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Harris-Stone

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About Harris-Stone

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    Member

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Computer Programmer
  • Favorite movies
    Andrei Rublev, Wings of Desire, Fanny and Alexander, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Tortorro, The New World, Children of Men, The Big Lebowski, Night of the Shooting Stars, Baron Von Munchausen, etc.
  • Favorite music
    Over the Rhine, Vigilantes of Love, U2, Tom Waits, Bruce Cockburn, Bob Dylan, Buddy & Julie Miller, Mark Heard, Nick Cave, Bach, Coltrane, Monk, Phil Keaggy, Sibelius, Mahler, Pat Metheny, etc.
  • Favorite creative writing
    Tim Winton, Mark Helprin, Annie Dillard, CS Lewis, George MacDonald, Madeleine L'Engle, Dostoevsky, Tolkien, Tolstoy, Ian McEwan, Denis Johnson, Ron Hansen, Isak Dinesen, Chesterton, TS Eliot, Czeslaw Milosz
  • Favorite visual art
    Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Gaugain, Picasso, Chagall, Monet
  1. Blade Runner 2

    Saw the movie and liked it very much. I'd like to see it again. Like others, I had some quibbles with the story. Variety compares it to Tarkovsky's Stalker and calls it one of the greatest science fiction movies ever. Not sure I'd go that far yet, but agree that though it has some flaws, overall it's very good. http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/blade-runner-2049-review-1202576220/
  2. Spammers

    new user Genroxbro posted spam in the film makers forum. The point of his/her post is the link, not the stupid broadside against British film that is absolutely meaningless.
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    J.K. Rowling isn't just trying to make your children want to be witches. She's trying to make your children want to be alcoholic witches. The books give the impression that Butterbeer is NON-ALCOHOLIC and is kind of a kid's drink. I don't remember Hagrid drinking any. From Wikipedia... Butterbeer Butterbeer is the drink of choice for younger wizards. Harry is first presented with the beverage in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Although House-elves can become intoxicated on butterbeer, it has not been stated that there is any alcohol in the drink. In the sixth book, Harry wonders what Ron and Hermione might do at Professor Slughorn's Christmas party "under the influence of Butterbeer", indicating that it could potentially lower inhibitions. J. K. Rowling said in her interview to Bon App
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    , when Dumbledore has in fact already and ? , when Dumbledore has in fact already and ? I'm wondering if it's to get confirmation on the , or just act as final confirmation. I can't remember what the book says about this (if anything).... This is what I think too. Like any scientist or engineer, Dumbledore seeks certainty. The memory is necessary to confirm his hypothesis, to close the circle of speculation. Also, in war...and this is a war...having correct information can swing everything. I'm pretty sure the book does address this. Too busy to check now!
  5. LOL (Also very enjoyable blog post about technology in films Peter. Too true.
  6. Speaking of which, transparent aluminum is now real! (Sort of. Looks like after all these years they're finally working out the dynamics of the matrix...) Strange and interesting. It doesn't sound very stable. Stuff like this makes me look at my son and wonder what sort of world he'll come of age in!
  7. As a computer programmer, I second this. A "virus," or any other kind of malware, is a computer program like any other computer program. That means it utilizes the operating system to run. You cannot create one without knowledge of the OS. I think saying "There is no mathematical approach to malware applications that will work on any system" may be overstating it a tiny bit though. There are algorithms for most computer operations, but these are abstract. Implementing them in a physical system requires more particular knowledge. If you're dealing with an alien language and alien mode of computing, who knows? It probably wouldn't even be binary. For example, your brain is a kind of computing system. But a neuron has far, far more than just 2 possible states. Moving into the realm of theory: If a system could capture and record the data flow of another system, it would be possible after much, much study to reverse engineer it and then figure out ways to break it. Breaking is always easier than building and doesn't always require sophisticated understanding. When it comes to computers, film makers seem to rely on general public ignorance. Do you remember Scotty typing the formula for transparent aluminium into a Mac (I think) in Star Trek IV? He says "how quaint," types a bit and then this parade of flashy graphics appears. The thumping sound heard in the theatre at that point was the previously suspended disbelief of anyone who knew computers at all crashing to the floor.
  8. A very good point. I'm also like you and SDG, when I'm reading I sink into the story. As an aspiring writer myself though, I also tend to look at from a technical point of view as well, just to see what I can learn about writing, etc. In this case, SDG's objections inspired me to look closer. In response as to why VOLDEMORT doesn't do what you've rightly pointed out he could do... Show hidden text 1. Voldemort doesn't trust "Moody." Not completely. He doesn't trust anybody completely, prefering to work alone as much as possible and prefering to maintain as much CONTROL as he can. 2. The plan of having "Moody" lure Harry into a room simply isn't as secure as the plan that's used. In such a case, "Moody" cannot be certain he isn't going to be interrupted. Hmm. Well actually he could be sure once he has the Marauder's Map. However, I don't think he ever tells Voldemort about the map, and its Voldemort who is giving the orders here and "Moody," who worships Voldemort, who follows them. 3. Voldemort would lose the whole element of misdirection. Harry isn't in the contest. No one believes someone is trying to kill him. 4. As the reader, we know that Dumbledore trusts Moody. But Voldemort doesn't know Dumbledore. Not that well. And Voldemort himself would never trust anybody the way Dumbledore does. So I don't think this advantage occurs to him. We have to remember Voldemort is weak and terrified of Dumbledore. He doesn't know what Dumbledore is capable of and will want to do everything he can to make sure Dumbledore is out of the picture. That's where the tornament helps. It puts Harry out of Dumbledore's reach during events. 5. Belaboring the point a bit here...but a portkey is tricky. ANYONE touching it gets transported. To do what your suggesting, "Moody" would have to make the portkey and then leave it in his office while he went and got Harry. What if a house elf came in to tidy up? Imagine the humilitation. Voldemort and Wormtongue come down to the graveyard and a house elf or someone else is there! Of couse he could send somebody else to get Harry, but then that somebody else would know Moody was the last person to see Harry. It's simply not as watertight as making something Harry is trying to touch on his own into the portkey. In short, I don't believe such a plan would appeal to Voldermort. It leaves too much of a very, vital action that his entire future hangs on, in the hands of a subordinate and takes away the glory from Voldemort of being the one to engineer Harry's kidnap. Remember, this is the dude who made 7 horocruxes when 1 well hidden horcrux would have done the job. He has no objection to an elaborate approach, though we might. SDG, I'm interested what your brother says. I certainly, in spite of this obssessive analysis I've done, could be wrong! FWIW, my wife feels the following plot point from Order of the Phoenix, the next book, isn't believable. Show hidden text Why does Harry forget about the mirror Sirius gives him. OK, a lot of time passes from when he gets it at Christmas to when he needs it at the end of term. But still, is he really so dense that something given him by his beloved godfather ends up completely ignored? That's a great question and analytical tool!
  9. Thanks Peter. I think it's fair to point out that all of the detail I mentioned was setup by the author for her purposes. Aesthetically, this won't be everyone's cup of tea. But it certainly suits her desire to entertain, and many readers desire to be entertained, to have Harry go through the whole triwizard thing. It's dramatic and even comic when someone who is basically just a high school student trying to get on with being a high school student gets dragged into something way over his head and manages to succeed in spite of his own inabilities amd shortsightedness. Certainly not a traditional hero, but a traditional type of hero. In the Authurinan stories, Percival is the ignorant bumbler who succeeds in getting the Grail, where others, more noble, have failed. He succeeds because of his innocence. A more modern version, who is "innocent" only in being singularly selfish and egotistical, is Inspector Clouseau. Another would be "The Dude" in the Big Lebowski. Where JKR turns things on their head, is that Harry really does turn out to be a more traditional hero by the end of the series. His ignorance and bumbling are because he's still really just a relatively ordinary child, a kind of everyman, albeit one at the center of a huge struggle through no fault or desire of his own. I suppose what JKR has done with Harry, is to synthesize several different traditional types of characters into one role. He becomes a hero; he's a Percival type bumbler, rather selfish, who gets away with it in spite of himself, and he's an Everyman, one without superiour qualitities of intellect or strength who we relate to.
  10. , but that . There are at least two ways to object to the plot of the story. One is aesthetic. For example there are plenty of people with good literary taste who simply don't like The Lord of the Rings. (I'm not one of them.) They try to read it because they've heard its good and bog down somewhere. The other is what we're talking about in this thread, that the plot doesn't make sense within its own suppositions. This is a different and more severe criticism. I believe a close reading of the Harry Potter series argues against Goblet of Fire having an idiotic plot. If one possess no aesthetic objection to a baroque story line, it makes sense. To argue this, we need to look closely at the story. In particular, we need to see it the way the character Voldemort does, since he is the one accussed of excess, "idiotic" action within the plot. I do not see, given the supposition that the Tournament in happening anyway, how Voldemort could find an easy or more elegant way to carry out his objectives. For me, this plot is far from idiotic. Though others are of course free to disagree.
  11. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    Good point. But I think pilgrimscrybe asks a good question. And I am pretty sure we could take almost any book or movie and ask, "Well, why didn't they just do this?" and have the story completed in 50 words or less. Well, as an aspiring fiction writer myself, let me say writers do THINK about such things and usually there answers. Whether those will satisfy everyone...well no, but: 1. For Gandalf, the temptation of the ring was too much. He couldn't be the Ring bearer so he couldn't just fly to Mount Doom. Also, those eagles weren't stealth eagles. He would be dealing with a head on, mental and spritual fight with Sauron, WHILE all 9 Nazgul tried to take him and his eagles out, WHILE an army of orcs rushed the enterance to the shaft. Without surprise, it would not have worked. 2. In Harry Potter, Harry is being watched more closely than the reader...who is viewing everything through Harry's mind...might realize. If the tried to kidnap Harry that way, I suspect BOTH Dumbledore and Snape would have been on him like a bat out of hell. Magic leaves traces and can be detected. It's just not that easy. And Voldemort doesn't initiate the whole Triwizard tournament. Like the Joker in Batman he just "spins" it to his advantage, using it to misdirect those guarding Harry so they aren't looking the right way when the attack comes. So to me anyway, it remains very plausable within the context of the world that's built. I agree that one can play "what if.." with most stories, and that also that this is fair game, especially as Peter points out, where suspension of disbelief is concerned.
  12. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    . (Wikipedia also confirms what I had been wondering re: the opening attack on the Millennium Bridge: the book takes place about two years before construction began on the bridge in real life, so it would seem the movies have updated the events of the books to "today".) FWIW, in the book, the new Minister of Magic comes calling on Harry when he's at the Burrow. The minister wants Harry to be a sort of poster boy for his efforts. Harry shows a lot of maturity and refuses. I'm not at all convinced that Harry in the books, at this stage, would have acted the way he does in the film.
  13. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

    I would love, love, love to go back. Every year about this time I get get his lump in my throat when I realize I can't go. "Ever" is a big word. Right now, with effectively no job, a 20 month old and a new baby coming in December, it's pretty unlikely. But maybe in 4 or 5 years!
  14. Up

    That was the one thing about the film...the shortness of the journey...heck, what journey? It was more like a joyride. I live in Mexico. Maybe most of y'all above the border...here we call it "the other side," don't realize it, but most maps make the countries down here look much, much smaller than they actually are. There are 2,900 miles between Angel Falls and Chicago. That's more than the distance from New York to Los Angeles or from London to Tel Aviv. OK, I know, as Peter is pointing out, the story is a fantasy. And I'm sure from the storytelling point of view having the journey be longer was a problem, especially for how the relationship between Karl and Russell develops. Still, it bugged the heck out of me. Some interesting tidbits about the Paradise Falls location from Wikipedia: Docter made Venezuela the film's setting after Ralph Eggleston gave him a video of the tepui mountains.[8][24] In 2004, Docter and eleven other Pixar artists spent three days reaching Monte Roraima by airplane, jeep and helicopter.[16] They spent three nights there painting and sketching,[32] and encountering dangerous ants, mosquitos, scorpions, frogs and snakes. They also flew to Matawi Tepui and climbed to Angel Falls,[16] as well as Brazil. Docter felt "we couldn't use [the rocks and plants we saw]. Reality is so far out, if we put it in the movie you wouldn't believe it."[22] The film's creatures were also challenging to design because they had to fit in the surreal environment of the tepuis, but also be realistic because those mountains exist in real life.[24] The filmmakers visited Sacramento Zoo to observe a Himalayan Monal Pheasant for Kevin's animation.[1] The animators designed Russell as an Asian-American, and modeled Russell after similar looking Peter Sohn, a Pixar storyboarder who voiced Emile in Ratatouille and directed the short Partly Cloudy, because of his energetic nature.[11][33] More is in this article on the real location in Venezuela the film makers based Paradise Falls on. http://science4grownups.com/archives/2009/...adise-falls-530 I love Pete Doctor's quote: reality is so far out, if we put it in a movie you wouldn't believe it. As one who has traveled pretty extensively in Asia and the Middle East...I'd have to say this is really true! There are a lot of bizarre things out there in nature. Lately, whenever I approach the kitchen sink, the ants who have come in via the window form a line and begin to run to get out. It looks like rush hour on the interstate.
  15. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

    Sara... I loved Sweethearts and am really looking forward to sinking into this! When I was a Christian teen back in the late 70's, Campus Life was a great magazine. They are where I first heard about Mark Heard. They always seemed more in touch with life and issues and less subculturay if you know what I mean. They are still around, are part of Christianity Today and have a new name: Ignite your Faith. Here is their site. http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/. I know some folks around here have some connections to CT, so they might know someone. We ordered the mag for my nephew and niece a couple of years ago. He's now 18 and she's 16. They seemed to like it a lot. So maybe there would be something there. No idea as to subscriber base, etc. Another thought off the top of my head is CCM Magazine. I don't know how conservative they are about what they profile or how big their readership is...but it might be worth a try. One other venue comes to mind...the Cornerstone Festival. From what I understand its pretty big, encompasses more than just music and can be pretty cutting edge in a way for a Christian festival. They've had Over the Rhine, Vigilanties of Love and other play over the years who aren't in the CCM market at all. But maybe that's already happened. I can't believe we're nearly through July.
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