Wall Street 2 Quotes – The Best Ones..

If you are a fan of Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps then you will love these quotes. I can’t help myself watching the movie several times over just to pick up the extra nuance these words provide:

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Jacob Moore: If it weren’t for people who took risks, where would we be in this world?

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Gordon Gekko: Moral hazard is when they take your money and then are not responsible for what they do with it.

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Gordon Gekko: A fisherman always sees another fisherman from afar.

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Gordon Gekko: If there’s one thing I learned in prison it’s that money is not the prime commodity in our lives… time is.

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Jacob Moore: You wanna know what the mother of all bubbles was? Us. The human race. Scientists call it the Cambrian Explosion, from the Cambrian fauna.

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Jacob Moore: Bubbles are evolutionary. They kill excess, lean out the heard, but they are never completely destroyed. They just come back in different forms and when they burst they give light to a new day, always creating change.

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Jacob Moore: Are we going under? There are 15 thousand jobs on the line – 15 thousand! Are we going under?
Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella): You’re asking the wrong question, Jake.
Jacob Moore: What’s the right question?
Lewis Zabel: Who isn’t?

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Gordon Gekko: Don’t run when you lose, don’t whine when it hurts. It’s like the first grade, Jerry…nobody likes a crybaby.

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Jacob Moore: Mom, I love you, but I can not keep hemorrhage money for your insanity.What you need to do is go back to Henry and you need to get another job. Okay?
Sylvia Moore: Oh my god, do you mean like a real job? With a boss? Are you crazy?

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Jacob Moore: No matter how much money you make you’ll never be rich.
Gordon Gekko: That’s what you never got about these people. Its not about the money, its about the game.

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Gordon Gekko: When choosing between two evils, I like to try the one I haven’t tried before.

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Jacob Moore: Is this a threat?
Gordon Gekko: Absolutely.

Why “The Social Network” Should and Will Win Best Picture

It’s no secret I liked the Facebook movie, The Social Network. Not because Aaron Sorkin grossly sensualized or flat out changed details and aspects to make the story more compelling. Nor because Trent Reznor added a wicked awesome soundtrack that moved me to bop along to the melodic beats of base in my seat. And not because Justin Timberlake made Sean Parker appear significantly more attractive and cooler than I assume he ever was, is or will be. In all honesty, the film more closely resembles Clerks than The Hurt Locker.

I liked it because I identify and empathize with the nerds, geeks and dorks of the world and I was tired of seeing this stereotype beat up and bullied (or as I stated in this TV Blogo interview, “shoved into lockers”) time and time again in film and television. It was nice to see intellect triumph over brawn or prominence of family pedigree – literally the little guy prevail.

The world has changed. The Social Network demarcates a seminal point in the history of humankind – where more and more our lives are being lived in a virtual world and as I’ve noted previously, the people who are skilled in this environment wield tremendous power and influence. Senators and heads of states are literally flocking to Silicon Valley to understand – to comprehend – the power of technology. You control the medium, you control the process, you control the message and the outcome. This is Darwinism, this is survival of the fittest.

So while The Social Network is lacking in many factually correct details, whether folks like it or not, Mark Zuckerberg is our modern day Braveheart – the Gladiator of geeks. And he’s alive. Not simply a relic of the past. He is the future. The fact that his story was made into a major Hollwood film, an industry dominated by sports stars, war heroes and action figures, is significant.

Tinseltown makes no secret it loves a good “rags to riches” underdog story, which is why (although I have no doubt Colin Firth’s portrayal of King George VI will rightfully win him Best Actor), The Social Network should and will take home Best Picture. It is the true sequel to War Games. It is our zeitgeist.

Why "The Social Network" Should and Will Win Best Picture

It’s no secret I liked the Facebook movie, The Social Network. Not because Aaron Sorkin grossly sensualized or flat out changed details and aspects to make the story more compelling. Nor because Trent Reznor added a wicked awesome soundtrack that moved me to bop along to the melodic beats of base in my seat. And not because Justin Timberlake made Sean Parker appear significantly more attractive and cooler than I assume he ever was, is or will be. In all honesty, the film more closely resembles Clerks than The Hurt Locker.

I liked it because I identify and empathize with the nerds, geeks and dorks of the world and I was tired of seeing this stereotype beat up and bullied (or as I stated in this TV Blogo interview, “shoved into lockers”) time and time again in film and television. It was nice to see intellect triumph over brawn or prominence of family pedigree – literally the little guy prevail.

The world has changed. The Social Network demarcates a seminal point in the history of humankind – where more and more our lives are being lived in a virtual world and as I’ve noted previously, the people who are skilled in this environment wield tremendous power and influence. Senators and heads of states are literally flocking to Silicon Valley to understand – to comprehend – the power of technology. You control the medium, you control the process, you control the message and the outcome. This is Darwinism, this is survival of the fittest.

So while The Social Network is lacking in many factually correct details, whether folks like it or not, Mark Zuckerberg is our modern day Braveheart – the Gladiator of geeks. And he’s alive. Not simply a relic of the past. He is the future. The fact that his story was made into a major Hollwood film, an industry dominated by sports stars, war heroes and action figures, is significant.

Tinseltown makes no secret it loves a good “rags to riches” underdog story, which is why (although I have no doubt Colin Firth’s portrayal of King George VI will rightfully win him Best Actor), The Social Network should and will take home Best Picture. It is the true sequel to War Games. It is our zeitgeist.

DC Goes to CES 2011

CES 2011 is approaching and the DC Tech community is representing. A quick round-up shows at least 10 of us going. Here is the robot’s guide to the best keynotes, sessions, parties, awards, showdowns, and private events. Let me know if I missed anything!

DC Tech Representing

With a ton of us going it would be great to keep us united to for chatting and support. Here is my shortlist of those attending, please, comment if I left you out:

  • Amy Senger & Steven Mandzik
  • Alex Priest (works for CEA)
  • Shana Glickfield (for NextGenWeb)
  • Rachelle Lacroix
  • Peter Corbett (of iStrategyLabs)
  • Leslie Bradshaw and Jesse Thomas (of Jess3)
  • Jen Consalvo and Frank Gruber (of Techcocktail)
  • Amy Phillips, Amy Webb, & Mario Armstrong (from Baltimore!)

Conference Tracks

Amy and I will be attending for the Digital Hollywood and Technology and the Environment tracks. This year seems to be the year of digital media at CES with so much going on around Movies and TV. Here are my potential favorites:

Our next reason for attending is the green side for the non-profit, A Clean Life. Strange that this track only has two events considering that the conference sells itself as the greenest conference on the continent. Those two sessions:

Last but not least is the TweetHouse. Sure to be the powerhouse of the conference due to the sheer amount energy social networking brings to the table. The sessions:

  • Social Media In Action: Philosophies, Strategies and Tactics
  • Measurement and ROI: How To Quantify Costs and Results
  • Campaigns that Connect: What Drives Engagement, Traffic, and Goodwill?
  • Growing your Community: Fans, Followers, Members, and More
  • Monitoring and Mining Social Data
  • Workflow and Staffing: Maximizing Impact While Minimizing Effort and Expense
  • Apps, Geo and Mobile: Critical Arenas for 2011

Events, Parties, and Keynotes

The rest of CES is where it’s at with the showroom floor and the events galore. The top hits I’ve dug up so far:

Other

Finally, there is a CES iphone app for the conference and if you want to catch some quiet time join Amy and I in the press or blogger lounge.

My Guide To The Sundance Film Festival


The first thing you need to know about Sundance is that it’s cheaper than you think. If you are like me then you imagined the event being all exclusive and haughty. On the contrary, the festival is low cost, lodging is plentiful, and the flights and car rentals are among the cheapest in America.

The only thing you will end up paying for is the skiing, but you get what you give. The slopes around Park City, Utah are top notch. As a former Winter Olympics site Park City has everything you will need.

The Sundance Film Festival

The Festival runs over two weekends with a slower tempo during the week, from January 20th-30th. Opening weekend is when the stars come out and the crowds reach their peak. By closing weekend the crowds have left and there is still a full range of events. Most people tend to favor one weekend over the other. While we have friends who favor the celebrity, “seen and be seen” vibe of opening weekend, we prefer the “down to the movies” vibe of closing weekend.

This is especially exciting for those of you movie buffs. Each screening has on hand an ensemble of cast members and crew, though it is most often the director and/or producer in attendance. After the movie “screening” is over they offer you a personal in-depth behind the scenes followed by a Q/A session. Considering the movie list this can range from topics about LGBT to terrorism to Rock n Roll and more. To me it represents an experience like no other and has forever turned me on the to idea of a movie festival.

Tickets to each show are $15. You can pre-buy or purchase the day-of. This part is probably the most confusing since it’s cold and your in a strange new town and the thought of waking up early to get a ticket is strange. Yet, that is what everybody does and it works this way because of the nature of the festival. All year Sundance accepts movies then in mid-December releases the one’s they will be showing at the festival. At this point they are still unknown, never-before-seen, pre-critic, and so on. This means that everyone has a blast guessing which ones will win Oscar nods and which ones will sit on a dusty shelf for a 1,000 years.

These guesses quickly culminate into a few sold out shows weeks before the festival and before anyone has seen the actual movie. These mostly gather around well known actor/director combos. As the festival draws nearer more clips are released, press segments done, and even a few pirated releases. Eventually culminating in the Festival where everyone, including the insiders and well-informed, are still unsure of the best movies. All are stuck buying tickets the day-of. At first I found this the most confusing but after attending the festival I found it enjoyable to get caught up in the mystery.

The thing is that all the films are personally selected to be amazing (something like 200 out of several thousand) so it’s hard to go wrong. Plus, each movie will be playing several times at several locations. Park City has movie theaters and screening locations all over (like the Library) so you won’t miss anything. I say give up on planning and just have some fun playing critic!

Park City Lodging

Finding a place to stay is the most challenging part of the trip. It’s not because places are hard to find but because there are so many options. Stay downtown and rely on the free public transportation. Choose a lodge next to a ski resort and get the benefit of easy skiing. Pick a spot outside of town next to the Whole Foods and get around by rental car.

I favor the rental car option because it makes getting from the Salt Lake City airport to Park City easy. The cost of a shuttle is about $40 and the trip is about 40 minutes. Whereas the rental car is $40/day and split amongst 3-4 people it makes for some nice, warm rides to/from everything.

My favorite spot is with All Seasons Resorts which are these new townhouse resorts built for the Winter Olympics. They have every amenity you need and some even look like a Winter Cabin. They offer a 2-for-1 deal and so for 4 nights and 6 people it ends up costing us $200/person. A slick deal for a party cabin 🙂

The Sundance.org website offers many deals too but they all boil down to the three options presented above.  Closest to downtown is most expensive, ski resorts high to medium, and our just outside of town medium to low pricing. But, did I mention the last option is very close to a Whole Foods, can you tell I obsess about food..

Flights, Transportation, Other

The only place to fly into (unless you’re loaded) is Salt Lake City airport (SLC). Flight are reasonably priced since Salt Lake is a western hub for most airlines. The drive is about 40 minutes through snow filled mountains (possibly a favorite part of the trip). Getting around Park City is relatively easy. They have free shuttles running everywhere. The only hiccups are when rain/snow get involved which makes waiting outdoors for a ride a slushy cold event.

Parking a rental car can sometimes be a pain. There are limited spaces available and they do try to discourage everyone from driving. Still I never have any problems and usually find it more convenient (as long as I carpool!). Especially, considering that the theaters are not in one place and well, it’s cold out.

Other than the movies there are salons and parties. Downtown there are talks with experts and the like. On opening weekend is an opening party and closing weekend has the awards show and the closing party. All are fun but ticketed events (sometimes hard to find). If you’re interested in these events it is best to purchase a ticket package that includes these events.

Well, that is pretty much it. The only other recommendation I have is to try and visit the actual Sundance Resort. It’s about 30 mins away from downtown and exists as a ski lodge and artist retreat. It was rescued by Robert Redford decades ago and serves as the home and inspiration for the festival. The scenery is beautiful and the creative vibe is awesome!

photos from sundance.org and allseasonsresortlodging.com

Why I walked out on Waiting For Superman

You want know what the hardest part about being a teacher in the US is?

It’s living in a culture where everybody thinks they can teach. Which is like saying everybody can be a doctor. Yet that is exactly what happens in teaching.

Everybody knows how to teach and they all get involved. They espouse opinions and beliefs. It’s like teaching is some mystic art that no one knows how to solve.

In the documentary, Waiting For Superman, Davis Guggenheim explores teaching like it is a mystical mess. He focuses on the system and how hard parents are trying. Why tenure sometimes gets in the way, etc. Not really anything different than what’s been said for 50 years.

Here’s something different. It takes three years minimum to become just a good teacher. Five years, minimum, to become a master teacher. Including the one year of post-grad that is six years to master the skill of teaching. If you are good. If you don’t have the right mentoring or curriculum help it could be 7-8 years. How long does it take to be a doctor, or a lawyer or accountant?

What would change if we all thought about teachers as equal to doctors:

– We might give parents and the PTA’s less input into schools (they’re the reason why we have tenure and it’s issues).

– The role of an “active parent” would switch from blaming schools and “watching” teachers to reading, helping with math, and going beyond the classroom to teach new lessons.

– The “business” of teaching would be more like hospitals. With an MBA handling the money, HR executive handling the hiring/firing/development, and master teachers handling the education.

– Lastly, and most importantly, we would all understand that our 12 years of being a student in no way makes us experts. Instead it makes us biased, bitter, and unable to help (at all) until we become master teachers (or at the very least learn something about education).

I really hoped Davis would explore these problems but instead he gave an uneducated “parents view” of education. Thanks a lot bud, you used ur considerable skill and prominence to just make things worse.

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*I posted this in Facebook at 11:21pm on October 9th, just after leaving the theatre*

The Tao of Moonbeam and the Most Expensive Election Ever

I feel for Meg Whitman. The former candidate for Governor of California spent 141 million dollars of her own money and lost. A loss made even more bitter by how she lost. Old Moonbeam barely announced his candidacy, waiting till what seemed like the last possible moment. Then refusing to raise money or run TV ads until late in the game, even waiting till a month before the election for TV ads. Finally, Moonbeam just grumbled his way to the Governor’s mansion, proudly proclaiming his political-ness, grouchiness, and cheapness.

“In choosing the oldest man ever to run the young state of California, voters decided that a grumpy penny-pincher is just what they need at a time when the state is so broke it cannot fix park benches or investigate burglaries.”

Which I think is awesome! It’s so California. Just when you think it’s going one way the state diverts and heads down a completely new path. It does fit the name, The Tao of Moonbeam, as written by Timothy Egan in the New York Times. Which is a great opinion piece well worth reading.

I guess at this point you may be asking, who the hell is Moonbeam?

It’s Jerry Brown and the name comes from Linda Ronstadt when they were lovers. Apparently the name leaked to the press in 1976 and it has stuck ever since. Back then Jerry Brown was an Obama-like superstar. The young politician was good looking, twice the Governor of California, and often a president candidate.

The popular definition of the name was “young, idealistic, and non-traditional”. A reference that some thought would hurt ‘Governor Moonbeam’, and it probably did hurt his presidential ambitions, but in California it became a point of pride. Especially as the state rose to dominate the country with its economy and culture. The story gets better though as the feud between Jerry, Ronstadt, and the press heats up…for more on this check out, How Jerry Became ‘Governor Moonbeam’, by Jesse McKinley in the New York Times.

I love California!