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...]

Finding Beauty in Microsoft Excel

Tatsuo Horiuchi (1)

Over the past few days at work, I’ve found myself neck-deep in spreadsheets. It’s not the first time. Nor do I expect it to be the last. But it still stings. And this time, it’s produced an acute case of Nathanaelitis: “Can anything good come from Excel?” Thanks to 73-year-old Excel artist Tatsuo Horiuchi – Yep. You read that correctly. Excel [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “Phantoms and Waterfalls” Edition


The most amazing thing about this video, at least to me? It was filmed from a DJI Phantom Quadcopter using a GoPro Hero 3.  The former runs somewhere in the $700 range, I believe. And the latter is about $400 at the top end. You’d also need a camera mount to do what YouTube user QuestPact (otherwise known [Read More...]

You Don’t Find Memories; Memories Find You


On Tuesday, I took The First Five to see Pixar’s latest, Monsters University. The film struck me as both charming and technically impressive — descriptors so frequently attributable to Pixar’s films that I feel simultaneously unoriginal in using them and ungrateful that I don’t recognize how extraordinary it is for a studio to deserve them [Read More...]

SDG’s Very, Very Little Movie Glossary


Having spent the past 24 hours sick enough to necessitate a formal sick leave request (which never happens) while simultaneously discovering that I needed to replace my hot water heater (and then, somewhat miraculously, replacing said water heating unit), I’ll admit to feeling a bit drained. Thankfully, my friend Steven Greydanus (who is known affectionately as SDG by his…well…pretty much everyone) [Read More...]

Boss-Level Beatboxing


Here’s a faithful reenactment of my response to Tom Thum’s TEDxSydney video, which I stumbled across for the first time late last night. 1. Winced through the needlessly-suggestive 45-second open, wherein Mr. Thum seemed to be struggling to find the correct balance between “Trying to be funny” and “Actually being funny.” 2. Then a miracle occurred. 3. [Read More...]

Beauty in Our Mist


When I was a child, I didn’t think much of poetry. Sure, I loved Robert W. Service’s impertinent “The Cremation of Sam McGee” as much as any 9-year-old boy with a slightly perverse sense of humor could. And I was pleasantly tolerant of my parents’ efforts to imbue me with a deeper sense of the [Read More...]