Wednesday, April 23, 2008

James and the mechanoraptor

Meanwhile, if I never have to write the phrase 'rapidly-adapting mechanoreceptor' again, I will be a happy person. Until the exam, at least.

Damn, I'm disappointed. I was sure you wrote "rapidly-adapting mechanoraptor" for a moment and I thought "Cool! They're teaching her to make killer dinosaur robots!"

Killer robot dinosaurs that LEARN.
That's not until second semester.

Screenplay excerpt from MECHANORAPTOR, written by James Dominguez and Lee Murray
Scene 46


The MAIN LABORATORY of the research facility is ruined and dim. SIMPKINS lies on a desk, using it as a makeshift stretcher. His right arm ends at the elbow with a bloody stump, covered in scarlet rags. FLETCHER is attempting to barricade the door of the laboratory, which is shaking under repeated assaults by the MECHANORAPTORS.

FLETCHER - I don't understand, Simpkins. What did you do here? How did this happen?

SIMPKINS - [Speaking weakly, perhaps dying] We were given a brief by the army. Make them cybernetic, make them raptors, and make them rapidly-adaptable.

FLETCHER - It's such a simple plan! What on earth went wrong?

SIMPKINS - We could never have anticipated it. We put them in the finest cardboard boxes available, shackled them with chains made of only the highest quality liquorice. Armed guards patrolled their containment facility no less than once a month.

FLETCHER - It's the least I would have expected from you, but how did such extreme security measures fail? How, Simpkins?

SIMPKINS - We never expected... We made them highly-adaptable as requested, but we never thought... they would adapt in a bad way.

FLETCHER - [Shocked] No!

SIMPKINS - Yes. In our hubris we never thought that being highly-adaptable they might adapt to kill us too.

FLETCHER - My god! It's so simple! How could I not have realised it before? I feel so foolish!

SIMPKINS - None of us realised it, Fletcher. Don't blame yourself. In a movie like this, the monster always has to get loose in some matter, no matter how contrived.

At this point the door bursts open, knocking FLETCHER to the floor where he shelters behind the corner of the desk. A growling MECHANORAPTOR slowly enters the room, teeth bared. The MECHANORAPTOR is wearing glasses.

MECHANORAPTOR - [speaking in a clipped, upper class English accent] I say chaps, what do we have here? Could be time for a spot of lunch, what?

FLETCHER - It can speak!

SIMPKINS - Of course! The adaptability! It must have learnt from the educational software on the computers in the nursery we built for those staff with children!

FLETCHER - Astounding! And not in the least contrived!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

James provides excerpts on Afghanistan

From page 9:
"Most of what little export revenue Aghanistan earns comes from umbrellas. Afghan umbrella farms cling like moss to the small patches of arable land, nestled in sheltered mountain valleys. Local farmers import cheap paper cocktail umbrellas from the West and plant them in a mixture of soil, camel dung, and shredded raincoats. Even this peaceful lifestyle has its risks: strong winds in the summer of 2004 destroyed most of the umbrella harvest by turning the fruit inside

partial extract from page 12:
"The Afghan political system is dominated by corruption on a massive scale. Afghani politicians are known to accept bribes of umbrellas for favours: the larger and more elaborate the umbrella, the more likely the respective politician will accept the bribe. Consequently the demand for umbrellas with which to bribe politicians has become so great that it threatens the viability of the umbrella export market. Additionally, a poor umbrella harvest can have devastating effects on the Afghani policial system. The failed crop of 2004 left many senior Afghani politicians completely umbrella-less, and in order to import substandard western umbrellas many politicians were forced to hustle their arses on the streets of Kabul for as little as one US dollar a trick."

Friday, April 11, 2008

James answers a simple question

Have I missed stuff?

Well, let's see... In early March I was narrowly beaten in my campaign to become UN Secretary General by three children riding on each other's shoulders under a long coat. There go my plans for world domination. I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids.

Later I travelled to Monaco so seek my fortune as a gravel prospector. I thought I was going to be rich when I found what I thought was a massive granite pebble the size of a potato. Unfortunately it turned out to be an actual potato. I threw it at a petty royal in a bikini and felt much better. Why those Monacan princes think they can get away with wearing bikinis I will never know.

I was short-listed for the crew of the first manned (and, presumably, womanned) mission to Venus, but pulled out at the last moment when I found out the main cabin would not be clothing optional. If they think I'm flying all that way in zero gravity wearing clothes, they have another thing coming.

Oh, and yesterday I ate a sandwich.