• Quote of the week

    "Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it."
    ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

    Past Quotes of the Week

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople transforms a fairly unremarkable tale of adoption into a wild and wonderful fantasy, yet again proving that New Zealand may as well just be Middle Earth.

Long having been in the foster care system, twelve year old Ricky Baker is deemed a problem child. His latest placement has him at the rural home of Bella and Hec Faulkner, it is happy-go-lucky Bella’s idea to foster against ornery Hec’s wishes. On Bella’s suggestion, Ricky ends up calling them Auntie and Uncle respectively, much to Hec’s chagrin. Bella’s approach to dealing with Ricky works, Ricky who blossoms under her care, with Hec off on the sidelines in leaving Ricky solely to Bella. Largely out of a change to their circumstance, Ricky and Hec end up together in the bush with no one knowing where they are. Rumors abound that Hec may have kidnapped Ricky, or worse that that kidnapping is combined with Hec being a pedophile, and as such a manhunt ensues with a further bounty on Hec.

Although nothing improper is happening between the pair, Both Hec and Ricky realize that their respective histories prevent them from turning themselves in and in knowing that coming in would lead to their separation. The longer they are able to elude capture, the stronger their folk hero status may rise. That status does not sit well with Paula Hall, the jaded and cynical case worker who has long overseen Ricky’s placements, she seeing herself as the wannabe police officer with guns ablazing both to put Hec behind bars and Ricky back in juvenile detention.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)

Inside The World of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control (Sir John Hurt), resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian Agent, a mole, and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was.… Read the rest

Kymatica (2009)

“Every person, from morning till evening, is making invisible forms in space by what he says. He is creating invisible vibrations around him, and so he is producing an atmosphere.”

– Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Kymatica: Evolution is a term to define only one organism and that’s the self.… Read the rest

What We Learned About Technology From the 1999 Tom Clancy Film NetForce

Set in the year 2005, the FBI has established a special division –“Net-Force” — to investigate crimes committed using the Internet. Agents Alex Michaels (Scott Bakula) and Steve Day (Kris Kristofferson) are put on the case when a Bill Gates type software genius Will Stiles (Judge Reinhold) designs a Web browser that allows him a backdoor to hack into Netforce’s computer system and take control of the entire Internet for his own purposes.

Read the rest

How Amazon’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ Uses History’s Icons to Create Tension

An aging Adolf Hitler appears on the evening news. A digital swastika hovers high above Times Square. A San Francisco dais flies Japan’s imperial flag.. Is this the American dream?

Amazon’s latest original series, “The Man in the High Castle,” traffics in both the commonplace and the strange, the recognizable and the inconceivable, fashioning a fictional universe that seems all too real.… Read the rest

Breaking The Enigma Code (The Imitation Game )

“I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.”

― Alan Turing, Computing machinery and intelligence

More than six decades after his death, Alan Turing’s life remains a point of fascination—even for people who have no interest in his groundbreaking work in computer science.… Read the rest

Freedom Writers (2007)

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves and pursue education beyond high school

It’s 1994 in Long Beach, California. Idealistic Erin Gruwell is just starting her first teaching job, that as freshman and sophomore English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, which, two years earlier, implemented a voluntary integration program. For many of the existing teachers, the integration has ruined the school, whose previously stellar academic standing has been replaced with many students who will be lucky to graduate or even be literate.

Despite choosing the school on purpose because of its integration program, Erin is unprepared for the nature of her classroom, whose students live by generations of strict moral codes of protecting their own at all cost. Many are in gangs and almost all know somebody that has been killed by gang violence. The Latinos hate the Cambodians who hate the blacks and so on. The only person the students hate more is Ms. Gruwell. It isn’t until Erin holds an unsanctioned discussion about a recent drive-by shooting death that she fully begins to understand what she’s up against. And it isn’t until she provides an assignment of writing a daily journal – which will be not graded, and will remain unread by her unless they so choose – that the students begin to open up to her.

As Erin tries harder and harder to have resources provided to teach properly (which often results in her needing to pay for them herself through working second and third jobs), she seems to face greater resistance, especially from her colleagues, such as Margaret Campbell, her section head, who lives by regulations and sees such resources as a waste, and Brian Gelford, who will protect his “privileged” position of teaching the senior honors classes at all cost. Erin also finds that her teaching job is placing a strain on her marriage to Scott Casey, a man who seems to have lost his own idealistic way in life.

Teaching the Unteachable

Following the L.A. Riots, the mood in our city was unsettling, and on our first day of high school, we had only three things in common: we hated school, we hated our teacher, and we hated each other.

Many of the students who entered Erin Gruwell’s freshman English class weren’t thinking about how to make it to graduation, but how they could make it to sixteen years old. Racial and gang tension had peaked and a record 126 murders had occurred in Long Beach that year. With the external stresses of a divided city, the students of Room 203 were not concerned with the education system that had already failed them on multiple occasions. Gruwell’s students had been written off as unteachable and below average.

Regardless of what her peers tried to tell her, Gruwell sought to engage her jaded students. She chose, instead, to listen to what they had to say and saw beyond the stigma of their low test scores. She brought in literature written by teenagers who looked and talked like them, who faced struggles just like theirs. The students soon realized that if they could relate to the complete strangers in their books, they could certainly relate to one another.

They started to form a diverse family, accepting of all, that they named the “Freedom Writers” after the 1960s Civil Rights activists, the Freedom Riders. In this newly formed safe space, the Freedom Writers began writing anonymous journal entries about the adversity they faced. They felt free to write about gang violence, abuse, drugs, love, and everything else real teenagers dealt with on a daily basis. The rawness and honesty of their journals was published in a book called, “The Freedom Writers Diary,” which became an instant “New York Times” Best Seller.

All 150 Freedom Writers graduated in 1998. Many have gone on to pursue higher education and lucrative careers. The Freedom Writers Foundation was created shortly after to help other educators mirror Erin and the Freedom Writers’ accomplishments and ensure a quality education for all students.

Visit or get involved at the: Freedom Writers Foundation

THE LAUNDROMAT (2019)

When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of questionable dealings that can be linked to a Panama City law firm and its vested interest in helping the world’s wealthiest citizens amass even larger fortunes.

Read the rest
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  • Famous Quotes In History

    "I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology....Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated."
    -- Bertrand Russell in The Impact of Science on Society  
     
    “Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.”
    – Julius Caesar  
     
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