Yesterday, I tried to start a #mathbattle on Twitter, but it proved too geeky to take. (Go figure.) I was having a nostalgic moment, remembering back in middle school when we had to write date equations. Everyday. Because each day, my friends, is different. A new day, full of new possibilities, opportunities, and numbers. Today is 7/30/2010. That means two things:
1) It will be August very, very soon.
2) We have the numbers 7, 3, 0, 2, 0, 1, 0 to work with. (Or, you can leave out a 2 and a 0. That is the cheater’s way.)
LET’S DO IT! —> 7 – ((3+0)(2 + 0)) = (1 + 0)
Yessssss. Math is awesome. Got a better equation? Prove it. Until then, here are some interesting things.
William Carlos Williams is not a very considerate roommate.
The Bookavore has created an “E-books article drinking game.” (Finally.) (Thank you.)
Ben Zimmer refudiates fake words.
And the best goat calendar of 2011 goes to…
I am sooooo over air quotes.
This baby must be a deep sleeper.
Get your vocab fix here.
This is an awesome new Twitter tool.
These should keep you busy for a while.
And to clarify, I am not a whiner. NASA agrees with me. So there.
Lauren, Publicity Assistant
Kathryn Kalinak is Professor of English and Film Studies at Rhode Island College. Below, she reflects on Sunday’s Oscar (Original Score) presentation, and her own predictions from Friday, presented both here on OUPBlog, and on WNYC’s Soundcheck.
And congratulations to Joseph Brown! In last week’s contest, he correctly predicted both Oscar Music category winners. Joseph will be receiving a copy of Kathryn’s most recent book, Film Music: A Very Short Introduction.
If there was a surprise in the Original Score Oscar race Sunday, it was only the break dancing performances accompanying selections from the five nominated scores. Compared to the other presentations, the break dancing seemed to me a shameless grab for a youthful demographic. The Writing nominees, for instance, were announced with images of screenplays projected over corresponding scenes—an effective reminder of what a film owes to its writing. Yet the Academy could not come up with a better way to honor this year’s fine slate of scores? To have watched a scene from Sherlock Holmes without Hans Zimmer’s eclectic instrumentation, and then to have watched it with all the tension and excitement lent by the score would have surely been a more appropriate way to showcase the importance of music in film.
The composers of this year’s Original Scores are all deserving, hard-working, and extremely talented. Although I predicted Michael Giacchino would receive an Oscar for his work on Up—as he did—this is one year I wouldn’t have minded being wrong.
Though I appreciate Giacchino’s beautifully melodic score, Alexandre Desplat is due! For Fantastic Mr. Fox he used instruments like a mandolin, ukulele, celeste, banjo, and a Jew’s harp to create a whimsical and inventive sound—the perfect match for such a quirky stop-action animated film. With six film scores in 2009, four in 2008, and six in 2007, Desplat might be Hollywood’s hardest working composer. He’s already scored a film currently in theaters (The Ghost Writer), and five more are in post-production, including the newest Harry Potter film. Given Desplat’s incredible productivity, we shouldn’t have to wait long for another nomination, or (hopefully) a win.
Lauren, Publicity Assistant
Kathryn Kalinak is Professor of English and Film Studies at Rhode Island College. Her extensive writing on film music includes numerous articles and several books, the most recent of which is Film Music: A Very Short Introduction. Below, she has made predictions for the Oscar Music (Original Score) category, and picked her favorites.
We want to know your thoughts as well! Who do you think will win the Oscar for Original Score? Original Song? Send your predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org by tomorrow, March 6, with the subject line “Oscars” and we’ll send a free copy of Film Music: A Very Short Introduction to the first 5 people who guessed correctly.
We also welcome you to tune in to WNYC at 2pm ET today to hear Kathryn discuss Oscar-nominated music on Soundcheck.
This Sunday’s Oscars will recognize an exceptionally fine slate of film scores, and it’s nice to see such a deserving group of composers. The nominees represent a range of films and scores including the lush and symphonic (Avatar), whimsical (Fantastic Mr. Fox), edgy and tension-producing (The Hurt Locker), eclectic and genre-bending (Sherlock Holmes), and beautifully melodic (Up). While there are always surprises, I’ve considered each composer and score, coming to the following conclusions and predictions.
James Horner has been around a long time, having been nominated ten times in the last 32 years, and receiving Best Score and Best Song Oscars for Titanic. He’s a pro at what he does best: big, symphonic scores that hearken back to the classical Hollywood studio years. Horner’s music gives Avatar exactly what it needs—warmth and emotional resonance—and connects the audience to a series of images and characters that might be difficult to relate to otherwise. If Horner wins Sunday night, look for the evening to go Avatar’s way.
On Fantastic Mr. Fox
Mark Peters, the genius behind the blog Wordlustitude in addition to being a Contributing Editor for Verbatim: The Language Quarterly, a language columnist for Babble, and a blogger for Psychology Today, is our guest blogger this week. Below Peters encourages us to make old words hip again.
Did you hear about the nude pictures of Lindsay Lohan and Roger Clemens drinking a human growth hormone/grain alcohol smoothie?
You have? Then let me tell you what my brother’s nanny has been up to with your father’s mechanic in the gazebo. (more…)