hey todd a!

How long dumb ideas persist

28 July 2015

The designer of the F-16 explains what a terrible idea the F-35 is. This is such a weird topic to me but I’ve seen as many articles about how bad an idea the F-35 is as I’ve seen articles about how bad an idea a World Cup in Qatar is.

Whatever the truth of the matter is, it’s enlightening to hear a designer elaborate on exactly why another idea is bad. TL;DW: bureaucracy fucks everything up.

Hotel Chevalier

Robert Yeoman describes how he shot several scenes in Wes Anderson’s films

27 July 2015

I’ve blogged about Wes Anderson’s cinematographer Robert Yeoman before but here’s a great in-depth look at how he shot several scenes, like this reflection on Hotel Chevalier:

“There’s a scene where she [Natalie Portman] and Jason Schwartzman are lying on the bed, and there’s a backlight on them but I didn’t have anything to fill them in, so I just took a pillowcase and put it over the lens to bounce light back into their faces,” chuckles Yeoman. “I enjoy shooting that way. We came up from low-budget independent movies where you never had the money and you were forced to come up with your own homemade solutions to things, and that’s pretty much what Chevalier was all about.”

A great list of children’s books with a feminist perspective

26 July 2015

The Princess in BlackBRB, buying all these for the niece.

I knew a few of these. But this is an incredibly helpful list of empowering books for boys and girls. It’s a strange thing how early gender roles get enforced. At 3 and a half, my niece said to me, “That’s why girls shouldn’t fight” while watching Mulan which seemed like the wrong takeaway from that movie. (My brother assured me this was an aberration; she’s usually totally into Mulan.) As a comic book fan, I’m always looking for female heroes to show her so she doesn’t accept the old tropes of princesses and damsels-in-distress. I’m glad to have lists like this to consult.

Saturday matinee: Derelict, a Prometheus / Alien mashup edit

25 July 2015

I really liked Prometheus but I haven’t revisited it since seeing it in the theater. This is just the thing to get me back into it.

UPDATE: Looks like the creator pulled Derelict offline. But he left this scene I’ve embedded. Enjoy.

Victoria Beach

Photos from Victoria Beach

24 July 2015

Back in January, we went on a quest for the Pirate Tower at Laguna Beach where Bette Midler used to live. We didn’t have great directions so we parked where we thought would be the easiest walk to the Tower. Then we realized we were a good distance away. When we drove closer, we couldn’t find parking. We had a great day on a beautiful beach anyway.