Full disclosure

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Unpacking some more boxes this weekend, I was reminded that an old friend once pointed out that you could learn a lot about someone from their CD collection. Obviously this was before iTunes.

These days, surely it is what’s on your iPod. And for me, that’s almost exclusively podcasts.

When you add up the time spent travelling to/from work on public transport and the (unfortunately only) occasional gym session, I get about 6 hours a week when I can use my ears, but I can’t read a book. Podcasts are a perfect  use of that time.

I’ve gone through listening to various podcasts, but currently I’m subscribing to five that I find pretty interesting. If you’re interested enough to read my posts, then you could be interested in also listening to some of these:

  1. Triple J: Hack Half Hour (Podcast) is one of better Australian current affairs shows. Half an hour, every afternoon, it covers topics from youth mental illness to East Timorese politics.
  2. The Economist (Podcast) provides a global perspective on what is happening, and includes “the week ahead” which gives the heads-up on what is likely to be covered in the news in the coming few days.
  3. this WEEK in TECH (Podcast) is a rambly but sometimes insightful technology commentary, with a focus on North American news items. The cast dynamics often overshadow the tech news.
  4. gdgt weekly (Podcast) is a weekly tech news show that covers the consumer electronics industry. Sometimes they talk about things other than the iPhone and the Kindle.
  5. SALT – Seminars About Long Term Thinking (Podcast) are recordings of the monthly seminar series hosted by The Long Now Foundation and have truly fascinating speakers on subjects that consider our society and planet over multiple generations.

I don’t know what you could learn about me from this collection, other than what you’d already know from reading my blog.

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3D but not even 3 star

On a recent trip, I watched one of the new crop of 3D computer animated films on the plane. Since Chicken Little came out in 2005, there has been almost exponential growth in the number of 3D films in our cinemas. Today it seems that you can’t release a computer animation without making it 3D – even Pixar’s latest effort is a 3D extravaganza. That said, the film I watched was in 2D since planes aren’t yet fitted out with 3D screens.

Monsters vs Aliens

The title is more exciting than the film turned out to be

Now, if this was actually the aliens out of the movie Aliens fighting the monsters out of Monsters Inc, then we might have had something. However, this movie was about two things: 3D and Reese Witherspoon.

You can tell that we’re not yet mature about the use of 3D in films, because this one starts off with a guy playing with a paddle ball towards the camera. I would’ve thought that the point was to have a movie experience so immersive that you forget you’re in a cinema. Going out of your way to remind everyone that they’re watching a 3D movie defeats that.

Aside from the 3D, Witherspoon is the star of this show. It’s really a vehicle for her (is it her first animated feature?) and the rest is not particularly memorable. I got the impression that if Men in Black had been made by the people who made Sweet Home Alabama, then this is the movie we’ve had ended up with.

My rating: 2.5 stars

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