Posted Oct 19, 2004 in Personal.
It has been over a week since I last posted. I've not been in the best of spirits, and my health has been poor of late. It seems fitting, therefore, to spread more of the ill feeling around. Here are more things that annoy me:
- “Important document enclosed”
- Oh, please! 99 times out of 100, when mail has “important document enclosed” written on it, you can bet that it contains a “preapproved” credit card offer. The only important thing about the document is that you should shred it before throwing it away, to protect against identity theft.
- Okay, this is a pretty obvious one. It just annoys me that the Internet Service Providers have failed to come up with a workable solution.
- NASCAR on NBC
- NBC's coverage of NASCAR is bad. The proliferation of on-screen graphics is distracting, the commentary team are dull and repetitive, and the technical abilities of the station (with respect to pictures and sound) are completely eclipsed by those of the FOX team. FOX is generally better at covering sporting events than most other networks, but it is with NASCAR that their excellence is really obvious. Darrell Waltrip is 20 times better than Benny Parsons. Crank it up!
- Pan and scan
- Most movies are filmed with an aspect ratio of between 1.85 and 2.4 to 1; however, normal television has an aspect ratio of only 1.33 to 1. In order to overcome this, a technique called “pan and scan” is used to eliminate about 45% of the image by focusing on the part that best represents the whole. A technique called “letterboxing” places black bars at the top and bottom of the television image so that the full widescreen frame of a movie can be seen - a far better view for movie fans. Although this latter technique results in a smaller image, it means that the movie can be viewed as originally intended by the director, and nothing is missed. Unfortunately, few movies are shown in the letterbox format, so the movie fan must rely on DVD releases to see their films as originally intended. Widescreen television will eventually get rid of pan-and-scan, with a bit of luck.