Friday, February 26, 2010

One Arm Johnny's

Sad: Boner killed himself


From ew, The body of Growing Pains actor Andrew Koenig, who had been missing since Feb. 14, was found Thursday around noon in a Vancouver park called Stanley Park, police confirmed at an evening news conference. The 41-year-old actor was best known for playing Kirk Cameron’s friend, Richard “Boner” Stabone, on the 1980s ABC sitcom. Koenig was also the son of actor Walter Koenig, who starred as Pavel Chekov on television’s Star Trek: The Original Series.

“My son took his own life,” the elder Koenig said Thursday at the emotional press conference. “He was obviously in a lot of pain.” A police spokeswoman said that the department’s investigation will continue and that a cause of death will not be released at the moment. No foul play is suspected.

Before leaving for a trip to visit some friends in Toronto and Vancouver, Koenig, who had a history of depression, moved out of his Venice, Calif., apartment and reportedly sold a number of his possessions in a garage sale. On Feb. 16, Koenig’s parents received a “despondent” note from their son, and the actor missed his scheduled flight back to Los Angeles. Koenig’s parents subsequently reported their son missing on Feb. 18.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The HHD Winner is...

There were some really great haikus this week, and I was hard pressed to pick a winner, but in the end JPX's amputee haiku edged out the competition. The last line added a nice punch and a powerful visual. Great job everyone, and congratulations JPX!

I know it's silly
but amputee's freak me out
Can't handle the stump

Happy 30th birthday Missle Command!


From ew, To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Atari’s Missile Command, OMGPOP has created a “remixed” multiplayer version online, which is a bit less exciting than it sounds — it’s kinda choppy (at least on my antique computer), lacks the sparse, apocalyptic feel of the original, and the missiles look like little adult toys raining from the sky. Purists will say the game can only truly be played on the arcade version using a trackball anyway. But for me, Missile Command was an Atari 2600 game. Just after my Space Invaders phase, and slightly before my brief-but-intense obsession with Yars Revenge, I spent countless hours sitting cross-legged on the floor of our living room playing the hell out of Missile Command. The fast, simple gameplay and creepy Cold War overtones (for those who don’t know, you’re protecting six cities from incoming nuclear missiles — skill can delay matters, but annihilation is inevitable) are what make this my fave 2600 game of all time

Star Trek Convention Chicago '75, full cast reunion


From toplessrobot,

Black And White Bloopers: Watch Bogart Flub His Lines


From cinemablend, When you’re watching those classic, black and white movies it’s hard to imagine anyone having any fun on the set. The work of actors like Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney is all serious men, in well appointed suits, and dashing fedoras. It’s hard to imagine anyone laughing in between takes, or for that matter even loosening up enough to make some sort of mistake. Seen through our modern lens the movies of the thirties and forties seem like serious, serious business. Maybe they were most of the time, but not always.

Warner Bros. studios used to put together an annual blooper montage of the funnier mistakes made on the set each year while filming their movies. The video below is from their 1936 blooper real and features people like Bogart, Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, and Paul Muni flat out screwing up. Watch them flub and laugh and curse like real people; and remember they were more than imaginary icons, these people lived.

People of the Park



Check out more here

"Superman" Reboot Details have Leaked


From worstpreviews, It was recently announced that David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan have started working on the script for the third Batman movie, from an idea by Christopher Nolan.

This news is part of Warner Bros big announcement about what it plans to do with all the DC Comics' superheroes. And now we have another part of it. According to LatinoReview, Goyer (Blade, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) has also been hired to write the new Superman movie.

Apparently Goyer is only working part-time on "Batman 3," so he has time in his scheduled to tackle a "Superman" reboot, which is being called "The Man of Steel."

Brandon Routh will not star in the new movie, and Bryan Singer is not expected to direct. "The Man of Steel" will not be an origin story and will assume that audiences already know about such characters as Lois, Clark, Jimmy and Perry.

While story details are being kept a secret, the site claims that both Lex Luthor and Brainiac will be involved, the Daily Planet will be struggling to stay in business due to the internet, and there will be a huge Kryptonian mythology set up. Stay tuned.

Next Mascot For Ole Miss?


From geekology, Ole Miss (The University of Mississippi) has decided to ditch its old racist slave-owning mascot Col. Rebel in exchange for something a little more PC. And now there's a student movement to elect the honorable Admiral Ackbar (quite the rebel himself) as the new figurehead of the university. Tell me it's not a trap! Voting just ended to determine if students would lead the mascot-choosing process and won with nearly 75% of votes (2,510 of 3,366). Nice, Ole Miss. Now I'm not saying you should also consider Nien Nunb as a potential candidate, but he does look half chipmunk/half vagina, both of which people love and find intimidating AT THE SAME TIME. You think about it.

Nightmare on Elm Street (remake) trailer



See it here

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

James Blish


See? See? This is who I was dealing with while reading those Star Trek paperbacks I discussed below. Look at the picture! Exactly the guy you want relating Kirk & Co.'s adventures, right? (It was not easy, being a sci-fi fan back then.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

HHD: The Human Body


Everyone has one

and for better or for worse
it is yours to keep







Tall, short, strong or weak

the object of desire
or of ridicule











Powerful muscles

contracting and releasing
with grace and balance















But the parts break down

the body grows old and weak
inevitably







And on that happy note, start your engines and let the haiku goodness flow!

The Old Paperbacks! Pt. II: Complete Blish Covers




About a week ago I posted photographs of the contents of a box of old paperbacks I'd retrieved from my parents' house. Of course you all immediately noticed the glaring omission in that post: I display the ostensibly-complete sequence of James Blish books (called Star Trek 1 through Star Trek 12) with two volumes missing. That's right, Star Trek 10 and Star Trek 11 were not in the box. (Also, the quality of the "Star Trek paperbacks" picture I posted last week was really bad.)

Of course I knew I had those other two books...I just had misplaced them, that's all. I specifically remember triumphantly completing the set some time in ninth grade, way too old for it but not being able to resist the final volume off a sidewalk blanket. Anyway I had to go back there tonight (my mother's computer...don't ask) and I did some fishing around and located the two missing books. So, above, please observe brand new scans of the 12 covers of these pre-home-video, completely superfluous volumes into which weird British hack James Blish has transcribed the scripts of all 79 episodes of Star Trek, while making arbitrary changes and added his own strange details whenever he felt like it. Terrible stuff...and Blish didn't even survive the process; as you can see, the final book was finished by somebody else (somebody even more of a hack than James Blish).

But, look at those covers! They're incredible. The first book is obviously a conventional 1960s Hollywood illustration based (pretty clearly) on publicity stills from the episode Where No Man Has Gone Before (the second pilot). The second and third are just boring (except for those fantastic numerals)...but then the paintings start, and all nine of them are exceptional. Remember that this was the 'seventies and the only images we'd ever seen of the Enterprise in flight were the awful effects shots from the original show. I fondly remember staring at the covers of these books (while eating cereal after school or whatever) and grooving on the incredible images and the way they made the Trek universe so much fun to picture. Great stuff.

Box Office


From iwatchstuff,

1. Shutter Island - $40.2 million, proving Scorsese films fare best when their name hints they could be a reality series.

2. Valentine's Day - With the actual Valentine's Day now passed, this week audiences returned to this romantic comedy to see how much of it came true. $17.2 million.

3. Avatar - $16.1 million, climbing back up from 4th--something Avatar historians will later refer to as "the bounce-back period."

4. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief - $15.3 million, another middling box office showing, demonstrating America's continued indifference towards lightning theft.

5. The Wolfman - $9.8 million, still leaving it $100 million from earning back its budget. I say just market the DVD as a Wolfman Jack biopic.

Michael Jackson's 'Captain EO' returns to Disney


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Captain EO and Michael Jackson are returning to Disneyland.
The park says it will show the 1986 Jackson musical beginning Tuesday and running indefinitely.

On the Disney Parks blog, Disney executive Heather Hust Rivera says the park will show a 70mm print of the 17-minute movie in the Tomorrowland theater, with enhanced sound.

However, Rivera says the showing won't feature some special effects from the original presentation that can't be replicated. She did not elaborate in her blog message.

The original presentation included lasers and smoke.

Jackson, who died of a drug overdose last year, plays the role of a spaceship captain who uses love and music to fight a witch queen played by Anjelica Huston.

The original ran at Disneyland from 1986-1997. The new showing replaces the 3-D show Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.



Elm Street remake update


From slashfilm, You may have noticed that on Monday we published our set visit report for Samuel Bayer’s remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. You will also see on set interviews with the cast and crew of the film throughout the week. The reason we’re running everything this week is because this is the week our embargo broke. And it seems to time nicely with Warner Bros’ next phase of the film’s marketing release, as a new poster has just been revealed, and a new trailer will hit later this week.



Read more here

Kirk Cameron Prays For 'Growing Pains' Costar's Safe Return


From ew, Kirk Cameron has issued a heartfelt plea to his former 'Growing Pains' costar Andrew Koenig, who disappeared in Vancouver more than a week ago.

On the show Koenig played Boner, best friend of Cameron's character Mike. Cameron told Life & Style:

"I am very concerned to hear of the disappearance of my old friend Andrew Koenig. I can remember many of the fun times we had on the set of Growing Pains. I am praying for his family during this time of distress and for his safe return. Andrew, if you're reading this, please call me. Mike and Boner could always work things out when they put their minds to it. I'm praying for you, pal. Hope to hear from you soon."

Koenig, 41, suffers from depression and has not been heard from since he failed to return from a family trip to Canada on February 14. A friend of his tells Radaronline.com that he disconnected his phone and returned personal belongings to friends just before his disappearance. His parents plan to fly up to Vancouver to assist the police in their search in the next few days.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Superman's debut comic sells for $1M


By Jake Coyle, AP Entertainment Writer

NEW YORK — A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman has sold for $1 million, smashing a record set just last year.

The issue sold Monday morning is a 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books. It features Superman lifting a car on its cover and originally cost 10 cents.

It was sold by a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. The sale was conducted by the auction site ComicConnect.com.

The previous comic book record was set last year when $317,000 was paid for the same Action Comics No. 1 issue. This copy fetched a much higher price because it's in better condition.

Boner is missing!


From ew, The parents of Andrew Koenig -- who has reportedly been missing for the past week -- described their son as "suffering from depression" and "not doing good" in the days leading up to his disappearance.

Judy and Walter Koenig (who played Pavel Chekov in the "Star Trek" series) tell TMZ the last time heard from Andrew was on February 9. They say his cell phone is turned off and that they have learned the last time his phone received a text was on February 16 in Vancouver.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Digital sculpting class

This was what I came up with after messing around for about two hours, starting with the Mudbox program's abstract human head (which annoyingly I can't find a picture of). At first I thought the prof wanted us to do exactly what he was doing (a real puffy head) and then realized my mistake. The ears never recovered.

Those dots and circle are the brush tool, which I forgot to move out of the way before I snapped the screencap. See how there's two dots? That's because as you sculpt one side the other side does the same thing. Nice.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I forgot



I meant to post this
The list grows ever longer
So here it is now

Star Wars - Johnny Sweatpants
Christmas - JSP (Octopunk won SW, but forgot cuz of Christmas)
Abandoned Houses - Whirlygirl
Fanboys - JPX
Ninjas - HansomeStan
Superheroes - Octopunk
Zombies - Catfreeek
Original Star Trek - AC
Lord of the Rings - nowandzen
Video Games - HandsomeStan
80s Movies - JPX
Sitcoms - Catfreeek
Saturday Morning TV - DCD
Action Figures - HandsomeStan
The Future - 50PageMcGee
Heavy Metal - Johnny Sweatpants
Jiggle Television - Chris
Science - 50PageMcGee
Wizard of Oz - Octopunk
Swine Flu - Johnny Sweatpants
The Comic Strip - JPX
Armageddon - HandsomeStan
The Matrix - Octopunk
Guilty Pleasures - AC and Mr. AC
Candy - DCD
Child Actors - Julie
The Devil - Johnny Sweatpants
Chick Flicks - HandsomeStan
Toys - Catfreeek
Musicals - DCD
The Simpsons - Johnny Sweatpants
Horror Movies - Octopunk
Mental Illness - 50PageMcGee
The Mall and/or Teenagers - JPX
Rants - Johnny Sweatpants
Johnny Sweatpants - HandsomeStan
Drugs and Booze - Julie
UFOs and the Unexplained - HandsomeStan
Robots - Octopunk
The 7 Deadly Sins - Catfreeek
Pet Peeves - JPX
Ways to Die - Johnny Sweatpants
(Horrorthon hiatus)
Crap Jobs - HandsomeStan
Hair - Whirlygirl
High School - HandsomeStan
Things Our Parents Say - Whirlygirl
Pets - DCD
Driving - Octopunk

Friday, February 19, 2010

Haiku Hump Day results: Who gets the rock star parking?

What a great week! While I didn't see the staggering numbers that my sister's Pets topic saw last week, the combo of griping and driving-related anecdotes was exactly what I was hoping for, and everybody brought their A game.

My favorite of Catfreeek's was in her "old people driving" series, with

Old people driving
Huge cars like tanks of terror
driven by the blind

I love the alliteration of "tanks of terror" and that last line really does bring out the terror. It certainly doesn't hurt to reference Death Race early in the set. (By the way, I caught the remake of Death Race a few weeks ago. Skip it.)

JPX made me laugh by recounting a few embarrassing behind-the-wheel moments of mine, most notably

Octo once got mad
He punched his windshield, it broke
Later on we laughed

He also started the hilarious "kids in a school bus" theme and warned us all about the evils of dealerships. I just had one of those experiences myself:

Before: While we change your battery, we'll do a free safety inspection!
After: We found about $1,300 worth of stuff to fix during our inspection.

Jerks. There were lots of yellow "caution" status things and two red "fails," one of which was the wiper blades. What I didn't recall until later was that they had changed those just last summer. Wish I could've thrown that in the lady's face.

Anyway, I have to admit JPX did disappoint me in one minute way, by not whipping out the ready-made five syllable line "Doug can't drive either." But he does good work.

Johnny Sweatpants had two standouts that I can't choose between as a fave

Where to, Miss Daisy?
How 'bout I take your white ass
Straight through the ghetto?

And the culmination of the school bus theme

Drove by a school bus
Introduced them to my ass
This haiku is true

HandsomeStan echoed how we all feel inside with his lament of non-sentient cars

Road trip to RI
I say, "Engage Smart-Drive, Kitt."
Crack open road beer

I don't even drink beer, but I think I would to make that dream come true.

AC contributed one of the best pieces of driving wisdom I've heard yet

MA drivers suck
i've arranged my work schedule
to avoid rush hour

I wish I could do that, as LA rush hours are legendary. AC also got the "no blowjobs while driving" theme going (by providing the second one, thus turning it into a running gag). I meant to add Parenthood to the mix as well, but didn't get around to it.

I suspected DCD was holding out so that her numbers last week weren't topped by mine, but she jumped in with some late greatness (probably once she was sure the count would stay in two figures). Hers took on a refreshing confessional bent

I prefer to drive.
It's not that I don't trust you...
Oh wait, yes it is.

Although one of our father's catchphrases ("those guys are racing!") was invoked in another 'ku, making this three weeks in a row he's entered the game, I found the haiku above to be more steeped in Burtness. Because my sister's desire to man the wheel is a clear genetic homage to our Dad.

But who won? As my picture above is meant to hint, that would be Mr. AC! His output this week was outstanding, including stealthy underage joyrides, speed limit math, and ramming packed school buses. The absolute winner, however, involved the might of Gandalf

Cold lizard in car
"Must get him back to hot rock"
Cop was unimpressed

I don't know this for sure, but it seems like he read my comment last week on "don't walk your lizard," intuited my own feeling about the innate comic punch of the word "lizard," and haikued accordingly. Regardless, it made me laugh, and he won. The customized avatar didn't hurt, either.

Congrats, Mr. AC!

Thanks everybody. See you next week.

Hear the Horrorthon theme song!


From geekology, CodeOrgan is a website where you can enter any website's URL, and, using a complicated algorithm, it turns the website's code into "music". Obviously, Geekologie is the most beautiful website you will ever hear, but you can try it with any other one you want. And the songs will change as the "body" content of the website changes. So you can listen to a different Geekologie song tomorrow. They are all magical! Like Link's ocarina songs, but this one won't summon your horse. Unless that's what you calling your girlfriend, in which case, she's probably cheating on you with someone nicer. LIKE YOUR ROOMMATE. Seriously, I saw them together.

Hear the horrorthon theme song here

Thursday, February 18, 2010

HHD results will probably have to wait until tomorrow

Your Uncle Octopunk is exhausted. I just had the most ridiculous freelance job building an offensive lawn fountain. Everything turned out great in the end, but it's been eight days of relentless grind. And right now I'm in my first ever Maya class learning computer animation. I can do blog posts in class!

Making Of: The Classic HBO Intro From the 1980’s


From slashfilm, Everyone who grew up in the 1980’s probably remembers the classic HBO Starship intro which played before all the big picture presentations. Watching the retro intro brings back so many memories for me of watching and discovering so many new movies with my parents. MondoTees has found a great vintage 1983 making-of documentary showing how that classic intro was created.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Haiku Hump Day: Driving!

That's right. We all do it, even though we know it's probably bad for us.

Sometimes it's a stresser,

sometimes it's the bees knees.

Sometimes it's the worst possible thing you could imagine.

Maybe you don't drive, and ride a bike instead. That's still relevant.

Maybe you had a noteworthy first car.

Maybe you can explain what's going on here.

Those of you who have experienced driving in Rhode Island or Massachusetts may have stories of particular interest.

No limit on complaints about people who don't use turn signals.

Seventeen syllables or less.* Go!

(*Actually no, not less.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

The old paperbacks! (updated below)

I dropped by my parents' house today on unrelated business (my Mom's computer...don't ask) and finally decided to deal with this specific box of old paperbacks that has been sitting in the corner of my old bedroom for about twenty years. It's not like my parents even live very far away -- it's like a fifteen minute walk -- but, for some reason, although I've frequently poked through a lot of my old stuff, I've never actually retrieved the famous "box of old paperbacks" and brought it home...until today. There are still many, many old books of mine over there, but this box contained a bunch of stuff that I "outgrew" at a certain point and removed from the main Jordan library that I've shlepped around to college and from apartment to apartment. Anyway, look! (Click for larger images.)

Star Trek!

Space: 1999!

Peanuts!

James Bond!

Novelizations!

Crazy other stuff!

Oh, man...I don't even know where to start. I'm going to be up for hours looking at these; I'm sure of it. A couple of points:

1) You will note that Gene Roddenberry, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Glen A. Larson all have their names on the covers as "authors" of the novelizations of their stuff. I know for a fact that Alan Dean Foster wrote the Star Wars novel; I think he wrote Close Encounters too.

2) Yes, I had Chariots of the Gods? Feel free to make fun of me.

3) Those James Bond books were, I think, swiped from my Dad's library...I don't have a clear memory of reading them (except for The Spy Who Loved Me, which isn't a real Ian Fleming novel).

4) The Alan Dean Foster Star Trek stuff, based on the animated series, is much better than the James Blish books (which re-tell the TOS stories). None of it's that good, though. But it's all better than the Space: 1999 stuff. It's so strange to see this stuff today and realize (for, really, the first time) that the authors were just guys my age or younger taking a paycheck for a few weeks' work.

5) All the novelizations follow their respective screenplays so faithfully and so doggedly that you can almost visualize the actual 1970s script pages they're working from. It's combined with whatever weird approach the author takes to the characters and the parts you don't see on screen (or the deleted scenes that were still there in the script that the author's working from).

6) Alan Dean Foster looms very large over this whole collection, doesn't he? An unsung hero of sci-fi and fantasy. I still remember reading some of his stuff, years later.

7) All the Trek books were published during the ten-year gap between the cancellation of the original series and the first movie. So, according to these paperbacks Star Trek is over. (But many of the authors speculate about how they expect it to come back someday.)

Anyway, a trip down memory lane. It felt strange to take those books out of my parents' apartment, since they've basically been in the same room for thirty-five years. I'm sure the rest of you have equivalent memorabilia that you resist removing from your old bedroom (if your original bedroom still exists, as mine does). I wonder what I would have thought back in the seventies if I'd known that I'd still be going to the movie theater to see James Bond and Star Trek in the year 2010. (I would have been all, "Star Trek movies? Really?") ("eleven of them?")

UPDATE: I've noticed a couple of things about these books: First, most of them are bad. Like, REALLY bad. The appetite for this stuff is so strong that it can drive you to some embarrassing lengths just to get your fix. These books are the work of a whole underclass of writers who sometimes bust out and sometimes don't, but there's a particular miserable quality to the adaptations and novelizations that I've never really encountered since. It's kind of like the television writing in the sixties or the seventies: when you hear some of that dialogue, you just don't picture hip young up-and-coming television writers; you picture middle-aged guys with horn-rimmed glasses living in split-level homes or residency hotels, earnestly writing. You can see why Alan Dean Foster looms like a giant over this stuff; he's actually got talent, and a genuine sci-fi sensibility as well.

Second, a realization that hit me like a thunderbolt: there was no home video! That's the explanation for all this...that's how Ballantine Books could make a fortune selling a series of paperbacks containing nothing but the original Star Trek television scripts re-written by a British hack. Because you can't rent or buy (or download) the stuff so you've got to feed your Star Trek monkey in this fashion. In 2010, I'm sitting in a room wherein, if I want, I can watch any Star Trek episode (not to mention 620 movies) at a moment's notice. It makes me less likely to crack open a Star Trek book, unless it's an original story that passed through a legitimate editorial vetting process, like people read today. (I mean, I'm still not going to do it, but I'm much more likely.) Back then, pop culture (especially genre or fringe pop culture) was like a Western frontier village, with circuit riders coming through every week with the mail and newspapers. Today, it's Las Vegas.

A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope

"Oh, no!"

Five years ago, Keith Martin, a Star Wars fan (whose other characteristics are unknown to me), thought very hard about the implications of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and how it integrates with and changes the plot of the original movies. Specifically, Martin tried to reconcile the events of the final ten minutes of Revenge of the Sith with the situation at the beginning of A New Hope. Obviously, this is fairly well-trod territory, but what he came up with is worth a look and maybe some H'thon discussion (with the understanding that life really doesn't get much geekier than this):

A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope

Horrible movie takes box office


From ew, Warner Bros. sure did give couples an easy fix for their February holiday. Valentine’s Day took in approximately $67 million over the four-day frame, grossing an estimated $21 million on the actual day itself. The romantic comedy’s success practically greenlights Warner Bros. next attempt at a holiday-themed ensemble comedy, New Year’s Eve, which they are contemplating putting into production immediately. The weekend was also a boon for the family literary adaptation. While there didn’t seem to be much heat on Percy Jackson & the Olympians going into the weekend, moviegoers still showed up in droves. The PG-rated film, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone director Chris Columbus, grossed an estimated $39 million for a second place finish. It outshone Universal’s R-rated Wolfman, which also had an auspicious beginning of $36 million for the four-day frame. Early rumblings of a troubled post-production and a delayed release date did little to quell moviegoers’ anticipation for the horror classic starring Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt.

The three new wide releases coupled with an astounding $30 million for Avatar and $19 million for the romantic drama Dear John put the President’s Day holiday cume into record-breaking territory. Rounding out the top ten were The Tooth Fairy earning an additional $7.7 million to put its total take at $43.6 million; From Paris With Love grossing $6.8 million for the seventh slot and a total two-week earning of $18 million. Mel Gibson’s film Edge of Darkness grossed $5.7 million to put its three-week total at $37 million. Ninth spot went to the Jeff Bridges-starrer Crazy Heart which grossed an additional $4.2 million during its second weekend in wide release. The indie drama’s total take now stands at $17.5 million. The Book of Eli took the tenth spot grossing $3.6 million more for a total gross of $88 million.

If the numbers stay as estimated, the weekend will likely bring in over $220 million for the holiday, the most ever for President’s Day. And the new releases should hold up well next frame when the only new entry is Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited thriller Shutter Island. It will surely bite into Wolfman’s earnings, but the other two films should be able to hold in strong. Enjoy the holiday folks. See you next weekend.

Kevin Smith deemed 'too fat' to fly Southwest


From ew, Kevin Smith has been taking Southwest Airlines to task via his widely-read Twitter feed after the director was deemed a “safety risk” and asked to leave a Saturday flight. If he was too fat to fly, Smith wondered, “Why wait til my bag is up, and I’m seated…In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who’d already I.d.ed me as ‘Silent Bob.’” According to Southwest Airlines’ “customer of size” policy, passengers must buy a second seat if they cannot fit between the arm rests. “Hey @SouthwestAir!” wrote Smith, “Sometimes, the arm rests are up because THE PEOPLE SITTING THERE ALREADY PUT THEM UP; NOT BECAUSE THEY ‘CAN’T GO DOWN’.”

Doug Fieger, lead singer of rock group the Knack, dies at 57


From ew, Doug Fieger, lead singer of rock group the Knack, died at 57 after a battle with cancer, his brother Geoffrey confirmed today. “I’ve had 10 great lives,” Fieger told the Detroit News in a January interview. “And I expect to have some more. I don’t feel cheated in any way, shape or form.” Get the Knack, the album that featured “My Sharona,” spent six weeks at No. 1 in 1979. The hit single was perhaps best immortalized (or at least revitalized) via a hilarious impromptu gas station dance party in 1994’s Reality Bites. “Can you turn this up please? Please? You won’t be sorry.”

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bad Romance

I encourage you all to watch this video by Lady Gaga. I came across it a couple of weeks ago when it appeared as one of those thumbnail "other videos" to sample after watching something on Youtube. For several days afterwards I was playing it over and over, like a twelve-year-old with a new 45.

I'd been hearing about this Lady Gaga person but I hadn't sampled any of her work. Turns out I'm a big fan. Her vibe resonates with a lot of old dance music I love, with an excellent dash of Marilyn Manson creepiness to keep things fresh. Also you gotta respect someone who can make a video with people in costumes dancing in a room and still make that new and interesting.

Sometimes the link will get you to the video without the requisite commercial, but that happy circumstance failed me for the first time today. Plug through it, it's worth your time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yep, my dad owned one of these embarrassing cars

The Disc Is Over The Fence: Frisbee Inventor Walter Frederick Morrison Dies At Age 90


From geekology, Seen here playing spaceman, Walter Frederick Morrison invented the modern Frisbee in the 1950's after throwing a metal cake pan around on the beach with his wife. And the rest, my friends, is toy history.

He originally called his toy the Pluto Platter and sold it at local fairs.

In 1957 Mr Morrison sold the rights to the California firm Wham-O, which discovered that youngsters were calling the toy a "Frisbie" after the name of a well-known pie. The company changed the spelling to avoid trademark infringement and the Frisbee was born.

On the official Frisbee website, Wham-O paid tribute to Mr Morrison, who was known as Fred.

"As Frisbee discs keep flying though the air, bringing smiles to faces, Fred's spirit lives on. Smooth flights, Fred," it read.

Ah, I can't even begin to imagine how many countless hours I've spent throwing the ol' Pluto Platter around in the yard with friends. Well Fred, this throw's for you. *CRASH* Oh shit.

Rest in peace.

Vacation 58


If Dad hadn’t shot Walt Disney in the leg, it would have been our best vacation ever! We were going to Disneyland. It was a dream come true. The rides! The thrills! The Mouseketeers! I was so excited that I spent the whole month of May feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. When school finally let out on a Tuesday, I sprinted home as fast as I could, even though we weren’t leaving until Friday.

Dad picked up our brand-new 1958 Plymouth Sport Suburban Six station wagon on Thursday morning. The speedometer had only six and three-tenths miles on it. Dad said that it would be a pleasure to travel for six days in a car that smelled as good as our new Plymouth. It was nice to see Dad excited about our trip. For months Mom had to act moody and beg to get him to drive out to California. “What good will it do the kids to see their country from an airplane seat?” she wanted to know. Finally, Dad gave in and said we would get a station wagon and drive the 2,448 miles from 74 Rivard Boulevard, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to 1313 Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, California.

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