That’s no moon, that’s a Death Star Bill!

December 11, 2018

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

So my son Ben had an social studies assignment to explain the legislative process. He had to build a powerpoint and then this happened. Yes it went down the y-chromosome. I got a kick out of it, figured some of you might as well.












Star Wars: The Last Boomer

December 18, 2017

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

So still no spoilers here, but as a Gen Xer I have to say that the generational overtones between the Boomers and the Millennials in the new Star Wars flick make me chuckle. Luke as an old crazy guy is just…appropriate. That it was the next generation that helped drive him over the edge is…spot on. Where have you gone Master Obi-Wan? Our galaxy turns its’ lonely eyes to you.


This is not going to go the way you think

December 15, 2017

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Spoiler free review: I loved it, want to see it again. One subplot too many, but still very good. If “there is always a way to blow it up” sums up The Force Awakens, the title of this post summarizes this film. New ranking:


Last Jedi

New Hope

Rogue One

Return of the Jedi


Christmas Special



Ready Player One

September 2, 2016

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

So I am 9 chapters into Ready Player One by Austin Texas uber-geek Ernest Cline and I can already tell you that this is basically the Forrest Gump for Gen-X, only waaaay better since it is about us instead of those tedious Baby Boomers.

If you were a teen in the 1980s, played tons of Atari 2600 video games, saw it as your purpose in life to put the high score on your favorite arcade game, played Dungeons and Dragons, were a film geek and listened to lots of Rush, then this book is a missing piece of your soul.  Cline wrote this book just for you, and Spielberg is currently filming the silver screen version.

If not, well you don’t know what you were missing.

Download now, read later, thank me after that. You are welcome in advance.


Expert Ratings- A Cautionary Tale

July 15, 2016

GB Screenshot

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

A few months ago, I was on a panel discussing the incorporation of user reviews into the K-12 space for things like digital courses and ESAs. One of my fellow panelists expressed skepticism about the entire project until I noted that Rotten Tomatoes allows both “expert” and “user” reviews of movies. With this, he expressed contentment so long as the experts got their own ratings for separate consideration.

It has long been my experience using Rotten Tomatoes however that the user ratings tended to be much more reliable than the critic reviews. Last night I got a double barrel reminder of this when I allowed a 74% fresh critic rating convince me to go see Ghostbusters before the audience score came in (the studio released the film yesterday).

The 44% rating of the audience is incredibly generous. The 74% critic rating reveals some sort of deep divorce from reality. This movie is about as terrible as:

Star Trek V

Apparently 2o+% of people are just unwilling to admit that they paid to see a bad movie. What more proof? The critics nailed this one:

Highlander 2

Sometimes both the critics and the audience gets it wrong, but the critics get it more wrong. This would be the case with Ghostbusters 2016 and:

Jones Sometimes the critics and audience agree on a stinker:


So in the end, I’m happy to have “expert” reviews included, but if 74% of them thought that the hot mess I saw last night was a good movie, it says something important about relying solely on experts. Like everything else in life “experts” are not to be trusted.

Prince, like a Pharaoh of old, stores an important object away for the afterlife

April 23, 2016

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Full clip from RR HoF tribute to George Harrison:

David Bowie

January 11, 2016

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Many of us feel like part of our childhood just vanished. Rest in Peace.