asher553: (Default)
I'm in the midst of downsizing and consolidating my stuff in storage, and *of course* I found some books that I had to bring home, because *of course* my studio apartment isn't sufficiently crammed with books as it is.

Inter alia, I brought home a whole bunch of Agnon, two A&P books from my EMT course, and a couple of books on photography that I'd found particularly informative. The reason for the A&P is twofold: because I want to refresh my memory on what I learned in the course, and because I want to get back into drawing and the anatomical illustrations are often useful.
asher553: (Default)
Don't know how I missed it at the time, but Richard Hatch - a veteran of both iterations of 'Battlestar Galactica' - passed on last February. He was Captain Apollo in the original series, and terrorist Tom Zarake in Ron Moore's 2003 remake.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/07/tv-shows/richard-hatch-dead/index.html

'Hatch died at around 1:30 p.m. in Santa Clarita, California, with his son, Paul, by his side, Kaliski said. The 71-year-old actor had been battling pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from his family.
In the original "Battlestar Galactica" series that ran from 1978-1979, he played Captain Apollo and in the 2003 remake, he played Tom Zarek. He received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in the first series.

"In my case, 'Battlestar Galactica' was a milestone," he wrote on his personal website. "It afforded me the opportunity to live out my childhood dreams and fantasies. Hurtling through space with reckless abandon, playing the dashing hero, battling Cylons, monsters and super-villains -- what more could a man want?" ...'

Hatch led an unsuccessful attempt to revive the original series, and even after being cast in a major role in the RDM remake, remained critical of the new version.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Hatch_(actor)#Battlestar_Galactica_revival_attempt

'In 2004, he stated to Sci-Fi Pulse that he had felt resentment over the failure of his planned Galactica continuation and was left "exhausted and sick ... I had, over the past several years, bonded deeply with the original characters and story ... writing the novels and the comic books and really campaigning to bring back the show."[13]

Despite his resentment, Hatch developed a respect for Ronald D. Moore, the remake show's head writer and producer, when Moore appeared as a featured guest at Galacticon (the Battlestar Galactica 25th anniversary convention, hosted by Hatch) and answered questions posed by a very hostile audience.[13] Later, in 2004, Hatch was offered a recurring role in the new Battlestar Galactica series, which he accepted. He acted out Tom Zarek, a terrorist turned politician who spent twenty years in prison for blowing up a government building. After Zarek's death, Hatch commented that "never did I play this character as a villain nor did I think he was one and I still feel that way," and that he considered the character to be a principled figure who is driven to violence after being "blocked in every way possible" by Roslin and Adama.[14] "Zarek, Adama and Roslin all wanted power for the same reason, to make a positive difference."[14]

Even so, Hatch remained harshly critical of Moore's remake of Battlestar Galactica.'

So his career was a remarkable case of both an actor and his character having a radically different vision of a fictional world - and thus playing the role of antagonist both in the story and in life.
asher553: (Default)
Helen Church, Kathryn Townsend, and my friend Athena Brown are the subjects of this refreshingly fair piece at PBS, which covers the June 4 rally in Portland.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/features/trump-supporters-portland/

'Some are extremists. Others hold more moderate views. Still others are hard to pin down. They include independent voters like Townsend, who are becoming more active and strident as they see unprecedented efforts on the left to shut conversations down. They include people like Church, who, when slapped with labels, respond by showing up at rallies for the first time. And they include Republicans like Brown who have become fed up with what they see as the left’s PC culture. ...'

Go read the whole thing at the link.
asher553: (Default)
Had a busy but productive day. Tired but still here. Hello everybody! Back to regular journaling tomorrow.
asher553: (Default)
... until you pee in the cup.

Tomorrow, I pee in the cup.
asher553: (Default)
Last night started binge-watching two of my favorite SF shows in tandem: Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica.

Babylon 5 aired from 1994 to 1998. The creation of J. Michael Straczynski, it was groundbreaking in its time and I think it stands up very well today. The show featured the most advanced and extensive CGI effects to date, and set a whole new standard for CGI production. It also marked a departure from the procedural format common in TV series - in which each episode is a self-contained story, and the episodes may be watched interchangeably in any order - toward a serial format, in which an extended story arc is developed from one episode to the next over the length of a season or even the series. The premise of B5 is a space station located in deep space, and hosting visitors and diplomats from various spacefaring races. A similar concept was used in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' and Straczynski maintains that the Star Trek franchise stole his idea, although he declined to pursue legal action. B5 was notable for its dramatic sophistication and strong character development.

Battlestar Galactica, which aired a decade later, was Ronald D. Moore's 're-imagined' production of a 1978 TV series of the same title. In the pilot mini-series, the human race (an Earth-like, spacefaring civilization spanning twelve planetary 'Colonies') is wiped out following a war with robots of its own creation, called Cylons. Only about 50,000 humans survive aboard the spaceship of the series title. This show too set a new standard for CGI effects and for dramatic production. The scenes have a gritty, lifelike feel which Moore said was part of a conscious effort to differentiate the series from the 'Star Trek' model. Much of the tension comes from internal conflicts among the protagonists, sometimes overshadowing the external threat from the Cylons.

So I've started watching both shows from the beginning, more or less alternating by episodes. Vorlons to the left of me, Cylons to the right! This is gonna be fun.
asher553: (Default)
... as covered by Finland's Steve'n Seagulls. Via Kestrelcat at LiveJournal.

asher553: (Default)
Spent the weekend mostly recuperating from the now-concluded job. Got some new prospects in the works, including a phone interview tomorrow (Monday) morning. I popped in for the minyan at Chabad this morning and chazzaned. I'm hoping to start going somewhat regularly once again - after having been away from it for a few weeks - and it was nice that they asked me to lead the prayers.

Portland seems to be finally into a sustained period of nice weather and I got outdoors for about 20 minutes of run/walk today. Planning to do it again tomorrow. What I've been forgetting about those runs is how good I feel afterward.
asher553: (Default)
You get good at anything by practicing it a lot, and that includes mathematics. I wanted to bring my foundational math skills up to a good strong level, and I didn't want to schlep around a lot of textbooks. So after a little poking around I discovered Kuta Software (based in Istanbul), which markets a line of "Infinite" math worksheet programs aimed at the grade school to college levels.

https://www.kutasoftware.com/index.html

I started using the software last night and I'm very happy with the product. Right now I'm working on solving polynomials by completing the square; this is one of those operations that you can learn step-by-step in a few minutes, but it's only by working many practice problems that it becomes natural.

The topics covered range from arithmetic to calculus. You set the parameters for your worksheet (topic, number of problems, easy/hard, involves fractions or doesn't, etc.) and the program spits out as many worksheets as you want, with fresh problems each time. You can refresh the random values each time so you never run out of problems - hence, "Infinite".

Now that I'm officially working in the IT field, I'm going to want to make sure my technical skills are strong, and notwithstanding my age I'm still hoping to get around to finishing that BS degree in Physics or Engineering. An endless supply of practice math problems will help me stay in the game.
asher553: (Default)
I've got several boxes full of old CDs and DVDs, all of which I keep meaning to watch or listen to "someday". Last night I decided to give one of those DVDs a go (a production of a Shakespeare play that I'd had for maybe 5 or 6 years) and I put it in the DVD player. A few minutes into the play, the faces of the actors dissolved into blocks of pixels as if they had all been placed under the witness protection program. Soon thereafter, the disc stopped playing entirely.

Disc rot. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot] It's the same problem I'd been having with many of my DVDs and audio CDs. Meanwhile, my old vinyl records - some of them inherited from my parents - still play, for the most part, pretty well.

Sony gave us the CD back in the early 1980s [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_disc] and I can remember the extravagant promises that were made about the digital compact disc's durability and longevity. Now I'm wondering if it's time to just cut my losses and toss all my old optical media in the dumpster.

I can watch videos and listen to music on streaming digital media and downloads now. Of course, the continued viability of those media depends on the survival of the technological infrastructure that they inhabit: successive generations of computers, mobile devices, music players, and so on.

I'll confess I have a certain sentimental nostalgia for vinyl - but my reasons for keeping up my vinyl collection are pragmatic. I want a record that'll damn sure play 10 or 20 years from now. I don't know that about my digital tracks, and I certainly don't know it about my CDs, but I know it about my vinyls.

And as for Sony - the folks who brought us the compact disc in the first place - what are they up to these days?

Well ...

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/29/534854280/sony-will-start-making-vinyl-records-again-in-japan-after-nearly-30-year-hiatus

The tables have turned ... at 33 1/3 rpm.

September 2017

S M T W T F S
      12
345 6 789
10111213141516
17 1819 20212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 2017-09-25 18:46
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios