Saturday, January 23, 2010

Random Links: Mostly Funny, With A Dash Of Cute And A Smidge of Thoughtful

LOST characters explain how to make a sandwich: Very funny if you're familiar with Lost. (And very spoilery if you're not!)

Awesomely Bad Lyrics: Meat Loaf -- I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That): The Awesomely Bad Lyrics blog, which mocks the lyrics of rock songs, is a bit hit-and-miss on the humor, but this entry had me laughing my ass off. Possibly because there's just something intrinsically funny about Meat Loaf.

The Top 5 Underrated Sci-Fi Movies: I find these picks impossible to disagree with, except for the fact that I'm sure I need to watch their #1 choice a few more times before I can fully appreciate (or even understand) it.

Shiba Inu Puppy Cam: Now with all-new puppies!

SF reading protocols: An interesting article by SF writer Jo Walton about the way readers approach speculative fiction, as opposed to other genres.

The 100 Cheesiest Movie Quotes of All Time: I defy you not to laugh at this compilation of cheesetasticness! Warning: NSFW language.

7 comments:

  1. Yeah, but Jo Walton still didn't tell those of us non-science fiction readers how to distinguish what's important and what's not. (That's why we have you to hold our hand as we watch Dr. Who.)

    Regarding the movies, I find it remarkable that, not only have I heard of Gattaca, I've seen it as well. I think it wasn't appreciated enough by general audiences because few people are as nearsighted as Ethan Hawke's character and I, so they simply couldn't understand how stomach-churning that scene was as he tried to cross the highway without his contact lenses and he couldn't tell how far away those really fuzzy headlights were. (That's more like science fact.)

    The plot of Dark City sounds interesting, although my brain would probably twist around at first, trying to figure out who this guy is and how he got there rather than just letting the story carry me along.

    Finally, regarding The Fountain (the movie not on the list but described anyway by the reviewer): The seedball shown is the fruit of Liquidambar styraciflua (Sour Gum). I searched imdb.com and noted with pleasure that part of the movie was filmed in/near Philadelphia, where the tree is endemic, so it is perfectly okay to use the seedball as a plot device, even though much of the film takes place in Mexico and Central America. (This has been your horticultural note for the day.)

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  2. Yeah, but Jo Walton still didn't tell those of us non-science fiction readers how to distinguish what's important and what's not.

    I suspect the answer is practice. Although personally, I know I learned it the same way she did: reading it when I was 12. She's quite right about being used to things going over your head at that age, so that it seems pretty much business as usual. :)

    think it wasn't appreciated enough by general audiences because few people are as nearsighted as Ethan Hawke's character

    Although I sure as heck am, so I can sympathize. :) I think my comment on Gattaca at the time was that it was a low-key, intelligent, plausible science fiction movie in which nothing ever blew up, so of course nobody watched it. Sigh.

    The plot of Dark City sounds interesting, although my brain would probably twist around at first, trying to figure out who this guy is and how he got there

    Well, your brain is supposed to twist and turn a bit with movies like Dark City. It's part of the fun. (I suppose that's part of the skill set Walton was talking about, too: knowing what's a mystery that you're supposed to focus on, and what's background that you oughtn't to get too hung up on. Actually, I think Dark City might be a fairly advanced exercise in that! It's a very cool movie, though.)

    The Fountain, by the way, is one I haven't seen, although it's in my Netflix queue somewhere, I believe. But I'd say how acceptable using the plant as a plot device is depends more on where it's set than where it's filmed.

    Also, hey, I remember those big sticky seedballs! I just went and looked up a picture of one, and now I'm feeling weirdly nostalgic. I don't think I've seen one of those in years. Not that we don't have plenty of other (highly annoying) clingy planty things here, as you well know.

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  3. now I'm feeling weirdly nostalgic.
    You obviously haven't been hit by one of those things shot out of a lawnmower.

    I just realized last night (while reading The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell) that I picked up mysteries the same way, and now I know by instinct what will become relevant later and what won't.

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  4. Interesting. I'm not entirely sure I have that skill for mysteries, to whatever extent it's specific to mysteries. Then again, don't mysteries often deliberately try to confuse you about what's relevant vs. what's a red herring?

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  5. It depends on the author. J. K. Rowling did that with what appeared to be a throwaway comment about Nicholas Flamel on the back of Dumbledore's Chocolate Frog card. Agatha Christie irked me by not telling readers that the boots which were so obviously a clue (stuffed up a chimney) were ski boots that no reader was likely to guess that the murderer skied to and from the crime scene. The writers of TV's Psych make a point of showing what Sean observes, although it's usually too small to be recognizable (or maybe it's just my poor eyesight). Other authors just present all clues without emphasis and let the reader try to puzzle it out him/herself. In many mysteries (such as the aforementioned Scarpetta series), the process and characters are what drive the plots and attract the fans, not the mysteries themselves (which is why I would still watch Pinky & the Brain, even though it was formulaic.

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  6. I liked "Columbo", where we were shown the crime being committed at the start of the programme, so that it wasn't a case of whodunnit but rather "How will Columbo work out wgodunnit and how it was done". That I suppose was an excellent example of a process and character driven show.

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  7. Actually, even though I have read comparatively few mysteries -- well, compared to Captain C, anyway -- I have read a few of those kind, myself, where whodunnit is revealed in the first chapter, and the question then becomes why or how they dunnit or how they'll be caught.

    Never really watched Columbo, though.

    Oh, and Captain C:

    (or maybe it's just my poor eyesight)

    I suspect you need a bigger TV. :)

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