Friday, April 27, 2012


I never turn on this computer these days.  Maybe that's why there's so little blogging...  Nice job slamming through CISPA House of Reps.  Hopefully it'll be a more deliberate process in the Senate...  Down to the last week of class.  The spring semester sure does whiz by...  I09 ran a summer movie story about the upcoming scifi/fantasy movies.  There are more than 30 of them.  That'll be a lot of trips to the theatre...  We got denied on our informal assessment appeal.  Looks like we'll have to go the formal route.  Bring in the attorneys...  Amazon started a service to compete with Grainger and McMaster.  I wonder if we'll be making it one of our primary vendors...  Was really a shame about the Penguins.  As a fair weather fan, if they go out early in the playoffs I barely get to see them...  As much as I think the current state of student loans is a disaster, I cannot get behind the thought of a universal amnesty.  Indefinite free deferment maybe, some kind of across the board interest discount perhaps, but not a total amnesty...  Tried to go to one of our regular dinner spots tonight and there were no spaces in the parking lot.  I guess it was a big night out in Monroeville...  I need a better blogging solution for the Greenpage...  Not sure if it helps, but syncing and cold booting the iOS devices feels like it ought to do something good...  Read through grad student thesis projects much earlier than usual this year.  Times like that I wonder what we did right...  The PA primary was this week.  I really haven't noticed any coverage even though I live here...  CMU contracted to buy all their electrical power from wind generators.  That's pretty cool...  At some point I think I will have to sort out who is a friend on Facebook and who is a contact on LinkedIn.  If I could get to the point where I care much about LinkedIn...  Doing the NYC thing in a whirlwind in a couple of weeks: CMU Design/PTM Cocktail Party...  Should have bought that stock when I had the idea.  It went up 20% in 30 days.  Oops...  Looking at the review sheet we came up with in class for Basic PTM it looks like a pretty good class...  The guy who offered to kill the weeds on our lawn killed the grass...  We said goodbye to Glee this week.  Deleted five episodes off the DVR and cancelled the automatic recording.  It's a little sad...  Last weekend Mrs. TANBI and I had a getaway to a facility that served as a WWII internment camp.  Must have been an awfully nice internment camp, if there's such a thing as a nice internment camp...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Philadelphia's Theatre Alliance Takes a Final Bow After more than two decades dedicated to developing the theater community and its audiences in Philadelphia, the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia declares, "Mission accomplished." The alliance has announced its plans to discontinue operations at the end of its fiscal year on June 30.

‘Wicked’ Writers Pay Top $95 Million for Global Smash

Bloomberg: A look behind the emerald curtain at “Wicked” helps explain why, despite long odds against success, a dozen new musicals arrive on Broadway each season. Since the $14 million show opened at the Gershwin Theatre in October, 2003, its producers and investors have shared more than $300 million in profits from Broadway and productions worldwide, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request.

Ravenstahl encourages college seniors to stay in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Thousands of local college seniors received a surprise email Tuesday from Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. The email encouraged the students to stay in Pittsburgh after graduating and reminded them of how much the city has to offer.

Movie Studios Are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film.

LA Weekly: Shortly before Christmas, director Edgar Wright received an email inviting him to a private screening of the first six minutes of Christopher Nolan's new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Walking into Universal CityWalk's IMAX theater, Wright recognized many of the most prominent filmmakers in America — Michael Bay, Bryan Singer, Jon Favreau, Eli Roth, Duncan Jones, Stephen Daldry. If a bomb had gone off in the building, he thought, it would have taken out half of the Directors Guild of America.

US Supreme Court to revisit "first-sale" copyright doctrine The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide the global reach of US copyright law, in a case testing whether an overseas purchaser of a copyrighted work may resell it in the United States without the copyright holder’s permission. The justices will hear the case, which considers the “first-sale” doctrine, in its next term and is expected to set a nationwide standard. Federal circuit courts of appeal are split on the issue.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vote for Comment of the Week

This week's comment contenders.  Vote in the comments for this post...

Comment #1a new comment on your post "Philadelphia's Theatre Alliance Takes a Final Bow":

I for one think this is a positive move. Organizations like the Theatre Alliance were formed to solve a problem, and their disbanding and handing off responsibilities to other theatres means that a lot of the problem has been solved. As cited in the article, the philadelphia theatre scene is way better than it used to be, and a lot of it is thanks to the work of the Theatre Alliance. This should be the eventual goal of many of the outreach programs that exist here in the US-in theory, the exist to solve a problem, and when it is solved, they should cease to be necessary and be able to transition into a different sort of existence, sort of like what's happening here: they put good programs into place, and now those programs will be taken on by others so that they don't die. It's about maintaining now instead of directly growing, and the Philadelphia theatre scene seems to be in the right track.
Comment #2a new comment on your post "Dark of the Moon":
I love Dark of the Moon. I first read it in an acting class when I was a freshman in high school, then went to see a 16-year-old friend play Barbara Allen in a local theatre's production about a year and a half ago. That being said, this review is awful. The author spends the first 3/4 of the review talking about how the underlying concept, the fact that Barbara and the Witch boy sing "The Ballad of Barbara Allen" while living it out, is difficult, and then throws about four sentences in at the end about how Point Park's production is too big for this "pokey little play." Having not seen this production, I can't speak to his analysis of their production, but I will say that I feel the author has taken his poor understanding of the script (which, in my mind at least, is about how right and wrong are twisted in a group setting) and really done a disservice to the production and to Point Park.
Comment #3a new comment on your post "Is it okay to be difficult to work with?":
I think this depends a lot on HOW they are difficult to work with. If they think they're better at their job than anyone else, and that's annoying, but, you know, they ARE...then, I'd say work with them. If you don't get along as friends but they do a great job, work with them. If they make unreasonable demands and show up late everyday and don't follow basic company policies, that's too much to deal with. Don't work with them. I feel like the implied question is, "Does being great at something give people the right to be a little bit of a jerk?" From a moral standpoint, I'd say no. From a work one, I'd say yes. If you shouldn't hire your friends because they're your friends, you also shouldn't hire people you dislike, just because you dislike them. (If you dislike them because they're always late, that's a different matter)
Comment #4a new comment on your post "Former Child Actors Take a Stand Against Molestati...":
I am completely appalled at this article. Not at the bills or laws proposed, but the fact they don't already exist. While I haven't heard about this much on the news, I think that this is something that everyone knows takes place at some point or another and takes a stand. There was actually a episode of ABC's "What Would You Do?" in which an actor poses as an overly friendly producer for child talent and attempts to get the children alone. Now of course he never is truly alone with the child and it is all just a ruse, however the all to real parents give entirely different reactions. Some parents are absolutely adament about not leaving thier child alone and actually refuse the job for that purpose. Some parents, however, agree to leave thier young child alone with a older man with little or no convincing. And this is the most shocking to me. To the producer, they are just money, but to the parents they are their children. Why are they not always present during meetings and events? I know that if my child were to ever audition or get a part, I would always be present during any time with other adults.
Comment #5a new comment on your post "Show Control in Magic/Bird on Broadway":
The technology of this show does not bother me. This is a standard approach to linking light, sound, and video. (I say this AFTER I took a class in show control.) What is concerning to me about his show is the current Broadway tend and a topic that I have address numerous times on this blog. The theatre is becoming more and more of a movie. I felt this way about Spider-Man and the villains of act two, and now, it seems like we are just watching archival footage of Magic and Bird and then watching two actors emote their feelings about it. I have seen a documentary on the parallel careers of Magic and Bird and I am wondering what distinguishs this performance as a Broadway show and that presentation I saw on ESPN Classic. At this point I would say, not much. (Side note: I grew up on Larry Bird. I even played a game based on him for the Apple IIe.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Winter Storm Warning

They were calling for 10-12" of snow today. They were wrong.

We did however get some really nice color.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wow Apple, Amazing!

That'd be some pretty powerful software. (hardware?)

I'm just sayin.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Worth a Look

Here are a few stories from this week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Habima also facing critics in Israel for Globe appearance

The Stage: Habima, Israel’s National Theatre, is facing criticism within its own country for agreeing to perform The Merchant of Venice next month at the Globe to Globe Festival at London’s Shakespeare’s Globe.

ETC Announces Winners of “Show Us Your ETC” Video Contest

Stage Directions: Last fall ETC launched their “Show Us Your ETC” video contest, inviting students at schools to make short (under 5 minutes) videos demonstrating their “ETC” – enthusiasm, talent and creativity -- while incorporating ETC branding, themes, and, of course, products. More than 50 schools responded, hoping to land in the top three of the finalists where they could win an ETC Eos, Ion or Element console. Last week at USITT ETC announced the winners of the contest.

Bender, Batman, and Dr. Zoidberg come together for one documentary, I Know That Voice For the upcoming documentary I Know That Voice , the voices of our most beloved cartoon characters are finally stepping out of the sound booth to show you what their career is really like.

How A Geek Dad And His 3D Printer Aim To Liberate Legos

Forbes: Last year Golan Levin’s son decided to build a car. Aside from the minor inconvenience of being 4 years old, the younger Levin faced an engineering challenge. His Tinkertoys, which he wanted to use for the vehicle’s frame, wouldn’t attach to his K’Nex, the pieces he wanted to use for the wheels. It took his father, an artist, hacker and professor at Carnegie Mellon, a year to solve that problem. In the process he cracked open a much larger one: In an age when anyone can share, download and create not just digital files but also physical things, thanks to the proliferation of cheap 3-D printers, are companies at risk of losing control of the objects they sell?

Building Virtual Worlds (BVW): May 3 at the ETC

TECHBurgher: On Thursday, May 3, 2012, the students of the Entertainment Technology Center will present the annual Spring Building Virtual Worlds Festival at the ETC this year. From virtual reality to audience interaction and everything imaginable in between, this interactive experience of the final student creations is truly a must-see event!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vote for Comment of the Week

This week's comment contenders.  Vote in the comments for this post...

Comment #1a new comment on your post "Study: British Film, TV Production Industry Domina...":

I don't believe it's only the British who are facing this problem. It's Americans, too, and perhaps members of other nations. The entertainment industry, especially the film and television area, is often treated as if it lies under the guise of some big secret. You don't see many jobs or internships advertised readily for it. And, if they are, they often appear under "company name confidential" or the like. So, yes, as I am quickly grasping, it very well can be about who you know. WE are lucky here at CMU to have such a large alumni base, a faculty dedicated to finding and posting jobs, and a great name to put on a resume, but not everyone has that. I surmise it is much more difficult for someone coming from Nowhere, OK to move to Los Angeles and suddenly break into the industry.
Comment #2a new comment on your post "Beautiful and Inspiring Work Spaces We Wish Were O...":
I was just saying in a comment on another article that I don't work very productively at home. This article made me realize that one thing I can do about this problem is to make my home workspace more comfortable and less distracting. I love the spaces that face a window and I'm currently racking my brain for a way to turn my sideways so that I can face the window too! Another thing that I liked about these workspaces is that they're not full of clutter. Some of them have a lot of stuff around- but it is all useful stuff, and the stuff is all organized! I don't have a very good system for organizing my desk, or for my work/art/school supplies in general, for that matter. I have never really been one to sit at a desk and work. At home in Las Vegas I always did homework in front of the TV with my mom! We are currently reading Getting Things Done in PRM. Along with trying to implement that system this summer, I think I'm going to try to find a way to have a more organized, more feng-shui workspace in my apartment so that I can be productive in the comfort of my own home! 
Comment #3: a new comment on your post "Live Sound: Step By Step: One Guy’s Path To Buildi...":
I read this entire article and found it fascinating. I know a modest bit about designing a sound system, I know more about operating them. The author was very thorough without going too far over my head technically. My question to the room is this: At what point does this level of knowledge and execution matter? I’ve been in an hour long conversations about where to place the mic over a high hat. The sound engineer in me would deem that this is a very important decision. But the concert attendee would ask, “does this really matter?” I’d be very pressed to find evidence of how much an audience really notices. If you install a $50K sound system that has been tweaked for 2 days verses a $10K sound system that was installed in an hour, will anybody besides the engineer notice? 
Comment #4: a new comment on your post "How NOT to Deal With Criticism":
A ton of people get crazy when faced with criticism and it's hard to think of something less flattering. Sure, sometimes it's hard to hear someone else criticize your work. It is for everyone. But criticism is usually a whole lot more useful than absent flattery. It's really important to know what to do when it comes up, but no one really ever teaches it. It seems like it is an obvious answer: listen, reflect and evaluate, adapt and improve, move on, but it does not seem to be that simple for most people. Of course, not all criticism is constructive, but it becomes worse the more personal the person on the receiving end makes it. It's much more productive to put it to good use. 
Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Caring for Your Greatest Asset":
Of course I have considered that an injury in the work place can have financial implications. But I have never really thought in depth about the fact that after an injury has been dealt with the worker will operate at a lower capacity and that the company will be viewed internally and externally as unsafe. Safety is really important for an organizations ability to function, no one should come to work and have to put themselves into an unsafe situation. Also safety should be something that no one questions, if management and an outside representative have agreed that regulations are important then workers should implement them with out any questions. Also if a worker feels unsafe management should be doing anything in their power to make sure that they are providing an environment where people feel safe enough to work.