Saturday, March 30, 2013

Just Press Play...

I could sit here, or stand, and type out words to explain the--well, the most famous film score just behind John Williams's 1977 original Star Wars soundtrack, which would be 2001: A Space Odyssey. But reading words that I've bloarched up when you could be listening...

Just press play.

Do keep in mind that some of the music on this soundtrack are NOT the recordings heard in the film. A later soundtrack using recordings from the movie was released through Rhino records in the 1990s. Go here to Wikipedia to get the full poop on the story of the soundtrack's genesis.

And may the force be with you. (Yeah, I know.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Vocabulary & Opening Crawls

Fairly recently I posted about a vocabular enhancer, a simple list of commonly used words and suitable replacements, which I found during my daily stumble through the Internet. Today I've stumbledupon a new vocabulary modification list that concerns taking out your tired old adjectives--those words that modify nouns--and like Carlson from Of Mice and Men with Candy's old mordant dog, you put 'em out of their misery with an anti-misery gun (that shoot them anti-misery bullets) and replace them with fresh blood, or rather, a more sprightly bouncy new adjective that chews on your slippers. I mean, masticates them.

Here's a sample list:

Corpulent: obese
Crapulous: immoderate in appetite
Defamatory: maliciously misrepresenting
Didactic: conveying information or moral instruction
Dilatory: causing delay, tardy
Dowdy: shabby, old-fashioned; an unkempt woman
Efficacious: producing a desired effect
Effulgent: brilliantly radiant
Egregious: conspicuous, flagrant
Endemic: prevalent, native, peculiar to an area
Equanimous: even, balanced
Execrable: wretched, detestable
Fastidious: meticulous, overly delicate
Feckless: weak, irresponsible
Fecund: prolific, inventive
Friable: brittle
Fulsome: abundant, overdone, effusive

Now you can write with a voice that rings just this side of C. Montgomery Burns. Excellent. I mean...uh, fantabulous.

Before we close, let us use some vigorous vocabulary to write an opening crawl for the new Star Wars movie coming out in... 2015? Really?

"It is a new time for the galaxy--" (Time? Ugh! Start over....)

"It is a new era for the galaxy.
In the years since the destruction
of the evil Galactic Empire, 
nefarious men and new conflicts 
challenge the restoration of peace.

"As a new Galactic Republic struggles 

to guide a galaxy of wartorn planets,
a new Jedi Order, established
by Luke Skywalker, seeks out new
recruits to fill its depleted ranks--

Bleah! Here. This guy does it better. He has a story. I don't.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Off The Cuff: If This Is So Great, Why Ain't We Smiling?

I should be overjoyed. I have too many decades of memories of this regime butchering and imprisoning dissenters and raising hell throughout the Middle East with its terrorist minions out and about planting car bombs and assassinating politicians. Watching the rebels tear down the Assad family statue is perhaps a sign that change is truly on its way. 

However, as we all should be well aware of, those joining the rebels are--sadly--Islamists who have affiliations with al-Qaeda, and they're providing much of the liaison between the rebellion and a terrified public looking for guidance and direction. When Saddam Hussein's regime fell back in 2003, hopes of getting out of Iraq in a year were quickly dashed, as we tragically learned that power vacuums suck you back in.

When the Soviets fell, along with their satellite powers, Hell rose from its anchored depths, where it had been kept in check through years of dictatorial pressure, and it went on a rampage of countless wars throughout eastern Europe. As we've seen in Russia, adaptation to democracy after centuries of oppression through czars or Soviets isn't so smooth, not when their president is a former KGB with severe trust issues. It still doesn't take much to get yourself thrown into a prison in Russia. 

My cup isn't exactly overflowing with confidence. History may repeat itself. It usually does.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Sabbath Tweet

Clicking HERE for Elder Bednar's CES address.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Blog for Your Sabbath Day: Tithing

From the dawn of time, from the moment Adam and Eve hastily beat an exit from the Garden of Eden, Lucifer, the Adversary, understood the natural man and what a millstone that would be around our spiritual necks, weighing so many of us down, sinking millions to our spiritual deaths. Well, so did our Heavenly Father. He knew that Man, this spirit and body veiled away from his presence, would be wracked with insecurities, would be engaged in that great battle between Needs and Wants, where the wants become needs, and the needs get lost in the shuffle of life.

In the Old Testament--early in our human story--we see this very breakdown when Cain’s offering of the first of his field is rejected of the Lord. Cain has no faith in the future Atonement of Jesus Christ, spoken of by Father Adam, unlike his brother Abel whose faith is full in his offering of the firstling of his flocks to his Father in Heaven. But if Cain has no faith, why then is Cain making any sort of offering? Why not stay home and keep that offering and use it for his own personal needs? Because he’s showing off his wealth, and this is his downfall, the reason for his lack of faith in the Atonement. He’s proud and competitive for the product he’s toiled so hard to grow. For Cain, the public offering openly demonstrates to his family and his neighbors, his prestige. When the offering is rejected, he views this as a rejection of himself. Cain, as a son of God, becomes a son of man. His view of the world, his portion of it, is aligned with the power and wealth he has accumulated. Therefore he begins his infamous slide into depravity.

"Oh, What's Another Word for That Word": Add Variety to the Commonly Used Words in Writing

I wish I was this brilliant and innovative, but over at I...uh, stumbled upon this list of synonyms for words most commonly used by students in their papers. As an Engrish teacher--I mean English teachur, I fou--

Okay. Let me start over.

As an English teacher I found this list to be, uh...a great way for my students to find--you know--different words for the same old...feelings, again and again. For teachers such as myself, the list is very simple, the words very common, and it's all a row, based on its spelling. ALPHABETICAL! (That's the word I was looking for.)

Now, for you writers out there at your laptop screens or legal pads scribbling fan scripts for Star Wars: Episode VII, you might need a punch-up or two in the vocabulary department when writing that opening crawl. Well, let me say that this list is really, really...

Hold on. Let me check the list...

Great - noteworthy, worthy, distinguished, remarkable, grand, considerable, powerful, much, mighty

Just let me say that this list is really remarkable. Now, follow this link right HERE and do what you will with it. I'm fairly certain it will...

Help - aid, assist, support, encourage, back, wait on, attend, serve, relieve, succor, benefit, befriend, abet

...succor your efforts. In a platonic way.