[Multimedia] Star Wars Trilogy DVD / THX-1138 Director's Cut

I purchased the Star Wars Trilogy DVD and received THX-1138 DVD for cheap when buying they as a package deal. Here is my review:

THX-1138: I loved it. I enjoy dystopia movies and I felt this movie was adequately creepy, depressing and technically well done. Robert Duval did an excellent acting job.

Star Wars DVD: Eventhough I have accused Lucas of raping my childhood, in deep and serious reflections, Star Wars was a large part of my life since watching it for the first time at the Kanabec County Fair in the Mora fairgrounds back in 1981. I remember fondly when my Grandmother took me to see Return of the Jedi at Har Mar theaters in 1983. To the christmas of 1982 when I received the Millenium Falcon as a Xmas gift. I was an introverted child who lived in the middle of no where, my friends were often the action figures I played with. Star Wars is a deep part of my nerd-meme as much as Star Trek, Dr Who and Blake 7. I feel the DVDs were worth the purchase because they really have been redone with better effects, crisper images and improved sound. Some criticisms remain:

1) Han and Greedo shoot at the same time now. While not as cool as when he shoots first and in cold blood, it is better than Greedo shooting first.

2) The Jabba scene looks a little better than the 1997 version, but they should have done him as either a hologram or kept that scene out. He still looks CGI (as do the Gungans).

3) The 'Weeeesaaaa Freeeeee!' scene of Naboo during the celebration scene in Jedi wasn't really needed. Seriously, less Gungans = better.

4) The original theatrical movies with the set would have been nice. But after reflection I will give Lucas his dues, they are his intellectual property, he owns them, if this is really the penultimate of his artistic vision for Star Wars so be it. Just apologize for the damn Gungans and we can call it good.

What I liked:

1) The hours and hours of production footage, cut scenes and such in the documentaries. But I love this stuff, I watched the 12 hours of the LotR documentaries too. I wish they would have put in the Ice Creature in the Hoth base scene or the Anchorhead meeting of Luke and Biggs, that would have been cool.

2) Sound is much, much improved. And the digital clarity has allowed me to appreciate even more some of the minuatae to detail.

3) Episode 3 preview was interesting, even though short on details. I am waiting to see how he fixes (if he fixes) the continuity issues between EP 1-3 and 4-6.

Oh well. I know one person is chomping at the bit to flame me for having purchased this set.


[Politics] State Constitutional Amendment for private corporate funding?

MPR Coverage of the "Itasaca Project" which will raise the gas tax, create a metro sales tax, raise license tab fees, and setup toll roads to pay for the redesign of Twin Cities poorly designed roadway infrastructure. I am all for unknotting the roadways in the Twin Cities because the frequent 3 lanes to 1 lane interchanges are annoying and time consuming. But making a Constitutional Amendment to call for taxes to pay private coporations seems very wrong (even insidious). The constitutional amendment approach is allow Gov Pawlenty to save face with his 'no increase/no new taxes' promise which is costing this state dearly in terms of the standard of living, public services, and education.


[Esoterica] An observation on science

We percieve the world about us through its interaction with our nervous system. Every perception is defined by duration, intensity, frequency and modality (or quality). It's the modality of perception that I find most interesting- it's one of the most complex features of sensation. Our sensory modalities are the ones you learned in kindergarten- visual, olfactory, auditory, somatosensory (pain, touch and balance), and taste. These modalities are highly specific and somewhat narrow in nature, however. The range of visible light is only a small fraction of the spectrum; our chemical perceptions (such as smell and taste) are limited; we can only accurately sense changes in temperature from about 5-45°C, and so on.

Most, if not all, of science is devoted to development of new or extended perceptive modalities. For example, we use instruments to observe things too small or too far away for vision and to quantitate energy at a molecular level. We enlarge normal cellular processes to a size and scope perceptible by our eyes; we make computers to listen to the noise of stars; we measure the magnetic properties of molecules to determine their structure and interactions. We constantly desire to know what we do not, and cannot, determine directly- we seek a deeper level of interaction through perception of the world around us. This is the drive of science.

But what then? If every modality was within our grasp, how would we use it? Will the day come when we have observed all? This, I think, is the eternal conflict of scientists: you must have unerring faith in your ability to detect something novel, to invent a modality to make an observation no one else has been able to percieve; you must also have absolute confidence that tomorrow you will observe something anew, that the mystery is unending. We seek all perceptions, confident that we will not find the end.

[Newspaper] The Onion moves to the Twin Cities.

The Onion has moved its publishing to the Twin Cities! I am so happy. When they moved to New York in 2001 it became hard to find it here. I was surprised to start seeing it everywhere again and it makes me happy. Always a funny and often a witty read.

In the 12 years I have lived in the Twin Cities, I have found quite a few free publications that are good reads:

Twin Cities Reader (defunct, bought by a large media conglomerate and closed to reduce competition)

City Pages (hasn't been quite the same since being bought from an out of town large media conglomerate, but still decent)

The Pulse (a lot like the Twin Cities Reader, but on a smaller scale, still locally owned, politically active and has a good scope on music)

Citizen Herald (defunct, I haven't found a copy for years, was like the Onion, but locally published)

the Rake (a monthly magazine, very good)

MN Daily (U of MN newspaper, has suffered considerably from budget cuts, in 1993 it was declared one of the best college newspapers in the country, it is a shell of its former self)

Avenues (monthly newspaper of arts, food, etc. for the Twin Cities, I am not sure if it has a website)

Computer User (I do not see it around as much anymore, always a good read and a good place to find deals on hardware in the TC)

The big media newspapers in town such as the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune are almost unreadable anymore since they were each purchased by giant media conglomerates (all of the Twin Cities newspapers were purchased within a year or so of each other in the mid-90s shortly after the deregulation of media ownership by the FCC, Twin Cities' newspapers and publications have suffered considerably. While allowing them to survive, a lot of them have lost their edge because of distant corporate ownership) and now are inoffensive, homogenized, 8th grade reading level pieces of recycling. If I had to choose, I would pick the Star Tribune over the Pioneer Press since it is a bit better read than the PP.


[Url] memepool.com


I recommend it. I've been reading it since its start and you can usually find some very interesting things to read.


[Politics] Things that make you go, WTF?!?!

Rumsfeld recently confused Saddam for Bin Laden.

Wow, I mean wow. How do confuse a dictator of a oil-rich country who was your nemesis, whom you've captured. With the leader of a radical, well-organized, terrorist organization?

Did someone forget his medicine?

I dearly hope this is a case of senility and not a case of transference. The liberal media has been a buzz over the Bush administration's re-surfacing of the rumors about Iraq harboring/helping al-Qaeda. These rumors were proved false by the 9/11 Commission Report (section 10.3, page 334).

Yet another reason to have a regime change in November. Be sure to VOTE!!!


[Reflection] In Remembrance of Sept 11th, 2001

I won't forget where I was when I heard the first plane had crashed into the first tower of the WTC. I was driving into to work listening to NPR and it was a perfect fall day. Things became much worse quickly after that.

To those who died 3 years ago today, and to those who died in the fallout of the years following it: rest in peace and may we know peace soon.

Web Archive of 9/11
911 Report


[Sci-Fi] Let Star Trek die...please!

I was reading this nytimes article and it made me reflect that perhaps the Star Trek franchise should go the way of the Dodo.

I have loved Star Trek since my father first showed it to me when I was very young. I was/am a Sci-Fi geek who loves Dr Who (Tom Baker years mainly), Blake 7, Star Trek (TNG + DS9 over ToS and Voyager), and Star Wars (thank you for raping my childhood Lucas with ep1 and 2, but they are your films and it is your perogative). I have watched every Star Trek movie, but after such bombs as Nemesis and with Berman's dellusions of grandeur with 'Enterprise' I really think it is time to let things die off for 10-20 years if not for good.

Viacom has announced that a MMORPG is in the works, but I think my friend put it best:

(09:54:37) Kionel: Wee! I get to be a red shirt!
(09:55:02) Kionel: And I'm not taking orders from some 45 hour-per-week-player-loser.
(09:55:06) Kionel: Fuck that.
(09:55:11) Kionel: Fuck it right in the ear.

Power corrupts and 45-hours-per-week corrupts absolutely.


[blog] Call Center Purgatory (a shout out)


In my younger years before I became dedicated to all things that end in NIX, I spent 4 years as a Help Desk operator and it felt like purgatory.

Please read AC's site, for enlightenment regarding that which is known as, Call Center Purgatory.