Monthly Archives: March 2014

Wes Anderson is a Genius

After you’ve read this, you will go to the cinema of your choice and get a ticket for tonight’s screening of “Grand Budapest Hotel”.

In 2001 a young man made a masterpiece and opened a niche in mainstream cinema which –to this day– only he populates. The man was director Wes Anderson who at that time was 33 years old; and the film was “The Royal Tenenbaums” which was written by himself and Owen Wilson.

Wes Anderson is the bridge between Cannes and Hollywood.

There had been movies directed/written by Wes Anderson before, but Tenenbaums was probably his breakthrough into popular cinema and the key to a wider audience — maybe partly because of the popular actors (e.g. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Gene Hackman,…) but mostly because of Wes’ charme — something that has won him many awards and even the most cynical critic’s praise ever since.

Fortunately, the success that came with it hasn’t really changed anything regarding Wes’ style: he has always remained true to his ambitions and never ceased to experiment. With his latest movie he goes –once again– entirely in the opposite direction that the rest of Hollywood is headed.

Wes Anderson makes indie movies for an audience.

New masterpiece: Grand Budapest Hotel

“Grand Budapest Hotel” is Wes Anderson’s eighth film as a director and writer — and his best to this date.
Furthermore, it is the most satisfying movie of this century (so far).

Continue reading

Professional Slides for Presentations

Everything you need you already have

In my last article I talked about the problems you face with presentations — now I want to show you a solution to many of those quarrelsome annoyances.

Just use this template, a simple text editor and run your slides in a Web Browser.

What does that look like?

Click through this demo presentation to get a feeling and a glimpse of what’s possible. Of course you don’t have to (and actually should not) implement everything that is shown here, but this demo covers many things most of you probably need.
Later, when making your own slides, you can open this demo (demo.html) in an editor and take ideas from it.

html5slidesDemo Presentation
(Press [F] on your keyboard for fullscreen)

How can I make my own?

All you have to do is download the small file below and extract the zipped folder on your computer, no need to install any additional software.

Download (.zip, 892 KB)

The content are a bunch of folders with HTML, CSS and Javascript files, but in fact you only need to edit two files:

Continue reading

Problems with Presentations

Giving a presentation is a difficult task on its own

You want to bring your point across and inform, entertain and impress the listeners.
I can’t help you with your speaking or content (however, there are many tips online: for a perfect presentation, what to avoid, how to speak more fluently etc.) – I want to focus on the presentation slides.

If everything else is sub-optimal, you can still win some points by impressing on the screen.
(I call this the “Michael-Bay-principle”.)

This is an introductory article about the problems you won’t have to worry about anymore if you read my upcoming follow-up article.

The Problems with PowerPoint

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using PowerPoint for your slides, but there are some disadvantages — and you probably have experienced some of them at least once:

Continue reading

It’s Not the Microwaves That Are Deadly

Abortion of the experiment

I am sorry to say it, but the experiment “Are Microwaves Really Deadly?” will be put to an end. It’s truly tragical, but almost all of the 84 little plants have died.

The cause of death is unknown, but I assume it was an attack of little fruit flies (Drosophila) that laid their eggs into the soil. The larvae hatched and roamed the earth to feast on anything in their way — and the only edible thing in their nursery were probably the weak and unprepared roots of my basil.

Sometimes I saw little insects coming up from the soil when I watered the pots — where there were many of those grazing creatures a few days later the plants fell down. They had lost their roots and were left to rot.

Continue reading