Tag Archives: absurd

Dinosaurs vs. Aliens

There’s a Dinosaurs vs. Aliens movie concept being developed.

I was chatting with a friend about what the script for this would look like. If the dinosaurs speak English, that would be layering magic on top of magic. So maybe the dinosaurs don’t talk and just grunt? Then you’d end up with something like this:

Rawwwwwwr, ROOOOOaaaRRRRRRRr.

Raw raw rooooar.

Dino 1 cocks head.

(through flaring nostrils)


The alternative is to have the dinosaurs grunt and roar in an “intelligent” manner and subtitle the expressions. The dinosaur subtitles can be soulful, angsty, full of doubt. Then you’d have a high-concept/art-house crossover hit.

That is a movie we’d pay to see.


Priceless bit of parody of Information Architect’s Writer for iPad from Merlin Mann:

Because, ū— is the first app to remove every conceivable distraction from the drafting process—including cruft like paragraphs, lines, and words. This is why ū— only displays the bottom half of one letter at a time. Talk about focus.

— via Daring Fireball.

I’ve tried so many of these “distraction-free” writing environments over the years: WriteRoom, OmmWriter, full-screen mode in countless other apps. They’ve never worked for me.

I think the attraction of such software is the hope that with the right software you’ll turn into a magical version of yourself, the really great writer. Somehow, we tell ourselves, if I just get the right software, my sentences will flow, my plots will intrigue, and my characters will come to life. That’s certainly why I kept on trying these things.

But experience has shown me that, at least as far as my own work is concerned, the tool involved in writing makes zero difference. I’ve done good writing in Microsoft Word and in Google Docs, in Scrivener and Vim. I’ve even done some serious drafting in Simplenote and Pages on an iPad (with a bluetooth keyboard).

It’s a bit like reading. Despite all the debate over the Kindle vs. the iPad vs. paper books, what really matters for the reading experience is being able to forget about the device and sink into the book. Writing is similar. Forget about the software, just write.

100% Real Lobster

Saw a commercial advertising “100% real lobster” in a sandwich last night.

First thought: is “fake lobster” a real problem?

Second thought: “100% real lobster” is actually a meaningless assertion. The sandwich consists of bread and condiments, which are obviously not lobster. So “100% real lobster” must be understood to mean: “to the extent there is any lobster here, it’s 100% real lobster.” But suppose we mix in some fake lobster (say, crab meat), the assertion remains true, as long as it’s taken to cover only such portion of the sandwich filling which consists of real lobster meat. Indeed, the assertion is even true in the case of a BLT since, to the extent there is any lobster, it would be 100% real lobster (it just happens that there isn’t any lobster in a BLT).

Maybe I’m overthinking this.