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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Avengers TV show trailer

After watching the Avengers TV show trailer, I don’t think this is going to work.  I’m sure it’ll be better than Marvel Superhero Squad, but will not be able to reach the bar set by Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.  The fundamental problem might be that the show is being produced for Disney XD, which makes sense as Disney now owns Marvel.  Here are some issues I’m seeing:

The animation isn’t looking so good.  Did you see Captain America’s shield spinning?  It looks… weird.  I guess it’s rotating too slow for how fast its moving.  It’s not just that, though… there’s something a bit off.

The theme song is TERRIBLE.  Take a page from Justice League’s book and go with an instrumental.  This song rocks.

Just the little bit of dialogue I heard was HORRENDOUS.

However, they’re going with a strong, traditional line up:

Iron Man

Captain America

Ant Man/Giant Man

The Wasp

The Hulk

Hawkeye

The lineup pose at the end of the commercial seems to imply that Iron Man is leading the team, which isn’t especially traditional, but whatever.

I’m not willing to kill the show yet – I’ll give it a chance, but I’m setting my expectations low, and I advise everyone else does the same.

Inception: pick a side

Inception-movie-posterIf you haven’t seen Inception, this post isn’t going to make much sense to you.

I enjoyed the latest jam from Christopher Nolan; this movie reminded me quite a bit of Memento, but was still totally unique.  But let’s get it on:

What do you think happened at the end of Inception?  There are two schools of thought:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character, Dom Cobb, is able to return to his children/the totem top falls
  • Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character, Dom Cobb, is trapped in the dream/the totem top continues to spin

Folks who go with option 1 believe that the top is wobbling right before the movie cuts to black.  I don’t agree; I voted that he’s trapped because his children are wearing the same clothes they wear in his dream, it seems to be the same time of day (same amount of sun) and they don’t appear to have aged.

I’ve done a brief survey of the few people I know who’ve seen the movie, and choosing between these two options seems to run on gender lines.  Women choose option 1 and men choose option 2.  Fascinating.  I also found that this happened when I asked people what they thought happened after the fade to black at the end of Cast Away:  women always responded that he got in his car and kept driving while men said he went back to the lady’s house who he’d left the note and package for.

In any case, it’s a good flick – check it out.  Drop a comment here if you can; i’m going to dry to add a poll feature, but not sure how it works – if its here and functioning, vote on it!

Toilets are stupid

toiletThe modern flush toilet’s initial design is attributed to Sir John Harington in 1596 and others have made variations on it since then.  After a quick check of the home improvement websites, I learned that the average toilet uses between 1 and 2 gallons of water per flush – on average, 1.5 gallons.  These new dual flush toilets have both a lower flow flush (about 1 gallon) and a standard flush (that same average of 1.5 gallons) – that’s just poor design.  I’m not a plumber, and I’m certainly not schooled in the necessary mechanical fields to build this, but somebody really needs to build a better toilet that uses less water.

What’s a toilet for?

That’s an easy one:

  1. move liquid waste
  2. move solid waste

But we’ve hit a red flag already, and a prime place to save water:  old number one is liquid waste… so we’re moving liquid waste with water?  This is necessary why?  I don’t get that.  Wouldn’t, I don’t know, gravity move things along well enough?  Or maybe a pneumatic system using compressed air could suck things along?  Sure, we need water to move our friends number 2 along, I get that, but water moving water?  That just sounds dumb to me.

My improved toilet needs the following controls:

  1. fill tank
  2. fill bowl
  3. release water in bowl

We’ve already got most of this technology in our homes, offices and public toilets… and… wait for it… isn’t this pretty much how toilets in RVs, trains and planes work?  What the hell are we doing?  I know water represents most of what’s happening here on earth, but do we really have to make as much of it as filthy as possible?  I don’t want to end up like Kevin Costner in Waterworld, recycling my own urine for drinking.  That would suck, right?  Also, my toilet water seems to be using fresh water – water that we could otherwise be drinking.  What the shiz is that?  Can’t we use what I think is referred to as brown water, which I believe means its already been used by people for showering or something?

Somebody with a brain get on this.  My toilets are stupid.  Or in the meantime, use that lovely rhyme I learned:  if it’s brown, flush it down; if it’s yellow, let it mellow.  That’ll save some water and freak out the squares, so it’s win freaking win, baby!

jet flying over parking lot at night

I took this photo way back in 2004  in a parking lot one night in Queens, NY.  That light-blur on the left side is a jet’s running lights. Playing with the shutter speed is fun!

Defining Twilight by Brian Leaf, M.A.

Defining TwilightMaybe it’s not fair to review a book I haven’t read – but I have no intention of reading it ever, so funk dat.  Sometimes, you see something at Target that’s so hilarious, you have to stop what you’re doing and appreciate it – or rather, photograph it and then rip it to shreds in this space.

The full title of the book is  Defining Twilight: Vocabulary Workbook for Unlocking the SAT, ACT, GED, and SSAT by Brian Leaf, M.A.  It’s available at Amazon for $9.99.  Title’s a bit of a mouthful, huh?

After reading a bit on what the Twilight series was about (of which I was previously blissfully ignorant), I would be shocked if the same audience that is all about the adventures of Bella and her supernatural boy toys is really concerned about what they get on the SAT, but since they’re literate, probably don’t need to take the GED, and I would guess have little use for the ACT or SSAT.  To go further still, there’s an entire ‘defining’ series for all of the Twilight books to aid you in your testing endeavors.  After all, who doesn’t dream of learning analogies from vampires and werewolves?

I guess this isn’t so much a review as it is a plea for sanity.  Not only can the Twilight fans best known for harassing folks at their local Burger King to join Team Edward or Team Jacob not be bothered to read a real book, but the idea that they’re actually going to study for these tests is hard to believe, never mind buy a book to aid them in the study process.  But then, who would?  Maybe other franchise audiences would be in the market for such a tool…

I present to you my own pitches for the defining series:

Defining Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  Discover your inner wordiness as Harry helps expand our vocabulary while he watches Dumbledore descend into madness and then get murdered by Snape.  (M. Night Shyamalansays raves, “What a twist!”)

Defining The Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers.   Golem quizzes you on your vocabulary skills – if you get one wrong, he throttles you in your sleep.  He also asks you riddles.  Seriously; that guy loves riddles.  They are precious to him.

Defining Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  Remember that part when Anakin murdered all the children?  Here are some synonyms for kill:  annihilate,  assassinate,  dispatch, do  away  with,  do  in,   eradicate, execute, exterminate,  liquidate,  massacre, murder, neutralize,  rub  out,   slaughter, slay,   snuff,  waste

If anybody wants to publish these, give me a call and we’ll do it up.  After all, if folks can make peripheral money off Twilight study guides, anything is possible.

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