Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Demo Day and The Simpsons Movie

Guess what? I'm back! This won't be a standard post though, because it's too late for me to do one of those. I didn't think it would take 11 days for me to post again, but apparently I was wrong. Yes, I was actually working all those days, even in the evenings, and I used my spare time mostly to rest and work out. It all paid off though as today was my day to present to the organization include our VP. Check out the view from the meeting room:

The room was packed; people were even standing up. We had 10 intern presentations to get through in under 2 hours, and mine was third to last. I spent a good part of yesterday working on it, and practiced it this morning to the point of memorization. For those of you who don't know, my project was to add predictions to Amazon's logs for geographical location and then use that to visualize our traffic and revenues geographically with various dimensions and filters and such involved, including per capita and relative percentage views. So it was a huge amount of effort, and went right down to the level of state maps. I wish I could show you guys, but I'm 99% sure that I would get sued for that so I'm not going to. I had planned out the entire demo so that everything I showed has a use case on the side of marketing and advertising groups, and the crowd seemed to love it. I worked in as much humor as I could (my favorite was viewing trends in Women's Swimwear because I know nothing about women), and I got more laughs than any of the other interns did. It was scary and exciting all at once, then just a flood of relief when I was done. All the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) really paid off when I got to this point:

I won most creative solution! That's very exciting because that means that people higher than my manager were impressed with my work, which is a really humbling experience. Plus, the audience seemed really engaged with my demo, and fortunately I did not suffer demo-itis. Now that it's over I can take a breather and get back to playing guitar and such and prepare to see my girlfriend again very soon, which is even more exciting than all this.

Enough about that though, I also saw The Simpsons Movie tonight (UT intern event), and so I thought I'd go ahead and give my thoughts on that. I was quite impressed with it. I assumed it would because the show had taken a turn for the worst in recent years and making a movie seemed like they were just trying to exploit the series. The basic plot is that the pollution in Springfield has reached critical mass and Homer ends up foiling a clean-up effort, which leads the government to put a big bubble around Springfield and eventually destroy it. This is actually one of the few comedies nowadays where they don't put the best scenes in the trailer, so there's still plenty more to enjoy when you see the film. The humor is witty as in the old episodes, and almost never takes things too far, unlikely some of the more conventional comedies nowadays. The only drawback is that some of the characters are strange from how the series used to be (like Bart being sentimental all of a sudden), but that's not really a big deal. The animation is crisp and even better to look at than the series is, so no issues there. I highly recommend this film with a B+ just because I feel hesitant to give an A to a movie that had little substance an was more about jokes than anything else. There's nothing wrong with that, but an A movie it does not make. If you're a fan of the series, definitely run out and see this.

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