mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Well that is a pretty bad signal, it turns out. Eight years ago I posted that I was worried about Hewlett-Packard due to them putting on some commercials that did not actually promote any particular product, but were just vague "HP brings you nanotechnology" spots. This one, N is for nanotechology is one of the ones I was talking about. But looking back now on the performance of HP since then it seems like it was a very poor predictor of the success of HP. Now, this year, they are taking a big fall and losing there direction, but that is an awful long time between prediction and result. So I think that the vague "we're cool" ads are not as good of a signal of what a company is doing as I thought. Looking at HP stock price they only stumbled a bit in the year after I posted about that advertisement.

Too bad... it would have been a useful thing to be able to point to.
mishalak: Mishalak with short hair wearing a blue shirt and looking upwards. (Blue)
Huh. I just had a more or less crazy idea. Could a semipermeable membrane be used to separate carbon dioxide from an atmosphere at a low energy cost? If so it might be possible to build a system using specialized unicellular algae or cyanobacteria that would be more efficient at using sunlight under high CO2 conditions that would be the first step in a really permanent sequestering system.

I could see using something like this in a science fiction story. Perhaps not as the total solution for global warming, but something that people in the future are doing as part of the fight against global warming.
 
mishalak: Mishalak wearing a furry hat in front of snowy pines. (SnowII)
Well of snarkiness would be more accurate, but not as good sounding. I recently worked it out using a calculator. Which gave me a slightly different result than when I tried to do it in my head yesterday. But 11574.0741 Days = One Billion Seconds, More Or Less. Adding up the numbers of days, leap seconds, allowing for DST, and so on that tells me that I will have been around for one billion seconds on CE 2008 December 19th at 9:46:21am Mountain Standard Time. (If you want to do a rough estimate of when you'll have a billion or two billion that is 31 years eight months from my birth, with a bit left over.)

I was hopeful it would fall this year so I could have a big silly boffo party 'round about June. But it won't be for a bit and it comes in the morning. Bah on that. Well I'll just say I didn't become EVIL for a full twelve hours after that. So Friday December 19th there will be a party in the evening. Glad I worked that out early. And I'll need a new EVIL icon for my journal before then.

Right. But now that it is less than two months out it is time for me to start thinking about how I will or will not celebrate by natal day. Because I'm going to be 30 this year. Big round number that. BIG round number. Yikes. I think I'll kip off to Hawaii and see my boyfriend for the actual day of. So I'll be gone from April 8th to the 15th. Karval Kon is likely to be around that time, perhaps I shall take cake and beer to that. But I think I should also do something with my friends in town. Not on the Date of DASFA, the 21st. Perhaps on the 28th of the month? How does that work for people who would like to celebrate with me? And I'm thinking there should be TEA. It will be a festivitea to celebrate my nativitea.
mishalak: Mishalak with long hair and modified so as to look faded. (Faded Photo)
Hello BBC,

I have read about plans to include advertisements on the BBC Website. I love the BBC's coverage of the news and would be worried that advertisements might lead to the same dilution of quality and timidity that characterizes American commercial reporting. Also I find most advertisements with their moving images an annoyance when I am trying to read, particularly the flash pop over ones. (I've avoided installing flash for that very reason and I would drop java as well if I could.¹)

I wonder if you might consider allowing foreigners to purchase a subscription to the BBC online. Even if it was as much as a license fee of ~$260 a year I would consider it money well spent, particularly if it meant that I then had access to BBC television programing from a legitimate source.

Yours,
M. Mishalak

¹ If anyone reading my journal knows of a better way to manage java on firefox, do write to me. I would dearly love to deny the use of java to all websites except for google/gmail.
mishalak: Mishalak reading a colorful book. (Reading Now)
I'm going to post this later on [livejournal.com profile] worldcons once I have the kinks in my wording and my ideas throughly worked out.

[livejournal.com profile] thirdworld has a post where he talks about a common Worldcon Image. Many people there comment that a common logo or image would be a good idea. Though a fair number, including [livejournal.com profile] kevin_standlee, think that many of the regular attendees of the Business Meeting and the seated/perspective Worldcon committees would not stand for it. He points out that the only time Worldcons do things the same way twice is when someone from a previous con returns to the same position elsewhere and that Worldcon committees jealously guard their prerogatives to show off local talent or otherwise do things their way.

Lots of words and a 500x500 image behind cut )

Conclusions: I have not got any yet. This is an idea that should percolate a while on the various fan groups and lists. Find out how many people would be against having an icon in abstract and then how many people object when actual ideas are floated. Maybe suggest to the Denvention committee that this should be considered as an additional item to be voted on in 2008. Just to select something that might be voted on.

Further note: This might not need to be written into the constitution. It just needs to be a standing suggestion much like the validation of Worldcon site selection ballots as they come in rather than all at once right before the counting.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
The idea that Colorado (note, this is coming from outside Denver) ought to do a Worldcon. So I'm going to have some thoughts about this for the next couple days.

So I'm looking for some locals interested in starting a con for relaxation. A relaxicon. This is not a new idea, but I've got an idea that might be a bit different than what has been tried before.

The Front Range Geek Calendar:
Mid January: COSine (science fiction)
Mid February: Genghis Con (gaming)
Mid April: Starcon (trek)
Mid May: Opus (we don't know)
Late August: Taticon (gaming)
Mid September: Nan Desu Kan (anime)
Late October: MileHiCon (science fiction)

Obviously the calendar is pretty full. But the way Opus is being run currently I expect there to be a vacancy in the future. Plus it is a totally different market. Opus is more a drum circle and crystal healing sort of crowd. Barely in the fannish spectrum and they are a for profit enterprise from what I've heard, so I don't expect them to be around after this year. And I don't expect to start a con until 2005 at the very earliest. Just to talk about it.

I am inspired by Karvel Kon, Rose's annual trek to Limon Colorado. I think that this could work as a mandatory participation event. Because that isn't scalable to have one big group of people my idea is to create lots of little party crews. To be a member of the con you must belong to one of the crews doing something for the con. Each crew would get a room themselves or with another crew and throw a party at least one night or do one of the other con functions like getting a little newsletter together. People showing up at the door can try to join a crew then or join one of the newbie crews with some nice personable people to introduce them to the concept of the con.

People who've been around are part of whatever crew they want (if that crew wants, each crew sets its own rules, it just has to get its job done however it wants). Though after a while it might be good to shake up the crews and make sure they don't get too set in their ways.

If the rates are good and the crews are interested we might not hold it in Denver. In fact Rose suggests that it would be best to get outside town a bit so people won't go home and kill the life of the con.

This would be my preferred way to create a base of people who have experience with at least running a scale model convention before we even talk of doing a Westercon or a Worldcon. As has been suggested that Colorado ought to get together and do.

Bad Signs

Sep. 25th, 2003 08:22 pm
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Snark)
I worry about companies that start advertising with no apparent reason, no product to promote. Especially if it is eye candy and feel good sorts of things. Like the Enron we're changing the energy world commercials without any apparent point. We all know what happened to them. Or the AT&T commercials about science fiction possibilities like paying tolls without slowing down. And the company that will bring it to you? AT&T, who later had to restate their earnings.

So now Hewlett Packard is doing commercials about vague nano technology promises. Should we be worried?

I'm going to bed soon, big headache and still stuffed up.

Sky Routes

Sep. 24th, 2003 12:00 pm
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
An Open Letter to the Colorado Department of Transportation on Alternatives to Improve Traffic to Summit County

Okay back into politics, sort of. This is the sort of local issue that is important and can be influenced by people here in Colorado. Currently we are faced with the problem of providing transportation too and from Summit County and the ski areas located there and further west in Eagle County. There are proposals to widen Interstate 70 from Golden to Glenwood Springs, to add a monorail, and various incremental and full steps.

Highway Geekery )
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
One last thing before I sleep. I had a notion the other week that next year at MileHiCon I would produce a program called "Now You Don't Have to See the Movie" or something like that. It would consist of the one good scene from lots of bad movies. It might not be literally true that these movies were unmatchably bad, but there are a lot of beautiful moments in otherwise pretty mediocre movies. Here is my list so far:
Movies )
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
So Here are my favorite speculative fashion movies. This has nothing to do with logic or authenticity, though I do give filmmakers kudos for that. This is all about what I think looks cool.

Dune · Lush, beautiful, fantastic. I was fascinated by outfit worn by Feyd, it looked like interlocking rings of metal or something. Also the dresses worn by Lady Jessica, very nice. Not to mention the look of the stillsuits. They should have been some other color if they wanted to be logical, medium grey I would think, but visually they were great! So I don't care that it didn't make sense.

Farscape · I loved the look of Farscape a lot. Especially the look of the peacekeepers with their strapped closed vests rather than using snaps or buttons. They use all these different fabrics, often a bit distressed, but ever so cool. The fact that John Crichton walks around in vinyl pants all the time doesn't hurt either.

The Fifth Element · Bad movie, interesting costuming. I rather doubt we are going towards the dress made out of straps, since it would be uncomfortable temperature wise most of the time. I prefer watching this movie with sound off since the plot is useless. I like the comic book like look of the movie.

Sleepy Hollow · Wow I loved the costuming in this. I mean the way clothing would subtlety shine; I loved that. I think it was well dyed silk with stitching of a darker color over in the case of the blue dress worn by Miranda Richardson. Also if I remember correctly there was a sort of shimmer to the scale looking armor or vest that the Headless Horseman wore, though that might have just been in the film process. In general I loved the goth take on early 19th century clothing.

Star Trek · Okay ignore the fact that the women were in mini-skirts straight out of the 1960s for a minute. Otherwise I thought the costuming in original trek quite clever for the budget. It made a fair amount of sense to have people in simple sleek outfits on a starship. Though at times they had trouble with the rest of their logic. The bright primary colors made a very nice visual statement. Also a nod to the Klingon costumes in Next Gen. They are nice visually though in a way I wish that we'd had Klingons wearing more modern looking armor. They may be barbarians, but they are technologically adept. I can't get away from the idea of them wearing light power armor that I had years ago.

Star Wars · Perfect costuming. Well thought out with dust, grim, and wear. Not a huge amount of logic, but hey they did better than so many other space opera movies. The stormtrooper armor is a visual icon, they look very scary, like modern skeletal warriors come to overwhelm you. And Darth Vader? Woha. I'm amazed every time I see this movie again how well it holds up despite the years since it came out. Unlike certain other movies that I loved when first released but don't care for now (like Dark City).

Now what have I left out?

Silly Tees

Aug. 4th, 2003 11:51 pm
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
I was thinking tonight that I would like a dark dark green tee shirt, almost black. With white writing with just a touch of green saying something silly in standard old computer text.

Queer
[Blame the Internet]

Corrupted by the 'net.

Online no one knows you're a cat with a keyboard.

Technology,
bringing you wonderous new ways to argue about religion, guns, and sex.

Sexuality
Straight/Bi/Gay? > G

Me and my terribe ideas before bed.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Okay I was too busy to write anything today. I worked 12 hours and I'm going to bed as soon as possible. But I figured I should put up something more than me complaining about how much I work. So here is something I worked on for a while but didn't end up posting to RASFF.

One of the more disappointing aspects of science fiction on the big screen is the trouble with futuristic fashion. Things like futuristic weapons are far easier to fake since extrapolating what they could be like in the future is relatively straightforward and the props don't need to produce effects. On the other hand fashion is a boundary point between technology and society. Extrapolating what attitudes towards what is attractive and desirable is not an easy task in the first place.

Also unlike with, say, a fake raygun a prop item of clothing will often need to come much closer to the actual properties of the futuristic clothing. Most of the time. A notable example where this was not the case was the fremen stillsuits in Dune. They didn't serve to protect the actors against the heat on the sands or save water, but that was overcome by not showing the actors needing lots of breaks in the shade and lots of water.

But let's say the effect of the imagined garment is more obvious. Like a club tee that glows or even a coat covered in tiny LEDs to produce shifting patterns and shapes. That's might just be possible with computer graphics, but it is going to be a huge amount of work for something that might not be a big visual pay off. But I suspect that in the future (say ten years away) such things will be common club wear.

What is fashionable, what is worn in a given period is often very dependent upon new technology. The simple tee shirt needed a fabric with lots of give to it and so it didn't happen until light knit fabric became common. On today's dress shirts we often see a color shift made possible through new dyes and fabrics, could a movie from the 1960s have recreated this effect early? Doubtful.

What has worked out fairly well is taking old fashion and giving it modern twists. For example David Lynch's Dune where everyone was running around in Italian Renassance and 19th century military uniforms when they weren't in stillsuits. This gave the setting a fantastic feeling of reality in my opinion. Unlike the mess of Sci-Fi's Dune where the outfits managed to look very fake and not right for the setting at all. The hand crafted feel of the first worked much better in my opinion.

This also works out fairly well logically since looking at current human fashion there are frequent uses of older styles in new ways and not everything worn is totally cutting edge. Though it is interesting to note that formal and business fashion seem stuck right now. The black and business ties seem here to stay for a while. With variations.

This entry inspired by a posting in rec.arts.sf.fandom.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
I ate a peach last night before bed. It was a truly beautiful fruit and while I slept I dreamed that was making a shirt from cloth like peach skin. It was a little bit velvety and slithered about on the sewing machine. The color was the same as a peach as well, a pinkish orange with brushes here and there of a rich red. The dream fragmented and made less sense as it went along, but I remember that I was wearing jeans that I had made as well. Instead of being flat there was a pouch in the crotch, nothing extreme, just enough to make them more comfortable like well made underwear. I doubt that I could find this perfect peach cloth to make a shirt, especially one as cool as the one in my dreams, but I might consider making myself some PG-13 jeans like I wore last night while dancing away from demons.

I have had other dreams about fantastic clothing. And daydreams as well. One of my favorites is of a comfortable short sleeved shirt, like a Hawaiian, but with a narrow turned up collar to protect the neck a bit from the intense mountain sunlight. The print would be Coloradan things like scattered gold aspen leaves on the forest floor and pale yellow sunsets over dusky purple mountains. Maybe a prairie field with our light grasses and lots of bright orange Indian Paintbrush under a dark blue high plains sky.

More unlikely was the tie with the moving drips of black ink, but that's starting to cross over from fantasy clothing to just plain magic. Slightly more feasible (but not much) was the tee shirt made of some sort of fiber optic plastic such that the whole thing glowed from light poured into it from the edge by a LED.

I guess all this shows the kind of obsession I have with clothes, eh?
 

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