James ‘The Amazing’ Randi (1928-2020)
2020 just can’t seem to stop being a horrible year.
Both the world of magic and the world of skepticism have lost a giant. James Randi died this past week. He was 92 years old.
I talked about a few of the highlights of his mission to expose frauds and fakers and to demonstrate that no matter how smart we may think we are, we can be fooled.
I also wrote about James Randi on the Warehouse Find blog, the official blog of Nostalgia Zone.
Three Horror Movies Worth Watching
Two are very recent, while the other is a favorite from my youth. I’ll start with that one.
The Legend Of Hell House (1973) is a creepy, eerie haunted house movie. The horror relies upon suspense and suggestion. The special effects are simple, but effective. There are plenty of ghostly whispers and an electronic score that all go to create a terrific haunted house movie.
There is a strong sexual content to the film. However, it’s quite tame when compared to the book it is based on and it is PG, so it doesn’t get very racy.
Director/writer Jordan Peele followed up his excellent Get Out (2017) with last year’s Us. We watched Us this week and I thought it was pretty good. We meet an average family as they start their summer vacation. The mom seems trouble as she remembers a disturbing event from her childhood in that very same vacation area. Things seem to be going fine until one evening when four strangers show up in the driveway of their vacation home.
The film gets quite violent and some of it is surprising when considering who is meting it out, but things never get too heavy on the gore.
My third recommendation is good, but there is one particular moment that gave me some difficulty getting past, but I did. I discuss it carefully on the show. I don’t want to spoil the film.
The film is Midsommar and it also was released last year. The film is of the same sort of horror genre as The Wicker Man (1973), the strange rituals of an isolated community that eventually becomes horrific to the outsiders who have been brought in. This one is a slow build to its conclusion.
Midsommar is rated R and has very strong sexual content. There are some moments of some shocking violence and gore.
A Dimland Pedantic Moment: Who Wears A Mask On Big Brother?
Big Brother is one of those reality shows on television. About a dozen people are put into a house/studio to live together and compete in games to determine head of household for the week. The head of household picks two house members to put on the chopping block and one will get voted out. The last person left is the winner. Something like that. I don’t watch it, but my wife does.
The people in the house are quarantined. That’s how the show works. But when someone is voted off the show, they don a mask before sitting for an interview with the show’s host, Julie Chen. Julie doesn’t wear a mask. She’s been in the outside world with the Covid pandemic raging and she doesn’t wear a mask. Curious.
Be patient. Wash your hands. Stay home. Stay safe. WEAR A MASK!
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Closing song: Angler’s Treble Hook by $5 Fiddle
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