Writing

Le Guin’s Old Home to Become Writer Residency

Ursula K. Le Guin, who died in 2018, once described imagination as the “single most useful tool mankind possesses. It beats the opposable thumb. I can imagine living without my thumbs, but not without my imagination.“ It therefore feels right that her in Portland, Oregon is set to become a home for future writers, working to unleash their imagination and engage with the community in the best way. This plan was evidently set in motion…

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Various and Sundry

R.I.P., NASA astronaut Bill Anders

Astronaut, ambassador, and businessman William Anders has died at the age of 90. He lived a full life that’s interesting to learn about on its own, but the reason I’m taking a moment is because he took the iconic photo “Earthrise.” That’s the photo you see above and longer-term readers of this blog may remember as the header image for the whole site from 2015 until just last year. When I transitioned to the new…

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Various and Sundry

Contemplating Internet Umbrage

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Internet for the past few weeks. No, not in the “What has the Internet ever done for us?” kind of way. More in the “Do I like the current cut of the Internet’s jib?” kind of way. I mean, the whole AI obsession has not abated since I mused about it last year. So this video struck me when I came across it earlier this week. This led…

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Various and Sundry

When You Can’t Stage Your Play in a Meat Freezer…

While not necessarily my favorite aspect of stagecraft at the moment of assignment, some of my fondest memories of being a stage technician involve props. There is often an inherent playfulness and ingenuity in a prop solution that is amplified by the fact that actors get to handle them… and that joy is seen on stage. The fact that prop solutions often require ingenuity may explain my apprehension (at the assignment) and subsequent elation (assuming…

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Various and Sundry

The Origin of the Leatherman “Pocket Survival Tool”

Father’s Day is coming up next month and some kids are probably debating what tools to get their dad, but I’m thinking of some of the tools he gave me …in part because a spirited discussion about what constitutes the best multi-tool or if any multi-tool can be good has erupted on a techie forum I frequent. We all got a pocket knife around age nine or ten, similar to a pocket knife my dad…

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Producing

A Good Trailer Gives the Tone

I am in the evidently crowded camp of people wary of many a trailer because they reveal too much of the plot. However, I do still enjoy trailers that give you the feel of the film journey they want you to take: you have an idea of the characters, the genres, the tropes to be honored, the tropes to be subverted, and the overall tone. These days, the trailers that pull this off are usually…

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Various and Sundry

There’s a Name for That: Linguistics Edition

Though linguistics was one of my favorite parts of my anthro coursework, there was plenty I didn’t learn. I suppose that’s always the case: if someone invoked the “but you have a PhD!” to my anthro advisor, she would humbly say she knew a lot about a little (Narrator: she, in fact, knew and knows A LOT, much of it useful). Anyway, this article by Ellen Gutoskey for Mental Floss goes over 15 linguistic terms…

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Producing Various and Sundry

Sometimes, Experts Like the Inaccuracy…

I’ve been thinking of Monday’s post about Roger Corman and how B movies are chock full of tropes. Tropes for days! This reminded me of another Corman story where the movie poster was created before the film: it provided the inspiration for what the film would be. I forget the specifics. It might have been a giant dinosaur rampaging downtown a la Godzilla or even Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. A delightful creature feature trope to…

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Producing

R.I.P. Roger Corman, King of B Movies and Absolute Indie Icon

Roger Corman, the producer of close to 500 feature films and the director of over 50, has died at the age of 98. You can read obituaries and appreciations about his career from: A common theme amongst the pieces is not only how prodigious his filmography is, but how various films within it represent “the break” for a nontrivial amount of filmmakers from directors like Francis Ford Coppola to Martin Scorsese to James Cameron as…

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Various and Sundry

The Saga of the Washington Metro’s Silver Line

Being a naturalized citizen of the Washington area, I have followed the saga of the Silver Line for, well, decades. The fact that it exists and runs all the way to Dulles Airport is a fact that still doesn’t quite seem real. This video gives a relatively quick explanation of all the twists and turns it took to get there. Now if you’re a DC-area denizen like me, you might wonder about a local perspective,…

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