Scariest Halloween Ever?

Jack-o-lantern-TNIt’s Halloween and time to be scared. Most years I pull out the classic DVD’s, John Carpenter’s Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis being terrorized by Michael Myers. Or the scariest movie of all time, The Exorcist, by William Friedkin. Everyone has their own scariest movie, and The Exorcist did it for me, even after having read the book the previous year.

I’ve noticed that the really scary movies are about serial killers or supernatural forces. Whether the threat is supernatural or a deranged psychotic, once in awhile some horrific and alien creature can push that primal fear button.  In those stories, bargaining or appeals to logic or mercy just don’t work. When they are after you, they are relentless. Jaws was a classic example of that theme. It won’t help to plead with the shark, you’re just meat. (more…)

The Genius of Japanese Carpentry

Japanese hand sawI recently found this video about about traditional Japanese Carpentry, and specifically about Miya Shojii, a store in New York that has been making handcrafted furniture since 1947.

True craftsmanship is harder to find every year. I suspect that the majority of Americans don’t own a single item made by hand. That’s a sad state of affairs. I guess it couldn’t be any other way, it takes time and skill to make something beautiful by hand. The best craftsmen spend decades mastering their craft. Naturally, their work is going to be expensive. Whether you can afford pieces like this or not, it’s good to know that these skills haven’t yet become mere historical footnotes. (more…)