Google Home

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Technology continues its march forward with Google Home. Much like Alexa and Amazon Echo, this new personal assistant forges way to our collective future.

Having received this as a gift from my parents (Thanks Mom & Dad), it’s rather mesmerizing. You start with “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” and then ask it a question or give it a command.

Example: “Hey Google, will you play Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland” And then it plays it. Or “Ok Google, how far away is the moon?”

It also can connect you to you TV, Nest, and other technology.

The future is now. Isn’t it incredible. “Hey Google, how far will technology go?”

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https://store.google.com/product/google_home

Dubsmash

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Dubsmash is an app which takes sounds clips of music, films, tv, quotes, etc. and let’s you lip sync to them. Basically it allows you to test your lip synching skills and post them online via social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Mostly hilarious and clever. Can be quite entertaining.

Check it out. And lip sync for your life!

And Be Anyone You Want To Be.

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https://www.dubsmash.com/

 

Thespians Go Hollywood

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On Sunday, November 13th, 2016 I was invited to attend a Educational Theatre Association Alumni Fundraising Event. It was held at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles. And my reaction was initially neutral. Always want to support the arts, but it was a Sunday night of a big work week ahead.

So my friend Jim and I headed to the show.

And then something crazy happened.

Broadway performers, Tony award winners, Tony nominees, and young students performers all showed up to deliver their A-Game. Who knew it would be such a dynamic and special evening.

EdTA has never done an event like this before on the west coast. This was their first one and they wanted to showcase Theatre performers who are working in TV/Film.

While everyone delivered amazing work, there were a few stand outs.

Steve Kazee, Tony Award winner for ONCE: The Musical was extraordinary. He told his story as a young guy in rural america who found his voice and way to becoming a performer. He sang “Gold” from Once while playing the guitar.

Becky Lythgoe stood out with her performance of “Everybody’s Girl” from Steel Pier.

And Barrett Foa performed “One More Day” from Les Miserables as 7 characters.

The night was inspiring for a few reasons:

  1. It was clear that the people who are succeeding are because they are being fully themselves.
  2. The arts produces smart, witty, thoughtful people.
  3. Commit and perform full out as if your life depends on it.
  4. Access to arts education as early as possible will yield incredible results.

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Vevo

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Vevo is a video hosting service. In this age of streaming I have found it to be the simplest way to stream music and music videos for free.

It’s possible to stream directly from your phone via youtube or through systems like Apple TV or Roku.

One of the benefits is that it keeps music group in genres and also popularity. .

It’s like the new radio, streaming radio, which also happens to be free.

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https://www.vevo.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/VEVO

 

 

The First Monday in May

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Found the documentary The First Monday in May to be mesmerizing. The documentary is about the Met Gala in 2014 which was hosted by Ann Wintour. The film follows the path to the event and all the key players involved; designers, museum curators, assistants, celebrities, and more.

The theme of the event in 2014 was China: Through the Looking Glass. And extraordinary feat for the annual fundraising event. Fascinating to watch all the elements and creative minds come together to produce this large scale extravaganza which takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

And what they produce brings up the question of art, what is art, and can fashion be considered art on the level of great works already housed in The Met.

You’ll have to watch and decide for yourself.

Currently available on iTunes and Netflix.

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The Night of

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HBO has a new series called, “The Night of”. It’s the story of a young man who meets a young woman in NYC one night and she ends up murdered. The young man is the obvious suspect, but he wakes up and finds her and doesn’t know what happened.

It stars Riz Ahmed and John Turturro and is based on a BBC series called “Criminal Justice”. As the series progresses it becomes an inside view of the criminal justice system, for better or worse.

Compelling, well-acted, thought provoking.

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As a bonus, here is a TED Talk that Julia Galef presents “Why you think you’re right – even if you’re wrong”. And it is completely relevant to The Night Of.

From TED.com:

Perspective is everything, especially when it comes to examining your beliefs. Are you a soldier, prone to defending your viewpoint at all costs — or a scout, spurred by curiosity? Julia Galef examines the motivations behind these two mindsets and how they shape the way we interpret information, interweaved with a compelling history lesson from 19th-century France. When your steadfast opinions are tested, Galef asks: “What do you most yearn for? Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can?”

Stranger Things

 

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Netflix has a new series called Stranger Things. It takes it’s inspiration from 80’s nostalgia, when the young innocent outcasts help save the day. Starring Winona Ryder, it feels immediately familiar and fresh at the same time.

The horror-sci-fi-mystery starts pretty quickly when a boy, Will Byers, disappears. And under not so clear circumstances. His group of friends become determined to find him, and soon find more going on than they ever anticipated.

It’s been a breakout hit with people binge watching all 8 episodes. There is already discussion about a second season.

Check it out, but don’t watch it alone.

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http://www.cnet.com/news/stranger-things-is-every-80s-movie-trope-in-one-awesome-series/