16 March, 2006

Theatres Get it Wrong, Again

Theaters may ask to jam cell phones

Movie theater owners faced with falling attendance are considering asking federal authorities for permission to jam cell phone reception in an attempt to stop annoying conversations during films, the head of the industry's trade group said on Tuesday.

Industry leaders at the ShoWest conference for theater owners want to find ways to win back crowds.

"I don't know what's going on with consumers that they have to talk on phones in the middle of theaters," John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, told the ShoWest conference in Las Vegas.

Admittedly, people talking on their cellphones during a movie is pretty damn annoying. However, how much does this really happen? Is it really the epidemic the theatre owners want you to believe? I certainly don't go to all that many movies anymore, but when I do go, it's rare that someone starts up a phone conversation. Oddly enough, people have become, generally, polite enough to turn off their phones during movies. Or at least leave the auditorium to talk. And for those few who don't, you'd be amazed at how well turning to them and shouting "would you mind taking that outside?!" motivates them to not do it.

I know I'm going to repeat a lot of people, but it's not the cellphones that are keeping people away from the theatres. It's the crappy movies. Actors who suck, yet get rewarded with even more money to be in even crappier movies. The questionable remake of a movie that we didn't even know we liked so much we needed to see it all over again, this time starring the flavor-of-the-month. The sequel to a hugely successful film that attempts to become a franchise, and not telling more of the story that needs to be told. It's the overpriced tickets. It's the 30 minutes of advertising before a movie. The 20 minutes of trailers (for more crappy movies.) The tiny auditoriums with itty-bitty screens.

These are your problems. Fix them, and maybe people will start going out to see movies again.

I've Found the Interweb

And it's at DHS: http://www.dhs.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/katrina.htm

I can only hope that someone named that directory ironically.

07 March, 2006


Who's having the Stupidest Week Ever? (To rip off VH-1's Best Week Ever)

At work, I've written a simple web app that allows our public affairs office to post their own press releases to the internet, just by doing a copy-and-paste from Word or Wordperfect, into a form in their browser. Simple application for simple people, you could say.

Well, I get an e-mail. "Everytime I paste the text into the form and hit review, the preview of the text is all mashed together", or something like that. I get a copy of the original document, and it looks like a normal document. I copy the text and paste it, and sure enough, it all mashes together.

Turns out, the genius who created this document formatted the paragraphs with tabs. Now, I don't mean they just hit tab at the beginning of every paragraph to have it indent (which is generally acceptable). Oh no, instead of hitting return at the end of a paragraph, they just hit tab. Over and over and over, until they were two lines further down the screen, and ready to start the next paragraph.

That's right. Someone's administrative assistant is having the Stupidest Week Ever. Congratulations!

04 March, 2006

DC Photo Safari

Images from a recent trip through Washington, DC

Let's Grow!

Well, I finally got around to setting up my grow lights today. Next up, time to start planting seeds.

Grow light
First up was my main light, a thirty-six inch light fixture that I got from Karen. I hung it from the drop-ceiling using velcro ties and some excess chain from Jenny's project to add a light to the living room.


Light box
Next up, creating a light box (of sorts) out of an old bookcase that I had sitting around. I picked up a couple of twenty-four inch light fixtures from Home Depot this afternoon, to replace my previous fixtures. I found that the low-power versions would not properly start up the flourescents, unless I physically moved the bulbs around. Not terribly optimal since I wanted all of this to be automated. A few wire connectors and screws later, I have what you see above. I've tied them all into an outdoor timer (since it can handle grounded plugs), and hopefully none of these will set the house on fire.
You can see all of the photos here

So far, I'm happy with how things look. The time works, and all of the bulbs come on when I give them juice (a definite plus.) Now I just need to find a bulb to replace the white bulb in my large grow light. Naturally, HD had a large assortment of 24" and 48" bulbs. But only one type of 36" bulb, but it wasn't a full-spectrum bulb. Oh well, I'm sure I can find one soon enough.

But until then, it's time to start planting some seeds and getting seedlings ready for the ground. I'm hoping that this warm winter we've had will mean I can plant fairly early. Of course, I fully expect a real cold snap to come along and ruin all of this. For the curious, below is my list of seeds that I ordered. I'm sure I won't plant all of the varieties this year, but hopefully I'll get a fair amount into some dirt.

  • Redventure Celery
  • Golden Beets
  • Verdi Cauliflower
  • Supersette Fava Beans
  • Atomic Red Carrots
  • Diablo Brussels Sprouts
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Kolibri Kohlrabi
  • Turkish Orange Eggplant
  • Fuego Radishes
  • Rat Tail Radishes
  • Round Red Core Shrinmei Daikon Radishes
  • Kyoto Mizuna
  • Red Perilla Akashiso
  • Aurora Orach Mixture
  • Springer Spinach
  • Mung Bean Sprouting Seeds
  • Morris Heading Collard Greens
  • German Red Rocambole Garlic
  • Panache Parsnips
  • Dakota Peas
  • Cotton Candy Pumpkins
  • Diamond Bell Peppers
  • Tabasco Chile Peppers
  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
  • Black Russian Tomatoes
  • Persimmon Tomatoes
  • Lime Basil
  • Mexican Spice Basil
  • Dulce Rojo Paprika Peppers
  • Aromatic Summer Savory
  • Catnip
  • Signet Paprika Marigolds
  • Sensationally Fragrant Niotiana Mixture
  • Victoria
  • Picante Salvia Splendens Mixture

03 March, 2006

Oh, It Is On

Update: Jenny has a much more succinct review on her site.

Christian: [takes film off the projector] You desecrated a classic film. This is worse than "Godfather III."
Gibson: Whoa, whoa, hey, whoa! Let's not say things we can't take back.
--The Simpsons

Now, I would not like to say I'm completely disappointed by Ultraviolet. To say I was disappointed would imply that I got absolutely nothing out of the movie. That's not true. I got two things from it:

  • The song 24 by Jem, which they play during the trailer for the movie. It's pretty good, and I liked it enough that I will keep an eye out for the complete album at the record store.

  • The knowledge that I had just spent 90 minutes watching what is easily the worst. film. of the decade.

Okay, I know that phrase gets used a lot. And I realize we're just barely past half-way mark of this particular decade. But I feel confident that my proclamation will stand the test of time.

(Dare I say it? Could this be the worst movie of this nascent century? It's entirely possible, but I have faith in Hollywood that they'll come up with something, or somethings, worse than Ultraviolet. For Ultraviolet's producers' sake, one can only hope they come up with this bad movie soon, so people will forget about UV.)

I won't bother going into any real detail about the movie. If you're a fan of Milla, you'll most likely go and see it. In fact, you probably went and saw it today, much like Jenny and myself. (See Jenny's earlier thoughts on the movie here.) All I can say is: Milla, you're incredibly hot, and you do have your moments at acting. Sure, not Oscar-worthy moments, but you have them. But mostly, we like watching you in movies where you kick ass and take names. (And hopefully, get full-frontal, even if only for a few, brief seconds. Ahhhhhh. That helps erase the pain of the movie from my mind.)

So, to sum up: There is no escaping the black hole of suckitude that this movie has created, once you have gone past the Suckass Event Horizon that it creates.

Comic Book Guy: Last night's "Itchy & Scratchy" was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured that I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world.
--The Simpsons


Cottonelle for Kids

Somewhere, there's a joke about dogs eating poop that's just waiting to happen.

Brokeback Bunnies

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

[Requires Flash]

02 March, 2006

Doo doo do doo do d'do

You're probably wondering, right about now, "what would the Super Mario theme sound like, played on two guitars?"

Well, wonder no more!

Damn you, MS

Napster rues Microsoft, player glitches

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Technical glitches by Microsoft and the digital music device makers have hampered Napster Inc.'s ability to close the gap with Apple's iTunes, the dominant online music service, Napster's chief executive said on Tuesday.

"There is no question that their execution has been less than brilliant over the last 12 months," Napster Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Gorog said at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York.

"Our business does rely on Microsoft's digital rights management software and our business model also relies on Microsoft's ecosystem of device manufacturers," he added.

Yeah, way to blame everyone but yourself. Perhaps there's a chance that your music subscription service just isn't the greatest thing in the world?