Star Wars Celebration on YouTube: Where’d You Go? Chicago

It’s Good Friday, and I’m having browser issues.  Microsoft put up an alpha version of its Edge browser, and I tried, like a web developer, to surf it before it’s finished, and it lasted maybe three days.

Star Wars Celebration went on from April 11 to April 15 in Chicago.  The celebration is an army of devotees sharing a love of Star Wars.  This year Star Wars Celebration premiered a teaser for Episode IX, a preview of Star Wars series The Mandalorian, the cinema for Jedi:  Fallen Order, and a trailer for S7 of The Clone Wars.  It is all interesting.

Being that this year is 2019 and that Lucasfilm put The Phantom Menace, a prequel film to Star Wars, in the cinema in 1999, the twenty-year anniversary of Phantom Menace was observed.


Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace score
S

Five days is a long time to spend with Star Wars, but between Thursday and Monday a viewer watching the events on the Star Wars YouTube channel got to see the panel discussions each day at 12:00 and 4:00 Chicago time.  Celebration, which I think is nine years running, moves around the US, but this year they put it on in Chicago.  Given the audience’s enthusiasm, it seems like that worked well for them.


Photographer:
donterase

Jedi:  Fallen Order is the name of the EA game that is the first new Star Wars game since Battlefront II.  EA is a notoriously difficult game company.  The decisions EA makes are known to send gamers away.

I suspect Disney needs Episode IX in December to be a sensation if they want their investment in Disney+ to succeed.  Disney+ is the streaming service available this fall, in November, when Disney is making available their animated features, along with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the Star Wars films, and The Mandalorian.  Disney+ could rival Netflix, and it is expensive for Disney in the short term, so it is reasonable to think that if Episode IX is a major success, it is an indication Disney+ will do well.

It is hard to anticipate what Netflix is planning in response to its rival.  If there is already talk about what Netflix is going to do, I haven’t caught it.

I believe that Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy is leading Lucasfilm for the next ten years, and her decisions to put a lot of roles that are empowering for girls affect her hold on the Star Wars fanbase, because a large number of male fans of Star Wars have made a backlash owing to the perception that they are “toxic.”  A space opera such as Star Wars has a lot of male fans, so the response has been loud about how Star Wars has met its “demise” in the sense that there will never again be a great trilogy.  The next trilogy of Star Wars films is going to be directed by Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

The Last Jedi was the film that divided the fanbase, perhaps deliberately.  That said, there was a backlash to the Star Wars Prequels, which subsided, so the same may be true of the problems facing the Star Wars Sequels, the films The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and now Episode IX, concluding the Saga.  Be that as it may, The Mandalorian, continuing Return of the Jedi from 1983, looks fantastic.  Some of the success of Disney+ is probably going to be affected by whether Episode IX proves to be a giant.

Good luck to Lucasfilm.

You’re welcome to “like” this, to follow, and/or to comment.  The inspiration for Where’d You Go? is from the Medium publication newsletter Publishous, 11,000 strong and available every week or two.

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How a #spring ruling on Content Curations made me a better person

My sister and I write friendly letters to each other by email, every other month or so.  She wrote to me this spring that she lately read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  She said the book impacted her interpersonal interactions at work.

Yesterday morning I opened my content curation tools on the internet, and to my surprise, the app appeared completely redone.  I had little idea of where to start.  If I’d never taken the notes that I did, I would have been at a disadvantage given that I needed to start over.


Photographer:
Jeffrey Betts

I work in a mostly volunteer capacity at a cemetery off the beaten track.  We operate a graveyard.  I put in duties as an SMM in order to reach the outside world.  http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

What the app revamp did was to require me to get honest about what I am interested in doing.  The reality of whether the more fringe areas of my research were or weren’t going to fly in the face of other people squarely confronted me.  Some of my ideas just weren’t going to work, I saw.

Our Facebook page is small, only sixty-five or seventy people, but those people aren’t going to be swayed, I now believe, by where I was putting my nose if I am being transparent.

There is an idea in business that employees don’t work for the boss, that in fact, the boss works for the employees, and it is true with our page.  I am an SMM, but I work for the people who like the page.  I don’t have the freedom to indulge every avenue I want to if I don’t want the people I speak to laughing at me, and it is probably true that new people I might interest will have similar sensibilities to those who are already involved.

If I’m not confident in my ability to bring my interests to the attention of those I work for, the people who like our Facebook page, I realize now that I can’t expect any newcomers to have any different opinion than those with who I already have a connection.

This is how the spring ruling for the content curation tools instantly makes me a better person.  

I am lucky.  While the reworking of the content curation tools is for relevancy’s sake, and while my hands are tied as to how to go forward from here, facing a truth that I wasn’t formerly comfortable with facing is now a solution.  I hadn’t been aware this was a problem, and without my input a solution presented itself.

I had envisioned that I would find a strategy to make this work when the time came, and the time came yesterday.  With fresh eyes, I began to see how to use the tools going forward.  In the process, I became, in a small way, a more honest person, at least more honest about what I am doing on Facebook and on Twitter.

As the Buddhist maxim states, “Never lie, cheat, or steal.”  I got a little more spiritual, yesterday, you might say.  It was unexpected all the same.

Maple Lawn Cemetery is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited 

Maple Lawn Cemetery

I’m on Twitter at https://twitter.com/findingenvirons  

My content curation tools are provided by DrumUp, an app found on the world wide web at https://drumup.io (a shoutout).  The DrumUp starter plan is inexpensive and it offers a lot of use for someone with a business model utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn.

You’re welcome to “like” this post, to follow the blog, or to comment.  Have a great spring.

Welcoming #spring at the cemetery

Maple Lawn Cemetery

I enjoy the odd book bringing up self-management.  I look at ideas of that kind on Publishous.  I was pleased to see Publishous’ newsletter today, published yesterday, highlighting the spring season now that March is here.

Publishous readers are evaluating what they are doing in the month of March.  For my cemetery job, we will tend to the grounds soon, by collecting fallen tree limbs and wrapping up the majority of our activities inside the church, which is where we make our efforts in winter.

I’m not aiming to write for Medium, but I like the specific design of the Publishous newsletter.  I am turning forty-two this month, and I am thinking about Lent and Catholic worship.  Years ago, in the 2000s, I read the first book by the American writer and pop psychologist, the Women are from Mars, Men are from Venus author John Gray.

It is, in Gray’s estimation, a sequence of the seven years of one’s life, between the ages of forty-two and forty-nine, that one sees in his life the influence of community upon him.

I don’t think there are many guarantees in life, but we have, as the next seven years begin, the outlook of keeping organized a little cemetery.

Louth United Church

The work I do, the most distinctive work I do, is to help a small cemetery and to do odd jobs around the church that is on the property.  I am also an SMM–I do a blog which I connect now and then to the work I carry out on the cemetery grounds.  This is the site you’re on.

I am also curious about the group of bloggers which who explore “tea parties” that assemble participants into thinking about what the hostess of the tea parties has suggested for the month of March.  You can find the tea party hostess’ site at https://www.thelittlemermaid.site/

You’re welcome to like, comment, and/or follow, if you are interested in what’s going on.

We’re on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited and posts include photos and links to articles which could be of interest.  It is a small page, but the people are good.  The tone of the feedback I receive from people following the page helps me decide what will be well-received and what won’t (what to avoid).  All of this I practice as a skill set.

I updated the profile picture for the cemetery on Facebook August 1 and I enjoy curating content for the page. We will continue with as much aplomb as we can muster going into the future from here. All the best to you, and have a safe and spooky fall.

Prayer can be an effective remedy for what ails you.

11 Perfect (And True) Loves Found and Lost

It’s Valentine’s Day, and in the spirit of the occasion, a spot of research has led me to Well-known and Famous Couples in History, by Madhura Pandit.  It’s an expository piece from which I chose ten of the most dynamic romantic figures ever known, in Madhura’s estimation.  I added an obvious eleventh, with thanks to scholaradvisor.com for the example.


Photographer:
Clem Onojeghuo

Nine of these people are based in history, and the last two are the stuff of legend.

Historical Couples

Julius Caesar and Cleopatra and Mark Antony

Cleopatra and Mark Antony are both associated with Julius Caesar.  Mark Antony discovered beguilement with Cleopatra’s greatness.  Cleopatra, in turn, might have discovered a feeling of strength with him, since he was getting to be a standout in Rome.

She found in him the chance to reestablish old wonder.  Mark Antony had attributes not the same as that of Julius Caesar, yet the equivalent political stature.

The gathering after Julius Caesar’s demise demonstrated scented blooms in Cleopatra’s boat, where she dressed like the Roman goddess Venus when they met in 41 BCE.  The dinner awed Mark Antony in that he needed to outperform such marvelous planning; however, he hopelessly fizzled.

With extraordinary cleverness, he figured out how to keep considerate about it.

Cleopatra, on the other hand, could engage Mark Antony by being next to him constantly.

https://www.scholaradvisor.com/essay-examples/cleopatra-relationships/

Napoleon and Josephine

Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine were hitched when he was a general in the military, and she a rich widow.  They went separate ways as Josephine couldn’t deliver a beneficiary, and Napoleon remarried.

Despite enormous ambition, Napoleon’s life ended in exile.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

As the music career of The Beatles gave way to solo careers for the four musicians who were members, no one knew that John Lennon had scant little time left alive.

That being said, John Lennon and Yoko Ono arranged a seven-day “Bed-In for Peace,” in the Presidential Suite of the Hilton lodging in Amsterdam, as a challenge against war and savagery on the planet, March 1969.

Lennon’s life ended when he was shot in the street outside his home in New York City.

https://www.vogue.com/article/john-lennon-yoko-ono-relationship

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley had set their sights on enjoying a weekend writing competition, to see who could write the more impressive story, when Mary dreamed of events she would novelize as what ultimately became the book, Frankenstein.  Mary Shelley’s novel would be instrumental in science fiction.  In future years, many times various filmmakers would adapt it for the silver screen.

Frankenstein probably exceeded the talents of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Percy Bysshe Shelley later succumbed to madness.

Legendary Couples

Lancelot and Guinevere

Sir Lancelot was a knight in King Arthur’s Round Table, who went gaga for Queen Guinevere.  Their mystery prompted terrible capital punishments for the two, divided the Knights, and debilitated Arthur’s kingdom.

It is not known whether Arthur’s kingdom ever existed, but it has been written about for centuries.

Adam and Eve

In the book of Genesis in The Bible, there is an account of The Lord creating our world and making Adam and Eve the first people who would live here.  The lives of Adam and Eve were idyllic, until Satan, in the guise of a snake, led Eve to eat an apple from The Lord’s Tree of Knowledge, filling her consciousness with all manner of realizations.  Eve quickly had Adam do the same.

Enraged by the betrayal, The Lord declared that all of man would from then on endure untold hardship.

Many of the devout feel that these events occurred roughly four thousand years ago, in the Garden of Eden.

Prince of Peace

With thanks to Madhura Pandit, vogue.com, and http://www.scholaradvisor

An Exhaustive List of Well-known and Famous Couples in History can be found at https://historyplex.com/famous-couples-in-history

You’re welcome to “like,” follow, and/or comment if you feel me.

Mermaid’s August 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (pixelated)

A blogger on WordPress had a great idea for a splendid blog post and I want to indulge it–WordPress blogger The Little Mermaid is having her second-ever “tea party.”

 

The Little Mermaid, on one hand, is a Disney film character, who you have probably seen in the animated feature if you have an interest in Disney.  My own family has the videotape of the film because I have a younger sister.  In Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Ariel, seeks her escape from the sea, but, furthermore, The Little Mermaid is the name of a blogger who has had a delightful idea, that being to host WordPress “tea parties.”

 

The Little Mermaid writes that her first tea party, last month, was open-ended in terms of what content she wanted to read, but for August, The Little Mermaid has invited participants to post about books they enjoy, about which I thought I could circuitously add something to the conversation.

 

https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/08/22/join-in-the-fun-join-in-the-august-2018-tea-party/

 

I am late in any case, but I’ve joined in by enjoying some of the tea party guests’ blog responses and by weblogging the August invite to the tea party and tweeting it.

 

As to what books I might read, most often I enjoy nonfiction, on such a subject as the business behind Google, for example, or of the blockchain.  Another kind of book I enjoy is the type that references techniques and strategies for personal change and success.  I like both physical volumes and books on my Kindle.

 

As I’m sure you’re aware, the accessibility of books in 2018 is completely staggering.  If you are a full-ahead author on the Internet I think you know that Twitter has seen a gold rush of self-published titles.

 

  • DIGITAL GOLD

 

The last book I got to read is not of this kind, however, not an eBook.  It is, in fact, a book that is near-academic, but interesting all the same.  The title is DIGITAL GOLD, written by Nathaniel Popper.  It is the story of the development of Blockchain and Bitcoin.

 

The blockchain is, I understand, a mega-trend.  I wanted to come to an understanding of what blockchain is about.  The blockchain is the process of cryptocurrency mining that could dramatically affect the long-term value of data currencies like bitcoin.

Dimensions: 1884 x 1152
Photographer: Icons8 team

All about bitcoin’s origins and its eventual emergence and success, Popper’s book interested me quite a bit.  I found it very satisfactory.

 

  • The Stranger

 

Reflecting in a different light, my favorite book isn’t nonfiction; it’s instead a famous novel.  Its appeal is legendary.  I have read it a couple of times, the perennial favorite The Stranger by the late Albert Camus.

 

This novel of Camus’ is an existential novel, in terms of its thematic elements, with the plot about a man who grieves his late mother in a markedly strange way, which you might characterize as embittered and perhaps confused, too.

 

Existentialist fiction usually tackles questions of the meaning of life, such as in The Stranger, looking at why the main character’s grief is necessary and how it is that it’s enacted in the character’s specific manner after his mother’s death.

 

  • Casino Royale

 

Reflecting again more on what makes a good novel, I think I’d argue that the most overrated book I ever read is Casino Royale, by the late Brit Ian Fleming.  Casino Royale, Fleming’s first novel about MI6 agent James Bond, 007, is the spy appearing in the film adaptation of the Fleming novel starring Daniel Craig as 007.  While Casino Royale is certainly an agreeable read, to think that with its publication one of the most successful film franchises ever would result, including film roles by several actors playing the character James Bond, leads me to characterize Casino Royale as perhaps indeed overrated.

 

Dimensions: 6144 x 4069
Photographer: Lukas

Casino Royale is about the spy 007 targeting an enemy’s gambling habits in order to complicate the enemy’s financial resources at the casino tables, thus rendering him less effective an enemy.  That Ian Fleming wrote the enemy as a Russian, I believe, is prescient of today’s turbulent world scene.

 

Fleming was drawing inspiration from the historical Cold War, and that is why the sign is there, that Le Chiffre, the name of the villain who 007 challenges at the card tables in Casino Royale, is Russian.  Even the other day, August 21, the Trump administration’s Paul Manafort was demolished for his thieving and his conspiring with Russian political agents.

 

What You Feel, You Can Heal

 

To go on, The Little Mermaid tactfully asks in her August tea party blog post the question of which book most distinctly impacted your life.  It is of a personal nature, to name a book that positively impacted you, but I think of What You Feel, You Can Heal, John Gray’s first book, published in the nineteen-nineties.  When I was a twenty-something I sat in at a conference to hear a speaker give his thoughts on wellbeing.  The gentleman gave advice on dealing with personal difficulties–he recommended John Gray.

 

What You Feel You Can Heal blog post
Opening paragraph for my What You Feel You Can Heal eBook

Gray’s best-known book (and there are a series of them) is Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, a book about relationships.  You know the speaker at the conference referred to social relationships suggesting something like that.  It isn’t Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus that interested me, although I subsequently read that one a couple of times.  Gray’s first book, What You Feel, You Can Heal, is about goalsetting through one’s lifetime and other matters of positive productivity, impacting me much more substantially than Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

 

John Gray, though young when he wrote What You Feel, You Can Heal, is recounting what he learned before emerging as an author.  He fleshes out his view of several stages of life that Gray observes in many other people, all at once in What You Feel, You Can Heal, bringing these ideas together to form this book.

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (pixelated)
Science fictions novels (the photo has been pixelated)

One last note:  although it may seem juvenile, while not expressly for young adults, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by the late Douglas Adams, and the four novels Adams wrote to follow his success, are the books I would most earnestly recommend to someone new.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is funny and strange, a blend of science fiction and humor.

 

Both in the novel and in the film adaptation, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the story of hapless Brit Arthur Dent, who hitchhikes to the stars the day that the Vogons, who are dimwitted, horrible monsters, demolish the Earth.  From there it is up to Arthur to get by in travels through the skies.

 

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a resource Arthur has to comprehend his troubles:  the Guide is an encyclopedia describing everything in the universe.  It is as if Douglas Adams, though writing for comic purposes, foresaw the development of the world wide web.

 

I have enjoyed The Little Mermaid’s tea party and I wish her well, as I do everybody else who thought to join in.  I appreciate every opportunity I have to contribute, and when there is some response to something I have written, I am always flattered.  You are welcome to “like,” follow, and/or comment as you see fit.  See you in September!

Asking if Secularisation of a Society is Bad

Leonardo da Vinci

Just the other day, I saw a WordPress blogger asking for debate if secularisation is good or bad.  She defined it, and I take it she means the decline of the influence of religion, like, for example, the power of the Catholic Church, on society around the world.

 

https://lovableliterature.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/debate-is-the-secularisation-of-modern-society-a-bad-thing/

 

This year I made time to read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road, a novel about a man and his son trying to survive some time from now in the future when society no longer exists as it did previous to the events in the novel.  I think of church attendance preventing circumstances in our world like that in this Cormac McCarthy book.

 

If strong leaders utilize the unitary values of religious institutions in a way that helps people lead lives of better prosperity, it would be likely, I think, that people will make better progress in the world, decreasingly supernatural as it is.

 

Reading The Road, I didn’t think much supernatural dread happened to the characters, probably in part because to create their own resources they were too hard pressed to deal with the spiritual implications of society being at an end.

 

If I think about secularisation as it could relate to the plot of the novel, I think that the leaders of the world which existed before the events of the book have failed in their ability to keep the structure of its society intact.  Maybe this owes to an overall weakness in the story’s idea of religious institutions, but I can’t that except by thinking it is a possibility, judging that religious symbols seem to exist in the book.  The man on the road is a little like Jesus, set apart from others by his singularity.

Leonardo da Vinci
Imitation of The Last Supper

There isn’t an explanation for readers of The Road why society ended–it is a question only that it is gone, and how a much harder reality supplants it, the “road” of the title.

 

Isolation is the new struggle to overcome adversity, instead of questions like how did the world’s institutions fail and what can be done now, in their absence.

 

The novel’s interesting because society as a whole is over and done and there is no solution available.  It is a story of apocalypse.

 

The man traveling in isolation with his son seems unconcerned if there were religious institutions before society fell to pieces.  I don’t see why there wouldn’t have been institutions–in every other detail I can think of in The Road it matches the world as it’s known today, which leads me to think that parts of the world in the book weren’t secularised, as our world in real life remains only in part secularised today.

Dimensions: 3941 x 2931
Photographer: Iryna Tysiak

I tend to think that order would fragment in the event of too much secularisation because people need to feel that there is something supernatural about their lives, that they owe something to God.

 

I am optimistic about trusting religious authorities because I see a sphere of religious influence making a more positive outcome for our world.

 

I am glad to have had an opportunity to write a few thoughts on how thinking back to reading The Road helped me articulate an opinion on secularisation.

 

I was likewise glad that I took time this year to read the book by Cormac McCarthy, as well as having read Bethany’s post asking about secularisation.  The Road is the only title of McCarthy I am familiar with, but the cover of the paperback copy I read advertised that it had sold well.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or “subscribe.”

A Reflection of Where I am with this Blog

August 7, 2013

Often, once a week, I do digital Botox on my blog–I update an old post.

This achieves a couple of things–it helps with the SEO ranking, I understand, for the post, as a search engine will probably believe it’s new information.  What I’m really doing is curating blog posts which I wrote in the past.

I started with this first entry, originally published July 10, 2014.

 

Blogs are commonplace.  If you do any writing, a blog is a helpful way to establish one’s name as a writer.

 

Sometimes it goes with a change of direction.  For instance, a fact came to light of which you were unaware.

 

If you have fears about becoming known to the public, a blog may not be the best way to talk on the Internet.  Or, perhaps, if you have run out of time, and have new responsibilities in your life, or simply new interests, making a blog has become less a priority than you thought it would be.

 

However, the decision to blog is significant, and making the choice to blog from a unique angle may work in your favor as you develop your blog for the Internet.  You can get the result you desire.

 

My head these days is busy, all the more so with social media.  There is a wealth of information on social media, long in the running.  Although blogging is popular, try to inject yourself into the mix while remaining professional (and therefore detached).

 

For some time, I took advantage of the prompts WordPress offered, both their daily prompts and their weekly challenges.  The Internet is a wonder of our time, and it would be amiss not to present a helping hand to others.  It is often a convenient part of day-to-day life.

 

Taking a look into digital communications pays off in various ways, which I will leave to you.

 

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to, “like,” comment, and/or follow my blog.  All the best to you.

August 7, 2013
Disbanded in 2006, Louth United Church stands in front of Maple Lawn Cemetery, the not-for-profit we maintain