The Vietnam War on PBS

If you haven’t been watching this, you should be. It’s wonderfully good and it’s not pulling any punches about American misconceptions while at the same time explaining the politicians’ and the generals’ thinking. If you’re my age you recognize a lot of the music playing in the background or during interludes. The film and cinematography …

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Music Music Music

A while back Library Thing made some programming changes which allowed its users to catalog their music and movie libraries. I have heretofore been keeping a spreadsheet of my CD and Vinyl music collections, but the widget I used to use to convert Excel to HTML doesn’t work with Open Office spreadsheets and it’s a …

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Explain why Ben-Hur needed to be remade?

I know Hollywood likes ideas that have worked before. It costs a fortune to make a big blockbuster movie, so you need to believe the one you’re pitching has a ready-made audience. Some movies wouldn’t seem to need a remake, though. I’m sure with today’s CGI techniques the gladiator fights and the chariot race will …

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DVD trivia

I don’t have a large DVD collection, but somehow I managed to buy, at separate times, two used copies of Serenity. I have only one copy of Firefly, fortunately. Got all the Star Wars movies including the newest one, all the LOTR ones including The Hobbit trilogy and all the Harry Potter films. Got a …

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We’ve got some really big surf this week

I’m talking 30-40 foot waves. Here’s a slideshow from one of our TV stations. The surf may be big enough and well-formed enough to hold the Eddie Aikau contest on Thursday and if not then possibly Friday. The contest is invitation-only for 28 of the best big-wave surfers in the world, named for a man …

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R.I.P., Omar Sharif

Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Funny Girl. Omar Sharif appeared in an awful lot of films and television movies, but he was best known in America for the three listed above. Sharif died today at 83. Here’s his first appearance on-screen in Lawrence of Arabia: