Monday, February 24, 2020

 

QPORIT XR DAILY NEWS


QPORIT XR DAILY NEWS

QPORIT XRN

EXTENDED REALITY: TECHNOLOGY, CULTURE, WORLD
Quick Previews ORandom Interesting Things in XR News



***


TODAY: 2020-02-25 (TUE FEB 25, 2020)


US

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES DEBATE

  • tonight on CBS, starting at 8:00 PM.
  • The candidates debating are: 
    • Former Vice President Joe Biden
    • Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
    • Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
    • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
    • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
    • Businessman Tom Steyer
    • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
  • Here's my advice to the candidates:
  • EVERYONE:
    • inspire! America
      • in your ability to lead the US -- the entire country -- over the next four years: the next term will feature tremendous opportunities due to the continued EXPONENTIAL growth in power of digital technology (eXtended Reality);
    • inspire confidence in your ability to handle the challenges of the next term:
      • the possibility of pandemics;
      • the possibility of economic decline after 12 years of growth (remember there was an inversion of the yield curve, plus there's the threat of COVID-19, and booms have never lasted indefinitely);
      • the need for infrastructure;
      • the inequitable wealth distribution curve;
      • the need for health care for everyone, especially in view of the possibility of a coming pandemic;
      • the need for equality across race, gender & geography;
      • the need for improved and affordable education everywhere in the US;
      • the threat of climate change;
      • the need to repair our foreign alliances;
    • inspire the base of Democratic and Independent voters
      • on their ability to win
        • the Presidential election
        • the Senate & the House
        • governorships and state governments across the country (especially with a coming census and subsequent reallocation of voting districts!)
    • demand a fair and accurate election, without foreign interference, voter suppression, or anything else that is anti-democratic!
    • attack Trump for trying to cheat in the 2016 election (Mueller Report) and the 2020 election (Impeachment);
    • attack Trump for promiscuous lying;
    • attack Trump for removing safeguards by meddling in the DOJ, the FBI, the State Department and security agencies;
    • attack Trump for deregulation and for giving billiions and billions away from tax revenues, which:
      • skew the wealth to the richest (and perhaps himself);
      • let companies engage in risky behaviors;
      • allow the stock market to rise to risky levels;
      • prevent necessary infrastructure projects to proceed, for lack of funds;
      • disassembled some of the institutions which were created and designed to fight possible pandemics;
    • attack the GOP for its moral failure to support a full and fair Impeachment trial;
    • attack Trump and the GOP for stacking the Judiciary;
    • attack the GOP for failing to pass almost anything except tax relief for millionaires, billionaires, and million-dollar, billion-dollar, and trillion-dollar companies;
    • praise Obama for 
      • reversing the big recession under GOP president Bush, and beginning a long economic boom;
      • establishing a revival of domestic power production, lessening our dependence on Mideast and other oil producers;
      • creating the first major improvement in national health care since Medicare;
    • praise Pelosi and the House for their work on Impeachment, improving the trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and passing numerous bills that the GOP Senate has not worked on.
  • Bloomberg
    • needs to show that he can debate strongly:
      • inspire!
      • defend against challenges;
      • attack other Democratic candidates effectively, but respectfully;
      • attack Trump and the GOP effectively and powerfully;
      • state his own objectives and initiatives and qualifications convincingly.
  • Sanders
    • needs to show that he is a leader of all America;
    • and engaged with all the issues. 
  • Warren 
    • needs to show that she is a leader, not just in economic policies and family areas, but in foreign affairs, in administering a government, and in creating a national spirit.
  • Biden 
    • needs to inspire!
    • needs to be Presidential, not Vice Presidential;
    • needs to take the lead on all things American, and go beyond the need to replace Trump and Trumpism as the one singular reason to nominate him.
  • Klobuchar, Mayor Pete, and Steyer
    • need to be Presidential and show they are leaders in all things Presidential.

***


SOME REMAINING PRIMARY DATES

  • The Democratic Party national convention (DNCC) will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Monday July 13 to July 16, 2020.
  • PRIMARY DATES:
  • 2020-02-29 - South Carolina - Sat Feb 29, 2020
  • 2020-03-02 - "Super Tuesday" - Tue Mar 3, 2020
    • Democratic delegates to be selected, by state:
    • Alabama - 52
    • Arkansas - 6
    • California - 415
    • Colorado - 67
    • Maine - 24
    • Massachusetts - 91
    • Minnesota - 75
    • North Carolina - 110
    • Oklahoma - 37
    • Tennessee - 64
    • Texas - 228
    • Utah - 29
    • Vermont - 16
    • Virginia - 99
  • 2020-04-28 - New York - Tue Apr 28, 2020
  • 2020-06-02 - New Jersey - Tue Jun 2, 2020.

***

2020-02-24 (MON FEB 24, 2020)


US

HARVEY WEINSTEIN

  • was convicted of two counts of serious sexual crimes.
  • He has been detained and will be held at a medical facility.
  • Weinstein is the second major entertainment figure convicted of sex crimes, following the conviction of Bill Cosby.
  • Weinstein was acquitted of the two most serious charges. 
  • He still faces a trial in California on additional charges.
  • It is likely the conviction of Weinstein will be appealed.

***

US & THE WORLD

THE US STOCK MARKET

  • fell sharply, the "Dow" declining more than 1,000 points (about 3.5%) at times during the day.
  • The drop follows reports of the CORONAVIRUS (officially named COVID-2019) appearing in Italy.
  • Any prolonged continuation and spread of the virus is likely to disrupt transportation, tourism, luxury goods, manufacturing, supply chains for consumer and technical goods, consumer spending, the availability of medical supplies, and many other aspects of business, commerce and life.
  • It will also disrupt the spread of technical knowledge and business communications and marketing, as major technical conferences around the world get cancelled.
  • Key factors in assessing the threat are the rate at which cases multiply, and the ability  -- or failure -- of governments and medical services to prevent clusters of cases from escaping quarantine, and even infecting new countries.



***

2020-02-23 (SUN FEB 23, 2020)



US

BERNIE SANDERS 

  • comes out on top in Nevada.

***

2020-02-22 (SAT FEB 22, 2020)



THEATER

COMMERCIAL THEATER INSTITUTE (CTI) 

  • holds its Three Day Intensive from Friday March 6 thru Sunday March 8.
  • The Three Day Intensive is one of the best introductions to the realities of commercial theater that exists anywhere. 
  • It is not just for producers, it is for anyone interested in understanding current theater.
  • It is also an introduction (and rite of passage!) for anyone thinking about theatrical producing.
  • I've done it twice! and it is terrific!
  • https://www.commercialtheaterinstitute.com/product/three-day-intensive/

***

2020-02-21 (FRI FEB 21, 2020)



THEATER

WEST SIDE STORY 


***

PLAZA SUITE,

  • the classic comedy by Neil Simon
  • comes to New York in a new revival with Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker.
  • Beginning March 13, 2020.
  • Advance word from the pre-Broadway road trip is that it is terrific.
  • https://plazasuitebroadway.com/

***





2020-02-20 (THU FEB 20, 2020)



WHIMSY

(It's not quite a palindrome like Feb 2, 2020:

2020-02-02 or 20200202 or if you prefer 02022020

A palindrome is the same backwards or forwards.)


But I still like today's

20200220

***


THEATER

WEST SIDE STORY 

***


US

THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE'S DEBATE 

  • showed that:
    • SANDERS is a passionate advocate for universal health care and the working class;
    • WARREN is a brilliant expert and advocate for financial reform and families;
    • BUTTIGIEG is an eloquent advocate for sensible policies;
    • BIDEN has a wealth of experience;
    • KLOBUCHAR has broad appeal for moderate voters of any party;
    • BLOOMBERG has an impressive breath of experience and expertise in government and management;
    • EVERYONE on stage believes that Trump ranks somewhere between the worst President in modern times, and the worst President ever.
  • Comment: Several important issues were not seriously raised by the questions posed or the answers given, including:
    • the possible threat to democracy and the rule of law posed by (a) Trump's challenges to the FBI and the intelligence agencies, and (b) his challenge to transparency and truth in government;
    • the desperate need for infrastructure improvements, especially in view of climate changes and changing weather patterns;
    • the issues to be faced in the next Presidential term due to 
      • (a) the challenge posed by the possible end of the financial boom that began with the Obama turnaround after the Bush crash, and has now lasted a very long time for booms; and
      • (b) the challenge, and more exciting, the opportunities enabled by the incredible advances that are likely in the next few years due to the exponentially increasing power of digital technology: the many facets of eXtended Reality (XR): 
  • There is a tremendous opportunity now for the democratic candidates: to erupt beyond the current issues and create an inspiring vision of future possibilities.


***

2020-02-19 (WED FEB 19, 2020)



FILM

EUGENE HERNANDEZ 

  • has been named the Director of the New York Film Festival.

***



US

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG 

  • will be appearing in tonight's Presidential Primary Candidate's Debate for the first time.
  • Hosted by NBC News and MSNBC at 9 PM ET from Nevada.

***

2020-02-18 (TUE FEB 18, 2020)



US

PRESIDENT TRUMP 

  • granted full pardons to seven people, and commuted the sentences of 4 more.
  • Most had been convicted of financial crimes.
  • Some, in addition, had been government officials who used their offices for personal gain.

***



2020-02-17 (MON FEB 17, 2020)


US & HOLIDAY

TODAY IS

PRESIDENTS DAY

A FEDERAL HOLIDAY
CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAYS OF

ABRAHAM LINCOLN & 
GEORGE WASHINGTONx



CELEBRATE 

  • by looking up the US President's, and the history of the Presidency;
  • (for example, check out the biographies by Doris Kearn's Goodwin;)
  • and see the story below (Sun Feb 15), including the three part miniseries on George Washington on the History Channel.
  • WIKIPEDIA : Presidents of the United States:
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_presidents_of_the_United_States

***



2020-02-16 (SUN FEB 16, 2020)



US & TV

GEORGE WASHINGTON 

  • is the subject of a three part mini-series that begins tonight on The History Channel at 8 PM.
  • The program is executive produced by Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and narrated by Jeff Daniels.
  • George Washington was born on Feb 22, 1732. (On July 4, 1776, he was 44 years old.)
  • Tomorrow is President's Day, celebrating the birth of Washington and of Lincoln (born Feb 12 1809).
  • Here's a story about the show:
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/02/16/kearns-goodwin-george-washington/

***



2020-02-15 (SAT FEB 15, 2020)



WORLD

ANGELA MERKEL

  • in Germany, is having trouble executing her "succession plan".
  • Her first choice as a successor has pulled back.
  • Her party, the Christian Democratic party, is finding difficulty navigating between more liberal parties, and increasing pressure from right and far right parties.

***

2020-02-14 (FRI FEB 14, 2020)



THE UNIVERSE (OF LOVE)

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over, and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of the singing of birds is come,

 and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,

and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Song of Solomon: 2: 11-17


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!


***



2020-02-13 (THU FEB 13, 2020)



TECHNOLOGY

JEDI PROJECT UPDATE: IN A SEALED RULING

  • Federal Claims Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith has issued a  temporary injunction preventing the project from starting.
  • Microsoft was recently awarded the $10B contract over Amazon.
  • Amazon sued, and is seeking to depose President Trump, Defense Secretary Esper, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
  • See below (2020-02-10 - MON FEB 10, 2020) for more!

***


FILM

CESAR AWARDS


***



2020-02-12 (WED FEB 12, 2020)



TECHNOLOGY

NASA

***



2020-02-11 (TUE FEB 11, 2020)



TECHNOLOGY

THE GAME DEVELOPER'S CONFERENCE (GDC) 2020

***

USA

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

  • was narrowly won by Sanders at 26% with Buttigieg close behind at 24% and Klobuchar next at 20%.  
  • All the rest in single digits.

THE IOWA CAUCUS

  • results appear to have Buttigieg slightly edging out Sanders in the second round following the redistribution of votes, after Sanders won the first round.
  • Klobuchar was third, with others further behind.
  • However the results are subject to recounting.

***


2020-02-10 (MON FEB 10, 2020)



TECHNOLOGY

AMAZON AWS

  • has supplemented their legal action challenging the awarding of the $10B JEDI contract to Microsoft on the grounds that the decision was influenced improperly by actions of President Trump, by seeking depositions from President Trump, Defense Secretary Esper, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
  • This pits the richest man in the world (Bezos) against, arguably, the most powerful man in the world (Trump).
  • The charge - that Trump influenced the disposition of government funds to benefit himself personally -- echos the charges in Trump's Impeachment and trial. However, in this case the proceeding should follow explicitly legal procedures rather than the explicitly political procedures of an impeachment.
  • Microsoft reportedly is fighting this suit and the supplementary filing.
  • Comment: While it makes sense for Microsoft to oppose the action on the grounds that they have a better case -- with their extensive and comprehensive software development experience -- to complete the JEDI project successfully (cloud facility is only one part of a development project), they should let the deposition process proceed so they can be clear that they can win the contract on its merits, not on improper political/personal meddling.
  • The current filing is currently sealed, but here is the (redacted) original filing:
  • https://federalnewsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/120919_redacted_aws_complaint.pdf

***


FILM

PARASITE

  • a Korean language film, was the first foreign language film to ever win the Best Picture award at the Academy Awards, which, with that one exceptional exception, went as expected.
  • The rest of the show was pleasant enough, with occasional pairs of comedians as presenters providing the comedy that used to be supplied by a host (missing from the show again this year).
  • My one complaint -- which applies not only to this but most other awards shows as well -- is that there was no clearly visible title to identify the names of presenters, or to identify the actors, films, or source in each segment of a montage sequence.
  • Full results:
  • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/academy-awards-2020.html

***



2020-02-09 (SUN FEB 9, 2020)


MUSIC

THE THURNAUER SCHOOL OF MUSIC's

  • GIFT OF MUSIC GALA BENEFIT, raising scholarship funds,
  • featuring

 guitar virtuoso, multi-Grammy Award winner,

  • SHARON ISBIN
  • and honoring DIANNE FLAGELLO
  • long-time director of the pre-college division of 
  • THE MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC will be
  • SUNDAY, FEB 9, 2020 at 4:00 in Hackensack, NJ
  • TICKET and other INFORMATION at:
  • https://wizevents.com/register/landing.php?id=7056
  • The GOM is an annual event that, FOR 30 YEARS!, in addition to raising money for scholarships, provides an invaluable inspiration to Thurnauer music students, as they play with, rehearse with, and meet some of the world's most distinguished musicians. 
  • In addition to Sharon Isbin, other GOM events have featured:
    • Alan Gilbert, Conductor and Music Director of the New York Philharmonic (+ other members of the orchestra)!
    • Joshua Bell, Violin!
    • Steven Isserlis, Cello!
    • Melvin Chen, Professor in the Practice of Piano & Deputy Director of the Yale School of Music, Piano!
    • The Wynton Marsalis Septet, Jazz!
    • Sharon Roffman, Leader of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Violin!
    • Paula Robison, Flute!
    • David Krakauer, Clarinet! 
    • Richard Goode, Piano!
    • The Juilliard String Quartet!
    • and many more!!!
  • https://www.jccotp.org/JCC/Thurnauer_School_of_Music/JCC/Thurnauer/Thurnauer_School_of_Music.aspx

    ***



    2020-02-08 (SAT FEB 8, 2020)



    FILM

    THE ACADEMY AWARDS

    • will be presented tomorrow, Sunday Feb 9, at 8 PM on ABC.
    • There will be no host this year.
    • The biggest question is whether favorite ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, dark horse 1917, or surprise candidate, foreign film, THE PARASITE will win.
    • The other major categories have been pretty consistent in most of the earlier award shows; any difference would be a major upset:
      • Joaquin Phoenix - Actor, for JOKER
      • Renee Zellweger - Actress, for JUDY
      • Brad Pitt - Supporting Actor, for ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
      • Laura Dern - Supporting Actress, for THE MARRIAGE STORY.
    • Here's the whole list of nominees:
    • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/academy-awards-2020.html

    THE***



    2020-02-07(FRI FEB 7, 2020)



    TECHNOLOGY

    THE OCULUS QUEST

    • is currently sold out on the Oculus store. The page actually reads...
    Oculus Quest Logo

    All-In-One VR

    No PC. No wires. No limits.
    Not Available*

    • The current shortage began around the holiday season, but now seems compounded by the coronavirus.
    • Reportedly, the QUEST sold very well while it was available.
    • Meanwhile...
      • New software updates allow QUEST users to connect to a PC to play RIFT titles, and to use hand tracking.

    ***


    FILM

    RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA,

    ***



    2020-02-06 (THU FEB 6, 2020)



    TECHNOLOGY

    THE FCC

    • is one of the most important and hard to follow agencies in the US government.
    • It defines rules and procedures for all kinds of communication services, like broadcasting, broadband, and the internet.
    • It is important because it chooses between companies, industries, and communities in its most significant decisions.
    • It is hard to follow because the issues it deals with are complex technically, politically, legally, and commercially, and its website is seriously opaque.
    • Currently, major issues being decided include:
      • How to increase broadband access in underserved areas
      • How to improve the allocation of the electromagnetic spectrum to be available for 5G, while fairly compensating the companies that now use those frequencies.
    • https://www.fcc.gov/

    ***

    TECHNOLOGY

    BRAIN MULTIPHYSICS



    ***



    2020-02-05 (WED FEB 5, 2020)



    USA

    THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

    • Article I, Section 3, Paragraph 6:
    • The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present
    • On the first Article of Impeachment, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States, Abuse of Power, 45 Democrats, 2 Independents, and One Republican (Mitt Romney) voted Guilty, 52 Republicans voted Not Guilty. 
    • Failing to obtain 2/3 of the vote, the President was not convicted.
    • On the second Article of Impeachment, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States, Obstruction of Congress, 45 Democrats, and 2 Independents voted Guilty, 53 Republicans voted Not Guilty. 
    • Failing to obtain 2/3 of the vote, the President was not convicted.

    ***



    2020-02-04 (TUE FEB 4, 2020)



    USA

    STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

    • is tonight.

    ***

    IOWA CAUCUS RESULTS

    • are delayed due to a failure of the app intended to improve the compilation and release of caucus results.



    ***

    2020-02-03 (MON FEB 3, 2020)



    THEATER

    THE PUBLIC THEATER


    THE PUBLIC THEATER


    ***


    TECHNOLOGY


    Was Google's superbowl ad a little creepy? Should Google know and collect people's intimate feelings throughout their life? It's great as long as it remains confidential and useful; potentially dangerous if hacked, or misused in any way at all.


    ***



    TODAY : 2020-02-02 (SUN FEB 2, 2020)



    FILM

    THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

    • top prizewinning films (Grand Jury Prizes) this year are: 
      • Minari (U.S. Dramatic), 
      • Boys State (U.S. Documentary), 
      • Epicentro (World Cinema Documentary) and 
      • Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness (World Cinema Dramatic).
    • John Cooper is stepping down as Festival Director. The new Festival Director is Tabitha Jackson. 
    • Here are the complete results:
    • https://www.sundance.org/blogs/news/2020-sundance-film-festival-awards-announced



    ***

    SPORTS

    BIG WEEKEND FOR SPORTS!

    KANSAS CITY CHIEFS WIN SUPERBOWL LIV (54) 31-20

    • over the San Francisco 49ers.
    • Jennifer Lopez and Shakira lead an excellent halftime show.

    ***


    AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

    • Young American, Sofia Kenin, becomes the newest tennis star, winning the Women's Final at the Australian Open.
    • Novak Djokovic defeats Dominic Thiem in 5 sets in the Men's Final.

    ***

    WHIMSY

    For the first time in a while we have a special date: 

    2020-02-02 or 20200202 or if you prefer 02022020

    It's a palindrome day, the same backwards or forwards.


    ***


    2020-02-01 (SAT FEB 1, 2020)



    SPORTS

    BIG WEEKEND FOR SPORTS!

    SUPERBOWL LIV (54) SUNDAY (2/2) 6:30 PM EST

    • matches the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs.
    • Jennifer Lopez and Shakira head the halftime show.
    • Lot's of snacks (get them early before the store runs out) lead the menu.
    • Watch on FOX.

    ***

    AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

    • Young American, Sofia Kenin, becomes the newest tennis star, winning the Women's Final at the Australian Open.
    • Novak Djokovic faces Dominic Thiem in the Men's Final.
    • The Men's Final can be watched on ESPN or ESPN+ at 2:30 ET --VERY early morning Sunday (2/2).

    ***

    2020-01-31 (FRI JAN 31, 2020)



    INTERNATIONAL

    BRITAIN

    • has separated from Europe. BrExit is done.

    ***



    2020-01-30 (THU JAN 30, 2020)

    INTERNATIONAL

    CORONAVIRUS

    • was declared a WORLD HEALTH EMERGENCY by the World Health Organization (WHO).
    • UPDATE 1/31/2020: The Dow Jones Industrial average lost well over 650 points on Friday; the decline was ascribed mostly to the potential effects on the economy of the coronavirus.

    ***



    2020-01-29 (WED JAN 29, 2020)



    TECHNOLOGY

    VR WORLD,

    • a new, large (12,000 sq feet; 3 levels), location based gaming site, allowing people to experience VR has opened in New York.
    • https://vrworldnyc.com/

    ***

    SUNDAR PINCHAI ON AI

    • at the World Economic Forum in Davos:


    ***

    2020-01-28 (TUE JAN 28, 2020)



    THE WORLD

    A PEACE PLAN FOR THE ISRAELI & PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

    • has been proposed by the White House.
    • The Palestinians did not participate in its development and seem to have so far rejected it.
    • News accounts and analysis in the US have generally suggested it is favorable to Israel; and even more, that it is in part intended to support Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is his next election.
    • Here is the full text of the proposal:
    • https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Peace-to-Prosperity-0120.pdf

    ***



    2020-01-27 (MON JAN 27, 2020)



    TECHNOLOGY

    TIM COOK, FROM APPLE,

    ***

    US

    The FCC
    If you ever receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Help Center: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov #FCCtips #ProtectingConsumers


    ***


    WORLD
    Adam Schiff
    On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember the six million Jews and other victims of Nazism. We honor their memories by speaking out against anti-Semitism, injustice, and hatred in all forms. Never Again.

    WORLD

    CDC UPDATE ON THE CORONAVIRUS,

    • 5 confirmed cases in US.
    • 110 cases under investigation.
    • No evidence virus is spreading in the uS; cases are isolated.
    • 16 countries have cases.
    • Avoid travel to Hubei province (where cases began in Wuhan).
    • Be careful about travel anywhere in China.
    • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
    • Other sources estimate: about 3000 cases worldwide, 80+ deaths.
    • Side note: The spread of coronavirus is "blamed" for a stock selloff in Europe and the US.



    ***


    2020-01-26 (SUN JAN 26, 2020)



    THEATER & FILM

    THE NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE (2020-01-26)


    ***



    2020-01-25 (SAT JAN 25, 2020)



    THEATER

    THEATER RESOURCES UNLIMITED (TRU)

    • one of the country's leading organizations dedicating to developing theater professionals has announced an impressive collection of events coming in the next few months, including: 
      • a panel on Festivals: Working Hard to Give Your Show A Chance;
      • a Speeddate --the Art of the Pitch -- for writers and producers, giving writers a chance to practice their pitch to a room full of working, investing producers;
      •  a three part workshop on Writing a Musical That Works
      • with other resources available from their site:
    • https://truonline.org/

    ***



    2020-01-24 (FRI JAN 24, 2020)



    THEATER & FILM

    OPEN SUBMISSIONS TO SCRIPT COMPETITIONS IN THEATER AND FILM

    ***



    2020-01-23 (THU JAN 23, 2020)



    WORLD

    CHINA

    • has responded to the new Coronavirus scare and pandemic threat vigorously by quickly alerting the world, and enabling a quick sequencing of the virus,
    • and by halting transportation to and from -- essentially quarantining -- cities (and even parts of cities) where the illness is prevalent.
    • The US has responded by screening passengers on flights from areas where the virus has been detected. 
    • At least one person has been confirmed with the virus in the US.

    ***



    TODAY: 2020-01-22 (WED JAN 22, 2020)



    TECHNOLOGY

    YAHOO HIJACKED MY SEARCH (?!*??)

    • Google has been my search engine. It works well.
    • Suddenly all my searches were conducted by Yahoo (now belonging to Verizon).
    • Earlier, while I was trying to add my "brand" channel to YouTubeVR, for some reason I seemed to have had to register for some other things first. This seems to have hijacked the search engine.
    • Here's how I fixed it: 
    • By going to the three vertical dots at the top right of Chrome, I scrolled to Settings, then to Search engine, and disabled Yahoo search and the program that was controlling the choice of search. This fixed the problem.
    • I have found Google Search to be the best search. I set this as the default. 
    • There may be other ways that Yahoo (or some other search engine) can hijack the search, but this method is likely to work in many cases.

    ***



    2020-01-21 (TUE JAN 21, 2020)



    USA

    THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF DONALD JOHN TRUMP

    • begins today.

    ***


    VR VIDEO

    QPORIT XR

    ***


    2020-01-20 (MON JAN 20, 2020)



    USA

    Today is a holiday: Martin Luther King Jr Day



    ***

    FILM & TV


    SAG AWARDS (& MORE)

    • The SAG awards were pretty similar to the awards from GG (Golden Globes) and CC (Critics Circle) wherever they overlapped.
    • For the Oscars, now, the only categories in which there is major suspense are Best Picture (Once Upon A Time in Hollywood or Parasite or The Irishman  or 1917) and Best Director (Respectively Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-ho, Martin Scorcese, and Sam Mendes)

    • Here are these awards, so far:
    • The Producer's Guild went with 1917.
    • SAG with Parasite (cast)
    • GG with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (comedy  & screenplay) & 1917 (drama & director)
    • CC with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Picture) &
    • 1917 & Parasite (Director - tied!)

    • The SAG Awards went to:
    • Robert De Niro - Lifetime Achievement (Passionate political talk!)
    • “Parasite” - Cast
    • Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” - Actor in a Film (good talk!), 
    • Renée Zellweger, “Judy” - Actress in a Film, 
    • Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood”- Supporting Actor in a Film (funny!), 
    • Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” - Supporting Actress in a Film, 
    • “The Crown” - Ensemble in a TV Drama Series, 
    • Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” - Actor in a TV Drama Series, 
    • Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show” - Actress in a TV Drama Series,
    • “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” - Ensemble in a TV Comedy Series
    • Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” - Actor in a TV Comedy Series, 
    • Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag” - Actress in a TV Comedy Series,
    • Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon” - Actor in a TV Mini-series, 
    • Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon” - Actress in a TV Mini-series,. 
    • Presenters & nominees diverse
    • Winners all white, mostly British when possible.

    • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/sag-awards-2020.html
    To see what films and which actors have been celebrated in other awards this year... AND in the last five years, please see:



    2020-01-19 (SUN JAN 19, 2020)



    INTERNATIONAL & TV


    FAREED ZAKARIA 




    ***


    FILM & TV

    SAG AWARDS (& MORE)




    To see what films and which actors have been celebrated in other awards this year... AND in the last five years, please see:

    ***



    2020-01-18 (SAT JAN 18, 2020)



    THEATER


    PUNCHDRUNK




    • the British Theater company that developed the (fantastic!) Sleep No More has developed a resource guide for immersive theater.
    • Immersive theater is a sibling to immersive video.
    • http://www.punchdrunk.org.uk/resources/

    ***



    2020-01-17 (FRI JAN 17, 2020)


    XR CLUB NEWS

    TECHNOLOGY & $$$

    THE $TRILLION CLUB

    • has a new member, as Alphabet/Google, joins Apple and Microsoft with a market capitalization of more than a trillion $$$dollars.


    WORLD

    THE IMPEACHED PRESIDENTS CLUB

    • has a new member, as Donald J Trump joins Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson as the only Presidents to face an impeachment trial.
    • Clinton and Johnson were not convicted.
    • Richard Nixon avoided impeachment by resigning.


    FILM & VIDEO

    THE 2020 MAJOR FILM AND VIDEO AWARDS CLUB

    • will have a new member on Sunday with the SAG Awards.
    • The SAG awards are voted on by actors, and may have a different take from the Golden Globes and Critics Circle awards, which are both critics' rather than performers' choices.
    • Sunday, Jan 19, 2020
    • Red Carpet: TNT 5:30 PM ET
    • Awards Ceremony: TNT & TBS 8:00 ET 



    VIDEO & TECHNOLOGY


    THE STREAMING VIDEO CLUB
    • will have a new member as the plans for NBCU Peacock are announced.
    • Content for Peacock with include both movies and NBC shows.
    • Peacock will have 3 tiers:
      • Free with ads (>7,500 hours of content)
      • Premium $5 with ads (>15,000 hours of contents & sports)
      • Premium $10 with no ads.
    • https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/16/nbc-peacock-price-launch-date-and-shows.html
    • Some features of Peacock will launch on April 15,; more on July 15, 2020
    • Peacock joins other current and future streaming services including...
      • Netflix
      • Apple TV+
      • Disney+
      • Quibi (original, short, phone-targeted content - see below 2020-01-08)
      • HBO Max

    ***



    2020-01-16 (THU JAN 16, 2020)



    TECHNOLOGY

    MULTI-USER AR AND VR WITH AWS SUMERIAN

    ***

    USA

    ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

    • "Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors",
    • have been read at the Senate.
    • The Chief Justice and the Senators have been sworn in for the impeachment trial.
    • In related news, the GAO has released an opinion that the delay of funds for the Ukraine was illegal.

    ***



    2020-01-15 (WED JAN 15, 2020)


    USA

    ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

    • "Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors",
    • are scheduled to be transmitted to the Senate about 5:00 PM EST today.

    ***


    USA & THE WORLD

    A "PHASE ONE" AGREEMENT BETWEEN CHINA AND THE USA


    ***



    2020-01-14 (TUE JAN 14, 2020)


    USA

    DEMOCRATIC DEBATE

    • Tonight: The last Democratic debate before the Iowa Caucuses (Feb 3, 2020), at which  49 delegates to the Democratic Convention (July 13-16 2020) will be chosen.  
    • There will be a national total of 4,750 delegates.
    • Participants in the debate are:
      • Former VP Joe Biden
      • Senator Elizabeth Warren
      • Senator Bernie Sanders
      • Senator Amy Klobuchar
      • Mayor Pete Buttegeig
      • Businessman Tom Steyer
    • Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is also competing for the Democratic nomination is not in this debate.

    ***



    2020-01-13 (MON JAN 13, 2020)


    FILM

    ACADEMY AWARDS 2020

    • The nominations for the Academy Awards are similar to those for the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice. BEST in each category is likely to be a reflection of the slightly different sensibilities of the members of these groups. GG voters are foreign critics; CC voters are North American critics; and AA voters are in the film industry, making the films.
    • Joker had the highest number of nominations, 11.
    • The films at the top of the list seem to be:
    • 1917 (10)
    • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (10)
    • Parasite (6)
    • The Irishman (10)
    • Joker (11)
    • Little Women
    • Marriage Story 
    • Missing Link
    • Toy Story 4
    • Here's the list of all the nominees:
    • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/academy-awards-2020.html

    CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS 2020

    • The Critics Choice Awards winners included:

      • Best picture: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,
      • Best Foreign Language Picture: Parasite,
      • Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix,
      • Best Actress: Renee Zellweger
      • Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,
      • Best Director: Bong Joon-ho & Sam Mendes (tie)
    • For all the results, including TV, please see:
    • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/critics-choice-awards-2020.html

    ***



    2020-01-12 (SUN JAN 12, 2020)


    FILM

    CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS 2020

    ***



    2020-01-11 (SAT JAN 11, 2020)


    THEATER

    THE WOMAN IN BLACK  - A GHOST PLAY IN A PUB

    • is being presented (in a "strictly limited" engagement -- with many dates already sold out) at "the McKittrick Hotel", home of Sleep No More.
    • Everything I've ever attended there has been exceptionally fine.
    • This is the adaptation of Susan Hill's novel by Stephen Mallatratt, directed by Robin Herford, that was a huge success in London. 
    • https://mckittrickhotel.com/events/womaninblack/

    ***



    2020-01-10 (FRI JAN 10, 2020)


    IDEAS

    A NIGHT OF PHILOSOPHY AND IDEAS

    • co-sponsored by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
    • will be held this year in Brooklyn.
    • Saturday Feb 1, 2020 7 PM to Sunday Feb 2, 2020 7 AM.
    • https://nightofphilosophyandideas.com/

    ***



    2020-01-09 (THU JAN 9, 2020)


    THEATER

    HB STUDIO,

    • one of the oldest, best, and least expensive acting studios in NY (or anywhere else) is starting a new term.
    • HB has classes for everyone from beginner to professional; both a la carte and complete programs; and a wide variety of courses and workshops and performing opportunities.
    • HB Studio is especially friendly as a destination for visiting students from other countries.
    • Among the special offerings this winter are "studio practice" with Mercedes Ruehl, concentration in Ibsen with Austin Pendleton, and courses in acting in Spanish (Actuar en espagnol) and in the Russian language:
    • ACTING IN RUSSIAN: METHOD OF ETUDES
    • ТЕХНИКА АКТЕРА НА РУССКОМ: МЕТОД ЭТЮДОВ
    • Snezhana Chernova - СНЕЖАНА ЧЕРНОВА
    • www.hbstudio.org


      ***



      2020-01-08 (WED JAN 8, 2020)


      TECHNOLOGY

      CES - QUIBI

      • CES - THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW
        • JAN 7-10, 2020

        • https://www.ces.tech/
        • QUIBI (QUIck BItes) is a new content streaming service, created by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, which aims to bring A-level content from A-level talent to smartphones... by designing the content visually to be optimized for the phone-sized screen, and by cutting the content into bite-sized segments (quick bites), so it can easily be watched on the go, on the phone.
        • It will launch on April 6, and will cost $4.99/mo with ads, or $7.99 without ads.
        • According to the WSJ, QUIBI had already sold $150M worth of ads as of October 21, 2019.
        • By the way, as of today, they have 28 open positions on their site.
        • www.quibi.com

      ***



      2020-01-07 (TUE JAN 7, 2020)


      TECHNOLOGY

      CES

      • CES - THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW

      ***

      ELON MUSK

        • SpaceX successfully launched a rocket and returned Stage 1 successfully back to Earth.
        • SpaceX is now the largest operator of Satellites.
        • Tesla successfully delivered cars to Chinese customers from its new Chinese factory.
        • Tesla stocks and valuation reached a new high, with a capitalization of over $84.5B.

        ***


        2020-01-06 (MON JAN 6, 2020)

        TECHNOLOGY

        CES - SAMSUNG

        • CES - THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW
        • Here is the Samsung Keynote - first the full video version, then the highlights with a short synopsis video 
        • https://youtu.be/KL1B_sxgILQ
        • Highlights:
          • Ballie - a ball shaped robot/personal assistant
          • GEMS - a software and AR enhanced exoskeleton
          • Smart kitchen, including an enclosed home growing station
          • 5G & AI applications
          • https://youtu.be/4t66KO0uE7Y

        ***


        FILM & TV

        GOLDEN GLOBES

        • Here are the Feature Films with the most wins at last night's Golden Globes:

        • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 5 Nominations, 3 wins
          • Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
          • Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Brad Pitt
          • Best Screenplay
        • 1917 - 3 Nominations, 2 wins
          • Best Dramatic Feature
          • Best Director - Sam Mendes
        • Rocketman - 3 Nominations, 2 wins
          • Best Actor - Musical or Comedy - Taron Egerton
          • Best Song - "I'm Gonna Love Me Again"
        • Joker - 4 Nominations, 2 wins
          • Best Actor - Drama - Joaquin Phoenix
          • Best Original Score
        • Missing Link - Best Animated Feature
        • Parasite - Best Foreign Language Film
        • Judy - Best Actress - Renee Zellweger
        • The Farewell - Best Actress, Musical or Comedy - Awkwafina
        • Marriage Story - 6 Nominations - Best Supporting Actress, Laura Dern

        ***


        2020-01-05 (SUN JAN 5, 2020)


        FILM & TV

        GOLDEN GLOBES

        • Tonight, NBC 8-11 PM (EST), hosted by Ricky Gervais.
        • Here are the Feature Films with the most nominations:


        • 6 Marriage Story
          5 The Irishman
          5 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
          4 Joker
          4 The Two Popes
          3 Knives Out
          3 1917
          3 Rocketman
          3 Parasite
          2 Dolemite is my name
          2 Jojo Rabbit
          2 Frozen 2
          2 Lion King
          2 The Farewell
          2 Harriet

        Here is the full list of nominees:

        https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/golden-globes-2020-nbc-jan-5-2020-8-11.html


        ***

        2020-01-03 (FRI JAN 3, 2020)


        WORLD

        Tensions are increasing in the Middle East and around the world, following an Iranian attack on the US Embassy in Iraq, and a US drone strike on an important Iranian General.

        ***


        2020-01-02 (THU JAN 2, 2020)


        USA

        Calendar for 2020!


        JAN 01 WED NEW YEAR'S DAY

        FEB 02 SUN Groundhog Day

        FEB 17 MON PRESIDENT'S DAY

        MAR 08 SUN Daylight Saving Time Starts


        APR 08 WED Passover Seder (eve)

        APR 15 WED TAX DAY

        MAY 10 SUN Mother's Day

        MAY 25 MON MEMORIAL DAY

        JUN 14 SUN Flag Day

        JUN 21 SUN Father's Day

        JUL 03 FRI INDEPENDENCE DAY - OBSERVED

        JUL 04 SAT INDEPENDENCE DAY

        SEP 07 MON LABOR DAY

        SEP 18 FRI Rosh Hashanah (eve)
        SEP 27 SUN Yom Kippur (eve)

        OCT 12 MON COLUMBUS DAY


        NOV 01 SUN Daylight Saving Time Ends

        NOV 03 TUE ELECTION DAY
        NOV 11 WED VETERANS DAY
        NOV 26 THU THANKSGIVING

        DEC 10 THU Hanukkah eve)

        DEC 25 FRI CHRISTMAS DAY
        DEC 31 THU New Year's Eve


        ***


        2020-01-01 (WED JAN 1, 2020)


        HELLO 2020!

        Be good to us! Please!

        We wish everyone on Earth
        A Great New Year!

        MUCH TO COME!

        ***




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