Beautiful tour of the Sistine Chapel (VR)

The Last Judgement - Behind the Altar in the Sistine Chapel - Michaelangelo - The Vatican

In some ways, viewing this VR image (zoom in to see incredible detail) is better than visiting in person, because you don't have to listen to constant shushing and be packed in a small space with more than a hundred other people!

The picture above was adjusted in Photoshop after a screen grab, and shows Michaelangelo's famous The Last Judgement.

The best part? It also works on the iPad. Check it out here: Virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.

Review: The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Jeff's Rating: 5/5

tl;dr: Odds are 725:1 you'll love this book! If you enjoyed Star Wars (IV-VI), if you want to learn about moviemaking, if you appreciate art—you'll love this book by J.W. Rinzler.

I've watched the original Star Wars trilogy too many times to count. My Dad introduced me to the series in the late 80s, and since then I've watched the movies as they were adapted for VHS, TV, LaserDisc, DVD, and now Blu-Ray.

I have strong opinions about who shot first, which of the trilogy was the best movie (this has changed as I've grown), the proper viewing order of all six existing Star Wars motion pictures, and which cut(s) of the film(s) were best (I don't believe the 'original theatrical cut' was the best—and I wonder how many people who advocate such a release realize that there were more than one...).

Photo Used in History Channel Documentary

I've had a DVD from Prometheus Entertainment/History Channel sitting on my desk for a year and a half, and I had almost forgotten why I had it by the time I finally sat down to watch the DVD. The DVD is of the show "Angels & Demons Decoded," which aired on the History Channel on May 10, 2009.

While I was watching a part about Bernini's artwork, I noticed a photo of the 'West Ponente' direction marker in St. Peter's Square very similar to mine at 1:08:12 — this wasn't my photo, but was close enough a match to warrant further inspection.

Towards the end of the documentary, when the narrator was talking of the interaction between faith and science in the Church, I found my image at about 1:28:35:

Monstrance Image in Angels & Demons Decoded

Whoever did the matte on that image (a) had a lot of patience, and (b) is quite good at it! I don't think I've ever attempted to cut out such an intricate photo.

You can view the original photo on Flickr here: Eucharistic Adoration - Monstrance.

I'm glad I was finally able to sit down and watch the show. I also watched Angels & Demons (the actual movie) on Netflix, and thought it was a heck of a lot better (all around) than The Da Vinci Code. But it's still not a greatly historically-accurate film, in my opinion; like most Hollywood flicks, the director and producers played fast and loose with many theories and historical fact. But I don't let it ruffle my feathers :)

Dancing Baby (Illustration)

NFP Dancing Baby

Creighton model NFP students will recognize the dancing baby above. I am starting work on a project related to NFP, and I was in need of the image. So, being handy in Illustrator, I snapped a shot of my fiancée's chart, zoomed in on one of the dancing baby stickers, and hand-traced the lines in Illustrator.

I might clean it up a little more sometime, but for now, this will do. After a second glance, it almost looks like a cage-fighting baby. Hmm...

Decline in Church Architecture and Art

These images speak for themselves, but I will offer a few asides to help explain why I was saddened after visiting the Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago a few months ago.

Tabernacle - Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago
What... the... I think they might reserve the Body of Christ somewhere in that mess.

Rose Window - Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago
To think that, before the fire, there was probably very beautiful, meaningful and symbolic imagery in that stained glass. Now it's an abstract, and dare I say, boring sight. My eyes grew tired trying to see what was up there.