Tom Fontana

18 10 2006

Found television writer/producer Tom Fontana’s website after reading this short reply he’d given a fellow blogger William Speruzzi. The site’s okay, but the script archive is great, complete with notes on his favorite scenes/episodes from “OZ”, HOMICIDEST. ELSEWHRE etc.

Fontana is currently filming 3 lbs.
The character, Det. Fontana from Law & Order, played by Dennis Farina, is a tribute to the real Fontana.


Country and Organization Profiles: A Quick Reference

15 10 2006

Check out this great section tucked within the BBC pages called Country Profiles. You’ll find information on countries as well as several organizations, such as Red Cross, IMF/WorldBack etc.

For example, I pick Bangladesh (gee, I wonder why), and want to have my friend Joe listen to the national anthem. Or let’s say Joe got all jazzed up from the anthem and wants to find out a chronology of the country, but not get it over the head with too much information. Can be done. Perhaps Joe wants to keep up with current events over there and would like a list of major media outlets, and he is merely a click or two away from all his queries.

Alrighty then, I pick G8 from a list of organizations. Pretty good, just enough information to understand what this group is about. I’ve always wanted to know why it’s G and, well, 8? The facts from the site tell me:

“The G8’s roots lie in the oil crisis and global economic recession of the early 1970s. In 1973, these challenges prompted the US to form the Library Group – an informal gathering of senior financial officials from Europe, Japan and the US. At the instigation of the French, the 1975 meeting drew in heads of government. The delegates agreed to meet annually. The six nations involved became known as the G6, and later the G7 and G8 after the respective entries of Canada (1976) and Russia (1998).”

So there you go. Enjoy.

Bangladeshi Wins Nobel Peace Prize

13 10 2006

I wore black this morning. I wasn’t mourning, or planning to. I wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement; I don’t think I’m capable of making one. I wasn’t trying to make a point or connection with today’s day and date -Friday 13th. Either I was expecting something to happen- either good, or bad- or hoping something would. The day isn’t over yet and I’m twisted for thinking that way. Nothing new there.
However, the good came to me in the form a news headline on AOL. ‘Bangladeshi Wins Nobel Peace Prize.’ Holy micro-credit!! There was no name mentioned on the news headline, but I knew! It had to be him. And it was.
Coming from a South Asian country where people’s lives are deeply rooted in religious customs and beliefs, and where the number 13 is avoided as if it were the plague, who would have known the date would become a historic one for all Bangladeshis
around the world.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a few Bangali’s who’ve won the Nobel prize, but no one we -or I rather- can call Bangladeshi. The distinction is similar to being an American and being
a New Yorker. Trust me, New Yorkers know what the hell I’m talking about.
So, for those of you who’re thinking, “What’s the big freakin’ deal?” Well, this man was long due this award. Prize notwithstanding -and the man can fill a mid-size room with all the ones he’s received thus far – Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a man with a plan. His plan works. His plan has worked. Millions have benefited from his plan. Grameen Bank is not an idea, it’s a work in progress to eliminate poverty by assessing its levels and having a strategy that attacks the root of its existence.
If you don’t find the concept of micro-credit revolutaionary, Dr. Yunus takes his idea even further that makes a bold statement – as he’s talked about in this Charlie Rose special from 2004 –  eliminate world  poverty and live to witness it. Anyone who knows him knows
that he won’t make such a statement without a plan. So, why haven’t more influential people jumped on the concept? Have they at least reached out to him and asked him how? I’m sure some have, but why don’t we hear about them?

I’ll do my best for now and and give you links to websites you can visit. It’s a start.

The Next Steps for Micro-Credit

The Global Microcredit Summit (Nov 12-15, 2006)

Pinewood Dialogues

12 10 2006

My friend Steve Dackson forwarded a link to Pinewood Dialogues, via the Museum of Moving Image site. The page has 40 conversations with filmmakers, each archived as downladoable mp3 and pdf transcripts as well with a streaming option.
Just a few examples of filmmakers listed are:
Fernando Meirelles (with Rachel Weisz), Ang Lee (with James Schamus),
Mike LeighBrad BirdRobert AltmanBennett Miller, Sidney LumetTim Burton, Mira Nair, Terry Gilliam, Francois Ozon, David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Francis Coppola etc.

Happy listening!

How To Make Free International Phone Calls

11 10 2006

I know. You’re probably thinking, “Why’re you doing this, man? Things will pick up for you.” Naturally, I too thought of this as a scam. How can it be so simple and so free?

So, I’ll let NYTimes’s David Pogue blog tell you how to make calls overseas for FREE!!

The Man Time Forgot

11 10 2006

First I stumbled upon the title of Isaiah Wilner‘s book (the title of this entry), then I read the first paragraph from the first chapter of the book…
“In January of 1929, the creator of Time magazine lay dying in a Brooklyn hospital bed. He was thirty years old. Briton Hadden did not look like a man with only a few weeks to live. His family had decided not to tell him of his dire condition. But the doctors believed he stood almost no chance. Hadden, who had only just begun the creative revolution that would transform journalism in the subsequent century, had drunk and partied his way to his deathbed.”

…And I was hooked. I hate it when authors do that. Read the rest of the chapter here.

Doug Block’s ’51 Birch Street’

10 10 2006

I’ve known of, but have never met, Doug Block whose new film 51 Birch Street, a documentary about his parents 50-year marriage,  is set for a limited release this
October 18th. Doug visited my MySpace page this morning, left a comment, and let me
know of the New York Times review of his movie. Doug is also a member of my recently set up
NYProducers group on MySpace. I said to myself that if I don’t take a few minutes to
promote his movie, what purpose do I serve as the group member?

So, check out the movie and also Doug’s new post on his reaction to the NYTimes review on
his blog Around The Block.