In Norse legend, Ragnarok, the final battle which will destroy the world,
takes place after three years of harsh winter. The Frost Giants come and
destroy the warriors who have gathered in Valhalla, throw down the gates
of Asgard, and kill the Gods, the Gods’ friends, Odin’s pet ravens, and so
So: Bad winter. Giants defeat Vikings. Giants go on to fight Ravens in
final conflict. This bodes of forewarning.
A recent update at the Marathon
Story Page links to an article about
combat exoskeleton research
being done by the U.S. Department of Defense. To my surprise, the researchers
are allowing experimental results to reshape their expectations. Visors,
for instance, sound like a perfect place for informational displays and such,
but it turns out the disadvantages outweigh the neato technological aspects.
And yet, the national missile defense plan still clings to life.
Elsewhere, a review of Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon goes so far as to compare the martial arts
style shown with those more common in Hong Kong movies: “The wu dang style…
is more flowing and mystical, liberating the fighter through a philosophy
of detachment that exempts him or her from the gravitational pull of the world.”
It’s amazing how easy it is to believe it when it’s happening, too.
But all is not well in the cinema. In fact, according to an article
pointed out by NUBlog,
as we know them are doomed. The culprit? Digital “film”, which allows
theater owners to show movies that have been transmitted to it electronically.
How long before they start showing non-movie entertainment as well? Wrestling
pay-per-view on the big screen? Interactive talk shows? Endlessly re-edited
Adam Sandler films that can be steadily polished while in theaters to improve
This freedom, the author argues, will turn movies into television,
leaving the cinema as an art form forever a thing of the 20th century. It’s
a frighteningly plausible scenario, even if the author occasionally
gets a little highfalutin for my taste.
(Ironic aside: Uncertain of the spelling of “highfalutin”, I went
and looked it up in my handy Oxford Desk Dictionary. Yee-hah!)
But speaking of big changes in the media that no one asked
for, Doc Searls
points to this humorous
take on the AOL/Time Warner merger. Well, “humorous” is perhaps not the
best word for it. It’s kind of like making fun of the rogue samurai right
after they sack your village. “Well, they may have gotten the Emperor’s
permission to burn our village and take our possessions, but did you see
their leader’s hair?”
Study questions: How will the increasing concentration of corporate power
affect your life? What other colorful expressions might the Oxford dictionary contain?
holiday pageants help us live together in peace? Did you
leave the lights on?