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Out of the Blue

We hit the isle of Manhattan yesterday to attend a surprise party for our dear friend MrCoffee. A fine time was had by all, and we even accomplished a semi-surprise, which is no small feat.

R.I.P.: Actor who voiced Daleks dies.

Surprise Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Link: Wow Alerts. Get a call when your Realm returns. Thanks mclew.
Stories: Beer baron loses license for drunken driving. His story and his B.A.C. don't jibe.
Man Arrested for Doing 56 mph on In-line Skates. Thanks Digg.
Checklist for Camp: Bug Spray. Sunscreen. Pills (registration required).
Science!: Animating Keanu Reeves (registration required). Thanks Digg.
A Portable (and Squeezable) Way to Recharge (registration required).
Image: Headcrab Porn.
Media: The Cornershot Military System. Thanks Digg.
Gandalf and Saruman advertise the Ring.
Bill Maher > David Blaine.
Auction: Exploits on eBay.
Follow-ups: Discovery's hydraulic system leaking.
Shuttle Heads Back to Earth.
Teh Funny: FoxTrot.

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26 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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26. Re: Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 17, 2006, 13:06 mag
 
It's an excellent read for those who only usually read comics and D&D manuals. It's overhyped tripe for the geek crowd.

Whatever, man. I've never read a comic book or a D&D manual. You just sound like a pretentious twit.

 
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25. Re: Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 17, 2006, 08:58 nin
 
I started on The Time-Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger (sort-of sci-fi), and while I enjoyed it, at the time I wasn't reading it often enough to keep up with what was going on. It's a book I'll definitely go back to, though.


Good book, wonderfully depressing. I heard the movie rights are bouncing around, but I'm sure they'd butcher it...

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24. Re: Snow Crash Jul 17, 2006, 08:53 Heather
 
Ah, Space Captain. I get why you didn't really like SC now. You read it after you'd encountered a lot of the cultural derivatives. It's like how people of our generation don't "get" movies like Citizen Kane. It made a huge impact when it was released, but since so many movies have used the tricks since then, it doesn't seem novel. It just seems bleh.

I think you have to keep in mind when SC was written. A lot of the things he writes about in the book were barely on the horizon yet of modern technology (it came out in 1993, IIRC). And now you have people getting arrested for pooning and doing 56 mph.
 
Beauty is truth; truth beauty - that is all ye need to know on earth...except TCP/IP.
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23. Re: Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 17, 2006, 08:49 Heather
 
I'd like to give Neal Stephenson a try, some time soon. I just never seem to have enough time to read these days (says me, posting here at almost 3am )

I know the feeling. If I were to just slack off the Intrawebs time, I could find oodles of time to complete the books that I crawl through nowadays. Of course, my toddler is much more obliging to allow me 30 seconds of surfing time here and there versus giving Mommy 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading time. (I used to be able to kill 1-2 books a day, now it takes me over a week to get through something.)

Have you read any Connie Willis? It's literary and fun sci-fi. (I'd recommend starting with either Doomsday Book or To say Nothing of the Dog.
 
Beauty is truth; truth beauty - that is all ye need to know on earth...except TCP/IP.
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22. Re: Cornershot Jul 17, 2006, 08:13 Dan =0)
 
undermined by Zippy the pinhead's soundtrack and editing.

At first I was wondering if they were (un)intentionally trying to market to kids, a la Starship Troopers...

Dan =0)


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21. Re: Snow Crash Jul 17, 2006, 05:59 Rolphus
 
I followed it up with "Neuromancer," the book "Johnny Neumonic" was very loosely based off (in fact, they had very little in common except for a cyber punk setting).

Johnny Mnemonic was actually based off a short story (I believe, entitled Johnny Mnemonic), which, if I recall correctly, is part of his short story collection, Burning Chrome. It's been included in a number of collections, though.

 
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20. Cornershot Jul 17, 2006, 04:45 Hump
 
sorry but that movie is unintentionally hilarious. I keep waiting to see credits for the Zucker bros. to pop-up on screen. Its particularly unfortunate because I'm sure the company has invested millions into R&D for the thing only to have it undermined by Zippy the pinhead's soundtrack and editing.

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19. Re: Snow Crash Jul 17, 2006, 00:34 kanniballl
 
IMO snow crash has definately been overhyped to its detriment... if i hadnt expected so much because of all my friends freaking out about it for years, i may have enjoyed it a bit more

but its not nearly well written enough to pay off in a huge way - the tech background comes from the late 80s, and the historical/mythological aspects are woefully inadequate and (for me) comically presented

Personally, I liked it. My friends all loved it in college but I wasn't into the "reading thing" back then. I mean, after spending a good chunk of your week reading books and articles for class who wants to read yet another book for pleasure?

Ironically I had to read it for my Senior year SciFi literature class (don't laugh, I needed to take 1 lit course and I couldn't have been happier). The best part about the class was that I all of the books we had to read (sans Frankenstein) were pretty good.

Anyway, I can say this was the first book I really enjoyed in a long while. I followed it up with "Neuromancer," the book "Johnny Neumonic" was very loosely based off (in fact, they had very little in common except for a cyber punk setting).

For Snow Crash, the opening scenes really realed me in: the detailed and exciting account of a guy in a sporty car, special suit, and a plastic gun and you find out that he's just delivering pizza. Movies, music, and pizza... the only things the US of A does good anymore (in the novel). I got a real hoot out of that. Plus you have to give props for the guy attempting to use the name "Hiro Protagonist" for the main hero of the story.

I've only read 1 other of his books: "Diamond Age," and while it was OK it wasn't great. I glossed over portions every now and then.

What I've learned recently is "never" go in thinking "Book X" is anywhere near the level of hype surrounding it. You usually wind up being dissapointed. Your best bet is to ignore the book until the hype is gone down and you've almost forgotten about it.



"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurmama

This comment was edited on Jul 17, 00:40.
 
"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurama
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18. Re: Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 16, 2006, 23:38 Zathrus
 
Sure, the ideas might have been "cutting edge" for its time (pre-Matrix) which is the main reason the geek crowd loves it (english majors and writers they are not), but the actual writing is laborious and quite awful.

And at this point I think I should note that Heather is an English major. And specialized in critical analysis.

As for the writing style, et. al. -- the main character's name should be a screamingly large clue that the book is not trying to be a major work of writing, and at the same making fun of those that try to do so.

 
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17. Snow Crash Jul 16, 2006, 22:46 space captain
 
IMO snow crash has definately been overhyped to its detriment... if i hadnt expected so much because of all my friends freaking out about it for years, i may have enjoyed it a bit more

but its not nearly well written enough to pay off in a huge way - the tech background comes from the late 80s, and the historical/mythological aspects are woefully inadequate and (for me) comically presented

it was clearly trying very hard to be "hip" or what have you.. im afraid by the time i finally got around to reading it (last year), the overall vibe just seemed cliche - and the whole story had a heavy handed, clumsy feel to it

its not intended to be entirely realistic, and yet it does not succeed from a surrealistic perspective either

worth a read, but i wouldnt expect the second coming of christ

________________________
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16. Re: Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 16, 2006, 22:02 Fang
 
Don't believe it. Snow Crash is an excellent read.

It's an excellent read for those who only usually read comics and D&D manuals. It's overhyped tripe for the geek crowd.

Sure, the ideas might have been "cutting edge" for its time (pre-Matrix) which is the main reason the geek crowd loves it (english majors and writers they are not), but the actual writing is laborious and quite awful.

Heh, the later third of the book reads as if he wrote it first, then didn't even bother to go back and re-edit it once he finished the rest of the book.

 
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15. Re: Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 16, 2006, 21:46 Rolphus
 
Snow Crash is the first sci-fi I ever liked. It made me realize it could be well-written and funny.

I've had a lot of trouble getting into most modern American sci-fi (So, not Asimov or Herbert, both of whom I've enjoyed greatly), apart from William Gibson (arguably Canadian sci-fi) - and I think he's got better as he's been moving away from the science and into the social aspects. Perhaps I'm just not "tuned" to it culturally... I don't know. I recently read a book by a guy called Scott Westerfeld, and while I enjoyed parts of it, I felt that the overall picture was a bit lacking... that's the last time I read anything American, I think.

I started on The Time-Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger (sort-of sci-fi), and while I enjoyed it, at the time I wasn't reading it often enough to keep up with what was going on. It's a book I'll definitely go back to, though.

Lately, I've been very much enjoying Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, and Richard Morgan at the moment. Iain Banks has always interested me, whether with an M. (sci-fi), or not.

I'd like to give Neal Stephenson a try, some time soon. I just never seem to have enough time to read these days (says me, posting here at almost 3am %))

 
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14. No subject Jul 16, 2006, 20:33 The Phantom Chicken of CS_Italy
 
The soundtrack to that Cornershot rifle ad' kicks ass!

 
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13. Re: Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 16, 2006, 20:25 Heather
 
Snow Crash is the first sci-fi I ever liked. It made me realize it could be well-written and funny.  
Beauty is truth; truth beauty - that is all ye need to know on earth...except TCP/IP.
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12. Re: Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 16, 2006, 20:15 mag
 
A friend of mine had read Snow Crash, and told me last night that it was pretty bad. Reading the excerpt on the Livescience site, I'm not propping up any hopes that it'd be a worthwhile read.

Don't believe it. Snow Crash is an excellent read. You just have to realize what it is and is not, so go into reading it without any expectations except it to be a fun Cyberpunk/sci-fi romp and you'll be fine.

 
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11. Man Arrestetd for Doing 56mph Jul 16, 2006, 19:30 Dan =0)
 
A friend of mine had read Snow Crash, and told me last night that it was pretty bad. Reading the excerpt on the Livescience site, I'm not propping up any hopes that it'd be a worthwhile read.

Dan =0)

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10. Re: No subject Jul 16, 2006, 19:26 Dan =0)
 
I had found a sound-bite on Wikipedia of Dalek saying "EXTERMINATE ALL HUMANS", to which I set a drum track, and triggered it with a sample player... good fun.

Sad to hear that he'd gone.

Can't wait for Series 3 of Doctor Who... coming out around Christmas this year!

SST: Doctor Who = Torchwood (anagram). Also, Rose does not "die" per se - she's sent through a door to a parallel universe, returns to assist the Doctor, against his wishes, performs a bit of a stunt saving the world (and the Doctor) from Daleks and Cybermen both, and as a result is catapulted back through the door to the parallel universe - by this time, the door is closed such that she can no longer return to her prior existence, and is presumed dead.

Dan =0)

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9. Re: No subject Jul 16, 2006, 19:00 FourPak
 
EXTERMINATE!!
no no no, it was:
"EX-TER-MIN-ATE!... EX-TER-MIN-ATE!!!"

 
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8. Re: 56mph on skates Jul 16, 2006, 18:41 MeatForce
 

But was anyone wearing a lampshade on their head?

I hope not for Blue's sake. It's embarassing showing up at a party where someone else is dressed like you

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7. No subject Jul 16, 2006, 17:05 space captain
 
EXTERMINATE!!

________________________
music from space captain:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/errantways_music.htm
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/4/invisibleacropolis_music.htm
 
Go forth, and kill!
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26 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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