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John Carter of Mars

Ano­che ví John Car­te­r. Re­cuer­do va­ga­men­te ha­ber leí­do el li­bro en que es­tá ba­sa­do, "Prin­ce­ss of Mar­s" cuan­do te­nía unos 8 años y era so­cio de la Bi­blio­te­ca Ma­riano Mo­re­no, su­je­to a una die­ta es­tric­ta de Hardy Bo­ys, Bom­ba el chi­co de la se­l­va, y Bu­rrou­ghs.

Me sor­pren­de mu­cho que ha­ya si­do el fra­ca­so eco­nó­mi­co que fue. Es di­ver­ti­da, es­tá bien he­cha, es un po­co an­ti­gua en el sen­ti­do de que cuen­ta una his­to­ria de ma­ne­ra di­rec­ta, sin vuel­ta­s. Hay que dar­le un pre­mio es­pe­cial al di­rec­tor por­que ¡Las es­ce­nas de ac­ción se en­tien­den! Siem­pre sa­bés quién es­tá ha­cien­do qué co­sa, y la re­la­ción es­pa­cial de la gen­te en las es­ce­nas tie­ne sen­ti­do.

Cla­ro, la his­to­ria pa­sa rá­pi­do, hay mon­to­nes de per­so­na­jes se­cun­da­rios que no se de­sa­rro­llan por­que no al­can­za el tiem­po, y es una pe­na que pro­ba­ble­men­te nun­ca vea­mos la se­gun­da par­te.

Holmes vs. Elementary

Often mo­vies or TV se­ries co­me in pair­s. The­se da­ys I wa­tched two se­ries that are ob­vious­ly re­late­d, Sher­lo­ck and Ele­men­ta­ry and the­re is even a mo­vie se­ries by guy Ri­tchie (whi­ch I ac­tua­lly like!) but le­t's ta­lk TV.

I am not going to be ori­gi­nal in sa­ying Sher­lo­ck is the su­pe­rior sho­w. But why is it?

We­ll, I thi­nk it mos­tly co­mes to one being do­ne by peo­ple who ha­ve read the books, and the other by peo­ple who heard about the­m.

For exam­ple, that evil word "E­le­men­ta­r­y". It's not in the books. It's in the mo­vie­s, thou­gh. So, if you fo­cus on se­con­d-hand sour­ce­s, it makes sen­se to use it, but if you ca­re about the ori­gi­nal ma­te­rials it makes sen­se to ca­re­fu­lly avoid it.

The­re's al­so the pro­blem of Ele­men­ta­r­y's Hol­mes looking like a ho­bo. Hol­mes was fas­ti­dious­ly nea­t. He was a slob about his lo­dgings, but he alwa­ys kept hi­mself clean and we­ll dress­e­d.

Or le­t's con­si­der addic­tio­n. Ye­s, in the books Hol­mes shoots co­cai­ne and does mor­phi­ne, Thing is, tho­se things we­re not even ille­gal at the ti­me. Co­cai­ne was a cou­gh me­di­ci­ne. So, trans­po­sing that in­to ni­co­ti­ne addic­tion makes sen­se, spe­cia­lly sin­ce Hol­mes was al­so a ve­ry hea­vy smo­ker even for vic­to­rian stan­dar­d­s. Tur­ning it in­to a drug ha­bit that for­ces Hol­mes in­to re­hab (re­ha­b!) does­n'­t. Al­so, "this is a th­ree pa­tch pro­ble­m"? Ha­ve to chu­cle at tha­t, du­de.

The Wa­tsons al­so are qui­te di­ffe­ren­t. I qui­te like Lu­cy Liu's dea­dpan de­li­ve­ry of eve­r­y­thin­g, but Wa­tson is not su­ppo­sed to be a da­ma­ged per­son that nur­tu­res. He's a th­ri­ll seeke­r, a ba­da­ss cha­rac­ter that is on­ly mil­d-­man­ne­red when com­pa­red to his com­pan­y. Agai­n, Sher­lo­ck wa­lks clo­ser to the books the­re, whi­le Ele­men­ta­ry tries to shoe­horn so­me weird per­so­na­l-­gro­w­th si­de­plo­t.

Ye­s, Wa­tson is the one that brings out the hu­man si­de of Hol­me­s, but he does that not by being all so­ft and cu­dd­l­y, he does it by being a hard hea­ded bas­tard who stan­ds up to hi­m. He's a true frien­d, and frien­ds do­n't take shit from frien­d­s, at least not wi­thout gi­ving shit ba­ck. In Sher­lo­ck he does tha­t, and clear­ly Hol­mes res­pec­ts hi­m. In Ele­men­ta­r­y, Wa­tson is to­le­ra­te­d, and treated like a pe­t.

Wi­nks. Bo­th se­ries try to make re­fe­ren­ce, mo­re or le­ss obli­que, to the sour­ce ma­te­ria­l. Agai­n, it feels like Ele­men­ta­ry is wo­rking from se­cond hand re­fe­ren­ce­s. If I could find you the "Hol­mes in­ten­tio­na­lly avoi­ds lear­ning things of no im­me­dia­te re­le­van­ce" bi­ts in bo­th, the Ele­men­ta­ry one was a groa­ning ex­po­si­tio­n, in­clu­ding ph­y­si­cal de­mons­tra­tion of how wa­ter dis­pla­ces oi­l. In Sher­lo­ck? We­ll, it's an ar­gu­men­t. In­cre­du­li­ty on one si­de, qui­rki­ness on the othe­r, funny dia­lo­g.

Be­cau­se tha­t's what Ele­men­ta­ry is­n'­t. it's just not fun. And a Hol­mes tha­t's not fun, is a bro­ken Hol­me­s.

The Basics

Be­cau­se I am going to be tra­ve­ling for th­ree weeks, I was thi­nking to­day about pa­ckin­g. Last yea­r, I spent fi­ve weeks on the road, and I pa­cked a ca­bi­n-­si­ze sui­tca­se, plus a me­ssen­ger ba­g. Did­n't feel like I had for­go­tten an­y­thin­g, so I guess I did­n'­t.

That was spring and this wi­ll be la­te fa­ll, so I wi­ll add a swea­ter and a be­tter ja­cke­t.

So, it see­ms the amount of things I need to take wi­th me on a trip does­n't co­rre­la­te wi­th the du­ra­tion of the trip be­yond a cer­tain poin­t. It see­ms that all the ma­te­rial asse­ts I need to li­ve fit in a sma­llish sui­tca­se (plus a ba­g). I mo­ved to Bue­nos Ai­res twel­ve years ago wi­th a sui­tca­se, a TV and a ca­t.

So, ig­no­ring de­tails su­ch as fa­mi­ly and sen­ti­men­tal va­lue (whi­ch, for me, ma­te­rial things ha­ve no­ne), su­ppo­se eve­r­y­thing I own bur­ned do­wn in a fi­re. How mu­ch mo­ney would I need to miss no­thing I los­t?

As­su­ming I am mo­ved in­to a ba­re appart­ment wi­th the usual things in it (no fur­ni­tu­re, but has a sto­ve and a fri­dge), he­re's my lis­t:

Clothes

7 t-s­hir­ts, 3 pan­ts, 2 shor­ter pan­ts, 2 pairs of sneaker­s, 2 swea­ter­s, a coa­t, mis­c. About $400 or so?

Computer

I am con­si­de­ring upgra­ding the one I ha­ve for a $800 one, so su­re­ly no mo­re than tha­t.

Phone

I ha­ve a $90 pho­ne, but le­t's re­pla­ce my kind­le too, so a ni­cer one: $250

Furniture

A ta­ble, a few chair­s, a ma­tress (I had to re­pla­ce my bed re­cen­tl­y, ma­tress in the floor for a week was sur­pri­sin­gly ni­ce!). Perhaps $500?

Random

Cu­tle­r­y, dis­he­s, a po­t, a fr­ying pan, to­wel­s, be­d­s­hee­ts, co­ffee mu­g, toi­le­try ite­ms, blanke­t, ex­ten­sion cor­d­s, etc. $1000?

No­thing el­se co­mes to min­d, so, it see­ms I need a bit over $2000, le­t's say $2500 to be on the safe si­de. It's in­te­res­ting to ima­gi­ne I could mo­ve to, sa­y, Cos­ta Ri­ca, by just ha­ving a job the­re, $2500 in my po­cket and no ba­gga­ge.

A Year With My Kindle

I got my first Kind­le a year ago. I qui­ck­ly re­pla­ced it wi­th my cu­rrent and se­cond kind­le, a Kind­le Tou­ch.

So, how we­ll has it wo­rke­d? Pre­tty damn we­ll. I am a fair­ly hea­vy use­r, I thi­nk, and the Kind­le has tra­ve­led qui­te a bi­t, in bags, sui­tca­ses and car­go po­cke­ts. The on­ly ca­re I take is to use a lea­ther co­ver when ou­tsi­de the hou­se.

I ha­ve rea­d, ac­cor­ding to goodrea­d­s.­co­m, so­mewhat over 17000 pa­ges in this yea­r, in 61 books. Tha­t' a lot of pa­ges. And if you look at the ga­dget no­w, it sti­ll looks brand new. No scra­tche­s, eve­r­y­thing ope­ra­tes co­rrec­tl­y, even the ba­tte­ry sti­ll hol­ds the char­ge fi­ne even if it's do­wn to about two weeks per char­ge ins­tead of al­most th­ree.

I sti­ll miss the ol­der kind­le's pa­ge-­tur­ning bu­tton­s. Using a tou­chs­creen to turn pa­ges is idio­ti­c. but he­y, it wo­rks, and I can sti­ll do it one-han­ded (yay for hu­ge-hand boy he­re!)

The on­ly things I do­n't qui­te like are the sa­me ones as when I bou­ght it.

  • The pa­­ge has too li­­ttle contrast when not idea­­lly li­­gh­te­­d.

  • You can't read in the da­­rk.

Sin­ce the new pa­pe­rwhi­te fixes bo­th of tho­se, I am ge­tting one. I ha­ve al­ready sold this one, and the di­ffe­ren­ce is not a lo­t, so it's a ve­ry cheap upgra­de.

Qui­te ha­ppy about Ama­zo­n's abi­li­ty to not su­ck at gi­ving me goods in ex­chan­ge for mo­ne­y, too! It's ra­re that I want a book and it's not out the­re in Kind­le for­mat (s­ti­ll wai­ting for Evan Da­ra's Ea­sy Chai­n!)

So, no unex­pec­ted is­sues, has brou­ght a lot of fun, was chea­p... tha­t's the de­fi­ni­tion of ga­dget pa­ra­di­se to me.

Small Things Break Big Things

I ha­ve been wa­tching Ga­lac­ti­ca (the newer one) on and off for a few mon­ths. And the­re is one sma­ll thing that dri­ves me nu­ts eve­ry ti­me I see it. It th­ro­ws me off the sto­r­y, and com­ple­te­ly breaks the worl­d-­buil­ding tha­t's going on.

Oc­to­go­nal pa­pe­r.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f158/Silent-Ninja/Battlestar%20Galactica%20paperwork/BSGPaperwork001.jpg

This. Makes. No. Sen­se. Ni­ce fon­t, thou­gh.

Wh­y? Be­cau­se pa­per is squa­re for func­tio­nal and ma­nu­fac­tu­ring rea­son­s. You take a spool of pa­pe­r, you cut it, you end up wi­th rec­tan­gu­lar pie­ce­s.

Are you ma­nu­fac­tu­ring li­nen pa­pe­r? Then you need to build fra­mes to do it, and making oc­to­go­nal fra­mes is mu­ch har­de­r.

To make oc­to­go­nal pa­per shee­ts you need to cut eve­ry one of them from squa­re shee­ts. That is stu­pi­d.

Oh, it ge­ts wor­se. In the BSG uni­ver­se, they ha­ve oc­to­go­nal *trac­tor pa­pe­r*.

What sort of idiot ca­me up wi­th tha­t? How can that even wo­rk!

So, a fun se­ries but eve­ry ti­me I see a pie­ce of pa­per I want to screa­m.


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