TFF 38 D1F2: Pina

Saturday, September 3, 2011 

Pina is Wim Wenders tribute to Pina Bausch in 3D.  I’m not a big dance fan, not even ballet let alone modern dance, but this was a very beautiful film and I enjoyed it.  Wim Wenders introduced the film and told the audience how he had met Pina 20 or more years before starting production and had wanted to make a film about her.  For all of those 20 years every time they crossed paths she asked if he was ready to make his film and he said he didn’t know how, but was learning.

Wenders said he was quite taken by 3D, specifically U2 3D which he thought was a great name, but more so that the 3D technology used was sufficient to capture the essence of Pina’s dance, and so he began production, but just before production was to commence, Pina passed away.

The dancers in her troupe convinced him that he should make the film, that it is what she would have wanted, and so the film is both an beautifully shot document of Pina’s dance troupe and a tribute to Pina.

I’ve been involved with 3D film for a long time (going back 16 years I built a stereo rig from a pair of Arriflex cameras for Michael Naimark’s Be Here Now).  This was the first time I got to see Dolby’s double-tristmus 3D .  The way it works is each projector projects an approximately RGB signal, but with the exact wavelengths of RG&B shifted between them (and not shared).  The passive glasses pass only the correct eye’s 3 color wavelengths and reject the rest.  Looking through them, one is slightly magenta shifted and one slightly cyan shifted, but you quickly compensate for the slight color error, especially since one eye errs one direction and the other the opposite.  If you look through both a left eye and a right eye filter (say by borrowing your neighbors pair and putting them over yours upside down), almost no light passes.

The 3D quality of the movie is quite good, better than shutter glasses with less peripheral annoyance.  Only very bright highlights (like the glint of lights in a dancer’s eye) exhibited odd stereo artifacts.  It is commonly noted that the focal accommodation and parallax accommodation of a stereoscopic projection is very wrong–your eyes focus on the same plane (the screen) no matter what the image displacement is, so your mind gets two conflicting data inputs – one saying “I see 3D” and the other saying “I’m focusing on a plane” and the result is eye strain and often headaches, and this technology is no different.  It definitely caused some eye strain to watch it, but the effect was good and overall I’d say worth it.

Posted at 00:37:38 UTC

Category: filmsPositivereviews

Taking a risk…

Sunday, July 17, 2011 

Sushi from the JFK RCC int 1st club before a transcon. Hmmm…

edit: lived, but may have caused some gastrointestinal distress, but that could also have been the shrimp, which seemed even more sketch.  The turnover is pretty low at this club.
Posted at 13:02:29 UTC

Category: photoplanesPositivereviewstravel

Ecco Shoes

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 

A few years back Carolyn bought me a pair of Ecco shoes to replace my old New Balance trail shoes, which I had been wearing as long as she knew me. I had two pair of those that are still marginally serviceable but, after 15 years or so, are starting to fail visibly.

They were extremely comfortable, look very nice, and seemed to wear well. Until their first winter, in Guelph, in the snow, the soles just started to disintegrate. A hole broke through the ball of one foot and snow came in–cold, cold snow. Apparently this is a fairly common problem with (old) Ecco shoes. I went to the local late-night shoe store (there is one in Guelph) and got a pair of Rockports. They’re very nice as well, though a bit less comfortable. I selected them because they could be resoled, and I did so after about two years of daily wear when the sole got so grip-less I started to slip on rainy sidewalks. Now they have a nice Vibram sole and should be good for another 3-5 years.

In the mean time, Ecco called me to ask if I wanted to return the shoes for possible warranty service. I told the nice woman that I wasn’t asking for that, but I would if they wanted to examine the failure, and that I wasn’t happy with the disintegrating sole material and I went with Rockport, but let me know if they ever change the sole material to something more durable.

A week or two later a pre-paid return mailer showed up in my mailbox. It sat on my kitchen table for about a year or so with other urgent matters. The dead Ecco’s were left behind in my Canadian office, then got mailed with my stuff to my LA office, then finally came back with my stuff from LA to Oakland. Not too many months later, off to Ecco-land they went.

About a month after I sent them in I was informed that Ecco had warranty replaced my shoes and sent me a new pair. They have latex soles, which may well be more durable and they feel, if anything, more comfortable than my first pair.

If I ever need another pair of shoes, I’ll buy another pair of Eccos.

Posted at 07:36:33 UTC

Category: Positivereviews

Luxury is Relative

Monday, February 14, 2011 

At the COB, Green Beans  is a real, but essential, luxury. We started our day with a triple cappuccino expertly served up by the unexpectedly named Robert Rodriquez (perhaps an homage) and felt pretty well taken care of.

luxury at COB Basra_G B.jpg
Coming straight to Dubai is a bit of a culture shock. Indoor palm trees? We had to go off base to see outdoor palm trees.

Luxury in Dubai.jpg

We did have one bit of green on base…
Posted at 11:37:53 UTC

Category: MilphotoplacesPositivereviewstravel

Red Pepper Grill

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 

Burrito nom nom

Posted at 20:31:38 UTC

Category: Positiverestaurantsreviews

It’s Tops!

Saturday, January 22, 2011 


Posted at 22:10:33 UTC

Category: Positiverestaurantsreviews

Cell phone/changing room

Friday, January 7, 2011 

This is totally awesome.


People actually used it too – a small, lockable, private room in a public place? Amazing! No “look at my feet” slot under the door either, no evidence of a camera in the room. There was a small desk and power for a laptop and if you were having a noisy conversation or needed to change you could lock yourself in.

It wasn’t completely soundproof, so not quite the unguarded utility closet of Six Feet Under, but still a very nice asset and productivity was enhanced by other people using it rather than entertaining me with their conversations.

Posted at 17:11:28 UTC

Category: planesPositivereviewstravel

Gaylords is the coolest!

Saturday, December 11, 2010 


Posted at 15:30:10 UTC

Category: Positivereviews

Homeopathy Illustrated

Sunday, July 4, 2010 

This is a great description of Homeopathy.  I have occasionally pointed out to (usually unreceptive friends) a few of the curious consequences of logic in Homeopathy, but this little cartoon is a far more entertaining analysis:


Read more…

Posted at 23:09:50 UTC

Category: funnyPositivereviews