Welcome to my blog, which I have humbly named after myself, and written all about myself.

Well, no, that’s not the goal at all really. This is a repository for stuff I’m reading/doing/thinking about. As such, I hope that it’s not about me at all, but the things that make up the cultural milieu we’re living in.

This blog is still under construction for the moment, while I fix a few more things up about it. Soon I’ll get the hang of it and start posting with regularity. In the past I’ve done movie reviews almost exclusively, but now I want to expand my field of vision a little, and include some shorter notes, shares of other articles, and some different writing of my own.

Most entries on this blog right now have been imported from my old Blogger blog, Snippets. Since the import process is not perfect, I may need to take a little while to look back on the archive and tweak my posts from the past few years, to make sure they’ve translated well across websites. Forgive any oddities of format, or bad spelling. I’m sure I’ve grown out of that now.

Feel free to peruse or ignore everything you see on this site, and if you enjoy yourself here, why not drop me a comment, a like, a follow, or whatever.

(comments are my favourite, being the platform for discussion and the foundation of the internet as we know it)

Happy reading!

-Josh

Sunrise

At first I wonder why all the fuss about the sunrise. The sky is painted orange pink and deep blue, sure, but is that all? Can’t I just watch the sun set behind a mountain and get the same, if not more vibrant effect?

Suddenly I look up again and see it. The crescent tip of an incandescent orb glowing brightly amongst the tapestry of colour. Like a gash in the sky, pouring out light. It is blinding, heart stopping. My objections are silenced and I watch it rise.

This globe of fearful bright is steeped in orange tinge, but it dulls the appearance of everything else around it. Fingers of light feel their way accross the sky, as the dark blue lightens into pale blue, and the darkness surrenders to the coming morning.

As the sun vanishes behind a nearby cloud I wonder if its majesty will return unscathed, or will it have transitioned already into that white light of the day?

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Above the cloud it breaks a second time, this time rising more furious than the last. Light pervades the world, as the sun intensifies it’s campaign. Blinding orange streaks reflect off the surface of the ocean, and it soon becomes unbearable to look upon.

By it’s light are cast extraordinary shadows whose contrast accentuates the details in the world around – still in that glorious orange tinge.

Eventually the sun glows ever brighter; brighter than you would think possible just a short time ago. Within half an hour the day has transformed from that mystical dawn into the brightness of morning under the blazing beauty of the summer sun.

Fitbit Flex

So, yesterday I bought myself a new Fitbit flex.

It’s a pretty sweet device – it tracks my steps, distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes, hours slept and quality of sleep (although, I already have a much cheaper app to track sleeping).

This is backed by a fairly substantial set of tools including food and activity logs, an integrated website and phone app, and premium options that offer more detailed analytics.

I took it out for a walk, and kept it on through work, and watched myself power through the recommended daily minimums for active minutes and steps taken. It’s a great sense of accomplishment seeing those stats go up, and those goals being met – the device even threw a little party with its LEDs and vibration when I hit 10 000 steps. So thus far, I’m satisfied. But it’s only day one.

First day tracking my activity - I set it up around midday,  went for an hour long walk, then worked a 5 hour shift.

First day tracking my activity… but this is not a representative sample.

This personal tracking technology is part of a growing trend in recent years, one that seems set to explode in the near future. We have technology so small (‘wearable tech’ is one name for it), and programs so smart; we have the capacity to record massive amounts of data on everything we do, and view it back instantaneously in easily readable formats. We already have trackers in our phones, in our watches, in our cars. CES this year saw more novel uses for trackers, such as in a basketball, or a toothbrush.

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Now You See Me

Now You See Me

A fun, forgettable romp; remarkable only for its sorely disappointing ending. Frankly, I struggle to think of much to say about it.

In Now You See Me, a group of street magicians team up to pull of a series of unbelievable magic shows which involve such feats as robbing banks live on stage. The curious thing is: they aren’t keeping the money for themselves, but appear to be working towards a more ambitious objective…

I watched the trailer for this film a couple of times before it came out, and was looking forward to it. With such high-calibre talents as Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Mark Ruffalo, coupled with some interesting visuals and a thumping pace, it looked like fun. When the reviews came out though, I was disappointed, and haven’t gotten around to seeing it until now. My disappointment remains, with some qualification.

The movie is not bad, per se. It’s just really mediocre. It plays out, for the most part, like a police procedural, following Mark Ruffalo (I’ve forgotten his character’s name) as he tries to get to the truth at the bottom of all the flashy magic; are they actually criminals? What is their goal? What big trick is this all leading up to? How are they accomplishing all of this? Is magic real??

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Honest Action – Home Alone

Honest Action – Home Alone http://ow.ly/stMav

In Home Alone, burglars Marv and Harry are subjected to all manner of painful injuries by a young kid who lays improvised booby-traps around the house. Of course, it’s a slapstick, so it plays out pretty cartoonishly, and it’s all for laughs.

But what if a real person were to sustain that kind of injury? With advice from a medical expert, Screen Junkies’ new series runs through just how many times movie characters should have died – with a nifty body map and life counter to drive the point home. It’s hilarious… and a little horrifying!

In July

Utterly, joyfully absurd. In July is an invigorating experience.

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I haven’t had this much fun with a movie in decades. True, I haven’t lived through many decades, but that’s just how this movie made me feel. I walked out of the theater dazzled, I felt alive!

In July is a film by Turkish-German director Fatih Akin. It follows the story of Daniel (Moritz Bleibtreu) – a young, naive teacher-in-training – as he travels across from Germany to Turky on a quest to find the woman of his dreams. The story begins in the middle as Daniel relates his experience to the shifty character of Isa (who carries a dead body in his trunk for some reason). It plays out as a series of miscommunications, chance encounters, and loose story threads, which coalesce into a serendipitous web of coincidental connections that transcend borders and logic.

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Gravity

A phenomenal accomplishment in filmmaking supported by an excellent cast, a strong script and bombastic soundtrack. In sum: the theater experience of the year. See it.

I’ve been on hiatus for a while, which has been disappointing because I love writing these things. I’m planning to overhaul my blog once I’m free from Uni commitments, but in the meantime… I’ve been watching lots of stuff! I’ll do my best to pump out a few mini-reviews in the coming days as my essay deadlines loom and I need to start digesting all this information into something academically presentable, but in the meantime… Here’s Gravity.

With all the buzz around this film I just couldn’t resist dashing out to the theater last week to see it. It’s almost like a perfect conclusion to my sort-of series about the Hollywood system: When big-budget movies go right. I don’t really have much more to say about that, except that it does happen! There are creative people working in the industry – not every film that achieves blockbuster status is cookie cutter. Gravity is a totally unique film to experience. Continue reading