The Scorpion and the Frogstar.

scorpI watched the series premier of Scorpion last week, and blogged about how I was concerned that the time may have passed for the nerd drama> Too much of the audience knows the tech is fake these days, and it spoils their enjoyment of the show when they do silly stuff.

In the week since then, I have returned to that thought a few times in retrospective. I revisit the idea that nothing all at on TV is very real. This site will reveal this topic even more. The prime time network dramas are filled with unrealistic technology and actions, but we all focus on the ones we know. On hospital dramas, I’m sure they make all sorts of errors that must infuriate doctors and nurses, and even orderlies.  On police dramas, there must be people from that world that watch those shows, constantly nitpicking, or else just laugh the inaccuracies off.  Even I know a DNA test can take a lot longer than 4 hours.

In nerd dramas like Scorpion they may try to be realist, but in the end, I think I change my verdict. I have decided it is not a deal breaker after all. I accept the break from reality and still find a way to enjoy the action and plot of the show.

I’ve just watched episode 2, and the writers did an excellent job at using up almost all the remaining nerd stereotypes that they didn’t get to last week.  All the cliche technology bits were used, like bouncing the bad guy’s IP all over the world. I suppose not every computer user knows that isn’t really how it works.

I found myself enjoying the show anyway. I realized that all the other shows I enjoy do equally impossible things ever week.  Fiction doesn’t need to be based in reality. Even the reality shows are not really that real either.  I may spend the next week taking note of how fake my TV playlist is. It may be fun to start paying attention to how silly the shows I still watch really are. Since I’m trying to blog daily – it may provide me some new topics as the rest of the reason returns, and the new pilots appear.

Earlier this year as part of my therapy and progress, I decided to to test the abilities of my newly medicated, less obsessive mind to cut way back on my TV addiction. I stopped watching a lot of shows.  This is premier week for Network shows. It’s my first September since I cut off almost 50% of the ones I watched cold turkey last June. 

Not since the first ATI All-in-Wonder graphics card I configured with Snapstream, have I ever bailed on a series I enjoyed, or missed an episode, or watched them out of sequence. Addiction may not be the right world, but it was an obsessive trait I only began to understand once it lessened. I was watching over 40 hours of TV a week.

One day I made the decision and cut Bones, Hawaii 5.0, Mythbusters, and more.

I felt actual loss. 

TV is back and I’m feeling a bit weird not recording some of them. Withdrawal symptoms.

I can try to watch less, but in the end watching TV is who I am.  I’m Frogstar.


Magnetic Chereos

I’ve been watching more YouTube videos than regular television this summer.

Tonight I was watching a two part episode of the educational video series; Vertasium.

In week one, he showed a number of science physics things. The one I’m writing about first, was the sequence where a a magnet is used to pull a piece of cereal around in a bowl of water.

The following week, a second video was released that showed the reasons. The science explanation for this “magic” was the simple fact that cereal apparently a huge percentage of your daily recommended supply of iron. Real iron. Our body needs it.

What made the video interesting to me, was that they explained the iron explanation, and then followed up with more information. They claimed to have received some viewer comments, indicating that other items like paper reacted the same. It seems almost anything that floats, is also pulled around in the water towards a magnetic source.   The magnet wasn’t effecting the iron in the cereal at all, but rather the liquid itself.

I was as much interested in the science, as I was in the experiment itself, and the logic of the science behind their first answer. It was an example of trial and error that failed. The video did indeed show me that the iron in cereal was magnetic, but the water experiment was showing me inaccurate results. It seems as though they neglected to show the experiment first with a control, to provide prof that items that don’t contain iron do not move towards the magnet.

As I watched the segment, I became curious as to whether they even knew about this second answer before the second reveal episode. It is an excellent example of scientific principle being misleading when used without a control. They proved a hypothesis with three actual sets of proof. The cereal is definitely magnetic, however they did not prove to us that the proof they used was legit.

On YouTube, we can’t always believe what we see, and entire videos are often made to look real, but instead just turn out to be bogus pranks, or fake science. We have to be careful. When I watch Mythbusters do experiments, they always provide a proof of concept and a control experiment to prove the proof.

I wonder if the show knew both answers and were going to reveal them both, or whether they were surprised by the second discovery, and amended their reveal video to show both truths. In the old days of Television, this curiosity woukd remain a mystery. Today, I think to myself – Google knows all, and somebody else has probably already asked in the comments, forums, or via  twitter.  People love to follow up interactivky these days. It’s probably the biggest change in media. We no longer just watch and learn… we get to watch, learn and ask questions.

As it turns out, the editors of the video admitted to learning something new. The discussions went on for pages. It seems they were excited by learning something new, just as we were. Science is cool.

Later in the video,  they described to me why hot air rises is a totally new way,  allowing me to better understand it,  than ever before. It’s great to learn new things at any age, even if they’re things that may seem obvious and things I should have learned when I was 10.  The floating teabag effect let me understand the idea of whooshing thicker air than the vaccine of thin heated air.  Whoosh.

Rage makes me laugh

Writing a blog everyday is a different project than occasional blogging. The responsibility to sit in one place and just write is new, and on day, its already become an irritation. I knew I’d grow to hate it soon enough, but I expected to get past day 4.

Note: written on phone. Posted without review.

In any case, I committed thus morning in my 10 second video to writing about how funny anger us, so at 740 at night, sitting outside the Toronto fall fair midway, I write this.

Rage makes me laugh.

Since before I can remember, I have hated anger. I grew up with a loud father that had a temper. I feared loud. I still do.

I have always avoids being angry, so I didn’t lose control and become loud. I lived my life forgiving and giving in to avoid a fight. I have sustained reasonable success.

This aversion to anger has given me a unique perspective to seeing other people’s anger and rage.

It can be hilarious. My definition of rage is spontaneously irruption anger. Most rage is an infuriation at something, and quite often it isn’t real or close to worthy of the rage.

The funniest by far is road rage. An irrational anger thrust on often undeserving travellers who either made a mistake or just happens to be in a place inconvenient to your plans. Road rage cracks me up, and if you let it, it’ll make you laugh too or at least smile. Seeing other people blow a stack over something so common and normal is just plain silly.

Thus all started this morning while on the way to an onsite client visit, I was driving through the rich area of town where people only drive high end cars, or they’re the service industry.

This older lady, maybe in her 60s but with a fresh salon quality haircut is turning right onto the main roadway I’m travelling. There are three lanes going our direction, and the right law she’s turning into is free. In a moment, we detect she isn’t so skilled, and her right turn will need more than her lane, but also a wide margin spilling into ours.

This is of course, a complete normality to any regular driver. People take two lanes to make right turns all the time. However, and this is where I get to the rage that us funny to me.

The truck in front of me lost his cool, and honks. Not a toot toot notification honk, but a full pressure lingering rage honk. A honk that was an audible swearing.

Zeppelin side thought: cars should have two horns. Nice No angry.

Now the idea of a truck honking is not too gut busting by itself, although almost all horn honking is funny to me, but the Hilario is part was the woman’s reaction.

The lady in the Lexus, although clearly in the wrong, became enraged at the trucker for getting angry at her.  She started waving her arms in the air, as ragers are known to do, and silently screaming at the driver, as he swerves to avoid her and speeds away in a huff.

She then notices me in my car, holding back my laughter with a big smike. Our eyes lock and I now my head as if to say; Some people.  I always agree with both sides of any anger fault. It feeds the fire to agree.

Next, she actually rolls down her window to talk to me, her witness. My smile has made us friends.

She says; what was that all about? So he goes around. Jeese.

I drove the rest of the way home with a big smile on my face.  It’s not that other people’s anger specifically makes me happy. I’m not enjoying theur mystery at all. I’m mocking it.

Zeppelin side thought: hardly anyone rolls the window down anymore, and certainly not any Lexus driver ever. Another old term kids don’t understand.

When you think about the idea of road rage, you can’t help but agree it is absurd. People can jump from zero to 11 in the blink of a brake light, and turn red and bust a vein, because of something so minor and commonplace as a turn without a signal.

Of course I’m not befitting real traffic ass holes and idiots. A lot of people crash and die because of careless and bad drivers, but the most common road rage you witness is lane changes and minor offences.

If you drive with a yeller, you know what I mean.

Note: do not laugh at them when you’re in the same car.

Just kidding.

At today’s lunch, I was inspired to think about some pranks. I didn’t have the guts to do anything, but I must have been in some weird mood to think of them.

The first one would have been on three 40 something ladies who came in to the fast food chain,  just to rush to the rest room. One of the ladies made note of the clearly posted sign alerting everyone that the rest rooms were for customers only, and the dominant leader of the group waved her hand as if to magically make the sign null and void, exclaiming we never saw that sign.

My imagination had me knocking on the restroom door, and in a deep voice, calling out; I hope you’re going to be buying something, and then taking my seat again as if nothing happened. All possible outcome scenarios delighted me.

I did nothing.

They got away with their crime unnoticed by anyone but me.

Next up, I witnessed a foreign student roaming, and take a seat at the last open booth, passing by 4 tables better suited for a single diner.

He dropped off his napsack and placed his burger tray down and scooted off to the restroom.

In my head, I conjured up two scenarios for him. At first, I thought it would be funny if he returned from his side trip to find me seated at his table across from his chosen position, either quietly eating and drinking my meal as if I hadn’t noticed his plate and drink, or even bolder, eating his fries and drinking his drink like it was my own.

Of course, both these options were far bolder than I would ever stoop to trying, so I conceived a milder prank, and debated commenting to him; while you were gone, that man over there came up and licked three of your fries. It was the strangest thing.

This could possibly cause a reaction that involved far to many unknown variables so again, I did nothing but imagine.

Other group tables opened up before it was an issue, so he too escaped with no consequence.

My meal was entertaining in my mind, and then I wrote this post.

The Opening Cerimonies

Point Form thoughts while I watched the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremonies.

This will be the fourth summer Olympics I’ve paid attention to the opening ceremonies. I don’t care much about the sports, but I love a good big show.

It started very confusing, but I think I can blame that on the camera work.  The show was designed as a full stadium show with so many things happening, the TV viewer didn’t quite see the full scope. I actually missed several things I think, and kept wishing they’d do more long shots.

It looked like a lot of stuff happening, but there was no smooth flow or story.  Quickly, we learned it’s going to be a historical, starting with early green fields and pre-industrial revolutionary England.  It didn’t flow. It didn’t have a story.  Just a lot of people doing things, not well synced.

I didn’t like the first act at all, but the stage changed to the industrial revolution and the set change was gradual and spectacular.  I still found the dancers out of sync, and even the people marching were not to a set rhythm.  Marchers?!?  Out of sync.  Come on.  I don’t have to compare it to the spectacular synchronization of the Korea games… but it really looked worse than the dancers on AMERICA’S GOT TALENT.  I’m a bit anal about dance sync.  I want every dance group to be as tight as I remember the Jackson 5 being as a kid.

When you watch a show, and the best comments you can give are on the set change, that’s not so good.

I found the video segments odd too, placed in for the TV audience to cover set changes I suppose, but it made this event seem almost like a TV show – not a stadium spectacular live show. I was curious to know what the live audience was seeing.

Bond picking up the Queen? Really? It reminded me of the first year they helicopter lifted Jeff Probst, host of survivor from the last tribal council to the live show.  They only did it once.  I won’t even mention the day-night difference that made the entire build up video segment not make any sense at all.

I was sad to see the queen not smile.  I love our Queen.  I want to see her smile.

The musical bits were ok, but I found the shift in tempo disturbing.  I was toe tapping, and then I couldn’t.  I had to mentally re-adjust to the new tune.  The choirs seemed to be singing in a foreign language… or at least accents so rich I could not make out the words.  Even during the musical medley number, only a small percentage of the tunes were familiar to me.  Even Tubular Bells, which I love, changed to some unknown melody within a few minutes.

My Canadian announcers were always giving away the next scenes before hand.

I did laugh at Mr. Bean, which is rare because I usually don’t laugh at him at all.

The whole show seemed more like a Howie Mandel MOBBED flashmob sequence.

Overall, I don’t think I can say I experienced a single WOW moment.  The last few Olympic opening ceremonies have had several WOW moments.  WOWeee WoW Wow moment.

I didn’t really understand the story behind the yellow show during the unknown solo artist.

Why were the announcements in French first?  Was that just on CBC?

Overall, my least favourite OPENING CEREMONIES in decades.  I’m sad.

Ed the Sock; respect.

I recently learned from first hand experience, the meaning of the current culture to say the word “respect” in the middle of their sentences. Somebody did it to me, and I suddenly got that it is a modern day showing of respect to somebody at that moment, sort of like people who say; God Rest His Sole and cross their heart whenever they menation the name of the dead.

Like that, but for people who are still alive, and watching.

Carol Burnet was my first exposure to the idea of celebrites sending secret messages to specific people in their audience.

It is a time saver single word, often accompanied with the tribute to the old ways, they touch their heart, and then for reasons not yet known to me, throw up two fingers… maybe peace, I’m not sure.

The point is, saying RESPECT seems like a great idea. I’m all about pride in my philosophies, and that can be taken as sincere somehow.

I like it.

So… I ranted about that for so many paragraphs instead of starting my blog with; Ed the Sock, respect.

I had a life chaning moment back in Ed’s history where another friend of mine, were in Ed’s Newton cable station, brainstorming show ideas. He wanted to give us a show badly.

We had several good ideas (in our minds) but I balied. I don’t remember my mood at the time or reasons, but it doesn’t come as any surprise that I couldn’t leap.

It was 100% what I wanted at the time. My dream. As close to being a writer on Saturday Night Live’s staff was ever really going to be.

I was there… He was doing Ed the Sock and we helped out a bit, and were offered to be a part of that world… A world I had dreamed of since forever. I used to make films and skits with my neighbours in front of a box with a pipe in it shaped like a TV camera my mDad made.

8mm film was still silent and $7 a roll plus processing. Reserved for holidays.

I still made a bunch of films I would die to get back. I have the soundtrack. My filming partner kept the film. There was no real way to make copies back then.

I’m 44 and I like Pop Stars

I am sympathetic to that YouTube Chris guy who briefly got famous by posting a rant with a cry about leaving Britney Alone. I kind of agree. But she confuses me, because it would be easy for Britney to go away if she really wanted to.

Her lyrics seems to say one thing. Her actions, another, and the media a third. They’re all different and I don’t know who Britney is.

I used to think she was a cute teenager who got on Disney’s Mickey Mouse club, and was popular enough to go on to be a pop success… I didn’t care if it was her choice, or her stage mother’s choice. I liked her beats and her looks and I was a fan.

I’ll admit I had stopped buying CD’s by that stage in my life, way outside her key demographic, but my MP3 player had her hits and I’d listen to them when nobody was watching. I’d seen her videos too.

Some of her lyrics seemed to hint that she was being controlled and living a life not really her own, as I know many Pop stars complain of. She tried a few different styles and we were led to believe she was given a little more creative freedom.

I still liked her music.

Then the wedding thing, followed by a number of other crazy stunts and I defended her in my own mind as a smart girl who’s decided to go the Madonna route and stay in the press through antics beyond the music. As it started to get a little crazier I realized it was an addiction, and she transitioned from Maddona style publicity to Michael Jackson style. People started calling her crazy… but they still bought the albums or downloaded the hits.

Britney still held top 10 positions on Google’s most searched list. Her movies tanked and people started to dislike her publicly.

For somebody born and bread as America’s sweetheart, that must have hurt… but somebody told her no publicity is bad publicity, so she started marrying people, hunting for a reality show, and desperately showing us she was just a home town country gal… almost hickish.

I still wanted to give her the benefit of being smart, and designing the press… but it was hard.

I’m 44 and none of my friends listen to top 40 radio. Obviously they know Britney, which is the plan, but they know her as a crazy now, and couldn’t name a song since OOPS I DID IT AGAIN.

Her recent album has new lyrics that hint she’s unhappy. Her actions seem to hint that she’s so troubles she’s testing the waters and looking to be arrested. She’s like a depressed non famous person who may resort to cutting or hurting themselves for attention, except she’s got the attention… just nobody to talk to and be friends with.

Britney has no community support it seems, and so she’s a lose 16 year old in an adult’s rich body. She may welcome death or jail some days… and yet, if three days go by without being talked about, so goes out and flashes her Va-j-j to the press or crashes her car.

Its hard to understand.

Her new album isn’t poppy or upbeat. Its ballads on Top 40 so far (just two singles so far) but I miss the old Britney who made me toe tap and bop and dream of being her boyfriend.

I want to go on YouTube and scream LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE but I fear if we ever do, she’ll just go out and do something worse. We can’t leave her alone. She needs a friend.

I no longer thing it should be me… I’ve seen she’s not my idea match on her reality show, and her choice of second husband… but it should be somebody.

Maybe Nick Lache can help her.

Anyway… enough ranting… I’ll unpause my SPICE GIRLS reunion show on TV and continue watching British Pop Stars who are a little more grounded… if I am to believe.

And I always like to believe.