Print Story Moment 35
Diary
By DesiredUsername (Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 03:40:41 AM EST) (all tags)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Also: 3D! Robot! Alcohol still! Yard!



Good: Least objectionable Ron so far.
Bad: It's 2.5 hours long and I only remember a couple things happening. What did they do with all that time?

I have to say, I really hate the new Dumbledore. He has zero screen presence or charm and inspires not a whit of confidence that he knows what's going on.

As for the story...meh. I remember the book seeming to make sense, but the movie has arbitrary rules that are also broken arbitrarily. For instance, if the Triwizard Tournament is so dangerous, why are children under 17 ever allowed to compete? Why are contestants bound to compete if their name is chosen and why must they risk real death during the competitions? And if they must, why can they be rescued during the hedge maze?

Given the stupid nature of Quidditch, I'm guessing these logical problems are inherent in the book, but they seemed to be hidden better. The phrase "it's a movie for children" came up with monotonous frequency while watching it.

Oh and aren't the Coeur de la Fleur girls supposed to be blonde and ethereal? These were just cute.

I'd like to give it 2.5 stars, but I rounded up to 3 for no real reason at all.


3D

On Friday morning I realized I'd need to pull all my half-arsed matrix routines into a separate class. So in a marathon coding session that day, I created a whole Matrix class (there being no existing Tcl code that I could find) implemented in a way that would make my task easier. Got it all done in a single day, including rewriting all my existing code to use the new class.

Then on the way home, I realized that I'd done just about the least efficient thing I could have done to make it work and that it would be vvvslow with any significant number of vertices. Tests today confirm that. However, I found that tcllib has a linearalgebra package after all, so I think I can rewrite the class to use the package and I'm good. We'll see.


Robot

It took a surprisingly, even embarrassingly, long time to make a caster wheel for the robot, but I finally got one that a) pivoted, b) didn't bend under the weight of the bot and c) went straight. Then it was time to add the bumpers....and the sensor wires wouldn't reach. Tore almost the whole robot apart and put it back together more compactly in about an hour and now it is all built and waiting to be programmed.


Yard

I went out in the yard for the first real time this year (to use the grill!!) and noticed that all the leaves and sticks I left there last fall are still there. WTF, I thought the moles and squirrels would take care of those things! The Bush administration continues to be ineffective on things that matter.


Still

So we set up the still to get some pure(r) alcohol on Saturday. As described previously, the mead flask went in a heated water bath. The column entered a stopper into that flask and formed an inverted U up and over to the condensation flask in an ice bath. We had a thermometer monitoring the head temperature as well as the heated bath temperature.

Results: Not that great. We were only able to get the head temp up to ~80°C for brief periods and only intermittently. Mostly it stayed down around 30-50. The main problem was that the water bath kept boiling off and we had to add fresh, and therefore relatively cool, water. Why was the bath boiling but not the mead? It is possible we were superheating it, since I didn't add a boiling chip.

We did get maybe 1 ml of alcohol out the other end. We don't know what proof it was, but I can tell you it definitely smelled stronger than the mead. Whoa, Nelly.

For round 2, I think we need to make two changes. First, we found a rock with lots of nice crevices and crannies for nucleation sites. Second, we want to heat the flask directly, not in a water bath. We can't just put it right on the stove burners and Target didn't have a hotplate that would work. Then I thought of the crock pot. If I take out the crockery lining, I can put the flask directly on the indirect heating element. It takes a while to get hot, though, so I didn't yet verify that it would actually boil water. I could also leave the crockery in there, but that would take even longer.


< ahh, the freedom | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Moment 35 | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Two things: by blixco (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 03:53:54 AM EST
  1. Isn't a still illegal to own or operate?
  2. How come no-one here has ever mentioned Make magazine?  I just got my box set of last year's issues, and I may have to invest significant time making robots out of old mice.

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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
Replii by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 03:56:38 AM EST
  1. Not with a permit.
  2. I subscribe to the RSS feed and it is mainly crap with the occasional diamond. Naturally the magazine will be better than that but even if they were all diamonds I really don't have time to do all the project I'd want to after reading it.


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It's not much better imho by Gully Foyle (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 11:46:23 AM EST
I subscribed for 4 issues, and there was exactly one project that I'm interested in making. Not that I've had the time yet...

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I know why I won't take a look at Make by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 2) #3 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:15:43 AM EST

I don't want Mark Katzen^H^H^H^H^H^HFreuenfelder getting one red dime from me.

Yes, I am aware that this is unreasonable. No, I will not reconsider my position.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
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Did I miss an internet scandal? by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:18:22 AM EST


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Frauenfelder and Jenny Jardin by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:27:01 AM EST

were busted smoking banana peels in a bathroom with George Michael, who was working on his dog book sequel, then Commander Taco ran them over in his SUV, because, while he was drunk, Allah told him to. And you know that Taco, he'll do anything Allah tells him to.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
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I din't know Taco by blixco (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:28:18 AM EST
was a terrorist.

Er....muslim.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

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Goddamn. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:30:25 AM EST
I'd zero myself if I could!
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
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Dude, don't sweat it by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:32:35 AM EST

Of course he's a terrorist, but the descriptive term you're looking for is Michigander.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
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I didn't know he was by blixco (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:34:51 AM EST
in a militia!

Goddamn.  I keep doing this.  I can't stop!
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

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Painting with a broad brush is perfectly OK by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #14 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:36:43 AM EST

When you're painting Michiganders. It's OK because they aren't human like the rest of us! I mean, they live in Michigan!


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
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Whoa whoa whoa, let's back up a minute by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:28:33 AM EST
Bananas have peels?

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I think it's some west coast thing by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:35:24 AM EST

I get my bananas the way Baby Jebus meant for us to eat them; mashed, and mixed with berries.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
I love Make. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:21:00 AM EST
I'm a "charter member" - solely because it brings back those glory days of Byte in the 70's.

It's like, porn for geeks. (I know, porn is porn for geeks, but you know what I mean.)

The doctor said it was the worst case of cookie-blindness he'd ever seen.

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Also - didn't I mention at some point by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:30:46 AM EST
That Make had picked up my really low-tech LED lights for astronomy article for their blog?


The doctor said it was the worst case of cookie-blindness he'd ever seen.
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water ( bp373 ) bath --> oil ( bp 519 ) bath by Wise Cracker (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:53:11 AM EST
c.f.
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Caesars come, and Caesars go, but Newton lives forever
Great idea by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #16 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 04:57:12 AM EST
Another great aspect is that the density of cooking oil is less than that of water (though what about mead?) so there will be less of a bouyancy problem.

I'll try that if bathless heating doesn't work.

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HP4: Global Marketing Campaign of Doom Returns by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 05:56:26 AM EST
The problem wrt logic (given that it's a kids movie, about witches and wizards, so illogical by default) is that the book wasn't written to be eventually turned into a movie. It was written to be read, as a book. They had to cut quite a bit to fit it into 2.5 hours, and changed some things to make it more exciting.

I suspect that the 5th Book, Global Marketing Campaign of Doom Goes Wild, will be in the running for Worst Movie Adaptation of a Decent Book Evar. There's action in the first 30 pages and last 100 pages, but the middle 500 or so pages not much, action-wise, happens. The main enemy, throughout the book, is a bureaucrat. A banal evil.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

That would be quite a trick by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 06:04:35 AM EST
given that book 5 is, by far, the worst of the 6 so far.

I forgot to mention that the 3rd movie (the time-traveling one) is the best so far.

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IAWTP by hulver (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 05:19:32 AM EST
I think the 3rd one is the best. I wasn't impressed with no. 4 at all.
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock
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/me too by dn (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 08:36:35 PM EST
#4 was just badly edited and/or directed. The bits were just all piled together without tying them together into a story. I truly hope that they did actually film everything needed, and someday we'll get an extended edition that doesn't suck.

    I ♥   
 TOXIC 
WASTE

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Moment 35 | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback