Aug 122016
 

Because why not, I saw Sausage Party today. It was loaded to the gills with profanity (honestly I doubt I’ve ever experienced that many F-bombs in a movie before). It was filled with racial stereotypes (a Woody-Allenish Jewish bagel and an angry Arab… something, I don’t know what it was, but it had a great big hooked nose; Salma Hayek plays a Hispanic lesbian taco; Chinese food with the requisite accent; “illegal” Spanish food; etc.). It was filled with scenes of violence, death and drug use. And sex. Lots of sex. Lots of offensive, disturbing sex between food products.

And I haven’t laughed that much in a *long* time. In fact, the whole theater laughed their butts off.

There’s not a whole lot to say about the plot or character development; it’s just the most bizarro F-ed up thing I’ve seen in a good long while. Has some interesting things to say about blind faith (the anthropomorphized food items in the grocery store are convinced that the humans who come in and select them are “gods” taking them to paradise; a wee bit of distress arises when they discover that they are actually being massacred).

I noted when the movie started that this is a Sony movie… like Ghostbusters. I don’t imagine that Sausage Party will wind up making all that much money; it’s just too bizarre, offensive and R-rated. But: according to IMDB, the budget for Sausage Party was a measly $19 million, about 13% of Ghostbusters $144 million. I would be willing to bet that Sausage Party will end up making far more of a profit for Sony than Ghostbusters.

 Posted by at 8:00 pm
Aug 112016
 

And here’s a list of ’em:

All Upcoming Movie Remakes/ Reboots (2016 – 2020)

All Quiet on the Western Front, A Star is Born, Pet Semetary, Point Break, The Crow, An American Werewolf in London, Barbarella, Dirty Dancing, Death note, Drop Dead Fred, Fletch Won, Starship Troopers, The Neverending Story, The Seven Samurai, Wargames, Time Bandits, Akira, American Psycho, the Birds, Commando, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Death Wish, Escape from New York, Heavy Metal, Highlander, House Party, Little Shop of Horrors, My Fair Lady, Romancing the Stone, Scarface, Short Circuit, The Bodyguard, the Phantom Tollbooth, The Wild Bunch, Flight of the Navigator, Videodrome, Jumanji, Weird Science, The Toxic Avenger, Van Helsing, Expendabelles, All of Me, A prophet, Untitled Big Man Japan Remake, The Black hole, Bloodsport, Daredevil, Flatliners, Jacobs Ladder, Logans Run, Mortal Kombat, Police Academy, Rebecca, Suspiria, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Timecrimes, Timecop, Tomb Raider, Young Sherlock Holmes, Overboard, Cliffhanger, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Voltron, The Thin Man, Perry Mason, Angel Heart, Battle Royale, Chopping Mall, the Cineplex, Day of the Dead, Firestarter, Ghost Graduation, Hellraiser, The Mummy, Private Benjamin, Spawn, I Am Legend, Ben Hur, Friday the 13th, Leatherface, the Magnificent Seven, The Thomas Crown Affair, Beauty and the Beast, A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Craft, Alien Nation, Big Trouble in Little China, the Blob, Blue Thunder, Cabin Fever, Charlie’s Angels, Clue, Dungeons & Dragons, The Entity, Explorers, Fantastic Voyage, Flash Gordon, the Fugitive, Ghost in the Shell, Going in Style, The Grudge, Headhunters, The Howling, I Know What you Did Last Summer, the Invisible Man, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Manhunt, the Man who Shot Liberty Valence, Masters of the Universe, Memento, Mulan, Murder on the Orient Express, Nosferatu, The Naked Gun, Ocean’s Ocho, Power Rangers, Red Sonja, Retribution, Road House, Shaft, She’s All That, Sister Act, Sleepless, Stargate, Strangers, The Sword in the Stone, The Wolfman, Z.

Now, whoever said Hollywood doesn’t have new ideas…

 Posted by at 8:49 am
Aug 092016
 

The latest line of attack on Hillary is that she’s suffering from ill health, some sort of seizures. I dunno, seems unlikely; she’s been in the spotlight for decades now, you’d think someone would have noticed before this point. I suspect the “seizure” recently caught on camera is just an attempt at humor, a concept that, not being a fully sentient AI with an emotion chip, she has a difficult time in replicating. Still, some interesting things:

PHOTOS=> Hillary’s Handler Carries DIAZEPAM Pen for Patients Who Experience Recurrent Seizures!

And…

PHOTO: Multiple staffers help unstable Hillary up stairs

If nothing else, this’ll give Trump something to needle her with during the debates. Assuming, of course, that Trump doesn’t just outright take a dive during the debates as a way to assure that his old friend and donation-recipient wins handily. But if there is truth to Hillary having these sort of health issues, it just might be that Trump acting like Trump on stage just might trigger Hillary to melt down. And if that happens… how will the electorate react? Rationally, with “well, can’t have *that* hand on the nuclear trigger, so I’m’a votin’ for Johnson,” or sympathetically? I guess we’ll see.

 Posted by at 4:01 am
Aug 072016
 

Why do people refuse to learn from history???

A Mormon Tycoon Wants to Build Joseph Smith’s Mega-Utopia in Vermont

Some feller name of Dave Hall has a bucket of cash and a dream: to build planned utopian town-like properties based on some “vision” that Mormon church founder Joseph Smith imagined nearly 200 years ago. These would be square “plats,” with a square “ring wall” made up of buildings with farm-like area in the middle, and surrounded by a narrow bit of “nature.”

Hal wants to build a thousand of these sites in Vermont, moving 20 million people into a state with a current population well under one million. Oddly enough, the people in the area where he’s buying up property have a problem with this.

Some of the “features” of this planned community:

each person will be allotted just 200 square feet of living space

No.

A plat, says Hall, will be subject to state and regional laws, but will also be overseen by a board and hierarchies of leaders with, it appears, strong Mormon family values. “Each [multi-family] house has house captains, which are a team of one man and one woman,”

NO.

Families and individuals who wish to join must invest their net worth and be employed either outside the communities or by a NewVistas company, or Vista Biz. Those who start Vista Bizzes will be given startup funds by the community but must surrender their IP rights. They also must agree to put nearly all their profits back into the community in exchange for what Hall calls “dividends”—payouts from overall wealth earned by the plat businesses.

AW HELL NO.

To make all this work, some as-yet unavailable or generally unused technologies are needed. Robots that rearrange your furniture. Storage containers that rise us out of the floor. Small elevators. Toilets with built-in medical tricorders. But over all of this is the fact that since the basic plan of this “plat” was produced by Joseph Smith, it thus has the taint of prophesy and divine inspiration. And we’ve all seen how successful communities built on religious ideas can be.

The goofiest notion of all is that he’s buying up properties that are already happily occupied. Why not set up shop where people *aren’t*? I’m sure Detroit has some room for something like this. The Midwest has *single* farms bigger than his whole planned community. So why build right where you know you’re going to annoy the locals by changing *their* environment?

All that said… there’s something about this idea that makes me nervous in a very real sense. Not about the “plats” themselves… if they are roaring successes or the first generation born there tears the place apart during Festival, I don’t really care as such. But what does this sort of thing say about space colonies?

Initial small colonies – say, a few dozen people on Mars – will be run like military establishments. They’ll pretty much have to be. But what about town-sized orbital habitats? Here, the territory is strictly limited. An inhabitants options will necessarily be somewhat limited… a good terrorist could shut off the sun or evacuate all the air. So will such settlements need to be run in the soul-crushing collectivist manner suggested for the “plats?” A horrifying thought.

 Posted by at 4:25 pm
Aug 052016
 

The past couple days have been reasonably apocalyptic out here in rural Utah. A wildfire broke out Wednesday morning west of Plymouth, Utah (last I heard it was “human caused,” but no definition further than that), maybe twenty or so miles north of here. As Wednesday progressed I watched the plume of smoke get bigger and bigger, until later in the afternoon I drove off to go take a look. After nightfall the smoke cloud continued to progress, so that by Thursday 6:30 AM I woke up not being able to see my neighbors house. The wind shifted a bit and the air cleared some, but the smell of fire remains. This has done my lungs no good. So far, at least, no bronchitis has yet broken out, but wow do I have a headache.

I’ve taken a number of photos that might be of interest.

Two photos taken early 8/5 showing how a light down the way is scattered off the junk in the air. It’s got that “starry wisdom/gateway to somewhere you don’t want there to be a gateway to” look going on.

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Early 8/4, low smoke cloud to the north lit by the fire.

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Early 8/5, smoke cloud to the north and a light plume from lights illuminating a flag pole:

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Panorama on the evening of 8/3 showing the smoke cloud working its way south

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Panorama early 8/4

2016-08-04 pano 2

Panorama early 8/4 showing smoke cloud lit by fire

2016-08-04 pano 1

Evening 8/4, near Plymouth

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Evening 8/3 showing smoke cloud to the north

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Afternoon 8/3 near Plymouth

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 Posted by at 2:56 am
Aug 032016
 

Apparently, come September a brand-new Skycycle will attempt to launch across the Snake River Canyon. Read about it here:

Return to Snake River: A new generation prepares to complete Evel Knievel’s greatest feat

Everybody remembers Evel Knievel; relatively few remember Bob Truax, the rocket engineer who designed and built the Skycycle.  Fortunately the article does talk about two generations of Truax, including Bob Truax’s son who built the new Skycycle that will be used in the new attempt.

 

This is scheduled for September 17 near Twin Falls, Idaho. Hmmm. That’s only about 2 hours from here, easy enough for me to drive up to. Except: the launch site is on private property and you have to buy a ticket. That’s fine, of course – but the tickets cost $1,000. A bit out of my pay grade, sadly.

evelspirit

 Posted by at 8:13 pm