Movie night: Ghostbusters

Spooktech

Thursday, 29 OCT 02015, 9 P.M. at The New Parkway

Come to Oakland to celebrate Halloween week spooktech with Chris Noessel, keeper of scifiinterfaces.com, with a big-screen viewing of the sci-fi/comedy/spooky greats Ghostbusters.

Reserve your ticket before they’re sold out at Brown Paper Tickets

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The pre-show includes

  • A trivia contest you take on your phone
  • A bookstacking contest
  • A short presentation deconstructing Ghostbusters for its…uhh…questionable service design

You can win stuff!

Prizes

Agenda

8:15 – 9:00: Dinner from The New Parkway concession stand: menu, queueing for seats.

9:00 – 9:10: Seating (going to try to get this done quickly)

9:10 – 9:40: Pre-show

9:40 – 11:30Ghostbusters

Address

The New Parkway: 474 24th St, Oakland, CA 94612. You can find directions on getting there using Google or on the cinema website.

People getting back to San Francisco via BART need not worry. According to BART schedule, there are three trains to catch after the film:

  • 11:39 You can make it if you dash
  • 11:59 Makes for a leisurely stroll back
  • 12:19 Would even let you grab a drink nearby first

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Containment unit

With a ghost ensconced in a trap, the next step in ghostbusting is to transfer the trap to a containment unit.  Let’s look at the interaction.

The containment unit is a large device built into a wall of the old firehouse that serves as the Ghostbusters headquarters. It’s painted a fire-truck red and has two colored bulbs above it. As they approach, the green bulb is lit. It’s got a number of buttons, levers, and cables extending into it. Fortunately for purposes of discussion, Stantz has to explain it to their new employee WInston Zeddmore, and I can just quote him.

Containment-01

“This is where we store all the vapors, entities, and slimers that we trap. Very simple, really. Loaded trap here. Unlock the system…” He grabs the red door lever and cranks it counterclockwise 90 degrees and lowers the door to reveal a slot for the trap.

“Insert the trap,” he continues, and a sucking sound is heard and the green lightbulb goes off and the red lightbulb turns on. Continue reading

Ghost trap

Once ghosts are bound by the streams from the Proton Packs, they can be trapped by a special trap. It has two parts: The trap itself, that is roughly the size of a toaster, and the foot pedal activation switch, which connects to the trap box by a long black cord.

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To open the trap, a ghostbuster simple steps on the foot pedal. For a second the trap sparks with some unknown energy, and opens to reveal a supernatural light within. Once open, the bound ghost can be manipulated down towards the trap.

Continue reading

Proton Pack

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The Ghostbusters wear “unlicensed particle accelerators” to shoot a stream of energy from an attached gun. Usefully, this positively-charged stream of energy can bind ghosts. The Pack is the size of a large camper’s backpack and is worn like one. The Proton pack must be turned on and warmed up before use. Its switch, oddly, is on the back, where the user cannot get to it themselves.

Proton-Pack-03 Continue reading

Ectogoggles

Regular readers will have noticed that Starship Troopers is on a bit of pause of late, and the reason is that I am managing a bizarrely busy stint of presentations related to the scifiinterfaces project. Also it’s Halloweek and I want to do more spooky stuff. Last week I wondered e-loud if Gozer from Ghostbusters was a pink Sith, but this post is actually talking about a bit of the interfaces from the movie.

When the Ghostbusters are called to the Sedgewick Hotel, they track a ghost called Slimer from his usual haunt on the 12th floor to a ballroom. There Ray dons a pair of asymmetrical goggles that show him information about the “psycho-kinetic energy (PKE) valences” in the area. (The Ghostbusters wiki—and of course there is such a thing—identifies these alternately as paragoggles or ectogoggles.) He uses the goggles to peek from behind a curtain to look for Slimer.

Ghostbusters_binoculars_02

Far be it for this humble blog to try and reverse-engineer what PKE valences actually are, but let’s presume it generally means ghosts and ghost related activity. Here’s an animated gif of the display for your ghostspotting pleasure.

Ghostoculars_gif

As he scans the room, we see a shot from his perspective. Five outputs augment the ordinary view the googles offer.

Continue reading