Monday, March 20, 2006
End of Spring Break and Southern Hospitality
I've been confined to the shackles of glasses for the past 12 years, and I've been ready to break free for a few years now. As you can see, my parents finally decided to foot the bill for me to get a pair of contacts, and I look quite a bit different. Admittedly, I look horrible there because the smiling makes me cheekbones pop out, and glasses have left dark patches under my eyes, but they really do look good in real life as you'll see in the future, no doubt. This is a big deal for me because it's the last step in a physical transformation I planned years ago, and now I just have to work on my cluttering and I'll have to fight off the ladies with a stick (theoretically). Call it shallow if you want, but I feel much more normal without glasses. So spring break is over now with contacts and a new camera in hand, and I probably could've gotten more done over the break, but I was pretty lazy and did what I felt was convenient (hence the homework sessions last night in place of posting). On my first day back for classes I witnessed something I've never really discussed before: people just being nice. Our bus this morning was crowded and I was standing among a few others, and midway through our trip a guy fainted. He seemed pretty puzzled about it and someone gave him a chair and the girl who was sitting next to that seat took care of him by talking to him about it and giving him some food and asking for water. A few minutes later, he started convulsing so she got him some more food and water and worked with the ladies around them to fan him and try to keep him conscious until we got to campus (which was like a mile away from that point). I guess it just seems like good sense to do all that, but she really showed a lot of care and concern for a perfect stranger, and others did as well (to a lesser extent, granted). I've heard that up north (especially in the New England area) people aren't nearly so nice. I guess that's one of the things you can love about Texas: people really are friendly. That's one of the things I'll probably miss sorely when I leave Texas someday.
Unless your parents are really in tune with technology, you've probably had them ask you several questions about how to use their phone (or they have one of those old, simple ones). The solution to this problem would be the Motorola C116, except that it's so cheap that they don't even sell it in the U.S.! I think that really sucks because there are low-income families here who could use that as well as older people. Being in Houston this break I clearly missed SXSW, and one of the panels they had was about UI where former designers from Apple and Microsoft spoke about the philosophies and processes at their respective companies. The one thing I took from that was that the former Microsoft employee said that they had ideas at the same time as Apple but just weren't as quick to release them, and it makes them look like copycats though they're really not. I think that we should be less accusative against M$ on copying Apple ideas because this is certainly feasible. If you're more interested in how the OSes differ functionally, you can check out this article comparing the two with Ubuntu (Linux) so that you can give yourself a crash course on their respective strengths and weaknesses. Back to Apple though, Times Online put up a really great look at their history from a design perspective and it's really the history of the company in a nutshell in addition to insightful observations on the aesthetics of their products. It's a good read to celebrate their upcoming anniversary. Microsoft has thrown their hat in the arena of portable gaming with what has speculatively been called an "Xboy" since it's being head up by some of the big players in the Xbox 360 (including J Allard himself). It won't be out before next year for sure, but they're focusing on Xbox-like graphics and long battery life, which will only help if they can price it competitively against the PSP (they won't lure the DS audience, in my opinion). This is running way too long (since I missed the Sunday post) so I'm just going to quickly plug this article talking about how standby power for consumer electronics may not be such a great idea, after all.
Thankfully, V for Vendetta reigned supreme this weekend in the box office with over $26 million (half its budget), though I was really hoping that it would pass $30 million (thought unlikely for R-rated releases). The other chart toppers were expected and She's the Man actually managed to open with $11 million. The real big news for today was the new Da Vinci Code trailer that hit Yahoo! Movies and it looks really good except for the fact that they show one of the big twists in a split second of it so don't watch it too closely if you didn't already read the book. There are mild rumblings of Brett Ratner returning for the Wolverine spinoff movie (from X-men, of course), but I really hope not. If you're really desperate for X3 news you can watch this low quality video feed from ShoWest of some alright scenes. There's a new MI:3 poster out there, but it wasn't exciting enough (or original enough, for that matter) to be worthy of actually putting up here. Some people don't like Brandon Routh much, but I think he'll do just fine as the Man of Steel and Latino Review even sat down for an interview with him. Lastly, ABC has finally decided to try out an idea I thought about months ago: streaming episodes of shows after they air on their site with commercials included. I could totally go for this since I'm rarely at home when many of my favorites air live.
Now for some Monday Madness:
1. When driving in my car, my radio station is usually tuned to _______.
The Mix because the other stations seem to play a lot of teeny bopper pop music. Bob FM is pretty good, too.
2. When I turn my television on, even if I'm not really paying close attention to it, it's usually on channel _____.
Fox here because it syndicates Seinfeld and the Simpsons. In Houston though (where we have cable): Food Network.
3. If I owned a pet, I would own a __________, because ____________.
dog because they're so fun and loving
4. I own a _________ printer. I bought it because ____________.
N/A; I don't own a printer because I just use my room mate's.
5. You can find all kinds of books in my bookshelves, but mostly this type: ________.
Computer-related (hence my major)
6. I take about _____ pictures every month.
N/A; I just got my camera, so we'll work on averages in a few months ;)
7. I blog about _____ times a month.
20-25 times a month, I'd say.
8. I've been really busy ___________ lately.
doing Physics homework (though I managed to actually finish it about an hour ago)