Friday, April 08, 2005

My First Texas Revue

That was an awesome show! It started a half an hour late though so it ended around 10:30PM, but luckily I didn't have anything pressing to do last night aside from studying for my Latin quiz. For those of you who are clueless, Texas Revue is a university-wide talent show that takes place every year on South Mall and then there's an encore at Bass Concert Hall where the winners are announced. We were able to vote after the show for who we thought was the best, and I had to vote for the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA). It was abundantly clear how much effort went into their dancing skit (not a musical, just a skit expressed by body motions) thing and thought the music conked off in the middle it was really fun to watch. Runner up in my mind was the Potheads, which was a group of people who cleverly beat on different objects and got a really cool rhythm going followed by a fight between two guys covered in pots. I have a few honorable mentions, however. I was quite impressed by this guy:

Nice guitar

What is it about a guitar that makes someone just look cooler? I don't play to look cool because that's obviously far out of reach, but it takes a lot of spirit and dedication to play guitar and I respect how much heart he put into his performance. I'm still working to exhibit that kind of talent. There were actually two Indian acts representin' at the show: one was Dirty South Dandiya, which did an Indian dance to a mixed track with some Texan pride in it, and the other was Hum-A-Capella, who reminded me very much of Penn Masala and did a great job. The only act at the show that I didn't think was very good was the OA band because one girl failed miserably at mimicking Mariah Carey's great voice. Yes, I'm a fan of hers; deal with it.

The nerd news for today isn't too shabby. For the first time today, a spammer has been sentenced to jail, 9 years to be exact. Though the punishment is harsh, it's hard to have sympathy for someone who makes money off of annoying people. There was another scandal in the news though: employees of an Indian call center used confidential information to transfer 3.5 lakhs for their personal use. Trust me, that's a lot of money for Indians, and it just goes to show that outsourcing is by no means perfect so you get what you pay for. Watch now as I weave seamlessly into the similar field of security where Microsoft is leaning towards a better user permissions system for Longhorn. Unlike XP, it'll make it harder for hackers to exploit administrator permissions and make it easier for lower users to do common tasks. But M$ couldn't stop there, so it is also helping track down child pornographers for free by allowing law enforcement officials use some open source software that can easily link information together to catch perpetrators. I've got to applaud them for this because child rape is unacceptable and must be harshly punished. There's another cool computer program being developed at the University of Missouri that helps teachers grade essays. I had actually heard about something similar to this a couple of years ago, and it's an amazing advance in the field of education. If it ever gets to the mainstream it would help so many high school students write better. And lastly, there's a cool flash movie over here about the future of the internet as a result of Google's efforts as personalization and consolidation. It's kinda long but quite interesting.

Today's movie news is actually longer than yesterday's. I ran into the Japanese trailer for War of the Worlds and thought I'd share it because it's a good amount cooler than ours was. Another new trailer was for a foreign zombie flick called Undead for all you horror junkies. The last good zombie movie I saw was 28 Days Later so let's see how good this one is. Horror junkies can also anticipate a third Final Destination movie from the original director, which I won't get too worked about. Maybe I shouldn't, but I have some hope for A Lot Like Love because it features Amanda Peet and Kal Penn are in it. Anyway, there are a couple of clips you can check out here if you're also interested in it. In Bond news, Demi Moore is currently being taken under consideration to be the villain in Casino Royale. I think she's a tad overrated though and so I'm not too thrilled about that. News has also arrived that Orlando Bloom will not be in any future Bond movie, which I had mentioned a while ago. He will be in two sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean so keep your eyes peeled for those. There's yet another WWII movie in the works now, but this time it's actor/director duo George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, who is also working on the aesthetically badass A Scanner Darkly. Lastly, there are some new posters for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that you can scope out here. I think they did a good job with the casting, especially Charlie:

Now THAT is a Charlie

Just a couple of quick things to take note of before I conclude. Half-Life 2 fans can rejoice in the development of an expansion pack. Details are ambiguous but it supposedly will still follow Alyx and Gordon. New Scientist ran a cool feature about the ten greatest evolutions of life that analyzes the most important, and fascinating, parts of our natural world.

I decided to try the Four for Friday meme today:

Q1: Do you think cities should be allowed to use eminent domain to seize property for private business development?
Definitely not seize. They should be able to bid for it and buy it like anyone else would.

Q2: Do you think illegal immigrants should be allowed to receive a driver's license? What about presenting a photo ID when casting a ballot... are you in favor of this idea?
I don't think giving illegal immigrants a license is a good idea because they're here illegally! My parents came here totally legally by sponsorship and there are other ways to get into this country legally after all. I don't think it's fair for them to reap the fruits that we pay for through taxes, and giving them a license legitmizes their status. I'm in favor of the photo ID idea because it just makes good sense.

Q3: What kind of impact has Pope John Paul II's death had on you since he passed away last Saturday? What kind of an impact did the Pope have on you while he was alive?
None really. I never really felt much for him because he was just some guy far away who decided on Church doctrines and stuff. He didn't affect me much except for releasing that stuff from the vault to the exhibit that came through Houston, which was really cool. I don't have anything against him, his death just didn't affect me.

Q4: If you knew for certain that it would extend your life expectancy by 8 years, would you reduce your daily caloric intake by 30%?
No way. I don't eat that much as it is anyway so there's no way I want to live another 8 years less satiated by food. It would probably cause me to lose even more weight, too, and I wouldn't gain muscle.

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