For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative, or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.
“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago.
“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away,” said his wife, Chaz Ebert. “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”
Films have always seemed an integral part of my existence. First encountered Roger Ebert on PBS in 1975, and he immediately became one of my heros. There were occasions when I didn't agree with his film pronouncements, but always appreciated his brilliant critiques.
Ibn Battuta was a Muslim Moroccan explorer, known for his extensive travels, accounts of which were published in the Rihla [lit. "Journey"]. Over a period of thirty years, he visited most of the known Islamic world as well as many non-Muslim lands; his journeys included trips to North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, and to the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East, a distance surpassing threefold his near-contemporary Marco Polo. Ibn Battuta is considered the greatest traveller of all time.
Tim Mackintosh Smith follows in the footsteps of 14th Century Moroccan scholar Ibn Battutah, who covered 75,000 miles, 40 countries and three continents in a 30-year odyssey. Beginning in north Africa, Tim visits Battutah's birthplace of Tangier in Morocco, and stumbles on a performance of medieval trance music. In Egypt, he goes to a remote village where Battutah had an astonishing prophetic dream and visits the world's oldest university in Cairo, then on to India and eventually to China [by way of Dubai and a visit to the 'Ibn Battuta Shopping Mall'].
Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, And human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect...
--E.M. Forster, Howards End
Our human ability to connect with one another anywhere on the planet has become a reality with the advent of the internet. And nowhere is this more evident than with Erik Whitacre's 'Virtual Choir' where singers from around the globe can 'virtually' sing together with beauty, love and harmony.
Eric Whitacre is an American Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor. He is one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation. In 2008, the all-Whitacre choral CD Cloudburst (released by the British ensemble Polyphony on Hyperion Records) became an international best-seller, topping the classical charts and earning a Grammy nomination. In addition to Whitacre's litany of choral and wind ensemble compositions, he is also known for his "Virtual Choir" projects, bringing individual voices from around the globe together into an online choir.
Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong [Ted Talk]
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'
Eric Whitacre - Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0, 'Sleep'
The Thinking Allowed series aired on as many as 120 public TV stations in the U.S. and Canada for more than 18 years. The program features many of the world's leading scholars, researchers, writers and teachers and covers a broad range of topics
In this video 'Synchronicity and the Holographic Universe', Dr. Jeffrey Mislove talks with Michael Talbot.
Michael Talbot was the author of the very important, and successful book 'The Holographic Universe'. He also authored four novels. This program was taped approximately six months before his untimely death in May 1992.
"Meet Jason Silva, the fast-talking, media-savvy "performance philosopher" who wants you to love the ecstatic future of your mind.
If you ever wondered what would happen if a young Timothy Leary was wormholed into 2012, complete with a film degree and a Vimeo account, you have your answer: Jason Silva. If Silva, who was born in Venezuela, seems to have natural screen presence, it's because he's no stranger to media; he worked for six years as a host at Current TV before leaving the network last year to become a part-time filmmaker and full-time walking, talking TEDTalk.
Like Leary, Silva is an unabashed optimist; he sees humankind as a species on the brink of technology-enabled transcendence. Silva is an avid evangelist for the technological singularity---the idea that technology will soon bring about a greater-than-human intelligence. ....."
"We Are The Gods Now" was Jason Silva's keynote speech at the "Festival of Dangerous Ideas" - which took place at the Sydney Opera House in December 2012.
"Fourteen-year-old programmer and software developer Santiago Gonzalez might just be the next Steve Jobs. He already has 15 iOS apps to his name and dreams of designing for Apple. At age 12, Santiago became a full-time college student and is on track to earn his bachelor's degree in computer science and electrical engineering by age 16. By 17, when most teenagers are excited to just have their driver's license, Santiago will have his masters degree.
A self-professed computer nerd, Santiago is fluent in a dozen different programming languages and thousands of people have downloaded his apps for the Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Learn how Santiago's parents overcame a rigid school system that left their son intellectually stifled and depressed and instead followed an unconventional pathway to nurture his incredible gifts. Santiago's story is truly inspiring and his family's experience provides a powerful model for parents of exceptionally gifted children."
I recall that during my 4 years of high school in Southern California, though certainly not gifted, I was considered a 'nerd'. This was primarily because my interests did not reflect the values of majority of my classmates. A personal interest in science, foreign languages, history, and high academic standing was considered 'nerdy' behavior.
"Christopher Michael Langan (born c. 1952) is an American autodidact whose IQ was reported by 20/20 and other media sources to have been measured at between 195 and 210. Billed by some media sources as "the smartest man in America", he rose to prominence in 1999 while working as a bouncer on Long Island. Langan has developed his own "theory of the relationship between mind and reality" which he calls the "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU)"
Mr. Langan lives a simple life on a horse ranch in Missouri with his wife and numerous animals.
Langan has said that he does not belong to any religious denomination, explaining that he "can't afford to let [his] logical approach to theology be prejudiced by religious dogma", yet he does believe in God. He has stated that that "we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind. They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists. This connection of our minds to the Mind of God, which is like the connection of parts to a whole, is what we sometimes call the soul or spirit, and it is the most crucial and essential part of being human".