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July 2007 Archives

July 3, 2007


For several years now, new movies have failed to be original. Maybe I am simply not watching the right movies, but there seems to be an abundance of remakes and stories swiped from other media (books, comic books, etc.). Some of these have turned out well in the end, and some of the remakes have even gone on to make sequels that the originals did not get a chance to do (the new Ocean's 11 series comes to mind, of which I have only seen the first remake and none of its sequels). The only truly original film I can think of in recent years is Napoleon Dynamite. There is even a new Star Trek film that will be some sort of remake using characters from the original series.

Since this trend shows no signs of stopping, I will make the outlandish prediction that sometime soon, someone will remake Knightrider into a movie (sans Mr. Hasselhoff). You heard it here first!

July 17, 2007

The Mighty Oto


I am a fish keeper, for those of you who do not know. There is this large tank in my dining room that has been waiting for a woodworking project to be completed so that the tank can finally be set up. I will get it set up eventually, but in the meantime, I have a couple small tanks. In my five gallon tank, I have five fish. There are three cherry barbs, and two otocinclus. Otocinclus are often referred to by the short name "oto" and it was one of my otos that had a little adventure the other day.

It was time to clean the aquarium. For some time, I had seen only one of the otos. So, in the process of doing a thorough cleaning, I removed the fake rock/cave structure from the aquarium. I had actually assumed that the other oto was hiding in the cave, but when I pulled out the cave and set it on a towel, I could still only find one oto.

I continued to look carefully for the other oto for a couple minutes, but could not find it. Fish sometimes jump their tanks, and sometimes they die before you realize it and they can "break down" in the water and thus simply disappear. I was left to assume that this is what had happened to the poor fish. So, I returned to cleaning and getting everything put back in as it was.

Then I thought, surely I would have spotted some remains of this fish. It would be very unlikely for this type of fish to jump out of the tank. Where could it be? It suddenly occurred to me about seven minutes after I had pulled the cave out of the tank that I had not flipped the cave over and looked inside of it for the fish. After all, these guys are a sort of sucker fish and stick to things with their mouths. Still the fish was not in the cave! I looked on the towel the cave had been sitting on and noticed a little fold in the towel. I pulled the fold open, and there twitching very slowly was my poor otocinclus. I quickly scooped it up in my hand and dropped it back in the tank. It swam down on top of the bridge decoration and sat there. I observed it periodically for several hours afterwards. Though it was breathing rapidly, it was some time before it finally moved off the bridge and back into hiding, but it did survive through probably its biggest adventure ever.

The picture above is one of my otos, though I cannot tell if it is the one that "escaped." They are neat little fish and if you want to learn more try here or at the Wikipedia article here. I believe mine are actually of the affinis variety.

July 18, 2007

Alternative Uses For Socks

Sure, socks can be turned into hand puppets or filled with rice or beans or rocks and used as a heating pad, but socks can also come in handy in a certain "emergency" situation. I am sure this has happened to many of you: you are in a public restroom, you have just washed your hands, and then you notice there are no more paper towels. What do you do? I have the solution. I have not told any one besides my wife until today, but you do not have to suffer through this embarrassing situation any longer. When you need to dry your hands and there are no paper towels, pull up a pant leg and dry your hand on your sock!

Before you say I am crazy, hear me out. What is your alternative? You can walk out of the restroom with soaking wet hands, and then look! There is your buddy who you did not even know was at the mall, but you cannot shake his hand because your hand is wet! Or, you could just dry your hands off on your pants leaving wet hand prints. Then when you walk out, and your buddy sees wet hand prints all over your pants, he wonders what happened in the restroom.

Now you are likely beginning to see the advantages of the socks. You can pull your pant leg up with your fingertips leaving a very small, generally unnoticeable wet spot on your pants. Then just grab that sock with the free wet hand and dry away. Now repeat with opposite hands and socks. What do you have? Dry hands and no embarrassing wet pants. Now, I caution you, try to shake off as much of the water as you can first. No one wants to walk around with extremely damp socks for the next few hours. If you shake off enough water, your socks will be dry in ten minutes! And no one is going to see your wet socks.

Granted, this is not as foolproof when you are wearing shorts, dresses, skirts, or kilts, but if you have on standard white cotton socks, you still have an excellent chance of pulling this off without anyone noticing.

Next time you find yourself with wet hands and no paper towels, you know what to do!

July 25, 2007


Another completely random thought, but it must be said. For some reason, I have been thinking about the Star Wars prequel movies and the many things that were handled badly in them. Before everyone labels me a "prequel hater," let me just state that while I thought a lot of the prequels were entertaining (Obi-Wan racing through asteroids being chased by Jango is one of my favorite scenes in all six Star Wars movies), they definitely had parts that made me roll my eyes and groan.

On a more serious note though (at least as serious as one nerd can be about a collection of science fiction movies), here is my complaint with the so-called midichlorians. In the original trilogy, they were never spoken of. Rather, the Force was something more mystical and individuals either tapped into it or they did not. At the start of the newer trilogy, it is revealed that Force adepts have large concentrations of midichlorians in their blood. Now, here is the completely random thought I have come up with: if these midichlorians reside in the blood, could a person with high amounts of midichlorians (enough to be able to use the Force) give a blood transfusion to someone who does not have many midichlorians and thus give them an edge up in using the Force?

George Lucas has said time and time again that he had long ago (little pun there) written these prequel stories. Every time I have heard him say that, it gives me the impression that he had written them completely. However, this little thought of mine concerning midichlorians once again re-inforces my belief that Lucas had a very general idea of his so-called "backstory." He filled in details as the prequel movies were being made. I believe the midichlorians are one such example and they just do not seem to make the connection to the established story in the original trilogy.

This is why story writers should never, Never, NEVER write prequels. Flashbacks to small events are usually okay, but I believe that doing an entire prequel story always messes up continuity.

About July 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Digitally Mastered in July 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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