RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

Breaking News Osama Bin Laden Dead with This Week in the Daily Show and the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Week of May 1st, 2011


Tonight there was breaking news that President Obama confirmed around 11:45pm on the night of May 1st: US forces have killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottaban, Pakistan and those forces now have custody of Bin Laden‘s body.

Here are the remarks from President Obama for the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, I must say, it has one of the best and most unexpected openings I would ever think a President would have, I felt like I was back watching wrestling back in the 1980’s.  Obama also makes fun of himself and his Vice President, Joe Biden, with a funny movie trailer.

Seth Meyers headlines the same dinner and in his 20 minutes he hits on things like a lack of birth certificate jokes, Arianna Huffington, Jon Hamm and Zach Galifianakis.

If polls of Republican and Democratic candidates 18 months prior to the election are so useless at predicting who will actually win the ultimate election, can we stop referring to them now? I guess we could fill all that dead airtime on all the 24 hour news networks with more footage of crazy cat videos.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

It’s interesting to see how the different protests during the local town hall meetings are shaking out, while some prominent Republicans are getting booed, some democrats have to sit through a protest with people who ultimately sing that they love the President… by the way, I am VERY confused by that last one.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

I heard about this interview with Gigi Ibrahim from No Agenda (subscribe here). I can’t believe that the story isn’t getting more press that Ibrahim was taught to do this from the American University in Cairo!
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here is a nice tirade over the latest news regarding funding 9/11 first responder health treatments. My only comment is that if we are checking 9/11 responders on this, instead of getting mad about it, just check any group the government gives money or aid to against the terrorist watch list, so that we never get any scandals in the news about terrorists receiving aid money from the US government. Shouldn’t THAT be what we are avoiding?
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Elizabeth Warren comes back to explain again why she feels her new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is necessary and what has been happening since the agency was created. Currently, the agency takes effect this summer. You can track what her agency is doing at ConsumerFincance.gov
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

William Cohan chronicles the history behind Goldman Sachs and how they are the best financial company to make money by exploiting everything possible that is legal.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Thanks to the AP for the above photo.

Enjoy

Dany

Advertisements

May 2, 2011 12:07 am Posted by | clips, college, comedians, DC, economy, education, Egypt, Islam, London, Lybia, Middle East, military, New York, newspaper, NYC, photography, podcasts, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | 1 Comment

The Daily Show and Colbert Report for December 19th, 2010

It is rather amazing that the Republicans can still balk at the idea of passing the 9/11 first responder health bill especially after all the negative health effects facing those first responders. Well, here is just some of the outrage and video montages put together this week on this issue:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Former Governor and Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, promotes his book, Can’t Wait Till Christmas.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, promotes his new book Beyond the Crash. He talks about global demand or current lack thereof and financial markets.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Ricky Gervais is just insanely funny and he has a new HBO standup special, Out of England 2.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Hmm, what would you do with a Goldman Sachs MasterCard? Thanks Buckley T. Ratchford for losing your credit card for the Colbert staff to find on the street.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Stephen tackles gay marriage so you don’t have to by interviewing lawyer David Boies.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

All I can say is that Colbert won Twitter for 2010. He won the first Golden Tweet from Biz Stone.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Stephen Sondheim promotes his book Finishing the Hat and explains how his first musical was edited.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Pancakes are going to be the terrorist scourge of of 2011 since they are invisible to TSA x-ray scanners.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Enjoy

Dany

December 21, 2010 2:33 am Posted by | books, clips, DC, health, Law, London, medicine, New York, NYC, politics, technology, travel, tv, 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

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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

Potential New US Peace Plan to Forward International Relations

OK, first off, let me say that this peace plan was originally attributed to Robin Williams, falsely, I might add (just check Snopes) but I laughed when I read it, so I’m adding it here:

1) The US, UK, Canada, Australia, France will apologize to the world for our interference’ in their affairs, past & present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Noriega, Milosevic, & the rest of those ‘good ‘ole’ boys’, we’ll never ‘interfere’ again.

2) We’ll withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea, the Middle East, & the Philippines. They don’t want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No one allowed sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together & leave. We’ll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up & deported immediately, regardless of whom or where they are from. They’re illegal!!!

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 days unless given a special permit!!!! No one from a terrorist nation will be allowed in. If you don’t like it there, change it yourself and don’t hide here. Asylum would never be available to anyone.  We don’t need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers.

5) No foreign ‘students’ over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don’t attend classes, they get a ‘D’ and it’s back home baby.

6) The US, UK, Canada, Australia, France will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy wise. This will include developing non-polluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don’t like it, we go someplace else. They can go somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling up the storage sites would be enough.)

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not ‘interfere.’ They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides most of what we give them is stolen or given to the army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island someplace. We don’t need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us ‘Ugly Americans’ any longer.  The Language we speak is ENGLISH…learn it…or LEAVE.

11) ‘The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and she’s yelling, ‘you want a piece of me?’ (THIS is an actual Robin Williams joke, by the way.)

Now, isn’t that a winner of a plan?

Thanks to Snopes for the above pic and thanks to my father for sending me this “plan.”

Enjoy

Dany

January 10, 2010 11:26 pm Posted by | comedians, crazy celebs, DC, London, New York, politics, travel, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Sharing My Insanity

I thought you’d appreciate the crazy… I wanted to order some minor electronics to help me build an LED circuit (a capacitor and a timer), which totaled $3 and change, but when I saw that the shipping charge alone was over $6 and the fact that RadioShack.com has a similar deal to Amazon (free shipping on $25+ orders).

So, I went sifting though the Radio Shack site for some other things that I already was going to buy to bump it up to $25. I started with everything on my Amazon wish lists (ex: Hellgate: London and Soon I Will Be Invincible) and got nothing, but I then started looking at video games and stumbled on Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga… I had wanted to get the game for a while, especially since the only real knock against it that I had heard/read was that it was not very new or different from older versions of the game, but since I have never played any version of the game, I figure that I’ll fully enjoy it all for the first time.

So, I ended up getting a $49.99 game that I wanted so that I could avoid $6 shipping on a $3 item.

Just thought I should share the insanity with you.

Dany

August 20, 2008 10:08 pm Posted by | books, games, London, notes, science, technology, video games | Leave a comment

Sex and the City – The Movie

There are very few things actually captures the true essence of living in New York City, Woody Allen films come to my mind first and foremost, but HBO‘s Sex and the City also comes to mind. but recently, Woody has been AWOL from NYC, spending his time in Europe and Sex and the City held their series finale in 2004. This has left a gap even with rumors that Woody Allen will return to his NYC roots for his next film, I might just need something to hold me over until 2009.

I was hoping that the Sex and the City movie would be that holdover. I enjoyed the television show, but I can’t say I’m a part of its rabid fan base. So, the advantage for me was that I knew all about these 4 women going into the film…

After watching the movie, I felt that it held pretty true to the television show and would satisfy the film’s built in fan base. It felt like 3 or 4 episodes of the television show back-to-back. After telling the person I saw the movie with this, I realized that this may not be such a good thing after all.

The film didn’t just feel like 3 or 4 episodes of the show, it felt like the film ran long, with these episodes just tacked onto the back of each other, instead of a tight continuously flowing story.

The next realization I had was there was very little setup for the main characters (and why the casual viewer should care about these 4 relatively well off women). Now, for someone like me, who knows these four strong ladies very well from their tv escapades, this was not a problem, but what about for someone who has either never seen the tv show or has only seen a handful of episodes? Well, these people just get a quick (~2min) video recap of the tv series laying out the history of the characters and a voice over by Sarah Jessica Parker to go with it and my guess is that this will leave the uninitiated confused and in the lurch.

Even with these misgivings and the fact that there were times when I felt the film was just a bit long, I DID enjoy the movie, there were a handful of unexpectedly funny moments, Charlotte‘s troubles during international travel being one of them (a point I disagree with my favorite reviewer, Roger Ebert on). I feel like for those people who are NYers, New Yorkophiles or fans of the tv show, you should definitely go out and see this film (especially if you’re planning on pre-gaming with a Cosmo or two), but if you’ve never really seen the show or know the characters, you’d be better off not initiating yourself to this world with this film, just go back and rent/borrow/buy the dvds of the original series.

Thanks to No Guarantee for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

June 9, 2008 1:13 am Posted by | dvd, London, movie reviews, movies, New York, NYC, travel, tv | 2 Comments

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl stars two of the most beautiful 20 somethings in Hollywood today, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.

These two play probably the most famous sisters in English history. Portman plays Anne, the smart and headstrong sister, while Johansson plays Mary, the shy and often looked over younger sister (according to this film, at least). Portman is extremely strong in this movie, in almost every scene she is the strongest presence whatever room she’s in. Eric Bana plays King Henry, but outside of a couple of scenes (one of which where he’s alone and furious with Portman in her room), it feels like he is completely overshadowed.

Two other strong performances come from Kristin Scott Thomas (The mother of the famous Boleyn girls) and David Morrissey (The Duke of Norfolk, patriarch and uncle to the Boleyn girls). There is one scene in particular, where Anne is being lectured to by her mother and Thomas‘ monologue about women’s power over men is wonderfully performed.

I know it’s early in the year, but as of now, my favorite performance of 2008 is Natalie Portman as the strong and complicated Anne Boleyn.

Thanks to Elstree Film Studios for the top pic and to EDU’s Worthless Blog for the second pic.

Dany

March 5, 2008 12:40 am Posted by | London, movie reviews, movies, politics | Leave a comment

Cassandra’s Dream Review

Cassandra’s Dream is Woody Allen‘s 3rd London based movie he has made in as many releases and at first, I thought this was a very different type of story compared to anything Allen has done previously, but after a few days of thinking about it, I realized I was wrong.

First off, the movie stars Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell, has Tom Wilkinson in a small, but interesting role as well as Woody Allen finding one of his most beautiful leading ladies he has ever put on screen, Hayley Atwell, a woman I can understand wanting to do anything for, to keep interested in me.

The problem though is that after seeing Match Point, this London based Allen film falls flat. The acting performances are uneven, at best and there was more than one scene that was written to be serious, but ended up causing laughter from the audience! Collin Farrel‘s performance was by far the most varied, there were some scenes where he shined, but for a majority of them though, he was pretty disappointing to watch. Wilkinson, an actor who has become one of my favorite actors to look out for, after his small, but memorable roles in such films as In the Bedroom, Batman Begins and Michael Clayton, also had scenes that switched from well acted to absurd in what seemed like a blink of an eye… very disappointing.

The ending, something I won’t reveal here, just seems too tidy for a writer/director as talented as Woody Allen. It’s a shame, I adore Allen, but this movie seems like a far inferior combination of Match Point and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Thanks to 20minutos.es for the above pic.

Dany

January 31, 2008 11:32 pm Posted by | London, movie reviews, movies | 1 Comment

Sweeney Todd

I already knew the general story from the theatrical production that Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street came from, since I had family who put on the production in the past. After hearing a very positive review from a trusted source of this film version of Sweeney Todd I got pretty excited about seeing this film.

This was not one of the best movies I’ve seen recently, but I did enjoy this film quite a bit. I thought Tim Burton does an amazing job of making what must have been buckets of blood look absolutely beautiful. I haven’t seen such amazing blown out colors in a film and blood treated so beautifully since Dario Argento‘s Giallo masterpiece Susperia. I was just a bit disappointed by the music and story

Johnny Depp keeps making a great leading man for Burton. His performance, especially when he gets to play off of Helena Bonham Carter (who is enthralling to watch as the ghostly bleached white, sickly brown eyeshadowed partner/potential lover for the former Edward Scissorhands). The performances of the supporting Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall were just a pleasure to watch whenever they were allowed to overtake the screen.

One of the biggest problems is that the songs were not all that great, but I WAS surprised at how some of them sounded, I wasn’t sure how they would turn out with the main actors doing their own singing, even though I thought there may have been too many times when the characters broke into song. The beginning and end of this film are pretty tightly done, the mid section is a bit story thin though.

Let me go back to the production values though, because THIS is where the film really shines. Most every scene is shot perfectly. over 95% of this film portrays the gloomiest London, very similar to the way Burton shot Sleepy Hollow, but it was never more noticeable than after Carter‘s BEST hopes and dreams musical number which brought all those blown out colors to the screen, that are a stark contrast to the rest of the movie. I must say though, there was one scene, when Depp was getting off the ship where Burton makes the mistake of lighting him with a warm street lamp, which gives him a slight rosy glow which is a total mismatch for EVERY other scene in the film for his character. Other than that scene, the film looks absolutely amazing.

Thanks to Movies and Life for the above pic.

Dany

January 21, 2008 3:35 am Posted by | London, movie reviews, movies, music | Leave a comment