Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for June 29, 2012

~newSaint's homage to Joshua's iconic line (from Wargames) |

[A.I. in the 80s] -- The 60s and 70s saw computers intrude more and more in business and manufacturing. In fact, the floppy disk and microprocessor, both invented in the 70s, helped to usher in an age of practical computing. But it was the 80s that saw the home computer industry take off. As computers expanded their territory from labs and offices to homes and schools, they also started to occupy more mental real estate as well. In 1983, Time magazine chose the computer as its "Machine of the Year" for 1982 (bumping their long-standing tradition of naming a "Man of the Year"). And computers provided the plot devices for several movies, usually in morality tales of technology gone amok (or greedy humans misusing innocent devices). This week in the Flashback, we will look at three tunes, each one from an 80s film featuring a computer -- or at least a sub-system -- that is intelligent and can make decisions on its own. What songs did I decide upon? Read and hear more after the break.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Magic Moment: As I drove back to the office after lunch, a dandelion seed floated into my car via the passenger side window. It dreamily flitted about the interior of my car, then made a slow pass in front of my face. After that final pass, this visitor from the true world continued its journey out the driver side window.

I thank that little traveler; 'twas a rare and wondrous gift I received.

Photo from Dandelions - A Nutritious Edible Weed

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for June 22, 2012

[Heat Rises] -- In honor of surviving our first heat wave of the Summer of 2012, this week's theme is Heat Rises. Er, no, heat doesn't rise ... hot air rises. Man, my old high school physics prof would have blown a gasket if he saw me write "heat rises." Anyway, due to the severe weather advisory for the northeast over the past two days, severe enough to prompt many cities to open cooling centers for the first time this season, I thought we could look at some hot songs from the 80s. Specifically, I'm thinking about songs that somehow have references to hot, heat, or summer. This is quite timely with the Summer Solstice occurring this past Wednesday. Now, one song you will not find in this week's playlist is Glenn Frey's 1984 hit, "The Heat is On." That song has been completely played out during the 2012 NBA playoffs. So, what three scorching tunes do I have for you this week? Read and hear more after the break.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for June 15, 2012

[Fab Five to Notorious Three] -- Over the past week or so, I've been listening to Duran Duran's second greatest hits compilation, Greatest (1998). If you have this album, you will recognize this track listing (snagged from Wikipedia):

Do you notice anything about it? Well, if you don't now, you will when you read and hear more after the break.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for June 8, 2012

All these 80s films featured a montage. But not every montage is featured in this flashback post.

[Moar Montage!] -- Last week, I talked about that wonderful conceit of 80s films: the (training) montage. I did not, however, provide actual samples of said montages. And, although they enjoyed the music mix I offered via SoundCloud, several friends felt they were cheated out of their weekly trio of 80s tunes. And, what's more, they succeeded in getting me to admit that the post itself was something of a cheat. So, this week, I rectify that situation and return balance to the 80s Flashback universe. This week, you will see three montages from 80s films. Which scenes and tunes have I selected for this montage mania? Read and hear more after the break.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for June 1, 2012

"Learn balance, Daniel-san!"

[Training Montage] -- I'm in a bit of a scheduling bind, but I don't want to leave my dear 80s-philes without a new flashback. So this week, we will pay homage to the time-honored, 80s movie tradition of the montage (specifically the training montage). You remember this film technique, right? Filmmakers would use it to condense hours, days, or even longer stretches into a few minutes -- the length of a single song. The montage could be used to showcase the transition of a sloppy, unstylish youth into a beautiful prom queen. But the most common use of the montage was in sports and martial arts movies. Here, we would see the meek and weak protagonist transformed into a potential winner by a strangely cool and (sometimes) unexpected mentor. Usually, nothing prior to the montage would lead a viewer to believe such a transformation could occur. But, thanks to clipped dialog, fast film cuts, and a kick-ass soundtrack, the music video portion of the movie would leave the audience too pumped up and swelling with positivity to even realize they had been duped. Now, instead of presenting three songs featured in 80s movie montages, I'm sharing with you something a little more special. If you want to know what it is, read and hear more after the break.