khaosworks: (Kirk)
One more Star Trek movie spoilery thing just occurred to me, in addition to my last post on the matter.

Spoilers. )
khaosworks: (Kirk)
Here's the thing: JJ Abrams' Star Trek a good movie. It is even, I dare say, a great movie - moves along at a great pace, well directed, has amazing special effects, nail-biting suspense, nice dialogue and characterisation (well, as much as you can get in a summer blockbuster), and even attempts to drop in the right Easter Eggs to long-time fans.

So don't think I didn't enjoy it, because I did and very much so. Rest assured that this movie is worth watching, wish the franchise the best of luck and look forward to more movies.

But to really, really enjoy it, as a long-time Star Trek fanboy, you got to do one thing. You have to throw out any idea that this might be, as the writers and director has claimed, that this somehow is an alternate universe explainable by changes in time travel. Because you can't. If you can ignore it, it's brilliant. If you can't, then... not so much.

I'll just deal with my rantings below. This bit you can skip if you don't care.

This bit you can skip if you don't care. )
khaosworks: (Default)

My Christmas present to myself. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The hilt, custom built by Parks Sabers, is a replica of the Star Wars Expanded Universe character of Quinlan Vos. The blade is detachable, and is made from polycarbonate, which makes it really hard to break (and hence suitable for duelling). There are LEDs inside the blade so it has that neat extension/retraction lighting effect.

Unlike the Force FX sabers, the Parks Sabers sadly don't have sound, but that actually makes the hilt sleeker, less bulky without all those extra electronics, and probably easier to wield and twirl.

Next up, to get some Jedi robes together and start brushing up on some lightsaber combat forms...
khaosworks: (Yeah I Can See That)
As you may know, under Mac OS X 10.5, you can remotely access your other Macs on the same network and even over the Internet and control them via Screen Sharing.

So I wondered... what if I Screen Shared Emma via Callisto, then Screen Shared Callisto via Emma?

Predictable, but pretty results. )
khaosworks: (Nerdboy)
Happy Pi Approximation Day.

Or if you don't cotton with this American date format nonsense, wait for 22nd July for the other Pi Approximation Day.
khaosworks: (Default)
Yes, they were speaking Klingon — "real" Klingon — in the latest episode of Chuck. Well, mostly, anyway.

Spoilers for the episode as I mention the two scenes where this was spoken. )
khaosworks: (Nerdboy)
My copy of the DVD set for Doctor Who's third series came in the mail today. And I found the Easter Egg on Disc 4 — the complete Easter Egg that was seen in fragments in the episode Blink, i.e. the Doctor's half of the conversation he has via timey wimey paradoxical bits with Sally Sparrow.

Yes, I confess: first thing I did was to watch it and perform the Sally Sparrow half of the conversation as it played.

I am a sad, sad, fan.

But it was fun.
khaosworks: (Default)
Back in August, I learned about the Genographic Project, a genetic genealogical study by the National Geographic designed to collate DNA samples from people all over the world to build a migratory map of mankind, essentially to continue proving the hypothesis that every one of us has a genetic heritage that can be traced to one man in Northern Africa about 60,000 years ago.

I'm not the first Singaporean to participate in the project — I read about one other guy who did it in the papers some time before that, but I was intrigued enough to send in the US$126.50 for the genetic testing kit. The money would be used to fund cultural preservation projects nominated by indigenous populations, the first groups that the Genographic Project had tested, the ones most genetically isolated and thus easier to track, as opposed to the rest of us whose genetic heritage could be wildly mixed up over the millennia.

Anyway, I got the kit, did the cheek swabbing, sent in the samples back to the National Geographic, and got the results back today. Of course, it's just a generic report — the testing is basically just to place me in a specific haplogroup — but no real surprises here: my recent ancestors have all been ethnic Chinese, and the trail that traces my genes back to Africa is pretty straightforward.

I'm in Haplogroup O, with the genetic markers M168 > M89 > M9 > M175. M168 was my earliest traceable ancestor in Africa about 50,000 years ago, and each marker traces a migratory step (and mutation) ending with M175, which more than half of all Chinese males carry and is widespread in East Asia and in lower frequencies in Tahiti and Indonesia.

The bigger their DNA database, the more refined their results will be, so if you can spare the cash and are interested in how your family got from Africa to where you are now, this might be worth a go — and the money goes to help indigenous peoples, so it's not all that bad. And now I know that my ancestors travelled north from Africa, through the Middle East, through Central Asia and finally settled in China around 35,000 years ago, where the trail ends for now, unless they turn up something new as more results from this region come in.

One thing I didn't know, though: despite generations of my family having lived in Southern China, according to the results my ancestors actually came into Asia from the northern route, so I'm genetically (and patrilineally) more northern Chinese — I don't appear to show the genetic mutation that marks southern, Han Chinese. This is not to say I don't have Han Chinese stuff in me, of course; this is just Y-chromosomal analysis, after all.

All in all, this may not seem like much, but I still think it's way cool, that we carry our genealogy with us, encoded into our very being. And that we really are all siblings... on the skin or under it.
khaosworks: (Fort)
Now, if Godzilla rises out of the ocean, all we need is some spunky kid to take control of it...

Giant interactive squid robot in the works )
khaosworks: (World of Warcraft)
Ding - level 50.

It wasn't as painless as I'd hoped. I was grinding in Un'Goro Crater, and kept getting stomped on by this 55 elite Tyrant Devilsaur. How can something the size of the Chrysler Building be so fscking quiet in sneaking up on me?!?

When I get to a high enough level, he is so on my list.
khaosworks: (Einstein)
Search for any string of numbers in the first twenty million digits of pi.

My birthday (19101970) is at position 5,714,351, counting from the first digit after the decimal point.
khaosworks: (Scratch Fury)
This is just so fucking cool. There is no other phrase.

A Difference Engine built from LEGO.
khaosworks: (Spider)
I give you Typewriter Keyboard, a Mac OS X shareware application that makes your keyboard do typewriting sounds when you strike the keys.

It's a small thing, but it makes me somehow feel, when I'm writing, that I'm writing, y'know?

Now, if only I could find some way to make the keys look like that on an old Smith-Corona, like Spider Jerusalem's...
khaosworks: (Doctor Me)
While I'm still trying to whack the next whofic into shape (man, I suck at plotting), here's what I threatened to do some posts ago: a sort of Cliff's Notes for all the continuity easter eggs in "The Last Battle". Yes, this is pure ego, but maybe some may actually be interested in where it comes from.

Notes after the cut. Spoilers for several books and episodes. )

Canon Who?

Aug. 4th, 2005 05:16 pm
khaosworks: (Doctor Who 2006)
I'll cut tag this, because it's Doctor Who continuity geekery, which I know very few of you out there share.

Canon fodder )

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