Scott Pilgrim Vol 5 Cover

Leverage Behind the Scenes

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Con Men Reading List


Germans in Texas

For the western, info.

God I love when something just clicks right in my head for a piece. Been struggling with how I am going to write this western. Then it just popped in my head.


Gretna Observatory

Only local observatory (always good to see cities don't give a shit about science):

The city of Gretna has an out-of-this-world attraction, but few know about it.

The Gretna Observatory is the largest public observatory in the greater New Orleans area. Located at No. 1 Copernicus Lane (formerly part of Huey P. Long Avenue) off of Gretna Boulevard, behind Gretna Middle School, the observatory is open to the general public with free admission and ample parking every Monday and Wednesday evenings from dusk until about 8 p.m., except for major holidays and weather permitting.

The observatory offers viewing through a pier-mounted, computer-controlled, 16-inch Meade telescope and is housed under a traditional 16-foot-diameter aluminum dome. The other night when I visited, we were shown views of the crescent moon, and Jupiter and four of its moons. The craters on the moon looked so large and clear that it was surprising. Several guests arrived during the evening and seemed delighted to learn so much from our informative operators.

The telescope's image of the astronomical objects is about 300 to 400 times their normal size. The image was very clear and was also visible on the wall monitor to anyone in the room.

John Cerniglia and Ron Marcella are the two observatory operators who work weekly at something they both really enjoy. Their enthusiasm is very evident as they relate information about the night skies, the seasonal changes to watch for at any given time of year and also about when, what and where you can see different celestial objects.

Cerniglia usually works on Monday nights, and Marcella is usually there on Wednesday. Both of the operators met me that night because they were both so excited about what they do there and wanted to share some of that knowledge.

"This is the only game in town," Marcella said. "Once the observatory in Kenner closed, we have the only public observatory in this whole area. We're very proud of our ability to show the public what's out there on any given night."

The idea about starting an observatory in Gretna was introduced by City Councilman Vincent Cox III. "It took about three years in the planning stage to get the idea off the ground," Cox said. "We received some grants and lots of donations. Even the contractors worked on it for free labor."

Cox said his favorite time of year for observing the sky is the winter. He enjoys the stars, planets and constellations that are visible with the telescope at that time of year. Cox is hoping that the observatory can draw the interest of schools in the area.

"Perhaps some of the schools may even be interested in starting some type of observatory club and have the students come out on a regular basis. We are also hoping the public will come out and have a look. They would probably be surprised at how good the viewing is and how clear the telescope can pick up images."

Marcella said, "We even have a special sun filter so that we can observe the sun spots or an eclipse of the sun. Either the winter or summer skies are the best for viewing. Now is really a great time of year to come out and take a look. Just remember to come on a clear night. If the sky is cloudy, then nothing will be visible."

Cerniglia said they would love for people to come out to the observatory and bring their own personal telescopes. "You know lots of time people buy telescopes either for themselves or for their children and have no idea how to use them. They can bring them here, we'll help them set it up, show them how to use it, and also where to look for certain objects according to the time of year it is.

"The Gretna Police Department patrols this area on a regular basis, and so it's really a safe and friendly place to come."

There are about eight pads outside the observatory used for extra telescope setups. Sometimes they have groups of people come out and have a "star party."

"The group will come out and set up several telescopes and bring coolers and just hang out together. We all talk about astronomy and just have fun," Cerniglia said. "I've been here since the observatory opened. I've been interested in astronomy since I was a young boy."

So, come out and bring your friends and family. It's a unique experience to view the night sky through such a powerful telescope. Visitors may call ahead at 504.227.7624 to check current sky status and inquire what objects are available for observing. If your school or group is interested in coming to the observatory at any time other than the regular Monday or Wednesday night, e-mail Mike Sandras at astrox@ix.netcom.com. Sandras will be happy to work with you to schedule a viewing time that meets your needs.

It's a great privilege to have such a powerful observatory in our own backyard.

Official site.

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Plato - The Republic

Been re-reading the allegory of the cave for Corruption/Care forgot. Here is an online version of The Republic.

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Fairytale of New York


Sounds of Space


Surface of the Sun

Only dream I ever have... is it the surface of the sun? Everytime I shut my eyes... it's always the same.

- Cassie

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Dr Who Children in Need Preview


Me Hard At Work - Alabama Moon

This is what happens when things get slow in the production office, you play pin a pic on Randy Jackson/Hall & Oats Fan Club:


Me Hard At Work - FD4

This was taken by Jim Sheldon our Stills Photographer on FD4. Jim is a really great guy and a really great photographer. I was running new pages to the other side of our studio.

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4Gen Bond Villains

From Matt Jones:

So - for a “4th generation warfare” supervillain there aren’t even objects for the production designer to create and imbue with personality. The effects and the consequences can be illustrated by the storytelling, but the network and the intent can’t be foreshadowed by environments and objects in the impressionist way that Adam employed to support character and storytelling.

But - what about materialising, visualising these invisible networks in order to do so?

And this piece makes me think, as much as I loved Casion Royale to reboot the Bond franchise, how great could the next Bond be if they had a director and crew who truy immersed them selves in that world. In some ways Ken Adams and Terence Young were proto versions of Immersive Design (if I am getting the idea of that theory somewhat correct) - method production if you will.

But the new generation Bond villain does need to be mobile and wired in and using next generation/theorized tech. Stuff from 5 minutes in the future. He doesn't need a lair anymore he just needs a country he can operate from and maybe a plane to get him around in - and it doesn't have to be the same plane either, why have one that an agency can track when you can have several giving agencies headaches (even better if you have several stealth, supersonic luxury jets - such as Miranda Zero's in Global Frequency)

If I ever got the chance to direct a Bond movie, the first thing I would do would be to review the books, then I would have to gather up certain writers and thinkers and start hashing out what that world would look like. It couldn't just be another gig, it would have to be the gig; the one where you go all out and nothing is spared.

There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets; this is the latter. And I need you looking like a man who belongs at that table.

- Vesper Lynd
Casino Royale

If only to prevent something like this
(and to aid in the "authenticity" of what Bond is trying to do:

i only looked at this because wee Cal took a notion to dress up as the Ledger Joker for a party and I'm trying to tell the wife of my bosom that the purple tailed suit is not worn by this incarnation of the character. It's a four page preview of a one-off book by Azarello and Bermejo. It looks all very overdrawn and hideous; the wine is made from the same substance as the shrimps and there's a nauseous quality to it all which I suspect is not so much intentional as the artist's normal view of the world. Note that the Joker's coat folds right over left in the universal manner of women's coats instead of that of menswear, left over right. I apologise for picking on this artist, but I see the same problem all over the place. It can happen because the artist is looking in a mirror, but the overwhelming reason in the last twenty years is that comic book artists generally speaking, though there are a few fashion plates to give exception to the rule, are the worst dressed people in the world who mostly get around in t-shirts and draw people in leotards. Editors too, otherwise somebody would have picked up the mistake. The only other explanation is that it's intentional, in which case I'm full of baloney*. But if I arrived at the pub with a coat like that, somebody would have ridiculed me, probably Evans. Everybody else in the room has their coat open, and if I had done it intentionally I'd have made sure the reader knew it by showing all the others folding the opposite way.

Because I really, really enjoyed Quantum of Solace. And Forster has some great ideas. But he needed a steadier hand and maybe if he was someone who could drive an Aston Martin at high speeds, and dress well, and beat the crap out of another human it might have come out even better. But, he always comes off to me as the director really wanting to be an artist, rather than a director in love with the Bond films and world.

Notice this keeps getting longer.

A real place partially inspired by Bond villain lairs.
In the current Bond incarnation I would see this as just being one of many places a Bond villain would have. And all information would be eliminated as the SAS or Royal Marines took it down.

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Armageddon - The Launch

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Psychology of Cons

Found this through BoingBoing:

The key to a con is not that you trust the conman, but that he shows he trusts you. Conmen ply their trade by appearing fragile or needing help, by seeming vulnerable.



Me and some kids

The little one is not crying because of me.



Bumpy Pitch Holiday Collection

New Bumpy Pitch T-Shirts are out.

Our Holiday collection is a retrospective look back at the teams that have played a part in shaping the sport of soccer in the United States. The graphics consist of teams that date back to the early 1890’s all the way through the 1980’s. We feel that it is important to understand where we have come from before we can embrace where we are headed.

Bumpy Pitch.

Also check out The Original Winger.

Its more than a lifestyle. Its a movement.



Quantum of Solace Collection

Philosophy Bites Politics


Einstein and the Mind of God

Bond on Set: Filming Quantum of Solace

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Trailer for City of Dust



Child's Play 2008

The site for this year's Child's Play is up and running:

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over two million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With over 45 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child’s Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!



Jason Mraz I'm Yours

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
Now I'm trying to get back
Before the cool done run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's going to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We're just one big family
And It's our God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved

So I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

Scooch on over closer dear
And i will nibble your ear

I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and laughed
I guess what I'm be saying is there ain't no better reason
To rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons
It's what we aim to do
Our name is our virtue

But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find that the sky is yours
Please don't, please don't, please don't
There's no need to complicate
Cause our time is short
This oh this this is out fate, I'm yours!



Quantum of Solace Smirnoff Ad

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Current Wallpaper - Quantum of Solace

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