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Cameron's Avatar a 3D Drug Trip? 215

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i'll-take-three-squid-recordings-and-a-bag-of-chips dept.
bowman9991 writes "James Cameron's first movie since Titanic, his upcoming science fiction epic Avatar, has a budget pushing US$200 million and enough hype to power a mission to Mars. Now it appears the 3D technology he created to turn his vision into a reality, the key to Avatar's success or failure, may be habit forming. Dr. Mario Mendez, a behavioral neurologist at the University of California, said it is entirely possible Cameron's 3D technology could tap brain systems that are undisturbed by conventional 2D movies. Cameron himself believes 3D viewing 'is so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2D viewing doesn't' and that stereoscopic (3D) viewing uses more neurons, which would further heighten its impact."
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Cameron's Avatar a 3D Drug Trip?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:59PM (#27791175)

    I personally plan on smoking some weed before I see it.

    I wish I knew where I could find some mushrooms...

    • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:16PM (#27791405) Homepage Journal
      No, seriously though, guys, this 3d movie IS SOOOO 3d, that if it made sense, I'd just go ahead and label it with a few more dimensions. In fact, it's 4d! By the time you leave the theater, you'll feel like you're in the future! Hours will have passed!

      TLDR: 3d is the same as it's been, nothing to see here, move along.
      • by Rooktoven (263454)

        ...Hours will have passed!

        Wish I had mod points.

      • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:22PM (#27792219) Journal

        Films are 4D. The time dimension is represented by slices of time, or frames. You can look at any place along the movie's time dimension you want, by traveling along your own time dimension, the "real" one. You can, in theory, have multiple time dimensions just as multiple space dimensions.

        Presumably, this is how everyone from Dr. Manhattan to The Prophets of DS9 view the world, though clearly things get a bit touchy when they interact with the film strip that is our reality. They have no way to predict the outcome before trying it, in our timeline, than we do. They just see the results instantly. Presumably they cannot travel along their own timeline to stop themselves from doing something they did in their own timeline's past.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Spellvexit (1039042)
          Wait, you're saying 2D films are 3D and 3D films are 4D? Or 2D films are 4D and 3D is 5D? Or is that only for theaters with Smell-O-Vision?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          That's assuming that the fourth dimension is actually time. Most laypersons accept the fourth dimension this way, where most physicists, mathematicians, etc., view the fourth dimension as another dimension of space.

          Read John Wright's The Chronicles of Chaos series for some of the best descriptions I've ever read of traveling/manipulating/using the fourth (or higher) dimension.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mwvdlee (775178)

      3D movies get you stoned?
      That pretty much explains everything that happenned to me in real-life 3D.

  • And when.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by CRiMSON (3495) <crimson AT unspeakable DOT org> on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:00PM (#27791185) Homepage

    Do we get 3d porn!!

  • by Kelson (129150) * on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:02PM (#27791209) Homepage Journal

    At $200 million, they're approaching the ability to fund a mission to Mars.

    • Re:Hype, nothing (Score:5, Informative)

      by Me-The-Person (852147) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:06PM (#27791275) Homepage
      Not quite... "According to spokesmen of both NASA and the federal government, the price tag of the mission to Mars currently sits at approximately $11 billion over the course of the multi-stage implementation of the program. Unfortunately, flipping this extraordinary bill is only a small portion of the whole sum of costs imposed by the Mars Exploration Program." - http://www.mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1440 [mises.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Tacvek (948259)

      At $200 million, they're approaching the ability to fund a mission to Mars.

      That sort of money could indeed by the bulk of the operating costs for a mission to mars. But unfortunately it is only a tiny fraction of the planning costs, especially since some form of special spacecraft would be needed for a mission landing on mars, and AFAIK that is still yet to be developed.

      But the claim of enough hype to power a mission to mars? Very odd considering this is the very first time I've even heard of the film. If the level of hype here could Power a mission to mars, than the level of hype

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by meyekul (1204876)
      It would be cheaper just to film the whole thing on earth and nobody would know the difference. Why didn't they think of that before? Oh wait...
    • by sammy baby (14909) on Friday May 01, 2009 @05:27PM (#27793581) Journal

      Are you kidding? The last mission to mars only cost $90 million [mooviees.com], so this represents some serious inflation.

      On the other hand, that mission didn't turn out so well [rottentomatoes.com], so maybe they're hedging their bets.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:03PM (#27791231) Homepage

    After watching several 3D movies back to back, I now find myself completely addicted to 3D and finding myself craving it all the time in my everyday life. I've tried to give it up, but after only a few minutes of having one eye shut I start to get a headache and my eye muscles get sore, not to mention I'm completely unable of functioning and find myself bumping into things and knocking things over when I reach for them. James Cameron must be stopped!

  • So what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by localman57 (1340533) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:03PM (#27791233)
    Just because something is 3d, it doesn't necessarily excite the brain... I'm staring at my desk in 3d right now, and all I feel is bordom...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Seriously, though, the Polar Express sequence when the kid's trudging along the top of the train in the dark with snow and howling winds takes on a whole new level of terror that's not there in the 2D version. No longer is it just a "flat" thing to walk along.

      In fact, it was such a powerful sequence, I'm surprised it's taking this long to get here as a mass market thing. It's only been 2 years since the local Showcase installed a 3D-capable IMAX theater, and then it's only used for Pixar releases and the

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:13PM (#27792113)

      I think the point is, that you would not look at a boring desk, but at something that you would normally never see in reality, but start confusing it with reality, thereby shocking you into insanity. ^^

      I don't know if it it, but it sounds much like the arguments some people make against games. You know, the "I think people are too stupid to know that this is not reality, and will go on the streets, killing everyone, *because of it*." kind.

      I feel very confident that I can distinguish that stuff. And I really hope it triggers some memory creation. I wouldn't want to pay for it, and remember nothing.
      I am also the kind of person, who really *really* loves getting sucked into a movie or game.
      You know. The moments when you come out of the cinema... and somehow, the whole world looks different.
      You may have experienced it with Matrix. And with Fight Club. I certainly did.
      And I totally love it.

      Because no matter what horrors and just plain weird events you might remember very realistically afterwards, in the end you get some beautiful new views, grow a bit wiser, and will always know that it was just a movie.

      Except of course, if you were a retard in the first place. ^^ (= the exception)

    • Just because you are bored does not mean that the experience of staring at your desk is less exciting than staring at random words on a sheet of paper.

      immersing yourself in a 3d environment is very addictive. Us (twitch)gamers knew this since wolf3d, and it has been reaffirmed with every generation of immersive shooter or rpg since. combine that with powerful story telling ( like a movie ) or have your character be a serious part of the story (like evercrack or WoW((even if you are just collecting scraps

    • Just because something is 3d, it doesn't necessarily excite the brain...
      I'm staring at my desk in 3d right now, and all I feel is bordom...

      Ah, yes, but if you were watching James Cameron's desk, you'd be tripping balls!

    • And I find myself highly addicted and excited by 2d pieces of green and salmon colored paper.

  • Dr Mario? (Score:5, Funny)

    by FluffyWithTeeth (890188) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:04PM (#27791239)

    I'm not surprised it'd be habit forming, with the amount of pills Dr Mario throws down patients' throats.

    Damn, now I want to pull out a SNES and play Mixed Match..

  • by mugnyte (203225) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:08PM (#27791301) Journal

      In other news, a purveyor of some media claims it's the best thing evar!!11!! You'll have to pay 10$ to see for yourself, but do not miss it!

      I think the only important word in the article is $200M. This means hype, and lots of it. Don't be fooled kids, they need you to help pay for this cartoon.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Gat0r30y (957941)

      I think the only important word in the article is $200M. This means hype, and lots of it.

      Its only hype if the movie doesn't sync with a Pink Floyd album in a meaningful way.

    • by radtea (464814)

      n other news, a purveyor of some media claims it's the best thing evar!!11!!

      This is the actually the kind of advertising that I find the most useful, as it tells me what I absolutely want to avoid. Movie ads that hype the effects over the story tell me the film was made for some other audience, not me, which is great: I don't have to see the film to find out if it's any good. I know that by my standards it'll suck.

      Likewise, all "low introductory rate" offers are sure signs that the service is overpriced

  • ...to push stories from years ago as if they were just published to the masses. The article is from November 2007.
  • by khallow (566160) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:11PM (#27791347)
    So in other words, we shouldn't watch this highly dangerous movie with its wicked three dee technology. Our brains are incapable of resisting this unholy lure since we have evolved in a natural two dimensional world. The following quote bodes well for the story:

    "It was like doing some kind of drug," he said, describing a scene showing Sam Worthington running around "with this kind of hot alien chick," and being attacked by jaguarlike creatures. He was sprinkled with sprites that floated down, like snowflakes. "You feel like the little feathery things are landing on your arm".

    In other words, it's a typical fantasy movie with spaceships masquerading as science fiction.

    Finally, is it me or is this an Onion story reject? A bit more funny and it'd fit right in.

  • 3D Glasses (Score:3, Funny)

    by doas777 (1138627) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:11PM (#27791351)
    the only memory i have after seeing a 3D movie, is how much the cheap paper glasses hurt the bridge of my nose
  • So far the only thing I've heard Cameron talk about this movie is about how this movie is going to be ultra realistic 3D rendering. At which point it begs the question why not just use live actors from the get go? The biggest obstacle you have when doing hyper realistic 3D productions is the uncanny valley and getting characters that wind up looking like wax statues. Plus these live action directors have zero head for directing animation. Think Polar Express and Monster House. It's all mocap since they can'

    • So far the only thing I've heard Cameron talk about this movie is about how this movie is going to be ultra realistic 3D rendering. At which point it begs the question why not just use live actors from the get go?

      In a speculative fiction film, at least, makeup to turn a human actor into any of several races might be cost prohibitive if it's more than a rubber-forehead alien [tvtropes.org]. That's why when Andy Serkis played the part of Smeagol, a mutant hobbit who used the alias "Gollum", he wore a motion capture suit and the actual character was computer-generated.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jhfry (829244)

      So far the only thing I've heard Cameron talk about this movie is about how this movie is going to be ultra realistic 3D rendering. At which point it begs the question why not just use live actors from the get go?

      I hate to say it, but some of the ultra realistic 3d renderings I have seen recently have been more realistic than live actors... sort of.

      Why? because it's difficult to make the impossible look like it really happened with just filming techniques. So you end up with a good live action dialog followed by a CG or special effect scene that tries but just doesn't quite look real.

      If you don't try to recreate something "real" and instead go for a consistent almost-real look, you don't have those periods of distra

    • by Soulslayer (21435)

      [SPOILERS]

      The movie is supposed to be 30% live action and 70% photorealistic CG. The story (if it sticks to the old 1990's scriptment) is about a research station on an incredibly biodiverse and seemingly hostile planet. Researchers use genetically engineered "avatars" virtually indistinguishable from the native tool using higher species. A species that appears to be somewhere in the neanderthal stage of advanced evolution.

      The base where the research scientists are based is guarded from the hostile plant

  • ...so I'll try to rescue you once you're in the movie. Remember: take the red pill.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by emudoug42 (977380)
      I'm blind in one eye too. The latest 3d trend makes me sad, cause it sounds so cool. I remember being sad I couldn't go see captain nemo when I went to disnyworld as a kid.
    • by Hottie Parms (1364385) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:43PM (#27791717)

      I'm not blind, but because I was cross-eyed for many years before I had corrective surgery, my brain tends to focus out of one eye primarily. My stereoscopic vision is quite limited, thus reducing depth perception and making it nearly impossible to see using those 3D glasses.

      I remember staring at those Magic Eye posters for hours, frustrated that all the other kids could see dolphins and ships and stuff, while all I saw was a bunch of weird looking colors.

      Thanks to the wonders of a college class on Visual Perception, I now understand why. Mod this "+5, Woe is me"?

    • by iphayd (170761)

      OK, xkcd had this one licked- What if I take _both_ pills?

  • True Story (Score:5, Funny)

    by heyitsjon (1544855) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:13PM (#27791365)
    I saw The Terminator 3D at universal studios when I was 8, and I've been looking for John Connor since then.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:14PM (#27791381)

    Neal Stephenson called it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_crash

    One of the plot devices is a drug that can be absorbed visually.

    Interestingly, Stephenson is also the one who coined the modern use of 'Avatar' in virtual worlds.

    • by eggoeater (704775)
      Yup, Snow Crash was the first thing I thought of when I saw the words Avatar, 3d, and drug.

      Is there an actual plot or characters or anything in Cameron's movie, or is this going to be another star wars ep I?
    • by randyest (589159) on Friday May 01, 2009 @04:38PM (#27793045) Homepage

      Interestingly, Stephenson is also the one who coined the modern use of 'Avatar' in virtual worlds.

      Not true. In recent editions of Snow Crash (a fine book) Neal admits he did not coin "avatar":

      After the first publication of Snow Crash, I learned that the term "avatar" has actually been in use for a number of years as part of a virtual reality system called Habitat, developed by F. Rnadall Farmer and Chip Morningstar. This system runs on Commodore 64 computers, and though it has all but died out in the U.S., is still popular in Japan. In addition to avatars, Habitat includes many of the basic features of the Metaverse as described in this book.

  • horseshit hype (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:17PM (#27791421)
    In the same New York Times article, Dr. Mario Mendez, a behavioural neurologist at the University of California, said it is entirely possible Camerons 3D technology could tap brain systems that are undisturbed by conventional 2D movies. An inner global-positioning system that orients a person to the surrounding world, was one example he gave.

    ORLY?

    And what if I went to a theater, with THREE DIMENSIONAL HUMAN BEINGS walking around on a THREE DIMENSIONAL STAGE! How would my "inner global-positioning system" react to that!

    Just the usual bollocks that "news" magazines print when a big movie comes out. Remember the stories about "possible giant apes" when King Kong was released?

    And Slashdot goes along with it, uncritically regurgitating the crappy pseudo news written to promote the next Big Summer Movie.

    The movie itself may well be fun. But news and science shouldn't whore themselves out to Hollywood.

  • by Cruciform (42896) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:21PM (#27791463) Homepage

    If you think viral marketing is bad now, just wait until they start putting advertising payloads in the flu.

    Every case of intestinal distress comes with a sudden urge to watch High School Musical XIII.

    Or is it the other way around?

    • That wouldn't work. As soon as you'd start watching it, you would feel the urge to aggresivery vomit and shit your pants, until all the intestinal distress is gone.
      And then you would wake up, thinking "WTF am I watching?" *click*

    • by bughunter (10093)
      Vernor Vinge touches on this concept in his 2007 Hugo winning novel Rainbow's End [wikipedia.org], a very slashdot-review-worthy book that deals with emergent AI from distributed networks, augmented reality/virtual reality, and networked strategic intelligence/warfare... among other things. Set in San Diego, and about half of it takes place in or around UCSD. In the novel, Vinge does rather unpleasant things to the Geisel Library [wikipedia.org], inside and out. I give it 8/10 (with his earlier title Deepness in the Sky being a 10/10.
  • by viralMeme (1461143) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:23PM (#27791477)
    "Cameron himself believes 3D viewing 'is so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2D viewing doesn't' and that stereoscopic (3D) viewing uses more neurons, which would further heighten its impact"

    Anyone who has regularly played the current crop of First Person Shooter [bluesnews.com] games experience the cinema as a bit of a lot down. It's not the act of viewing in 3D but interacting with the characters and moving about the landscape, so we are already familiar with the Cameron effect. Now if only they could get the AIs [stanford.edu] to behave as if they had some real intelligence. It does also get a bit boring blowing away aliens in the underground tunnels of the Black Mesa Research Facility.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I partially disagree. The "old crop", i.e. very old, ala Quake, had some interesting properties the modern crop do not.

      Quake I consider the first "true" 3D game because the tilt up and down were rendered in true 3D, whereas previous shooters like Duke Nukem, Doom, and Wolf 3D used a rendering trick that took out one of the matrix multiplications or something. This had the effect of reducing the rendering processor power needed (which was for 386 machines, with no hardware acceleration). But a side effect

  • The world is ready for a movie that's a 24fps sequence of Magic Eye[TM] stereograms.

  • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:29PM (#27791569)

    For all the "bah humbug" blathering on this thread, methinks there's something to it.

    Surely most of us geeks have noticed the difference in mental state & perception caused by 24FPS, 30FPS, 60FPS, 3:2 pulldown, and other differences in visual medium. Each causes a different psychological state, with some causing more of a stupor and others more a sense of real. 3D, done right, will lead to other mental effects. I don't think a major director experimenting with new technology would be BSing us about what it does to the viewer's mind.

    Personally, I've seen one 3D IMAX film (something about Egypt) which unlike other "hey wow it's 3D!" movies really did give a deep sense of "being there". Move that effect to a full-blown bleeding-edge movie by a director known for pushing visual limits, and we may very well experience something new.

    • It's not so ridiculous, directors will use things like lighting and film stocks to set a mood. Why not 3d?

  • by wjwlsn (94460) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:34PM (#27791617) Journal

    Consider Ramachandran's mirror box, a means of using illusion to "cure" the pain of phantom limbs. From the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]:

    The patient places his or her good limb into one side, and the stump into the other. The patient then looks into the mirror on the side with good limb and makes "mirror symmetric" movements, as a symphony conductor might, or as we do when we clap our hands. Because the subject is seeing the reflected image of the good hand moving, it appears as if the phantom limb is also moving. Through the use of this artificial visual feedback it becomes possible for the patient to "move" the phantom limb, and to unclench it from potentially painful positions. Because this visual feedback elicits kinesthetic sensations... Repeated training in some subjects has led to long-term improvement ... and in one exceptional case, even to the complete elimination of the phantom limb between the hand and the shoulder ...

    If such a low-tech visual illusion can rewire neurons, what can a high-fidelity, 3-dimensional illusion accomplish? (I'm not saying that Cameron's movie is going to have such effects, but how far will the technology go?)

    • by rpbird (304450)

      Everything rewires our neurons. Read a book, neurons rewired. Play a video game, neurons rewired. Play catch, neurons rewired. Do anything repetitively, neurons rewired.

      The first time I went to an IMAX theater, I was deeply impressed. I raved about it for days. Yet I never went back. To this day, I've only ever seen ONE IMAX movie.

      It's another gimmick. I'll be impressed if he's managed to create the holodeck.

    • Woah! Experiences can re-wire neurons! OMGWTFBBQ. Teh unpossiblesxorz! ^^

      What do you think how you remembered what you wrote in your comment? ^^
      (Hint: Simply said, memorizing works by changing the wiring between neurons.)

      It's just that some "scientists" now "discover", that this is not only a thing of "I remember this", but actually is working on a much lower level, and in all neurons all over the body.

      You can totally bet, that if you will remember that movie/illusion, something in your brain will have cha

    • by hurfy (735314)

      "and in one exceptional case, even to the complete elimination of the phantom limb between the hand and the shoulder ..."

      sigh...now i keep picturing a hand with no arm to attach it the shoulder and i can't focus on the 3D topic at hand

  • Idiotic. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bickle (101226)
    Idiotic. It's just like in the early days of color film where naysayers were afraid that color would overstimulate people.
  • Oh please. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:43PM (#27791719) Homepage

    1) The article is Slashdotted.

    2) Anyone who viewed "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D" (With BRAND NEW 3D technology!!) knows that a crap film is a crap film no matter how many god damn dimensions it is viewed in.

  • How soon will they blame Cameron for 3D cinema induced violence. First Person Shooter [google.com]
  • Crazy story.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by masterzora (871343) <masterzora@@@gmail...com> on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:53PM (#27791843) Homepage
    So, I've got a crazy professor at my university who has been telling this story for years, and I thought it was kind of hilarious in context of this article. Anyway:

    Now, the first thing I have to say is you all are not going to believe this story is true. But I swear, this story is 100% true. It is not an exaggeration in any way. It is true.

    At the time, I had been a professor at this college for ten years and was on sabbatical. During this time, I decided to take a film class at the American Film Institute. You see, I used to spend a lot of time with filmmakers and artists, and the like, and I hadn't done that for a while, so I decided to take this film class now that I could devote the time to it.

    It was a fantastic class. A lot of big name screenwriters came by. The writer of "Basic Instinct", the writer of "Deadpool", to name some. For the class we all wrote a trunk script, which is a script you carry around to show to studios and producers to try and sell. I wrote a script titled "Panama City," which is not relevant to the story. During the course of the class, I got to have coffee with film students and big name screenwriters, and such. Discussion of a screenplay called "Avatar" came up among screenwriters.

    One day, the writer of "Deadpool" and another screenwriter friend of his came in and talked to us and I asked the screenwriter friend about this screenplay, "Avatar", and a hush came over the room. He went on to explain the premise of the screenplay which is this:

    In this screenplay, there are pantheons of gods fighting a cosmic war, but because they have no understanding of war, there are fallen angels sent to Earth to recruit human military specialists and tacticians, and the like. A lot of this stuff is based on Plato's Temius, and the fallen angels have sunglasses to hide the light in their eyes.

    It was never really explained how the recruitment worked. After this guy was done explaining the plot, the writer of "Deadpool" speaks up and says, "there's something else you should say... Avatar is an actual battleplan." This man said that "Avatar" was a master plan for gods disguised as a screenplay.

    After that things just got really bizarre! There were all these discussions about "Avatar". "Who has Avatar?" You'd ask people about "Avatar" and they'd ask, "who told you about 'Avatar'?" People got more and more serious about it. You'd ask about "Avatar" they'd yell at you, "what, you want to get killed?!?" One day, I decided I was going to go try and find "Avatar". I walked through the parking lot later and people were hunched over pointing at me...

    Well, many years passed by and I never heard a word about "Avatar". Then, about seven or eight years ago, I was having dinner with a good friend of mine, Stephanie Austin. She's a big producer; she produced "Terminator 2," I mean, she's that caliber of producer. Well, "Avatar" comes up in our conversation and it turns out that she knows the story and all about "Avatar." Furthermore, she buys into the "Avatar" theory, sheâ(TM)s in that whole circle. The last thing she says to me about "Avatar" is, "we know who has 'Avatar'â¦Cameron has it."

    Now, I know Cameron and he is a really strange guy. I saw a lot of the filming of "T-2", and I talked to Cameron a lot. Let me tell you, Cameron is really loopy, he thinks all of the stuff he makes movies about is true. He once said, "I'm making a film about the truth." According to Austin, Cameron had had "Avatar" for a while, but he, "couldn't find the right actors for it."

    Keep in mind, this "Avatar" thing isn't a heaven versus hell kind of thing, there are layers of heavens, like onions. Now, I used to go on avatar hunts with students, and sometimes we wouldn't find them, and sometimes we would. One time, we went to the Martini Bar on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena and we found two female avatars. I swear, their eyes glowed. They looked like they had dropped out of heaven ten minutes ago. We talked to them for a while w

    • Re:Crazy story.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by evanbd (210358) on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:42PM (#27792455)

      Now, this is one student's transcription as best as he could. The story changes a lot with each telling, but it's always hilarious. The best part of it, of course, is that the professor either totally believes it or is the best troll ever.

      Troll? Hardly. That precise format is how all the best ghost stories get told. It sounds to me like most of the audience simply wasn't used to oral storytelling as an art form.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by masterzora (871343)
        Now, I know the man better than most people know their professors (small university FTW), and he maintains that it's true. Not just when he's telling the story, in which case I'd be siding with you in an instant, but always. Additionally, he tells this just as one of many stories, all of which are supposedly true (and, with the exception of this and one other, probably are). This is far above and beyond simple oral storytelling.
    • Re:Crazy story.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mugnyte (203225) on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:49PM (#27792533) Journal

      One can madlib this story and get almost any era of human history. I believe the compulsion to creating/passing on these stories a little attention whoring, combined at the core with more than a little wishing it could be true and increased survivability/happiness because of the information within. But in reality, nothing has changed because of any detail of any of them, no matter who knows or doesn't.

      Go ahead, mix and match however you want...

        avatar...angel...alien..illumanati..hero...
        layers...levels...factions...armies...classes...
        heaven...promised land...golden city...shangri-la...utopia...planet..
        war...struggle...sin...plague...madness...vampires...
        god...devil...king...oracle...eternal life...
        phone...fountain...statue...beggar...wise man...shaman...prophet...spaceship

      Whatever. Even a mild study of mythology shows the recurring concepts.

      • Believe me, I've done some pretty decent study of mythology myself, and don't think any of that was lost on me, but I still thought it was interesting that he seems to absolutely believe this story in today's age (and, by the way, that was the short version of the story).

        More importantly, it wasn't entirely offtopic so I thought I'd entertain /. ^__^.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gaderael (1081429)

      Wow. This is one of the most fascinating things I have read on /. in a while. True or not, it's quite a good yarn. My hat's off to you and your professor.

      • It's too bad you can't hear it from the man himself. That was one of the shorter tellings of it, and I can't rightly do one of the longer tellings justice.
    • [citation needed]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Maxmin (921568)
      This story is a dead-ringer for the plot of John Carpenter's [wikipedia.org] cult classic film, 'The Hidden' [wikipedia.org].
  • First he finds Jesus' tomb and now he invents a new "video drug"...I think we should start wondering about this guy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:03PM (#27791981)

    3d films are great when they just use the 3d to provide texture.

    Unfortunately, 3D filmmakers seem to think that they should ring all the bells and whistles and show off the 3Dness, so you end up with a mostly 2D film the 1D plot of which is designed primarily as an excuse to put in lots and lots of pointy things coming straight out of the screen at you, which is extra stupid, because pointy things coming right out at you is one of the things that current 3D technology is really bad at.

    It was so bad, that in the TV-movie, "Beowulf," in the first five minutes you could tell it was supposed to be a 3D film, and in the rest of the film, every time you saw an axe, sword, scyth, or teeth, the first thing that goes through your head is "Sigh. That's going to come zooming out at me. For the love of [something] Please let them avoi..Oh, there it is."

    Presuming Cameron does not make this mistake, his film could be quite interesting to look at.

  • From the summary: "James Cameron's first movie since 'Titanic', his upcoming science fiction epic 'Avatar', has a budget pushing US$200 million and enough hype to power a mission to Mars.

    That's true; you really can put stuff on Mars for $200M. Which would be a lot more interesting than yet another failed gimmick flick. If James Cameron were to offer sponsorships for a private Mars mission, it'd probably be more profitable than this movie will be.

    But nobody seems to get that.

  • Come on, is this guy a real doctor? I've heard some shit hype before but I think this tops it for most unbelievable BS hype ever.

    I'm going to go pay some back alley doctor to write up a report saying that sucking my wang will make you thinner, look younger and feel better than winning the lottery twice in a row.

    Then I'll just back and wait for the woman to pour in.
  • Bah, let me know when we can trip in 4D. I want my trip to tell me when my refrigerator turns into a cheetah.

    And on a related note, what is the message when you are tripping in 1D?

1 Sagan = Billions & Billions

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