January 16, 2004
Animation of the Moment
My cold, cold drive to work this morning would have been so much more tolerable if it was in this Mazda autobot. Admittedly, merely a computer animation (and in a car that doesn't seem to have much in the way of passenger seating) but still a bit hypnotic to watch.
The page it comes from has some random backstory about it: "The TRANSFORMERS® RX-8, is a TRANSFORMERS ALTERNATORS vehicle that combines the spark from an AUTOBOT solider with 100% pure MAZDA ZOOM-ZOOM." ("Transformers Alternators". Maybe they could throw in a few more electronic part names, like if there's a rebellion maybe they'll be the "Transformer Alternator Resistor" and if you're talking about a robot that can do, like, a LOT, it would be a "Transformer Alternator Resistor Capacitor"....) Good to know that the protection of the planet is in such good hands, but if this the team up with Mazda and the Autobots to avoid Cosmic Rust, I wonder what would happen if McDonald-Douglas starting building robot bodies for the Decepticons?
Watch the skies.
(Heh...what if, like, 747s were Transformers? For some reason I imagine them as being these really big, dumb lumbering guys...)
Pseudo-Intellectual Ramble of the Moment
I've been e-mailing with a friend (about Mensa) when I started namedropping the "theory of multiple intelligences"...she asked what it was and I wrote the following...maybe someone out there will find it interesting.
It's a kind of self-evident idea: most people know that you can be smart at one thing (like taking standardized tests ;-) and dumb at other things, but we still tend to measure smarts on one scale and call that "intelligence". The theory of multiple intelligences just says that there are different ways of being smart, emotional and what not...
Actually I just realized I've been using the term loosely... A google search came up with
which lists 8 specific ones:
Linguistic intelligence ("word smart"):
Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
Musical intelligence ("music smart")
Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")
At one point back in school, when I was still using the term loosely, I thought there should be a similar concept for art and literature. It was in an early black literature class, and I was noticing the circles some of the academics were running in to justify studying some of these novels that really weren't "very good"; schlocky and corny, knockoffs of the white novels written at the same time. But they were worth reading, because of who wrote them and when they were written. I realized a "theory of multiple intelligences" would do well to analyze what makes a given work worthwhile.
And what I thought is it doesn't have to preclude pointing to some things as "great works", it doesn't have to be some egalitarian equality of all books; even a dimestore trashy romance is "good" at provoking a certain response in its audience, via titillation and/or something emotional; it just is more likely to be bad on the other fronts. A book by your eight-year-old is unlikely to be a breakthrough work of genius, but it will mean so much to you because of who wrote it. Things that are great, that inarguably deserve a prominent place in "the canon", on the other hand, are much more likely to be effective on a bunch of these hypothetical levels, and that's why we consider them great.
Link of the Moment
Mars Vs. Earth Probes ("As you are well aware, Earth is currently the underdog in the solar system division in the Expensive Hardware Lob. For every piece of hardware that returns useful information from the Lobbee's planet, the Lobber scores a point. For every piece of hardware sucessfully thwarted by the Lobbee, they score a point.") -- so far Mars is ahead, 20 to 16. (Though if you just count the good ol' USA, our record is 10 to 5. Dang Russkies!)
News of the Moment
if the northeast cold snap does cause blackouts...man, that will be very, very bad. What a nightmare....I keep thinking back to this old Barney Miller episode where there was this guy who was kind of a prototype for the Y2K folks who came later, except his deal was converting all his paper money to gold in preperation for the coming ice age...if changes in climate patterns are making this kind of North Pole blast more likely...ugh!