Friday Five – Volume 91

 

Friday Five-Mere Observations

It’s been awhile (9 months!) so, umm…yeah.

— 1 —

stmaxFirst and foremost, today is the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Rather than my writing about a man whom I admire more and more with each passing year, I’ll refer you to what Amy (Charlotte Was Both) and Sam (The Catholic Gentleman) have already written. In the past I’ve written about my relationship with Max (see here, here and here). He is in fact the patron saint of this blog and an example of what I aspire to be. I may have changed jobs and offices last year but Max is still with me.

My friend Father Jamie emailed me the following quote last Sunday having just returned from a trip to Poland where he was able to visit the prison cell where Kolbe was murdered by Nazis in 1941:

“Hatred is not a creative force. Love alone creates. Suffering will not prevail over us. It will only melt us down and strengthen us.” – St. Maximilian Kolbe

— 2 —

Just for fun, pt. 1: A cool video that tells you how to turn your Smartphone into a 3D Hologram Machine.

The future is now. The YouTube science guru Mrwhosetheboss has posted this video, showing how with just a few household items—a CD Case, tape, graph paper—you can turn your smartphone into a hologram projector. Thanks to a few specially-created videos to play once your small pyramid is constructed, creating the hologram illusions is actually really easy.

— 3 —

Just for Fun, pt. 2: The 25 Episode History of Mystery Science Theater 3000

The task of introducing someone to a cult television show they’ve never seen before can be—let’s face it—a pain. When that show is Mystery Science Theater 3000, it’s an added challenge, thanks to the unique nature of its premise. There just hasn’t ever been anything quite like MST3k on TV, with its single-minded focus on terrible movies and sense of humor that both cursed those films and sincerely delighted in their camp value or sincerity. It both hated and loved the bad movies it purported to mock.

The show’s structure is simple and can be summarized in one sentence: A man is shot up into space by mad scientists and is forced to watch terrible movies as a social experiment, maintaining his sanity by mocking the films with his robot compatriots. Any episode a first-time viewer watches will contain the crew watching a bad movie. However, given that we’re still in the middle of the show’s 25th anniversary year (dating from the beginning of the Comedy Central series), here are 25 historic episodes a viewer should watch to fully understand everything happening both on-screen and behind the scenes. This is not a list of “best episodes,” “worst movies” or anything like that. This is a list that charts the important moments in MST3k history.

I still watch an occasional episode of MST3K. And I still have a box filled with the original VHS tapes that my roommate and I faithfully recorded every Friday night on Comedy Central from 1991-1993. I’ve converted a few to DVDs, but at this point in my life I doubt I’ll ever complete the project.

“In the not too distant future…”

— 4 —

One of the most fascinating women I’ve “met” over the past 18 months is Paige Erickson, the owner of a creative and unique blog The Nice Thing About Strangers. She is an enigma of sorts: world traveler, former professor, keen observer, and past resident of my home state of Nebraska. She will reveal very intimate moments happening around her yet reveal little of herself. But that is also a strength in that she keeps our focus on that moment. Her blog is a testament to what I’ve always believed about keeping our eyes open to our surrounding and the people who inhabit them. Paige is very much “in the moment”, and her blog gives me hope for humanity. If you ever publish that book Paige, please reserve me a copy. Autographed, if possible.

Awhile ago she used a quote from a favorite author and I wanted to share it today:

I felt happy and grateful and kept thinking an old thought: I wished that all my friends who I love so much could see and feel what I see and feel today. But I know they never will. On this earth the experience of great beauty always remains mysteriously linked with the experiences of great loneliness. This reminds me again that there is still a beauty I have not seen yet: the beauty that does not create loneliness but unity. – Henri Nouwen, The Genesee Diary

— 5 —

A book I’ve been reading off and on this summer is Exploring Calvin and Hobbes: An Exhibition Catalogue. It was published on March 10, 2015 and while it contains little in the way of C&H cartoons that is new, it does contain original commentary by the genius behind the lovable boy and his tiger: Bill Watterson. Watterson reveals his influences, his struggles in getting Calvin and Hobbes published and the changes he made along the way. (Calvin originally had bangs covering his eyes.) If you are a fan of this gem of a comic this book is a must-have.

Now that Berkeley Breathed is once again publishing new Bloom County strips perhaps we can coax Watterson and Gary Larson (The Far Side) into coming out of retirement. A man can dream…

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