Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Alaskan Vampires and Assignments from hell.

Since the last 4 years have been a bust for trick-or-treaters for me and I didn't want to be stuck (again) with pounds of chocolate I took a page out of the Wiita playbook and made myself scarce for the evening.

However, because I did want to acknowledge my favorite day somehow (having to work and therefore unable to dress up) I and the dog went to see the film "30 Days of Night."

In case you are unfamiliar with the graphic novel, the premise is that during the 30 days without sun Barrow is cut off by and over-run with vampires.

I generally have low expectation for movies set in Alaska. Correction I have REALLY low expectations for movies set in Alaska, but hey vampires + Alaska... I will give it a try.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Things they did Right:

Movie Barrow didn't look like real Barrow, but it did look a reasonable amount like ye small isolated Alaskan town. Though frankly... it was cleaner then a lot of them.

Not to much exposition. See Distant Ship... see Man stumbling from distant ship. Message clear. Thank you for not giving us a 12 minute explanation of what was going on. I appreciate when directors don't treat me like an idiot.

North Slope Borough on the emergency vehicle... not North Slope County (which I have seen in some movie.)

Things that surprised me:

Josh Harnett didn't suck. He wasn't great... but I would even go so far as to say he did pretty good. I didn't like him in Pearl Harbor... so yeah....

The people reacted realistically and in human fashion. Some froze when frightened, some freaked out, and when someone did something really stupid it was for understandable reason (trying to save a family member or child...etc)

The vampires were not seductive or alluring. They were like the offspring of a shark and human. Visually and kinesthetically creepy, primeval and scary. They were NOT human, and that came across very well.

Oh... and the quisling... creepiest supporting character ever. EVER. Played by Ben foster. Who it turns out played Angel in the last X-man movie. (I didn't even recognize him.)

Things they did Wrong:
North Slope Police... not Barrow Sheriff. But, that was probably done for liability reasons. Likewise I suspect the "Alaska Fire Marshall" patch one of the characters wore. (With no State of Alaska patch visible.)

The trucks were all clean. In some cases immaculate. Riiiight.


So my latest Arch 121 assignment is ummm... yeah. This isn't isn't my Design class this is my weird Modern Architecture lecture class + design recitation thing.

We have to build a bridge 16" long and no less then 4" wide the entire length. It has to be able to support a 5 gallon bucket filled with 6" of water. I would guess that's about 10 lbs of weight but I will get bucket this weekend and find out.

Here's the kicker.

It can only be made out recycled or scavenged material.
It cannot contain any metal.
No piece of material can be longer then 6 inches, nor can any piece of material be thicker then 1/8".
No glue or melting strategies to form monolithic connections.


Anyway I have a plan. (Two plans actually.)


  1. hi. Nice drawings. even though you dont like the the pen i LOVE the drawings.
    idea on th bridge-try compacted styrofoam and fishing wire if you can find it 'recycled'.

  2. One of the plans involves finishing wire. It's being shipped from Alaska right now...