July 18, 2005

A Very Long Engagment - Beautiful, Powerful

Wow, the team of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and star Audrey Tautou made the best movie of the year for me a number of years ago with the light and beautiful Amelie and have now probably done it again with A Very Long Engagment. This film is visually absolutely beautiful and brilliant in most of it, contrasting with horrible but still brilliant in the scenes at the front (the movie takes place during and following World War I). Roger Ebert has an excellent review up which does have some spoilers towards the end.

This movie is in French so I of course watched with subtitles but the cast (including Jodie Foster in a small role) is uniformly absolutely excellent, every person perfect for their role. Absolutely kudos to the casting director.

Go out and get this movie. I only regret not having seen this movie in the theatre, as the cinematography is absolutlely incredible and deserves the big screen. *****

Oh, also, watch the first part of the credits which are done in an incredible powerful (to me at least), albeit fairly simple, way.

Posted by aarondf at 12:47 PM | Movies | Comments (1)

July 14, 2005

Interview with Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier, amazing security guru who's blog I link to in my sidebar, was interviewed recently. Highly recommended reading on understanding and practicing rational security.

Posted by aarondf at 01:48 PM | Links | Comments (1)

July 13, 2005

Crunching World of Warcraft Statistics

There's a fascinating blog called PlayOn compiling and analyzing all sorts of play data from World of Warcraft, which I continue to play a ton.

Posted by aarondf at 03:12 PM | Links | Comments (2)

July 08, 2005

Google again - Google Earth

Wow! Google Earth is almost mind-blowingly cool. The resolution is much better than that in Google Maps and it lets you zoom in even farther, albeit being very blurry of course if you go in too close. Cars are very easy to pick out and even identify models in most cases. The animation and annotation effects are great too as I first searched for my current house in Cambridge, MA and then searched for my father's house in MD and it zoomed out from MA, panned down to MD and then zooomed in and at a great default speed where it was neither going to fast for me nor making it wish it got to the destination view faster (and presumably that is or will be adjustable anyway). Only runs on Windows but if you have a Windows box, check it out!

Posted by aarondf at 05:19 PM | Links | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

And the Sky Full of Stars III

Well, 2nd year on my kayak but third year posted here.

Went out again in my kayak to watch the fireworks from just across the river from the barge where they launch them and had a great time. Absolutely gorgeous with fireworks filling my entire field of vision. Just an incredible experience that I incredibly recommend to anyone who can do it - so much nicer than watching in the middle of crowds from the shore.

This post definitely does feel like a copy of my one from last year, though, as I again want to try to get a group together for this next year. I tried to get a couple people to come this time but they had logistical problems - definitely does take a bit of planning. Even for me, things were a pain this year as they have completely changed things at the Magazine Beach river edge where I used to put in and I had to go much farther down to a spot not nearly as good for launching. For take-out, I followed a couple of canoers to a good spot by the new BU boathouse but this was only a good spot last night when the roads were closed and would not work at all normally. I also continue to have big problems with the two wheel cart I use to take the boat to/from the river and really want to work on improving that. In the picture above, you can clearly see that this is my first trip out this year, given all the dust on the prow (that picture was taken as I paddled down and one brief burst of fireworks happened - not the main event). Once at the fireworks point, I was just way too close to take good pictures and am a terrible photographer, anyway. Did try out the fireworks mode on my camera for interesting results.

Posted by aarondf at 02:25 PM | Events | Comments (1)