September 27, 2014

Book publishing trends for 2014? The Huffington Post predicts



Among them is that the quality of writing will be an integral part of the success of a book. My question is what constitutes "quality of writing." For example, would The DaVinci Code be considered "quality writing"? If so, well, whatever...

July 14, 2014

Remember "Up Against the Wall?" Pass on the Tradition

May 23, 2014

Baby boomer favorite foreign film - 400 blows

Poster cost $14.99 - about the price of a movie ticket nowadays.
Buy at Art.com
The 400 Blows
Buy From Art.com

May 18, 2014

Baby Boomer Bargain: $39 for excellent prescription glasses with titanium frames

Cheap eyeglasses with titanium frames: here's proof: Is there such a thing as a "good deal"?  Prescription glasses at those stores that say "Get 2 pairs for $69.00" is a total deception; it doesn't cover tinting, UV protection, warranty. All you get is a cheap frame and two pieces of glass, and they have to be single vision. When you add up the 'options' the price is about $170.00 for ONE pair of glasses.

I ordered my prescription glasses from the glassesshop, and got them for about $48.00, which included shipping charges (I also had a 20% discount coupon, so the final price was $40). They fit better and are of a superior quality to any glasses I've bought at lenscrafters, costco, or the 'discount' place. They're made with titanium, have UV protection, tinting, warranty Mine need to be good since I'm a photographer.

A) You type in your prescription data (it's not rocket science--it's not even rocket art).
B) Try on any frame with the virtual face shape tool on the website.
C) All you need is a ruler to measure centimeters (distance between your pupils). It's the scale on the other side of inch scale.

You also get a hard eyeglass case, soft eyeglass case, and cleaning cloth. These glasses come directly from China. And if you are concerned about the trade disparity between U.S. and China, your purchase is not going to make a difference. 90% of eyeglass parts sold in the USA are from China. For skeptics, I'm exhibiting my order and eyeglass prescription. If you have a prescription, click on the image below and get started.

May 17, 2014

Is it crazy to spend hundreds of $$$ to learn Spanish?

The answer is YES! If you want to get ripped off by the expensive software programs for sale in shopping malls, go right ahead. You can buy equally good if not better Spanish language learning material for $39.00. Check out my recommendations for learning Spanish. I should know. I've published short stories in Spanish and read and speak it. There is one catch. The key to learning the language is that you really have to WORK AT IT!!!! Darn! Thought you had a great thing going there for a moment, didn't you?

May 15, 2014

Are these the best 10 films of the 1960's

If you want to see these films, click the widget on the right column on top of this page.

1. 8 1/2 (1963)___Country: Italy___Director: Federico Fellini Arguably the most famous and most popular foreign film of the decade, 8 ½ was a breakout film for Fellini from his Neorealism period to his more psychoanalytic, autobiographical, and phantasmagoric phase. Fellini sought truth and if that meant exposing his own weaknesses to the public, we would – and did, in 8 ½. The integration of surrealism and realism in 8 ½ is uncanny. This film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1963.
#2. The King of Hearts (1966)___Country: France___Director: Philippe de Broca This film is a bona fide cult film. It combines a gorgeous and imaginative musical score by Georges Delerue with humor, romance, idealism, surrealism, and a powerful antiwar message. This film is a miracle of ensemble acting, with superb performances turned in by Alan Bates, Genevieve Bujold, Michel Serrault, Micheline Presle, Francoise Christophe, and others.
#3. (1962)___Country: France___Director: Jean-Luc Godard Susan Sontag characterized this film as “one of the most extraordinary, beautiful, and original works of art that I know of.” It really is. The camera technique for this film was highly ingenious, behaving like a human observer. My Life to Live tackles the issue of finding oneself through intensive facial close-ups of star actress (and Godard wife) Anna Karina.
#4. Persona (1966)___Country: Sweden___Director: Ingmar Bergman This film is an extraordinary piece of psychodrama, featuring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann, two actresses with very similar facial features. The cinematography is very special in both composition and lighting, emphasizing facial details and expression. There are also three jarringly brilliant, almost surreal sequences that are cinematographic marvels.
#5. Shop on Main Street(1965)___Country: Czechoslovakia___Director: Ján Kadár & Elmar Klos This film provides a heart-rending look at one small piece of the Holocaust by focusing on the effect of history’s most incomprehensible event on two main characters: an aging Jewish widow and shopkeeper and the simple man who is appointed as her Aryan controller. The performance by Ida Kaminska was honored by an Academy Award nomination for best actress. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1965.
#6. Last Year at Marienbad(1961)___Country: France___Director: Alain Resnais This brilliant early film of the New Wave is a mind-blower! It examines the nature of creative representation and art by confronting viewers with a mysterious artificial reality. For many years, this film was interpreted as pure formalistic art and high modernism, until the source of the script was discovered to be an Argentinian science fiction story. Either way, it’s a marvelous film for viewers who enjoy intellectual puzzles.
#7. Contempt (1963)___Country: France___Director: Jean-Luc Godard This was Godard’s only foray into “commercial” filmmaking as well as one of the few quality roles for French bombshell Brigitte Bardot. The film is best known for its brilliant centerpiece scene which consists of a classic marital dispute, filmed with extraordinary realism in the apartment of the protagonist couple. The final segment is beautifully filmed at the magnificent chateau in Capri, on the Mediterranean.
#8. Charulata (1964)___Country: India___Director: Satyajit Ray Charulata, or “The Lonely Wife”, the twelfth film of the great Indian director Satyajit Ray, is often regarded as his greatest one. Ray’s great strength as a director was his mastery of subtly communicating through artistry and cinematographic technique rather than action and dialogue alone. Madhabi Mukherjee’s performance in the title role is magnificent.
#9. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)___Country: Sweden___Director: Ingmar Bergman Like all films of Ingmar Bergman, this superlative psychodrama examines essential questions of human existence: the nature of perception and the challenge of existential isolation. With a cast of just four, Bergman creates a “chamber piece” that features an amazing performance by Harriet Andersson as a woman sinking into schizophrenia. This film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1961.
#10. War and Peace (1968)___Country: U.S.S.R.___Director: Sergei Bondarchuk This Russian adaptation of the great Tolstoy novel boasts a kind of authenticity and faithfulness that has rarely been equaled by other adaptations of great books. This Soviet-Italian co-production took seven years to produce at a cost in excess of $100 million dollars. It features one of the most elaborately staged battle scenes in film history, utilizing tens of thousands of extras. Paintings and furnishings were borrowed from Russian museums to ensure period authenticity. At over 400 minutes in length, it’s a major time investment, but the best scenes in the film rival any recorded on film. This film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1968.

May 25, 2009

Visual impairment, learning disabilities and KINDLE

Article critical of Kindle 2 lack of features for the visually impaired and learning disabled. Is it worth the money?

March 05, 2008

Is Sven Birkerts correct about the Gutenberg Elegies--empirical evidence on illiteracy?

Well, I was just reading a book review of the Gutenberg Elegies by Sven Birkerts, published in 1996 by Dr. Elizabeth Murphy of the University of Newfoundland. Among her credentials and awards are the following: B.Ed., M.Ed. Memorial, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Université Laval, Winner of President's Award for Outstanding Research, 2007-2008. Finally, I thought! A reviewer that will be a bit more erudite than most who wander the virtual halls of Amazon's bookstore. However, my enthusiasm waned when I got to the second paragraph where Professor Murphy in quoting Birkerts, uses the word 'vehicule.' Is that supposed to be vehicle? Are my literacy skills degrading or does this little case study help comfirm Birkerts's thesis about the degradation of linguistic abilities. I can tell you one thing. If my grandfather were around--Columbia graduate 1913, Latin teacher, Russian translator, and Biblical scholar--on his slow days and I had made a linguistic faux pas--regardless of the reason--I'd have gotten an earful! Book Review Oh, yea, I put that 's in on purpose to see if you were paying attention ; 0