Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Franchise Ring

Mrs. Chaka and I started talking tonight about science-fiction/fantasy franchise crossovers. You know, like how since Star Wars took place a long time ago in a galaxy far away, and time travel happens in every third Star Trek movie, you could have a movie where the Enterprise joins in the attack on the Death Star. (This crossover is Mrs. Chaka's idea. I had not fathomed that such a thing was possible.)

That reminded me that I had heard of a Star Trek/X-Men crossover (apparently what I was thinking of was this comic book). If they did a movie crossover, Patrick Stewart would get to negotiate between the Federation and the X-Men as both Captain Picard and Professor Xavier. That scene makes the whole project worth doing.

And from that point, we tried to connect the cardinal science-fiction and fantasy franchises to each other. Jim Broadbent connects Harry Potter and Narnia; Christopher Lee connects Star Wars to Lord of the Rings . . .

It took some brain-racking (and eventually some help from IMDb), but this is what we came up with:There are other, more marginal franchises we could tack on: Batman, X-Men, Terminator, Pirates of the Caribbean. But they would destroy the symmetry of the above.

Incidentally, several of these franchises to Kingdom of Heaven. I'll let you flesh out the connections in the comments.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Idea for competitive exercise

For two teams of 2 or more players

Equipment: 2 jump ropes, room to run (a 100-meter course would work well)

Object: Be the first team to reach 1000 jumps

Rules: Each team has a jumper and a runner. The jumpers begin doing (single-under) jumps. If either jumper misses, it's a fault, and the runners start sprinting.

Let's say the two teams are called "Legends" and "Leaders". Assuming it was the Legends jumper who faulted, then if the Legends runner loses the sprint, the Legends have to do an extra 100 jumps. If, on the other hand, the Legends runner wins, his team suffers no penalty.

While the runners are sprinting, the jumpers may rest, change jumpers, or continue to jump. If they miss a jump during the sprint, it's not considered a fault, and there are no game effects.

First team to hit 1000 jumps (plus any penalties they've incurred) wins.

If someone can do 1000 single-under jumps without missing, feel free to substitute double-unders.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Computer viruses and the OT

Fascinating story of the computer virus that ground Iran’s nuclear program down to a halt. An excerpt:

“Originally, all eyes turned toward Israel’s intelligence agencies. Engineers examining the worm found “clues” that hinted at Israel’s involvement. In one case they found the word “Myrtus” embedded in the code and argued that it was a reference to Esther, the biblical figure who saved the ancient Jewish state from the Persians. But computer experts say "Myrtus" is more likely a common reference to “My RTUS,” or remote terminal units.”

Myrtus is the genus of the myrtle plant, and Hadassah means “myrtle”. (Which makes me wonder why we don’t just call her Myrtle.)

If I were writing a virus to save the Jews, I’d call it CyRus. (Cyber Rescue Virus)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Phrases from Homer to Incorporate into Daily Conversation

nothing loath (=quickly)
Now tell me, and tell me true . . .
. . . and his armor rang rattling around him as he fell (This one will have to go into the file with "I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin on the mountainside"--someday I will bust this out. Someday. And it will be awesome.)
vouchsafe X to Y
Tell me, O Muse . . .
and while he was thus in two minds . . .
and they put their hands on the good things before them
the blessed boon of sleep
the child of Morning, rosy-fingered Dawn