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Pop Culture

Why a new Star Trek is a bad idea, even though a new Star Wars is fine. Science Fiction ≠ Fantasy.

(note: no spoilers below! I haven’t even seen the new Star Wars movie yet.) As mentioned in an earlier post, a few years ago my son came home from school saying Darth Vader was Luke’s father. The problem? He hadn’t seen Star Wars. Grade school playgrounds being the source of many hard truths. As good parents we soon watched […]

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Pop Culture

Science Fiction movie priorities should be movie first, science second. Because movies are hard.

Hugo award winning science fiction author Greg Egan complained recently about science fiction movies, starting his post with the line “Why is almost every contemporary science fiction movie irredeemably stupid?” He digs into three movies: Her, Ex Machina and Interstellar. Regarding Her, he noted:

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Pop Culture

Time to accept Frozen’s greatness. And why not? John Lasseter modeled Elsa’s biggest scene.

So yes I’m late to the movie Frozen. On the left are the key characters: Olaf the snowman, Elsa the older sister and snow queen, and Anna the younger sister. And on the right, well, let’s just say each of my three kids identified their favorite movie character with exactly no help from me. So maybe Frozen […]

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Pop Culture

What Star Wars teaches us about being “wrong on the internet”

Recently my son came home from kindergarten and told me: “Dad. Darth Vader is Luke’s father.” He had never watched Star Wars. So I asked how he knew. He said “they told me on the playground.” Hmmm….on the playground. Then I recalled the only Giants baseball game we went to this summer had a Star […]

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Pop Culture

This is my first Praxtime blog post on WordPress. Moved from Tumblr.

Today Sunday, Nov 3, 2013, I moved my Praxtime blog from the Tumblr web site to here on WordPress at praxtime.com. The reason is simple enough. My posts run 600-1000 words, sometimes much more. WordPress is designed for the longer form, while Tumblr is optimized for microblogging. As part of the move I also set […]

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Pop Culture

Life hacking tips and tricks

This post is a random list of life hacks I use on a regular basis. By “life hacks” I mean any type of shortcut or trick that saves time. Most I’ve been doing for so long I can’t recall where I learned them. But where I know I’ve linked back to the source. If you […]

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Pop Culture

With some sympathy for Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card’s best and most popular sci-fi novel Ender’s Game is being turned into a movie coming out in November. Harrison Ford is Colonel Graff. Ben Kingsley is Mazer Rackham. I’m a fan of the 1985 book, and am really looking forward to the movie. But some people are boycotting Ender’s Game because Card is against gay […]

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Pop Culture

Football, Boxing and head injuries

Last year Tyler Cowen wrote a speculative piece about how football might go into long term decline due to head injuries. Then Ta-nehisi Coates, a lifelong football fanatic, started posting how he was losing his love of football as he learned more about brain trauma. This got me wondering. The right analogy here is probably boxing, which […]

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Pop Culture

Why is Christmas music so bad? Answer: 1950’s television.

Question: Why is Christmas music so bad? Answer: television. But not today’s television. We’re talking 1950’s television.

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Pop Culture

Advice on home stereo gear

I wanted to talk about home stereo gear. Especially since this gives me an excuse to post the classic 1980’s Maxell advertisement above. Of course music gear is a matter of personal taste, so hard core music fans won’t need this advice. But for most people I’d argue your stereo gear options are simpler than […]