Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Why Should We Study Zombie Attacks?
By Lauren Davis, 9:30 AM on Tue Sep 15 2009, 29,485 views
Last month, a group of mathematicians grabbed headlines with their mathematical model of the zombie apocalypse. But as one science journalist notes, such studies are more than amusing academic anecdotes; they can actually serve a very legitimate social interest.
Patrick J. Kiger, a journalist and blogger for the Science Channel, has been criticized for focusing on technologies in his column Is This a Good Idea? that currently exist only in the realm of speculative fiction. To answer those critics, Kiger looks at the recent study by mathematicians in Ottawa as to the best response to a zombie outbreak. What good, Kiger asks, is it to study a phenomenon that we know does not actually exist?
Kiger spends some time contemplating whether or not we might actually have to fear attacks from the flesh-eating undead, but ultimately, his point is that the possibility of a literal zombie attack is irrelevant to the value of such studies. Studying zombie attacks is valuable, he argues, precisely because they represent a level of crisis that we do not have any experience with, and our ability to logically respond to such a crisis:
But whether real or imagined, a zombie attack is a potent metaphor. Think of the undead not as klutzy cannibals but as the X factor, the Rumsfeldian "unknown unknown," the totally unexpected menace that suddenly confronts us. (The Canadian researchers' mathematical modeling of zombie attacks maybe seem like an elaborate joke, but in actuality it was led by a mathematician whose expertise is in studying the spread of actual epidemics such as malaria and West Nile Virus, and its underlying purpose was to demonstrate the progression of a rapidly spreading, unfamiliar public health threat.) In recent experience we've been confronted increasingly with such X factors, ranging from AIDS to terrorism to climate change. And time and again, we've been exposed as dangerously unprepared to deal with such paradigm-shattering threats. I'm not talking about stocking up on bottled water and Spam, having a battery-powered radio, a shotgun and the ingredients for Molotov cocktails. I'm talking about our societal tendency to do exactly what most of the characters in the Romero movies do when confronted with a zombie attack - i.e., to become hysterical and fight among themselves for control of the group, which ultimately leads to them squandering resources and opportunities for survival, and undermining each others' efforts. I think we need to find a way to tone down the cable TV news-induced histrionics and learn to cooperate towards a common objective, before some real menace arrives to do us in.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
wishing someone could pick up the story with Hoshii taking the fleet
on a quest for an Earth more akin to what happened on Galactica 1980
(imagine it done right).
The more I watch the finale the less I buy it.
Hey I'll tell you what. You guys go renounce technology and live off
the land but how about leaving me the broken Galactica, a few raptors
and the Agro and Tillium ships. I'll take a comfy bed and some air
conditioning - and if I feel like hunting I'll come down.
Sent from my iPhone
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Enterprise seems more scarred than it did when Khan was finished with it, and Robin Curtis as Saavik is awful, and a character-killer. (Saavik will get about 3 minutes of screen time in IV.)
Sure it's annoying that Admiral Morrow says the Enterprise is "20" years old - maybe since the Gary Mitchell-era paintjob (when they painted the railings red and removed the gooseneck speaker things) but it's clearly more like 40. However, the stealing of the Enterprise is fun and Christopher Lloyd and crew behave like real Klingons, not the mumbo-jumbo philosophical versions that we saw 78 years later hanging out with Picard.
The special effects are quite good...watching this film made me realize even more (if this is possible) that Star Trek V is a piece of crap.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The best I can do is get my signal for NBC up to about 39%, and that's after messing with the antenna for half an hour. 39% gets you a picture most of the time, with significant pixelation.
CBS will occassionally come in, as will FOX.
ABC? Doesn't exist. WABC-7 used to have one of the strongest signals in the area. You could be inside Indiana Jones' nuclear fridge and you'd still get a signal. These days, forget it.
As is usually the case I can get 7000 versions of useless the old UHF channels. Who cares.
Do I have cable, yes. This is the extra set down by the treadmill.
The feds screwed the pooch on this one. Anyone getting decent signals? Didn't think so.
Disney didn't buy Marvel to make all the characters wimpy. They bought them to make money.
What you'll wind up seeing is even more of the characters. Disney doesn't know how to reach boys, but they do know how to make cartoons. You know how DC has made a few good Batman/Superman TV cartoons - maybe now we'll finally get good looking and well written animated Spidey and X-Men.
Nobody has done justice to the Fantastic 4 yet whether it has been Herbie the Robot or two awful movies. Never mind Thor, Hulk, and the under-served Captain America.
This will be a good thing long term. Relax.