prog: (olmos)
So Lost ended, and poop. )

The rest of you may all commence making fun of me for grousing about this but still liking Battlestar Galactica.
prog: (khan)
This is nice:



Interesting pattern develops here, if this is a viral for the next J.J. Abrams Trek film (which it almost surely is, since it looks too polished, and its credit roll is too absent, to be a fan video). It follows the same precedent for superhero-story reboots set by the Nolans' Batman films: in the first installment, pit the hero against a canonical but somewhat lame villain. This keeps the focus on how you've revitalized the hero - or, in Trek's case, the heroic ensemble. If that goes over well, then you can sustain fan-glee by rolling out the arch-nemesis for part two.

[livejournal.com profile] rikchik points out to me that the latter-day Dr. Who TV series follows this pattern as well. The first Eccleson episode had him shining as he dealt with the obscure-but-canonical Autons, and they waited a few episodes before the ol' Daleks showed up to steal his spotlight away.

Edit Oh, the glyphs at the end are totally a URL passed through a simple latin1-to-klingon-character cipher. I am too lazy to figure it out though.

Edit 2 OK, fine: it goes here. (Ripped from an IO9 comment. whee...)
prog: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie and I started watching the first season of Mad Men last night. Bloggers I respect who write often on race and gender politics are rapt at this show, and have taken to writing long posts about it after each new episode. What I'm expecting to be the big dun-dunnnn end-of-season reveal ( pbapreavat Qba'f vqragvgl fjnc va Xbern ) has already been spoiled for me, so now's the time to dig in before all the rest falls away.

Unsurprisingly, we're enjoying it a great deal. We are both surprised at how sympathetic the principal protagonist, Don Draper, is. Early reactions to the show led me to believe that he's a jackass, and that the show chronicles how the changing times slowly undoes him. Thankfully, that seems to be quite an oversimplification. While he is certainly a creature of his era - and would therefore be a howling sexist by modern standards - his adventures in the first episode clearly reveal him to be complex, and flexible.

While he does snap appallingly at a female client who disagrees with his campaign ideas (clients aren't supposed to be ladies, wtf), he soon starts fumbling around for a way to make it up to her. He has to make this up as he goes, and falls down a lot, because the idea of a woman having any power at all - even the simple power of a client over a contracted ad agency - is totally off-script for him. But Draper's willing to adapt quickly, if it's clear that he has to. So, I look forward to traveling through the early 1960s with him.

Really my only complaints so far are the obvious "We're in the past!" gags, like when Draper observes that a thick report he tossed in the trash can permanently destroyed its information, because "it's not there there's some sort of magic machine that makes copies of things". (To which I say: Yes, well, carbon paper? Wev.)

I may end up buying the first season DVD for my dad, for selfish reasons. I bet he'd dig it, but I would really love to hear his reaction to it, because he worked in sales in a big corporation at exactly this time period, and a lot of what this show portrays meshes with his own stories about it.
prog: (Default)
Just finished Season 5. )

The Lost casual game: the player controls an armed character in the jungle. Every so often, the tall green plants rustle: oh no, danger! Use the mouse to aim your crosshairs! When you do, one of your character's friends pops out. Whew, what a scare!

If you accidentally click the mouse while aiming, there is a gunshot! Oh no! And then you realize that you're the one who's been shot, by an offscreen assailant. The game ends, after a brief epilogue where your character regrets their failed relationship with their father.
prog: (Bizarro Kirk)

Was talking to the late [livejournal.com profile] doctor_atomic just now about the new movie, and asked for her thoughts about the miniskirts. Unlike me, she noticed them right away, and found herself hoping that they were going to show unisex minis as an official Star Fleet uniform option for everyone. Apparently, these existed for the first few episodes of TNG, which depicted several pants-free male Enterprise crewmembers.

I have no memory of this, but apparently 'tis so. This cosplay dood is the only evidence I could dig up through Google Images. I could go unearth my Season 1 DVDs, I suppose, but I'll just take their word for it.

(Needless to say, the movie didn't take this tack.)
prog: (Default)
Highlight of the weekend was a last-minute decision to attend BarCamp Boston 4. This was the second "Unconference" I'd attended, after last year's GameLoop (which was, in turn, inspired by BarCamp Boston 3). I had a great time, learned a lot and met lots of cool people. Inspired to try proposing some talks myself, next time I attend something like this.

All attendees were asked to identify themselves with three info-tags. I chose Perl, Consulting, and DIY Television. I ended up leaning most heavily on the latter, unsurprisingly, as TV production's what currently on the upswing in my personal obsessionery. And lo, serendipity smiled upon me: I found myself talking to people who work with NPR and WGBH (Boston's PBS affiliate), just a day after deciding that public broadcasting represents a good first place to start my little research project into up-marketing The Gameshelf. Sent out a passel of followup email this morning, and have high hopes that it will lead to some interesting conversations.

Props to [livejournal.com profile] dariusk for helping these introductions along; a natural facilitator, he was a force of nature Saturday morning, all but bodily dragging people around the room in order to arrange them into ideal conversational pods.

I handed out lots of Appleseed cards, but usually with a sheepish well-heh-heh-this-is-my-day-job, and the scribbled addition of "jmac.org" onto it. It's time for me to design a personal card again, something I can use when I am not introducing myself primarily as a software expert, or Volity's president. My last design, pictured here, is nine years old, drawn while I was still living in Maine. While I still have a bunch left, it's been a while since I've carried any around. It tries to bespeak creativity and cleverness while being vague and jokey about it, which describes my 2000 self to a tee. I'd like to think I've earned a little more definition since then, and need a card that suggests it.
prog: (Default)
Hello, my social network,

Tell me: do I know anyone who is involved in the TV industry, or who might be able to comfortably introduce me to colleagues who are? (Note: have already dispatched pigeons to the Gameshelf's crew members. Y'all are the second ones to hear this question.)

No need for me to be coy here: it struck me earlier this evening that there's no good reason for my complete ignorance about the world of commercial television. So long as I'm in the dark about it, I also lack reasons why I've never even thought about making The Gameshelf a part of it. I can imagine plenty of good reasons it's a ridiculous and dismissible notion - even ones that have nothing to do with the quality of relevance of my show - and wouldn't be a bit surprised to discover that any or all are true. But I don't know.

What I do know is that when I turn on TV38 and I see The Phantom Gourmet, I point at it and say "I would not hate it if my show worked like this." And as it happens, I feel that my show actually is really relevant. I could totally make a pitch on the basis that we're entering an increasingly ludocentric world, and we need a TV series that intelligently examines the history, culture (hi [livejournal.com profile] radtea!), and criticism of games across all media. Something far broader and deeper than your typical G4 game-of-the-moment review show.

The two episodes we produced in 2007 were really awesome, and were I so motivated, I would feel perfectly comfortable cutting a demo reel around them. The thought of shooting a whole honest-to-god season of The Gameshelf with a budget, even a very small one, makes my toes tingle. It's a fragile fantasy right now, but now that it's bit me, I've got to know more about it.
prog: (olmos)
Some followup thoughts on the BSG finale, weeks later...

Blar blar blar )
prog: (olmos)
This sounds too awesome (as in dude, that's) for reality, but it's clearly too weird to be parody. From an EW article about a BSG retrospective at the UN:
When one of the UN's representatives talked about how part of their mandate was to safeguard the human rights of everyone, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and station, Olmos got a little heated. "You never should've invited me here," he said, before blasting the UN for continuing to use race as a term of separation, of division among peoples. His voice rose, steadily, as if years of social activism was coming to a head on this night. Then, directing his attention to the high schoolers: "Adults will never be able to stop using the word 'race' as a cultural determinant....There is only one race: the human race. SO SAY WE ALL!"

I swear to you, everyone in that chamber shouted it right back at him. Because the Admiral asked us to.

And Mary McDonnell leaned over and gently wiped a tear from Olmos' cheek.
(Thx to [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie for linkage.)

Boob tubage

Feb. 7th, 2009 11:25 am
prog: (galaxians)
Been on my Xbox 360 a lot lately, both to play games and watch TV...

I learned from "Penny Arcade", of all places, that most (all?) of Doctor Who, new and old, is now available via streaming Netflix, which I am able to enjoy via the Xbox. So, I finally got to watch "Blink". Hooray. Even [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie liked it! We are likely to go back and start watching season 3 from the start. (I gave up midway through season 2 when Sci-Fi Channel was broadcasting it, either after the Satan-in-space one or the Cybermen ones. It was just too cheesy.)

I finished "Operation: Anchorage", the first chunk of Fallout 3 DLC. Meh. The super-easy combat isn't any harder, and the game once again makes it even easier by pairing you up with a literally invulnerable NPC buddy. (The main storyline has one of these too, but at least you can choose to make the game harder by telling him to stay home.) I had fun with it, but I am unlikely to purchase further expansions for this game. I still have plenty of the main map to explore, should I feel like it later.

I picked up "Castle Crashers" finally. It's stupid fun, as expected. Also lots of poop jokes. I wish 360 controllers weren't so dang expensive or I'd go pick up a couple more, just to be able to host a four-player local game.

My field trip into non-random Xbox Live play last Tuesday evening was a success, thanks to Anthony and Sean. I got to try out the new "party" system, introduced to all Xbox users with last November's OS update, and confirmed that it will dovetail quite nicely with a certain project of mine.

Hmm... I'd better go hit the trenches and finish up what's left of said project, now.

Chron

Nov. 25th, 2008 10:59 am
prog: (Default)
It's interesting to think that there are high school kids today who watch syndicated ST:TNG after school, and they have the same relationship with it that I did when I watched ST:TOS every weekday afternoon, 20 years ago.

Is TOS still in reruns anywhere, I wonder?
prog: (galaxians)
Bored-surfing the wiki, I read this on the page about Star Trek's Uhura:
Nichelle Nichols planned to leave Star Trek in 1967, after its first season, but Martin Luther King, Jr. persuaded her to stay, stating that she was a role model for the black community. [cite]
One of the United States' federal-holiday namesakes, and therefore a semi-mythical figure AFAIC, played a direct role in shaping popular science fiction as we know it today. Learning this was a spark-throwing info-collision for me! How about that.
prog: (Default)
I am still having election dreams. They fit into the current timeline; early this morning I stubbornly hallucinated that I was following along with John McCain's continuing adventures, following his defeat. Unlike before, my mood about it was more merely curious than anxious.

Come to think of it, all my election dreams have been McCain-centered. I just can't let him go. Why, John. Whydja do it.

(This was maybe triggered by a pretty good 90-minute Frontline doc about Lee Atwater that I watched last night. It's being rerun about 50 times this week; check your local listings.)
prog: (moonbat)
Hee hee hee. (Teh funny is fuller if you grew up in the U.S. while watchin TV over the last few decades.)

I like the practical message, too. As a commenter on another LJ said, this rather justifies moveon.org's existence.

(I've written off my own parents as being completely irrational due to deep-seated swarthiphobia (literally - they are so, so scared), but I know at least one person close to me whose parents live in a swing state and are still undecided, and their education is an ongoing project...)

(My mom was telling me how she and dad went to a Todd Palin rally in Newport last weekend. He's a rather soft-spoken man, apparently, and they had to strain to hear him.)
prog: (olmos)
This has been a pretty strong and satisfying season. After last night's mid-season closer, I thought that bloop )

Free TV!

Jun. 12th, 2008 04:21 pm
prog: (colossus)
Could any of you locals use another TV? I need to get rid of my old one. It's an old-school deep-tube Philips 19" from 2003. Works great, but it's been sitting on my kitchen floor since I upgraded to HD in March.

If want it and can come pick it up sometime before July 31, say so now.
prog: (rotwang)
JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL was my train-riding book today because I had no other, and I found that the very next chapter addressed the continuing fates of the characters I had taken for forgotten. I stand by my earlier criticism, because there is a very real difference between a reader anticipating missing characters' return, and wondering if the author's simply misplaced them.

LOST continues to be a soup of delightful and spicy meatballs floating in a broth of stale television cliches. Usually I have no palate for it, and sometimes I just have to have five bowls of it. I slurped down a good half-dozen episodes over the last 24 hours, and have three more to go before I know what half my flist is so happy about.

PSYCHONAUTS is wonderful, and is currently a $15 download for XBox 360 users. (I understand PC users can enjoy it via Steam, as well.) I have a lengthy post about it that I may actually finish someday. Suffice to say it's certainly the best written platformer-genre game I've ever played.

RACE FOR THE GALAXY is an amazing card game and I wish to play it again right now. I will almost certainly be purchasing a copy soon.
prog: ("The Sixth Finger" guy)
So I've been watching and enjoying the latest BSG episodes. Here are some thoughts.

Blorp blorp blorp cylons )

Lost stuff

Mar. 1st, 2008 08:03 pm
prog: (Default)
I dub this episode bleep ).

It's a little disorienting (ha ha) to see the show dip into several very familiar SF tropes that don't really appear elsewhere. It's kind of interesting how they're all so tightly bound to just this one character.

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