Saturday, February 26, 2011

My 2011 Oscar Predictions!

I just made my 2011 Oscar Predictions! Make yours with the Official Oscar iPhone App.

Please keep in mind, I think I've only seen 5 of the movies nominated. See if you can name the 5. With two kids and a Mrs...Oscar caliber films...are they on the outside of a Happy Meal box? I didn't think so.

Short Film (Animated): Day & Night, Teddy Newton
Documentary (Feature): Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Short Film (Live Action): The Confession, Tanel Toom
Documentary (Short Subject): Killing in the Name (I chose this one because that's a kick a$$ song from Rage Against the Machine - like I've seen a short documentary not produced by employer this year...geez),
Film Editing: The Fighter, Pamela Martin
Actor in a Leading Role: Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Sound Editing: Tron: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Foreign Language Film: Biutiful, Mexico
Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Sound Mixing: True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Makeup: The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Actress in a Supporting Role: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Animated Feature Film: How To Train Your Dragon, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
Music (Original Score): How To Train Your Dragon, John Powell
Visual Effects: Alice in Wonderland, Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland, Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): True Grit, Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Music (Original Song): I See the Light (from "Tangled"), Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
Cinematography: True Grit, Roger Deakins
Costume Design: Alice In Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
Writing (Original Screenplay): The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington &
Best Picture: True Grit, Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Directing: True Grit, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rhetoric - Please be careful because I'm losing the ability to bite my tongue

This blog has been pretty quiet for a while. I have, for the most part, been pretty much self-censoring and while blogging about my kids can be a ton of fun, my 11 year old isn't really very much interested in having her life shared with the Intertubes. Preteens - who knew they were a handful?

I'm slowly losing my ability to self-censor and bite my tongue. I wander, pace, hem and haw each day about blog posts I should write. The topics of the world, thoughts on tech and the lovely world of politics both here and abroad. The is the life and THOUGHTS of a Midwest geek.

This caught my attention today. It has to do with the unrest in Wisconsin, my neighboring state. Before you become unglued and think this thought I'm gonna mention has anything to do with my picking sides, please stop yourself and read this. I'm not picking sides and if you accuse me of picking sides, I'll just call you an ass. It's my blog and I have the write to point out that you are an ass. Thanks.

Here's what I heard this morning on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) while driving into work. I wish I had caught who said this but alas, I was driving and I missed that part. I think (actually I'm pretty sure) this guy is not a fan of the new governor. He said, and I quote "What the governor needs to understand is that this is a democracy and in a democracy you negotiate."

OK, I really don't care what side he's on but statements like this just piss me off. I hear statements follow this pattern, "The [Person I don't agree with] needs to understand that this is a democracy and in a democracy you [verb]" all the time.

Why does something this simple statement tick me off? Well it has to do with the fact that the word democracy is a word that has a definition. Believe it or not, that definition does not require the use of negotiations. There are two main types of democracy - direct and indirect. In a direct democracy, you vote on literally everything. We all vote to make decisions. In an indirect democracy, we elect representatives to cast a vote for us. One vote represents many people.

While negotiation can occur, it is not required of a democracy. Hell, we never have to discuss anything in a democracy. All that needs to occur is a vote.

This pisses me off because these types of statements sole purpose is to make the other person look bad/evil. It's literally a lie and akin to name calling, albeit less obviously so. While it could be said that in a civil society, we seek group consensus to make sure we are trampling over other people's ideas and beliefs, and to accomplish this we negotiate, but to say someone isn't playing well in a democratic society is just plain ignorant of the meaning of the word.


So maybe I'll take the gloves off once and while. I miss doing this. Rhetoric can be fun. Back in the day, I used to coach/judge public speaking. One subject I was very passionate about was the solid use of language, rhetoric and reason. Seriously, you want to beat someone soundly in a debate, point out these kinds of errors and soon enough, your opponent is spending all of their time trying desperately they have a real point to prove and not just hot air.

There's plenty of hot air today.

Friday, February 04, 2011

When dads keep the magic alive

Volkswagon has been doing an excellent job with their commercials lately. At least the web based ones. I'll just let you enjoy this video.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Sound advice

epic fail photo - WIN!: Snowpocalypse Prayers
see more funny videos