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Movie review: Snowpiercer

Not bad, if you don't mind constantly pointing at the screen screaming THAT makes no sense either! Enjoy a harrowing/luxurious ride where every car is a metaphor for the unfairness of class structure.

Orlando Science Center

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Orlando Science Center is not too different from the Boston Museum of Science where I got my start in animal care. They have a lot more alligators though.

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Star Wars Day!

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Franklin Park Zoo held a special event on May the Fourth, as many places did. The zoo invited two cosplay groups to come and greet the guests. I don't work on Sundays, but you can bet that I was there just to meet all the characters!

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Nerd Post

In honor of the fact that I'll be seeing Chris Hardwick (the nerdist) entertain Boston at the Wilbur in an hour in a half, I'll quickly share a nerdy thing that I've been momentarily obsessed with.

Alexis and I have been watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine recently (all star treks are on netflix instant btw). At the beginning of one episode they showed a child eating oatmeal. All the food on the space station is made by the replicators--machines that use transporter technology to generate food and other items from a stored bank of matter (I read up on them today). Presumably this means not only can you procure ANY food you can think of (or have the schematics or software for) but that the machine could be programmed to alter the nutritional content of the food.

If I had access to a replicator, I might say "Tea, Earl Grey; hot," once or twice, just to work on my Patrick Stewart impersonation, but most of the time I'd be saying stuff like "Masamam curry tofu, medium spicy, with pineapple chunks." Or I'd say "Crunchberries, large bowl with lactose-free milk!" Since the machine is generating the food--it never grew, it never lived, it was never killed or harvested--you could say, "veal cutlet, breaded, with dolphin sauce" guilt free. Hell you could have big bowl of baby monkey hearts, if that's your thing (those guys that are black on one side and white on the other eat baby monkey hearts, look it up).

But I would live on DS9 for a long long time before it occurred to me to say "Oatmeal, lumpy, too hot on the inside, slimy and cold on the outside." (This describes every bowl of oatmeal I've eaten.) I brought this up with some of my coworkers, and five out of six of them said the same thing to me: "I love oatmeal. What's wrong with oatmeal?"


"Spaghettios, room temperature, from the can."

Make it so.


3:00 snapshot #1295


An old friend who has since moved to New York, came back to town last weekend to go to a wedding. After that she had a picnic in the park to reconnect with other friends and their families.

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3:00 snapshot #1176


Saturday afternoon movie in bed. "Looper."

[movie spoilers]

I enjoyed the movie, but like many sci-fi action movies, it doesn't hold up to post-viewing scrutiny. That's fine--action movies only need to hold up to the imperfect scrutiny that you apply to them while they are happening. Of course crazy things are going to happen in an action movie, but if the movie is gripping enough you won't care.

So after "Looper," you might suddenly say--wait, there's a powerful criminal organization that has time travel technology and they only use it to dispose of bodies? Probably some of you are smart enough to think that while the movie is on, but I'm not.

Another issue that I have with Sci-fi movies is the number of things that require my suspension of disbelief. If there are more than one of these things, then I need for them to relate to one another in a logical organic way. So for example, in "Looper," we're told right away that time travel exists. Fine. But then we're told a little later that telekinesis exists--but it's only a parlor trick. So the only conclusion you can draw is that telekinesis will figure strongly in the third act.

So then the movie is requiring me to believe in both time travel and telekinesis independently--but nothing else paranormal. It's not like X-files or Heroes or Misfits or even The Avengers where there's a ton of paranormal things happening and it's the new normal. It would be another thing if one or the other thing led to the other--like time travel technology was made possible by the telekinesis mutation, or the telekinesis mutation was a result of the time travel technology.

But that's a minor quibble. As action movies go, it respects the viewer's intelligence, as time travel movies go (a major subgenre in my taste, as it turns out) it's less impenetrable than many. The silly make-up to turn Joseph Gordon-Levitt into Bruce Willis didn't distract me too much, and I liked all the actors' performances. The main character(s) moves from sympathetic to villainous and back without changing who he is really, just the desperation of his circumstances.

Anyway, if I haven't ruined it yet, check it out.

Shorter review: Better than Batman, not as good as The Avengers.

Cool animal adaptation evokes Alien design

Everyone, especially fans of evolution, marine biology, and the Alien movies, and especially especially my brother, needs to go look at this page right now.

Thanks to drhoz for the link.


The Urban Pantheist

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