Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's the End of the World...

I was watching a show on the Science Channel about the end of mankind. The seven ways the world will end was being discussed by the smartest people on the planet. Steven Hawking was of them. I was listening to his computerized voice and thought "Hawking was born in England, raised there, educated there, taught at Cambridge, and still resides in England to this very day. So why doesn't his computer voice have an English accent?"

Let's see if I can remember the seven ways the world could end.
1: Being hit by a meteor or asteroid.
2: Sun or nearby star burning out and radiating us with gamma rays. (For some reason when a star burns out, it emits powerful gamma rays.)
3: Super volcanic eruption. (There's a giant lava field underneath Iowa. If erupted, Iowa would be gone in minutes, and the rest of the world will fall like dominoes.)
4: Plague. (In the last 300 years, there has been a major plague every 30 years. We haven't had one since 1918. Way overdue.)
5: Melting polar caps would drown 90% of us.
6: Accidental or intentional nuclear war between USA and Russia is the most likely way all the scientists agreed.
7: Technology. Machines will become self aware, realize they are smarter than humans, and eliminate us. It is already impossible for a human to beat a computer at chess.

Then I thought about Roger Ebert. His computer voice is his old voice. So why doesn't Hawking's computer talk cockney?

By the way, the seven ways I listed is not in any particular order. The show counted down from seven to one, one being the most likely. I cannot recall the exact order. The only one I am positive about is the number one way: Nuclear war. These brains were pretty specific about the USA and Russia wiping out the planet. Together we have enough nuclear bombs to wipe out eight billion people. There are only six billion on the planet. Other countries that have nuclear capabilities do not possess enough weapons to kill the earth.

I wonder who constructed Hawking's computer voice. Was it made in the USA? Or perhaps a visiting American programmed it while over in Great Briton. I mean if we can have Joe Pesci's voice in our automobile's GPS system, then Hawking should have a Brit's voice coming out his wheelchair.

Anyway, after watching the TV Show about the end of man, I went to bed. I did not sleep very well. I don't know what worried me more. The thought about a nuclear ending or the state of Hawking's computer voice. In either case, work needs to be done to correct the situation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Interruption In My Dereliction

Linda is out tonight. She said she was going clubbing with some of her girlfriends. Now I am sitting here thinking about it and I have no idea where they're going to find baby seals in the Detroit area.

So anyway, I am alone in the house and bored shirtless. Yes, I said "shirtless." I am sitting at the keyboard typing this bare chested. The temperature has been through the roof. This is why I prefer winter to summer. In the winter, when it's too cold, you can keep putting more and more clothing on until you arrive at a comfortable temp. But in summer, when it is hot like today, you can take off your clothes, but only to a point. Once you get naked, and if you're still hot, there is nothing to remove to cool down any further.

I saw a commercial on television for "Exelon." This is a patch medication for Alzheimer's disease. The majority of the ad boasts how the patch helps the patient with memory, understanding, communicating and reasoning. The last portion of the commercial is the disclaimer which states that the patch cannot change the course of the disease. Also, using a second patch before removing the first patch, or any use of multiple patches, can cause death. Suddenly I pictured all these poor old people forgetting they already put the patch on and putting on a second and then a third and maybe a fourth before falling over dead, and never once realizing that they have over-medicated themselves.

According to Reader's Digest "Laughter is the Best Medicine." So instead of prescribing Exelon to Alzheimer patients, how about just tickling them four or five times a day. It may seem like you would have to dedicate a good portion of your day and energy for tickling, and you would, but even so, it's worth it when you see those dentures go flying. It's fun for the whole family.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

2D or Not 2D

I watched a special on 3-D movies.  This was on Roger Ebert's current movie review show.  The two hosts, neither one is Roger, discussed the positiveness of 3-D movies (such as "Avatar" and the Pixar movies) versus the negative aspect of turning 2-D movies (like "Clash of the Titans" and "The Last Airbender") into 3-D just to make a few extra bucks at the box office. The general consensus was that the movie going public are tiring of shelling out their hard earned cash to watch a 3-D flick when the same movie in 2-D is just as entertaining and can add an extra box of Raisinets to your concession stand purchase.

The term 3-D bothers me.  Every movie I have ever seen was in 3-D.  I have seen a few in 4-D also.  Movies that advertise as being 3-D are technically 4-D.  We exist in 4 dimensions: height, width, depth and.... (place dramatic pause here)  ...time!

Yes, time! Time is a dimension.  Without it, if you were to watch Avatar in 3-D, you would be frozen staring at one cell of the film coming off the screen for all of eternity.  You would not be able to register the image in your mind because your thoughts as well as time has stopped.  You would be a flesh and blood statue forever sitting in a movie theater, unable to appreciate that one single scene from Avatar that your eyes stay fixed on forever and ever.

The last movie I watched was the 2-D version of the Green Lantern.  In reality it was in 3-D.  I know this because not only did the movie have height and width, I saw it from beginning to end.  Therefore, the dimension of time was used to display the film.   And I am glad for that.  I hate to imagine being imprisoned for all eternity staring at a single screen shot of that movie.  Even if my mind would be unable to register it.

3-D movies (technically I should say 4-D) are considered to be a passing fad.  It's not that people hate watching them.  Besides having to lay out the extra moolah, people hate wearing those silly ass glasses.  Plus the effects are not that impressive anymore.  Some scenes are lengthened and slowed down just for the 3-D effect, not to further the plot.  Watching that same scene on a flat screen is boring.  We have been dazzled already, so lets get back to the story.  If it were possible to film a movie and view it in all its dimensions without having to strap on awkward eye gear, then, I believe, all movies would be shown this way.  Also, the cost factor would have to be reasonable on both ends of the spectrum; the viewing public and the filmmaker.  I think that day may one day arrive.  Unfortunately, that day is not in the foreseeable future.

One last closing thought. I wonder if they make 3-D porn?  I do not know if they do or don't, although I can picture that as a moneymaking enterprise.  I'd go out of my way to see Pamela Anderson popping out of the silver screen.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

TV Views

There are many good shows on cable television.  In fact, the amount of time needed to watch all the good shows  outweigh the amount of time available to your everyday out-of-work sleep deprived individual.  I have my cable internet and TV supplied by Wide Open West, known in my area as Wowway.  Channel 1 is "WOW on Demand" or WOWOD.  WOWOD allows me to select numerous different shows from a wide variety of channels and be able to watch a chosen program at any time I choose.  As an example I can watch several "30 Rock" shows, one after another, at 4:17 a.m..  If I need to use the toilet at 5:03, I can pause the show while I am away from my TV, and pick it back up on my return without missing a gag or a story plot point

Wowway also supplies, at no added expense, all the STARZ and Encore channels.  These are mostly movie offerings and it does not take long for one to view all.  There are more selections added at the beginning of every month, but it does not take long to watch these.  The movie offerings I enjoy, but it is the series of original programs I crave.  Spartacus, Camelot, Party Down, and Pillars of the Earth are among the most addictive entertainment for your viewing pleasure.  "Torchwood" is another series that begins next week and it promises to be as wonderful as any of the others.

This evening I added another "must-see" TV to my ever expanding list of personal favorites.  It is a program on TNT called "Franklyn and Bash."  I do not know the names of the leading actors (nor am I inclined to look them up at this moment) but they are familiar faces.  Franklyn and Bash are lawyers at a law firm run by Malcolm McDonald.  Malcolm is the actor's name, not the character's.  Malcolm has been a favorite of mine since "Clockwork Orange."  The show could be called "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure with Perry Mason"   The latest episode I watched featured Beau Bridges as Franklyn's father.  Beau Bridges is an actor with two mustaches; one over each eye.  I hope this show has enough viewers to keep going.  It is good!

So I added "Franklyn and Bash" to my list of must-sees.  Other programs on my list include: In Plain Sight, True Blood, Camelot, Burn Notice, The Closer, Law & Order-Criminal Intent, Falling Skies, Warehouse 13, Fringe, Castle, Psyche, Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly, 30 Rock, Community, Cougar Town, Hot In Cleveland, The Middle, Modern Family, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, The Borgias, Nurse Jackie and  many more serial programs.  Then I also get into watching DIY, Discovery, PBS, the History Channel, E!, Comedy Central, the Food Network, A&E, TruTV, Animal Planet and the Weather Channel.  I have favorites on each of those.  And there are several well-scripted reality shows I watch such as "Gene Simmons" and "The Apprentice."

Every once in a while I will discover an old show that I had never watched when it originally aired (The Golden Girls, Firefly, Everybody Loves Raymond...) and I will dedicate blocks of my time to "marathon" viewing.  I have missed so much.  I don't think I will ever catch up.  This will be hard for you to believe, but I never have seen a single episode of "Mister Peepers."  It starred Wally Cox as Mr. Peepers, and it was on from 1952 until 1955.  I know, I know, it IS available on DVD.  What's a poor boy to do?

If Saint Pete requires passing a TV trivia quiz in order to enter the pearly gates, I am doomed.  There is so much to see and so little lifetime to see it.  I could probably do well if the category is "1960's Westerns" or "Archie Bunker Quotations," but if it's "Snooki and the Situation Trivia" or "Who Are the Stars on Dancing With the Stars," then its off to hell with or without the hand basket.

The only show that may be coming off my list is "Two and Half Men."  I cannot imagine Ashton Kutcher even coming close to Charlie Sheen's humor.  I'll give it a shot and see, but my hopes are not very high.   I never viewed Kutcher as a believable actor. Even on "Punked" he wasn't that convincing, and he was portraying his own self.  Hard to comprehend why Ashton is getting one million dollars per episode.  I would have done it for half that.  And I openly admit I cannot act.  That makes me one notch above the Kutch.