[still one-handing it, but i'm getting slightly more accurate and a litttle faster... maybe soon i'll tackle the shift key]
ive got lots of friends in the blogging business, and it seems not a day goes by that someone doesn;t come up with a new crazy scheme tto raise the profile of their blog so thatr their ads are worth more.
one of the most popular of these schemes is a recent one involving technorati 'favorites' exchanging. people post an entry begging people to favorite them on technorati, prmosing that they'll then reciprocate the favor.
in theory this is an interesting idea, except for the fact that it is manipulating technorati's ranking system. technorati is going to catch on to it pretty quickly, but in the meantime your blog's profile can skyrocket. except for one little thing: the ranking is done as a percentile. as you start helping to increase the rankings of all the people helping you incerease your rankings, your standing us going to actually suffer for it. you've moved up -- but so has everyone else.
so in the end you may get some new friends out of it, but really you've just wasted a bunch of time and effort -- and corrupted technorati's valuable ranking algorithm in the process. if everyone is manipulating the system, the system becomes worthlkess.
don't break good things just because you might get something out of it. internet curmudgeon out.
[still typing with only one hand, please forgive the mess]
last week, a trailer appeared on the internet, giving us the first look at some of Optimus Prime's facial animation from Michael Bay's upcoming fanboy opus.
as predicted, all the fanboys have gone nuts over it. ""he has /lips/?? gay," was the collective scream of the blogosphere.
also as predicted, Paramount made everyone take down the video.
also as predicted, Michael Bay has released a statement saying that wasn't real movie footage, that the footage in qestion was an early animation test that some "foreign trailer editor" spliced in. shades of Hulk all over again.
if you havent seen the footage, i've presented it here in reduced-framerate animated gif format:
already Bay and Paramount have taken action reworking animation footage in response to the outrage on the internet.
i have managed to dig up a still of the new changes the've made, and the results are pretty drastic. in order to avoid the wrath of Michael Bay, i'm only going to link to it, but here you go:
i've been a fairly regular listener of radioparadise for several years. i really like hearing all sorts of songs ive eithr never heard before, or just not in a long time. the thing i like best is that they play songs from new albums that arent singles. while commercial radio beats each single to a pulp, radioparadise keeps things fresh.
anyway, in the last few weeks ive heard this song several times:
it reminded me of another song so much that i actually thouht it /was/ that other song each time it came on. i just couldnt for the life of me figure out what song i thougt it was. i went around humming it for days, eventually deciding it was an old song by the tea party. i imediately set about systematically goiing through all my cds trying to find it. i coul;ndt find it. i began to think i was crazy.
i wish i had the skills to mash these up because aside from a slight tempo difference, these seem really similar to me. the guitar riff, the drum beat, even going into the chorus seems as if you could just interchange the vocals.
war of the worlds - terrible. tom cruise was really good though; i really believed he was a scumball. what a testament to acting abiliyt.
daisy dukes of hazzard - fantastic. i'ts almost as if those boots were /made/ for walkin'. the rest of the movie really sucked, though.
16 blocks - this was actually a really good movie. i didnt laugh, but i did cry. and not just cuz my arm hurts. mos def is 'mos def'inately good in it. winky face.
dead men walking - zombies in prisn seems really good on paper. on the scifi channel, howeverm, not so good. please stop naming characters in zombie movies 'raimi.'
the chumscrubber - fantastic. fidfteen stars. kind of like donnie darko and jawbreaker and thumbsucker all mixed into one. bonus; the kid from thumbsucker is in this, making his imdb page just that much more interesting in the strangelt titled moive department. kinda depressing and uplifting ast the same time, plus mind-bendy.
earthstorm - space mission to the moon to keep it from splitting in half. midway though the voyage, stewphen baldwin unhooks his seatbelt and runs to the cargo bay, completely oblivious to the fact that therer shoulnd't be any gravity. also he gets over thje loss of his 3years dead wife.
i know i watched a few more, i just cant remember what they wree.
i have refrained from saying 'one thumb up' or 'one thumb down' for your benefit, as you know that's all i can do. thyumb number 2 is off-limits.
mmy doctor hasw forbade me moving it for a fortnight.
typing with one handf is hard.
so if you're wondering what;s becime of me, thisd ought to splain it.
no accidents, just genetics.., and what a nice nurse referred to as "magician hands."
The truly sad thing is thast extracuriicular hand activities such as juggling, card manipulation, sculpting, typing, opening shampoo bottles, fingernail clipping, etc are now right out. hopefully these things will one day be part of my life again, but i'm not holdfing my breath. frowny face.
Zack has been working for some time on the long-languishing comic-to-film translation of the Citizen Kane of comic books, The Watchmen. Now I've been against these types of translations from the start. My feeling is that it's a perfectly good comic, people should just go read it. There's no need to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen it up.
Fortunately for me, out of the many people who tried, Terry Gilliam said it best, calling it "unfilmable," essentially guaranteeing that I won''t see it ruined. And let me tell you, when Terry Gilliam says something is unfilmable, I say you best listen. He knows a thing or two about difficult shoots. Anyway, every time I'd hear something new about Watchmen, I'd get uneasy, but would very quickly be comforted by the fact that yet another name has decided to agree with Terry and backed out.
The thing is, though, since Zack got involved, the backing out part hasn't happened. This had me very worried for a very long time. Then I saw 300, and remembered back to several years prior when I read Frank Miller's comic and deemed it unfilmable, and thanked my lucky stars no one would ever try to make it into a movie. Then I remembered back to when I scoffed at someone remaking Dawn of the Dead. "They're just throwing their money away," I said. "I won't go see that."
Well, in both those cases, Zack greatly surpassed my expectations. He didn't just make "passable" movies out of those two properties, he made really darn fine films. I've now dediced to "let go; let Zack" and trust that he knows what he's doing, and have actually begun to get a little excited about seeing The Watchmen on the big screen.
Zack is going to do it. There's a good chance it might be good.
If, like me, you found Grindhouse to be a bit lackluster in the "mocking a genre lovingly" department, then perhaps Hot Fuzz will be a bit more to your liking. I know it was to mine.
Hot Fuzz is excellent at both making fun of the Michael-Bay-dual-guns-diving-sideways-in-slow-motion genre of films, and actually being a great Michael-Bay-dual-guns-diving-sideways-in-slow-motion film.
Like with Shaun of the Dead, I went into Hot Fuzz completely sure I was going to like it. Like with Shaun, I didn't just like it, I loved it. Usually for me, expecting to love a movie is the most sure-fire way to ensure that I don't, so the fact that these two films held up to my lofty expectations really says something about their quality.
In short, best film I've seen all year. The only problem? Now I really want to watch Point Break and Bad Boys II.
Attached to the film was a trailer for 28 Weeks Later, which I had been planning to avoid due to its violation of my "no remakes, sequels, remakes of sequels, or sequels to remakes" policy. Unfortunately I'm going to have to consider modifying that policy somewhat, because Weeks looks really awesome.
My adherence to this policy has been on somewhat shaky grounds recently anyway, since Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead is one of my favorite films in a long, long time, remake policy notwithstanding. What I've heard Zack saying about where he wants to take his zombie world next has me pretty amped up, so I had considered changing my policy to "no remakes, sequels, remakes of sequels, sequels to remakes -- unless Zack Snyder is to blame," but with 28 Weeks Later on the horizon, that's not going to work either. I could make it "unless zombies are involved," but then some lunatic might let George Romero make another Land of the Dead and I'll just want to hurt someone.
This is quite the unexpected blow, but I submit that Americans have a long-standing tradition of being unwilling to take certain jobs, and that this should have been expected. One might say that this country is founded on the idea that all men should be free to choose the jobs they don't want to do.
Unlike everyone else that's complaining about this issue, though, I have a solution. Instead of a single "War Czar," we just need to create a "Bureau of War" and staff it with the one group of people who have a long-standing tradition of accepting the jobs the rest of us Americans don't want to do: illegal Mexican immigrants.
This solves both the Czar problem and the immigration/amnesty problem, because all so-called "illegal" Mexican immigrants will now be government employees, entitling them to benefits like healthcare, taxation, and the always popular "not getting kicked out of the country." Having seven million "War Czars" ought to get things in Iraq nailed down at least seven million times faster than the single "War Czar" that we're currently unable to find, so this proposition wins all around.
Also: taking into account the popular sterotypes of both Mexicans and government workers, this pairing seems like a pretty good match to me.
In the words of both Calvin and cakeandmilque, "My beanie came!!!!"
Yesterday marked the arrival of my first two Geek Monthly magazines, completely confirming the corporeal existence I so wished this magazine to have. No more does it sit along with zombies and vampires in my list of things I think are awesome and desperately wish existed.
And how is it?
For my money, Geek Monthly is by far the most appealing magazine I have ever read, and if it didn't take so long for me to get my hands on copies, I'd suspect that it was created for my benefit alone. Even the ads are interesting to me, whether they be products I'm interested in, clever campaigns (the Dungeons and Dragons ads are particularly amusing) -- or just so utterly perplexing that I haven't the vaguest idea what they're for.
I haven't had a chance to sit down and read through a whole issue yet, but I've had a very difficult time "flipping through" them because every time I try, I keep landing on things I want to actually read and have to stop flipping.
I can't recommend this magazine any more highly, and even though I've not made it though the two I have, I can't wait for the next one.
If you want great magazines from the Los Angeles underground, and if you can find them, maybe you can buy Geek Monthly.
Tired of seeing this every time you use Firefox's built-in RSS handling to add a site's feed to your Google Reader account?
Me too, so I figured out a way to get rid of it. Now I'll show you how too.
Simply type 'about:config' into your url bar, and as soon as all that scary-looking stuff loads, scroll down until you see 'browser.contentHandlers.types.2.uri', and then double click it.
A dialog will pop up asking for a uri, and will be pre-filled with 'http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=%s'.
Simply replace it with 'http://google.com/reader/preview/*/feed/%s' then restart Firefox.
Next time you click on an RSS feed, you'll see a preview of it in Google Reader, completely bypassing the option to add it to your Google homepage.
Note: You'll need to actually click the 'subscribe' button in the preview window to subscribe, so the sum total of clicks will be the same, they just won't be dealing with Google's bad UI decision. Besides, it's nice to see the contents of the feed before committing to it. I routinely change my mind if a feed is only a partial-text feed.
Geek Monthly magazine is really, really cool in principle, and seems to be targeted at me personally. It looks funny and informative, complete with articles with high geek appeal and allegedly has hot geeky chicks on the cover. In short: the greatest magazine ever.
Like other cool things that seem to be aimed directly at me (e.g. sasquatches [sasquii?], zombies, vampires, succubi, unicorns, etc), I've yet to see any first-hand evidence that it even exists. Several of the newsstands I visited actually knew of its existence, yet were mysteriously unable to locate any actual copies. ("We should have a bunch of them... I'm not sure why they aren't on the racks.") The rest just looked at me as if I were crazy. I'm beginning to think they were right.
I eventually just caved in and subscribed via their suspiciously sucky website. While they took my money over two months ago, I've still yet to lay my hands on a copy. I got a response when I enquired via email, informing me that they had "just gone out" and that I should have my first issue "any day now."
That was two weeks ago.
Does this magazine exist? Am I ever going to see a copy?
While overall I enjoyed Tarantino's half of the movie, there's no question regarding whether or not it is a snoozefest. (It is.) Literally every review I saw about the movie mentioned how boring QT's half is.
I submit that people weren't as "confused" as they were "informed."
Two years ago I decided that I needed to switch out my archaic "category" system on this site for a more dynamic "tag" system. Adding categories is a pain, meaning I never have an appropriate one for anything I post. Tags make all sorts of amazing stuff possible. In short, it was a "no brainer," really.
The only problem was that I had a wealth of posts back then, and I didn't look forward to having to go through and tag them all. So I didn't switch over. Because it would be too much work.
It's now been two years and like 600+ posts later, and I actually got around to doing the bulk of the work today. I got it to automatically populate my existing categories into tags, so every post has at least one tag it belongs to, but I've been going through and adding more appropriate tags as I find them. This is a real pain in the butt, but I feel it is well worth it.
The moral of this story? If you think it's going to be too much work to do something now, just imagine how much more work it will be when you actually get around to it.
UPDATE: A lot (most) of my old posts are very poorly titled, so as I go through tagging them I'm trying to fix those as well. This will probably cause them to come through your feed reader again, so I apologize if you've seen them before. Many of you haven't, though, so I don't feel too badly about it.