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As I write this, it is May 25th, the real Star Wars Day. Long before any celebration took place on an arbitrary date that simply sounds like the word “Force”, fans of Star Wars celebrated the movies on the 25th of May as it is the anniversary of the release of the first movie in 1977 now titled, Episode IV: A New Hope. May 25th is also the anniversary of the release of the third movie, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi which had been released 32 years ago in 1983. What does this all mean and what is this all “16 years" all about? Well, 16 years is the amount of time we Star Wars fans had to wait and endure after the release of Return of the Jedi in 1983 for the next big screen adventure. It seemed like a lifetime back then. George Lucas had concluded the story with Return of the Jedi, putting to rest any notion of any following films after Return of Jedi, but there would always be the first three prequels, Episodes I-III which may be made at some undetermined date in the future. Lucas wanted to go off and explore other projects outside of the Star Wars universe after Jedi which was understandable for him. Though eventually he would return to a galaxy far, far away…
The anxiously anticipated day started off very exciting. I was with my good friend, Chase Graff, though at that time he went by the name Charlie and we were sitting on a sidewalk patiently waiting on this early June day. It was the fourth of June thirty-three years ago… the year was 1982. We were first in line for the long awaited sequel to Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In hindsight, it is hard to believe that it was less than three years that had passed since the original Star Trek movie then. We were there before the theater opened for business that day waiting. When the puzzled manager came to the theater, he was surprised to find us there so early waiting. He asked what we were waiting for and we jokingly said Das Boot, which was the other film playing at this cinema at that time. Long waits didn’t bother us because we were able to talk about everything under the sun. Though on this day, I imagined the topic was mostly on Star Trek perhaps and the rumors surrounding this particular movie. There was this talk that the character Spock would die in this movie. This couldn’t be so, we thought. Spock was our favorite character, after all. What would Star Trek be without Mr. Spock?
It’s no secret that I have been a huge fan of Star Wars since it was released in 1977. It could even be argued that I was fan before it was even released (Sorry, Stephen Colbert, you’re not alone or the first), as I was following the production and its impending release in science fiction genre media. It’s without exaggeration that it had a tremendous impact on this then eleven year-old when it was released and it continued on. This post isn’t focusing on that so I won’t go into all the details only to say even though I was deeply into the mythology and themes of the films, it didn’t prevent me from having a life outside of it.
It was 35 years ago today on a chilly night not unlike tonight (well, perhaps not as cold) when Star Trek: The Motion Picture opened in the theaters in the U.S. I remember vividly going to see it for the first time. After watching Star Trek all my life on television, we were finally seeing it on the big screen. Big it was, as it captured the scale and majesty of the refitted Enterprise and more like television never could at that time.
Now in my tenth year of being a podcaster, it is by no means surprising that one of the topics I’m asked about over and over again is how to start podcasting. I always recommend starting off with the minimum essentials and then slowly building up your gear as you go along. In other words, don’t make a huge investment in hardware and software initially. You can always upgrade and enhance your set up as you go along. This way, if you find it is something that isn’t for you or perhaps you simply don’t have the time you thought you would had when you first decided on doing it, you can stop without having invested too much money into it.
Last week I had the pleasure of guest hosting on the Radio Free Caemlyn show for their weekly live ‘Friday Night Trivia’ show. If you missed the live show, you can still catch it along with other past recorded (audio podcast) shows along with upcoming live shows of course here on the Radio Free Caemlyn page on Talkshoe (the show I hosted was the 7/25/2014 "CLXXXI" episode, but feel free to check out any or all of the others as well).
I’m pleased to announce a new summer workshop on mobile photography titled (fitting enough), The Art of Mobile Photography.
It is often said that “the best camera is the one you have with you.” In today’s world, that most likely means your mobile phone. The art of making images is less to do with the gear and more to do with the photographer. The core basic principles of photography apply whether you’re shooting with a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera or your mobile phone’s camera (i.e. iPhone, Android, etc.). In this workshop, we will explore those principles and what you can do to make better images without spending a great deal money and have fun in the process.
First off, everyday is Star Wars day, just as everyday is Doctor Who day for me. There doesn’t need to a special day to celebrate either series. That said, every 23rd of November I try to watch episode 1 of ‘An Unearthly Child’ to celebrate the anniversary of Doctor Who and for almost 40 years, every 25th of May has always been STAR WARS DAY! Yes, it is the anniversary of the first release of the first Star Wars movie back in 1977 as well as the release of the final episode of the Star Wars saga completing the Skywalker storyline (I’m not including in the newly contrived upcoming Disney movies), Return of the Jedi in 1983.
Here’s another video from the floor of the PDN PhotoPlus Expo in NYC in 2012. This one is a demonstration of the modular camera flash system, the SpinLight 360. As with the previous demonstration video from this show that I had recently posted, it had been delayed for release due to the ongoing recovery efforts after Superstorm Sandy here. The video was shot entirely with an iPhone 4 using the AR-4i (which I’ve concluded it doesn’t get along well with iOS 7 from my experience here now shooting the intro for the demo).
If you haven’t downloaded the free 12 Days of Gifts app from Apple yet, download it now and you will be alerted each day starting on December 26th of free gifts from Apple. These could be apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, etc. offered via the App Store or the iTunes Store. I notice Apple sent a gift today (Monday, 16th of December) already, so you might as well not wait until December 26th and get the free app now.
Recently I was a guest on the Tandem with the Random podcast, episode 27 celebrating the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. It is hosted by Brian Kelley @bktandem and is available now. In it, I speak of first discovering Doctor Who and becoming a fan, founding the Gallifreyan Embassy, and eventually launching the podcast, Doctor Who: Podshock. Thanks to Brian for having me on, it was delight to do. You can check out the podcast yourself, the link is below with further details pertaining to the episode.
Being a fan of Star Wars and Nimblebit games such as Pocket Planes, Tiny Tower, and recently Pocket Trains, I was curious about their joint collaboration with LucasArts/Disney for their new title, Star Wars: Tiny Death Star. The game is now available in the App Store for free — though like many of Nimblebit titles, you can make in-app purchases for “Bux” to speed your progress of the game. The game is not under the Nimblebit name as the developer, but instead, LucasArts.
I was surprised and perhaps slightly disappointed that it is essentially a re-dressing of the existing title, Tiny Tower just with a Star Wars theme and Star Wars style missions. That said, if you are already familiar with Tiny Tower, you will feel right at home with this new game. There are some new and different elements to it and of course, you may appreciate it on another level if you’re a Star Wars fan.
Today is Election Day and I voted as I do each year. I went to my polling center around 4:45 pm (trying to beat the rush that comes at 5pm when people leave work, I suspect others had the same idea as it was very crowded for an “off year”).
Though earlier in the day I received one of those annoying robo-calls as everyone seems to get during the election season urging you to vote for or against someone or some ballot measure. This one was a bit alarming because it is suggesting that it knew I hadn’t voted yet.
Is Big Brother watching you on Election Day? Play the AudioBoo I recorded about it below to see… err… hear what I mean.
Just days before Superstorm Sandy hit us and caused so much devastation here, there was the PDN PhotoPlus Expo in NYC. I was there covering the expo and shot some video with the iPhone 4 in conjunction with the Fostex AR-4i which I reviewed a year or so ago (I will be reposting that review here soon). Because of Sandy and the long recovery process that followed it, I was only able to post a music video style highlights video I made of the show shortly before the storm hit. There were a couple products which I shot demonstrations of at the show which were never edited and posted. This is one of them now.
Sandy Aftermath Day 338: It's been "a year from hell" recovering and restoring from the mass devastation which Superstorm Sandy caused. There's still a great deal more to do, though it's getting closer to where a sense of "normality" will prevail while ongoing recovery work continues. This means our shows will be resuming shortly including Doctor Who: Podshock and perhaps a new one or two as well.