Ennio Morricone

I remember it was about sixteen years ago now, that someone introduced1 me to the spaghetti western genre.

This is how I came across the “dynamic duo“ of Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. I had watched fragments of them, but hadn’t quite seen them as movies that had anything in common, and I certainly never knew that these were Italian movies, not Hollywood ones (!)

Having seen one I had to see more, but what stuck with me more was their music, and since then, of these movies2, I’ve heard more soundtracks than seen the movies3.

It’s a distinctive sound, and I keep going back to a few favorites every few months. In his memory4, then, here are some of them:

  1. I’m usually the one introducing someone else to something new, so this doesn’t happen often, and I have a special respect for this person ↩︎
  2. Wikipedia ↩︎
  3. although, the slow takes are a good antidote to some of the fare on offer today ↩︎
  4. 1928-2020; he passed away a week ago ↩︎
  5. with the lead-in. Yes, I heard the Metallica version first. Yes, I like the original better ↩︎
  6. though, tbh, only the first half, with the epic whistling ↩︎

Using Twitter the right way (!)

Apparently there was a massive Twitter hack1 yesterday, and some folks clearly made a bunch of money2 off it too.

I didn’t notice this, though I do spend several minutes a day on Twitter. I guess it’s probably because I don’t have a lot of verified accounts that I follow, and I stick to sort of the “long tail” of Twitter.

My Twitter experience is most pleasant, and (I feel) quite informative too, which is very much the opposite of what most people experience.

I think the lesson is clear, for these “giga-social-network”3: stay away from the “home page”4, stay away from the popular stuff5.

FWIW I do the same6 at Reddit (the only other7 “giga-social-network” I allow myself to use right now). And I’ve had a similar good time there8 too.

  1. all “the big names” ↩︎
  2. can I haz bitcoin? ↩︎
  3. because mega isn’t big enough ↩︎
  4. I’m aware of the implication here: to provide this enjoyable long-tail interest-driven experience, a large mass of people endure the hell of context-less random responses, trolling, centi-threads, bans, “angry speech”, and so forth; I’m not trying to diagnose any of that here. Yet. ↩︎
  5. The folks at Wired seem to have reached a similar conclusion ↩︎
  6. i.e. don’t follow overly-popular sub-reddits ↩︎
  7. No, haven’t gotten back to Facebook yet ↩︎
  8. though again, “toxicity” and “hate” seem to be widely experienced ↩︎

The Highlight Zone

One of my favorite shows for Tara is Peg Cat. There is a glut of “kid-oriented shows”, and this is very refreshing.

The “drawing quality” is similar to Pete the Cat (crayon-cartoon-ish), with grid paper in the background. I came for the “oh, a show that tries to make Math fun”, and stayed for the whacky characters.

It is not without … references for cough … discerning adults … cough, as I realized when watching ”The Highlight Zone1, where everything turns black and white, and Peg and the eponymous Cat must find things out of whack to return to “the normal world” (or do they? Lol).

Anyway, all round good fun, easily recommend.

  1. link to video here ↩︎

My daughter’s first horror movie :-|

We recently finished all three seasons of the “new” 2002-2006 Scooby Doo series1, and while browsing Netflix, we came across a full-length Scooby Doo movie.

Great. In the spirit of watching a “family movie” this weekend (previously: Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda: 2, My Little Pony), we ended up watching it 2 and … damn, it was a bit unexpected.

Every regular episode follows the same plot line: some random ghost/monster is introduced, the gang investigates, a musical chase scene results, an unmasking results, the mystery is solved.

The premise of the monsters not being “real” is … ignored by this movie. And instead of a comedy, it’s actually … a comic horror movie.

In that (spoiler alert) the zombies and … er, ”cat creatures ?” … are real. Yes, a twist on the ol’ Scooby-Doo formula!

Must’ve been fun to write, and I thought it was a genuinely fun movie in that way … except that I should’ve cursorily skimmed the plot overview on Wikipedia 3, and … let my daughter know it was gonna be a bit on the scary side.