Showing 11 - 20 of 20 posts found matching keyword: star wars

The Force is strong in this one

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What is this "Star Wars" I keep hearing about?

I see advertisements for "Star Wars" batteries from Duracell, "Star Wars" jewelry from Kay, "Star Wars" makeup from Covergirl, and "Star Wars" telephone coverage from Verizon. What the hell is "Star Wars" telephone coverage?

Could all this "Star Wars" nonsense happen to have anything to do with a movie coming out in December? A movie so greatly anticipated that it had shattered ticket pre-sales a month before its release date? A movie franchise so valuable that Disney paid four billion-with-a-"b" dollars for the rights to make more? Does the public really have no saturation point for this film franchise?

Hey, I was a kid once, and I liked Star Wars. I really wanted Star Wars toys so I could re-enact my favorite scenes. I don't recall ever wanting "Star Wars" Campbell's Soup or "Star Wars" Coffee Mate or "Star Wars" Trojans that glow in the dark like a stubby little lightsaber.

I'm left wondering if there is anything that Disney won't license the "Star Wars" name to? I looked. Pepsi, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Jelly Belly, Duck Tape. Guitars, underwear, furniture, waffle irons. About the only thing I couldn't find were official Star Wars-licensed condoms (although some clever marketers are exploiting this oversight).I guess Disney has to withhold something for the inevitable sequels.

Thank the maker.

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The first rule of writing is show, don't tell. So although I occasionally talk about coding here on my site, today I'll show you some. (And thus his last 2 remaining readers are motivated to delete from their bookmarks.)

I've been working long hours lately, and the following sample was written at 4 AM after 12 hours of continuous coding while trying to beat a deadline. This snippet takes a character string, looks at the last number of the string to determine if it is odd, and then loads the number into a list.

  1. List<> _dutyroster = new List<>();
  2. string _stormtrooper = "TK421";
  3. string _lastNo = _stormtrooper.Substring ( _stormtrooper.Length-1 );
  4. int _id = int.Parse ( _lastNo );
  5. if( _id % 2 != 0 ) {
  6.  int _unlucky = ( _id == 1 ) ? 1 : 3;
  7.  _dutyroster.Add ( _unlucky );
  8. }

It seemed to work well enough.

At the grocery store the following day, somewhere between the cereal and the soda, I remembered this function. In the bright light of day, it seemed wasteful to bother with the ternary operator if I was just going to select the same number as the odd number I had just evaluated. So I replaced it.

  1. if( _id % 2 != 0 ) {
  2.  int _unlucky = _id;
  3.  _dutyroster.Add ( _unlucky );
  4. }

That broke everything.

Turns out, sometimes when you can't remember why you were writing code at 4 in the morning, you might ought to trust that you knew what you were doing.

What I knew in the dark but didn't remember later that day was that my "_stormtrooper" reference number could end in any digit. The ternary operator, seen below,

  • ( _stupidIs == _stupidDoes ) ? true : false;

existed to provide a necessary, restrictive default in the case that what I was looking for wasn't present.

The takeaway from today's lesson is that I write better code at 4 AM than 4 PM. So next time you think it's weird that I sleep all day and work all night, remember TK421. No matter what time the clock says, sometimes you're just better off if you don't leave your post.

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I hate Diane Sawyer. She's smug and condescending as she delivers the bullet points that ABC News thinks will scare you the most.

Last night, she told me to be afraid of North Korea, rumored to be on the verge of testing another nuclear weapon delivery vehicle. Diane, I stopped worrying about the possibility of global thermonuclear war when Ronald Reagan's policies won the Cold War in 1989.

She followed her first scare with the news that dangerously cold temperatures were, like Sherman, marching south to the sea. Last week, the flu was the unstoppable killer, this week it's frostbite. I don't know about most people, Diane, but I can't worry about more than 1 impending environmental threat at a time, so just tell me if I should buy a flu shot or a blanket. I can't afford both.

Desperate, she sounded the alarm that there is a national shortage of chicken wings available for Super Bowl snacking this year. Diane, I may have been the only one, but I was paying attention last summer when you told me that a killer drought in America's Breadbasket was resulting in record low corn production and we should all expect to starve in coming months. Now you want me to worry about whether Pizza Hut® Wing Streets can stay in business?

I thought that Diane had thrown her worst at me and began to relax. Sensing my weakness, she pounced. In her most chipper voice, she delivered the "good" news: "It was announced today that the creator of Lost, J.J. Abrams, will direct the next Star Wars movie."

In case you didn't know, J.J. Abrams also is in charge of the Star Trek films that have reinvented a classic, beloved, thoughtful science-fiction franchise as a drunken action orgy fit for the idiocracy of the 21st century. I dislike J.J. Abrams more than I hate Diane Sawyer, and that's saying something.

Congratulations, Diane! You win this round.

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According to the Associated Press, Darth Vader has robbed a New York bank. In addition to bank surveilance footage, several witnesses report seeing Vader, over 6 feet tall, fleeing on foot across a parking lot after the crime. It cannot be a coincidence that David Prowse, the actor inside the Vader costume in all of the classic movies, was earlier this month permanently banned from all official Lucasfilm events, apparently for being too vocal about believing that he has been denied his due residuals from Return of the Jedi. It would seem that the Empire really does strike back.

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The internet was "born" 40 years ago yesterday with it's first connection between nerds in California colleges. Credited with making the graphic world wide web profitable, banner ads celebrated their 15th anniversary on Tuesday. And of course tomorrow is Halloween. Keeping all of that in mind, I present to you a complete convergence:

Two great tastes that taste great together. (In this context, that comes across a little gay.)

Image and caption stolen borrowed from Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts, courtesy his article "5 Reasons It Sucks Being a Joss Whedon Fan" at

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Found item: this ticket stub is 10 years old this week.

It's from the midnight debut of Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace at the Regal Cinemas Hollywood 24 at I-85 (built on the location of the old I-85 Drive-In). Ah, to be young and have faith in George Lucas again.

Appropriately enough, I re-discovered this ticket stub in my copy of Preacher: Ancient History. It's going back so that I can find it again in 10 more years.

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Today is the first day of the 29th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Il.

I think it's amusing that for the past week, national media outlets have been strongly promoting the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars franchises, while in the heartland of America, the die-hards will be continuing a relatively quiet annual tradition of celebrations that have been going on for just as long. The first Star Wars film was released in 1977, and Superman: the Movie saw theaters a year later. That means that the Superman Celebration has been celebrated annually since the movie was released. With the 4th Star Wars Celebration being celebrated last month, Star Wars fans have some catching up to do.

On an almost related side-note, the Man of Steel cannot be cut by a lightsaber, so don't even bother trying.

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Ok, well, an update is in order. Knights of the Old Republic: Great. Heroclix: Great. City of Heroes: Great.
Now consider yourself updated.

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The Empire Strikes Back is still the best sci-fi movie ever made. I know someone who thinks the effects look dated ("Who's scruffy looking?"), but after just watching it again, for the umpteen millionth time, I have to say that I think it looks damn good by any standard. You just can't improve on perfection.

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To be continued...