Monthly Archives: April 2004

Timeline

I’ve been working on a bit of a pet project – a timeline that sets out, side by side, events from Becky’s life and my life, our life together, and other random events from our lifetime.

It’s far from complete. You can expect to see more entries if you check back in the next week or so, but you can go ahead and take a look:

Our Timeline|http://prwdot.org/?p=timeline

For those of you who don’t know us so well, I hope this helps you to get to know us a bit better. And for the rest of you, I hope you’ll simply enjoy looking back at the events of the past 25 years. 🙂

News, courtesy of Magpie

I’m toying with a new feature, which you’ll see if you look at the left hand side of our page. By using kellan’s Magpie RSS – PHP RSS Parser, I can have our main index script automatically pull in RSS newsfeeds directly from other sites, and display their latest items right on our website.

Right now I’ve got the last 10 “Top News” items from Yahoo! News, and Apple Computer’s latest 5 press releases. The possibilities are endless. Let me know what you think!

A Feed Fixup

For those of you subscribed to our site via RSS feeds, you’ll want to update your links as follows:

RSS 2.0
RSS 2.0 Comments Only
RSS 1.0
Atom

I have created a simple php script that will pass our newsfeeds through the same routines that our regular blog entries go through. That way, the links you read within our newsfeeds will look like regular links, instead of the internally coded link style we use, with the asterisks on each side and the bar in the middle.

Hope this makes some people happy! 🙂

Movie Wrap-Up

Friday night, Becky and I rented Johnny English|http://www.johnny-english.com/, with Rowan Atkinson playing an inept British intelligence agent. The concept of the movie, like Atkinson himself, is a bit goofy… first, all of MI:6’s top agents are killed, leaving only Johnny English to carry out the most crucial of tasks. Then, a French prison-construction mogul (played by John Malkovich) attempts to seize the throne by killing off all of the other legitimate heirs and asserting his own dubious claim. He plans to use his new power to convert England into the world’s largest prison. J.E. suspects the Frenchman, and takes it upon himself to reveal this nefarious plot. In any case, the movie is filled with typical Mr. Bean-esque physical humor, so if you’re a Bean fan, you’ll probably like it well enough.

On Saturday, Becky and I went to Chunky’s|http://www.chunkys.com/ to see Sony Pictures’ 13 Going on 30|http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/13goingon30/. It’s a sickeningly sweet comedy, kind of like “Big”. Only in this movie, Jennifer Garner’s character fast-forwards in time along with the rest of the world, where Tom Hanks’ character in Big simply gets older while the rest of the world remains the same. There are the usual “oh, wow, I’m older” gags, some “80’s revival” gags (like when the whole dance club does the dance from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”), and a healthy dose of romantic comedy thrown in. It certainly doesn’t rank as one of my favorite movies, but at Chunky’s price of $6 for an evening show, plus eating dinner in the theater, it was a worthwhile evening.

Lastly, on Sunday, since Becky had gone away for the night, I went out to see the type of movie that she has absolutely no interest in seeing: Hellboy|http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/hellboy/ (another Sony Pictures film). Now, I didn’t know anything about Hellboy other than what I had seen in the trailers and read about on the website. I haven’t read the comic|http://www.darkhorse.com/zones/hellboy/index.php. So I am probably not the best person to judge. But in my opinion it didn’t live up to the quality of some other comic book based movies I have seen recently such as Spider-Man or X-Men. There were some great special effects, some cool action sequences, a few good one-liners here and there. The plot was a sci-fi mainstay, of the “ancient-evil-returns-to-wreak-havoc-only-to-be-stopped-by-our-ultimately-undefeatable-heroes” variety. The characters were just a tad on the shallow end throughout, and the final conflict was resolved far too simply. While it is true that the Spider-Man and X-Men movies also used typical sci-fi plots, they at least gave you a little more to chew on in terms of character depth and quality performances. My advice – wait for it to come out on DVD or VHS, then just rent it. Or at least wait for it to come out at discount theaters. Certainly don’t pay the $9.25 I spent to see it. The best part of that evening was the Pepperblue Steak|http://www.panera.com/menu_sandwiches.aspx sandwich I had at Panera|http://www.panera.com/ before the movie. Yum.

Going forward, I’m very excited about this summer’s I, Robot|http://www.irobotmovie.com/. If you’re going to base a movie on something, you might as well base it on a concept by one of the world’s most respected science fiction authors. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow|http://www.skycaptain.com/home.html looks fun, too. And of course, Spider-Man 2|http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/spider-man2/index.html (hmm, another Sony Pictures movie…).

Tired of Typing?

Tired of entering text into your computer the old-fashioned way? Speech-recognition just not working out for you? On-screen keyboards no help?

Try Dasher|http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/. After you spend a few minutes figuring out how exactly it works, it will blow your mind. It’s almost like playing a video game. But that’s not entirely accurate… you have to see if for yourself.

You might find this program of particular interest if you are unable to use a regular keyboard or pointing device, or if you work with special needs people. Folks who are interested in linguistics and natural language processing might find it fascinating as well.

Found the link through Perl guru extraordinaire Simon Cozens|http://blog.simon-cozens.org/6725.html.

(Warning: It’s probably not a good idea to use this program if you are prone to motion sickness.)

Take the Survey!

Please take our survey|http://www.createsurvey.com/c/17069-xHckEX/! It’s also linked in the top left hand corner of the page. Our free trial is going to expire this Saturday, so I hope to get the results tallied up before then.

It’s just 13 easy-to-answer questions, 12 of which are multiple-choice. Those of you who haven’t taken the survey yet know who you are. 😉

Thank you!

Big Dig Reuse

As Becky and I have driven in and out of Boston the past week, it’s been amazing to see the open spaces where the double-decker bridge used to be. The Big Dig project is really making progress tearing down all of that old stuff, and as the Boston Globe reports this morning, all of that leftover metal isn’t just being thrown out|http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/04/25/he_could_call_it_his_big_digs/?rss_id=Boston%20Globe%20–%20City%20/%20Region%20News. Now that would be a sight… 🙂

Law and the Beast

Okay, maybe I’m the last person on the planet to discover this (and, if so, I’m okay with that)… I just found out that my beloved Jerry Orbach, Detective Lenny Briscoe of Law and Order fame, moonlighted as Lumiere, the candlablra of Beauty and the Beast fame.

Going back and listening to Lumiere I can totally hear Lenny. Why did I never know this before? I know that Jerry has a life outside of L&O… He played the Dad in Dirty Dancing and has been in several Broadway musicals and plays. I just never knew he sang “Be Our Guest” in a great French accent. My life will be forever changed for the better.