Standard Breakfast Conversation at Launch:

Me: This big bagel-cutting knife made me think of this video I watched this morning of a guy who invented a slingshot rifle that shoots machetes.

Kevin: What use would that be?

Me: Defending against the inevitable zombie invasion, probably. I’d want him on my side.

Kevin: That doesn’t sound very efficient. I mean, you could probably take out a small part of the horde, but what happens when the zombies got closer?

Me: Then you’d have a lot of machetes. Machetes are an excellent weapon against zombies.

Kevin: That’s true. Okay, he can be on our team. But I still think the best weapon would be a lightsaber. Zombies are no match for lightsabers.

Me: I don’t know. If you had zombies and lightsabers, you’re just asking for the creation of a bunch of Sith Lords. Fear of zombies is the path to the Dark Side.

Kevin: *snort*

Me: Fear of zombies leads to anger at zombies, and anger at zombies leads to hatred of zombies. Hate leads to everyone suffering because of the zombies.

Linda (who is getting married in July): See? This is why 3D people need to marry 3D people. So we can have these conversations without the other person sighing and going away.

That was the most AWESOME voice-over session EVER. I just recorded ten lines in a language I do not speak. :D

(And the character’s name I was reading for? Molly. Gotta love those weird coincidences!)


Hilarious: Young Hillary Clinton

Very cool article with the best headline ever: Monkeys Control Robots With Their Minds

And in a similar vein: Monkey vs. Robot

Star Wars: That’s What She Said!

Human Tetris is coming to America. It’s going to be on Fox. There is something perfect about this news.

Oldest Live-Birth Fossil Found; Fish Had Umbilical Cord. Cthulhu fhtagn!

This is really nerdy, but… I wish they had these when I was in college. Sheer Post-It Notes! Genius!

Saturday morning and afternoon were spent in consternation, as I spent the day at work. I was the only Character person in attendance, so people kept piling stuff on me, and Maya and Motionbuilder were especially buggy, and there was angst. At one point, I suggested we get an office watermelon, so whenever we wanted to stab the software we could stab it, and then cut off a piece to eat because watermelon is delicious and full of nutrients. The combination of stabbing + deliciousness + nutrition should soothe any stray frustration in a constructive manner. Silly coworkers didn’t think I was serious!

Anyway, the day’s woes were more than compensated for by my FANTASTIC evening! Em of the NYC Browncoats wrangled a group of us to see the new Vampire Cowboys show, Fight Girl Battle World. They’re a delightfully geeky group that creates original productions with comic book stylings and an emphasis on stage combat. I’d heard great things about two of their previous shows, Men of Steel and Living Dead in Denmark, but this would be the first I’d actually get to attend. I joined up with Kristin, Josie, Gypsy, Em, and the gang, and together we all laughed until we cried. I can’t remember the last occasion I’ve laughed so hard for such a sustained length of time!

The next morning, I went to Kristin’s place, stopping by Whole Foods on the way. I made us omelettes with spinach, feta, sauteed onion, and tomato, which were OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS, then we sat down to watch (and heckle) the Star Wars prequel trilogy. We nerded out, nitpicking all the inconsistencies and hooting over all the painful dialogue.

Episode I was every bit as awful as I remembered. Actually, it was more awful, as my psyche had somehow managed to bury the memory of the “Are you an angel?” conversation. Though Jar Jar is far more tolerable when you imagine he’s being roleplayed by some nerd’s kid sister.

Episode II, on the other hand, was far better. The action to dialogue ratio far surpassed that of its predecessor, and George Lucas knows how to do action! Heck, if you just cut out Anakin’s creepy stalker act and leashed his occasional whiny emo tangents, it would be a pretty neat little movie! Kristin and I were very pleasantly surprised. We also decided Padme’s attraction to him is the result of a Jedi mind trick, as Anakin is four years old.

Between II and III, we went out for a walk, off in search of food. Eventually we settled on (shock) Whole Foods, where Kristin got taco and I got lentil soup and an abundance of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We feel Episode III was considerably improved by the addition of alcohol, and we regretted not thinking of it during Episode I.

Episode III was somewhat bipolar. There was plenty of awful Lucas dialogue, but it was mixed in with dialogue that was surprisingly solid. We would occasionally look at each other in surprise and marvel, “Hey. That line was actually good.” (This may have been the alcohol talking. Or maybe after seeing the first two, we just had really, really low standards.) Of course, ten seconds later we’d be back to chortling over Anakin’s teflon-slicked fall to the Dark Side, groaning at lines like “Anakin, you’re breaking my heart!”, and debating over whether slashing Obi-Wan and Anakin is more or less creepy than Anakin/Padme. Conclusion: It’s kind of creepy, but NOTHING even comes CLOSE to the creepiness of Anakin/Padme.

So! Awesome, awesome weekend. If only there were actually two days of it. :D

Here, have a Han Solo in Carbonite Desk!

Aaaand I’m now writing my Psych paper on Buffy. I believe this nicely rounds out my Fandom in Academia series:

Freshman Year:

  • Visual Communications — Lord of the Rings. Comparative visual analysis of equivalent scenes in two film versions of “Return of the King.”
  • Digital Design Foundations — Sandman. Reinterpretation of The Endless in my “Sandman Series.” In this class, I also did designs inspired by Monty Python‘s Ministry of Silly Walks and Ender’s Game.

Sophomore Year:

  • Copyright and Culture — Harry Potter. Discussion of legal implications for different types of fan art (focusing on the Harry Potter fandom)
  • 3D Computer Modeling — The Nightmare Before Christmas and Star Wars. I modeled an environment from TNMBC and an Imperial walker from Star Wars. Also a creature based on the Jabberwock, but I’m not exactly in the Lewis Carroll fandom.
  • Networked Life — Buffy, sort of. We were supposed to create a network of absolutely anything, so created a network of Buffy guest actors, linked based on if they’d appeared in an episode together. I ended up discussing the arc structure of Buffy a bit in my analysis of the shape of the graph, but it wasn’t really about Buffy itself.

Junior Year:

  • Film History — Star Wars. The impact of the original Star Wars trilogy on the special effects industry.
  • Virtual World Design — Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Created a video game set in an environment based on an image from The Wolves in the Walls.

Senior Year:

  • Feminist Fairy Tales — Terry Pratchett. Theories of Revision in Tepper’s Beauty and Pratchett’s Witches Abroad. (We read the book in class, mind you!)
  • Film Analysis and Methods — Firefly/Serenity. Comparison of themes of “otherness” in Serenity and The Searchers
  • Science and Literature — Doctor Who. Senior Year, Empathy with aliens in War of the Worlds, Ender’s Game, and DW 1×06 “Dalek.”
  • And now: Psychology of Judgments and Decisions — Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The indirectness bias in “The Gift” and other episodes.

Why yes, I am awesome. I accept your love and I return it.