Truly Lovely FP video

Written by Craig on July 3rd, 2015

The terrific Richard Wiseman has made a terrific video demonstrating some terrific forced perspective.

 

Because we haven’t showcased FP in a while

Written by Craig on April 9th, 2015

Reblogged from Geyser of Awesome, who retumbld it from Kuriositas. A good collection.

 

Giving in to the Mobile Hegemony

Written by Craig on March 11th, 2015

So, I got email from Google, whining about how this site wasn’t mobile-friendly, despite it working just fine for my tastes from my hand-held device. Rather than lose whatever tiny ranking I still have, though, I opted to add the Jetpack Plugin and activate its built-in mobile theme. And, really, it could be worse.

You’re welcome, I guess.

 

The Peripheral Review

Written by Craig on February 15th, 2015

The Peripheral, Gibson. Yes. It’s refreshing to see Gibson returning to Prophet-of-Cyberspace mode from Tom Clancy mode. The epigraph is from Wells’s Time Machine, and Gibson’s take on the topic is as clean as they come.

 

That white stuff: possible answer

Written by Sarah on May 12th, 2013

You know in older TV shows and movies when someone is cleaning a window by polishing off some white stuff all over it? From Housekeeping Notes: How to Furnish and and Keep House in a Tenement Flat; a series of lessons prepared for use in the Association of practical housekeeping centers of New York (1911)

Dust the window, and apply a thick suds of Bon Ami. Let it dry, and rub off with a dry cloth.”

So there you go: possibly Bon Ami.

 

Legally, they are totally covered

Written by Sarah on March 30th, 2013

The disclaimer at the start of the film I Walked With A Zombie (a zombie film with a similar plot to Jane Eyre) states: “The characters in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons, living, dead or possessed, is purely coincidental.”

Oooooh! Scary stuff, kids! Let’s see if the film lives up to the opening credits.

(later) It was actually a solid spooky West Indian set horror film. There was commentary by two British film guys (sorry, guys, I don’t have the video box in front of me or I’d say who you are) who did a good job pointing out interesting things about the movie until it was time for me to head to bed. The most interesting part was the long and storied life of the calypso song that first reveals the dark secret of the island’s most powerful family, “Shame and Scandal”. Mentioned in the movie commentary but not the Wikipedia article (yet) is that it was often used as the tune for songs commenting on political shame and scandal. Pretty cool!

 

Years of Rice and Salt Review

Written by Craig on March 3rd, 2013

The Years of Rice and Salt, Robinson. Yes. This was a book club recommendation, based on the presence of similar themes to a movie I saw a little while ago. In addition to those resonances, parts of it also evoked Hofstadter, specifically I Am a Strange Loop. Writing was quite good, though somewhat variable (a certain amount of which might be expected in such a lengthy work).

 

City & the City Review

Written by Craig on January 13th, 2013

The City & the City, Miéville. Yes. This was my first ebook (from the library), which may have affected my experience somewhat, though not that I was able to detect. To get the editing complaints out of the way, there was a bad “whomever” that probably would have been on the first page of the paper volume. Later, there was a bad “whoever”, which doesn’t quite make up for it, and a “these kind”, which I believe I’ve never encountered before in an edited work. Finally, there were a number of places where hyphens were used where em dashes would have been appropriate, including at least one instance of an appositive set off by an em dash at the beginning and a hyphen at the end.
The story itself was adequately intriguing, with an unusual hook. Miéville drew out the explication of that hook just a little bit longer than was strictly called for, but it was not disqualifyingly long.

 

That Guy From That Thing

Written by Sarah on January 5th, 2013

I finally saw The Hobbit (part one, my goodness!), and aside from enjoying it I also spent some time racking my brains over where I knew those actors from.
My conclusions:

That main hobbit: the dude from Sherlock, but not the main dude. Also Arthur Dent one time. Old version: in goddamn everything.
Pointy-hat man: Bad X Man
Main dwarf on quest (tall) (royal?): mill owner in that Industrial Revolution romantic miniseries Joan said I should watch. Also the Vicar of Dibley’s dream man.
Sexy Dwarf #2: The vampire from that UK show where the werewolf had stickey-outey ears and the ghost always wore that nice belted cardigan.
Main Elf: bad dude from Matrix, good dude from Priscilla.
White-hair wizard: bad dude in everything, often a vampire.
Poop-stained wizard: time travel guy with question-mark umbrella.
Main fat goblin: Dame Edna, cast against type!
Elf that welcomed everybody to elf town: Flight of the Conchords guy!!!!

Everyone else did a guest role on Xena: Warrior Princess because, you know, New Zealand.

 

Hydrogen Sonata Review

Written by Craig on December 31st, 2012

The Hydrogen Sonata, Banks. Yes. Banks’s Culture novels have reached the same “reliable and plentiful” status that Pratchett’s Discworld novels have for me. I am looking forward to getting to some of the installments that have been specifically recommended on merit, rather than having been a good introduction or the latest release.