May 9th, 2006

krazy koati

Over the river

Ooh. The Reverse Bungee at Clarke Quay had its first ``serious incident''. This is the stunt where the perfectly insane strap themselves into a metal shell, and get flung upwards at 200 kilometers an hour, then bounce a couple times. Eventually they're let down. Last night one of its two cables broke, after the ride started, but before the three tourists were tossed upwards at 200 kilometers per hour. They weren't injured, and were given a full refund. I wonder if they got the video CD. Kobie Rhodes, the ride's general manager, said of the tourists, ``they were obviously shaken,'' and I don't know if that was intended to be funny. Won't be seeing the ``broken bungee'' in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 anytime soon ...

There's, finally, a new Over the Hedge book out, maybe a decade after the last. I like the strip, though not as much as I did when it started (I think they lost something important when humans appeared on-screen), but they don't even pretend this isn't promotion for the movie. The opening essay is from Tim Johnson, ``codirector'', who talks about how thoroughly he thinks in the Over the Hedge worldview, and the idea people can be divided into their raccoon side and their turtle side. Maybe they can, but it seems a bit of a stretch. There's also a cover blurb from William Shatner. I'm not sure how I feel about the new requirement that William Shatner be involved in some way with every pop culture product. It's good for him, but how about a little love for Walter Koenig?

The book has some fine sequences, including RJ's revelation of his role in the Big Bang, and the designed-to-be-a-Livejournal-Icon quote ``I'm a raccoon and a god.'' But the lettering also has a shocking number of dumb errors in it -- swapping they're for their, dropping an apostrophe to the next line (where it does not fit), worst of all using it's for both the contraction and the possessive in a single sentence. And that's just in the first quarter of the book. I don't see how this got through editing. I'm fairly sure they must have been corrected for the newspaper printing, or it would've been attacked by the grammar mavens of rec.arts.comics.strips. The strips are from 2002/03, before the group became overly focused on the For Better or For Worse Deathwatch1. But granting that the strips must have been corrected for their newspaper publication, why go back to broken versions for the book?

1 I exaggerate a bit, but obsessing on errors in Lynn Johnston's last months of the strip has become a newsgroup standby. It only got bad last year when a caption of ``A fair was held'' got attacked for being passive, and it's snowballed from there. I'm sensitive to fine points of grammar, probably because I'm a would-be mathematician and humorist, and both habits are greatly improved -- maybe only made possible -- by precision with language. I even over-think and tinker almost endlessly with the language in these journal entries. But ... sheesh.

Trivia: The Space Shuttle's original AP-101 computers had 154 machine language instructions. Source: Development of the Space Shuttle, 1972-1981, T A Heppenheimer.

Currently Reading: Old London Bridge, Patricia Pierce.