Picture Kaleidoscope 4/22/15 and more...


Picture Kaleidoscope 4/22/15

Running late!!!!!


Sunrises have been rather fab the last few weeks!




Went to check out the company's new location and took some pics of the surrounding view


Nice no?


Looking forward to what other pics I will get from here once we move. :)





Some construction nearby. 


Couldn't leave without a pano. Heh heh


See what I mean about the sunrises lately?


Oh yeah!


Far back approach


Loads of cool clouds this past weekend. 


Cirrus at the top, cumulus at the bottom. Like a cloud mullet?  :P


Yeah I do hit that button a lot.

Have a great day!
    


Mind Sieve 4/20/15

Happy Monday!




Fan Fun

 

Be Water My Friend - hubby shared one of the many versions of this remix with me this weekend. I felt it was worth sharing. Especially since most of the generation have not heard of him. (And you can see a super young Chuck Norris in here too!) Heh heh. This video is by Henry Lai. (Now I want to go an watch form Kung Fu flicks.) :P


 

The Sisterhood of the Night Official Trailer - when social media goes terribly wrong. DOH!


 

Dial A Prayer - this looks like it could be totally adorable!


 

Good Kill Official Trailer #1 - Oooh drones and moral choices. Should be harsh! Sweet!


 

Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer #3- because we're not pumped up enough. heh heh




Social Media/Author Platform

The 10 Commandments of Authorial Self-Promotion by Chuck (NSFW) Wendig. The Beard tells it like it is, ya'll!



Writing Advice

Ten Ways to Tighten Your Writing & Hook the Reader by Kristen Lamb. Nice and precise! With examples too. It's amazing how we always have to be reminded of these things. DOH!

Picking Editors: How to Evaluate Potential Editors by Jami Gold. Loads of wisdom shared in this one. :)


Have a great Monday!
    


Virtual Tourist - TERA 4/19/15

Morning!
Up earlier than usual today. *yawn* May have to go in to the office. Quarter end and all. The power outages last night may have hit the office because I can login from home this morning. Boo!

TERA
Southern Shara
Arachnaea


Yeah...this place is not creepy at all. Eek!


They grow them big around here!


Brave soul that one.


Look at the bizarre web patterns


Super bad spider - eek!


Yeah, you can guess what they use for food. Ugh. Nasties who help them.


A menacing close up!


And his backside. Mean looking.


See the dead creature? Wrapped in mid roar. Doh!


Outside! Fresh air! Huzzah!


Such an inviting gate - NOT!


So green!

Hope you have a wonderfully restful Sunday!
    


Movie Review - Ex Machina

Ex Machina


Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Corey Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno, Claire Selby, Symara A. Templeman, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Tiffany Pisani, Elina Alminas, and more.

Directed by: Alex Garland Written by: Alex Garland Music by: Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury Cinematography by: Rob Hardy

Premise: Winning a vacation prize at work, Caleb gets to travel to spend a week with the company's founder, recluse, and programming genius, Nathan, at his private estate. But when Caleb gets there, he's told he's there for something else as well. He is to be the tester of Nathan's latest creation. He will be helping to prove, one way or the other, if Nathan has created a true Artificial Intelligence. (Rated R)

Review:

1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Domhnall Gleeson made the perfect foil for Nathan and his test. The character Caleb is like an eager puppy, and Domhnall portrayed that, and some of the later changes, beautifully. Oscar Isaac also did some great work - he was totally creepy and hard to read as the recluse Nathan. Sonoya Mizuno was fab as Kyoko - the longer you watched her the more subtext she conveyed - nice. But it'll be Alicia Vikander that'll steal your heart and soul. She's fantastic as Ava. Tons of lovely facial expressions and nuances. Especially during her transformations - very nice.

(And both Domhnall and Oscar are going to be in the new Star Wars film! Sweet!)

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The special effects in the film are not grandiose or flashy, but this just makes them ever so much more effective. The blending of Alicia and the CGI for Ava's body was fantastic. Much like Chappie in the movie "Chappie", Ava looks real in every way, and you believe she is an android, her body slimmer than a real girl's would be since it is missing a 1/2 layer of skin.

Ava's glowing innards and all the shiny metal and parts were just too darn cool. Loved the small peek we got into the fabrication area, too. The partially liquid brains were awesome!


3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The film is more of a thought provoking thriller than an action film. Hubby thought from the previews it would be more action packed than it was (as it had minimal action) so it might be something to keep in consideration when deciding if it is for you.

Between the unusual setting, Ava, and all the weird vibes the audience will get from Nathan, the film moves along nicely and will snag the audiences' interest. Several roads of posibilities are presented, and you're never quite sure which one is the real one. So that was nicely played. There were a couple of good twists as well.

Unfortunately, right at the end, they bailed. Hubby and I stared at each other after the credits finished, our minds rolling in confusion. A trick is used by one of the characters. Yet five minutes later, this trick is totally forgotten about and leaves one of them in a situation that really did not exist. There's also a choice made by Ava that clashes with what she shows seconds later. She had no audience, so no reason to fabricate what we see unless it was real. Yet, if it was real, she would not have made the previous choice. So it left a bad after taste and gave us the impression the ending had been tweaked - and not well. Dark endings are fine, but they should also have substance...

It was also really weird that the reclusive owner of a vast empire and creator of this magnificient technology only cooked, spied, drunk, danced, and exercised the whole week. It was bizarre never once seeing him do anything actually techie. o.O

4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The countryside encompassed by Nathan's vast estate was gorgeous. A lof of the house was filmed in different areas of the Juvet Landscape Hotel - and they couldn't have picked a cooler venue. The main room alone, inside a sandstone hollow and covered in glass, was utterly amazing. (Reminded me of one of my homes in Minecraft. :P) Add in the waterfalls, woods, and other lovely views in the protected land area, and the perfect place for science and nature to meet was brought to the screen.

Conclusion: Ex Machina is a disturbing little psychological thriller with some amazing CGI work. The ending doesn't entirely jive, but the film is worth watching for the fun cat and mouse game between the pricipals as well as the location, acting, and CGI.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full of Admission)

    

Picture Kaleidoscope 4/15/15

Happy Wednesday, all!

Let's see what I've got to share with you today. :)


The Gem-Like Turquoise Ice Found on Lake Baikal - article by Michael Zhang at PetaPixel. Photography by Alexey Trofimov. The ice is really amazing!


This photo by Alexey Trofimov on his site is totally amazing. It may not seem like it at first, but look closer. The lake is frozen and is now showing a solitary crack. The crack itself is fascinating. The frozen body of water around it, even more so. He's got a lot of great stuff on his site to peruse. 


Tintype Portraits of Celebrities at the Sundance Film Festival - article by Michael Zhang at PetaPixel. Photography by Victoria Will. What a neat undertaking! She got pics of a number of popular peeps!


Victoria Will has a fascinating site as well. More tintype pics, celebrity pics, and all sorts of stuff. I found this one rather fascinating.


Doggy Photo Booth Helps Shelter Get Dogs Adopted - article by Michael Zhang at Petapixel. Photography by Guinnevere Shuster. What an incredibly cute idea! 



Have a great day!
    

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