Thursday, January 31, 2008
Have you been to Google Maps recently? The technology is getting creepily impressive. How impressive? Well, if you know my address, you can google map it and LOOK INSIDE MY MAILBOX. (in case you're wondering, it's empty)
It's all thanks to the new feature "Street View." It doesn't work everywhere just yet, but it's getting there.
Want an up-close view of the door I walked through every day while interning at Paramount Studios? Just google map "748 N Gower St CA" and click street view (click and drag for a full 360 experience!).
Pretty mind blowing stuff.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
No, literally! I pulled a muscle in my neck yesterday and it still hurts like a bitch. And I have the sneaking suspicion that I will soon be catching the horrible cold that is making its way around the house. Meh. MEH I SAY!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The Hollywood Reporter is...reporting...that my man Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is in talks to direct a two-picture deal bringing The Hobbit to the silver screen. I think this is very good news.
True, del Toro's style is very similar to Peter Jackson, but I think there is enough dissimilarity to bring something new to the table. Besides, Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings films are way over-rated. You want to know Jackson's best film to date? It ain't any of that drab, pansy, Lord of the Crybabies crap.
It's a little film by the name of The Frighteners
Monday, January 28, 2008
We rented and watched this atrocity of a movie called "Dragon Wars; D-War." Most of the special effects are impressive, but the acting, dialogue and story are so poor that it is actually quite hilarious. Check out these excellently bad clips below:
(Make sure to watch the scene from 1:45-2:45. So good! Also, pokemon lovers might want to keep an eye out for a Blastoise lookalike.)
Sunday, January 27, 2008
The Good News: Disney wants me to call and pitch my best ideas for a tv series. I've been working on a new idea called "GRANDPA KADABRA'S MAGIC SHOPPE."
The Bad News: They've already told me that my "WILL WOLF" and "THE HMS ALBATROSS" series are good, but not what they are looking for.
The Worse News: It appears that Disney Channel already has a magical-grandpa-apprenticeship story called "American Dragon; Jake Long," which, from the little I've seen, has eerie, heart-breaking similarities to my show.
I'm telling you, this stuff can't be good for me. I went from a nervous high upon hearing the news about Disney's interest, to a dizzying, depressed low upon my late night discovery of American Dragon. I'm running out of ideas!
Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
In an email, a friend asked me about how I came to my disbelief in matters of religion at a relatively early age. Unfortunately for him, I took the opportunity to unload. Here is my response:
I did not grow up in a religious household. My mom denies this story, but I have a foggy memory of asking her if God exists and her response was "probably not." Growing up in Rhode Island, I didn't know anyone who regularly attended church. As a result, I always considered religion a quaint little hope that nobody really believed in their heart of hearts.
My move to Indiana during High School was a tremendous shock (so much so that I literally cannot recall large portions of my Freshman year!). Prayers, PUBLIC SCHOOL convocations with Bible thumping football non-stars, and 'senior projects' about Christianity's power to save souls displayed, again, in the corridors of a PUBLIC SCHOOL, were bizarre and unsettling novelties. (I battled for the removal of that highly erroneous and misleading 'senior project,' but ultimately lost).
These experiences changed me from an uninterested agnostic into an almost obsessive rationalist as I struggled to make sense of the people around me and their new forms of ignorance and irrationality. At a young age, I was especially attracted to the theory of evolution (discovered through a stereotypical, boyish love-affair with dinosaurs) and adored how the theory is so simple, ingenious and elucidating. I think I felt short-changed coming to Indiana, trading an Earth science class that incorporated evolution for a biology course that examined the theory for less than a week. I eventually discovered that religion seemed to be the root cause.
It didn't help that, despite all the piety and claims of high morality, people were still mean. When I discovered a rumor had spread that my father, in a supposed drunken stupor, was responsible for blinding my right eye with a beer bottle, I was devastated by the stone-cold evil ignorance of the accusation. It was clear that my new community was not privy to any benevolent, ultimate truth.
Finally, the recent and seemingly sudden conversion of a once close friend to Catholicism plunged me once again into the question of religion. As a result, I'd say my atheism is somewhat less secure --this guy is way more intelligent than me!--but nagging questions of psychological motivations and the persuasiveness of the so-called "New Atheist Movement" have left my beliefs largely unchanged. And that about brings me up to today.
I received this very nice review of "A Hero Rises in the East" on garageband.com:
Very nice use of eastern style instrumentation to create an enchanting and mysterious mood!
What I liked the most about this work, is that it had an air of grandness about it without ever getting too pompous and staying musically simple at the same time!
The mood was indeed quite enchanting! I enjoyed it very much! All the very best of luck with your work!
Reviewed by: LuiGentile, Germany
As I looked at the reviewer, Louis Gentile, I knew his name sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. Then I remembered.
This is the Louis Gentile who wrote the delightfully bizarre and catchy tune, "Poor Hamster"! And he gave my song a favorable review!
To lift a phrase from another famous rodent, I'd say this is "way past cool."
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I'm reading my brother's Health textbook, Glencoe Health, and finding it a little disturbing. The book is really pro-abstinence. How pro-abstinence? Well, I can't find "birth control," "contraception" or "condom" in the glossary. They're not even discussed.
In the chapter entitled, "Abstinence; A Responsible Decision," abstinence is defined as "a deliberate decision to avoid high-risk behaviors, including sexual activity before marriage..." Well, I prefer the definition of "any self-restraint, self-denial, or forbearance" (dictionary.com), but I suppose I can let that slide, even if I think "high-risk" does not necessarily describe premarital sex.
But later, the textbook explains, "One of the important benefits of abstinence is that it leads to healthy feelings of self-respect." Excuse me, I've been abstinent for 23 years and I can tell you, my self-respect is at an all-time low. So there.
The book continues, "Often, the fear of being caught leads teens who engage in such activity to begin lying to parents or others. This dishonesty can cause emotional trauma..." You know, maybe there's a reason adolescents become sexually active, maybe they enjoy it, and maybe that dishonesty might not be an issue in an open, accepting and informed family that advocates safe prevention. Maybe it's unhealthy to have an unrealistic expectation for sexual behavior. Why isn't this viewpoint explored?
This textbook has a very biased agenda and it's unfortunate my brothers' are receiving such an ill-informed, myopic "education."
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I've added a column to the right and separated blogs from my links section. CHECK IT OUT!
If you'd like me to add your blog to the list, let me know! (I'm looking at you, Mike, Dan, Tracy, and Justin) But keep in my mind, I'm looking to add blogs that update at LEAST monthly.
Also, I'd like to point out SA Smith's wonderful blog endogenousretrovirus, which I've begun reading regularly. She's a graduate student "studying the molecular and biochemical evolution of HIV within patients and within populations." She's also hilarious.
SA Smith is a rising star in the response movements against intelligent design, vaccination deniers, and various other woo-woo pseudo-sciences. Plus she's one fine honey, chyea chyea:
Actor Heath Ledger, made famous in his role as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain, and starring as the Joker in the future release of Batman: Dark Knight, passed away today from a sleeping pill overdose at the age of 28.
This news is sad. Not too long ago, in considering young actors that I felt had integrity and tremendous potential, Ledger was at the top of my list. I was anxious to see what heights his career might climb. So it goes...
I hope he's found peace.
Monday, January 21, 2008
I've just hastily signed up with Google Analytics, which promises to track information about visitors to my website. I imagine I have a very small audience, so I'm trying to give my site a boost.
Maybe this monkey cowboy will help:
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I had a panic attack about dying late last night. I haven't had one of those for a long time. I thought I was over them. As it turns out, I still find death a very scary thing. Who would have figured?
Anyway, the words of Epicurus, as always, helped me calm down:
"Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not."
Friday, January 18, 2008
I discovered a list of the top 100 Christian fundamentalist quotes. Here are some choice samples:
If the Bible is wrong when it tells us it is infallible, then it contradicts itself. If it contradicts itself, then it is unreliable. If it is unreliable, then our faith is totally shattered and Christianity is a lie. You need to seriously reconsider your logic.
I am a bit troubled. I believe my son has a girlfriend, because she left a dirty magazine with men in it under his bed. My son is only 16 and I really don't think he's ready to date yet. What's worse is that he's sneaking some girl to his room behind my back. I need help, God! I want my son to stop being so secretive!
I can sum it all up in three words: Evolution is a lie.
[Talking about an eleven year old girl who was raped and then buried alive]
god was sacrificing this child as a way to show others the light. much as he did his own child. what a beautiful gift he has given us.
Apes are just creatures twisted by Satan to mock Jesus by giving EVILolition credibility. Further more they are naturally lust crazed for human women. Since they are not natural creatures they should be exterminated forthwith as the tools of evil they are.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I usually try to avoid the comparison between humans and ants because it sounds like something a crazed, cartoon villain might utter, but after watching a TED talk on the insects, it occurred to me that there are useful analogies worth considering.
Invariably, in any debate about science, you are likely to meet the old argument that "we can't know anything with certainty" and, frankly, this argument is solid and true. When scientists admit this truth, those who raise the argument often act smug and secure in the belief that science is therefore wrong about a great many things. Well, this is a terrible and unreasonable attitude.
The finite, limitedness of an individual does not equate directly to the system. It is REMARKABLE the way a colony of ants can survive, grow, and behave in complex behavior patterns while individual, finite ants follow comparatively simpler patterns. These ants are able to overcome their individual meagerness by working in conjunction.
Well, Humanity does the same thing. We have been able to overcome our time and memory limitations through community and inventions like the written word. Science benefits especially from, and is in fact a form of, the hive mind. Isn't that a neat way of thinking about things? Yes, we cannot know things with certainty, and yes, individuals are deeply limited, but when working in conjunction, we can discover unknown worlds and forces --atoms and interstellar systems-- we can work simply, discover complexity, and defeat limitations.
I don't know, there's just something neat about looking at human achievement as a kind of hive mind that is greater and more complex than the motors that power it.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
SNL could not do better. I seriously thought this video was fake. The comedic timing is too brilliant! Appears to be the real deal, though.
His glasses are famous.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which is disappointingly not printed as a red, Bible-like edition, but rather hilariously written like a text book. I may have to quote some gems later, but the reason I don't have the book with me right now is because my brother has brought it to school to "evangelize."
He's not joking, either. He even dressed in the appropriate pirate regalia and plans to give a speech in English class. No, I didn't egg him on in this direction and, in fact, the whole project seems somewhat against my better judgment. BUT, I support him and his newfound religiosity.
In case you're wondering, the English project is supposed to be a speech about who each student would like to meet and what they would do with that person if they had the chance to meet him or her. Some girl in class asked to do a speech on God, which was ok'ed by the teacher, so my brother figured the Flying Spaghetti Monster was also a legitimate choice.
He also wrote an alternative speech in case he gets cold feet, but let us each utter a prayer so that he might spread the good word about our Noodly Master.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Recently, I was ready to start writing the pilot episode for a new cartoon project, but the wind was knocked out of my sails when I discovered the recently premiered cartoon, "Chowder," which has a similar premise. I was down in the dumps. But this TED talk by producer JJ Abrams (Lost, Alias) pumped me back up again. Hopefully I'll get this pilot down on paper. It may not be the freshest idea now, but someday it will be.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
This is the second man-boy fetish joke I've seen played on poor Michael Cera. Come on guys, Michael Cera love is SERIOUS!
Sunday, January 6, 2008
I think a commenter on Kotaku put it best:
"The only thing less funny than Family Circus is Dick Cheney. And he even had that "shooting-an-old-guy-in-the-face-while-hunting" knee-slapper. So, come to think of it, there is nothing less funny than Family Circus. Nothing."
Friday, January 4, 2008
If I were to enter any one of my music tracks into a contest, which track do you think would have the best shot at winning? If you respond, please include 2 answers: 1) your personal favorite track and 2) the track you think has the best shot. (Feel free to use the same track for both answers)
I probably won't be entering into this competition for another week, so there's still time to consider. Thanks for any and all help!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Someone at some point not too long ago gave me the impression that the use of "Miss" or "Ms." is a modern, maybe even feminist, invention and I should feel embarrassed for using it. Ever since, I've approached the title with slight trepidation, but I've finally taken the time to look into it.
I'm probably to blame for taking some off-handed comment about "Ms." usage and blowing it out of proportion, but wherever I got this kooky idea, I was clearly mistaken. Not only that, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the argument was complete baloney! Even if the term is a modern, feminist invention, which it isn't, that doesn't mean I should feel embarrassed for using it. Should I also feel embarrassed for using modern terms like "micro-chip" and "memetics"? No.
In other news, I had a blast today. Thanks to all my friends who stopped by for some old and new school gaming. Let's do it again sometime!