Germany Reports Attacks by Clowns Wielding Chainsaws and Baseball Bats — TIME

Creepy clowns have been reportedly menacing residents in Germany with weapons that include chainsaws and a baseball bat, authorities said. The mass hysteria surrounding frightening jesters has made its way to parts of northern and western Germany after consuming most of the U.S. and spreading to other parts of Europe. Rostock police on Friday said…

via Germany Reports Attacks by Clowns Wielding Chainsaws and Baseball Bats — TIME

See Classic Hollywood Through Sid Avery’s Lens — TIME

During the golden era that was Hollywood in the 1950s and ’60s, the work of photographer Sid Avery often appeared in the pages of outlets like LIFE and The Saturday Evening Post. But, though his subjects were already icons in their own time—stars like Frank Sinatra and Audrey Hepburn—his approach was something new. He would…

via See Classic Hollywood Through Sid Avery’s Lens — TIME

AT&T said to be “in advanced talks” to purchase Time Warner — TechCrunch

AT&T is in the advanced stages of negotiations to acquire Time Warner, according to the Wall Street Journal, which would give the carrier a huge content creation arm. Other carriers, including TechCrunch parent company Verizon, have embraced a similar strategy in order to own more of the relationship between customer and content, rather than just…

via AT&T said to be “in advanced talks” to purchase Time Warner — TechCrunch

What should I cross train with chow gar mantis? (Baji/pigua, taichi/hsing-i, eagle claw, or muay boran.)

Answer by E. Thompson:

The short answer is Xing Yi Quan. The reason is Xing Yi is a great compliment to any of the long fist, long limb style systems. It is also said that Mantis has its most difficulty dealing with Xing Yi. Xing Yi's thundering, pounding and drilling style movement would be a good compliment to the hooking, trapping and evading techniques of Mantis. Not to mention the difference in footwork and stance-work.

What should I cross train with chow gar mantis? (Baji/pigua, taichi/hsing-i, eagle claw, or muay boran.)

What is the best theory of story structure for screenwriting, and why?

Answer by Sean Hood:

Most theories of screenplay structure are based on the Three Act Paradigm, inspired by Aristotle's Poetics and supported by the simple observation that all stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

These three acts correspond to the audience's emotional experience. In the beginning, the audience becomes emotionally involved with the characters. In the middle, the emotional commitment is heightened by rising tension and expectation. The end brings the audience's emotional involvement to a satisfactory end.

Interestingly, this emotional structure mirrors the phases of human sexual response: excitement, plateau, climax and resolution.

A detailed look at the Three Act Paradigm, with its "turning points, rising action and climax" can be found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-act_structure

However, many have criticized the Three Act Paradigm, and claim that an over-emphasis on act breaks, reversals and climax can lead to weak plots and poor characterization.

At USC's School of Cinematic arts, the theory of story structure most often taught comes from Frank Daniel. In his lectures, he said that "a good story well told" had five elements:

  1. The story is about somebody with whom we have empathy.
  2. This somebody wants something very badly.
  3. This something is difficult but possible to do, get, or achieve.
  4. The story is told for maximum emotional impact and audience participation.
  5. The story comes to a satisfactory (but not necessarily happy) end.

(See The Tools of Screenwriting, by David Howard and Edward Mabley.)

Brian McDonald, in both his blog and book Invisible Ink, claims that all effective stories have the basic structure of a fairy tale:

  1. Once upon a time_____________
  2. And every day________________
  3. Until one day_________________
  4. And because of this___________
  5. And because of this___________
  6. Until finally__________________
  7. And ever since that day_______

There are also certain filmmakers who discard traditional story structure altogether, and have proposed alternatives:

  • David Lynch, in such films as Lost Highway and Mulhollland Dr., uses dream logic and circular (rather than linear) storytelling. His theories of story and creativity can be found in his book, Catching The Big Fish.
  • Andrey Tarkovsky, in such films as The Mirror and The Sacrifice, embraces a poetic, rather than traditionally dramatic, approach to cinema. His theories can be found in his book, Sculpting in Time.
  • Raul Ruiz, in films such as Three Crowns of the Sailor, challenges the idea that every plot should have a central conflict as its backbone. His theories can be found in his book, Poetics of Cinema.

What is the best theory of story structure for screenwriting, and why?

Why does Kiai Master offer a $5,000 challenge against any MMA fighter?

Answer by E. Thompson:

There is a symbiotic relationship between teacher and student in some martial arts schools. Out of respect for the teacher, as well as wanting to be part of the group, sometimes students will start to overreact as an uke (training partner). This contributes to the teacher's thinking that he has magical powers which leads into the students becoming more enthralled with his magical powers and overreacting more in cycle of mutual belief.

What we saw here was this cycle hitting critical mass. The teacher being fed by the students, being fed by the teacher ultimately believes he has become a wizard. Then he probably fell into the trap of one of his students saying,"Sensei, you could easily defeat a MMA fighter, right?" He had to go all in at that point.

Or he's just a horrible person selling snake oil and is fully aware of  it.

Why does Kiai Master offer a $5,000 challenge against any MMA fighter?