Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

Only 42 minutes give or take (depending upon showtimes) until the total destruction of...
most of the memories/opinions we've had thus far about
"The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy." The newest, latest incarnation arrives in theaters on April 29th, unless the Earth explodes before then.

So far my opinions have been based on--
*A radio drama (excellent)
*A BBC TV mini-series (very determined attempt to capture the zany essence of the material)
*Several books by Douglas Adams (quite good)

There was also a stage play produced, which I've never experienced.

So much seems to have been influenced by "Hitch Hiker's" (introduced in 1978) perhaps unconsciously:

*The phrase "Resistance is useless!" is first uttered by a Vogon--
meanwhile Patrick Stewart is answering casting calls for "Lifeforce" and "Dune" (circa 1983-84)

*The idea is put forth that Earth is really a "living" computer, with everyone linked for a single purpose--that sounds like "The Matrix"!

*Aliens can be silly ("Explorers", "Galaxy Quest", "MIB", "Futurama"; Jar Jar Binks, not so much)

*Planets can be made to order, such as Earth, and are hand-crafted by artisans ("Time Bandits"--released in 1981, I guess that's considered a tie)

*Low budget+heretical thoughts+bits of naughtiness--sounds like the humble beginning of "South Park"!

*Dolphins are pretty darn smart ("Johnny Mnemonic," anyone?)

The radio drama was so good because the listener provided all the missing visuals. Now everything will be spoon-fed to audiences with the latest computer graphics auto-piloting their imagination.

Perhaps the old memories should go away. Other creative persons have tended to tinker with their creations endlessly (George Lucas) but now Douglas Adams is no longer with us (perhaps he is dining at Milliway's?) Hopefully this version is closest to how he wanted it.

I requested the CD set of the radio series from the library, just to listen to it one more time.

I'm sure there will be many new fans who walk out of theaters on April 29th. That experience will become their reference point. Hopefully they'll walk to the nearest bookstore and seek out the novels, memorize the dialogue and supplant the "Napoleon Dynamite"-isms of today with bits of Adams' wit, for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Fun With Google

I was concocting a game based on Google results the other day. This has probably been explored by other Blogs, but here's my premise:

Two players use Google to battle each other
in two separate searches.

Using a six-sided die, you determine the
type of your search selection--

A typical game:
I rolled a "1"--Opposites. I chose "Love" for my search. I had 266,000,000 entries found. My opponent chose "Hate," which resulted in 31,500,000. Kevin: 1 Nivek: 0

Nivek rolled a "3"--Symbiosis. He chose "Sex"--317,000,000; I picked "Disease"--113,000,000. Kevin: 1 Nivek: 1

I rolled a "2"--Mythos. I chose "Yoda"--1,800,000. Nivek decided on "Chewbacca"--425,000.
Kevin: 2 Nivek: 1

Nivek rolled a "5"--Persona. He used his name--"Nivek," which had 48,200 results. "Kevin" produced 39,300,000. Kevin: 3 Nivek: 1

I rolled a "4"--Synonyms. I decided on "www."---4,490,000,000 (the number one entry was www.yahoo.com) Nivek used "http://"--1,360,000,000 (the number one entry was www.microsoft.com) Kevin: 4 Nivek: 1

Nivek rolled a "1"; "God"--133,000,000. Kevin picked "Satan"--6,600,000 (it's true!)
Kevin: 4 Nivek: 2

Kevin rolled a "2"; "Scheherazade"--254,000. Nivek, "Sinbad"--873,000
Kevin: 4 Nivek: 3

Nivek rolled a "3"; "Truth"--51,400,000. Kevin, "Lies"--30,600,000
Kevin: 4 Nivek: 4...

And the fun never stopped!

Some other interesting results:
"Fact"--148,000,000 vs. "Fiction"--64,800,000
"Jabberwocky"--268,000 vs. "Snark"--576,000
"Life"--596,000,000 vs. "Death"--117,000,000

Let me know about any variations you've discovered/played!

Is there really any other use for the results past the first few pages of a Google search?