Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.


Date: January 2016

Thinking out loud about Apple and headphones

Rumour has it that Apple’s next iteration of the iPhone (and likely other iOS devices) will come with a proprietary headphone jack. It’s move being widely scorned online, and rightly so. But rather than anger at Apple for what looks on the surface to be yet another cash-grab (as if a company with literally billions in cash reserves needs to suck even more money out of the global economy), the more I think about it, the more I feel pity for an institution that’s clearly flailing and failing to keep up with things.

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Letterboxd list of Asian female filmmakers

I've never been one for caring about the gender of a filmmaker, but let's be honest, female directors don't get their due. And in international terms, these Asian filmmakers are virtually invisible. #link

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Weeknotes #749

So, let’s talk weight management.

The good news is that my current weight is lower than what I weighed this time last year. The bad news is that the difference is not very much, as most of the gains I made between January and June were lost in the upheaval of moving out of Dublin and finding a new routine. No more 45-minute cycles to and fro the office to burn off the excess intake, alas. (Though if I’m really honest, I’ve simply been snacking on too many sweet things to take the edge off.)

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Elsewhere: My Letterboxd review of the Fast and the Furious franchise

I’d been meaning to marathon the Fast/Furious movies since part seven came out in mid 2015. Yes, I love my trash as well as my treasures. I’d only ever seen the first one before, so obviously I needed to start from scratch: >Forget the clichéd plot, the leaps of logic, the horribly dated soundtrack, the terrible acting (except for Vin Diesel, who — much like Jason Statham — transcends criticism) because it’s all about those racing and chase sequences, still among the most exhilarating stuntwork on film.

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Elsewhere: My Letterboxd review of He Never Died, Winter’s Bone, Haywire and Contagion

He Never Died:

It was worth sitting through this overly ambitious, and ultimately unsatisfying, low-budget supernatural horror mystery hodge-podge to hear Henry Rollins’ ‘Jack’ deadpan the list of jobs he’s had in his lifetime. But I’m a masochist like that sometimes. There’s nothing else I can recommend about a film that’s too self-conscious about its style, from the forced quirky dialogue to the oppressive soundtrack, to leave any lasting impression.

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Elsewhere: My Letterboxd review of Ant-Man

Reblogged from my Letterboxd list:

How much of Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man is left in Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man? It’s hard to tell precisely. There are certainly hints of the Cornetto Trilogy’s brand of humour here and there – those montage scenes, the thing with the waffles – but were they there in the original script, or an attempt by rewriters Paul Rudd and Adam ‘Anchorman’ McKay to ape their style?

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The long, incredibly tortuous, and fascinating process of creating a Chinese font

"The sheer scale of the work involved has made it difficult for the Chinese language to enjoy the typographic diversity of Western ones, where there are varieties for every mood, style, and feel. But the world’s hundreds of millions of Chinese-speaking internet users are getting sick of seeing the same fonts over and over." Something most people never think about, I'm sure. And it's fascinating to me that written Chinese had to wait for high resolution displays to come along before they could be used in the same way western languages have been since computers were invented. [c/o Rex Sorgatz#link

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Gary Younge: Farewell to America

"...in America 'a black male who drops out of high school is 60 times more likely to find himself in prison than one with a bachelor’s degree'. Previously, I’d have found that interesting and troubling. Now it was personal. I had skin in the game. Black skin in a game where the odds are stacked against it." #link

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Fintan O'Toole: Why the Irish vote for corruption

This is not a surprise to me. The last seven years – no, several decades – should mean it's no surprise to anyone. And yet here we are, vacillating between the blue team and the green team as if those should be our only options. #link

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Weeknotes #744-748

It’s a new year, and as I write this I’m coming towards the end of my Christmas break from the day job. Wrestle Kingdom 10 is on Monday morning, so I’m back to the grind on Tuesday — but even that’s not all bad as I’ve got a screening of The Revenant on Tuesday morning to kick things off.

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