The Absent-Minded Professor – Family Movie Night

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The Story: Ned Brainard, a chronically absent-minded chemistry professor at cash-strapped Medfield College, stumbles across an anti-gravity substance that he believes can save his beloved institution. While his bumbling effort to monetize the discovery prove ineffective, he does manage to attract the attention of the powerful Alonzo Hawk, a corrupt businessman who vows to steal [Read More...]

The Brown Sisters, Year In and Year Out


One of the things I love most about photography is its ability to “freeze” things we humans usually experience fluidly — to capture and crystallize something (or someone) for future viewers and generations who will never be able to experience those moments “in person.” On the other hand, that ability can sometimes be as much [Read More...]

The Man Behind the Booth — Part V


Asking questions and recognizing the importance of asking questions is not, in my view, enough for people to come to epiphanies. The changes that stick, in my observation of others and myself, come about through the painful mess of doing things. Without the unexpected lessons of events, it is possible to live in the solipsism [Read More...]

Zimmer and Whitacre: Strange Musical Bedfellows


Earlier today, I was browsing through Eric Whitacre’s website in pursuit of “Sainte-Chapelle:” a composition commissioned by the Tallis Scholars to commemorate  their 40th anniversary, and which they performed for the first time this past March. As I wandered harmlessly through the site, searching for a “Chapelle” snippet to share, I stumbled upon this, all unsuspecting:Now, what’s [Read More...]

Some Monstrous Links for Your Friday Afternoon


Pixar’s Monsters University is definitely on my radar. It’s not a direct result of my affection for Monster’s Inc. or its creators. (“Like” would probably be a better description of my response than “Love,” and I have some growing concerns about Pixar’s apparent drift into sequel territory.)  Instead, it is a direct result of their brilliant viral marketing. Like this. Which [Read More...]

“Ring of Fire” — Capturing Last Week’s Solar Eclipse


Wow. What exactly are we looking at here? The event is known as an annular eclipse, when the moon moves directly between the Earth and the sun, producing a striking ring of fire effect. During annular eclipses, the new moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the visible disk of the sun. Since the moon’s orbit [Read More...]

The Man Behind the Booth — Part IV


“It is hard to be human. It is hard to know what to do. It is hard to know how to take care of those we love. It is hard to give up on our fantasies of immortality, or power, or the thought that if we could shape the world to our will everything would [Read More...]

Musical Pop Quiz


I’ve always been fascinated by the aural  and emotional differences between “The Big Three” keyboard instruments — the organ, piano, and harpsichord. The organ’s ability to serve as a sort of mini-orchestra is astonishing. The harpsichord’s tintinnabulatory clarity is wonderfully suited to the continuios (continuii?) that underpin so many of my Baroque favorites. And my personal experience [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “First Taste” Edition


This “First Taste” video (courtesy of TEDxSydney) is probably the best thing I’ve seen on YouTube since Alan Rickman’s Epic Tea Time. Take a moment or two, sit back, and watch it light up your Friday like the Fourth of July!(Epic HT chain from Laughing Squid to Good Food to TEDxSidney’s YouTube channel) [Read more...]

Searching for Bobby Fischer – Family Movie Night


The Story: Chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer. The Stars: Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley, Laurence Fishburne Release Date: 1993 Rating: PG Our Take: Despite laboring in relative (and surprising) obscurity when compared to many of its “Based On a True Story” counterparts, [Read More...]