Monthly Archives: January 2019
I just took the plunge and cancelled my Comcast cable!
I’ve been on the cable since 2002, so they were sorry to see me go. I’m sure they are. Cable companies have been losing a lot of customers as technology shifts to a streaming environment. For me, an additional consideration is that, while Comcast has definitely improved how they roll, I have many bad feelings from the earlier years when they seemed always on the Ten Worst Company lists.
The combination of those feelings, plus the economics and logistics of it all, made it exactly the right choice for me now.
26 Comments | tags: Amazon Prime, cable cutting, cable shows, cable TV, CenturyLink, Comcast, cut the cable, Hulu, Netflix, streaming video, Xfinity, YouTube, YouTube TV | posted in TV
I think I’ve reached the breaking point with The Orville. Watching episode five of the new season, I found myself yelling at the TV for the fifth time, because the writing seems so stupid and the characters seem so lame. I’m angry that a show with so much potential is so infuriating and dumb. I had to turn the episode off and start this post.
When the second season started, I re-watched the entire first season as an appetizer, and my conclusion was that there were many more good episodes than bad. There’s really only one I found a stinker (and couldn’t watch all of), but overall it was positive. I was looking forward to the second season.
Sadly, I’ve really hated all five episodes so far. I’m really torn about watching the show anymore.
19 Comments | tags: Adrianne Palicki, Seth MacFarlane, SF, The Orville | posted in Rant, TV, TV Tuesday
For the longest time, I’ve had a note in my workspace to get a round Tuit, and I finally did get a round Tuit. (Even if I had to design and render it myself.)
I finally got a round Tuit! [click for big]
2 Comments | tags: 3D, ffmpeg, POV-Ray, Round Tuit | posted in Life
Judy, Judy, Judy!
I’ve been a fan of science fiction since the early 1960s. I was already an avid fan and ready audience for Lost in Space (1966–68; Judy was one of my earliest childhood crushes), It’s About Time (1966–67), and I was glued to the TV set enthralled when Kirk, Spock, and the rest, first boldly went in 1966.
By then I’d already consumed all I could of Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, along with Verne, Wells, and Burroughs (I didn’t discover Tolkien or Howard until high school a few years later).
Movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), and Forbidden Planet (1956), all had me avid for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
It’s been a whole lot of years, and a whole lot of science fiction, is my point.
21 Comments | tags: cyberpunk, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne, Lost in Space, Neal Stephenson, Robert E. Howard, science fiction, science fiction books, science fiction movies, science fiction TV, SF, SF Books, SF Movies, Snow Crash, William Gibson | posted in Books, Movies, Sci-Fi Saturday, TV
It’s always nice when reality pats you on the back and says, “You got this one right.” Sometimes that doesn’t happen as often as we’d like. Reality seems to enjoy confounding us. For me that seems especially true when it comes to taste in entertainment.
So I was delighted and gratified to see The Happytime Murders, Holmes & Watson, and Robin Hood, all nominated for Worst Picture for this year’s Annual Razzie Awards. They share the honor with Gotti and Winchester. (See the full list at razzies.com.)
It’s so nice to know I’m not alone in boggling that someone actually made these movies!
7 Comments | tags: Annual Razzie Awards, Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell | posted in Movies
I haven’t written about my Minnesota Twins in a while. Blame it on 2016, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. On top of a stunning turn in politics, the Twins had their worst year ever as a Minnesota team. (They were the Washington Senators until 1960.)
They did okay in 2017 with a winning season (.525 win record) and the second American League Wildcard. Of course, they lost to, guess who, the damn Yankees. The year also capped a weird three-year over-under-over pattern in terms of their expected performance.
In 2018, the stats look closer to expectations, which is to say sad, but it’s possible 2019 will be much happier.
1 Comment | tags: 2018, baseball season, Major League baseball, Mariano Rivera, Minnesota Twins, MLB, Paul Molitor, The Twins, Twins, Twins 2016, Twins 2018 | posted in Baseball
Folded into the mixed baklava of my 2018, was a special mathematical bit of honey. With the help of some excellent YouTube videos, the light bulb finally went on for me, and I could see quaternions. Judging by online comments I’ve read, I wasn’t alone in the dark.
There does seem a conceptual stumbling block (I tripped, anyway), but once that’s cleared up, quaternions turn out to be pretty easy to use. Which is cool, because they are very useful if you want to rotate some points in 3D space (a need I’m sure many of have experienced over the years).
The stumbling block has to do with quaternions having not one, not two, but three distinct “imaginary” numbers.
17 Comments | tags: complex numbers, math theory, mathematics, natural numbers, number systems, numbers, octonion, quaternion, real numbers | posted in Math, Sideband
The Doctor is in!
I’ve written before (twice) about how much I love Doctor Who (even more than Star Trek, and that’s saying something). I’ll tell you right now: nothing’s changed; it’s still my favorite TV science fiction show, hands down. I am enjoying the big changes this season: a new The Doctor and a new show runner, Chris Chibnall.
The big change to The Doctor, of course, is the first ever female incarnation, played by Jodie Whittaker. For some this is a bit like a female James Bond, but the idea that Time Lords (slash Ladies) are gender-fluid is canonical. (Statistically speaking, it’s past time The Doctor was female. As the season promos put it: It’s about time!)
In many ways, I find the fan reactions to these changes as interesting as the show itself!
14 Comments | tags: Bradley Walsh, Chris Chibnall, Dalek, Doctor Who, Graham O'Brien, Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, Ryan Sinclair, Steven Moffat, TARDIS, The Doctor, Tosin Cole, Weeping Angel, Yasmin Khan | posted in Sci-Fi Saturday, TV
My disdain for reboots means that, out of the gate I’m not inclined to have much anticipation for Mary Poppins Returns. Factor in that it’s a musical fantasy for and about children, and there is even less to attract me. It’s just not my cup of tea, Earl Grey (hot) or otherwise.
I have a sister, younger by a few years, so the original Mary Poppins, with Julie Andrews, was an annual fixture in our house. Along with The Wizard of Oz and that excruciating Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation. I was already a hard-core science fiction fan by then; these family-friendly fantasies bored me silly even as a kid.
I think even then I was just too aware of the implicit psychopathy behind it all.
14 Comments | tags: Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, P.L. Travers | posted in Movies
The previous year was an interesting one for me. Last July marked five years of retirement, which has been great, but part of me misses the high information content and challenges work threw at me daily. I’ve tried to keep busy with my own pursuits, one of which was a temporary obsession with the Kīlauea volcano on the Big Island, Hawai‘i.
I wrote about this back in August, just after the (unprecedented) activity subsided. At the time, no one knew if the volcano was just taking a breath, or if the lava flow was really over. At this point we know it was over; there has been no activity since.
For two-and-a-half months, though, it was an impressive display of the undeniable power of Mother Earth and, in particular, her fiery daughter Pele.
8 Comments | tags: earthquake, fissure 8, fissure vent, Hawaii, Kilauea, lava, magma, Pele, USGS, volcano | posted in Science, Wednesday Wow