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Corinthian Leather

January 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Ricardo Montalban’s death today brings back many memories: Fantasy Island, The Wrath of Khan, but perhaps most compelling, the Chrysler ads of the 1970s. The NYT obituary notes: “As the celebrity spokesman for mid-1970s models of the Chrysler Cordoba, Montalban unwittingly opened himself up to endless imitation when he described the car’s optional seats as being ‘available in soft, Corinthian leather.'”

If you have never seen the Cordoba ad, or wish to refresh your memory, see the youtube video of it above. Or go to the blog post about International Corinthian Leather Day, which has the ad with cleaner audio.

Categories: Culture, Film, Television

My New Flip Mino HD

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Last March, David Pogue reviewed the Flip Ultra, a tiny digital camcorder, in his weekly New York Times technology column. I had somehow missed the news of the original Flip’s arrival a year earlier, so I read with interest how it had already taken 13% of the camcorder market, despite its limited features. What it had going for it was simplicity and size. As Pogue wrote, “the Flip has been reduced to the purest essence of video capture. You turn it on, and it’s ready to start filming in two seconds. You press the red button once to record (press hard — it’s a little balky) and once to stop. You press Play to review the video, and the Trash button to delete a clip. There it is: the entire user’s manual.” And to transfer the video to your computer, you just flip out the USB jack and plug the whole thing in.

We bought two camcorders over the years, used each for a few months, and then lost interest. Bringing them on trips was a pain. Bringing them anywhere was a pain. The first one pre-dated computer editing software. We bought the second when Apple’s first iMovie program was released and I tried doing some editing on our Mac, but lost interest. I dare not calculate the cost per minute of the films we made on the second one. But this Flip didn’t sound so great either.

Then last Thursday Pogue reviewed the Flip Mino HD and he really got my attention. Simple, modestly priced ($230 list), small, lightweight, easy to use, easy to upload the video, and high quality video at that. The biggest drawback was lack of an image stabilizer. (Which reminds me, another reason I stopped filming with our second camcorder is that watching the results made me seasick.) But it was so convenient, so light, that I could imagine carrying it everywhere and making good use of it. So Sunday I ordered from Amazon (10% off) and yesterday I got it.

Flip Mino HD

Flip Mino HD

I have nothing to show yet, but I expect to be adding video to my blog posts soon. I set up a youtube account after dinner last night and posted the first video I made, just to make sure everything was working, which it was. (The video has since been removed. It was stupid.) Then we went to the airport to pick up Joel, who got in late last night from Boston. I filmed him walking towards the security exit, through the exit, towards us, stopping two feet away, then ordering me to shut it off.

Stay tuned. High def video will be coming your way soon at this station.

Categories: Film, Technology

The Game

November 22, 2008 Leave a comment
Pete Varney catching the winning 2-point conversion

Pete Varney catching the winning 2-point conversion

In an hour, the 2008 enactment of The Game will begin. (The Game refers to the annual season-ending football matchup between Harvard and Yale.) I’m paying more attention to The Game this year than usual, both because I learned that it will be televised on the cable channel Versus and because of recent publicity surrounding the movie Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 that opened Wednesday in New York. The title, of course, refers to the headline in the student paper the Harvard Crimson– as famous as the game itself — that appeared two days after Harvard’s great victory of November 23, 1968.

Why the strange headline? Read more…

Categories: Film, Sports