District 9

I went to see District 9 with my girlfriend and some friends earlier this week. They thought it was ok-ish. I, on the other hand, thought it was a masterpiece!

Right from the start, the film played to the little kid in me. The obvious references are all there: the hovering saucer from V, the alien refugees from Alien Nation, the absurdly powerful weaponry imported from your local first person shooter. But the film takes these influences and creates something more human than just the lopsided sum; there is something utterly cool about it, the way it engages you, makes you laugh (even at the dark bits) and leaves you sad at the end.

Some critics say they don’t like the broken semi-documentary style of the film. I couldn’t care less. The documentary style told one part of the story, the “in-scene” footage the other part. When last did you object to a novel where the author switched viewpoints to tell a more interesting story? Oh you don’t read? Oops, my bad.

What’s that? Oh, you mean the political aspects of the film? How could Blomkamp include themes of apartheid, oppression, discrimination and involuntary resettlement so lightheartedly? As if he did not mean anything with it!!! Sacrilege!

Well, of course he did. These themes are not there to make a point, they are there because we can almost believe in this global company’s conspiracy with its armed force and hidden agenda. Yes, these themes are taken directly from the recent history and current events in South Africa, because we know these are real, and we can almost believe that it can happen!

Was he trying to apologize for apartheid? Definitely not. Was he trying to use familiar themes from a familiar city to shape his story? Yes!
That was his goal: to make an awesomely kick-ass, darkly humored sci-fi movie. And he succeeded brilliantly!

Also, did anybody else get the Alien + Cat + Food Alf reference, or is it just me?

peace out.

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And the award goes to…

…Anthony Brown, for best use of the word conniving.

Harry and Pepper, gay penguins who since 2003 have nested together at the San Francisco Zoo, broke up after Harry had an affair with Linda, a recently widowed penguin who seduced Harry in her deceased husband’s burrow. “To be completely anthropomorphizing,” said zookeeper Anthony Brown, “Linda seems conniving.”

Also, gay penguins? Has someone bought the movie rights to this yet?

(via Harper’s Weekly)

peace out

The cool thing…

… about working at a company where the previous programmers were, let’s say, inexperienced, is that the new programmer (referring to your’s truly of course) gets to pull magic white rabbits out of hats every day. And people do not cease to be amazed by it.

“When can you have the data for me?”
“I don’t know exactly, but it’ll take some time, because I have to rerun all these other things. It might take a long time, sorry.”
“So I take it next week sometime…?”
“No, no, this afternoon, or at least tonight”
“Oh wow you rock!”

The downside (and there is always a downside) is that the new programmer gets to inherit all the shitty code that his predecessors wrote.
I would put down a succinct example of said code, but frankly there is so much of it my mind is fragged.

peace out

What’s new?

*Sigh* I haven’t had much to say during the last couple of weeks, so I’ll just mention a couple of cool things that happened recently.

First off, snowboarding! Yeah, we went to Falls Creek a couple of weeks ago, right after a cold snap here in Victoria. The snow was good enough (around 40cm), the lift tickets were half-price, the slopes were empty (!), and our accommodation had a jacuzzi and a sauna – both of which were utilized fully.

Second, I have had my first visit to the Baker International Diabetic Institute. A bit of background: about two months ago I had an ear-nose-throat infection that took a month and 4 courses of antibiotics to clear up. After which I decided that enough was enough. So I got myself Think like a Pancreas from Amazon, and made an appointment at the Baker IDI and started doing regular (around 8 times a day!) blood glucose checks. The end-result: I managed to bring my HBA1c down from 9 to 7.6 – not too shabby! No more infections, and I can feel the difference when training karate!

Think like a Pancreas is an amazing book, it really changed my approach to handling my diabetes. Maybe I’ll do another post about all the stuff that I’ve learned…

peace out

Your phrase of the day follows

This morning Mela and I went for a jog, during which she recounted to me how she and a girl friend of hers used to go for runs in the early morning hours when they were still in primary school.

“Because this was in the age before cellphones” she said, “we used to agree to go jog the during the previous evening, so come rain or high water we were committed the next morning. No cop-out!”

There we go, see what she did there? If you even remember a time without cellphones you are a relic, from an long-forgotten age, man.

peace out

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Better the devil you know

I’m intentionally being the devil’s advocate here, but what the hell:

Obama proposes Indefinite Preventive Detention without Trial.

Or, in the slightly more poetic BoingBoing: Obama promises to suspend Habeas Corpus (long discussion here).

Granted, he is talking about what to do with the ex-Guantanamo-Bayers. It is a tricky situation. What you reap, is what you sow, etcetera. But it is curious how he mixes references to law, the Consitution and doing away with illegality and ad-hoc decisions, and instead suggests replacing them with a system that will effectively be beyond the law.

And of course, no mention is made of restricting this new “law system” only to Gauntanamo Bay and its residents…

peace out

You must vaccinate

Charl does such a good job of explaining this, I will simply point you to his blog: You must vaccinate

Go and read it now, if you have any doubts about this.

When you come back, and in case you have any more questions, here are my Guidelines to World Domination for Dummies:

  1. Pay money to unscrupulous researcher to produce a paper showing that XXX is going to (a) kill/maim/destroy (b) us/the earth/the economy/our children.
    Note: the more vague and speculatory the paper, the better!
  2. Make sure the media gets hold of it.
  3. Profit! *

You get bonus points if XXX is something that we have been doing for ages, and has a good side to it too. Also, bonus if there is nothing that we can really do about it.
That makes it seem even more certain to actually exist and be EVIL!

* Please note that even though Profit! may only be the satisfaction of seeing stupid celebrities take up “the cause” and their idiot fans following them to their doom, for some human-looking predators this is all the reward that they will ever need.

However, in most cases Profit! always means that someone is making Money!
You can dead be sure of that.

peace out

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