Archive for June, 2012

Androids in Alien and Prometheus

23:55 24 Jun 2012. Updated: 01:25 25 Jun 2012

(Spoilers for Alien and Prometheus, clearly.)

What is an android? The first Wiktionary definition is “a robot that is designed to look and act like a human (usually male)”. Looking like a human is the easier of the two components, particularly when not in motion, despite the potential difficulties in artificially replicating skin in a convincing manner. The real difficulty is acting like a human. Our stories are full of creatures (döppelgangers, aliens, golems[1]) that look like use but are not us, and this familiarity with the concept may mask how difficult accomplishing such a thing would be—an oversight that forms a core weakness in Prometheus.

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Technical Difficulties and Linkspam, 2012-06-17

22:56 17 Jun 2012

The death of my old MacBook Pro this evening has caused the loss (hopefully only temporary) of the blog post I was working on today (on androids in Alien and Prometheus), which I will try to recover and finish next week.

In the meantime, here are some interesting things I encountered on the internet this week.

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Nadal Hits 7-11

22:49 11 Jun 2012

Today, one day behind schedule[1], Rafael Nadal won his record[2] seventh French Open, breaking a tie with Björn Borg. He also gained his 11th Grand Slam title, tying Borg and Laver. He also got back on track in his pursuit of Federer for the all-time Grand Slam record—and at the moment it looks as if he could catch him simply competing at Roland Garros alone[3].

He defeated Novak Djokovic in the final, halting a couple of streaks in their rivalry: Djokovic had won seven straight finals against Nadal, and had defeated Nadal in the previous three Grand Slam finals. Perhaps more significantly, he prevented Djokovic from becoming the first man since Rod Laver to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once, and from completing his own career Grand Slam.

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Rain Delay

23:43 10 Jun 2012

Yes, really: this week’s post is on the French Open, and rain delayed the men’s final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The post will show up after the tournament is actually over.

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Books, Ebooks, and What to Keep

20:49 03 Jun 2012

In the time since I bought a Kindle, I’ve been extremely happy with it. But the rise of the ebook has brought with it questions about my relationship with books, specifically about book ownership and the notion of a personal library. I’m still trying to cut down on the physical books in my possession—the limited physical space that partly prompted acquiring a Kindle in the first place is still the same—and am finding it difficult to do so.

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