More Lost S2E3

The guy in the orientation film seems to have a fake left arm. (TCF)
When they were going to the Black Rock, Dannielle said something about a member of her team loosing an arm… However, that wouldn’t make the guy in the orientation film from Dannielle’s team as the film was made in 1980, while Dannielle and her team arrived in 1988. (TCF)
The guy Kate stayed with in Australia also had one arm. (TCF)
All these one armed guys one has to wonder if there is a connection there somehow. Can’t just be a send off to the One Armed Man in The Fugitive, otherwise they would just do it once. This is at least 3 times now.
Since they are clearly supplying food somehow, and a new washer/dryer, plus what appears to be a few new kitchen appliances, why didn’t they replace Desmond? Why didn’t Jack press Desmond on the issue of the food more? (TCF)
Could the black guy from the tail section survivors be Rose’s husband? (TCF) I have to doubt it, he seems a bit too young…
I agree with the TCF and a feedback here, the entering the numbers is likely to be a failsafe, which would explain why it isn’t an automatic system. If somebody needed to enter the numbers to save the world, or something important like that, they would have automated it, at least by now. Obviously, they need to know that all is well in the bunker, and entering the numbers regularly lets them know. I doubt they are part of an experiment, and the creators have said as much (they are not dead, they are not dreaming, they will get off the island… “if it is an island” at the end). The question becomes why every 108 minutes? Wouldn’t once a day let you know they were safe?
Perhaps the supplies are dropped off regularly. Perhaps Desmond knew when and where they would be, but the supply drop people don’t know who is or is not on the island, just that they are doing their duty of entering the numbers, so they must need the supplies.
So we are in Swan Station, the shark was from Shark Station (or whatever was on its logo)… perhaps we’ll see more logos… has anyone gone back and double checked older episodes to be sure we haven’t seen these logos before? Perhaps in Black Rock?

*TCF means the source of that was the TiVo Community Forum, yet another abbreviation to help save time here…

Even more Lost S2E3

I will try to abbreviate the episode stuff to S2E3… or 203… or something… Anyhow…
There seems to be some people who heard Desmond say “solo” race around the world, and others who heard “solar” race around the world, pointing out that a “solo” race wouldn’t be much fun. However, one can race a time while on their own. Perhaps a previous record?
Is the lady in the photo with Desmond (Jack looked at it) possibly the lady from the Others on the boat that took Walt? I didn’t notice the photo myself until people posted about it on the TiVo forum… Perhaps later I’ll post links to pictures of both, too sleepy right now.
There is another Lost website: Dharma Industries. [EDIT: Took out the word “official” as it isn’t an official site…]
Perhaps pressing the button is simply an experiment to see how long people will do it, once they stop, help comes running? If it is important to push, why not automate the number entry every 108 minutes? (Thanks to the TiVo forum for that one).

More Lost Season 2 Episode 3

Okay, more thoughts from the TiVo forum on what they showed in the preview for next week, since this contains possible spoilers for episode 4, I’ll use Rot13 cypher…

Vg vf cbffvoyr gung jung jr fnj va gur cerivrj jnf gurz cynlvat jvgu hf. Wva zvtug abg fcrnx Ratyvfu ng nyy, ohg vg znl or gung “jr” frr/urne uvz fcrnx Ratyvfu gur jnl jr fnj/urneq Fnlrq (fc?) fcrnx Ratyvfu va frnfba 1 jura ur pyrneyl jnf fgvyy fcrnxvat Nenovp. Gur vqrn jnf gb znxr vg rnfvre sbe n zbzrag. Guvf jbhyq or vagrerfgvat vs gehr, naq fubjf gurl, ng yrnfg NOP, vf jvyyvat gb cynl jvgu hf.

Lost Season 2 Episode 3

Once again, untagged spoilers from the episode.
Most of these are my own observations, I’ll add observations from the TiVo Forum latter…
So the tail section people have gone privative. I was a bit shocked when Anna’s character turned out to be a mole… though after she took the gun from Swayer, I started suspecting as much.
The Dharma film was kind of… bad in the special effects department, but left lots of questions open. Such as, what happens if the code isn’t put in? Perhaps putting the code in keeps whatever “happened” happening every 108 minutes.
Is the company involved with the Dharma Project the same company Jin works for and is owned by Sun’s father? Would seem likely giving how tightly everyone seems connected somehow. (Observation from the TiVo group: Probably not, check out The Hanso Foundation, another Lost website made by the producers.)
I was at Sara’s house watching it after I got off work (she has the TiVo for now). After Locke said “We have to watch that again.” I told Sara that perhaps was a reference to the fans who over analyze things, and told her how the last episode of Arrested Development had gone to pains to explain a few jokes, making fun of those who don’t get the show.
Locke’s love interest in named Helen. When Locke was on the phone with a phone-sex operator, he called her Helen… perhaps something happens to this Helen? Is the operator’s real name Helen or is that just what he calls her?
We still don’t know what happened to Jack’s wife, though at least we know for sure he did marry Sarah, which puts to rest those who doubted that.
The writers have commented on a book called The Third Policeman, which Desmond was reading. Perhaps The Turn of the Screw is also important since it was featured prominently (I’ll toss in an observation from the TiVo forum here: The movie “The Others” is basically based of Turn of the Screw).

Observations from the TiVo Forum:
Perhaps there is more then one station on the island (I recall saying something about that some time ago, but saying perhaps another hatch is out there). This may explain why the logo on the shark didn’t match exactly.
In the Orientation film they showed two polar bears fighting, so this explains how the polar bears got there.

Finally A Rot13 coded bit for the parts they showed in the preview for next week:
Wva pna fcrnx Ratyvfu! Abg bayl pna ur fcrnx vg, ohg ur qbrf fb irel jryy, orggre gura Fha.
Bs pbhefr creuncf gung vf uvf gjva…

More baby names

Okay, Kal-el may not be so bad, after all you can shorten it to Kal, which is still unusual enough, but still cool, and how many people know Kal-el is Superman’s real name anyhow?
However, Moxi Crimefighter? That is Penn’s (of Penn & Teller) child’s name.
Abcde? Somebody named their kid that, pronounced like Rhapsody without the Rh. Why not just Rhapsody? Unusual enough but better then Abcde… Oddly, a Google search turns up that this has been used more then a few times.
Espn is as bad as Ascii and Version 2.0. (Learned about the Moxi Crimefighter and Abcde initially from the TiVo fourms).
Ari’s name, Aristotle isn’t in the top 1000 names in the US for at least 25 years according to the Social Security name index. So he has a normal enough name, but isn’t used too often. Thing he’ll probably be asked most often is if he’s Greek.
Of course, I still like Jazla for a girl’s name. It is pronounced Jez-la, not Jaz-la. I knew a girl who had that name and liked it. It means “Charity,” from wherever it was she came from… which I can’t recall where that was now.

The problem with Linux

The problem with Linux, as I see it, is there are so many distributions. It is hard to tell which is best.
Some would argue that Gentoo is the best, but you really need to know what you are doing before installing it. Heck, I don’t feel comfortable partitioning my drives to get them ready to install… now if I had another hard drive installed to run Linux on, then just install on that drive… if I can then dual boot with it on another drive rather then another partition on the same drive. I have heard lots of horror stories about the time it takes to install Gentoo, but it supposedly is THE Linus to get if you really want to learn the nuts and bolts of Linux.
Others say Ubuntu and it KDE kin, Kubuntu, though some may then say that KDE hides too much from you and makes it too much like Windows… There are horror stories, perhaps of older versions, where it took over all partitions, erasing the Windows partition, which would be a no go for me.
Yet others say Fedora Core, part of Red Hat, then there are the old Debain, SUSE, Samba and others…
Everyone seems to have an opinion on which is best. There is no consensus on which Linux is best.
Perhaps a dual stage installer is called for. The CD stays bookable, but there is a Windows/OXS/whatever front end that helps you partition the drive and get the system ready, then it can reboot from the CD and finish the install, who cares how fancy the installer is or isn’t at that point if they got me past the part that scares me the most. This would make it more interesting to people like me who just want to play with it some, but don’t want to get too serious into it yet.
For now, I will try the Kubuntu Live CD, which allows me to play with it some without installing the OS.
On the positive side, Microsoft’s .Net is coming to Linux (Unix, Solaris, and OS X) via Mono, so in theory, the same program I make in C# for Windows should compile into another system with minimal modification, or if done right from the start none. I doubt too many beginner C# books yet approach learning C# in a way that is cross platform friendly, focusing on Windows.

Another win for Blu-ray

The Blu-ray disc format got another win today as Paramount Pictures announced they will release movies in Blu-ray as well as HD-DVD if no unified format comes out (which probably would be bad for consumers anyhow, just let Blu-ray win). Warner Brothers and Universal Studios are expected to make the same announcement soon (seems they basically did, but just no official press release yet). Story over at DVDFile.com.

Let us look at the top 100 Movies and who has them:
Warner: 21 titles in top 100. Currently supporting HD-DVD, expected to support Blu-ray as well.
Disney: 19 titles in top 100. Currently supporting Blu-ray, no expected support of HD-DVD at this time.
Fox: 17 titles in top 100. Currently supporting Blu-ray, no expected support of HD-DVD at this time.
Universal: 15 titles in top 100. Currently supporting HD-DVD, expected to support Blu-ray as well.
Paramount: 13 titles in top 100. Currently supporting HD-DVD and Blu-ray.
Sony: 7 titles in top 100. Currently supporting Blu-ray. Will not support HD-DVD since Blu-ray is their format.
MGM: 3 titles in top 100. Currently supporting Blu-ray. Owned by Sony who’s format is Blu-ray, so will not support HD-DVD.
Others: 5 titles in top 100. Current support unknown near as I can find.

So at the moment it looks like at least 46 titles of the top 100 will not be available in HD-DVD, while at least 95 of the top 100 titles will be on Blu-ray if the above counts hold true. I think this spells the end again of HD-DVD after their good news from Microsoft and Intel, both of which may be forced to change their minds.
Now if only Blu-ray will finalize support for Managed Copy, the last real argument for HD-DVD may go away since as myself and many others have pointed out, the initial higher costs for Blu-ray isn’t reason enough to support HD-DVD.

Kal-el born

Perhaps I am not one to talk, after all, if we had a girl she would have been named Nova named after somebody on Sara’s side of the family, and for me a cartoon character that I liked the name of. Secondary choices would be Eowyn (Sara wasn’t into that one) after one of the Lord of the Rings characters and Harlequin, which we both liked. All fairly unusual names.
However, Nickolaus Cage and his wife just had a baby boy, named Kal-el, the birth name of Superman… of course my choice of Harlequin is somewhat based off Harley Quinn, the Joker’s sidekick… so again, I guess I am not one to talk. 🙂
All them are better then names like “Version 2.o” or some of the other odd tech names… sorry to those who named their child as such, but I have to wonder what growing up “Version 2.0” will be like? Although your signature would be cool as heck…

Police to collect your DNA

There is a story over at news.com about a proposal to expand gathering DNA evidence for entry into the federal CODIS database, even if you are not convicted or even charged with a crime, where now you need to be convicted.
Did nobody else read 1984? Is nobody else concerned about where our government (both parties) are taking us? So he was off a few years, perhaps 2014 or 2024 at the latest at the going rate. While I still disagree with their policy on borders, the military and the war, our best hope still remains getting Libertarian‘s into power… perhaps not President, but we need to start voting them into local positions, and eventually into national offices.

Which Serenity Character Am I?

In the honor of watching the awesome Serenity the other day:

You scored as Kaylee Frye. The Mechanic. You are a natural mechanic, and you are far too sweet and cheerful to live out here. How you can see the good in everyone around you boggles the mind occationally. Still you don’t seem to be any crazier than that, and it is a nice kinda crazy.

Kaylee Frye

75%

Simon Tam

63%

Hoban 'Wash' Washburne

63%

Zoe Alleyne Washburne

56%

The Operative

56%

River Tam

44%

Shepherd Derrial Book

44%

Inara Serra

38%

Capt. Mal Reynolds

38%

Jayne Cobb

25%

Which Serenity character
are you?

created with QuizFarm.com

EDIT: A few times to get the table they made to fit… eventually had to redo it a bit… way too many nested tables for my taste… again I say that quiz makers need to learn to make their quiz results XHTML Strict… I should turn the results into XHTML myself, but I don’t have that kind of time at the moment…

Serenity kicks butt

The other day, Sara let me watch Serenity… well, I guess “let me watch” isn’t the correct phrase. As she works at the theater for the moment, she let me use her employee movie privileges to see the movie for free. Spouses get free movies when accompanied by the spouse… While she wasn’t a fan of the show, she did enjoy the movie.
As a fan of the show Firefly, watching Serenity was a must. The movie does offer exposition to those who have never seen the show to get them caught up to speed, and fans of the show may find themselves waiting for stuff to kick into gear. And kick into gear they do.
I read one review where they said the movie took one of the show’s least interesting characters and made her the focus of the movie. I personally always thought River was one of the more interesting characters of the show, and truly shines in the movie.
I think Sara is still confused by the Western themes of the show, such as what looks like revolvers, shot guns, people riding horses in a Westerny way… and this aspect may be the thing that turns some people off. Personally, I think it is more an homage to where space sci-fi comes from, beyond the show’s own explanation of the western themes.
The movie doesn’t explain the Chinese influence, and as with the show, a character may go off cursing, one presumes, in Chinese (Manderan if I recall). The show never explained this directly either, but the commentary on the DVDs explain both the Chinese and the mix of Western elements into the show. I won’t go into them here now.
It’s late, but I just wanted to say, if you liked the show at all, watch this movie, watch it many times. If you never saw the show, give the movie a chance if you like sci-fi, westerns, or just good fun movies. It was a blast and I had a great time.

Best Board Game?

In the new Knucklebones magazine, Erik Anderson writes an article on the Top 10 Essential Games. Feeling a deck of cards is cheating, he goes on to the list, with Chess as the #1 spot (which he admits “If listing a deck of cards is cheating, this is close.”I agree, it is cheating but hey…) and his #2 choice is The Settlers of Catan made by Mayfair Games, a game in it’s default form for 3 to 4 players. Now, this isn’t the first time I have heard about this game and how great it supposedly is. I have seen it listed as one of the best if not the best board game from many websites that sell games as well.
In the game you setup hexagonal pieces that make up an island, this is apparently random in order so the game is different each time. Each pieces has a resource and is further enhanced with a dice number from 2 to 12, so if you roll that number you collect that resource if you have a settlement or city next to it… We really need a picture here.. An example might serve, you have a grass field who’s resource is sheep, on the top 3 sides of it is water, on the bottom left is a wheat field resource who’s resource is grain, directly below it is a mountain who’s resource is ore, and the bottom right is a forest who’s resource is lumber. You then add a dice value to each, here we’ll say 8 for the grass field, then 10, 3 and 4 for the others in order. You place your first initial settlement at the intersection between the grass field, the mountain and the forest, and then lay a road along the edge lines somewhere. Now, if you or an opponent rolls 8 on the dice you collect 1 sheep resource, if a 4 is rolled you collect a lumber resource as they are the areas you are next to. You want to be in a spot where you can collect the most resources so you can build more settlements (you get two at the start), roads (outside of your first two settlements, the rest must connect to one of the first two by a road), change your settlements into cities (raising the value or resources collected to 2, so in the above example rolling a 4 would net you two lumber resources after the settlement was changed to a city), or buying developer cards. Developer cards either move a thief marker, allow you to build roads without the resources required, give you extra points to the end game, etc.
Now the thief marker is moved on rolls of 7 on the dice, or, as noted, with a soldier developer card. The person who rolls it, moves it next to a settlement/city and steals one of the cards from the player who owns it. The resource that the thief is sitting on will not give up any resources to anyone near it until the thief marker is moved, so you don’t put it next to yours even if you stole from another player who is sharing the same resource.
During each player’s turn, the rolling player may trade resources with the others. They may offer a trade to him, or he may offer a trade to them. You may need one more ore to change your settlement into a city, so you offer a brick resource, which is refused, you then offer two bricks and somebody takes you up on that.
You get points for each settlement, city and for bonus stuff like having the largest army, longest road and the like. The game generally ends at 10 points, and goes fairly fast so long as people don’t spend too much time trading, or raising the end game point value past the rules stated end.
The game was invented in Germany by Klaus Tuber, who apparently is a well respected game designer, mostly because of the Catan games. Seems lots of the more well respected games (not the mainstream games like Monopoly, etc.) come from Germany, not sure why that is…
Anyhow, the game has lots of expansion packs. There is:
Settlers of Catan: 5-6 Player Expansion which as one can see, allows up to 6 players to play the game.
Seafarers of Catan: Expansion Game of Seafaring, Exploration, and Trade, which the Mayfair site says “Expand your Settlers of Catan game in new directions, add Islands, Pirates, Gold, Ships, Islands and Trade.
Explore and colonize the newly populated Archipelago of Catan. Building settlements, roads, and villages by trading commodities from the land and islands around you. Trade sheep and wood for a ship, bricks and wood for a road, build new settlements and improve settlements into cities”
There is Seafarers of Catan: 5-6 Player Expansion which expands the Seafarer’s expansion by allowing up to 6 to play.
There’s Cities & Knights of Catan Game and of course a 5-6 player expansion in the form of Cities & Knights of Catan: 5-6 player exp.
Replacement cards and stuff is available from Mayfair, along with lots of variations on it, like Settlers of Canaan, Kids of Catan and more.

So is it the best board game? I don’t know, but it sure gets lots of good ratings (click the links to the game itself and the expansions to see the Amazon reviews) from everyone, so it must be right up there.

The Wikipedia entry on Settlers of Catan has a far better description then I do…

Mystery car in Lost?

There is a new theory going on the TiVo Forums now about the fact that the car that hit Michael, Locke and the one Kate hit was the same car. It looks the same, but not sure I am buying into it. We’ll find out I guess. If it is the same car, I would nearly have to think it was an accident, sort of using one of their cars over and over, not expecting it to be caught. There is one set they have reused for different things, the first time we see it was as a conference room in Australia when Claire is about to get rid of her baby. It is later used as Michael’s lawyer’s office, then again as a conference room in New York when Michael is trying to stop Walt’s mom from taking Walt too far from him. Then again, while they can probably expect to be forgiven for using that set over and over again, they had to know using the same car over and over again would be caught and they would need an explanation somewhere along the way. Wouldn’t that be something if Jack’s ex-wife (well… we don’t know that she’s an ex, she could be dead, all we know is that he isn’t married any more) was the driver of all these cases, including the one that got her to meet him? Perhaps when Kate crashed into said car, it killed not only the love of her life, but the driver of the other car. Hey! Lost theories can be as wild as we want right now, and the “they were all driven by Jack’s wife” theory is my own wild theory… if they are the same car.
Hey look, Lost has it’s own category now… now to edit the other posts and put them into the Lost category.

Lost Season 2 Episode 2

A quick update before going to bed since I didn’t talk about this episode yet.
The logo we saw the last two episodes was branded on the sharks circling the raft. Which adds even more mystery to what is going on.
Who is the “him” that Desmond is looking for? I can’t agree with it being Ethan Rom as some have said, as he would know what Ethan Rom looks like, especially if Ethan was his bunkmate. I doubt Ethan was to be Desmond’s replacement. However Ethan clearly was athletic, much like Desmond, so there may be a connection. Perhaps Ethan comes from another hatch and Desmond indeed never saw him, just knew another guy was in another hatch as part of the same experiment or whatever is going on.
Desmond is clearly going crazy from having to put in the number every 108 minutes.
I don’t want to post speculation based on the previews of the next episode since it contains spoilers, but it does disprove or prove theories I have seen.
I don’t think it is clear yet if entering the numbers are good or bad. I have a feeling we’ll find out next episode.
There is more on the Lost I Ching Hexagram here, with more on the I Ching and Hurley’s numbers here.
I watched the show at Sara’s place. She was upset they showed more inside the bunker, but didn’t advance the story more. Some over at the TiVo Community point out these two episodes felt more like a 2 hour premier that they had to arrange to fit two one hour episodes, which seems to fit.
Adding all of Hurley’s numbers up comes to 108, the same we see the count down timer reset to (though as somebody pointed out, we don’t see it restart right away so perhaps some event starts the countdown). 108 has special meaning to Hindus, see this page for more.
The I Ching Hexagon is also called a Ba Gua more Hindi stuff.
Spell check later…

Forwarded emails and Snopes

Anytime you get an email warning you about this or that, odds are it is an urban legend and has been passed around for some time. Best thing to do is check it against Snopes and see if it matches anything. For example here is one that goes around (#25 on their list):

Dr. James Dobson Pleads For Our Action

An organization has been granted a Federal Hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, DC. Their petition, Number 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, on the airwaves of America. They got 287,000 signatures to back their stand!

If this attempt is successful, all Sunday Worship services being broadcast on the radio or by television will be stopped. This group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs and Christmas carols from public schools!!

You as a Christian can help! We are praying for at least 1 million signatures. This would defeat their effort and show that there are many Christians alive, well and concerned about our country. As Christians we must unite on this. Please don’t take this lightly. We ignored this once and lost prayer in our school and in offices across the nation. Please stand up for your religious freedom and let your voice be heard, while creating an opportunity for the lost to know the Lord.

This email is absolutely false. See the story on Snopes and Dr. Dobson’s own page.
Another popular one involves dialing #77 on your mobile phone to call the Highway Patrol. That is one of those ones that have many answers, full Snopes story here.

While we are on the subject of Internet email scams…
Watch out for emails from banks, eBay, PayPal, etc. There are scams going around where they say you need to update your information for some reason. The email looks authentic, and if you click the link, the web will look like the real bank’s web page (or eBay’s, PayPal’s, etc.), it may even say for example http://www.citybank.com/ or something in the address bar, but it is a scam. It is somebody phishing for information. You give them all your account details, then they steal everything from your account. A bank, PayPal, eBay, etc. will never tell you to update your account and provide a link the way these scams do. If they need you to do something, they will tell you to type their address into the address bar yourself.
I would hope it goes without saying that if you get an email from somebody who claims to represent somebody who is related to you who died and needs to get you x number of dollars, that also is a scam. This scam almost always comes out of Nigeria, where the person who died was an ambassador or something. Anyhow, after communicating with the person, they will have you setup an account with $500 or so other amount so that they can transfer the money to that account. What will really happen is they will transfer that $500 out and that is the end of that.

Random Musings of Father, Gamer, Author, and occasional YouTuber, and Twitch Streamer, Brian A. Thomas.