Friday, June 29, 2012

Arbitrary Carbohydrates in 3D

I have a Reddit Arbitrary Day 2012 giftee and I can't find a simple wooden Chinese box in Chinatown. I thought it would be more fun to put my gifts in one. But I can't find one.
As it turns out, Atkins works. But it's dangerous. And all of the "avoid hyper-processed carbs" is the way to go.

I've been experimenting with NutriSystem. It's cheap. The food is OK. I just wish there were a way for me to tick a "no green peppers" box so that I could get stuff w/o green (or red) peppers. Plus I'm not a fan of shakes. But it's easy to order without shakes.
Jim Tierney on movies looking like videogames.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stuff I needs

I'm here to complain.
So, after doing a lot of research on the sub-$1000 computers I've concluded that the best deal for us is a Mac Mini. Realize that at this point I'm prejudiced against Apples because of FCPX and thoughts that we're going to have to move over to Premiere.

But the Mini is the one computer in Apple's line which is actually fairly cheap for what you get. And, if we do move over to Premiere and move everything over to Windows (or not) we can load Windows onto the Mini.
So why am I complaining? I'm complaining because you can't buy the mid-line Mini with the upgraded processor from Amazon. You can only order the base models.

Apple charges a ridiculous amount for RAM. They want $100 for the 8GB upgrade when you can buy 8GB for less than $50.
So, OK. I'll upgrade the RAM myself. And another thing — I'm not going to spend a thousand dollars on one of the Apple fancy-pants displays. That's just silliness.
The Apple keyboard is about the same price from Apple or Amazon (or J&R). Honestly, I'd like to get a similar keyboard for my PC.
I gotta figure out what monitor to get. These Dell 24" monitors I've been getting are nice, but you'd figure there's something newer and cheaper out there, no? Maybe not, my dad had a terrible experience with a recent ViewSonic. Then again, some of the best gaming monitors out there are ViewSonic.

I can't say I'm a fan of "dynamic contrast ratio". But it's cheap. And it's not the same one my dad had.

Freefall I

Here's a page that lets you calculate time and distance in freefall. Which, as you can imagine, is awesome. Here's a question: if I want an acceleration of (say) 4.2G's, do I just multiply 32'/s/s by 4.2? Anybody know?
OK, I've read or listened to all the Solar Clipper books.
Crowdspring. I think we need a new logo for Pandora Machine. The one we have now is not all that print-friendly and we need something for DVD covers.

Monday, June 25, 2012

And Then Also

This is just why Steven Stills' squeezebox should not be in any science fiction film.

Greek Buff

So, wait, were the ancient Greeks just super buff like this?
I mean, those are some serious pecs and low-body-fat. Plus, how did they get such rockin' beards with smooth chests? That hair is totally presidential.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

We Are What We Are

Dig it.
Jim Mickle is making a new movie, We Are What We Are. The movie is based on the Spanish language Somos lo que hay.
That Jim sure is a good director. I'm totally envious of his directing skills.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Your Things For Thursday

Lookitme! I'm Internet famous. Or at least I'm mentioned on the Project London blog. Who exactly buys television shows? We're low on paranormal crime dramas, aren't we? We need a Law & Order with vampires. That being said, there's advice on the Web with how to pitch shows. And with that, meh, I do not want to make a web series. Did I mention I need a golden owl? Probably a bigger one than what's linked there. I'm experimenting with a couple time-management programs. I'm using Manic Time on my PC.
The Prometheus runs on Windows. Just another prediction (like bubble space helmets) made by Chance Shirley's Interplanetary.

Polone on shooting sex scenes. Most of what his nameless actors say jibes with my experience. The difference to me though is that sex scenes have to be mapped out in detail or they don't work dramatically. They're sort of like fight scenes that way.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Three Things for Monday

You like stuff that's deeply wack, right? How about Panda Cheese commercials? The tone of these is simply... Let's just say David Lynch is frightened by these commercials. Sheesh. Vertical videos are a menace. Of course, since people's bodies are typically vertical, it would make it much easier to shoot them if we went to vertical video altogether. Not so good for shooting landscapes but great for portraits. Hmm... I want a one-minute painting. Honestly, I think Tyrannosaurus Mouse needs a one-minute painting for an album cover.

Ghost Ship

I'm short. So of course Mission sends me point on a fire team to take a tanker in hyperspace. Two weeks and I'm out but even if I live and the ship doesn't crash I'll be out here for at least 10 more weeks just to turn the sails around to head home.
We load up the "one way" rockets. The target will never see us coming. We'll follow their radiation signature at 2.5g's right out of the dock off of L2 station. Even if we wanted to we couldn't turn our assault boat around -- there's no fuel or supplies for that.
One week out and we're within a hundred meters. They still don't see us because we're riding the wave behind their main thrusters — why would they even look there? Now that I see this ship we're overtaking I figure we'll open her up at the two main locks. The guess there is that we can blow open the locks and then figure a way to re-seal them and little harm will come to the ship structurally.
I give the signal to blue team. I watch them as they mirror our movements. The flechette rounds will be high - power to get in, but we immediately ratchet down to BBgun strength once we get inside. We take precautions -- the gravity may kick out, it may oscillate on and off -- nobody knows 'till we get in there.
Ship like that ought to have 30 or maybe 40 souls on board. It's about to get a lot less. But I don't want us to be responsible for actually flying the damned thing so we better save at least two pilots and a navigator.
3... 2... the outer hatches on the airlocks blow. Now Red and Blue teams are out of sight of one another and out of radio contact. We know that we're each furiously busting our way through the inner seals. Those will be the last of the regular explosives we'll use.
Blue 5 (likes to be called "Billy" even though his given name is "Jon") -- he's a big guy, meaty hands, but I know that he can seal us up with some plastic and get us a half-atmosphere pressure hull after we just destroyed the two massive pressure doors that were built for anything other than a commando attack.
Simi... Sami? What's her name? Anyway, she's in first and she lobs some flash bangs left and right and we're in. Ship is dark so we kick on our lights (making us perfect targets). But nobody is here.
Red team is waiting for us on the bridge (we pre-arranged that so we didn't get into a firefight with our own guys.) They haven't seen anybody either.
Welp. We'll do a slow sweep bow-to-keel. Still... nobody.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


So now that I've actually seen Prometheus I think we should add a scene here and there to our mockbuster The Prometheus Trap.


Haskin walks in, irritated. She clicks on a map display. 


Captain Cornell sits in his command chair. A COWBELL in his hand. He strikes it again. 


Haskin glares at him. 

This was the cowbell used on Mississippi Queen. 


You probably don't know who Corky Lang even is. 

As it turns out, I am a robot. Get away from me.

While the rest of them dudes was a-gettin' their kicks, brother beg your pardon I was gettin' mine.

Haskin beats Cornell to death with a pornographic magazine.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The YouTubes on Android Insurrection

Oh man, the funniest thing to me today is the YouTube comments on a version of the Android Insurrection trailer that's up. ClintIron from the UK (age "111") makes the following brilliant comment which I quote in its entirety:
calculators vs retards 
This made me laugh. Not just out loud. But wheezing, bouncing, I-don't-think-I-can-finish-dinner cackling-on-the-couch hysterical. I so wish I could have written that on the call sheets.

Although Mr54M comes in a close second with:
So basically this is a cheap, gay and stupid version of Terminator?
Yes, it's the cheap, gay, and stupid version of Terminator.

Nothing says "I'm really smart" like calling things gay and retarded.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Here's one: And another: And another:


There's something nice about riding on the really long voyages in the deep dark. One you pass through light speed between jump gates the boat smooths her ride and becomes quiet except for the CO2 scrubbers (which are the sound of life itself so you get used to it the way to get used to crickets at night).
It's true you can't go out in the sunlight. The outside is cold. There's no air.
But with a good crew, what we used to call "a good bunch of fellows", you can pass the time like a family on vacation in a cabin in the woods. We eat meals together. We play games, watch TV, listen to music.
There's a piano in the crew's "den". Along with the completely expected foosball table and "L"-shaped couch. When you're off of watch and a couple months in it can be relaxing to sit in a deep comfy chair and read while your 3rd mate studies for her engine exam at the desk in the corner.
"It's not boredom, it's relaxation" as my old Captain used to tell me. He would suck on a dry pipe, just to get the taste in his mouth. Any smoke on a interstellar boat like this and the alarms would go completely insane calling the entire crew out to either suppress the fire or abandon ship entirely. Sometimes both.
So the smokers would use little vaporizers instead.
The ship's cat, Molly, would stare out the window as though the comets were fluttering moths. Counting them as she licked her lips. Nobody closed their cabin doors all the way because Molly liked to patrol the ship, checking on each person at his watch, and to curl up at the feet of a radioman on break.

OK I'll Bite

So nobody thinks the story in Prometheus is very good. But I keep hearing "It's visually spectacular" or some such nonsense. 
It just isn't. No.
Seriously. Can you name a single frame in that movie which stands out? 
The Engineers looked plastic. The inside of the Prometheus was meh. The outside of the Prometheus was a Firefly-class ship that escaped from Joss Whedon's universe but with a bland filter on it. The most visually interesting thing in the picture was the Engineer's ship which was from the original Alien.
You know what's visually interesting?
Yeah. I went there. This scene still blows my mind. Ironically, they had to re-create this set for Prometheus. And yet somehow the thing was completely uninspiring in Prometheus
There. Rant = off

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ooh. I took the weekend off. Almost.

I'm only going to go to work for a couple hours today. That's like taking the whole weekend off. Right now I'm waiting on a CG model and then I'm going to render and animate and render some more for about a month. 

You think Reddit is good for nothing but pictures of cats? A brilliant basic explanation of monetary theory is what you got here. Otherwiseyep gets you there.

Steve Burg did a bunch of concept art for Prometheus. Fun fact: the ship used to be called The Magellan.

Ha! In my family I'm one of the dumb ones. Actually, I think my IQ is low enough that it doesn't actively try to hurt my thinking, as it seems to do with higher-IQ people. This IQ of 117 was derived from my SAT's which I took in 1982. 
I signed up for Reddit Arbitrary Day. Because I thought it would make me feel good to give somebody a gift.
Here are the notes I have in my note sidebar.

212.461.4887 (the office phone number for Pandora Machine)
Red Priest (I thought this would be a cool name of a movie)
seconds - frankenheimer (Maduka suggested I see this movie, I can't believe I haven't)
pc2-5300 (333 MHz) (This is the RAM I have in my notebook)
&fmt=18 (this is for forcing YouTube videos to play)
sg classic p90 <$650 (my analysis of Craigslist prices says you should be able to get a Classic P90 SG for less than six hundred fifty bucks.)

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sorry for your Inconvenience Beer

In space no one can hear you snore. Yes, it's a review of Prometheus.
From the Internet.

A story from my eldest brother's youth: Life-Line by Heinlein.
Sci-fi projects on Kickstarter. OK. I'll bite. Why? How much does a stop-motion animated movie actually cost nowadays? Can you really spend more than a few thousand dollars on materials? Nowadays the once-difficult process of shooting and editing is transparently simple so... what are you spending your money on? Rather than starting a Kickstarter campaign, why don't you just make the movie? I mean it's a short subject for crying out loud.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Internet Talk

There's all this Internet talk about working long hours on movies. After 8 hours my brain is mush so that's when we quit.
When they made Snow White and the Huntsman I think this conversation happened many times:
Wait, what's this movie about?
Uh. Snow White?
So it's got this kid she grew up with?
Yeah, he's the son of the Duke.
And he kisses her and wakes her up?
No. Really what happens is she stabs the brother of the wicked queen.
Oh, then who's this huntsman character?
Hey -- don't we need dwarfs? We need dwarfs.
OK but then don't we need a poisoned apple?
Oh crap! There has to be a mirror too.
Now, how does this whole thing with the childhood friend and the huntsman play out?
Uh. We don't need the childhood friend. Wait, they should go into the enchanted forest!
With the childhood friend? Or the huntsman?
And there should be elves. And a white stag? Maybe?
Well, if you insist, but really we should figure out these relationships -- is this a love triangle?
No, she's like a warrior princess, come back to reclaim her throne!
I hope we can fix all this once we get to editing.
Me too.

Friday, June 01, 2012

My Three Things Today

I want to go to Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania to look at the Milky Way. This is what I wanna do.
We're taking my stepmom out for dinner for her birthday to Buenos Aires.
This Mad Libs: Startup Pitch cracks me up. I read it in Bloomberg Week in the bathroom of my gym. Wow. That sounds just as pretentious as I'd intended.