Month: October 2019


Aand it’s threads like this that remind me why I like MetaFilter so much. Lots of reasoned back-and-forth on the respective merits of J J Abrams and Rian Johnson’s contributions to the franchise, interspersed with outbreaks of pure fanboyish affection like this:

A-Wing pilot? Maybe a mix of Prius hyper-milers and vape-bros who tweak their vapes to produce the biggest possible cloud, and deeply believe everyone wants to hear about?

Star Wars Rebels kinda y-winged the a-wing, if you know what I mean. After that show, my headcanon is that the A-Wings are the P-36 Hawks of the Star Wars universe; a mediocre interwar design that you buy from some creep on a casino planet because you can’t afford the leading edge stuff.

And the Rebel pilots who flew those pokey old crates? Those heroes are the Rebellion’s true believers, instinctive antifascists of every age, class, and species, reluctant but dogged fighters who would have been first in line to join the International Brigades in 1936. They are optimists. They still believe that the New Republic they’re birthing won’t be the sclerotic mess that the Old was. So the stereotype is that A-Wing pilots are earnest, and beautiful, and doomed.

B-Wings, those huge hosses are driven by hella butch brickhouse-looking sapients who know how to turn wrenches and weld shit to other shit. The intense maintenance required by the B-Wing is actually a feature to these people. The stereotype is truck nuts, Calvin-peeing-on-an-A-Wing stickers, and a speeder on blocks in the driveway. Look closer, though: all B-Wing pilots look fantastic in formalwear.

posted by Sauce Trough at 4:31 AM on October 23

I may not be joining them all in booking tickets right now to ensure that I get to see the closing film in the trilogy of trilogies at the earliest opportunity 1 but it’s heartwarming to see them all getting into BB-8 joining in with a cavalry charge in the trailer and getting choked up that C3-P0 looks like he might wanting to say goodbye to his friends just before what might be his final mission. 2

  1. When it came to late 1970s/turn of the 1980s big screen SF, I was always more taken with Star Trek than Star Wars. Frankly I’m way more interested in Star Trek: Picard than I am in Star Wars: Oh Look, They Found A Way To Use A Death Star Again
  2. It would be glorious … glorious I tell you … if Threepio’s final mission involved manoeuvring his innocent looking little friend Artoo into position next to the revived corpse of the emperor in order to set off an explosion to dwarf the bang when Death Star II exploded and finally send that creepy, evil bastard to his fate. 

Octopus Lovers

Vesna Jaksic Lowe on Raising My Daughter to Be an Octopus Lover:

I pour some stew in a bowl for my daughter. She is eighteen months old and has never tasted it before. I have no idea what to expect. She tries the potatoes and eggplant first, cringes, and spits them out. Then she starts downing the octopus tentacles with both hands. The thick, dark sauce drips down her white tank top with a picture of a ladybug, the pink swim diaper, and her bare, chunky legs. I have a hard time chopping the limbs and filling her dish fast enough.

“Hoba! Hoba!” she screeches with excitement, using the short word for ‘hobotnica,’ or octopus in Croatian.

My family friend says, “She’s Croatian alright.”

I smile at my daughter and pat her back with pride, but also feel a tinge of sadness. We are only here for vacation – we live in New York, an ocean away from my hometown and my friends’ octopus catches.

A very good essay on raising a child in a foreign land and culture. My culinary instincts regarding seafood very much aren’t hers, but I do hope she succeeds in raising a child who feels comfortable with her Croatian heritage.

[Via MetaFilter]

Windows in windows

Part of me really hopes that Apple end up shamelessly stealing the idea of what to do next with the tablet form factor from Microsoft rather than Samsung. Now we’re in the process of the transition to iPadOS, it’d be good to see the new branch of the iOS project explore something that’s not tied to a phone’s form factor.1

What’s mind-boggling is that Neo isn’t even a new idea — Microsoft first conceived of a dual-screen, foldable tablet all the way back in 2009 with the “Courier” project, which was a failed attempt to bring similar ideas to life. The Courier is legendary in the technology industry as a dream of how computing could look in the future, but most of us assumed the ideas had died when the project did.

Like many Microsoft projects, the company was simply dreaming too early. […]

Barring the industry waiting a few years to see whether Samsung et al can refine their folding-screen technology into something much more durable (and ideally much cheaper, so that the more-screen-space models don’t just become the premium option for the few who can afford them), it looks to me as if in the medium term Microsoft’s coordinating-two-screens-by-using-clever-software-rather-than-insisting-on-a-seamless-single-screen approach might well be the better way to go. As devices come with more real estate everyone’s going to have to figure out how to use that space best, beyond using it to display films and other visually-pleasing content in full-window apps.

Even on my current hardware2 I’ve appreciated the ability to use Slide Over and Split View and to drag-and-drop content from one app to another.3 Nevertheless, that can’t possibly be the end of the story. I have a sneaky feeling4 that one day the iOS family will sprout an always-on-display task switching/launching app much more flexible than what we currently put up with. Maybe that’s what my second screen is destined to be filled with. Only time (and a period when the different platforms are feeling free to experiment with the form factor and what that frees up) will tell.

George Lucas Astride a Mountain of Cash

If this is a joke or a spoof then someone is leaving it rather late in the day to spring a surprise on us all:

If the universe somehow arranged for a time traveller to pay a visit to young George Lucas just before he started filming Star Wars and show him that video1 then – after giving young George a few minutes time of jubilation at how handsomely his bright idea would pay off – wouldn’t even young George suggest that perhaps this adulation for all things Star Wars had all gone just a bit too far?

[Via @caitlinmoran, RT by @cstross]