Saturday, July 24, 2004

JBL Creature II speakers

I finally got some speakers for my computer! I'd been shopping around online, reading up on what's good out there. I had limited myself to $100 but there's a lot of crappy speakers out there for under $100 and I wanted something good.

I'd read about the Creature II speakers and they sounded like a good deal but with speakers you have to hear them before buying. Then one day I happened into an Apple Store where they had a Mac set up with Creatures. The guy in the shop played some music on the computer and this wonderful, clear, deep sound was heard. I was amazed. I pointed at the little sattellite speakers and I said, "That's coming out of THOSE?", unsure because there was another set of speakers set up next to the creatures, obviously for comparison.

I bought the Creatures right then and there. White, for $90. In hindsight, you can get the same speakers for $70 on and they now come in a variety of colors. But white matches my Apple keyboard and mouse so I am fine with it.

So the sound quality is great with a knob for each the bass and for the treble. Quality music (songs not ripped at a low level) doesn't buzz. Music is pretty rich and clear. The sound input is the same sort of connection you'd plug into a headphone jack on a discman - so you can plug these speakers directly into your computer, discman, walkman, mp3 player, etc, which makes them kind of handy.

The apperance turns some people off. "Jellyfish" and "Storm Trooper Helmet" are two descriptors. I think they're kind of cute. The competing speaker set are the Harman-Kardon Sound Sticks, which to me look like phallic sex toys - and while they apparently have better sound quality, the Creatures are good enough for me. I'd rather have interestingly shaped speakers than ugly generic box speakers.

Also nice is the footprint of the satellite tweeters - they're small, about the size of my fist.

All in all I absolutely love these speakers and so far everyone I've showed them to has been suprised at the quality of sound that comes out of them. Easy to use, easy to set up, and nice to look at and listen to. 5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, July 9, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 [film]

So today we went and saw Fahrenheit 9/11. Had me patriotic with tears, sad with tears, and angry with tears. A much rougher film than Bowling for Columbine - probably due to the seriousness of the subject - not that the subjects covered by Moore's previous films are not devastatingly serious in their own rights; just that I think more peoples lives are being threatened by what was covered in Fahrenheit.

I agree with Trey that I think it would have been more powerful had I not already known the message and the proof against Bush from reading books about it; I felt that the movie, as long as it was, was still too short. Something this huge cannot be explained so quickly -- but then, Americans aren't all book readers and movies are much more accessible in many ways. :\

In the very least, I wish people would quit bashing a movie they've never seen. It is by far one of the MOST patriotic films I've ever seen. It says more about our humanity than most other films do and says more to gain support for what our soldiers are going through, what our public is going through, and what the people of Iraq are going through and never in a demeaning way. The film also importantly shows us images of the war that the media have somehow neglected to show. What our soldiers really see, how the fight really looks, and how people over there on either side really feel.

This film does a lot to break down the facade our "president" has erected, true, but it does a lot more, I think, to show how most of the American public really feels and to unveil the truth that's going on around us that our media and government has elected to sweep under the rug.