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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Happy birthday, Mr Tolkien

On his birthday, I wish to quote the master story-teller, J. R. R. Tolkien:

Let me begin with:

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

To one of my favourite quotes from the Lord of the Rings:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

IMG_9362I liked the above quote so much, I had it tattooed on my forearm in Elvish, some time ago.

This one makes me smile:

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

This that speaks of universal experience and learning,

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”

This is one of the quotes I find myself quoting most often, and especially in times like these:

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

A lesson to be learnt in these:

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

Many times people who do not wish to Imagine ask me what is it that makes me like Fantasy, fiction, the imaginary instead of what they constitute as the Real, to them, what better explanation to give then in the words of Tolkien himself:

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”

“I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”

I cannot end without a mention of his prowess as a poet:

“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”

and

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door.”

And finally, let me end with his words to people like me:

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

Happy birthday, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 79,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Just some Hobbity Fun

21dEC12

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December 21, 2012 · 7:06 pm

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 48fps (HFR)

HFRI went for my fourth viewing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at Inox, Nariman Point, Mumbai, today at 8pm. I didn’t really know what to expect and was wondering if the action scenes within the movie would appear too fast – the earlier reviews that I read coloured my opinion quite a bit and I was feeling quite ambivalent about the HFR version. But it was after all, the chance to see The Hobbit once again and I was not complaining at all.

Was I complaining after the movie? Not one jot. In fact the experience was wonderful. The HFR as a friend explained later is a more fluid experience instead of stacks of images being shown together. It was the difference of watching something on CD and Blu-ray for instance, or watching something on an LCD screen and then on an LED screen.

The colours were vibrant. The landscapes take on a whole different look and it is a lovely one indeed. Then there is the scene with the eagles that looks just ethereal. Even Sting looks less like a lightsaber and more like glowing steel. Last but not the least I must comment on the last lines of my earlier review.

When I watched the earlier 24fps version, Smaug looked too dark. In this version, I could see the red-gold scales atop the crest of his eye and they look quite lovely. I also wonder if the theatre I saw the 24fps version in did not have a proper contrast scheme, but I would know only if I saw the movie in a different theatre in the 24fps version. I guess I will have to do so in order to find out if I suspect correctly – all right, yes, it will be another chance to see it again.

The action scenes in Moria look much, much better in this version. Without a doubt, they do. The action is not staccato and the figures do not look jarring as they accomplish death defying stunts all over rocks and other sharp objects.

Overall, I would thoroughly recommend the 48fps to everyone who has a chance to watch the movie in a HFR version.

For a full review of the movie click here.

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