Archive for July, 2005

Catch 22

July 18th, 2005

I didn't get this one at all. As far as I can tell, US bomber pilot Yossarian, flying missions in the south of Italy during WW2 is doing everything he can to be sent back home or in the least stop flying missions. Aside from that, the story has lots of repetition, linking of plot segments and so on, none of which seems particularly interesting or logical. For example, the opening scene is shown at the start, but also at the end, where the story comes full circle. I imagine one would read the novel to get a good grip on this one. It cuts from scene to scene, many of which seemingly completely unrelated.

A couple of humorous bits were thrown in as well. To start off, Yossarian's entire squadron gets killed or goes crazy sooner or later. One of the high rollers at the airbase (actually he may have just been a low rank to begin with) comes up with an idea to start trading goods instead of doing missions. So he trades the pilots' parashoots and a bunch of other stuff for whatever else he can get his hands on. He starts a company, gives all the pilots stocks in it with a promise that they'll all go home rich once the war is over. Trying to inject his dying co-pilot with morphine at one point, Yossarian is less than thrilled to find the medical cabinet has been traded for a share in the company. The business really comes alive as the trades grow in magnitude. Finally, they trade all their goods for cotton, to sell for a profit. Turns out cotton is not in demand, so they strike a deal with the Germans to sell them all the cotton, while the Americans bomb their own base. On another occasion, for some reason they get orders to bomb Ferrara, which has no strategic value whatsoever, so Yossarian makes them drop the bombs in the sea right before they get there. Because the bomb pattern turns out to be really nice, they all get medals for this.

Another pilot makes a name for himself crashing his plane into the sea time and again. Finally on the 5th occasion, he takes a raft and paddles to Sweden. 16 weeks out at sea without food apparently, that makes sense. Turns out he's been rehearsing those crashes all along. Upon hearing the story, Yossarian grabs a raft and runs out to the beach, starts paddling. The end.

Quite dull, rather pointless, annoying camera work. And they make a point out of making every scene noisy so it's hard to hear the dialogue. Anno 1970. Don't bother with it.


Oh yeah and you know what "Catch 22" means? It comes up about 4 times in similar circumstances. It means whatever you do, you can't win. The following quote explains it all. "Let me see if I've got this straight: in order to be grounded, I've got to be crazy and I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy any more and I have to keep flying." As far as philosophy goes, this circular logic is rather trivial and tedious, so I doubt I'll be using the phrase much. Wasn't even worth watching the movie to find out what it means.

the coolest shit in Scandinavia

July 17th, 2005

Turning Torso, Malmö

From the man who brought you this shit, now coming to a place in Scandinavia (how I wish it were Trondheim).

* The height will be 190 meters. This can be compared with:

o Kaknästornet, Stockholm, Sweden: 155 meters.

o Kronprinsen, Malmö, Sweden: 86 meters.

o Globen, Stockholm, Sweden: 85 meters.

* Five elevators:

o Three for those living in the building.

o Two for those working in the building.

* Maximum deviation at the top for the most severe expected storm: 0,3 meters. It will not be possible to feel the movement.

* 25 000 cubic meters of concrete.

* Every second window can be opened ten centimeters. There are safety blocks.

* Window cleaning is included in the monthly fee. There will be a special crane on the roof for the purpose.

* Fire protection: Every room is sprinkled. The water supply for the sprinklers is doubled, and has its own emergency electricity supply. One of the elevators also has emergency electricity supply, for use by the safety personnel during an evacuation.

* There will be 54 floors. The tower will turn 90 degrees.

* Architect: Santiago Calatrava.

* The building is modeled after a human torso in a turning motion.

* Is built by HSB Malmö. HSB started thinking about Turning Torso in May 1999.

* The total cost is calculated to be around 1600 million SEK. Previously, they were talking about 1100 to 1200 million SEK. In the beginning, they were talking about 950 million SEK.

* October 2004 (Was August 2004): The concrete framework will be ready.

* Late Summer 2005 (was Spring 2005): Turning Torso will be ready for its inhabitants.

* The reinforcing iron bars are made ready on the ground in a building nearby, to minimize crane use.

* At the top of the building, there is a climbing form used for moulding the core, stair well and elevator shaft.

* Turning Torso will mainly have rental apartments. The largest apartment will be 230 square meters. The smallest apartment will be 45 square meters.

* Twelve floors (4 200 square meters.) for commercial use at the bottom. (Offices). All other floors will be used for the 152 apartments.

* It is not decided yet if the entrance will be manned 24 hours a day. The garage is supervised by a camera.

* In the original plan, the city wanted a 25-floor student house on the spot. The city wanted a high building there to not let the huge building nearby (Malmömässan) dominate the whole area when seen from far away.

Hotel Rwanda

July 17th, 2005

A terrible story, unfortunately it's historical and not of great distance. Set in 1994, Paul Rusesabagina works as a hotel manager at the Belgian four star "Les Milles Collines" hotel in Kigali. As the atrocities start with the uprising of the Hutu militia, Paul expects a Western invervention which never comes, he manages to save over a thousand refugees in the hotel before they are evacuated by the UN into Tanzania.

A very vivid story of human hatred and brutality, it is a greatly touching movie with a phenomenal performance by Don Cheadle. Don actually said that the producers wanted Will Smith for the lead, I can't imagine how that would have worked.


one way conversation

July 13th, 2005

It's like a 85% packet loss. Ok done with the technical stuff, you can breathe now. I don't know how many times I've done that. I'm supposed to be friends with this guy just cause he's in my class so when I spot him on the bus, I try to make conversation. It's like swimming against a current. I have to do all the work, ask all the questions. Questions are good cause they require answers. But the conversation never goes anywhere, it's boring questions with short, tedious answers. I hate the one way conversation, it's such a struggle. "So did you start on that report yet?" "No." "It was funny what the history teacher said today." "Yeah." "So how about that Liverpool?" I, of course, don't give a damn.

And the sad thing is that sometimes you have to do it because there's no way to get out of the situation, like meeting someone on the bus. You can choose to sit by yourself, which seems a little funny. Or you can endure it. If you meet them on the street, you don't even need an excuse to take off. But sometimes you also get it with people you think are your friends or could be. I should have something in common with this person, I've heard her talk to other people about things that interest me, yet when I'm here the conversation doesn't work. Sometimes you both would like it to work but it still doesn't. And anything you say comes out like a clueless attempt on the other side.

And then there's people who know how to do this well. The kind of people who can always find something to talk about with someone. I envy them, they got it easy.

smile, everybody

July 12th, 2005

I came across a news story which suggets that 26 Norwegian "mercenaries" are employed in Iraq at the moment by a private company. A spokesman for these guys, some kind of promotor I guess, gave an interview to the paper. Now there's nothing really funny about this apart from one little thing.

"We are not attackers, we just want see to it that the Iraqis get power and light. And that the Americans get their oil." :dielaugh: