Ian Robinson

March 21, 2021

Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest 21st March 2021

Here's my latest Weekly Digest with pointers and commentary on things that have caught my eye in the last seven days. This week's post has ten items, including two films, pointers to a brilliant streaming series on Amazon Prime, a new musical drama adaptation of The War of The Worlds, and two pointers to new music. All links from names go to a Twitter account if they have one or a website if they don’t.

Culture - New music I discovered this week
Now with Apple Music and Spotify links!

Culture - Streaming series
I saw a trailer for the streaming series Loudermilk via the Amazon Prime Video UK Twitter feed. It looked good, so I started watching Season One on Monday evening and finished it on Tuesday. It's terrific. Season Two is not included with Prime membership. So I just bought it on Amazon Video and binge-watched it on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Can't wait to see Season Three when it appears on Amazon Video UK. It's already available in Canada. As an aside - I've added a page to my blog with the streaming series' I've watched this year.

Culture - Films
I watched two new films this week. Both were okay but will not be remembered as exemplar's in their genre. The first was the family comedy-drama The War With Grandpa. It has a stellar cast, including Robert DeNiro and Uma Thurman. I enjoyed it. Reading the critics reviews afterwards suggests I'm in the minority. I hardly ever read reviews before seeing a new film and often disagree with them afterwards. The other film was the rom-com Love, Guaranteed. If you like feel-good rom-coms, you’ll probably like Love, Guaranteed. It’s funny, well shot, hasn’t to much cringe-worthy dialogue, and has a good message. There is nothing too surprising, and you know what will happen. But the path to the conclusion is done well.

Culture - Musical Drama
Audible and Jeff Wayne released a new adaptation of H. G. Wells's classic The War of The Worlds. I think it came out in 2018, but I just added it to my Audible library this year and started to listen to it this week. It's just over 5 hours long, and I'm almost finished listening to it.  The new Audible adaptation is a cross between an audio play and the 1978 Jeff Wayne musical album (Apple Music - Spotify). The Audible release has more narration and dialogue than the 1978 musical album while retaining many musical themes. None of the songs are in the new version, just the music, and in many instances the musical themes are played on different instruments. There are some excellent acoustic guitar sections included. It has a top-notch cast - Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Theo James, Anne-Marie Wayne, and Adrian Edmonson. It's different enough from the 1978 album (and the stage show) to be worth five hours of your time, even if you have heard the previous incarnations. I highly recommend it.

Culture - Entertainment
Giiggle - Answers Via Email - HEY Science - Link
Ten special HEY Email addresses to send an email to get back a random joke, cute picture, poem, guitar riff, and more.  You don't need to have a HEY email address to uses these. They work from any email address.

Culture - Star Wars Universe
Duel of the Fates - Andrew Winegarner - Link
Before it was canned in favour of what became The Rise of Skywalker, there was a Star Wars film in pre-production called Duel Of The Fates (DOTF). The script and concept artwork for DOTF leaked, and artist Andrew Winegarner is making a comic book series from them. There will be seven issues in total when done. You can see the progress so far on the DOTF web page.

Culture - Podcasts
Current Podcast Subscriptions
- Ian Robinson's Soapbox - Link
I recently had a review of my podcast subscriptions. I whittled the list down to these 17.

Science - Communication
Five rules for evidence communication - Nature - Link
The Internet, social media especially, has made it much easier to spread information on any topic. However, you don't have to look too hard to find misinformation and bonkers conspiracy theories. This article from Nature last November makes a case for those of us on the side of evidence to avoid unwarranted certainty, neat narratives and partisan presentation; strive to inform, not persuade. It has good advice we should all follow when rebutting things that are false.

Science - Research
Sperm whales in 19th century shared ship attack information - The Guardian - Link
A remarkable study (if true) using digitised notebooks from 19th-century whaling vessels seems to show that sperm whales changed their behaviour in response to being attacked by humans. They abandoned the tactics they used against killer whales and instead fled into the wind. Thus making it harder for the sailing vessels to chase them.

Technology - Cybersecurity
Key Priorities for IAM Leaders in 2021
- Gartner - Link
Good identity management is essential for cybersecurity. In this Smarter With Gartner article, they outline the priorities for organisations in 2021 and beyond. 


About Ian Robinson

Writer, walker, atheist, Apple enthusiast, cinema lover, hobby musician, science junkie, perpetual maths student, cricket fan, chess patzer. Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.