19 August 2008

Movie review

I know Joel does movie reviews. Me, not so much. However, I feel compelled to give you the benefit of my $7.50. Perhaps it's because I don't go that often. Netflix + 58" @ 16:9 is so sweet.

Obama may not be the post-racial candidate, "Tropic Thunder", however, is probably the post-racial movie. Robert Downey Jr. may be the first actor to be nominated for best actor while in blackface (perhaps since Al Jolson?). He's become a terrific actor and does an amazing job with an easy to detect parody of Russell Crowe. He plays an acclaimed aussie bad boy actor who tries to get into his role by going through a controversial pigmentation treatment. What makes this work is the rapper working on his revenue streams (e.g. Booty Sweat) who lays into him, incessantly.

From the beginning of the movie (actually an ad for Booty Sweat energy drink) to the credits dancing of special guest star Tom Cruise, the movie is crude, lewd, clever and hilarious.

Some overly sensitive groups have been complaining over the use of the term "retard". The problem is that I don't believe the people complaining have seen the film. If anything the movie makes fun of people using the term. There should be no controversy here.

One strong word of caution - I thought this movie should be NC-17. It's extraordinarily strong language, even in the company of submariners, with persistant and graphic discussions of sex acts of every possible kind. So be aware.

Obama in Lynchburg, VA - implies town name is racist

j/k, but I wouldn't be too surprised.

16 August 2008

I have nothing to say

Project 119

This is the Chinese government's program to boost their medal count and score their propaganda coup. However, the surprises that they are foisting on the sporting world are raising eyebrows. Where did these unknowns come from?

The latest is the world record Gold (and Silver) in the women's 200m butterfly. Liu Zige, 19, was unknown in the international swimming community. She has obviously not had a problem passing the drug tests. And swimming is not a head-to-head sport where you need international competition (see USA boxing this olympics). You just need enough seasoning to not get psyched out by a big meet. You train against yourself, and against the clock.

The Chinese are describing this as a type of 'rags to riches' story, but with a Chinese flavor (Szechuan?). Instead of the individual rising to the top, it's the benevolent state that finds her
from the northeastern province of Liaoning and brought to Shanghai to enter China's sports mill. Within a year, she was a promising member of the Shanghai swim team.
But there is a cost to these athletes. One that they may not choose themselves. Separation from family, friends, and enormous pressure on them. I like our system.

Oh, and more reality bending from the opening ceremonies. Wonder if they are frantically revising their closing gala plans?

11 August 2008

From handwavium to unobtainium

Some scientists that really need to skip their next Trekkie convention have produced a paper outlining that warp drive is possible. They claim that by shrinking the 11th dimension ahead of a spaceship and expanding it behind the craft, they can move spacetime past a 'stationary' spacecraft.
These calculations are based on some arbitrary advance in technology or some alien technology that would let us manipulate the extra dimension," said Cleaver.

What the scientists were able to estimate was the amount of energy necessary, if the technology was available, to change these dimensions: about 10^45 joules.

That's about the amount of energy you'd get if you converted the entire mass of Jupiter into pure energy.
handwavium, unobtainium

08 August 2008

It's all about me!

Now, I generally like the Olympics. I'm a sports fan in general, and in college I played a sport usually only seen every four years (if that). However, a lot of the charm is the idea of representing your country in a contest among the best of each nation.

This girl doesn't get it. She was not likely to make the USA Olympic Womens Basketball squad, so she inquires via her winter season employer about playing for them in Beijing. She happens to play during the WNBA offseason in Russia.

Here's a great quote from this idiotic narcissist:
Just the fact that it's Russia throws an alarm with people," said Hammon, the WNBA MVP runner-up last year. "People thought I should be on the national team. I'm 31 years old. I wouldn't have done it if I was 25, 26. This is my last shot. They had 10 years to not consider me seriously. It hasn't mattered how I played in WNBA . . . I was never a legitimate option.

So, hun, you weren't feeling loved and this being your last shot and all - we can all understand the desire to represent a totalitarian oligarchy in what's supposed to be the highest competion is sports.

Becky, it's not all about you. I will actively avoid anything having to do with the WNBA or this numb-skull.