Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Hitchcock

Friday Links! Soviet Choose Your Own Adventure, World Tetris Competition, Gödel vs. the Constitution, and More

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In 1987, an anonymous team of computer scientists from the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic wrote a series of children’s books based on the popular Choose Your Own Adventure series. The books were hastily translated into English and a small number were exported to America, but the CIA, fearing a possible Soviet mind control scheme, confiscated them all before they could be sold. Now declassified, the books have been lovingly converted to a digital hypertext format and put online for the English-speaking world to enjoy. Via MeFi, which has some highlights from You Will Select a Decision:

“If you follow the bear immediately, turn to page 35.
If you follow the bear after some hesitation, wait for ten seconds and then turn to page 35.”

“If you say yes, turn to page 18
I will not permit you to say no. Turn to page 18.”

Gödel, in his usual manner, had read extensively in preparing for the hearing. In the course of his studies, Gödel decided that he had discovered a flaw in the U.S. Constitution — a contradiction which would allow the U.S. to be turned into a dictatorship. Gödel, usually quite reticent, seemed to feel a need to make this known. Morgenstern and Einstein warned Gödel that it would be a disaster to confront his citizenship examiner with visions of a Constitutional flaw leading to an American dictatorship.

Scenes from the World Tetris Championship.

This week, Europol, the European Union’s criminal-intelligence division, announced that its investigation into match-fixing, codenamed “Operation Veto,” had uncovered 680 suspicious games from 2008 to 2011. It’s huge news, not because the results are particularly surprising — there’s plenty of other evidence, even recent evidence, that match-fixing is rampant in global soccer — but because the sheer extent of the allegations means that we can no longer delude ourselves about what’s happening. This is what’s happening: Soccer is fucked. Match-fixing is corroding the integrity of the game at every level.

* Ted Underwood on text-mining and distant reading: We don’t already know the broad outlines of literary history.

* Hitchcock intended Psycho as a comedy.

* The end of NBC?

* Are Republican elites finally purging the hucksters?

* Does every life form get a billion heartbeats?

Could the Next Doctor Who Showrunner Already Be Chosen?

Should Students Be Encouraged to Pursue Graduate Education in the Humanities?

Historic Blizzard Poised to Strike New England: What Role Is Climate Change Playing?

Fund snidely concludes: “But, of course, as you know there is no voter fraud. Pay no attention to that lightning coming out of Ohio.” While voter fraud does rarely exist, fighting these sorts of “lightning” with strict photo ID laws that disenfranchise legitimate voters is like banning orange juice to prevent jaywalking.

The main point here: Germany doesn’t get all that much sunlight. In fact, it gets about as much direct solar-energy as Alaska does each year. Just about every single region in the continental United States has vastly more solar resources than Germany.

* Top college football prospect Alex Collins spent Wednesday trying to track down his mother, who had intercepted his letter of intent to attend the University of Arkansas. (Apparently she did not want him to attend college far from home.) Colleges cannot accept commitments from players under 21 without the signature of a parent or guardian. Eventually Collins’ father signed the form, but aren’t 18-year-olds legally entitled to make their own decisions?

* And TNI is giving out its weather issue (the one I was in) for free in honor of the blizzard. Enjoy!

Monday!

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* Washington Monthly has released the latest version of its college rankings.

* ‘Armed Militia’ of Soldiers Plotted to Take Over Army Base, Assassinate Obama. We’re just going full-bore dystopia all the time I guess.

* Speaking of which.

* But it can always get worse:

It’s worse to imagine a world with Obama getting a second term than it is to imagine a world without pizza. Because with Obama in a second term, there will be no pizza. For anyone.

Why I Won’t Vote, By W.E.B. Du Bois.

* I found out today with great sadness that Congress has killed the Jacob Javits Fellowship. That thing paid for my MFA. It was a great program.

* There are many ways to destroy a person, but the simplest and most devastating might be solitary confinement. Deprived of meaningful human contact, otherwise healthy prisoners often come unhinged. They experience intense anxiety, paranoia, depression, memory loss, hallucinations and other perceptual distortions. Psychiatrists call this cluster of symptoms SHU syndrome, named after the Security Housing Units of many supermax prisons. Prisoners have more direct ways of naming their experience. They call it “living death,” the “gray box,” or “living in a black hole.”

Men Defining Rape: A History.

The Republican strategist told Brownstein, “This is the last time anyone will try to do this” — “this” being a near total reliance on white votes to win a presidential election.

* Stat of the day: There are three times as many gun dealers as grocery stores in America.

* Superman once stayed loyal to Lois Lane after a thousand years trapped with Wonder Woman in a pocket dimension. This is blasphemy.

* College Humor, against malaria. I thought Ellie Kemper, Tony Hale, and Rhys Darby alone were worth it.

Vera Farmiga set to play Norman Bates’ infamous mother in A&E’s Psycho prequel series. We had some fun with this on Twitter earlier today, as this Storify may attest. And here’s one that was Facebook only: Before “North by Northwest” there was “Where’s my compass?”

* Who’s ruining Justice League this week? The Wachowskis.

* And yes, alas, we’re all still screwed.

Tuesday Night

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* zunguzungu: We Cannot Afford to Protect the Anuses of the Condemned.

Yesterday, as the Washington Post put it, the Supreme Court “upholds jail strip searches, including for minor offenses”; as the New York Times wrote “Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest”; and as the AP headlines it: “People arrested on minor charges can be strip searched, Supreme Court rules.” And I’m interested in these headlines because the words “offenses,” “arrests,” and “charges” are all ways of demarcating the moment the state judges a person to be in custody without saying anything in particular about the reason why. The fact of being in custody becomes the only important fact, to which all others are subordinate. This is the logic of the decision, but its also the logic that the headlines obey, flattening all possible juridical categories into a single one: the condemned.

More on this from Glenn Greenwald, who notes (no surprise) Obama’s DOJ is completely on board.

* Elsewhere in the rule of law: Fifth Circuit Judges Now In Full Wingnut Mode.

* What is your state good at?

* What is the going rate for a cellphone wiretap?

* …we would need a $9.92-per-hour wage, more than $2 above the current federal minimum, to match the buying power of the minimum wage in 1968.

* Where are you on the global pay scale? How long would it take Mitt Romney to earn what you make in a year?

* UNC study: We found that employed husbands in traditional marriages, compared to those in modern marriages, tend to (a) view the presence of women in the workplace unfavorably, (b) perceive that organizations with higher numbers of female employees are operating less smoothly, (c) find organizations with female leaders as relatively unattractive, and (d) deny, more frequently, qualified female employees opportunities for promotion. The consistent pattern of results found across multiple studies employing multiple methods and samples demonstrates the robustness of the findings.

George Lucas vs. the city.

* Romney Zippergate: Too juvenile, or not juvenile enough?

* 20 Services Google Thinks Are More Important Than Google Scholar.

* Alfred Hitchcock Movies as Nintendo Games. Doctor Who, now for the SNES. More Who: Will the next Doctor be a woman? Honestly, this seems like the obvious move.

* Imaginary monsters of U.S. cities.

And science proves 33 is the happiest age. Bring on 2013!

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Bees’

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The bees are backand they’re angry.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm

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How to make a film like Hitchcock. Via MeFi.

3: Camera is Not a Camera

The camera should take on human qualities and roam around playfully looking for something suspicious in a room. This allows the audience to feel like they are involved in uncovering the story. Scenes can often begin by panning a room showing close-ups of objects that explain plot elements.

This goes back to Hitchcock’s beginnings in silent film. Without sound, filmmakers had to create ways to tell the story visually in a succession of images and ideas. Hitchcock said this trend changed drastically when sound finally came to film in the 1930’s. Suddenly everything went toward dialogue oriented material based on scripts from the stage. Movies began to rely on actors talking, and visual storytelling was almost forgotten. (Truffaut) Always use the camera as more than just a camera.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 21, 2007 at 4:01 am

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