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Saturday, February 21st, 2004

Time Event
10:25p
Eight foot two, solid blue, five transistors in each shoe

Miscellaneous things spotted today: A children's ride outside a supermarket, in which the kid could sit and rock his seat back and forth while the machine spun it around on a large wheel and played tunes like ``London Bridge Is Falling Down'' (in Malay), or something I couldn't identify which sounded like ``It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.''


Two laserdisc sets of Hulk Hogan's Mister Nanny for sale. Also Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot and Splash. And one of the old Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle collections of the cartoons.


A small trash can, with a sign on its top receptacle it was for cigarettes only. It was filled with rainwater and junk fliers offering credit cards.


A poster at the cinema for Natural City. Much as I love Korean movies with English and Chinese subtitles about ``Humans Versus Cyborgs -- the Battle Begins'', I'm put off by the poster, which is desaturated greys and blues and blacks and featuring grim-looking people in overdone leather garments. I've had enough of science fiction movies that are about dimly-lit, dim people in heavy, constrictive clothes either whispering to each other or shouting lines like ``WATCH OUT!'' while trying to blow up underlit, fuzzy computer graphics. For that matter I've also had enough with science fiction movies that try to be thoughtful and introspective but move so slowly I want to get out back and push (Gattaca, looking at you here). Look at the 1968 Planet of the Apes, or the 1958 The Fly, which do -- or at least do try -- to mix exciting things happening with questions about why they should. But from the reviews it appears Natural City is a less-coherent copy of Blade Runner so maybe it's just as well I'll let it pass. And if we are going to have humans versus cyborgs, could we make it more like Bicentennial Man, only with interesting things going on? Or could it be like The Fifth Element, but not foreshadowing and repeating every plot point five times to make sure everybody in back gets it?


And on CNBC's MGM Movie Night, something or other starring Vincent Price in an anthology of stories I think are supposed to be terrifying, but really aren't. In one, Vincent and friend discover friend's fiancee's corpse never decomposed; soon, they're using spring water to turn really young and revitalize her corpse, but it turns out the magic water only lasts about five hours before they all die. In the next, ``Rappaccini's Daughter,'' Vincent's a vaguely Italian professory guy using some potion to turn guinea pigs purple as part of a means of keeping his daughter, who can't help poisoning stuff with a touch, alive, and he has a garden of flowers that disintegrate butterflies and would-be suitors. The cable company's web site claims the movie is Semi-Tough starring Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson, and Robert Preston, which couldn't be more ridiculous. The CNBC site just claims it's a movie, and that's more accurate; the colors are lush and the directing and acting competent enough to hold one's attention.


Trivia: Latin nouns of the third declension which end in the letters -l, -a, -n, -c, -e, -t, -ar, -ur, -en, or -us are generally neuter; the word ``lancet'' is a useful mnemonic. Source: Latin, by W.A. Edward, in The Self-Educator Series edited by John Adams, University of London.


Currently Reading: Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories Volume 2, Isaac Asimov.

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