Archive for October, 2016

faith and fear on the big screen

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on October 27, 2016 by phanteana

the days leading up to Halloween are usually set aside for watching classic horror films. the Horror genre is so wide, it encompasses many different stories. one of the most common themes in Horror is religion, and there have been quite a number of films that incorporate faith into the plot. here’s a list of the top 10 religious horror movies. plenty of the entries are widely recognized and critically acclaimed. in fact, The Exorcist is now a weekly television series, and has exceeded its initially skeptical audience’s expectations. one of the lesser known flicks on the list, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, is a standout because it combines horror with courtroom drama…now that’s something you don’t see everyday! but in all seriousness, it’s based on an actual case (as is a recurring pattern with movies about exorcism).

one thing to note from this list is that they have Christianity in common. but there are plenty of films where other faiths are highlighted throughout the story. a terrific example is The Possession, which is based on the Dybbuk Box story (a truly creepy one, too!) and presents its point of view from Judaism. no matter what path you follow, religious horror films (if done properly, as there have been some real duds produced over the years) are certainly an interesting topic of conversation all year round!

every Stephen King novel, Twitter-ized

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on October 21, 2016 by phanteana

if you’ve ever read a Stephen King novel, then you know it’s the type of reading that requires a number of bathroom or snack breaks (particularly if the novel in question is The Stand or It). but for those who are impatient readers or have yet to read any of the so-called Master of Horror’s works, the best way for fans to lure them into a King book is to summarize it…which is exactly what blogger/writer Max Booth III has done…in 140 characters!

 

Image result for stephen king memes

it might take about 1100 pages, but i promise it’ll be a good one!

 

(oh, and that Dark Tower trailer should be seeing the light of day sometime soon…)

a Denver house that inspired a ghostly film

Posted in Film with tags , , , , on October 19, 2016 by phanteana

renting a home or apartment is serious business. a lot goes into the rental process: what neighborhood to live in, how far the commute to work is, what the nightlife is like, safety, budget, etc. but there’s one thing that’s often not taken into account when searching for a place to live: if the previous “residents” have vacated the premises entirely…

such is the case of Russell Hunter (1929-1996), who relocated from New York to Denver in the 1960’s. Hunter, a former employee of CBS, settled in the city’s Cheesman Park neighborhood. despite it’s natural beauty nestled in an urban landscape, the area has a rather spooky history. Mr. Hunter claimed he experienced paranormal activity in the form of loud banging noises early in the morning, faucets that turned themselves on, and – the scariest of all – the spirit of a boy who died a century earlier and had revealed his burial spot, where Hunter unearthed human remains and a baptism medal. a seance also confirmed the boy came from a wealthy family, and was set to inherit a fortune. however, he died before that could happen so his parents went to an orphanage and found a boy who looked just like him in order to claim the money. several years later, the house where the boy’s bones were found was demolished, and replaced with a high-rise building. but the incident stayed with Hunter, and inspired him to write the story for what would become The Changeling, ranked as one of the most beloved and haunting films of the 1980’s. while there are some differences between Russell Hunter’s account and the fictionalized version (for instance, the story is set in Seattle as opposed to Denver), the sentiment remains the same: do some digging (not literally) before you sign a lease.

 

the real Russell Hunter (right) and his fictionalized self, played by Oscar-winner George C. Scott (left)

 

 

 

JavaScript is cool for cats

Posted in Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , on October 6, 2016 by phanteana

when you think of coding, what comes to mind…computer science geeks? 20-something guys with facial hair drinking coffee? startups with free lunches? cat memes?

while some of these might be applicable (really…who doesn’t love free lunch?), the image of a coder is rather flexible. anyone can learn to code, regardless of age or gender or educational background. coding has become more accessible, thanks to a plethora of local schools and online sites (many of which offer free or reasonable affordable courses). it’s one of the most sought-after professions, with high salaries and the ability to work remotely if you should so desire. one of the more common languages used in websites is JavaScript. in fact, it’s so easy that cats can learn it…sort of.

here’s a tune to get you and your feline companion in the mood for some coding!

Image result for cats and coding