Category Archives: Entertainment

Santa Gets Intel on your Friends and Family

 iamstnick

Yeah you heard me, Santa is lending himself out as a force recon operative, so you can get some valuable intel on your friends and family.  Bounce on over to IamStNick.com, plug in your targets phone number and your e-mail.  Then an automated service will call the target number and play a premade message asking them for their wishlist.  After the recording is made, you receive an email from the website with your targets wishlist!

Sounds pretty nifty to me!  Go try it out…I know I will 🙂

An Epic Story Told Through Verse

uniman

A while ago, Andy asked me to review a book, The Unicorn Man, a collection of stark poetry and short stories with a skewed view toward the (supposed) coming apocalyptic end in 2012.

To be honest, not my bag of tea.  But, in order to give it a fair shake, I read through the book with a feeling of trepidation, and a cocked eyebrow to the intense nature of the authors’ focus on the prevalent darkness forever omnipresent in man.  Unless your state of mind closely follows the author, don’t expect this to be an easy read.  I found it difficult to keep a constant train of thought throughout the read, and had to break it up into several pieces, allowing myself to absorb what I’d read before continuing on.  Despite the content, I actually did enjoy Vox Anon’s writing style; it will be a bumpy ride in the beginning, but after figuring out what’s going on, its easier to follow.

So, first you follow the protagonist through three short stories – first as he has to deal with the spontaneous growth of a unicorn-like horn from his forehead, and the trials he has to deal with in trying to have it removed, and then finally realizing what significance it may bring into his life and society around him.  The second reads like a mythical tale following the conventional idealisms of a fairy tale unicorn and his tenuous relationship with a beautiful princess.  And finally, the third tale is a journal of the unicorn man in the future that describes his actions and events leading up the final moments before the end.  In all, very well written, provided you can follow the rhythm and intent of the tales.  In my opinion, the author uses these as a springboard to launch the reader into the fantastic worlds of grotesque and suicidal situations of the poems that follow.

Definitely the poems are the product of a mind entirely sunk into a dark process that has been bent by an imagination that I had seen very seldom to date.  Get ready for a journey through the mind of a person that holds nothing back!  Also of note are the last few dozen pages full of mystical collages of images ranging from the simple, to ultra-confusion with the unicorn as the main theme.  Truly a glimpse into the mind of a person with a lot of time to contemplate the future as he sees it.

Grab your copy at Amazon.com!

Christmas Gifts For Geeks – 11/18/08

Wild Wild West DVDs

We have another gift idea, in fact if the wife is reading this maybe I’ll be lucky enough to receive it! 🙂

A few weeks ago on Nov 4 2008, The Wild Wild West TV Series on DVD was released as a complete series in a single package and Amazon has it on sale for $90. That’s all four seasons on 27 disks / 104 episodes, including the 2 television movies with original cast that aired in 1979 and 1980.

The Wild Wild West TV series aired on CBS from 1965-69. If you’re not familiar with it, it can be described as “James Bond on horseback”. The show incorporated classic Western elements with an espionage thriller, as well as science fiction/alternate history ideas and plenty of comedy.

James West and Artemus Gordon are two agents of President Grant who take their splendidly appointed private train through the west to fight evil. Half science fiction and half western, Artemus designs a series of interesting gadgets for James that would make Inspector Gadget proud. A light hearted adventure series that is still a fan favorite today.

Pixar’s UP Trailer

Curmudgeons like me love movies about other curmudgeons. Take for instance WC Fields, or Felix from The Odd Couple, and then there’s Grumpy Old Men, and who could forget about Al Bundy from Married with Children or Ebenezer Scrooge? Or even better, how about Gregory House from the Fox show….House?

Who are some of your favorite curmudgeons?

Now I have this to look forward to:

Its Ninjas Vs. Freakin’ Zombies! Who Wouldn’t Watch This Film?!


 

Ninjas vs. Zombies is a film debuting in Tally Ho Cinema in Leesburg, Virginia on Halloween night. If you live in the area, get your butt to the web site and reserve a ticket.

Its ninjas versus freakin’ zombies! Who wouldn’t watch this film?!

This movie has been called:

An episode of ‘Friends’ meets ‘Spider Man’, with a side of Jackie Chan.  Oh – and then bloodthirsty zombies show up and start eating everybody. It draws inspiration from movies ranging from “Chasing Amy” to “Scream”, “Harry Potter” to “Dawn of The Dead”, and a good dose of “Highlander” and “Serenity”

Synopsis:

Seven friends, struggling with late 20s, early 30s life, find themselves in terrifying danger when a long-dead loved one is magically resurrected and starts devouring souls.  To make matters worse, three of them have been granted the power of the ninja, and now must lead the fight against a power they cannot hope to vanquish.  If they fail, the undead will overrun their little town, and maybe the world.

What follows is a whirlwind of magic, swordplay, hand to hand combat, gunfire and simmering sarcasm. From high flying flips to a full-on melee, from a claustrophobic last stand to a Star-Wars worthy katana battle, NINJAS VS ZOMBIES is a chilling, laugh out loud, edge of your seat adventure.

 

[via Zombie Pinups]

City of Ember: How Not to Build an Underground City to Survive the Apocalypse

City of Ember

Bill Murray & Tim Robbins’ new movie, City of Ember, was released about 3 weeks ago. Based on the lukewarm reception it’s had, i take it you missed it?

Sci Fi channel’s editorial column Lab Notes has a breakdown on one facet of the new movie. What the author looks at is how *not* to build a city underground if your goal is to survive Armageddon…in a giant cavern.

See the trailer at the bottom of this post, if you like that then perhaps you’re better off reading the book The City of Ember (Books of Ember) (amazon).

Here’s a summary:

Ember is a city built to last 200 years. The Builders of this city left instructions to the mayors in a box that would open by itself, unfortunately, one of the mayors was corrupt, and tossed the box into a closet, to be forgotten about for centuries. The year is 241. Lina Mayfleet, and Doon Harrow are two children in Ember that find themselves on a mission to save their dying city. For the citys lights are beginning to flicker, and the food supplies are running out.

Doon lands a job in the Pipeworks, to see if he can fix the generator. Lina’s job is simple, she is a messenger, but she soon finds herself in over her head when she discovers the instructions left by the builders so long ago. Her and Doon find themselves on an adventure when they discover the way out of Ember, but corrupt officials, and a treacherous mayor stand against their wishes of saving the city. With courage and heart they brave the darkness, all to help their citizens escape the dying city, and lead them to another world.

 

DJ’s Be Free! Audiotool Is Here!

All I can say is WOW.  Aside from the corny generic name, Audiotool by Hobnox is a crazy cool web based app for audio lovers.  This is a Frankenstein of Flash and Java that allows you to utilize a virtual recording studio to produce your own music and then publish it for the Hobnox community to check out.  Everything is controlled via your mouse, which makes producing slow, but manageable.  After playing with it for an hour, I was pleased with my results, but frustrated that I couldn’t export my track as a WAV file.  In all, a nice tool, bringing those without the cash for hardware into the producing game.  Way to go!

audiotool

Avast, ye Mateys! It Be "Talk Like A Pirate Day"!

pirate

Thar she blows!  Alright ye scurvy dogs, listen up.  Tomorrow (Sept. 19th) be “Talk Like A Pirate Day“, and yer expected to heave to tha poop deck, and show yer colors.  This not be a request, ya scallywags!  Show yer spirit and speak to everyone with yer inner pirate 😉

Talk Like A Pirate Day is an original concept created in a moment of temporary insanity by John Baur and Mark Summers.

Let tha festivities commence!

Even Google is participating in Talk Like A Pirate Day!  Go check it out!

"Shrek the Musical" Premieres in Seattle

Shrek the Musical

The star of the animated blockbuster smash Shrek is back again, but this time it’s in a musical play and it’s the first such venture by Dreamworks to go toe to toe with Disney as a Broadway rival.

“Shrek the Musical” has a super-talented cast, charming songs and is a musical full of heart in its world premiere at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre the other week.

It’s playing in Seattle until late September to work out the kinks in this new multi-million dollar sensation before moving to Broadway in November.

Visit the homepage for Shrek the Musical.

Oh Frak! It’s Not a Curse Word.

Frak

Here’s some excellent insight into how the Battlestar Galactica writers came up with ‘Frak’ as a replacement for it’s more vulgar cousin F*ck. And they’ve never received a complaint from SciFi owner NBC or the FCC over their word.

Snippets from the story:

It was Larson who first used the faux curse word "frak" in the original "Battlestar Galactica." The word was mostly overlooked back in the ’70s series but is working its way into popular vocabulary as SciFi’s modern update winds down production.

Larson, one of television’s most prolific and successful writers, doesn’t much care for the new series. He used "frak" and its cousin "feldergarb" as alternates for curse words because the original "Battlestar" was family friendly and appeared on Sunday nights. The words fit in with his philosophy that while the show was about humans, it shouldn’t have an Earthly feel.

The word has even appeared in the funny pages where Dilbert muttered a disconsolate "frack" — the original spelling before producers of the current show changed it to a four-letter word — after a particularly dumb order from his evil twit of a boss.

"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams calls the word "pure genius."

When new series producer Ron Moore first introduced "frak" in early scripts, Bamber said the actors were dubious. But as writers expanded its use, they caught on to the possibilities.

"I mean why are we not offended by ‘frak’ because it means exactly the same thing as the other thing?" said Bamber, who plays fighter pilot-turned-president Lee "Apollo" Adama.

Neal Stephenson Once Again Proves He’s the King of the Worlds

Neal Stephenson has a new book to be released Sept 3 2008 (pre-order on Amazon).

Wired.com writes about Stephenson’s motivations and where the ideas came from for this 960 page novel.

Set on a planet called Arbe (pronounced “arb”), Anathem documents a civilization split between two cultures: an indulgent Saecular general population (hooked on casinos, shopping in megastores, trashing the environment—sound familiar?) and the super-educated cohort known as the avaunt, or “auts,” who live a monastic existence defined by intellectual activity and circumscribed rituals. Freed from the pressures of pedestrian life, the avaunt view time differently. Their society—the “mathic” world—is clustered in walled-off areas known as concents built around giant clocks designed to last for centuries. The avaunt are separated into four groups, distinguished by the amount of time they are isolated from the outside world and each other. Unarians stay inside the wall for a year. Decenarians can venture outside only once a decade. Centenarians are locked in for a hundred years, and Millennarians—long-lifespanners who are endowed with Yoda-esque wisdom—emerge only in years ending in triple zeros. Stephenson centers his narrative around a crisis that jars this system—a crisis that allows him to introduce action scenes worthy of Buck Rogers and even a bit of martial arts. It’s a rather complicated setup; fortunately, there’s a detailed timeline and 20-page glossary to help the reader decode things.

Wonder Woman – Animated Movie Trailer

The direct to DVD animated Wonder Woman movie is scheduled for release in Feb 2009.

Plot: Ares (the god of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge using the mystical “Hand of Rage,” an ancient artifact with the power to raise armies from the dead and infuse them with a thirst for blood. Ares intends to start a world war that will not only last for centuries – but will wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Princess Diana to save her people and the world – by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman.

Of course WW is joined by Army fighter pilot Steve Trevor.

Recap: Star Trek Con Day 2 – Starfleet Poodles and Cheerleaders?

I’m on way down to the convention for Day 3 so this will be short and sweet. Day 2 of the Star Trek convention gave us such goodies as a deep dive into the Phoenix Mars Lander by a pair of folks from University of Arizona that manage the Phoenix surface ops.

The rest of the day was celebrities on stage followed by a photo op with Marina Sirtis (“Counselor Troi” from ST:TNG). Celebrities included Grace Lee Whitney (“Yoeman Janice Rand”), Max Grodenchik (“Rom” from DS9), Michelle Forbes (“Ensign Ro Laren” from ST:TNG), Brent Spiner (“Data”), Marina Sirtis (“Counselor Troi”), Majel Roddenberry (“Nurse Chapel” and wife to Gene Roddenberry), Garret Wang (“Ensign Harry Kim” Voyager).

Oh, and of course, throughout the day there was lots of interaction with like minded geeks, quite a few in costume, we’ll get these pics posted asap when we can catch out breath, unfortunately the hotel’s wifi doesn’t extend to their convention center. Among my favorites is Molly in her retro mini skirt from The Original Series and my personal winner for Best Original Concept would be Michelle and Francine Crockett for their Starfleet Cheerleaders outfits! Oh Yes! 🙂

Below is a pic of Ken and his Starfleet Poodles (Tasha Yar and Data and one other who I can’t recall).

Star Trek in Sin City!

That’s right folks – Andy and I have hit town on both feet, and we’re pummeling out some awesome exclusive Star Trek shows that have kept us in our seats during the first day of "Star Trek Las Vegas 2008".  We saw a smattering of great trek stars in the main pavilion, including:

Susan Gibney – "Dr. Leah Brahms"

Barbara March – "Lursa"

Robin Curtis – "Lt. Saavik"

John Fleck – "Silik"

Denise Crosby – "Lt. Tasha Yar"

Carel Struycken – "Mr. Homn"

John de Lancie – "Q"

Each guest was fantastic, though they had their own styles of pandering to the crowd.  Although I enjoyed all the guests, the best by far was Denise, who had a clearly enjoyable time speaking to the crowd about her roles, and giving colorful and entertaining stories about her personal life and present work.  John de Lancie was a real character in life, just as he is on film as well!

That’s it for day one!  I’ll put up some pictures tomorrow of the fascinating people we’ve met so far…  QaHpla‘ !!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer!

My take: Harry Potter = The Goonies meet Bewitched. A perfect combo, this is why it’s raking in money hand over fist. But I digress…

The movie trailer is out for ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ and jeebus this looks creepy!

A young Dark Wizard emerges in this exclusive first look at moviefone. Watch the ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ trailer in HD, the movie will be out Nov 2008.

Synopsis:

Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information.

Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn’t counted on Romilda Vane’s chocolates! And then there’s Hermione, simpering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.