Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wheelchair stairs

These Wheelchair stairs are pretty awesome:

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"These stairs/ramp are in Brussels. Apart from the visual appeal, I like this because it allows people in wheelchairs to navigate the stairs without segregating them from those on foot. Brilliant and beautiful!"

Friday, January 30, 2015

Photos of the Week

All sorts of great pictures from In Focus, Photos of the Week: 1/24-1/30 "This week we have images of lemurs in China, a Dalek in a pool in the UK, the blizzard that hit the U.S. East Coast, the liberation of Kobani, Syria, a rare megamouth shark, a wine cork portrait of the King and Queen of Spain, a Zanzibari fisherman, and much more."

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Every Time Travel Movie Ever, Ranked

io9 lists Every Time Travel Movie Ever, Ranked

"With the release of yet another time travel movie this week (Project Almanac), it's time for us to look back at the great time travel movies of our past. Here are all the major time travel movies ever, ranked. Here are the rules: No animation. No short films. And no movies that where someone is frozen (or something) and then they wake up in the future (so Mel Gibson's Forever Young, Encino Man are OUT)."

Normally I'd just read this and nod and humf at some. But they criminally ranked Timecrimes way too low so I had to take a crack at it:

These are good movies worth seeing roughly in order favorite to least

  1. Back To The Future (1985)
  2. Groundhog Day (1993)
  3. Primer (2004)
  4. Back To The Future 2 (1989)
  5. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
  6. Timecrimes (2007)
  7. 12 Monkeys (1995)
  8. Donnie Darko (2001)
  9. Terminator (1984)
  10. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
  11. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
  12. Looper (2012)
  13. Interstellar (2014)
  14. X-Men Days of Future's Past (2014)
  15. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
  16. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

These are fine, worth catching on cable or renting:

  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
  • Time Bandits (1981)
  • Midnight In Paris (2011)
  • Army of Darkness (1993)
  • Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
  • About Time (2013)
  • Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) - The games with death make it
  • The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
  • Men In Black 3 (2012)
  • Brigadoon (1954) - this musical really doesn't fit on this list
  • Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

I've seen these and they aren't good:

  • Back to the Future Part 3 (1990)
  • Timecop (1994)
  • The Time Machine (1960)
  • Final Countdown (1980)
  • Somewhere In Time (1980)
  • 13 Going on 30 (2004)
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
  • Kate & Leopold (2001)
  • Just Visiting (2001)
  • The Butterfly Effect (2004)
  • The Lake House (2006)

The Movies I didn't see:

  • The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)
  • Flight of the Navigator (1986)
  • The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1998)
  • Predestination (2015)
  • Deja Vu (2006)
  • The Last Mimzy (2007)
  • The Jacket (2005)
  • Daleks: Invasion Earth 2051AD (1966)
  • The Time Machine (2002)
  • Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982)
  • Freejack (1992)
  • Timeline (2003)
  • The Sound of Thunder (2005)
  • Click (2006)
  • Time After Time (1979) - I saw it, but I don't remember it

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Russia is hinting at a new Cold War over SWIFT. So what’s SWIFT?

Henry Farrell in The Washington Post's Monkey Cage explains Russia is hinting at a new Cold War over SWIFT. So what’s SWIFT?. I didn't know of any of this.

"Because SWIFT plays such a crucial role in international financial transactions. Russia’s own financial system relies on SWIFT and would likely be crippled if it were no longer able to use the system. Russian banks would have great difficulty in engaging in transactions with each other."

Bad Assumptions About Apple

After Apple announced the most profitable quarter of any company ever, Ben Thompson writes Bad Assumptions.

And yet, the perception that Apple is somehow hanging on by the skin of their teeth persists. I was speaking to someone about Apple’s particularly excellent China results this afternoon, and was struck at how their questions were so focused on threats to Apple – “How will Apple respond to Xiaomi” for example. This is in stark contrast to the way most think about a company like Google, where their dominance in whatever field they choose to enter is assumed, just as Microsoft’s was a decade ago. Apple, though, is always a step away from catastrophe.

It’s difficult to overstate just how absurd this is, but here’s my best attempt: last quarter Apple’s revenue was downright decimated by the strengthening U.S. dollar; currency fluctuations reduced Apple’s revenue by 5% – a cool $3.73 billion dollars. That, though, is more than Google made in profit last quarter ($2.83 billion). Apple lost more money to currency fluctuations than Google makes in a quarter. And yet it’s Google that is feared, and Apple that is feared for.

9 surprising facts about the sense of touch

I really don't like Vox's Buzzfeed headlines but I found 9 surprising facts about the sense of touch to actually be surprising.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Movie Review: A Most Violent Year

So I haven't written a movie review in a while, let's correct that. I saw A Most Violent Year tonight and you shouldn't. I'm not sure why this movie is getting so much praise. It's written and directed by J.C. Chandor who's previous films Margin Call and All Is Lost I mostly liked.

First the basics. Oscar Isaac plays Abel Morales the head of a heating oil company in New York in 1981. He built the business himself and it's doing well and he's trying to expand by investing all his savings in a new storage facility. Straining his finances isn't his only problem. For the last six months many of his trucks have been hijacked and the oil stolen. He doesn't know who is doing it but suspects one of his competitors in this shady industry. The police have been no help and in fact the DA, David Oyelowo, is investigating him and the whole industry. But here's the hook, Abel is, in spite of all this adversity, trying to do the right thing. He's really trying to be honest in his dealings while being aggressive in his business. This is a marked difference from his competitors and his wife, Jessica Chastain. She's the daughter of a mob guy and keeps threatening to get her family involved if Abel doesn't step up. She also handles the company's books.

So that's a fine setup and the movie isn't horrible but it doesn't go anywhere. First, I didn't believe for a moment that Abel is successful. The film just states that he is, but he doesn't make any decision that a boss would need to make. If your trucks are being hijacked and your drivers attacked again and again, you have to do something to protect them. You can't just send them out and say they're stronger for going out again and the attackers are just cowards. Fine he doesn't want to arm them illegally, but how about giving them something to protect themselves with. Or hire security (or just more people) to sit in the trucks too. He also has no knowledge about the books of his business. A few times we see him in negotiations with others and he's horrible at it. It reminded me of the old Robin Williams joke about British police; "Stop! or I'll say stop again!" There are a couple of moments where he shows some skill, offering something for what he wants, but they don't add up to anything.

I also read a bunch of reviews raving about the cinematography. Ok, so it's set in 1981, they have the cars and outfits looking right. Otherwise it's mostly slightly dark with lots of brown tones. Meh. It's set in New York City and while you see some run down areas and some industrial yards and the occasional skyline, there's barely any people in it. The roads either have no one on them or are packed so that no one is moving. The conversations are all in rooms with just a couple of people. The offices of this up-and-coming company only ever have one other person in it, the one Abel has to talk to. It could be anywhere, so all those comparisons I've seen to Sidney Lumet are just ludicrous.

I don't know why this was set in 1981. Apparently that was the year in NY with the worst crime statistics, but it could have been now with no problem. Ok, perhaps it's useful to have no cellphones, but he has a radio that the company uses and there's at least one obvious time where I was practically screaming to have him use it to call the police.

A few things do happen but it doesn't add up to much. None of the characters have an arc or change in any but the slightest ways. Abel's constant refrain about doing the right thing I guess make's it a morality tale. Sure trying to be good is sometimes difficult, but a story should offer more to it than just repeating that. And I don't respect a character that's about always doing the right thing while simultaneously ignoring some problems and not wanting to hear about others. Well that could be interesting, but the film should point out the flaws in that folly. I think Stephanie Zacharek nails it, "It's not really that violent. But it sure feels like a year."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Amazon: 100 Books To Read In A Lifetime

Amazon lists 100 Books To Read In A Lifetime. I'm surprised I've read 25 of them (and own a few more).

A Look Back at Apollo 16

Because looking at photos from the moon never gets old...

In Focus takes A Look Back at Apollo 16 "In early April of 1972, NASA was preparing to launch the Apollo program's 10th manned mission, Apollo 16—the fifth to actually land on the Moon. This mission would be the penultimate trip in the Apollo program, carrying astronauts John Young, Charles Duke, and Ken Mattingly to the Moon, with Young and Duke headed to the lunar surface while Mattingly remained in orbit. Apollo 16 was the second expedition to bring a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) along. The astronauts spent more than 20 hours exploring the surface of the Moon, driving 16.6 miles in their LRV, gathering 210 pounds of samples, and setting up a package of instruments and experiments. On April 27, 1972, the crew splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, after 12 days away from Earth."

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A Bioluminescent Bloom in Hong Kong - The Atlantic

The Atlantic Photo writes A Bioluminescent Bloom in Hong Kong "A bloom of Noctiluca scintillans, a large, green marine dinoflagellate that exhibits bioluminescence when disturbed, was captured in photos made earlier today in Hong Kong, with a long exposure showing an eerie glow along the seashore. The luminescence, also called Sea Sparkle, is triggered by farm pollution that can be devastating to marine life and local fisheries, according to University of Georgia oceanographer Samantha Joye. Noctiluca itself does not produce neurotoxins like other similar organisms do. But its role as both prey and predator can eventually magnify the accumulation of toxins in the food chain, according to R. Eugene Turner at Louisiana State University."

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Sharp Football Analysis

Sharp Football Analysis looks at the Patriots and their rates of fumbles. It's pretty amazing.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Solar System May Have Two Undiscovered Planets

Ars Technica reports The Solar System may have two undiscovered planets

"The presence of the closer of the two planets had already been suggested in a previous work. The new study provides more evidence for its existence and adds a second planet. Both studies are based on observations of objects far beyond Neptune’s orbit, called extreme trans-Neptunian objects (ETNOs). These ETNOs display shared patterns in their orbits, which suggests they’re all being influenced gravitationally by heavier objects, much further away from the Sun. While this conclusion is based on a small sample (13 bodies), the authors confirm that their results are statistically significant and that at least two planets, orbiting far beyond Pluto’s orbit, are the most likely explanation for the observations."

Social Media and Other Tech

Backchannel published A Teenager’s View on Social Media. It's a kinda interesting look at what one 19 year-old's social network uses to keep in touch. He followed it up with What Teens Really Think About YouTube, Google+, Reddit and Other Social Media. As he said, neither is a statistical study or an attempt to describe what every teen uses, but it's a nice survey of the options. There's been some backlash, the faults are described in An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media.

On the other end, Ars Technical wrote about Ars’ small taste of no-tech travel. A couple took a weekend trip (by train) and didn't use any tech for one whole entire day but did use it the next day and compared the results. Basically as you'd expect.

On the really high tech side, Microsoft’s new interface: FREAKING HOLOGRAMS. They demo'ed a new device that's apparently going to be available "in the same timeframe as Windows 10" that's a combination Oculus Rift and Kinect. It's goggles you wear, that can project images a la augmented reality, but that you can also interact with a la Kinect. Ars Technica, Re/code, and Yahoo Tech all got a hands-on demo and really liked it. The Verge says, Minecraft — more than anything else — could make HoloLens a hit.

How PAPER Magazine’s web engineers scaled Kim Kardashian’s back-end

Nice post on Medium on How PAPER Magazine’s web engineers scaled Kim Kardashian’s back-end. Yes it's safe for work.

It's a fairly technical description of what systems they set up to enable a site that normally handles "a couple million people per month " to be able to cope with something that will generate "at least 100 million page views". Their IT guy had 5 days notice to make this happen.

Pirating the 2015 Oscars: HD Edition

This is pretty amusing. Pirating the 2015 Oscars: HD Edition "Pirates are now watching films at higher quality than the industry insiders voting on them."

"But here’s the thing: screeners are stuck in the last decade. While we’re all streaming HD movies from iTunes or Netflix, the movie studios almost universally send screeners by mail on DVDs, which is forever stuck in low-resolution standard-definition quality. A small handful are sent in higher-definition Blu-ray. This year, one Academy member received 68 screeners — 59 on DVD and only eight on Blu-ray. Only 13% of screeners were sent to voters in HD quality."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

8 ways the GOP’s State of the Union response was different in Spanish

Dara Lind reports in Vox 8 ways the GOP’s State of the Union response was different in Spanish — and why it matters

"For three of the last four years, the GOP has given one response to the State of the Union, but gave it twice: once in English, and once translated into Spanish. This year, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) delivered the speech in English, and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), one of his party's lone immigration reformers, delivered it in Spanish.

The initial GOP press release billed the Spanish speech as a 'translation,' but it was clear to anyone who listened to both versions that these were two different responses to President Barack Obama's 2015 State of the Union — tailored to two different audiences.

Ernst laid out a version of the GOP agenda that dodged immigration reform, and other policy topics that are controversial among Republican voters — but important to Latinos. Curbelo included them, as well as making other substantial changes to the text of the speech. (Curbelo told the Miami Herald that he'd made the changes himself.)

The two speeches never contradicted each other; they weren't intended as doublespeak. But the omissions, additions, and nuances in phrasing added up to an impressive speech."

  1. A mention of immigration reform
  2. ...and education reform
  3. Executive overreach is a possibility — not a done deal
  4. A neoconservative approach to Cuba and Iran
  5. Washington isn't necessarily the problem
  6. A much more subtle attack on Obamacare
  7. More emphasis on opportunity
  8. Cultural competency

So they're literally talking with two faces to the English and Spanish speaking communites.

The Senate is pretty clearly a hoax

Brad Plummer in Vox concludes The Senate is pretty clearly a hoax

So now it's 2015, and the Senate is debating a bunch of amendments on a bill that would fast-track approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. On Wednesday, they were faced with one from Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that said:

'To express the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.'

That one was pretty easy. The Senate voted 98 to 1 in favor of this amendment. So far, so good.

But then came a tougher question. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) put forward an amendment that said:

'To express the sense of the Senate that climate change is real; and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.'

In the end, just 50 senators voted 'yes' on the question.* But 49 senators voted 'no.' The amendment failed to pick up the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster."

There was also a separate, milder amendment from John Hoeven (R-ND) stating that "climate change is real and humans contributed to it." Even this one failed, but it ended up getting 59 "yes" votes in all.

So I guess it's now fair to say the GOP believes climate change is real but doesn't yet agree that it's man-made. The next amendment I would propose is:

'To express the sense of the Senate that climate change is real; and human activity could significantly contribute to alleviating climate change.'

Meanwhile, Republican leadership pulls anti-abortion bill that was tearing the caucus apart. Because remember that jobs are the most important thing for the Congress to be working on (and there's no war on women).

Mapping America’s Futures

The Urban Institute has an interactive tool, Mapping America’s Futures "Test possible scenarios for how the US population might change by 2020 and 2030. The results will change depending on whether you choose low, average, or high rates for future births, deaths, or migration."

Wonkblog uses it with 4 maps that show how demographic change will touch every corner of the country

Vox Covers the Rest of the World

The Putins of the world should be terrified by what just happened in Sri Lanka. "In retrospect, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa probably regrets his decision to campaign for reelection on the slogan that voters should stick with his administration because he was a "known devil" and his opponent was an "unknown angel." At the time, Rajapaksa's hold on power had seemed unshakable; his repressive, authoritarian government, rock solid. But on January 8, he was peacefully voted out — and, just as surprisingly, failed in what appears to have been an attempted coup to remain in office. Rajapaksa's loss of power shocked the world, and not just because so many expected him to hold on."

What the hell just happened in Yemen, explained. "The two rebellions are not directly linked, but the Yemeni government's inability to fight informs its failures against the other, and the weaker that the government gets, the easier it will be for both groups to grow unchecked."

Boko Haram's massacre in Nigeria: what happened and why. "The Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram launched its worst attack ever in the northeastern town of Baga, where it killed hundreds or possibly more. The motivation is unclear, but it appears aimed at intimidating Nigerians into not voting in the coming presidential election. Key context is the military's indifference to northern Nigerian lives. Its troops fled almost immediately, and had itself previously massacred Baga's residents." And also, Before-and-after satellite photos show the scale of Boko Haram's worst-ever attack.

The real state of the union, in 33 maps and charts

Vox shows The real state of the union, in 33 maps and charts.

American Sniper’s Chris Kyle is John Rambo for the 21st century

I have to agree with Todd VanDerWerff, American Sniper’s Chris Kyle is John Rambo for the 21st century.

There's nothing inherently wrong with this. It's just that enough of the movie exists as a kind of shadow version of itself as to suggest that all involved want to question something but don't dare question the man at the center. Every time the movie pushes toward a question as simple as "Does killing over 100 people change you in some way?" it freezes up. Eastwood creates lots of dots, all over the film's landscape, but he refuses to connect even a couple of them.

Thus, Chris Kyle becomes the 21st century John Rambo, rapidly retconning a major world conflict and letting Americans know that we are still okay. Most films about the Iraq war have openly asked audiences to consider what part of America's soul was sacrificed in the process of fighting an unnecessary war. Those films' protagonists become empty machines, used up by the government. Ergo, we all have been used.

American Sniper will have none of this. Chris Kyle was a good guy. Chris Kyle was an American. Ergo, we are all good guys. The movie doesn't push or challenge viewers in any way. It doesn't bother making the conservative argument for the war, nor launching liberal attacks against it.

This powerful Reddit thread reveals how the poor get by in America

Wonkblog writes This powerful Reddit thread reveals how the poor get by in America. "The poor pay more for everything, from rolls of toilet paper to furniture. It's not because they're spendthrifts, either. If you're denied a checking account, there's no way for you to avoid paying a fee to cash a paycheck. If you need to buy a car to get to work, you'll have to accept whatever higher interest rate you're offered. If you don't have a car, the bus fare might eat up the change you'd save shopping at a larger grocery store as opposed to the local corner store."

What Obama would say at the State of the Union if he were being brutally honest

Ezra Klein wrote What Obama would say at the State of the Union if he were being brutally honest. Read the whole thing, but here's the meat of it:

No one likes the answer I'm about to give, but it's the right one. The political system isn't built like a family. It's not designed like a business. It's much more like a football game.

In a family, everyone cares for each other, everyone is working towards the same goal, everyone would throw themselves in front of a truck to make sure the others are safe and healthy and happy. A family is built to find agreement.

The government isn't a business either. It doesn't work towards a single goal. It can't judge itself based off stock price or profit margin. And it isn't built to make decisions or to be held accountable for them. When a company has a disagreement about its direction, there's someone with the power — an owner, a CEO, a board — to make a decision. A business isn't built to find agreement the way a family is, but it's built to force a resolution to disagreements when necessary.

You want to know the truth? Government, or at least the political system, is like a football game. You ever think about why football games are they way they are? You have all these guys hitting each other so hard they cause each other permanent brain damage. So why do they do it? Why do kids who aren't getting paid a cent do it?

It's not because they hate each other. They're hitting their friends. In practice, they're hitting their teammates. They're hurting people they love.

They do it because that's how the game works. They do it because the rules are you line up in front of the other team and then you hit them as hard as you can. They do it because, for one side to win, the other has to lose. And they do it because, if they don't do it, they're off the team. Football has no place for conscientious objectors.

The honest truth is that that's how politics works, too. We've got two teams. And only one of them can win the election. So they line up and they hit each other as hard as they can. They don't cooperate because the rules don't let them cooperate. They don't agree because agreeing means losing — and losing is political death. Losing means you can't help the people you came here to help.

The Rolling Stone Interview: Stanley Kubrick in 1987

Here's a Rolling Stone Interview with Stanley Kubrick from 1987. It's about his film Full Metal Jacket and I don't think I've seen this interview before. It dispels some Kubrick myths and unlike most of the interviews with him I've read, gives some insight. Here are a couple of questions and answers:

"Full Metal Jacket is based on Gustav Hasford's book The Short-Timers.

It's a very short, very beautifully and economically written book, which, like the film, leaves out all the mandatory scenes of character development: the scene where the guy talks about his father, who's an alcoholic, his girlfriend — all that stuff that bogs down and seems so arbitrarily inserted into every war story."

So you distrust sentimentality.

I don't mistrust sentiment and emotion, no. The question becomes, are you giving them something to make them a little happier, or are you putting in something that is inherently true to the material? Are people behaving the way we all really behave, or are they behaving the way we would like them to behave? I mean, the world is not as it's presented in Frank Capra films. People love those films — which are beautifully made — but I wouldn't describe them as a true picture of life.

The questions are always, is it true? Is it interesting? To worry about those mandatory scenes that some people think make a picture is often just pandering to some conception of an audience. Some films try to outguess an audience. They try to ingratiate themselves, and it's not something you really have to do. Certainly audiences have flocked to see films that are not essentially true, but I don't think this prevents them from responding to the truth.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lightsaber Extravagance

Yesterday's Astronomy Pic of the Day Looks Like an Oil Painting But Isn't

APOD: 2015 January 19 - Infrared Orion from WISE " The Great Nebula in Orion is an intriguing place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. But this image, an illusory-color four-panel mosaic taken in different bands of infrared light with the Earth orbiting WISE observatory, shows the Orion Nebula to be a bustling neighborhood or recently formed stars, hot gas, and dark dust. The power behind much of the Orion Nebula (M42) is the stars of the Trapezium star cluster, seen near the center of the above wide field image. The orange glow surrounding the bright stars pictured here is their own starlight reflected by intricate dust filaments that cover much of the region. The current Orion Nebula cloud complex, which includes the Horsehead Nebula, will slowly disperse over the next 100,000 years."

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Monday, January 19, 2015

“Has America gone Crazy?"

Ann Jones is asked “Has America gone crazy?” "Polite people, normally reluctant to risk offending a guest, complain that America’s trigger-happiness, cutthroat free-marketeering, and ‘exceptionality’ have gone on for too long to be considered just an adolescent phase. Which means that we Americans abroad are regularly asked to account for the behavior of our rebranded ‘homeland,’ now conspicuously in decline and increasingly out of step with the rest of the world."

And as I looked at the list of questions all I could think was: yup, and it's only one party that's gone crazy.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Amazing sushi-roll art

Amazing sushi-roll art "Takayo 'Tama-cha' Kiyota is a Japanese chef who specializes in makizushi art: artistic sushi-rolls that use cunningly arranged food to create illustrations in the rolls' cross-sections. Her work is improbably amazing."

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Why Frame Rate Matters

io9 had a good explanation of Why Frame Rate Matters. The only high frame rate movie I've seen is the first Hobbit movie. I saw it in 48 FPS in 3D and thought it looked terrible. Some friends said they got used to it after 15-30 minutes but I never did (and it was a long movie). It also didn't help that I didn't like the movie (I saw the second on cable and liked it even less and haven't seen the third).

Understanding the socio-political context of Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Before the other week I had never heard of Charlie Hebdo. Since then I've heard a lot of things about their content and don't really know what to believe. This site is the best I've seen in helping me to Understanding the socio-political context of Charlie Hebdo cartoons "The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has received a lot of attention after the recent attacks at their office. Some of the criticism directed at Charlie Hebdo is uncalled for and inaccurate. This website tries to explain the cartoons within the context they were published so that they may be better understood."

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Biggest Oscar Snubs Of 2015

io9's The Biggest Oscar Snubs Of 2015 is actually a pretty good list of various errors and omissions in the nominations. The one that surprises me isn't mentioned more is Chadwick Boseman not getting a nomination for his portrayal of James Brown in Get on Up.

Zombie Cookie: The Tracking Cookie That You Can’t Kill

ProPublica reports Zombie Cookie: The Tracking Cookie That You Can’t Kill "An online advertising clearinghouse relied on by Google, Yahoo and Facebook is using controversial cookies that come back from the dead to track the web surfing of Verizon customers."

"In November, AT&T stopped using the number. But Verizon did not, instead assuring users on its website that "it is unlikely that sites and ad entities will attempt to build customer profiles" using its identifiers."

Um, don't sites and ad entities explicitly want to build customer profiles to provide relevant ads?

It works like this: When a user visits a website that contains Turn tracking code, the company holds an auction within milliseconds for advertisers to target that user. The highest bidder's ad instantly appears on the user's screen as the web page loads. Turn says it receives 2 million requests for online advertising placements per second.

For its auctions to work, Turn needs to identify web users by cookies, which are small text files that are stored on their computers. The cookies allow Turn to identify a user's web browsing habits, such as an interest in sports or shopping, which it uses to lure advertisers to the auction.

Some users try to block such tracking by turning off or deleting cookies. But Turn says that when users clear their cookies, it does not consider that a signal that users want to opt out from being tracked.

The idea of advertisers trying to know me to give me relevant ads actually doesn't bother me too much. What does is that that same system can be used by others for purposes I might not approve of. E.g., the NSA tracking all my surfing, thieves tracking my purchases and location (when I'm not home), etc.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On This Day: The Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919

On This Day: The Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919 "On January 15, 1919, in Boston's North End, a 50-foot-tall tank holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses burst, unleashing a deadly wave that rose nearly 25 feet high at one point. The destructive flood threw people and horses about, smashed buildings, and even damaged the steel supports of an elevated railway. Rescuers had to wade through knee-deep molasses and sticky debris to reach survivors. Twenty-one people died in the disaster, another 150 were injured, and the cleanup lasted for weeks. The cause of the failure was determined to be faulty construction and poor maintenance."

Oscar Nominations

Oscar Nominations were announced this morning. Here's the full list. Not counting the 15 shorts (of which I've seen none), 46 different movies got nominations and I've only seen 17 of them. Here they are by number of nominations, not including shorts or foreign language films (well it includes Ida which got a second nomination). Those in bold I've seen.

  • 9 Birdman
  • 9 The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • 8 The Imitation Game
  • 6 Boyhood
  • 6 American Sniper
  • 5 Foxcatcher
  • 5 Interstellar
  • 5 The Theory of Everything
  • 5 Whiplash
  • 4 Mr. Turner
  • 3 Unbroken
  • 2 Guardians of the Galaxy
  • 2 Ida
  • 2 Inherent Vice
  • 2 Into the Woods
  • 2 Selma
  • 2 Wild
  • 1 Begin Again
  • 1 Beyond the Lights
  • 1 Big Hero 6
  • 1 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • 1 CitizenFour
  • 1 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • 1 Finding Vivian Maier
  • 1 Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
  • 1 Gone Girl
  • 1 How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • 1 Into The Woods
  • 1 Last Days in Vietnam
  • 1 Maleficent
  • 1 Nightcrawler
  • 1 Song of the Sea
  • 1 Still Alice
  • 1 The Boxtrolls
  • 1 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • 1 The Judge
  • 1 The Lego Movie
  • 1 The Salt of the Earth
  • 1 The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya
  • 1 Two Days, One Night
  • 1 Virunga
  • 1 X-Men: Days of Future Past

The only category I've seen all of the nominees in is Visual Effects. Though catching American Sniper, Boyhood and Foxcatcher will complete 7 other categories.

I hadn't really thought about making predictions but I'm not too surprised by things. Birdman was a great film and a technical achievement. I'm a little surprised by the 9 nominations for The Grand Budapest Hotel, but mostly because it came out so early in the year. It looked gorgeous, as all Wes Anderson films do, and for me it was his most engaging film in a while. It makes sense it got Cinematography, Costumes, Makeup, Production Design, etc.; Picture and Directing are deserved but a bit surprising. It also makes sense to me that it got no acting nominations and Birdman got three.

The one I'm really happy about is Whiplash. That was a small independent film that was a lot of fun and very well made. It's five nominations are well earned.

Apparently the big snubs are Jennifer Anniston not getting Best Actress for Cake, in place of Marion Cotillard. I haven't seen either. Also David Oyelowo not getting Best Actor for Selma, apparently in place of Steve Carell in Foxcatcher. I haven't seen Foxcatcher yet but Oyelowo was very good (and the best thing about the film).

I'm okay with Selma not getting other nominations (only one for song). I found it a little too long and brooding. There were lots of scenes of actors contemplating and actual dialog was often brief. There were a few times where a character got a full name and I thought oh, they're going to get killed the next time we see them (and they did). My take was a great story and just a good movie.

I would have liked Interstellar to get some more recognition, maybe cinematography and a picture nomination (there were room for two more). The weakest thing about the movie was the ending (and it was much better than I had been warned about) but that does hurt your overall impression of the film (mores than a weak beginning).

I haven't seen any of the nominated documentaries though I've heard very good things about Last Days in Vietnam and good things about CitizenFour. I really really liked Rich Hill and The Overnighters. You can watch Rich Hill on PBS online through Feb 3rd.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Every Thomas Pynchon Novel, Briefly Ranked

I saw Inherent Vice yesterday. That's the Paul Thomas Anderson movie based on a Thomas Pynchon novel. I've tried Pynchon a few times and can't do it. I read The Crying of Lot 49, got a couple of hundred pages into Gravity's Rainbow a couple of times and failed to find the verb in the first sentence of Mason & Dixon.

I was curious how PTA would approach it, knowing that he was probably the only person who could. I suppose he did a good job, because I couldn't get into it either. There's a dense conspiracy plot that's really really hard to follow. I'm sure it holds together, but I don't think anyone on first viewing can follow who does what and who says what and oh yeah what did that character do the last we time saw them? I'm sure that's just like the novel (though it's apparently one of the easier Pynchon books to follow). It's a dense plot with a really weak narrative.

So it's really about the journey and the atmosphere the film creates. 1970s LA Noir with stoners. I have to say, I just don't care. Yes there are some funny scenes and from some friends who saw it, I could have had a better audience. I saw it with about 25 people who I think each (including me) laughed once, at a different scene. Friends saw it in a packed house with people laughing all the way through. Regardless, this is no Lebowski.

Anyway, Vulture lists Every Thomas Pynchon Novel, Briefly Ranked if you want to give it a shot.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Great, Ted Cruz is now Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness

Congress Just Gave One of the Most Important Science Jobs to a Senator Who Denies Science - Mic "As the new Republican majority takes over the Senate, they've put Sen. Cruz in charge of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, effectively giving him the reigns of NASA. The appointment is sure to be a disaster for both NASA and American scientific endeavors in general, and is yet another sign that the GOP is doubling down on its aggressive opposition to scientific research that doesn't toe the Republican Party line."

Why DNS in OS X 10.10 is broken, and what you can do to fix it

As Technica explains Why DNS in OS X 10.10 is broken, and what you can do to fix it "Resolving DNS names, resolving Bonjour machine names, resolving Bonjour service advertisement and discovery, and opening ports in NAT gateways to allow incoming network connections are all jobs that have been performed by the mDNSResponder daemon. This was introduced with Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar back in 2002. mDNSResponder is written in C and has been released as open source by Apple, and it has found its way to all kinds of non-Apple operating systems and hardware.

Again, as of OS X 10.10, mDNSResponder has been replaced by discoveryd. Curiously, discoveryd is (re)written in C++, not exactly one of Apple's favorite languages. It's not on Apple's list of open source projects. And apparently, the responsible people at Apple haven't been reading their Joel on Software. As per Joel Spolsky's dire warnings against rewriting software from scratch, discoveryd has its share of bugs. For instance, when the system is unable to resolve DNS names, discoveryd log messages indicate that it doesn't recognize the replies from the DNS server to its own requests. discoveryd is also a frequent guest in the CrashReporter logs."

It says it's the cause of the following issues (of which I've experienced the first three):

  • Random failures to resolve DNS names
  • Duplicate machine names
  • Very inconsistent wake on demand
  • Impossible to reach services running on a Mac from the outside
  • Very flakey Wide Area Bonjour registration

They provide instructions of how to restore mDNSResponder from a 10.9 backup and replace 10.10's discoveryd with it. I haven't tried this, but if it doesn't improve in a future update I just might.

Friday, January 09, 2015

NIGHTCRAWLER And Why Movies Don’t Need Character Arcs

Film Critic Hulk goes on at great length about NIGHTCRAWLER And Why Movies Don’t Need Character Arcs. As is usual, it rambles and covers lots of ground and is REALLY ANNOYING TO READ IN ALL CAPS, and yet I found it interesting and enlightening.

Comet Lovejoy

It took three tries tonight but I think I saw Comet Lovejoy. I needed binoculars (10x50) and it was dim (not visible with the naked eye). Here's how to find it.

NewImage

It's basically to right of Orion. Over the rest of January it will move along the yellow line in this chart. It's easy to spot Aldebaran with the naked eye, that's the bright star to the right of Orion's shoulders. To confirm, move further right about the same distance and you'll see the Pleiades (aka the Seven Sisters). Tonight I could just make them out with the naked eye and could easily confirm it was them with binoculars. Then I scanned beneath Aldebaran to a bit below Orion's belt and saw the comet. It looked a little dimmer than this image (which I found online).

LovejoyBinSim1

Photos of the Week: 1/3-1/9

In Focus has some crazy amazing Photos of the Week: 1/3-1/9 "This week we have Belarusian wolves, snow-covered Roman ruins in Lebanon, rioting in Bahrain, the shooting and hostage crisis in Paris, scenes from the Dakar Rally, a New Year's fire in the Philippines, and much more."

(and they've changed things to make them more difficult to copy photos)

Lunar Swimming

What If tackles, Lunar Swimming. "What if there was a lake on the Moon? What would it be like to swim in it? Presuming that it is sheltered in a regular atmosphere, in some giant dome or something"

"Floating would feel about the same on the Moon as on Earth, since how high in the water you float depends only on your body's density compared to the water's, not the strength of gravity. Swimming underwater would also feel pretty similar. The inertia of the water is the main source of drag when swimming, and inertia is a property of matter independent of gravity. The top speed of a submerged swimmer would be about the same on the Moon as here—about 2 meters/second. Everything else would be different and way cooler. The waves would be bigger, the splash fights more intense, and swimmers would be able to jump out of the water like dolphins."

Read the rest, it gets way more interesting.

Missions Take an Unparalleled Look into Superstar Eta Carinae

You've probably at some point seen a picture of Eta Carinae, because it's so gorgeous.

Eta Carinae

NASA Observatories Take an Unprecedented Look into Superstar Eta Carinae

"Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years of Earth, is known for its surprising behavior, erupting twice in the 19th century for reasons scientists still don't understand. A long-term study led by astronomers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, used NASA satellites, ground-based telescopes and theoretical modeling to produce the most comprehensive picture of Eta Carinae to date. New findings include Hubble Space Telescope images that show decade-old shells of ionized gas racing away from the largest star at a million miles an hour, and new 3-D models that reveal never-before-seen features of the stars' interactions."

Here's a great 4 minute video:

Thursday, January 08, 2015

USB 3.1 and Type-C: The only stuff at CES that everyone is going to use

Ars Technica says USB 3.1 and Type-C: The only stuff at CES that everyone is going to use "I have a USB Type-C cable—yeah, the reversible one. I can't connect it to anything I own yet, but it's a real thing that's in production and shipping to companies. Most of CES amounts to so much smoke and mirrors and vague hand-waving about the Future, but I can say with confidence that this little port is a thing that everyone reading this will start using in the next couple of years."

EFF Tackles Apple’s Dev Agreement

The EFF makes a stink about the App Store's Developer Agreement, Sorry iPhone Users: Apple’s Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App for iOS. Good for them. I think the App Store is generally a good thing but I basically agree with EFF's issues with the Agreement.

  • There should not be a ban on public statements about a non-confidential agreement
  • You should be able to reverse engineer as under fair use
  • There shouldn't be a monopoly for the app store
  • Apple shouldn't be able to kill your product at any time without reason
  • I'm not sure that jailbreaking should be banned, but it should at least be well marked. The average user should not be tricked into jailbreaking their phone.

A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance

Nature published: A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance. Here's the abstract:

Antibiotic resistance is spreading faster than the introduction of new compounds into clinical practice, causing a public health crisis. Most antibiotics were produced by screening soil microorganisms, but this limited resource of cultivable bacteria was overmined by the 1960s. Synthetic approaches to produce antibiotics have been unable to replace this platform. Uncultured bacteria make up approximately 99% of all species in external environments, and are an untapped source of new antibiotics. We developed several methods to grow uncultured organisms by cultivation in situ or by using specific growth factors. Here we report a new antibiotic that we term teixobactin, discovered in a screen of uncultured bacteria. Teixobactin inhibits cell wall synthesis by binding to a highly conserved motif of lipid II (precursor of peptidoglycan) and lipid III (precursor of cell wall teichoic acid). We did not obtain any mutants of Staphylococcus aureus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to teixobactin. The properties of this compound suggest a path towards developing antibiotics that are likely to avoid development of resistance.

Kelly Service explains a little more in Science, Microbe found in grassy field contains powerful antibiotic.

Many existing antibiotics, including penicillin, were identified by cultivating naturally occurring microorganisms—bacteria often try to kill each other with chemical warfare, it turns out. But the supply of novel microbes that will grow in a lab has been largely tapped out. In 2002, microbiologist Kim Lewis, along with his colleague at Northeastern University in Boston, microbial ecologist Slava Epstein, described a new technique for coaxing bacteria to grow: Put soil samples into tiny chambers sandwiched between permeable membranes and return these contraptions to the ground. The bacterial strains confined in the chambers will form colonies—thanks in part, the team suspects, to growth factors from neighboring organisms that cross the membranes. The resulting “domesticated” colony can then be removed from the chamber and sometimes will more readily call a petri dish home.

The researchers used a version of this approach to isolate and grow new bacterial colonies—many scooped out of soil in the backyard of microbiologist Losee Ling, who leads research and development at the startup company NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals, formed to commercialize their approach. To test the antibacterial properties of these soil microbes, the team let each of them duel in a lab dish with Staphylococcus aureus, a cause of serious skin and respiratory infections. Then they isolated and tested individual compounds—10,000 in all—from the bacteria that most effectively killed the staph bacteria.

One bacterium, from a grassy field in Maine, produced a compound with powerful abilities to kill a variety of other bacterial species, including many human pathogens. Moreover, these pathogens failed to develop resistance to the compound: There were no surviving individuals that had evolved to withstand its attack. (Resistance usually develops when a small percentage of microbes escape an antibiotic because of a mutation and then those bacteria multiply.) Lewis initially took this total devastation as a discouraging sign—the mark of “another boring detergent.” (Bleach, after all, is a strong antibiotic, but it’s a little too effective at killing any surrounding cells.) However, it turned out that the new compound, which the group named teixobactin, was not toxic to human cells in a dish.

The 2015 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

In Focus covers The 2015 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival "Every year, in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, the city of Harbin hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, featuring massive ice and snow sculptures. At night, the sculptures are colorfully illuminated and visitors can climb and play on some of the structures. The festival officially opened on January 5 this year, and will run through the end of February. According to organizers, the winter festival now draws several million tourists each year, from China and from abroad." Screen Shot 2015 01 08 at 10 21 39 AM

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation'

Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation' "NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, revealing a sharper and wider view of the structures in this visible-light image."

"The pillars are bathed in the blistering ultraviolet light from a grouping of young, massive stars located off the top of the image. Streamers of gas can be seen bleeding off the pillars as the intense radiation heats and evaporates it into space. Denser regions of the pillars are shadowing material beneath them from the powerful radiation. Stars are being born deep inside the pillars, which are made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust. The pillars are part of a small region of the Eagle Nebula, a vast star-forming region 6,500 light-years from Earth. The colors in the image highlight emission from several chemical elements. Oxygen emission is blue, sulfur is orange, and hydrogen and nitrogen are green."

NewImage

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Movies Seen in 2014

Previous Years: 2013, 2012, 2011

In 2014 I saw 191 feature length movies and 30 short films (those under 40 mins). That's a little less than the last two years.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 12 14 20 PM

85% first run features is same as last year. For shorts, last year was 93%.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 12 17 41 PM

I rate on the Netflix 5 point scale where 1 is hated, 2 is didn't like, 3 is I liked it, 4 is really liked and 5 is loved.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 12 19 37 PM

I had a pretty average curve for me.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 12 24 58 PM

Same as last year I saw 67 features in the theater and most of the rest on cable. I only watched 9 films on Netlix this year, 6 on DVD and 3 streaming.

This year I didn't watch any DVDs and just watched one blu-ray, Inception on New Years I streamed nine films on Netflix. Shorts are different, aside from the Oscar nominated shorts in the theater, I basically watch them online, 90% of them on YouTube.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 12 44 26 PM

I've got a few theaters I go to regularly, though the Somerville gets so much because of IFFBoston. The shorts I see in the theater are the Oscar nominees when they show them at the Coolidge. Boston got a new theater this year at Assembly Row, next year there will be more food choices nearby so I'll probably go more often.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 1 07 47 PM

April and December are my big movie months and I see less in the summer. April is IFFBoston, and December is I guess holidays (and trying to reach a goal number of movies). Usually most of my shorts viewing is Oscar related, the spike in June was finding a lot of AFI shorts online.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 1 11 22 PM

Yet again, my viewing was really skewed towards recent films this year. I saw 61 features from 2013 and 68 from 2014.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 1 19 29 PM

I guess May and June are the barren months for Oscar nominated films. These are films from any year that got a nomination or won, not just from last year's Oscars. They also (obviously) don't include any films that came out this year that will get nominated at the end of the month.

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 1 41 43 PM

Yet again I feel like I need to see more foreign films:

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 2 03 10 PM

I break down films into five genres that I'm pretty happy with. I then use some sub-genres and I still have a hard time putting every film in one. There are lots of Dramas and Comedies that have no sub-genre. But here's how it looks for this year:

Screen Shot 2015 01 01 at 1 43 29 PM

Here are all the films I saw in 2014:

SeenTitleYearLengthCountryRating
Jan 1Inception2010FeatureUS5
Jan 2Trouble with the Curve2012FeatureUS4
Jan 3Pariah2011FeatureUS4
Jan 3Hyde Park on Hudson2012FeatureUS3
Jan 4For All Mankind1989FeatureUS4
Jan 4Frankenweenie2012FeatureUS2
Jan 4Far From the Maddening Crowd1967FeatureBritain2
Jan 5Her2013FeatureUS4
Jan 10Identity Thief2013FeatureUS1
Jan 12American Hustle2013FeatureUS4
Jan 13Admission2013FeatureUS3
Jan 13A Good Day to Die Hard2013FeatureUS1
Jan 16Partysaurus Rex2012ShortUS4
Jan 16Justice League: New Frontier2008FeatureUS3
Jan 16Oblivion2013FeatureUS2
Jan 17Bullet to the Head2013FeatureUS2
Jan 19August: Osage County2013FeatureUS4
Jan 26Blue Jasmine2013FeatureUS4
Jan 26All-Star Superman2011FeatureUS3
Jan 28The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg1927FeatureUS4
Feb 1Lincoln2012FeatureUS4
Feb 1After Earth2013FeatureUS2
Feb 1The Wild One1954FeatureUS2
Feb 2Justice League: Doom2012FeatureUS4
Feb 6G.I. Joe: Retaliation2013FeatureUS3
Feb 8Magical Mystery Tour1967FeatureBritain2
Feb 9The Juggler1953FeatureUS2
Feb 14Before Midnight2013FeatureUS2
Feb 16The Lego Movie2013FeatureUS3
Feb 18Trance2013FeatureBritain3
Feb 22The Lone Ranger2013FeatureUS2
Feb 23Tim's Vermeer2013FeatureUS5
Feb 23Now You See Me2013FeatureUS2
Feb 25The Square2013FeatureEgypt3
Feb 27The Voorman Problem2013ShortBritain4
Feb 27That Wasn't Me2013ShortSpain4
Feb 27Do I Have to Take Care of Everything2013ShortFinland4
Feb 27Get a Horse2013ShortUS4
Feb 27Mr. Hublot2013ShortFrance4
Feb 27Room on the Broom2013ShortBritain4
Feb 27A La Francaise2013ShortFrance4
Feb 27The Blue Umbrella2013ShortUS4
Feb 27Helium2013ShortDenmark3
Feb 27Just Before Losing Everything2013ShortFrance3
Feb 27The Missing Scarf2013ShortIreland3
Feb 27Feral2013ShortUS2
Feb 27Possessions2013ShortJapan2
Mar 1The Croods2013FeatureUS4
Mar 1Cutie and the Boxer2013FeatureUS3
Mar 1Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa2013FeatureUS3
Mar 1The Incredible Burt Wonderstone2013FeatureUS2
Mar 8Star Trek Into Darkness2013FeatureUS2
Mar 15Mission Impossible1996FeatureUS4
Mar 15Fruitvale Station2013FeatureUS4
Mar 16The Grand Budapest Hotel2014FeatureUS3
Mar 21The World's End2013FeatureBritain3
Mar 22White House Down2013FeatureUS2
Mar 23Byzantium2012FeatureBritain3
Mar 23The Transporter2002FeatureUS3
Mar 23Snitch2013FeatureUS3
Mar 23Stories We Tell2012FeatureCanada2
Mar 29Heat1995FeatureUS4
Mar 29The Butler2013FeatureUS3
Mar 30Executive Suite1954FeatureUS3
Mar 30Particle Fever2013FeatureUS3
Apr 2Under the Skin2013FeatureBritain1
Apr 6Captain America: The Winter Soldier2014FeatureUS5
Apr 6Stripped2014FeatureUS3
Apr 8Dear Mr. Watterson2014FeatureUS3
Apr 13Jodorowsky's Dune2014FeatureUS3
Apr 21The Princess Bride1987FeatureUS5
Apr 22The Case Against 82014FeatureUS3
Apr 23Beneath the Harvest Sky2014FeatureUS3
Apr 24The Overnighters2014FeatureUS4
Apr 24In Country2014FeatureUS3
Apr 25Big Significant Things2014FeatureUS3
Apr 25Palo Alto2014FeatureUS2
Apr 26Rich Hill2014FeatureUS5
Apr 26Jon Imber's Left Hand2014FeatureUS4
Apr 26The Starfish Throwers2014FeatureUS4
Apr 26In Search of General Tso2014FeatureUS4
Apr 2620,000 Days on Earth2014FeatureUS3
Apr 27Supermensch; The Legend of Shep Gordon2014FeatureUS4
Apr 27Dear White People2014FeatureUS4
Apr 27Vessel2014FeatureUS3
Apr 27Fort Tilden2014FeatureUS3
Apr 28Locke2014FeatureBritain4
Apr 28Wild Canaries2014FeatureUS1
Apr 29The Trip to Italiy2014FeatureBritain4
Apr 29The Double2014FeatureUS2
Apr 30Mood Indigo2014FeatureFrance4
May 4Only Lovers Left Alive2014FeatureBritain2
May 6Chef2014FeatureUS3
May 25X-Men: Days of Future Past2014FeatureUS5
May 25Fast & Furious 62013FeatureUS2
May 29The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy2005FeatureBritain3
Jun 1The Dance of Reality2014FeatureChile2
Jun 2Duck and Cover1952ShortUS3
Jun 7Ender's Game2013FeatureUS3
Jun 7R.I.P.D.2013FeatureUS2
Jun 8Edge of Tomorrow2014FeatureUS3
Jun 12Flesh and the Devil1926FeatureUS3
Jun 14The Tell-Tale Heart1953ShortUS4
Jun 14Free Radicals1958ShortBritain4
Jun 142001 A Space Odyssey: A Look Behind the Future1966ShortUS3
Jun 14Gerald McBoing-Boing1950ShortUS3
Jun 14Motion Painting No. 11947ShortUS3
Jun 14Tulips Shall Grow1942ShortUS3
Jun 14Frank Film1973ShortUS1
Jun 15Snow White1933ShortUS4
Jun 15Obvious Child2014FeatureUS4
Jun 15Why Man Creates1968ShortUS3
Jun 15Quasi at the Quackadero1976ShortUS3
Jun 15Runner Runner2013FeatureUS2
Jun 15Scratch and Crow1995ShortUS2
Jun 15Early Abstractions1987ShortUS2
Jun 21Wadjda2013FeatureSaudi Arabia4
Jun 22The Wolverine2013FeatureUS3
Jun 22Ida2014FeaturePoland3
Jun 29The Counselor2013FeatureUS2
Jun 29The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz2014FeatureUS3
Jul 2The Italian Job1969FeatureBritain3
Jul 5$1971FeatureUS4
Jul 6Pete Smalls is Dead2010FeatureUS1
Jul 6The Way Way Back2013FeatureUS4
Jul 8Kiki1926FeatureUS3
Jul 9About Time2013FeatureBritain4
Jul 12Frozen2013FeatureUS4
Jul 13Snowpiercer2014FeatureKorea3
Jul 20Army of Darkness1992FeatureUS3
Jul 20A King in New York1957FeatureBritain3
Jul 20Dawn of the Planet of the Apes2014FeatureUS3
Jul 20Thor: The Dark World2013FeatureUS4
Jul 23Valentine Road2013FeatureUS3
Jul 26Gravity2013FeatureUS5
Jul 27A Most Wanted Man2014FeatureBritain4
Jul 30Lucy2014FeatureFrance4
Aug 1Guardians of the Galaxy2014FeatureUS4
Aug 3Get On Up2014FeatureUS4
Aug 9Rush2013FeatureUS4
Aug 10Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself2013FeatureUS3
Aug 10Sorcerer1977FeatureUS3
Aug 12Moonraker1979FeatureBritain2
Aug 12The Kings of Summer2013FeatureUS3
Aug 12Thunderball1965FeatureBritain4
Aug 15Escape Plan2013FeatureUS3
Aug 16Good Will Hunting1997FeatureUS4
Aug 16The Spy Who Loved Me1977FeatureBritain4
Aug 17Calvary2014FeatureIreland3
Aug 24Frank2014FeatureBritain3
Aug 29Guardians of the Galaxy2014FeatureUS4
Aug 30The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug2013FeatureUS2
Aug 30Vincent & Theo1990FeatureUS2
Aug 31Ghostbusters1984FeatureUS5
Sep 1Serpico1973FeatureUS4
Sep 1Stalag 171953FeatureUS5
Sep 1On Her Majesty's Secret Service1969FeatureBritain4
Sep 2Fat Man and Little Boy1989FeatureUS4
Sep 3Iron Man 32013FeatureUS3
Sep 612 Years a Slave2013FeatureUS5
Sep 7Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life1995ShortBritain3
Sep 7The Congress2014FeatureIsrael2
Sep 13Goldeneye1995FeatureBritain3
Sep 14The Drop2014FeatureUS4
Sep 20We're the Millers2013FeatureUS2
Sep 20Kick-Ass 22013FeatureUS3
Sep 21Wild Orchids1929FeatureUS2
Sep 21Pain & Gain2013FeatureUS3
Sep 21Grudge Match2013FeatureUS3
Sep 21The Skeleton Twins2014FeatureUS3
Oct 9Gone Girl2014FeatureUS4
Oct 12Torrent1926FeatureUS3
Oct 12The Natural1984FeatureUS3
Oct 12Art and Craft2014FeatureUS2
Oct 14Laggies2014FeatureUS3
Oct 15Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit2014FeatureUS3
Oct 17The Search1948FeatureUS4
Oct 17The Monuments Men2014FeatureUS2
Oct 18Non-stop2014FeatureUS2
Oct 18Renoir2012FeatureFrance2
Oct 19Lone Survior2013FeatureUS4
Oct 19Fury2014FeatureUS4
Oct 21Ping Pong Summer2014FeatureUS2
Oct 24A Tale of Momentum & Inertia2014ShortUS4
Oct 26Birdman2014FeatureUS4
Nov 1The Southerner1945FeatureUS3
Nov 1In a Lonely Place1950FeatureUS2
Nov 2Nightcrawler2014FeatureUS4
Nov 6Defiance2008FeatureUS3
Nov 8The Face of Love2013FeatureUS3
Nov 9John Wick2014FeatureUS4
Nov 15Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters2013FeatureUS2
Nov 16Interstellar2014FeatureUS4
Nov 16Whiplash2014FeatureUS4
Nov 22Flyboys2006FeatureUS3
Nov 22It1927FeatureUS3
Nov 28Gravity2013FeatureUS5
Nov 30Big Trouble in Little China1986FeatureUS3
Nov 30Rosewater2014FeatureUS3
Dec 5The Amazing Spider-Man 22014FeatureUS2
Dec 6Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom2013FeatureBritain4
Dec 7The Babadook2014FeatureAustralia3
Dec 9The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension1984FeatureUS5
Dec 10The Theory of Everything2014FeatureBritain4
Dec 13The Book Thief2013FeatureUS4
Dec 13Sherlock Jr.1924FeatureUS5
Dec 13The Navigator1924FeatureUS4
Dec 14The Imitation Game2014FeatureBritain4
Dec 20Muppets Most Wanted2014FeatureUS4
Dec 20The Cameraman1928FeatureUS4
Dec 21Top Five2014FeatureUS4
Dec 23The November Man2014FeatureUS3
Dec 2422 Jump Street2014FeatureUS4
Dec 24Last Vegas2013FeatureUS2
Dec 29Divergent2014FeatureUS3
Dec 29The Hill1965FeatureBritain5
Dec 31Love Actually2003FeatureBritain4
Dec 31Doubt2008FeatureUS5
Dec 31Happy-Go-Lucky2008FeatureBritain4
Dec 31Seven Chances1925FeatureUS3
Dec 31The Idle Class1921ShortUS3