November 17, 2013
So I'm giving it a try, watching the race on webcast. At the beginning I was a bit worried because it looked like they were overloaded and all I could get was a spinning "buffering" symbol.
But now it's running OK.
Adrian Sutil crashed out on lap 2, and that brought out the pace car. It's obviously necessary. But it's a bit like basketball where a penalty brings all the action to a stop. And NBC takes the opportunity for an ad break.
This is the first television I've watched in several years. Gad, there sure are a bunch of ads. I'm sure it's going to drive me crazy before it's all over.
UPDATE: My solution to ad breaks was going to be to come here and write some more. Only last time, all I got from mee.nu was Error 500. Rats.
I have never heard anyone pronounce these names before. I always thought that "Sutil" was pronounced SOOTull but it's actually sooTEEL.
Turn 1 on this track is awesome. I can see how the hill affects the drivers, and it's quite an effect.
DRS (Drag Reduction System) is a hack. When you go through the "detection zone", if you're within one second of the guy in front of you, then your DRS is enabled, and you get to go faster on the next straight stretch.
UPDATE: This is more interesting to watch than I thought it would be. The announcers are critical to that; they're really awesomely good.
They made an interesting point earlier: because of the "no refueling" rule, the cars start with enough fuel to finish the race. They burn about a gallon per lap, and as the race goes on the cars get lighter, and thus faster.
Continuing about the DRS: You get to go faster, but the guy in front of you probably doesn't.
It's pretty much a hack to permit lots of passes. If it was fair, everyone would get drag reduction. But I guess the race would be less fun in that case.
I'm not so sure about that. Most of the passes in this race have been in the twisty bits, where DRS isn't enabled.
Vettel is owning the race again, as expected. But the positions behind him are certainly in contention. I think no one is even thinking of trying to win against him, so the real question is who comes in second?
UPDATE: "Fox" means "pit stop". (For fighter pilots, "fox" means "fire a missile".)
UPDATE: McLaren is having another miserable day. The announce team mentioned something I hadn't noticed: McLaren hasn't had a single podium this year. (How the mighty have fallen...)
Another name: Kovaleinen is KO-vull-LIE-nen. I honestly didn't have any idea how his name was pronounced.
I am amazed watching the pit stops. Even the ones the announce team call "slow" sure end up being blazing fast to my eyes. Those guys must spend ridiculous amounts of time practicing.
UPDATE: The place where Sutil crashed looks a bit scary. He wasn't really in much danger; his speed was low when he hit. But he hit the wall about 10 feet to the right of a blunt face. Had he been 10 feet to the left, the wall would have been square in front of him, with no place to deflect off to the side.
Lap 34, and Vettel has already pitted, and he's got a 10 second lead.
What I don't know about this stuff; but to my uneducated eye, this is a really good track.
And I think I just saw the "pass of the race", Bottas passing Gutierrez.
UPDATE: Advertisement: Agent Smith is taking over our healthcare system. Explains a lot, doesn't it?
UPDATE: Part of the advertising time is reserved for local stations. When we hit one of those, the webcast just says "Coverage will return shortly." You'd think they'd sell "web-only" ad slots, but they didn't.
Most of the communications between the pits and drivers is in English, even when the driver is not a native English speaker.
But they talk to Alonso in Spanish.
UPDATE: Turn 1 seems to be the preferred place on the track for passing. Which means DRS is important.
I still think it's a hack.
UPDATE: When the on-car cameras pick up some bugs, they have something that slides down and gives you a clear view. I wonder how they do that?
UPDATE: Much to no one's surprise, Vettel wins another one. Apparently this sets a record of "most consecutive wins in a single season."
This seems to be a very safe track. Sutil's crash was the only one, and it wasn't all that violent. Someone did something strange to Gutierrez in the final lap, but all it did was shove him into the grass, after which he drove back onto the track and finished the race.
It also seems to be a good racing track. DRS notwithstanding, the turn 1-2 complex had some good stuff going on. There was one time when someone passed Alonso in turn 1, and he took the position back in turn 2. Part of why that seems possible is that the track is nicely wide the whole distance, and in a couple of places it's even wider. As a result, cars can drive side-by-side without too much problems. On some of the street circuits (Monaco) that simply isn't possible.
As the race goes on, you can see the "preferred line" develop because of wear on the pavement and rubber being laid down. The preferred line looks shiny and bright. But there was one place where the preferred line changed as the race went on. No one was driving on the shiny part. I think that must have been because the cars were lighter, due to fuel consumption.
UPDATE: I thought I would get bored and eventually stop watching, but that was actually pretty cool.
UPDATE: Vettel burned some circles out past the edge of turn 1. He did that last time, too, and they hit him with a fine. I wonder if he'll be fined again?
November 05, 2013
I just watched a trailer for a movie that's coming out for Christmas, "47 Ronin". It's serious vandalism that approaches sacrilege.
It stars Keanu Reeve, for one thing. According to this, he's playing a haafu. Obviously there wasn't any such person in the real event. (This happened during the Shogunate, when only samurai were permitted to have weapons. No half-breed would have been considered samurai, except for the descendants of William Adams. And no samurai would have knowingly accepted a non-samurai as a fighting companion.)
They also loaded it up with magic and mystical beasts like dragons. The special effects look really good, but. But.
The actual genuine legend on which the film is loosely based doesn't need all that junk. And it doesn't include any token gaijin. About 300 years ago, a daimyo assaulted a court official, and was ordered to commit seppuku. That left his retainers as ronin. 47 of them spent 2 years planning revenge, killed the court official, and then they all in turn committed seppuku in front of their master's grave.
The story is romantic because of the dedication of the 47 to their duty and to their master, and it's been adapted to all kinds of entertainment countless times. Plus the fact that this was a real event.
October 20, 2013
By the way, I'm not sure I even want to know what this game is about.
October 17, 2013
October 03, 2013
September 11, 2013
This is truly awesome. Someone cut a modern-style trailer for Monty Python and the Holy Grail and made it seem like a straight Hollywood thriller with no comedy.
One thing I find amazing is that tools to do this kind of editing have become so cheap and widespread that someone with this kind of talent can do something like this, sitting at his home computer.
August 16, 2013
August 07, 2013
Did you know that Puella Magi Madoka Magica is actually about the struggle of girls against the patriarchy?
August 06, 2013
I just figured something out about the "Sand" story they're currently telling in Penny Arcade.
June 21, 2013
Is Pixar bleeding talent?
I just read that their three most recent films don't have the old magic. Two of them were sequels (or prequels) and two of them flopped. When Disney bought the place, I wondered if it was the end of the miracle machine. And now it seems it is.
Lasseter seems to have his mind on other things. And based on his CV, it looks like Brad Bird no longer works there. (Which would be a huge loss; Bird was responsible for The Incredibles and Ratatouille.)
When you acquire a place like that, there are material assets (i.e. the software, the rendering farm, the library of releases) which have value, but looking forward the primary value is the talent. But that can easily be a wasting asset if you handle it wrong. It doesn't take too much to set off a stampede for the door, and then the talent is gone.
Did that happen, (partially or fully)?
UPDATE: Speaking of that, seems like the same thing happened when Disney acquired Henson. The magic is gone there, too.
48 queries taking 0.081 seconds, 156 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.