Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?

(Lifted directly from this place.)

As you study for exams, remember its not the quantity it's the quantity. And remember there is no substitute for pure unadulterated bull

Dr. Schambaugh, of the University of Oklahoma School of Chemical Engineering, Final Exam question for May of 1997. Dr. Schambaugh is known for asking questions such as, "why do airplanes fly?" on his final exams. His one and only final exam question in May 1997 for his Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer II class was: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

"First, We postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave.

Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, then you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant. Two options exist:

1. If hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose.
2. If hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the quote given to me by Theresa Manyan during Freshman year, "that it will be a cold night in hell before I sleep with you" and take into account the fact that I still have NOT succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then Option 2 cannot be true...Thus, hell is exothermic."

The student, Tim Graham, got the only A.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: Monsters by Gareth Edwards

So Gareth Edwards is slated to make the new Godzilla movie. So far he's only made one major movie. Monsters. I've just seen it, so here's my review.

I'll give a review based on the aspects of the film I noticed. Some of this stuff is -kinda- spoiler-ish, but I'm not revealing any major plot devices. Read it if you want.

Cinematography: Wow. If this movie has one thing down pat, it's the look. It looks very pretty. There was a lot of creative use of the camera and experimentation with depth of field. I would hire this guy as a cinematographer any day. If it came out that he was SHOOTING the new Godzilla movie, I'd be very satisfied. Given that he's slated as director, I don't think we're going to have any problems with a poorly shot Godzilla movie. He will make sure that it looks good.

Editing: Here we messed up a little. I'm a bit of a picky bastard when it comes to editing, but I noticed several areas where the pauses were just too damn long. I get that he was trying to create empty space with silence and such between the characters, and the editing for the most part was helpful in that aspect. But there were several instances where I was thrown off by the sheer amount of time in between dialogue. As for the rest of the editing, there were several abrupt cuts and what I like to call indie-jumps. Indie-jumps are those little cuts that have the same character with maybe a little bit different of an angle with the character in a different position to show the passage of time. They seem to only be in indie movies cause they're artsy. These are annoying and should die. He didn't overdo it, so it didn't crawl under my skin, but it was one of those things that jumped out at me and made me go, "Oh he's doing that."

Sound: Anyone ever heard of a sound blanket? The scene in the gas station reeks of air conditioner. But the exterior shots have very good sound for being exterior shots. I know how much of a bitch those can be with production sound. Crickets are evil. Post production sound design was significantly less creative. The environments and backgrounds didn't deliver while they were in the infected zone, and there wasn't much eeriness that wasn't done with music. I would have preferred a much more creative sound design. Also, with the monsters... he went with whales. Good lord. Everyone goes with whales when they want to make some kind of gentle giant. I wish it'd been something else. I'm a little worried about the sound design on Godzilla to be honest. I hope he takes it much more seriously than he did on this film.

Writing: I thought I'd disagree with the general consensus of this forum when people said the writing sucked. Now that I've watched it, I agree and disagree. I like the general premise and the idea. The setup is quite creative. But the dynamics between the characters on the screen felt forced most of the time and the boring little conversations were just stupid. I've seen a lot of indie directors make the decision in their writing to IMPLY EVERYTHING through mundane little comments like, "No, really, I mean what are you doing." to imply some question about life rather than the immediate moment. This, to me, generally comes off as pretentious and lacks the feeling of 'real' that is the goal. This assumes that people are way deeper than we are at every single point of time and we always understand what the other person is saying. Try to pull one of these off in real life, and someone just gets pissed because of miscommunication. And then there's the moments of saying by not saying during which I got the implication but it felt a little fake as well. This film is littered with those kinds of moments and they got tiresome. Much of it felt like a Lost in Translation Ripoff (only LiT did it very very well. This movie did it so-so). However, there were many moments where it worked. The -extra dynamics- of the two characters were interesting, but the female was unsuccessful. The male's extra little issue with his son kept me interested. Also the reference to illegal immigration was... well it was there enough to make me roll my eyes.

Directing: On set, directing has mostly to do with actors. And I don't think that he lived up to the challenge on this one. Like I said earlier, there were times when the moments seemed forced. This was not entirely to do with the writing, a lot of the acting made the writing seem worse when it could have been 'saved'. The fact that it wasn't throws me off a little. As for the rest of his directing ability, I hold him responsible for the issues with the other stuff, as well as the successes. He's very much a visual director, and I think we're going to get a visual film unless someone hires a beast of a post-production sound designer. Also the fact that he did everything himself in this movie makes me wonder if he plays well with others.

OMFG CG: I got very tired at the complete lack of practical effects in this movie. Signs were CG, trucks were CG, every tank or helicopter in the film was CG, wrecked vehicles were CG... even the busted airplane engine on the back of a real cart was CG. it wouldn't have pissed me off if it wasn't so obvious every single time. I was pointing at signs on counters going... well there's another CG sign. That wrecked train is CG. Then I noticed that not only was he the CG guy (i know he did it all on his computer, it's nice for a one-man show but practical effects would have looked much better) but he was also the physical production designer. Which means he didn't even hire an art director to figure out how to make some of these fake-looking CG shots more real. Not a good decision in my opinion. This is another thing that makes me worried.

The Monsters: Well... I couldn't help but think octopus when I saw them. Just... walking octopi. Wewt. He threw in some curious stuff about them in the last scenes to make me curious, but not enough to save the monster aspect from being a side-dish. Also WHALES? Biollante did it, Jurassic Park did it, and Cloverfield JUST did it. Give me a new friendly giant noise. What little monster action there was though was pretty cool.

Godzilla: Given this film, I think the filmmaker is smart enough to know that his approach to Godzilla is going to have to be very very different than his approach to this film. He's going to have to take off his artsy indie director hat and put on a whole new one to deal with this kind of monster. Godzilla isn't a mysterious background character to a light romance, he's center stage. It'll be interesting to see how he handles it. I really don't know if I approve. He has about as many minuses as he has pluses. But he'll be able to be controlled by the producers and that's probably what they want the most. Plus he's cheap. Someone else is probably -really- running the show here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Many things have changed.

My religion has taken an evolutionary turn. I'm getting more into Hinduism and immersing myself in a number of different studies. I shall be posting more soon.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Baby Bible Storybook

I found this interesting.

This pretty much hits the nail on the head when it comes to why I get a little bothered by Christianity. So often it gets modified a little bit until the followers are ready for what actually happened. Nature and God apparently aren't 'G' rated enough. Neither is the Bible.

Why do we hide the truth from our children so easily? This thing is missing so much crucial information.

It's also kinda weird that they included Sampson. He tends to get forgotten. It's cool that he's in there though. Might not be as popular if it wasn't for that 60s movie though.

That movie was awesome.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


30 Minutes to Film: Controlled from Clayton Ward Bennett on Vimeo.

30 minutes to film. 2 hours to edit.


This was a bunch of fun to make. I didn't really know what I wanted to make until about halfway through filming. I was just getting footage of Sean playing some vidya-games when I came up with the idea that it would be funny if he was fucking with someone else in the world using the controller.

Then we filmed me in a hallway. And it was silly.

Problem when editing is that I regret not getting enough footage of me flopping around in the hallway. The footage I got was good, but I wish there was more of it.

Anywho, had fun. Learned that I didn't really like the camera we used. But it had an interesting effect on the film anyway.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wal-Mart Beggar

A Minute: Wal-Mart Begger from Clayton Ward Bennett on Vimeo.

Found a beggar at Wal-Mart. Told him I'd give him a few bucks if he'd talk into a camera for a while. He thought it was a trick. I told him he could say whatever he wants and I'd already given him 2 bucks. So he talked.

Wind sucks. I'm probably going to re-edit this into something else soon.

He made five bucks that day.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Passengers from Clayton Ward Bennett on Vimeo.

Fucking around with Lumiere and Edison shorts. Had fun.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Communion as a non-Christian

Today I had communion for the first time as a non-Christian. And it was on Christmas Eve. I'd been told that communion from a pagan perspective is a little strange, so I tried it out. And it's definitely weird.

It wasn't at a Catholic church, it was Baptist. So it was the little cracker with grape juice. Looking at the cracker with the realization that this is symbolic cannibalism is a little strange. I'm about to stick the body and blood of Christ into my digestive system and I don't even believe he's a god.

Normally I would have passed up the experience, but a friend of mine who is a pagan was caught in a situation where she had to do it or else she would reveal to her Christian family that she wasn't part of their religion so I tried the experience in honor of her. It's not one that I'll do again. Like her, I felt quite sick afterward and felt like I was betraying myself. I didn't go to the point of throwing up, but it was kinda close.

Communion has so much meaning applied to it for Christians. And I'm sitting in the church on Christmas Eve as a heretic and performing one of their more sacred rituals. Especially sacred to the Baptists since they only do it twice per year (albeit with grape juice and a cracker rather than good bread and red wine).

It's a feeling that I can't really write down easily. Again, I felt like I betrayed myself, but also I felt like I had betrayed the other Christians in the church, even though I didn't know any of them. I don't think that they would have really minded that much (a Catholic would be mortified), but I still felt that betrayal feeling afterward. Combine that with holiness and you have an idea of what was going on in my head.

Not planning on doing that again unless I become a Christian later in life. Even then I'm not sure if the ritual will make any more sense to me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh Zeitgeist, You and Your Shenanigans

I know this is long, I know this will probably be boring. But please read it so you don't get caught by this dumb propoganda video and spot when you hear someone reference this crap like it's fact. I've done my best to make it somewhat entertaining.

Okay, I saw someone had posted this video here with the subtitle that Christianity is pagan. While it's true that there is a relationship between Paganism and Christianity, this video is NOT a good place to look. Go ahead and watch this portion.

The sunset thing is BS. The only thing that this video proves is that the guy is good with puns. Sunset comes from the same place as sunrise. Set, as in setting something down is the root word. Not the god Set which wasn't even pronounced that way in Egypt.

Horus was not born on December 25th. December did not exist yet and there's no way anyone could know when he was born in the first place as the calendars are different and births/deaths weren't recorded in the same way they are today. No one would have known about the date of Horus' birth and no one would have cared if they did.

I'll admit that I don't know much about Horus' human life. My understanding is that he didn't even have one. Though it's possible. And if he did, he would have been the miracle performing type. But we don't have anything to go on. All the legends of Horus are when he's a god. But there's some problems here with the rest of what it says about Horus.

He was not known as the son of god, lamb of god, or any of these things because he is the principle God. Beyond that, there weren't any lambs in Egypt. He was ruler of both the night and the day. The Sun was one of his eyes while the moon was the other. Ra is the god of the Sun in the way they describe in this video. But he was a giant beetle moving the sun across the sky.

This battle thing is interesting. It's true that Set and Horus were locked in battle after Osirus was killed, but it wasn't symbolized by day and night since Horus was ruler of the sky rather than the sun. Sun was Ra's territory, and also the eye of Horus.

Oddly enough, this thing claims that Horus was born of a virgin named Mary and then quickly says Isis afterward. It's possible that Isis is the root name for Mary, but I find it unlikely. And the big kicker is that Isis wasn't a virgin. Horus is also the son of Osirus.

Horus could not have been crucified. Crucifixion hadn't even been invented yet. It didn't come around until the Romans decided it was a cheap and painful way to kill people. And the only god in Egyptian mythology to have been killed in the first place that I'm aware of (could be wrong here) is Osirus, who eventually came back to life as the god of the underworld, completely different from what this video entails. This video is taking aspects of other gods and combining them into Horus.

I'm not familiar with some of the other characters mentioned in this video, but my suspicion is that the same BS is applied to them.

Here's some things that I know about it.

KRISHNA: That would be a picture of Jesus. Also Krishna was born in July. And was the eighth son of a princess. Doubt she was still a virgin.

DIONYSUS: Born of a mortal, son of Zeus. Born from Zeus' thigh because the mortal womb couldn't handle a god. And the idea of Dionysus being called the alpha and the omega and king of kings when he was the god of partying is laughable.

The film this is from is called Zeitgeist. This is a video that is filled to the brim with modified facts that only appeal to people too ignorant and lazy to look things up. I've seen people cite facts that could not have been gotten anywhere other than this video before. there's several more parts to it as well. Look up EVERYTHING you hear that is related to this video independantly. Chances are it just came out of someone's... well not their brain.