Thursday, October 15, 2009

This side Up?

Well the idiocy of our commercial enterprises has set me off again because I saw a movie last night that was formatted to fit my screen even though I had no intention of that.

As human beings we marvel at and praise ourselves for all of our scientific advances. We can create health problems and then come up with a treatment almost as quickly. We can create warehouses full of useless data and thumbdrives to store it on. We can watch movies in a digital format on a disc which we could conveniently store 50 of in a sandwich bag. Try doing that with the old movie-house reels that measure about two feet in diameter.

40 years ago, on 20 July 1969, we even landed men on the moon although some would argue it never happened. Regardless, we knew up from down then . . . or did we? Think about this for a moment. When the Apollo 11 mission took off on 16 July 1969 carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Alrdin and Michael Collins did the rocket go up to the Moon or down to the Moon. After all, the Earth is rotating, while orbiting the Sun which is on a rotational plain in the Milky Way Galaxy which is drifting through space while the Moon orbits the Earth.

On our solar plane the Earth sits with a 23.5 degree tilt. In the Summer months that tilt is towards the Sun, in the Winter away. In terms of polarity we call the magnetic pole in the Northern Hemisphere "up" and in the southern "down" as in Australia is 'down under'. In reality though polarity is neither up nor down. Does any of this have any bearing on DVD's? Are you only reading this far because it is interesting info or just out of morbid curiosity to find out where I am going with this? Wait no longer.

Consider your typical DVD player which has a tray that slides out which holds the rotating disk. If you have ever taken one apart then you are quite aware of the optic mechanism. To play your Peter the Dragon DVD you put the disc in with the colourfully painted dragon side of the disc face up with the data side of the disc face down so the upward focused optic laser may read it.

It all very simple. It is no different than looking in a mirror. You put the reflective side towards yourself to see that dazzling brilliance known as yourself. Now imagine that you had one of those arched mirrors from the Funhouse but that it was reflective on both sides. If it was produced by a DVD manufacturer then you would feel like a backwards Laurel & Hardy. The convex side, like the outside of a soda can, would be labeled "widescreen" even though you would appear as skinny as Stan Laurel while as wide as Oliver Hardy on the concave side.

Take that Pete the Dragon disk and put the label side down and you'll likely see something on the screen that says "disk read error" because that optic laser won't read paint. Take a double sided disk and play the side labeled "widescreen" and I assure you will see something like "This film has been modified from the original. It has been formatted to fit your screen" and is clearly not widescreen nor what the director or cinematographer intended. The idea that some dimwit with no film making experience can determine what is best for us to view is an absurdity. But, that is an entirely different subject which I won't go into now.

I am just horribly annoyed with having to take double sided disc out and place them back in the player upside-down. I tried for sometime to get the correct disk from stores. The trips to the stores to return the "defective" disk were usually met with a "duh, I don't get it." That's why those idiots wear a blue shirt and a plastic name-tag. The replacement disc always had the same problem. It became such a headache that I eventually gave up and quit paying over three dollars for the defective merchandise and now only get them at BigLots.

We may marvel at our 'advancements' but as far as I am concerned we haven't surpassed the cavemen yet if we don't know up from down.

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