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Independent SciFi Movies

I have two for you this week.

Yes, that’s right, two independent sci-fi movies. One is a short that you can watch in it’s entirety on your coffee break. The other is really just a trailer for the longer movie. Both come to us via

First, I’ll give you the shorter of the two, but with the greater potential.  The movie is called “Dust” and it’s about a very unpleasant evolutionary explosion and the ramifications of that in a science-fictional future.  IO9 shared the trailer in July of 2013.  You can find out more about the whole movie at their Facebook page.  It’s worth hitting the Facebook page for all the footage that’s not in the trailer on IO9.

Back in June of 2012, IO9 shared the complete short film titled “The Gate”, in celebration of an alleged deal for a longer feature.  While they might have gotten the deal, I’ve never heard anything about the longer movie.  At least we can enjoy the slightly disturbing short film thanks to the magic of the Internet.

So, there you go.  Two quick films on a Friday for you.

Does Luck Exist?

Or do we make our own luck?

Opinions vary.  But, I don’t think that it’s complete coincidence that just after Friday the Thirteenth, when I shared with my few, loyal blog readers the origins of that unluckiest day, an email newsletter I subscribe to brings me an article about luck and people who have studied luck.
The article, titled “Does Lady Luck exist or do you make your own?“, brought to us by Aeon, speculates on that very thing.  Since luck is such an elusive thing, and our perception of it varies with our cultural background, it’s a pretty slippery fish to grab hold of long enough to study, but, according to the article, a lot of our “luck” may come down to our mental attitude and belief in our own abilities.

Personally, I’ve always believed that we make our own luck.  At least, I certainly have always made my own.  And, as a good, Mid-Westerner of German descent, I’ve always believed that hard work and making the most of every opportunity was more reliable than luck any way.
But why don’t you read the article and decide for yourself?

The Luckiest Thing

That’s right, today is Friday the Thirteenth.

As I’ve said before, I’m not really a superstitious kind of guy. Not really. But, I’ve known a lot of people who are. When I worked in the hotel industry, I actually had sold room 666 to someone not from a Judeo-Christian background, until a co-worker saw it and made a face. Then, I had to explain to the nice gentleman that some people found 666 to be an “unlucky” number. But, man, if I had pulled that off, it would have been legendary.
I used to assume that Friday the Thirteenth was considered unlucky due to some Biblical association. You know, something like Judas being the Thirteenth Apostle or some such. But, I’ve since found out that nothing could be further from the truth. As it turns out, Friday the Thirteenth is considered unlucky because of its association with the plot to suppress the Knights Templar, according to this article on No, seriously! And, I quote:

The modern basis for the Friday the 13th superstition stems from Friday October the 13th, 1307. On this date, the Pope of the church in Rome in Conjunction with the King of France, carried out a secret death warrant against “the Knights Templar”. The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. There Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified. A Black Friday indeed!

So, there you have it, Friday the Thirteenth is a global conspiracy, though, for a nice twist, the Knights Templar or Freemasons aren’t behind it, but, rather, the victims of it! Which I appreciate, incidentally, because I am both a Freemason and, via another Masonic body, a Knight Templar, ironically.
Personally, I usually have better luck on Friday the Thirteenth, but, then, I always have been a little out of step with the world. Oh, and if you’re not buying that story, here’s a link to some alternate ideas why everyone else is afraid of Friday the Thirteenth.

And, yes, I know I missed posting last week Friday, for the first time in many years.  What can I tell you?  I’ve been crazy busy at work and I didn’t realize I had missed Friday until sometime Saturday morning.  We’re moving offices, or, at least, the business unit I’m with is moving to a new location.  Which means, I’ve been super busy trying to get everything set up at the new location.  I’m pretty sure I have everything we really need ready to go for Monday, but, then again, I won’t know for sure until we actually move and things start to go wrong.
I’ll keep you posted.

Trivial Pursuits

Well, trivia about one of my many pursuits, anyway.

It’s been another one of those weeks, so I’m throwing something together at the last minute.  But, at least this is a fun one.  It was recycled recently on Facebook, but the original post is from last year about this time.
I love trivia almost as much as I love photography, so trivia about photography is definitely a little extra special for me.  So, how would you like to be able to surprise people with the origin of the name “Kodak”?  It’s not what you think!  Or how math determines some of the markings on your DSLR?  How about why somebody named “Kelvin” is responsible for how your camera and photography editing programs describe white balance?  All those questions and more, well, one more, are answered by Light Stalking in their article Interesting Photography Trivia to Casually Drop into a Conversation.

Okay, not my absolute best effort, but still fun.
And, the next couple of weeks will be crazy at work, so don’t expect much better for a month or so!


How One Photographer Got Rich

His best investment was his studio.

No, seriously, Jay Maisel bought a 6-storey, 35,000-square-foot, 72-room building at 190 Bowery in Manhattan for $102,000 in 1966 and it was the best investment he could have made. Why? Because he sold it late last year for $55 million. Not a bad profit.
Personally, I think his setup is every photographer’s dream come true.  I mean, who wouldn’t want a large, multi-storey, live-in photography studio, complete with enough room to showcase your work?
According to the article at PetaPixel, the one big drawback is that the building apparently didn’t have heat.  That would be a problem.  But, I think that’s one that could be corrected.  Of course, for $55 million, he can buy another building somewhere with lower property taxes and have heat and central air!

Anyway, I thought this was super cool and thought I’d share.
Check out the photos and the, unfortunately, laughable video.  The photos of the interior are pretty spectacular.


Last Chance For Love

Or, a reasonable facsimile thereof.

No, seriously, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, in case you’d forgotten, but you still have time to do something romantic for your special someone. Of course, there’s always the last minute flowers. (My personal preference on flowers has been Rose Gallery Florist for more than 15 years.)  Or dinner.  Dinner is always a good choice.  Or, you could do something else more fun, like one of the suggestions from Esquire’s 15 Fun Last Minute Date Ideas.
In the end, I don’t think it matters, as long as you spend time and attention on the one you love.
Besides, if you really love someone, do you really need to wait for this one particular day to show it?  Wouldn’t it be better to let them know more regularly?

Personally, I’ve had my flower order in with plenty of time to spare.  And, all things being equal, I’ll take my blushing bride out to lunch, not dinner.  Then we’ll stay home for a romantic session of catching up on our DVR queue.
I love being married.  Seriously!



I was talking with my wife the other day about blogging.

I’ve been blogging since at least May of 2000.  That means I’ve been blogging almost fifteen years at one of my several blogs; Diary of a Network Geek, The Fantasist’s Scroll, or this site.
I guess that’s kind of impressive.  At least, she seemed kind of impressed.
Granted, I haven’t been blogging here quite as regularly as I used to, but I have maintained that once-per-week schedule when many people I know who used to blog have given it up.  And, of course, I also have a host of other sites like HavePalmWillTravel, from the days when I was a minor-league road-warrior and used my Palm IIIc more than I did my laptop.  Or, my latest venture, FindMyPhotographer, which is still in progress and not quite read for “prime time” yet.

In that time, I’ve gone from hand-coding the individual HTML pages to using MoveableType and subsequently seen WordPress take dominance from them as the premier blogging/content management tool.
Things sure have changed in those almost fifteen years, but one constant has been my strange urge to share thoughts with the world at large.  Honestly, since I think of myself as a pretty private person, I can’t really explain it.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting that she thought my persistence was a strength, not a sign of lunacy.
It’s one of the things I love about her.

Free Kierkegaard

No, this isn’t a plea for a political prisoner.

Rather, I’m offering a free book, which you can download from a link at the end of this post, by Søren Kierkegaard, considered by many to be one of the earliest existential writers. He was also a Christian, and a radical Christian thinker, at that.
I don’t normally talk about my religious beliefs, because I’m not out to convince anyone of anything.  I’m not one of those people who are into prosthelytizing.  Sales of any kind really isn’t my favorite thing.  But, Kierkegaard has been on my mind this week.  Why?  Well, mostly because of his radical ideas.  I don’t think of myself as much of a philosopher, but I suspect a lot of my friends would disagree.  But, when I was introduced to Kierkegaard a few years back, I was hooked.  Unlike a lot of contemporary Christians, he insisted that a true belief in Christian ideals required us to be radically different from our peers.  That the ideas espoused by Jesus were, by their nature, radical and, if we truly embraced them, should change our lives.  Think about that for a minute.  If we truly believe in something, but we don’t act any different, do we really hold that belief?

That is what someone challenged me with this past weekend.
I won’t go into the details about precisely what belief it was, though, it had to do with the two greatest commandments that Christ gave us; And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
And that conversation, and challenge, reminded me of my old friend Kierkegaard.  So, I thought I’d share him with you readers.  If I haven’t frightened you off, that is.

And, don’t be worried if he seems too hard to read.  As the preface of the the book I’m offering up here says, “Søren Kierkegaard has been accused of being one of the most frustrating authors to read. He has also been praised as one of the most rewarding.”
So, if you feel like a challenge, download the book and read it.


Out Of Ideas

I’m completely out of fucking ideas this week.

Good thing I found this post on Lifehacker from 2012 that will tell me what the fuck to do!
Of course, since they’re a big, mainstream site, they shy away from the cursing, but I figure the keywords won’t hurt my site’s rankings, so I’m just going for it.  Their article was titled Seven Helpful Sites That Tell You What The F**K To Do.
They’ve got everything from The Fucking Weather to What The Fuck Should I Make For Dinner?  And, make sure to read the comments, because someone in there has some Good Fucking Design Advice.

Seriously, I know this post is a little bluer than my regular fare, but I’ve been sick all week and I seriously am out of ideas for posts this week.  These links combined the right attitude and solution for all my problems this week, so, here they are.
Hopefully, I’ll have something better for you next week.
No promises, though.

Keeping It Clean

Of course, I’m talking about your reputation on-line.

Look, I’m a little pressed for time this week, so I’m going to get right down to it.  On-line, where no one knows all that much about you, really, reputation is everything.  Two weeks ago, I had a link for you with information about beating a polygraph, in case you got caught doing things that embarrassed you.  This week, I’ve got a link to an article by Jack Wallen at TechRepublic with reviews of Five Tools to help you Manage and Monitor your On-Line Reputation.
Four of the five are free, and one is a service with a 30-day free trial, but the free ones are the only ones that interest me.  Of course, I’ve used Google to set up searches on my name and websites and my “personal brands”, because, you know, who hasn’t, right?  But, their “Me on the Web” tool is a little more personal and focused, and Jack has a good review of it.  The other one that interests me, but that I honestly haven’t had time to look into too deeply is  You’ve got to setup a free account, but the service seems to cover most of your social media and search-results oriented reputation monitoring and management.
The other two free ones are more about monitoring what’s being said about you on the web.

Anyway, I’m swamped at my day-job this week, so I have to dash, but, the services at that review ought to keep you all busy and out of trouble while you pretend to work today.  And, next week, I’ll try and have something better for you all.
Or, maybe I’ll just stop the regular weekly links of fluff like this.  I guess we’ll just see how the week goes.