Monday, February 28, 2011

Underthinking Temple of Doom and an Indiana Jones Movie

Breaking with a little tradition, we decided  to rent all three Indiana Jones last Tuesday to start off trilogy Tuesday. The corollary of that is we had to watch all three movies within the week, to have them in by the return date or suffer the consequences.

"Why, oh why didn't I get "The Notebook" back by 6pm"

 Although the above punishment may seem a little unfair, I wouldn't put it past my local video store. I tell you they seem over officious. To sign up to this video store you require two forms of identification, a letter with your address on it, and a person that doesn't live with you contact details, most countries require less to get a citizenship, the rigmarole you go through to obtain this video card, I suspect that you should be able to use it as a passport.

"I see you have a Video Ezy card, carry on, and enjoy your stay in America"
 Why do they need contact details of someone that doesn't live with you, I mean the simplest explanation is it gives them another person to harass if you don't return your video on time, but maybe it is so if you die that they can recuperate their debts from someone? or are they just using this person as a referee for your video card application?

"I am sorry you can't rent this video your application was declined because Jimbo didn't give a great reference"
 I don't even know I want to be a member of this video store, they have a sign  in their carpark, saying its 10 minutes maximum. I have already discussed my thoughts on how long you require at a video store here. 10 minutes is no way long enough, unless you know what you are getting before you arrive, and if you arrived with a group forget about it, after 10 minutes you might have narrower it down to three genres if you are lucky. If I go to a video store, it takes me 10 minutes to finish my prayer to the video store gods.

"Guide me oh God of the DVD's so I may find a movie worthy of my viewing...."
But I have digressed  completely, when I sat down to write this post, it was going to be my list of questions regarding the worst movie in the Indiana Jones trilogy. (The 4th one was so bad, it has been disqualified from the contest). But it is still a watch able film, so the basic story is that Indiana Jones having successfully abducted a small Chinese boy, and the world's most annoying woman, is dumped in the middle of India, where he steals a rock from a small Indian child.

Likes to pick on woman and small children.

1/. Why did the pilots fly them to the mountains to kill them?

So after the initial chase scene Indy escapes into an aircraft to escape -Good news. Turns out though the plane is owned by the very man he is trying to escape from - Bad news.
So after the plane has flown for about 3 hours the pilots jettison the remaining fuel and then jump out of the plane. Leaving our heroes to face their doom in the Himalayas.

My question is why did they feel the need to fly them to the Mountains, doesn't that just make it a lot harder our pilots to get home.

"Goddamnit Yao, its like a 100 day trek back to Beijing" 
I mean I understand they were trying to kill Indy, but they are dropping him out of the sky from a plane! Surely anywhere they choose would suffice, if anything doing it over mountains increases their chances of survival, because instead of falling 30000 ft, they fall 2000 ft or something.

Schematic of various fall heights.

2/. What the Indians are eating?

So Indy makes it through the mountains and then heads off to the Indian palace where he is greeted as he is a guest and eats with the Maharajah. He is probably thinking oh yeah, I could really go a curry. This is what I think when I think Indian Banquet

Mmmm Delicious
  This is what they are served up.

Delicious Monkey brains
Along with live snakes, served in the carcass of a dead snake. What is going on? I have never been able to order any of these meals at India gate?
Do Indians actually eat this, or is it one of those things where they are just trying to impress the tourists? Oh the Tourists are coming put the curries away get some of those monkey brains they love that.

"Look honey they are eating monkeys"

3/. Why are the Indian kids digging for the stones?

The last thing I don't understand why do they have the kids they captured mining for the remaining stones? Firstly the other ones were stolen from surrounding villages, so presumably the other two are sitting in a shrine some where? Just ask the locals where they are.

"Yeah the other two stones, are just up there"
Secondly if they are buried in the ground, I don't think mining with sledge hammers, and little children are going to help you find them. Have you seen these stones?

One of the kids is liable to smash them stones apart while smashing the rock walls, and even if they do manage to extract them intact from the wall, they will probably discard them with the rest of the rubble, its not like mining for diamonds or gold, where they obviously differ from the surrounding rock.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Underthinking Castle Street

So this morning I was walking down the Castle street, admittedly this is O-week so its a dangerous time to be doing such a thing.

Castle Street during O-week
But you know I dress appropriately for the walk in the morning so I am fine.

"Just off down to the dairy on Castle Street"

But a couple of things got me thinking.

1. Glass on the road

I don't know if I have seen anything more beautiful than Castle street on an early morning as the sun hits the glass strewn across the street and it glistens. It is a beautiful juxtaposition of beauty coming out of destruction.
But I do wonder how the Castle Streetians manage to create such a beautiful glistening, I mean....

...this is what a broken bottle looks like.

This is what the glass on Castle Street looks like
What is going on? Obviously this glass can not be caused by some one finishing their drink and throwing their bottle onto the road, is someone actually sitting there crushing glass and pouring it on the road?

The hard work of Fred of Castle Street is never acknowledged
That is the only conclusion I can some up with such is the fineness of the glass strewn across the street. But why are they doing this? Why is Fred crushing glass and pouring it on the street? Maybe he read steps 2 and 3 of this article about how you can used crushed glass to make asphalt roads last longer. Although I do suspect you should mix the glass in the asphalt making process as opposed to just sprinkling it on top.

"Aw crap I forgot to put the glass in, no matter I just put it on top later"

2/ Burnt couches

Aside from the crushed glass, the Castle Streetians like to leave burnt out couches around, I guess to make the kids from war torn countries feel more at home or something?

I pretty sure I have seen similar photos in Mogadishu
 But what I don't understand is where are all these couches coming from? Seriously I have been at university for like *cough* 8 *cough* years now, and most weeks there is a new burnt couch or two on the street. Based on the fact there is a  13 and 12 week semester, that is at least 385 burnt couches in my time. And these are nice couches too, its not like they need to be burnt.

"What are you talking about this is still comfy"
Instead of burning the couches and dealing with the consequences in the morning.

"Did you burn the couch again?, Goddamnit"
I mean that's just annoying, having to replace your couches weekly. I mean its not like they lack flammable material on that street. If you have ever seen Castle street there are all ways mountains of rubbish there.

Castle Street.
 The city recognises this by giving them a giant skip once a month or something. To solve a whole bunch of problems why doesn't the DCC buy Castle Streetians a giant Brazier, so that once a week they can have an outdoor fire in the street, the couch shortage in NZ will be averted, and it will rid the street of a lot of rubbish.

Like this, but much much bigger.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Underthinking the Death of my computer

So yesterday was a sad day in the life of this underthinker. The beloved work computer, known affectionately as Iota, that I had been using for the last 2 years crashed 5 times in a row before eventually not restarting at all.

"Damnit Iota, don't you die on me, don't you die on me"
 I mean I am ashamed to admit this, but I have probably spent more time with Iota than I have spent with anyone else in the last 2 years, and know he is gone. We had been through a lot, I surfed the web, checked my emails, the majority of my masters was written on Iota, and most of my blog posts were constructed there.
We had some great times together
 It is hard to fathom now, he is no longer there. We had laughed together when I wrote my first joke, we had cried together when my code wouldn't work, Iota even comforted me through some emotional periods of my life.

Iota: "Cheer up Aaron, look I will show you "Charlie bit my finger again""
And sure we had had our share of fights, mostly when I told him to run some simulations on my project and he would just spit back errors, he was stubborn that way.

But after a few apologies from me, and another look at a hilarious video or picture together we were back on the best of terms. He was great like that never held a grudge. I remember the time that he ran two CRT monitors, other computers told him he looked stupid but he didn't care, he was unique and wouldn't conform to societies rules.

He looked like an idiot, but I loved him (in a platonic way)

So yesterday when he started to fail, I initially thought he was just playing a joke on me, but then it got worse.
 It is tough because it wasn't expected, I mean for weeks he had just been fine chugging away doing the work. I guess I missed some signs, he was slowing down and taking longer to do things, but you know I just put that down to old age.
And even after the first 3 crashes he bounced back just fine, but then on the fifth the IT guys came over and delivered the news.
"I am sorry....there was nothing we could do.."

They took Iota away to be scrapped for parts, because he would have wanted it that way, in his death another computer might have the chance to live.

I guess my biggest regret is we were so close to finishing my masters together, and now he want be there for the final step, and that brings me sadness because he worked just as hard as I did.

"Don't worry Iota, I am going to finish my masters for you"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Underthinking Raiders of lost ark

Let me begin, by saying my thoughts are with the people of Christchurch, and I would have written about this event, except as most of you are now aware my posts tend make fun of things, and there is no way I can make fun of such a tragic event. So hopefully I can bring a smile to someone's face, because that's what I do best.

Celebrating my victory at last years "Make someone smile" competition
So last night as part of the Trilogy Tuesday series that is continuing at my flat, we decided to watch Indiana Jones. Wait ,you say Indiana Jones has 4 movies it is not a trilogy.  But much like the other Hanson children when know they exist we just don't acknowledge them.

Not Pictured : Jessica Grace , Avery Laurel , Joshua Mackenzie , and Zoƫ Genevieve

So last night we watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, the one that started it all. This is a great film one of those that transcends genre as it contains, action, romance, comedy, and horror.

Tell me this isn't scary

I can imagine this film causes a lot of confusion for video store clerks trying to return it to the shelf, or for people coming in to rent it, I reckon it is why more people are using internet sites to rent their videos.

"Screw it I can't find it. Just get a FATSO account"
So from the first film of the series I just have a few questions.

 1/ Why does Indiana's team taste the arrow to see if it is poison?

I am no expert but it would seem to me that the number one rule of suspecting something is poisonous don't put it in your mouth.

"I wonder if this is poisonous?"

Because there are only two outcomes of this test method, it is not poisonous so you don't need to worry about it, or it is poisonous and you are dead. Not in this movie though, the character tastes the arrow and remarks it poison and casually walks away. Either it is the world's worst poison or he has spent years developing an immunity to it.

"Oh yeah I am immune to Iocane Powder"

2/ Who designed the security pedestal ?

In one of the iconic scenes of this movie, Indiana is trying to steal the golden statue at the start of the film.

To steal the statue Indy, replaces the statue with a bag of sand he has approximated to weigh the same as the statue. I mean this seems like a good security system especially for Incas, a weight based pedestal. Now the way I would design this security system would have it set at equilibrium with the statue on top, and if it is removed the trigger would rise killing the would be thief.
However the Incas have designed their system so that it sinks, meaning Indy must have overestimated the weight. I want to know why you would design the system to catch heavier weights? You are relying on thieves leaving things to replace what they stolen.

"Oh god, they took the tv, and left a bigger tv"
Presumably if Indy had just taken the statue and not left anything then he would have got away without having to run from a Boulder.

3/ Did all men in the 1930's have a dress in their possession in case they meet a woman?

This one is a wee bit obscure but the main female character Marion, like most main female characters is frequently captured. What is unusual though is that both times the male, has a dress in his possession for her to wear, and also it fits perfectly.

"I hope I meet a lady I have this delightful dress."

I mean admittedly Marion's dress sense is atrocious, so the men are doing her a favour.

"Seriously you are wearing that out tonight, what is that a curtain?"
But do these men just travel round with an array of female clothing in case they happen to find a woman, do they just carry clothes that will fit their ideal woman? Is this an old-fashioned pick up technique? Or is there something else going on?

"Just a delightful number"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Underthinking Slam Dunk competition

So in the weekend I was watching the NBA Slam Dunk competition, an event where large men attempt to put a ball through a small hoop in the most impressive way possible.

This is pretty impressive, but the NBA does it better

This competition was conceived during the ABA days, the ABA was a rival basketball league  to the NBA that ran during in the 70's, that may or may not have involved live bear wrestling.
My knowledge of the ABA
But due to a merger with the NBA, the concept at the professional level was lost until it returned in 1984, which featured the winner of the original ABA competition, Julius Erving, better known as Dr Jay, who was unable to defend his title.

"Your not really a Doctor are you?"
Back in the glory days we saw magnificent dunks that defy belief, and make people sit up and say WOW.
We had Erving started us off with the memorable free-throw line dunk, that has been replicated ever since including Michael Jordan. Spudd Webb won despite being 5 ft 7 inches, although in recent times shorter players have been deemed to have an advantage, because the fact they can touch the rim is impressive, whereas a 7 footers feet barely leave the ground during a dunk.

Exact same dunk, I know which one looks more impressive.
Although I bet Spud Webb ruined many a bullies game of keep-away. During the 2000's Vince Carter and Tracey Mcgrady and even Amar'e Stoudemire dazzled us with 360's and between the legs, and alley-oops from headers etc.
The problem is now that players have decided the limits of physically impressive dunks have been reached which is blatantly untrue, as evidenced even in the weekend by JaVale McGee's triple dunk in the qualifiers where he dunked three balls in one jump, the third coming from an alley-oop. Even his losing dunk in the final which was a going away reverse dunk looked very impressive.

This is impressive. Best Dunk of the evening
But the fans vote on finals and like the last couple of years the vote for the most theatrical dunk as opposed to the most impressive. We have seen people win the prize for doing a normal dunk but blowing out a cake on the rim, or just wearing a superman cape, one year a guy in the finals did a dunk with no shoes on that scored well. Which makes the contest a bit of a joke, this year the competition was won by Sonny Bill Williams.

Yeah I am the best at Rugby League, Rugby and Boxing so I thought I would give Basketball a shout.
His dunk that one the contest over the impressive reverse windmill dunk? He did an alley-oop dunk, which is pretty standard fare these days although when it was invented it did cause a lot of confusion.

But what made Blake Griffen's (Sonny Bill Williams) alley oop special, well firstly the alley oop pass came from a man sitting in a car that had been parked under the hoop.

"Oh that's right I parked under the basketball hoop"
I mean he did leap over a car, but to be fair he only jumped over the hood, and he did leave the ground fairly close to hoop, most people who could dunk could pull this off.

I could totally do this....
But that's not the end of the theatrics, Blake Girffen organised an entire Black Gospel Choir to come out and sing "I believe I can fly" the song made famous from the documentary "Space Jam" about Michael Jordans retirement and subsequent return to the game after saving the world from Aliens.

I mean if this didn't happen I wouldn't be able to find a photo would I?
A Choir? He didn't jump the choir, he just had them present at his dunk and I think this is what lead to him winning. The issue I have with excessive prop use in NBA Slam dunk contests, is that I believe that a young kid in the ghetto should be able to aspire to replicate his heroes. While a reverse windmill dunk is very impressive and difficult to perform, conceivably if a young man in the ghetto practises hard enough, he could one day do that. Where is a young man in the ghetto meant to get access to a new car, with all its wheels, and a choir?

Replicating Dr Jay's dunk, fairly easy to do.
Blake Griffen's Dunk on the other hand is a little harder...

"Okay Fred, you go get your car, I will get a Gospel Choir, and then we will see who is the HORSE"
So in closing I would just like to say next time you vote in a Slam-Dunk contest, which if you are anything like me is every other Tuesday, remember that technique and talent should outweigh the props when you vote. I mean if everything was based on presentation, the Nazi's would have won the war hands down. I mean they had Hugo Boss designing their uniforms.

The Nazi Winter Collection brilliant, Ideology not so much.....

    Want to keep Underthinking? Try one these.