26 June 2012
Nevertheless I persevered and got the cell in place and the watch working once again for another eight or nine years. Why do this at all? Because this watch is the one I wore when I completed a marathon run in 2004, so it has some sentimental value. Also, it can do interval timing, that is, I can set it to beep at five minutes (jog) and a minute (walk). I appreciate that kind of complexity.
Yesterday, for some strange reason, I pulled out hundreds of photographic prints from four boxes and compulsively started sorting them: 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000 and on, USMC, reenacting, underwater in pool (I used to buy a special camera each year), wedding, kids sitting in the blue chair photos, Dad's WWII shots, etc. Now I have them all sorted out in the boxes and can more quickly put my hands on what it is I might be looking for. This kind of activity brings satisfaction to my soul on a molecular level. I really do think sometimes that I was designed to be a librarian.
I watched Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) last night, a well-regarded film which I found preposterous and silly, but still amusing. The plot: A gigantic U.S. defense control computer becomes sentient, takes control of itself and establishes contact with its Soviet counterpart. Together, they rule the world. It reminded me of a similar story line in a classic Star Trek episode. Again I wonder, why does no one ever think to install an effective kill switch in sci-fi plots of this type? And who, outside of a character in a story, would ever turn over launch authorization of nuclear missiles entirely over to machines?
One strange feature of this film were the occasional smiles, jokes and humor by scientists as they begin to realize that the machine is thinking for itself and becoming taciturn over the commands being given to it. Is this cause for hilarity? I don't think so. It also has a scene duplicated in many sci-fi productions: scientists anxiously twiddling knobs on oscilloscopes. I can appreciate that this is appealing on a visual level; a scope makes a wave that is varied somehow when somebody changes a time or amplitude setting, but it makes very little technical sense. Far more accurate would be people nervously typing away at VT-100 consoles - but that's visually boring.
One plot device was downright weird: In order to secretively meet to discuss how to thwart the computer, two scientists have to pretend that they are lovers to convince Colossus to shut down its video and audio monitoring for four nights each week ("Colossus, humans require privacy during sex"). Naturally, this being a 1970 film, they do in fact become lovers.
I said I watched this film - this isn't quite true. In a bit of classic irony, the Netflix DVD, being the wretched failure it often is as a rental medium, caused me problems such that I couldn't watch the final ten minutes. This sort of thing happens rather often with DVDs. With as many VHS tapes as I have rented since 1981 or so, I can only recall it happening once or twice. DVD: A technology that is not as promised. (And yes, I know, I can request another DVD from Netflix, but the end of this film was no payoff and the underwhelming conclusion was easily learned via an Internet search for information.)
Hmf... so much for machines taking over the world. They can't even play a 100 minute movie.
Baby Gibson is beginning to resemble his father.
I did a lot of odd things when I was in the Marine Corps. One of them was to balance myself atop a monumental pyramid in a Glendale cemetery. Shirtless. Wearing bell bottoms. An odd photograph.
- ▼ June (19)
- ► 2011 (249)
- ► 2010 (246)
- ► 2009 (256)