My Brush with Hollywood Immortality


Over the weekend, I stumbled across this fun piece from The National Catholic Register’s Jim Graves entitled “California Churches Make Hollywood Cameos:” California is home to many beautiful Catholic churches as well as home to Hollywood. Consequently, the state’s churches have frequently caught the eye of filmmakers and appeared in well-known movies and television shows. [Read More...]

The Musical Soul of Pixar’s “Blue Umbrella”


I wasn’t as impressed with Monsters University as I was hoping. It was a pleasant (and thanks to my son, a memorable) theatrical experience, but the backstory of Mike and Sully’s friendship lacked the emotional teeth I’ve come to (perhaps unfairly) expect from Pixar. I was impressed by The Blue Umbrella, though. It was wonderfully made, [Read More...]

Dances with Lions


The following is a test of your Courage Sticking Place system. Step 1: Go here. Step 2: Click on “Look.” Step 3: Find out what you’re really made of. Amazing, no? It’s an interactive mini-site called “The Serengeti Lion,” and it was released in conjunction with this month’s National Geographic article, “The Short Happy Life of a [Read More...]

The Unassuming Genius of Franz Schubert


A few nights ago, a quick (but rewarding) YouTube session — instigated by a friend’s casual remark on the “Mozarty-ness” of Franz Schubert’s 5th Symphony at the live concert he was attending — reminded me of something I have forgotten with demoralizing regularity: Franz Schubert was a genius. The fact that I routinely forget the truth [Read More...]

Brock Davis, Vine Master


It’s taken me a while to warm up to Vine. I’d like to be able to say that there was a principled reason for my initial dislike. Something grandiose and a shade Ludditetastic, like “I don’t think you can show enough in 6 seconds to make it a valuable form of communication,” or some such oversimplification. [Read More...]

The Most Exciting Play in Baseball


Hank Aaron once said that “the triple is the most exciting play in baseball.” He was wrong. That breathless anticipation and excitement as a runner makes the turn at second and heads for third is one of the sport’s greatest pleasures — a pleasure amplified, I suspect, by its rarity in today’s game. So I certainly understand where [Read More...]

The Evolution of Greenscreen


Greenscreen is one of those things I’ve always heard described as an ubiquitous presence in Hollywood. Yet I’m still shocked when I realize just how frequently (and seamlessly) it’s being used. OK, you’re right. It’s not always seamless. And yes, it can discombobulate some perfectly respectable actors into some horrendously wooden performances. But it’s more than [Read More...]

Comforting Quote of the Day


My, my. The Catholic Internet is certainly abuzz today, brimming over with Sturm und Drang and all manner of hand-wringing, name-calling, and wolf-crying. Of course, none of these things are particularly new when it comes to the online world, but I’m feeling it particularly keenly today, for some reason — mostly, I think, because I can’t [Read More...]

Starting the Weekend Off on the Right Foot


Here. It’s good for what ails you, no matter what that might be. And if you’re ailment-free? Well, then it’s even better.That clip never fails to bring a smile to my face — partially because of the subject matter, I suspect. Partially because of the effervescence and infectious humor of the Sherman Brothers’ tune. And partially [Read More...]

A Little Mid-Week Tempestuousness


I’m still spreadsheeting, so my emotional state is not entirely stable. …OK, yes. “Not entirely stable” is a pretty generous way of describing it. Let’s just say that this Beethoven portrait is an accurate representation of my mood at the moment. So the  first (and paramount) order of business this morning was to hunt down [Read More...]