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How You Get Good At Something

The stratagem I deduct from this video: Sleep less. Do more. Focus on essentials only. Exercise. And find your grind.

Silent Code (2012)

Silent Code (2012)

Animated renditions of an Internet bulletin board system. A reporter trying to get on board, looking for a scoop. A trio of bullies looking to bring down the 'Justice Girl'. A certain set of personalities working a varied set of occupations that the camera cycles through every time a visual response is required for a certain online scenario...

You'd think it's kind of silly at first. Like a movie made by old people. Without any know-how of the net. Or made for old people. The culture simplified and collectivized to the point it's not just a visual simplification but like a parody in itself, but then...

Give it a chance won't ya?

If you don't like romantic movies though look elsewhere.

If you like heartfelt endings look back.

I was thinking I'd maybe at least give this a three for poppin' visuals, but when it's all said and done this was so much more than that.

It's a reflection of our true selves. It's humankind in the twentyfirst century. It's a parallel world, with strengths and weaknesses just like ours, and a testament and hope to our human nature.

That people really are inherently good.

It's a promise. It's a gift. It's a dream.

What it could truly become if it isn't already. A little alternative cybernetic utopia you reach through a screen.

Like the underground: It's best a scene.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Happy Mar10!

Mar10!

Drew a little something for the occasion. :P Yes the sloppy letter placement does bother me too, but I shall leave it be! And move on! And achieve great things! And realize my dreams!

Happy Mar 10 y'all.

Once Upon A Time In Deadwood (2019)

Once Upon A Time In Deadwood (2019)

A lady suckers a retired military Colonel into saving her sister from certain death by means of poison, which only her sister has the antidote for. Though unfortunately it occasionally gives him stomach cramps, that set in at the most inopportune moments.

Unexpected bits of comedy amidst an otherwise pretty serious venture! And quick wit, like:

"The stories... are they true, or are they all lies?"
"It's all true, especially the lies."

It starts with slow ride through the steam of an old locomotive, a wintery wilderness, and the girl, and then the Charles Bronson look-alike steps in... Just like with Escape From Death Block 13 it takes a while to get into the story, maybe because of his not that great acting, but once you do it's beautiful.

There's a twist at the end too. You won't see it coming. At least I didn't.

Don't mind that it was clearly filmed in a tourist ghost town - they even show a modern picnic table at one point. But the action's not bad, the sceneries are even better - refreshingly natural, and you grow to like the characters, which is really the most important part.

They turn a sub-par B-movie into something better here. Appreciate it.

Think I'll be watching a bit more of this Robert Bronzi guy...

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

The World Sauna Championships 2010

Watched a somewhat disturbing mini-documentary yesterday. This may be a somewhat disturbing post too, note! Don't read if you don't want to.

Have you ever heard of the World Sauna Championships? That took place in Finland on a yearly basis up until 2010? Where each year contestants would gather in a small sauna, with a starting temperature of 110°C, where half a liter of water was poured on the stones every thirty seconds, until all but one contestant stumbled out of the room. The last contestant to get out of the room UNAIDED won the championship.

2010 they upped the stakes a bit. The sauna was a bit more extreme than before. Russian Vladimir Ladyzhensky and Finn Timo Kaukonen battled it out to the bitter end... when Timo collapsed, and they were assisted out of the room. The Russian had to be dragged out - he couldn't move - and even after a successful resuscitation he died on the spot. Apparently he had anesthetic cream on his skin, and had taken strong painkillers before the competition, which was not allowed, and maybe also the reason he died.

Timo on the other hand made it out alive, was taken to the hospital with severe burns as layers of skin literally loosened from his body, and he fell into a coma for six weeks. He remembers nothing of the competition. It was a painful recovery, yet even now, with burn marks and scars covering his body, he sits in the sauna daily, and wishes the competitions would start again.

He has no qualms with the arrangers of the event that caused him so much pain. He sees it as an unfortunate event, but he loves the sport, and he's sad that after this tragedy no more competitions take place.

What's somehow even more unfair is that a contestant who both of these two champions outlasted officially won this championship that year - without undergoing any of this suffering - since he was able to leave the sauna on his own earlier. And is thus recorded as the final winner of these championships. Ever. For all he went through Timo deserved that spot IMO.

I wonder, if the Russian hadn't taken those painkillers, would he have left earlier? Would he have lived? Would Timo have gotten out of there without those burns, as well, and been the victor? Would the yearly championship's have continued henceforth? And could they then have kept going without severe injury, or was it inevitable that eventually they'd up the stakes too much; push themselves too far; not know or care for their limitations?

The reason they suffered such severe burns is apparently because the water tank released more water than it was supposed to as well, and essentially boiled the two contestants alive. But to win an extreme sport you need extreme fortitude, so they withstood the pain beyond what's humanly possible; beyond the point of no return. Those pain receptors are there for a reason after all...

It reminds me a bit of that one guy (Francisco Lázaro) who ran an Olympic marathon in the 1910's, and died of a heatstroke since he'd covered his body in wax (suet, more specifically) as sun lotion, and it covered his pores and made it impossible for the body to regulate heat via sweat. He was the first person to die in an Olympic event. Of course it's a different case since his death wasn't by direct cause of the competition, but his use of wax does feel a bit similar to Vladimir's use of anesthetic cream, also in a competition where such a concoction would theoretically improve his performance and give him a better chance of winning.

He probably wasn't the first one to use wax for such purposes, but maybe the first to die for it. Back before they knew about heat regulation, I suppose. Back before regular sun lotion was a thing. He was too but a victim of unfortunate circumstance, attempting to ride out the limitations of the human body...

I guess the moral of these stories is to trust your body.

Don't cheat. Don't attempt to do something you wouldn't be capable of doing without assistance.

This also made me think of Hisashi Ouchi, a worker involved in creating fuel rods for an experimental plant in Japan, who during a time of inadequate regulations or knowledge of the dangers thereof used a little too high a dose of radioactive chemicals, causing a reaction that exposed him to the highest dose of radiation any human has ever been exposed to thus far - and survived. He was taken to the hospital in a terrible state, and kept on life support for eighty-three days, in excruciating pain, wishing to die, as doctors used him as a case study on the effects of radiation.

^ One of many incidents that has made me very skeptical in regard to the future use and potential benefits of nuclear energy.

In the case of the sauna championships though surely we knew it wasn't a healthy sport from the start.

Whereas that wax was a creative approach to keeping out harmful UV radiation these tournaments were just straight up madness. How many braincells did contestants lose during the years leading up to this tragic finale? Surely there have to be worse consequences to sitting in a 110°C room than your heart-rate going close to 200 BPM and occasional blisters forming on your skin.

The pain's the threshold. The fact that these guys surpassed it, voluntarily, to the point of death and third-degree burns... just feels very disturbing. And watching actual footage from said contest is no less so.

I'm glad I learned more of this legend, because he really was - and is - a remarkably strong-willed man, but at the same time I kind of wish I didn't.

He reached a level of fortitude it seems nobody should have. The will to surpass the body's built in defenses against danger. The mind overpowering it's common cage. Voluntarily subjecting itself to this level of damage.

It's kind of haunting.

Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)

Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)

From the director of Parasite... that I've yet to see. Not Parasite: Maxim. The other. Though imagine Maxim winning an Oscar too.

This was an interesting movie.

Dark humor.

it's about a man who's about to become a doctor, who has a falling out with his wife, who's overly annoyed with a dog that's constantly barking somewhere in their apartment complex, and as the movie begins he attempts to kill it... but it turns out he's taken the wrong dog, and that a janitor eats it before he manages to save it.

One thing leads to another and before you know it the right dog is dead. But then his wife gets a dog.

It's nicely filmed. Artsy sometimes. Comedy by absurdity, but not always a kind you can laugh at. The smokescreen scene in particular felt special, and when it's over you're left smiling but... a little bewildered.

What was this all about after all. Acceptance? Anti dog eating culture in Korea? A lesbian couple? That dogs save marriages/doctorates/whatever?

I don't fully understand, but I think it'll leave a mark.

And they tell good stories. Which are signs of a good film. Compelling narrative too. Uncertain but good watch.

I'm definitely watching Parasite too now.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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