Mild Dermatographia



Review: Hyperion

review
I loved the idea of an unkillable alien god. Unfortunately, the Shrike alone was unsufficient to carry the novel. I was okay with some of the stories in the anthology, but others were just bland. I gave up part-way through the Consul’s story, as I was bored out of my mind and didn’t want to go through another slog for what I understood was a cliff-hanger ending. I enjoyed some of the stories, such as the priest’s and the poet’s, but as they progressed, I found myself less and less engaged with the novel. Read more...

Review: Dune (The Movie)

review
My partner told me this movie was too long and slow for their taste. I loved it; for the most part, it was pondorous, monolithic, and dripping with atmosphere, letting the gorgeous set-pieces, sound design and soundtrack, costume design, and special effects take front stage. I thoroughly enjoyed the world Frank Herbert built and Denis Villeneuve and his team brought to life. The sci-fi elements are a beautiful blend of furutism, industrialism, and straight-up witchcraft. Read more...

Review: Interstellar

review
Honestly, didn’t live up to the hype. The one shot of the ship going through the wormhole was super cool, the shots of the black hole were kind of underwhelming, and the rest was just meh. I watched Ad Astra a couple years ago, and “person left alone in a remote location who is secretly evil” feels like an overused trope at this point. I didn’t actually finish the movie; I got to the point where he tries communicating with his daughter and turned it off. Read more...

Review: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

review
Quick foreword: I have a huge backlog of movies, books, and comics to add reviews to before I forget ever having read/watched them, so apologies in advance for the review spam. Right, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. 5/5, I loved this movie. It takes a bunch of classic concepts and executes them flawlessly. Parental unwillingness to accept their children for deviating from the norms of their time, a child’s rejection of their parents antiquity, loss of passion, regretting one’s major life decisions, and more. Read more...

Review: The Goblin Emperor

review
I recently finished The Goblin Emperor and found it… good? It definitely didn’t blow my mind, but what I think it wanted to do (be a hybrid coming-of-age/palace-politics story), it did well. I’m afraid this review won’t be very clever, because I was merely whelmed by this book. Some random notes: The use of traditional fantasy races (goblins and elves) feels lazy; they’ve existed for centuries, why not do something new? Read more...

Macbook Air M1

software
My 1st gen surface book became nigh unusable in September 2021 after maybe 4 years of use; the keyboard would continuously disconnect from the tablet (I presume because a loose fit and the pins losing their connection), the screen has some major burn-in issues, the battery life had dropped to almost nothing, and the CPU would struggle to achieve anything. I imagine all this, minus the keyboard issues, were caused by me using it pretty heavily for CAD, programming, and occasional gaming; I get the impression it was never designed to sustain high loads for long periods of time, despite its purported productivity pedigree. Read more...

Review: Impermanence - Abbey Road Version by Architects

review
I found this song and was immediately torn. I figure it’s both worth sharing and criticizing heavily, so without further ado: The Good Bringing in an orchestra for this song was a brilliant decision. The strings are emotional and sweeping, the brass is powerful with wonderfully dark downward slide at some points, the bells(?) are such a great touch for the breakdown. Sam pulls out some disgusting low growls that really should have made it on to the original recording. Read more...

Is There a Truth to Idiocracy?

misc
Idiocracy is the tale of an average man who is cryogenically frozen for 500 years and awakens in a future where he is the smartest person alive. The logic for how the world got to such a point is that smart people stopped reproducing and idiots didn’t. While the film has been cricticized for such a simplistic take on evolution and intelligence (see this xkcd comic for a quick summary), it does raise some less simplistic/one-dimensional questions: is there less evolutionary pressure to reduce/block certain genetic traits, and if so, will that lack of pressure result in an increase in traits which were previously culled? Read more...

Don't Look Up

misc
I watched Don’t Look Up over Christmas and, while I thoroughly enjoyed it from a cinematic perspective, found that it was probably more mastubatory than revolutionary. Myself and those who I watched it with nodded our heads at the empassioned speeches, laughed at the flagrant real-life stand-ins, and lamented how cynical yet accurate the movie is to the current climate crisis. We finished the movie, felt a vague sense of moral superiority for being in-tune with the dismal state of the universe, and promptly moved on with our lives. Read more...

Things I Want to Do

life
I’m still massively naive and optimistic, so here’s a list of things I’d like to do at some point or another (or at least take a shot at), in no particular order. Maybe I’ll turn it into a living documente like the hiking doc at some point. Build my own legged (quadruped) robot a-la-Boston Dynamics Spot/ANYbotics ANYmal Build a torso-mounted robot I can co-drum with Write my own CAD software (or at least a super basic one) Join a band Learn how to sing properly Write a book. Read more...
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