In Honor of All Those Celebrating Academic Achievements


A thematically-appropriate (and highly celebratory) musical selection for those looking back on a recent (or forward to an impending) graduation: That’s Johannes Brahms‘ “Academic Festival Overture.” Enjoy! The particular version I’m featuring here (led by Sir Georg Solti) nosed out a Klemperer setting (which I find too slow), a Bernstein one (which I find too insane), a Muti [Read More...]

“The Power of a Smile”


One of the more intriguing photographic features on the National Geographic website is something called “Your Shot,” described thusly by the NG folks: Our mission is to tell stories collaboratively through big, bold photography and expert curation. …Contribute your best photos and captions to an assignment, and our editors will handpick their favorites. The result? A published story [Read More...]

Summa Shorts: “Moving On”

Moving On

“Time always unwinding, all these dead lines in my mind.” This week’s entry, a mesmerizing shot that appeared in my feedreader on Friday: The short’s director is Ainslie Henderson, and the band is named James. But I’ll be honest: The words didn’t even register the first couple of times I watched, so fascinated was I by the [Read More...]

Streaming Suggestion: “Searching for Bobby Fischer”

Searching For Bobby Fischer

It’s unsettling isn’t it? When you realize there are only so many things you can teach a child and, finally, they are what they are. I’m double-dipping a bit today, because I’ve already recommended in the not-too-distant-past. But it’s worth recommending again, especially if you’re looking for something in the “Whole Family Friday Night Fun” vein: Searching [Read More...]

A Violinist, a Pianist, and a Composer Walked Into a Bar


And it was awesome. (Why? What were you expecting me to say?) The violinist is the legendary Yehudi Menuhin; the pianist, the legendary Wilhelm Kempff; the composer, the beyond-legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. The work(s)? Beethoven’s violin sonatas. The complete violin sonatas. “Complete” meaning “in their entirety.” Their glorious and tuneful comprehensiveness. All 4.5+ hours worth. Just…wow. (You’re [Read More...]

In which I take my life in my hands…


…by recommending a half-dozen films for young kids over at SlowMama. Why is it so risky, you ask? Because a) it’s hard, and b) parents: Few things are as nerve-racking for me as recommending films for young children. The key is knowing your audience, of course — but with youngsters, there are so many variables. …then there’s the fact [Read More...]

A Special Anniversary for Dodger Fans


Yes, I realize this is a day late. But I almost missed it altogether. Thanks to Jon Weisman, though, I didn’t: Ten years ago tonight, Alex Cora stepped into the batters’ box in the bottom of the seventh inning against Matt Clement of the Cubs. You could be excused for thinking that 10 years went [Read More...]

Summa Shorts: “Lady with Long Hair”


In the wake of a wonderful Mother’s Day, an animated reminder of the way we children and our lives are woven together with those of our mothers, shaping them and their memories just as deeply as they shape us and ours. Again, lots of wonderfully subtle little touches. Like the way the short uses Grandma’s [Read More...]

My Most Anticipated Film of 2015


I can’t say for sure, because I change my mind so frequently. But it is entirely possible that my most-keenly-anticipated film for next year is this: It might not be quite true to say that this is the film from next year that I most want to watch personally, even though I am a larger-than-normal Nick [Read More...]

Action Movie Kid


After three days of graduation-related preparations and activities (including taking just under 2,000 pictures), I’m pretty wiped out. Which means these “Action Movie Kid” shorts are even funnier than I’d remembered. That compilation comes from one Daniel Hashimoto, an After Effects artist for DreamWorks, who has acquired quite a reputation of late by posting hilarious little [Read More...]