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(I went looking for this back in 2015, but couldn't find it at the time. Better late than never, I guess.)

The following timeline is based on a marathon viewing of the entire Back to the Future trilogy. Some departure/arrival times are necessarily approximate. Red times indicate departures, blue arrivals. Important dates/times are bolded.

ISatOct 26198501:20Einstein is first time traveler
01:34Libyans!
SatNov 05195506:00?Arrival in barn
SatNov 12195522:04Lightning strikes clock tower
SatOct 26198501:24Twin, er, Lone Pine Mall
IISatOct 26198510:35?"We don't need... roads."
WedOct 21201516:29Mill Valley, the future
21:00?Everything's fixed now, right?
SatOct 261985a21:00?Near miss by jet
SunOct 271985a01:00?A quick exit from Biff's Casino
SatNov 12195506:00Back from the future
IIISunNov 13195508:00?Drive-in
WedSep 02188508:00?Indians!
MonSep 07188508:15?Trestle over Eastwood Ravine
Sun
Oct 27198511:00Time machine destroyed


By my count, that's:
7 days in 1955
1 day in 2015 and 1985a
1 day in 1955 (doubled up on previous visit)
5 days in 1885

Which means that Marty McFly experiences 14 subjective days in 1 day and 9.5 hours by the clock in 1985.
And a very exciting two weeks it was, too.
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Today I rediscovered, while going through old notes:

Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" has the same meter as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
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In one of the boxes I opened and was going through today, I found my baby book.
Quite the trip.
Clippings, old cards, photos, and many pages neatly filled out in my mother's handwriting.
I wish she was here to go through it with me.
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And now I'm a Star Trek joke.
(What do you mean, "now"?)
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Windows 95 is old enough to drink.
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"Pfft, how hard can that be, any child can do that" - words that would haunt roboticists through the late 20th and 21st centuries. (The usual answer involves five years, a big grant, and a lot of researchers sitting in corners twitching.)

Consider "easy" tasks like "pick up the red ball, without dropping or crushing it, and throw it to this other person." (ohgod)
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An Imgur gallery demonstrating how various silent films pulled off their effects - with forced perspective, matte paintings, etc

Of course, for at least one of the examples with Buster Keaton, there is no trick; he just did it, and they filmed it.

I have a sudden urge to bridge time and space so that he can co-star in something with Jackie Chan.
No insurance company would cover the production, but it would be amazing.

2017

Jan. 1st, 2017 12:02 am
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My resolution is simple:
Get through it.

yeah, that's where we are now.
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2016, ancient and bearded, lies upon his deathbed. The crowd gathered to observe his passing is larger than for most years, and while the range of sentiments displayed is typical, the proportions are not - the genuine mourners are fewer, those waiting for the end with bitter or hateful anticipation more numerous. Most common of all, this time, are those who appear anxious and uncertain; they are all but silent in their collective dread, as the outgoing year breathes his ragged last.

It is to one of the latter that the year raises one withered claw of a hand and beckons. Nervously, the witness approaches the bier and, at another gesture, leans closer. Cracked lips move almost soundlessly; the listener's eyes widen, blood draining from their face, and they straighten and step back. Then, with a choking spasm, a sigh and a rattle, the old and much despised year finally expires... with what can only be described as a look of unholy triumph on his deeply lined face.

"What did he say?" someone asks.

The horrified witness turns to the multitude. "He said... 'now, it gets worse.'"



Somewhere, in a darkened nursery, there is a crib. And within, peering through the bars, two points of red light like hot coals.
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"quick, do something! ... not that!"

well, damn

Dec. 27th, 2016 12:26 pm
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I kind of figured, as soon as I first heard the news. Since then, I've just been waiting.
Any other year, I might have held out hope, but...
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Today I learned where "ipecac", as in syrup of - a word that a friend says always makes them think it's reversed or rot13d or something - actually comes from: a Central and South American plant, which means of course that its naming doesn't follow any of our rules. (By contrast, one of the alkaloids in it, "emetine", does exactly what you'd expect if you know any Greek and/or Latin; that is, blaaaaaarf.)

So here we have a plant which actually succeeds in making humans sick, as opposed to all the ones that we laugh at and say "nice try", then grind up and put on our food. But we've found another use for it - controlled self-poisoning to make the body expel other, potentially worse substances. (Or, as the article notes near the bottom, small doses to keep prisoners too nauseous and/or weak to cause trouble. Ick.)
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From the comments of the latest Wilde Life:


Pascalle Lepas
I think most pro bbal players are actually 7,000 feet tall. Please don't quote me on this, as I am not an expert.

Pascalle Lepas
Prove to me there isn't a 7,000 foot tall bbal player!

(me)
Holding a teapot?
wait, no, that'd be a foul.


I am, of course, referring to Bill Russell's Teapot, which may or may not exist somewhere between half-court and the three-point line.
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(regarding yet another "Internet of Things" exploit)

[Meagen] You know the funny thing?
[Meagen] Back when people were predicting ubiquitous surveillance, it was a chilling thought because everyone sort of assumed it would be done *competently*.
[Meagen] I mean, if you wrote a dystopian sci-fi novel in the 90s and have your protagonist do this exact thing, people would've said it's unrealistic because who in the world would just make all cameras be unsecured internet access points?
[Meagen] I mean, hacking into a camera to make it turn off or tamper with its footage, sure.
[Meagen] But hacking into a bunch of cameras to use them as launch points for an attack on someone else? Come on. Why would cameras even be able to *do* that?
[PyroWork] Sad truth: The future doesn't belong to megacorps. It belongs to the technology equivalent of the double glazing firm.
[seebs] "double glazing firm"?
[PyroWork] They will sell you double glazing for your house!
[PyroWork] It will be installed wrong, and leak.
[PyroWork] When you attempt to seek remedy for this it will be to the discovery that the company does not actually exist anymore, but there is a new double glazing firm with a different name operating out of the same yard with the same phone number.
[PyroWork] They will also attempt to sell you double glazing.
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"English isn't a language, it's three languages stacked on top of each other wearing a trenchcoat."

-- des-zimbits @ tumblr
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So... I'm browsing sci fi shorts on youtube. And I came across one, set in the near future, where a woman is upset that her partner pays more attention to his augmented-reality overlay than her.
One of her complaints is that he takes pictures virtually, while she does it with an old Polaroid. She romanticizes the chemical process, the silver salts, the grain of the picture, claims that it has "life", etc.
Thing is, I'm old enough (just barely) to remember when instant cameras were the new thing to be sneered at. Now they're hip, retro, and authentic. Go figure.

(if you were really committed to your art, to the scene, you'd be grinding your own pigments and making your own canvas and brushes, not buying those from a store or, worse, letting a machine capture a sterile image for you at the touch of a button. :p )
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(context: Civilization VI)

[PyroICFF] Goddamn Norsemen showing up and converting my cities to their heathen god!
[PyroICFF] I don't want to hear any good news about their stupid Jesus.
[me] I don't care if it rains or freezes / long as I got my Viking Jesus
[me] nailed to my sturdy longboat's prow (hey hey hey)
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Today's Google doodle reminds us that this would be the 384th birthday of that Dutch guy who squinted into a drop of water and discovered that absolutely everything is covered in BUGS bugs BUGS.
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Been a while since I had an anxiety dream involving nuclear war.
What was surprising about this one was how completely and absurdly British it was, including how it almost immediately became silly self-parody.
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The fall of the Roman Republic is full of examples of a system not designed for the size and scope of what it was facing a hundred or two years later, and people breaking unwritten norms to address immediate struggles between conservatism and liberalism without considering the long-term effects.

Not that it could ever happen here.



time begins and then time ends
and then time begins once again
it is happening now
it has happened before
it will surely happen again