Monthly Archives: January 2006

Movie: Fat girls and Feeders

This is a documentary and it is a horror movie. Prepare to be aghast.

Simon Perry has a good review of this movie as well.
This is the best horror movie I’ve seen in a while. I watched Saw II recently with Sam and didn’t bother to review it, because it was crap. Yeah, you cringe a little bit when these unlikeable characters do horrible things to each other, but not nearly as much as you cringe when you are watching these real, likeable people imprisoned in hundreds of pounds of flesh.

Watching feeder Mark reasonably and intelligently discuss his reasons for pushing his wife Gina to grow from 245 lbs to a mind bending 800 lbs is pure horror. Watching his home movies of her naked in various poses is uber creepy. And then you get started on the devastation that was wrough upon poor Gina’s body. How’s about this phrase:

Her skin there has grown to about an inch thick and has taken on the leathery texture of an elephant.

How can Se7en compete with that?

Apparently what is going on is even worse than what they are showing, which includes the tale of a woman imprisoned by her feeder/lover in his house as he grows her too big to leave. Guys are discussing funnels and feeding tubes to grow their fat girls. You get to see the hints of some pictures that are truly horrific.

This is a presentation of BBC’s channel 4 and doesn’t appear to be for sale or available on netflix. If you are a citizen of the emerald isle, the bbc is opening all of their content for you. I don’t think they’d mind if you downloaded it from one of the bittorrent sites out there.

Movie: Danny Deckchair

Who doesn’t like the idea of starting anew? Australian Danny Morgan does it by floating off in the sky in his lawnchair suspended by a bunch of huge helium balloons. He lands in a little town where no one knows who he is and they have enough paxil in the water that everyone just accepts his scruffy ass as a visiting university professor. Maybe people in Australia are just really trusting and accepting.

Everything from there out is standard romantic comedy. I’m not spoiling anything when I say he falls in love with a girl in the new place, he cleans up and shaves his face, then there are some complications in the romance that are resolved.

It’s good popcorn. But it’s basically the story of “Lawnchair” Larry Walters (pic)wrapped up in a romantic comedy with a positive ending. Larry Walters wanted to fly. His eyesight was too poor for the airforce so he tied his lawnchair to the bumper of his truck and tied 10 weather balloons to his lawnchair. It floated. So he tied 32 more balloons to the lawnchair and got in it along with some soda and a bb gun ( to regulate height by popping balloons) . Then he cut the cord. His plan was to rise to about 30-100 feet over the house, hang out for a while, then pop some balloons and descend.

He shot up to 16,000 feet, where it is very cold and oxygen is thin.

He did not descend in a magical town where everyone is full of love, joy and acceptance. He was first noticed by a plane trying to land at LAX. When he descended, he was arrested by LAPD for violating LAX airspace and eventually was served a $4000 fine.

He did some bits on the lecture circuit for a while and eventually shot himself in the heart after a walk in the woods. No wife, no girlfriend, no kids, no romantic comedy.

Mark Barry‘s website has a lot of good info on the larry walters story.

Currently I’m looking at John Ninomiya’s cluster ballooning website and thinking…

anti-telemarketing counterscript – control the conversation

Boing Boing linked to this anti-telemarketing counterscript that I plan to print out and keep next to the kitchen phone.

When I have a kitchen phone.

As soon as the phone call begins it gives you questions to start asking that turn the interview back on the interviewer, changing the direction the magnifying glass is pointed in.

I did a stint as a telephone researcher while in college. It was boring and inaccurate, as I had to massage people’s responses into categories. I quit.

5 Great free sf and fantasy Authors

David Wellingtons’s Monster series.
When I first got my PDA I was really happy to read David Wellington’s zombie novel Monster Island. It was a great read and managed to take the silly idea of the undead rising, hungry for braiinsss and turn it into a good, well thought out read. You root for the hero, an aid worker in Africa, who is sent back to post-apocalypse Manhattan to pick up AIDS drugs for a warlord. All the cliches and conventions of the genre are present, but well reasoned and sort of believable, once you get past the whole zombies-exist thing. And he doesn’t muck about with that – you gotta believe the undead walk. Once you make that agreement with the author, the rest is good.

It was a great read and I loved it – he’s got two sequels that I’ve been meaning to read but never gotten around to, Monster Nation and Monster Planet. The great news is that he’s also coming out with a new novel that you can get in on the ground floor with – it’s called Thirteen Bullets and it looks to be a modern vampire story. I’ve read the first chapter and immediately subscribed to the novel’s rss feed.

Monster Island is copyrighted, the rest appears to be Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives which means you can give it away, but you can’t do anything with it. This explains why there are so few versions of these works, which makes them more difficult to read. I had some problems reading Monster Island as a word doc, but it was the best on the pocketpc.

Roger Williams’ Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect

A buddy pointed this one out to me. It’s farfuture, post-singularity stuff. Humanity has uploaded, but not everyone is comfortable with the idea. How do you amuse yourself when death is not the end and the world is out of danger?
Here’s the “jacket copy”:

Lawrence had ordained that Prime Intellect could not, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. But he had not realized how much harm his super-intelligent creation could perceive, or what kind of action might be necessary to prevent it.

Caroline has been pulled from her deathbed into a brave new immortal Paradise where she can have anything she wants, except the sense that her life has meaning.

Now these two souls are headed for a confrontation which will force them to weigh matters of life and death before a machine that can remake — or destroy — the entire Universe.

The real surprise is the end, where the author doesn’t pussy out and follows the story all the way down into a great conclusion.
You can download the whole novel/site as a zip, or read it online.
The work is copyrighted, but with fairly liberal and specific terms. You can hand out copies, but you can’t hand out derivative works.

Charlie Stross’s Accelerando

This is another great look at the singularity. This book follows a family from this side of the singularity out to the other side. It’s also a joyous flip to MOPI, as the main characters are in love with the very bleeding edge. Written and published serially as seperate short stories, the book totally hangs together as one work. I’ve never seen anything more persuasive that the person I am is not just defined by the meat in my cranium. Also, features sentient legal structures. How hot is that.
You can get this novel in a bewildering number of ways. People have apparently gone apeshit with the creative commons license and converted it into EVERYTHING. I downloaded the single Html file, as that was the easiest way to read in my pocketpc.

Kelly Link’s Stranger Things Happen
It’s a dreamy collection of fantasy/fairytale themed short stories. Some sad, some funny. I mentioned it before, when I read it. I liked it enough that I made a conversion of it that’s better for the pocket pc.
She’s licensed it very liberally, so there’s tons of formats.

And of course, there are the collected works of Cory Doctorow
. Click open new tab on that or you’ll never reach the end of this post. There’s an rss feed, but you are better off subscribing to, he always mentions new work there as well. I’ve been listening to his podcast, and it’s really great for the subway. There is a ton of stuff here, and it is all incredible. All of it.

For future stuff, check out the bit of my blogroll called lit – it’s a list of online updating ficiton that I’m reading.

Curling like me

BofA is a sponsor, so today I got to go out to Wollman ice rink in Central Park and try curling with the women’s olympic curling team.

1. Curling is harder than Bocce. I’m a decent bocce player (OTW Crew – my team – went to semifinals of the Floyd tournament), but curling is doing bocce on ice, with 40 lb hunks of granite over a longer distance.

2. Sports that evolve from games played while wasted do not require you to be in great shape. The US women’s olympic curling team, while flexible and surely a fine group of athletes, is not shaped like the gymnasts, soccer or volleyball players. There are some skinny people on the team, but they are closer to the bowling team than the ice skaters. This is not a bad thing, but an amusing one. This the olympic team! It also jibes with my observations from the bocce tournament.

3. TV Sucks. Turns out the whole reason for us getting the curling lesson was so ESPN would cover the Curling girls and we could be warm cheering bodies in the background. Some ex-hockey player/coach came out on the ice, glad-handed and did 2 smiling minutes for Cold Pizza before walking off the ice. The sure way to get yourself into some b-roll and a little interview? Fall while throwing the rock.

4. I am an awesome curler. I got to throw twice and was duly admired by the olympians, complimented on both my form and length (of my throw). If only curling paid more than the financial industry – why must baseball, football, and basketball get all the loot?!

Movie: Dark Days – amazing

Just watched Dark Days, a film by Marc Singer. The story isn’t so much the story in the movie as the story of the movie. It is a documentary about how over 150 people came to live in an abandoned tunnel under penn station. The people are endearing and honest about themselves and how they got there. They’ve managed to build houses and wire them with electricity. They salvage thrown out cookware, refrigerators, televisions, couches etc. This is all very nice and interesting.
Then you find out how the movie was made. It’s the director’s first film. He was just hanging out with these guys and then they all decided to do a movie. The film is donated, the camera is rented, the crew is made up of homeless people, the tracking dolly is made out of shopping carts, and no one has a clue what they are doing.
It’s a miracle it got made. But you owe it to yourself to see a miracle every once in a while, and this is one. It won a slew of awards at sundance etc. Don’t just watch the movie, take time to explore the dvd. This is one dvd where the special features are worth an extra hour of poking around.

Get it from amazon, get it from netflix, but do check it out.

Top 10 Sources – with OPML.

Top 10 Sources: “Top 10 Sources is a directory of sites that bring you the freshest, most relevant content on the Web. We know it’s impossible for anyone to keep track of the 20 million online sources of information. So our editors search Web 2.0 — blogs, podcasts, wikis, news sites, and every kind of syndicated sources online — by hand. Our Top 10 lists are updated frequently as great new sources come online.”

What’s really interesting about this is that they publish the opml for every subject. So in a good aggregator, you should be able to just include that opml for a subject and let an expert manage that subsection of interest for you.

Almost like subscribing to the same blogs as your favorite blogger, but better – additions and deletions are automatic.

Via Alex Barnett