Thursday, April 29, 2010

Destiny's Child with my Child

I was watching a youtube video with my daughter the other day, and it inspired me...kind of thought about how big Beyonce Knowles career has been since her days in Destiny's Child, and began to wonder about the careers of her co-group members, and then I realized being a non-Destiny's Child charter fan club member that Destiny's Child had a variety of women during their 16 year existence (crazy, to think Beyonce was in Destiny's Child for 16 years!!!)

So instead, I just decided to post the video that inspired the post I'm not writing...a silly little song on Sesame Street that has been stuck in my head for days.

It's actually a re-taping of a "classic Sesame song" called I Got A New Way to Walk.

If you're looking for a blog post on the careers of Kelly Rowlands, LeToya Luckett, Farrah Franklin, LaTavia Robertson, or Michelle won't find it here. Nope instead you see Beyonce dancing with Elmo.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bryce Dallas Howard: Cast in the "The Help"

Bryce Dallas Howard.

I'm not sure how you and I stack up.

It looks like you are going to co-star in the adaptation of what could be a successful film based off the best selling novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Originally I thought Chris Columbus would direct this film, but looks like Columbus is producing with the less note-worthy Tate Taylor directing. The other two lead females in addition to Howard will be Oscar nominee Viola Davis (Doubt) and Emma Stone.

But to me the big name of the bunch is Howard.

I feel like this is a big year for Howard and by year end or at least by the time The Help comes out, I'll have a better idea of where we stand...Howard is in Eastwood's unique project Hereafter, a Jonathan Levine comedy, and the next Twilight film.

I pictured Howard above from M. Night Shymalan's The Village, because that's how I picture and remember her, second to her M. Night Shymalan performance in The Lady in the Water. And perhaps that detail alone outlines the inner-conflict.

Will Howard be a film female who deserves those "important roles" are will she hang around in the background or disappear all together...Howard, Howard, Howard...I'm just not sure what I think of you yet.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Forget Setting the VCR - How About Just Turning It On: The Impact of Technological Complications

Sometimes I wonder what impact the complication of our technology has on the DVD market.

People put money into a good surround sound theater environment with their high definition flat screen television, and then before long only 1 person in a household knows how to turn on the TV, let alone get a DVD going.

I've seen this phenomenon at my parents house and I've seen it at friends houses.

My wife and I are relatively low tech so we can both operate our system...but I promise you, it is far from impressive.

I've wondered some how this simple complication impacts our entertainment. Perhaps people really aren't as interested in reality TV and the cornucopia of cable channels that are out there - maybe the reality is, they just don't know how to change the channel.

You have to think how this might also impact people who might chose to order a pay per view movie over their TV instead of renting a far cheaper DVD...maybe they're not so sure how to use their fantasy DVD player.

In the 80s and 90s I felt like the technological stress in people's lives was setting the timer on their VCR and coordinating it to record at the perfect time. Whew - if only those people knew how many buttons would some day be on their remote controls, they may have given up then.

Remote control image found here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

If I Wrote You a Letter...

In 2007 I did a post called "My Advertising Portal (or, Mail Used to Be Fun)." Here I outline some thoughts about how I want to return my physical address to the post office since all I get is ads and junk mail.

When I wrote this post, I didn't provide any solution for increasing the value of mail, rather I spoke of the merits of essentially donating my mailbox to the museum of the twentieth century.

All the same, I still check the mail everyday. I can't skip the trip.

One thing I've noticed over the past couple years since writing the initial post, is that while sending letters is passe, what has become more common, at least from our home is ordering things online that come through the mail.

Perhaps I read a book I know a friend will love, I zip over to Amazon and buy it for them, and they get a little treat in the mail, that if it's a used copy could be relatively affordable considering shipping and so forth.

But what about Letters? With the exception of the compulsory thank you notes, my hand doesn't self address an envelop ever. Honestly, I've probably addressed more envelopes so far this year for mail in rebates then I have to send a letter or note.

I thought about this and said to myself, "Self, this is sad. You should change this. You can send a letter."

Personal action. "Me send a letter," I said. "Great idea, but who will I send a letter to. What will I say."

The only person who came to mind to send a letter to would be my grandmother who doesn't have online access and I know would love receiving a letter.

Otherwise, in our current technological state, what would I want to say that would sound so trite or like-old Facebook news. Why would I tell them how the weather's been -- they can look at too...why would I tell them what I've been up to, I've updated my Facebook status almost every day with pictures and videos they could watch if they care. My random thoughts about life, they're here on my blog.

So what would I say? If you've crossed my mind maybe I've sent you a text message or given you a call. And maybe just maybe, if I sent you a letter you'd be so confused with how to respond...would I make some one feel uncomfortable like they were obliged to be my pen pal, could they text me back and say "thanks for the letter." Or would they feel like they were jumping communication genres?

Of course, I wouldn't mind. I would send a letter not expecting one in return -- but still I'm stuck at the question, who do I write? What do I say?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Christians are funny or Tim Tebow Comes to Denver

It's interesting how in the world of Christianity, there is so much room for "Christian celebrity."
Obviously, this is not the world that Jesus imagined, but if you've ever heard the story of the triumphal entry that is often told on "Palm Sunday" you hear about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem days for his death where the people greeted him with palm branches thinking that Jesus was the hero to overthrow the Roman government.

The era of Christian's looking for celebrity within their midst certainly is present in today's Christian church, and one of those Christian celebrities is Tim Tebow, the University of Florida Heisman Trophy winner who has been drafted to the Denver Broncos.

Tim Tebow is known for his faith, which is impressive. I have no problem with the way that Tebow attempts to live out his beliefs in active way, and I admire the way he uses his ability to build up something he values above his world of football.

Yet, the way Christian culture gets overtly excited about "Christian Super Stars" sometimes is, well, just funny.

Imagine knowledge that this "Christian Super Star" is coming to Denver, Colorado and instantly some begin saying things like "I'm sure Tebow will want to come to my church." Or "I really hope Tim Tebow gets a chance to meet my single Christian sister, I'm sure they'd be a perfect match."

Some might already be figuring out how they can invite Tim to their church, and thinking "of course he will want to come here" because the church is small/big/popular/outreach oriented/Baptist/well-known.

So as Tim Tebow changes jerseys from one shade of blue and orange to another shade of blue and orange, I present you the picture of him and number 10 jersey (although speculation is he will return to his number 15 jersey for the Broncos), as well as a picture of Tebow as Goliath at his Florida home church First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.(picture from Baptist Press article).

Some Christians might be excited for this celebrity to come to town. Sports fans might wonder what this draft pick really means for a player that people weren't sure if he would be cut out for professional football, not to mention Bronco Quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Kyle Orton might be worried about what this draft means for them as well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Last Airbender Goes 3D

Avatar: The Last Airbender (not to be confused with that other Avatar movie that has nothing to do with this) is going 3D (not that it was all influenced by other films, include that Avatar thing that went 3D).

This news follows news of The Green Hornet also being converted to 3D before hitting theaters.

This is interesting, because this digit conversion is on films, recently produced, without the original intention of 3D presentation...that means it won't have dramatic water drops filmed falling from the sky, or extra head on shots of fire, sticks, and cliffs jutting into your face, it'll just be well...a 2D film with a 3D facade.

Not sure how that plays out...but M. Night Shymalan's The Last Airbender goes wide July 2nd, so that gives Paramount two months to add the finishing touches on this other dimension so this film can get the money that comes from slapping two characters, 3 & D, onto it's film's title.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oz Obsession: 5 Films in the Works

I'm sure it's largely in part to the success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland...and that fact that Hollywood seems to love racing to make similar movies. So I present to you the big screen Oz productions in the work. Which one would you see?

Oz The Great and Powerful (previously: Brick) - Tells the origin story of the Emerald City's wizard, Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. This story about a circus magician who's balloon lands him in Oz where his magic tricks are viewed as powerful sorcery. This Disney project comes from Joe Roth the producer of Alice and that should create an idea of what they're going for. The script is written by Mithcell Kapner, and newest rumors include Sam Mendes directing Robert Downey Jr. in the role. Disney is producing.

Oz: The Return to Emerald City- Scripted by Josh Olson (A History of Violence) and produced by Basil Iwanyk and his Thunder Road label (Clash of the Titans). The story is a dark retelling of the land of Oz with Dorothy's granddaughter returning to Oz to take on the evil and darkness that has entered the Emerald City. This film is said to be based at least in part by Todd McFarlane's Twisted Land of Oz. Warner Brother's is producing.

Oz [Temple Hill]- Darren Lempke (Shrek Forever After) has written an Oz remake under the Temple Hill film label that created Twilight. Speculation about whether this is an adaptation of the famous 1939 story or a look at other stories is uncertain. Warner Brother's New Line is producing.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Why shouldn't the English get involved? John Boorman (Excalibur, Hope & Glory) is said to be in the early stages of production of a film who's title comes from the L. Frank Baum book that inspired the classic 1939 film. Currently this film has no announced cast.

Wicked - Since 2008 there's been discussions about Marc Platt (Wanted) directing a film version of the stage success Wicked written by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Houston (based off the novel by Gregory Maguire). Who knows how this film schedule might be bumped up or bumped back due to the other competition. Universal is producing.

Sources: MTV Movie Blog: Return to Emerald, LA Times: Toto Recall, LA Times: A New Wizard, Cinematical: Sam Mendes/Downey Jr., Variety: Mark Platt

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nujood Ali: Unfortunate Hero

Nujood Ali, pictured above, at 9 is a hero of woman's rights. More than that a hero for justice. A hero for what is right.

Today I heard the most intriguing and sad story on NPR about the tragedy of young girls from Yemen who are sold off (not uncommon to the history of that culture), but unlike times past, the men are older and outside of the rules of historical community these girls are abused, forced to engage in fierce sexual activity well before puberty, and in the severest cases have died of abuse, bleeding, and other causes.

In the NPR story, they discuss upcoming legislation whereby the country of Yemen would only marriage to men 18 or older and women 17 or older. A huge change for the country, especially when some claim this legislation is "anti-Islamic" partially on the grounds that Mohammad had a wife who was 9 years old.

I encourage you to read or listen to the story about Nujood Ali, pictured above, is a revolutionary in Yemen who without money, just honesty and bravery went to court and requested a divorce for the crimes committed against her.

These stories are important, and it is sad on so many levels. I think about the story not just from the side of the young girls, but also the father who chooses to sell his daughter to something so awful for $1000...this speaks of the poverty, the struggle to survive, and unfortunate reality of pain in this world.

I'm impressed with Nujood, and her family which supported her decision. I'm thankful for a court system in Yemen that despite pressures is moving in a direction to protect children. I'm sorrowful for all those young girls trapped in abuse.

As a father of a little girl -- almost two -- I just want to hug my daughter, love her, and protect her in a way that these Yemenis father's can't.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Comics - Some Thoughts

Recently I have been thinking of comic books -- or shall I say "graphic novels" the term that seems to describe large collections bound together.

I'm not really one who should be talking about such subjects because my comic book reading is and has been non-existent.

But it is for that reason that I feel like I can write this post in the first place.

It's interesting to me to think about how prevalent the influence of comic books are in current entertainment media -- it seems like many of the most buzzed about films started in the form of a comic.

Which, how appropriate is that since unlike traditional fiction which deal with words (and so can use flowery language and metaphor in his descriptions and characterizations as well as have a deeper emphasis on writing about emotion) the comic book immediately marries the image and the word in a way that should transition well to the big screen.

Yet, when I think about comic books I think about genre works usually of a superhero variety. I know this is not all the genre has to offer, but it's what I think.

I also think of single males in there teens and older with acne eating pizza and soda. Much of the picture that is presented in the character Oscar in Junot Diaz' Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Yet, I look at comic books with a bias, thinking that they are only one thing. I suspect that my daughter will never pick up a comic or graphic novel with the intentions of being entertained, but it was interesting as I have recently been reading Michael Chabon's non-fiction work Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands because he discusses some of the history of comics.

As I discussed in a previous post in regards to the Uncle Scrooge comics, I often don't think about the history of comics and how not too many decades ago comic books had less standing as an art form, but perhaps a broader youth readership. You think about comics like Felix the Cat, Archie, Disney comics, and things of genre's we usually don't think of with comics (like westerns and romance).

Chabon in Maps and Legends makes a point that as comic books strived to legitimize themselves with sophisticated themes and the move from pulp comics to graphic novels wide-spread readership declined. Sure some graphic novels get review coverage in the NY Times book section, and some of these works have giant fan bases (example: Alan Moore & David Gibbons Watchmen).

Yet this genre has exploded in one general direction and it's interesting to think about how something can go from wide popularity, legitimize itself and have a smaller more devoted fanbase.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some Scrooge McDuck Thoughts

I shared the other day that according to Forbes Magazine Scrooge McDuck is the second richest fictional character according to Forbes magazine and seeing his name made me smile.

Where Forbes attributed Scrooge to the Uncle Scrooge comic books, I felt, well sort of ignorant, because I don't think of the Uncle Scrooge Comics at all when I hear his name.

In fact I think of the 1980s cartoon DuckTales (listed as a favorite on my list of favorite 80s cartoons) which ran for 4 seasons beginning in 1987.

This is were my knowledge began, and my ignorance sort of kept Scrooge McDuck in this format, but Uncle Scrooge was around as a character in the Donald Duck comic, Christmas on Bear Mountain in 1947 (pictured right). Here Scrooge is trying to determine if Donald and his nephews are worthy of their inheritance and the character was born and eventually spawned his own comic book series "Uncle Scrooge."

"Uncle Scrooge" premiered in 1952 with "Only a Poor Old Man." (also pictured).

I don't know about your taste, but I find Uncle Scrooge a far more interesting (not to mention comprehendable character) than Donald Duck, and Huey, Dewey, and Louis are quiet entertaining so I appreciate their edition to Disney storyline.

§ § §
A Side Story. In 1990, Disney made a feature film DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp, with the art work featured here you can see was an animated Huey, Dewey, Louis and Scrooge McDuck feature length film.

I won't lie - I enjoyed this very much at the time of it's release, and found it to be a hidden treasure of animated films as it didn't get the same type of buzz as the successful animated musicals Disney was succeeding with.

So, when my sister won a local grocery store coloring contest and won her own copy of this film I was more than happy to watch this film, about a wealthy uncle taking his nephews to Egypt to find priceless treasures, including a lamp with a magic genie.

I'm not sure what I would think of it on a re-watch, but I think I might gladly bust this VHS out to share with my daughter as a fun animated story of adventure. As for that wealthy Scrooge, he's always an enjoyable character.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Forbes' Fictional 15

I enjoy the fun and potential for debate that goes into the Forbes Fictional 15 - a list of this years riches fictional characters.

Here's the 15, you can see the list in pictures and read the logic of their choices at Forbes' website.

1. Carlisle Cullen, 34.1 billion, Twillight
2. Scrooge McDuck, 33.5 billion, Uncle Scrooge Comics
3. Richie Rich, $11.5 billion, Richie Rich Comics and Films
4. Tony Stark, $8.8 billion, Iron Man
5. Jed Clampett, $7.2 billion, The Beverly Hillbillies
6. Adrian Veidt "Ozymandias", $7 billion, Watchmen
7. Bruce Wayne, $6.5 billion, Batman
8. Tooth Fairy, $3.9 billion
9. Thurston Howell III, $2.1 billion, Gilligan's Island
10. Sir Topham Hatt, $2 billion, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends
11. Artemis Fowl II, $1.9 billion, Artemis Fowl books
12. C. Montgomery Burns, $1.3 billion, The Simpsons
13. Charles "Chuck" Barthelomew Bass, $1.1 billion, Gossip Girl
14. Jay Gatsby, $1 billion, The Great Gatsby
15. Lucille Bluth, $950 million, Arrested Development

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Starburst Eggs & Bacon

Back in 2006 I proudly shared my Giraffe made out of Starburst candy.

I still play with my food, and my artistry has improved.

A co-worker had some Tropical Flavored Starburst in their candy jar, and with these colors, I couldn't resist a mid-day art project.

So today, I present to you my Eggs and Bacon made with Starburst Tropical Fruit Chews (pina colada, mango melon, and strawberry banana).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trying to Get Excited For 2010 Films

I don't know why but I am not quiet excited for many of the films coming out for 2010 -- nothing that I'm just dying to see.

I need to do spend some more time with this year's releases and see what gems are worth anticipating.

I'm influencable at this what are you anticipating?

Monday, April 12, 2010

A S_______ Man

It was confusing enough last year to have two films being released with the similar titles of A Single Man and A Serious Man.

And I don't even know if this film will make a splash on any sort of critical or public stage but today I read on Variety that Strand Releasing has acquired rights to a film to be released 4th quarter of this year called A Somewhat Gentle Man. The film is apparently a comedy about an ex-convict and stars Stellen Skarsgaard.

I think I'm going to write a screenplay with a generic title that I know will get bought up...may I recommend the following titles...

  • A Stupid Man
  • A Sarcastic Man
  • A Sardonic Man
  • A Silly Man
  • A Special Man
  • A Sweaty Man
  • A Scary Man
  • A Savvy Man
  • A Sinful Man
  • A Sappy Man
  • A Simple Man

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Recomend I Confess

We've watched a lot of old films in our house recently, and because I generally don't have anything to say about classic films that hasn't already been said before, I usually don't say anything.

But I wanted to highlight one of the films that we watched a couple weeks back that I was not familiar with, but in watching it found that I very much enjoyed it. That film is "I Confess" directed by Alfred Hitchcock staring Montgomery Clift and Anne Baxter.

This is hardly one of Hitchcock's most famous works, and yet I highly recommend it. It's rhythm and pacing, as well as interesting story makes this a film I'm strongly recommending.

The film...without giving away the about a young priest who is told about a murder in a confessional, and then becomes suspected of the crime himself.

The moral intrigue alone makes this an interesting film. I hope some of readers will take the time to add this to there Netflix queue, buy a copy, or request it at the library.

As a film outside of the typical Hitchcock cannon of "greats" I think it deserves your viewing.

Another lesser known Hitchcock film I blogged on this year, The Lady Vanishes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Future is Now: 2010

Earlier in the year I discussed the change in this past year's film nominees for best picture by welcoming the 2nd & 3rd best picture nominees from the future (previously only Clockwork Orange, now followed by Avatar and District 9).

It makes you wonder what futuristic films could potentially land a role in the best picture landscape this year.

But the reality is 2010 isn't really looking like a year of much sci-fi.

In addition to Avatar and District 9, last year (2009) featured a ton of films with future settings: The Road, Star Trek, Moon, 2o12, GI Joe, and Terminator Salvation.

2010 isn't looking so "futuristic" in fact so far it looks like all the futuristic films for the year have already been released: Repo Men, Daybreakers, and Book of Eli.

Tron: Legacy, Iron Man 2, and The Adjustment Bureau are definitely sci-fi so perhaps these fit the bill as well? Although I'm not so sure if they take place in the future necessarily. Not that these are at the top of any one's best picture lists...especially mine. [Granted, District 9 was a late arrival to many people's idea as a contender]

All that to say, unless there's a surprise low budget futuristic film that I'm oblivious to, it would appear that last year's double nomination for future features is a thing of the least as this year is concerned.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Sperm Donor Comedy

Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Annette Benning and Julianne Moore each play a woman who gets pregnant by artificial insemination with donor sperm.

Both Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez play single women with biological clocks ticking.

For Jennifer Lopez the dilemma comes in when she meets a potential dream-guy (Alex O'Laughlin) in the film The Back-Up Plan. This movie, already seeming to be heavily promoted gives a simple glimpse into the simple comedy that would ensure from a woman trying to hide her pregnancy while she wait to see if she wants to risk the early budding relationship with the truth about the child she's carrying.

Jennifer Aniston on the other finds herself in a different situation in The Switch due out late summer in which her sperm sample has been switched by a male friend (Jason Bateman) without her knowing it.

And then in the world of artistic comedy, we have Focus Features film The Kids Are All Right in which the children of two lesbian women (both inseminated by the same donor sperm) find their donor father in their teenage years (still from film above). Again comedy, but a different tone.

It's hard to tell why this is a comedic theme for the year. And while each of these films are definitely comedy, despite their involvement of bodily fluids, these are not gross-out comedies staring Tom Green, rather these are romantic comedies (in the case of the story of the two Jennifers) are socially-conscious indie comedies (as in The Kids Are All Right).

I'm curious as to why these would come up, is it because people are rethinking family? Is it because women are interested in children but can't seem to find men who are looking to be fathers? Or maybe these studios all have been doing some espionage on the next comedic trend.

Either way, it's looking to be a sperm donor comedy year.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Thoughts on NBC's Parenthood after 6 Episodes

My wife (Kim) and I discuss NBC's show parenthood after the series 6th episode.

RC: So six episodes in, I usually can't wait for Tuesday night's to watch the show Parenthood.

Kim: Me either, the Braverman's are a highlight of my week. I especially like Julia's character.

: I actually thought Julia (Erika Christensen's character) was a drag the first week - I loved her in Traffic as a teen doing drugs, but at first I didn't buy her as the high strung working mom.
Kim: I think she's completely believable as a high strung lawyer mom. I think my favorite scene with her was when she took Sydney to the park and she tries to get her to be the princess with the code work "tiara."

RC: I agree, she really has some of the most laughable scenes. Like the scene where she buys the parking spot or when she exerts "her different swim lesson strategies." Early previews just showed Lauren Graham as the central character but her other television siblings really are all pretty intriguing.

Kim: Crosby's character is another favorite. It may be politically incorrect, but I crack up every time his son's name Jabar is spoken. I love that Crosby wants to do the right thing and he does the right thing with the help and encouragement of his family. Jabar...ha, ha, ha.

RC: I like Adam (Peter Krause), but sometimes I have a hard time with his wife played by Monica Potter.

Kim: Yea, she tends to be a drippy faucet. No fault to Monica.

RC: Yes, all fault to Monica. Usually I just don't buy her, but this past episode with her being all stressed out in dealing with her family, particularly was like she found her character for the first time.

: I wonder how long keep dragging on the the Max Aspergers story. Obviously, this is a very difficult diagnosis for a family to deal with, but I want to see more of this family. I personally liked the week there family was dealing with Hattie-Hoe.

RC: They did a good job casting someone for Hattie that kind of looks like Monica Potter. It's believable.

Kim: I just hope it stays on the air because I really like watching it.

RC: Me's hard to know what NBC will do, I'm not even sure what the ratings are, but I enjoy watching it and hope this show stays on the air longer that the 1990 version that only had 12 episodes.

For my thoughts after the first episode
: Parenthood Knee Jerk Thoughts (March 3, 2010)
Pictured: Erika Christensen, Lauren Graham (with Monica Potter far left, and I think the back of Bonnie Bedilia's head). Pictured mid-post Peter Krause with Max Burkholder.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Reel People: Rachel Weisz is Hypatia

The film is Agora which has been released in various countries around the world, but has not yet been released in the United States. It is directed and written by Chilean Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar.


Hypatia was a greek scholar who was believed to have been born some time in the middle 4th century in Alexandria, Egypt to the scholar Theon.
She traveled from Egypt studying in Italy and Greece. She is considered to be the first notable female mathematician. Her knowledge of mathematics and philosophy led her to be not only a scholar but the head of a Platonist school in Alexandria. There she encouraged study by reason and logic, rather than experience.

Hypatia was a unique, dressing as a scholar rather than traditional female clothing. She also rode her own chariot.

Hypatia was declared the wife of Isidore of Alexandria was said to have not had sex, at the request of Hypatia who's views towards logic did not persuade her to have interest in sexual interaction. In fact, Hypatia is said to have shown evidence of her menstrual bleeding to potential suitors to ward them off from having sexual interest in her.

She is known for being a pagan, although traditionally not hostile towards the Christian community. Because of her paganism and connection to the pagan governor Orestes who was not kind to the Christian community, some believed her to be hostile to Christians. This was particularly believed due to the popular Christian bishop objection to Hypatia's teaching.

Some believed it was even Hypatia that caused strain between the Athens governor and popular bishop.

In 415 a group of fanatical Christians led by Peter the Reader (Cyril's assistant) attacked Hypatia in her chariot during lent. They stripped her, dragged her through the streets. From her the brutality of her death is described at times at being cut into pieces and scattered in the streets. Other times she is said the have been burned alive by the mob.

Upon her death, a letter attacking the Christians and Cyril was released as having been written by Hypatia. The authenticity of Hypatia as the author is debated.


The film Agora, previously released in Spain was the highest grossing film in 2009. It tells the story of Hypatia with the love story thrown in with her slave Davus (Max Minghella). Oscar Isaac plays Orestes and Sammy Samir plays Cyril.

Despite it's popularity with the Goya's (Spanish film awards: 7 wins, 13 nomination) and it's Oscar winning star, the film has had problem getting American distribution. It is believed that some of the problems with distribution has had to do with the religious overtones of the story that could be viewed as anti-Catholic.

Will Rachel Weisz portrayal of this controversial female Grecian have any chance for an Oscar nomination/win for portraying this Real (Reel) Person?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Peep Show & Tell

As promised here is our peeps adventure...the picture above is a Peeps Sunflower Cake my wife and I made for Easter dinner...this fell into the "why not, let's have fun" category of baking, and turned out the most important ingredient is "in season."

The "recipe" comes from Taste of Home 2009 Annual Recipes and can be found online here.

For other Peeps fun elsewhere on the web, consider checking out:

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I Can't Believe I Made A Peep Stop

In 2006 I did a post about Peeps, and the various officially liscenced products that peeps make.

I don't really know how these bizarre marshmellow chicks became a part of Easter celebrations over 50 years ago, but here they are lining the shelfs.

Today...for reasons I will share in a later post, I HAD to get yellow chicken peeps.

At the Easter aisle filled with Easter Basket stuffings there was tons of chicks, purple chicks, yellow bunnies, pink bunnies...but the yellow chicks were all gone.

The tragedy.

I won't lie, I traveled to another store to pick up the peeps I needed. The yellow chicks...and no other color or animal.

Happy Easter.

Some Previous Easter related post on StrangeCultureBlog:
You Can Have your Peeps and Eat Them Too? February 26, 2006
Children on The Laps of Rabid Bunnies April 6, 2007
U2's Window In The Skies makes it onto's MixTape April 8, 2007

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Happy Census Day - And A Discussion Amongst Friends

One of the questions on the U.S. Census should have been, "Do you consider yourself psychic, clairvoyant, prophetic, or an oracle?"

Instead the first question on the US Census was "How Many People were living in your house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?"

As of today, April 1, 2010 it is reported that over 50% of forms have been returned. Mine to. Even though our family completed ours a couple weeks ago.

I wanted to share a little discussion that took place on my Facebook wall a couple weeks ago, but to protect the identity of my friends, I will use the cast of the TV show friends instead.

RC: I can't believe there's commercials for the census

Jennifer Aniston:

Courtney Cox:
I can't believe they sent me a letter to tell me that they would be sending me a census the following week.

Matt LeBlanc:
No kidding, Like you wouldn't know what it was without that letter.

Courtney Cox:
I take back my comment about the letter. Saw an interview with the Sec of Commerce. He said the research shows that those letters increase census returns by 6-12%. Each 1% increase in returns saves the govt $85 million. So maybe they are saving $510 million or more by sending out the letter.

David Schwimmer:
that's the kind of convoluted logic that can only come from the government - "we create extra layers of meaningless work and spend countless extra dollars to SAVE YOU money". And these are the people we want to put in charge of our health care ([Jennifer Aniston])?

Jennifer Aniston:
Wow. Calling me out on someone else's status, [David]. How do I respond? I'll save my healthcare reform pedestal for another time. I'm on Spring Break. :)

Matthew Perry:
I also like the letter that tells you you're going to get a letter next week...

David Schwimmer: just messing with you [Jennifer Aniston], because we're all friends here - aren't we?

Lisa Kudrow: I love the fact that form came to my house on March 17, 2010; but asked "Who LIVED in this house on April 1, 2010?"