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Showing posts from March, 2012

Privacy

I have not been writing much because I have been so livid about a number of privacy issues that I have not known where to begin.

The large number of anti-women laws being proposed has me at my wit's end (link). Why is it that old, white, male politicians feel they have any right to address any aspect of a woman's reproduction? It would be just as easy to introduce laws that require chemical or medical sterilization, neutering, or castration of men, so why not do that? And using religion or faith as an excuse absurd. No law that is founded on a specific religion's belief system, even if 80% of Americans follow that religion, will stand in the Supreme Court. That's the whole point of the separation of church and state; so that no one religion (or religious ideals) will be promoted above another.

I have no issues with having religious freedom clauses to some reproductive health laws. For example, "Obamacare" wants every health plan to offer reproductive health t…

Wildcat

The Wildcat offense in the NFL can work, and has been proven to work, for the last 4 years or so. But its  impact has lessened over the last few years for one reason only: teams aren't actually running the Wildcat.

The main component that makes a Wildcat offense work is the threat by the QB/RB controlling the ball at the snap to either run it, throw it, or hand it off. When the Dolphins started using it in 2008, they did each of those things about 1/3 of the time. Sometimes Ronnie Brown would throw it, sometimes he would run it, and sometimes he would shovel it to Ricky Williams. Not knowing what was coming, the defenses were always playing catch-up and Miami went on a bit of a winning streak.

And then they stopped throwing the ball. The reason it stopped being so successful is that it became 75% run by Brown, 24% shovel pass to the other RB, and 1% pass or pass fake. So defenses loaded up against the run and it became just another running play. NFL defenses can stop just about an…

Future Imperfect

My wife's aunt is dying from liver disease. This last weekend we went up to hang out with her and to scan in and save a bunch of photos from her large collection. While the weekend was tough for my wife, for all of the obvious reasons, it may have been just as tough on me. You see, I have liver disease and visiting someone dying from the same illness was like looking into the future.

Her aunt was in better shape than we could have hoped. While she is yellow, it is not as all-pervasive as shows like House make it seem, meaning she isn't as bad as she could be. The whites of her eyes, for example, are still mostly white, and her gums and nails aren't yellow yet. But her skin definitely has an unnatural jaundice to it, especially around her neck and her ankles. She has a lot of fluid build up, and that is slowing her down more than anything, she says. She estimates she's carrying around 40 extra pounds of simple fluid build up in her body.

I have been diagnosed with liver…

CGI Effects

When James Cameron made Terminator 2, he was interviewed about the groundbreaking special digital effects he used to make the T-1000. The claim at the time was that CGI effects would make film making less expensive, as it would allow people to reuse animation and effects shots, or only need slight tweaking and adjustments. This would make special effects heavy movies less expensive to make over the long haul.

Cut to 2012. In the last decade, there have been numerous films that have been almost entirely done using CGI effects, and they are some of the most expensive films made. The move John Carter, for example, uses an enormous sum of CGI effects and is reputed to have a production cost of around $250 million, not including advertising. Since it has no big-star price tags, and nearly every shot has a CGI element to it, the vast majority of the cost must be for animation and effects. Assuming a modest advertising budget, the film needs to break $300 million worldwide in order to make a…