Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

When I went to the movies to see Fight Club with my friend Tosh in ’99, it was on the strength of one of the best movie trailers ever made. What was brilliant about the trailer was that it made the film look really awesome as well as giving an entirely false impression of what it was about. So I went in thinking, “Cool, this will be a film about a fight club started by two guys who end up both in love with Miss She Ruined Everything.” The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was the flip side of this coin. I had no intention of seeing it, because I had seen the trailers. I figured I knew what it was about – guy spends whole film mixing reality with his overactive imagination, wins girl at the end either in spite of or because of his imagination, and...

Vine: The Haiku of Video Entertainment

The best Vines of 2013, a 23-minute compilation that is almost pure entertainment. And if you don’t like something, it’s over and on to the next one before you have time to complain. (Not compiled by me. Hat-tip: Vidinterest.)

Quantum Afterlives

Quantum Afterlives

An article caught my eye on social feeds today, though it was published back on Christmas Day. Quantum Theory Proves That Consciousness Moves to Another Universe After Death is Awescience’s summary of a bit of recent chatter around a new book by a biologist named Robert Lanza. Other articles about Lanza’s book are titled things like: Is there an afterlife? The science of biocentrism can prove there is, claims Professor Robert Lanza Quantum physics proves there IS an afterlife, claims scientist Scientist: Quantum physics can prove there’s an afterlife The articles all follow basically the same pattern, especially repeating the quote “death cannot exist in any real sense”, and suggesting that when one dies, one simply “wakes...

The Streisand Effect

The Streisand Effect

The following image is neither funny nor clever. Nor is it illegal. (But don’t let that distract you from the real story.) You know that thing where you fail the “attitude test” if you ask a police officer if they have something better to be doing with their time? Well. (As Idiot/Savant said: ’this poster isn’t quite how I’d make the point. “…and we did nothing” would probably have been better. But the police don’t want you to see it and are threatening people for posting it, and I think that trumps my taste here.’)...

Review: Looper is terrible (massive spoilers)

Review: Looper is terrible (massive spoilers)

Okay, nice things first. Nice thing one: the make-up and acting of Joseph Double-Barreled to seem like a young Bruce Willis was exceptional. Nice thing two: the kid actor was pretty fucking awesome too. That’s enough nice things now. Time-travel stories are like haikus or sestinas – there’s a constrained form you have to work within, which simultaneously makes them difficult and impressive to do well. Within 20 minutes of Looper, they’d broken a fundamental rule of a good time-travel film: anything that is true has always been true. Oh yeah. Spoiler alert. The mechanic of scarring a guy’s arm to send his future self a message, or punishing him by chopping bits off to make them disappear from his future self, is cute, but makes no sense....

Cartoon: Palaeo Diet

Cartoon: Palaeo Diet

I’m not very good at drawing, but after chatting with my cousin this past weekend, this got stuck in my head.

In Vino Veritas in Vanuatu

In Vino Veritas in Vanuatu

The flight to Vanuatu was uneventful, as statistics would dictate. The peculiar arrogance of the individual – combined with the power of imagination – dictates that I spend all flights certain that, somehow, this one is different, this one is doomed to a forced water landing or perhaps just going down in flames, no survivors. Seeing David Cunliffe on the same flight both helped and hindered – of course a prominent MP would survive a holiday flight, so surely I would too, but on the other hand if something did happen and we were all annihilated, our own deaths would be footnotes to his. So, Vanuatu. We’re staying at a nice place, in the middle of summer, which naturally means it’s rained constantly today. Thunder here is somehow more impressive....