Archive for Uncategorized

Manic at the Disco

I still have a bunch of apprehensions about Star Trek: Discovery.

Most of the things that I complained about before still annoy me. But the new thing is that I feel like the show is asking me to believe in relationships that they haven’t put in the work on. I continue to be baffled that people are so loyal to Michael Burnham, the woman who started the Federation-Klingon War and caused how many deaths? I remember how shunned she was at the beginning of her time on Discovery. And while I could accept that folks didn’t actively distrust her any more, somehow they grew to care about her so much (in two years?) that they decided to abandon their lives and jump into the future with her?

But they did that because of the demands of running a show. They had an end point: “we want to send the Discovery to the future so the fans will stop complaining at us about continuity” and a practical consideration: “we want to keep this pool of characters that we’ve already invested in because our audience expects the same characters and also contracts are a thing” and so they leap to the story beat: “the crew loves Michael so much that they decide to jump to the future with her and we can keep the crew together.” Except, they haven’t done the legwork, in my opinion. I don’t believe that the crew likes Michael that much.

Other minor beefs: new uniforms are ho-hum. I don’t understand why Detmer isn’t wearing red. The hallways of the USS Credence have the same design language as the Discovery — a 900-year-old ship (again, the practicalities of making a TV show: you reuse the section of corridor that you’ve already built to film the scene that takes place on the Credence). Also: the exterior of the Credence is ugly. Really, most of what we’ve seen of 32nd-century ships are ugly.

This season looks like it might give Tilly something to do; I think that she was underused last season (please give me all the Tilly). Same with Stamets. I don’t really understand how the showrunners decide on “main cast”: I like Adira (and Grey), but I don’t really understand why they’re a main character when Owo and Rhys are just recurring faces we see on the bridge. Similarly, I’m less interested in Book than I am in Bryce or Detmer (I get that having a non-Starfleet love interest for Michael removes some complication for the character: I just don’t know why Book is a main character. I don’t find his storylines that interesting). And I would be totally down for an episode about the Osnullus crew member(s?). And I’ll take all the Jett Reno you have on offer.

I hate my dislike: there are so many who want the show to fail because it’s too queer, or too diverse, or doesn’t centre enough white men. I want to love the show. I just don’t.

Move Ease

The Suicide Squad was everything I wanted in a fun action comic movie.


Do you stream / record video / do YouTube stuff?

Would you be willing to tell me about your sound and video set up? What about editing? Something else?


The Space Babe Sorting Helmet has sorted me into House Pfizer.


I wonder if this book is any good.

Thought for the Day

The choice seemed clear to me: A life of drag queens, safe spaces, and sharing booths with Aubrey Plaza, or a lifetime of straight bars, creepy white families, and code-switching with Mackenzie Davis — who is usually very hot but was done dirty with a poorly-fitted wig (sorry!! She was!!!).

— Jill Gutowitz, “Why Abby Absolutely Should’ve Ended Up With Riley In Happiest Season

I’m not gonna lie: I was surprised by how hurty this Christmas movie was.

Thought for the Day

Never make a promise or plan
Take a little love where you can
Nobody’s on nobody’s side
Never stay too long in your bed
Never lose your heart, use your head!
Nobody’s on nobody’s side

Never take a stranger’s advice
Never let a friend fool you twice
Nobody’s on nobody’s side
Never be the first to believe
Never be the last to deceive
Nobody’s on nobody’s side

— “Nobody’s on Nobody’s Side”, from Chess.

The Texture is a Lie

My first foray into normal maps. Trek frequently uses this particular texture — often on pillars or support structures. It’s simple enough, but the extra detail would add a lot of geometry to a model.

Thus normal maps. Normal maps say, “pretend that this flat surface has extra detail on it, and use that pretend detail when you calculate light interaction.” It’s all pretend, but it’s a special form of pretend that can be hardware-accelerated.

Basically, to make this work I have to create a model of complex geometry and use a Blender tool to create (“bake”) a normal map by projecting onto a much simpler shape. The end result is a very blue-coloured image that I can use in other models.

Net result: the surface is flat. It just doesn’t look flat. And if you look at the bounce light from the floor, that bounce light is emphasizing the texture shape.

Like I say: first foray. I barely know what I’m doing.

Dreamwidth Restored?

I think I’ve managed to restore cross-posting to Dreamwidth functionality. Dreamwidth recently changed the way it handles authentication, and my WordPress plugin broke. (Dreamwidth’s post includes the words “breaking changes to older clients” and, hey, it broke my older client. (Are there any newer clients, though?)

3D Practice

I’ve been trying to grow my skill with Blender, and a big part of my approach has been to re-model some stuff that I’d previously modelled in SketchUp.

And, yes, there’s more Star Trek stuff, ’cause that’s what I was mostly toying with when I was playing with SketchUp.

An early re-model was this wire-framed chair that shows up in some of the later TNG movies.

Blender has some different approaches to particular modelling tasks. In this case, I was using curves to get the frame of the chair. Basically, I draw out the lines that the frame follows, and then give those lines some substance, making it seem like it’s made of metal tubing.

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