Monthly Archive for November, 2014

Great Social Interaction: Dallas PD joked with me on Twitter

Today I had an interaction on social media with the Dallas Police Department.

I kind of know social media, but I’m no expert. As companies spring up specializing in the art of social media, I learn something new each time I read about their recommendations. I seem to keep getting more and more Twitter followers without much effort on my part. My account, now @Loogle, has been around August 2009, and now I have 112 followers who many of which recently I think are trying to get me to follow them back. I haven’t quite learned the ropes of Twitter, and I used not feel like using it much mostly because I don’t like the completely open publicity of it, and because I never got much interaction back from others, besides this recent increase in followers. However, I think I’m starting to get a better idea about it, and that one piece of advice is like the recommendations I’ve read to popularize one’s blog: comment on other posts.

So today, to be fun, which is sometimes a novel concept for me as a first born, I decided to reply to the Dallas Police Department’s comical tweet about wanting an Apache helicopter for its air division.

I drafted my comment while thinking about when fictional police use to chase me in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, especially when I was flying in a stolen helicopter. The conversation continued like this:

This was probably one of the richest conversations I’ve had on Twitter so far, and I think I’ll engage more often. This Facebook post by George Takei today inspired me to sort of run my mouth on Twitter. Some of these tweet exchanges between customers and corporations are hilarious.

BOINC: An unexpected heat source that gives in many ways

With the cold weather upon us here in Dallas, I like to turn some typical heat sources around the house into contributing to heat generation. The typical cooking and baking is rather common knowledge as a method to assist with heating, and I always enjoy leaving a hot cooling oven ajar to heat up the house. However, one source that many folks may not consider are home computers. When computers run at 100% computing capacity, they give off quite a bit of heat, enough so that during the hot southern summers, I stop doing what I’m about to start doing now during cold months because it gives off so much heat that an air-conditioner on a hot day cannot easily keep up.

BOINC Logo I participate in distributive computing using BOINC, Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, a system that allows individuals to donate free CPU cycles to a worthy cause. I donate free CPU cycles to several projects but mainly to SETI@home and Cosmology@home, but there are many projects within many fields of study to choose. So, yes, I help search for aliens. SETI@home logo

When I get all of my computers running at 100%, it causes the computers to blow out heat, as well as, typically turn up their fan speeds to help, which is unfortunately a more noisy. As a result, the room is warm, and I get to assist with research. I run this on my Windows machines, on a Debian Linux box, and I want to try to run it on my Android phone.

The Maze Runner movie review

Last week I went to see the film adaptation of the book by James Dashner The Maze Runner. Having gone with someone who has already read the book, I received great insight. Overall I enjoyed the movie very much and would see it again. This film is a young-adult post-apocalyptic science-fiction story where boys are deposited into a community surrounded by a colossal maze after having their memories erased. The only way out of this community is through the maze.

The Maze Runner poster.jpg

The Maze Runner (2014) Poster

As I suspected in comparison to the book with this movie just shy of 2 hours in length, the film wastes a lot of time in the opening act due to a poor attempt to build curiosity in the viewer about the story by basically prolonging a question and answer sequence that explains the setting. A major drawback in this film adaptation is that none of the relationships were developed. It literally left the audience feeling that there is no investment between the individual characters.

As the story progressed, it truly explored very interesting symbols that represent life on many different levels. The sheer concept of running through maze, for example, is not dissimilar to the analogy of life for the common person is a “rat race.” How the boys built a society shows insight to the individual psychology of each boy because three years before the story begins there was only one boy who got dropped into the green glade that becomes the home base from which the boys try to run the maze. The boys established a democracy but where a hierarchy was respected. The hierarchy was segregated into functional areas, and a person from one functional area did not have direct influence over another functional area, including superiors, which was set by seniority. However, it was evident that the longer a boy was in the community, the less malleable his mind was.

As soon as the main character Thomas arrived to the scene, he immediately started thinking about how to get out of the community, and this drove the whole story. The creator of the maze and all evil things within it is the omniscient antagonist that has put all the boys into the glade, as well as, delivered any supplies over the course of the years. There is a stark contrast between Thomas and the leader of the boys who has simply accepted that life will always be as it is.

One of the most comical symbols in the story was when the antagonist dropped in a girl, which was the final delivery from the creators of the maze, meaning no further supplies would be delivered. It made me want to ask after the movie, “How can there be only one Smurfette for all of those Smurfs?”

Overall, it is not a movie that keeps giving over and over each time it is watched, but at least a few viewings could deliver some entertainment and discussions.