Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

New Aaron Sorkin HBO show to look at cable news; sounds very Aaron Sorkin-y

My interest was piqued when I read that writer Aaron Sorkin would be doing a new show for HBO.

Sorkin spoke with the BBC. He says his new show will offer a behind-the-scenes look at cable news. It seems a natural for Sorkin, as his "The West Wing" took a behind-the-scenes look at politics, his "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" took a behind-the-scenes look at a late night comedy show, and his "Sports Night" took a behind-the-scenes look at a cable sports news show. This show sounds like what would happen if "Sports Night" and "The West Wing" mated.

As a friend of mine put it, "Sorkin is such an oddball. I mean, I think he's the best writer in Hollywood. But his muse is bureaucratic process. That's the dramatic context he returns to over and over."

Sorkin says he wants to make cable news and journalism sexy, which he says is held in contempt here in the United States. He's spent time at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC as a fly on the wall as he prepares for this new show; he's already written the pilot and is in the midst of casting it.


Two spaces after a period is wrong. Seriously.

I would like to issue a public thank you, gracias, humongous hug and many other accolades to Slate for their excellent article on why you should never, as much as the urge may strike you, use two spaces after a period.

For example, see the end of this sentence, right after the question mark? Single space.

As author Farhad Manjoo puts it, "the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space." Typographers began to come to agreement on one space as a standard in the early 20th century.

However, the use of two spaces came into widespread use thanks to the typewriter. Early typewriters used monospaced type (for those of you into fonts, something like Courier or Monaco). Monospaced type, unlike proportional type, leaves more white space between characters and words, so the use of two spaces was adopted to make it easier to see the space between sentences.


Telling your story in 1 sentence

The Atlantic Wire took a look today at a recent attempt by biblical scholars and pastors to summarize the Bible in one sentence. It's interesting because most popular films and books have a one sentence description that most are likely to agree on, but with a book that is both interpreted in vastly different ways by different groups as well as provoking strong reactions, that summary is less cut and dry.

The results ranged from a four-word Latin response to 132 words from Greg Beale, professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminister Theological Summary. The responses included attempts to summarize the narrative arc to theological statements to moral lessons and quotes from Einstein.

What stories do you think are the easiest to sum up? Hollywood films and TV shows tend to have a "log line," which serves as a quick summary of the plot and what the story's hook is for an audience. One thing that can get in the way of complex stories making it to the big screen is a story that's difficult to distill down and sell to the public.


Farewell Christmas music, hello 'Auld Lang Syne' and 2011

The saddest part of New Year's? It's the end of the holiday music season.

I know there are those of you who hate Christmas music, but I love it immensely. I occasionally will even play it out of season (hello, Christmas in July!), but I generally save it at least until after Thanksgiving so that it feels special.

I started pulling the Christmas music off my iPhone the day after Christmas, but I could take solace in the fact that there are still a few holiday songs for the new year that I could enjoy.

The most famous is, of course, "Auld Lang Syne."

However, I'm particularly partial to "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" A couple interpretations, by Diana Krall and Harry Connick Jr.:

Or, if you prefer something a little fresher, there's always Death Cab For Cutie's "The New Year":


New documentary tells story of WikiLeaks

The Swedish broadcast network Sveriges Television has posted a rough cut of their new, in-depth documentary on WikiLeaks, titled WikiRebelsThe Documentary. The filmmakers followed WikiLeaks from this past summer up until recently. The film tells the story of WikiLeaks from the beginning until recent events, stopping just short of Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange’s arrest.

Assange is interviewed, along with top WikiLeaks officals and their associates. I haven’t had the chance to watch the full documentary yet, but the first 15 minutes offer an interesting look into WikiLeaks' origins.

You can see the full film here:

On a related note, check out this ridiculous WikiLeaks game. Once you stop laughing, it's actually not that difficult.

Via Jeux