always well grounded and relatable. Another aspect of Asimov's books that makes them stand out is the way his books, as all good science-fiction seems to, turn an eye towards our society. Though all of the books I have read so far in the series were written before I was born, they are very much relevant today, as can bee easily observed by the sheer numbers of Asimov fans.
I will in time read the prequels ( Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. I have long hesitated to begin the Foundation series due to the number of books involved if you count the expanded Foundation series books, this number is 29 according to Wikipedia. In the past I read I, Robot, which was an outstanding book, but at that time I did not even know of the Foundation series. When I encountered it later I was pretty sure I would love it, but I knew I would simply have to read every single book of the 29, though I will start with the books listed on this page. I will undoubtedly read every single one of these books now, as I have been drawn into the Foundation universe, and I will not leave it without thoroughly exploring every nook and cranny.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The game uses the Wii MotionPlus attachment to enable the player to experience a near 1:1 interface with the sword, shield in the game. The advanced control allows you to feel as if you are truly integrated into the game, and the game makers have taken advantage of this, as some puzzles and enemies require you to slash your sword in certain direction. Shield use becomes much more prominent in this game as well, as the nunchuk becomes your shield, enabling you to block instinctively while also slashing your enemy. The game also uses this enhanced control for other items. The bow uses a similar control scheme to that of Wii Sports Resort Archery. The game has some familiar items such as the slingshot and bombs and some added functionality to such items as the bomb, as you can now toss it much as you would grenades in many shooters, and you can even roll the bomb like a bowling ball. There is a cool beetle item which you control remotely, and allows you to collect items from afar.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Luckily however, I will have an adequate amount of time to study, and no back-to-back exams like I had last Spring semester (those are definitely not fun).
I hope to update my blog more regularly in the future. Unfortunately it always seems to be one of the first things I cut, when other things arise.
Oh, by the way, I would recommend Opera Mini (just recently released) to anyone who owns an iPhone/iPod Touch, as it is very fast and effecient. I would not however recommend it as a complete replacement, but only as a compliment to the Safari browser.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Lately 3D movies have regained popularity. Greatly propelled by the massive popularity of Avatar, the movie industry has a slew of movies set to be released in the format, and will even be re-releasing older movies in 3D. Though I enjoy 3D, I have yet to find a movie that does not cause great nausea and a throbbing headache. This may be because I wear glasses and must wear the 3D glasses over them, but because of my problems watching 3D, I am wary about watching movies in 3D. To be fair, I have yet to see Avatar in either 2D or 3D, and Cameron may have found a way of using 3D that does not cause me nausea.
Another reason, according to many, that 3D movies cause nausea etc. is that the movies force the audience to focus on a particular portion of the screen. Objects other than the focus of the shot often seem blurry. It seems as if everything in a shot cannot be in focus at once, as is possible in 2D. Although these two issues may have been corrected in newer 3D movies such as Avatar, I am not sure, and am hesitant to waste money to attend a movie and find out. I would not possibly be able to stay through more than forty-five minutes of a 3D movie if I experienced the same problems I experienced in prior short IMAX 3D movies.
I know the movie industry needs 3D in order to insure that people continue to attend movies, as without some element that people with cannot experience at home, movie theatre attendance will falter, as people continue to have better and better home theatre systems. Soon, however even 3D will be available in high quality in the home with the release of 3D televisions. I believe that 3D could be to the first half of the 21st century, what color TV was to the mid 20th century. This could happen if the 3D is unobtrusive and allows users to do other things while watching 3D TV, and of course, if the technology is improved to be less painful on the eyes.
I would love to be able to experience 3D without pain, and in high quality in movie theatres, but I am not sure if even then I would want to watch it each day on TV. The future is hard to predict, and I am sure some detractors bashed sound and color when they were introduced. The 3D format's future will ultimately be in the hands of the consumer.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Since my last post pertaining to the jazz concert at Rock City Gardens many things have occurred among them: Christmas, New Years, and the beginning of Spring semester in college. During Christmas break I obtained a Wii and an iPhone 3G, so future posts will most likely include these two great devices which by now I have explored thoroughly.
Though the Wii does not have the same graphical power of the XBox 360 or Playstation 3, it makes up for this in its intuitive control of games via its motion sensing controller: the wii remote. The ease of using the controller also has an added benifit, people who would usually avoid video games, such as older people or those who lament the many buttons on most system controllers, find the wii great fun. I have seen this first-hand as my grandmother loves to bowl, and even play Mario Kart, though she would never play most XBox 360 games.
The iPhone 3G has been a great phone so far. I have never had a phone that provided such eas of navigation. The app store has hundreds of thousands of apps, many free, that enhance the phone ten fold in my opinion.
With both the iPhone and Wii I have been tempted to use homebrew and jailbreak each respectively, but have not. Though the added functionality would greatly expand the value of both devices to me, the risk is something I am unwilling to take.
In the field of music, I have now begun working on Artie Shaw's Clarinet Concerto. This piece is a great work, and I have wanteed to perform it since I was in High School. I have now reached a point where I am confident, that with enough practice I will be able to give this piece justice.
This semester I have continued my study of Japan, by taking a class dealing with Premodern Japan. I will be finishing up the duo of History of Music classes this semester, thankfully, but not before delving into many, many scores. To attempt to partially fill my gap in knowledge of the Latin American world, I am taking a class pertaining to the post-colonial era of these states. Another interesting class I am taking this semester is Musics of the World. In this class we learn of many different music cultures, and even get to play their instruments at times, in workshops.
The semester is getting off to a decent start.