Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brace yourself

Recently I surprised my English friends by getting braces fitted to straighten my teeth. "Cosmetic" dentistry like this was rare enough among children when I grew up in England, let alone adults entering the second half of life (if I'm lucky -- last third of life if family history is any guide...).

The explanation is quite simple: I've been trying to pass the test to become a US citizen. At my first attempt I passed the oral exam easily, but failed the dental exam. If I want to become naturalized, I'm afraid I'm going to have to bring my teeth up to American standards.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another reason Star Trek sucks

How many Star Trek episodes or movies contain a scene like this?

[Scene: Bridge of the Enterprise]
Ensign: Captain, a Klingon vessel just decloaked!
Captain Kirk: Quick, raise the sh---
[Much flashing of lights, whooshing of smoke, swaying of cheap sets]

or if you prefer Star Trek: Enterprise,

[Scene: Bridge of the Enterprise]
Ensign: Captain, they're charging weapons!
Captain Archer: Quick, polarize the hull pla---
[Much flashing of lights, whooshing of smoke, swaying of cheap sets]

Hasn't it occurred to anybody in charge of one of the most powerful, expensive ships in the whole of Starfleet to take the computer that identifies threats and the computer that raises shields and, oh, I don't know, connect them together? Then the scene would go something like this:

[Bridge of the Enterprise]
[Lights momentarily dim]
Captain Kirk: Ensign?
Ensign: Captain, a Klingon vessel just decloaked. The computer has automatically transferred power to the shields.
Captain Kirk: Excellent. Target their engines and weapons before their captain can give the order to raise shields. Oh, and target their bathrooms too. That always helps to keep the surrender negotiations short.

OK, maybe its not as dramatic, but its a lot more realistic, and would save me having to shout at the TV.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Movie Cliches: "Prepare to die!"

What does that mean exactly, when the hero tells the villain (or vice versa) "Prepare to die"? When you think about it, the only sensible answer is "OK, but I'm going to need two or three weeks. I have to pay some bills, cancel the newspaper delivery, and throw out the perishables from the fridge. And maybe I should increase my life insurance -- what do you think?"

Do the people who write screenplays think that (a) we are all idiots and (b) none of us has ever seen a movie before?

Come to think of it, that would at least explain why the theaters are full of formulaic sequels, stupid cartoons turned into live action, bad remakes, and worse movies-from-TV-shows that were never very good to begin with. We'll know Hollywood is totally done when we get a sequel to a bad TV cartoon as live action movie: "Deputy Dawg 2: This time, it's personal".

Oh wait: they already made "Scooby Doo 2"...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Best. News. Ever

According to this BBC report, Daily caffeine 'protects brain'. By that theory, I should be a freakin' genius by now.

Or possibly, the amount of caffeine I take in is just enough to offset the negative effects of my cholesterol level. Mmmm, bacon...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Clarifying Senator Clinton's claims

It turns out that when Senator Clinton claimed to have played a role in the Northern Ireland peace process, she misspoke again. What she meant to say was that she went to Northern Ireland and ate processed peas.