Et Tu, Google?

14/03/2013 § 4 Comments

RIP Google ReaderPardon me, but I’m about to get all interwebby for a moment.  Last night, Google announced that they’ve decided to retire Google Reader on July 1, 2013, striking fear in the hearts of their smallish, yet loyal community of users (myself included).  I started using the RSS feed organizer around the same time I started blogging, as an efficient and streamlined way to keep all the “stuff” I wanted to read in one place — news, blogs, etc. — and it totally changed the way I consume media online.  But evidently, there weren’t enough of us Google Readers to keep the show going, so it’s being shuttered so that Google can concentrate greater efforts on fewer projects — one assumes the epic fail that is Google+ to be one such project, sigh.

So what’s a girl to do, in order to wrangle the internets?  It appears that consensus is leaning toward feedly as the next best alternative, and they’ve pledged that they will roll out a clone of Google Reader of their own, called Normandy, that is supposed to transition seamlessly to their back end after July 1 — all you need to do is import your Google Reader feeds before then.  You can read more about Normandy and how to migrate here.  I’m giving it a try, myself.  Of course, if you have a reader to recommend, please pass it along!

Aside from my own RSS crisis, I realized that some of you guys would be left in the lurch, too.  I just wanted to mention that you can continue to keep up with my posts via the Quite Continental Facebook page, or via Bloglovin’ (which is like a mini RSS feed organizer for blogs), or you can sign up to receive my posts via email in that little subscribe box at the top right of my homepage.  I also do my best to tweet my posts, but since it isn’t automatic that’s definitely subject to human error (and/or laziness and/or forgetfulness).

Now that’s said, herein ends the tech sermon,
and we can return to our regularly scheduled programming….

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Travel Kit || The Louis Vuitton “100 Legendary Trunks” App

10/05/2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve long admired Louis Vuitton’s “100 Legendary Trunks” project (you can see my previous posts on the splendid book and the exhibit at Musée Carnavalet in Paris).  The book was curated by authors Pierre Léonforte and Éric Pujalet-Plaà, and is a collection of over 600 images — some from the LV archives, some taken especially for this project — of the 100 most spectacular trunks and cases created on commission by Louis Vuitton, with owners including Douglas Fairbanks, Karl Lagerfeld, Ernest Hemingway, and Damien Hirst.

If the pricetag of the tome (normally $125, but currently $86 on Amazon) has put you off from purchasing it, I have good news, if you own an iPad.  Packaged in what appears to be an exceptionally manipulable — and so very pretty! — format, you can now experience the 100 Legendary Trunks as an app!  And the best part, it’s only $19.  Head here to purchase it from iTunes.

So while the app may not offer the comforting and luxurious heft of a coffee table book, and an iPad doesn’t exactly look quite as outwardly interesting while sitting on your bookcase, granted, it is worth noting that the app means this exceptional media on the subject of travel, is now perfectly positioned to tag along on your globe trotting.  In fact, I think it’d be the perfect companion…

~*~For further Travel Kit posts, head here.~*~

A Girl’s New Best Friend

09/02/2012 § 4 Comments

I wonder if anyone uses their Apple TV to watch as many classic films as I do.
Doubtful.

After much deliberation, I finally purchased the Apple TV receiver from the sparkling new Apple Store in Grand Central two weeks ago.  Initially a bit daunted by the tiny black box, its attendant cords and its installation, I was quite pleased to find the process a breeze.  After five minutes of plugging things in and hiding the cords away and two minutes of linking my router and entering my Netflix information, I was streaming media like none other.  A minute after that I blew my own mind when I figured out how to find my iTunes account on my laptop.  It was like a real-life Minority Report!  Ok, not really — but I was rather pleased with myself.

I have been running through the classic films on the instant streaming service of Netflix ever since, which is only $8/month.  My one complaint, if I must have one, is that specific artists can be difficult to find if you can’t guess (or don’t know) the name of one of their films that Netflix has available to stream.  You can’t simply search by actor or director name.  Now departing from my soapbox.  Overall, I highly recommend Apple TV.  It’s kind of amazing.

I recently spent an evening revisiting one of my very favorite films — which also happens the inspiration source for the name of this blog, in fact.  If you have never seen the Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), I will pause for a moment for you to drop absolutely everything you are doing and go watch it.  No, really.  I’ll wait.  Most famous of course for the iconic musical number “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” the film is a madcap romp detailing the adventures of two best friends as they search for suitable mates with suitably fat wallets.  Both actresses are at their archetypal best: Monroe as the ditzy blonde, Russell as the wisecracking brunette.

It’s kind of amazing how every time I watch Marilyn, I discover again how damned talented the woman was.  When made the transition from actor to icon, it became so easy to reduce her to representative symbols: her blonde hair, the billowing white dress, her beauty mark, her voice.  In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes you get to enjoy all that Marilyn has to offer: her spot-on comic timing, her lovely dancing and her singing (mostly, she got a little help on some songs).  It really is no wonder Marilyn’s performance has inspired so many homages, and that none really come close to touching the original.  Even if I do enjoy watching Nate, Dan and Chuck attempt choreography.

The original, 1953.

Madonna, Material Girl, 1985.

Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, 2001.

Blake Lively for Gossip Girl, 2012.

Also charming is “Two Little Girls from Little Rock.”

Images via Life Archives.

As I visit with old favorites and make new discoveries (Gregory Peck in Twelve O’Clock High was a revelation!) I can’t help but find it a bit humorous that I’ve taken what is the probably one of the most modern ways to consume media and have turned it into a time machine into the past.  Humorous, but not surprising.  In any event, if you like classic films as much as I do, the winning combination of Apple TV and Netflix instant will be your new Best Friend.

But of course I still like diamonds.

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