Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tintin and Action Fatigue

Tintin is great, Steven Spielberg really is a master of his craft. They managed to make a modern movie that's still true to the comic, except they cut out all the racism. Probably a good thing.

My one problem with the movie is action fatigue. I felt like we should have already come to the end of the climax, only to find that what I thought was the climax was only an entertaining diversion, and there's an entirely separate climax that's even longer. By the end, I'm just tired of all the crazy stuff that's happened.

I think this happens more nowadays because of the huge budgets that movies get. If Peter Jackson wants to have a fully CGI chase scene in King Kong that goes on for 40 minutes, he can do that without going over budget. By the end, I'm not going to care what happens to them, I'm just waiting to take a break from all the craziness.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Yellow Lights

I ran two yellow lights today.

I think neither would get me in trouble if there had been a policeman watching, but the first was stretching it a little bit. I've never run a yellow light thinking, "I need to get through here because I'm in a hurry," I think that attitude is extremely dangerous and leads to traffic collisions. I only run lights because I can't stop in time to stay out of the intersection, which is my understanding of what the yellow light means.

I think if you talk to 10 people, you'll get 5 different meanings for a yellow light. People in general don't know what the laws that effect them actually say. Traffic law in particular seems to be a haven for folklore; a friend of mine insists that it's not illegal to exceed the speed limit if you're traveling at the "speed of traffic", that is, the general speed of the cars around you.

Anyway, does anyone have a rule of thumb for approaching green lights that are bound to change to a yellow any second now? I've been trying to think to myself, "I'm going to stop unless I get to that point up ahead", when I remember to, but it's an awkward system.

I wish we had the traffic lights I've heard other countries have, where the light actually changes in appearance as it approaches a change.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Crazy Old Guy

I was bemused to talk to a crazy old man today. He's from some other country, not great with English, and very insistent that he not buy anything made in China, apparently because of his disapproval of their one-child policy.

In our conversation, he shook my hand at least three times, saluted me twice, and read the lines in my hand to read my future. I think people may be annoyed by people like that, but I find it charming.