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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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13 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael M.
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    says:

    I got sucked into watching all 13 episodes of a series that originally aired in 1980 called Hollywood: A Celebration of American Silent Film, written and directed by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. Brownlow wrote what I think of as the definitive history of the silent era, The Parade’s Gone By…, and this show seems like the closest thing to a film adaptation you could make. I found it addictive and fascinating, full of interviews with folks who worked in Hollywood in the early years, all of whom are surely dead by now — stars, stuntmen, cameramen, directors, writers, etc. It is mostly successful at striking a balance between being a collection of good stories and anecdotes and painting a more comprehensive picture of how the movies and the industry developed. It’s mind-boggling how fast it all happened, and how much money poured in so quickly. We like to think that the pace of modern life has only quickened over the years, but Hollywood went from 0 to 60 at a pace that makes the video game industry or the high tech industry look pokey by comparison. The show also makes it clear that WWI was a big factor, because the American film industry was lagging behind its European counterparts until the war, which decimated the competition. Lots of awesome film clips, too.

    It’s on YouTube currently, though who knows for how long. The motivating factor for film makers to move from the industry’s home in Fort Lee to California was to get away from Edison, who had formed a patent cartel and had a small private army of thugs that would smash the cameras of any production companies who didn’t pay up. But an industry that was founded on and made possible by widespread patent infringement is now as vicious as Edison was in trying to enforce its copyrights, so the show could disappear soon.Report

  2. Avatar notme
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    says:

    I enjoyed watching Chuck Todd make Obama squirm during his interview this morning. Obama confirmed that he is going to use executive action for amnesty but will wait after the election to get to get it right not b/c it might hurt Dems in the next elections. He is also going to give a speech about ISIS. I guess he finally come up with a strategy while on the golf course. Or maybe he was embarrassed by Joe Biden announcing that we are “going to follow ISIS to the gates of hell.”Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I’ve been watch Mary Beard’s BBC shows on the Romans (the old ones). She has a fascinating three hour one on the lives of everyday Romans during the Empire.

    I’ve also been reading a Global History of the 19th Century. Very Hegelian which makes sense because it was written by a German.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      The book confirms my view that my reading level and interest is above general/popular history but cannot always stretch to the super-academic.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Is that this global history? I’ve been giving that some extended looks as well. Generally I agree with you about academic writing, but (if it’s the same book) I actually find it remarkably enjoyable to read. I’m assuming that goes to some extent to the efforts of translator Patrick Camiller, but largely it’s a function of the way he comes at things conceptually.

      It’s possible if I gave it a longer look (i.e. bought it or tracked it down in the library), however, the attractiveness of the language could wear off. It’s a long book.

      Also, on BBC history series, I recommend The Normans with Robert Bartlett.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        @michael-drew

        That’s the book. I got mine from the Library. The language is not the difficulty and the book is interesting. I generally credit the translator too.

        I generally enjoy these social and cultural histories.Report

  4. Avatar Maribou
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    says:

    Mostly I’ve been reading comics – the Astro City that Jay is talking about, another by Busiek called Arrowsmith (alternate history of WW1 with magic, including dragons), and the latest Fables. All splendid. Then a comic PI novel, the last in the Spellman Files series – and now I’m reading a writerly set of connected long essays on being a psychiatrist, Mossman’s Falling into the Fire. Oh, and I’m still enjoying Monica Nolan’s pastiches/parodies of lesbian pulp novels, I’m on the third one of those.

    Watching Tin Man still, and Jaybird and I watched another episode of Bab 5 this morning (we’re about 5 episodes into Season 3).Report

  5. Avatar Glyph
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    says:

    I actually got 120 or so pages into the new Peter Watts. So far it’s just a lot of scene setting, with weirdly enough maybe not quite enough infodumping (I had to look on his site to see what the “zombies” were). Hoping the plot kicks in soon.

    Hoping to watch the 3rd (and maybe more) ep of The Returned tonight if I’m not too wiped.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    More Astro City is great news, since I think I’ve read all the collections. The funny thing is, I used to know Kurt Busiek on Usenet just as a fun guy to talk about SF with; I had no idea what an amazing writer he was until recently.Report

  7. Avatar ScarletNumbers
    Ignored
    says:

    I just watched the Yankees get shut-out by the Royals for the 2nd time in 3 games.

    The Yankees outscored the Royals 6-5 for the series, but since this isn’t soccer, that doesn’t count for anything.

    Both Royals runs today were unearned, but as WFAN’s John Sterling so eloquently put it during the broadcast, unearned runs count just as much as earned ones.Report

  8. Avatar aaron david
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    says:

    Reading Q by “Luther Blisset” a pseudonym for the Wu Ming collective. Its a socialist retelling of the 16th century religious wars.
    But, on Tuesday the new James Elroy comes out, so I will be picking that up on the way home from work.Report

  9. Avatar kenB
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    says:

    My wife and I have been working our way through the Midsomer Murders series (from Masterpiece Mystery) — nothing special but enjoyable enough. But occasionally it catches me off guard with its sly humor. Case in point: yesterday we watched an episode that involved a kid playing a violent video game, which figures into the murders, and I was waiting for the inevitable connection to be drawn between playing such game and committing actual acts of violence. Sure enough, it came at the end, but it was offered by the junior detective (whose role generally is to make simplistic, unsophisticated judgments that the senior detective proves wrong). The senior guy then responds (with a wink at the audience): “Yes, when killing becomes entertainment, we all seem to lose touch with reality.” That was awesome, and completely unexpected.Report

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