Archive for May, 2009:
Yes, I have decided that Hollywood needs another award. The Oscars, Emmys, Peoples’ Choice and Golden Globes just aren’t enough. (We haven’t even touched yet on B-level fame-fawning like the MTV Golden Popcorn and the glory of an actor getting himself slimed for a Nickelodeon award.) But the HAMIs are going to be better than all that. There isn’t a red carpet or even a show. Wait, let me take that back. I’m sure there will be a show, lots of coverage and all the reporters asking about what all the other actors think about it. The thing is, with the HAMIs we’ll never know when the show is going to happen.
Let me explain. The HAMIs will go to actors (actresses, too, but in the tradition of virtually all languages on earth except English I’m going to use ‘actor’ as gender neutral here. Besides, the first HAMI is more likely to go to an actor anyway.) OK, that aside was too long. The HAMIs will go to actors who gain and lose weight for various roles.
There are three ways to change weight – bet you thought there were only two, but no. First, the obvious – lose a lot. For a truly overweight person shedding 30-40 lbs is a good thing, but a lot of these actors are way down in the single digits on body fat to start with. Their BMI is often in the area that makes your Wii Fit go “Oh no!” in that cute little voice that means you are toooo low. So for one of these uber-fit Hollywood types to lose 30-40lbs, even the big guys, is a big deal.
I recently wrote about the new and not-improved version of the game of LIFE. Maybe it is sentiments like mine that have led to a different attempt at making old games new again. The latest installment of re-tooled games are in the pinkified boxes now on display at ToysRUs.
One of the pink games is “Mystery Date”, which isn’t surprising. But this game makes me want to vomit just by its mere existence. When we add in that I have a young daughter of my own, well, it’s surprising I haven’t gotten myself thrown bodily from the toy aisle. The stores all carry “girls” games that involve shopping in the mall and keeping points on a credit card reader (Ages 5 & up). Excuse me while I hug the porcelain god for a moment.
I am not against ‘girl’ things. I figure if anyone – boys included – wants a pink softball glove, let’em have it. There’s also neon orange, blue, green, standard brown, whatever. But ToysRUs has gone girly on some old classics. And it’s not just the mystery date – style games that are in the pink: It’s LIFE, Monopoly, Scrabble, etc.
I just got a Blackberry. I haven’t had one before as I am one of ‘those people’. Do I need to stay in constant contact with everyone who ever spammed me? I didn’t think so.
But then my phone contract came up. And since I had dunked my old phone in hot chocolate recently . . . (it was an accident, don’t ask.) Well, there was the new Blackberry Storm looking all shiny and new. The screen has similar touch capabilities to an iPhone, without being, well, an iPhone. I know, I’m a hater. Let’s just say I was smitten.
The kind lady at the store walked me through setting up my email accounts – yes, she patiently set me up for four email accounts on three different systems with four different passwords. Immediately my little green-cased phone began chiming at me pleasantly. I had email. In my hands!!!
The touch screen took a few days to learn how to navigate but very quickly I was able to keep it from attempting to spell correct my last name. (It initially suggests ‘Scum’ or ‘Scudding’ but about six letters in it just gives up.) I began sending messages tagged by ‘sent from my Verizon Blackberry’.
Not only is there bad science fiction out in the world of TV, there’s just a lot of . . . well production that could use a fact checker (or three).
Some of the worst offending shows have – thankfully – gone off the air. Need I even say “Tru Calling”? The show had an interesting concept, but got so many basics wrong it was just difficult to watch.
The second episode had a firefighter who died while rushing into a building to save a little girl. He went with no gear whatsoever. Okay, I can maybe buy that. But he did it with a truck full of geared-up firefighters right there on the lawn. He was maybe half a second ahead of the others into the house. Of course Tru couldn’t save him, it was just natural selection at work, my friends!
This show was so riddled with holes it was a veritable swiss cheese. Yet on TV.com the viewers are consistently rating it superb. Who are you people?
Science is complex. We all know that. The ragged edges of science today are all about tying all the disciplines together. And, in our world, we believe that they all should. Physics and Chemistry overlap with such a wide berth that much of the two studies are indistinguishable. On the other side of Chemistry, we have biology: chemicals working together within an organism. Within Biology, there is neurobiology, and from there psychology and sociology. Any of the aforementioned sciences branch into others: Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Geology . . . The list really goes on and on.
And this is a lot of the trouble with Science fiction. Actual scientists are looking for a unifying theory that ties all the pieces together into a cohesive whole – or at least binds a darn lot of the pieces! If any piece doesn’t mesh into the big picture, it tends to unravel . . . Take that whole ‘flat earth’ thing. No one really ever saw the edge of the earth or saw anyone fall off it. Lo and behold, it was wrong. Not really science after all.
Science Fiction starts from the basis that one or more pieces of the world are not as we know them to be. Two suns, base camps on Venus, really big bugs in the Mist. But this is the fundamental problem. Changing one piece changes the way the whole thing fits together. It’s like introducing and impurity into a crystal, it doesn’t fit and the matrix won’t work around it.