You’re free to fuck around and leave shit here and there. But start attacking me or other commenters and I will cut you…
…r comment out of my blog.
So seriously, play nice.
Anyone who has ever shopped for cheap airline tickets is acutely aware that when you buy an airline ticket, you may pay hundreds of dollars more – or less – than someone purchasing an airline ticket for the very same flight.
Does this make sense? Well, think of it this way: you’re shopping for a sweater, and you happen to make your purchase at Macy’s during a big sale. You choose the same sweater your Uncle Mike bought the week before, only he paid twice the price you did. Same with airfare, right?
Not exactly. Nothing is simple when it comes to finding cheap airline tickets.
In fact, airlines hire armies (well, at least squads) of computer geeks to work with complex software with one goal in mind: to maximize the profit on every seat – on every plane – on every route.
We shouldn’t begrudge airlines for this behavior; I mean, it just makes sense from a business perspective–prices soar for airline tickets during peak air travel periods based on the fundamental supply-and-demand principle. Even the kids in my neighborhood know this: during those scorchers in August, they charge twice the price for lemonade on our cul-de-sac in Dallas as they charge in March.
My theory is, the more you know about how the airline ticket system works, the more you can make that system work for you. Call it “gaming the system” if you will, but to me it’s a matter of good quality research – plus using simple tools – that leads to great airline ticket buying decisions.
So let’s break down a typical Boeing 737 – let’s say there are 137 seats in the cabin – and let’s take a look at the airline ticket pricing for a relatively full plane.
A typical domestic flight has about 10 airline price points (or ticket prices) for its economy class. The top end of this airline price point “ladder” is relatively uniform across domestic routes (international flights are completely different), and the top airline price point is typically between $500 and $800 one-way for legacy airlines, and between $400 and $500 for low cost carriers.
Now, the bottom end of the airline ticket price range depends dramatically on the following variables, and they are listed in order of importance:
These airline ticket price points are typically split in half – with the lower portion known as “leisure” ticket prices and the upper portion are the “business” tickets.
The thinking is pretty simple here: business travelers typically are far less price conscious and more prone to buy expensive, last- minute tickets than leisure travelers. Leisure travelers are the ones who are ultra-price conscious and more flexible on travel dates and destinations.
Airlines use what some call “fences” to rope passengers into these two groups – I like to call them “hurdles.”
Let me explain. Airfares are the unit of measure for these price points and they have rules (or hurdles) associated with them, that if adhered to, will help you move down from a high price point to a lower level. These are some of the hurdles you must clear in order to be in that elite group that pays the cheapest amount for airline tickets:
So now you know the airlines’ airfare “hurdles”, but it doesn’t stop there: airlines have a few other obstacles they erect between you and the cheapest airline tickets – based on supply, demand, predicted trends, historical trends and convenience.
You see, when you ask for a quote for trip with a defined departure and return date (a trip whose dates and times also clear all the airfare hurdles), you’ll also get a final once over by the airlines. They look at that cheapest seat price you are eligible for and may decide “No thanks, right now I think someone else is more likely to pay more before departure, here is a higher price I can live with right now.”
This is where the crazy science of “yield” management comes into play (remember those computer geeks). Computers using sophisticated algorithmic models — tweaked by human analysts — make a final decision, right now, on your seat price. These models can and do change their minds at any time which is one reason why you may get a different quote for the same flight at different times during the day (the other is price changes in airfare).
Our goal at FareCompare is to demystify this craziness with simple tools that help you make great (and cheap) airline ticket-buying decisions. We have been working on it for years and are just now starting to roll out new tools that are fast, simple and effective to help you find a deal, every time you shop.
To button up this discussion, I expect that the next time you’re on a plane, each and everyone one of you will brag to your seatmate that you know exactly why they paid more (or less) than you did, for the same exact seat.
Better yet, just go ahead and brag that the folks at FareCompare have got your back.
Very few movies push me to dust off my blog and actually put my thoughts to paper (or what you young whippersnappers now know as touchscreens), and not just keystrokes of a Facebook status update. This is one of them.
But in order to really truly appreciate the artistry of this movie, you’ll have to have seen this one:
Please ignore the three subsequent sequels. And this hot mess:
But anyway, going back to the re-imagining of the rise of the Planet of the Apes. From a technical execution, this movie was nearly flawless:
Pacing: Brisk and engaging. Unlike many prequels, this was the Goldilocks of the movie-making world – not too fast, not too slow. Enough to keep you engaged at all the key moments that really hammered down the story, but wasn’t afraid to propel you forward to the next one.
Set Design: Inspired. I think Director Rupert Wyatt has a great aesthetic – from the beautiful interiors of the GenSys offices, to the industrial/clinical feel of the labs, to the pseudo-fun and subsequent horrors of the holding pens. God is in the details and she was everywhere in this movie.
CGI: It’s hard not to applaud Weta’s execution in anything they do. But in this movie, they were very careful in the use of computer-generated actors, exactly opposite to the broad, sweeping CGI world that was Avatar or even King Kong. As always, Andy Serkis was mesmerizing as Caesar, an impressive feat considering he only had four words of dialogue in the entire movie.
Cinematography: That was some of the best camerawork I’ve seen all year. Both the tight shots and the panoramic vistas highlighted the movie’s rich palette. It wasn’t gimmicky, nor were there trick shots for the purpose of having trick shots. The cinematography complemented the story as it was being told.
Where this movie really wins is in the storytelling. And the one word that captures it all: restraint.
***SPOILER ALERT*** READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING (which, come on guys, this is a prequel. You know how it ends.)
The Rise of the Planet Apes reels you in on the premise of seeing modern medicine go awry. You know you’re going to see animal testing. You know it raises ethical questions. And you expect a sermon on the pulpit about how animal testing is baaaaad and how God will smite the homosexshals for getting married, blah blah blah (ok, maybe you weren’t expecting the last part).
What you get instead is a very timely storyline, without the soapbox and the pamphlets and brimstone and hellfire, but a nice little “oh by the way, this is how animal testing is done. It’s a bitch of a process, isn’t it?”. And that’s enough to get you emotionally invested in Caesar’s ragtag gang.
Director Rupert Wyatt, with amazing restraint, hammers down all the “whys” and “how-did-this-happens” of the original movie. From why they created the brain-boosting drug, to losing astronauts, to the spread of the disease that killed the humans and allowed the apes to rule the world and run late-night infomercials.
Save for some scenes where they clearly ignored the laws of Physics, this was a win-win-win all around. And let’s face it, since when did Hollywood really pay attention to natural laws? Case in point — all the impossibly high silicone breasts in most any chick- or dick-flick.
So in summary: amazing technical execution, a clean but rich visual palette, and phenomenal story.
My only gripe is James Franco.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Posted in Movies, Reviews | Tagged andy serkis, apes, Calvin Klein, Charlton Heston, chick flicks, dick flicks, Facebook, Hollywood, James Franco, Mark Wahlberg, Movie Reviews, Planet of the Apes, rise of the planet of the apes, Rupert Wyatt | Leave a Comment »
I do not have a degree in psychology. I do not have any special training on the analysis of human emotions. I have not written any papers, nor have I published any books. Many can argue that because of my sexual orientation, the development of my ability to form mature emotional responses is stunted. It has been eleven years since I found my self, my voice, my identity. I don’t know what my “teen” years hold.
What I do know with immovable certainty: I have lived, and laughed, and loved.
I live with the knowledge that my first love has passed, in every sense of the word. We laughed, bewildered, discovering each other and this strange new world, breaking tradition and refusing to cave in to the pressures demanded of us by society. He loved me until the day he broke my heart. And I loved him until the day he passed away.
I had to learn to live with hidden bruises, to endure a man who I thought would be the last person on earth to take me as I am, and all my emotional baggage. I tried to laugh off the pain, the questions from concerned friends and family members. He loved me when I was nothing – curled up in fetal position, tending to wounds that were both visible and invisible. Until I finally found the gumption to stop his fists from connecting with my body ever again. He taught me a valuable lesson: to love myself, to stop finding my “better half”, because I am whole.
Love isn’t about martyrdom, but rather the ability to discern if his happiness is the source mine. It’s not about sacrifice, but the desire to elicit a sparkle in his eyes. It doesn’t have to be about dousing yourself in expensive cologne, but holding a vanilla pod in your pocket, because she adores the smell of cold ice cream. It’s not about dying for the woman you love, but how life would be unbearable without her.
Love is about long, philosophical conversations on the virtues of selfishness and laissez-faire capitalism. It’s also about giggling uncontrollably when the dog farts. It’s about nights at the symphony, and nights on the couch with a really, really bad movie and wine that comes in a box. It’s about hands accidentally touching, and how that, in and of itself, is electric! Love is the world coming to a stop with a kiss. It’s about your ass sweating, meeting his mother for the first time.
Eventually, love is going to be about soccer games and choir practice and girl scouts and sleep overs. It will be about grounding a mangy teenager for failing Spanish because of his lazy friends and for the umpteenth time will she put on something more than underwear before she heads out to the mall with hers. Love will be about hiding in the dark, watching her come home from a first date. It will be about him asking for advice on how to pop a question, and you remember how, thirty years ago, you were just as jittery when you were down on one knee.
Love is watching him sleep, drawing strength from the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest; gaining inspiration from his smile, the way he wrinkles his nose or furrows his forehead. How his voice moves you to conquer empires. Love is about feeling his heart beat next to yours, even from half a world away.
Yes, I do know some things with immovable certainty: I have lived, and laughed, and loved.
And I am eternally grateful for that gift.
I’ve been to countless choral competitions in auditoriums across the nation and many symphonies and musicals at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. That’s not to say I’m a total snot who admires the “bouquet” wafting out of a brandy sifter as I arrange my smoking jacket while perusing the latest political cartoon from the New Yorker. Far from it. In fact, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and Charice Pempengco are dueling it out of my car CD changer right now. But I have never attended even a single pop concert event in Manila.
I’ve never attended because local singers aren’t producing anything worth crap. It’s nothing but one bad cover after another of “Love Moves in Mysterious Ways”, sappy love songs, and wrist-slitting interpretations of “Time of My Life”. I swear if I have to hear another local “artist“, I’m going to strangle a cat and stuff it up my ass. As for foreign acts… Well, I’m not crazy enough to shell out several thousand pesos and my ovaries to see a miniature version of Beyonce with binoculars.
Chuvaness wrote an interesting piece about why foreign concert events are so expensive to stage in Manila. When I jumped to the actual news article that triggered it, I couldn’t help but kick a puppy in disgust.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Friday, Alcasid seconded Filipino pop diva Kuh Ledesma’s suggestion to regulate concerts of international recording artists in the Philippines.
He said higher tax rates must apply to international artists who wish to hold concerts here.
“We must push for higher taxes on foreign shows and lowering of taxation sa local concerts,” he said.
So… let me get this straight: Filipinos already have to shell out TWICE what Singaporeans would pay, just to hear the abominable screechings of Justin Bieber, and you want them to pay MORE? Could it be because you want to discourage foreign acts from coming to Manila? Gee, I wonder why?
Totally disregarding the fact that my last post was Thanksgiving 2009, something really set me off today:
I’ve sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I’ve come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsover for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise.
The quote above is from Avatar director James Cameron.
Why the hate? In fact, why do atheists always seem to have so much hate? Every major book I’ve read on the virtues of atheism seem like very angry books. I know that you’re not trying to “convert” anyone into atheism as “conversion” is one of the hallmarks of religion, but it truly wouldn’t hurt to use a little more sugar, no?
It takes balls to fess up that you just. don’t. know. None of us do. Sure, we can all point to the signs (or lack thereof) that there is no god, but there are also everyday miracles that defy a logical, scientific explanation. You can boil down “attraction” to pheromones and synaptic misfires, but not even the most empirical formulas can explain why we love who we love.
Being in a place of ignorance just means that you’re in a place of learning. I’m happily unaware. Is there a god? I don’t know. But I’m willing to find out either way. I’m Burn and I’m an out and proud agnostic.
Stop with the hate already and bring us more blue people!
You all proudly call yourselves members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And I congratulate you on that distinction. As members of the church, you saw it fit to break a mother’s heart. I’m sure you had “good intentions”, hoping to show my mom my “sins”. But I question your “intentions” and I question my “sins”.
My life has been fraught with hardships, mistakes, sorrow, and grief. It is also filled with battles won, mountains climbed, and lessons learned.
More importantly, I am as close as I can get to self-actualization on this part of my journey, therefore my life is an open book. I am just as happy sharing my life in the real world as I am online, where I am blessed to have the ability to document this journey, good and bad, in this wonderful thing called Facebook. I see you’ve spent countless hours digging through hundreds of my pictures, and chose to highlight to my very conservative mother some of my “worst indiscretions”.
As my mother, she has been privy to every major mistake, and I have personally shattered her heart a million times over. I would like to think I have redeemed myself a million times over, as well. I have always had the strength and tenacity to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start anew. I am proud of the mistakes I have made, and I am INTENSELY proud of who I am today because of those mistakes.
You played no part in raising me to be the person I am today. The only value you have added is this experience, now, having to deal with your well-intentioned but poorly-executed “intervention”.
You exemplify the cliché of rumor-mongering, self-righteous churchgoers. You choose to turn a blind eye to your ridiculous situation: that for a small group of “faithful believers” being “persecuted” in a repressive regime, you’ve managed to fracture your community into two disparate groups with differing beliefs! And not just that, you’ve actually started to sow hate and discord by ruthlessly speaking about each other behind each other’s backs! You’ve destroyed credibility and relationships from within (it helps that I’m an expert in information gathering, no?).
I am a productive Filipino, earning a living that puts me in the top 10% of the income bracket for this country. Through talent, hard work, sleepless nights, and sheer willpower, I have built a home filled with items that allow me to live a life of relative comfort. I am part of the 2% of the world’s population that can claim ZERO debt. But that’s not a measure of success.
I share my life with a man who I know loves me unconditionally, and who I would gladly take a bullet for. We have a home filled with love where we freely discuss Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, The Book of Mormon, the Bible, and The Talmud. We are surrounded by books on every major philosophy, movies from every major genre, and eat Adobo on Monday, Tandoori on Friday, and Baklava for dessert. We are both constantly curious about this amazing world and her people, and do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, or religion. We are blessed to be surrounded by friends who return the favor, and love us for who we are. But that’s still not the true measure of success.
I define my success by my ability to pronounce an oath: I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine.
I am Burn Tan-Hoyumpa.
My life is none of your business.
I want to have nothing to do with yours.
You have hurt my mother and father, by meddling in something you have no right to stick your noses in.
You owe them an apology. I don’t need or want one from you, because your words mean less than nothing, if that’s possible.
I hope you can find the wherewithal to focus on enriching your own lives, instead of finding fault in others. I hope you find the same peace and contentment I feel when I sleep at night.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and for our paths to never cross again.
Written in response to this urban legend…
I find it hard to reconcile a god that would provide water for Hagar’s dying child and yet allow millions of children to be tortured in Treblinka and Auschwitz Birkenau.
But then again, it’s not the concept of god I find abhorent. Some people need to believe in a higher power. What I find absolutely revolting is the concept of organized religion. Every major conflict in the history of mankind can trace its roots to a group of people believing that their god is better than someone else’s.
As an agnostic, I think dismissing the problems of the world on the absence of “god” in society is juvenile. Blaming someone (or in this case, the absence of someone) for something is far too simplistic, built on an incredibly warped system of logic. “The dog died because I asked daddy to leave”. And people don’t question the fact that the dog died because it had cancer,not because the child asked daddy to leave.
(Have I confused you yet?)
Do I have a right to complain? Yes, absolutely. I cannot prove nor disprove the existence of god. I’m an agnostic.
I make an honest living, I pay my taxes, I do good unto others. I don’t judge on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, or belief. I think everyone is created equal*. I have no prejudices.
What right does the Catholic Church, or the Republic of the Philippines, or the General Conference… What right do they have to say that as a homosexual, I don’t exist?
I choose not to have a theistic figure in my life because I don’t accept any theory on “faith”. Accepting a concept on faith is conceding to the fact that it cannot be taken on its own merits. I believe in reason and logic and my own natural inquisitiveness.
I have a right to complain.
I’m going to step down from my soapbox now.
(*except for the poor and the ugly. Just kidding**. LOL)