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Talkie Zoo

Movies, entertainment, music, television.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Can you see me now?

Besides watching movies, one of the things I really love to do is work crossword puzzles. I especially like the ones I find in the Sunday paper. I get that paper every week for the coupons in it, but the puzzle is an added bonus as far as I’m concerned.

My biggest problem with the puzzles is exactly the same problem I have when I’m trying to read a book or even read my computer screen. I just can’t see it very well.

A few years ago I went to an eye doctor who actually told me all I need is reading glasses and not prescription glasses. I’m far sighted so everything “out there” I can see just fine. It’s the things up close that give me a problem.

So, I went to the dollar store and picked up a couple pairs of glasses just to use for reading and computer work. They really made a huge difference for me. Now I can actually read the credits on the movies I watch!

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Who doesn’t love to watch films with dinosaurs in them? I do! While Dinotasia (2012) is loosely based on some science and fact, it is mostly a more lighthearted look at the Age of Dinosaurs.

The CGI is quite acceptable as is the other animation. You and your children can watch this film, unless you all are squeamish about T-Rex attacking and eating other dinosaurs. Some parts are a bit bloody, but for the most part, it’s not.

The film is a series of vignettes featuring various dinosaurs and dinosaur families. In some ways, the writers have given the beasts a pet-like or even human-like quality, which makes it pretty easy to relate to them. There is no scientific evidence that either is true, but this is, after all, a flight of fancy where the giants that once roamed the Earth is concerned.

Except for the occasional narration by Werner Herzog, there is no voice script. We, the audience, are merely observers and the dinosaurs are playing their parts.

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Yes, this is yet another documentary about economics. No, that wasn’t my favorite subject in high school

Money and Medicine (2012) concerns itself with the high cost of medical treatment in this country. It focuses on two hospitals – one in Los Angeles and one in Utah – and compares the costs of various procedures. It quickly becomes clear that the Utah hospital offers superb care for its patients without having to drive the cost up nearly as high as the one in LA does. This is because the Utah hospital doesn’t push tons of tests on people who really are doing just fine without them. They also don’t highly recommend procedures unless the procedure is absolutely necessary for the patient’s health.

People leave the hospital there much sooner than the one in LA, too, thus reducing the medical bills for hospital stays.

I found it interesting that the Utah hospital admits it doesn’t make nearly as much money now that it has changed the way it does business, but they were ok with that. Their focus is on people.

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This is a very thought-provoking documentary. End of the Road: How Money Became Worthless (2012) takes you through quite a bit of the history of banking and government involvement in the world monetary system. It helps you to understand why that GE PS978STSS stainless steel stove costs what it does today as opposed to what it would have cost 40 years ago.

This film writers even suggest changing the gold standard as one solution.

The problem is global, indeed, as we see in the news every day. Maybe it’s just time to rethink what a grip money has on us.


Sunday, April 07, 2013


This fictional film is based on Ayn Rand’s book of the same name. While I’ve read some reviews that say Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 (2011; PG) is not exciting or is even boring, I did not find it to be so.

As we follow the characters through this film, we are caught wondering who John Galt really is. He seems to be a mystery man. His face is never shown. He approaches and enlists various bright and creative individuals --- thinkers, if you will – to join him and leave everything behind. In the meantime, railroad tycoon Dagny Taggart is fighting against all odds to build a railroad. She is already heir to a railroad which she runs with her brother, but everyone from high government officials on down are trying to make laws, rules, and regulations that will prevent any one company owner from enjoying the fruits of his or her own labor by limiting the number of companies that may be owned and by taking other enterprises away or so severely regulating them that they just can’t do business anymore. So, she has broken away from her father’s company and is building on her own.

Federal laws are enacted to “spread the wealth” with equality, regardless of who actually earns what. They are also enacted to impede any progress by saying this or that is dangerous or not in the public’s best interest. Taggart and her steel producing friend run into every kind of obstacle as they use a new formula steel to lay tracks and build a bridge, and even more as they try to recreate a new engine for the trains that doesn’t depend on fossil fuel.

This story wasn’t written in the past couple of years. It was written in 1957, fifty years before the rigorous rules and regulations we know of today ever came into existence.

Watch it, and weep.

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What an eye opener! I watched this documentary and could not take my eyes off it during the entire 83 minutes.

Ayn Rand was a woman who was born in Russia. She saw what socialism did to her father’s business there – how the government took his business away from him as part of the effort to equalize everyone’s living and status. Then she came to America to escape the regime that plunged her homeland into poverty through these tactics, and she began writing in earnest.

She had written since she was a young girl but only after coming here did she feel the freedom to write and warn others of the socialist agenda, which she did through her works of fiction.

Eventually, in the 50s, she wrote Atlas Shrugged which seems now to play out the very events that we see occurring all around us concerning government becoming deeply involved in the businesses and lives of everyone in the country, from the cradle to the grave.

Watch this documentary and see if you don’t agree that she was a forward thinking woman who could see where the nation was heading.

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Monday, April 01, 2013

The Weather Channel

Yeah, I actually watch this channel pretty often when I visit my Mom, as I did this past weekend. Folks, The Weather Channel has some pretty good programs on it!

I watched one about truck drivers who compete each week to see which one will earn the most. One of them is in Canada, one drives out west, and one drives up the East Coast. The East Coast driver is a woman.

There are all kinds of obstacles that get in their way. I used to drive a truck many years ago, and I can attest to the fact that a day doesn’t go by when something doesn’t happen that may impede your progress. These folks encounters icy roads, hurricane Sandy, hot dessert temperatures, low fuel, and loads that were hard to locate – all of which could have made them late in delivering and therefore make them lose a lot of money.

I also watch one about storm chasers. There’s a job I do NOT want. Those guys get right in the path of some serious tornadoes and really risk their lives getting those storms on film.

Of course, you also get the weather broadcast but it’s all the other shows they have that make The Weather Channel fun to watch.