Tin can living

This appears to me to be a modern day version of the “Lord of the Flies” just waiting to happen.

I wouldn’t want to be that little guy in the middle. I bet he becomes the first guy to mysteriously “disappear” under “unusual circumstances” when the rations start running low.  Just saying…..

http://www.universetoday.com/2009/03/31/crew-of-six-begins-105-day-mars-mission-simulation/

What Super Bowl?

I know what I am about to say is somewhat sacrilegious especially being an American male in his forties. 

I don’t watch the Super Bowl.

There, I said it.  I haven’t watched any of the three major US sports (football, basketball, and baseball) in probably four years.  One of the reasons I gave up on it all was the amount of commercialization that has taken over the professional and even college sport scene.  I remember when I lived in Tampa Florida, they had a measure on the ballot to use public money to help build a new stadium.  The theory was if you help the owners of the franchise build a newer, bigger sports arena, more jobs would come to the area, so it was a win-win situation.  However, their facts were wrong.  It was definitely skewed in the favor of the owners of the teams and a select group of individuals who were going to make a ton of money.  Of course the voters agreed to it as there were a bunch of very well done ads to support the measure.  Meanwhile you drive around town on some REALLY crappy roads, the schools were having major issues with overcrowding, unemployment funding for training people was cut etc. For some reason there was no money for those projects.  It was at that point I saw how things worked.  Keep the sports fanatics happy with putting on the show every few weeks all the while the fans buy their $7.50 a glass beer and $6 a bag of peanuts and paying $20 to park and buying their season tickets to “root for THEIR team”.  Whatever. 

I know I am not able to keep up with the conversations at work or wherever when someone is rooting for their teams and talk about the latest trades or player stats.  I didn’t even know who was in the Super Bowl until I was on a news website this morning.  Yeah, I am out of this loop completely.

As a kid I liked watching Monday Night football and catching some hoops on TV every now and then. I guess over the years I just lost interest in the whole affair.  The only sport I watch now is the rugby world championships.  It only takes up a few weeks a year and it is a fun sport to watch in my book. 

Time to go watch some of the Super Bowl ads on the internet.  They are best thing about the Super Bowl anyways.

NIN concert

Steve Dehaart and I went to the Nine Inch Nails (NIN) concert here in Portland last night.  The concert was pretty intense.  The effects were truly extraordinaire.  There were several mesh-like screens that came down in front and back of various band members.  The screens looked to be made up of LED’s or something similar were touch and position sensitive.  PIC-0012_1At one point Trent was behind a screen that had nothing but static like you would see on an old TV not tuned to a station and as he came up closer to the screen, it would open a virtual hole in the static and the hole would follow him wherever he went on stage so that you could see him the whole time.  Additional virtual holes would open up for additional band members as they came closer to the mesh.  The mesh screens weren’t down the whole time.  Sometimes they were lifted up and the stage was more wide open.  The mesh projected a variety of visuals including smoke, clouds, flames, etc.

The mesh screen was used at one point to program a virtual drum machine for the song “Echoplex”*.  A few rows of squares were on the screen with lights going down the rows and then repeating.  One of the band members (I believe the drummer) came out on stage and started to touch the screen in certain places and when the lights went down the rows and where he selected the squares, there would be a corresponding kick drum, snare, etc from the drum machine.  When the song was about over, the drummer came out again and slowly started to unselect the squares he had selected before.

There was a brief acoustical set that was kind of cool with again some neat visuals.  The visuals made them look like they were standing out in a Louisiana bayou.

Of course Trent had to break a few instruments.  At one point, he completely snapped the top part off of the neck of a guitar.  The boy has some angst even to this day.

The concert was very engaging and kept a great mix of old and new songs, slow and fast tempo selections from their previous twenty years.

*According to the NIN site, this song and the associated album The Slip are and always will be a free download.  I am just linking this song here to make it easier.  Please go to NIN.com to sign up and download the whole album.