Monthly Archives: July 2007

Fun with dysgenics!

On a friend’s recommendation, I rented Idiocracy, a movie which I had previously never heard of, but that apparently got a limited theatrical release near the end of last year. I was told that I might not appreciate the humor, but that the social commentary was right up my alley.

Well, he was wrong. I enjoyed both the humor and the commentary (though I admit the former only works because of the nature of the latter).

The premise of the movie is that two completely average americans are put in a state of suspended animation as part of a secret government experiment. The original duration of the experiment is supposed to be one year, but after some chaos, red tape, and covering up, they are forgotten about.

They awake five hundred years later, after the great garbage avalanche of 2505 knocks their suspended animation chambers open. They find themselves in a world where humanity has devolved into an even more stupid and careless group than we are today, where corporate advertising is omnipresent, where the english language has “deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valley girl, inner city slang and various grunts”, and where they are now the two most intelligent people on the planet.

Their journey is full of scatological satire, but in every fart joke and ball-kick there is a hint of the crap that currently passes for pop culture in the United States.

In Idiocracy, humanity was reduced to this sorry state via dysgenics. The theory is that once you take all the genetic benefit out of being intelligent (i.e., the survival/reproduction rate is no better), and have intelligent people waiting or refusing to have kids, and stupid people who can’t figure out birth control having kids nearly as rapidly as they are biologically able, the population will over time have more of the latter and less of the former. As this is something I’ve babbled about for years, it’s nice to see it presented in an enjoyable way on film.

Anyway, I highly recommend this movie to anyone with a brain and a sense of humor. It’s not perfect, but it is good.

If the scatological aspect is overly repellent, you may want to read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, wherein the lazy upper classes no longer need or want to use their brains and over millennia devolve into the cow-like Eloi, through a similar process.

New car

I picked up the car yesterday.

Mazda

It feels very strange, but also good, to own my own new car.

Anyone wanna buy my old one? ;)

Basil home!

During my lunch break today, happicow and I went and fetched Basil back from the vet. Minus the necrotic flesh, he now has a huge hold in his face (excuse the blur, but it’s exceptionally hard to focus on a squirmy rat):

Holey Rat

He seems very happy and has been eating a ton. The vet kept saying how sweet he is, which we chalked up to the painkillers :)

I have to give him a tone of ointments, painkillers, and antibiotics now, but luckily all of those save for the antibiotics will only be for a week.

Here’s hoping that at the end of the medicating, he is much less holey and I remain as un-holey as I am now :)

That’s it! I declare the Intertubes have a clogged cute aesthetic input.

At first Cute Overload kept doing it. I just chalked that up to bad taste.

But now, Neatorama is getting in on the act:

Ugly Pug

I really hope broken aesthetics aren’t contagious.

Really. Who other than this monster’s mother could think this bug-eyed looking-like-someone-stepped-on-a-dead-squirrel’s-head eyesore is cute? Come on, people! Its eyes are about 1 PSI or one firm hug from bungee jumping out of its ocular cavities! Its only redeeming visual grace is that it looks like a monster out of a horror movie!

I know some people like these eye-bugging beasties enough to invite them into their home and take care of them. I also know that there are some people who store garbage in their homes until it collapses in a heap and buries them (I may be living with one of them, actually). Overall, I think the latter type of person is, if not more sane, at least possessed of better taste.

In honor of my declaration of the Internet being a cesspool of hideosity masquerading as cute, I’m going to start using a doubleplusuncute tag to chronicle the further spread of this plague. I invite you to do the same, and to submit further examples to me.

Stay vigilant!

News

Today, I got my new 24″ widescreen monitor.

My desk

As you can probably see, it barely fits on my desk. Also, I had a hell of a time getting it to display anything other than 1280×1024 in X. It turns out that the trick is, simply enough, to (1) trust in EDID, and (2) don’t put any modes whatsoever in your xorg.conf. Yes, strange as it sounds, without mode lines, everything just works. The system is even smart enough to switch to any supported resolution you try to display. But with modelines, it farts, claiming to be unable to display any high resolution.

In other news, I had to take Basil into the emergency vet hospital this morning. On Saturday, he developed a huge abscess in his cheek- turns out, one of his teeth wasn’t getting gnawed down properly and was jabbing into the inside of his lip. Several hundred dollars and a bit of surgery later and he’s mostly as good as new, sans some tooth, and sans some necrotic flesh. I’m picking him up from the hospital tomorrow; then begins the medicining!

Also tomorrow, I may get to pick up my car. Maybe.

Mazda3

Well, I think I’ve figured out what car I want.

A 5 door Mazda 3.

A friend suggested Mazdas to me last week and I suddenly remembered they exist, and that I’ve liked old beat-up Mazdas that friends have had in the past. So I looked into them on the web, and liked the look more than anything else that is currently being made, and liked the features available. And although technically it’s 6″ longer and 3″ wider than my current car, it’s not really apparent when you are next to the thing, and it’s still considered a compact car.

Mazda 3 Hatchback

I test drove the above car in Binghamton today. The color isn’t nearly so pretty in real life. No, my car will not be that color.

But I’m calling them on Monday and am getting them to get me one in black :)

I’ve already checked with my insurance company, and have talked about down payments and monthly payments with the car dealer. All doable, and all they need is my go ahead.

Since my old car is next to worthless on trade-in, I’m gonna keep it for a few months and see if I can get a sucker friend to buy it from me.

Fun with Thriller.

I admit it. I like Michael Jackson. Well, I like his music. His old stuff, anyway.

I especially like Thriller, and the accompanying music video. Since a certain Thriller-inspired video has been clogging up the tubes for the past few days, I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon.

But first, the original: (full version, embedding disabled)

Now, the same thing, with legos:

And, in true Bollywood fashion:

And finally, the video you’ve surely already seen unless you live in a cave:

Call for car suggestions!

I need a new car. Now that I’ve paid off all my other debts, I figure it’s a really good time to seriously start looking. Especially since this morning my car’s temperature was a bit high (known head gasket issue), and I realized that the thing might actually overheat and strand me one day, to the point where no amount of water will help me (that happened to happicow‘s van a few times). Since I’ve been driving up to Syracuse lately, if it was gonna strand me, it would probably be along that desolate section of the autobahn Rt. 81, which would really suck.

So yeah, new car.

My main requirements are:

  • It must be the same size or smaller than my current car (a 92 ford escort sedan, about 170.9 inches [~434 cm] in length).
  • It cannot be a hybrid, because Ithaca’s hills would cause it to have worse gas mileage than a gas-only car. (So I’ve been told, anyway, can anyone verify or disprove this?)
  • It must be available as an automatic, because I find driving a standard no fun at all.
  • It should be a hatchback, because I think hatchbacks are really cool.
  • If my bicycle were to fit inside without needing any disassembly, that would be the bee’s knees. My bike mostly fits in my current car. I have to take the front wheel off and leave a window open for the handlebars to stick out of, but it’s transportable.
  • If my ipod can plug in somewhere without gutting the car, that would be peachy keen.
  • The possibility of a factory installed sunroof would be nice, as would the possibility of a sound system upgrade

Last year, I test drove a Yaris, a Golf, and a Focus. The Yaris and the Focus handled just like my current car, which was nice. The Golf was a bit more peppy than I’m used to, but I’m sure I could learn to like that. The Focus was alright, but I’m somewhat opposed to getting another Ford, and very opposed to buying a car from that particular dealership. The Golf looked alright, but I liked the look of the Yaris more, overall, for some reason. I hear tell, though, that the Yaris is a terrible car. I’ve been meaning to test drive a Fit forever, but haven’t gotten a chance yet. I should also probably test drive newer models of the aforementioned cars, because over a year has gone by since I drove some of them.

So, what do you suggest/recommend? Do you know of any interesting hatchbacks I haven’t previously considered? Do you have any further information about hatchbacks I have considered?