Monthly Archives: December 2009

If you love the cinema, I recommend The Criterion Collection site especially for their preview feature

Why? Well, it has some of the masterpieces of film available on DVD and BluRay. Works by Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Buñuel, and many more. You can buy these films, but if you didn’t want to or weren’t sure you wanted to buy these films, there is another choice.

 I found out via their FAQ that you can do this:

“I’ve never watched a movie online at the Criterion online cinematheque. How does it work? What does it cost? What do I get?

Watching movies at is easy. Click on FILMS, choose a film, and click where it says “Watch movie $5.” You’ll be asked to enter a credit card, and for $5 you can watch the movie right in your browser or full screen, as many times as you want for a full week. For a year after that, we’ll keep a $5 credit on file for you and apply it to your purchase of that film on DVD or Blu-ray disc. Use it as a way to explore different parts of the collection, get a little daring, or just “try before you buy.” And best of all, each dollar you spend on online rentals gives you points in our loyalty program.”

This is a great feature. You can see some of the greatest masterpieces of all time for $5 a pop. Hopefully you will love them and buy them. Either way, it’s a great deal.

I should add, there seems to be a bug in terms of what is “Now Playing”. If you don’t like what you see, click Refresh on your browser and you will get a different list of films. Not sure why that is, but otherwise, it is a great site.  Go to The Criterion Collection for more info.

Taken By Trees – “My Boys”

I think this is brilliant. Taken By Trees takes Animal Collectives “My Girls” and remakes it into something all their own and appropriately renames it as well. Here they are in a video that is perfectly suited for the song:

YouTube – Taken By Trees – “My Boys”

On quitting smoking and other New Year’s Eve resolutions

The has a great piece on a writer who had struggled like many people to give up smoking. Anyone who has this resolution in mind for January 1 should read this: Hurry Up, It’s Time. Let me expand that and say anyone who has any resolution they want to make on New Year’s should read it. I think this applies to anyone, for it is not about the quitting. Rather..

“I looked around the faces in the classroom. Sure enough, everyone would eventually quit smoking, I thought. Everyone except me.

Then, at some point during the meeting, it hit me. I didn’t just want to quit smoking. I wanted much more. I wanted something new in life — call it a new deal, a new me, new rituals, new friends, new clothes, a new home, a new career, new everything. This was my crazy reason. I told no one.”

It’s good. Read it. And good luck to you and to us all.

Men’s Style Tips from Bill Blass

Since alot of people come to this blog because I once wrote why I buy suits from Zara — alot of people! — I thought they might also be interested in taking lessons from a real master, Bill Blass. I saw this in Vanity Fair and thought his closet provided some good tips for people acquiring men’s suits.

First, look at suits he has in his closet. If you are going to have a number of suits, you would be well off to stick with mostly blacks and dark grays and navy blues, while mixing up the striping and perhaps the cut. The key is “mostly”. Notice he does make room for lighter suits of browns and grays and plaids.

Also note how well he spaces the suits in his closet. He doesn’t have them jammed together. This is smart. Obviously you need space for this, but it is a good way to use your closet space.

Finally, don’t do what Bill does: wear pants instead. 🙂

If you want to know more about the photo, go here: A Jonathan Becker Retrospective |

The Year in Pictures, 2009 edition, at The New York Times … filled with great photographs. Even at full screen mode, the clarity and the brightness and of course the composition is wonderful. See it here.

The Green Revolution in Iran continues…

..and as usual, Andrew Sullivan is doing a superb job of covering it. It’s way more in-depth than anything the majors will have in terms of coverage, although to be fair to them, they are covering it. What I think is really significant is this post, Why The Regime Is Rattled. If this is true, then expect more major events and changes in Iran.

Image of Protests in Iran - Dec. 2009

As an aside, there was a critical — and facile — article in Salon recently stating “There’s no evidence that the hot social networking site played any role in Iran’s spring revolt”. It’s hard to criticize it, since it is not so much factual as it is sophisticated name calling. One thing it did get wrong though, is this: “Sadly, though, six months later, things still haven’t changed much in Iran.” Things have changed alot in Iran since the election: what you have right now are two strongly opposing forces pushing up against each other, and while there is not much movement, there is alot of effort and pressure. In such circumstances, it would be wrong to assume nothing is changing. Instead, there will eventually be a big snap one way or the other and one side will be badly damaged.

If you don’t believe that, go to Andrew Sullivan’s blog and check out the posts and the YouTube video. Or follow Iranians on Twitter. You know, all those social networking things that Salon says don’t matter but for some reason both sides continue to use and try to stop.

(Image from the

60 seconds: what can happen in that short a period of time?

Quite alot, when you take the whole world — or large parts of it — into account:

Just one of the great things on the posterous blog, – ReflectionOf.Me