Salman Khan started as a hedge-fund manager upon teaching his 7th-grade cousin the basics of math via Yahoo Doodler, was inspired to create more “lectures” and post then on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy

Thus has started a movement of going to “Khan Academy” and learn concepts that still stump students during homework.

Khan Academy is a non-profit and covers Math, Biology, Physics, History and Computer Science.

 

When a Connecticut couple decided to get married at the Mystic Aquarium, home to a very expressive Beluga whale, they chose to do it in front of Juno’s tank.  When the mariachi band started up, so did Juno.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2022600/Juno-dancing-whale-steals-limelight-Mystic-Aquarium-wedding.html

Today’s shoot was in Rockland County, in Jamie Geller’s kitchen. Jamie Geller, the author of 2 “Quick & Kosher” recipe books runs the website “Joy of Kosher”; Jed and I were standing in the Geller kitchen filming her cut watermelons for a video for the site. On our side of the counter was Rabbi Lawrence, the Geller-family Rabbi from down the block. A self-professed menace to kitchens everywhere (he once set his own kitchen ablaze while toasting crackers in a small oven), the Rabbi was learning how to use a melon-baller on a watermelon. Jamie’s husband Nachem  (a witty character  I’ve endorsed to be Jamie’s right-hand in these videos) was instructing the Rabbi.

With a background in catering, Nachem proceeded to take the watermelon and turn it into a stroller, filling it with balled-melon and watermelon and blueberries, finally blinging it with pineapple-and-kiwi wheels. The Gellers’ baby sat in his high chair, staring at us all and played with his Cheerios probably wondering “I can’t sit in that!”

As much as I want to discuss the reason why next summer is going to be a thorough mind-fuck (if you’re a self-professed Nolan-geek), I’d rather get things going by highlighting the fight between Tyler Perry and Spike first.

This is a screen-grab of an article titled “Tyler Perry to Spike Lee: You can go straight to hell!

All I know is that Spike Lee can’t get a movie made and Tyler Perry can’t stop people from giving him money to dress like a woman in those god-awful Madea movies.

If people can’t stop going to the theater to see the latest from Madea, can you really blame Tyler Perry? Spike Lee says Tyler Perry’s movies make African-Americans look stupid. Does anyone care? Should anyone care?

“The Dark Knight Rises” is the most anticipated Hollywood film coming out next summer and the first teaser was released today. What’s great about the films and the way Nolan is telling a single story spread over 3 films; he can tell the story any way he wants. He can kill Batman if he damn well pleases, and nothing will change the character. The story of the films is independent of the comics and the legacy.

I once read an interview about “Batman Begins” which said “if Bergman made superhero films, he would do it like this” and I completely agree. By taking the “hero” out of “superhero”, Nolan is grounding it in our reality thus making the drama more believable. Richard Donner did the same thing with “Superman” and “Superman 2”, and claiming his approach was that of “verisimilitude”. Other films are following suit, namely “Iron Man” and “Superman Returns”. The hero is no longer a super-being, but a human being with a fractured soul; the “superpowers” are merely a cover for a cracked ego.

The next Batman film completes Nolan’s trilogy; Batman Begins was the origin story and the creation of the crimewave that envelopes the city, The Dark Knight is the preceding escalation and study of those who can replace Batman (Harvey Dent/Two-Face), and finally The Dark Knight Rises is the return of the vigilante to a city that hunts him (a position he has been in since inception of the character).

Here’s the teaser:

Once or twice a month I work with Magic Bullet Media as a sound mixer, following a small crew  (a camera-man, a producer and a production assistant). The projects range from small interviews to large-scale events. Through these jobs I see a lot of celebs, straddling the line of being an expensive commodity and being a normal human being.

On Saturday I worked with a 2-camera crew for the 84th-Anniversary of 7-Eleven (which is today), the convenience chain. Hoboken, NJ is right outside New York City and has become the place NYers go for affordable housing; it’s not really New Jersey but a cab-ride will go up to $70 just for crossing state lines (now that’s a jip). Hoboken is also known for its “Cake Boss” or Buddy Valastro and his reality show on TLC. The show follows his Italian family of pastry-chefs and bakers as they run “Carlo’s Bake Shop”.

“The Cake Boss” AKA Buddy Valastro and his crew created a 7-foot tall, 400-lb Slurpee-shaped cake, complete with a sparkler for the photo-op.

Every Saturday there’s a line around the block for cake from the famous bakery and people come from as far as California to see Buddy. Pieces of the Slurpee Cake were handed out as well as free Slurpees.

Despite never seeing a single episode of his show (the last reality-anything I’ve watched was the first season of Survivor), this sound-man needed a photo.

Today  was an impossible feat; I was a sound man on a commercial shoot involving a toddler and a puppy.

Before I get into it, the story: A man sits on a park bench with a puppy and a toddler. An attractive woman walks over.

Oh my, Is this your puppy?

Why, yes it is.

And this is your kid? Are you his father?

Well, not really…

His uncle…?

Close…I rented him.

Rented him?

And sensing her negative reaction…

No, of course not! You can’t just rent a kid to pick up women!

The woman of course is weirded out and leaves, and the man tries to convince the toddler to take $20. The toddler ends up taking $100.

Happily I didn’t have to plan nor produce this short “film” but enjoyed watching the director and producer (also the mother of the toddler) cull the best acting performance from a 2 year-old who only wanted to run away across the park. It was cute during the first hour….3 hours went by…

 

Since I was the sound guy, I had a free pass to not get involved, but secretly decided that combining toddlers with pet animals was a no-no. The puppy was adorable and sensing an impending allergic reaction (I didn’t really, but that would really suck), didn’t pet the puppy (but wanted to take it home). For various shots crackers were used get Roark to approach the camera (Roark simply took the crackers and offered them to the puppy). All in all, a good day’s work in the sweltering sun, a happy client and $ in the pocket.

It all brings to mind how my own parents tried to whore me out to  commercials, with zero luck. My ADD was is full swing and taking orders from some strange man was well, strange. That was my first and last Coca-Cola commercial audition.

Transformers 3 came out last Wednesday and since I hate to be the last person to see enormous tent-pole movies like this….

The big draw was that T3 would wrap up the Transformers story. Ironically none of the 3 movies really connect. It’s like those Pirates Of The Caribbean movies; no one really knows what’s going on and no one knows how they fit together. They just is.

The director of the Transformers films is Michael Bay,  known for blowing things up and telling stories badly. I admit, I’m a sucker for Michael Bay movies. My first was Bad Boys and that was pretty damn cool…in 1995. Since then we’ve had The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys 2, The Island, and Transformers 1 & 2. Not bad for a resume, heh?

Transformers 1 was impressive; Spielberg (the producer of all 3 films) admitted he wanted it to be the story about “a boy and his first car”…thank you Steve, Transformers was watchable. It was also written by the 2 writers known for creating Alias, Lost, Fringe and writing the new Star Trek…so the script was solid. Fast forward to T2 (a different writer) and…I want my 2 hours back.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

The chocolately-center of Transformers 3? A god-awful story. Since we had seen all this before in T1 and 2,  the main attraction wasn’t even the robots; it’s the Megan Fox-replacement, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, a former Victoria’s Secret model-turned-actress (and a robot of a different kind). (Megan Fox called director Michael Bay “a Nazis” and therefore was replaced before filming.) When Megan Fox was an attractive nobody, Megan Fox2 is an attractive nobody with a job; it’s not like woman’s underwear can sell itself right?

This movie is terrible, but has a few things going for it: giant transforming robots fighting and destroying Chicago, that kid who ruined the last Indiana Jones movie, Fergie Black-Eye Peas’ husband (you know, the dude who like strippers, or so they say), a Victoria Secret model who still remains “unfamous” and John “Why are you in this movie?” Malkovich.

Nuff said!