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Firefly and Serenity
Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

FireflyThanksgiving weekend Sal introduced me to Firefly, a wonderful Western/Sci-Fi/Cool tv series that, as per usual, Fox cancelled well before its time. Oddly, as I was writing this post, Instapundit just posted on his enthusiasm for Firefly. If Glenn Reynolds is on board, maybe we can start a revolution!

Firefly is the brainchild of Joss Whedon of Buffy and Angel fame, among (many) others (makes me think I should rethink those programs as I had pretty much just written them off…). We watched the first three episodes and I was immediately drawn in to its humor, wit, acting (the cast worked and played off each other extremely well), and cinematography (I really enjoyed the camera work a lot: from cool use of focus and zoom to well designed sets that allowed for well manuvered camera movements, all across to board!). Sally said she finished up the series and was pleased throughout (although the episodes written by Joss were the more enjoyable ones). Why does Fox do this to us? Why can’t they give us something? They put on so much crap, why can’t they at least give us one good show for every ten bad ones? Is that too much to ask?

Luckilly for fans, the DVD sales did well and Joss was able to make a feature film: Serenity - named after their ship. Thanks to Fox’s advertising of Firefly [/sarcasm], I had no understanding of what the movie was about, I didn’t even have an idea that the movie was based on a tv show. For those that missed the movie, the DVD will be out December 20th. Until then, definitely check out the complete Firefly series on DVD. Sal also pointed me to a great review of Serenity by Orson Scott Card.

It’s great.

I’m not going to say it’s the best science fiction movie, ever.

Oh, wait. Yes I am.

Let me put this another way. Those of you who know my work at all know about Ender’s Game. I jealously protected the movie rights to Ender’s Game so that it would not be filmed until it could be done right. I knew what kind of movie it had to be, and I tried to keep it away from directors, writers, and studios who would try to turn it into the kind of movie they think of as “sci-fi.”

This is the kind of movie that I have always intended Ender’s Game to be (though the plots are not at all similar).

And this is as good a movie as I always hoped Ender’s Game would be.

And I’ll tell you this right now: If Ender’s Game can’t be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made.

I’d rather just watch Serenity again.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of Firefly, seeing Serenity, and now, waiting for Ender’s Game to come out! Check this stuff out people!

Pursuing Holiness’ Open Trackback Tuesday!
IMDB: Firefly
IMDB: Serenity
A Firefly Wiki page - this is a cool site with lots of information
Wikipedia - Firefly
Orson Scott Card review of Serenity

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

PS: We got our first snow up here in Vancouver!! It seemed to be pretty close to 2 inches. Fun times. :)

My First Blog
Saturday, November 26th, 2005

The original Instapundit? June, 1983:

Yes, that’s right, my first blog really started back in 1983. Well, maybe not, but that was when I officailly became a nerd. The first computer I used was one from the Apple ][ line and boy was it good times. I could make the turtle (a triangle) go up, down, right, and left. Oddly, years later my Physics 335 (Electric Circuits Laboratory II - Digital) class back at UW used the same processor (or some slight variation) as that lovely Apple to build our final project.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, we are having our tomorrow (yes, we are an odd family). God bless.

Calvin and Justification
Thursday, November 24th, 2005

My life for the past few days… non-stop.

I am thankful it is Thanksgiving and I get to go home and see fmaily! This week has sucked and has therefore produced a sucky paper on John Calvin’s doctrine of justification for my Institutes of the Christian Religion class with Hans Boersma here at Regent. I think this is one of the crappier, yet longer, papers I have written. Feel free to read it and trash it or just completely ignore it. I am just so happy that it is over with… now I just have to focus on all the other crap I have to do… but I am going to go home for the weekend so I really don’t care!

Matt Jones: John Calvin’s doctrine of Justification (PDF format) or read “below the cut” for the unformatted/unnoted version.

Read full blog entry…

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

Waiting in Line
Sunday, November 20th, 2005

This weekend was, of course, the opening of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire so I made the trek down to Seattle (who care about papers?) to catch the flick at the IMAX with some good friends. I really enjoyed the movie. Of course the left much out of the book but did well for the amount of time they had. The graveyard scene was one of my favorites in the book and I do wish they had done a bit more there. Much of the evening was spent in line just hanging out and I did appreciate Dan trying to put the moves on Stacey (his wife).

Dan being smooth.

And here are a few more pictures of us waiting in line (click an image for larger version and the gallery):

Fun times! Next comes Narnia!! I am really excited for that one! I also got to see my aunts today for lunch so that was cool because I hadn’t seen them in quite a while. Good weekend… not so much in the homework sense… but there is more to life than reading and writing, right? Right? Oh, and Erin told me about the Harry Potter Lexicon, by and for people with too much time on their hands. :) It is actually a really helpful site to help keep all the Potter stuff straight. Check it out.

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

John Van Deusen and the Lonely Forest
Monday, November 14th, 2005

This weekend was spent up and down the I-5 corridor. On Saturday I picked up Leann and cruised down to Chad and Meghan’s in Redmond to celebrate Meghan’s birthday. Good times were had by all and it was good to see folks I haven’t seen in a while.

This morning (Sunday) was up to Bellingham to have lunch with the family (Mom, Jill, Becky, Sally, and Erin). Tasty food and also nice to see the fam. Then to Erin’s to work on her computer and her roommate’s printer. I should charge.

Then Erin, her friend Theresa, and I drove down to Burlington to see John Van Deusen and the Lonely Forest at Common Ground. I hadn’t been able to see John live before and I was really blown away (I think I was also the oldest person there…) by the talent of this kid (he is still in high school!). He has amazing skills on both the piano and guitar and if he keeps it up (while keeping his ego in check) he should do pretty well. He has a good stage presence, intelligent lyrics, and a strong sound.

After the show I drove back up home to Vancouver and now I am not writing my paper… This post has been pretty boring so I bring you music and pictures from the weekend…

This is my original post on John Van Deusen. Here are a few of his songs of his EP Yossarian from that post: Yossarian (5.69 MB), Dresden (4.40 MB), 8-6-45 (6.25 MB).

Here are pictures from Van Deusen’s show. Clicking an image will take you to a larger version and the gallery.

I also took two video clips from the song Apology that you can download. Unfortunately, the sound quality doesn’t do justice at all to the actual performance. PLEASE NOTE: these files are VERY large and will take a long time to download (read: might not want to download them…). If you want me to make a lower resolution version (currently at 640×480 @ 30fps), email me. Clip #1 (50.5 MB) Clip#2 (170 MB)

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

Worst. Decision. Ever.
Friday, November 11th, 2005

What the hell is wrong with Fox? Fox announced yesterday that the most clever and humorous show on television, Arrested Deveopment, has been reduced to 13 shows in its 3rd season (instead of the original 22) and in a move that often suggests a show will not return the next season, has been taken off the schedule until after “sweeps” are over (end of November). “It probably does spell the end of the show,” one source told Reuters. This is a sad, sad day for original comedy.

I suppose I can understand Fox in some sense, Arrested hasn’t had much in the way of ratings, and Fox just cares about numbers. But Arrested has also won emmies and much critical acclaim. I wish Fox would look beyond the numbers and see the dedication of its existing fans as well as the quality of the show itself. If Fox doesn’t pick it up next year, hopefully someone else will. I tend to also blame this on tv watchers in general. If people would actually watch quality shows (unlike “Cops”, “Nanny 911″, “Skating with celebrities”, “The Simple Life”, “So you think you can dance” or “Totally ourrageous behaviour caught on tape” - of course I haven’t actually seen these shows, but please, give me a break, just their names are enough to keep me away. And those are just shows on Fox, and isn’t even exhasutive!), Arrested would be able to stick around (of course, actual advertising from Fox wouldn’t have hurt either).

Sad, sad day indeed.

Yahoo: Networks cancel ‘7th Heaven,’ ‘Arrested’
Reuters: Fox pulls ‘Arrested Development’ for November sweeps
CNN: ‘Arrested Development’ gets the ax

-Matt Jones

Calvin and Piety

John Calvin is probably most well known for his TULIP, but it seems the pious and holy man has been over looked. In my recent Systematic Theology C paper I tried to take a look at Calvin and piety.

This has been a very difficult semester for me and writing so I haven’t been real confident in the finished product, but it is done, so that is good. Hopefully the larger Calvin and justification paper won’t give me as much trouble (but it probably will).

For the PDF version: Calvin and Piety or click the “read full blog entry” for the full text without citations.

Read full blog entry…

-Matt Jones

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