17 August 2009

A Litmus Test for All Things I Dislike

I think I've come up with a litmus test for "All Things I Dislike." It's basically a WWJD kind of thing, except:
1. Replace the "J" with a particular person that I don't like but who will Remain Unnamed.
2. Based on whatever "J" would do, I would generally do the opposite or form the opposite preference.

For historical reasons, I will call it the "Eeeps Test." This test isn't exactly portable (that is, not everyone can use this test) and isn't exactly objective, but it sure can be fun!

How it Works, an Example:
1. Let's say I'm considering calling BlackBerries by their moniker "CrackBerries" because it's kind of clever AND Robin Wiliams made a funny joke about that.
2. I run the "Eeeps Test" -- would the Unnamed Person also find this funny AND/OR use this phrase commonly?

If "Yes," then I can't use the phrase. If "No," then I will at least consider using that phrase. As it turns out (this isn't exactly a "hypothetical scenario"), I can easily imagine the Unnamed Person saying "CrackBerries" with glee, so I will not use that phrase.

16 August 2009

So, what would YOU do for a Klondike Bar?

That little ditty/concept captured my imagination somewhat after I saw the parody on Family Guy. Basically, my question to you has nothing really to do with Klondike Bars but is more about what you (the two or so readers of this blog) find annoying. What do you find annoying? This is a sort of extension of the "Things that Annoy Andy, Part ?? of an Infinite Series."

Well, I take that back. If you want a Klondike Bar, I'll get you one. They're not bad. Better than an IT'S-IT.

Update, from Hau.

12 August 2009

So, Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus...

I could just write a more conventional review of the movie, but instead I'll just write a checklist of things that are in the movie. Perhaps this will sway your decision to watch it:

1. An explanation as to why why the shark gets to be mega and not the octopus
2. Tons of scientific sounding jargon
3. Lots of food color chemistry
4. The Golden Gate bridge gets destroyed
5. Bad clip footage (see 8)
6. A retired/washed-up stripper as the female lead (Vivek: Doesn't she look like a retired stripper? Me: ...no, Vivek, I don't know what you mean
7. Snarky/sarcastic male lead (who reminds me of the main antagonist in Kindergarten Cop) complete with an inappropriate (for his station) suit, ponytail, and sideburns
8. Amazing use of clip footage (see 5)
9. A transforming fighter plane (goes from an F-15 to an F/A-18 to an F-22)
10. A tender love scene between a Mega Shark and a Giant Octopus
11. Amazing one-liners
12. An Asian male romantic lead hooking up with a Caucausian female lead... in a broom closet
13. Silver ties
14. Some bad spelling
15. Snakes + Plane << Giant Shark + Plane
16. Bad CGI
17. Weird and bizarrely awkward sexual tension scenes
18. Massive advertisement for the incredibly exciting and adventurous lives of oceanographers. See more below.

This is a list on "Why you should be an oceanographer;" they get to:
1. Use skills from a range of disciplines, including: philosophy, physics, chemistry, and biology (with a focus on marine biology)
2. Pilot submarines
3. Act in some capacity as G-Men
4. Effectively outrank a ship's captain (or in this case, boat); at least in the Japanese submarine fleet (which is super-secret)
5. Wear silver ties as a badge of office
6. Hook up with "hot" (depending on your preference) women

Seriously, if this movie is a realistic depiction of what they do (and according to the "Making Of" special feature, realism was a strong focus), I'd want to be an oceanographer.

I wonder what tropes are in this movie...

11 August 2009

So, I just did a clean install on my old laptop...

One of the first things I installed was AVG Free 8.5. I noticed this:

What's up with all the animal imagery in software?

03 August 2009

New Mechwarrior Game!

Figure 1. Another day at the office...

I just learned that there's a new Mechwarrior game coming out (from Piranha Games along with Smith & Tinker). It's supposed to be a "reboot" of the series kind of like the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. I certainly hope so; Battletech certainly has some campy elements and it could use a harder edge overall. I, obviously, have a hard sci-fi/military bias -- there just isn't a lot of it out there, alas.

But now, I'm going to write about what I noticed in this video. Immediately, the viewer is informed that this little vignette takes place on the planet Deshler in 3015. Deshler is on the Federated Suns' (Coreward?) border with the Draconis Combine in the Draconis March. I also happen to like Level 1/Late Succession War (3rd/4th) stuff AND the House Davion-House Kurita conflict so this video had me immediately excited.

As an aside (and I'm struggling not to make an entire post of asides), there's a sort of standard for all Mechwarrior game intros, at least starting from Mechwarrior 2: 31st Century Combat and going on to at least Mechwarrior 3. Having watched this video, I can say that there isn't the same sense of... desperation and heart-pounding action, but it's still pretty good. Also, all the videos tend to follow the same progression, but I'll not get into that. Now, on to the nit-picky and 'mech identification...

The protagonist of sorts is piloting a Warhammer. I don't think I've ever seen a Warhammer in a Mechwarrior computer game. It's not quite the Unseen version, but I rather prefer that. Based on the observed weapons fire, I assume that it is the common (of the time) WHM-6R model.

Figure 2. I rather like the newer stylings of this non-Unseen Warhammer.

He encounters a Jenner. Based on the HUD readout and the era, I assume that it is a JR7-D; so maybe it's the DCMS as the enemy?

Figure 3. That's one of the stranger looking Jenners I've seen.

A Warhammer vs. a Jenner? It should be pretty obvious where this is going. A third 'mech makes an appearance:

Figure 4. I'm not sure what an Atlas C is, but I do know that you don't want to be right in front of one.

While the HUD read-out says something about a "C" model, it can't be an AS7-C as that model shouldn't exist for awhile later. I can only assume that it is an AS7-D, as that's really the only variant that was running around at the time. Anyway, the majority of the fight is between these two beasts and this is where one of my questions is answered:

Figure 5. Now that's a PPC blast!

All of the Mechwarrior 2 type games had this kind of bizarre kind of ball-lightning version of the PPC that seemed sort of at odds with the fluff in the fiction. This was fixed in Mechwarrior 3; the above PPC blast seems more consistent with that and what I've read.

On a somewhat unrelated note, the most recent comment (at the time of viewing) was one of the dumber comments I've seen. That is, dumb under the veneer of intelligence:

Figure 6. A moron.

I suppose that's really neither here nor there.