Is the book better than the movie?

Is the book better than the movie?
Is the book better than the movie?

It is no secret that I’m a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia series of books and movies, and as a loyal fan, I follow news related to Narnia, and one of my favorite news sources for Narnia related news is NarniaFans.com.  I don’t normally bother to post Narnia related news here, because I feel that I would never be able to do the justice that a dedicated site such as NarniaFans can do, however today my Google Reader showed me an article relating to Narnia that caught my attention for more reasons then The Lion.

In New Zealand, the New Zealand Book Council’s agency (Colenso BBDO) in Auckland, New Zealand, has come up with a rather ingenious way to try and get more young people to read.  When people in New Zealand rent Prince Caspian on DVD from video rental stores in Auckland and the surrounding areas, they see the DVD on the left, and on the right a number of pages, in fact, they see the first 2 chapters of Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, with a title page that contains the question “Is the book better than the movie?”

I felt like posting about this story here because I love anything that encourages young people to read.  When I was growing up, the Chronicles of Narnia were some of my personal favorite books to read, and I read them over and over again, today sadly a lot of young people who go to see these movies (which are fantastic), don’t even realize that these wonderful books exist.  By putting the first couple of chapters of a book in with the DVD Rental, perhaps children who enjoy the movie will decide to read the accompanying beginning of the book, and when they get hooked, will head to their local library to grab the rest of it.

This could obviously work for series other then Narnia, imagine if the Harry Potter DVDs included the first two chapters of their accompanying books. I know by chapter 2 of Philosopher’s Stone, I was hooked on J.K. Rowling’s style.

And why limit it to the DVD release, have movie theaters hand out pamphlets of the first chapter of Inkheart after children go to see that imaginative tale this month.

I applaud the New Zealand Book Council for trying out this imaginative campaign to bring more young people to literature.  It is my belief that with more children reading books, we will have a much brighter tomorrow.

Hours away from Vacation

I’m mere hours away from taking a little vacation to Las Vegas along with my wife, and my roommate. Tomorrow morning I will board a Virgin America flight (I’m much looking forward to trying them out), for Las Vegas.

I’ve got a lot of fun planned, including one last trip to the Star Trek Experience in the Las Vegas Hilton. In fact making a final voyage to the Experience was my primary reason for visiting Vegas this month. This will be my fourth Voyage there (blogged about before on my blog, I’ll edit this post with links to my old posts later), and I’m sad it will be my last, but unfortunately the Experience will be Closing on September 1st permanently, so I had to make one last trip. This will be Mike’s first trip to the future, and he’s eager to see what he has only heard about.

But this trip won’t be all Star Trek, on Thursday Night, Barbara and I will be seeing Mamma Mia. We’ve seen the movie and are both looking forward to seeing the play as well. On Friday Night we will be going Medievil, and enjoying the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur, another great treat.

In addition to all that planned fun, we are also going to get to see my parents, who are in Vegas right now, and our vacation plans are thankfully overlapping enough that we can see each other.

I’m looking forward to a very enjoyable trip.

For Narnia, and for Aslan!

Film Review Chronicles of NarniaMy Wife, Barbara, and I, as well as our roommate Mike, just got back home from seeing The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and it was fantastic! I’m not going to say much about it here, because I’m intending on recording an episode of The Looking Glass on Wizards.FM tomorrow, in which we’ll give our more complete review, but it definitely was worth seeing, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

7-11 Gave me the Finger… and other stories…

7-11 Gave me the FingerApril is here, and that can only mean one thing… practical jokes. Tuesday was April Fools day, and as usual, the jokes and pranks were out in full force. Some of them elaborate, some of them simple, and most of them funny. One of the more elaborate ones this year was a promotion done by the Nestle corporation.

Nestle had displays made up containing rebranded Butterfinger candy bars. The announcement on the display read that effective immediately Butterfinger candy bars are to be known as “The Finger” and to search the phrase in Yahoo to find out more. What was impressive is that the display actually contained a number of “The Finger” candy bars and they were giving them away for free. A great publicity stunt for April Fools day. Searching for the finger on April Fools day on Yahoo gave a link to a video on Yahoo! Video that outed the joke. It may be stupid, but at least I got a free candy bar out of it, as well as a chuckle (just for the record, I wasn’t fooled for a moment, it was obvious to me that it was a joke, though apparently some people thought they were serious).

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Happy New Year 2008!

Has it been a year already? It seems like such a short time ago that I sat up at 2 a.m. in a hotel room in San Simeon, CA writing about 2006. I claimed 2006 incredible and, an “oddity” in my life as for the first time in recent years I was not alone and sad on New Years Eve.

Tonight I’m starting a little early, it’s 11:31 p.m. right now as I type these words (I imagine it will take me a bit to finish writing this post) on New Years Eve, and I’m capping yet another amazing year in the life of Nick Moline.
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Google Developer Day 2007

The Main Stage

This thursday I went over to my second Tech Conference since moving to the San Francisco Bay area, the first being MacWorld back in January, this time, I went to the San Jose convention Center for the 2nd annual Google Developer Day. I must say I hope that Google’s CEO tells the Apple Board of Directors a thing or two about how to hold a Tech Conference.

Google Developer Day 2007 was fantastic fun, and Google made a lot of fantastic announcements just for developers, several of which I’m going to start implementing in my work at Justia.
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WizardCast 3

WizardCast Episode 3 is out, including some interesting announcements. I’ll go ahead an innumerate the announcements here, though I haven’t yet on the WizardCast website. First, we’ve expaned WizardCast into Wizards.FM, the Wizard’s Webcast Network and have already recorded a few additional shows that will be coming out in addition to WizardCast, including “The Looking Glass” a movie review podcast where we review the latest in Fantasy and Science Fiction movies, “WizFM News” where we take our news segment out of WizardCast and produce it more regularly, “The Witching Hour” where we introduce people to fantasy and science fiction music, particularly Wizard Rock bands, and “The Common Room Fire” where we review Science Fiction and Fantasy Books.

The second, even bigger announcement is that this summer, we will be doing a Live Podcast at the Book’s Inc Laurel Village, in San Francisco the night of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It will be tons of fun with giveaways, contests, trivia, and much more.

TiVo making a come back? Watch out Apple TV.

I personally have never owned a TiVo box, primarily because I knew there were a number of DVRs on the market that did not require a monthly subscription and I didn’t see the benefit to paying $12/month for something I thought I could get for a one time fee.

TiVo and Amazon have signed a deal recently that actually made me think twice about this policy however. As most people know, Amazon unveiled their Amazon Unbox program earlier this year to not much applause. After all iTunes has had video downloads for a while now, and it just didn’t seem to make sense to buy movies from Amazon when I already had iTunes. Add to that the fact that Amazon Unbox does not work on a mac as their video drm is PC Only and I didn’t give Amazon a second thought when it came to purchasing single episodes of TV shows or directly downloading movies. Similar to the reasons I previously mentioned why I didn’t give TiVo a second thought, why would I get something that would require it’s own monthly service when I could buy a cable box with DVR built in, or better yet, build a MythTV (though that requires lots of effort and is buggy).

But then TiVo and Amazon signed a deal that I believe is mutually smart for both companies. Amazon Unbox now can be linked with your TiVo account, which means that as you are browsing the web from anywhere, (even away from home) you can purchase a movie or episode on Amazon, or even Rent a movie (something you can’t do on iTunes) and then when you come home (or turn on your TV if you already were home) you’ll find that in your Now Playing List on your TiVo, the episode or movie is already there, ready for you to watch on your TV or (in our case) Projector.

I decided to take the plunge and find out. I purchased a TiVo and linked my TiVo account with my Amazon account, and now I’ve learned what I’ve been missing with Both services.
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Deathly Hallows Deathly Near

The final book in the Harry Potter Series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on July 21st, 2007 in English Speaking countries (just one week after the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Movie comes out). Barbara and I recorded a short WizardCast this morning with the news update. This special podcast episode is available here and on iTunes so Subscribe!View in iTunes.

2006 – A Nick Oddity

Every New Years Eve I find myself counting down the seconds until the next year hoping in my heart that the next year is better then the last. This year however I found New Years Eve very odd, because I cannot possibly imagine 2007 being as amazing as 2006 was, and I don’t even want 2007 to be better then 2006, I just want it to be more of the same.

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