Doodle Pad Archive - February 2008

In the better late than never department, an announcement: The Mad Film Gab podcast is now After the Credits and hosted at Row Three. Those of you who followed the podcast already know this, right? Except for the name change and a different location, it's still the same podcast. I've updated my sidebar box on the right to show the latest podcasts.

Caught this YouTube vid at Bad Language. It shows: How 3 graphic designers created D-Day on a shoe string budget for the TIMEWATCH program "Bloody Omaha".... The creativity not only comes out in the end result, but in the "making of" video, too. I'm excited that we're realizing the prediction of technology unlocking opportunities for creative genius. There are so many great stories we'll be able to tell.

Continue reading D-Day on a Shoe String

A shout out to my friend Leeny and her new website, 353 Review: It's your source for the most concise movie reviews in the world. Period. They're all done in Haiku! Leeny has an aptitude for summarization and a wicked cool sense of humour. I do feel obligated to warn you, though. She has a penchant for zombies.

Continue reading Haiku Movie Reviews

When I blogged about snowy days back in December (Welcome to December, Snow, JavaScript, and BCIT) I thought this winter would be like any other winter. One, two, maybe three snow events, where an event might last up to a week, and we'd be done with it. Not this winter!

Continue reading Tenacious Snow

Last Monday I finally saw Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. I say finally, because in the perverse behaviour of humans I've had a loaned copy sitting in front of the DVD player for the last three or four months and haven't watched it. With no deadlines, I'd been putting it off. Then a local art house theatre was showing it and movie maven Marina, leader of the Vancouver movie Meetup group, said: Quit waiting, see it! Who was I to refuse? And is not seeing a movie in a shared context the quintessential movie experience?

Continue reading Seven Samurai

A friend of mine sent me a link to this video, it's pretty cool. Thanks, Gayle! Background at Improv Everywhere.

Last Saturday a bunch of us heard William Gibson speak at the Vancouver Institute's Spring 2008 Series lecture: A Evening with William Gibson. Gibson is credited with coining the phrase "cyberspace" and bringing the cyberpunk genre to mainstream attention with his book Neuromancer. Gibson read three different works he'd written for various reasons. Sadly, he doesn't have the reading voice of a Jack Whyte. Though there were some interesting anecdotes here and there, I found myself drifting off during the reading. Fortunately the question and answer session was considerably more interesting.

One of my favourite lesser-known authors is Amy Thomson. I know she's lesser known because she doesn't have a wikipedia entry yet, in spite of winning the 1994 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. I happened to catch her first book, Virtual Girl, when it just come out.

Continue reading Amy Thomson Interview

Feeling a little bored and looking for something a bit more enlightened than your standard YouTube video? Head over to the TED website: TED is self described as: TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

Continue reading TED Talks - Recommended

This video has been around for a long time, now, and it still comes up in conversation at least once a year! Just the other day someday dropped a quote ("I cast a spell") in IM, prompting a barrage of other quotes involving Mountain Dew, Cheetos and attacking the darkness. I had to re-watch the video for old times sake. Rather than locate it on my hard drive I checked to see if it had been loaded to YouTube (What does that say?). To my delight, it had.

Continue reading Summoner Geeks

Last Friday at the movies was a real treat with Denys Arcand's L'Âge des ténèbres (Days of Darkness). It's a wicked social satire about getting lost in middle age, and the story of one Jean-Marc Leblanc, a Quebec civil servant with a soulless, mind-numbing job, emotionally remote family, and penchant for escapist fantasies.

While the movie gang was enjoying a pizza slice after Days of Darkness the word niggardly came up in conversation. Used in the movie, some people thought it might be a variation of the "N" word (which is what the movie played on). It's not! Niggard is actually a Scandinavian word meaning a stingy or miserly person and the root of niggling.

Continue reading Say Goodbye to Niggardly

Ladies and gentleman keep your daughters indoors, my nephew is 19! Yes, he's the handsome devil pictured to right in his graduation duds. Of the things I heard he did today, his folks helped him celebrate that time honoured ritual of the first drink without having to sneak into a pub (Not that he's ever admitted to me that he's snuck into a pub, but he's in university now so I take it as a given). And he got free chicken wings to boot!

Continue reading Oh My God, He's 19!

According to this On the Media peace piece, Sign Of The Times, the peace symbol is 50 years old today! I had always thought the symbol was abstract, but apparently it's a stylization of the semaphore signals for N and D: The ND stood for nuclear disarmament and the symbol was adopted by a British anti-nuke group. The interview guest gives an interesting little history of the symbol and its move across the Atlantic.

Flagged via IO9, an interview with director Nacho Vigalondo (IMDB page, Wikipedia page) at Timecrimes: Writer-Director Nacho Vigalondo. Horror isn't typically my thing so I don't read, but I just couldn't help finding out if Nacho Vigalondo was a real person or Jack Black making a sequel to Nacho Libre!

Continue reading Nacho Vigalondo

As most of you know I have two website, the "techie" site at and this one for my non-techie/personal stuff. Some things are hard to categorize, and one of them is Northern Voice. I'm working on a Northern Voice post appropriate for Digital Doodles, but life is getting in the way. So in the meantime, I'll point out the posting I made at Group 42: Northern Voice Wrap Up. It's not technical, I promise!

Oh my God, this is amazing! Instructions from 1927 on how to use the "new" dial telephones. I've clipped some screen shots to wet your appetite, head over to Don't Jiggle the Switch Hook at to see the entire 7 minutes of historical educational goodness. Direct dial telephones are so ubiquitous it's hard to imagine a time when someone didn't know how to use them.

At the beginning of the month I posted a YouTube vid of a people freezing in Grand Central Station. Marina discovered a Vancouver version captured in this photo by Mark Klotz. Head over to her site for the video, and some other hijinks involving computers and Starbucks.

Continue reading Vancouver Freeze
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