‘Searching for Sugar Man’ Wins Oscar for Best Documentary Feature

movies
Image source: Policymic.Com

The 2013 Academy Awards has just ended and one of the big winners of the event was the film by Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul titled Searching for Sugar Man. The movie won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, beating How to Survive a PlagueThe Gatekeepers5 Broken Cameras, and The Invisible War.

Searching for Sugar Man is a heartwarming story of a musician from Detroit back in the late 60’s-early 70’s who disappeared from the public eye after releasing an album. The singer-songwriter, named Rodriguez, was totally unheard of in his homeland but found a big following in South Africa. It’s like he was a nobody in the US but in South Africa he was as big as Elvis. It was a mystery for everyone where he is – if he’s still alive or not (as what South Africans knew about him) until halfway of the film.

The rediscovery of Rodriguez was like a jigsaw puzzle from the filmmaker and it’s one of the most endearing stories of all time.

During the acceptance speech, Bendjelloul thanked Rodriguez, who, according to backstage producer Simon Chinn, was not at the ceremony because he didn’t want to take credit of it and just wanted to stay at his Detroit home to watch the event on TV.

The Futurology Podcast

If you like listening to discussions about the possible things that the future holds, then The Futurology Podcast might just be right up your alley. The podcast, just like its Reddit page where it was conceptualized, focuses on discussions about the future in terms of technology, civilization, humanity and the like.

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The show was started by Reddit user blinkergoesleft and is hosted by Jason Peffley and Douglas Souza. It made its debut only last year in October and seems to be running on a monthly basis. In each episode, they will talk about the top five articles in Reddit’s subtopic r/Futurology.

On that note, in today’s featured episode, Jason is joined by YouTube user Alex (username: SpeakMouthWords) to act as the show’s guest co-host. Together they’ll be talking about the new firm called Deep Space Industries, Inc., which is planning to launch a program that involves harvesting metals and water in near-Earth asteroids.

Other topics of discussion include: discovery of alien life in the next 10 years, Google’s driverless car, human brain simulation and 7 best-case scenarios for the future of humanity.

Check out their iTunes channel for more info about the featured episode.

An In-Depth Look at PS4’s Specs

Playstation 4

Gamers out there, the countdown begins for the November release of PlayStation 4 and as you wait, Sony has unleashed the details on its specs, which are far greater than its predecessor, the PS3.

PS4 features a PC-like configuration that include a custom processor 8-core 64-bit x86 ‘Jaguar’ CPU built by AMD with enhanced Radeon GPU, comprised of 18 compute units that’s capable of cranking out 1.84 TFLOPS to process graphics. It also has a Blu-ray drive that is able to read 6X Blu-ray and 8X DVD discs, which is faster than that of PS3’s 2X Blu-ray.

It has 802.11n WiFi, Ethernet, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI, optical out, legacy analog AV out, and the biggest surprise: 8GB of main memory (RAM) that is the ultra-fast GDDR5 (16 times the memory of the PS3 and the same memory used in PC graphics cards.

Playstation 4
Image source: Ign.Com

The PS4’s powerful specs are very much similar to a mid- to high-end gaming PC minus the Windows OS. It has a more convenient and consistent hardware, pushing its console as far as possible and making it the next gen of consoles. With Sony investing highly in the RAM, which was the problem with its previous versions, this could be much faster than the leaked reports of XBox’s soon-to-released version of 8 GB, as it only uses DDR3 compared to their GDDR5 memory.

Conan O’ Brien Reviews ‘Tomb Raider’

In the spirit of the recent excitement over the newborn Playstation 4, we’d like to share with you Conan O’ Brien’s latest game review, featuring Tomb Raider.

games
Image source: Wikimedia

With the help of his gaming buddy Aaron Blair, Conan gets through some key parts of the game, mostly as the backseat driver. Hilarity ensues when he starts focusing a little too much on Lara-not-Laura Croft’s body parts, and finally loses it when the game doesn’t end the way he wants to — repeatedly.

Watch the video here. Oh, and stick around for the brief but definitely satisfying real-life brawl.

If you enjoyed this video, you can watch Conan’s other video sketches on Clueless Gamer, where video games are rated, reviewed, and ripped apart through someone else’s console.

How Does Sony’s PlayStation 4 Stack Up Against High-End Gaming PCs Of Today?

Now that Sony has announced the specifications of the PlayStation 4 last Wednesday, almost everybody in the gaming community (especially the PC gamers) have compared the console to the PC. Since the reveal, the fourth reincarnation of the PlayStation has been getting praises from hardware pundits like chip expert Kevin Krewell. But again, stepping back, how does the PS4 compare with today’s PC?

PS4
Image source:Herocomplex.Latimes.Com

Let’s start with the CPU. The PlayStation 4 will run on an eight-core x86 64-bit processor based off AMD’s Jaguar processor line. Now although the single-chip custom processor may have been modified for the PS4, it is still by no means the fastest chip on the block, especially when compared with an Intel procie. Moreover, the Jaguar platform isn’t really high-end. Fact is, it’s more built for mobile and laptop devices, not desktops.

Second is the PS4’s GPU or graphics card. Although Sony didn’t specify the exact model, we already know that it’s a Radeon GPU comprised of 18 GCN units that’s capable of hitting 1.84 TFLOPS so that should put it somewhere along the lines of a Radeon 7850, which is somewhere in mid-range. That said, it may not seem much but based on reviews of that card it is capable of handling most current PC games at 1080p with medium to high detail, which puts it way ahead of the current-gen consoles. And if it’s any consolation, it is far more powerful than the one that’s rumored to be inside the Xbox 720, which is only capable of hitting 1.2 TFLOPS.

Lastly, there’s the RAM or memory. The PS4 is said to be packed with an 8GB high-speed GDDR memory, which is way more than what was rumored and expected, so good job to Sony for that. With that kind of high-performance RAM, Sony said that you’ll be able to power down the PS4 mid-game and then switch it on again to pick up where you left off in a matter of seconds. It is also said that this will allow game developers to create bigger textures, larger levels and more complex AI. But before you get all worked up, there’s just one thing – the memory is shared system-wide, meaning that it’s not exactly equivalent to a PC with 8GB or RAM so that’s one thing to keep in mind.

PS4
Image source: Guardian.Co.Uk

In summary, the PS4’s specs is still no match for a tricked-out [high-end] PC gaming rig. It’s practically more comparable to the current mid-range PCs out there. But then again, it’s kind of unfair to expect consoles to be able to match up – or heck, even supersede – current high-end PCs upon their release because the components which they were built with was based on technology that was high-end back when they were still being designed, but are already dated by the time they reach the release date.

Beatdown After The Bell UFC 157 Rousey vs Carmouche

podcast
Image source: Mmaweekly.Com

Sherdog Radio Network’s Beatdown After The Bell’s episode features Saturday night’s UFC 157. TJ De Santis and Jack Encarnacao host the show and they discussed about the main event fight between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche.

It was a close fight in the main event, with Carmouche giving a nice performance on a losing cause to Rousey. The event, despite some lack of skills compared to the men’s counterpart was a huge success and with the way it has been promoted by UFC, you can expect greater things to come. This marks the beginning of a new era wherein women’s mixed martial arts will be the “in-thing”.

In this fight, people have seen that the women’s division is as exciting as the men’s division, providing more interest to the audience as well as media exposure.

Listen to the episode as they discuss further what happened between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche’s fight as well as the Machida-Henderson card.

The 512 Podcast Eps 51: Google Glass And iPhone Homescreen

What do technology, journalism, and design have in common? They’re all main topics of discussion in The 512 Podcast. So if you’re into any one of those three, then you might want to check it out. The 512 podcast is a weekly talk show hosted by Myke Hurley of 70Decibels network and Stephen Hackett of 512pixels.net.

ipodder podcast

Celebrate the podcast’s birthday. Congratulations guys.

In this featured episode of The 512, the guys start off with Stephen telling us what he loves about his (new?) Lenovo ThinkPad T430, which Myke apparently also has. The two of them talk about some of its features that they find notable such as the finger print scanner and the ThinkLight.

At around 14 minutes in, they talk about the Google Glass and its unveiled features based on the recently released promotional video. Plus, they also tell us why some people don’t like it and why it might not be for everybody.

You’ll also hear about the HTC One smartphone before moving on with what they think about Twitterrific and Tweetbot (i.e. new UI, changes). Myke points out a few things that he didn’t like about Twitterrific despite the many good things there is to say about it.

Lastly, they compare what’s on each of their iPhone’s home screen and what they call the ‘Notification Badge Anxiety Disorder’, which is a condition that a person could have with regards to iOS’ notification feature.

You can get the full podcast via their iTunes page.

Oscar 2013 Highlights Summary

The Oscars is finally over but for those of you who have yet to catch a rerun, let me give you a quick summary of the highlights that transpired that night and save you the 4 hours you’d need to watch the whole thing.

Oscars 2013
Image source: NeonTommy

Seth McFarlane’s performance as a host didn’t quite live up to the expectations as a lot of people criticized him for his opening monologue and bad jokes, there was a tie in the award for Best Sound Editing category, Ben Afleck’s Argo raked up the most wins (3), the Oscars had a special surprise guest upon the awarding for best picture, an upset in the Best Director and Best Supporting Actor category(?), Jennifer Hudson’s performance brought the house down, while people talked about Anne Hathaway’s “nip” and Jennifer Lawrence’s stairway “trip.”

Oscars
Image source:TwinCities

As for the complete list of winner and nominees for each category, see the list below:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Robert DeNiro – Silver Linings Playbook
Alan Arkin – Argo
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained – WINNER

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Adam and Dog – Minkyu Lee
Fresh Guacamole – PES
Head over Heels - Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare – David Silverman
Paperman – John Kahrs – WINNER

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Frankenweenie
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck it Ralph
ParaNorman
Brave
– WINNER

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Django Unchained – Robert Richardson
Anna Karenina – Seamus McGarvey
Lincoln – Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall – Roger Deakins
Life of Pi – Claudio Miranda – WINNER

VISUAL EFFECTS
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
Marvel’s The Avengers – Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
Prometheus – Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
Snow White and the Huntsman – Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson
Life of Pi: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott – WINNER

COSTUME DESIGN
Les Misérables – Paco Delgado
Lincoln – Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror – Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman – Colleen Atwood
Anna Karenina – Jacqueline Durran – WINNER

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Hitchcock – Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
Les Misérables – Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell – WINNER

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Asad Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
Buzkashi Boys – Sam French and Ariel Nasr
Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw) – Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
Henry – Yan England
Curfew – Shawn Christensen – WINNER

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Kings Point - Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
Mondays at Racine – Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
Open Heart – Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
Redemption - Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
Inocente – Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine – WINNER

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man
– WINNER

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
NO
War Witch
A Royal Affair
Kon Tiki
Amour
– WINNER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Field – Lincoln
Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Amy Adams – The Master
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables – WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Before My Time – Chasing Ice, Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
Pi’s Lullaby – Life of Pi, Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
Suddenly – Les Miserables, Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublils
Everybody Needs a Best Friend – Ted, Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
Skyfall – from Skyfall – Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth – WINNER

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Tony Kushner – Lincoln
David O’Russell – Silver Linings PLaybook
David Magee – Life of Pi
Chris Terrio – Argo – WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
John Gatins – Flight
Mark Boal – Zero Dark Thirty
Moonrise Kingdom – Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Amour – Written by Michael Haneke
Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino – WINNER

BEST DIRECTOR
Amour – Michael Haneke
Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
Silver Linings Playbook – David O Russell
Beasts of the Southern Wild – Behn Zeitlin
Life of Pi – Ang Lee – WINNER

BEST ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook – WINNER

BEST ACTOR
Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln – WINNER

BEST PICTURE
Beast of the Southern Wild
Zero Dark Thirty
Amour
Life of Pi
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained
Argo
– WINNER

Michelle Obama’s ‘Evolution of Mom Dancing’ with Jimmy Fallon

Michelle Obama
Image source: Justjared.Com

Move over Harlem shake, as a new dance move has hit the town and the one doing it is no other than the First Lady Michelle Obama.

Michelle seems to be ready for this next meme as she was joined by Jimmy Fallon on Late Night Friday in New York on this skit. They did The ‘Evolution of Mom Dancing’ to promote her Let’s Move anti-obesity camp which is now 3 years old. The skit shows different signature mom moves and named them as well. The First Lady definitely has the moves and she did it splendidly.

Meanwhile, on a talk with Fallon, she discussed about The President’s dance moves as well, and rated him a B. And when Fallon suggested a Michelle-Hillary ticket in next 2016 election, she says she had other plans, that is to put her hat in the ring on the position for hosting The Tonight Show once Jay Leno retires.

Watch the hilarious skit.

Eastside v. Westside Eats, How to Order in Thai Restaurants

Susan Feniger hosts this podcast episode on KCRW Good Food, where she brings up a food rivalry that has been a timeless argument: Eastside vs. Westside. That’s what LA’s food fanatics get to debate on which one is better and where is its dividing line.

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Jonathan Gold examines the dining culture on the sides of LA River and lists down several worthy restaurants to dine in. Wine expert Stacie Hunt highlights the upcoming wine regions, TV personality, chef, and restaurateur Jet Tila lists down three dishes that you can use to judge if your local Thai restaurant is good.

Meanwhile, Lara Avery is at the Sta. Monica Farmers market and talks to Ria Wilson of the recently-opened wonderful café named Sqirl Café and farmer Peter Schaner about green garlic which you can use on any type of dishes.

Listen to this mouthwatering episode now, and check out our other food podcasts!

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