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...]

The Love Language of Little League


As this year’s two-month Little League marathon drew to a close, I came to realize something important about myself: When it comes to baseball, I’m just a teeny, tiny bit more …intense than most 9-year-olds. This year, as the manager of Sean (#2 Son) and Mark’s (#3 Son) Red Sox team, I spent countless hours [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “The Coffinmaker”


I said commentary was unnecessary. And I meant it.  But I just can’t help myself. It’s a beautiful short; muted, meditative, and perfectly lit. So it’s in my wheelhouse, artistically. But it’s successful on a much richer, more important level than merely a visual one, and I come away unexpectedly and deeply moved — not [Read More...]

Hollywood Tramples My Childhood. Again.


Since we appear to be delving back into my cherished childhood memories this week, I think it only appropriate to bring the following story to your attention. It caught mine — attention, that is; or throat, maybe — when it appeared in my DefinitelyNotGoogleReader™ a few days ago: Encyclopedia Brown is getting the big-screen treatment. …Warner Bros. [Read More...]

‘Tis the Music Dreams Are Made Of


My first brush with the legend of Scheherazade was a beautifully-illustrated, age-appropriate adaptation I found on the bookshelves of my childhood home. I was hooked, and instantly. There was something so exotic, so intoxicating about the stories and their settings — and the episodic (even unconnected) nature of the narrative — that my young love [Read More...]