Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Chapelle Corby etc.

I feel I must write my views about this unfortunate state of events in Bali: When Chapelle was first arrested, her guilt started out as self evident. Her own piece of luggage under her control had the drugs in it. As it turns out over the course of the trial, considerable doubts are thrown up especially regarding motive and alternate theories as to how the "stuff" got to be in her possession. This throws up an intense dillemma for the Indonesian judiciary. If they find her not guilty due to reasonable doubt, there is a considerable loss of face (which can't be underestimated with SE Asian countries), not to mention likely copy-cat defendants riding with similar arguments. If they find her guilty, this may well irretrievably harm the Australian-Indonesian relationship, which seemed to be going rather well of late. However, with the arrest of the "Bali 9", there has been a considerable face-saver. Now the judiciary can afford to make an example of the Bali 9 (or at least the ringleaders) while being able to be maximally lenient (or find her outright not guilty) with Chapelle's case. I don't think that the arrest of the Bali 9 is a coincidence. The Australian Federal Police were well aware of the predicament of their relationship with the Indonesians. The final result may well be a win all round, with a considerable deterrent effect against the smuggling of drugs through a number of Asian areas, and a drop off of supplies to Australia, while allowing reason to prevail when there is "reasonable doubt".

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Just as an a completely irrelevant aside, SPIT has 3 songs in the top 5 on mperia's comedy rock songs chart. While we haven't been looking, this site has been doing some really good work. Perhaps we need to try to capitalise on it by perhaps putting in more songs, getting more people to review them on Mperia etc!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Valuing life etc.

As I had iterated on DR.Clam's blog, earlier, I do now consider myself to be *nominally* pro-life, both in a personal sense and a personal influence sense. However, I definitely don't consider myself to be anti-choice. We had only just touched on on the issue of cost-benefit analysis both specifically and in a general sense when talking about "regulation" of the unborn. This Economist Article makes a case for cost benefit analysis when talking about any regulatory change. The "Economics Focus" section of "The Economist" is my particular favourite. Basically, I think it is inevitable that we take into consideration cost-benefit analysis when we consider abortion law reform. Whether we face these costs and benefits "squarely" or not, they are inevitably there. We may argue about how much to value what, but I think the methodology should use the tools that we have to calculate costs and benefits. This might all seem a bit esoterical to some readers (not DR. Clam of course), but I think our remaining differences amount to the moral cost of abortion law the way it is.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Blog links

Jenny said...
Woo hoo.
I googled and it came up as number one...via Andrews page. Obviously Anotherblog is much loved by google

Yeah, trust Andrew to be the popular one :-) incidentally the photo of the four of us there reminded me of the fourth Beatle remark you made, as I'm the one with no gloves (for the wedding ring, you realise)....

Friday, April 15, 2005

Thursday, April 14, 2005

How to get more hits

I was just reading Jenny's Procrastination Page , where she was commenting that try as she might to self google as it were, Jenny's Procrastination Page was just not coming up. Now it wasn't as if she was looking for someone who likes to make words up, or anotherblog with a current guitar obsession. My comment would be to pick some choice phrase such as "Jenny's Procrastination Page" and use it as the title of the blog in question and then get as many other bloggers to link to that page using the same phrase. This way, Jenny's Procrastination Page will no longer be lost in cyberspace, and all that anyone would have to do is type the words Jenny's Procrastination Page into their favourite search engine and they would find the perfect page to procrstinate with.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Film Foren(sic) - Monster's Inc

State of body - looks real, but is computer generated.
Detail of inspection - Inspected repeatedly but with regular interruptions.
Forensic investigator - marco
Comments - I almost missed the vital flaw.

Having briefly discussed this movie in the comments of my blog, I decided to give it another once-over with my magnifying glass, and realised that something should have dawned on me somewhere along the line - It seems so obvious now! More on that later, but first, a general impression of the movie.
I can just imagine the scene at Pixar, everyone patting each other on the back as they work out how to model various monster fur, realistic eye movements and various monster attributes. The creative types at Disney however are fairly perturbed as they don't have any plots involving monsters. Then one of them pipes up and says "Hey, what if the monsters are just as scared of kids as they are of them?" The rest of course is history, and I really believe with this rendering technology the movies are being written to suit the new features (bottom up) rather than the more usual top down approach of having the story worked out first and then making the animators/renderers do their best to follow suit. This has the positive effect of getting the creative juices of the scriptwriters flowing. The plot could have gone really badly had they stuck strictly to a good vs evil structure, or not had any other concept other than "monsters being scared of children" duality to work with.
Looking at the kid's reaction, once again they really take to the violent bits, and in this case also the sentimental Sully/Boo relationship. At the movies, Nikolas (6 at the time) started to sob at the bit where Sully was never going to be able to see Boo again. Admittedly the visual Mike gags work for children as well, but the main thrust of the comedy seems to work more for the parents watching with the kids than the kids themselves. Kids movies can no longer afford to just appeal to kids; and this movie does the dual appeal almost flawlessly.
Now this movie does a really good job of keeping adult (humans) out of the picture almost completely. It's like as if they didn't exist - They are invisible to the monsters and the monsters are invisible to them. The one bit towards the end of the movie where Randall gets beaten over the head by a frying pan (seemingly by an adult woman in a caravan) does spoil this sense and I would call this a definite flaw in the movie - But that's not the really major flaw.
The movie is an excellent display of modern 3D animation. The scriptwriters actually did something original with what they had. It is only vaguely formulaic (especially for a Disney movie) so this movie was certain to be a success from the start. But the Disney marketing machine blew it. There is absolutely no evidence of anything remotely resembling a Sequel strategy in place. With such a sure fire winner there should be at least Monsters Inc. I II & III. Or what about a video only release of short monster "skits" or something like they have with Timon & Pumbaa. The only thing that I can think of is that they were so sure that it would flop that they didn't even leave an opening for a sequel in their story. Good movies like this should be milked for profits again and again and not just be placed on a pedestal to say "Gee that was good, let's just leave it at that!" It's absolutely autrocious. I go to the shops, and in the toy aisles there's saturation Barbie, Bob, Buzz etc. but where's my little Mikey?
So in conclusion, Monster's Inc breaks new ground, but Disney just seems to have temporarily forgotten how to print money in this case!