Category: Books

I recently saw The Social Network, a film about the creation of Facebook, starring Jesse Eisenberg as it’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. This film is based on a book written about the events surrounding the ultimate creation of Facebook entitled The Accidental Billionaires, which involves 2 lawsuits, 3 prodigies and a break up. Although I found the film itself to be compelling, there is most probably a lot of dramatization in the film as opposed to real life.

The film itself begins with the breakup of Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend Ericka Allbright, a B.U. student. This scene in itself hooks you into the story and its characters immediately with its rapid fire dialogue and distinct characters. I won’t say exactly why they break up, but it definitely sets the tone of the story and gives motivation to our anti-hero for why he goes on ultimately create what we know as today. This opening scene is very interesting to watch, but as to whether or not the girlfriend actually exists/existed in real life, it seems yet unknown and given the fact that the real Mark Zuckerberg refuses to comment on the movie at all, it seems unlikely that we will ever know unless some nosy self-righteous journalist takes it upon their self to find out which, let’s be honest, they usually do.

After the subsequent break up of Mark and his girlfriend, he goes on to blog angrily about it and then creates Face Smash, which rates the female students of Harvard  in terms of hotness, gains notoriety for hacking the school’s directory network and crashing it completely after getting more than 22,000 hits in the first two hours and for which he goes against the school board for and is put on academic probation.

After various events which will not be revealed here ( go watch the film yourself, thanks.), Mark comes up with the idea for a social networking site that is exclusive to Harvard and allows them to contact and keep in touch with their friends and calls it The Facebook. This is after 2 rich, barely notable twins accost him to build them a dating site called Harvard Connect, to which he pretty much agrees, yet ignores them while working on The Facebook. This leads to the first lawsuit. This is the only part of the movie I think is actually based in reality. I think these rich boy twins got mad that someone else got their first and that it wasn’t them. They got a settlement most probably because they had incredible lawyers and for no other reason.

The Facebook (obviously) is a complete hit and gets 650 members on the first day. It keeps gaining and gaining members and Mark and his friends, Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moscowitz all decide to expand to other college campuses such as Browne, Boston U & Stanford. The list goes on and on and soon Mark and Eduardo travel to New York to meet with Ad Agencies and investors. This ultimately leads them to meet with Sean Parker, the founder of Napster, who completely charms Mark, develops a bit of a rivalry (or so it seems) with Eduardo, and tells them to drop the “The” in “The Facebook”and simply call it “Facebook.” Although not spoken of in the film, Sean Parker does try to sue Mark later saying since it was his idea to drop the “The” that this somehow gives him claim to Facebook. It doesn’t, hence the lack of a settlement for him, although he still owns approximately 7% of Facebook to this day.

After meeting with Sean Parker, Mark decides to spend his summer break in California working on Facebook, meets up with Sean Parker and ultimately gets a very large investment to open the offices of Facebook. A falling out ensues between Eduardo and Mark after shares of Eduardo’s stake in Facebook get diluted due to new investors and Eduardo decides to sue Mark. Thus, the back and forth timeline of The Social Network film between the mediation of the two lawsuits (Winklevoss AKA douche bag rich twins and the suit with Eduardo) and the events that led up to both respective suits. It’s very much a “Let’s find out how we got here” kind of story telling. Very quick wit, clever, and engaging for the audience.

In the end, Mark settles with both the Winklevoss twins and Eduardo and thus we have Facebook today.

Falling out also occurs between Mark and Sean Parker as Sean ends up getting arrested for Cocaine possession (proving Eduardo right) and generally being found out to be who he really is: a complete d-bag who tries to ride coattails of others.

All in all, the movie is awesome. It is worth watching once or even twice to completely understand it and entertaining the whole way through. Although, as stated before, this probably is not based in too much truth, so enjoy the ride but don’t take it literally. After all, it’s based on a book written about the events surrounding the creation of Facebook by one of the investors of Facebook. How truthful can it be if written by a businessman?

After watching some interviews with Mark Zuckerberg, I learned some surprising things about him. He really is kind of an enigma, though, and frequently dodges questions posed to him by journalists. Really though, can you blame him? I’d probably do the same if everyone hounded me all the time.

Here’s some things you may or may not know about him:

  • Although he is shown as a Harvard Alum on Facebook, he dropped out and never graduated
  • In the film, it is implied that he was a computer science major when, in fact, he majored in Psychology (his mother is a psychologist)
  • His girlfriend, Ericka Allbright in the film, may or may not have existed at all
  • In 2009, he was the youngest billionaire in the world; in 2010, his friend Dustin Moscowitz takes his place in this title as he is 8 days younger than Mark.
  • You know the manner of answering and question dodging Jesse Eisenberg adopts in the film? Yeah, that’s real. He does that. Kudos to Eisenberg for hitting that spot on.

Priceless Quotes from the Movie:

Erica Albright (Rooney Mara): “You are going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.”

Mark Zuckerberg: “As for any charges stemming from the breach of security, I believe I deserve some sort of recognition from this Ad Board.”
Administrator: “I’m sorry”
Mark Zuckerberg: “Yes.”
Administrator: “I don’t understand.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “Which part?”
Administrator: “You believe you deserve some recognition?”
Mark Zuckerberg: “I pointed out some pretty gaping holes in your system.”

Stoned Girl: “So what do you do?”
Sean Parker Parker (Justin Timberlake): “I’m an entrepreneur.”
Stoned Girl: “You’re unemployed.”
Sean Parker Parker: “I wouldn’t say that.”
Stoned Girl: “What would you say?”
Sean Parker Parker: “That I’m an entrepreneur.”
Stoned Girl: “What was your latest preneur?”
Sean Parker: “Well I founded an internet company that let college kids download and share music for free.”
Stoned Girl: “Kinda like Napster?”
Sean Parker: “Exactly like Napster.”
Stoned Girl: “What do you mean?”
Sean Parker: “I founded Napster.”
Stoned Girl: “Sean Parker founded Napster.”
Sean Parker: “Nice to meet you.”
Stoned Girl: “You’re Sean Parker?”
Sean Parker: “Ahhh you see, the shoe’s on the other, uh, table which has turned.”

Lawyer: “Mr. Zuckerberg, do I have your full attention?”
Mark Zuckerberg: “No.”
Lawyer: “Do you think I deserve it?”
Mark Zuckerberg: “What?”
Lawyer: “Do you think I deserve your full attention?”
Mark: “I had to swear an oath before we began this deposition, and I don’t want to perjure myself, so I have a legal obligation to say no.”
Lawyer: “Okay…no. You don’t think I deserve your attention.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try, but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”

Watch the Trailer

Interviews with the Cast

The Real Mark Zuckerberg

The Book

A timeless piece of literature about love, loss and overcoming the most difficult obstacles.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is quite honestly my favorite book in the series. I love LOVE this book. Although previously my favorite book was the Prisoner of Azkaban, it has since been dethroned by Deathly Hallows.

First off, let me start by saying I grew up reading this series. I was 9 when I purchased the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and have almost obsessively followed the books, films and anything to do with the series ever since.

The last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is definitely the darkest and most adult themed of the series. The deaths of many beloved and memorable characters comes to pass in many of the chapters throughout the book, friendships are tried and tested and you almost start to wonder whether Harry Potter will make it or not. I’m not saying whether or not he will or won’t. If you read the book, you know, otherwise you’ll just have to wait and see.

This is the only book in the series that takes place almost entirely outside of Hogwarts and takes the three main characters of Harry, Hermione and Ron into completely uncharted territory. Throughout the book, they are almost living as renegades and there is definitely a sense of homelessness and homesickness that stays with you.

The loss in this book is as immeasurable as the triumph. The book is a roller coaster ride to say the very least and if you’ve followed the series as I had for over a decade, tears will definitely be had.

I always read books before watching their movie counterparts and in this case, I especially recommend it. There is no way they can compete with the experience a reader has while reading this book. We all know the movie will never compare to the books, but maybe. Maybe.

The Film

My Predictions

The trailer for the film shows some really great promise. They seem to have stayed true to the book based on what I saw so that is always good. I very much hope that this film follows the book more closely than the Half Blood Prince which drifted far from the plot of the book to the point of being infuriating. They somehow managed to turn a very serious book about Tom Riddle/ Voldemort and his history into a book about random pointless comedy with sometimes pointless scenes about nothing and giving them some sort of weight in the story when they were mere side plots in the book if they existed at all.

That being said, I greatly hope they stay true to the book for this film if for nothing but to pay fan service to the millions of fans worldwide whose lives have been touched, changed and (for my generation) greatly enriched their education and lives. The themes in this book are not for children and are certainly not to be taken lightly, played down or ignored.

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read the book, do not read on unless you want the story ruined for you a bit. Read ahead at your own risk.

Not only do many characters die in this book in often very violent ways, but Hermione is brutally tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange and slightly cut with a knife. Ron suffers “splinching” which leaves his arm bloody and completely distorted. In the opening chapter, an innocent woman is tortured, strung up with ropes and elevated over a dining table by magic then indifferently murdered. The list goes on.

Again the film’s trailer looks promising so I hope for every loving fan’s sake that they do not let us down.

Why Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Deserves an R Rating

And not some half a** PG-13 Rating.

Rated R Symbol

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a violent and bloody themed novel with over 700 pages of torture, murders, and the loss of many characters we’ve all grown very attached to who have been a part of many of the other books in the series. There are many adult themes including but not limited to: death, loss, extreme violence, kidnapping, brutal murders, torture, and discrimination (similar to that of the Jews in the Holocaust).

Watch the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer

Movie Still Photo Favorites

Harry Potter Theme Park

Check out the newly opened Harry Potter Theme Park in Orlando, Florida here!

I have recently began reading The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura which, though it was published in 1906, still holds relevancy to the traditions, customs and cultural beliefs in many Asian nationalities around the world. It especially shines light on that of Japanese and Chinese cultures in relation to tea, while enlightening Westerners on the common viewpoints of both respective cultures and is still not so surprisingly relevant to Western/ Eastern relations and common misunderstandings between the two. I find it both fascinating and a little disheartening that the culturally bias viewpoints in this book still exist today, nearly 100 years later. I also find it enlightening, fresh and a very educational piece on the history and evolution of tea in not only China and Japan, but also how it came to the West. The fact that this infectious drink could grab the tastes of the world and be loved by all, shows one very common thread that we all have in common. I highly recommend this book which is saying quite a lot as I have not even finished it yet.

The Book of Tea written by Kakuzo Okakura and published in 1906.