1776 (DVD)

1776

You’ll be seeing stars and stripes as the most fascinating leaders in American history come to life in 1776, a musical about the birth of a nation! With the Boston Harbor still stained from over-taxed British tea, a revolution is brewing in the colonies! And now England has thousands of troops headed for America’s shores to squelch her subjects’ freedom-loving spirit! It’s up to John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to convince a stubborn congress of British colonists to unite as American patriots turn the inevitable war with England into a Declaration of Independence!

Additional Features

The 2002 DVD release of 1776 offers the 168-minute “director’s cut” version of the film, which is about 20 minutes longer than the VHS release (though still shorter than the previously released 180-minute laserdisc, which director Peter H. Hunt has said included some material he didn’t care for). Among the additions are a main title with overture, an introductory verse to “He Plays the Violin,” and more balance to the conservative Southern bloc of the Congress, especially in the musical number “Cool Considerate Men,” which–according to Hunt and screenwriter Peter Stone on the DVD’s commentary track–was removed at the request of President Nixon and supposed to have been destroyed. Hunt and Stone also offer historical background, comparisons to the original Broadway show (which they also directed and wrote), comments on what the cast is doing 30 years later, and satisfaction with this restoration (perhaps it will also lead to a long-awaited CD release of the soundtrack?). Picture and sound are very good, the widescreen anamorphic picture preserves the film’s wide tableaux, and five brief screen tests are worth watching once. In sum, it’s a very satisfying and often engrossing treatment of a lesser known but much loved musical. –David Horiuchi

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Lawfully wedded husband : how my gay marriage will save the American family (EBOOK)

lawfullyJoel Derfner

When Joel Derfner’s boyfriend proposed to him, there was nowhere in America the two could legally marry. That changed quickly, however, and before long the two were on what they expected to be a rollicking journey to married bliss. What they didn’t realize was that, along the way, they would confront not just the dilemmas every couple faces on the way to the altar—what kind of ceremony would they have? what would they wear? did they have to invite Great Aunt Sophie?—but also questions about what a relationship can and can’t do, the definition of marriage, and, ultimately, what makes a family.

            Add to the mix a reality show whose director forces them to keep signing and notarizing applications for a wedding license until the cameraman gets a shot she likes; a family marriage history that includes adulterers, arms smugglers, and poisoners; and discussions of civil rights, Sophocles, racism, grammar, and homemade Ouija boards—coupled with Derfner’s gift for getting in his own way—and what results is a story not just of gay marriage and the American family but of what it means to be human.

 

Thinking between Islam and the West : the thoughts of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Bassam Tibi and Tariq Ramadan (EBOOK)

thinking

By Chi-chung Yu

n this book, the author assesses the social vision of three western Muslim intellectuals, Seyyed H. Nasr, Bassam Tibi and Tariq Ramadan. He finds that the thoughts of Nasr and his students promote a kind of tradition-based society, which is in harmony with the Divine Law in Islam and a hierarchical structure of society. The thoughts of Tibi advocate the concept of Euro-Islam, which tries to rationalize Islam and renders it a personal religion in the private domain. Finally, the thoughts of Ramadan emphasize a communicative society, in which dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims on public affairs is crucial. The author tries to understand how these three social orders can complement each other. He compares and contrasts their ideas in order to show that modern Islamic thought is not monolithic but pluralistic, and that they present different social visions for Islam in the West. However, Muslims are often labelled as a minority group and so implicitly excluded from being part of the West: the thoughts of Muslim writers help reflect this problem. The author maintains that these Muslim intellectuals in the West should be fully recognized as western intellectuals.

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HTML5 games : creating fun with HTML5, CSS3, and WebGL

htmlJacob Seidelin

HTML5 Gamesshows you how to combine HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript to make games for the web and mobiles – games that were previously only possible with plugin technologies like Flash. Using the latest open web technologies, you are guided through the process of creating a game from scratch using Canvas, HTML5 Audio, WebGL and WebSockets.

 

Inside, Jacob Seidelin shows you how features available in HTML5 can be used to create games. First, you will build a framework on which you will create your HTML5 game. Then each chapter covers a new aspect of the game including user input, sound, multiplayer functionality, 2D and 3D graphics and more. By the end of the book, you will have created a fully functional game that can be played in any compatible browser, or on any mobile device that supports HTML5.

 

Topics include:

 

  • Dealing with backwards compatibility
  • Generating level data
  • Making iOS and Android web apps
  • Taking your game offline
  • Using Web Workers
  • Persistent Game Data
  • Drawing with Canvas
  • Capturing player input
  • Creating 3D graphics with WebGL
  • Textures and lighting
  • Sound with HTML5 Audio

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