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I really liked it. I was sort of like an action movie, except the villain is invisible to the naked eye. However I thought it was really well-written, from an entertainment and pacing standpoint, and my mother approved as a doctor. She gave my dad and I kind of a running-brief-commentary on events that were accurate or not, and overall she thought it was fairly accurate.

The most inaccurate part, she said, was the bat involvement. I think she meant the fact that it was a bat virus spreading to humans, but possibly she meant the pig/bat crossover. As I'm not an epidemiologist, I don't know. But I do like bats, and SPOILER )

She did say she thought they probably used bats just to differentiate it from the bird flus as of late. (I had a bird fall out of the sky, dead, next to me a few years back. DEFINITELY weirds you out. I don't think it was "bird flu" though.)

I saw that Bat Conservation International is going to write an article on that aspect, so I'll probably repost that whenever it comes out. I love my batties :C And we don't need any more public fear of them, jesus. They don't fly into people's hair, they're not actually blind, and although if a bat gets inside you should treat it as rabid, rabies is actually pretty rare. (I wish there were a better way than killing trapped bats to test for rabies, but alas. *tears*)

I figured my mom would like it, when H1N1 hit campus two years ago (she's the head doc in the health center) she was all about getting shots and telling people to buy hand sanitizer and isolating people. It was interesting to hear, after we saw Contagion, about everything she did to prep for H1N1 when it started spreading. She said she wanted at least her department to be prepared if none of the others were, and they ordered a 3-month supply of N95 masks, which was like 5000 of them or something. And in a meeting she mentioned to other departments (her boss? student services? not sure) that if it was as bad as the 1918 Spanish Flu (which people were suggesting originally that it was, or worse, but she said that was the worst-case projection they were using until it stats came in), they would need a morgue for 10% of the student population. (Which seemed high to me, but, I am not a doctor, and she might have meant 10% of the infected population, but I can guarantee with a bunch of college students living in such close proximity that's probably most of campus anyway.)

ANYWAY.

My dad made the comment that he didn't think they successfully showed societal breakdown. People could still get gas and electricity even though garbage wasn't being picked up. SPOILER ) And he thought they didn't successfully show the emotional impact of that sort of thing, especially when SPOILER )

I told my dad that they probably wanted to avoid that because there's SO MUCH of it in movies like 28 Days Later and Zombieland, and they wanted to avoid that zombie-movie sort of stereotype. I think it's kind of an interesting commentary, though, considering that the US seems to expect riots and violence, but as we witnessed (and someone pointed out to me) when the earthquake hit Japan, they were very calm, helped eachother, et cetera. Is that humanity or local culture? A worthy discussion point, I think.

But anyway. THE SCARIEST THING ABOUT THAT MOVIE (other than I hope people don't start hating bats because of it): Jude Law's snaggletooth. For reals! He has some super-close-ups, and it was a terrifying thing.

When they brought out his character I thought they were going in a different direction with it, and I wonder if the people who wrote/worked on Contagion had any influence from Mira Grant's book Feed. I thought it was interesting that they both brought bloggers into the mix, but good to see they went in different directions. However, I'm not sure Contagion really went all the way with Jude Law's character, especially considering that they had A TON of medical advisors, and they mention both homeopathy and vaccination-autism fears. Two things which have no scientific support, and yet, it seemed to me that whatever the "natural" remedy was supposed to be (whether homeopathic or not), there was one line (I can't remember) that seemed to be evidence that it worked. And not only that, but that SPOILERS )

As for Marion Cotillard's character, I think they forgot to wrap up her storyline?! SPOILERS )


Anyway, it was entertaining, and it reinforces my desire to create an emergency-preparedness kit (aaaand maybe a bugout bag). I'm glad my mom enjoyed it, especially after she forwarded the CDC's "zombie preparedness" page, which she thought was cute. I got her to see Shaun of the Dead last year, and after talking about Contagion there's a chance I can convince her and dad to see Zombieland or 28 Days Later.

So if you like that kind of movie, I definitely recommend it! It had an all-star cast and I thought the acting was great. And if the science was 95% great, too, that's excellent.

Side note: didn't see Madagascar get red-ed on any of the maps, heh. (joke source...ish)

EDIT: Here's an adorable battie gif. Just because :3

mercat: (Default)
THIS IS A LARGE POST, I AM WARNING YOU.

HOLY SHIT I SUCK AT POSTING. This thing has been sitting on my desktop for a month and a half, christ, shame on me. Anyway. I'm trying to make better habits for myself... Some are getting better (I keep a real schedule on my ipod! I'm under 100 firefox tabs consistently!) and some not (I don't check my calendar, I forget things, I haven't organized many piles of files on my new computer... from a year ago...)

Shia says Indy V will be crazy. idk what to think. I'm excited but hesitant at the same time? Eeengh. Like I said after Indy IV, I mean, at least they can't do that one anymore. (Also, I told you so. Also-also, I am kind of sick of hearing about your stereotypical MacGuffins: the spear of Longinus, Noah's Ark, all that stuff.) GO TO HAWAII, PLEEEEASE

But, uuuuhhh, if Spielberg pitched a script, I'm guessing this is happening. So... yay?

...I'm depressed that that last sentence has a question mark attached to it. :(

HOLY SHIT YOU KNOW WHAT'S DEPRESSING?! WHY ON EARTH IS THIS A MOVIE. WHO ON EARTH THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA. SHANE VAN DYKE WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU ATTACHED TO THIS, YOU WERE AWESOME ON DIAGNOSIS MURDER AND NOW YOU ARE VERY NOT-AWESOME. AUGH.





Um...yes.

Also--ADORABLE KITTANZ:




While we're doing videos, this time-lapse-experiment-turned-art-video is absolutely fantastic:

ANTS in my scanner > a five years time-lapse! from fran├žois vautier on Vimeo.





I hope this is just some lawyers having fun, and were not actually hired over legitimate offense.

I didn't even know they had finished the script for this, shit. Three months away was apparently a COMPLETE NEWS ISOLATION, much moreso than usual. (Nobody famous died.)

This movie looks awesome! That hat looks awful. (Short crown + extra-wide brim = grossnasty.)

Ghostbusters/AC/DC mashup:




Lady Gaga kidnaps Comissioner Gordon. Guys, I was about to say "I want to live in that world", and then, you know, I remembered that Lady Gaga is a real person and kicks major ass.

A good essay on Iron Man 2, which I am still excited about. The awesome thing about disappearing from the world for three months to memorize a metric assload of numbers until you've lost 15 pounds is that, when you get back, all the movies you just watched in theatres (and loved) are about to come out on dvd. Fuck. Yeah.

Some awesome shots from the filming of Star Wars.

So, "mad science", you say?!



That is the kind of awesome shit I'd like to do with my life. (I must say, though, that the closest I've ever come was destroying an antique rusted oven with a sledgehammer. Also fun, except for the part where the paint chips were popping off the bent metal everywhere...)

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT HOLY CRAPCAKES. NIGHTMARES. NIGHTMARES BEYOND BELIEF.

Jesus, it's about time! They better make these. Not that I'm planning to buy any, but, yeah...

Oh, James Cameron. I thought I couldn't hate Avatar any more, but I was wrong. You think you're God's gift to cinematography when really it sounds like you're just a rich bully. I kind of want to go see Pirahna 3D, even if I hate it, just to fucking spite you. Goddamn.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS? Rick Moranis may come out of retirement for Ghostbusters 3. HELL. FUCKING. YES. As long as this shit is better than the game (a bit repetitive story-wise, in relation to the movies). Also, I thought we were already clear that Oscar is Venkman's? There's some banter toward the beginning of the second one that that is what I took away from it.

OH HEY THERE BLACKBEARD. Why the fuck don't you have cannon fuses in your beard?! Jesus, the man should look MUCH more epic than that. For god's sake his body circled his ship seven times before sinking after he was beheaded! (Fuck yeah pirate lore.)

Chewie: not nearly as adorable as Winnie. But still hilariously adorable.

Here! Have a picture of Viggo the Carpathian.

Okay, now, look. I am all about crazy costumes but I don't even know what's going on here.



So adorable.

If the world is making you feel weary (although I don't see how that's possible after all those adorable kitties), I prescribe this.

Next video: An apparently sanctioned-by-Lucas video about the dumping of Jabba's cargo. With a creepy animation of Han Solo. (BUT I SAW THAT RAIDERS REFERENCE. I SAW IT.)

...Definitely thought it was going to be something like River Tam in the box though, the shape was eerily similar.

Heheheh kitty parkour.

HOLY SHITBALLS this woman has completely missed the point of feminism. Oh my god this article is rage-inducing. OH. MY. GOD.

Good news, videogamers! Playing video games enhances decision-making skills. That is, it enhances your ability to make choices faster.


Oh! An antibiotic-resistant superbug. Awesome. This may be our downfall. However, if you're worried about the apocalypse, I just thought you'd like to know that science seems sometimes straight-up fictional. I know a lot of zombie movies/novels/etc. lately have been leaning on diseases like ebola, mad cow disease, or other things to explain the basis for the disease. So here's a crazy fact: mad cow disease causes cattle's eyes to glow. WTF.

Rechargeable cars are less hurtful to the environment than gas, even if charged using "dirty fuel". And it's crazy, if it could charge using renewable sources--solar, wind, etc.--it's FORTY PERCENT cleaner than a gas-using car. Holy shit. Why is the world so resistant to changing how we use our resources? :(

(Answer: laziness, greed, but it still pisses me the fuck off.)

I read an article the other day about how an old solar panel from the White House was rediscovered, and some students, led by Bill McKibben, took it to the White House to see if they would take it back as a symbol of good faith and an attempt to move conservation forward in the eye of current US politics. Some of the statistics were incredibly impressive--like the fact that seed sales increased by 30% the year Michelle Obama was promoting her White House garden. But the kids were taken into a "war room" and basically told no. The whole thing made me so sad, particularly because I remember McKibben speaking to my freshman class on his book we all read, and because we were stuck in a hot, sweaty gym with a rather heavy book (as in, the material, not the book itself), he kind of got ignored by most people. And trying to sort out the fifty interested students in a room of 1000 or however many it was is not really a simple task. Anyway. The whole thing just makes me depressed for the state of our politics. I don't understand why people want to spend so much money on stuff and on keeping things the way they are instead of helping people who need help, helping the WORLD that needs help. I don't know. Maybe that's my bias of too many years of marianist catholic education speaking. I'm too hopeful, I suppose.


Cats drawn as Marvel characters! Adorable. And hilarious. Particularly Spidey and the Sandman.

OKgo's new video to encourage the adoption of shelter pets. Amazing as usual.

Surprise! Facebook is fucking with you again. And this is why I keep all my info private except to people I know.

NEWSIES IS GOING TO BROADWAY, hilariousyesfantasticyesssss.

If superheros were hipsters. I particularly like PBRman. Also I feel like Spiderman isn't that far from Tobey McGuire Spiderman because DEAR LORD DO I HATE HIM. (Also, LOL at Aquaman--Northwesterners are a silly people. I learned that this summer.)

Mysterious civilization hidden in the Amazon--I think this is the same thing (SPOILER ALERT!) Lost City of Z talks about. BUT NOBODY KNOWS. It's fascinating.

Carnivorous plants dwndling across US; I wonder if this might have anything to do with all the bugkiller sprays we use? (No idea, just a thought.)

Shark attack survivors team up to save sharks.

ATHLETE'S FOOT MEDICATION COULD CURE WHITE NOSE SYNDROME! Finally, a hint of good news on that front.

Bug people are crazy. So are geologists.

Some foreign memes for you. I particularly like Makmende, for some reason. I suppose it's like Chuck Norris, but cooler, because Chuck Norris has kind of turned out to be a douche. (Clint Eastwood = cooler than Chuck Norris.)

A really good article about building the mosque. It sums up my feelings on the subject pretty well.

Where can you find Ned and Chuck, Henry Jones (Sr.), and (old school!) Zaphod Beeblebrox? Cons, of course. (Those PD outfits are fantastic, though, seriously.)

Interesting bit of Raiders trivia.

Oh my god, remember the ad for Iron Man 2 where Pepper smooches Tony's helmet, and it wasn't in the movie, and everybody got upset? I present to you--THE ALTERNATE OPENING:



(Fan. fucking. tastic. Why did they not do this one, now?)

And another fantastic short.


Star Wars yoga, absolutely hilarious. And rather clever.

Obscure Taco Bell trivia! A.k.a. the random shit I will bring up in conversation that may eventually lead to me singing the Gordita Anthem. This, in fact, happened this week despite me finding the article months ago, although it did not lead to Gordita-anthemizing, which is a shame.

Here is a fantastic interview with Patrick Stewart, and within it is a fantastically creepy tidbit of their interpretation of Macbeth, which I am cutting for the rare case of spoilers )

Is that not fantastically Halloween-y in the best manner? It absolutely is.

First of all, this article is rather old. Second, I doubt it is more than tongue-in-cheek coincidence, and three, Hex of the Hydra sounds godawful. Like the books series.

OH MY GOD. So I was watching the new Sherlock Holmes (not for the first time), but I also decided to watch the bonus material. Apparently they decided Jude Law was more of the ladies' man than RDJ, so they took to calling him Hotson on set.

omg. Hotson.

I can't even. It's hilarious. Anythus.


Much like Rule 34 of the internets, I surmise there must be a similar rule about blogs and personal interests. If you have thought of it, someone, somewhere, has already posted about it online. There is a cool blog called Strange Maps that posts, well, non-generic maps. This particular post has some interesting material on worldviews. It's rather fascinating, but my main point of this whole thing is that the Bulgarians think Poles are all sexy fembots.

I. Don't. Even. Know.






What I do know is that I need to post things more often because I have AT LEAST this many more links piled up in my Google Reader waiting for me to take action. And FIVE MORE old posts on my desktop from before I left this summer! Luckily those posts actually have some real content, like some book reviews.

So, real stuff now, we went to the Yellow Springs Street Festival today. I got an awesome monster shirt, a necklace for my medusa costume, and a beaverfelt antique collapsible tophat! The sad part is I got home and realized the tophat is too small :( BUT I refuse to get rid of it for the time being. I also walked RIGHT PAST Dave Chappelle without even noticing at first, who was saying that the street fair was "like Yellow Springs normally, but gayer". Which... I don't know what that means? Because it's almost the opposite. All the out-of-town people come to visit for the day, so the percentage of hippies is decreased by at least some...

Also my sister finally found the CORRECT version of the Taco Bell Gordita Anthem (thank you, 1998) and I downloaded it for the sake of posterity. POSTERITY I TELL YOU.



(begins at 1:40ish if it doesn't play correctly.)

[EDIT] If I had been paying attention or had any creative/organizational method of linkspamming (Captain Obvious Hint: I don't) I would have posted the Ghostbusters/Rick Moranis thing followed by the carnivorous plants thing followed by the Newsies thing. Points to you if you know how those three are related.

Alas, I did not, and I also need to post this in the case I missed posting it before:



Also-also, tomorrow is 42 DAY as in, the date is binary for 42 (101010), and it happens only once every hundred years, and tomorrow we are getting together to watch the Hitchhiker's Guide movie, probably have a Vogon poetry reading, and get our brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick. Coincidentally that is the name of my ipod and there will be no citruses anywhere near my electronics, thankyouverymuch. (I've taken to naming my electronic devices after science fiction things, or other related items; this new lappy is HELPeR486.)

Also-also-also, I am very afraid for this Pan-galactic Gargleblaster recipe, which is, essentially, take Everclear, cut with liquors:

...er, scratch that. I may be looking at the wrong recipe. Anyway, there's a lot of alcohol, plus a little bit of mixers, add olive, et voila.

If I weren't so convinced I'll be smashed rather quickly, I'd throw in a gin & tonic to boot. Maybe I'll pour one out for my gpa who seemed delighted about the affair but clearly can't make it (and probably shouldn't be consuming high levels of alcohols).

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