Nov 27, 2016

The Five Movies We Want For 2017

Back to the Future 4: In this zany sequel, time-traveling duo Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) travel to the year 2016 to save Marty's future sons from the disaster that was the 2016 election.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotted Mind: When Cruella de Vil's plan to get a dalmatian fur coat turns sour, she undergoes a procedure to have her memories erased. But it is only through the process of loss that she discovers what she had to begin with.

Sploosh: In this animated reboot of the 1984 classic, a young Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) is saved from drowning by mermaid Pam Poovery (Amber Nash). 20 years later she returns to seek him out and they fall in love. Before they can choose between life on dry land or a deep sea paradise the lovers are rudely interrupted by the intervention of scheming scientist Dr. Algernop Krieger (Lucky Yates).

Dr. Strange-love: U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden) goes completely mad, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He suspects that the communists are conspiring to pollute the "precious bodily fluids" of the American people. Only one man can avert this tragedy: former Nazi genius Dr. Strange-love (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is now wheelchair bound and must embark on a trip to Tibet to become the sorcerer supreme and stop General Ripper.

Fast West and Furious: In this sequel to the 2015 movie Slow West ex-lawman Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) and her brother Dom (Vin Diesel) have traveled border to border to evade authorities. In 1800s Colorado they must do one final job before they can gain their freedom for good. Assembling an elite team of horse riders, including a bounty hunter (Michael Fassbender) they must escape from the sheriff (Dwayne Johnson) who wants them dead.

Timeline-wise, this last movie makes about as much sense as the rest of the Fast and Furious franchise. 

Feb 21, 2016

Influencia

Justo antes de su función en Saturday Night Live, Kanye West (rapero mediocre y auto-nominado ser humano más influyente de la historia) se enteró que habían cambiado el escenario que construyeron especialmente para su actuación.

Kanye no estaba feliz con esto y mientras estaba en su vestidor tuvo un pequeño episodio

"Are they f***ing crazy? Whoa by 50 percent Stanley Kubrick, Picasso, Apostle Paul, f***ing Picasso and Escobar. By 50 percent more influential than any other human being."

Que básicamente se traduce a algo como: 

"¿Están pinches locos? Whoa por 50 por ciento Stanley Kubrick, Picasso y el apóstol San Pablo, que el pinche Picaso y Escobar. Por 50 por ciento más influyente que cualquier otro ser humano"

Imma let you finish, but Kanye had one of the best meltdowns of ALL TIME

Fuera de lo entretenido que es escuchar a Kanye tener su episodio, lo que me llama la atención es la facilidad que tiene Kanye para medir porcentajes de influencia, y por lo tanto me gustaría continuar el experimento con algunos porcentajes más:
Pedro Picapiedra está muy enojado

Y también vale la pena analizar cómo la influencia de Kanye ha cambiado con respecto al tiempo:


Feb 19, 2016

Seventeen Hobo

In the second episode of Gotham, the murder of a homeless man leads Gordon to investigate the abductions of street kids by Patti and Doug, who have been posing as members of the Mayor's Homeless Outreach Program. In one of the later scenes we see the street kids who were kidnapped: a group of attractive teenagers with beautiful perms, perfect teeth and designer clothes.

Even if Gotham is corrupt and gloomy at least its street kids seem to be doing fine. But this begs the question: where are all these teenagers getting their fashion tips?

My favorite part is the horoscopes section

Jan 20, 2016

All Lives Matter

I read an article today titled When simply existing is dangerous, everything is a risk. In it, the author talks about her experience helping create a game that puts people in the shoes of a transgender person and shows them all the challenges this entails.

In the article, the author also mentions she is depressed because 81 transgender people were murdered in 2015 across the world.

Well, I have good news! Data collected by the UNDOC places the worldwide number of homicides at 437,000. It is difficult to give a precise total count of transgender people but estimates vary from 0.3% to 0.5% of the total population, that would mean that worldwide the expected murder count for transgender people should be somewhere between 1,311 and 2,185 people killed by year; so transgenders are beating the odds (by a lot!).

With a world population of 7 billion, we can estimate there to be about 21 million transgenders, which, if we go by the number of 81 murders puts the murder rate for transgender people at 0.00038% which we've already shown is lower than the world average. Blacks in the US, on the other hand, have a murder rate of 0.0055% or 14 times higher than transgender people!

Now, if only somebody made a game to put us in the shoes of a black person and all the challenges they have to face.

Oh, that's right. Thanks GTA 5!

Jan 11, 2016

The Hateful Gun Control


Last year the United States had almost as many mass shootings as it had days. President Obama has decided he cannot ignore this problem any longer and has called on congress to take our guns.

Fortunately I had a lot of time to think about a solution for this problem while watching The Hateful Eight, since the run-time for the movie feels like 17 hours. In the movie, a couple of bounty hunters and the sheriff of a Wyoming town take shelter from a blizzard in a cabin which is currently inhabited by four other men.

After getting inside the cabin, the group asks the current inhabitants to surrender their guns in the name of safety. This should be our first warning that something is about to go terribly wrong. And true enough, five hours into the movie (about halfway through) somebody poisons the coffee and kills several characters.

At this point I started thinking that obviously the solution would have been to hide some more guns around the cabin and for everyone to open carry their revolvers.

Unfortunately, later on the movie we learn the characters had thought about this already and they had half a dozen guns hidden around the cabin. We also learn they used these guns to kill the previous owners of the cabin. From there things escalate pretty quickly, every single character is killed in rapid succession, mostly by gunshots.

This seems like a powerful blow to the more guns equal more safety; however, people are missing the obvious point: if only one of them had an assault rifle they would have all lived happily ever after. Unless they killed each other with the assault rifle in which case the only solution would have been a tank.

Double-wield for twice the safety

Oct 9, 2015

The one percent of the one percent

During a hunting trip on the show The Good Wife, one of the characters mentions that she saw "the one percent of the one percent of the one percent" referring to someone who is absurdly rich.

She probably did not realize that the one percent of the one percent of the one percent by income is basically only one person (doing simple interpolation of the data here); however, lets give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was referring instead to the 0.0001% of the population, which end up being about 319 people.

This gave me an amazing idea for a new movie: In 2015 a state of war exists between the poor, led by Joseph Stiglitz (founder of the 1% movement) and the ultra rich. At the battle of Scarsdale (median household income of $233,311), Donald Trump, king of the ultra rich, leads his badly outnumbered warriors against the massive poor army. Though certain death awaits the one percenters, their sacrifice inspires all of the normal rich to unite against their common enemy.

During one of the first scenes a messenger for the poor will be sent to deliver a message to Donald Trump. After the message is delivered Trump, clearly irritated, threatens the messenger:
Messenger: Madman! You're a madman!
Donald Trump: You bring the checkbooks and platinum cards of conquered rich to my city steps. You insult my lover. You threaten my people with slightly higher taxes! Oh, I've chosen my words carefully. Perhaps you should have done the same!
Messenger: This is blasphemy! This is madness!
Donald Trump: Madness? This. IS. WALL STREET!!
 Later in the movie, as the rich are preparing to defend the all-out attack from the poor the following exchange takes place:
Donald Trump: Ultra rich! Ready your caviar and eat hearty; for tonight, we dine in Restaurant Le Meurice in Paris!
I suspect those abs were computer generated.

I don't want to ruin the ending, but it does not end well for the US.

Aug 8, 2015

Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be

Growing up reading Isaac Asimov, one of my dreams was to become a successful science fiction author. However, actually figuring out how to write good science fiction is very complicated and requires a lot of work and patience to get the science right and the writing perfect.

Zach Weinersmith wrote that reality has two dimensions of time: proper time and remembered time. Proper time is the one we store in watches (for example: August 8, 2015 at 3:32 p.m.) while remembered time is stored in our neurons (for example: the time I visited Costa Rica).

Because remembered time will only remember the things that I liked (and those memories will be further reinforced because I will talk about them and think about them often) humans tend to idealize the past and associate the past with a better state of things. This is what we call nostalgia.

But if our brains aren’t very good at remembering things, they are pretty amazing at making connections (even when they aren’t there). That is the reason for this list of parallels between the lives of John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln and it is also how I feel about Ernest Cline (author of Ready Player One) and Andy Weir (author of The Martian).

You see: both authors were born in the US in 1972, both authors published their first book in 2011, the plot of both books relies on nostalgia and both books didn’t do amazingly well on release but are now considered classics of modern science fiction.

And this brings me back to my original point. Becoming a science fiction writer must be a matter of finding a magical formula that anybody can copy and then just writing lots of words. In order to find this magic formula, I will analyze these two books.

I will start by looking at Andy Weir’s book. The Martian was painstakingly researched in order to have correct science, which required lots of complicated mathematics to get right. It creates rich characters with feelings and limitations, characters who are afraid of losing and uses nostalgic elements to tie them up to Earth and make you identify with them. So, obviously, that is too much work. Moving on!

Ready Player One is far simpler. The basic idea is to throw as many nostalgic references as possible in the hopes that someone will say “hey! I know that one thing!”. The first element of nostalgia appears all the way in page number 2: an Atari 2600. After that references show up every couple paragraphs (always presented in a list of items because that makes it even more annoying to read). We will read lists of consoles (Apple IIe, a Commodore 64, an Atari 800 XL, TRS-80), games (Galaga, Defender, Asteroids), comics (Spider-Man, X-Men, Green Lantern), refuges (Batcave, Fortress of Solitude), fictional worlds (Middle Earth, Vulcan, Pern, Arrakis, Magrathea,Discworld, Mid-World, Riverworld, Ringworld), spacecraft (UFOs, TIE fighters, old NASA space shuttles, Vipers), etc.

Additionally, the book treats the reader like an idiot. Every single joke is explained, and then if people are too dense to get it, it is explained again. Every term that isn’t completely obvious is expanded upon. Don’t know what an NPC is? Can’t be bothered to Google it? Don’t worry, the book says they are “non-player characters” – still don’t get it? No problem, the next paragraph will explain – “computer-controlled humans, animals, monsters, aliens and androids.”

So, insulting my readers and listing things? I can totally do that!!

And so I present to you the first paragraph of my science fiction masterpiece:
"thanks Obama!" – He said sarcastically while rolling his eyes. Some members of the audience were still not getting it – "I was being sarcastic" – he further explained, explainingly (sarcasm is the use of irony to mock or convey contempt) – "in this case I am not really thanking Obama, I just say 'thanks Obama' in an ironic way" -- he added expositionally [1]. 
Footnotes:
[1] Expositionally is the adverb form the word exposition. Adverbs are words or phrases that qualify adjectives, verbs or other adverbs. Some of the possible categorizations of adverbs include: Genitive, Conjunctive, Flat, Locative, Interrogative, Collateral, Prepositional, Pronominal and Relative

Some attentive readers might notice that collateral is really a form of adjective, to which I reply: who cares? Determining the correct list would require work and by that point my target audience will be thinking: "ohh!! Look, locative adverbs, I remember those from school!! This book is super cool!!"