Morena Baccarin (“Firefly” and “Deadpool”) with moderator Dana Han-Klein talk about the “Gotham” TV show, family life and upcoming movie, “Greenland,” at Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019 on Saturday, August 17, 2019.
Morena Baccarin (“Firefly” and “Deadpool”) and Ben McKenzie (“Southland”) with moderator Dana Han-Klein talk about the “Gotham” TV show, working together and family life at Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019 on Friday, August 16, 2019.
If you got your invitation email to apply for the new Apple Card, and clicked on the link that took you to the Wallet app on your iPhone, you may have gotten the error message that Apple Pay could not connect to the Internet. Except you know that every other app on your iPhone has access to the Internet. Watch this video for two workarounds that can get your Apple Card application submitted.
We are less than one week away from Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019, taking place at the San Jose Convention Center from Friday, August 16, through Sunday, August 18. The programming schedule came out several weeks ago to provide a general outline of what to expect for autographs, panels and photo-ops. This is not a complete schedule and it won’t be finalized until the first day of the con. By then you should be able to download the app to get all the latest updates. I will be going through the programming schedule in reverse chronological order by going from the most interesting to the least interesting. I’ll highlight the Terminator Reunion panel with Arnold Schwarzenegger for Sunday, the pop culture and science panels on Saturday, and a rant about the main event for Friday.Read more “SVCC 2019 Programming Schedule Highlights”
“Wasn’t there a shooting at this place? Who else is here because of the shooting?”
I stared at the comment in disbelief. Surely, this was a joke. A shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival?
A Google search showed that an active shooter alert went live at the same time as my video. Looking at the real time analytics, both videos experienced a sharp spike in traffic. No surprise. My two videos with Chef Tom Colicchio in a cooking demo and announcing the winners of the Great Garlic Cook-Off were the newest videos for the Gilroy Garlic Festival.
I pinned this comment to both of my videos:
“There is an active shooter at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, reported at 5:30 PM Pacific today (7/28/2019). The two videos that I posted were from yesterday and have nothing to do with the shooting. Thoughts and prayers for the victims.”
Since the mainstream media was slow to report the shooting, I watched it unfold on Twitter while the views for my videos climbed steadily upward for the next three hours.
Read the rest of the essay on Medium.
If you missed out on attending AlienCon Los Angeles like I did last month, there’s a new “alien con” taking place on Friday, September 20, 2019. The Area 51 Naruto Run in the southern Nevada desert. Over one million people will storm Area 51 to find the aliens and the UFOs that the US government stashed away since the 1947 crash in Roswell, New Mexico. The plan is for everyone to meet at the Area 51 Alien Center on US-95. During the wee hours of the morning, everyone will travel to surround Area 51 from every direction. If you perform the Naruto Run just right, you should outrun the bullets as military personnel tries to stop everyone from seeing those aliens. If you can’t outrun the bullets, you will die knowing that the Area 51 Naruto Run was one of the greatest “alien con” you have ever attended.Read more “Are You Ready for The Area 51 Naruto Run?”
Last week I saw a preview showing of Late Night, an R-rated movie about late night television, opening in limited release this weekend and wide release next weekend. Emma Thompson plays Katherine Newbury, a white, middle-aged English talk show host who never had a female writer on her all-male writing staff. Mindy Kaling, the writer and producer for Late Night, plays Molly Patel, a woman of color who becomes the first female writer for the show. What could possibly go wrong in this comedy-drama? Quite a bit.Read more “Late Night (2019) Movie Review”
Earlier this week I saw a preview showing of Disney’s Aladdin, the live action version of the 1992 animated version. Will Smith replaces Robin Williams as the blue-skinned Genie, providing not only the voice but also the physical presence on the big screen. I had my doubts on whether he could pull that off. Robin Williams was a legendary comedian and the Genie was one of his most iconic roles. Never mind that I’ve never seen the animated version of Disney’s Aladdin.Read more “Disney’s Aladdin (2019) Movie Review”
A survey question by Civic Science found that 56% of Americans are against teaching Arabic numerals to kids. What are Arabic numerals? Zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine. The everyday numbers that schools have taught kids in the West for the last 800 years. Snopes weighed in with a “true” rating, noting that the survey was like another viral survey question from December 2015. Public Policy Polling found that 41% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats were in favor of bombing “Agrabah,” the fictional city of Disney’s Aladdin. I very much doubt that Will Smith will be singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, Agrabah,” in the live action version of Disney’s Aladdin at the movie theaters this week. What does the survey questions about Arabic numerals and Aladdin reveal about Americans?
Arabic, sometimes called Hindu-Arabic, numerals were first invented around 500 CE in India, and used extensively by Arabic mathematicians in Baghdad in the centuries thereafter. The Arabs brought not only Arabic numerals to the West, but also fractions, decimal point, and algebra that formed the mathematical basis of modern science. The finalized form of Arabic numerals that we use today came to Europe in the 13th century CE. Arabic numerals became the rage when the Norte Dame Cathedral in Paris finished building in the same century. As scientists discovered when the cathedral caught on fire last month, 800-year-old timber burns a lot faster than brand new construction timber. Arabic numerals replaced Roman numerals to become the standard numeral system around the world.
The Civic Science survey question showed that most Americans are prejudice towards anything associated with the word “Arabic” in particular and the Middle East in general. However, I find the breakdown in responses as a reflection of education in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 25% of Americans have a college degree. Most college degree programs require algebra and calculus for graduation, exposing students to the history of Arabic numerals and Arab contributions to science.
The 29% of Americans who wanted Arabic numerals taught in schools were probably college educated or have a personal interest in mathematics. As for the 15% of Americans who have no opinion, they were being honest for not knowing and withholding judgment on what Arabic numerals were. If the high schools ever taught critical thinking, most Americans should have been for No Opinion.
A somewhat interesting coincidence that Civic Science asked about the Arabic numerals prior to Disney coming out with a live action version of their animated Aladdin. The Public Policy Polling asked their survey question about bombing the fictional city of Aladdin in the run up to the 2016 presidential campaign, as the debate over Iran’s compliance with the nuclear treaty got underway. They based the survey question on Senator John McCain singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran” in tune to an old Beach Boys song during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Disney’s Aladdin had permanently fixed the story as being Persian and in the city of Agrabah even though the original text mentions neither nationality nor geography. The story may have been set in Western China, which, at one point, was part of the Persian Empire. For those of you who don’t know, Iranians are Persians and not Arabs. Replace Iran with Agrabah in the survey question, most Republicans and some Democrats would bomb the heck out of it. Never mind that Agrabah was a fictional city created by Disney, which might have been an alternative name for Baghdad in Iraq since the animated version of Aladdin came out a year after the Gulf War ended.
The brilliant minds who brought us the Second Iraq War with a $1+ trillion USD price tag 15 years ago are in the White House today, pushing for war with Iran on purpose or by accident. Something to think about while watching Will Smith in the live action version of Aladdin.