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Showing posts from November, 2016
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Dr. Strange: Review

I saw the movie "Dr. Strange" in full 3D glory. Here's what I thought of it:

1. Benedict Cumberbatch should not speak in an American accent in any movie. Sorry, but he's a quintessential Brit and doesn't wear an American accent well. Fine effort, though, but no cigar.

2. Benedict Cumberbatch is a brilliant actor. Despite the accent issue, he is a convincing Dr. Strange. He has perfect comic timing and pulls off the character with flair.

3. The movie is dizzying to the point that at some parts of the story I couldn't tell if my uncomfortable cinema chair was firmly planted in the ground or not. There were scenes that turned the world upside down and inside out. It was quite reminiscent of Leonardo DiCaprio's "Inception".

4. The story was formulaic, but fun. It was what audiences have come to expect from a "genesis" story of a comic book hero. I could have predicted the ending half way through the film, but I was so overwhelmed by the re…

Naming Things

One of the most difficult aspects of the creative process is naming the thing.

What you call your creation can have a deep impact on how people perceive it and how (or if) they use it.

For example, this morning I saw a concrete truck with the brand name "Putzmeister" emblazoned on its side. Turns out that Putzmeister is a large US company. I might have gone for a different name, though.

More telling is the story of "poop juice", an ancient treatment for digestive issues (otherwise known as Fecal Transplant). The patient drinks a mixture of water and a healthy donor's poop. Apparently, it works. Doctors call it "yellow soup". Rolls off the tongue better than "poop juice", eh?

Today, when attention spans are shorter than ever, it's vital to develop catchy titles that draw readers in. My informal (and decidedly unempirical research) clearly shows that titles  with a number in them are favored by click-baiters - evidence that it works: "…

Black Market Candy Pushers

According to Time4Learning, in 2012 there were approximately 1.77 million kids in America who are home-schooled. That's 3.54 million American parents who believe they are smart enough, dedicated enough, organized enough, and patient enough to teach their kids everything they need to know to get into college or do whatever comes next.

In a regular school the math teacher specializes in teaching math and the history teacher specializes in teaching history. As a parent who has committed to home-schooling your kids, you have to be an expert teacher for every subject through all age groups. There are resources out there to help you, but you need serious skills to pull it off.

But there are some serious flaws in the traditional schooling system. Home-schooling, by definition, is a non-traditional learning environment, and by contrast, regular schools create rules that stymie non-traditional education. The following example seems to be universal and cross-generational. It was true when I…

VR, AR...MR?

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Virtual Reality (VR) is an amazing technology. Strap on a headset that gives you 360 degrees of "surround vision" and you are instantly immersed in a virtual world. The real world is blocked out, enabling you to feel like you are somewhere else.

Haptic feedback, audio, and even touch sensors make you feel as if you have left reality for this new virtual experience: Mars, the Mariana Trench, or wherever your fancy takes you.

Augmented Reality (AR) combines virtual elements with the real world. For example, Pokemon Go players see the characters on their phone screens (via the camera), as if the characters are actually there.

Don a headset, such as Microsoft's HoloLens and you can see and interact with digital representations overlayed on your own reality. You can shoot aliens as they storm down your hallway, or you can see that 3D model you've designed in CAD software in front of your eyes in all dimensions. You can even throw virtual basketballs to other HoloLens use…
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