December 31, 2004

Any

Posted in General at 2:40 pm by Ian

There was a sign in the drugstore.

We can flavor any liquid

it said, and then there was a list of flavors.

You will be relieved to know that my thoughts were pure as fresh fallen snow.

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December 29, 2004

MOB Pictures

Posted in General at 1:20 pm by Ian

First, props to the Fargo, ND airport for having free wireless access.

Second, I put up the reasonably passable pictures I took at the Winter MOB here. Eventually there will be some kind of nice photo gallery like Adam has.

December 27, 2004

They Shoot Zombies, Don’t They?

Posted in Critical at 9:38 pm by Ian

If you believe that a movie as bad as Resident Evil: Apocalypse could be spoiled, there are spoilers within.

The movie flails about in search of a plot, eventually settling on one that doesn’t quite work. The first movie relied on the tired cliche of having to get out before the timer clicked down to zero and <something bad> happened. This one decided about two thirds of the way through that it was going to do the same thing, bypassing the traditional method of telling the audience and compressing that critical rising action phase of the plot to about twenty minutes. I mean, actions scenes and shooting zombies is all fun, but it helps a bit to have some kind of goal in mind for the characters. It’s like they went down the list of requirements (creepy sets, check; villain with German accent, check; hot women with guns, check.), but never realized that there was supposed to be a cohesive center to the whole thing.

We do get to see Milla’s tits, and there are a few topless zombie hookers (band name!). But we are left unsatisfied. Surely a woman who goes into battle with zombies wearing a tube top and minskirt would find time for a shower somewhere in those ninety-four minutes of mediocrity. But, alas, it was not to be.

For me, the movie had only one redeeming quality: the delightful homage to the video games in the church. The lighting is creepy and very reminiscent of the games, and when Jill is walking around, she holds herself and gun just the way the video game character does, even doing the little half lápiz when she turns.

So Much For Holiday Cheer

Posted in Personal at 4:28 pm by Ian

My Christmas was a pleasant, if a bit hectic, time to catch up with friends and family at home, but it ended on a decidedly uncheerful note.

My grandmother died, and I will be traveling back to North Dakota for the funeral this week. It was not unexpected, but it comes as a blow nonetheless.

December 26, 2004

Recent Comments

Posted in General at 8:57 pm by Ian

So, it’s not quite working yet. But I imagine it will eventually.

December 18, 2004

How I’ll Spend My Christmas Vacation

Posted in General at 9:59 am by Ian

I’m home now and off work next week. Posting will be sporadic and filled with holiday cheer.

Those of you who are in the Santa Rosa area, give me a call. We’ll do lunch.

December 16, 2004

Tangent

Posted in General at 11:07 pm by Ian

I saw a pirate yesterday. I was walking down State toward that deli that always has Seinfeld on, and he came in from a side street and turned briefly down the street.

He was well camouflaged, wearing jeans and a blue work shirt. But I could tell he was a pirate because he was bald, had one large gold earring, and was wearing an eye patch. He was drinking a Dr Pepper, and I think I heard a subdued “Arr” as he crumpled it into the trash.

Better Living Through Flash

Posted in General at 1:32 pm by Ian

I was searching for some information on malaria control for a discussion here at work, and, while I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, I found something even better. I bring you the Malaria Game (Ages 16 and up).

You can be either a parasite or a mosquito!

December 14, 2004

I, For One, Welcome Our New Digital Historians

Posted in General at 5:54 pm by Ian

Adam has a post up about the Google Library project, in which he worries that a trend toward digitization of printed material will lead to information being lost to time.

But he’s wrong, and here’s why.

For one, the information currently in book form isn’t going anywhere. It’s not like Harvard is going to take their Gutenberg Bible and toss it in the rubbish bin once they’ve scanned in the pages. Even the less spectacularly history books will be kept. They’ll probably be kept in large crates in a basement somewhere, but, hey, all the better to survive the nuclear war/bioengineering disaster/alien attack that leaves future civilizations without internet access.

Future scholars will not come across digital storage and be unable to decipher the data contained within because our society has become so linguistically prolific that we don’t even realize how awash we are in the printed word. In just my apartment there are hundreds of volumes, including several with accompanying cds containing the same information in digital form. My coworker has a little plastic card with the CSS spec on it, there are Time Capsule projects all over the place, and we even carved binary notation into gold and sent it into space! The future will have it a darn sight easier than the past.

Books are not going away anytime soon. Until electronics become easier and cheaper than paper to carry around, books will be plentiful. Even then, they may become somewhat scarce, for the same reason that I don’t keep horses and that you’re reading this on your computer hundreds of miles away instead of gathering around a hardened block of clay I carved some markings in, but they’re not going away entirely. After all, there are still horses and those who ride them, and still sculpters and potters. There will be a written record.

But nothing about that written record requires that we use it all the time. Books as an archive will remain. Books as a mass media distribution method are on the way out. They’re slow, heavy, expensive, and linear search sucks.

If Only I Could Tell What The Text Was

Posted in General at 12:04 pm by Ian

Still, this story tells itself through pictures pretty well.

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