Thursday, April 6, 2017

Smith & Weston

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to yet another sad edition of Dougles' Literal Literacy. I think I'm finally starting to agree with Mrs. Weston. Gloria can't grow up with nothing but a robot as a friend, but that doesn't mean you have to take the robot away completely and without warning. My brief psychology lesson explained why. I thought the decision to move was a bad idea. Gloria's enthusiasm was incredibly suspicious, and they should have taken a moment to consider that it had something to do with Robbie. Her idea that they were going to hire detectives was adorable, hilarious, and heartbreaking in a life-ruining kind of way all at the same time. She obviously failed to factor in that they were taking all their belongings with them. It would seem that my prediction that she'll get lost looking for Robbie in the city is coming together nicely. I'm absolutely certain that my theory is correct. I'm also hoping for some much-needed retribution for Mrs. Weston, but it'll probably just be one of those endings where she sees the error of her ways and hops on the bandwagon. I could be wrong, but I am definitely getting that vibe from the story. I suppose it's possible that George will divorce her, but it states multiple times that he loves her, which is why he goes along with what she does, so I'm guessing we can safely cross that possibility off the list. Mrs. Weston getting run over by a truck is certainly the least likely of possibilities. I don't get the random, chaotic death vibe from Isaac Asimov the way I do from George RR Martin.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Metal 2 Society

Hey, hey, kids! Welcome back to another episode of Dug's Proportional Palabras. The scene where George is forced to lie to his daughter and she bursts into tears is heartbreaking. It remains to be seen if Mrs. Weston made the right choice about sending Robbie away, but there's no arguing against the fact that she broke the news all wrong. Anyone could see that she would subconsciously associate the dog, Lightning, with Robbie's disappearance, or at least the feelings she had at the time, and would thus never grow to like it. They should have let Gloria be sad for a few days, or better yet weeks, and then brought in the dog to cheer her up. Douglas Troy and his writers are not trained psychologists and have no degrees. They are not liable for any physical or emotional trauma or other inconveniences you may encounter from following their advice. Mrs. Weston is clearly a terrible person, seeing as how she'd rather have her daughter suffer for years than allow a robot to bring her up. She says so herself. Mr. Weston seriously needs to stick up for his pour daughter.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Three Reasons Why The Giver Book is Better Than the Movie

Three Reasons Why the Giver Book is Better Than the Movie
The Giver book is better than the movie for a variety of reasons. For one thing, I do not like the idea of Asher being a drone pilot. He is a very playful and joking person who has failed to master precision of language in spite of the fact that he’s lived in a Community where that is the most important thing for his entire life. He seems like a very irresponsible person. He once got late to class because he stopped to watch some fish. That is not the sort of person whom you trust with flying something as valuable and expensive as a drone, especially when you consider that they take it so seriously that they executed a pilot for the sole reason that he flew over the city. They care it that much, but apparently it is the kind of job you give to the one who doesn’t know the difference between”distraught” and “distracted.” I think that was a very poorly thought out decision that happened only to add some extra conflict which was completely unnecessary. It was barely even a conflict, because all that happened was that Asher shows up, talks to Jonas, decides he’s cool and drops him into a river. It’s utterly pointless, and I suspect it only happened to pad the run time.
Another thing I dislike about the movie which isn’t present in the book is the weird futuristic technology. I always had the impression that the Community was a place that cared only about function, and that they probably wouldn’t have something if they didn’t need it. I definitely don’t think they need the bizarre architecture of the houses, which look like a three year old’s box fort, or maybe one of those massive things you add to your house for your cat to play on. You know, the thing with all the weird platforms and scratching posts? They also have holograms, which are completely unnecessary. They should be using the speakers instead, or even screens. I heavily doubt that holograms will ever become used in the real world because they’re stupid and useless, so there is no way that the Community would ever even consider thinking of dreaming about it. I mean, most people in the real world don’t even like 3d, so holograms have a snowball’s chance of ever becoming universal in the real world, and no one in the Giver would ever consider it.
The final reason I have for the book being better than the movie is the movie’s attempt at a romance. First of all, Jonas and Fiona would have immediately been called in for chastisement after their little stunt with the slide. It was also phenomenally cheesy. Why were they climbing a massive staircase to get food in the first place? Secondly, the cameras should have caught Jonas using the apple. There is no possible way that Jonas isn’t under an unusually large amount of surveillance at this point. He’s been selected to be the new Receiver, so they probably be monitoring his mental state because they don’t want another failure. Not only that, but Jonas was also wildly misbehaving, so they should have been watching him even closer. Besides, he explained his trick to Fiona out loud, so their surveillance should have heard him say it. There’s no possible way that any of that could ever work.

Ay, Robbie

Hello once again, audience. Welcome back to another exciting edition of Douglasses Trippy Texts. Last week we began our review of I, Robot. We return now to the scene, already in progress. Robbie's love of stories greatly interests me. It's a small thing, but it really makes me think about how that robot brain of his works. Is it just something his programmer added in to make him seem more like a real person, or is his brain designed to learn, and listens to stories to help it do so? Is he capable of learning new words? We know he likes certain ones because his favorite is Cinderella and even his eight year old ward is tired of telling it to him. Why does he like it, though? I'm probably overanalyzing the story. I really pitied George as his wife manipulated him, but I'm not sure if she was in the wrong. I predict that the family will sell Robbie, and Gloria will run away to the city to find him. She'll be lost there, but Robbie will find her and bring her home to her family.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Domo Arigato

For this week's edition of Dee Dee's Curayzee Literature, we'll be taking a look at literary classic I, Robot sci-fi giant Isaac Asimov.  The intro has a very wistful, even sad, feel about it, and I found myself sympathizing with Susan, even though nothing really sad is happening. It's sad for her, and you feel that emotion right along with her.  I really like the idea of robopsychology. It's a very interesting and suitably realistic way to develop artificial intelligence. The only thing I dislike is how humanlike it makes the robots, but I guess that's the point of AI in the first place. Gloria's sort of a brat, but I guess she is only eight. Robbie himself is a very interesting character. He seems to have trouble understanding and following certain orders, like not hiding inside the house and not running until Gloria has found him, but a lot of his other behavior is incredibly human, but maybe even warmer and kinder. I like it because it shows how good he is at certain things his programming is designed to have him do, and how he's slow to learn, or maybe incapable of learning things that his makers might not have expected.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Ancient Secrets

Ancient Secrets
I interviewed my grandmother on the phone while I sat in my living room. She didn’t really know about it beforehand, but retired people tend to have a lot of time on their hands. Certainly enough to talk on the phone for an hour.
My grandma is 79 years old, but she’s got as much energy as ever. She’s a very social person who loves to talk, joke, and laugh. She likes a good conversation so much that she’s even willing to put up with her idiot grandson and answer all his questions, even with actual enthusiasm. Although her white hair is of average length, her height is a few inches below that. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, but she lives in Berkeley at the moment. She usually slips a joke or two into whatever she’s talking about, and occasionally gets a little off-topic.
“How have advances in technology changed the way we live?” “I certainly love the computer. I can read the New York Times and jack up the print size.” She likes how much easier it is to keep in touch with people, and how you can walk around while talking on a cordless phone. She’s glad you can reserve books online at the library without having to go look for them, and appreciates online shopping and how much quicker and easier it is than wandering around a store.
“What specifically has been the most useful?” She likes the computer the most because of all the different things you can do on it. One of her former favorites was the landline, because you could hang up when someone knocked on the door, whereas you had to respond to letters. She also really likes the microwave because she doesn’t really like to cook.
“What did you do in your free time when you were a kid?” “Read, hung out with my friends, watched tv once it was invented.” She says it was mostly like what kids do today. She played tennis in high school, and spent a lot of time begging her parents for a cat. She remembers the feeling of excitement she’d get on a snow day, waiting as the radio listed all the school districts. Then she’d go sledding and have snowball fights.
“What do kids do now that you would have wanted to do as a kid?”She would’ve wanted the technology we had now because she loves her computer and it took a very long time for her mom to get a tv because she thought the antennae was ugly.
“What big world events were most memorable when you were growing up?” World war two. There was a lot of rationing, and everyone had big shutters to block out the light so bombers couldn’t see their houses. Everyone thought they lived near something that the axis would want to bomb. She would collect scrap metal in a wagon, and donate it to help the war effort, although she doesn’t know how it helped. She remembers beating on a pan in celebration when the war ended in Europe, and trying to drive downtown to go celebrate and getting caught in a massive traffic jam when the japanese surrendered.
“Out of all that, what stood out to you the most?” She remembers when the japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war on us, although she wasn’t all that scared then because of how young she was. She remembers when Roosevelt died because it was the first time she ever saw her mother cry.
“Are there any interesting stories about our family history?” We had an ancestor named Lytle. Thanks to his brave actions, we are related to President Richard Nixon, although we are related very distantly. I am his great grandchildren’s ninth cousin. Grandma’s mother died before she learned of her relation to him (she was his sixth cousin), and he was her least favorite president. There was no one on Earth who she hated more.
“How was life different during the cold war?” “Everyone was getting pretty nervous about Russia, what with all the stuff about the Iron Curtain. Russia was trying to prevent us from dropping food off into Berlin.” She lived in Germany for a while during the Cold War, inside the british zone. She was close enough to the border that she could see the guard towers, always with three soldiers in it. I guess it is harder to bribe three people than two. Still, people would try to get across, by parachuting and even pole vaulting, but mostly by using fake papers. Anyone over 65 could come and go whenever they please, because the east germans didn’t want to have to pay their penchants.
“Were people afraid the nuke was coming at any second or did they just sor of get on with their lives?” They just got on with their lives. A-bombs haven’t been dropped since World War Two, and they may never be again. Supposedly, President Truman hadn’t been told about the now famous Manhattan project until he became president, and then he had to make the call to kill so many people once he was in charge.
I learned a lot from the interview. The most surprising was my relation to President Nixon, and I think the most interesting was how President Truman wasn’t told about the Manhattan Project. It must have been very strange to see that massive wall dividing Berlin, with guard towers watching you as if you were some common criminal.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's Funny 'Cause Poles Can't Walk

So, I just remembered what you said about topics needing to be specific, and I realized my topic was really, really, broad. Luckily, I noticed that both the weapons I've talked about have been mounted on a large handle, so I'm just gonna pretend that the topic was weapons with large handles all along.  Today, we'll be covering halberds. Linkle doodle do: Yeah, I know that most teachers are triggered by wikipedia, but you try finding so many different sources for medieval weaponry. It's all just online stores. Anyhoo, a halberd is basically an axe mounted on a long pole. However, there's also a spear at the top and a hook on the back, so it's basically Frankenstein's Monster. The hook was designed for fighting mounted opponents, and the spearhead could function a little bit like a warhammer spike with reach, so it caused untold devastation on the hopes and dreams of everyone who even considered putting armor on. The axe part is pretty self explanatory: Hack and slash to all your hearts content, because you've got enough range that they'll never get close. The halberd is a member of the polearm family of weaponry. Complicated scientific names were not the strong suit of the dark ages, but that isn't really a bad thing. In case you didn't get it, it's called a polearm because it's a weapon on a pole. Mind blown, am I right? But anyway, the halberd is an incredibly versatile armament. If your opponent's weapon has superior speed and power, you keep them at bay with the spear head. If they've got a great shield and specialize in defense, then you crush them with the axe. If they've made the expensive choice of riding a horse, unseat them with the hook. Not only that, but it's astoundingly simple to use - an untrained peasant once killed Charles the Bold with one of these, which ended the Burgundian wars decisively.