comfortably dumb
.: life on mars :.
« Sun 03 Aug 2008 09:25:57 AM »
Ogilvy, the astronomer, assured me we were in no danger.

*CAUTION* Long, irrelevent and incoherent rant follows.
I loooooove closet experts, not. People who purport to know what they are talking about but in truth are being fed script from advisors and other, nameless experts. Still it is the way of the world. Governments are ripe with this sort of lunacy - war on terrorers, stifling free speech and censoring the interwebs, ignoring human rights yet putting on a great opening ceremony, war criminals taking up time in court complaining they were detained unlawfully for a couple of hours ... overseas is a crazy place.

...but is over here any better, really? Take government promises to decrease the student-computer ratio to at least 1:2 - talk about up the creek with no paddle [or is that RUDDerless?]. The idea is interesting and worth discussion, certainly when other financial inequities are addressed this becomes an important issue [bridging the IT-gap], but did anyone sit down and look at the underlying infrastructure consequences of such a surface election promise? "Grants" or "Gifts" to schools of workstations [or indeed funds that can ONLY be used to purchase workstations "desktops, "laptops" or "thin clients" so the actual line goes - specifically prohibiting ANY allocation to infrastructure] become interesting and costly legacies when the school has to then work out how to house the beasties, power them [yes, power distribution is a huge problem in schools - the power points do not just magically sprout from the walls], network them [or is the "clever country" considering a return to stand-alone days?], maintain them [pooters need people to set them up and keep them working, high-tech my arse, this may surprise some school administrators] and then actually use them [software, say it with me children, and licensing].

The sad truth is that responsibility for these gifts will be dumped back on schools, many ill-equipped to even unpack the blighters from the boxes, as usual. Some schools are now forced to contemplate deployment [in ways they do not want, with types of gear they would not choose to purchase for that job, on a schedule that mangles other planned and fiscally responsibile and sustainable projects] because a politician made a promise at election time. Still, you get that I suppose

He was convinced there could be no living thing on that remote, forbidding planet.

.water on marsI for one was relieved to finally be told that there was water on Mars, I have been fretting and hanging on that announcment and I know my life will never be the same again because of that revelation. I whole-heartedly endorse the investment of billions of dollars, by a country whose war-driven economy teeters on the edge of a recession with such pulling power that other countrys look certain to be caught in its vortex as it is sucked down the gurgler.

...but I digress. Research, development, discovery and exploration are amazingly important things, remote vehicular exploration of our nearest planets is interesting, space travel is an enthralling prospect, but did anyone actually stop to realise we have had space travellers travel to the far reaches of our galaxy already - television, radio and other broadcast electromagnetic radiation has been hurtling through the inky void for decades. Episodes of "Leave it to Beaver" and "Gilligans Island", our first interstellar ambassadors, have no doubt been alarming extra-terrestrials for ages, determined to rush back and rescue them before they have to eat another one of Mary-Annes banana cream pies or witness Skipper abusing Gilligan again. I for one am glad the first contact has already been made, gets all that embarassing akward standing around, flashing lights, searching for a common dialect and anal probes unnecessary. Someone once said the substantive proof that there IS intelligent life elswhere in the cosmos is that they HAVE NOT tried to contact us - we are not interested in answering your call right now, please leave a message after the tone and we will invade you later ... beep!

"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one," he said.

Watched me some "Resident Evil" finally, managed to acquire all 3 movies and must say they have been hilarious. Most impressed that Mila Jovovich [or how ever you spell Liloo from Fifth Elements real name] has starred so beautifully in all three [project "Alice", throught he looking glass...], bringing a little tasteful nudity into the sci-fi-monster-zombie-chase-action-apocalypse-thriller genre, and not before time I say. I love formula horror, it makes me giggle, it shouldnt but it does. Directors set up shots where expendible character stands beside shadowy voids .. ho hum, monster leaps out of void, tears expendable to bits, retreats into void. Music changes, something happens, soft quiet music to trick us into relaxing followed by blood curdling scream as zombie drops on top of victim, the anti-hero "hiding" their infection until it is too late ... what a guy, all the harder to shoot him - boom, head shot! I could script this stuff. I would like to report that the Resident Evil movie series was quality cinema, and indeed it really tries so hard to take itself seriously, but I am only in it to cheer on the zombies and other mutated beasties that get rather the rough end of the pineapple in everything including hours of prosthetic makeup, infantile dialogue [groan, scream, grunt], having to withstand being splashed with fake blood and other viscera and generally being mistreated by the actors with speaking roles - zombies and mutants WERE people too!.

...the cynic in me would tend to think these movies were linked with some other commercial venture - hey, they would make brutal but entertaining computer games ... wait, dang, that idea has been taken, who would have seen that coming?

Teaching media has further focussed my observation of movie making tricks - the best movies are those you do not see coming, that you cannot work out what will happen next, that make you think about them days later - not slasher or random arthouse stuff [although movies like "Eraserhead" by David Lynch are fascinating because of their apparent randomness]. Saw "Dark Knight" and have gotta say Ledger nailed the Joker character - his performance was definitive - pity there will be no encore.

But still they come!

"War of the Worlds" by Jeff Wayne is a litte dated but was a great adaptation of H. G. Wells classic, many memorable ballads, ditties and cameos, with Phil Lynott as Nathaniel - may he rest in peace. Not heard of it? Do something about it.
Feeling:: effluent [a little fluesy but otherwise fine]
Watching:: Resident Evil [trilogy of comedy, I am cheering for the zombehs]
Reading:: "Watchmen" by Alan Moore; "The Last Hero" by Terry Pratchett, still.
Hearing:: "Minimum, Maximum: by Kraftwerk [love old-school synth rather than synth pretending to be a real instrument]
Accessed:: 2113 times so far, not that anyone is counting.

margraine a. (n.) The blinding pain one suffers from drinking margarita slush too quickly.
b. (n.) The intense headache that follows a persons attempt at chugging a litre of pure melted margarine, all in one sitting; often the cause of obesity or extreme jealousy depending on the persons ability to hide such large amounts of fat.
current blarg
previous blargs - :roboter: :time: :blue: :new: :annus horribilis: :hair: :vegicide: :i love lamp: :show: :life on mars: :plumbing the depths: :zoupa: :traces of nut: :freak of the week: :TV or not TV: :screwed: :pre-op: :what a nerve: :five yards: :gone: :one: :three: :four: :techno-logic: :ergo is not a dirty word: :15 mins: :online: :dust, anyone?: :notwerk: :sprung: :drive, she said...: :kidney: :iRate: :monitor: :alliance: :pamper: :allies: :heroes: :area: :appraisal: :barnstorming: :renegade: :where there is smoke...: :noob year: :dalek: :ende neu: :GOOtube: :place: :artery: :sewer: :fnq: :mole: :hols: :vote: :lumberjack: :prune: :plant: :opinion: :audit: :dig it: :neck: :life is a minestrone: :pastie: :fortysix: :away: :fully-sik: :play: :BoB2006: :cOMMunity: :pops: :bagge: :break: :pwnage: :n00b: :service with a snarl: :open: :NOT(advance): :nectarine: :sushi: :who?: :reception: :another day, another...?: :The WALL (reprise): :the WALL [part 2]: :the WALL [part 1]: :>insert seasons greetings here<: :surf: :Owe-Pee: :catAtonic: :over: :cUt: :airCON: :ooRoo: :building: :tick: :you raise me up: :duct: :yogified: :food glorious food: :diurnal anomoly: :operatunity: :wPod: :myPod [pod=foot, ok]: :is this the real life?: :bitter and twisted: :shiny: :Ahh, Serenity: :computer says no: :smef: :Go Maroon!: :best laid plans of mice: :Ready to Rok: :gravity 1, wonko 0: :Kairos 2: :fluv@x: :cluss prags: :LAN: :Axes of Evil: :Little Slices of Death: :Wrapped in plastic..: :A Horse is a horse, of course: :ego is not a dirty word: :Fun & Run: :Hedging and Edging: :Testiculation: :weak end: :I before E except after C: :Reality - hah!: :fluezy: :Too darned hot!: :Eye of the Storm?: :The Carnivale is Over: :Calm b4 the storm: :Asylum: :A Quest: :High Tea and "Back to Asylum Shopping": :hi ho, hi ho, it: :Working in a coal mine...: :Here I stand, foot in hand, talking to my wall...: :Another day ... another day, really: :We're here because we can:
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