Monday, July 28, 2014

Dartmouth Pennant in Superbad - 2007

In 2007 the next gen of high school movies crossed a new wall on the frontier of the lovable looser.  More chuckle busting than the brat pack, more sentimental that fast times, and finally more nutritious than stale American pie.  It showed us a new generation gap and level of thinking.  Superbad made fun at the weakness of high school immaturity and put a hero's halo on kids who were not popular ace-holes in school.   

Of vexillological interest is the school pennant of a prestigious school in New Hampshire, Dartmouth.  It can be seen hanging in Evan's room.  You can even see a pirate flag on this bulletin board.

This movie was made just before the outbreak of Facebook's domination on social studies.  Superbad was the last of its kind in the Era of American High School  before advent of social media dominance.

Link's orginal Coat of Arms from "The Legend of Zelda" and armorial banner - 1986

 The ultimate adventure game was established in 1986 with the Legend of Zelda.  Who knew the popularity would carry on to now?  Adults and naysayers said video games were a fad, look at them now.

The heraldic armoroial banner is essentially a flag based upon the design of a knight's shield.  In this game Link's original shield did not consist of the Triforce, rather a lighter brown cross on darker brown background was the original design.

Here is the appropriate armorial banner for the shield of arms.  During game play, Link starts off with a smaller shield but he can get a bigger one, and the colours are the same.

Eventually Link can get a magical shield which has the same design but the cross is a slightly lighter brown, and almost white.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Yin and Yang in the film Serendipity 2001: a book and 5 dollars

Some call it Fate some call it Destiny.  You can even call it Luck, Providence, Synchronicity, Fortune, the Force, the Dao or Tao even Murphy's Law.  Certainly there is an immeasurable force in the Universe that binds people, places and things to each other, and plays with the outcome of events.

Know it is good that this force is immeasurable, otherwise science would have turned it into a weapon or toy, and marketing executives would be shoving it into your face to turn a quick profit. 

In the fall of 2001 the film Serendipity became the modern day calling card of this magical uncontainable phenomenon without being too flaky or too serious.  It was in that lustful Goldilocks position, palatable to all types of audiences.


   In the film Sarah attempts to test Fate when she makes Jonathan write his telephone number on a five dollar bill.  She then uses it to purchase Certs breath mints and argues that the five dollar bill with his number on it will come back to her if their love is meant to be.

Jonathan finds this situation perplexing and bizarre, but he is able to argue back that she should write her number down on something to balance the equation.  Sarah decides to write her name and number in a book entitled Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Carcia Marquez. She will later sell it to a used book store somewhere in NYC. If it so happens to fall in Jonathan's hands, then will she allow their love to blossom.  

Several years pass and they are about to get married to other persons.  But then Fate steps in, and our adventure begins.

 Please see movie first to get full impact

Tassels from Mystic Surrender in Serendipity 2001

John Corbett stars as Lars Hammond who is a cosmic new age Kenny G playing the Shehnai, and he is set to go on a world tour in Scandinavia. 

Serendipity sublimely goes where very few films can go, and go successfully, whereby it has a film within a film that helps in the revelation of the storyline.  The film within a film is like the moon of a moon, it is very rare thing and hard to pull off.

In this music video within this movie Lars uses music to soothe the proverbial savage beast.  In this case his enchanting music supposedly placates the warrior bound Vikings.  Of vexillological value are the tassels upon his instrument.  Although the trumpet is the ultimate carrier of the flag, the Shehnai is a choice item of the tassel. 

And on a langrian level, whilst the actors in the main story watch the video of Mystical Enchantment, we almost go down another layer when the makers of the video references Star Wars since one of the actors in the music video looks like Alec Guiness/Obi Wan of Star Wars

Not quite the third level down.  But I have yet to find a movie that has a movie within a movie within a movie that effectively moves the storyline, without being a novelty or art house.  The Simpsons and several cartoons have accomplished this feat, but not while having all three stories play simultaneously and never a major motion picture.  

But if you are a director they best way to do this is to have a stage play within a movie whereby they actors in the play within the film are watching a television show.  But the inner, inner tv show or movie must be original and an effective or essential device to the story.   Somebody call Christopher Nolan.

But back to the Serendipity, Lars feels that the video is counter intutive to the song's intention, but he lets his director have his way.  Ironically it ends up producing a backlash in Sweden and Norway, and they must cancel several shows.

The Shehnai with Tassels from Serendipity 2001

 John Corbett stars in Serendipity as a musical East meets West musician playing the Shehnai, which is like an India Clarinet, or rather the Clarinet is a European Shehnai? 

Of vexillological value are the tassels that hang from his musical instrument.  Tassels can be found on the official fully decorated and fringed flag of most nations and states.  Here tassels add an artistic grace to a musical instrument.

Jon Corbett plays as Lars as an absurd over the top New Age musician.  Serendipity effectively makes fun of New Age Mysticism while also being serious and paradoxically light hearted about it.  Serendipity is serious business for some folks, yet this film pokes fun at it while gracefully weaving an enchanting story.

John is a superstar on all things considered with serendipity, but he effectively plays third chair in the star studded movie worthy of a best supporting secondary man of the best woman.

Other Flags that Accidentally Appear in Serendipity 2001

A few random flags appear in the film Serendipity 2001.  Along the NYC street side we can see the flag of Switzerland.  Coincidentally the master of Synchronicity who invented the concept was from Switzerland - Dr. Carl Jung.
The flag of England appears in this movie.  Note that the flag of England is different from the flag of the United Kingdom.  Some people overlook that England is only a sub-national component of the UK which also includes Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

The flag of Germany just slips into the movie upon the back end of an airplane.

This first clip illustrates the phenomenon of Synchronicity in crystal clear film. 

Flags of the Background of the Best Buds in Serendipity 2001

 Molly Shannon and Jeremey Piven star as exceptional best friends to two star bound lovers in the film Serendipity 2001.

Molly stars as Eve.  Eve is a New Age charlatan from San Francisco who has given up on Destiny, in order to make profit.  Molly sees her customers as helpless chumps to obtain profit.  However her best friend Sarah has tricked her on a voyage to NYC to follow a groovy follow the signs adventure.  Eventually Eve comes back to her groovy sense of center and becomes an advocate of the mysterious path of synchronicity.   

Jeremy is the lead's wing-man, Dean, who accompanies Jonathan across the nation to see the mission through.  In the beginning Dean feels nothing and is simply a sounding board of reason, but then the challenge stirs his spirit and he becomes a changed man willing to push his comfort zone and follow Jeremy on his illogical adventure.  And resolves to chasing his own heart's Destiny.

Flags appear as background props, that just happen to fall into camera shot.  Eve's flags are hanging from various store fronts and are intended to inform the public on a sale or the on goings of the storefront.  Behind Jeremy are national banners.  The flag of Switzerland, France and two others can be seen gently flapping in the background.  

Molly and Jeremy give gracefully amazing performances worthy of an Oscar.

Floor 23 and Sign in the movie Serendipity 2001

The number 23 has a cult status, even before creation of Jim Carey's movie about it back in 2007.  In the film Serendipity 2001 it was the missed floor of two star crossed lovers. 
Where is the dividing line between superstition and serendipity?  Is the Universe a chaotic swirl of things happening, or a Romantic Opera of Destiny?

The movie Serendipity 2001 heralds that serendipity is the champion of the Universe as being a Romantic Stage of Destiny.  With stunning grace, Serendipity 2001 conveys this message without sounding like a preacher and elegantly weaves itself into the Romantic-Comedy section of the forlorn video store.

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any further if you intend to watch the movie!  

The recently met, less than 24 hrs, lovers at first charm: Jonathan and Sarah, have just experienced an unplanned night of authentic romantic charm.  However, they are already engaged in relationships with other persons.

To test the fates, that their love is meant to be, Sarah drags Jonathan into a hotel and makes him randomly pick a floor in one elevator while she does the same in another.  And only if they happen to meet on the same floor, then Sarah will be satisfied that their love is meant to be.

They pick the same floor - the 23rd floor.  But a boy dressed as a devil (oh the intentional irony) gets on with Jonathan and hits all the buttons.  Subsequently Jonathan is delayed, and just as Sarah leaves the 23rd floor, Jonathan's elevator opens on the 23rd floor. 

Funny thing about Destiny is that you can not test it.  It's like a cat that follows its own whims, uses reverse psychology to get what it wants, and can second guess, third guess, or fourth guess your sly intentions to trick it.  Thus many people who abhor the notions of Destiny or Synchronicity tend to be Rationalistas, Stone Cold Atheists, or limited to objective thinking - tending to censor all impulses from the heart.  They often believe that the core force governing life and spirits of the world is completely and utterly random. 

But one argument to counter the theory of random happenstance, that all thinkers should be familiar with, is Destiny's obnoxious cousin Murphy, who wrote that devilish statute after his own name.  Random as you may think the Cosmos is, this often annoying law is the de jure will or factor for the majority of outcomes, trivial and consequential.  One great thing about Murphy's Law is that no human law can break or undermine it.  Likewise...

In order to understand, or rather ride, the Law of Destiny, it requires that you strap your seat solidly fastened with an invisible belt of Faith.  

British Flag in the cinematic classic Serendipity - 2001

The British Flag appears in the movie Serendipity 2001 as a surreal painting.  When our heroes read the signals from the Universe and start following the Invisible Yellow Brick Road of Destiny they come across an artist who Sarah had 'sat' on.  The UK Jack appears on the shield of arms with the lion on the front.

Sarah was played by Kate Beckinsale who is from the UK.  Sarah's part was originally written for an American but the director allowed Kate to play as a British actress so her performance was unfettered by a fake accent.  Good call, because it allowed this scene to take place in this manner featuring a Cubist version of Sarah and the UK flag.

Vexilloids in the restaurant called Serendipity from the movie entitled Serendipity - 2001

Merry Christmas!

Christmas in July anyone?  It is July 25 after all.  Christmas in July is a bit sweeter and sweatier, minus the money merchandising madness.  For NYC in 2001 it really was Christmas in July, due to the filming of the movie Serendipity - captured in NYC at the end of July and August 2001.  A small part of New York City was decked out with the Christmas holiday spirit, whilst making this movie.  The snow you see in the movie is that special formula of soap and ice that Hollywood labs cooked up some time ago.

  Serendipity starring John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale actually had a scene in a real restaurant called Serendipity 3.

This film is categorized as a "Romantic-Comedy." But from a mystics-philosophers' point of view, this film is a "Documentary".

Serendipity is considered one of the hardest words to describe, and this movie illustrates its action with exquisite detail, style, humor and first class acting. 

Serendipity is a fortunate accident like the discovery of Penicillin or the invention of the Microwave.  More than that, serendipity dose not have to be an Earth shattering revelation.  It can be making a wrong turn down a street and bumping into an old friend at that new restaurant, you had no original intention of walking into.

Serendipity is getting into a car accident and then meeting a long lost friend who gets you that perfect dream job or hooks you up with a six figure income fiance.  Serendipity can be forgetting your books in the library and going back, later to pick them up and find a dollar on the way back, on your altered walking path.

Essentially it's something that seems negative at first, but happens to put you in a positive spin, such that you become grateful for that 'mistake' or moment of oops. Of vexillological note tassels can be seen hanging from the Christmas Lanterns.  Coincidentally an ad for the play Six Degrees of Separation can be seen on the subway passageway.

Everyone in this film is putting up an act since it is really summer instead of winter, at least in the beginning of the film.  But then again Christmas in July makes a lot of sense if you grew upon the Southern Hemisphere and now live in the Northern Hemisphere.

US Flags in Serendipity - 2001

 The US flag makes two major appearances in the film Serendipity 2001.  In the introduction sequence the US flag hangs off the front of a New York City department store. 

Unfortunately this film debuted in the month after September 11, 2001 in early October 2001.  Subsequently the magic of this movie was lost in the wake of national-global tragedy.

But this film has the potential to get a second rise to cult classic status.  It was the last major motion picture to feature New York City before that dreadful date. 

Likewise the theme of serendipity is a magical and mysterious call of destiny that requires a certain kind of faith.  A faith that trumps doubt and negativity.  Through the failures and faults in life, the Universe becomes a co-creator and allows all the magic tumblers to fall into place, and present a real kind of magic. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Armorial Banner from the Coat of Arms in the Legend of Zelda

The armorial banner is a flag based upon a coat of arms.  The coat of arms for the Legend of Zelda, which may belong to Link or Princess Zelda can be found on the original game cartridge.  The arms consist of a heart in the first and fourth quadrant and a key in the second area and finally a rampant lion facing the hoist in the third quadrant.  The colours are unknown since the sticker is black and white.  

 Note in the game Link uses a cross as his arms, so it is likely the arms belong to the Zelda Dynasty. 

Two hearts gules on a background of argent, a lion or rampant facing the fly on a background of dark azure, and single key mostly or and mixed argent on a background azure.   

But when the original game cart is in the box the arms have golden bar canton, which you can see here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Expansion of the Playing Card Chess Set - THE PAWN

The Pawn is the newest and last card of the Expanded Chess Deck, which also includes the rook, knight, and bishop.

Here we have the Pawn of Spades.  It is represented by the letter O, and its value is zero.  It ranks below the 2s, which include the two of clubs, two of hearts, two of diamonds, and two of spades.  Also note the Ace supposedly has the value of one to infinity.  But here the lowest face card has the lowest number value of zero. 

Thus there is also the Pawn of Hearts, Pawn of Diamonds, and Pawn of Clubs.  The Pawn card intentionally looks different from other face cards so not to be mistaken as such.  Likewise the suit is only shown once due to its impoverished value.

The Royal Chess Suit, an Expansion on a Deck of Cards - THE ROOK, THE KNIGHT, and BISHOP

An expansion pack on a deck of cards based upon the game of chess: The Rook, The Knight, and The Bishop.

The Rook is represented by the letter I, likewise the Rook moves in straight lines like the capital letter I.  The Rook looks like the castle tower that starts in one of four corners of a chess game.  In the expanded Chess Deck, the Rook ranks above the Jack yet below the Knight.

You can see the first ever made Rook of Spades here.  Subsequently there is also a Rook of Hearts, Rook of Diamonds, and Rook of Clubs.  Adding these cards should make game play more interesting.

Rook originally meant a chariot, so the Rook represents a Charioteer holding the harnesses of the horses of his chariot. Likewise the attack of the chariot is certainly a powerful forward punch, as in chess and as it was in real life.

The Rook always has his helmet open and never holds a weapon, only the harness for the horses.  

The Knight Card is represented by the letter G.  The Knight Ranks above the Rook yet below the Bishop. 

The knight's face guard is always closed and can hold any number of weapons.  Typically the Knight of Diamonds holds a battle axe, the Knight of Clubs holds a Ball and Chain Mace, and the Knight of Hearts holds a spear tipped flag. 

The Bishop is represented by the letter Z.  Here we have the Bishop of Spades.  The Bishop ranks above the Knight but below the Queen and King.

Thus we also have a Bishop of Hearts, Bishop of Clubs, and Bishop of Diamonds. 

Finally there is one more card to add in a Chess Deck, the lowly Pawn, which you can see here.

Flags and Banners from the "Wizard" - 1989

 Several flags and banners appear in the ultimate gamer video game movie of the 80sThe Wizard from 1989.  The video game contest is being held at Universal Studios and several banners announcing the Original Nintendo event can be seen in the background.    The banners are coloured neon yellow, green and pink.    The shirts and events read as "Video Armageddon."

The British flag can be seen behind Fred's older brother Christian Slater as they are searching for the run away contest gamers.

The flag a Utah can also barely be seen in the one of the seen shots.  It is at a roadside stop in the middle of nowhere, that the state flag of Utah makes a cameo.  Coincidentally Utah has a small role in the history of video games.   The original Home Entertainment Wizard was originally from Utah - Nolan Bushnell.     Bushnell was the founder of Atari

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Inclusion of the Page into a Deck of Cards

Finally the Page of Spades gets to enter a normal deck of cards.  The Page exists in a Tarot deck but not a regular deck of cards, until now.  The page is the lowest level of the Royal Suit, below the Jack yet above the 10.

The letter P represents the Page of any suit whether it be a Page of Hearts, Page of Diamonds, or Page of Clubs.

This is the only normal face card below the Jack.  

Expansion of the Knight in a Deck of Cards

Finally the Knight of Spades has come to light.  The expansion of the Knight into a deck of cards is important since they already exist in a Tarot deck.  The Knight ranks above the Jack and below the Queen in a normal deck.  Yet ranks below a Baron and Baroness in an expanded royal deck.   Thus there is also the Knight of Hearts, Knight of Diamonds, and Knight of Clubs.

Knights are represented by the letter G.  K is already taken by the King. G can also mean Gallantry as in a Gallant Knight saved the day. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Heraldic Expansion of Playing card for the Women's Side

As every King is destined for a Queen, it is also appropriate to expand the Royal Suits to the other half.

The Empress is represented by the letter R.  She ranks just below the Emperor yet above the Duke.  The Empress of Spades is both above the King and Queen of any suit.

Consequently we have a Empress of Hearts, Empress of Diamonds, and finally the Empress of Clubs to contend with.  
The Queen now sits below the Emperor, Empress, and King yet above the Duke and Duchess.   Like always the letter Q represents the Queen.

The Duchess is represented by the letter X.  She ranks below the King, Queen and Duke yet above the Marchioness and Marquess.

 Doesn't the Duchess of Spades just roll of the tongue so eloquently?  Maybe Duchess of Hearts, Duchess of Clubs, or Duchess of Diamonds sounds better? 
The Marchioness is other half of the Marquis.  She ranks above the Earl, and stands just below her man the Marquis.  The Marchioness is represented by the letter H.  The Marchioness outranks all Earls, Counts, Viscounts,
and Barons.

We now have a Marchioness of Hearts, Marchioness of Diamonds, and Marchioness of Clubs. 

 The female Earl is known as a Countess, since there is no 'Earless'.  Thus the female Earl is the represented by the letter C .  The Countess of Spades beats all types of Barons and Viscounts.

In addition there is now a Countess of Hearts, Countess of Diamonds, and Countess of Clubs.

The Viscountess is represented by the letter U.  She ranks below the Earls and Countesses and would be Counts.  The Viscountess of Spades trumps all types of Barons.  New Viscountesses include the Viscountess of Hearts, Viscountess of Diamonds, and Viscountess of Clubs.

The Baroness is represented by the letter S.  The Baroness is above the Jack or Knave yet below the Viscounts.  The Baroness of Spades is the lowest ranking of peerage.

Thus we also have the Baroness of Hearts, Baroness of Diamonds, and Baroness of Clubs. 

An Expansion of Royal Suits for the Cards

The time has come to expand the playing card universe.  Imagine playing poker, gin rummy or solitaire with these new face cards.  It'll make it more exciting!

The Emperor is now the highest ranking card of the deck in the Nobility Pack, next to an Ace.  Here the Emperor of Spades is wearing the Imperial Crown.  The Emperor is represented by the letter E.  There is also an Emperor of Hearts, Emperor of Diamonds, and Emperor of Clubs. 

 The King of Spades ranks below the Emperor and above the Duke.  Here the King is wearing the Royal British Crowns.

The Duke is a new suit just below the King and above the Marquess.  The Duke is represented by the letter D.  Note there is a Duke of Hearts, Duke of Diamonds, and Duke of Clubs.

 The Marquess is a new playing card rank.  The Marquess is below a Duke but above an Earl.  The Marquess is represented by the letter M.   Here the Marquess of Spades is wearing the heraldic crown reserved for the English Marquess.   New Marquesses include the Marquess of Hearts, Marquess of Diamonds, and Marquess of Clubs.

 The Earl is ranked below a Marquess yet above a Viscount.  The Earl is represented by the letter L since E is already taken by the Emperor.  Here the Earl of Spades is wearing the crown that belongs to the Earls of England.  So there is now an Earl of Hearts, and Earl of Diamonds, and an Earl of Clubs.

Ranks of Nobility in other nations usually call this position the Count, which is above the 'Vice-Count' and below the Marquess.  Thus the matching English Equivalent to Count Dracula would be Earl Dracula.

And if you grew up in America it'd be Earl Chocula instead of Count Chocula.  Likewise the purple puppet Count would be the 'Counting Earl' on Sesame Street.  

 The Viscount is represented by the letter V.  Viscounts rank above the Barons yet below the Earls/Counts.  The Viscount of Spades is wearing the heraldic English Viscount crown. New cards include the Viscount of Hearts, Viscount of Diamonds, and Viscount of Clubs.


 The lowest normal rank of nobility is the Baron.  The Baron is below all the royal suits yet above the Jack.  Here the letter B represents the Baron.  We now have a Baron of Hearts, Baron of Diamonds, and Baron of Clubs. 

Due to the popularity of the Red Baron and Baron in fiction or Red Baron Pizza.  The Baron is basically the lowest level of nobility.  In America people often confuse a Baron with a high royal rank.   Yet it's better to be a Baron than a Knight or regular peasant folk.


These new playing cards with added ranks of Nobility are crowned with the standard English Heraldic Crowns.  But the Spades only use English items.  The Hearts expanded family shall be crowned with French Crowns.  The Diamonds expanded family will be crowned with Spanish Crowns, while the Clubs expanded family will be crowned with Austrian Crowns.  Thus you can learn a little something about the Crowns and titles of Nobility when playing cards.  And the next time you read about some Duke or see someone mention the Count and Baron in a movie you'll know where they are in the order of Nobility.

And when playing cards you really can 'Put up your Dukes.'