Saturday, November 28, 2009

Its better with Monkeys

As you may have guessed I am a massive fan of science, maths, engineering and technology.

In my fiction I'll take rayguns over wizard staffs; in my NEWS I'll twitter the Large Hadron Collider before I follow our prime ministers; and at cub scouts I'll demonstrate how to make carbon dioxide volcanoes over Christmas wreaths. My geek-fu is strong and science is so cool right now. Any one else notice in the US president Obama's speech on the 'Educate to Innovate Campaign' not only did he have Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters there but he put those sentient machines on notice -

"As President, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering. And I also want to keep an eye on those robots, in case they try anything". Full speech here.

So for my family movies I'll take 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' over a misbehaving Max in a wolf suit.

The film is based (very loosely) on the Judi and Ron Barrett 1978 book. Instead the movie is an origin story, (SPOILER ALERT) with an unappreciated inventor type called Flynn who hummed his own action soundtrack when he moves through to his lab. This was so cool I now do this whenever I enter the office at work. He invents a number of things which become (in one case literally) running gags through out the rest of the movie.

This movie demonstrated to me the corrollary to my axiom that 'every story can be improved with zombies'. Every kids movie can be improved with monkeys.

They have chosen to go with The Incredibles style CGI for the characters thus avoiding the whole uncanny valley problem with animated people.

I found the story bright, colourful, fun and science can do great things as long as evil mayors are not involved. The_weapon is reading about the AZETCS at the moment or at least the horrible history bits of the AZTECS so he (SPOLIER ALERT AGAIN) went wild when Steve ripped the heart out of a person sized gummy bear and ate it.

I walked out thinking it was a great big great thumbs up for my Science is AWESOME philosophy. My_reason_for_living wondered if I missed that it was science that causes all the problems in the first place. I considered and replied - but it fixed it! The_weapon laughed through out much of the film but when we left he seemed quiet. When asked he replied he was thinking about 'the sad bit'.

I have no idea which was 'the sad bit' and he said he didn't want to talk about it. But he then said he really liked the movie. This has left me with the question.

What was the sad bit?

and does this mean my almost ten year old son is more emotionally developed than me.




    Now I have to see this movie!

  2. Thanks for the warning about the monkeys. Eww.

    Now I'm goign to spend the weekend trying to figure out where my co-workers intersect the "uncanny valley" curve...

  3. Sounds like both sides of the Atlantic are trying to deal to their deficits in talented science and engineers via different recruitment/hearts and minds approaches. The Brits are funding Thrust SSC and shooting for 1000mph on land. The Americans have the dudes from Mythbusters.
    Hmmm. I suppose we don't even have the dudes from the Curiosity show.

  4. No Doc, but we may Tony Abbot as the next opposition leader and he is like the science anti-Christ.

    Yes Barnes, you son is already more emotionally developed than you. He can probably beat you at most computer games and sports. He has reached that age where you need to find one thing, secretly practice it and then beat him at it at least once a week until he is 35. Otherwise he will have you secured in a aged care facility before he turns 18.