Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Fun and Important Words: Highfalutin

Highfalutin is a word with mysterious origins.  Typically, the word means pompous, arrogant, haughty, pretentious or excessively ornate or bombastic, often in reference to a manner of speech.[1](1)  However, how such a word came to mean such things is not known definitively.  The alternative spelling of "hifalutin" doesn't offer any clues, either.

It's common for dictionaries to claim it highfalutin is derived from the words "high" and "fluting".  Although this may make sense, it is actually not likely according to other sources.  Long before highfalutin was first recorded, another term meaning something similar already existed, "high flown".  It seems more likely that highfalutin is a corruption of high flown.

I've used highfalutin from time to time.  However, my use of the work tends to carry an ironic tone.  

Between the spellings, ngram shows that highfalutin is a lot more common than hifalutin, these days. The rise in use of highfalutin also seems to roughly coincide with the reduction of usage for the term high flown.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Elite Dangerous Odyssey: Trying to start a bar fight, and figuring out free camera

CMDR FCSUPER and DE CYPHER try to start a bar fight, and then figure out how to use free camera while walking around on the concourse. 

Intro/outro music Orbit Dance is original music, © 2021 by Matthew Lorono, All rights reserved.

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Balance Pin Incident: First CMDR in Elite Dangerous to Destroy His Own Ship from Another commander's Ship

This is the story of how the CMDR FCSUPER became the first CMDR in Elite history to target, attack and destroy his own ship by firing upon it from another CMDR's ship.  Special thanks to CMDR DE CYPHER and CMDR FOLEY10 for their help!  

On May 23, 3307 (2021), while on board CMDR DE CYPHER's Imperial Cutter named Big Bad Wolf, CMDR FCSUPER targeted, attacked and destroyed his Sidewinder, called Balance Pin.  This is the first time in Elite that a CMDR fired upon and destroyed his own ship from another commander's ship.  That part didn't actually take that long.  Once he successfully destroyed the Balance Pin, the journey really started as they all try to figure out what's supposed to happen next to recover from the self-inflicted loss.

Intro/outro music Orbit Dance is original music, © 2020 by Matthew Lorono, All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Leftovers Law #34 ~ Everything is better with little bits of crispy pig sprinkled on top!

Crystal Forests have became Crystal Barrens in Elite Dangerous Odyssey

Crystal Forests have became Crystal Barrens in Elite Dangerous Odyssey!  You can still start up and play in Horizons to get your G5 materials for now, but even that source might be going later this year!  Load up now (in Horizons) before they're gone completely!

Hip 36601 C1A site 5 Polonium
Hip 36601 C1D site 3 Ruthenium
Hip 36601 C3B site 5 Tellurium
Hip 36601 C5A site 4 Technetium
Outotz LS-K D8-3 B5A Site 15 Yttrium
Outotz LS-K D8-3 B5C Site 3 Antimony

(1) ๐Ÿ“Œ Song info:

Title: Escape
Artist: Sappheiros
Genre: Melodic Chillstep

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"Escape by Sappheiros" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0)
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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Suburban bird of prey tries out a new hunting style - Hide-and-seek

This suburban predator is trying out a new hunting technique called Hide-and-seek!  However, the tasty bunnies that are hiding from him don't seem to want him seeking them.  This was recorded a couple of days ago in Colorado, of course.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

We, Terrorized Part 3 ~ Re-imagined Jack Nicholson's 1963 movie "The Terror" as a silent era film

This is Part 3 of the amazing adventure of Lt. Duvalier as he searches for the Baron's castle in search of answers about the mysterious Helene.

The Terror is a 1963 movie that Jack Nicholson (yes, *that* Jack Nicholson), Francis Ford Coppola (yes, *that* Francis Ford Coppola) and others may wish to forget they made, but something about this movie works as a silent film stylized to fit the 1910's.  This movie has been re-imagined as that serialized black-and-white silent film.  Jack's acting style of his early career seems appropriate for this reinterpretation.  What results is a film that will terrorize us all, "We, Terrorized"!

The Terror is a public domain film with expired copyrights.  All music is also public domain, being entirely from the Silent Film Era prior to 1923.  This silent film adaptation, "We, Terrorized Part 3", is wholly an original work that is Copyright © 2021, Matthew Lorono, All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Whiteout (2009) needed some white-out on the script

I originally was going to write a very short review on IMDb for the movie Whiteout with Kate Beckinsale.  It was going to something like "This is a movie that violates the laws of physics worse than most Sci-Fi's."  However, as I typed, it turned in a reasonably long rant, so here it is.

Whiteout is a 2009 crime thriller film based on the 1998 comic book of the same name by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. Directed by Dominic Sena.  The movie stars Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short, Tom Skerritt, and Alex O'Loughlin. The movie was released on September 11, 2009.

The movie is set in Antarctica, where Special Deputy U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is planning to leave in a few days. After finding a dead body, Stetko is attacked by a masked killer who is trying to get hold of the cargo in an old Soviet plane that crash-landed in the ice during the Cold War.

Somehow, this thriller demonstrates massive violations of the laws of physics worse than your average Sci-Fi movie. There is magic wind that only works when the plot needs it, and frictionless ground (sometimes, when the plot needs it). The escape from the buried Soviet plane is pure plot magic.  That's not even getting into uncovered faces when characters spend a long length of time outside in -55°C (and worse) weather.

Worse still, the villains are completely illogical (magical), as though they are straight out of a horror flick. One of the villains (Russell Haden played by Alex O'Loughlin) keeps appearing out of nowhere and disappears into nothing, even though there's nowhere from which the villain could come nor is there anywhere for the villain to vanish in the small base camps. The main villain (and the associated reveal) makes absolutely no sense, even within the context of the story. It feels like the writers wrote themselves into a corner and decided, "Well, dang, I'll just make the base's doctor the secret villain."

Beyond that, the good guy (Robert Pryce played by Gabriel Macht) acts as the red-herring throughout the movie. He is found in such illogical situations near crime scenes, the only way he isn't the villain is because the writers decided he wasn't. For example, he was literally found hiding within feet of murders or life-threatening assaults multiple times, but he ignores the victims and just hides while rummaging around the scene until Kate's character discovers him. In reality, he would've been arrested (he being UN or not) after the first time he was found *at* the murder scene.

There's a bunch of other illogical stuff to, like taking a tractor out to a possible crime scene, when the plane that the heroes were already using would've literally been faster and safer. The movie already demonstrated earlier that you could take a plane to pretty much any location in Antarctica because it's so flat everywhere.

Then, movie twist... There's no logic for a Soviet plane to be carrying hand-carried nuclear materials in Antarctica; but the double-twist reveal is that the plane was actually carrying uncut diamonds; which makes even less sense!

Basically, in my opinion, this movie is a mess. The fairly unique setting of Antarctica is an excuse to create danger, but it does so in ridiculous ways. If you want to watch a horror flick set in a cold and isolated place, check out 30 Days of Night or The Thing. If you want to watch a murder mystery in a cold an isolated place, check out Fargo. If you want to see Kate Beckinsale naked, check out Uncovered. If you want to see people surviving the challenging Antarctica environment while investigating meteorites, check out Eight Below.  If you want to watch a beautiful hero with special ice powers, see Frozen.  Pretty much any thing Whiteout tries to do is done significantly better by another movie.



One the plus side, Kate's attempt at a generic American accent (playing a U.S. Marshal) was pretty good.