Bryan Paul Sullo

Things to Share 2015-03-14

In Arts & Entertainment, Character Development, Faith & Religion, Family, Writing on 14 March 2015 at 8:49 pm

Volume 2 of things I’ve found to share recently:

In this installation, we have . . .

  • “Hacking Vehicles”
  • Маша и Медведь
  • “Making Selves Without Straw”
    and . . .
  • “Is that a Gun in Your…Pants?”

“Hacking Vehicles”.


You’ve all heard the term, spyware. Do you know who coined it? His name is Steve Gibson. He also wrote the first anti-spyware application. More importantly (for this discussion anyway) he has a podcast called Security Now. In his podcast, Steve discusses all aspects of security in an age of technology. Sometimes, he flies a little over my head (like when he starts to talk about advanced cryptography) but if you have any technical bent at all, you can get something out of his show.

In this particular show, Steve talks with the guys who took complete control of a car from a remote laptop on 60 Minutes. (If you missed that, see the clip here.)

Here’s the link to listen to the Security Now podcast. Skip ahead to about the 1 hour mark to hear the interview.

Audio Only


Also contained in this episode (prior to the interview) is a brief discussion of Google’s new plan to increase search page ranking for sites that are more factually correct, as determined by computer algorithm. (One wonders where the California-based company’s servers stand on hot-button political issues.)

If you labor under the impression that facts are facts and opinions are opinions, and never the twain shall meet, you should check out this timely article in the New York Times: “Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts“.

And, if that wasn’t enough to listen to this podcast, Gibson also gives a second-hand account of the real reason Star Trek was canceled.

Маша и Медведь


No, you didn’t just have a stroke. Those are Cyrillic characters, and that’s Russian for Masha and the Bear.

“Masha and the Bear” is a Russian folk tale about a girl who gets kidnapped by a bear and later tricks the bear into bringing her back home in a bread basket. The Masha and the Bear, I’m talking about though is a Russian-language children’s show on YouTube.

The computer-animated cartoon follows the adventures of a small Siberian girl and a retired circus bear who acts as friend, protector, and some-time victim of her precocious antics. Masha and the Bear has the same mix of slapstick, anthropomorphic fantasy, and subtle wit as the old Loony Tunes cartoons.

My whole family likes this show, especially our 19-month-old boy. Masha is the only speaking character, and even though we don’t know what she’s saying, It doesn’t affect our enjoyment much.

The episode, “День кино” (“Movie Day”), is representative of a typical story: Masha is visiting the Bear in his home, when they get snowed in. The TV is out, so they decide to pass the time developing movie scripts on an old typewriter. (As an example of the adult humor, the manufacturer of the typewriter is “King-Reiner”, a nod to the Rob Reiner-directed adaptation of the Stephen King novel, Misery, which has a similar snowy setting and an author forced to type out his next story.) The pair take turns writing and rejecting hit movies (like Avatar, and Forrest Gump) with themselves as the main characters.

There actually are English translations, but they seem not to be available in the United States.

Making Selves Without Straw


First Things is a “Journal of Religion and Public Life.” In the article, “Making Selves Without Straw,” author Peter J. Leithart comments on the culture of self-realization that seems to define present-day America. If you can get past the first paragraph, it’s a thoughtful and informative article.

And, finally . . .

Is that a Gun in Your…Pants?


For writers who need information about police procedures, Lee Lofland and his blog, The Graveyard Shift, are great resources. His post, “Is that a Gun in Your…Pants?” humorously illustrates why it’s a super-bad idea to tuck a pistol into your waistband.

Next time you see an action hero stuffing a gun in his pants, you’ll remember this story and smile.


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