Vader’s Story

Say what you will about the Star Wars prequels, I’ve already written about why I didn’t like Attack of the Clones, but above all I have been a life-long fan of Star Wars. In the original trilogy, Darth Vader only appears on screen for a total of 34 minutes, yet he’s one of the most iconic villains in film history. For the majority of the original trilogy, Darth Vader is largely a one-note villain until the very end when he (spoiler alert) saves his son’s life. This redemption story is so important to the character that it even survives alternate universe takes on the series.

The prequel trilogy threw that one-note approach on its head by focussing on Anakin Skywalker, the man who would become Darth Vader. Suddenly, a one-note villain became the Star Wars character with the most depth, further expanded by additional TV shows, books, and comics. You see an ambitious boy grow into a hero, that hero begin to question things to the point that he falters from his path and becomes the villain, and you see that villain realize at the end how far he’s fallen. You may not believe me, and that’s fair, but this short video should put all of that into context:

The next time you watch Star Wars in its entirety, I recommend following this order, and keep in mind the journey of Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader and back to Anakin Skywalker.

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Earth Day, 2018

Today is Earth Day, a day to reflect on this planet we call home, that means today is a great day to start saving the environment for free and donating to The Conservation Fund.

While you’re doing that, please take the time to consider ways you can help the environment yourself with just a few changes to your routine, like switching out your lights for LED bulbs, walking or biking to closer destinations rather than driving, taking a train or bus whenever possible, planting a tree or two, and even something as simple as properly separating your recyclables from your trash.

Please spend some time outdoors today, or enjoy this video if you can’t, and do your part to help our planet thrive, at least as long as we still have to live here. 😉

Happy New Year! the 2018 edition

2018 begins today, so it’s a great time to start using some basic privacy tools, make sure your browser is up to date, update all of your passwords, and setup two factor authentication wherever you can.

This site’s top five items last year were Custom Fonts Without Plugins for WordPress Themes, Modern Aircraft Accident Investigation Equipment and Techniques, Fix for Stuck Health App (iOS 8), Cloudup: Free File Sharing from Automattic, and Postmodern Jukebox’s Great Arrangements, so I guess those old items really do have some staying power. 🙂

We’ll need more people sharing their voices and experiences this year, so please considering launching your own site with WordPress (and Jetpack) or WordPress.com, or start posting again if you already have one!

Now, let’s all have a great 2018, or perhaps 12,018 HE!

Shady Oaks Takedown Soundtrack

Earlier this month, Sarah spent 8 straight hours composing the soundtrack for Shady Oaks Takedown, a senior center martial arts comedy, which was completed in just 48 hours. This short film marks the first time Sarah’s music was heard in a real movie theater, and now it is moving on to final voting for the Audience Award this Friday!

You can own this senior center martial arts comedy with an 80’s vibe soundtrack for just $3 and enjoy this new historic moment in Sarah’s rapidly growing composition career!

For more details on the how the soundtrack came together, check out the interview between Sarah and director Andrew Menjivar. You can see the full film, and help it win the Audience Award, by attending the Audience Awards Special in Los Angeles this Friday (August 25) at 9PM. The tickets are going fast!

Update: Shady Oaks Takedown is moving on to the Best Of Los Angeles Award’s Screening and Ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre on September 10 at 4PM! Tickets are still available!

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The New DuckTales

I grew up loving DuckTales, so you can imagine how excited I was to hear that there’s a new DuckTales series, complete with a cast of well-known faces. The new series feels both familiar and modern, which is definitely what I want from any nostalgia-fueled reboot. It premiered last Saturday with a two-part special that’s available to watch on YouTube, and will begin airing weekly on September 23.

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Earth Day, 2017

Today is Earth Day, a day to reflect on this planet we call home, so it’s a great day to start saving the environment for free and donating to The Conservation Fund.

Also, take the time to consider ways in which you can help the environment yourself with just a few changes to your routine, like switching out your lights for LED bulbs, walking or biking to closer destinations rather than driving, planting a tree or two, and even something as simple as properly separating your recyclables from your trash.

Today is also the global March for Science, so it’s a great day to spend some time outdoors and possible even share your advocacy for science. If today isn’t such a great day for you to enjoy our world outside, at least enjoy this video.

Happy New Year! the 2017 edition

2017 begins today, so it’s a great time to start using some basic privacy tools, make sure your browser is up to date, update all of your passwords, and setup two factor authentication wherever you can.

This site’s top five items last year were Modern Aircraft Accident Investigation Equipment and Techniques, Custom Fonts Without Plugins for WordPress Themes, RWBY: Anime Beauty and the Beast?, Fix for Stuck Health App (iOS 8), and Internet Archive: Smart 404 Handler, so I guess those old items really do have some staying power. 🙂

We’ll need more people sharing their voices, the news, and their experiences this year, so please considering launching your own site with WordPress (and Jetpack) or WordPress.com, or start posting again if you already have one!

WordPress 4.6 Released

WordPress 4.6 Streamlined UpdatesWordPress 4.6 has been released! This release introduces a streamlined plugin and theme update process, native system fonts in the Dashboard (no more remotely-loaded Open Sans), improved link validation, browser storage content recovery, and more!

272 volunteers contributed to this release, lead by Dominik Schilling. At the time of writing this, WordPress 4.6 has been out for just a little over 1 hour, and has already been downloaded 150,337 times!

All users can now safely update from Dashboard -> Updates or download and update manually, though you should probably backup first just in case, unless you’re already using VaultPress, which you really should be.

If you run into any problems, stop by the known issues first, and please let us know if it’s not covered there!

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Earth Day, 2016

Today is Earth Day, a day to reflect on this planet we call home, a home that we sadly worsen each day. One day, we’ll leave this home and journey to the stars, but until then, perhaps it’s a great day to start saving the environment for free and donating to The Conservation Fund.

In addition, consider ways in which you can help the environment yourself, like switching out your lights for LED bulbs, walking or biking to closer destinations rather than driving, planting a tree or two, and even properly separating your recyclables from your trash.

Please spend some time outdoors today, enjoy this 4K view of the Earth from International Space Station, and do your part to help our planet thrive.

WordPress 4.5 Released

illustration-short-inlinelinksWordPress 4.5 has been released! This release introduces inline linking and more formatting shortcuts to the editor, responsive previews and custom logos to the customizer, and more!

277 volunteers contributed to this release, lead by Mike Schroder. At the time of writing this, WordPress 4.5 has been out for only 4 hours, and has already been downloaded 415,873 times!

All users can now safely update from Dashboard -> Updates or download and update manually, though you should probably backup first just in case, unless you’re already using VaultPress, which you really should be.

If you run into any problems, stop by the known issues first, and please let us know if it’s not covered there!