Archive for July, 2008

Mon 7 Jul 2008 9:35 am   //   Posted in: Movies, No right to be good

Pixar can do no wrong

Gerritt and I went to see WALL-E over the weekend. Like people have been saying, this movie is a lot better than any description of it makes it sound. A post-apocalyptic robot love story told as a Disney-Pixar cartoon? Yeah, it sounds bad on paper, but somehow this film got made and the world is a better place for it.

I want to talk about the ending credits. In the movie, humans have been living in a Wal-Mart space ship for 700 years. They have forgotten how to make art. The ending credits shows the re-evolution of human art after they have returned to Earth. It runs from cave paintings to Picasso, but with robots tucked away in most the paintings, as if they are no more unnatural than trees. It’s one of those great ideas that feels like something you’ve always had in the back of your head, but at the same time seems like it’s never been done before.

Fri 4 Jul 2008 6:36 am   //   Posted in: Holga, Photos

Happy Independence Day

Coney Island beach Holga

Coney Island, 2008

Thu 3 Jul 2008 2:36 pm   //   Posted in: In the news

Accidentally brilliant obituary headline

Spotted on This Is

Marlborough man dies suddenly
Tony Dobson whose wife Pam is the Town Clerk of Marlborough died suddenly today near his home in Salisbury Road….

Thu 3 Jul 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: No right to be good

Freezing saves bad chocolate

I think of Hershey’s Miniatures as the Chevrolet of candy. Good enough, but nobody’s first choice.

Somehow (thanks to a church event where we had a surplus of candy) I ended up with a bag of these little chocolate bars in my apartment. A few weeks ago, when it was very hot, I tossed them in the freezer to keep them from melting. I forgot about them until a few days ago, when I rediscovered the frozen candy and started snacking on it.

Wow! Frozen Hershey bars are better than they have a right to be. Who knew you could turn iffy chocolate into something wonderful just by freezing it?

Wed 2 Jul 2008 8:45 am   //   Posted in: New York is different

The view is the payoff

Waiting for the Empire State Building observation deck is one of the least pleasant experiences in New York City.

In the best of circumstances, it takes at least an hour. You wait in line with tourists clutching wads of $100s they got at JFK. Many of them come from continents where lines are not treated with the kind of systematic order Americans are used to. You can watch the gears turn in people’s heads as they look for openings where they can cut. Meanwhile, the hucksters who work for the building bombard you with pitches for worthless extras (including but not limited to: pay more to cut the line, buy an $8 map, rent an audio tour, buy a Citypass good at a couple of 2nd-tier museums, buy a tour bus ride, buy a helicopter ride, ride the “similar to Imax” skyride simulator, and of course, get your photo taken in front of a greenscreen backdrop). When you finally buy the ticket, you can’t help but feel like you’re getting hosed. Prices are up to $34 for the 86th floor and the 102nd floor mooring mast, a new option which you’d be crazy to refuse. And right now, the whole place is under construction, so as you pace slowly through a maze of rope lines on the 80th floor staging area, you have nothing to do but stare at unfinished walls and bare wires and lights dangling from the black ceiling overhead.

Why? Why? Why? This is why:

view Empire State Building

Tue 1 Jul 2008 7:28 am   //   Posted in: Brooklyn

The swarm

Am I crazy, or are there way more lightning bugs in Brooklyn this summer than in past years? Are fireflies like cicadas or something?