Monday, September 23, 2019

Les Dawson

The wife’s mother said: ‘When you’re dead, I’ll dance on your grave.’
I said: ‘Good. I’m being buried at sea.’

Les Dawson (1931-1993)

Friday, September 20, 2019

Spike Milligan

'I thought I'd begin by reading a poem by Shakespeare, but then I thought, why should I? He never reads any of mine.'

Spike Milligan (1918-2002)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The More You Know, The More You Know You Don't Know

Lack of Knowledge

I remember a study a while back that talked about this, but recently I came across the Dunning–Kruger effect:

"In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is." (Wikipedia)

It is a cautionary tale for all of us because it says that at the worst end of ignorance one doesn't even know there is a problem. As a programmer, it tells me that assumptions are bad and a bit of research is always warranted. As a human being, it reminds me to be humble.

Of course, M.r Deming (quoted above) isn't the only one to have observed this, reminding us that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it:

  • Confucius (551–479 BC), who said, "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance".
  • The philosopher Socrates (470–399 BC), who interpreted a prophecy from the Delphic oracle, said that he was wise despite feeling that he did not fully understand anything, as the wisdom of being aware that he knew nothing.
  • Playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616), who said, "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool" (As You Like It, V. i.)
  • The poet Alexander Pope (1688–1744), who wrote in An Essay on Criticism, 1709: "A little learning is a dangerous thing"
  • Henry Fielding (1707–1754), who, in the novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, wrote: "For men of true learning, and almost universal knowledge, always compassionate [pity] the ignorance of others; but fellows who excel in some little, low, contemptible art, are always certain to despise those who are unacquainted with that art."
  • The naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882), who said, "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"
  • Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), who wrote in Human, All Too Human (aphorism 483), "The Enemies of Truth. — Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."
  • W. B. Yeats (1865–1939), who, in the poem The Second Coming, said: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."
  • The philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), who said, "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision."
  • A quip attributed to Mark Twain (1835–1910), though possibly apocryphal: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

Monday, April 15, 2019

Reality Bites

in-cabin monitoring ADAS

I was reading a blog about augmented (rather than autonomous) driving ( and it reminded me that as designers and engineers, we have a responsibility both for safety and for realistic expectations.

We tend to lament how marketing hypes what we're doing, but we also need to ensure that we're not doing the same thing. Personally, I can hardly wait for my own autonomous flying car, but I surely don't want one if it won't get me safely to my destination!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Something to Ponder

Something to Ponder

The United States has become a
place where entertainers and
professional athletes are mistaken
for people of importance.

I have Needed a Doctor
I have Needed a Teacher
I NEED farmers every day
I have NEEDED an auto mechanic, a
plumber, a carpenter, a grocer, and a lot of
other everyday people.

But I have NEVER, not even once,
NEEDED a pro athlete, a media
personality, or a Hollywood entertainer

Friday, January 4, 2019

Murphy's Laws of Combat

Thankfully, most of us will not be in a combat situation. However, with a little thought, many of these can be applied to various life situations.
  1. If the enemy is in range, so are you.
  2. Incoming fire has the right of way.
  3. The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:
    • When you're ready for them.
    • When you're not ready for them.
  4. There is always a way.
  5. The easy way is always mined.
  6. Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
  7. Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are dangerous.
  8. Don't look conspicuous, it draws fire.
  9. Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.
  10. If you can't remember, the Claymore is pointed at you.
  11. The enemy diversion you have been ignoring will be the main attack.
  12. A "sucking chest wound" is natures way of telling you to slow down.
  13. If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.
  14. Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.
  15. Anything you do can get you shot, including nothing.
  16. Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in and you won't be able to get out.
  17. Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
  18. If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in a combat zone.
  19. When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy.
  20. Never forget that your weapon is made by the lowest bidder.
  21. Friendly Fire Isn't

Friday, June 15, 2018

Choosing the Right Path

On average it takes a photon 40,000 years to travel from the core of the sun to its surface, but only 8 minutes to travel the rest of the way to Earth.  
As each photon travels, it is briefly absorbed and released by atoms, which scatters it in a new, random direction. To travel from the sun’s core to the Sun’s surface (696,000 km) so it can escape into space, a photon needs to make a huge number of jumps.
The calculation is tricky, but the conclusion is that a photon takes many thousands (and sometimes many millions) of years to wander through the dense matter inside the Sun to the surface. Theoretically, some of the light that reaches us today is energy produced millions of years ago.
Choosing the right path in life is can be just as tricky. If you want to get to your goals it is best to work on direct paths rather than bouncing from place to place.

Monday, May 7, 2018

That Was Then, This is Now

Tron Poster

I and my family recently watched Avengers: Infinity War and the special effects were great. As a comic book fan, seeing super heroes doing their thing seemingly realistically on the silver screen is still thrilling.

Considering the state of things these days, it is funny to remember that in the beginning of the computers era in 1982, The Motion Picture Academy refused to nominate Tron for a special-effects award. The reason they gave was “The Academy thought we cheated by using computers”.

My how times change!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 Interesting Movies

These are from, but is a more compact form:

Insidious: The Last Key (Jan. 5)
The Insidious franchise is back and this time, Elise (Lin Shaye) will have to deal with the demons not just from the Further, but her past too. We’ve seen it and it’s very different from what you’re expecting—in a good way.
Paddington 2 (Jan. 12)
The first Paddington was a very solid, entertaining, and ultimately underrated piece of family entertainment. Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the sequel, which is a very good sign.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Jan. 19)
If you ever wondered, “What would a Harry Potter movie look like if it was made by Studio Ghibli?” then you are going to need to check out Mary and the Witch’s Flower. It’s a delightful, bright animated film about a young girl who mysteriously finds herself in a world of magic.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Jan. 26)
After a major delay due to star Dylan O’Brien’s on-set injury, the final film in The Maze Runner trilogy is finally coming out. Some may dismiss the franchise as a Hunger Games ripoff, but the mix of mythology, action, and great young cast really have made this one of the most solid YA film series out there. We’re hoping it goes out with a bang.

Untitled Cloverfield Movie (Feb. 2)
As of press time, Paramount hasn’t yet announced the title to this film, though it was once rumored to be called God Particle. And like 2016's 10 Cloverfield Lane, it won’t be directly connected to that original monster movie (we think). The rumored plot revolves around a group of astronauts who watch the world vanish beneath them.
Winchester (Feb. 2)
Loosely based on a true story, Helen Mirren stars as the heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune who has been retrofitting her mansion non-stop for years. Turns out, though, she keeps building sections to the house to keep the ghosts hidden away.
Bilal: A New Breed Of Hero. (Feb. 2)
An inspirational animated film featuring the voices of Ian McShane and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Bilal is a young boy with a dream to become a warrior. However, he’s kidnapped and enslaved, forcing him to struggle first for his freedom, then his dreams, then his people. Originally released in 2015 internationally, it won numerous awards at various film festivals and is just now getting a U.S. release
Peter Rabbit (Feb. 9)
James Corden provides the voice of the title character in this blend of CG and live-action. Peter will compete with a human, played by Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux himself) for the affections of an animal-loving woman, played by Rose Byrne. It sounds cheesy but the trailer isn’t half-bad, plus Daisy Ridley and Margot Robbie provide voices.
Black Panther (Feb. 16)
Holy shit are we ready for this one. Ryan Coogler’s take on the famous Marvel superhero looks amazing, with a cast that’s even better. We’ve been waiting forever to see Wakanda on the big screen and as the last Marvel film before the release of Infinity Warthe stakes couldn’t be any higher.
Early Man (Feb. 16)
The company behind Wallace and Gromit is back with this animated family comedy about a caveman (Eddie Redmayne) who teams up with a friend to defend their tribe against an evil Lord, voiced by Tom Hiddleston. Aardman, the company in question, is one of the best at making top-flight stop-motion animation for all ages, so Early Man is worth keeping an eye on.
Annihilation (Feb. 23)
Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Jennifer Jason Leigh play a team of scientists who go into an alien landscape here on Earth that no one has ever come back from. Oscar Isaac co-stars and it’s directed by Alex Garland, the mind behind Ex Machina. It’s easily one of our most anticipated films of 2018.
Every Day (Feb. 23)
Based on a best-seller by David Levithan, Every Day is about a 16-year-old girl who falls in love. Awww. But the next day, the person she fell in love with isn’t the same. Turns out she’s falling in love with a spirit that changes bodies every single day, which raises some problems—and some issues.

Alpha (March 2)
Set during the Ice Age, a young boy is left for dead after a violent hunt. To survive, he befriends a wolf and the two set off an epic adventure across a rough road home. While the story sounds like something might have watched as a kid in the ‘80s, the visuals in the film look incredibly impressive. This one has our curiosity.
Red Sparrow (March 2)
Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence plays an exceptional woman who loses everything but picks herself back up to become a Russian super-spy. Reuniting with her Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence, the other Lawrence going for her James Bond is obviously intriguing. Plus, the scope and style of the film looks legit.
A Wrinkle In Time (March 9)
Ava DuVernay’s family adventure is based on the Madeleine L’Engle book everyone read growing up, about a young girl who goes on an epic adventure through time and space to find her lost father. Featuring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and others, A Wrinkle In Time has the cross-generational appeal that could make it a classic.
Strangers: Prey at Night (March 9)
A sequel to the cult 2008 film The Strangers, Strangers: Prey at Night follows the same bad guys from the first film, but on a larger scale. That time they just terrorized a family in a house. Now they are terrorizing them on a road trip. Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame is the film’s biggest star and while the whole thing doesn’t sound particularly exciting to people who haven’t seen the original, if you’ve seen the original, this is cool.
Tomb Raider (March 16)
It’s been 15 years since the last Tomb Raider movie, but now Lara Croft is back and played by Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander in a story that’s rumored to dive a little bit deeper into the character’s origins. Trailers haven’t exactly been mind-blowing but anyone who has ever played the recent (and excellent) Tomb Raider video game knows the potential here.
Pacific Rim Uprising (March 23)
John Boyega stars in the sequel to the 2013 film about humanity building giant robots to fight giant monsters. Daredevil’s Steven S. DeKnight is at the helm and if the trailers are any indication, the massive action audiences saw in the first film will be nothing compared to this. The biggest question, though, is will U.S. audiences who didn’t fully embrace the original get on board for the sequel?
Sherlock Gnomes (March 23)
A sequel to 2011's Gnomeo and Juliet, the couple head to London and are forced to call none other than Sherlock Gnomes to help solve a case. Which, we know, sounds so dumb, but the voice cast is wild: There’s James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Stephen Merchant, Mary J. Blige, and more.
Isle of Dogs (March 23)
New Wes Anderson Movie alert! And better yet, if you’re a fan of Fantastic Mr. Fox, New Wes Anderson Stop-Motion Animated Movie alert! With a voice cast that beats Sherlock Gnomes (Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Yoko Ono, Ken Watanabe, and so many more) one of this generation’s best filmmakers tackles a story about a boy on an island of dogs trying to find his pup. Anything Anderson does is worth watching and this will likely be no exception.
Ready Player One (March 30)
The GOAT, Steven Spielberg, directs an adaptation of the popular, but divisive, pop culture novel by Ernie Cline. Ready Player One is about a future where people spend their lives in virtual reality. However, when the creator of that world dies, a generation competes to solve the mysteries he left behind that are worth billions—mysteries only solved by an encyclopedic knowledge of ‘80s pop culture... including Spielberg’s own movies. Balancing the high-tech visuals and overload of nostalgia with character and story will be difficult but, if anyone can do it, it’s Spielberg. Here’s hoping he can fix the story’s other problems, too.
The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (March TBD)
The creators of the Oscar-nominated short Ernest & Celestine have made a feature about three interlocking stories on a farm that blends slapstick humor with important messages. Or so we’ve read. We don’t know much about this one but anytime animation strives to be more than simple family fodder, it’s nice.

A Quiet Place (April 6)
John Krasinski directs and co-stars with his wife Emily Blunt in this eerie-looking thriller about a world where, if you make noise, something will come and kill you. What is it? No clue, but we’re definitely interested in finding out.
The New Mutants (April 13)
Another delightfully unique film set in the X-Men movie universe, director Josh Boone places a bunch of young mutants in a mental hospital. It looks more like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest than a superhero movie, and that’s exactly what we love about it. The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy, Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton and Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams co-star.
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (April 13)
The true story of a dog who walked off the street during World War I and, somehow, became a hero. It’s a charming story to make a movie out of and if you’re a pet lover, the trailer will kind of melt your heart. But in a year of major animated films, it feels like Sgt. Stubby is going to get overlooked.
Rampage (April 20)
Hey, kids from the ‘80s—remember that arcade game where you and your friends took control of an ape, a lizard, and a werewolf and used them to destroy buildings as fast as you could? Well that’s now a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. The trailer looks like it has way too much story and not nearly enough smashy but it’s a Rock movie, so we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

Avengers: Infinity War (May 4)
This is it. The film everything every Marvel movie since 2008 has been leading towards. All of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and more come together to battle Thanos, who’s on the hunt to complete his Infinity Gauntlet. It actually gives us a headache to think about how big this movie could be but we couldn’t be more excited.
How to Talk to Girls at Parties (May 11 UK)
Based on a story by Neil Gaiman and directed by John Cameron Mitchell, How to Talk to Girls at Parties in a story about British boys who meet some strange girls at a party, who turn out to be aliens. Unfortunately, buzz on the film off the festival circuit hasn’t been great and it doesn’t yet have a U.S. release date, but we’re still curious.
Slender Man (May 18)
The creepy internet myth that resulted in some kids actually committing murder is being given its very own (fiction) movie. Whether the film goes the literal route, with Slender Man gaining notoriety online, or more mythological, with him just being an ancient terror, we don’t know.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)
Yes, a new Star Wars movie may currently be in theaters, but another one is coming in a few short months. The second “Star Wars Story” will tell the tale of a young Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich, and how he became the beloved smuggler. Donald Glover plays Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson is in it, Thandie Newton is in it, Paul Bettany’s there, the list goes on and on. Now, if only we could see a trailer...

Untitled Deadpool Sequel (June 1)
That’s not the final title, at least we don’t think. Knowing Deadpool, it could end up that way, though. Either way, Ryan Reynolds returns as the Merc with the Mouth and this time he’s brought along Domino (Zazie Beetz), Cable (Josh Brolin), and God knows what else. Expect a lot of jokes about sequels and plenty of ridiculous shit, as you can see from one of the most unconventional teasers in film history.
The Incredibles 2 (June 15)
Picking up where the 2004 masterpiece left off, Incredibles 2 continues the adventure of everyone’s favorite family of superheroes. Brad Bird is back directing and though we don’t know much about the plot just yet, we know part of it will revolve around the youngest Incredible, Jack Jack, figuring out just what powers he has.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22)
When last we left our favorite previously extinct species, they were once again set free to roam a suddenly defunct theme park. In this sequel, though, the former employees of that park must now travel back to save the dinosaurs from a volcano that could wipe them out for good. Again. Why that’s a bad thing when they are obviously so dangerous? We’ll have to wait and see. But Jeff Goldblum is back, so it can’t be all bad.

The Purge: The Island (July 4)
The fourth film in the Purge franchise won’t go forwards, it’s going backwards—it’s about the first Purge, which was isolated only to Staten Island as a test. Obviously, we know from the three sequels that the test went pretty well, so hopefully there’s more to it.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6)
Little is known about the story Ant-Man and the Wasp is going to tell, especially since it’s coming after Infinity War. We do know that Evangeline Lilly takes a starring role as the Wasp and Michelle Pfeiffer joins the cast as her mother Janet van Dyne, long thought lost to the Quantum Realm. The first film was all right but this one will end up better.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (July 13)
What if monsters who owned a hotel went on their own vacation? Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, that’s what. For the sequel, the monster family with the famous voices (Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Mel Brooks) sets off on a cruise to get away from their worries but, wouldn’t you know it? Things don’t go according to plan for the Drac Pack.
The Nun (July 13)
The Nun is the latest film in the Conjuring Cinematic Universe. Demian Bichir and Taissa Farmiga play a priest and a soon-to-be nun sent to Romania to investigate the case of a nun who killed herself. There they find themselves tangled up with the terrifying spirit audiences saw in The Conjuring 2. Horror in the summer usually works, so The Nun could be a sleeper hit.
Alita: Battle Angel (July 20)
Director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron team up to bring the popular manga to life. A cyborg, seemingly thought to be trash, soon realizes that she’s much more important and deadly than she ever thought. Rosa Salazar is the assassin cyborg, Alita, and she’s joined by Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, and Jackie Earle Haley. Yes the eyes are unnaturally big, but so is the potential—hopefully.
Mission: Impossible 6 (July 27)
Director Christopher McQuarrie becomes the first Mission: Impossibledirector to do two films in a row as he brings back Tom Cruise and the rest of the team for another big-time action blockbuster. New additions to the case include Henry Cavill as well as Henry Cavill’s mustache, which caused so many problems for Justice League.
Teen Titans Go! to the Movies (July 27)
In a meta twist on the popular show, the Teen Titans head to Hollywood to get a movie made, because every other superhero is getting a movie made. However, their plan is derailed by a supervillain trying to take over the world. Oh, and there’s musical numbers.

The Predator (Aug. 3)
Shane Black, who helped write and co-starred in the original Predator, is now in control of a brand new chapter of the storied franchise. This time, the alien hunter is rumored to be terrorizing a more suburban setting. How, or if, this film fits in with the original series we don’t quite know, but Black’s return alone is enough to get us pumped.
Untitled Christopher Robin Project (Aug. 3)
Ewan McGregor plays the boy who used to be Winnie the Pooh’s best friend, now all grown up. However, years later, he has to go back to the Hundred-Acre Wood to see Pooh, Piglet, and the gang. Hayley Atwell plays his wife and Marc Forester (Finding Neverland) directs.
The Meg (Aug. 10)
Jason Statham vs. a 75-foot megalodon. What more do you need to know? Okay, well, a submarine has been trapped underwater after an encounter with the largest, fiercest, shark imaginable. The clock is ticking so, in order to save them, a deep-sea rescue expert (Statham, obviously) is recruited to take the mega-shark down.
Captive State (Aug. 17)
John Goodman and Vera Farmiga star in the latest film from Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) where aliens have taken up residence in future Chicago. The film explores how that impacts the lives on humans and aliens alike. Not much is known about it beyond that but it’s obviously a ripe premise.
The Happytime Murders (Aug. 17)
Brian Henson, son of the late, great Jim Henson, is back where he belongs, making puppet movies. This one is an R-rated caper starring Melissa McCarthy, a cop who, along with her puppet partner, must solve a series of murders tied to a famed ‘80s puppet TV family. So, imagine if like the cast of The Brady Bunch started getting killed, but they were puppets. That’s this movie.
Cadaver (Aug. 24)
Cadaver is about a young cop who is forced to work in a morgue, where things start to go very bad when a mysterious new corpse is brought in. The problem here is that the film was supposed to be released last August. So, a one-year delay probably means it’s either bad, really bad, or so good they wanted to finish it right and give it a prime release date.
Kin (Aug. 31)
Two brothers are on the run from a vicious criminal. Their only protection? A mysterious, possibly alien, weapon. Based on a 2015 short film, Kin stars James Franco as the villain, Jack Reynor is one of the brothers, Dennis Quaid as the father, and Zoë Kravitz as the woman who ends up on the run with them. It’s a very cool premise with a very cool cast but it’s too soon to know much more than that.

The Darkest Minds (Sept. 14)
Based on the YA novel by Alexandra Bracken, The Darkest Minds sounds like a kind of post-apocalyptic, Maze Runner-esque version of the X-Men where a disease has killed most of the kids on Earth. Some of the ones who survived, however, have developed mysterious powers. Most of the stars are younger but Gwendoline “Captain Phasma” Christie plays a bounty hunter.
The House With a Clock In Its Walls (Sept. 21)
Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Kyle McLachlan, and others star in this Eli Roth-directed adaptation of a gothic fantasy young adult novel by John Bellairs. It’s set in a world with witches, warlocks, magic and more, much of which hinges on a mysterious clock. Which is indeed in the walls of a house.
Robin Hood (Sept. 21)
Yup. A new Robin Hood movie. But before you skip and scroll down, though, listen to this cast. Kingman’s Taron Edgerton as Robin. Jamie Foxx as Little John. Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlett. Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Right?!
The Kid Who Would Be King (Sept. 28)
Attack the Block director Joe Cornish finally helms another film, this one a family adventure about a group of kids fighting some kind of medieval threat. Little is know about the film but rumor has it it might be about a young boy discovering Excalibur and then being forced to save the world. But really all we need to know is “The follow-up to Attack the Block.”
Smallfoot (Sept. 28)
What would a Bigfoot call a human? Smallfoot, of course, at least in this animated film that flips the Bigfoot legend on its head. Channing Tatum is the lead voice and he’s joined by Zendaya, Lebron James, Danny DeVito, and others.

Venom (Oct. 5)
The first film in Sony’s Spider-Man-less, Spider-Man Movie Universe stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a man who is infected by an alien symbiote to become the supervillain Venom. The cast for this Marvel offshoot is impressive (Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, etc.) but we’re still confused how Venom can exist without Spider-Man.
Halloween (Oct. 19)
John Carpenter’s iconic horror franchise returns to the big screen with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode, would-be sister to ultra-killer Michael Myers. The film is rumored to take place after the first and maybe second Halloween films to try and smooth out the timeline, but also act as a reboot. There’s no way the original could be topped but, if this even comes close, it’ll be excellent.
Mowgli (Oct. 19)
Two years ago, Disney had a huge hit with their digital remake of The Jungle Book, but at the same time Andy Serkis was directing a different take on the Rudyard Kipling story. Employing performance capture over fully digital creations, Serkis has assembled an insane cast to play the animals, including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, Eddie Marsan and, of course, Serkis himself.
Overlord (Oct. 26)
This J.J. Abrams-produced period horror film is about two American soldiers shot down behind enemy lines in World War II. But they don’t just have to worry about Nazis, they have to worry about Nazis who are zombies. Wyatt Russell is one of the soldiers and Julius Avery directs.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Nov. 2)
The classic holiday tale gets a “dark” retelling that looks pretty vibrant if we do say so ourselves. Lasse Hallström directs Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, and others in a new adaptation that takes the story—and the ballet— to a new level.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Nov. 2)
Producer and writer Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut with the latest main story X-Men film. Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique are back along with the younger versions of Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Jean Grey—the last of whom will become the ultra-powerful destroyer of worlds called the Dark Phoenix. Not only is it based on one of the most famous and most loved comic storylines of all time, it’s the movie promising to finally take the X-Men into space.
The Grinch (Nov. 9)
A new spin on the classic Dr. Seuss story, Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice of the Grinch in this computer-animated film. Though we don’t know exactly how it’s going to adapt the near-perfect holiday classic, it seems that part of it will explain how the Grinch grew up and got so damn mean.
Holmes & Watson (Nov. 9)
Will Ferrell is Sherlock Holmes. John C. Reilly is John Watson. Really, not much more needs to be said than that. It’s two of the funniest men in the world, working together again, in a mystery comedy setting that’s sure to get completely weird and bananas. We can’t wait.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Nov. 16)
Newt Scamander is back, but this time he’s teaming up with a young Albus Dumbeldore to tangle with the great dark wizard, Grindelwald. Or, something like that. All the original cast is back, including Johnny Depp as the title villain (sigh), and Jude Law as Dumbledore. The first movie was fine but forgettable, but maybe J.K. Rowling can keep the Harry Pottermagic alive.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (Nov. 21)
The sequel to Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph finds Ralph and Vanelope on the search for a part to fix the game Sugar Rush, when they get sucked into the wild, infinite world of the internet. Expect cameos galore from all of Disney’s franchises, every tech company you can imagine, and goodness knows what else.

Mortal Engines (Dec. 14)
Peter Jackson and his team are great at building worlds, and they’re going to have a build a bunch for Mortal Engines. That’s because it’s literally about building worlds. Well, cities at least. Cities that travel around the world and suck up smaller settlements. The fact that there’s a teaser trailer a year from release bodes well for the studio’s confidence in the film and we trust in Jackson’s ability to pick and help facilitate great stories.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Dec. 14)
While Peter Parker is fighting an Infinity War, Miles Morales is entering the Spider-Verse. This big-screen animated Spider-Man film, produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, will finally bring Morales to life on the big-screen, and tell a story where he, and others, all have spider-based abilities. It’s a new spin on the story, pun intended, but the teaser trailer looks amazing.
Aquaman (Dec. 21)
The next film in the DC universe will tell us the story of Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, who was one of the most fun elements in 2017's Justice League. Now we’ll get to visit his underwater world as he struggles with being the half-human, rightful prince of Atlantis. Director James Wan assembled a great cast, and though DC has struggled, hopefully this solo superhero film will be more Wonder Woman and Justice League.
Bumblebee (Dec. 21)
For the first time, a Transformers movie opens in the winter instead of summer, maybe in hopes of enjoying a non-Star Wars-dominated holiday season. However, not all the Transformers are taking the trip. Just Bumblebee, now as lovable VW Bug. And Michael Bay isn’t directing; instead, it’s Travis Knight who made Kubo and the Two Strings. That alone has us ultra-curious about this one, and a more focused story couldn’t hurt either.
Mary Poppins Returns (Dec. 25)
Both a sequel to, and a reboot of, the iconic 1964 film. Emily Blunt takes on the title role as Mary returns, obviously, to help the kids of the kids of the first movie. Early glimpses at the D23 Expo looked excellent and having Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda along for the ride as the new chimney sweep can only help with the film’s nigh-impossible to live-up-to-legacy.

Mute (Netflix)

Moon and Warcraft director Duncan Jones finally gets to make his dream film, which stars Alexander Skarsgård as a mute bartender in futuristic Berlin who has to find his missing girlfriend. Paul Rudd co-stars and, somehow, this links to Moon. All you needed to tell us was “Duncan Jones scifi” though, and we were going there anyway.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Too Much of a Good Thing

The Christmas/New Years holidays are upon us.
Remember that too much of a good thing can be very bad for you!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Beautiful Day

It is a beautiful day.

I think I'll skip my meds and stir things up a bit!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Dental Visit

My dentist told me I needed a crown.

I'm like, "I know, right?"

Friday, December 1, 2017

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas I would like a fat bank account and a slim body.
Please don't mix them up like last year.

Love, Me

Friday, October 20, 2017


Finding the answer to a problem can be especially tricky if you don't really know what's going on. However, once you understand, all the pieces fit together in an "Ah ha!" moment that feels great. Apparently, finding the answer is much easier when you know the right question. Sometimes the answer is useless if you don't know the right question, à la 42.

The moral of the story? Learn to ask the right questions. Make sure that your initial question is broad enough to encompass the right answer without being so broad it is useless. This takes practice, and learning from past experience.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sounds Like...

English, you have to love it. So many ways to say the same thing. So many was to make the same sounds. So many ways to confuse people. This graphic, originally from Redit, is a great illustration.

Some would say this is bad. I think it is rich and full. You need to make up your own mind. At least we can have spelling bees in English, which is more than many languages can say.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Solar Power and the Eclipse

If you haven't been under a rock recently, you know that a full solar eclipse will occur in the United States  from Oregon to South Carolina on Aug. 21. For the wow and cool factors, this is great. However, from the solar power factor we now have a downside.

Bloomberg has calculated that the U.S. will lose about 9 GWatts of power during that time. While this effect also comes from a storm moving over the same area, it is interesting that power companies now have to compensate for solar eclipses.

Hopefully battery technology will continue to improve so that the vagaries of the wind blowing and the sun shining can be smoothed out. Must be an interesting time in the power generation business.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

4 TB per Day

4 TB is the amount of data that Intel projects will be generated by an autonomous motor vehicle. Considering the number of vehicles on the road, this represents a staggering amount of data.

How will data centers keep up?
  • The first experimental version of Ethernet networking ran at 2.94 megabits per second (Mbps) in 1973.
  • By the time it became an industry standard in 1982, its speed had increased to 10 Mbps.
  • Fast Ethernet was introduced starting in the mid-1990 and ran at a rate of 100 Mbps
  • Gigabit Ethernet offered 1 Gbps in the late 1990s, but it took many years for wide adoption because of the increased expense.
  • 10 Gbps Ethernet was produced starting in the mid-2000s, but it is expensive and used mostly in specialized environments.
  • Finally, 40 Gbps Ethernet has been under development for years. The Googles and Facebooks of the world are hoping that it will help to alleviate the bottlenecks they are feeling in their data centers.

Data, data everywhere and now our cars are looking to add to the pile. What a time we're having!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


With portable electronics so ubiquitous, we sure do need batteries these days. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a breakthrough in batteries to match other electronics. Until possibly now.

Ilika Technologies Ltd. (University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton U.K.) says they are on the track of a solid state Li-ion battery that charges six times faster than the liquid ones (think 15 minutes to recharge instead of 1-1/2 hours) with solid-state safety and twice the energy density.

Current prediction is for free standing batteries by the end of the decade. They cannot come soon enough for me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Happy Easter

A man is driving along a highway and sees a rabbit jump out across the middle of the road.

He swerves to avoid hitting it, but unfortunately the rabbit jumps right in front of the car.

The driver, a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulls over and gets out to see what has become of the rabbit. Much to his dismay, the rabbit is the Easter Bunny, and he is DEAD.  The driver feels so awful that he begins to cry.

A beautiful blonde woman driving down the highway sees a man crying on the side of the road and pulls over.

She steps out of the car and asks the man what's wrong.

"I feel terrible," he explains, "I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny with my car and KILLED HIM."

The blonde says,"Don't worry."

She runs to her car and pulls out a spray can. She walks over to the limp, dead Easter Bunny, bends down, and sprays the contents onto him.

The Easter Bunny jumps up, waves its paw at the two of them and hops off down the road.

Ten feet away he stops, turns around and waves again, he hops down the road another 10 feet, turns and waves, hops  another ten feet, turns and waves, and repeats this again and again and again and again, until he hops out of sight.

The man is astonished. He runs over to the woman and demands,"What is in that can? What did you spray on the Easter Bunny?"

The woman turns the can around so that the man can read the label. It says..

Hair Spray
Restores life to dead hair and adds permanent wave

Happy Easter!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


I stop at a 7-Eleven some mornings for a hot dog and Big Gulp breakfast. I've gotten to know a fellow that works there named John. He says he'd like to read this blog and today is definitely, for sure the day.

So, okay John. Let me know when you read this!

(The picture of the puppy and kitten is just because it looks cute)