Archive for June, 2010

“Fanatics are the worst enemies…”

June 30, 2010

 “Fanatics are the worst enemies, and the worst friends, as well. We employ a few, for special purposes, but dislike them as a matter of policy.  Any man who cannot be bought cannot be trusted.  He may sell you out on a whim.”
–A T.H.R.U.S.H. Agent
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. #4 The Dagger Affair
written by David McDaniel

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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“It is enough here that we raise questions…”

June 29, 2010

 “It is enough here that we raise questions and stimulate interest.  Through such efforts, one day may come realizations about our universe and our place in that universe that will forever transform the experience which we call human.”
–Victor C. Klein
writing in New Orleans Ghosts

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Betting on the box office

June 29, 2010

Betting on the box office

Hm.  I’m not a betting person…really.  Oh, I love to make predictions, and I love to do well compared to other people with those predictions.

But I don’t bet money on it.

Why?

I like to play games…always have.  I even managed a game store for a while…wow, was that fun!

I always figured if I got into gambling, I would do it too much as a game…and lose track.

This recently-approved by the Feds (but possibly prohibited in upcoming legislation) venture is…interesting.

You would buy shares in a movie, and get a pay out based on the opening weekend gross.

The plan is that it would be a dollar a million.

Let’s say that the market thinks a movie will make thirty million dollars opening weekend.  You, though, think it will make fifty million.  You buy it at thirty: if it makes fifty, you profit $20.  If only makes twenty million, you lose ten.

Sounds like gambling, right?  Well, that part’s apparently okay, because it is a “futures market”.

However, the studios hate it…and I totally understand that.

People figure movies make money in competition…a movie doing well can make another movie do poorly, since it sucks up some of the ticket money.  Oh, a movie can get a lot more people to go to the theatres period, but sometimes, one does better because people chose it over another movie.

That means that people could be seriously financially invested in your studio’s movie failing.

What if you bet ten thousand dollars?  One hundred thousand?

You think it would be worth trying to get bad word of mouth out there?  Having people tweet and post that the movie was awful?

Remember, we’re only talking about the opening weekend.

People may bet on movies now, but it’s probably pretty penny ante.

Also, what if studios bet against their own movies, as a hedge?  If it looks like a movie is going to tank, it might be worth completely sinking it…if that’s where your money was.

My tendency is to approve legalization, even of things I don’t like. 

We’ll see what happens with this.  🙂

The Week article

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

“Through a colleague on the Scientific Advisory Council I got the President’s ear…”

June 28, 2010

 “Through a colleague on the Scientific Advisory Council I got the President’s ear and he decided to let us try, on the basis, I’m certain, that the best way to handle screwball scientists is to allow them one or two harmless, inexpensive insanities in the hope that they will make an error and discover something useful.”
–Dr. Titus
I Was a Teen-Age Secret Weapon
written by Richard Sabia

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

The Week Ahead: June 28 – July 4 2010

June 28, 2010

The Week Ahead: June 28 – July 4 2010

For more information on upcoming (and historical) movies, TV shows, books, conventions, paranormal happenings, and pretty much anything that interests me, see the ever-growing Measured Circle Pop Culture Timeline.

Monday, June 28

On TV, we get: new eps of Adventure Time and Flapjack on Cartoon Network; a new Lie to Me on Fox; Persons Unknown continues its limited run; there’s a new Cake Boss; TBS gives you a new Neighbors from H*ll; and there’s a new Warren the Ape on MTV

Tuesday, June 29

On TV, there’s: a new ep of It’s Effin’ Science on G4; the new to BBC America second series (season, to Americans) finale of Ashes to Ashes; Vlad the Impaler versus Sun Tzu on The Deadiest Warrior (that might seem odd, for those of you who know that Vlad was the inspiration for Dracula, but he was considered a great tactician…it’s not going to be hand to hand, but that is an interesting match up);

Tuesday’s books include: Act of Will by A.J. Hartley (fantasy fiction by a Shakespearean scholar…this sounds like an interesting one); Eoin Colfer’s continuation of Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide series, And Another Thing… is published in paperback;   Phineas & Ferb Comic Reader by John Green; The Answer is Yes: The Art and Making of the Sorceror’s Apprentice by Michael Singer; Cholly & Flytrap: Center City by Arthur Suydam (a graphic novel by an artist/writer lauded for both)

Videogame released today include: Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4  (the whole Lego videogame thing seems weird to me…I still think of Legos as those things you step on in the middle of the night that hurt your foot 😉 ); Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister; Singularity  (set in an alternate history 2010…use conventional weapons, and time manipulation); Deathsmiles, a side-scroller with a gothic angel theme; Naughty Bear (you are a psychopathic teddy bear with a machete, attacking other toys…you get points for scaring characters, in addition to “killing” them)

Wednesday, June 30

On TV, we get: two new eps of Rebel Monkeys on NatGeo; Ghost Hunters Academy goes to Shawshank; a new Mythbusters; a new ep of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman; and the 24th (!) season debut of The Real World on MTV

Thursday, July 1

On TV, we get: a new ep of Burn Notice (I have to say, USA knows how to not mess up a show from season to season…they might add characters, which is fine, but Monk, Psych, Burn Notice: they know how to keep it the same show, the same tone); the NEW EP of Futurama is called Attack of the Killer App; there’s a new Penn & Teller

Here’s an interesting book being released today: Literature, Cinema, and Politics 1930-1945 by Lara Feigel…this is a scholarly look at how movies became political.  It better be scholarly: it comes from Edinburgh University Press…and costs more than $100 😉

Cons* starting today include: the 63rd (!) Westercon in Pasadena (which includes ConChord, a filk con); CONvergence in Bloomington, Minnesota (with a them of Bring on the Bad Guys, and one of the guests is Chuck McCann…a prominent voice artist, but geeks may know him as Barney on the mid-1970s show, Far Out Space Nuts, where he co-starred with Bob Denver)

The Roswell UFO Festival  runs for five days.  They’ve been expanding the focus…this year’s guests include Adrienne Barbeau and Avatar’s Wes Studi.  Not to worry, though: Jesse Marcel, Jr., Stanton Friedman, Ruben Uriarte, and Travis Walton will be there, too.  🙂

Friday, July 2

On TV, there’s: an new ep of Ghost Stories on the Travel Channel; the new to Syfy second season (series to our UK readers) finale of Merlin;

A con* starting today is InConJunction, in Indianopolis, Indiana

Saturday, July 3

The ConBravo con opens in Oakville, Ontario

Sunday, July 4

On TV: there’s a new ep of Squidbillies on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network

*Cons are short for “conventions”, when people who rarely leave the house get together…just kidding, of course, they can be great fun.  For details, I recommend Fanboy’s Convention List.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

“We mean to cancel the world you…”

June 27, 2010

“We mean to cancel the world you civilized people made. We will simply erase history from the time that machinery and weapons threatened more than they offered. And when you die, the last living reminder of h*ll will be gone.”
–Matthias
The Omega Man
screeenplay by John William Corrington & Joyce H. Corrington
based on the novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

“Sometimes, Lois, it’s not wise…”

June 26, 2010

 “Sometimes, Lois, it’s not wise for people to depend on Superman to keep their own house in order.”
–Clark Kent (played by George Reeves)
The Big Freeze
episode of The Adventures of Superman
screenplay by David T. Chantler

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Boost your bootup

June 26, 2010

Boost your bootup

Does your computer take a long time to bootup?

This is an easy (and fun) one.

Go to

http://www.soluto.com

Download their free program.  When you bootup, it will show you all of the programs that are in your bootup…and how long each of them is delaying you.

It will sort them into three categories…no-brainers (you can get those out of the boot), maybes, and ones you should leave alone.

It will give you a choice to Pause or Delay a program (after explaining what it does, making a recommendation, and showing you what other users have chosen to do).  Pausing it means that the program won’t start until you call for it.  If you delay it, it won’t be part of the bootup…but it will launch itself during idle time (when you aren’t using the computer).  If would also launch if you called for it, of course.

You can probably save some time if you use Soluto…it won’t necessarily be a lot of time, but it will be something.

I’m not connected to the site, by the way…I’ve just used it successfully on a couple of computers.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

“Pearls before swine…all my directives…”

June 25, 2010

“Pearls before swine…all my directives go completely unregarded.  Sometimes you’re just as ignorant as any other common rover.  One indication of a female and it’s caution to the wind, the eyes glaze, the glands swell, and the brain freezes.”
–Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire)
A Boy and His Dog
screenplay by L. Q. Jones
based on the novella by Harlan Ellison

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Flying Saucer Day 2010

June 24, 2010

Flying Saucer Day 2010

June 24, 1947: Kenneth Arnold is flying a small plane near Mr. Rainer, Washington.  He is looking (on his own) for a downed plane, but reports seeing something very different.

He sees nine objects of some sort, flying in an odd and down motion….like a rock does when you skip it across water.  He can’t identify them…but the term “unidentified flying object (UFO)” is not in use at this time. 

He uses the term “saucer” in describing the motion or the objects (there is some debate about that), and the press uses the term “flying saucers”.

It becomes a huge story, a national fad.  Over the next few weeks, many “flying saucer” and “flying disc” stories appear.

One of the most common hypotheses was that they were Russian secret weapons, which made sense.  Remember, this was 1947…just two short years since the most devastating secret weapon of all time had been used in World War II. 

The Germans had been technically innovative (especially in the use of rockets), and the Russians and Americans both tried to capture that technology.  They were on the same side of the war in World War II…but it was clear competition and not cooperation were on the horizon after the war.

The state of Washington was certainly close enough to Russia for aircraft to have reached it.  Alaska, although a US territory, wouldn’t become a state for more than a decade.

Yes, some people suggested “men from Mars”…aliens.  Other hypotheses were around, and more would follow.

On July 8th, less than a month after the Arnold sighting, the Roswell Army Air Field announced that they had recovered a flying disc.  Aliens weren’t really much of the story then…that came decades later.  When the military announced what had been found was a balloon, the story disappeared.  While flying saucer writers would write about crashed discs, Roswell was rarely mentioned.

When the first full-length book on the subject was released in 1950, it was a bestseller.  It was called Behind the Flying Saucers.  It didn’t mention Roswell, but it did talk about Kenneth Arnold.

You can read it: a non-profit organization (OPUS) for which I am on the advisory board, has digitized it (I worked on that process) and made it available for free

here

Flying saucers have been part of our culture since that June 24th.  Movies, TV shows, novels…and reports that are still made.

I don’t advocate for any particular explanation for what people say they see.  I am intrigued by the emotion and conviction people display: both “true believers” and Skeptics. 

Whatever you believe (or consider) about flying saucers, we can say…they are part of our cultural lives.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.


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