Archives for posts with tag: statistics

“Moneyball” is directed by Bennett Millar, based on the book by Michael Lewis (“Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”), screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, story by Stan Chervin.

No, I did not go out to see this movie ‘cuz it Brad Pitt is in it, I’m not a Brad Pitt fan or anything, I don’t follow him, but sometimes he happens to be in an interesting project that I like. And no, I did not go see this movie ‘cuz Jonah Hill is in it and I totally loved him in “Cyrus”, but have to tell you, the more I see this guy, the more I like him.

No, I did not see this show ‘cuz it was about baseball, even though I do like baseball.

Yes! I did see this film ‘cuz it is about statistics and, as you know, I love statistics – they fascinate me.

This film was quiet, for a film that takes place around a sport, quiet and introspective and there were less shots of the games and plays and more shots of the characters…thinking and feeling and thinking.

I liked it.

I’m finding as Brad Pitt gets older, he is becoming a more interesting actor, character-wise. Here, he was near his best, quieter, powerful and giving to other actors. There were many moments where the character was highly unlikable, but, he managed to still, if not come off as likeable, then present as someone who you wanted to overcome the odds and succeed.

Hill is at his best here, too. Also quieter, this role marks a departure from a character to a full-blown, 3-dimensional character with few quirks and funny moments. He plays it straight and comes off better for it. I am hoping that as Hill continues to get more dramatic roles that we see some interesting work from him.

The film’s narrative structure was neatly done as well – the present was set against the past and the very public struggles of the team foregrounded against the personal issues of Pitt’s character.

There are plenty of sports films that inspire with a team or a person who wins, but the thing I found most moving about this film, was that it moves no matter what which direction the team was going, no matter how the stats were working – it was always something you could root for and be inspired by…

Very enjoyable time.


Late on these – Tuesday was busy.

Spa Review: Shizen Spa

Spa day! Ended up at Shizen at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Found a killed package at a killer price – 3.5 hours breaks down: 1 hour massage, 1 hour facial, lunch, manicure and pedicure. Very nice.

Decor was lovely, calming with a psedo-Zen Buddhist theme.

I like the clean lines, portable waterfall and dim lighting with the rocks edging the walls on the floor. Very calming.

Massage therapist bawled me out – no, I don’t stretch enough after climbing, yes, I am overdue for a massage, yes, everything does hurt, no, I haven’t seriously thought of getting massage once a month, yes, I am hard on my body and should take better care of it. My body was a challenge for her – she used her elbows and I have a few bruises from where I was worked over. Oh, and we only dealt with the physical stuff, none of the emotional stuff so I didn’t cry.

Ok, I will spend more time stretching.

And she is going to try climbing.

The esthetician shook her head at my hands and feet but understood – she climbs too!

We traded stories about climbing and The World Cup and managed to choose a nail colour that is completely silly on me – fancy, shiny and almost the colour of crushed berries. On someone else, a non-climber, it is lovely. On me – smudged.

One of the things that I always look for in a spa is how well they handle problems – I’m something of a problem in and of myself as with all the climbing my body is a bit messed up, there is tension and pain and I have to remember to warn them off my still healing foot. The bruises too are sometimes something to be reckoned with as is the ticklishness. But, everything was a-ok.

The problem that happened on Tuesday was a mix-up with my lunch. Some how the kitchen got confused about my lunch. I was relaxed and blissed-out after the massage and facial, but the Spa Manager came over to me about five minutes after I was told my lunch would be right in. She explained about the mix up and gave me an estimate of when it would arrive. She offered to have it served to me either where I was – by the whirlpool or while getting my pedicure. I said I didn’t really mind and there was no worries – I was all good and whatever suited them best and kept them to their schedule was a-ok by me.

She thanked me and right after one of her colleagues came in with fresh pastries and muffins and offered me something. By this time, I was hungry, so had a lovely blueberry muffin – second breakfast.

I was very impressed with how the problem was handled, presented to me and that once I expressed that I didn’t feel strongly either way, they simply choose for me – I ate wear I was sitting by the whirlpool and they just waited until I was done. The schedule was on track for all of us. Bravo. Problems will happen at some point and it is key that problems are handled calmly, professionally and in a way that keeps your clients happy.  I was happy.

Would I return?

Hm. This is an interesting concern. I choose Shizen because it offered a package that was in my price point, accepted certificates and was easy for me to find. The reviews were also very good. It was a treat. I don’t go to spas often and my preference for spas are ones that use products that are not sourced from animals. Currently, I am much more in a mode to try some new spa until I find one that really suits me.

I have to admit a bias here too – the first spa that I ever went to was a vegan spa in Toronto – I loved and would have happily returned and become a regular customer. I like that their products were all non-animal sourced and they weren’t shy about stating that clearly and honestly. Unfortunately, the spa changed hands and they lost their good reputation and they closed.

If someone knows of any good vegan spa in TO now, I would be happy to try them out.

I would recommend Shizen to others looking for a lovely day. I think a package would be the way to go here – make a day of it!

Movie review: Micmacs

Love this movie.

Love the anti-war theme.

Love the saturated colour.

Love the director.

I can’t capture in words the brilliance of this movie. Very cool to see it in a theatre with other fans of the director.

Book review: Freakanomics

Finally I got around to reading this book.

Loved it. Love all the talk about stats and love that I understand stats! Most people have already read this book, so I will refrain from droning on about it.

I especially loved the fact that although they refrained from entering the abortion debate, they made a really excellent case, the best actually, to why there should be access to safe, legal abortions. Take that all you people who believe in getting tough on crime!

What an awesome day.

Full title “The Wisdom of Whores – Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS”.

Please note: only academic books with loads of math and statistics have such interesting (and offensive?) titles.

The offensive things found in this book include the way the spread of AIDS was treated, where mistakes were made and how money was/is made – the “Industry of AIDS”.

Extremely informative about tracking of epidemics, how epidemiologists work, surveying and the problem with surveying, how people don’t fit into “boxes”, no matter how much we want them to and no matter how much they think they do.

This was a fascinating read and if you don’t mind the stats and the math, and you care care about AIDS (or the history of AIDS), this book is a wonderful way to spend some time.

The book chronicles some remarkable culture changes in the people who are “AIDS experts” and how AIDS has changed the lives of some of them in surprising ways.

I had to keep putting this book down and thinking about things – sexual identity, sexual behaviours, social issues, UN politics.

This was a riveting read.