I am a nerd

I recently gained access to a whole bunch of episodes of various Star Trek show (TOS, TNG, DS9) and have started watching some of the TOS episodes. This admission in and of itself lays a path out for me, but I've been finding a whole lot of scientific anomalies in what's going on. The errors that I'm finding are not the "you can't travel faster than light" kind, or super fantastic astrophysics errors, but the simple science kinds, like how NaCl acts chemically. On one hand, I feel good because I know all this science and am a little disappointed that the errors exist in Star Trek, and, on the other hand, I feel like a complete nerd for noticing things like this.

I guess that it's a good thing that I don't really mind being a nerd sometimes.

Achilles: The Movie

I saw Troy last night and I was both amused and very disappointed. I came into the thing expecting them to cut out a great deal of stuff, but I wasn't expecting them to go about completely rewriting the majority of it and changing the characters themselves. Worst of all, though, is that they decided to pretty much write out the vast majority of the hero contingent of the Trojan War. Basically, the movie was loosely based on the concept of the Trojan War and has relatively little to do with The Illiad. Besides my disgust, I thought that it was rather well done and if they had chosen to title the movie Achilles: The Movie, I would have been totally cool with the whole thing (the The Movie part is rather key).

Story: 2/5
Quality: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Action: 5/5
FX: 5/5
Accuracy: 1/5
Pacing: 2/5

Overall: 3/5

Prophecies are always self-fulfilling

Last night I saw the American Repertory Theatre's rendition of the Greek classic Oedipus. I already knew the story but that made rather little difference; the performance was spectacular. The play itself relies heavily on a variation of the concept of foreshadowing, specifically by making everything so blatantly obvious that it almost hurts (it's an amazing technique that works very well). This particular rendition of Oedipus adds a great deal of strange stylistic bits to the play. It was kinda weird and very good; I highly recommend it, especially if you've got a student ID and can get the cheap, student, day-of-show tickets.

Got a job at the MBL

I got myself a job for the summer working on a big web development thing at the MBL in Woods Hole, MA. The project I'm working on involves the development of a huge information system that serves information about various organisms (theoretically all of them eventually). My involvement is two-fold: phase one is to hack an information exchange protocol into the existing system (which is a huge mess that has been hacked together over the past few years), phase two is to work with a few other people (one or two I think) to completely rebuild the whole system in a modular and clean matter. It looks like it will be a pretty interesting project and it will give me something to do with my time (and some money too).

Mozilla Taconarwhal

Mozilla Taconarwhal screenshot My good friend hippo recently made me aware of a little Mozilla Firefox extension known as Mozilla Firesomething. Firesomething rebrands your Mozilla Firefox as something else, either randomly constructed or user specified. Because I think that it's more amusing, I am using the randomly constructed option which lets you specify different component strings that is builds your brand out of. During my playing with Firesomthing I happened to find myself running Mozilla Taconarwhal and was immensely pleased (I am really quite partial to tacos and narwhals are totally sweet). Someday I expect that I will run into the legendary Tacosquid; but I'll leave that story another time.

Just as a little side plug, Mozilla Firefox is, in my opinion, the best browser out there and I highly recommend that you give it a try if you haven't before.

Tootsie Roll Pop: How Many Licks?

I have recently been conducting research in the field of Tootsie Roll Pops and have become quite enamored with the question of how many licks it takes to reach the center. I have taken a systematic approach and begun research in an attempt to answer the question. I am also in the process of writing a scientific paper on the matter. Feel free to read the paper in its current form, but I stress that it is a work in progress and that data is currently not sufficient to be reliable. If you or anyone else would be willing to conduct tests and provide me with data I would be greatly appreciative for the extra data points.

NPR and The Flaming Lips

I noticed a funny thing earlier today as I was lisening to NPR (I think that I was listening to talk of the nation specifically). Between show segments they play little bits of music and one of the little bits of music that they played was from one The Flaming Lips' songs. Hearing The Flaming Lips and then realizing that it was NPR just reaffirmed my view that somebody out there has god taste in music (it was a good little piece and I've also heard them play lots of other good music in their little interludes).

Starting to care

It's finally happened, I'm starting to give a damn about politics (guess it had to happen sometime). You might notice that I've added a few more blogs to my links on the left (that's where I turn for my body politic and I will probably add more as I start reading them). I try to get a decent spattering of different political points of view so as to be able to make my own opinions.

In case anyone cares, here's my take on various political issues right now: We're wasting tons of money on a war that we shouldn't be fighting. We're bullying the rest of the world. We're ignoring most of the problems that exist in our own country. We're returning capitalism to the hell that it was more than a century ago. Our education system is going down the tubes. The average American cares more about pop culture than his or her own well being. (Needless to say, these are all bad things in my opinion).

That should serve as decent reference for anyone that wants to know my views. Oh, and I don't like to associate myself with any party because I believe that giving a name to my belief system gives the name power at the expense of my actual beliefs (why can't democrats and republicans do what they believe in and not simply follow the party line?).

National Gas Boycott or something like that tomorrow

This recently came in through AIM channels:

May 19th is national gas boycott day. With gas prices on the rise, something must be done to send a message to the gas companies. If no one in America buys gas on the 19th the gas companies will lose an estimated $45 MILLION dollars! If you're not happy with paying over $2.00/gallon please do not buy gas on May 19th. Please re-post this so that it will be able to reach as many people across the country as possible.

I guess that means don't buy gas tomorrow. A little late in tossing the post out what with the boycott tomorrow. Mind you, I haven't verified the statistics so don't yell at me if they're wrong and if it matters to you, check them yourself. I don't really know if it'll do anything but we can all go one day without purchasing gas, so why not?