Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Fogg Hierarchy of Movies

Went to see The Island with the Wife on Sunday. Pretty decent movie for what it was, don't know why it's tanked at the box office. Wasn't the crapfest that another "science fiction" action movie from the same director happened to be.

Which brings me (in a roundabout way) to the point of this entry. I don't mind bad SF movies, for the most part, particularly SF action movies, since there's a different standard there.

Good Science Fiction Movies - These are movies that have actual plots, and the science is usually pretty good.

  • Contact
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact
  • Deep Impact

Good Science Fiction Action Movies - These are popcorn flicks, essentially. Fun for the action and the gimmicks, but don't get too bogged down in the science of it. I don't mind these films as long as they don't claim to be something they're not (like the ludicrous claim when Armageddon was released that NASA officials were consulted on the making of the film - if that was the case, they clearly didn't listen to anything the folks at NASA said).

  • The Island
  • Minority Report
  • Total Recall

While we're on the topic, let's not forget:

Good Science Fantasy Movies - science fiction elements, but clearly not happening in our world.

  • Star Wars: The Original Trilogy
  • The Fifth Element
  • The Matrix

What really bothers me is when you've got a movie that starts out with decent science and then at some point, usually for dramatic license or to simplify things for the viewing public (since they're apparently all idiots), veers off sharply into the realm of fantasy. Lost in Space and Armageddon are both decent examples of this. The worst, however, are movies like The Core or Mission to Mars. Don't even get me started.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Gray Hair

I've had this discussion with others every so often, but the gist of it is: I've never found a gray hair before. Now, it's important to note that I don't really care about them and so I've never gone looking, but every time the Wife informs me that she found another one and named it Michael, I tell her that I've never found one.

So, as a result of the head shaving, my hair is growing back more or less uniformly all over my head. (How my sideburns grow faster than anything else is a mystery I leave for the ages)

I found several gray hairs. So there. I'm getting old, or whatever.

(Incidentally, the 30th approaches - the once-prophecied "fat 30-year-old dork" will finally be coming to pass)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Warren Ellis Owns...


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Supposed "Observational Quiz"

Friend of mine sent this to me:

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom? Bottom

2. How many states are there? 50

3. In which hand is the Statue
of Liberty's torch? Right

4. What 6 colors are on the classic Campbell's
soup label? Blue, red, white, yellow, black, and gold

5. What 2 letters
don't appear on the telephone dial? Q and Z

6. What 2 numbers on the
telephone dial don't have letters by them? 1 and 0

7. When you walk does
your left arm swing with your right or left leg? Left

8. How many
matches are in a standard pack? 20

9. On our flag, is the top stripe red
or white? Red

10. What is the lowest number on the FM dial? 88

11. Which way does water go down the drain, counter-clockwise or
clockwise? Counter-clockwise (unless you happen to be south of the equator)

This is the one that cracks me up. Totally urban myth, and yet people seem to believe it. Guys, the toilet isn't going to spin the "other way" just because you step across the equator - Coriolis "forces" are only noticeable on much larger scales. Don't believe me? Google it - it's a MYTH.

12. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run? Towards bottom right

13. How many channels are on a VHF TV dial? 12 (no number 1)

Which side of a women's blouse are the buttons on? Right

15. On a New
York license plate, is "New York" on the top or bottom? Top

16. Which
way do fans rotate? Clockwise, as you look at it

17. Whose face is on a
dime? Roosevelt

18. How many sides does a stop sign have? 8

Do books have even number pages on the right or left side? Left

20. How
many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel? 5

21. How many sides are
there on a standard pencil? 6

22. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey,
Doc. Who's missing? Bashful

23. How many hot dog buns are in a standard
package? 8

24. On which card is the cardmaker's trademark? Ace of spades

25. On which side of a venetian blind is the cord or rod that adjusts
the opening between the slats? Left

26. On the back of a one dollar
bill, what is in the center? ONE

27. There are 12 buttons on a touch
tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits? * and #

28. How many curves
are in a standard paper clip? 3

29. Does a merry-go-round turn
counter-clockwise or clockwise? Counter-clockwise (that’s both north & south
of the equator…)

30. How many times does the number 1 appear on a
“standard” PC keyboard?
7 (Oh just look around. You’ll find ‘em…)

I'd dispute the merry-go-round thing as well - I think what they mean is does a carousel turn clockwise or counter-clockwise, since I had the merry-go-round at my elementary school spinning either way on a regular basis.

moon phase