Archives For Language

I was doing one of those random searches I do (every other year now) in search of an old show from early to mid-90s, which featured Canadian actress Lani Billard, who later starred on 1993’s Ready or Not alongside Laura Bertram. It was called F.R.O.G and it aired on Discovery Kids Latin America. The show, which apparently was produced by Toronto’s OWL TV (maybe PBS in the US?), was a shown now commonly known as “edutainment” -entertainment with an educational take- about a group of children that used to get together to discover or solve a physics/mechanical/nature/science issue of the day.

I clearly remember two episodes of the show— one featured electromagnetics, which were used to power racing toy cars. The other one featured hydronic heating systems, which were built with a water hose installed on the roof of a shed to “warm up” with the sun. Apparently, the show only featured 13 episodes, to the surprise of everyone’s brains who feels like shows used to last forever, but they were all miniseries (eg. The Storyteller, Mr. Bean, old Shogun, etc.).

My old scattered cable magazines must be somewhere around, but that’s basically the only hard copy I have of the show’s existence. I have never been able to find digital proof of the show ever existing, except for this low resolution picture I just found on one of the few videos that talk about old Discovery Kids Latino.

I barely recognized it, mainly because that’s Billard in the pink sweater. I suppose the kid in blueish green could be Gideon Arthurs, while the kid in red could be Ivana Shein.

I also found this Reddit thread saying it’s “Fully lost” and learned (finally?) that F.R.O.G stands for “Friends of Research and Odd Gadgets,” ha! I had no idea.

According to one of the links above, and the info on WorldCat, the show’s distribution is or was done by Bullfrog Films. For educational purposes, Bullfrog Films used to offer a VHS tape per 30min episode at $50 on a dedicated F.R.O.G page that is no longer available. I tried browsing through their catalogue and doing a search to see if I could find more info on the show, but no luck. I even went through all their YouTube archive to no avail, even though they are still releasing material. In theory, you should be able to order these from them.

In related things— I did find the whole original Ghostwriter series, which had been released on DVD back in the day, as well as a whole collection of Lost Telecourse, which includes a series on American Cinema, and a series about physics and mechanics (also done by TVO) called Eureka!. Outside the collection, I also found some episodes of Newton’s Apple, episodes of Art Attack, and episodes of Pingu.

On December, I wrote about a couple of my concert music DVDs rotting away.

And the YT algo just popped this on the feed, talking about a number of Warner Bros titles that are apparently being affected.

Somebody on forums (!!! They still exist!) posted a list of probable affected titles, and to my dismay, the Greta Garbo and (both) Joan Crawford collections are affected. I just popped Mata Hari and Possessed on the player and seem to be playing fine.

Another one of the fears with (new) media and products that developed in types of plastic is that they’re decaying faster than people expected. I’ve had older (retired) players that were kept on storage that have a general sticky texture after a while. However, this doesn’t seem to happen to players that are in general exposure, not directly with sunlight, but in a generally airy room that’s in use, unlike a display room. I also happen to live in the mildest of climates, though high in humidity, temperatures never go above 30C (above 90F) or lower than 14C (lower than 55F). So maybe these conditions are affecting the storage of physical media.

I did the vast majority of my library collection before 2007, though. I did buy a number of things in between the mid-2000s to late-2000s, so if disc rot is affecting a general batch produced in between 2007-2009, it is a concern. I’m generally more worried with collections I keep in drawers instead of a regular shelf display.

I took some time to plan an imaginary trip to India to truly realize we really live in opposite sides of the world. lol I’d figured these are the most possible routes.

[click to expand a bit]

Most comfortable route seems to be Lima via Sao Paulo to Johannesburg and Mumbai. Peruvians who want to travel for regular tourism and chill activities for less than six months can apply for an e-Tourist visa. Peruvians do not need visas to enter Brazil (shorter than 90s days) nor South Africa (visits shorter than 30 days).

Peruvians don’t need visa to transit through Amsterdam.

Peruvians do need one to enter the US, even for transit. Long gone are the days of free transit in the US. However, traveling through San Francisco seems the least practical, even though San Francisco is a great hub to enter into East Asia. My preferable spot for point of exit.

As a reverse practice— Indians DO need visas to enter South Africa and Brazil (only diplomatic passport holders are exempt.) But it looks like they might not need a visa to transit through Amsterdam.

Regular Indians do seem to need a visa to enter Peru, though citizens who hold valid US, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia or Schengen visas seem to be exempt. So if you already travel, it seems pretty straight forward.

Not gonna lie and say I haven’t been obsessing over the trailer for Crew since it dropped, and looking at the clips for Ghagra [1] and kinda giddy at the cover remix of Choli Ke Peeche [1].

I even finally re-watched Idhi Sangathi (with synced subs!) because of it.

Tabu finding riches in highly unusual places!

My only grip with the film, currently, is that my suspense of disbelief is dropped when I see them carrying kilos of gold. Autistic.

Other than that, I’m a super fan of potty-mouthed Tabu (I hope the announcement that theatrical was edited only means we get the potty-mouthed version on Netflix), and I want someone to ask them how much of the funny bits were ad-lib and improv, because that scene where they tell Kriti to sell her assets and the reaction to it was hilarious.

Buying physical media has been a chore lately, you gotta keep an eye out so you make sure you don’t miss your delivery because, for some reason, people cannot just leave your package any longer.

Plus, distributors are doing physical media less and less. The whole of the Indian Cinema industry has decided to phase out physical media in favor of going all in on OTT and VOD. Even enormous hits like RRR are left with no physical release, even in the West. Even Disney is letting Sony handle its physical media, which seems like the end of an era. Then there’s the whole thing about editing and disappearing media from libraries.

So these are some of the most recent -and not so recent- films that have been added to the physical library. I wish I had more disposable income because there are a bunch of titles (and upgrades) that had been added to the wishlist.

These on top of some Bluray upgrades like Sion Sono’s Love Exposure, Kalatozov’s The Cranes Are Flying, brand new Criterion’s for Los Otros and Laberinto del Fauno. Some random BR UK release for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Also, this post makes it so that this year is the most I’ve blogged since 2020. I’m coming for you 2019. Four posts in Feb’24 is the most continuous blogging since Aug’18.

Having debuted back in 2022 under the name Song Soowoo (송수우) with the edgy-sounding song Love Me or Hate Me [MV], Song is back under the name NINA (니나) [almost impossible to look up without running into other Ninas] with the music video for Love Like This, directed by Jonah George.

Alt link available at Super Sound Bugs!

Which, if you’ve seen the Bugs thumbnail on YouTube, looks Yu Aoi-inspired. I say Yu Aoi-inspired, because it’s mostly Yuki Tanada’s One Million Yen Girl and heavily references Shunji Iwai’s Hana & Alice for obvious shots. However, it also heavily references Iwai’s 1995 Asian hit Love Letter which has inspired a whole generation of filmmakers [1][2] and idols.

That’s me. People will ask me if I’m watching which and what show, and I would usually say that I really don’t have time to watch much television. However, the past week I’ve been catching up with my “to watch” list and inundated.

I watched one single episode of Prime India’s Jubilee, which I’m looking forward to finishing. And I just binged through Apple’s Pachinko. I’m usually hit or miss with Kogonada (After Yang was excellent), but my only complaint about Pachinko is that I really wish American series would do their just one off series and not make me wait for two or three seasons.

I’ve also just started Nicole Kidman’s Nine Perfect Strangers (after going through Hulu’s Tiny Beautiful Things with Kathryn Hahn). Going though Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird, and have been catching Demon Slayer episodes, as well as rewatching shows like Cowboy Bebop and Orange Days (went through Tiger & Dragon, as well as Quartet a while back). Picking up old school Trigun, and planning to finally go through Emily Blunt’s The English and FINALLY trying to get through McQueen’s Small Axe.

Not even counting that I really wanted to watch that Prime The Underground Railroad series.

I was going down memory lane in regards of learning languages (BBC’s The Big Muzzy Story), and had visions of a Disney game I had when I was very little. I just had a vague memory of an orange tablet-like machine that you used punch-cards with. It was obviously “interactive,” and was used to learn English. With this description, I ended up finding this thread on Reddit, with this one thump-up random link that was reprimanded for just being the link. But it was THE link we were looking for.

The Mickey Mouse Disney “Touch & Discover” by Texas Instruments.

Other than remembering Mickey Mouse English gibberish (I, of course, didn’t speak English as a child), I remember the Jungle Book card and the sound that you got when you pressed the Bagheera Panther and Shere Khan Tiger!

The options that seem available online are everywhere in terms of prices— from $25USD (no shipping) up to £285GBP.

I have vague memories of some of these cards— the Bambi one about forest animals, the Winnie the Pooh about the weather and seasons, the Mickey Mouse Apprentice about number memory, definitely the Mad Hatter one with his laughter. As I said before, the Jungle Book one with the jungle animals, the Snow White music fun one, the Peter Pan directions one, the shadows one, the Pinocchio one about telling the time (in clock needles!), and maybe the character order memory games.

What an amazing memory re-discovery.

Isabella Leong has been on and off since she made her official film comeback back in 2015 with Murmur of the Hearts, which is an amazing film. Se also had small roles or almost cameos on 12 Golden Ducks that same year, and got back together with Pang Ho-Cheung for a small role in Missbehavior in 2019.

From her recent interview on A Date with Luyu (鲁豫有约), you can tell that she enjoyed or had fond memories of her debut film Isabella, which Pang directed almost 20 years ago— which also amazes Leong when she realizes how fast/much time has passed. I was also amazed at how she remembered the tracking of the shot, all the more amusing when both clips were put together for contrast.

In 2020, she appeared on Ann Hui’s Love After Love, which was available to watch on MUBI in some territories, and might be available on places like Netflix or Prime, depending on your territory. Now, she’s part of the most recent Dante Lam HK film starring William Chan and Nick Cheung, titled Bursting Point (爆裂點) [Trailer], which I’ve mostly heard positive things about.

Since her teenaged (!!!) sons already give her enough time to move about life, she’s been a lot more active at events and, if you follow her on Instagram, photoshoots. Which finally gets me the reason I was writing this post- she’s the first cover of 2024 for the Condé Nast Traveler China edition, which is a luxury travel magazine based in New York.

I checked their website to see who was the photographer of the shoot, but it looks like they haven’t updated that since their May 2023 issue was published (relatable). Editorial director Shawn Ong only mentions their collaboration with Eastern & Oriental Express Southeast Asia in prep for the launch of their luxury train in two different seasonal routes. The train interiors look (and photograph) amazing. They’re elegant, colorful and textured without looking overwhelming [1][2][3].

However, this is not a travel blog. I took these bad screencaps of some of my favorite shots.

Director Ong’s post features many more pictures, in case anyone’s interested. My favorite is this out of focus one. lol

The original latino dub of my Operación Dragón de Bruce Lee memories. After years searching, several copies acquired (The first thing I did when I bought my Special Edition DVD was check the dub). I even had to go through several copies of Spain’s Spanish, only to find out that the Latino version had a do-over, and that the original Latino dub of Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon was probably lost media.

I even wrote to OG Hector Lee, who was the original Bruce Lee voice in the film.

It has not been lost. These are my memories. I will cherish them.