Saturday, April 5, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

You may want to take everything I say with a rather large shaker of salt, because I am the perfect audience for this movie.  I loved the comic, have generally enjoyed all of the intertwined Marvel movies (yes, even the second Thor film), don't for the most part mind overblown action sequences, and love big-conspiracy stories.

Okay, I've warned you.

As you can tell by now, I loved this movie.  I was never bored, always engaged, and had a great time watching it.  I appreciated its humor, its earnestness, and its action. 

None of that is to say it has no flaws.  The bigger plot surprises were not at all surprises, many action sequences went on too long, and the film generally painted the characters with very broad strokes.  Some in our group definitely felt it dragged at times, and I can see their perspective. 

And still I loved it.  It and the Avengers movie are the stars of the current constellation of Marvel films. 

Though it's far from perfect, Captain America:  The Winter Soldier is a great way to spend a couple of fun-filled hours in a theater.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Luc Besson gives superpowers to Scarlett Johansson

in the upcoming film, Lucy, and I am so there.  Ignore the silly neuroscience and instead enjoy the Besson visuals and Johansson starting weak and then stalking with new-found powers through this trailer.

Oh, yeah, you know you're there, too.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The latest PT sabbatical video

is now live, and it features Bonnie's work with lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center.  I'm very proud of all the good deeds folks at PT have done on their sabbaticals.  It's great to see people like Bonnie taking a week from their time off to do something to help make the world a better place.

Check out this video to hear Bonnie talk about why she chose this charity and what she did there.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Another bit of tooth abandons its filling

Forty-three years ago, when I was sixteen, I went to the dentist for the first time in my memory. (I say it that way because it's possible I went as a young child, during a time when I have no memories.) All my wisdom teeth had come in--I still have them--but I had not yet learned how to brush that far back in my mouth without gagging myself. As a result, I left the dentist's office with five fillings: one in each wisdom tooth, and one in the lower left molar adjacent to the wisdom tooth.

For years, my dentist admired the craftsmanship of those fillings. He would tap each one, verify I had no pain from the contact, and then muse that someday, someday, he would get to replace them.

Alas (and this is no joke), that day did not come, for he died some time ago, a victim of cancer. He was a good man, and I miss him each time I go to his office.

His son now checks my teeth and did my crown some months back. He, too, has marveled at how long those fillings have lasted.

Tonight, I ate a bite of chicken and hit a bone. As I did, I felt a disgustingly familiar sensation, and when I checked to confirm my suspicion, I found that the interior side of that lower left molar had abandoned its filling and my mouth.

I probably should be grateful for the over four decades of service that tooth and filling have given me, but I'm not. I'm pissed. The tooth, like the rest of my body, should have toughed it out.

Instead, when I can grab some free time--not before next week--I will have to go to the dentist and get another crown.

This sucks.

The only up side, as Kyle noted, is that this bit of weakness has fled my body, and after the crown, I will be another bit more bionic and rather stronger in that small area. I have that to look forward to.

I do not, however, look forward to three more hours in the dentist's chair, nor am I thrilled about the rather massive bill I will incur in the process.

I cannot truly complain, because I am fortunate to have both dental insurance and enough money to pay that bill without hurting my lifestyle, but I still don't like it.

After writing all of this, though, I come to one conclusion: I am incredibly grateful to live where I do, have the assets I do, and have access to great dental care that I can afford. I am a very privileged person. Much of the world is in far worse shape, and I would do well to remember that always and to be thankful for all I have.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The new Hold Steady album is out

It's called Teeth Dreams, and if you're a Hold Steady fan, you either already have it or know you need it.  If you love rock and roll but don't know the Hold Steady, you need both this album and the rest of their catalog, particularly their amazing debut CD, Boys and Girls in America.

If you don't love rock and roll, move along; this is not the blog entry you're looking for.

If you're still here, enjoy this cut from the new album.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The most amazing Principled Technologies report ever!

By client request, we've been keeping this amazing study a secret, but now the time for secrecy is ending.

Right after today, March 31, ends, we will take public on the PT site the first ever study to merge the interests of conservationists, wild animal lovers, and computer server vendors.  We've done a lot of amazing work at PT over the last dozen years, but I think it's safe to say that nothing has ever been quite like this.

You can be among the first to read it here

Don't delay, though; a test report this exciting might leap from our site into the national news and not be available from us any longer.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A TED talk you will be glad you watched

As I mentioned in my blog entries for TEDActive, one of the more amazing talks of this year was from Hugh Herr, an MIT professor.  Herr talked about the new bionics--and gave his whole talk while walking on a pair of bionic legs.  At the end of the presentation, something magical happened.

Do yourself a favor and invest 18 minutes in watching this amazing TED talk.  It's about technology, about people, and at the end, about touching our hearts.


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