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May 2005 Archives

May 5, 2005

Taste in Music

Rosemary sucked me into this one:

Your Taste in Music:

Classic Rock: Highest Influence
Progressive Rock: Highest Influence
80's Rock: High Influence
Country: High Influence
Hair Bands: Medium Influence
90's Alternative: Low Influence

It's a pretty bad test, since it's weighted pretty heavily to post 1980 stuff, and even then the selections don't show an even ditribution. For example, there's only two country performers listed; forget how many people listen to country these days.

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer aren't listed, even though Yes and Floyd are. Where's Deep Purple? Where's Kiss? Ok, they're old, but Aerosmith is in there, as well as Floyd and Yes, and Yes hasn't done diddly since the 70s.

What about the Allman Brothers? They just released a new album a few months back!

The artists the should have included:

Continue reading "Taste in Music" »

May 8, 2005

Words of Wisdom

Someone I've read occasionally, but never linked, recently posted 21 Pieces of Good Advice.

Go there. Read the list, and immerse yourself in the wisdom of Acidman...

No. Really. I'm serious.

Anyone who pisses off Oliver Willis has to be worth reading.

May 9, 2005

God is oppressing people again...

If you haven't heard yet, a watchdog group which monitors the separation of church and state is up in arms about the alleged dominance of evangelical Christians at the US Air Force Academy.

Dusty -resident of Castle Argghhh! and an Academy graduate- has some pungent comments on the "controversy."

Greyhawk posts a letter from Buzz Patterson, former Cadet Group Commander at the Academy, who finds the charges contemptible.

Finally, naval aviator CDR Salamandar weighs in here and here.

Look, I'm agnostic myself, and even I find this foolishness offensive! Worse yet, it's not even very persuasive foolishness. As has been pointed out elsewhere, there are 4,000 cadets at the Academy, and the watchdog group interviewed a whopping fifteen cadets and staff, all told.

This is just one more spatter in the mudslinging about "Jesusland." Feh.

May 22, 2005

Star Wars breaks movie record. Sort of.

The inimitable Joe Gandleman discusses the new Star Wars attendance record over at Dean' World, but I think he missed an important point.

The headlines read 'Star Wars' Breaks Single-Day Sales Mark

The Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith record should include a very large asterisk next to any entry into a book of records.

$16.5 million of that $50 million came from the special midnight early showing held across the nation on 2,900 screens, a little detail which isn't featured very prominently in news articles, although it is mentioned in passing near the bottom. What is also rarely mentioned is that the cinemas involved used every screen available for the midnight showing, not just one or two.

Now I can't say how many seats were in each theatre, but assuming $9 per ticket, I get: $16.5 million / $9 = 1,833,333 tickets, or 632 tickets per screen (rounded off).

In other words, nearly two million people were willing to go to that extra midnight showing.

Now. How many movies do you really think audiences will line up for in that manner? Seriously?

So let's take that $16.5 million off, and the result is $33.5 million for one day; very respectable, but hardly a record-breaker.

By the way, there's been a lot of fuss about a "political" comment near the end of the film: "Only a Sith thinks in absolutes!"

That's not the line. The actual line is "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"

Now, I don't know if the critics all misheard that line in some sort of aural Rorschach test, or if Lucas changed it after the pre-release fuss from critics. Either way you can develop some interesting speculations...

May 31, 2005

Memorial Day

Reposted from May 31, 2004, on what I think about on Memorial Day:

I'm taking the time to remember my father today. He fought in the Second World War as an infantryman. He was "just" one of the mudfaces.

Like many veterans, he almost never talked about what happened to him during the war. In fact, he only mentioned the war twice all the time I knew him. The first time was, well, a long time ago when my older brother, Glenn, once reproached my father for not going camping with him. Glenn was a pretty active Boy Scout as a kid. My father replied that Glenn "knew damn well he'd done all his camping thirty years ago, and he'd had his fill of it then."

The other time was when I quoted Heinlein to him once: "Get your first shot off fast. This throws the other man off, and gives you time to aim your second shot." Well, it turns out that's almost exactly how it happened. My father was on patrol in some European town when he came around one corner of a building exactly the same time a German soldier came around the opposite corner. Both were surprised. Both fired; both missed. The only reason I'm here today is that the poor German still had an older bolt-action rifle, while my father had his trusty M1 Garand, so all dad had to do was aim, and squeeze...

And that's what my dad did during the war.

My father, Allen Trueman Tompkins, was born in February 1925, so he was pretty young when he joined the Army. I can't ask him when he actually joined, since he died of cancer over 20 years ago.

So this is in thanks, and in memory of my father and all his brethren who suffered bad camping, terrible times, and death, all in service of our country.

I miss you, dad.

There's some other things you should see today. One of them is the list of 72 reasons why the Marine Corps Moms find today especially important.

Update for 2005:

Greyhawk includes some Sacred Words, quoting letters from Iraq. He also has a nice list of Memorial Day posts from other blogs.

John of Arrgggh! also resurrects last year's post, wherein he puts a face on the soldier's sacrifice, in the person of 2LT Cowherd.

It's nearly 3:00 PM now, so I'll finish with a link to Blackfive, who includes the words to Taps in his reflection.

Day Is Done,
Gone the Sun,
From the Earth,
From the Hill,
From the Sky,
All Is Well,
Safely Rest,
God Is Nigh

About May 2005

This page contains all entries posted to The Gantry Launchpad in May 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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