22 December 2009

Avatar, amendment 1

I forgot two things.

Another flaw with Avatar: Ana Lucia has still not been punched in the face. Help me, Season 6. You're my only hope.

Also, Avatar shares a lot of themes with NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind. Loved that one. Hannah does, too.

21 December 2009

I'll read the rest of the poem tomorrow

I caught this quote in a film once.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

I really like it. I find it very compelling. I don't want to leave my family – I don't want to go exploring – I don't need new friends when I've got such good ones in my daily life already. (I suppose I'm taking an optimistic viewpoint on that last line, but that's well within my liberty.)

The quote seems relevant in light of college graduation. "Where to?"

I don't want anyone to leave. And I want everyone to come back.

holy cow

1677 songs added to my iTunes library in 2009! Wonder how much that cost.


Spoiler warning.

It is a great movie. It noticeably lacked only two things:
  1. An original plot. Reviews I read before watching made this same critique. The avatar thing is a nice speculative fiction twist (and a bit over-played in the title, I think), but doesn't sway the story too considerably from Pocahontas/Dances with Wolves/The Last Samurai: efficient-killing, greedy invaders lend wayward hero to "savages", who turn out to be noble and inspire the hero to switch sides.

    Here's the catch: I love this plot. Add in the thoughtful and inter-woven support from the Na'vi culture and Pandoran ecology for the audience's inflamed environmentalism, and Cameron has sharpened-up a very old and very proven story.

  2. Character development. The wittiest critique I read on Rotten Tomatoes was about how the movie looks great in 3D but the characters themselves are trapped in 1D. Nobody really changes.

    The closest I'd say was the capitalist Parker; his resentment for his charge and his thin attempts at self-deception become more evident as the movie proceeds. I like that veneer of sympathy the movie allows him. Clearly, Jake changes, but this is a plot element more than character development. Moreover, the lack of information about his past character (=spunky?) leaves us with no trajectory upon which to witness character development.

I'll say it again. It is a great movie. But not a film. I'd say the two missing pieces above are pretty much pillars of film, but no more than pieces of a movie.

Basically: amidst the simple plot, Cameron effortlessly blends dragon-riders and mecha in the same movie. I can dig that. Layer on the wonderment of being a Na'vi, the invitation for redemption for our greedy ways (demonstrated by Dr. Augustine/Jake connecting with Eywa), the drop-dead gorgeous Pandoran environment, and the most seamless computer animation ever, and you have no excuse to miss this one.

19 December 2009


Panic Room was fun, but the ending proper was a bit unfulfilling.

18 December 2009


Sadly, I'm not the first to see this uncanny resemblance.

it was only a matter of time

My thumb became painful after so much programming. A little searching indicates it was a "sprain". The app I use most had me moving my left thumb over to the option key very regularly. It started to cramp up and hurt when I did so.

I saw Phil yesterday and that reminded me that some people change the caps lock key to be other things, since caps lock is so worthless. OS X actually supports this directly in the Keyboard preference pane, so now my caps lock key is just another option key. My thumb feels better already.

It feels hopeful.

† You can change other "modifier" keys too: control, option, and command.

15 December 2009

a meal

I'm looking at recipes to cook tonight for community dinner, and I think a fun one would be pairing this vegetable hash with one (both!?) of these two breakfast hashes. Mmmm delicious and cryptographic to boot.

14 December 2009

books (for me) to read

RT @duke_sam: Interesting top 20 Sci-Fi books of the decade list: http://is.gd/5n72y

My picks from that list:
  • Acacia: The War with the Mein 
  • Glasshouse 
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
  • Look to Windward
  • The Mount (maybe)
  • Perdido Street Station
  • Rainbows End
  • Stories of Your Life And Others

13 December 2009

up all night

Up all night doing no good. I just scraped ABC's site for all of its Lost episode recaps and gathered them into one page for easy access. I'm hosting it on my website, but it's protected because I don't know how mean they will be.

If you want access, let me know. I'm going to read it all, seasons 1-5, before 6 starts on 2 February because I don't remember so much!

11 December 2009

how is this possible?

@akrito - You're on. Via Phil, http://bit.ly/5EIevy

glory hallelujah computer-style

So GHC and Snow Leopard do not get along well. That links to an ugly looking page, and I can't really find a nice summary anywhere.

Though I had followed the ragtag instructions and got GHC working as far as I could tell, I was having trouble getting Apache + FastCGI + GHC to work for a web application I had made on my laptop (OS X 10.5). I couldn't really find any error issues and other parts of the web site were working fine, so I just figured the bit mismatch was causing the problem, since IPC can be iffy in the first place. I had given up for a while.

But, I recently installed mod_python and wrote some home-grown python to filter my Google Reader shared items and this blog for my Twitter account (a little more sophisticated than twitterfeed, especially since it is triggered via URL). This put me back in the mood to get Haskell working, since I much prefer it to Python given the choice. I think what it turned out to be was me not noticing that GHC didn't actually rebuild the Haskell executable since I had only changed GHC-system files and not the actual source. Works now. Joy.

Long story short (too late): my online Quoridor program works now, so two people can play over the Internets. En garde! It's password protected because I don't understand the licensing issues and Family Games, Inc. hasn't responded to my inquiry. If you want to try it, let me know.

10 December 2009

no bookmark manager for Mac Chrome beta

Manage your Mac Chrome bookmarks at ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Bookmarks. Beta, indeed.

09 December 2009

I could sing

Be warned: some of the linked Lost theories are very difficult to look past and I wouldn't be surprised if they eclipsed your own. Don't blame me.

Lindsey shared this, and it's freakin' brilliant! I hope the Lost cabal has pre-manipulated all the Wikipedia pages it references, though – that'd be masterful.

Note that Charlie's never mentioned, which is good because he's dumb.

I really dig the theme (that I first saw in Gaiman's American Gods) that the atrophy of pagan faiths has a "physical" consequence for the deities themselves.

08 December 2009

mini labor

Finally put my Mac mini to work as an RSS pre-processor for Twitterfeed, for both my blog and my Google Reader shared items.

get my whiff?

I just realized that my recent sinus infection was just my nose's way of wishing me a Merry Christmas, chromatically.

west coast slang

ESPN taught me that the west coast offense calls three parallel slants "the lion" and a slant with a drag route "the dragon". Where can I learn more? I like NFL player jargon.

07 December 2009

sweet bumper sticker

http://bit.ly/5cF4FD Via Shannon. I'm gonna order a few. Anybody want one?

ship this

Good: SNL UPS #1 & #2

05 December 2009

what does this mean?

I clicked the "Next Blog" link on my Blogger Dashboard today for the first time. Then I clicked it a lot. They were all about pets, mostly dogs, but two bunny raisers showed-up in a row once. What?

about two years now

I've published this blog for about two years now. There's no best-of or any sort of recap – beyond laughing at the claims of my ridiculous first post, that is.

Thanks for listening, and I hope you've gotten something from reading it. I've enjoyed writing it from the silly little shares to the diary-esque or even manifesto posts.

I've changed the name a couple of times, from "Ignorance is OK!" to "Rumblin' Bumblin' Stumblin'" and now to "Myopic and Moderate" (which has no zing and so will probably change soon). Each of those was meant to reflect my current philosophical mood. In that way, I suppose, this blog has largely served to record some trace of my (re)construction of a personal ethic.

I'm sick of thinking about that stuff: I've deconstructed, but the reconstruction isn't getting anywhere. This is why my posts have been a lot less thinky recently.

On that note, it is a fitting time to mention (again) that I've opened a Facebook account and – just now – a twitter account. I've set it up so that both of those just feed out this blog; don't expect anything beyond that (though I might be using some twitter syntax). I'm just connecting to my friends in whichever way they've invited me to do so. No more social networking elitism.

01 December 2009

reverse Internet

Type a few letters into Google's search box, but don't hit Enter. See what it suggests. I just had lots of fun exploring "when should" on Google. It's all about beefy pregnant patriots.