Episode 61: Data Collection, Star Wars, Security, and Newsies

Beyond the Berm is back with Episode 61! Which for the record is about 54 episodes ahead of Star Wars right now. Why are they getting all the attention and not us?

Anyway, to start things off, Matt discusses how we collect personal data with Fitbits, Garmin watches, and such, and then wonders just what Disney does with all of the data they are collecting from Magic Bands at Walt Disney World. While some people are worried about privacy for some reason, we think it is actually pretty cool. Hear our thoughts as we tell why.

magic bands

Next, you may have heard about a new movie opening this weekend. So after you go see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, listen in as we discuss the opening of that new Star Wars thing. And don’t worry, you won’t find any spoilers here, because we haven’t seen the movie yet!


After that, we discuss the new security measures which just went into effect at the Disney parks as well as other US parks. Scanners, no toy guns, no costumes – how will this affect all of us in the future? We don’t know for certain, but that doesn’t keep us from speculating a little.

This past weekend, Steve and his family went to see the touring production of Newsies, since they had enjoyed the movie way back when it first came out. Did they like the stage musical? Listen in as we discuss this and some other Disney musicals.

All that and probably a few other thingsĀ in Beyond the Berm episode 61!

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Episode 31: Questions and Answers

Here’s a Valentine’s Day gift for you – a new episode of Beyond the Berm! Not that the actual episode has much of anything to do with Valentine’s Day. So if you aren’t the romantic type, it is still safe to listen!

Anyway, Episode 31 is full of questions. First off, Matt talks about a Disney playlist that he has been working on, and he has some questions about which songs to include. For example, do you include the song you like the best from a particular movie, or do you include the song that best represents the movie? A rather thought-provoking question. Come find out how we answered it.

Next, Steve brought up a Handy Man question, as both Matt and Steve have been doing some handy man jobs at their homes. Not exactly Handy Manny, but they do what they can. The question here was if you could fix something about Disney, what would it be? We had lots of answers to this one, so see if ours match up with yours.

All this and so much more in Episode 31 of Beyond the Berm!

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Saving Mr. Banks Nominated for Best Original Score

In Episode 29 of Beyond the Berm, we discussed recent movies, including Saving Mr. Banks. And although we didn’t mention it in the podcast this time around, I had the feeling all along that Disney had positioned this release to receive maximum notice for Academy Awards nominations. And in fact the whole publicity campaign definitely had the feel of an awards-worthy movie.

When the Golden Globe nominations were announced, Emma Thompson received a best actress nomination for her portrayal of P.L. Travers, but noticeably absent was a nomination for Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. As we mentioned in the podcast, it really was difficult at times to see Hanks as Disney, given our familiarity with both figures, although it was much easier to see Thompson as Travers.

Still, I would imagine that some at Disney were somewhat disappointed that neither was nominated for an Academy Award when the nominations were announced yesterday. I really was not all that surprised. It was a good movie, but to me it wasn’t the big Oscar winning kind of movie. Which is fine for me, because I don’t usually “get” those movies that win all the awards. They just aren’t my thing, I guess.

However, Saving Mr. Banks did get one nomination, and that was for best original score for Thomas Newman’s music. I definitely did think this nomination was well deserved. I have been a fan of Newman’s work ever since his score for Finding Nemo, and I enjoyed his Wall-E score as well. And I have CDs of some of his other scores as well, including Road to Perdition, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Horse Whisperer.

I remember that Andrew Stanton, the director of Finding Nemo, described Newman’s music as “bittersweet,” saying that it had just the right quality that he was looking for in his movie. And when I saw that Thomas Newman was going to score Saving Mr. Banks, I knew exactly what sort of movie it would be. And the music greatly helped to set that tone that they were wanting.

Of course, Thomas Newman does branch out from time to time. I was looking at buying the digital download of the Saving Mr. Banks score, but instead I decided to get the score to the most recent James Bond movie, Skyfall, also scored by Newman. Pretty cool stuff, and while it matches well with the spy-movie genre, it still has that distinctive Thomas Newman sound to it. I like it. But I will still go back and get the Saving Mr. Banks score sooner or later, too.

So congratulations to Thomas Newman for his nomination. While he has won other awards, he has been nominated for several Academy Awards but has never won. Maybe this time will be his chance.

Episode 19: Disney Cruise Line

Welcome back to another fun-filled episode of Beyond the Berm! And we are all the way up to Episode 19. Where does the time go?

For starters, Matt talked about Chelsea’s piano recital, which included some Disney songs. And he also talked about the newest Circle Sessions album, featuring music from the Carthay Circle theater at Disney California Adventure.

Up next, Steve mentioned his recent Disney cruise on the Disney Dream, and there was quite a bit of Disney cruise discussion. Both of us have been on Disney cruises, and we have both enjoyed them greatly. The discussion here includes tips, memories, show reviews, food reviews, and more.

To see photos from Steve’s recent cruise, be sure to check the Disney Cruise 2013 section of The Adventures of Steve at Burnsland.com.

Be sure to hear all the fun in Episode 19!

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Links from Episode 11

In Episode 11, we mentioned all kinds of things that you might want to know more about, so here are links to some of the things that we mentioned:

The Glass Slipper Blog – A blog about photography, including tips, tutorials, features, and lots more. And they even let me write a post.

From Dreamer to Dreamfinder – The book by Ron Schneider talking about his experiences as Dreamfinder at EPCOT Center, along with the Golden Horseshoe Revue, Universal Studios characters, and lots more. This link is for the electronic version, but there are print versions available, too.

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood – I have just started on this one, but it looks to be an interesting story about the making of the movie and the missteps that kept it from performing better. Again, this is the link to the electronic version.

Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War – Sorry for not being able to remember the title of this book. But I really am enjoying it, and I haven’t even made it to the formation of NASA yet.

TobyMac – If you like some Christian hip-hop/rap/rock/whatever, Toby is the guy for you. He puts on a great live show, too.

Riders in the Sky – Completely different from TobyMac, this western group puts on a great show, too. Wonderful music, along with stuff that will make you laugh out loud. I have been a fan of theirs for over 30 years.

So that’s a start. If any of those things interest you, be sure to give them a visit. And tell them that Beyond the Berm sent you. They will reply with a very genuine, “Who?”