client no. 9

According to ABC news,  the Feds have emails and recorded phone conversations implicating NY Gov. Spitzer in the prostitution scandal.   In an interview two years ago, then-attorney general Spitzer offered advice for people who break the law:

“Never talk when you can nod, and never nod when you can wink, and never write an e-mail because it’s death. You’re giving prosecutors all the evidence we need”

Donnie Darko – Director’s Cut

We watched this 2001 movie over the weekend (on our new Toshiba HD LCD monitor.) What a baffling movie, and a mixture of a bunch of different movie genres. It has a hugely surprising resolution which I don’t want to give away, except to say that this is most significantly a sci-fi movie. (The plot is so bizarre, that just to know it is sci-fi is a bit of a spoiler.) Evidently, the newly-released director’s cut includes a lot more clues to help understand the surprise ending. I’ll also give this tip: pay close attention to the passages from the time travel book.

The cast is terrific and the atmosphere is very trippy. To avoid major spoilage, do not read wikipedia’s plot and interpretation summaries unless you have seen the movie. There are numerous interpretations of the movie out there on the interwebs, but the wikipedia writeup is the best and most concise that I found. IMDB’s trivia collection is fun and fairly extensive also, and contains only one – well marked — spoiler.

If you liked Vanilla Sky, Fight Club, The Butterfly Effect or The Sixth Sense, see this movie!

Visiting student

We’ve been hosting a student from Nagoya college (Japan) for the last few weeks. Ayumi I. is here for a 4 week stay with 20 other young women, all from the college. They are intensively working on their English skills, and making lots of field trips. (we did this once before back in 2006).

They’ve been to Universal Studios, Cocoa Beach, Disney, Winter Park, downtown Orlando, and just yesterday, Gina joined them for their visit to SeaWorld.

http://www.flickr.com/slideShow/index.gne?user_id=15972774@N00&set_id=72157604019301887

This has been fun for us! Ayumi is a enthusiastic and charming young woman and a great houseguest. If the slideshow doesn’t work, here’s a link to the flickr photoset.

outed

Interesting story here about Misha Defonseca, who published a holocaust memoir about her adventure fleeing on foot from occupied Belgium to the Ukraine as a youngster. While in the European wilderness, she lived with wolves! Its been made into a French movie (click the video for the trailer), although there is no US distributor for the film as of yet.

Turns out this far-fetched story was fabricated and only recently debunked. Misha is really Monique De Wael, and she did lose her parents during the war as they were Catholic members of the Belgian resistance.

delighted

I was in a long meeting this morning with a large tech company who unveiled their objectives for redesign and upgrade of their major product. Among the objectives was to “provide a delightful user experience”.

Initially I thought it a curious choice of word – but as it revealed itself, I think I get it. By delightful, they mean simple, easy, customizable and intuitive. All of those points are excellent usability measures. Its very Web 2.0, and what many users have come to expect.

So, “delightful”?? That does describe the extreme opposite of many user experiences these days.