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Posts Made By: John Hopkins

May 22, 2003 09:15 AM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

Ultimate dvd box set for cloudy nights

Posted By John Hopkins

The Planets - BBC/A&E, 4-disc set. Just dusted them off for another viewing last night. I'd never heard of this series until seeing the box set at Best Buy, so just in case someone else was similarly asleep...

May 28, 2003 05:18 AM Forum: Religion

Re: Trans-Atlantic Gap

Posted By John Hopkins

>>Why are Americans from Mars, and Europeans from Venus?<<

They lost the puritans?

(tee hee -- wait, I don't have my flame suit on yeeEAAARRRGH!)

Back to Earth--

Is it me, or does the word "imperialist" just not show up in the general American lexicon? I hear it all the time (well, a lot) from the other side of the pond when the subject is America. Does a falling off of geopolitical influence automatically precipitate a rise in political criticism from the common folk as they watch some other country swell to disturbing proportions?

(It's always disturbing when someone else has the Power.)

Somehow, we've become the new Romans. There are at least a few distinct parallels in how we police the place, not to mention in how we're eyed suspiciously just about everywhere. But then it seems obvious this would be the case no matter what country happened to be the 'sole superpower' on the planet.

May 30, 2003 04:22 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: The best catadioptric telescope

Posted By John Hopkins the one that gets used.

June 12, 2003 11:30 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Adjustable height piers

Posted By John Hopkins

Anyone ever heard of these? Bought one? Comments?

June 16, 2003 07:31 AM Forum: Religion

Now *this* is interesting...

Posted By John Hopkins

One of the last countries on earth to accept television gets it all at once. Sobering story for anyone thinking of visiting King Arthur's court.,3605,975769,00.html?

June 23, 2003 04:23 AM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

Guilty pleasures and a DVD-R question

Posted By John Hopkins

First the question: Has anyone else had a problem playing DVD-Rs, whether in a regular player or one in your computer? I have a Toshiba 5-disc player and DVD-Rs will play fine for roughly half the disc, then it starts jumping all over the place. My old player, also a Toshiba, had this same problem. This can't be that common or there wouldn't be so many DVD recorders out there; I just wish I'd bought something besides Toshiba since the whole reason I replaced the player was to run my DVD-R's, and for all I know other brands don't have this problem.

These things won't play in my DVD-ROM drive either, but it's an older drive so a firmware update may be all it needs.

Now: the guilty pleasures I'm referring to happen to be DVD-Rs burned for me by a friend who's gotten hold of the two most recent Godzilla movies that Toho, for some reason, just doesn't want their USA fans to have. The big G is just one childhood leftover that I still can't quite part with, and the first half of both these movies look pretty sharp for this kind of thing -- too bad I can't see how they end.

The titles, though, are a mouthful: Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2001) and, even worse: Godzilla-Mothra-King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2002). Try fitting *that* on a marquee...

July 14, 2003 07:32 AM Forum: Religion

Speaking of health insurance...

Posted By John Hopkins

Anyone read the front page article in the NY Times this morning? All I saw was the headline while I waited to pay for breakfast. Something about firms firing disabled workers (saw Polaroid mentioned in the first paragraph) because of the costs of health benefits.

If that isn't a sign something needs fixing, I don't know what is. I'm certainly not as qualified to discuss the possibilities as some of you, but it certainly is a worrying issue especially as I watch my father get chemo,
which all but deactivates his white blood cell factory requiring transfusions sometimes twice a week, then needs his spleen removed...

So while I pray my AA way to Random Chance for my father, I recall with extreme gratitude that my diabetes blossomed while my particular employer still believed in standing by you every step of the way, even if it meant you couldn't be productive for a stretch. I can't say I'd be out on my butt if it happened today, but there seems little question things are headed in that direction.

July 16, 2003 03:59 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

"202 New"

Posted By John Hopkins

That's how many messages were posted since I last checked in yesterday afternoon.

So, things heat up a bit, did they?

By the way, I like refractors. They do this, that and the other. Newts are okay, but they don't reflect my biases.

"The unexamined SCT is not worth pointing." --Corrector Plato

(I know this won't lighten up anything, but c'mon!)

August 6, 2003 05:11 AM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

The Thing (1951)

Posted By John Hopkins

Nice that this one is out now, but no extras except one cheesy trailer. The subtitles help me make out some of that buried dialog though.

What's interesting is that I'd no idea the old VHS release had so much edited out of it...

August 6, 2003 09:28 AM Forum: Religion

My contribution to political discussion...

Posted By John Hopkins a link. Sorry. smile

But it's interesting -- a piece about the proposed EU constitution compared with the USAs: