Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 11.35.57 PM

What It Was Like to Watch the Beatles Become the Beatles

Beyond their music itself, their greatest strengths were clarity of image and the way they balanced. It’s a truism that no pop format is any good unless it can be expressed in one sentence, but the Beatles went beyond that, they could each be said in one word: Lennon was the brutal one, McCartney was the pretty one, Ringo Starr was the lovable one, Harrison was the balancer. And if…

20140206-230424.jpg

‘Hunger Games’ to digitally recreate Hoffman

filmmakers behind the “Hunger Games” movies will digitally recreate late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in a major yet-to-be-shot scene, sources from the flick said. Editors will use computer graphics and camera tricks — instead of rewriting the script — to film at least one heartfelt scene featuring Hoffman’s character, the gamesmaker Plutarch Heavensbee. “You can do digital things, you can have conversations where you’re not focusing on him but the…

20140131-110515.jpg

Replaying Childhood: On Gifting my Video Games to the Library of Congress

Giving up my games ended up being a bit of an emotional experience. I think the emotion of that experience underscores why it matters for the Library to collect games. The box of games and systems had sat in our basement for the last five years, and my mother’s basement for a good while before that. The last time I sat down and played through most of these games was…

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 1.07.34 PM

Star Trek: “Wink Of An Eye”/”The Empath”

Amusing, if cynical, reaction to some of my favorite third-season episodes. (I suggested that my sister name her dog “Gem,” after the name McCoy gives to “The Empath,” and through high school and college I wished for the ability to speed myself up to meet deadlines, so it’s a bit of a challenge for me to see these episodes as mediocre, even though I acknowledge they are not the best…

image
1

How Copyright Law Gave Us STAR WARS

In an alternate universe George Lucas never made Star Wars because he was able to get the rights to Flash Gordon. See, that was Lucas’ original intention, and he even went to meet with King Features Syndicate, who held the rights, to talk with them about making a movie based on the classic comic strip and movie serial space adventurer. Lucas says that King Features wanted 80% of the profits,…

20131224-113547.jpg

My Tween Preps to Program a Lego Hobbit Game

As part of a course I’m teaching on “Digital Storytelling,” I’m going to make a video in which I show my students how to code a branching story in Scratch. My daughter will provide the visuals. Here she is photographing her model of Bag End. We bought just a few actual Lord of the Rings sets, but between the handful of Harry Potter and Star Wars, and the much larger…