Tag Archive: sci-fi

March 17 2016

11 things Hollywood still hasn’t learned about comics

I’m going to keep this one short, since my last post was over 5,000 words long.

 

1. Stop spending so much time on origin stories.

Telling part of a hero’s origin story is usually necessary, especially if they’re not a well-known character, or if they have a particularly interesting origin. However, most hero origin stories follow the same plot, and as a result we’ve had some very predictable movies. Do we really need to watch yet another comic book movie where a hero gets their powers, goes through a comedic routine where they get used to their powers, and then finally gets the courage to be the hero they’re destined to be?

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May 22 2010

So close, yet so far

I’ve been itching to try Star Trek Online for a while now. When it was still in development, I tried to get into the beta, but had no luck. Then I tried to find a demo or trial to play, but at first they didn’t offer one. And that’s a big mistake that most other online games make; if I can’t try a game, I’m not going to buy it. I’m not going to spend my money on a game I’ve never played, unless it comes from Blizzard.

Fortunately, there’s now a demo for STO, so I eagerly loaded it up (through Steam) and tried it out.

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March 21 2010

Avatar and the future of 3D (Part 2)

For a few years now, 3D has been making a slow comeback. In the past, it’s been little more than a gimmick, and was hindered by issues such as poor image quality and clunky glasses for the audience to wear. But with Avatar, 3D proved itself to Hollywood as a great way to make money. But has 3D finally moved into the mainstream, or is it still too soon?

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March 8 2010

Avatar and the future of 3D (Part 1)

I’m not going to apologize for all the time that passes between posts anymore. I write when I have the time, when I have something to write about, and when I feel like writing. Just subscribe to the RSS feed so you don’t have to keep coming back. I do have plans for making this blog a little more active, but it’s a still too early to say when that’ll happen.

Have you heard about this movie called Avatar? Have you? Really? It’s a science fiction thing with blue people and…oh, you have heard of it. What a surprise.

I’d like to give a quick mini-review of the movie, and then talk about something that’s perhaps much more interesting: the 3D tech behind the movie, and where that’s going.

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May 14 2009

Recommended Podcasts

I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts while at my computer (especially while playing WoW) and also on my MP3 player in the car, and when out for a walk, and whenever I have the time. I listen to a LOT of podcasts, and I’m always looking for more. Here are my favorites, and if you know of any others that I’d probably like, please post a link.

What the hell is a podcast?

It’s like radio, but on a computer. Most podcasts are published via an RSS feed that links to the files on the podcaster’s server. You can just download them manually if you want, but there are programs out there that will let you subscribe to the podcast feed and automatically download new episodes when they become available. The program I use is MediaMonkey, which is probably the greatest audio program ever. Other people use iTunes, though I don’t know why. I think WinAmp can handle podcasts too, and I’m sure there are others. Anyway, on with the show.

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September 7 2008

Searching for Douglas

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Lately I’ve been taking walks at the local nature center. It’s free, it’s within walking distance (I still drive though), there are very few people (and usually none on the unpaved trails), and it’s so nice and peaceful that I can sometimes even stop being a nervous wreck.

I carry my MP3 player (the classic iRiver H120) so I can listen to audiobooks and podcasts as I walk, and I’ve recently been listening to The God Delusion. There was a part where Dawkins mentioned an interview with Douglas Adams, where Adams explained why he called himself a “radical atheist” and mentioned that part of the reason why he became an atheist in the first place was that he read two of Dawkins’ books.

Dawkins also mentioned that this interview was reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt, a collection of Adams’ miscellaneous magazine articles, interviews, and even the first couple chapters of his last, unfinished book. That got me thinking. I’d purchased Salmon of Doubt back when it first came out in 2002, and at the time I probably read the interview without thinking about it much (I was still a semi-believer). I suddenly had an urge to dig it out and read it again.

Since I moved out for college, all of my books have been stored in large Rubbermaid containers. I’ve got at least 4 of them, and they’re all full of books, textbooks, and comics. They’re all in my garage right now (I’m leaving them in the boxes until I move again) and they’re all stacked underneath other huge boxes full of other stuff. But I really wanted to find that book, so I went digging.

Well, after going through all those books, I didn’t find it. I’ve got several boxes filled with miscellaneous crap, but I didn’t feel like going through all those. I did find my copy of Last Chance To See, which I’m going to start reading instead.

But…I really wanted to read that interview. So I looked it up on Amazon, and thanks to the “Look Inside” feature, was able to read the first couple pages, and I eventually found my way to the interview’s source publication’s web site, American Atheist magazine. They still have the text of the interview online, even after all this time. (They mention that Disney and Jay Roach are working on the HHGTTG movie, with the goal of having it out in 2000.)

I read all of Douglas Adams’ books in high school. At the time, I just thought he was a clever and funny writer, and his books were some of my favorites. (And actually, most of the books I read in high school are still some of my favorites.) But as I get older, his books mean a lot more to me, and the fact that he was an atheist makes them even more relevant to me now. I go back and read them, and I see a lot of stuff that I missed back in high school; lots of witty criticisms and commentaries on topics I knew little about back then.

I read my 812-page copy of the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy once every couple years, but I haven’t gone back to read any of his other books since high school. It’s actually been over a decade since I read the Dirk Gently books or Last Chance to See! I’m sure they’ll seem almost new to me next time.

(I was going to write about the time I actually got to meet Douglas, but it’s getting late and this post is getting long, and it’ll make a pretty good post on its own at a later date.)

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