R.I.P. Kim Peek

R.I.P. Kim Peek (11/11/1951 – 12/19/2009). Goodbye, Rain Man.

You Know You’re a Nerd When…

…you think “I want to make a softboiled egg, but I don’t know how. I’d better hit the ‘net and look it up. But I want to get the time right, so I’d better consult at least two sources.” I’m actually a little ashamed…

Targeted Advertising

Lately, as my social skills have improved to the point that I’m no longer that kid who always ends up partnered up with the teacher for group activities, I’ve begun regular e-mail conversations. I use Gmail, because it’s free, because Yahoo annoys me, and because I’m clearly very trusting. Lately, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend of highly targeted ads appearing in the side-bars of my e-mails. Most of them are just unsettling: I write some witty quip about cucumbers, and as soon as I get my reply, there in the sidebar is something like “Cucumber Recipes 4 Free!!!” Sometimes, though, the ads are a bit more surreal. When discussing space travel with someone, I saw the following:

Well thanks, Google! I bet I can get a crapload of frequent flier miles!

But fret not, Gmail users, Google doesn’t want you to play eccentric millionaire and book passage on a Soyuz. Oh, no. They want to help you save money, too!

In unrelated news, if you’re single, Christian, and incredibly creepy, there’s a site looking to hook you up with possible jailbait in no time!

You know, all this taken together with its interest in insects crawling up the rectum makes me suspect that the Internet may not actually be entirely sane…

Something Wicked This Way Comes

You know something? I hate 3D movies. Not because they’re more expensive (which they are). And not because they have the feel of a fad (which they do). And also not because I worry that the gimmick will take precedence over good storytelling (which I do). No, I hate 3D movies because I can’t…fucking…watch…them.

As it so happens, I’m what you call “stereoblind.” When I was a little kid, I had an uncooperative eye muscle, and so my eyes never learned to focus together on one point. As a result, my brain never had consistent images with which to learn depth perception. And as a result, I can see perfectly well out of both eyes, just not at the same time.

For a long while I had no idea what was going on. As a kid, I had a book about dinosaurs, and it had a few pages of those red-blue 3d anaglyphs. I put on the 3d glasses, not entirely sure what I was going to see. What I saw was nothing. I looked through one eye , and saw only the red half of the drawing. I looked through the other eye, and saw only the blue half. I switched back and forth. Still no 3D. As I got older, I grew to hate those “Magic Eye” pictures. Finally, in high school, it struck me that the reason for all of this was the fact that I have no depth perception at all. My right eye does its thing, and my left eye does its thing, and they don’t communicate much. At one point, I remember thinking “Well, at least that whole 3D movie craze passed me by.”

Well, the universe couldn’t let a silly “famous last words” statement like that pass. Oh no. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been learning that James Cameron’s Avatar (by James Cameron) is being touted as a 3D movie. NPR tells me that Cameron is also converting Titanic into 3D, and more and more theaters are jumping on the three-dimensional bandwagon. Well, to stretch the analogy way farther than I should, I’m rolling along behind that bandwagon in a wheelchair with a bad wheel. If the 3D craze becomes the massive thing that movie studios seem to hope it becomes, then I’m going to have a lot more stuff to rant about.