Monthly Archive for October, 2006

In the Name of the Father, Redux

The following is an excerpt from the script of In the Name of the Father, an excellent movie if you haven’t seen it. It resonated with me not only because of the Father-son relationship, it also seemed eerily timely. Anyway, I started playing with the idea of hyperlinking the similarities to Guantanamo, the PATRIOT Act, and the curtailment of our liberties here in the US. I probably could have done more linking, and maybe you can suggest some for me to update this post with.

Defense Attorney: Inspector, these people were arrested two days…after the Prevention of Terrorism Act was introduced.

Inspector Dixon: That’s correct.

Defense Attorney: Can you explain, please, the powers that this gives to the police?

Inspector Dixon: It permits us to hold suspected terrorists for a period of up to seven days.

Defense Attorney: Quite extraordinary powers in a democracy. Difficult I would’ve thought for the police to resist the temptation…to deal forcibly with people.

Prosecutor: Objection.

Defense Attorney: People they suspect are the biggest bombing campaign on the British mainland…since the Second World War.

Prosecutor: Objection. My lord, I really must…

Judge: Get to the point!

Defense Attorney: Now, this bombing campaign…struck deep into the British people’s sense of security. The people looked to you to find those responsible.

Inspector Dixon: Yes.

Defense Attorney: You must have been under the most intense pressure.

Inspector Dixon: That’s my job.

Defense Attorney: Now, all of the defendants claim, including young Patrick Maguire, aged just�Patrick, would you stand up, please?

Thank you. All of the defendants claim…that they were subjected to physical and mental abuse while under police custody.

Inspector Dixon: They were never harmed in any way.

Gerry Conlon: He’s fuckin’ lyin’! They beat the shit out of us!

Paul Hill: Fuckin’ liar!

[Gavel Pounding]

Judge: Silence. Sit them down!

[ Crowd Yelling]

Paul Hill: Please believe us! They beat us!

Judge: Just be quiet.

[Gavel Pounding]

Sit them down!

Silence in the court!

Defense Attorney: Mr. Conlon says…that you pulled him by the hair and squeezed his testicles.

Inspector Dixon: I never even spoke to Mr. Conlon.

Gerry Conlon: I hope you burn in hell, Dixon!

Judge: Silence!

Defense Attorney: Mr. Hill says the police sat astride him and put a gun in his mouth.

Inspector Dixon: There was no pressure of any kind.

Paul Hill: You can go and fuck yourself, you lyin’ fuckin’ bastard!

Judge: Silence! Order!

Defense Attorney: Inspector, in the case of the four main defendants, you have no corroborating evidence.

Inspector Dixon: I have the confessions of four obvious terrorists. What more do you want?

How to Back Up a DVD, Part II.

A few months ago, I found a tutorial on how to back up a DVD and posted it here on VO. However, a few developments make that tutorial obsolete. Recently, my boss asked me to teach him how to back up a dvd. New encryption techniques have made the previous method obsolete, so here is my updated tutorial:

Here is my tutorial. First, you need the following programs:

Ripit4Me
DVDShrink
DVDDecrypter
FixVTS
ImgTool
1. Rip.� First, download Ripit4me. Install Ripit4me, then go into the menu. There is a “Downloads” menu linking you to the support programs that Ripit4me relies on (FixVTS, etc). Download all necessary programs and you are all set in terms of software.

As you may know, older dvds are dvd-5 (aka single layer, 4.7gb) and newer dvds are dvd-9 (aka 8.5gb, dual layer). This allows newer dvds to have much more information on them. You can shrink dvds with DVD Shrink, which automatically degrades the image quality to compress the whole dual layer dvd onto a single layer disc. Or, you can select what features you want to cut out of the dvd to improve the image quality of the main feature (such as removing extras, alternative audio tracks, and previews, etc). Alternatively, you could buy more expensive dual layer discs and simply do a 1:1 flawless digital transfer. I buy my discs from Meritline, and I think they offer the best prices on a general basis (though other places have better deals from time to time). For single layer discs, I use Ritek G05 inkjet printable DVDs. They make faster ones too, but they are pricier and I don�t have that fast of a computer. If I was going to go dual layer, and I didn�t care about labels, I would buy the Verbatims (though they are pricey, at 3.50 a disc). I’ve never tried the Ritek’s for dual layer but I’ve heard they have problems. Those discs are only $1.60 a disc though – you may want to try out a small batch if you are going the dual layer route.

The best place to learn about ripping dvds is www.doom9.org. Another great visual tutorial is at http://paininthetech.com/how_to_back_up_a_dvd. Also, Ripit4Me’s guide is pretty good. If you are going to use Ripit4Me (which I recommend, at first, since it is pretty simple and integrates all the other programs, make sure you are aware of whether or not it is going to force DVDshrink to compress the video. There is no point in buying dual layer discs if DVD shrink is just going to shrink it down to one layer (and it does this by default, so you need to go in there and make sure it is set to rip with no compression.)

2. Image and Burn. ImgTool integrates with DVDDecrypter to create an image of the folder you created and burn the disc.� Load ImgTool, browse for the directory you created by hitting the folder button on the upper right hand side (Ripit4Me uusually rips to C:\”Name of DVD”) then hit the disk button and imgtool will automatically create an output file (usually DVDNAME.iso) then hit image.� If you’ve properly integrated DVDDecrypter, it should automatically load and burn the disc.
There you have it!

Weekend update

A GLORIOUS weekend.

In sports: Mets clinched, Yankees lost, and my Wolverines are 6-0 and have moved up to the number 4 spot in the country. Sweet.

In food, I checked out the new Max Brenner that’s opened up on 14th and Broadway. The food was EXCELLENT! However, the service was awful. Our waittress was testy and obnoxious, and when she screwed up an order and it was obviously her fault, she tried (but ultimately failed) to place the blame on one of us. When my friend cancelled his original order to order something else, she instead accidentally cancelled another friend’s order. Instead of owning up to it and letting it go, however, she tried to say it was our fault. Also, only one of us had been there before, and he mentioned that every time the wait staff takes newbie orders, they tell the “Max Brenner” story. Well, we never found out what that was, because she had no idea what we were talking about. Apparently she was the only waittress that didn’t know the history of the franchise, and she was rude about her ignorance. My friend said that every single time he has been there in the past the waiter has told the story. Ah well. Missing forks from the table, inadequate water replenishment, and ‘back sass’ all contributed to her sub-10% tip. She was lucky to get anything at all. We will definitely go back again, and will make a point to avoid that waittress, if she is still employed when we return.

In clubbin’: Went to Aer, Park, and Earth. They’re all right by each other so why not? Also went to Serena, and 230 Fifth. Good times at all of those joints.

In movies: I saw two Lisa Ray films in one weekend, having never seen her before in my life. The first was Quarterlife Crisis. This movie was, in a word, awful. The characters were pallid and one-dimensional, the plot vehicles were hackneyed and obvious, and none of the jokes came off well, if it was in fact a comedy, which I am not convinced about. Maybe a tragi-comedy. They even had the gall to steal an entire scene (the speed dating scene) from 40 Year Old Virgin. Finally, every shot of New York was a cutaway to Times Square. When they are driving in a taxi, Times Square. A second drive through the city to pick up a random girl, Times Square. Random cutaway shots of the city interspersed through the film? You guessed it, Times Square again. Enough already! We get that the movie was filmed in New York. To say that the director was no Michael Mann would be an understatement.

The second was Water [SPOILERS]. In an earlier post, I mentioned wanting to see this movie. Well, I finally saw it. The movie was just short of great. One of the things I liked most about the movie was what it didn’t show. I agreed with the director that the prostitution and child molestation that occurs in the movie did not need to be seen to be felt. I thought not showing these horrific scenes made these events in the movie even more haunting than if they had shown them, and I thought a lesser director would have pandered to the shock value. Kudos to Deepa Mehta on that point. That said, there were some flaws. The relationship between the Kalyani and Narayan was wooden and not credible, and I think that the actors were a bit weak. Perhaps Ray, a model (and a beautiful one at that), has spent too much time appearing emotionless on the runway, and she fails to switch gears for this film. I have heard that her diction was poor too, though I am not a good judge. That John Abraham‘s character Narayan doesn’t shed a tear for his fiance upon her death was another example of either character or actor weakness. In the end, I thought the film did not live up to its potential, but I did think it was a near-great film, and would still recommend it.

I also saw Infernal Affairs, upon which the recent film The Departed is based. This film is EXCELLENT. A definite must-see. At first I wasn’t buying it, but it definitely got more believable as the movie went on. Andy Lau is excellent, as is Tony Leung. I heard from friends that The Departed didn’t deliver, but I plan to see it anyway just to compare.

In other news: I went to the Guitar Center this Sunday, and it was as my friend put it, the most fun I’ve ever had on a Sunday EVER! I was just going along with a friend who wanted to buy a keyboard, ended up buying some replacement guitar strings (which I broke already when restringing, UGH!) and playing around with the instruments. But what really had us going for 2 hours of non-stop fun were the keyboards with the built in synths. We started playing them, and were AMAZED at how easy it is to make music with them! All you have to do is play one note, and the keyboard incorporates tons of other instruments to make an entire song! We felt like Oakenfold afterwards. I KNEW Kanye and Pharrell weren’t as talented as they are trumpeted to be! The thing was so damn easy! Within thirty seconds we had already figured out how to play the Yung Joc song, “Meet me in the trap.” Needless to say, the sales staff was in love with us. They just love it when you mess around with their instruments. I think me and my boys are going to start a music production company. Tentative name: The Trap. That way when we go to the studio we can all say, “Meet me in the TRAP! ITS GOIN’ DOWN!” Sweet. It’ll go great with my fake band, the World’s Fattest Twins.

That guy

me: u there?

Sammy: yeah

me: do you think that a guy with a diploma on his wall is a “that guy” as in dont be “that guy”?

Sammy: ehhhh….kind of depends on the context

doctors – no

me: i have mine in a rollup carton somewhere

not even framed

i wonder if i should frame it or something

me: lawyers?

Sammy: but associates, especially junior one, yeah definitely

Sammy: anyone junior should not be trying to front

me: haha

Sammy: you’re just asking for someone more senior than you w/ an inferiority complex that went to a “worse” school to just bitch you night and day i know I’d do that to someone

me: yeah true

Sammy: i’d be like….how’s that harvard mba treating you now??? make me some coffee bitch

me: hah!

Sammy: but if its someone w/ a big office, then its just decoration – as long as it goes WOOO WOOO

Street Fighter – Where are they now?

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a video this glorious.