Friday, March 31, 2006

Aviator, awesome

I saw The Aviator recently on DVD. That was a great epic movie. I strongly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet. I wish I'd seen it in the theatre as some of the scenes were spectacular. Howard Hughes had a much more interesting life than I'd realized.

Leonardo DiCaprio was great in this film. He's been on good run lately. He was great in Catch Me If You Can. He is a very good actor.

I'm not much of a star watcher. I recognized Alan Alda who put in a solid performance. When they ran the credits at the end I couldn't tell you which character was Alec Baldwin, Gwen Stefani, Jude Law, or Brent Spiner.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Rice it

Rice it is a term I first heard a couple of months ago. This is a separate meaning from the Uncle Ben's commercials.

"Rice it" is when a product is changed to add a lot of flashy luxury features which drive up the price.

A good example of a riced product is the 2006 Honda Civic. Compare the 2006 Civic to the 2005 Civic to see how Honda riced it.

  • sensible Dunlop tires in the 2005 are replaced with expensive Goodyear in the 2006
  • regular wheels in the 2005 give way to flashy wheels in the 2006 which we now have to worry about being stolen
  • regular windshield wipers 2005; funky squeegee windshield wipers 2006
  • plain regular design lines 2005; sport car style body 2006
  • keyless remote has new buttons in the 2006
  • 2006 has added heated side mirrors. An ostentatious feature.
  • The 2005 has a very pleasant Google style dashboard. Controls for the heat and radio are basic and obvious how to use. In the 2006 they went with a very busy MSN type interface. Way more buttons and dials. Not obvious just looking at it what everything does.
  • Analog speedometer 2005. Digital 2006.
The intent of ricing a product is to appeal the product to a younger, more aggressive market. It also can be used to justify sticker price increases.

So if you hear someone say that something has been riced, you'll know what they are talking about. However you should not say it yourself in polite conversation. It is actually a derogatory term. I won't say how it is a slur, but I will say that you're more likely to hear it more out in British Columbia. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess why it is derogatory.