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Midweek links

  • Between the Equifax breach and the new tax law, this could be a bad year for both fraudulent tax returns and IRS confusion.
  • In southern California they’re looking for victims in a weather-related mudslide. In Washington state, they’re watching a potentially larger landslide in the making. Local officials are pooh-poohing the most-feared impact; geologists and geophysicists are saying, “Close the damn freeway NOW and prepare for Yakima to flood.”
  • Hopping off the hedonic treadmill.
  • Forest Service cop kills a classic “good citizen” while he’s driving to a spiritual retreat. We have no idea why.
  • And a dumbass cop using his gun to smash a vehicle window shoots the driver. We also don’t know why, but we can be sure “procedures were followed.”
  • In the “questions you’ve always wanted to ask (but didn’t know you did)” department: can an arrow fired straight up fall fast enough to kill you? The article is a geek’s answer. The last line is for the rest of us.
  • Why Mickey Mouse might not get his copyright extended this time around.
  • The Afghanistan War sues Marvel for copyright infringement over its latest Avengers title, “Infinity War.” 🙂
  • Why there’s no excuse for bad special effects, even in old movies.


  1. fred
    fred January 10, 2018 8:39 am

    Im going with the dog in this group.

  2. Comrade X
    Comrade X January 10, 2018 9:29 am

    That dog is a leader I could follow!

  3. larryarnold
    larryarnold January 10, 2018 10:03 am

    I’ve seen all the movies. “Local officials” never cancel the festival until there’s blood in the water. On the bright side, sometimes it’s their blood.

    [geek] The “arrow in the air” solution presumes that the arrow goes exactly straight up, stops, then falls from an initial velocity of zero. Given either wind, or the fact that it’s hard to aim “straight up,” it’s far more likely the arrow will describe an arc, retaining some of its initial velocity. [/geek]
    Whether it will kill you depends more on whether the arrow has a field point or a broadhead.

    Any sentence containing “if Congress doesn’t act” is usually resolved better if Congress doesn’t act.

    Movie makers would do a lot better if they quit agonizing over how realistic special effects are and concentrated on telling a good story.


  4. ellendra
    ellendra January 10, 2018 10:40 am

    I’ve seen shows with no CGI whatsoever, that still managed to make the special effects feel “real”. Just Add Magic has several episodes like that. The acting is so good that you don’t even realize they’re just acting. You’d swear they were really under a spell!

    There’s also a scene in a recent Doctor Who, where the puddle of water starts following them. If you stop and analyze that scene, the entire effect is being done using an off-camera garden hose. That’s all. But it looks real.

    You don’t want your viewers thinking “Wow, great job on the CGI there.” You want them thinking “Oh no! What’s going to happen to Frodo?!”

    In my opinion, the majority of CGI is just cheating.

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