Archive for February, 2009

Gaming the System
25 February, 2009

One of the class features of geeks is +5 with Gaming the System. Since geeks emphasize elegance, they generally only bother when the benefit is sufficiently large. Or when they are making a point.

At my kids’ school there is a formalized recognition of good behavior. In my youngest’s class, one name is drawn from the week’s recipients for a prize. Probably from an attempt by the teacher to catch them being good, the ill-behaved kids get recognized more frequently than the well-behaved kids. My youngest, a member of the latter, expressed irritation at this inequality. In an attempt to soothe him, I told him that the system often is unfair and one approach is to use this against it by gaming the system. I was pleasantly surprised when a fortnight later my spouse reported that he had talked about “gaming the system”.

Wii Fit has a balance game that tests the user’s ability to sit still enough to keep their center of balance within a target deviation. The kids informed me yesterday that my spouse now had the record of seventy-eight minutes straight on that game. They stacked pillows (and probably other objects) on the Wiibleboard until it registered a person sitting on it and then left it alone for the afternoon. They proudly announced, “We gamed the system.”

Color me proud.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
16 February, 2009

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a very good movie. It deserves a much better review than I can give it right now. If you like romcoms, you’ll like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
1 February, 2009

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is an Adam Sandler movie.

Kevin James, who recently worked with Sandler in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, does a remarkable job as the lead. He had already proven his comic abilities in his television show, but in this film he shows that he can play a sympathetic character, too. Although perhaps not obviously so, Paul Blart is a romantic comedy; all of the Home Alone-like scenes were in the copious trailers. James and Jayma Mays have sufficient chemistry to pull it off.

If you like Adam Sandler movies (and I do), you’ll like Paul Blart: Mall Cop.