20 August 2006

Eloquent comic

Sometimes abstracted line art can express complex concepts far better than prose.


19 August 2006

Whew! SIGGRAPH 2006 Trip Opus finished

Whew, finally finished off the last of my SIGGRAPH 2006 trip report. Check it out at http://www.stoneschool.com/Work/Siggraph/2006/.

Best of Show:

  • Image Enhancement by Unsharp Masking of the Depth Buffer

  • Single-pass Wireframe Rendering

  • Morphovision

  • 458nm

Cheese on a Plate - ya gotta love it

We went to see Snakes on a Plane Thursday night (opening night) in San Mateo. What a riot! The movie is deliciously cheesy and well aware of that fact, and of course the opening night audience was rockin'. When Samuel L. Jackson's credit came up... the crowd went wild.

It's so fun. The only character that has anything approaching depth is Jackson's; everyone else is, as they say, "straight from Central Casting." The surfer dude; the tough grizzled veteran cop; the geeky "snake expert doctor"; the stewardess out to hook the surfer dude; the veteran stewardess about to retire; the smarmy co-pilot... you know, the people you need to create a cult classic!

Obviously the most remarkable thing about Snakes on a Plane is that they managed to manufacture a cult classic even before it opened. The extensive pre-release information on the internet, the fact that Jackson has been promoting the movie like mad and specifically has been hyping up the over-the-top factor, and the extensive fan sites pretty much have taken it from "upcoming" to cult before the first weekend numbers are even in. I love the fact that the SoaP website has GIF files with pre-created transparency, so you can all the more easily construct your own fan websites with the characters from the movie comped into other scenes.

Snakes on a Plane isn't for young kids - there are really a lot of shots of snakes, and of snakes biting people in some painful places, as well as a sex scene which must have been put in just to make sure they got an R rating. But if you're not bothered by that, sit back and watch the cheese fly. This is entertainment.

13 August 2006

Hakkaisan Honjyozo

Today we tested the best sake yet! True Sake recommended the Hakkaisan Honjyzo and it was the new winner. It's dry, but with quite a bit of bite and taste. It would actually be better as a sipping sake (i.e., not with food), although no doubt some extremly skillful chefs can find some good food to serve with it.

Hakkaisan is the name of the sake brewery (eight-seas-mountain) and the Honjyozo designation means that the sake has had some added distilled alcohol, which obviously gave it some more kick, but it's not clear why that should have given it the extra bite. In any case, highly recommended!