What’s Wrong with Modern Cinema

Superman with an army though is way off…

A non-flying, non-costume-wearing Superman with the eyes of a violent, caged killer, beating up a giant spider while Braniac and his gay, black, robot sidekick whale on polar bears?

Kevin Smith explains what happened to his Superman movie

I would pay to see that movie.

(I would put a language warning on that link, except that it’s Kevin Smith and hence implied)

Futile Boasts

The photos are up on Flickr!

I’m still too busy to make any kind of proper post, but I’d just like to say that I cycled 14kms yesterday and climbed to the top of Reabold Hill and didn’t die!

Hooray me! (place as much sarcasm on that as you feel comfortable with)

Here’s some music…


If All Else Fails, Your Coworkers Are Edible

Status updates and more on the Quornimal

I’m probably not going to have much time to blog over the next few weeks as I’m preparing for the next session of my infinitely prolonged Wild Southwest roleplaying campaign (there you go Helen – a chance to catch up! :). In the meantime however I’m finding The Worst of Perth highly amusing – it’s well worth a read (if you live in Perth, don’t know if anyone else would enjoy it).

News of the Quornimal continues!

A Good Friday to All

This really is my least favourite day of the year you know.

Well once again it’s Good Friday and rather than kneeling in the dark and starving myself like the good Catholic boy I was raised to be I’ve been in at the office for most of the day. This is mostly for two reasons – namely there are a number of projects that needed catching up on, and the old Catholic Guilt has such a hold on me that I wouldn’t enjoy whatever else I decided to do anyway, since it keeps telling me I should be kneeling in the dark and starving myself instead of having a good time. I do this most years and it generally works out fine. The bit of extra pay I get for working on a public holiday certainly doesn’t hurt either.

This year I also managed to get some exercise, as I just managed to miss the bus at Subiaco railway station and didn’t fancy sitting around for an hour waiting for the next one (public holiday bus schedule, what you gonna do?). So I walked the five or so kms to work instead. Only took me 45 minutes which isn’t bad for a pale keyboard monkey whose instinctive reaction to the outdoors is to cower in terror before the big burning thing in the sky.

In any case I’ve got a good four or five hours of work in, and now only have to wait half an hour for the bus home, which is why I’m busying myself with a blog entry.

Now, the eagle eyed blog reader may notice a few subtle differences about the blog from now on. I used my fairly generous lunch break to do some serious re-coding, and it’s now a leaner and faster beast run entirely in PHP rather than an unholy combination of PHP, JSP and Javascript. I’ve also added a small post counter to the lower right of every entry, so those involved in blog wars against me can see what they’re up against 🙂

Well, that’s pretty much it. Happy Easter to all, and to all a good night!

Blood and Iron and Idiocy

Protecting the sacred white race from evil communist bodily fluids!

It’s come out in the news today that the local branch of a white supremacist group are holding a concert on ANZAC day. When contacted, a spokesthing for the group said that they weren’t giving location details to anyone until the day of the event to prevent “undesirables” from turning up.

I would have thought that undesirables was pretty much the definition of white supremacist concert attendees, but hey, whatever.

The Laughter of Mr Rose

A tale from my disreputable past

I was thinking the other day of an incident that happened to me in high school. Not a hugely important or earth-shattering incident, just one that sort of illustrates a point about how you can sometimes be too intelligent for your own good.

The incident occurred in year eight maths. My teacher was Mr Rose (not his real name by the way), a youngish and slightly arrogant fellow with the looks of someone who’d much rather be strutting up and down the beach in a speedo than stuck inside forcing mathematics down the throats of a bunch of unwilling thirteen year olds. This particular day, towards the end of the school year he posed us a problem to do with a clock face.

He gave us an angle, and claimed that at only one time of the day did the hour and minute hands of the clock form said angle. Our job was to determine what time of day that was.

A simple question you might think. But for the life of me I couldn’t figure it out! I did all the maths I could, and even resorted to rigging up a crude clock face with a protractor and a couple of pencils, but I couldn’t for the life of me find the answer. What was particularly disturbing was that all around me my classmates – even the particularly thick ones – were apparently figuring it out and going up to Mr Rose to be marked. The best I could do was a rough estimate (around 5:42 I seem to recall) which Mr Rose totally rejected. How were they doing it!?

The class finished without my finding an answer, and I got 0 marks on that particular exercise.

It was some years later – after I’d left high school – that I figured out what I’d been doing wrong.

You see, there was an unspoken assumption about the exercise. The hands were assumed to instantaneously jump between set points on the clock face without crossing the space in between. Much like electrons jumping between valence shells within an atom, they just plain didn’t exist between these points. This meant that the minute hand could only occupy 60 positions on the clock face, and the hour hand only 720 – a fairly manageable number of angles to account for with a well structured mathematical relationship between them.

I on the other hand was assuming an analogue clock face where every division of every angle counted and hence – although I didn’t realise it at the time – the positions and angles of the hands were infinite. The problem as I understood it was unsolvable without inventing differential calculus, which was a bit beyond me at the time as I was only thirteen years old and wasn’t Sir Isaac Newton.

So yeah, that’s the story. If I’d been a bit dumber I would have assumed that the hands could only point to round minutes from the start and would have solved the problem in no time. As it was I outwitted myself by thinking the problem was about a real clock face, and not the numbers represented by one.

Mr Rose is probably still laughing at me.

Photographic Numerology

The numbers! They all line up!

I’m slowly working my way through the photos I took on my trip to the UK and posting the best ones (or at least some ones) to my Flickr account. This isn’t as easy as it might sound because in a fit of abstraction I forgot to reset the time on my camera on arriving at Heathrow, and as a result all my photos are timestamped seven hours later than they were actually taken.

(Hmm, did I blog about this before? Mind like a…. one of those… straining…. things)

Anyway I’ve had to go through them picture by picture correcting the EXIF data which is annoying in the extreme and taking quite a long time.

The reason I mention this is I’ve spent this afternoon fixing up the photos I took in and around Avebury on September 9th. That is to say the 9th of the 9th 2004. And what’s today’s date? the 4th of the 4th 2009. Spooky! 😀

In other news I happened to run into Lyndah on the train yesterday. For those coming in late Lyndah is a friend (or possibly ex-friend – long story) of my brother’s who I had a devastating crush on for years and years (I’m much better now, thanks for asking). Anyway we had a semi-decent chat (I’m not great at small talk, we don’t have a great deal in common, my hearing is dreadful in noisy environments – particularly in my right ear, and her left ear was blocked after going swimming) and, well, that’s about it. We had a chat. I guess this is notable because back a few years ago I would have been a gibbering mess in her presence. Hooray for personal development! 🙂

OK, I’m going to bed now. I’ve got a new mattress which – although it stinks a bit, presumably still outgassing from the factory – should vastly improve my posture. Or something. Well, it certainly won’t hurt it anyway.