Archives for the month of: October, 2013

Here’s an article from the Guardian on the latest malicious software that can damage computer files. CryptolLocker or”Ransomware” kidnaps files and demands a ransom for their release. As always, never open a suspicious email!

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One fellow in Pennsylvania decided to take decisive action when he discovered the theft of his jello from the office refrigerator. Not one to ignore this common workplace occurrence, the man reported the incident to the local police department. An investigation is currently underway, but it’s unclear whether the culprit will ever be apprehended. I suggest they use DNA analysis. It always seems to work on TV. 

Illuminated Boats Floating
at Potsdamer Platz

This October I’m enjoying New England’s magnificent fall color. However, I’m also missing Berlin’s Festival of Lights, which runs from October 9 – 20th. This annual event is one of the largest illumination festivals in the world and transforms some of Berlin’s most famous landmarks into lighting works of art. I love riding my bike through the streets and taking in the festive atmosphere and wondrous installations. It’s definitely a Berlin experience. 


Mark Twain said, he “[n]ever knew before what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German.” Yet, despite his criticism of the German language, Twain loved Germany and especially Berlin. He called Berlin the “newest city I have ever seen,” and referred to it as the “German Chicago” because of its energy and sense of vibrancy. By the end of the 19th century, Berlin had transformed itself from a swampy provincial town into a thriving city where the arts, sciences and technology were flourishing. Berlin was soon to become the third largest city in the world and the center of the “new” Europe.

Twain lived in Berlin during the 1890’s, and wrote articles on his everyday life in the city. Many of those stories were never published until quite recently. Andreas Austilat has complied these stories in an insightful book, A Tramp in Berlin. New Mark Twain Stories: An Account of Twain’s Berlin Adventures. For Twain and/or Berlin fans, the book is a must read. 

I’m always amazed how different an actor looks in person as compared to his or her on-screen persona. In film, make-up and lighting can transform a frog into a prince and make an old geezer young. I once saw a famous TV actor (his name shall remain my secret) at the gym and nearly didn’t recognize him. He looked decades older, had deep set wrinkles, a bad complexion, and was nearly bald. Yet, on TV, he was rather handsome.

We don’t think much about lighting when watching a TV show or movie, but it’s key to good film making, and it’s essential to the success of an actor or actress.  

Imero Fiorentino, a master lighting designer, died recently. Here’s an interview from 2006 where he discusses the field of lighting design and its impact on film. It’s worth watching. 
I’m always amazed how different an actor looks in person as compared to his or her on-screen persona. In film, make-up and lighting can transform a frog into a prince and make an old geezer young. I once saw a famous TV actor (his name shall remain my secret) at the gym and nearly didn’t recognize him. He looked decades older, had deep set wrinkles, a bad complexion, and was nearly bald. Yet, on TV, he was rather handsome.

We don’t think much about lighting when watching a TV show or movie, but it’s key to good film making, and it’s essential to the success of an actor or actress.  

Imero Fiorentino, a master lighting designer, died recently. Here’s an interview from 2006 where he discusses the field of lighting design and its impact on film. It’s worth watching. 

T-Mobile, the US cell phone provider, has announced that it will reduce the cost of its foreign cell phone service. That’s great news for me. Up until now, I’ve had to use three different cell phones when traveling abroad, one for the USA, Germany, and Australia.

For years, the cell phone industry has been bilking customers with outrageous foreign service rates, and this announcement will certainly shake things up. T-Mobile’s decision follows last year’s announcement to eliminate its service contracts. T-Mobile is taking an aggressive marketing strategy in the cell phone wars, and I hope it pays off. 

T-Mobile doesn’t have a ticker symbol by itself. They are a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekon, which trades on the NYSE under the symbol DTIt also trades under the symbol DTE on many European exchanges. This is one stock to follow. 

Update:
As of October 20, 2013, eligible T-Mobile plans will include international roaming at no charge, unlimited web and messaging, and voice calls at a flat rate of $0.20/minute. For more information visit: international services.

T-Mobile, the US cell phone provider, has announced that it will reduce the cost of its foreign cell phone service. That’s great news for me. Up until now, I’ve had to use three different cell phones when traveling abroad, one for the USA, Germany, and Australia.

For years, the cell phone industry has been bilking customers with outrageous foreign service rates, and this announcement will certainly shake things up. T-Mobile’s decision follows last year’s announcement to eliminate its service contracts. T-Mobile is taking an aggressive marketing strategy in the cell phone wars, and I hope it pays off. 

T-Mobile doesn’t have a ticker symbol by itself. They are a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekon, which trades on the NYSE under the symbol DTIt also trades under the symbol DTE on many European exchanges. This is one stock to follow. 

Update:
As of October 20, 2013, eligible T-Mobile plans will include international roaming at no charge, unlimited web and messaging, and voice calls at a flat rate of $0.20/minute. For more information visit: international services.

Here’s more from Banksy. In this video, a group of what appears to be Islamist rebels are seen shooting down Dumbo and then shouting “Allahu Akbar,” which roughly translates as “God is Great.” It’s a spoof of recent videos showing Syrian rebels shooting down government jets and helicopters. 

My House: Vivid Colors, 
Overabundant Mums and Impatiens,
a Fall Wreath, and a Big Pumpkin.

What does this say about Me?

Autumn in Portland is wonderful, and besides fall foliage, nothing announces the change of the seasons more than the way people decorate their front door, entryway, or porch.

People in the Maine are anxious to celebrate the transition from summer to autumn by decorating the outside of their houses with the familiar images of the season: fall wreaths; pumpkins; gourds; mums; and Halloween props. For me, the fall is an opportunity to add a little punch to the entryway, and it also helps chase away the autumn blues that accompany the shorter days. 

How we chose to decorate our entryways reflects our personalities and how we want the world to see us.  Show me your entryway and I can tell you what you are.  

Here are some houses I found in the West End. What do these homes tell you about the occupants?

Sparse Symmetry
and a bit Cold
A Row of Orderly
and Size Appropriate Pumpkins
all Neatly Arranged


An Understated Design with Mums and Pumpkins:
Neatly arranged and color coordinated

Dramatic Halloween Window Display, Pumpkins,
Mums, Gourds, and Fall Plants.

Unconventional, Quirky, and Warm


A Study in Orange:
Stylish, Subdued
and Careful 
Carefully Thought Design:
Scarecrow, Barrel, Pumpkin,
and Horn-of-Plenty Wreath.

Symmetrical, Sentimental, 
 Subdued, and Conventional 



Stark, Cold, and Lonely
Classic American: A
Flag, Mums, and Pumpkins.

Sentimental, Conventional,
Conservative
Whimsical, Generous, Humorous, and Quirky 

Clever Design using Grasses,
Mums and a Pumpkin. A Modest

Entryway that belies a Creative Occupant?

Orderly Pumpkins
that have become
Disorderly



Boo!
Full of Fun
Don’t Forget Me