Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen

I wanted to go back to being 8 years old again, when a young boy is fascinated with things like dinosaurs and Egypt. I already received a book on how to read hieroglyphics this year, which I haven't yet read, but I wanted something with a fascinating story. To quench my thirst I picked up this book on the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb, written by the man who can claim that honor.

This is an old book w/ poorly reproduced photographs, but it cost more to ship it than to buy it used on Amazon so let's not complain. The thing I dug about it was that I believe most of the content was written shortly after the discovery, so it feels fresh. It doesn't have decades and research and hindsight to reflect back on. It's right there, after it happened, in the thick of it all. That means there are many unanswered questions, but the book is about the discovery, not the analysis.

Anyway, this is an interesting read about one of the most significant finds in archaeological history. You'll learn a lot. Recommended.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Last Man on Earth

I watched this Vincent Price flick the other day. Marie bought the DVD for me years ago from Target for a couple bucks or something.

The Last Man on Earth is cool because it's totally the inspiration for Night of the Living Dead. Buuuuuuuuut it's not that good. NotLD is amazing. It's groundbreaking. TLMoE is just alright. 

The thing I actually really liked about The Last Man on Earth was the fact it was shot in Italy. I knew it was Italy immediately because of the iconic Brutalist architecture. I was first turned on to the aesthetic by Antonioni's films such as L'Eclisse and L'Avventura. Those monolithic concrete structures just seemed so fucking HEAVY. So futuristic. It was like a dystopian Jetsons. Somehow it was clearly from the future, yet we're talking early 1960's. No flying cars. No Rosy the Robot.

So anyway, the fact that I found inanimate concrete structures to be the start of the show tells you something...

The zombies are interesting, too, from a film history perspective. They can talk. The walk slow and they moan. But they can talk. They still have memory. You rarely see that depicted other than the obligatory, "Braaaaaaaiiiiinsssss." So that was neat.

Oh, the continuity issues are fucking awful in this flick. There're numerous scenes where Price is driving somewhere in broad daylight then it cuts and it's pitch black then it cuts back and it's daylight again. Or dusk. Price's car even switches from a left hand drive to a right hand drive and back. So yeah, that kind of attention to detail is pretty lacking. The whole day/night/day thing was ridiculous.

Watch it if you're a horror completist. Otherwise, maybe watch a Stranger Things episode again.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mark Webber: Aussie Grit - My Formula One Journey

I traded racing books with a co-worker again. This time around I gave him the Stig's bio and he gave me Mark Webber's bio.

It's good. Amongst other things it gives you a behind the curtain look at the shady aspects of F1.

Mark Webber is a successful motor racer from Australia. He was famous for his seven years at Red Bull when he was racing Formula One, but now he does endurance racing with Porsche in the LMP1 category. I.E. he races in the Le Mans 24 Hour race.

If you're into F1 then this is a good book to read. You learn a lot about how the teams work, how politics fucks things up, and you learn a bit more about the interesting details of the cars and what it all entails. It's cool stuff.

Mark seems very easy going and friendly (as much as one can tell from the book). Reminds me of fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo. Down for a laugh and a race. Leave the politics at the door.

He does spill some dirt on young Vettel, though. Vettel always seems like a whiny bitch when things don't go his way, and that's definitely touched on in the book since they were partners for a few years.

Anyway, this is a good, easy read for F1 fans. Recommended. If you don't care for the sport then you won't give a crap about this.