Sunday, August 31, 2008

Priceless

Can't say as I blame him... a man is selling his last respect for George Lucas on eBay, in the form of a Darth Maul figure.

"Because this Darth Maul represented my faith in George Lucas (it was
bought back in the heady days of 1999 when the words Star and Wars still brought
to mind childhood dreams and wonderment), you are also bidding on the last
morsels of respect I have for the once all-powerful, formally infallible bearded
wonder. If you must know, the use of the woeful Wookie 'Tarzan' cry in Revenge
of the Sith is the straw that broke the Bantha's back. It was almost
unforgivable in Return of the Jedi, but to have it featured again in Episode 3
was just ridiculously [expletive] STUPID!


I've made so many excuses for George in the past - even to the point of
suggesting that Jar Jar would be bearable if he spoke in an alien language with
subtitles - but after witnessing the CGI monkeys and gophers in Indiana Jones
and the UFOs, I've got nothing left for him (except for what this Darth Maul
represents)... And to think of the rabid, blind hope I had towards the end of
the 90s before I entered the cinema to see Episode 1...."


Bidding starts at $10 Australian... which, if my math is right, is $10 Australian more than it's worth.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nothing A Snakeskin Jacket Couldn't Fix

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Nicolas Cage, Aaaron Johnson, and Lyndsy Fonseca have joined McLovin in the cast of Kick-Ass:

"Written by Millar and drawn by John Romita Jr., the Marvel Comics' Icon imprint book centers on a high school dweeb named Dave Lizewski who decides to become a superhero even though he has no athletic ability or coordination. Things change when he eventually runs into real bad guys with real weapons.

Johnson plays the dweeb and title character, while Fonseca plays the object of the teen's infatuation who believes Dave is gay. Cage is a former cop who wants to bring down a druglord and has trained his daughter (Chloe Moretz) to be a lethal weapon."

Man, really? Nic Cage? The comic is pretty great, but going in with Nic is like boxing with one arm behind your back, and that arm is held by wig glue and Wicker Man reviews.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mega-Thrusters Are Go!

Sigh. Another day, another desecrated childhood memory. This time: Voltron.

"Fox-based New Regency has put robot project "Voltron: Defender of the Universe" into turnaround.

Ryan Kavanaugh's financing and production venture Relativity Media is in negotiations to back the property, though on a more moderate budget, utilizing the type of cost-effective technology employed in films including "300."

Last summer, New Regency picked up the rights to the property, adapted by scribe Justin Marks, who's behind Warner Bros.' bigscreen versions of "He-Man" and "Green Arrow."

Marks' take is described as a post-apocalyptic tale set in New York City and Mexico, where five survivors of an alien attack band together and end up piloting the five lion-shaped robots that combine and form the massive sword-wielding Voltron that helps battle Earth's invaders."

The worst part will be when I see the trailer in the theater and inevitably hear some kids talking about how it looks like a Power Rangers rip-off. "Hey, idiots, Voltron was around first! No, you're an old nerd!"


Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Plate Of Homemade Wishes

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama"The American Promise"Democratic National ConventionAugust 28, 2008Denver, Colorado
As prepared for delivery



"To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

"With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States. Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

"To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

"Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

"It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.


"That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

"We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

"Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

"These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

"America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.


"This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

"We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

"Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

"Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

"But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

"The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

"A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

"Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

"It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.
For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.


"Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.


"You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

"We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

"We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.

"The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

"Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

"In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

"When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

"And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

"I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.


"What is that promise?

"It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

"It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

"Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

"Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

"That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

"That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President..Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

"Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

"I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

"I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

"And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

"Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

"Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

"As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

"America, now is not the time for small plans.

"Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

"Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

"Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

"Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

"And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

"Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

"And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

"Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.
And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.


"For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

"And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

"That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

"You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

"We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.


"As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.


"These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

"But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

"The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

"So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

"America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

"We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

"I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

"You make a big election about small things.


"And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

"I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.


"But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

"For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.


"America, this is one of those moments.

"I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

"And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

"This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

"Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

"That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

"And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

"The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

"But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.
"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."


"America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

"Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Windows Windows

John Nouanesing, the same designer behind the drippy paint table and Geekini has come up with a clever window treatment -- FenĂȘtres 3.1 (Windows 3.1). As you can see, they make your windows look like Windows 3.1 windows. And, if it's particularly crappy looking outside, you can pull down the blue screen of death shade (seen partially pulled in the right photo). You just better hope the neighbor's kids don't accidentally throw a ball through them, because then you'd have broken Windows! Or, if they're not sealed properly, you could get -- wait for it, wait for it -- bug-filled Windows! Thank you! Try the veal!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Brainz!

Click the pic! And keep your fingers away from his mouth!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Smallville: A Season In Hell

So, The Dark Knight was, appropriately, a fairly dark movie. The Dark Knight also made like a million dollars. Since Warner Bros. can put two and two together, they've decided all superhero movies should be dark from now on, and plan to test their theory by doing a dark, Hulk-style reboot of the shadowy, brooding character known as Superman. From WSJ:

"Like the recent Batman sequel -- which has become the highest-grossing
film of the year thus far -- Mr. Robinov wants his next pack of superhero movies
to be bathed in the same brooding tone as "The Dark Knight." Creatively, he sees
exploring the evil side to characters as the key to unlocking some of Warner
Bros.' DC properties. "We're going to try to go dark to the extent that the
characters allow it," he says. That goes for the company's Superman franchise as
well.


"'Superman' didn't quite work as a film in the way that we wanted
it to," says Mr. Robinov. "It didn't position the character the way he needed to
be positioned." "Had 'Superman' worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for
Christmas of this year or 2009," he adds. "But now the plan is just to
reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at
all.""


"Hey! We should make our next Superman movie dark, too! Let's just completely ignore that the darkness of character, plot and literal appearance exhibited in The Dark Knight is completely intrinsic to the Batman mythos and inappropriately shoehorn that sensibility to a vast, well-established fictional universe!"

It makes about as much sense as sending the cast of Saved By The Bell to Hawaii for a season. "People like Hawaii; people like Saved By The Bell. Saved By The Bell IN Hawaii? Can't miss! So what if the very title of the show refers to school. We don't need the school!"

Maybe the "dark to the extent that the characters allow it" is a good sign, at least. But probably not. No, it's just not. Sigh.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

When Bots Attack

Have you, like me, ever wondered what it would look like if a bunch of little robots ganged up on a kid and dragged it across the floor? This:



Sleep tight!

Friday, August 22, 2008

This Is Not My Beautiful House

This is an artsy photo gallery by photographer Steve Schofield of a ton of people dressed up as Star Wars and Star Trek characters.



I really love the feelings they evoke. It's almost like you ARE that person all dressed up in your costume, posing for the camera, and thinking, "What the hell have I gotten myself into?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Faced!

You see her? She's not real -- she's a CG version of actress Emily O'Brien created by facial animation studio Image Metrics. I don't know what to say either.

"Using (USC's) Institute for Creative Technologies' special scanning system that can capture facial details down to the individual pore, the face of actress Emily O'Brien was transformed into a digital representation of herself, which could then be entirely machine-manipulated. A special spherical lighting rig captured O'Brien in 35 reference facial poses using a pair of high resolution digital cameras. The facial maps were then converted into 3D data using Image Metrics' proprietary markerless motion capture technology."

Below is a high-res video of the CG Emily talking and moving. It's freakin' amazing. Did I mention she kind of looks like Keira Knightley? Because she does. Now I'm not sure what kind of implications this has for the adult-entertainment industry, but if I had to guess, I'd say a series of wicked pirate-themed CGI skin-flicks. Pirates of The Caribbean: At World's Rear End! Or, alternatively, Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chesticles.




Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Daring Young Men On The Trying Legal Ease

Huh. A federal judge has denied Warner Brothers' motion to dismiss Fox's lawsuit regarding the rights to distribute Watchmen, meaning the anticipated release could be delayed, completely ruining my only plans for March of next year. As Fox tells it:
"In essence, the Judge appears to conclude that Fox retained distribution rights in Watchmen through the 1991 Largo quitclaim, and he concludes that, under the 1994 turnaround, producer Larry Gordon acquired an option to acquire Fox's remaining interest in Watchmen that was never exercised, thereby leaving Fox with its rights under the 1994 agreement."
Warner Brothers has since added that
"The judge did not opine at all on the merits, other than to conclude that Fox satisfied the pleading requirements. We respectfully disagree with Fox's position and do not believe they have any rights in and to this project."

Yikes, legal things! Let's hope this gets sorted out in a reasonable amount of time. We've already had to cope with one unreleased masterwork of superhero cinema; we can't afford another.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pique Show

You may not be aware, but there's a general election coming soon!

So get registered!

You can whine all you want about how your vote doesn't matter, but the only way to guarantee that is to stay home on November 4th.

It's a brave new world of robo calls, hackers and black box voting, my friends. Even if your vote doesn't count, it counts more than ever.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Face The Face To Face

Our friends at Plasmic Studios have constructed a page where you can, at just a simple mouse-over, compare the Watchmen character posters with the original comic ads they were based on. They'll make you either say, "Wow, they went through a lot of trouble to recreate these scenes, even down to subtle props" or, "What? His ass proportions are entirely different than the real Dr. Manhattan's ass proportions!" depending on how into freaking-out you are.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fetteriffic!

Just in time for the holidays, there's an Instructables out there that teaches the do-it-yourselfer how to make their own Boba Fett helmet out of cardboard. You know, so you can mix universes and play PEW PEW with this kid



in his backyard. Unfortunately, no matter how good your helmet turns out, you're still a 30-year old Trick-or-Treater. Which is just pathetic unless you score a couple full sized candy bars and some wax lips. And if that's the case, quick -- gimme a sheet, I'm coming with you! Also, hand over that goddam Snickers.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And Your LittleDog Too!

Remember when Boston Dynamics heralded the robot apocalypse with the creation of the BigDog? No? Well, lookee:



Anyway, now those uncaring bastards have made a LittleDog too. You know, one that isn't as big or loud as the original. Why? To kill you easier.



"LittleDog is a quadruped robot for research on learning locomotion.
Scientists at leading institutions use LittleDog to probe the fundamental
relationships among motor learning, dynamic control, perception of the
environment, and rough terrain locomotion."

Run for the hills! I imagine a scenario that plays out something like this: A platoon of BigDogs are released into the wild, each with a payload of several LittleDogs. When a human presence is detected in the area, a LittleDog is deployed, where it seeks out said humans and kills them (possibly by self-detonation). This is repeated until I'm the only one alive and living in an underground bunker. At this time, I manage to capture a BigDog, and, in an attempt to create a race of cyborgs to battle my robot overlords, mate with said beast. But in my haste, I fail to realize I've captured a male model! And that, my friends, is how the human race dies out. Happy ending!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Swingers

Yipes! This is one of the most disturbing videos I've seen in a long time:



It's two robots going at it with medieval weaponry. I have no idea why they exist, or what they're demonstrating, but I can't believe some shmuck programmed robots to swing weapons. WTF were you thinking? Like I don't already have enough to worry about. This is definitely gonna give me nightmares and daymares. But hopefully not a rash.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Too Your Much

I just don't like the Olympics, alright? You wanna' know why? See below. It makes as much sense as any other explanation I can offer.



Now, seriously, quit asking me if I watched men's beach volleyball.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hold On, I'm A-Comin'

The thing is, we don't even know what we owe Isaac Hayes. It can't really be gauged. Start with Sam & Dave, and work your way through the musical landscape to the day we lost him, and maybe... maybe you'll begin to understand the impact he had on soul, and funk, and fusion and rap music.



Just... look, just know that you owe him. And that he'll be sorely missed.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Oh, Zelda

In case you've been wondering, now there's an Instructable on how to alter your own ears yourself with the help of a friend! You want elf ears? You got 'em!

Okay, not really. The article just discusses the things to consider if you're interested in getting it done. So, I'll go ahead and post the DIY myself:

1. Find a pair of scissors. The sharper the better. The scissors you have from kindergarten should be fine.
2 Score some rubbing alcohol. Take a few shots.
3. Ask yourself, "Do I really want elf ears?" If the answer is no, repeat step 2, possibly alternating shots and bong hits.
4. Cut a triangular chunk out of your upper ear. You should be bleeding at this point.
5. Sterilize a needle with a lighter, thread with fishing line or yarn, and sew your ear back together in the desired shape.
6. Put some tape around your ear to hold it together and prevent strain on the stitches.
7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 for the other ear.
8. Change your name to Zelda.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Please, Thank You

In these uncertain times, it's nice to know that the U.S. military has a goal: that it's 30% robotic in twelve years. Why? Because robots don't feel pain, and when they die you just solder them back together or build a bitchin' chair out of the scrap metal.


"While advances in robot technology will probably result in more radical
robot designs and allow for the military's goal of a 30-percent robotic force,
there will always be human involvement in the control process. Researcher Bill
Smart had this to say about our future robot army: '
It's a chain of
command thing. You don't want to give autonomy to a weapons delivery system. You don't want the robot to make the wrong decision.' "
Wow, somebody actually talking some sense for once. Clever, Bill. Or should I say smart? Get it? Because that's your last name. No, I'm not making fun of you. Jesus, it was a compliment you jackass.

Anyway, this whole human vs. robot for control of weapons systems is a real Catch 22 (love you, Joseph). On the one hand, you don't want robots to have any control over anything, because all they want to do is kill us all and have oily robotic orgies. But on the other hand, you put a man in front of a giant red button that reads "DO NOT PUSH, THE WORLD WILL END" and 9 times out of 10 -- as soon as nobody's watching -- he's got his pants around his ankles and is mashing that thing like candy's gonna' rain from the sky.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Roboblech

Here's a tip, kids: when running from a robot, you only have to run faster than your children. Which should be easy because you tied their laces together, right? If you answered, "I would never!", then it's been nice knowing you, but you're robot fodder.

Anyway, there's this robot called Robokiyu (pronounced "Robokillyou"). It's a robot designed to extract the wounded in emergency rescue situations. Well, unsurprisingly, the robot is now going to be used to eat the dead instead of rescue the living. Why? Because everybody the robot came to "rescue", no matter how badly injured, actually tried crawling away from the damn thing. Can you blame them? Absolutely not. Like my grandpa always told me, "I'd rather have all my red run out than let one of them thar robotech sums of bitches nom nom my gray spaghetti. You understand what I'm tellin' ya, boy?" I'd shake my head "no", but he'd keep right on, "Good, now fetch the hootch and I'll tell you about the time I caught your pa humpin' a tractor."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Woke Up With Wood-Smoked Bacon

The Wake n' Bacon is a collaborative alarm clock design by Matty Sallin, Daniel Bartolini and Hsiao-huh Hsu. It wakes you up with the delicious scent of bacon instead of beeping! How?

"A frozen strip of bacon is placed in Wake n' Bacon the night before.
Because there is a 10 minute cooking time, the clock is set to go off 10
minutes before the desired waking time. Once the alarm goes off, the clock it
sends a signal to a small speaker to generate the alarm sound. We hacked the
clock so that the signal is re-routed by a microchip that in responds by sending
a signal to a relay that throws the switch to power two halogen lamps that
slow-cook the bacon in about 10 minutes."
Simple as that. No loud noises, no breaking your alarm, just delicious bacon! Now what you need to do is keep a mini-fridge by the bed so you can toss in another piece, hit snooze, and ten minutes later: more bacon. Toss in another piece, hit snooze, and ten minutes later: more bacon. Toss in another piece, hit snooze, and ten minutes later: more bacon. Toss in another piece, hit snooze, and ten minutes later: you can't see past your pork-gut anymore because you eat two pounds of bacon every morning. Pig.

Monday, August 04, 2008

OMFOTIII

Here's a picture of Katie Holmes moving into her Manhattan apartment recently:

Anyone starting to think Tom Cruise is turning her into a taller, thinner (and more manly) version of himself? Don't be surprised to see pictures of Tom buying an "Acme Industrial Strength Breast Sander" all over the interwebs in the future. What does Katie think about all this? That's easy: nothing. Otherwise the bomb in her head will explode. True story.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Mash Units

Sometimes you're so picky. You love things that I think you'll hate, and hate things that I think are right up your alley. I guess what I'm getting at is this: our relationship is still in its infancy. We have lots of learning to do about one another. But that's what makes relationships so great, right?



If you don't like this one, here are three more: one of Darth Vader with Cheech & Chong audio, one of Han Solo and Greedo with Bladerunner audio, and the last one of Anakin and Padmé that is VERY VERY VERY NSFW because it has some audio from Clerks. "In a row?" Yeah, that part. That's the very last video, so DON'T CLICK IT AT WORK.

I know you're going to click it at work.