Friday, December 19, 2008

No. 0047 - Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V Appreciation Day

As Christmas is fast approach in this holiday season, it is very important for us to be a little bit more grateful for the things we may have taken for granted during the year. That's is why I'm dedicating this invention to two commands that we all PC users have grown to love: copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V). I use them so much that I think the left Ctrl key on my work keyboard is probably the shiniest key from my pinky polishing it every time that I pressed it.

We all have used them, probably on a daily basis. What is so great about them is that they are universal commands that can be used between different programs, even outside the realm of the "World of Microsoft Word" (WoMW). My favorite 'inter-program-Ctrl-C&V-ing' is pulling stuff off of Adobe Acrobat/Reader. It is so easy, sometimes I feel like I'm plagiarizing. If you are reading something online and don't understand a certain word or phrase and it doesn't have a link? No worries, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and Google search in the corner will save the day. Got a long string of numbers such as credit card numbers? Ctrl+C & V will take care of you. Another favorite Ctrl+C & Ctrl+Ving moment of mine is when I'm pulling a JPEG from the web or pdfs to put into my power point. You see, I have a pep-peeve of saving separate JPEGs onto my hard drive and then insert my pictures into my document from my hard drive. My goal has always been to keep my HD as lean as possible and Ctrl+C&V allows me to bypass saving anything.

Today at work, I wrote 400-500 lines of code in Matlab in one sitting. How was I able to achieve that you may ask? Nothing but a little magic that I pulled with my pinky and ring finger. Some of you that are more programming savvy may ask "if you need to use copy & paste so much, why don't you just write some loops instead?" My answer to you is that it's complicated, OK!!!

Let us not take things for granted this holiday season and appreciate something that is so simple yet so powerful such as these two quick key commands. Maybe the next time you are cleaning and dusting your keyboard, you can give the Ctrl, C and V key an extra shine so they would stand out amongst all the other keys on the keyboard. Or maybe give those three buttons a tune up/check up every once in awhile. The Ctrl key is very prone to looseness since it typically sits on the corner of the keyboard. And lets not forget that 'C' and 'V' also has double duties serving as 2 of the 26 members of our alphabets ('C' probably gets used more so if you have to pick a favorite one to baby, I would pick C). Since the holiday seasons are also about being a little nicer than usual, I'll also give a shout out to the Apple's Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V counterparts: Apple+C & Apple+V (Unix's 'highlight' and 'double mouse button/middle mouse' are not bad either). I invite all to share their favorite copy and paste moments as we celebrate Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V Appreciation Day.

Note* Ctrl+X is not too bad either, but I don't use it nearly as much. I think Ctrl+X is a bit more barbaric than Ctrl+C & Ctrl+V, as I may accidentally delete stuff when I don't mean to (back-to-back Ctrl+X action will do that to you). Maybe next year I may grow comfortable enough to appreciate it as well. Ctrl+Z is a very strong runner-up for next year too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

No. 0046 - Engineers on Wall Street

Let me try to say this as tactfully as possible; I think all those who works at Wall Street should be fired and replaced with engineers, period! The economy is in trouble, we hear about it everyday; shrinking 401k's, shrinking job markets, shrinking GDP and etc. People are pointing fingers at each other playing the blame game. In own opinion, I couldn't really find anyone else to blame besides the greed of Wall Street and those who works there. Let me explain to you why I think an engineer (especially ME, AERO, Civil and maybe EEs) would do a better job and we wouldn't have been in this whole mess in the first place if engineers were to call the shot.

My fellow engineering friends or those who have taken more than 2 quarters of college physics can resonant with me on this one. You see, in the engineering field, we all have been exposed to this topic call Thermodynamics. Yes, the dreaded Thermo! I personally never really excelled or found interest in this branch of my ME curriculum , nevertheless, as a helpless engineering student like I was back then, this stuff was beaten into my head. As some of you may painfully recall the fundamental laws of thermodynamics. Let me explain to you how understanding these laws could have prevented us from this whole economic mess.

The first law of thermodynamics pretty much illustrates the fact that energy may be manipulated in any shape or form we want in a closed system, but it all adds up in the end meaning the end states remain fixed. Does Conservation of Energy ring a bell? Energy is neither created or destroyed, that simple. In this economic turmoil that we are living in, credit is rapidly disappearing and prices of things are falling. Why? Because the economy has violated the very fundamentals of the first law. I never quite understood the phrase "money breeds money" because the only way that this could happen is to have someone infusing cash into the system. Not unless we started doing business with the Martians or aliens from out of space, I believe an economy is a closed system. I don't care how global this economy is, it is one giant CLOSED system. Money ought to just flow around and not spontaneously reproduces itself. I don't care how or what kind of business transactions we do, or what "credit default swaps" are performed or however complicated a business deal gets, the ends state is the same meaning if there is $100 running around out there in the economy, then $100 it remains, not $1000 all of a sudden in ten years.

Second law of thermodynamics has to do with entropy. A standard high school definition is that entropy is the measurement of chaos or disorder in the world and that it is constantly increasing (I suppose that is analogous to the way the economy is spinning out of control). For as ominous as that may sound, there is actually more to it. The second law more or less points out how things spontaneously move or go the direction they do. For example, heat transfer naturally goes from hot to cold or pressure always goes from high to low. The key take away point from the second law is its opportunity to do work as energy is spontaneous flowing around. For example, the released pressure may be used to blow into a turbine to do work, or heat released from a hot source could be used to heat the water to create steam power. Same thing with money in the economy, its health (work) is predicated by its flow or liquidity. Oh by the way, one more minor detail about the second law, it is only valid as long as the CONSERVATION OF ENERGY IS SATISFIED!!! Once again, where did all these extra money (aka credit) came from??

As I refer back to my good old trusty thermo book, it actually mentions in a chapter that these theories has been applied to other fields such as psychology and ECONOMY! Now I'm really scratching my head, where are all the engineers on Wall Street? Probably next to none, but instead they are replaced with the type of people that don't have classes on Fridays also known as Cal Poly Business Majors! (Shirk-Dog, this is a satirical piece, you know I love you like a brother man). Am I bitter you may ask? Yeah, I would say. I mean how can I not be when I was drudging my way to my Friday 4 pm continuum mechanics "beat down" midterm when all the business majors are half drunk already. As you can tell by now, I really don't like business people.

Oh and by the way, while I'm on a rant, another profession that I despise - statisticians. Don't "Student-T" me?!?! I save this one for a later day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

No. 0045 - More-than-Full Gas Tank Gauge

When I first got my driver's license at 18, gas costed $1.13/gal. When I got off my mission in 2001, I can fill up my tank to my Honda around $15. As some of you would have similar memories of the good-old-days of cheap gas, well, I got some bad news for you (and most of you have probably made peace with this thought already), those days are gone! I travel 80 some miles round trip everyday to work in both stop-go and white knuckle speed driving. For as gas efficient as my Civic is, I have to fill it up just about once a week. It has been a very nice treat to see national gas prices dropped about 50 cents/gal recently (I filled up my car from the gas light to full under $30 tonight, I cheered "YESSSSS!" out loud at the gas station), nevertheless, it is still not the good old days.

There are four gauges on my dashboard and it is sad to say that the one gauge I pay most attention to is the gas gauge. Every tick that the needle drops, I drive a little differently. Every tank I go through, it is like an emotional roller coaster. Here is how it usually goes and what I would say to myself:

Full - clean slate, "let's see how for I can go with this one?", "ready for that road trip!"

3/4 tank - "what?! I filled up yesterday?!"

1/2 tank - the long haul, mileage check, "this thing better say at least 150 miles or more!"

1/4 tank - "better start looking for cheap gas station", "I love how gas price cycles and I always catch the peaks!!", this zone usually last longer for some reason, "I really ought to fill it up so I can keep it under $30, that makes me feel like a winner (sad I know)".

Empty - "crap, it is not one week yet!, keep going!"

Gas light - "I wonder how many miles can I go before my car dies (inspired by Kramer)"

As some of you may notice, out of all those tank levels I've described above, there is one portion of the gas gauge that I didn't mentioned - yes, my favorite region, the "more-than-full" region. This is kind of sick but it gives me much satisfaction to see my little orange needle pointing to the darkness that is beyond the big white full bar, pushing against the needle stop. I especially enjoy it when I turn on my car and see the needle rushing for that zone. Why is it so gratifying? Because I know I can drive and drive and drive for some unknown time, that needle will not move ever so slightly! I'm not sure if you share this similar joy as I do in a "more-tank-full" tank, but I propose that all gas tank gauges should have a needle that could point beyond full, and stay there for a while. The key is not seeing that needle move. I mean come on. . . . give the poor needle a break once in a while. Let it rest so I can pay more attention to my other gauges on my dash board, such as the speed!

Friday, September 19, 2008

No. 0044 - Help Patrick Train for the 2012 London Olympic Games

What a spectacular show the Beijing Olympic was! With all the world class athletes coming together under one stadium and competing, it makes it well worth the four year wait. Beside the sporting events, my favorite has got to be the parade of nations during the opening ceremony. That is where you can get the scoops on all the likely gold contenders and which events to look forward to. I can't begin to image how cool it must be for all the athletes walking into the stadium representing their perspective county, while also in the presence of so many elite athletes from all over the world. You know? I love it so much, watching this year's parade of nations gave me the inspiration to make a goal for myself: I WANT TO MAKE IT TO THE PARADE OF NATIONS IN THE 2012 LONDON OLYMPIC AS AN ATHLETE!

Great, I got a goal. Now I just need to pick a sport, train for 4 years and elevate myself to the world class levels (or at least better than everyone else in the US). Now, like I said, all I have to do is to make it to the parade; I don't have to get a metal or anything. I just want to make it to the parade! I'm somewhat athletic but definitely not world class. I love to play soccer but I'm often the "last-pick" guy. I have ping-pong paddles and everybody thinks I'm automatically good 'cause I'm Chinese, but I'm definitely no Forrest Gump. The problem with having Olympic dreams at age 28 is that I'm a bit late. Most Olympic athletes start their training almost as soon as they can walk. Gymnasts for instance, how do you think they can flip and fold themselves up like that if they don't start when their bones and joints are still malleable, unlike mine when it hurts just to sit on the floor for an extended period of time . So basically, main stream sports are off limits for me. This is where I need your help (this month's invention is more of a collaborative effort), I need you to help me find a sport.

I have given this some thought and came up with three strategies. (1)Get into a non-popular US sport, (2)revive an old Olympic event and (3)make up a new sport.

I need to find a sport that is relatively new and foreign in the US so I may get good fast and stand out. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the only event that the US didn't participate in Beijing was team hand-ball. From what I've observed, I think the strategies are a lot like soccer but you play with a size 2 soccer ball, with your hands and on a smaller field (what a deal! less running). I like this option because I think my chances in a team sport are much higher than an individual sport since all I need to do is to make it to the "bench".

Second strategy, revive an old sport. I visited the Olympic website and shopped around for that. And guess what?! I found Tug-of-War! It was last competed back in the 1920 Antwerp Belgium summer games. I was pretty excited when I saw that. How many people in the world play Tug-of-War on a regular basis? Heck, if I can start a team and practice like mad man for the next four years, I think gold is in site people! But the biggest obstacle remains, we would have to convince the IOC to put it back on the games. Come join the cause at my Facebook group "US Tug-of-War Olympic Team". I would imagine convincing the IOC to put events back will be tough after all, they have just given softball the pink slip for 2012 (sorry girls) because of US dominance. But here's the thing, I don't think Tug-of-War is biased towards any country. It is simply one of those sports that people all over the world have left behind. Now some of you may argue if it is even a sport and we will save that debate for another day (Yes it is!).

Third, making up a new sport. I'm not really creative with games (that's why I need your help) but if I were to make one up, it would have to be something that I'm already good with. All I got so far is parallel parking and poking fun at things. It would be a pretty long stretch before either of these things would become a sport. For those of you who knows me well, are there any random things that I'm good at that remotely resembles a sport? If so, do tell.

I've also done some research locally and seen what training is available. The closet thing I've come to is fencing (the website post actually said Olympic training). But me, fencing!? I'm not really good with sports that involve holding anything. I used to do Tae Kwan Do when I was young but I'm afraid of getting kicked in the groin (bad experience, don't want to talk about it). I need your help people! I'm also open to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic games (Curling maybe?) but that's only two years away. So whatever you suggest, it has got to be dang easy and unpopular.

P.S. - I've attached the most athletic and toughest picture that I can find of myself. Hopefully this might give you an idea of my physiques so you may suggest according.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No. 0043 - Monopoly Extended Play

I think Monopoly is the greatest board game ever! I understand that Monopoly is not exactly a new invention, but that doesn't bar me from pointing good invention already made. For as much as I did enjoy writing about "Communism" the Game (See No. 0019 in June, one of my personal favorite), I'm a proponent of capitalism and there is no better way to learn about it than playing Monopoly. I think the game effectively encapsulates the workings of the economy that we all live in today, and by mastering it would do much good to the way we do our finances. In fact, I think anyone who is old enough to make or handle money should master the game first.

A week or two ago, I have gotten this sudden urge to play Monopoly. So I went online, downloaded the game and started rolling dices. Now the traditional strategy is to make sure you are the last surviving player while bankrupting your opponents one by one. With this strategy, it didn't take very long before I was challenging and conquering "tycoon" difficulty level opponents. It was then I have devised a new strategy of playing the game; I started targeting the bank instead of my opponents. The trick is you must not kill of your opponents off but instead keep them in the game to make money for you. Here is how it's done.

First, you have to build an empire and accumulate cash. Get enough property for the steady income (traditional strategy, one to two streets would be fine). But the trick is build just enough houses so that your opponents can afford to pay you in cash and not be bankrupted. Second step, start acquiring your opponents' properties but pay only cash for it. Yes, their accounts would have way more money than you but they will all come back to you 'cause you are the one with the properties. Once again, build houses but don't make it a death row (i.e. lay off the hotels on Broadway even if you can afford it). The main goal here is to keep you opponents from making deals and expanding. Warning, those pesky house and hotel repairs can cripple you at this point. Just remember that the most expensive bill the bank can throw at you is $2600 (32 houses X $40 and 12 hotels X $110) so plan accordingly. Third, keep your opponents in play. What this means is to make obvious bad deals with your opponents (cash only) from time to time, for example, sell a railroad for a dollar and buy it back for $3000. What you are doing is putting money in your opponents' pocket so they can pay you back when they land on your stuff (kind of like paying salary to your workers).

If you can get to this point, then you have effectively started the vicious cycle against the bank. Why? Because the game naturally inflates. Every time you and your opponents (assume you are able to keep 3 other ones alive) crosses "GO", that's $800 of income to your conglomeration. Not including all the free parkings, chances and community chest cards which tend to award a higher value in cash than they penalize. I've gotten to this same situation before but with only one opponent left. I conducted a little experiment. I've purchased the get out of jail free card from my opponent for $18000 (I've kept $2600 in my pocket just in case). By this point I've purchased all houses and hotels available and own the entire board. I know all that money will come back to me eventually and the bankrupting of my final opponent will mark the end of the experiment. The goal is to figure out how much money I would have made from the bank in one such cycle (from $18000 to zero for my opponent's account). Transaction between me and my associate don't count, only money that comes in and out of the bank. The results? I ended up making about $8000 from the bank! ONE CYCLE?! And what does this simulates? Inflation!! Talk about the purest form of money breeding money! Some people may wonder why things are getting more and more expensive such as the housing market (well not now because of all the foreclosures but overall yes). Why? Because there are more cash out there. Baltic Ave. can easily go for $3000-$4000 by this point of the game. Another lesson learned: a healthy economy comes from lots of money transactions, why? Because rich people make money off of other rich people, kind of like the relationship I have with my opponents. I give them wads of cash, they land on my stuff and I get that same wad back and then some from the bank.

I can't say I now know all that there is to know about money from playing Monopoly. In fact, I still don't understand a lot on how businesses and the economy works. Econ 211 is as far as I've gone back in college (i.e. supply and demand, cash flow, surplus. . . the basic stuff) and that was boring to me. That explains a lot why I do what I do today (technical and not business). But if I would have learn these principles early on as a child by mastering this game, I think my career path would have turned out a little differently. I honestly think that I would get a better grasp (and interests) of these principles if my econ class would have just played Monopoly day in and day out. Heck, why have tests and finals? Just have the whole class play a gigantic game of Monopoly and who ever survives gets the A. Done deal!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No. 0042 - Laxative Tolerance

A few weeks ago, my cube-mate came into work with one of the funniest experience with burglary ever. For the sake of protecting his identity from his "assailant", we'll call my cube-mate Bob for the time being. Bob woke up that morning with all his roommates perplexedly standing around the crime scene. In addition to the tell-tale evidence they found on the kitchen table, they also found their back door as well as their refrigerator door wide open when they woke up. Throughout the entire morning, my cube-mate were making phone calls to neighbors, family and even the police department. I couldn't help but to laugh when Bob identify to the police what the loot was: a box of Hooter's chicken wings. At first I thought could it have been a wild animal such as a javelina. But then again, if that was the case then it would have been one smart javelina to have opened the refrigerator door and leave the chicken wing bones on top of the kitchen counter. As the story unfolds, it turns out a homeless person has broken into several homes in the neighborhood during the night looking for food.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against hungry people. If anyone would ask for food because they don't have money to buy food, I would most definitely buy them lunch (I've done it before). But then again, how do you protect yourself from that? If a burglar was about money and valuables, then that would justify one home owner to get an alarm system for protection. But who would ever protect their home because of food? A food thief is petty enough that the only victim in the crime is your stomach. I propose that we all should accustom ourselves and build tolerances to laxative. For all you college kids out there, do you have roommates or visitors that help themselves to your sector of the fridge? Well, this will most definitely stop if you would put a touch of laxative in your food that you have build a tolerance to overtime. Now of course don't put so much that would kill your friends but just enough to get them sick. Most humans are smart animals, if they get "burned" once, they won't touch the fire again. Disclaimer - I'll not be responsible for the laxa-dative friends you poison.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

No. 0041 - Better Disease's Name

I've been suffering from a stye in my eyelids for the past 3-4 days (thank goodness it is starting to get better now). For those of you who don't know, a stye is basically a pimple that grows either inside or around your eyelids. It is mainly caused by an infected tear duct. Fun stuff huh?! NOT! Out of all the places, it was growing right on the ridge of my bottom left eyelid, dead center! My left eye was swollen, tender and tearing for the past 2 days intensively. What's worst is that it does grow like a pimple so I got this white little dot on my eyelid that obstructs my vision. Every time I look down, I only get like 3/4 of the total vision. . . it was so annoying. For the first day or two, I thought my eye was just getting irritated from the allergies until the little bump started to appear. So I went online to my trusty WebMD, and sure enough, my symptoms told me that I was getting a STYE. A STYE!!! My first thought was "what a stupid name!" I mean who comes up with this stuff? Did the guy that discovered this raises pigs for a living or something?!? The reason why I bought this up is because when people asked me what was happening to my left eye, I told them I was getting a stye in my eye; that totally made me feel like as if I was telling them I have leprosy or something like that and needed to be quarantined at the janitor's closet. It is bad enough to suffer through the pain of having a pimple in your eye, but can't the name be at least something more pleasant to counteract the embarrassment? Why can't it be called a "lolly pop" instead? "Oh I just have a lolly pop in my eye, so anyway . . .. blah blah blah". See? Much better.

Another good example - "breaking out in hives". For some strange reasons, I'm allergic to the Arizona sun. If I stay out too long, anywhere of my skin that sees the sun breaks out in hives. It is itchy as heck and I can't stop it. Now let me ask what do you think of when people mention hives? I think of thousands of little holes with bugs and larvae squirming inside. . . . nasty huh? Why can't they call it "blooming daises" or something like that.

I'm sure there are more good examples out there but these are the two that I can immediately think of. So to those readers that are going to be a famous scientist or physicians in the future that would discover some crazy bacteria which would turn your skin purple with yellow polka dots, be a little creative and come up with a better name. Here are some good examples: "Strawberry and Banana Smoothie Disease, Teddy Bear Syndrome, Bunny Rabbit Virus, or Tri-Tip Disorder".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No. 0040 - Balloons Traffic

Recently I used an excel file to estimate the miles that I travel in my car every month. Well it turns out to be 1428 miles a month with 78% of the time for work. I was pretty shocked. I'm literally driving my car to the ground. If anyone knows Tucson, they would know that it is extremely inefficient to travel around town. With highway exits blocked off to most major streets to town, this whole setup really forces you to learn your streets around town. Now here is the thing I don't understand, we live in a three dimensional world and yet we have limited our day-to-day travel to a 2-D plane. With all the space above us, why are we not using it? I'm proposing the use of personalize hot air balloons.

For one, hot air balloons runs on propane and is probably much cleaner than cars (all you are doing is heating up trapped air). So every where you go is no different than starting up a barbecue grill. Second, there will be less traffic because we are now using available space that we haven't been using before. Third, it will probably be faster to get to where you want. I can see where I live from where I work so with a hot air balloon, it will be a straight shot. Fourth, it will probably be way fun and a lot less stressful because of no more traffic jams, stop lights or watching out for that pesky police officer.

Now, not all of my inventions are without the need of details to be figured out. For example, parking. You can imagine how complicated it can be with everybody's balloon bouncing each other around. I propose this fix. May there can be some giant hanger that you can steer towards and hang your deflated balloons at. Another problem that may arise: landing and taking off quickly. How about this, don't land the balloon! Just throw a rope over and descend that way. And for going up? Just mount a towing hook at the bottom of the balloon and give it a remote control. So the next time you are done with grocery shopping, just lower the hook and up you go.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to replace my beloved Honda. However, when you travel and get stuck in traffic as much as I do every month, a hot air balloon may actually be not that bad of an idea.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

No. 0039 - "Rush Hour Traffic" the Game

There are no better waste of time than sitting in rush hour traffic in your car. On average, I spend 45 minutes to a hour in my car everyday after work going home. Here is a game that I've devised that might motivate you during those dull moments.

There are basically two main goals you are trying to achieve:
(1) Pass as many people as possible.
(2) Don't let other people pass you.

Here are some simple rules and guidelines.
- The definition of pass is when your front bumper passes another car's front bumper; you don't need to pass the other car entirely.
- Every time you pass someone, you get 1 point.
- When other car passes you, you loose 2 points.
- The cars you pass must be traveling the same direction you are. On coming traffic don't count.
- You can only score off of cars on the lanes next to you. (e.g - if you are in a 4 lane road, you can only count the lanes on your left and right. And if you are in two lane road, then you will only have one score-able lane and so on.)
- The cars you pass must have a driver. No scoring off of parallel parked cars.
- Turning lanes or suicide lanes are unscoreable. Likewise, you can't lose points if you are in one.
- Parking lots don't count.

- Stop lights are great scoring opportunities. The trick is picking the right lane to wait in. For example, you could approach the right lane with lesser stopped cars and bank the points on the people on your left. But people tends to turn right on the right lane, so then you might just end up loosing more points than you gain by the time the light turns green.
- Stay away from buses or semi's. Their sluggishness may cause you big points.
- Don't just pass for the one or two pointers and get stuck behind a slowpoke. Wait for a "sure kill" path to appear then execute.
- This game is all about positioning. Blind spots may be a good place to hang out while waiting for that golden opportunity. (Don't stay so blind that the other driver can't see you, stay behind 1-2 feet behind the other bumper would be fine)
- You may end up loosing more point than you gain by going at the same speed with a car next to you if your bumpers are too close. Remember, you only gain 1 if you pass, but you loose 2 when you get pass. Once you pass, you better give yourself some cushion.

I did a trial run after Costco today and I scored only 2 points by the time I got home (that is only after hanging onto -2 points for the longest time. . . got caught on the right lane trap). I was on a busy main road (Ina) when I realized I'm going to get spanked from the heavy traffic at the time, so I took an alternate route that has a lot more one lane road (non scoring Shannon and Magee). I was only able to get back to the black from a little section of passing lane on Magee (that was the first time I've ever traveled on that passing lane). That reminds me of another strategy, chose your route wisely.

This game definitely promotes and practices skillful driving (maybe less than defensive driving). And I know most of my friends who reads my blog regularly are sensible enough to not drive stupid. But since this blog is search-able on the world wide web, I must give this disclaimer: IF YOU CRASH OR GET HURT OR GET A TICKET FROM PLAYING THE GAME, IT IS SOLELY YOUR FAULT FOR DRIVING STUPID.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

No. 0038 - Bad Movie Commission

I've seen my fair share of bad movies, but never in my life I've ever gone to the movie theaters and have to apologize to my friends for having invited them to come along with me. The movie that I'm talking about is . . . . CLOVERFIELD. To all those that are within the reaches my voice (or this blog), DON'T WATCH IT!!!! Let my $10 (or $20 since one of my friend is refusing to pay me back) be the only money that all of us will lose to this movie. The only thing that this movie did well was that it setup the suspense through TV advertisements and online trailers. It made all of us wonder "what could be so horrifying?" or "what da heck could this thing be?". Well, the movie more or less in a hour and a half just simply says "here's the monster. . . ra." Monster thriller has never been my genre from the start but I do know a few thing about this kind of movies . . . you never show the monster in the movie at the half way point, especially in its entirety (Oh, and by the way, the monster isn't even all that scary)! The movie overall has no plot. It casts a group of unknown actors so all of them could die at any moment (and they did. . big surprise). There were a few random horrifying scenes, but when you are sitting at the third role from the screen and the movie takes on a home video style of shooting, all the stuff happens so fast that it doesn't really even give you a chance to get scared. I'm a die hard fan of "Lost", but JJ Abrams, what were you thinking when you produced this?!

Here is my invention; a government run Bad Movie Commission that is setup to protect us from bad movies such as Cloverfield. The commission ought to be opening their phone lines for complaints and refund requests right now. I most certainly want my money back. If I could, I wish to get my hour and a half back as well. Armed with the number of complaints received, the commission would then take action accordingly to go after the people that dreams up this stuff. I proposed commission should have the rights to initiate arrests and detentions of those responsible as well.

After the movie tonight, I came home to look for bad reviews for the movie online. To my surprise, Cloverfield had better ratings than I thought. I wondered if the Cloverfield I saw tonight was the same Cloverfield critiqued. Maybe I saw "27 Dresses" instead. In any case, tonight's experience brought the audiences nothing but motion sickness; these are the kind of injustice that I'm talking about which can only be justified by the Bad Movie Commission.