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Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Seeing Red

Well, it's a bit later than I promised, but then again, Violet was the only one who responded to my colour challenge anyway (thanks Vi!).

Here begins my thoughts on the attachment of meaning to colours:


Red occurs in nature most obviously as blood. Some fruits can be red, some soil has a reddish tinge, but blood is more alarming than fruit or soil, so humans would take more notice of it.

Blood is associated with pain and danger, and also with excitement - when you are excited or aggravated, your heart speeds up and blood rushes to your face.

Red is the colour of Mars, the Roman god of war. War=blood=red. The romans probably named the planet after the god of war because it was red. (Yes, Mercury is also red, but they probably thought it was fitting that the bigger planet should be the god of war)

So if the idea of red became related to the idea of blood, it explains why many objects in the man-made world that are red are associated with danger - stop lights and signs, alarms, warning lights...

What about hot water taps? Why are they usually marked as red? What is it that made people relate the idea of red with the idea of heat?

I'm not quite as certain about this one, but I have a few theories:

Perhaps it has something to do with themometers - the mercury used is red.

Or maybe it's because of sunburn. If you stay out too long in the hot sun, you go red.

Or maybe it's another blood thing. Isn't blood warm? Except what's the deal with reptiles being 'cold-blooded'?

It is fairly safe to say that Red is the colour of heat and pain and danger and anger and excitement and passion. And 'alive-ness', as Violet pointed out.

And Christmas, for some reason. Can anyone explain that?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


I found this game through this blog.
I scored 65! I should be satisfied with that.
...so why am I still playing?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Movie Week's End

I realised that I haven't posted on the other five movies that I hired, and now that I've seen them all, I don't really have the inclination to post individually.

The five remaining movies were: "America's Sweethearts", "American Pie", "Arlington Road", "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", and "The Count of Monte Cristo". But I didn't watch Monty Python as I'd seen it before (I thought it was funny but the unusual formatting gave me a headache). We borrowed it because my sister was using it for an English oral assignment.


This was a very good movie. Dark, and deeply disturbing. Tense, chilling and sickening. It definitely does what it sets out to do - teach you a little about terrorists, show another aspect of domestic life, and get you incredibly freaked out.


It was strange coming from Arlington Road to this. My older brother labeled it as a fluff, and it is easy to see why. It is a romantic comedy, starring a lot of big names: Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Crystal, John Cusack. Of course Julia Roberts plays the lovable but overlooked love interest (in this movie, she used to be fat), but I still fall in love with her every time she plays a similar role. Catherine Zeta Jones is excellent as her spoilt self-absorbed superstar sister. In the end, the 'same old story' was sufficiently quirky and amusing enough to let me enjoy it.


This is the movie that I enjoyed most out of the lot. It was the most interesting movie I've seen in ages. Perhaps that's because it is based on a successful book that I haven't read. It has action and suspense and political and romantic tension aplenty. The characters, their relationships and their reaction to their personal situations are excellent, and the actors that portray them do a fantastic job. At the beginning of the movie, I wasn't quite sure who was going to be the hero of the piece, and I'm so glad it turned out not t0 be Guy Pearce's character, because he made such a good villain. He has this arrogant smirk that made me grind my teeth every time I looked at him. Imagine the hero of a movie having that effect on the audience! James Caviezel's character was at first rather uninteresting. It felt at first as though the story was going to be told through him as an 'everyman', instead of as a convincing character. I'm glad this was not the case. Looking back, it is a credit to his skills that he could portray such wide-eyed innocence at the start of the film and such world-weary, veiled malice later on.
I suspect I will be buying this movie next time I see it.


Well, what can I say? This film has been referenced by friends and other peers so much over the years that I had to see what I was missing out on. In the end... not much. It was more likeable than I expected, but I had picked up on most of the gags just through what I'd heard from friends, so the effect it might have had was long lost.

There is a small pile of birdseed lying next to my chair.


I'd just cleared a space in the mess of my room, and now my carpet is full of birdseed.

My brother.

It's not like he intended it, and of course I knew that the birdseed-in-balloons juggling balls Mum made me for Christmas would give eventually, but... argh!

I think I'll just pretend to ignore it and see if it takes the hint.

And I was really feeling good about my 'new room'.

I don't have a lot of space in here, especially with a computer desk, chest of drawers, closet, bed, keyboard (and music box/box of music), little table-y thing on wheels, and box of schoolbooks that I keep telling myself will somehow prove 'useful'. And then when I moved the keyboard to the middle of the room (I needed it close to the computer so I could connect the two with my new cable - yay!), there was really no space to stand anymore. But now the keyboard is against the wall where it belongs, and I've piled all the school junk in the unusable space in the corner (beside the computer desk and at the foot of the bed).

So it really felt good to see the floor again! But now...


(My sister's drawing a smiley face in it to make it seem more pleasant... )


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Movie Week: "The Birdcage"

'The Birdcage' is a comedy based on the tension that occur when the daughter of an 'ultra-conservative US Senator' decides to marry a boy whose 'parents' are two gay men - a fact everyone (including the girl and the boy's biological mother) are determined to hide.

I liked this movie, though I would not buy it and probably will never see it again. It had quite a few 'moments', but I just didn't like the piece as a whole. I felt uncomfortable about laughing at people in an awkward situation, rather than laughing with them.

It was a Robin Williams film. I like Robin Williams comedies, generally, but in this I don't recall him laughing once. He was entirely too tense and serious all the time (i.e., NOT providing me someone to laugh with) and so I couldn't find his situation amusing. Nathan Lane as his feminine, drag-queen-like partner was funny because the character was meant to be over-the-top! Another notable excpetion was Hank Azaria (?) as the household handiman, also very obviously gay.

For the most part, it felt like a drama where the characters are all wearing clown outifts - some outfits are amusing by themselves, but the clowns themselves aren't doing their jobs.

Which is not to say 'bad acting', because I thought everyone was perfectly in character. I'm guessing it was the director, Mike Nichols' decision to play the movie this way.

I just think it would have been funnier to play the comedy for its comedic value rather than its realism.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Lure of Nothing Much

Does anyone else have some little project that you go to work on just so you feel like you're keeping busy (i.e., faffing)?

My 'project' is my computer's music library.

I tend to play music constantly, so it's only right that I should have a well-organised system that allows me to match songs to my mood.

With Mindows Media Player, there are a lot of criteria under which you can enter information about your songs: Personal Rating, Title, Track Number, Length, Artist, Genre, Album, Album Artist, Composer, Conductor, Label, etc. There are even two Custom columns so you can put in any extra information. Surely with all this you could quickly find any kind of song you wish for?

Not enough for me. I want to put in things like whether the track is instrumental or vocal, if it is from a musical and which musical it comes from, and whether or not I have another copy of the same song (remixed, or covered by another band, etc).

(Recently I discovered that the 'search' option only searches the five main columns: Title, Artist, Album, Album Artist and Genre. So now I'm trying to cram all this information into the Genre column so I can put the search option to good use.)

So I keep thinking up all these new ways to organise the music, and then attempting to attatch information to all 2054 music tracks (at last count).

It takes forever, and it is never really completed, because by the time I'm halfway through, I will change my mind or think of some extra quality I want to include, and so I just start again.

I went from midnight to 3am this morning just going through tracks and typing in information. Because of that, I woke late and missed the opportunity to see a good movie with a good friend.

And though it severely annoys me when I waste my own time and miss out on good opportunities, I know that I will keep coming back to Media Player, trying again and again to construct the perfect system.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Movie Week: "Duets"

I actually didn't manage to catch all of this movie because of the horrible skipping and 'unable to read disc's that occurred throughout the second half.

However, what I did see really surprised me. From what I'd seen (mostly in the video clips for 'Cruisin' and 'Bette Davis Eyes'), I assumed Duets was a lighthearted romance between Gwyneth Paltrow's and Scott Speedman's characters, with some added father/daughter drama via Huey Lewis.

I was right about the 'father' part.

The film is called 'Duets' because it is about three pairings of (seemingly) horribly matched people - an estranged father/daughter relationship (Gwyneth Paltrow/Huey Lewis), a disillusioned white salesman with a black (ex?)crim (Andre Braugher/Paul Giamatti), and a daring, open, overtly sexual woman with an underachieving taxi driver who wanted to be a priest (Maria Bello/Scott Speedman).

The film's name is also relevant because each pair, for whatever reasons, are headed to the national karaoke championships, and the $5000 prize.

And although paths do cross, and Gwyneth and Scott's characters do meet and seem attracted to eachother, the movie seems to be about each pair rather than any central, unified whole.

I enjoyed what I saw of this movie, thanks to the interesting and comical interplay between characters from vastly different backgrounds. Life-changing meetings, all of them.

I just wish I could have seen the rest of the movie!!

~ Draic

P.S. Huey Lewis at times reminded me strongly of Bill Murray. Has anyone else noticed this?

Movie Week: "2 Fast, 2 Furious"

Not my choice, I swear - it was on the 'ignore list' when I saw the previews, and I'd missed the first movie completely. However, my sister (who HAS seen the first) had been plagued by favourable reviews from her friends, and so the movie worked it's way into the pile.

I found myself surprised by the movie. Mostly because it actually had a decent plot - although it was a very basic, no frills plot which I'm sure was designed to link the various car stunt scenes rather than for any enjoyment in and of itself. It was funny how obvious everything was - i.e., no subtly constructed, unexpected twists. It was sort of refreshing!

Of course, there were parts that were just ridiculous - for example, the scene on the bridge where the 'sidekick' reflects on his past - not that it was handled badly, just that it was the only point in the whole movie where someone was 'reflecting', instead of just pushing the story along. Also, two of the minor fight scenes - the two guys rolling around on the ground when they first meet, and the scene where they're both kicking the shit out of a guy when he's down - I was just laughing at those two and how ridiculous it all was.

Hmm... Actually, that's pretty much all I can say about it. I'm not a 'car' person and I don't identify with the 'what up, dawg?' characters. I have no desire to ever see this movie again, except as a reference for the typical 'guy movie' - it would be interesting to compare to an equally typical 'chick flick'.

So what will I take out of this experience? Torture by rat.

Movie Week

I took advantage of Video Ezy's '8 weeklies for $10' offer on Tuesday, and so a large portion (well, a 'larger' portion) of my time this week will be spent in front of the other monitor in my life.

It was an opportunity to take a few off 'the list', but, unfortunately, I think these movies were on the mental list rather than the typed one, so I don't get the pleasure of deleting any entries from the list after I watch them. Nuts.

I won't mention them here, as I'll probably (hopefully) be blogging on each in turn.