What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Linkee-poo is tired of the "epic" commercial style

Chuck Wendig and Stephen Blackmore answer author questions usually posed to female authors.

Some tips on writing fight scenes. And here's another tip from me, please, oh please, do not use Hollywood action movies as your basis for writing fights. Movies, the vast majority of movies, and TV shows are, in the main, 100% complete bull-shit when it comes to fight scenes. My favorite example is some TV movie were the bad guy was in an open warehouse space with an AK47 and the police responded with about 8 officers with shotguns and a few handguns and took cover behind boxes and walls and engaged at less than 50 feet. Who won? Of course it was the guy with the AK47. In real life, with the fire the police were putting down, the bad guy would have been a pile of shredded meat. Six shotguns at close range, even without accurate targeting would have done the trick, no problem. That's not saying the bad guy wouldn't have gotten his licks in, but he was firing in the classic "full-auto from the hip" pose (yea, don't do that either, unless you're about to kill that character). Have you ever fired a weapon from the hip? I'm a pretty damn good shot, and doing that with a .22 Ruger at 30 feet and I couldn't hit squat (I put 2 out of 10 rounds on an 8.5 x 11 target, and that was basic luck). Trying to do it with a gun that is notorious for it's muzzle lift in a position that makes it hard to control it… well, let's just say on full auto he'd be doing good if half his shots weren't going through the ceiling. And with actual fist-fighting? Puh-lease. I've seen c-rated karate movies that get it more accurate. And they often have a version of the "fist-o-death."

An infographic on the magical power of the white beard. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Giving cancer the middle-finger. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Now scientists have made glowing rabbits. I'll bet the glowing hawks will just love this… Wait a second, glowing rabbits. Isn't that a plot point in the Sherlock episode "Hounds of Baskerville"?

There's a new star in the skies. Well, actually an old star in the process of self destruction through super-nova. And if I'm reading that report correctly (it's pretty dense in techno-babble) they're saying it looks like it's going to get brighter. Much brighter. (Pointed to by John)

Here's something, a youtube Easter egg. "Go to any YouTube video and when it starts playing type "1980" (without quotes). A missile command game comes up and starts to attack the video. You may have to type it in a few times before it works." (Pointed to by Dan)

"The engineers at SpaceX this week successfully launched a 10-story rocket to an altitude of about 800 feet, moved it about 330 feet sideways and then brought the 'Grasshopper' back down to its landing pad." It not only goes up and down, now it goes sideways. Watching this video I was suddenly struck with the notion that in one of those trailers there was an engineer thinking they were playing a game of Lunar Lander only to be actually controlling the rocket.

A new, secure, short range data transmission scheme emerges. In other countries, many people don't pay by credit card, they pay by cell phone (or mobile). Whenever people like to say how the US is #1 in technology I just think about kids in S. Korea paying for Cokes using their cell phone as a digital wallet. The problem is, it's not very secure technology. So now we have a new way which involves using acoustical transfer. I can't help but imagine seeing all those old acoustic coupler modems, or loading programs into computers using acoustic cassette tapes. (Pointed to by John)

What should come as no surprise, Obamacare works quite effectively where state officials want it to work. That article ends with the hopeful thought that Red-Staters will look across the state-line and wonder why those people are getting better healthcare at a lower cost than they are and then challenge their state officials to do better. With the increased tribalism and myopic focus of the modern citizen, I have doubts about that. Just look at Missouri where they passed a state ballot measure to prevent state and local officials for basically working with or promoting Obamacare. And if that isn't the people sticking their middle finger in their own eye, I don't know what is. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"It may seem counterintuitive, but there's a body of evidence to suggest that the millions of Americans with a diet soda habit may not be doing their waistlines — or their blood sugar — any favors." Told ya so.

Turns out America is not the only land of the freeze-dried whackaloon. Australia has their own version. I want to make a marsupial joke here, but don't want to dehumanize people. But before you point and laugh at all our crazy cousin down-under, John Oliver would like to remind you that they only have to deal with it for a month. Did I mention the 2016 election is already underway? Also their media seems able to chase a question to get an actual answer instead of accepting a non-answer and moving on. Yea, Australia gets the last laugh after all. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Oh look, the Susan B Anthony list is suing for their ability to lie like rugs in political ads. And this isn't one of those "honest people can agree to disagree" arguments of if something is blue or cerulean. They want to put up ads that intentionally tell you something that isn't true. One can only hope that the Supreme Court (they lost in the lower court) will either deny their petition or revive the concept of "commercial speech" being different from "private speech". But given some of their recent rulings, I doubt it. After all, "Corporations are people, too." If not, and the Supremes rule broadly, say goodbye to truth in advertising laws (even in their weakened state). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"Facing a generational divide that is sapping their relevance, a group of evangelical conservatives argued Saturday that they need to become even more vocal in their support for often unpopular social positions." Ah, the people just don't understand us, we'll have to shout louder next time. And that it's being embraced by Rick Santorum (again, given the trajectory of GOP nominations, I expect him to be the front runner in 2016) is only more delicious. Yea, you do that, Ricky boy. I triple dog dare you. (Hint, Democrats were vastly outspent in 2012 and still won not only the presidency with a less than 50% approval rating and over 7.5% unemployment, they also gained seats in the House and Senate when smart money was on them continuing to lose in the House and maybe loosing control of the Senate.) Oh, and Rep. King, I don't think you really understand the story of Clearing the Temple of the Moneychangers. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

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