Thursday, February 23, 2012

Flying Squid

I know I haven't finished the other story yet, but yesterday I found out squid can fly. They propel themselves out of the water, shape their tentacles into fins, and go as far as the wind/airlift will take them. Longest recorded distance, 264 metres.
Which had me thinking, as there have already been Syfy Original movies like MegaSnake, Piranha and Sharktopus, why hasn't there been Attack of the Giant Flying Squid?
Because I'm always happy to help out in a time of need (provided I don't have to do much, and only things I enjoy), I've written an opening scene.

Attack of the Giant Flying Squid

Opening Scene
    Bright moonlight shone across the lake. A hot summer day had turned into a pleasantly warm evening, and the water was cool and inviting.
    Two girls, Molly and Eve, wearing only bikini bottoms, played in the water, laughing and splashing, while their boyfriends, John and Steve, watched from the shore, wondering how many wine coolers it would take to talk Molly and Eve into kissing each other.
    The lake surface rippled as something in the dark water started circling around the girls. Grabbing hold of her friend, Molly whispered "Are there sharks in this lake?"
    Eve hugged her tightly, for comfort, and whispered back, "Not sharks. Maybe piranhas."

    The boys watched this display with enjoyment, not realising there was anything wrong. Suddenly a giant, flying squid launched itself out of the lake and flew toward them. The squid turned in the air and wrapped it's tentacles around John's head.
     Little suckers on the inside of the tentacles opened into mouths, lined with rows of tiny sharp teeth.
     Molly and Eve shrieked in horror as the giant flying squid started tearing John's face off. Splattered with his friends blood, Steve turned and ran.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Shirtless Adventures In Mystery Land, Part 6

 Note: This story is running out of steam in my brain, so there will probably only be one more part after this one to wrap it all up.
Part 1  Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
Joshua ran shirtlessly down the road, messenger bag bouncing against his left hip. Trying to outrun a swarm of wasp type things intent on stinging him, he noticed a river coming in to view. Desperately hoping wasps in this world hated water, he veered toward it. Throwing off his bag, he jumped shirtlessly into the water.

Spluttering to the surface, scanning for wasps, Joshua noticed the area he'd run into was all burnt grass and scorched, blackened trees.

Looking around shirtlessly, Joshua wondered what could have caused this destruction. Fire, obviously, but what started the fire? And when had it happened? The scorched trees were still ashy and the grass hadn't had a chance to start growing back.

While he was shirtlessly thinking over this situation, several tiny humanoid creatures, wearing loincloths and shrieking loudly, ran past. Suddenly the tiny creatures were engulfed in a ball of flame. As Joshua managed to tear his eyes away from this horrifying image, they landed on a huge fire-breathing dragon. A beautiful animal, scales shimmering in purples and blues. Joshua stared in shirtless wonderment.

Snapping into action, Joshua jumped out of the river, grabbed his bag and advanced on the dragon, shirtlessly brandishing his sword.

The dragon snuffed out his flame, and gazed at Joshua, looking deep into his eyes.

"Joshua," he heard a deep rumbling voice, echoing inside his head, "help me."

Joshua shirtlessly surveyed the dragon, noticing chipped scales and rivulets of blood running down the dragons chest. The dragon's thoughts in his head told him the small creatures were pixies, and they had attacked the dragon unprovoked, planning on slaughtering him, to use his scales for armor, feasting on his flesh.

"Can you fly?" Joshua shirtlessly asked the dragon.

The huge animal nodded.

"Can you carry me?"

"Yes." The dragon rumbled, lowering himself against the ground.

Joshua shirtlessly climbed on the dragon's back, avoiding obvious injuries. Together they flew in the direction of his castle.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Don't Believe In Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day again. People getting flowers and chocolates. People getting depressed because they're not getting flowers and chocolates. I don't get the hype. I don't believe in Valentine's Day.

I'm not religious, so I'm certainly not celebrating it as an actual saints day.

And I don't find it at all romantic to be given a card/bunch of flowers/box of chocolates/whatever on one particular day, because the gift giver has been told giving presents etc. on this particular day is romantic.

I'd much rather someone give me a nice cup of coffee, or a book they know I've been wanting to read, on some random day, just because they were thinking about me, and decided to get me something nice. That's romance.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

TV Stuff: Product Placement

My last TV Stuff post was about things people who are no longer enjoying a show waste their time bitching about online.
This post is about the main thing people who are still enjoying a show seem to waste their time bitching about online. Product Placement.

We've all seen it. You watch The Big Bang Theory, one of the boys opens up his laptop, and you clearly see the alien head on the cover. An Alienware computer made by Dell. Product Placement.

On Chuck, everyone had an iPhone and they frequently ate Subway sandwiches, which, when one was in a scene, they would often say what they had on their sub, or what they liked eat from Subway. Product Placement.

On Fringe, Walter eats Red Vines red liqourice, mostly from clearly marked Red Vines packets (on a couple of occasions he's had them in a glass jar, but one of those times he'd put a 'Red Vines' label on the jar.) They also show shots of the Nissan cars they drive, pulling away from curbs, at a camera angle that displays the car logo. We get inside of the car shots with the fancy dashboard showing. Product Placement.

On Warehouse 13, Myka eats Twizzlers red liquorice, from clearly marked Twizzlers packets. Claudia talks to Steve about his hybrid car, running through the car specs. We see shots of the cars as they drive down roads, car logos again on display. Product Placement.

You may not watch any of these shows. You may watch but not really notice the Product Placement. You may not notice it in the shows you do watch. It's there. And if you're not bitching about it in a forum somewhere, you probably, sensibly don't really care.

Here's the thing. I knew Product Placement existed, but until I started noticing people complaining about it so much, I didn't really pay attention to it, except in the way it was intended by the advertising companies (ohh nice Alienware computer, hey I do like Subway, I really want an iPhone, that kind of thing.)

Now that I do notice it more, I still don't get the endless complaining. As for the way it's used in the show, well, long before product placement was a thing, we would see shots of cars pulling away from curbs and driving down roads. We'd even see characters discussing their cars. It's just that now it's specific cars added for advertising purposes, instead of just to pad out scenes. Characters have always eaten food, snacks, and talked about what they're eating. Again, now it's just specific foods and snacks.

The problem so many viewers seem to have is "I don't watch a show to see ads. That's what ad breaks are for." many people are using the ad breaks to quickly flick over and see what's on another channel. How many people are using the ad breaks to go to the toilet or get a snack. How many people are recording their show, and fast-forwarding through the ads. And how many of them are downloading their shows, and not seeing any ads at all.

All the people doing all this complaining seem to conveniently forget that it's the ad money that is keeping their show on the air, and the companies paying for this want to make sure their product is seen.

I don't work in television, or in advertising, but I do like my shows. This year Fringe is on the bubble for renewel. It may not get a season 5, because it costs so much to make. So if they want to have an episode where every scene has either a Nissan car, or a pack of Red Vines, or the Fringe team in a Nissan eating Red Vines, as long as it keeps the show on the air I won't complain.

Product Placement works like any other advertising, with the bonus that you get to see people you like interacting with the product in question rather than annoying overly load music, or overly enthusiastic announcers.

And just like any other advertising sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it will make you buy something else entirely.

My product placement story (which I know you've all been waiting for): I don't drive or care about cars, so this will be about liquorice.

Right now, my two favourite shows are Fringe and Warehouse 13. They both product place red liquorice. Red Vines & Twizzlers. I'm a Red Vines girl, when I can get them. When I can't I don't have any at all. I never go for the Twizzlers. So sometimes when I'm watching Fringe, I'll see Walter eating a Red Vine, and think 'I kinda feel like Red Vines'. And then maybe the next day, I'll go buy some.
But when I'm watching Warehouse 13, and I see Myka eating Twizzlers, I usually think, 'ew Twizzlers. Red Vines are better. I kinda feel like Red Vines. I love Myka.' And the next day I'll go buy some Red Vines. So the Warehouse 13 Product Placement actually inspires me to buy a different brand.

****This post is not sponsered by Red Vines, although if they would like to give me some money, I would happily start Product Placing it into all my other posts.****

Friday, February 3, 2012

Quote Of The Week

"Socializing is as exhausting as giving blood. People assume we loners are misanthropes, just ­sitting thinking, ‘Oh, people are such a bunch of assholes,’ but it’s really not like that. We just have a smaller tolerance for what it takes to be with others. It means having to perform. I get so tired of communicating."
              --- Anneli Rufus

I read this quote today and it resonated with me immediately. This is how I am in most social situations. Sometimes I get accused of being snobby and thinking I'm too good to talk to people. I'm not and I don't. Sometimes people tell me I'm just shy and if I make more of an effort I'll have no trouble being comfortable in a crowd. I don't consider myself to be shy, because I have no trouble saying what I think needs to be said, regardless of who I might be speaking to, if I actually have something to say.

It's just that when there's people around I don't often have much to say. I find making the effort to stay engaged and interested mentally exhausting.  It's not a judgement on the people I'm around. It's me finding interacting to be a huge effort I find completely draining. It was nice to see my feelings summed up so well in one paragraph.