Wednesday, July 20, 2005

James Doohan, the man who brought us Scotty on the original Star Trek, is gone. He passed away early this morning from pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease.

I was lucky enough to see him at a convention once, back in the late 80s. He was warm, funny, personable, and charmingly irascible in that talk. From all reports, that's a pretty accurate description of the man.

Godspeed Jimmy, and thank you for everything.
Posted @ 12:27 PM

Monday, July 18, 2005

Oh dear. I fear I'm in trouble of a conspicuous consumption nature.

Most of you know that I love my Chuck Taylors, no?

Well, Converse is now letting people customize their own Chucks.

Nine customizable factors with over ninety options to choose from, in both hi and lo styles. Plus the option to add your own short text message, on the side or the back heel stripe.

Sixty dollars a pop.

Yeah, I'm in trouble.
Posted @ 8:45 PM

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A little hoot for the Firefly/Serenity fans: Mosquito, the first fan film (at least the first I'm aware of) based on Joss Whedon's space western is here. The teaser is funny, definitely worth the 29MB download. Bodes well for the full work.

(link via Whedonesque)
Posted @ 10:56 AM

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Return to Flight

Godspeed, Discovery!
Posted @ 6:47 AM

Thursday, July 07, 2005

We are all Britons today

(thanks to Rick for the idea)
Posted @ 2:32 PM

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

I got my fireworks fix early this morning, courtesy of the fine folks at NASA. The Deep Impact mission went off without a hitch as their impactor probe slammed into Comet Tempel 1 at 1:52 am EDT today. The flash of the collision was spectacular, making my decision to stay up and watch it live on NASA TV a worthwhile one.

Now, if you'll excuse, I need to go find some coffee.
Posted @ 10:08 AM

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Man, I'm slipping beyond all belief! My dad just e-mailed me and pointed out that I'd made a grammatical error in my post about correcting word choice and factual errors.

I actually wrote "They're are..." That's "They are are..." in non-contracted form. I've corrected it to the proper "There are..." now.

And if there are any new errors in this post, please don't tell me, folks. I don't think my fragile ego could take it.
Posted @ 11:48 AM

Friday, July 01, 2005

I took in War of the Worlds last night, and all I can say is run, don't walk... far away as you can from this train wreck of a movie! Steven Spielberg just completely dropped the ball here.

Lurching from absurdity to absurdity, it's a loud, messy mish-mash that never decides what kind of story it wants to tell. We follow Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise), a clueless, unlikely and unlikeable protagonist as he dimwittedly struggles to... I'm not really sure what he's trying to do. Survive? He puts himself and his two children into danger's path more often than he takes them out of it. Reach a destination? Perhaps, but there's no concrete reason for the one he chooses. Discover what's happening? He pokes his nose into each new fantastic occurrence, seeing the effects the invading aliens are having, but figuring nothing out from these clues. His decisions and actions never add up.

If this is supposed to be a sci-fi film, it fails to explore the science aspect in any satisfying way. It doesn't succeed as a horror film because the tension never builds and the monsters aren't frightening. Ferrier's actions, defying both logic and human nature, render the film a poor excuse for a man versus nature yarn. And as a big summer action film, it's just too... blah.

Spielberg also uses the source materials (the original H.G. Wells story, the 1938 radio broadcast and the superior 1953 film version) incompetently. Neither faithful adaptation nor creative reimagining, the film occupies an uncomfortable middle ground which makes the whole endeavor seem half-baked and leaves the viewer with an empty feeling.

Save yourself some money and rent the '53 version. Even better, read the original story or listen to the Orson Welles production. You'll have a much better time.

There are two corrections I need to make. The first one I do with a measure of pride, because it if weren't a rarity it likely would have passed without notice. My buddies Jen and Bowler each separately leapt at the chance to point this out: in my last post, I used the word "peak" to describe looking out a window. Obviously, I should have used "peek."

The author regrets the error, and offers a big "phbbt!" to those who pointed it out to him.

The second correction I make just as gladly, but for much more petty reasons. I wrote about Spray On Mud a while back, a product designed to give SUVs the look of having gone off-road without the hassle of actually doing it. I concluded the post thusly:
Now, in the form of $14 aerosol can of filtered mud, we've got documentary proof.
I was pretty clear in my contempt for this product, and those who would use it. So when I got an e-mail from Sprayonmud Ltd., I didn't know what to expect. (Actually, at first I was just shocked they even noticed my little backwater blog.) Would they berate me for belittling their customers, or ask for a retraction?
Nope, they just wanted me to clear up a factual point:
It is not an "aerosol can" it is a spray - please correct your post.
That's it. They're not upset that I think their product is crap and anyone who uses it is a poser of the worst type. They just don't want people thinking it comes in a can.

So I'll gladly comply. I've modified the original post, and restate myself here: Spray On Mud, the product for image-obessed people who drive gas-guzzling monsters, comes in a plastic bottle.
Posted @ 1:37 PM


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