📺 Sherlock, Season 3 Episodes 1-3

Sherlock, Season 3 Episodes 1-3 from BBC
The Empty Hearse; The Sign of Three; His Last Vow

Re-watched the three episodes of season 3

It’s apparently been a while, but I’d apparently seen all three of these when they were initially released in the US. It is nice prep for season 4 which is also available. I’ve forgotten enough bits and the series is rich enough that watching it all again is still very engaging.

Watched on Netflix streaming via Chromecast to Television

📺 The Real Reason We Don’t Hear About Joe Pesci Anymore | YouTube

The Real Reason We Don't Hear About Joe Pesci Anymore by Looper from YouTube
Joe Pesci is one of the all-time great and versatile character actors. He played Jake Lamotta's brother and manager in Raging Bull the psychopathic Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas, and had legendary roles in Home Alone, My Cousin Vinny, and the Lethal Weapon franchise. Pesci was a welcome presence on the big screen for decades who could successfully handle high drama and humor. But lately, we haven't heard much from the Oscar-winner, while his talents have been sorely missed. Here are some of the reasons Joe Pesci's been off the radar in recent years...

Early retirement | 0:34
Just for friends | 1:30
Losing interest | 2:30
Gains and losses | 3:27
The ex-wife, the hitman, and the attorney | 4:21
Time for a comeback? | 5:43

📺 The trick that makes transcribing quick and easy | YouTube

The trick that makes transcribing quick and easy from Quartz | YouTube
Transcribing things sucks. But we have a hack to make transcribing quick and easy–it's also free.

Overview: Use Google Docs with voice record and a pair of headphones.

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🎞 Trolls (2016)

Trolls (2016) from DreamWorks
Directed by Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn. With Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

A cute enough little film with a catchy soundtrack. Entertaining, but a bit too treacly for my taste.

Watched on Netflix streamed to TV via Chromecast

📺 Proving Brouwer’s Fixed Point Theorem | PBS Infinite Series on YouTube

Proving Brouwer's Fixed Point Theorem by Tai-Danae Bradley from PBS Infinite Series | YouTube
There is a proof for Brouwer's Fixed Point Theorem that uses a bridge - or portal - between geometry and algebra. Analogous to the relationship between geometry and algebra, there is a mathematical “portal” from a looser version of geometry -- topology -- to a more “sophisticated” version of algebra. This portal can take problems that are very difficult to solve topologically, and recast them in an algebraic light, where the answers may become easier. Written and Hosted by Tai-Danae Bradley; Produced by Rusty Ward; Graphics by Ray Lux; Assistant Editing and Sound Design by Mike Petrow and Meah Denee Barrington; Made by Kornhaber Brown (www.kornhaberbrown.com)

I had originally started following Tai-Danae Bradley on Instagram having found her account via the #math tag. Turns out she’s burning up the world explaining some incredibly deep and complex mathematics in relatively simple terms. If you’re into math and not following her work already, get with the program. She’s awesome!

Personal Website: http://www.math3ma.com/
Twitter: @math3ma
Instagram: @math3ma
YouTube series: PBS Infinite Series

While this particular video leaves out a masters degree’s worth of detail, it does show some incredibly powerful mathematics by analogy. The overall presentation and descriptions are quite solid for leaving out as much as they do. This may be some of the best math-based science communication I’ve seen in quite a while.

I must say that I have to love and laugh at the depth and breadth of the comments on the video too. At best, this particular video, which seems to me to be geared toward high school or early college viewers and math generalists, aims to introduce come general topics and outline an incredibly complex proof in under 9 minutes. People are taking it to task for omitting “too much”! To completely understand and encapsulate the entirety of the topics at hand one would need coursework including a year’s worth of algebra, a year’s worth of topology including some algebraic topology, and a minimum of a few months worth of category theory. Even with all of these, to fill in all the particular details, I could easily see a professor spending an hour at the chalkboard filling in the remainder without any significant handwaving. The beauty of what she’s done is to give a very motivating high level perspective on the topic to get people more interested in these areas and what can be done with them. For the spirit of the piece, one might take her to task a bit for not giving more credit to the role Category Theory is playing in the picture, but then anyone interested is going to spend some time on her blog to fill in a lot of those holes. I’d challenge any of the comments out there to attempt to do what she’s done in under 9 minutes and do it better.

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📺 Introduction to Category Theory 1 by Steven Roman | YouTube

Introduction to Category Theory 1 by Steven Roman from YouTube
Lecture one of six in an introductory set of lectures on category theory.

Take Away from the lecture: Morphisms are just as important as the objects that they morph. Many different types of mathematical constructions are best described using morphisms instead of elements. (This isn’t how things are typically taught however.)

Would have been nice to have some more discussion of the required background for those new to the broader concept. There were a tremendous number of examples from many areas of higher math that many viewers wouldn’t have previously had. I think it’s important for them to know that if they don’t understand a particular example, they can move on without much loss as long as they can attempt to apply the ideas to an area of math they are familiar with. Having at least a background in linear algebra and/or group theory are a reasonable start here.

In some of the intro examples it would have been nice to have seen at least one more fully fleshed out to better demonstrate the point before heading on to the multiple others which encourage the viewer to prove some of the others on their own.

Thanks for these Steven, I hope you keep making more! There’s such a dearth of good advanced math lectures on the web, I hope these encourage others to make some of their own as well.

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📺 The West Wing (NBC, 1999) Season 1, Episodes 1-4

The West Wing (S1, E1-4) from NBC
Created by Aaron Sorkin. With Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, John Spencer. Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

It’s amazing how much has changed in politics and how much hasn’t changed…

“Five Votes Down”
“A Proportional Response”
“Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc”

Watched on Netflix via Chromecast to Television

🎞 Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight from Open Road Films (II)
Directed by Tom McCarthy. With Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, and John Slattery. The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Interesting to see this again following Cardinal Law’s recent death. It’s still incredibly painful to watch. I don’t remember who I would have identified with the first time I saw this in the theater, but I certainly identify with Mike Rezendes’ rage in the end.

The stupidity of humans and how they manage to treat each other always astounds me; particularly here where it is the church that is the instigator.

Watched on Netflix via Chromecast to television


🎞 The Post (2017)

The Post from DreamWorks
Directed by Steven Spielberg. With Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Bob Odenkirk. A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

This was a bit over dramatic in parts and seemed to be attempting to pull at one’s emotions a bit too obviously. It is an interesting perspective into the battle of the sexes in the early 1970’s.

I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t some type of chyron coda to discuss the fallout from the Pentagon Papers and what happened to Daniel Ellsberg, but instead there was a cute bit foreshadowing the Watergate scandal just a few years later. Though it may have been difficult to pull off narratively, I suspect Spielberg could have done both, but decided not to.

Overall an interesting story well told.

Watched at: ArcLight Cinemas, Pasadena, CA, Theater 8, Row H, Seat 12


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📺 “Tin Star” The Kid (S1, E2)

Tin Star: The Kid (S1, E2) from Amazon
Directed by Marc Jobst. With Tim Roth, Christina Hendricks, Genevieve O'Reilly, Abigail Lawrie. Wracked with guilt, Jim attempts to bury his grief by continuing with the murder investigation of Dr Susan Bouchard. Instinctively believing it's connected to his own tragic loss.

This somehow seems even more brutal than the first episode. I’m still not quite sure where it’s going or what all the characters’ motivations are. I may dip into it again in a week or so, but I may just give up here.

Watched via Amazon Prime on Television with Fire TV stick

📺 “Tin Star” Fun and (S)Laughter (S1, E1)

Tin Star: Fun and (S)Laughter (S1, E1) from Amazon
Directed by Rowan Joffe. With Tim Roth, Christina Hendricks, Genevieve O'Reilly, Abigail Lawrie. An alcoholic small-town police chief's life is shattered by unspeakable tragedy.

Both an unexpected beginning and a twist for an unexpected ending.

I’m not sure there’s enough character development in the first episode to have a lot of clue where this is going and why I should care. But it is Tim Roth, so we’ll give it a chance, but a slim one because it is psychologically brutal.

Watched via Amazon Prime on Television with Fire TV stick

📺 “Bosch” The Sea King (S3, E10)

Bosch, The Sea King (S3, E10) from Amazon
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Madison Lintz. Bosch's relentless pursuit in the Meadows case reaches a climax. Bosch and Edgar talk about a startling discovery. An unexpected visitor drops in on Bosch and Maddie. Harry learns that his history is far from settled.

The tie up at the end felt a bit too quick and somewhat unsatisfying. They have set us up with some more plot to lead into season 4 however…

Watched via Amazon Prime on Television with Fire TV stick

📺 “Bosch” Clear Shot (S3, E9)

"Bosch" Clear Shot (S3, E9) from Amazon
Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Paola Turbay, Gregory Scott Cummins. The department rallies when a threat hits close to home. There's a pivotal turn in the Holland case. Bosch is forced to face a dark truth. Irving embraces a lifelong goal. There's no honor among thieves.

Second time watching this episode. They’re generally so rich and layered that they stand up to multiple viewings pretty well.

Watched via Amazon Prime on Television with Fire TV stick

🎞 Miss Sloane (2016)

Miss Sloane from EuropaCorp
Directed by John Madden. With Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Stuhlbarg. In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. But when taking on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds winning may come at too high a price.

This was certainly a well constructed script though some of the turns weren’t subtly executed enough to have confounded me as well as I would have liked. Still there was enough unexpectedness in the telegraphing that I suspect most were caught unawares, which makes it a fantastic film.

There were far more supporting characters here than in a typical studio picture, but that actually made it more interesting and gritty somehow. Generally well acted by everyone, though Michael Stuhlbarg and Mark Strong stood out to me as incredibly solid here.

Though Elizabeth Sloane doesn’t seem to have much of a character arc, like most of her life, she’s living it out internally so that it really isn’t seen until the last minute when everything is revealed. It’s nice to see a painfully flawed central character as a lead.

📺 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 1 Episodes 1-4)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 1, Episodes 1-4) from Amazon Originals
Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. With Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen, Marin Hinkle. A housewife in the 1950s decides to become a stand-up comic.

This is more fun and entertaining than I would have expected it to be.

My one disappointment so far: The first couple episodes has some stronger and better written characters that seem much more true to themselves. By episode four/early episode 5 they’re feeling white washed and almost caricatures of themselves. Certainly by episode four Mrs. Maisel has somehow morphed into a somewhat older Rory Gilmore (from Gilmore Girls). All the characters eventually seem to have the same witty banter and methods of speech (including the time period) which mirrors Amy Sherman Palladino’s work in Gillmore Girls. Some of Mrs. Maisel’s grittiness from the early episodes simply disappears, and not as an evolving result of her character arc.

While I can appreciate that the writer certainly has a “voice”, she should be able to modulate it to better differentiate her characters going forward. I’ll keep sampling it through the end of the season, but if the tenor doesn’t improve, I’m sure to give up on future seasons.

Watched on Amazon Prime.