Cinemathesia

03 April 2015

Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

I’ve met a couple people who have Synesthesia. They claim that colors appear in their mind when they hear certain sounds (or vice versa). I reflect on this often because for most of my life I believe I suffer from a very similar phenomenon that I aptly named Cinemathesia.

Emotions experienced during a movie earlier in life can be triggered with their original potency by just a few musical notes. A great example is the movie Rudy, which arguably has one of the best original soundtracks in the history of film. A couple specific horn sounds instantly bring me back to the first time I watched the tryouts scene. I can sense the pressure Rudy is under to impress the coaches. The joy from seeing him on the Notre Dame field washes over me. I can close my eyes and feel the bass from all the times Rudy is brutally tackled.

People have always accused me of having an uncanny ability to quote movies with shocking detail. Little did they know I can also quote emotions.

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Blazing Saddles Movie Poster

Blazing Saddles with a Schtickle of Chili

30 March 2015

I cooked chili for my Blazing Saddles party, and it was very well-received. Although, I made some minor modifications to the original recipe for a more beefy result.

Important note: Elizabeth Taylor had this chili shipped to her on various movie sets.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups canned pinto beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 cups canned tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 4 cups chopped green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • ½ cup chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
Directions
  1. Drain pinto beans.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable of oil in skillet.
  3. Pour beans, onions and peppers in to skillet. Cook until onions are translucent.
  4. Add garlic and parsley to skillet.
  5. Heat butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a gigantic pot.
  6. Add beef and cook for 12 minutes. Stir and break beef in to lumps.
  7. Add chili powder and cumin to pot. Cook for another 12 minutes. Continue to stir.
  8. Add peppers, onions, tomatoes, salt and pepper to pot.
  9. Simmer for 60 minutes. Stir often.
  10. Add beans and water, Continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
  11. Serve.
  12. Optional: Add sour cream, chopped onions, and shredded cheese.

This was a surprisingly pleasurable experience. I wonder what I should cook for my next viewing party: Psycho.

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The Hobbit

19 December 2014

I watched The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Spoilers and thoughts below.

  1. Peter Jackson: Stop the High Frame Rate nonsense. I thought you learned this lesson from the first Hobbit movie. It is frustrating to watch.
  2. Gandalf: How could you make the same mistake twice? If the eagles are so badass at fighting, why don't you use them in Fellowship of the Ring? Yes, I'm aware of the "fly you fools" theory.
  3. The fighting is... slow. It feels like watching a computer game in 1999. Oh except for Legolas. He's still so fun to watch.
  4. Even after three movies I don't really feel a connection to the Dwarves. I know there's a fat one, an old one, a human-looking one that loves a Lost character,one that looks like Stabler from Law and Order: SVU, and the King who I'm pretty sure is related to Ed Norton Jr.
  5. It is very exciting to see an army of Dwarves. Remember that in the Lord of the Rings trilogy we only see a few of them. In The Battle of the Five Armies we get to see hundreds donning iron from head to toe.
  6. This movie features a level of military precision that Men do not display in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Elves gracefully rearrange themselves while their leader rides between their ranks. Dwarves quickly construct a phalanx with their shields similar to Leonidas' first encounter with the Persian army in 300.
  7. The stakes in this book/trilogy are dull. If Thorin fails then the mountain continues to belong to Smaug. Once Smaug is killed,however, the mountain is basically up for grabs. Orcs want to gain control because of the mountain's strategic location? Shrug.
  8. The violence is tame. Each time an important character is killed, the camera moves to his/her face. There is one scene where I actually thought the Orc didn't kill the character.
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Uber Lyft Chart
y axis: number of rides · x axis: time

Uber vs. Lyft

27 June 2014

I'm done with Uber. As you can see in the chart above, my behavior has begun to drastically change. Approximately two months ago, I began to favor Lyft over Uber. Today, I'm deleting Uber from my phone. There are too many instances of immaturity, deception, corruption, and negligence.

Here are some examples of recent events that have lead me to this behavioral change:

In less than a year Uber has made me feel unsafe as an uberx passenger, been caught aggressively attempting to sabotage the competition, consciously lied to publications, threatened journalists, and, my personal favorite, allowed its CEO to repeatedly make disgusting statements.

I can't imagine Uber recovering without a major change in leadership. Of course one could argue that they don't actually need to recover considering their multi-billionaire dollar valuation, but they'll have to continue without me as a customer.

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Looper Cell Phone Movie Screenshot

That Looper Phone

10 February 2014

I am always deeply fascinated by tech products shown in movies set in the future. Above you can see Joseph Gordon Levitt’s cell phone in Looper as he is receiving a call. Someone designed this hardware and software specifically for this movie. What does it tell us?

Screen

This isn’t the only recent movie to use a transparent cell phone screen. We also see one in Hugh Jackman’s phone in Reel Steel. What is the advantage? This forces all of the circuitry into the bezel. Good luck with that, Ive.

Icons
  • Battery: It’s full even late at night. Did JGL charge recently? Does it take weeks for the battery to drain?
  • Signal strength: 3 full circles (assuming this is the purpose of the icon in the upper right corner).
  • Phone: This is obvious since JGL is receiving a call.
  • Globe + Map: The map seems unnecessary considering we do not see where the call is originating from. Why show a map at all?
  • Progress bar: Above the four bottom icons we see a progress bar. It looks like JGL is on screen three out of four. Perhaps we are still swiping between sets of icons.
  • Gear: We are still using a gear to represent settings in the future.
  • Chat bubble: We are still texting too. :-)
  • Flux Capacitor + Pixelated Arrow: Your guess is as good as mine.
Shape

The phone’s shape is almost a perfect square. This tells us that in the future people either don’t watch videos on their phones, or the video format somehow returned to 4:3.

Actions

I believe it’s safe to assume that a red X means “do not answer.” A green OK is inconsistent. Why not show a green checkmark instead?

Buttons

I do not see any physical buttons. It must be entirely controlled by software.

Audio

I do not see any holes for noise to escape. How does JGL hear the caller’s voice? How does the phone ring? Note: It’s funny to use the word “ring” considering phones do not truly ring anymore.

Ports

The phone is too thin to plug in any cables. It must charge through induction (or wirelessly!).

Strength

JGL immediately smashes the phone with a rock after this close-up. I guess Gorilla Glass X isn’t indestructible.

Really?

Yes, I really enjoy these explorations.

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