2005-08-22

This is not the movie you were looking for

Move along.

Finally, the movie where we find out how do the Sith get revenge, and what are they seeking revenge for! We went to see the big movie at midnight on opening night with all the other nerds. There were plenty of seats available so I'm imagining that most fans will see it later, or are waiting to see if it sucks like the first one. Or it could be just the demographic of the cinema we went to (out of town a little). A couple people dressed up in sad sack costumes, but good on 'em.

The movie is a special effects feast from the very opening scene of a space battle that had both of us going "cool!". There are light sabre battles galore, but unfortunately nothing as good as the extended duel in Phantom Menace, but still passable. Some excellent ideas like the four sabre weilding cyborg.

There are the usual handful planets that have only one type of terrain but seem to be right next to each other because people move amongst them in only a few minutes. Spudmay finds out she is pregnant and has kids in a matter of hours. Gestation period of these aliens is really impressive. Some low points are the cutesy use of R2D2, Darth Vader's "Nooooo!" sounds almost casual, any alleged acting by Natalie Portman and the reason for her death "I'm so sad" (oops, was that a spoiler), the unbelievability of Anakin turning to the dark side and how quickly he takes to killing babies, the last 10 minutes used to wrap everything up for the next movie, the lack of hand rails on high rise balconies.

On a really positive note, we only get one glimpse of Jar Jar. Unfortunately, he doesn't get killed. We can still dream it though.

It is all good fun and recommended viewing even though I never really quite figure out why the Sith required this revenge. In fact, it looked more like a power grab than any need for revenge on anything. "Rise of the Sith" would have been better, or perhaps: "Fall of the Jedi", "The New Sith", "Empire of the Sith", "Jedi get a whuppin'", "Curious Anakin Explores the Darkside", "Those Whacky Sith at it Again", "When Good Jedi Turn Bad".

For those people who buy the DVD for some reason, aparently if you turn the Italian sound track on (and you don't understand Italian) then the movie plays like an opera. Maybe someone could produce a rip with an Italian opera playing underneath. Sweet.

This is the last last movie in the series, at least for a little while. I expect George will go back and muck around with the first three later on. Hopefully erasing certain characters out and adding some fun in.

See all the advertising for Star Wars III where everyone seems to have a light sabre. I guess this is what we are really going to the movies to see, light sabre stuff. The official site light sabre details. Wikipedia has an entry. There is this how stuff works site on how the light sabre works and alternate uses. Comics on failed efforts on building a light sabre, using light sabre skills in job interviews. An independant film on light sabre safety, an action duel, reasons to buy organic food in StoreWars, a kid caught pretending to wield a dual ended sabre. How to add the effect to your own films or just edit one in with Photoshop. Buy your own from ThinkGeek or Hasbro or Parker Sabers or get a remote control. How to build your own or here or here or here.

In III, I noticed that one of the light sabres was pointy. Was it always pointy? I remember the tip being rounded. Those pointy ones could hurt somebody. Also check out Darth Vader's blog. How fans get dressed up. Alternate Star Wars IV slide show. The last supper fan art. As we all know, star wars is a tool of satan. Darth Vader can read your mind! But he can't say "Nooooo!" in anguish very well. And for those of you who have seen that Natalie Portman really can act in Closer: where is Padme?

2005-08-19

Stupid tests

Why do I do stupid tests that I am 95% confident (P<0.05) don't mean squat? It's because of my strong emotional side needing to be defined in a world where self image is everything and yet is so hard to detect above the noise that swamps your senses every freaking second of the day. Of course, my intellectual side tells me that the definition of self is moderately pointless as I am a squishy meat sack full of chemicals that changes over time, so any definition will be out of date and may actually inhibit change/growth. Also the definition is pointless, because in terms of the universe I may as well not exist as life is a frivolous anomaly that will be snuffed out in a blink without effecting the cosmos one noticeable iota.
Very Well-Rounded


You have:
70% SCIENTIFIC INTUITION and
62% EMOTIONAL INTUITION
The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored above average on emotional intuition and above average on scientific intuition. (Weirdly, your emotional and scientific intuitions are equally strong.)

Your Emotional Intuition score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the sciences.
My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Scientific
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You scored higher than 99% on Interpersonal
Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test

2005-08-05

Consumables (ink, toner, bulbs)

A couple years ago I had wanted to do some printing at home and found that my Canon BJ-30 had bitten the dust. Sad. I never really used the printer much but when I had it always produced crisp pages. The cost of ink really hurt though, which soon found me with alternate brands and refill kits. Seems that a lot of the ink from refills would end up over my fingers. That wasn't too bad because the ink was water soluble. Too bad if you got a couple drops of water on your document; smears and runs.

The problem is that the cost per page for inkjet printing is very high. Fortunately the cost of small laser printers had plummeted. I investigated the various printers in my price range then went out and bought a Lexmark E210. The cost per page is about 5 cents. Compared to the 25 cents per page I was paying for the old Canon. Modern printers are even MORE expensive per page, with colour prints around 75 cents per print for Canon (90+ cents for Kodak, Sony, Olympus, 50 cents for HP and Epson).

The downside to the little laser is that it is all black and white. Which actually is fine by me. If I want a print that bad then I can go to OfficeWorks, BigW or KMart and get one for 20 to 30 cents - and I don't have to buy any hardware.

My laser at 5 cents per page is looking pretty damned fine. Well after about a year and a half the toner ran low. Obviously I don't print that much. So I hunted around for the replacement toner.

When I was purchasing my laser printer I asked for the costs of consumables. The evil Harvey Norman salesman said the toner cartridges cost around $70. When I asked for two he ummmmd and arrrrd and claimed they were out of stock. I thought nothing more of it. But when it came time for me to get a new toner cartridge I find they are priced $110-$150. If I had known at the time that the salesman was lieing then I think I would have punched him in the face and left the store. Well. Maybe not, but sales tactics like this really really suck. I have encountered it before. The place I work for wanted a new data projector, so I purchased a one from a company and they stated that the bulbs would cost $200. One year later the bulbs cost $700. Another salesman told me that this was a standard tactic at the time. Well data projectors were getting popular and we required two more. This time, however, I ordered 4 spare bulbs. The salesman was desperately trying to talk me out of it, saying they would deteriorate over time, the warranty would expire (as if they EVER put warranty on bulbs). I had my way though, got the bulbs and, as it turned out, saved a couple thousand dollars. Of course, NOW they charge full price on the bulbs straight away.

So I hunted around for the best price for a replacement toner cartridge. I also wanted the toner straight away because I wanted to do some printing that evening. So cheap and in stock. I checked EBay for a ball park price and then I phoned about 12 companies. One company, Trendsetta Media, claimed that they made the cartridges themselves, but it would take a day to get it from their warehouse. Apparently everyone uses the same warehouse in Brisbane and nobody wants to carry stock. Bastards. The last two comapnies I checked actually had the cartridge on the shelf; Harvey Norman for $149 and the small place across the road from me - Cartridge World, a remanufactured cartridge for $78. Woohoo! That's 3 cents per page! How freakin' happy was I? Plugged in the toner and now I am printing new crisp pages!

There are a lot of other brand laser printers for under $300. I highly recommend having a look and if you will probably save a bundle.