Wes Anderson is Back!

This is exciting:

Jason Schwartzmann, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Bruce Willis will join a stellar cast for Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom, according to reports in the US.

News of Anderson’s follow-up to Fantastic Mr Fox first emerged in November. Now a small casting agency based in Rhode Island, where the movie will be shot, has confirmed the cast list. Schwartmann and Murray are old hands as far as Anderson is concerned, while Swinton and Willis will make their debuts for the film-maker. Ed Norton and Frances McDormand are also joining the production.

Moonrise Kingdom is a 60-set tale which revolves around two young lovers who take off from their New England hometown causing friends and family to embark on a search for them. Willis, according to previous reports, will play the town sheriff, who’s also having an affair with the missing girl’s mother (a role pencilled for McDormand), while Norton has his eye on the part of a scout master. Murray will play the girl’s father,described as having his own issues.

Confirmation here.

My New Favorite Website

I sincerely apologize for the lengthy interval between this and my last post.  I blame law school, too many beers or a combination of the two.  Similar to Charlie Sheen’s negotiations to return to Two and a Half Men, I’m back with a vengeance.

Have you checked out http://www.qwiki.com/ ?

You haven’t?  I’m shocked. Seriously.  Step up your game people. Essentially it offers an interactive wikipedia-esque experience, using audio-visuals to convey an overview of the most important details of your query.

According to the website,

Qwiki’s goal is to forever improve the way people experience information.

Whether you’re planning a vacation on the web, evaluating restaurants on your phone, or helping with homework in front of the family Google TV, Qwiki is working to deliver information in a format that’s quintessentially human – via storytelling instead of search.

We are the first to turn information into an experience. We believe that just because data is stored by machines doesn’t mean it should be presented as a machine-readable list. Let’s try harder.

Think of asking your favorite teacher about Leonardo Da Vinci, or your most well-traveled friend about Buenos Aires: this is the experience Qwiki will eventually deliver, on demand, wherever you are in the world… on whatever device you’re using.

We’ve all seen science fiction films (or read novels) where computers are able to collect data on behalf of humans, and present the most important details. This is our goal at Qwiki – to advance information technology to the point it acts human.

Currently, Qwiki’s technology has been applied to describe millions of popular topics – but soon we’ll do much more. Our team needs your help in reaching our goal: join our alpha now to help test Qwiki and shape the future.

Click here for Qwiki’s page on Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Pictures of Guangzhou

The river. The bridge looks like a copy of the Zakim Bunker Bill Memorial Bridge:

More river, looking the other way:

Our hotel:

More hotel:

Flying a kite:

Sunset. You can see the Canton Tower in the background:

The street at sunset:

The Canton Tower, which is the 7th tallest structure in the world:

View from the top of the Canton Tower:

Another view from the top. The city looks like some futuristic space colony:

From the river:

Another bridge:

Digital Subscription Prices Visualized

The Understatement has very clearly laid out why the New York Times digital subscription plan that goes into effect next week probably won’t work:

As you can see from the chart, it’s absurdly more expensive than other digital subscription plans. And the different options are needlessly complex. I read news from many sources, and would be hesitant to pay for any online news subscription, but I have to admit that I was contemplating subscribing to the NYT. It’s probably the only reporting source that I consistently read each day. Now that I know the price, I most certainly won’t subscribe.

Think about this: it’s an additional $65/year to add smartphone app access to the NYT subscription plan. But the app obviously provides no new content. It’s just a more convenient way to read the same articles on a smartphone. It’s really no different from charging $65/year in a smartphone app store. Most apps don’t sell for more than a few dollars, and the ones that do generally fulfill a unique need. I’m not sure why the NYT thinks their app should be an exception.