July 12, 2006

Avast, scurvy dogs! [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at July 12, 2006 12:02 AM

I guess some comments are being posted anonymously even when the name is filled in? I've tweaked the template but I'm not sure if this solved the problem; I'm keeping an eye on it. Meanwhile, this blog now has a LiveJournal feed here.

It seems like it's been a slow period for new music lately (hence no music review this week), but the new TV on the Radio album is coming out soon. There's been a ridiculous amount of buzz about this album, but they were awesome enough at Coachella that the hype might be accurate.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: I put on my eyepatch and bandana Friday night and headed out for some good piratey escapism. Unfortunately about the first hour and a half of this movie were insufficiently interesting and I found my mind wandering back to the real world. Doubly unfortunately, as a result of the unfreezing process the guy directly behind me had no inner monologue and was having trouble controlling the volume of his voice, so we were regaled with an endless series of "UH-OH!" and "OH NO!" and laughter at inappropriate moments. What I really wanted to do was turn around and say "Arr, matey, still yer tongue or I'll cut it out and feed it to th' sharks" but somehow I restrained myself. Um, anyway, the extended action sequence at the end of the movie acheived an acceptable level of swashbucklery, so I wasn't entirely dissatisfied. And of course Johnny Depp is awesome. But the first movie was better. Rating: 3/5

Jonathan Lethem: Gun, With Occasional Music: (Thanks to Jolene for recommending this.) After seeing Brick I was ready for more noir in unusual settings, and this book delivered with a detective story in a near-future dystopian Oakland. The fun thing about a book set in the East Bay is that many of the locations are familiar, so when the protagonist visits the El Cerrito hills or 59th and Telegraph I can visualize it exactly. Except with Uplifted "evolved" animals walking around. Also, it is illegal to ask questions without a license, hence P.I. is "private inquisitor", and the government encourages the use of designer drugs to keep the population docile. The setting is obviously not intended to be a realistic possible future, but rather to instill a sense of confusion and alienation in the reader while fitting in with noir conventions. A very nice touch was that late in the narrative, a twist occurs which puts the detective in the same position as the reader with respect to the oddities of the future society. Any good noir story should have the narrator employ colorful and witty language, and Lethem is very good at this; I kept turning the pages looking for the next clever line as much as for the next plot twist. Rating: 4/5

Tags: Books, Movies, Open Thread, Website
Comments

As A Ninja reviews: "Pirates of the Carribean 2"

Posted by: Josh | July 12, 2006 1:40 AM

Yeah, you can use some HTML tags in the comments but embed is not one of them. :)

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | July 12, 2006 11:30 AM

I liked Pirates 2 quite a bit, but my main criticism is that it was more of the same, so it wasn't as exciting as the first one.

Posted by: Mason | July 12, 2006 1:42 PM

By the way... There's something fishy about the comments RSS feed, making it next to useless. The timestamp doesn't change when new comments are added, and google reader then interprets it as already read, even though the comments get added to the feed. Thus, I only see the comments made on a given thread up until the point where I first see the thread in my feed reader, then no further updates.

A bit odd, and I'm not sure if it's a problem with Google Reader or if it's a problem with Movable Type's RSS implementation. I'm going to poke around a bit, and look at my reader settings a bit longer.

Posted by: Lemming | July 12, 2006 2:56 PM

Oh, and one more thing... Oddly, comments no longer appear for me immediately after posting, I have to refresh the comments page once more.

Posted by: Lemming | July 12, 2006 2:59 PM

Ah, I meant to check how the comments feed was behaving in that respect. I'll see if there's anything I can do about it. (I can change the template so each comment is a separate item, but I don't know whether that would be an improvement.)

About the comments not appearing immediately, I noticed that as well and I'm not sure yet what's causing it.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | July 12, 2006 3:04 PM

Ok, I've changed the template for the comments feed in a way that may or may not fix the problem (depending on how individual aggregators determine that a post is new).

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | July 12, 2006 3:13 PM

Ah, I've determined that there's an additional problem, which is that the feed isn't automatically rebuilt whenever a comment is posted. There doesn't seem to be a way to do this but I can try having it generate the feed dynamically whenever it is requested. I'll try this either later tonight or tomorrow.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | July 12, 2006 7:02 PM
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