Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Former teen idol David Cassidy dies at 67 - SFGate

Mr. Cassidy’s stock soared because of his androgynous good looks, but soon because of his vocals as well. Jones, of course, was a veteran vocalist who had starred in musicals such as “Oklahoma” and “South Pacific,” but Cassidy hadn’t been cast because of his vocal abilities. In fact, the show’s producers assumed he, like most of the young actors playing the Partridge kids, couldn’t sing.

The only ones watchable on the show were Jones, Dey and Cassidy. RIP David.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) *

Uninspired, uninteresting remake of a much better original with not nearly the star power. For fans of CGI scenery.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met

Having issued this warning, and having acknowledged that people in your address book may not necessarily want to be connected to you, Facebook will then do exactly what it warned you not to do. If you agree to share your contacts, every piece of contact data you possess will go to Facebook, and the network will then use it to try to search for connections between everyone you know, no matter how slightly—and you won’t see it happen.

Facebook doesn’t like, and doesn’t use, the term “shadow profiles.” It doesn’t like the term because it sounds like Facebook creates hidden profiles for people who haven’t joined the network, which Facebook says it doesn’t do. The existence of shadow contact information came to light in 2013 after Facebook admitted it had discovered and fixed “a bug.” The bug was that when a user downloaded their Facebook file, it included not just their friends’ visible contact information, but also their friends’ shadow contact information.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

How Matter Lost Its Mojo

Modern physics teaches us something rather different, and deeply counter-intuitive. As we worked our way ever inward—matter into atoms, atoms into sub-atomic particles, sub-atomic particles into quantum fields and forces—we lost sight of matter completely. Matter lost its tangibility. It lost its primacy as mass became a secondary quality, the result of interactions between intangible quantum fields. What we recognize as mass is a behavior of these quantum fields; it is not a property that belongs or is necessarily intrinsic to them.

Despite the fact that our physical world is filled with hard and heavy things, it is instead the energy of quantum fields that reigns supreme. Mass becomes simply a physical manifestation of that energy, rather than the other way around.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Bat (1959) **

Ultra low budget whodunit kept afloat solely by its two bona fide stars.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Get Out (2017) ****

Terrific genre-bending blend of horror/sci-fi tropes with social satire/comedy succeeds on all counts.

Suburbicon (2017) **

There's a kernel of a decent Fargo-esque noir here, but Clooney's idea of shoehorning a racial passion play around the plot baffles more than anything.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Candy (1968) **

Nice job by the lovely Ewa Aulin who essentially carries the film which starts off promisingly but eventually goes off the rails. Good cameo work by a bevy of movie stars helps but satire is one of the toughest of genres to pull off and this flick is no exception. Valiant try though.