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Dec. 8th, 2003 @ 05:08 pm Snow vs. Weekend
Being right around the holidays, there are always many long and drawn out plans for fun activities to participate in. And yet, the weather oftentimes is completely rude, and ignores such carefully intracrate plans and decides to shake everything up with several inches of snow. This weekend, was yet another of those weekends with much random planning was done to fit everything in, including heading out to the National Theatre to see Mamma Mia, having a birthday party for my mom, seeing Last Samurai, as well as a BBQ at Swab's place.

Some of my coworkers and I decided that it'd be a fun trip to head down to the National Theatre on Friday after work to go see Mamma Mia. Since piratechan always seems to complain that I never assign them names, how about I refer to them as S, C, and L(C's wife who doesn't work here but was coming along anyways)? Driving down to DC is always a fun experience, and parking is just as exciting, so in order to maximize efficiency, the 4 of us decided that it was best to carpool, and drive 1 car. Thus I somehow got suckered into "borrowing" my parents Accord, since it's of reasonable size for 4 adults, my car is on the small side, C's car isn't much bigger, and S is afraid of driving into the city. Yet on Friday morning, as I was trying to drive out of my development, I discovered that 2 wheel drive light cars without anti-lock brakes or traction control handle poorly in the snow. In fact it handled so poorly in the snow that it couldn't even get out of my neighborhood. At this point, I almost lamented not deciding to splurge on a nice 4 door 4wd Subaru WRX instead of the Mini when I was doing car shopping. This I got into my car, which dispite being much smaller weighs almost as much, and has ABS and traction control. With these fun toys, my car and I managed to make it into work without any problems, which this nice feeling of actually getting to use some of those options that I paid money for.

Now this presents a problem, as while fitting 4 people into my car is technically possible, it's not exactly the most comfortable arrangement for a long drive(and it's about 45 minutes from work to the National Theatre in DC). Thus after a bit of deliberation, we decided to cram everyone into my car and head to the Metro station to head on over there. Lots of random interesting conversation on the way there, though I think I've found that I'm truly approaching what one might consider old, as most of what we managed to talk about was work related(gossiping about coworkers, state of the company, money management, them trying to convince me to goto the company holiday party despite me not caring enough to head into VA for it/having anyone to go with, firing out which of our coworkers were going to go postal first, etc). Somehow I got dubbed Batman by S, because of my umbrella(which is one of the ones with the integrated pulldown plastic coverings so it doesn't spill water everywhere while closed). Then again, I also managed to get dubbed "well-dressed" and thus logically gay.

Once there, we hurried into the theatre to watch the show. Overall, I enjoyed the show quite a bit. The set was amazing, and it moved really fluidly, and they managed to incorporate portions of it for many beautiful shots. The antics of the actors on stage were quite excellent, with a particularly adept acrobat stealing a scene where he's flirting with one of the mother's friends with his singing, dancing, and tumbling. Unfortunately, I think they didn't quite have their sound levels quite right, so the music oftentimes drowned out the actors' singing. I've often heard that musicals tend to be the sellouts of theatrical productions by appealing to the masses. This takes the cake even for the musicals that I've seen, with a relatively simple(read: easy to comprehend) plot, catchy popular music(by Abba), and completely gratitutious scenes to try to appeal to the lowest common denominator. For example, at the end of the play after the cast does all of their bowing with lots of audience clapping, a frame of disco lights dropped from the ceiling, and all of the characters sang and danced to the most easily recognized showtunes completely out of character(with new shinier costumes) just to wake up anyone who was dragged along to see the show.

Since my brother got the day off of Chinese school due to the snow, I dragged him and my cousin to go see The Last Samurai with uberfluffy, blacktw, Yevgeny(or Eugene for the people who don't speak gibberish), Matt Monroe, and various other company. I'd have to say that I enjoyed that movie a lot, dispite being extremely worried when I saw an early trailer for it months ago. It very much was Dances with Wolves cast in Japan. They went to great lengths to portray many of the idealistic aspects of the samurai lifestyle, but they deliberatly avoided the less glamorous results of samurai rule in Japan. The combat sequences were exciting, and one could sense the passion an
d valor that the characters had as they dove into battle. And the movie had ninjas! How could it not be good when ninjas are involved? Of course, as always, people never seem to know the first rule of ninjas, which is that the total amount of power that a group of ninjas have is inversely proportional to the number of ninjas standing in that group. For example, 1 ninja is extremely powerful. But if 2 ninjas were involved, then their total effectiveness is half of what each would be on their own(this making each individual ninja 1/4th as effective). Extend this to a horde, and you see why a horde of ninjas always gets their ass kicked.
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South Park Style
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Date:December 8th, 2003 02:18 pm (UTC)
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I like your ninja theory and it makes a lot of sense within the context of movies :)
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Date:December 8th, 2003 02:19 pm (UTC)
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I wasn't sure if thsoe were ninjas or not. Aren't ninjas silent assassins? That was a flat-out raid.
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Date:December 8th, 2003 02:21 pm (UTC)
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Dressed in black? Covered their faces? :P

Also, if you remember, they first tried to kill Katsumoto with a dart (i.e. silently) and once that failed, they had to do an all-out attack (where Bob kicked major ass :P)
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Date:December 8th, 2003 02:34 pm (UTC)
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They are supposed to be silent assassins, and that's what they started doing in the beginning. Unfortunately for them, they brought a large squad of ninjas for backup in case the silent assassination fails. But by bringing such a sizeable force, their stealth was severly compromized, and thus they were thwarted in their attempt.
Date:December 9th, 2003 08:15 am (UTC)

Ninjas in parallel

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I've also noticed the ninja trend, and I equate it to resisters in serial and parallel. If you fight n ninjas of strength s one at a time, then you are fighting them serially, and as we know, resisters in serial add their effectiveness to each other. s + s + ... n times = n*s total strength.

Then when n ninjas of strength s attack at the same time, they attack in parallel, so the total force is 1/((1/s) + (1/s) ... n times) which reduces to s/n total strength.

Our hero doesn't even need to have the strength of one ninja in order to defeat a horde of them, even if they use the strategy of coming in waves!