RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

Ian Mckellen Plays King Lear

After watching Hamlet last week, I decided to check out the Ian Mckellen version of King Lear from the Royal Shakespeare Company on PBS (click here to watch the entire performance).

Now, that I’ve seen the play, I wish I had watched the two plays in opposite order. I loved Ian Mckellen‘s performance as the king, but the entire production just wasn’t as entertaining as Hamlet. Looking back, it is probably due to my love of the Hamlet over pretty much every other work of Shakespeare. It was interesting to see the classical dress compared to the Hamlet production. The intrigue and scheming still holds up today, which amazes me considering how long ago the play was written. Check it out.

Thanks to Normality Restored for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

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May 28, 2010 5:45 pm Posted by | movies, theater, tv | Leave a comment

Verizon Customer Support

I usually end up complaining about or making fun of things when I write here, but today is a bit different. I always hear stories of bad customer support when calling big companies. Well, today I called up Verizon to cancel a phone line that we no longer used anymore. I must say, I was happily surprised, from dialing the number to hanging up, the whole thing only took 15 minutes and it was no hassle, the support tech was polite and didn’t try and hound me about keeping a service I didn’t need.

We still use Verizon for a single standard phone line, internet and cell phone service, so I am extremely happy with Verizon, we just didn’t need to maintain one of the old phone lines we had. It might seem silly to highlight this experience, but if I’m going to complain when companies mess up, I might as well put a spotlight on companies that are doing things right that I hope they will continue and other companies will emulate.

Thanks to DVDGuy for the above pic and good job Verizon!

Enjoy

Dany

May 22, 2010 6:14 pm Posted by | technology, Verizon | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show for May 15th, 2010

I used to think that the term “a perfect storm” was only used for rare, unexpected, horrific occasions, not for what seems like almost commonplace bad days.
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I’m glad that President Obama named his new Supreme Court nominee, I don’t know much about Elena Kagan, but at least I haven’t heard anything yet that I don’t like about her. What’s interesting is looking at her Wikipedia page from just before her nomination (here) and then compare it to the current version (here) to see how it has changed upon being placed on the national scene. The media on the other hand is just hankering for a controversy, even if they have to create it themselves, so why not compare everything to recent fuck ups from the past? Well, there seems to be a President Bush fuck up for that… for every President Obama problem there seems to be an analogous but worse comparison to the Bush administration.
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I never thought I would hear the term “Nazi tourettes” or see a comparison to Nazism that Glenn Beck didn’t wholeheartedly embrace, but with this and his recent opinion supporting Mirandizing the NYC Time Square car bomber, Mr. Beck has really been surprising me lately, thanks for the clips Louis Black!
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It is nice to know that BP, Transocean, Halliburton and the US gov’t all decided to not take the blame for the Gulf oil spill.
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We, the American people,  are going to have to accept that everything has trade offs, if we decide want to mine for coal (which the US rules the world in supply of), there will be the occasional mining disaster (like we had earlier this year in West Virginia) or if we want to drill our own oil, that has risks and if we don’t feel that’s worth it, we can always pay more to other countries for their oil and accept things like the Exxon Valdez disaster possibility, or even pay more money for expensive nacent cleaner fuel technologies like wind/solar power or even go for nuclear power and just accept that we need to dump the spent fuel somewhere. None of our options are both cheap and easy, there’s a potential downside to all our power options.

Enjoy

Dany

May 15, 2010 7:39 pm Posted by | clips, DC, economy, Law, Louisiana, Middle East, New Orleans, New York, NYC, politics, technology, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia | Leave a comment

The Week of The Daily Show for May 8th, 2010

This week was interesting, watching the ever growing news story about the car bomb in NYC’s Time Square unfold in the span of a couple of days.
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The national news just keeps growing, it’s not enough to have car bombs in NYC and BP’s oil spill off the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana, but now we have 10 feet of flooding in Nashville, Tennessee
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Here is a lovely clip of Howard Dean‘s political hypocrisy when a former party member leaves that political party to run as an independent in an upcoming election along with amazingly contradictory feelings about what the American people want
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Is this really what happens to America when I leave for more than 4 months? Really!?!?

Enjoy

Dany

May 9, 2010 2:00 am Posted by | clips, DC, Louisiana, New Orleans, NYC, politics, Tennessee, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Hamlet Starring Patrick Stewart and David Tennant (full video)

I recently heard that Patrick Stewart (playing Claudius and the Ghost) and David Tennant (playing Hamlet) were going to star in a modern production of Hamlet for the BBC. Luckily, the production was made available through PBS. I have placed the video below. I will post my review once I have watched the 3-hour production, which will have to wait until after my medical midterm exams.

*Update 5-23-2010 – I was able to finally watch this most recent production of Hamlet, in my opinion it was well worth the wait. This modern dress (formal modern dress, but modern nonetheless) pays homage to the traditional garb of Danish royal times is a riveting recreation of the Shakespeare classic play. It has not been since high school that I had seen or read the play. It always amazes me how much of modern speech comes directly plucked from the words that Shakespeare penned. If you want to see tour de force performance by both Tennant and Stewart, this production should not be missed. It was a skillful mix of centuries old dialogue, with timeless ideas of scheming and treachery, along with modern updates to action and device.

Thanks to Forbidden Planet for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

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May 9, 2010 12:02 am Posted by | books, clips, London, movies, tv | 1 Comment

Arizona Immigration and The Daily Show for the week of May 1st, 2010

The Daily Show has an interesting take on the Apple next generation iPhone appearance in the tech media, especially interesting with Jon Stewart being a huge Apple fan. Apple in 1984 was fighting the man and now in 2010 may have just BECOME the man.
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In this 3 part extended interview, Jon talks with Ken Blackwell, writer of The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency (buy it here), it’s an interesting discussion of rhetoric vs policy.
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Even though the US feels like it’s in perpetual election season these days, other countries hold campaigns and elections as well. The British are going through their first election cycle with US style TV debates and microphone gaffs now. Let’s see how things are going for them.
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The other major piece of news out of the US has been the immigration debate stemming from Arizona passing an immigration bill. Most news sources aren’t talking about what the impetus was for the boarder bill (read the bill here). Pretty much only the author of the bill, ABC (in 2009) and the guys on No Agenda (subscribe here): Phoenix, AZ has become the #2 city in the world for kidnappings, only behind Mexico City and the kidnappers have primarily been Mexican gangs. Now, I disagree with the way the bill has been written, but I do think that SOMETHING needs to be and boarder control isn’t unreasonable, I just think that there are serious problems with local police being tasked with asking for citizenship papers from people who look suspicious. I just wish that this was brought up as part of the debate on the immigration issue by more people.

Enjoy

Dany

May 3, 2010 1:03 pm Posted by | apple, Arizona, books, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, London, podcasts, politics, tv | Leave a comment