Time Lapse Movie Review

Time Lapse

I saw an awesome movie on Netflix called Time Lapse.

The movie was directed by Bradley D King and starred Matt O’Leary as Finn, Danielle Panabaker as Callie, and George Finn as Jasper.

Finn, Callie, and Jasper live at an apartment complex. Finn works maintenance for the apartments and moonlights as an art painter. Callie is Finn’s girlfriend and she assists with collecting rent and other random tasks. Jasper is their sketchy friend who gambles on dog races a lot.

Finn and Callie are called to check on Mr. Bezzerides who is late on his rent. Callie goes over and finds something strange.

The three of them investigate and find out that Mr. B has created a form of time travel.

A gigantic camera is set up at Mr. B’s house, bolted to the floor. The camera is aimed out Mr. B’s window at the living room window of the three friends.

Every day at 8PM the camera spits out a Polaroid, not of the current events in the apartment, but of what will be happening the next day at 8PM in the friends’ living room.

The group also discover that Mr. B is dead. His body is severely burned and slowly decomposing in his locked storage unit. Apparently Mr. Bezzerides was fated to die in one of the Polaroids. He attempted to alter his fate and died because he tried to change time. As Jasper says, “You don’t mess with Time.”

The group decides to cover up Mr. B’s death, claiming he is in the hospital to those who ask.

Jasper uses the camera in a fairly obvious way. 24 hours into the future he holds up a sign with a few winning dog races of the day on it at 8PM. The camera takes a picture and sends the information back in time. Jasper gets the info and then he knows which dogs to bet on. He bets on those dogs, wins a bunch of money, and then holds that sign up to the camera to ensure that he gets the information in the past.

Finn uses the camera to overcome his painter’s block. For weeks he’s been staring at a blank canvas, painting nothing. With the camera he can see the painting he does the next day. Knowing what he is going to paint he no longer experiences writer’s block (Yes, we’re dealing with the type of time travel that violates causality).

Callie doesn’t seem personally get much out of the camera, but she’s happy to have the money that Jasper is making and that Finn is completing his work.

The camera continues to violate causality by showing events that wouldn’t naturally occur. The three main characters feel they must faithfully reenact those events or they will suffer the same fate as Mr. B in his storage room. Conflict ensues as the next day’s events start getting weirder and weirder. I won’t spoil that part of the movie for those who are interested.

I loved Time Lapse. It has all the weird stuff I look for in a movie. It offers a lot of the same stuff that Memento, Sliding Doors, and About Time had. If you enjoyed those movies then you will probably like Time Lapse.

I should warn you that there’s a significant amount of gun violence in the movie and a little bit of sexual content. The violence was enough that my wife didn’t finish watching the movie. Personally, I felt that the conflicts escalated too quickly to a lethal level, but it didn’t significantly detract from the other excellent aspects of the movie.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend Time Lapse. Check it out on Netflix!

-GoCorral

Cool Stuff from Last Semester

I did some cool stuff last semester in my science classes that I’d like to show you guys.

The gist of it is… This picture:


This is a picture taken by my lab group in my basic lab technique class last semester of a mouse fibroblast cell moving into a simulated wound on a glass slide.

Fibroblast cells are kind of like the contractors of your body when you get a scratch or wound. There are your first responders to the “disaster,” your immune system, and then fibroblasts go in to start the process of rebuilding your tissue by laying the foundation for other cells to move in.

A lot of scientists are interested in wound healing. How can we make it faster? How can we make it better so people don’t have lingering problems after the superficial injury has healed? How can we prevent infection? How can we prevent scarring?

Those questions are tested with a variety of experiments but one of the msot common is the scratch assay.

A bunch of fibroblasts are grown on a glass slide until they practically cover it. Then the slide is scratched.

The fibroblasts move into the scratch, thinking it is a wound. Their movement into the scratch is measured in a couple different ways and those measurements can tell us a little bit more about how wounds heal.

Which brings me back to the picture my lab group took. Obviously its got a lot of color and is very prety, but what are all those colors? What’s going on in that picture?

My lab group scratched the space above the big cell in teh picture. The cell is now moving into the scratch.

The red lines are called actin. Actin is the support structure of your cells. Cells move by extending actin filaments where they want to go and breaking them down behind them.

The green parts are called vinculin. Vinculin is spread throughout the cell and localizes into spots where the cell is attached to a surface to assist in adhereing to that surface. All those bright green spots are where the vinculin is helping the cell hold onto the glass slide.

The blue parts are cell nuclei. Each cell has one nucleus and I’ll bet you can pick out the one that belongs to all the actin and vinculin in the middle of this picture.

I did a lot more stuff on scratch assays in this class and leaarned a few new techniques, but the best part was definitely getting this picture.

Oh and apologies to any color blind people. I have no idea how to spearatae out the red and green things for you. Enjoy!

-GoCorral

The Animals of Florida

We arrived at our hotel in Florida after midnight, when all the nocturnal animals are out.

Apparently armadillos live in Florida, so we got to see a wild one in the parking lot as we walked from the car to the hotel.

Darkness + No Flash = Potato Quality Photo. Didn't use flash so the little guy wouldn't get scared.
Darkness + No Flash = Potato Quality Photo. Didn’t use flash so the little guy wouldn’t get scared.

The armadillo wasn’t the only little critter we encountered on our Florida trip.

Squirrels and ducks were everywhere around the parks, begging for food and often receiving it.

The squirrel was frightening people by running at them to make them drop their food. Smartest little dude ever.
The squirrel was frightening people by running at them to make them drop their food. Smartest little dude ever.
“I came to kick some ass and eat some bread! And I’m all out of kicks…”

There were a few heron-like birds (later learned they’re called ibis) begging everywhere as well. Begging seems to be the best way for an animal to feed itself in Disney World.

I'm all out of good captions.
I’m all out of good captions.

There were songbirds flying around as well. One in particular would land on our hotel balcony after we were done eating breakfast out there and eat up all our crumbs.

There was another songbird that attacked the window of a restaurant we ate at. According to the waitress, the bird attacks its reflection during mating season to show off for its mate.

Unfortunately, the little songbirds were too fast to take pictures.

I did manage to snap some photos of some quick little lizards that liked to sun themselves on the sidewalks around town.

The lizards camouflaged themselves against the sidewalk and skittered away when we got close to stepping on them.

“I am the cutest lizard of them all.”

There were also fish in the many lakes that dot the Disney World Resort, but too many people were crowded around the fish to get a good shot.

So not only is Disney World full of tourists, its also full of animals for the tourists to take pictures of!

-GoCorral

New Phone

I got a new phone last weekend and have been adjusting to it.

This was a thing for me because I’ve never had a smartphone before.

I’ve shied away from smartphones in the past for two reasons.

#1 Having a touch screen in my pocket kind of freaks me out. I’m always worried that it will touch my leg and turn itself on and text something to someone I know.

Of course that never happens but we all have our irrational fears.

#2 I don’t want to get too distracted from other things by my phone. A phone with more stuff to do on it is more distracting.

I got over both of those things by getting an iPad. The touch screen doesn’t freak me out as much and I don’t get more distracted by my iPad than I did by other things in the past.

So! The new phone! I was basically deciding between an iPhone and an Android.

I went with the Android for a few reasons (this is apparently the listing reasons blog post!).

The Android has better reviews. I generally trust consumer reviews and all of them were poiting me towards the Galaxy phones.

The Android has better ads and has always had a more adult feel to it to me. The iPhone has always felt like a child’s phone to me. Not saying that it is, but I feel childish when I hold one.

And finally, Android phones are cheaper.

The phone is working out great. As a smartphone it can do a lot of things my old dumb phone could not.

Old one on the left if you couldn't tell.
Old one on the left if you couldn’t tell.

My old phone could make calls, text, and take poor quality pictures.

The new one can make calls, text (with a predictive text messaging keyboard which is way faster), take high quality pictures (WTF do you even do with 16 MP pictures?), and has access to apps.

The apps are also a lot better than what I was using previously on my iPad.

It’s surprising to me that differences in app quality would exist for different machines, but there are.

The WordPress app that I use to write my blog posts comes to mind first. My iPad mini has advantages that my Galaxy S6 can’t compete with. A decently sized physical keyboard attachment and larger screen are just things a phone will never be able to do.

But the Android makes up for it by having an app that actually displays pictures while I’m writing. I can also access the picture library that I uploaded onto WordPress earlier. The iPad ap doesn’t let me do either of those things.

The Android app also doesn’t have any problems with carriage returns, something the iPad app has always had a problem with for some reason.

The next app that was noticeably better was the Starbucks app. The iPhone/iPad version makes it difficult to use or even find coupons that the app gives you. You have to struggle to use coupons on the iPhone version and sometimes the baristas don’t even know how to redeem them once you do find them.

The Android app ties those coupons into the pay function. You just tell it you want to pay for something and it applies your coupons to that stuff. Boom! Done!

Cons of the phone are few compared to my old one.

It uses data, so now I have to pay for that, but Wifi is nearly ubiquitous, so maybe I won’t.

The new phone has really bad battery life. I’ve needed to recharge it every night after using it. My old phone needed to be recharged about once a week. Partially that’s because the new phone has apps so I’m using it more, but its still a big difference that I’m adjusting to.

The new phone is also bigger. Taking up more space in pocket means its been a little harder to get my keys out. That falls into the category of #FirstWorldProblems so I’m not overly conerned.

It’s a good phone, I’m glad I upgraded, I wish it was perfect and had all the nice things my old phone had as well.

-GoCorral

Original Gurutama Timeline

As I continue to develop more of Gurutama I’ll be making page links in the top bar for permanent information.

Eventually those page links will be an easy source of information for myself, my players, and anyone else who wants to read up on our imaginary world.

I’ll add more organization as necessary, but with only one link right now, I don’t think its needed.

If you haven’t already seen it at the top, the Original Gurutama Timeline is now accessible.

This is the unedited version which is probably filled with inconsistencies, timing problems, and other errors. I’ll be smoothing those out and posting a Revised Gurutama Timeline as I go.

That’s pretty much it for today!

Here’s a picture of a bear starting an exercise regime to make up for the lack of a real blog post.

Hula Hoop

-Mister Ed

Gurutama Timeline Thoughts

I’m a bit at a loss for how to make my coming posts on Gurutama’s timeline interesting.

My initial thought is that the Gurutama posts are more for me than for whoever is reading them.

I’m using those posts as creative vehicles for the world my friends made. I’d like there to be more details for us to use and this is a way to force myself to write them.

Up until now I’ve been able to drop a picture of some kind into each post either of the area or the race I was focusing on for that post.

What pictures can I use for a timeline though? I don’t have anything already made and scouring the internet is far less likely to produce something appropriate (or legally usable).

I could draw something myself, but that would require far more time than I’m willing to commit to the project.

I should just accept the timeline being pictureless, but if I do I want there to be something else cool in each Gurutama timeline post.

I can’t think of what that cool something should be just yet though.

As for what I plan to do with the timeline posts, that’s pretty easy.

While we were playing Dawn of Worlds I kept track of events and created a rough timeline of what occurred.

The rules of Dawn of Worlds split the actions into three distinct ages.

The rules suggest that a turn in the first age takes 500 years of time within the created world. A turn in the second age takes 100 years and a turn in the third age takes 10 years.

This allows the initial events to be slow just as initial developments on Earth were slow, but then speed up later on. It also reflects that the presently living people in Gurutama will know more about recent history than centuries old history.

The timing rules present a problem though. One player can do something on turn 1 in the first age, but than another player can’t react until turn 2 which is 500 years later.

This means that sometimes counterattacks within early wars will take centuries to formulate!

Obviously that can be explained away within how the timeline is worded, but that wording does not exist as of now.

As I go through and present the timeline I need to fix those errors and add clarifying information where it’s needed. I plan to also add extra fun stuff when I feel like it to spice up the world.

There’s the plan!

If you think of anything cool that will make the timeline posts more interesting, let me know please!

-Mister Ed

Picnic Day 2014

Today I went to UC Davis’ one hundredth Picnic Day celebration. I’ll just be doing a few pictures or today’s post.

Picnic Day is basically a county fair that takes place on a college campus.

First there was a couple of speeches and then a parade!

There were about seven Deloreans in the Picnic Day Parade. This is just one of them going down the street.
There were about seven DeLoreans in the Picnic Day Parade. This is just one of them going down the street.
A Wells Fargo carriage pulled by a four horses. The lady in the purple hat was the best speaker for the opening of Picnic Day.
A Wells Fargo stagecoach pulled by four horses. The lady in the purple hat was the best speaker for the opening of Picnic Day.
A horde of old fashioned bicycles participated in the Picnic Day Parade.
A horde of old fashioned bicycles participated in the Picnic Day Parade.
A cowboy on a horse during the Picnic Day Parade.
A cowboy on a horse during the Picnic Day Parade.

After the Parade my wife and I went to see the Disc Dogs competition. The dogs have to catch a bunch of frisbees in one minute and bring them back to their master. The dogs get more points for more frisbees and if the frisbees are thrown further.

A dog running after a frisbee at Picnic Day. The frisbee is near the top of the frame.
A dog running after a frisbee at Picnic Day. The frisbee is near the top of the frame.
One of the dogs catching a frisbee in midair at Picnic Day.
One of the dogs catching a frisbee in midair at Picnic Day.

After lunch we went to see a cool local rock band, Crow Canyon! The three members, Riley, Nathan, and Drew, are in high school. You can check out their music at http://www.crowcanyonband.com/. They have free music samples!

My favorite local band, Crow Canyon, playing at Picnic Day.
My favorite local band, Crow Canyon, playing at Picnic Day.
One of the singers, Riley, in my favorite local band, Crow Canyon.
One of the singers, Riley, in my favorite local band, Crow Canyon.

We went to a small petting zoo set up by the stables. We got to pet some young cows, sheep, and goats.

Some young cows at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
Some young cows at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
A goat at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
A goat at the Picnic Day petting zoo.

And I also got some new pictures for the blog in general of horses and CORRALS.

That’s it for now!

-Mister Ed

Mapping Methods

Room 2 of the Lich Shade dungeon drawn using graph paper with notes on it.
Room 2 of the Lich Shade dungeon drawn using graph paper with notes on it.

There a lot of different styles of DMing in D&D and other roleplaying games.

You can wing it and come to each session with very little prepared.

You can come up with the adventure for each session in the week before.

You can also do what I do, make up the entire campaign before starting it.

Between each session I have almost no creative work to do for D&D. My campaign has been running for close to three years now and I’ve only had to design one adventure out of about a dozen since then.

It’s nice. I don’t need to spend extra time on the game for me and my friends to have a lot of fun.

I have started to run into a few issues though.

When I wrote the campaign I imagined my group would still manage to meet in person.

That proved to be horribly wrong. We have in person sessions about once a year now.

When I drew all my maps they looked like the one pictured above. I’d make them on a piece of yellow-green graph paper.

When they reached a room I’d draw with a wet-erase marker on a battle mat I brought to each session.

When the players defeated the monsters in one room I’d erase and draw the next room.

Dry erasing was easy, but creating good maps in our current system is a little difficult.

My group now plays over the internet using an internet browser program called Roll20.

Roll20 is really great. It has everything a tabletop has. You can even turn on a feature to see your dice roll across the table.

However, I can’t just grab a pen and draw on my monitor as easily as I draw on the battle mat used previously.

I suppose I could do that if I was used to creating digital images, but I’m not.

Instead I’ve taken to making lame looking maps or using a cool mapping software piece called GridMapper.

The second room of the Lich Shade dungeon made using GridMapper.
The second room of the Lich Shade dungeon made using GridMapper.

GridMapper is extremely simple. You pretty much just click to change stuff.

I can easily build maps in GridMapper. They don’t look amazing because it doesn’t come with preset images like trees and stuff, but they’re functional just like my dry erase mat.

GridMapper has one issue, it has a maximum image size. Easy to get around though, I just make two images and glue them together for really big rooms.

I’m slowly converting all my old pencil maps into GridMapper maps for Roll20 now.

That’s it for now!

-Mister Ed