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Rats in the News (and Other Stories) [Feb. 15th, 2006|01:01 pm]
Rats Learn While Resting - The brain appears to learn by replaying neuron signals during rest periods after an activity. This may explain why breaks are useful when learning some new task. The weird bit? The brain replays the neural activity in reverse!

Everyone Enjoys a Good Rat - It's a culinary article. You can pretty much infer the rest. But in Cambodia, rat meet is appreciated as being both tasty and nutritious; it's popularity has been increasing in recent years.


Top 10 Sci-Fi Films That Never Were - Interesting look at failures in the sci-fi genre. I don't agree with all of the analysis (I thought the Hitchhiker's Guide movie was a pretty decent interpretation) but it's a fun read.

Interview with Eckert - One of the co-creators of the ENIAC and modern computing. It's important to remember that ENIAC was more than a calculator; it was the first programmable electronic computer. Fascinating stuff!

[User Picture]From: porsupah
2006-02-15 10:20 pm (UTC)
Of course, the Matrix 2 & 3 do exist as the much more compact The Matrix: Dezionized - apparently exactly what it says, with most (all?) of the scenes set in Zion excised. I've yet to watch it, I'll admit. ^_^; Certainly, the pacing of the sequels came as quite a shock, given the tight editing of the first film - but, the Wachowskis seemed to buy into their own hype, and let the movie become flabby in the process.

I actually liked Alien3. It provided a good contrast against its predecessor, which - despite being a great action flick - wound up concluding that if one Alien was scary, a thousand must be terrifying. Gone was the risk of everything being eaten away by their blood, now little more dangerous than a spilled Coke.

CGI scourge? Not at all! It's all about the director. LotR wasn't a success because it used oodles of CGI, but because it told a story on an epic scale, and told it engagingly. It's Lucas' fault, plain and simple. (Still, I should watch Ep.III before condemning the opening films. Indeed, I quite warmed to Ep.II, with the political intrigue mounting up, unseen to almost everyone)

And I'd still love to see the Chanur or Spellsinger sagas on the big screen - with CGI, that'd actually be feasible. I admit, all the same, I'd love to see the lead characters realised with prosthetics, for that feeling that they really existed, even if with a lot more effort than the characters themselves took. :)
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-02-16 01:01 am (UTC)
As I said, I don't wholly agree with the article, but it's fun reading.

I think that the CGI scourge is that directors see it as an easy solution. You can very easily create something unrealistic. Making it all seem realistic is the tricky part. But CGI still cannot totally replace physical objects -- but it's getting very, very close.

The Spellsinger saga could so totally be a movie! I would love to see that.
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[User Picture]From: furahi
2006-02-16 04:18 am (UTC)
Rats are tasty, huh?
Don't mind if I bite you next time we meet, It's the kitty within =P
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-02-16 05:13 pm (UTC)
"The One isn't real. It was just another form of control." is the new "Luke, I am your father.", just not as catchy or recognized as such. It was supposed to be the huge jawdropper that everyone would speak of forever

My problem with that (and with many elements in the Matrix sequels) is that it had no impact on the story. It was very dramatic but it had no dramatic consequences. We learn that Neo was not predestined, which makes his accomplishments real; we learn that Neo cannot escape.

But to what end? Neo continues acting exactly as he did before. He brushes past this obstacle without consequences and we don't see the architect again until the denouement. So... what was the point? Neo had no character growth from that. Neo did not overcome a real challenge. Neo just continued to fly and shoot people.

Those movies really deserved better writing.
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[User Picture]From: marko_the_rat
2006-02-16 08:47 am (UTC)
In relation to the first link, I guess that explains why students sleep in so much?
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[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2006-02-16 11:51 am (UTC)

Sci-Fi Films That Never Were

As for me, I completely agree with his take on the Hitchhiker's Guide movie. I didn't laugh. I don't think I laughed even once.
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