Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jumping into a tsunami and birling down white water

It's the first week of spring, although you wouldn't know it in these parts after we got several inches of snow dumped on us a few days ago. But this weekend is going to be good. It's Saturday morning, Eastern Standard Time. There are dogs to walk, assignments to do, and apartments to hunt. There's breakfast to make, and something to read. (Poetry, for a change.) I'll get to all that shortly. First, there are some things to get through.

Going nuclear. More on Japan, from the New Yorker.

- The story of Hideaki Akaiwa is so great that at first I wasn't sure it was true. While his village in Japan was getting destroyed, Akaiwa threw on a wetsuit, dove into the tsunami, and went looking for his wife and mother. He saved them. Then he saved more people. He's still at it, too. The Badass of the Week writeup is over the top (and there is no evidence of SCUBA gear), but I don't think you can really understate Akaiwa's courage. “I have to get back out and keep looking,” he says. Awesome.

- Continuing with the theme of people who go the extra mile for others, there's the story of Narayanan Krishnan, a man in India who quit his job and now feeds and cares for homeless people.
I forgot to post this video last week. Here it is:

EDIT: The video keeps being disabled (perhaps by CNN), but I highly recommend that you search YouTube for Narayanan Krishnan CNN.

No mention of how he manages to provide for these people without a job. I'm guessing there are donations. If that's the case, here's hoping that those funds are being used for their intended purpose. (I feel churlish for even suggesting this, but there's more corruption in non-profit organizations than you might think.)

- Elizabeth Taylor passed away this week. It's possible that she was my first crush when I was five or six years old. I had a VHS with three movies on them. She starred in one of the movies, called Ivanhoe. If I had to guess how many times I watched that movie, I'm sure it would be in triple digits. Many years later, I discovered Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. It's tense, heart-breaking, and perfect. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor are at their peaks in this one. RIP Ms. Taylor.

(FYI, the two other movies on the VHS were Knights of the Round Table (1953), and The Three Musketeers (1948). I still have that tape somewhere.)

- Penguin goes for a walk... in a plane. This never happens when I fly.

- The Strokes are back with a new album. I'm still getting used to their latest single, Under Cover of Darkness. I've spent the last couple of days listening to their first three albums, and I've come to the conclusion that the band works best when Julian Casablancas is in charge of the songs. That's when he comes up with catchy stuff, like 11'th Dimension.

Out of the Blue is another good track.

- If you're Canadian, chances are pretty good that you've watched or heard the Log Driver's Waltz. It gets stuck in my head now and then. I don't mind because it's such a sweet song. So, if you catch yourself singing it any time soon--at your desk, at the supermarket, or even in the shower--you're welcome ;)

- Latest sketch: Uhura. This completes the trio of Star Trek drawings.

That's it for now. I don't have any plans yet for Earth Hour, but I hope other people are taking part in this event. Either way, have a good weekend. I think I'll do the same.


Darth Rachel said...

I too loved Elizabeth Taylor. I had (still have) a vhs copy of National Velvet.

Everything about that movies (except for her mother telling her that once you get something you want you have to give up wanting things forever) is perfect.

Loving the Trek drawings!

Stopping by to get your feedback on this whole food truck thing. You think this local "viral" approach is going to do HBO any good?

Errant Knave said...

I have to watch National Velvet again. I haven't seen it since I was a wee bairn.

Trek drawings: were a lot of fun. Thankya.

Food of Thrones: wow. I don't know what to say. On the surface, I think it's a great marketing idea. It's new, interesting, and it's certainly adding to the buzz. As for whether it will do HBO's viewership any good, I can't see that it will result in a huge benefit. It won't hurt, but what do you think the conversion rate is? Will thousands more tune in because of the food truck? I'm torn. If this were a smaller company, I'd call it a brilliant grassroots move. But this is HBO, the Big Kahuna. They don't need this. On the other hand, I imagine there will be a spike in merch sales, but HBO is TV, not merch, so they risk diluting their product, and blah blah blah.

I think it's cool from a fan's point of view, interesting from a marketing point of view, and iffy from HBO's point of view. If that makes any sense.

Darth Rachel said...

yea. while standing in line i was chatting with friends about how effective this really is.

on the one hand it was awesome to see that HBO was willing to do something a little more "grass roots", even if the attempt was still super corporate.. iw as hoping it would be more of a treasure hunt. but it's not. at all.

the majority of people in line with me were already fans, so i don't know how many new viewers something like this is going to do. there was a lady in line who was only there b/c she loved colicchio, and was pissed that he wasnt actually there (oops) but for the most part if a person was in line and didnt know about GOT, they were really just interested in free food.

STILL... it's really interesting and at least in NYC, lots of people are talking about it in the news and "things to do" blogs.

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