Monthly Archives: February 2019

That Star Wars Trailer

Topher Grace, who is best known for his role as Eric Forman in the hit Fox sitcom ‘That ’70s Show,’ is, like his aforementioned character, a major ‘Star Wars’ fan. It’s one of those cases when the real interests and passions of an actor are written into a character. And we all remember how his TV dad Red used to make fun of him for playing with his “dolls,” which provoked Eric’s reaction, “They’re ACTION FIGURES!” Lightsabers and all the rest fell under Red’s wrath.

Well, it turns out Topher Grace has synced with his past TV persona (sans a Luke Skywalker doll action figure) for a ‘Star Wars’ project that’s been 42 years in the making. And the final edit that was recently released online is quite entertaining and impressive.

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the text of Topher Grace’s tweet that he used to introduce his ultimate ‘Star Wars’ movie trailer titled ‘Star Wars: Always.’

10 movies. 2 nerds. 1 weekend (when our wives were out of town). Enjoy…

As a former video editor, it must be stated how painstakingly impressive ‘Star Wars: Always’ is in its final version. Just awesome! Again, specific scenes from 10 different films from the ‘Star Wars’ cinematic universe were chosen for a pop culture hit. One thing that is clear from this crazy good edit, which is that Topher Grace needs to be made a Stormtrooper in one of the live-action ‘Star Wars’ films in the future.

P.S. Topher Grace forgot to insert one pivotal scene into ‘Star Wars: Always.’ 

Happy Monday!

Jimmy’s Daily Planet was partly created for pop culture crossover moments seen in the video below.

We’re not worthy yet we’ll watch it over and over and over again whilst headbanging the entire time…

‘Wayne’s World’–that cult cinematic classic born from an SNL skit–triumphantly made the stage of the Academy Awards last night by way of fate nearly 30 years after the film’s theatrical release to introduce the Freddie Mercury biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Simply put, Mike Myers (Wayne) and Dana Carvey (Garth) were 7 kinds of awesomeness. Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor giving the SNL sketch masters a standing ovation was particularly cool.

It was a nice schwing from the normal ceremonial procedures of the Oscars.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

P.S. Last night’s Oscars appearance proved the comedic duo clearly still have ‘Wayne’s World’-level chemistry on stage. Is a final chapter of the film series on the way that would make ‘Wayne’s World’ a trilogy? 

Hopefully, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey will cave under pressure to this specific fan demand. 

College’s March Madness: Just Do It

Should Zion Williamson continue playing for Duke, despite his insane shoe-breaking incident while wearing Nikes last night just 30 seconds into the game against arch-rival North Carolina?

Yes.

I feel compelled to preface this blog post with the fact that I am a devoted UNC fan. My oldest sister graduated from Chapel Hill and I’ve been a Tar Heel fan ever since my family and I visited her on that beautiful campus with a stellar basketball history and legacy that has led to watching UNC play live in a dozen games.

Having said that, Duke star Zion Williamson–and he is–needs to keep playing because if fear begins to drive him regarding basketball (or other elements in his life), then he’s no longer playing to win. And I fully understand the Nick Bosa tactic, which is to sit out the remainder of a season after an injury before a massive first-pick payday that’s just months away.

I get it.

Perhaps it’s easier for me to form my opinion without all that NBA Draft money in my near future. Still, it seems like super talented athletes like Zion Williamson and Nick Bosa may be too willing these days to squander the unique awesomeness of college athletics for what’s next in their careers. That first college experience happens only once in life.

It’s worth noting, as a lifelong Buckeye fan in Columbus, I’ve noticed that a lot of former star players (especially basketball and football) return with the latest Buckeye gear by Homage after just a couple of years in the pros to relive some of the glory days on the sidelines in the Horseshoe and in the Schottenstein Center. And they along with the coaches and fans love it. It’s one of the ways that college sports are far different than professional sports. There is something truly special about college basketball and football that cannot be replicated in the NBA or NFL.

But that’s a much longer blog post for a different day.

It’s been determined that Zion Williamson’s injury is a Grade 1 knee sprain and he is being evaluated on a day-to-day basis. Even though I am a UNC fan and I enjoyed the blowout win at Cameron Indoor last night by the final score 88-72–Go Tar Heels!–I always want to see the best athletes perform on the biggest stages.

Zion Williamson is freakishly talented, so I just hope he doesn’t let a freak accident stop him from playing what will be his only college basketball season. The dream scenario is his next steps involve playing for the next month or so but doesn’t lead Duke to a win in Chapel Hill or a national title.

I think that’s fair.

P.S. I can only imagine the emergency shoe tests being orchestrated at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon today. 

Connecting the Dots of Real Facial Recognition

On Saturday mornings from my childhood, I recall NBC commercials that would feature the now-famous network slogan, “The more you know” with a shooting star graphic that would promote a pleasant, knowledge-centric call to action for its weekend viewers. The commercials were positive and nice. The following video isn’t from NBC. Regardless, this fun, insightful story regarding the Wall Street Journal answers a question many of us have but probably allow to fade to the back of our minds.

This is where Jimmy’s Daily Planet comes into play with a random yet concrete answer to a daily artistic venture involving one of the country’s primary sources of news.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, however time-consuming.

There are some things a computer and evolving technology just can’t do with the same unique, individual precision and artistry of a human being. Could a computer program do a stipple drawing? Of course. But that also means a computer could technically be programmed to produce works of art in a variety of styles that would qualify for high-end galleries in cities all around the world.

Consequently, that would take the artistic revelations and cultural pivot points à la Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night”–among countless other artistic masterpieces–out of the mix.

The process behind the stipple drawing was the introductory level of this blog post. The second–and equally important level for consideration–is the value of people and their talents in the ever-evolving reality centered on the debate of humans vs. machines/technology in the modern workforce. What will societal and business influencers decide in the coming years for a myriad of industries concerning this vital debate?

Is now a good time to insert a reference to the show ‘Westworld’ as a fun yet oddly relevant futuristic extreme of this dilemma?

Your answer to the non-‘Westworld’ question–asking ourselves what influential leaders will prioritize in the value of human skill sets vs. convenient technology in the future–begins with whether you think this story about how the iconic stipple drawings are created for the Wall Street Journal holds any value as the subject of a story livelihood.

The more we know depends on how we connect the dots today that will ultimately reveal a clear(er) picture of our future relative to living with (and, in some cases, competing with) burgeoning technology in a modern society that is increasingly streamlined and simplified with cheaper and faster technological alternatives.