I had to go to Ottawa last night to see Star Trek: Nemesis due to the complete lack of theatres in Brockville right now. The movie was alright, some good parts, some bad parts. I thought it was better than the last Star Trek movie, although maybe not as good as First Contact. Shinzon was a solid villian, probably the best since Khan.
I was checking out the Top 10 Space Mysteries for 2003 at space and came across an article outlining the Ekpyrotic Universe as an alternative to our current model of creation. Chiefly the idea that there are no parallel universes or alternate worlds, rather just one universe with multiple dimensions. Their model has essentially five spatial dimensons (the fourth being time) with the ‘big bang’ occuring as a result of four dimensional membranes colliding in five dimensional space. Three cheers for theoretical physics.
Five dimensions is a bit of a mindfuck, so I embarked on a small internet quest to find out more about the concept. This article explains the Kaluza Klien Theory that postulates a fifth dimension in an attempt to unify electromagnetism and general relativity, I don’t really understand it. This description is a little bit easier to wrap the head around, less mathy more normal english. This article’s a little bit heady but it outlines trying to grasp the ideas of hyper and ultracubes. And another article outlining the ideas behind multidimensional space (probably the easiest to conceptualize out of all of them). Many of the multispatial concepts and ideas seem to be connected with superstring theory, which just leads to the opening of another can of worms. I’ll finish this off with some diagrams that offer an attempt at visualizing 4D space.
The Boahen Lab at the University of Pennsylvania has an overview of the problems faced in creating computers that rival/emulate the human brain.
Time is carrying a decent year-end review article . I thought it was well written, although I did skim parts of the piece. It’s somewhat snarky and probably appeals to me because many of the thoughts mirror my own. It’s all about encompassing a year in broad blanket statements so it all ends up as a nice neat package that the television generation can digest before complete boredom sets in.
The obligatory season’s greetings et al. I made an attempt at finding an html christmas card that I made for the family back in 1997 but it appears to have been deleted. It was on a geocities account (one of the old ones from back when they had the long neighbourhood concept addresses) and had christmas midi music, a snowman and multied text wrapped up in a nice minimalist design; I was impressed with myself.
PTHiTunesNotifier: a little utility that will show you the track information in an overlay box when the song changes in iTunes. It also has the option to display the track info all of the time.
I’ve been listening to The Streets a bit lately, it’s good stuff. The website is alright too, the nice grungy motif and all.
One week of exams wasn’t too hard to deal with, it kept me away from the site for a bit though. I made a couple of posts but just realized today that my hosts upgraded some packages which caused moveable type to break. The forums at Moveable Type helped my figure out the problem.
I ended up going to the midnight showng of The Two Towers last night. I really enjoyed it, although it seemed a tad longish. That might have been a sideeffect of watching the extended cut of the Fellowship of the Ring earlier in the day. I can’t say whether it held relatively true to the book or not, I haven’t read it in a few years. It stood up well as a movie, or at least as the second movie of an epic trilogy. It’s a challenge to make a good movie from a story when you don’t have a beginning or ending to work with.
The most mindblowing part for me was Gollum. Here’s an article detailing some of the processes used to capture and animate the character. Having just finished up a graphics course and being more aware of the problems facing 3D modeling, I was astounded. Gollum looked very real, not quite like I envisioned but not that far off.