March 30, 2006


It's a Horrible Life what "The Butterfly Effect" should have been titled. It also should have included a guardian angel who explains to our hero why the world's better off without him. As a brief review: mediocre, with a good ending. Certain people I know would likely describe it as not precisely life-affirming, though.

Now, I watch a lot of mediocre flicks, and most barely rate a flicker of consciousness, much less written words. But I need to give the authors of the DVD some credit for their choices. You see, when you go to play the flick, you appear to have the choice between the director's cut, and the theatrical release. I gather the theatrical release has an ending that's not such an unrelenting downer, which isn't surprising--the ending's the only bit of the film that really rises above, so it's no surprise test audiences would react badly to it. This is all only theoretical, however, because when I tried to play the theatrical version, intending to skip right to last chapter and see the approved ending, there's a message that pops up, "please flip disc to view this."

The punchline? The disc only has one side.

Granted, they ripped that off from "Arise", but it was good to see some rogue yeti in the dvd authoring center had slipped a little nugget of Slack into the design. It was surely lacking everywhere else. To sum up with an imdb-appropriate review: worst movie ever.

The other reason I mention it is because the whole film made me desperately eager to watch "Primer" again--another story involving time travel rapidly spiralling out of control, but with the important exception that the script actually cares about internal consistency, and not being retarded. It's one of those somewhat rare "indie" films that isn't about gay cowboys eating pudding, but instead of a pair of would-be entrepeneurial gearhead types accidentally inventing a time machine while trying to make something else. As time machines in movies go, it was well thought-out, with equally well thought-out constraints as to its uses and limitations. The structure of the flick in general leads to the good kind of brainhurt, as it gets increasingly fragmentary, leading the viewer to reconstruct the larger plot from incomplete glimpses--which suits the subject matter of increasingly bad, and maliciously intended, temporal fugues. In imdb terms, not the worst movie ever.

It's sheer coincidence that I've watched a couple time travel movies recently when Dave just posted a link to this guy the other night. Coincidence...or TIME CONTROL?!

posted by Gar @ 2:04 PM

March 28, 2006


The world's best cellphone

I learned of this through the Quarter to Three forums, and had to test it. Sure enough. This is what happens if you search Amazon for "razr", minus the helpful arrow added by my L33T photoshop skills. Behold!

posted by Gar @ 5:59 PM

March 26, 2006


Skydiving. Also, brainspeed.

I just learned about this piece of history today. Nineteen miles. Apparently, he damn near broke the sound barrier before atmosphere cranked things back down to terminal velocity.

Shockwave toy demonstrating that errors of a few seconds at a couple points in the dive would have made him a smear. All in all, the story reminds me that I would really like to go skydiving someday, albeit from an order of magnitude less altitude. That's just how my brain works.

Also about how brains work: Brain speed test. I of course scored quite a bit faster than average, which I think a videogame habit can take credit for. I think my score probably suffered because I got really bored a third of the way into the test. Ironically, that's also probably the fault of a videogame habit! If the test really impresses you, you can pay them FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS to buy software to get even better at quickly and accurately processing bloops and bleeps up and down octaves.

I'd just like to repeat that, because it's better than any punchline I can come up with: FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

posted by Gar @ 2:00 PM

Documentaries and agitprop

So I was watching "The God Who Wasn't There" the other night, and it was an entertaining thing. It gets filed under "documentary" as genre, which isn't quite right--the factual points in it (that it's pretty funny that the canonical gospels were only written decades after Christ said, "Dudes, you guys just chill out, I'll be right back. I gotta get some bondo for these holes" etcetera) are really nothing new to anyone with a modicum of interest in religious history, and not particularly devastating to anyone other than fundamentalist Biblical inerrantists--or, you know, morons. Mostly it's a sort of laid-back rant from someone still fresh and stinging from deconverting under enough cognitive dissonance, building up to a cheerful act of blasphemy in his former fundie high-school's church (vocally denying the Holy Spirit, the one unforgivable sin dontcha know), leading to a bold titlecard of "I am not afraid" and credits. It was a pretty good rant, if an easygoing one; the affect didn't lower the rant-scale for me because it was very clearly affected to piss fundies off by being so smilingly amiable about the whole affair. (The penultimate act of the flick is the interview with his ex-principal and the same's slow-burn realization that he'd come to make him look like an idiot--which isn't that difficult to do with a fundamentalist, but dammit, if a fish is in a barrel, you might as well shoot it, because what else is it good for?)

Things like this continue to get classified as documentaries, which is silly. It'd be more honest if we just officially call them what they are, agitprop, and rate them accordingly.

Speaking of documentaries, Pure Pwnage recently released the tenth episode of the hard-hitting expose of the world's most pwnful pro-gamer's trials, tribulations, triumphs, and brief musical numbers. There is always a way to pwn. A thousand years from now, Pwnianity will be one of the dominant religions.

posted by Gar @ 12:03 AM

March 07, 2006

Roomba Monkey Head.

I think that really does speak for itself. It is the kind of aftermarket modifications that the Roomba people should really take a good hard look at. I've been tempted by the Roomba thing as it really appeals to being horribly lazy by nature, but research (casual research--see horribly lazy modifer previous) seems to indicate that they a) vacuum not very well and b) tend to break after a few months. Thus, I'm still holding out for the furniture that transforms into robots to do household chores when you're not sitting on them. Opportunity costs, you understand.

Still, Robot Monkey Vacuums that weren't aftermarket mods could sway that decision. Roomba take note!

posted by Gar @ 2:09 PM

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