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May 2005 Archives

Everybody's Gone Surfin' / Surfin' Mustafar!

So the more I think about Episode 3, the more issues I have with it. First the good: Palpatine is as cool as people say and Ewan McGregor is great as Obi-Wan. I think that's as much a function of the script as it is of the acting, though: I think Obi-Wan and Palpatine are well-written characters. Obi-Wan is focused but with a subtle sense of humor, just as you'd expect a young Obi-Wan to be. I like how he's beardless in Episode 1, and he looks more like Alec Guiness in 2 and 3. See, there's a transition...

Not so with Anakin! He's whiny... he's whiny... he's whiny... BOOM! He's pure evil.... but still whiny! Even after he turns into James Earl Jones, he says, "Is Padme alright?" or something like that. "Alright" is just so not Darth Vadery, you know? I think it would've worked much better if Anakin became more and more Vadery before getting his suit, rather than stay Anakiny after. I don't really blame Hayden Christensen for that like most people, though; I blame the writing.

I also had problems with the action. (This is a complaint that applies to all the prequels.) See, the original trilogy's large scale action scenes each felt well-defined, somehow. The Battle of Hoth, the asteroid belt chase, speeder bikes through a forest, the trench run: They all felt kind of "high concept". It's no coincidence that most people considered Episode 1's pod race the best part of that movie.

The space battles in all three prequels have been really lackluster, with the Trade Federation war in Episode 1 being perhaps the worst. People made a big deal of Sith's opening space battle, but it was really just background for Anakin and Obi-Wan fighting off random uninteresting robots who look like they're just getting in their screen time so they can be toys. Nothing in the prequels has the character of an AT-AT walker, let alone the Falcon. Even the proto-Star Destroyers just look like, well, proto-Star Destroyers.

But back to high-concept set pieces: The battle on the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk just had no resonance at all with me, and that planet that Obi-Wan fights Grevious on? I mean, was there any interesting characteristic about that planet at all? The only effective set piece was the final battle on Mustafar, but even that had its issues. I mean, when Anakin was hopping from rock to rock on the lava, and then he surfs the lava on that cute little robot, this was all I could think about:

[Megaman Heatman]


P.S.: I saw Episode 2 only once, when it came out, and I can barely even remember any of the locations. Not a good sign!

The Butter Knife of Damocles

[The Butter Knife of Damocles]


This is the most ridiculously cute thing I've seen in a long time: Which kitten is cuter? :P

Stunt City

This ad is awesome. Of course, it's European.

Update: Okay not really an update. Just watched it again, and it's really the best commercial I've seen in a long time. That's all. :)

Real Update Jun-18: A commenter says that the commercial is Australian, not European. I wonder what Australian commercials are generally like. I know that Australians watch both British and American TV shows, so I wonder if their sensibility for commercials fall between the two as well?

Dozens of The Best Movie Ever

Wiki's got a list of movies that have been considered the greatest ever. I don't know what fascinates me so much about such lists, but they do fascinate me so. :)

Help me, Obi-Wan Cannoli. You're my only hope.

I don't necessarily support the organic food movement, but this Star Wars parody organic food ad is pretty cute. :)

Google maps Neo and UFOs

Two very cool Google maps images for you: First, for the freeway scene in The Matrix: Reloaded, they actually built a section of fake freeway. (Note the link in there for production images of the fake freeway at ground-level.) Second, a UFO! :D (In fact, if you scroll down the comments, you can see that it's not the only one. There are links to more!

Bonus link: Camouflaged cell phone towers

Plasma beams to a moon in the rings, a heinous Internet business, and - . -..- - .. -. --.

This is one awesome moon. It orbits through a gap in Saturn's rings!

Also cool: dreams of using a magnetically focused plasma beam for propulsion. I'm curious about how they plan to compensate for the recoil from shooting out that beam.

But first, to get ourselves back up to Low Earth Orbit after we mothball the shuttle fleet, we need a new shuttle. here's Lockheed's proposed design.

* * *

Not so cool is a website that's united hunting groups and animal rights groups: remote "hunting" via the Internet. "Hunting" is in quotes, because they herd the animal in front of the gun for you. Then you aim it through a web interface and fire. !!! There's already a law in the works in California, though the website is run from Texas.

* * *

Finally, to lighten things back up, a 93-year-old telegraph operator was faster than a 13-year-old girl with SMS. The kid was allowed to use shorthand, even (but no predictive text). They had to transmit "Hey, girlfriend, you can text all your best pals to tell them where you are going and what you are wearing." In SMS, that was apparently, "hey gf u can txt ur best pals 2 tel them wot u r doing, where ur going and wot u r wearing." I'm not going to bother writing out what it was in Morse Code. :P

The Lion, the Cats, and the Reindeer

[Breakdancing Reindeer] I sent a new batch of pictures to myself from my phone.

To your right is a breakdancing reindeer. It kept spinning 'round and 'round on its head. :) I'm not sure how it deals with the antler situation.

I like this moving company's logo. :P

Below is a Chinese guardian lion in a color that's oh so very very wrong.

Lu Report Retrospective (Volume 2)

Time for another edition of the Lu Report Retrospective.

[World Support]

EU Headquarters - Beijing, China - Munich, Germany
St. Petersburg, Russia - Dhaka, Bangladesh
Berlin, Germany - Medellín, Colombia - Manila, Philippines - Moscow, Russia

Remember how much support we got from all around the world right after September 11? Seems like so long ago, doesn't it?

From: kenlu@mit.edu
Subject: Interview with Rep of Northern Alliance
Date: September 17, 2001

Here's a CNN interview with the representative to the UN from the
Northern Alliance (the group fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan whose
military leader was assassinated two days before the bombing):


Keep in mind, btw, that he's clearly not unbiased. :)

View all Lu Report Retrospective volumes

About May 2005

This page contains all entries posted to the klog in May 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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