The Movie Location Game (The TV Edition)

I thought I’d change things up this week and use TV locations instead of movie locations. Have fun!

The game is simple: I post a picture of a TV show location, you guess which TV show it’s from. Hints will appear after the picture; highlight them to read. Using TinEye or Google in ANY WAY is cheating. There are no prizes, other than bragging rights.

LOCATION #1 – The only thing this 70’s show got from church is part of its name.

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Hint (highlight to view): The person who owned this building (in the show) was never seen.

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LOCATION #2 – Although this show was despised by many, much of the action in this blockbuster 90’s smash took place here.

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HINT (highlight to view): The person who lived here (with roommates) was only able to do so because it was rent-controlled, and originally her grandmother’s home.

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LOCATION #3 – A popular mid 2000’s Fox series started here.

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HINT (highlight to view): The name of the series is as descriptive as “Snakes on a Plane”.

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LOCATION #4 – Set designers of this 1960s TV series loved this real-life house so much that they built an exact copy of it on a studio lot. Strangely, however, they built it as a mirror image of the real house.

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HINT (highlight to view): One way or another, the pretty blonde who lived here always got was she wanted.

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LOCATION #5 – Strange things happen in his apartment building.

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HINT (highlight to view): The show is set in Toronto, where the building is.

A BONUS QUESTION and the answers appear after the jump!

Continue reading “The Movie Location Game (The TV Edition)”

‘We Need Tectonic Changes’

Read this. Read this now.

The most basic reason why we have a debt-limit crisis now is that we have allowed the federal government to grow so far beyond its enumerated powers that we are up against artificial debt limits as virtually a last defense against its relentless growth. This is not a fiscal crisis — it is an attempt to halt the very accumulation of federal power that the Federalists promised us would never happen. It’s a constitutional crisis, and it cannot be fixed merely by holding the line on taxes and securing deep spending cuts in the short term.

What has long been clear to many constitutional scholars is now intuitively obvious to Americans of all stripes: The relentless expansion of federal power is destroying self-government at every level of society besides the national one — and with it, the self-reliance and independence that made this country great. It is difficult any longer to see what stands between us and a statist tyranny of the majority. Supporters of the balanced-budget amendment are trying to erect a shield against unrestrained federal power.

It’s about a week out of date as far as the debt crisis goes, but the message is spot-on.

The News: DOUBLE BUSTED Edition!

– NBC reporter Chris Hansen, famous for catching child predators via hidden camera, was busted cheating on his wife recently… by surveillance camera footage. Now he’s gotten caught cheating on his mistress… with another mistress! This time a Las Vegas stripper is alleging that she had a six month love affair while Hansen was cheating on his wife with a young reporter from Florida. Well played, sir!

– In this post I discussed the “London, England” phenomenon, where American media tend to refer to cities by their full name, like “London, England” or “Paris, France”. In the post, I noted how many American cities are named after European cities (there are twenty US cities named “Athens”, for instance), and how many US cities share names (there are thirty US cities named “Franklin”). So while foreigners might laugh at the “London, England” practice, I thought I’d mention one European who isn’t laughing. Bojana Jovanovski, a 19 year-old Serbian tennis star who is currently ranked #54 in the world, was supposed to play in a tournament in Carlsbad, California. However, whoever handles her travel bought her a ticket to Carlsbad, New Mexico. She knew she was in the wrong place when a local at the airport gave her a “WTF look” when she told him she was there to play in a tennis tournament. She managed to make it to the correct Carlsbad with just thirty minutes to spare… and lost.

– It took forever to get started, but the new One World Trade Center is coming along nicely.

– The Daily Mail has this story about an English woman named Kerri Dowdswell, who normally wears size ten jeans. But when she eats, her belly expands so much that she looks like she’s in the last couple weeks of a pregnancy. A little while later, her belly contracts to normal. It’s gotten so bad that she wears maternity pants when she goes out to eat! Even scarier: doctors are stumped as to why it’s happening!

– The Daily Mail also has this collection of cool photos taken with an FEI microscope, which can “achieve 1,000,000 times magnification” of traditional electron microscopes.

University Challenge is a long-running British game show in which teams from different universities compete in a question and answer game that makes Jeopardy! look like grade school material. In a recent game, host Jeremy Paxman asked “‘which organisation [this] flag represented”:

Grand Union flag

The team from Homerton College, Cambridge buzzed in and answered “the 13 American colonies”. Paxman said they were wrong, and gave the team from Balliol College, Oxford a chance to answer (they guessed “Canada”, which is unambiguously wrong). As someone with a flag fetish, I know that this flag was the first flag of the United States, and is known here as the “Grand Union flag”. I also know that it was the flag of the East India Company, which was the answer Paxman had on his answer cards. The BBC has insisted that their answer is correct, because they asked what organization the flag represented. A small nerd brouhaha has broken out in the UK.

Site Downtime

Hi folks!

My site was down for approximately 9 hours today. This is because of a WordPress plug-in I use called BACKWPUP. The plug-in is supposed to back up the MySQL database this site runs on and email that backup to me every morning. However, latest version of the plug-in contained a script which kicked off multiple backup threads, which ended up eating 89% of the CPU on the shared server which runs this site. Ooops! My host temporarily disabled my site until I could delete the plug-in. I have done so, and now I’m back!

Sorry for the downtime, but you know how it goes sometimes.

– Jim

Quote of the Day

“I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else’s, but behind all of them, there’s only one truth and that is that there’s no truth,” he called. “No truths behind all truths is what I and this church preach! Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place.”

– Flannery O’Connor
Wise Blood

Hacking your Garmin

I wouldn’t call standalone GPS units “disposable”… but nowadays you can buy entry-level Garmin car units for as little as $89.99, and refurbished units can be had for as little as $59.95. This makes paying $49.99 for a map upgrade seem like a losing proposition. $50 didn’t seem like much back when a GPS cost $700. But now that you can buy a whole new (refurbished) unit for only $10 more than a map upgrade… why bother?

If you’re still rocking a Garmin GPS unit, you might not know that updating the maps for free is amazingly easy. I would never, ever recommend that you put an illegally hacked map on your GPS. But if you were the kind of person who isn’t opposed to that, all you need is some spare time, a computer, a Bittorrent client, a USB mini B cable and, most likely, a small (2 to 8GB) SD card. And although I would never, ever do this to my own GPS, I could, theoretically, report that Method 2, Part A on the linked page works like a charm on Nuvi 260W units. (see updates below)

Theoretically, of course.

Yeah, I have GPS on my smartphone. And it works well, too. But if I use my phone as a GPS driving aid, I can actually watch the battery drain. And I don’t have a windshield mount for my phone, either. So I’ll keep using the Garmin for the foreseeable future.

UPDATE (01/25/2016): I thought standalone GPS systems were all but dead, but looking at my site logs today I found that 20+ people visit this page every day. I decided to take a look at this article, and found that the haklabs page I linked to in an earlier version of this post is gone. So I thought I’d elaborate a bit for people who still need instructions.

The first thing you need to do is connect your GPS to your computer via USB cable and go to Garmin’s site. I actually recommend using Internet Explorer for this, because you’re going to need to install an ActiveX plug-in (Garmin’s site supports Chrome and Firefox, too, but you’ll need to restart those before continuing).

Create an account on Garmin’s site if you haven’t already. Then login to the site, attach your GPS to the USB cable and click the “Update” link. You will be prompted to install an ActiveX plug-in, which will search for your GPS and report its software and map version info to Garmin’s site.

See update below

UPDATE (09/07/2016): Thanks to reader Joe, who pointed out that Garmin has retired their web browser plug-ins and has a new app you can use to update your unit: Garmin Express. So if you want to update your Garmin’s OS before updating the map – and you really should – click the link, download and install Garmin Express, connect the GPS to your computer via USB and start Express. Thanks, Joe! 🙂

UPDATE (02/24/2017): I just wanted to mention that the Garmin Express app comes with an auto-start feature. Unless you’re managing a fleet of cars and update Garmins constantly, there’s no reason to have Garmin Express start when your computer boots up. In modern version of Windows, you can disable this from starting by opening Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC), clicking the Startup tab, and right-clicking on “Garmin Express Tray” and choosing “Disable”. For older versions of Windows, click Start > Run then type MSCONFIG and press ENTER.

Anyway, if there an update for your Garmin’s OS, go ahead and install it. Always install the software updates; they’re free and add new features and fix bugs. Also, if you have an old (very old) Garmin you’ve never updated, an update might enable support for SDHC cards, which is the format most SD cards use these days.

Next, you’ll need to go to a certain PIRATE website, located in a BAY of some sort, and search for “Garmin North America” (or “Garmin Europe”). You will get many results: look for the one with the most recent map; this is currently 2017.10 (Garmin names maps by year and version, so “2015.20” would be the second version released in 2015). Download the file as one normally would.

Once the file is downloaded, you have to decide what to do with it.

If you have an older Garmin, you likely won’t have enough storage space available to store it internally. If this is the case, insert the SD card into a card reader on your computer, format it as FAT32 (if necessary) and create a folder called “Garmin” in the root of the drive. Then copy the gmapsupp.img file into the Garmin folder. When that’s done, eject the card, put it in your GPS, turn it on, and go to Settings > Maps, where you can select the new map.

If your Garmin does have enough free space to hold the new map, you’re probably going to want to connect the GPS to your computer via USB and copy the existing “gmapprom.img” to your computer (it’s always good to have a backup). Next, delete the gmapprom.img file on your GPS, rename the downloaded gmapsupp.img file to gmapprom.img, and copy it to the same folder on your GPS. When that’s done, unplug the GPS, power-cycle it and make sure the map is correct.

Either method works if you have enough storage space. But I prefer the SD card method, as this is easily reversible, especially if you’re away from your computer: just turn the GPS off, remove the SD card from the GPS, and power it back on. The unit should default back to the previous (internal) map.

The Movie Location Game (Round 3)

The game is simple: I post a picture of a movie location, you guess which movie it’s from. Hints will appear after the picture; highlight them to read. Using TinEye or Google in ANY WAY is cheating. There are no prizes, other than bragging rights.

LOCATION #1 – This courtyard is much more lush now than it was in the late 90s classic in which it appears. And although it’s a single family house, in the movie it was supposed to be apartments.

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HINT (highlight to view): The house is for sale. The rug is not included, no matter how well it ties the room together.

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LOCATION #2 -Although this Los Angeles building has appeared in several films, in the one I’m thinking of it was supposed to be an Atlanta record company.

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HINT #1 (highlight to view): “He was the patron saint of quality footwear.”

HINT #2 (highlight to view): The volume controls in this building probably go to 11.

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LOCATION #3 – Atlanta folks need to think local on this one.

dh_house(sorry, no higher res pic is readily available)

HINT (highlight to view): R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe’s favorite food co-op was rebranded as a Piggly Wiggly in the film, too.

HINT #2 (highlight to view): “I’m tryin’ to drive you to the store!”


Answers after the jump!

Continue reading “The Movie Location Game (Round 3)”