Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Heroes metagame: Hana's website

Somewhere in all the muck from the previous metagame links, I missed one...Hana Gitelman's homepage.
There are ways to leave messages for HRG, but more importantly, there's an interactive channel open online DURING the show. A link to the interactive experience is on Hana's site.
Of course, I got the email for this AFTER the show had aired...and the content is only available while the show is on. Fun.
There are also two very detailed views of the pneumatic syringe that HRG's people use to inject the tracking isotope in their subjects.

There's a possible reference to a "Darcon" on the schematic, but a Google search turned up nothing useable. Not much else I can glean. Any ideas?

TLC Documentary: The World's First Time Machine

If you haven't seen this yet...watch it. It's a fascinating look at how close physics has come to actual real, practical time travel.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Interesting Wired blog about Heroes

John Brownlee over at Wired
has written an essay favorably comparing NBC's Heroes to Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory. (Each word takes you to a different volume of the trade paperbacks -- ain't I clever?)
I hadn't thought about it before, but it's a fitting comparison. Seven Soldiers pinioned on the idea that these very different characters had to band together to stop a threat without actually knowing/interacting with each other. The series was set up as seven different limited series that all interconnected into a greater story.
Funnily enough, Morrison had teased the series in a four-issue arc in JLA: Classified. The idea was this: periodically throughout human history, earth's population was decimated by an alien race called the Sheeda. They were, essentially, the faeries of myth. Only evil and insidious (much more in line with the faerie myths of old than the romanticized girlie stories of today). The Sheeda were opposed by the original Seven Soldiers, who were decimated in the process.
This new generation of the Seven Soldiers came across their destiny quite by accident (well, aside from Shining Knight) and weren't quite sure what to make of this whole Sheeda thing. It was cloaked by various other evils. People died. Lives were changed. And it was all as high-concept and thrilling as any other book Grant Morrison writes.
Seriously. Grant Morrison is one of the best writers in comics. His run on JLA is still the gold standard for superhero storytelling, and may well be for a while. Seven Soldiers of Victory is a worthy successor, with Great Big Ideas cloaked in the pulp stylings of four-color adventure.
Back to Heroes. The idea has always been presented that, at some point in the show, the various heroes would have to gather together to stop a threat. Of course, the threat has always been up to interpretation. Is it Sylar? Peter? Ted Sprague? The Horned-Rim Glasses guy? The mystery and the sense of discovery is one of the things that's made Heroes such compelling television. Every one of the characters is on their own quest. Every one of them has their own purpose and agenda. But they all seem to interconnect at odd angles, and they meet up from time to time, reinforcing the belief that there is some sort of Purpose in their interaction.
I like that they're formatting the show as if it were a comic, and that each season will be a volume of the trade paperback, essentially. A self-contained story that fits into a larger (and hopefully greater) whole. It's a different approach for TV, but I'm not unfamiliar with it.
If you haven't checked out Seven Soldiers of Victory, do so. It's really worth a look.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Heroes metagame: Matt Parkman

Got a new email from Hana which led to what's supposed to be the last new profile from the Primatech files (at least for now). We've already met Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), but the new entry hints that his storyline is only just beginning to get interesting.

Case File – C3002
Subject: Matt Parkman (Known Aliases: None)
ABILITIES: Telepathy
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PERSONAL HISTORY: Matt Parkman, an LAPD patrol officer, was present at the Walker crime scene where his emerging abilities led him to the discovery of Molly Walker. Parkman began a tenuous working relationship with the FBI, specifically Agent Audrey Hanson, who believed his telepathic abilities would benefit the Sylar investigation.

After Parkman’s capture, his fully manifested abilities continued to aid him in his work with the FBI. He participated in the capture and interrogation of Theodore Sprague (See file C3003) and the continued investigation of Sylar’s murder spree. However, internal reports indicate that the ability may have caused personal problems on the job – he punched a fellow officer in the precinct locker room.
Sylar’s attack at Union Wells High School led Parkman and Agent Hanson to Odessa, Texas where they continued their investigation, during which Parkman became suspicious of my activities. Parkman’s surveillance and unsuccessful raid on Primatech Paper Company resulted in a six-month suspension from the LAPD and ruined his credibility with the FBI. He is currently working as a private security guard in Los Angeles.
* Recent search of pre-natal medical database indicates that Janice Parkman is pregnant. Refer to Prenatal Medical Chart for further study.
* Obtain sample of Amniotic Fluid for internal genetic testing. HIGH INTEREST in Parkman’s offspring and any abilities its genome might possess. Encourage CVS to complete genetic sequencing.

His telepathic abilities have posed a problem to him professionally, as evidenced by his departmental review, and personally, as evidenced by marriage counseling records. His desire to advance his career, which now seems to be an impossibility within the LAPD, may be a weakness to be exploited.

DIRECTIVE: Continue tracking and observing. His suspicion of Primatech Paper should not be viewed as a serious threat at this time.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

New Hot Fuzz trailer

via Empire magazine:
Hot Fuzz? Or Hot Sex?
You be the judge.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A little about piracy

The BBC has a commentary about camcorder piracy that raises an interesting question or two.
First, I had no idea that Canada was such a source for pirated movies. Considering the frequency of Hollywood moving film and television productions to Canada, you'd think they'd have more of an interest in nipping that sort of thing in the bud.
From what I'm to understand, the film industry has been watermarking prints with little red dots in odd patterns. This was primarily to track exactly where bootleg DVD and video files came from.
Smart bootleggers might snip those frames from their masters, but I don't think any of them are that industrious.
Here's the thing I don't get. Pirated movies always suck. Even most DVD rips have tremendous artifacting issues in them. But the cams? They're unwatchable. The sound is utter garbage at best, and utterly incomprehensible most of the time. The picture quality is almost as bad. They're poorly framed, and you get the added benefit of any time someone in a theater moves, you see it.
As a way of duplicating the theatrical experience, cams might have some value. However, I've not seen one where the audience is particularly entertaining. Since bootlegs cannot adequately present the movie, I fail to see any value at all in watching one.
You pay roughly the same amount for a bootleg DVD as you do for a theater ticket. For that price, you get great sound and a sharp, pristine picture. You also get the communal experience of seeing a movie.
Some people have argued with me that you can watch the bootleg with a group of people at home on your big screen TV in your magnificent home theater. Well, what's the point? You can't hear anything. The video quality sucks. Sure, you're saving all that money on admission/concessions/parking/etc. For what? A movie you can't see, can't hear and can't enjoy. What a bargain!

I'll make it as simple as possible. There is no substitute for the theatrical experience. None. Even on a crappy movie, watching it in the theater is such an enhancement. Even those people who wait for a legitimate DVD and watch it in their home theater are missing out. There is NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER that their sound system is as good as even an average theater's. Sorry. Just isn't possible. And, come on, your DLP projector with an eight foot screen? Well, it doesn't compare to the 65 foot screen I watch movies on.
I'm not one for popcorn -- I ruined myself for that treat -- but grab something from the concession stand (or in the case of a theater with real food, the cafe). Munch on some candy or snacks. Sit down. Relax. Let the experience wash over you.
You just might find you enjoy movies again.
Home video is a great thing. It gives us an intimate connection to our favorite films. However, it's destroyed a generation of movie watchers who don't seem to understand that 1) it's really impolite to take that cell phone call in the middle of a movie or 2) you can wait until you're home to discuss who Jeremy is dating now. These folks are so used to the home experience of pausing, constant interruptions and generally not paying attention that they bring it with them to the theater. Worse yet, they don't seem to understand at all that the other people around them might actually be there for the film, and not them.

How do we combat either of these threats to our movie-watching enjoyment? Well, for one, patronize theaters that have rules. There's no reason a person taking phone calls in a theater should be allowed to remain. Simple economics dictates that you'd want to keep the majority of the customers over the single customer.
Patronize the places with better sound and projection quality -- chances are they pay their projectionists better, or actually (gasp) TRAIN them. If a place cares enough to present the movie in the best possible quality, they probably care enough to want to keep you as a customer. They're giving you an experience you can't duplicate at home, and it should be a special occasion. Even if you go weekly.
And fer cryin' out loud, stop downloading crappy bootlegs. That stuff's no good at all. Enjoy a movie like it was meant to be seen. Bigger than life and spread from one end of the horizon to the other.

I'll get off my soapbox...at least for now.

Heroes metagame update

New email from Hana Gitelman -- the metagame seems kinda slow and lazy with letting information out there so far.
This one gave instructions in how to find Ted Sprague's file. If you've been paying attention, that's the Radioactive Hands guy who escaped from federal custody (and, if you saw the "extra scene" added last week, met with Hana).

Case File – C3003
Subject: Theodore Sprague (Known Aliases: Ted)
ABILITIES: Can emit radioactive energy from his body.
PERSONAL HISTORY: Sprague, a medical equipment salesman from Los Angeles, was tracked and captured during a routine business trip to Kansas. His wife, Karen, most likely died due to the manifestation of Sprague’s ability. She succumbed to cancer after enduring sustained exposure to high levels of radiation.

FBI Agent Audrey Hanson and LAPD officer Matt Parkman (see C3002 file) investigated the death of Robert Fresco, Karen Sprague’s oncologist, as a possible “Sylar” victim. Their investigation instead led them to Sprague, who admitted to accidentally killing Fresco with his radiological ability.

Sprague was soon apprehended while visiting his wife in the hospital. Karen died during the arrest, and Sprague was taken in for questioning by Hanson and Parkman. After questioning, Sprague escaped FBI custody during prisoner transport and fled to the Nevada desert. We captured him there. He has since escaped our custody.

Our preliminary testing indicates that Sprague’s body is capable of releasing upwards of 10,000 Ci of radiation, enough to cause immediate death.

Sprague blames both himself and us for his wife’s death. He may seek revenge.

DIRECTIVE: Capture and detain. Use extreme caution as Sprague is not only a danger to anyone attempting to capture him but also a danger to all within a radius of several square miles.

Since the emails/clues seem to come in pairs, there was a second one with a URL for Hana's personal webpage: http://www.samantha48616e61.com/
There's a wee bit more info at that page, but any further information seems only to be "coming soon".

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Aqua Terror Hunger Force!

So, in case you've been hiding in a cave, I have some bad news.
America was confronted with that darn terrorism again. This time, the terrorists were a couple of stoner guys who worked for a viral marketing company.

They sure look scary, don't they? All that smiling. Scary, I tells ya!
These two masters of evil were putting up little LED signs that look like Mooninites from Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force. If you aren't aware of what that is, please kill yourself now. We don't like you any more.
Said "packages" sparked a terror alert that apparently crippled the city of Boston. Because...they were battery powered.
Oh my God! Batteries! That remote controlled car is a TERRORIST WEAPON! So's that clock radio! So's your mom's dildo!
Yup. All of 'em are weapons of terror. So are those yellow blinking road signals they put on top of the orange barrels. They have batteries, too! Call Homeland Security!

Really. Does that look like a terrorist device? It looks "sinister" because it had a battery and wires? What the fuck? Come on, now. Think this through. It's a LIGHT-UP SIGN. It's too thin to be a bomb. Duh. Are people THAT dumb???
Of course, the Mooninite signs are probably going to become the hottest selling item on eBay this month. Rightfully so, as they are super-sweet and I want one. But the fact that the city of Boston went on some kind of tear running around the city "disarming" these dangerous signs just makes me laugh. After the first one, you'd figure they noticed they weren't explosive devices.
As to it being a bomb hoax...that would mean they intended them to be seen as bombs. What a load of horse shit.
What a bunch of dummies.

Two plead not guilty to Boston hoax charges
Stoners, Media Conglomerate Responsible for Boston Bomb Hoax
America's New Enemy Has Dreads, Watches Cartoons
Suspicious packages part of Turner Broadcasting marketing campaign
Artists perform at post-arraignment press conference
Two Suspects Arraigned After Turner Marketing Campaign Sparks Terrorism Scare
Boston Mooninite Fetching $5k on eBay
Promotional Gadgets Grip Boston in Fear and Loathing
Arrest Made After 'Suspicious Packages' Paralyzed Boston as Part of Cartoon Network Marketing Campaign
Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the Bomb T-Shirts

America Held Hostage...by Mooninites