R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) Artistic Prosperity Trailer

We rehearsed and recorded a Zoom recording of RUR during the lockdown. I really enjoyed being able to do theater while so much of the rest of society was shut down. Here’s a “human interest” promo (which also includes actors who played Robots). Stay tuned for news about seeing the full production. Artistic Prosperity -RUR Human Interest Reel from Artistic Prosperity on Vimeo.

Frazetta’s “A Princess of Mars” painting sells for $1.2 million at auction

I’ve read about 11 of the Edger Rice Burroughs John Carter / Barsoom series. When my kids were small, I would spend an hour or more at bedtime, reading to them and then turning off the lights and leading a steampunk adventure that lasted for years. I drew lots of pulp adventure details right from the Barsoom series — though the ground rules of our shared role-playing world precluded any intelligent alien encounters. A copy of the artwork that graced the 1970 hardback publication of the first Barsoom novel, A Princess of Mars, went at auction for $1.2 million. This…

1

The Most Toys (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 22) Data Abducted by Eccentric Collector

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. The crew react to losing Data in a freak shuttle accident, but he’s been kidnapped by a trader who wants him for his collection. An odd, low-stakes episode that gives us a good look at Data’s ethical principles and negotiating technique, as he calmly debates with his captor and experiments with ways to resist. I got a little tired of the eccentric Fajo. He has gone to great lengths to set a trap for Data (manufacturing a crisis on a distant Federation colony, that can only be solved by having the Enterprise send Data…

Trump, Obama seem equally disinterested in portrait unveiling — but journalism takes hits from both sides

On social media recently I saw people mocking Trump for “refusing” to unveil the traditional presidential portrait of Obama, and I saw people attacking “the fake news media” for pushing a narrative designed to make Trump look bad. The original NBC story that broke this item accurately states that neither Trump nor Obama is interested in the unveiling ceremony. There’s a whole ecosystem of people across the political spectrum who gain a following by commenting on news stories. Some are trained, working journalists; some are entertainers, and some are just random people trying to attract attention. I seem to remember…

Fascinating, and very sad, story behind an iconic National Geographic photo.

Fascinating, and very sad, story behind an iconic National Geographic photo. McCurry wanted to take more pictures but Sharbat Gula fled. No part of the written story mentioned her narrative or even her name (which McCurry did not care to find out). He did not take her consent or her father’s to publish the image. When Sharbat Gula finally saw the cover that would make her face world-famous, she felt, she later said, “nervous and very sad”. When the photograph was first published in 1985 and the magazine circulated to millions of readers worldwide, it had only one sentence about…

Shen Yun Chinese dance troupe

One of seven touring groups devoted to sharing China’s traditional culture. The name means “beauty of divine dance.” Much emphasis on acrobatics and fluid motions. A recurring theme was interaction with the divine, and one number set in the present day focused on two brothers, one a police officer and one who falls in love with a woman who practices Falun Gong —  a forbidden faith which, at least as dramatized in the dance, emphasizes meditation, harmony, healing and a Buddhist-like state of enlightenment. The civilian brother is arrested and blinded as a medical procedure (organ harvesting, perhaps?), the police…

2

Testing out my new greenscreen

Friendly advice… If you are practicing with your new green screen backdrop, don’t wear a plaid shirt with blue-green in it. I’m not happy with the lighting… the foreground lighting is pretty good (some spare photography lamps — much better than the fluorescent ceiling lights) but I don’t like the shadows on the backdrop. I picked up a few LED desk lamps and a rechargeable USB work light. I’ll try again when I get the chance.  

Beautiful News Writing: “Rampaging rooster attacks girl.”

I don’t want to make light of a little girl’s fear, but she wasn’t seriously hurt, and this is a damn fine lead: When they heard the screams, no one suspected the rooster. (Tampa Bay Times, 2002) And from a little farther into the story: The rooster struck around noon as Dechardonae ventured from her house in the middle of the cluster to visit her Uncle Tony, waiting in the driveway. It’s a short walk, even if you’re 3 feet tall and carrying a toy oven.

Iconic ‘West Side Story’ still resonates today

Carolyn Jerz of Greensburg will be playing Maria opposite Logan Williams of Pittsburgh as Tony in the production. She describes her character as a playful, naive teenage girl who just wants to take part in life. “She has just moved to New York City from Puerto Rico and is attending her first school dance with her people, the Sharks,” Jerz says. “In my interpretation, she most likely has been home-schooled all her life. She meets Tony, her Romeo, a Jet, an American. He is not of her kind, but they instantly fall in love.” Jerz, 16, a home-schooled 11th-grade student…

Would YOU trade a Hank Aaron rookie card for a Roberto Clemente… for her? Full Bloom (Aug 30-Sept 2)

In Suzanne Bradbeer’s play FULL BLOOM, Jesse (played by Seton Hill’s DeShaun Herzog) owns a prized Hank Aaron Rookie Card. The girl he likes from school, Phoebe (played by Carolyn Jerz), has always wanted the rookie card of her personal hero, Roberto Clemente. As Phoebe goes through a tough emotional struggle in this play, how far will Jesse go to show his support? Will he trade his rookie Hank Aaron for a Roberto Clemente… for her? COME and FIND OUT!! See FULL BLOOM at the Olde Maine Theatre, Latrobe! 7:30pm Aug 30, 31, & Sept 1, and 2pm Sept 1…