Tag Archives: geekery

Three Awesome San Francisco Movie Theaters

Before I moved to San Francisco, I didn’t think I’d have a “favorite” movie theater apart from whichever one had the cheapest student tickets. After all, my college town didn’t have a ton of theaters that weren’t owned by giants like Regal or AMC. After being here just over six months, I’m still happy to catch a flick at one of the multiplexes, but I’ve fallen in love with three small theaters near me. If you’re looking to have a better movie experience in San Francisco, you should definitely try them out.

Sundance Kabuki
I’d never been to a Sundance cinema before I saw From Up on Poppy Hill at Kabuki, but I’ve been coming back ever since. Kabuki has super comfy seating with big armrests, and when you buy your ticket, you reserve a seat at the same time. That means no more trying to beat the crowd into the screening room because everyone has assigned seats anyway. They even have showings later at night that are 21+ only because you can buy alcohol. Haven’t taken advantage of that yet, so I can’t speak to the quality of the cocktails. Kabuki has multiple screens and shows blockbuster films, too.

New People Cinema
I’ve only been to New People a couple of times because their films are usually around for a day or two at most, and tickets sell out quickly. I caught Wolf Children there last year during the Japan Film Festival, and though I did have to get there early to make sure I got a seat, it was worth it. The chairs are comfortable, and since the New People building was built to showcase Japanese culture, they show anime and live action Japanese films. On the ground floor of the New People building, there’s also a cute little place called the Crown & Crumpet, which I recommend for chilling out over some tea.

Clay Theater
I went to this great little indie theater for a midnight screening of Akira. The sound was a bit loud, but hey, the place was run by two people so late at night, so I didn’t mind too much. The seats at Clay are decent, but I think the nicest part of the experience was having the super nice concession guy tell us to wait a few minutes while he made fresh popcorn so we wouldn’t get the last dregs of the previous batch. I don’t know if this is unique to midnight showings or not, but we also didn’t get pelted with advertisements before the film started; they just ran a black and white movie with interesting music over the dialogue and some trippy visualizations. Clay does midnight showings of The Room (Spoons!) and Rocky Horror Picture Show regularly, so I’ll have to check those out. Oh, and they show stuff during the day, too. :)

Did you spot the pattern for these places yet? Well, I found them because I’ll jump at any chance to watch anime on the big screen. I rarely got to do that before moving here, and as an anime fan, it’s awesome to have so many opportunities now.

New People is the only place on this list with a focus on Japanese film. So, if you’re just looking to check out a current film in a great theater, I highly recommend Kabuki. If you want a quirkier indie place that mostly shows older stuff, definitely give the Clay Theater a try.

Letting Go of Books is Hard

Definitely not my art, but it’s so true. Check out this tumblr by Airiz. Lots of amazing bookish drawings.

It’s getting closer to moving day, and my boyfriend and I have been doing our best to downsize. It’s been tough, though. We’ve both accumulated so many books, movies, and games over the last several years (Holy crap, have I really been in this college town since 2007?), and we’re pretty attached to a lot of them. The books are the hardest to let go, though.

Whether it’s a reference book or a fantasy novel, there’s just something about holding a physical copy and flipping through it that makes me pause when I hover over my “to donate” pile. A lot of my books bring back nice memories for me. I picked up my Circuits 1 textbook, and it just made me smile because I remember loving that class so much. Unfortunately, since we’re making a cross-country move into a tiny apartment and paying for it ourselves, we have to be choosy about what we pack into our shipping container. I have a couple of other good electronics books that amount to about half the volume of that circuits book, and they cover the most important bits and then some. So, the circuits textbook isn’t coming with me.

Then I look at my mismatched collection of Narnia books, all of them paperback, some still sporting tacky WalMart stickers. A couple of them are even raggedy garage sale copies. But I remember how as a kid, I would carefully save my allowance until I wanted a book or game, and I remember buying those Narnia books myself and devouring them. Still, when I move, I can get a better set to put next to my lovely hardbound Lord of the Rings novels (which are most definitely coming with me!). Hopefully, some other kid will read and enjoy my Narnia books at a local library.

I also have a garage sale collection of Sherlock Holmes stories that found its way into the donation pile. I did hesitate (it’s hardcover!), but if I’m honest, I’ll just use it as an excuse to pick up a nicer copy that actually contains all of Holmes’ adventures. I will, however, keep the dog-eared Sherlock Holmes paperback that has a lovely note from my uncle’s mother inside the front cover. That one was a gift.

It’s not always so difficult to pass on some books to other people, though. There are textbooks from classes I’d like to forget and a ton of less-than-awesome Shannara trades that I am more than happy to donate to someone else’s library. I have sorority sisters who would be able to save money by using some of my engineering textbooks, and some of my other friends have already taken a load of paperback novels off my hands.

Basically, it looks like I’m only keeping my favorites (sorry library, but you’re not getting Snow Crash, The Blue Sword, or a single Harry Potter book) and reference books I hope think I’ll use in the near future (I’ve got this book on Ruby, for example, that I’ve been meaning to sit down with but just haven’t found the time for…), and that’s okay. I had several classic novels that I kind of wanted to bring, but I realized that I probably wouldn’t read them again any time soon. As much as I love To Kill a Mocking Bird, Catch 22, and Jane Eyre, I read all of those before I graduated high school, and I haven’t opened them since. It’s time to let someone else experience them.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t pick up a new copies when I’m finished moving. I’d probably even be excited to read them again. :)


These Guys Made Mario Kart Real

I always get warm fuzzies when people do awesomely geeky things with hardware. Some brilliant people from Waterloo labs put an RFID tag inside a Koopa shell plushie, put a tag reader on a go-kart, and then rigged up the kart to react to the shell–thus creating Mario Kart in real life. This is, of course, a gross simplification of their system. If you want to learn more, check out their page on the project. Meanwhile, here’s a video showing the karts in action. They even had item boxes, and someone ran a traffic light like Lakitu. 😀

(Waterloo Labs via Hack A Day)

Gaming for charity this weekend!

Update: You can find The GAMES Blog’s livestream at www.twitch.tv/thegamesblog! Come chat with us and help us stay sane as we play games for 24 hours to benefit CMN in our belated Extra Life marathon. :)

Extra Life is a 24-hour video game marathon to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, and this weekend, The G.A.M.E.S. Blog is planning to participate. We’ll have a livestream setup and from the morning of Saturday, November 10, to the morning of Sunday, November 11, several members of the staff will be playing video games non-stop.

Our original plan was to host the marathon last month, but we had some hiccups along the way, and it got pushed back to now. If you’re interested in helping out, you can check out our team page and pledge money to one of the writers who are listed.

I’ll be helping run the chat when people stop by, so if you want to come and say hello, check this post on Saturday and stay tuned to my social media channels for a link to our livestream. The link will show up on The GAMES Blog’s Facebook page as well.

Let This Awesome Kid Teach You How to Make a Sonic Screwdriver

A while back, I posted a little write-up on how I made my sonic screwdriver prop for my 10th Doctor costume. It doesn’t light up or anything, but it looks pretty close to the real thing. I’ve been wanting to go back and make one that has all of the electrical bells and whistles, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe sometime when I do make one, I’ll post a tutorial. Meanwhile, I think I’ll just let this guy teach you.

Is he not the most awesome kid ever? I have a degree in electrical engineering, so of course I’m comfortable brandishing a soldering iron at stuff, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone quite so young who could finish that entire project. He even included a wiring diagram! And he advised the use of heat-shrink! I absolutely love this tutorial, and I especially like that he encourages folks to design their own housing.

There aren’t many videos on the YouTube channel where you can watch this, and that’s a shame. I’m subscribing anyway, though, just in case he decides to make more. I’m just feeling totally inspired and pumped right now, and I want to go and make something. I may have to make a stop off at the hardware store and Radio Shack after we go grocery shopping this week. Or maybe I’ll just make a DigiKey order…

What about you? Did you enjoy this video? If you did, go give it a like on YouTube and share it with all the DIY-minded Whovians you know. Heck, share it with people who might not ordinarily do something like this: it might make them want to give it a try.

[via Offbeat Home]