Sunday, January 31, 2010

Around the Blogosphere This Week

...I just learned that two of Julia Child's shows, THE WAY TO COOK and BAKING WITH JULIA, were released on DVD in the last few weeks. Back in 2005 I wrote about how much I enjoyed learning from Julia's THE FRENCH CHEF series on DVD.

...Sad news: the Pasadena Playhouse, where many actors of the classic film era got their start, is closing in a few days and may declare bankruptcy. My dad once served as a volunteer at the Playhouse.

...I chuckled reading Glenn Erickson's review of THE CROWDED SKY (1960), which was our disaster movie choice last New Year's Eve. Glenn calls it a "hugely enjoyable Bad Movie," which is right on target.

...As a new iTouch owner who has installed the Kindle app, I was interested in this comparison of the Kindle and the newly announced iPad. There is a huge difference in battery life -- 10 hours for the colorful iPad versus a week for the Kindle.

...As I mentioned last week, the Universal Vault recently debuted without much fanfare, providing "burned to order" DVDs exclusively via Amazon. This is the third "burned to order" program to date, joining the Warner Archive and TCM's Universal/Paramount offerings. R. Emmet Sweeney has interesting insights at the TCM Blog.

...Did you know actress Marsha Hunt wrote a book on film fashion a number of years ago? The title is THE WAY WE WORE: STYLES OF THE 1930'S AND '40S AND OUR WORLD SINCE THEN. It has over 500 photos from her personal collection. I'd sure like to get a copy.

...Global warming funny business exposed: it was suppressed for months that the warning that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was sheer fakery for political purposes, with no basis in science. (More links in last week's roundup.)

...Here's a great-looking recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken at Apple a Day. I hope to try it soon. Thanks to Raquelle's roundup at Thoughtful Eating for introducing me to the Apple a Day site, which recently celebrated its second anniversary.

...Byron York in the Washington Examiner: "Has Obama Become Bored With Being President?" The Anchoress also has interesting thoughts about our current President's temperament.

...Disneyland's Showboat Jubilee is on hiatus as the Rivers of America have been drained for rehab, but Princess Tiana will be returning soon with a musical show in New Orleans Square.

...The California legislature is nuts, we're sinking into a financial abyss and they're worrying about launching universal healthcare and abolishing statewide free parking. To the social engineers in Sacramento, free parking is an evil which discourages the use of mass transit; forcing people to pay to visit businesses is just what our state economy needs, right?!

...For Southern Californians: a Renoir exhibit is coming to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art beginning in mid February.

...Some of the Jean Simmons tributes I especially enjoyed over the last few days: David Thomson, Moira Finnie, the Self-Styled Siren, Big Hollywood, and Another Old Movie Blog.

...I watched a good-sized section of Simmons' THE BLUE LAGOON (1949) on YouTube a few days ago and found it very interesting, although the ending was disturbing; I hope to watch the entire film at some point. It was directed by Frank Launder.

...Don't forget that Tuesday is Groundhog Day!

Have a great week!


Blogger Missy said...

The Kindle vs. iPad article is interesting, but they missed a few things. One, Apple has said they'll match Amazon's e-book prices (of course, we don't know yet if they really will). Two, Macmillan and it's many publishers just had a fight with Amazon: Macmillan won't agree to the $9.99 pricing so Amazon dropped all Macmillan standard and ebooks, only to cave today. See (Earlier today I checked three authors from Macmillan prints...all gone from Amazon. Haven't looked again tonight.) The Times article doesn't mention that the new $9.99 price structure meant more $$ for Amazon and less for they rebelled. There are so many classics to read for free on my iPod Touch via Stanza or Kindle apps, that I'll stick to them. Oh, and the iPad bookstore will only work in the U.S. Kindle recently became available in several countries.

As for the iPad in general...what a stupid name!!!! And here's what I wrote on Facebook the other day: "I don't think I'll be first in line for an iPad. It looks a little too big and heavy, it doesn't have much storage, NO camera!!!, uses existing (weak) ebook standard, no DVD drive (so movies must be downloaded or burned), and a first generation chip from a company that's never made a chip before. The potential is there...but I think I'll wait a generation or two for the iPad to improve. I'll continue using my iPod Touch for now."

It will be interesting to see what happens with the iPad and e-book readers. I hope somebody other than Sony's reader will work with libraries so e-books can be checked out for a limited time.


6:40 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Wow. Great roundup, Laura. Where to begin! Suffice it to say, California is so screwed up and now with legislators suggesting these ridiculously absurd plans, I can see why.

How on earth they can even remotely consider statewide universal health care is just staggering.

And the parking situation is just too unbelievable. It makes me think the ultimate goal is to see every business in California shuttered, and the state taking over all enterprises with some weird subsidized parking...that we will pay for with a new public parking tax.

Is it something in the water in Sacramento?

7:19 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks very much for all this interesting info, Missy, including the link. Just saw a headline on Amazon and MacMillan a while ago and am not up to speed yet. Really appreciate your insights on a very interesting topic.

I saw someone referred to the iPad as a "large print iTouch," LOL. I like that!

Best wishes,

8:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I tell you, Dana, it's more than a bit discouraging that our fellow citizens have elected so many loons to the state legislature...sigh. Sacramento seems completely removed from any economic reality.

Glad you enjoyed the roundup!

Best wishes,

8:01 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Ah, Ground Hog Day - think I'll have to get out the movie for that one :)

I was happy to see the news about Tiana singing in New Orleans Square. If it's the same gal who did the singing on the Mark Twain, then everyone is in for a real treat. I'm also happy to see she will sing "Ma Belle Evangeline" which was not done for the Jubilee but was absolutely beautiful in the movie.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the show, too, Irene. Should be very entertaining with some really good songs.

GROUNDHOG DAY is one of my all-time favorite movies. :)

Best wishes,

9:52 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks for the link. I've loved reading the many tributes to Jean Simmons.

Very sorry to hear about the Pasadena Playhouse.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

On a side note, my dad, who is 76 years old, said that his first crush was Jean Simmons!

6:59 PM  

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