Meanwhile, in the Grammar Crisis room....

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nintendo Rides the Mushrooms With Wii

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Nintendo has announced the official name of the Revolution.
The 'Wii.'
My first thought: Nintendo has been consuming too many magic mushrooms.
The official video makes it all a little less odd (read: criminally insane). Apparently, they're really trying to break free of the current console grind. The message (at least, the one they're trying to send out) is that, while Sony and Microsoft are content to release updated versions of old things (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3), while Nintendo is changing everything.
That, and they're giving it an image I can only describe as iPodesque. Is it me, or has every consumer electronics product released in the last 3 years tried to be the iPod?
Me, in print form: I've finally got a story in this week's print edition of the Long Island Press. Pick up a copy, or go here. I dare you.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"Star Trek" returns & Bruce Willis shills

Linking to myself yet again.
Yes, after a one-year hiatus, Star Trek is returning, and will be helmed this time by "Lost" and "Alias" creator J.J. Abrams.
I don't know about this. I never really watched "Alias" or "Lost." And "Star Trek" has been pretty bad (read: awful) lately. Will the new movie continue the trend, or cause a redirect?
I haven't completely gibed with "Star Trek" since it was William Shatner flying around the universe, kicking ass. Think this new movie will have overly dramatic pauses? Hope so.
P.S.: Yes, this is the second post in three posts to mention William Shatner.
Completely changing the subject: This is one of the weirdest commercials I've seen lately. It's a Japanese energy drink commercial starring Bruce Willis.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Now, I won't call this blatant, but...

...take a look at what Campusfood is sending via email.
Wait..."grass" don't think they're talking about?....oh, now I get it!
This is by no means the first time Campusfood has mined the rich trove that is April 20th.
By the way, wouldn't that be the most ineffectual road sign in history? Never mind that the meaning isn't that clear (potheads lying in the road? malaise ahead?), but the color of the sign blends in perfectly with the scenery.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Man From T.J.

Watching TV lately, I came to a shocking discovery.
Normally, when advertising is cheap, they show commercials for local lawyers. There is this standard commercial that multiple law firms use, where a semi-famous actor will say "Tell the insurance companies you mean business. Call (Law Firm) ...right now."
Until recently, the actor they used was none other than the Man from U.N.C.L.E. himself, Robert Vaughn. However, the other night, I saw that commercial, only with William Shatner!
Which begs the question: if Napleon Solo and Officer T.J. Hooker were in a Texas Cage Match, who would win? I'm giving Hooker the win, if only because he worked with mid-eighties Heather Locklear.
P.S. Yes, I busted out the T.J. Hooker reference like it was my job.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Robots, Robots Everywhere

Finally, good news on the robot front.
According to this Gizmodo post, scientists are using robots to conduct experiments in Antarctica. Seemingly innocuous, right? Well, since robots can go to Antarctica, and it's dangerous for humans to do so, this would be the logical place to headquarter their eventual attack on humanity. Since robots run on logic (and alcohol), it seems we've found their hidden base! Huzzah!
However, the celebration must be tempered by reports that evil robots from the future will be attacking Australia, in the form of the "Terminator 4" movie cast.
This means my decision to house my underground compound in Montana is making more and more sense as time goes by. Note my big map o'robots (click on pic for better view):

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Editorial Asides

Yes, it was snowing on the (long) island this morning. I thought we had left the white stuff behind, but the weather gods proved me wrong. Oh, ye vile weather gods, please spare us the pain of the white stuff for a few months! In turn, I will find ye a sacrifice.
Strange thing is, though, that it ended up being a mildly pleasant day.
Shameless self-promotion part I: You can read my story on the Simpsons teaser here. It's only three (or five) days late!
Shameless self-promotion part II: I'm kinda happy about Joystiq posting something I brought to their attention. Rockin'! (Yeah...lacking cleverness=utter lack of cleverness)

A Man 'Midst the Machines

Your intrepid reporter (me) files a dispatch from the FIRST Robotics competition (a while ago): The crowd roars greedily for action. There is a great clap as they pound their feet upon the stands. The spectators are garishly clad in team colors, cheering their group lustily as the combatants prepare.
Suddenly, a horn sounds. The competitors snap to action, zipping along the court. Plastic and metal clash on the playing fields of, well, carpet. A combatant falls and does not rise again.
Is this a sporting event? A Gladiatorial contest?
No, it’s the semifinals of the FIRST robotics competition in Hofstra Arena. It is here that high school teams from around the region compete to see which team has technological superiority, which can manipulate their robot most skillfully.
The competition is simple, really. The robots are divided into three-member teams that compete. The robots must shoot or guide balls (they start with 40, though balls can be reused) into one of the opposing team’s three targets. Matches last 2 minutes and 10 seconds, during which the teams have an offensive period, a defensive period and two free periods. At the end, teams receive points if their robots return to their home platforms.
I am sick...a sore throat rages, and my headache has reached epic proportions. The incessant cheering of hundreds of high schoolers does not help at all. Throughout the proceedings, I am jostled, nudged and elbowed across the arena floor as the teams prepare to duke it out.
The crowd is nearly as entertaining as the matches. A high-schooler dressed as Darth Vader (complete with lightsaber) and another in a chicken suit wander the stands. The viewers are nearly all clad in attire designating their school and team. They cheer as ardently as if they were at a hard-fought high school athletic contest.
Yet the contest is not yet up to that level. The robots move quickly, but jerkily. Sports fans in search of poetry in motion should apply elsewhere; this is the world of functionality, of sheer efficiency over form. Teamwork is basically nonexistent, and, of course, there is the ever-present “man behind the curtain:” the teams control every movement of the robots. There is no autonomy here.
Leaving the competition, one can be sure of two things. First, that all involved had an enjoyable time. Secondly, these robots aren’t a threat to humanity.