Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Windows 10 is Microsoft's Next Operating System

Article: Microsoft's next OS is Windows 10, will ship later in 2015 - Engadget

Mmm'kay, are we just skipping numbers now? What happened to Windows 9? Is this inability to follow the numerical table a symptom of our nation's troubled educational system? (snark!)

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"Taken 3" Trailer is Out!

Movie Page: Taken 3 - 20th Century-Fox

Liam Neeson is back to kick butt ONE MORE TIME! With the tagline, "It Ends Here," Neeson plays Bryan Mills once again, ready to use his "particular set of skills!"

SPOILER ALERT!: The trailer contains a major spoiler that sets up the rest of the movie. It is something that occurs early on in the film. But, if you want to go in not knowing what happens, best to avoid the trailer and just circle January 9 on your calendar to see the film!

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

"The Chair" - Starz Filmmaking Docu-Series

Photo: Starz Networks

Facebook Page: The Chair - Starz

Home Page: The Chair - Starz

*** Episode 3 is tonight on Starz at 11 p.m. ET ***

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is "Project Greenlight," from 2001. It chronicled a first-time filmmaker getting his chance to make a $1 million-dollar-budgeted movie. It showed the filmmaking process from pre-production through post-production. I loved it! I've always been fascinated with filmmaking, and have worked on micro-budget movies, and well as being an extra on a network TV show. I have also taken two cinematography classes, working with professional film equipment.

So, here we are in 2014, and Chris Moore, who brought "Project Greenlight" to TV with the help of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, has his solo series on the U.S. Starz movie network. In this series, two first-time directors are both doing their take on the same script. As with "Project Greenlight," we see them from pre-production through post-production.

The two directors they have come from very different perspectives. Shane Dawson does raunchy YouTube videos that mainly appeal to 12-year-old girls. Anna Martemucci comes from an independent-film background. So, their end products could very much echo those backgrounds.

The four directors from the three seasons of "Project Greenlight" have found their own ways into the business after the show. Pete Jones, from Season 1, directed another indie movie, and wrote the story for "Hall Pass." Efrem Potelle from Season 2 went into Visual Effects. His co-director from Season 2, Kyle Rankin, has been acting and directing. John Gulager, from Season 3, has been acting, directing and doing cinematography. Best of luck to the two new directors on "The Chair!"

Project Greenlight Info: Project Greenlight - Wikipedia

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Friday, September 19, 2014

SpaceX Dragon 4 to ISS: Second Attempt at 1:52 a.m ET Sunday!

SpaceX Dragon Capsule - Courtesy Reuters

Article: SpaceX Delays Dragon Cargo Ship Launch for NASA Due to Bad Weather - Space.com

SpaceX, the private space company founded by Tesla head Elon Musk, will launch its fourth of twelve contracted resupply missions for NASA. The second attempt at a launch takes place at 1:52 a.m. ET Sunday from Cape Canaveral. The webcast/telecast starts at 12:45 a.m. ET. The launch can be seen in person from areas near the Cape, and will be visible to areas of the U.S. East Coast.

The launch will be atop a Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to send 12 Dragons to ISS. Two tons of cargo will be on their way to the space station.

NASA TV: Live Feed - NASA

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Neil Armstrong Gets TNT Miniseries!

Neil Armstrong - Courtesy NASA

Article: TNT Makes ‘One Giant Leap’ Into Miniseries With Neil Armstrong Project - Deadline Hollywood

TNT, a U.S. cable entertainment network, will produce a four-hour miniseries, based on Leon Wagener's biography, "One Giant Leap." The miniseries will be scripted by Al Reinert, who co-wrote the screenplay for "Apollo 13."

Very cool news! I am looking forward to it.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NASA Selects Boeing & SpaceX for New Capsules

Launch America - Courtesy NASA

Article: NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station - NASA

NASA has named Boeing and SpaceX as providers of capsules to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The goal is to end the reliance on Russia to provide our astronauts travel to ISS by 2017.

The Boeing capsule is called the CST-100. The SpaceX capsule is the Crew Dragon. SpaceX is already flying a cargo version of the Dragon to ferry supplies to ISS. The capsule is designed to be easily configured for cargo or passenger travel.

With capsules set for the ISS, NASA will be able to focus on its Orion capsule and Space Launch System (SLS) to take astronauts beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and into deep space.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

NASA's Ready to Build New Rocket

Article: NASA Unveils World's Largest Spacecraft Welding Tool for Space Launch System - NASA

Today, at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, the largest spacecraft welding tool in the world opened. The Vertical Assembly Center, a 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide assembly, completes a welding apparatus that will be used to build the core stage of America's next rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

SLS will have the capability for deep space missions, including going to an asteroid and eventually Mars. The core stage will be more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet. It will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the rocket's four RS-25 engines.

"This rocket is a game changer in terms of deep space exploration and will launch NASA astronauts to investigate asteroids and explore the surface of Mars while opening new possibilities for science missions, as well,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Michoud Friday.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NASA's First Orion Capsule Completed!

Orion Capsule Completed - Courtesy NASA

Story: Orion’s First Crew Module Complete - NASA

NASA has completed their first Orion capsule. This capsule is part of the space system that succeeds the Space Shuttle. These capsules will eventually be taken into space by the new Space Launch System (SLS).

This particular capsule will serve as a test bed. In December, it will be taken into space by a Delta IV heavy launch rocket to test its performance. There will be something special about its launch trajectory. It will be taken 3,600 miles above the Earth, higher than any launch vehicle in 40 years.

Mission Page: Orion Capsule - NASA

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Monday, September 8, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" - Movie Review

Photo: Emirates Airlines

IMDb Page: 12 Years a Slave - IMDb

Excellent, brutal, very well made film about the horrors of slavery. To me, this film has parallels with Spielberg's "Schindler's List," that film depicting the horrors of The Holocaust, this film depicting the horrors of slavery.

But, Spielberg basically just hammers away at the audience for three hours to pound the horror into their heads. The only character we get to know is a Nazi, Oscar Schindler. The Jews are just there to be lined up for the slaughter. That movie is more blunt object than film. It is fairly inartful, and shows little of Spielberg's former talents as a filmmaker.

But, here, Steve McQueen offers a dramatic, dynamic film that enthralls the audience. It is brutal, yes. But, it is about the central character, Solomon Northrup, who is a free black, abducted and sold into slavery.

We truly get to know him and those others who have been enslaved. They aren't just unknown victims.

The artistic qualities are masterful, especially Sean Bobbitt's cinematography and Hans Zimmer's film score. The performances are very good all around, and show how McQueen and his cast were able to create an excellent working relationship.

It is a tough film to watch, but I believe it is a film that should be seen.

****1/2 (4 1/2 Out of 5 Stars)

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Beautiful Airports? Yes, Beautiful Airports!

Photo: Emirates Airlines

Story: Next generation: The world's most beautiful airports - The Sydney Morning Herald

Can airports be beautiful? Yes, yes they can! New architectural designs mean you don't have to go elsewhere for your art!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fantastic Earth Views! - NASA

An Astronaut's View from Space - Courtesy NASA

Image: An Astronaut's View from Space - NASA

NASA is posting some very cool photos from space! One, shown above, is from astronaut Reid Wiseman, part of the current ISS crew Expedition 40.

ISS Page: International Space Station Page - NASA

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