29 April 2003

blow your mind/smoke dynamite

I know that coincidences happen completely by chance, but that doesn't make them seem less remarkable. I just finished watching the Director's cut DVD of Requiem for a dream, which was written by Hubert Selby, Jr. This may not seem like a big deal to you, and some probably already knew that fact.

The significance is a little more to me, though, since I just checked out The Room, also by said Hubert Selby, Jr., from my local library, based on a 'recommendation' from Andy Kaufman. You see, in the book Is this man a genius? by Julie Hecht, the intrepid author gets Andy to reveal his favorite book, The Demon, again by said Hubert Selby, Jr. The library didn't have The Demon, so I grabbed the first one they had. I haven't read it yet, but after the movie I think I'll read it sooner.

The movie's quite good as well. It's not a light watch, and in fact I had to throw in some Benny Hill just to recover—which is where this entry's title originated, as graffiti on a wall. Somehow it seemed fitting.

Anyway, I wanted to blog the link for Amoeba Proteus, the computer graphics company (director) Darren Aronofsky co-founded for his films' effects. Requiem had a hundred digital shots, and they didn't want to outsource. Their technical prowess in film should speak for itself, since their website certainly doesn't. Effectively three whole pages (including a Quicktime demo reel), the site offers very little in the way of information about their projects and accomplishments, other than their titles and brief mention of an upcoming animated feature. Not quite ketchup fodder, in my opinion. I found more interesting information in this indiewire interview.

28 April 2003

thoughts from the commute

Not that I know anything about dry ice or fog machines, but an idea occurred to me and I think it's pretty cool. What if cars were equipped not only with air conditioning but a hopped-up fog generator, such that the whole cabin would be cooled and the floor to about knee level would be fog? I assume that, given condensation and density, etc, fake fog is cooler than regular air, and would thus create a comfortable environment. Also, what would be niftier than opening up the door after a long drive and having the fog lazily gush out onto the pavement?

And in other news, in some form of guerilla action at work, today I printed off a bootleg barcode to replace one that was unreadable, which the powers that be had difficulty replacing. What would that be considered, sabotage or thinking-out-of-the-box? Or something in between? I'm guessing it probably went against some policy or other.

Also, NPR did a story this morning about Desert Combat (previously mentioned mod for Battlefield 1942). A week ago I'd never of it, and now NPR even talks about the game. Go figure.

27 April 2003

blah blah blah excuses

So I haven't updated this blog or ketchup for three days. I have prepared a number of excuses to explain this horrible horrible tragedy.

First of all, the keyboard on my laptop (which is my main connection to the internet) has been quitting on me lately after a randomly determined time. All of a sudden I'll just be down to my trackball, since the touchpad gave out long ago, and though I may be relatively proficient in the use of the On-Screen Keyboard, I'm not a fan of typing sentences with it, let alone whole blog entries.

Also, I've been busy. The center stickers on my cheap wheels fell off, and I had to pick up replacement ones. I've got a bigger-than-usual backlog of library books to deal with. My VCR's not working right, and I'm not yet willing to take it apart.

Most recently, though, I've had other things to do. Today and yesterday I was involved in a LAN party, which was quite fun. We mainly played EA's Battlefield 1942 with the Desert Combat mod. So basically it was a bunch of geeks playing soldier in the first Gulf conflict.

It was a lot more fun than I had expected. I'm not a big first-person shooter fan, and BF1942 is, at its core, a FPS. Yes, tanks can be driven and planes flown, but there is still an inordinate amount of running and crawling to be done. It's not going to replace GTA3 anytime soon on my system (particularly since I don't have a good enough system to run it) but I'd definitely play it again.

Anyway, part of the fun was coming up with intriguing nicknames. At times the server was filled with sophomoric anatomical taunting, childish name calling, and worse. For my part, I tried to be clever, striking gold with a one-two punch of "BugblatterBeastOfTraal" (which surprisingly few 'got') and its followup "TraalThePrettyHorseshit" (which was timed precisely to when my team was complaining). Another nerdy reference was "Set Me Up The Bomb". Better, and less geeky than those, was my apt description of my gaming skills and a play on words: "an army of one half".

That said, I'm catching myself back up. You have been warned.

25 April 2003

more commercial music ... a fluke?

Another television commercial's music has caught my attention, and this time I'm sure I've identified it correctly. Electronica group Fluke's "Atom Bomb" was used to push Chevrolet's fine line of cars and trucks. Primarily big trucks, and the Impala. Which is interesting, since the reason most people would recognize the song is its inclusion in the Playstation game Wipeout XL (and also the top-selling soundtrack). The interesting aspect is the contrast between the superfast, superlight flying vehicles of the video game and the stodgy, heavy pickups shown in the ad. In that respect, the Impala's also not small or nimble, ironically considering the name. Admittedly the editing makes the cars and trucks look fast, but the difference remains.

Why would they even use such a song? Not to say that it's not a good track for background music, but it's certainly nothing recent or particularly popular. I'm happy that somebody's throwing Fluke some money, as they haven't had a hit in a while (some would argue 'ever') and their last album was just a retread of previous tracks. Anyway, somebody once said that the best music to advertise cars is the music the audience liked around car driving age. Hence people of my generation were serenaded with Breeder, the Smiths and so on. Now adverts are being backed by younger, hipper artists, and the 'driving age' is no longer the legal auto driving age, but the video game driving age. Soon we'll be hearing pokemon music selling Kias, I suspect.

Just a theory, but it might work. Then again, Chevy's been repeating that commercial for a number of years, just updating the vehicles, if I remember right. Go figure.