Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Black Widow Promo Poster

Hot new promo poster for Iron Man 2 of Black Widow, available at WonderCon this weekend. I'm bummed to miss it this year --reports and tweets will have to do!

Am I the only one who is a little excited about ScarJo's Black Widow? (via SuperHeroHype)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Investigation for Either Mulder & Scully or Dudes from Supernatural

Last night on Twitter, I saw reports of a "loud boom" or explosion sound in SE Portland. It wasn't clear what caused the sound when I went to bed, and it appears they still don't know. From our local KATU news:

Firefighters searched for an explosion, and found nothing in the minutes even hours after the boom rocked Portland.
We checked with the commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, Bruce Prunk. He said as far as he knows this was not military related. He said the Air Base in Portland was not running a training mission at any point Sunday night, given the weather system that is moving in. He is continuing to check, but at least confirmed this had nothing to do with any fighters from the Oregon Air National Guard.

Also, Western Air Defense – which is part of NORAD – does not show any records during this time-frame that would indicate the boom was aircraft-related.
I particularly love the image from this post:

So if we could get X-files or the Supernatural brothers (or maybe even the DEA?) on this one, I'd appreciate it. Because this seems a little, ahem, suspicious to me.

Update: Reports indicate the cause of the BOOM was a PVC pipe bomb. Sure...not suspicious at all...nothing to see here, move along.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Trailer

I'm super late in posting this, but much ado about the new Scott Pilgrim trailer released late last week among the geekopulous. I heart Michael Cera, and this looks super comic book-y, so I'm planning to see this whenever it comes out. Better get a hold of the TP's pretty quickly so I can catch up! Bad Geek Girl!

(via Comics Alliance)

Cyber What Now?

Interesting rant from Ryan Singer on Wired.com on the use of the term "cyber" in current mainstream media. I think I most commonly use this term to refer to the subgenre of scifi/fantasy, "cyberpunk," but it's currency in mainstream media and in political dialogue marches on.

How can you tell the difference between a real report about online vulnerabilities and someone who is trying to scare you about the security of the internet because they have an agenda, such as landing lucrative, secret contracts from the government?

Here’s a simple test: Count the number of times they use the adjective “cyber.” Nobody uses the word “cyber” anymore, except people trying to scare you and trying to make the internet seem scary or foreign. (Think, for instance, of the term “cyberbullying,” which is somehow much more crazy and new and in need of legislation than “online bullying.”)

When was the last time you said, “I saw this really cool video in cyberspace” or “My cyber connection is really slow today”? Of course, no one speaks like that anymore. The internet is no longer distant or foreign (though it thankfully remains beautifully weird). It’s familiar and daily. It’s the internet. It’s so ordinary, Wired.com stopped capitalizing it more than five years ago.

Need an adjective to describe something that is internet-based? Try “online.”

But when it comes to scaring senators, presidents and the nation’s citizens into believing the Chinese, the Russians or Al Qaeda are stealing all our secrets or bringing down the power grid, the internet somehow morphs back into “cyberspace.”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Upcoming Movie Trailers - Promising or Just Plain Crap?

One thing I love about going to movies in the early Spring: Summer movie previews!!!

I was hoping to see the Iron Man 2 preview, or maybe even Tron, but not this time. Prior to Repo Men on Saturday night I saw the following previews (commentary included! lucky you!):


As far as I can tell, a remake of the 1987 classic, Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 2010 rendition stars Topher Grace, Adrian Brody, Laurence Fishburne, and Alice Bragga (just saw her in Repo Men). I'm already having trouble believing Adrian Brody in an action role...

Nightmare on Elm Street

A reboot of the 1984 classic horror movie, this one starring Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach in Watchmen) as Freddy. I don't recognize any of the other actors/actresses listed in this one, except for Thomas Dekker of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I am clearly now in that next age demographic...sigh.

Clash of the Titans

The original, released in 1981, starred Sir Laurence Olivier, Ursula Andress, & Harry Hamlin - quite a cast in hindsight! I loved this movie as a kid, especially the claymation (correct spelling?) and the mechanical owl. I'm also a little biased as my name is based in Greek mythology and I've had an interest in mythos stories forever.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the new release, starring Sam Worthington (Avatar), Liam Neeson (in so many great films just go to IMDB), and Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series).


Based on the comic book by Mark Millar, this one is about Dave Lizewski, a high school student and comic book fan who makes the decision to become a super-hero even without any powers or training. Of the previews covered here, I think I'm most excited about this movie. Can't tell you why other than it seems like a geek lovefest.


An homage to the 1980's TV show, MacGyver, MacGruber is based on a Saturday Night Live skit and stars Will Forte, Kristin Wiig, & Ryan Phillippe. While I like all the actors, I can't believe there is enough of a premise here for a whole movie. However, I see that Jorma Taccone is directing -- he's part of The Lonely Island along with Andy Samberg & Akiva Golsman -- so I'll keep an open mind.

Robin Hood

I don't know what to make of this film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russll Crowe & Cate Blanchett. I generally enjoy stories pertaining to Robin of the Hood, but the preview for this one is a little too reminiscent of Gladiator for me. Also, am I the only one who thinks Russell Crowe is older than Robin should be? Crowe is 46; for some reason I feel like Robin should be a good ten years younger to pull off the reputation of an extraordinary archer and outlaw to the crown. But that's just me.

I'll be on the lookout for more Summer movie trailers soon. We should start seeing quite a few in the next couple weeks. Hooray!

Repo Men

Over the weekend, between packing and more packing, I decided I needed to up the geek quotient a bit and also get out of the house. So I went to see the new movie "Repo Men." Not to be confused with 1984's "Repo Man" (starring Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez), Repo Men stars Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Liev Schrieber. Seemed to be timely, given the vote on healthcare reform this weekend (yeah, because I totally planned that).

I liked the concept of the movie, a dystopian future where our health is improved by advances in science that create artificial organs for most every body part. But they cost a pretty penny, and if you can't pay the bill (and at 19% interest, who can?) expect to see the Repo Men at your door coming to collect their goods.

I really appreciated some of the catchy tag lines:

  • Go Ahead. Have The Cheeseburger.
  • We Encourage You To Drink Irresponsibly.
  • Bad Heart? Bad Liver? Bad Credit? No Problem!!!
I wanted to like this movie, but something fell flat for me. And in reading other's reviews I see that I wasn't the only one who had trouble with the story (to put it mildly!). The movie is gory and violent to the point of ridiculous. Other than the friendship between repo men Remy (Law) and Jake (Whitaker), the relationships between characters seemed forced and awkward. And the story resolution is a bit too predictable and thus, disappointing. (I don't want to give it away, as I know some people hate spoilers.)

I've also read comments doubting Jude Law's ability to be an action star; I thought he was "meh" in this mode, but not my favorite. Liev Schrieber has a great supporting role as a company salesman though, playing on potential client's darkest fears and encouraging them to sign the dotted line and "Do it for yourself. Do it for your family."

The movie reminded me of some older sci fi movies, but I'm having trouble remembering which ones. Total Recall? eXistenz? Both of those deal with virtual reality, so it's not quite right, but the dark side of science & technology is consistent in this movie too.

Anyway, I'd give it a B-/ C or a 6 out of 10 (did I come up with a rating system yet? I can't remember now...) depending on which kind of scale you prefer. I'd suggest waiting on this one til available on Netflix, or even on Syfy at some point in a couple years.

I'm including a couple of the posters - I liked those. Good marketing, people! Sorry the film wasn't better.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Geek Food

I love geek-related food. There are some really creative people out there doing fun things with food. I feel a little guilty about the prospect of eating it, but if I had it in front of me, I won't lie, I would scarf it right down. After at least taking a picture.

Death Star Watermelon via Laughing Squid:

QR Code cupcake via Boing Boing (you can actually scan these and it directs to Montreal Science Centre):

Super Mario cake via Rare Unlimited:

I wish I was talented enough to make this cake; I know my husband would love it for his birthday! Where's that community college schedule...

I think I might do a whole series on just this topic. I have some pics of nerdy bento boxes that I started collecting one day while surfing Google images.

Cool Stuff

Trying to catch up on a few things in the Internet-o-sphere, since I've been seriously slacking. I offer two fun posts from last week's Boing Boing and a post from Comics Alliance.

The first is a set of crayons carved into the symbols of the Chinese zodiac by artist Diem Chau. Intricate and beautiful.

Next are some t-shirts with cool iconography themes such as aliens, robots, and zombies.

Via Comics Alliance, I missed this announcement last summer but apparently Tokidoki is teaming up with Marvel to make the most ridiculously cute t-shirts, hats, and other products. My total favorite so far (must get for SDCC!):

Thor meets a Unicorn?! Cuteness. Overwhelms. Me.

Weird Al Biopic -- If Only It Were Real

Between a dearth of good material and overwhelmed with packing/moving to new digs, I've neglected my precious geek world. So, here's a bonus viral-treat for today. A new Funny-or-Die video was posted, the trailer of a supposed Weird Al biography. It's so fantastic, I can hardly contain myself!

A little additional background and Weird Al's comments posted on CNN's SciTechBlog here.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TV Renewals: Fringe

Forgot to post this one, but I'm thrilled to see that JJ Abram's sci-fi show Fringe was renewed for a 3rd season. Based on Fox's (idiotic) move of Fringe to Thursday's and weirdly interrupted schedule with American Idol results shows for like 6-7 weeks mid-season, I was worried that Fringe wouldn't make it another season. And I love this show; it's one of a few that I relish watching. So, it was a relief to see it (smartly) was renewed. Whew!

If you aren't watching it, check out Season 1. This season has been really good. Good characters (Olivia, Peter Bishop, and Walter Bishop are still my favs, though I'm quickly becoming a fan of Astrid). Strange stories, a la X-Files. What else do you need in a TV show?

There's my pitch -- take it or leave it.

Rest in Peace, Corey Haim

Hollywood isn't kind to it's child stars. Back in the early 80's, Corey Haim had so much potential as a tween/teen star. For a brief moment, it seemed like he was everywhere. Huge pictures of Corey (often with pal Corey Feldman) graced the covers of magazines like Tiger Beat and Seventeen. But Corey also grew up with some problems, including a recurring drug habit (I think I read he went to rehab about 15 times). So, while not really surprising, Corey Haim passed away, from an apparent drug overdose. Sad.

I choose to remember him in the role I loved most, as Sam from the movie The Lost Boys (allllll the way back in 1987). Fun fact: the shots in the "comic book store" were filmed in the old location of Atlantis Fantasyworld in Santa Cruz, CA (where I worked throughout college).

Peace out, Corey.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's Just Not Logical, Captain

I'm not sure what to make of this post from TechCrunch, regarding William Shatner's partnership with Myouterspace.com. Apparently, this social networking site is for "sci-fi geeks, gamers, animators, writers, and actors."

On the one hand, was anyone looking for another social networking site? But, this appears to be more of a "crowdsourcing" avenue for what potentially could be cool and/or interesting sci-fi and geek projects. I can get behind that, I suppose. Maybe I'll have to go check it out...which I guess means the advertising buzz is working? It's true -- I'm a sucka.

Amigurumi = Cute!

Thanks to good ol' Wikipedia, I learned what "amigurumi" means, other than ridiculously cute.

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll.

There were two BoingBoing posts this week featuring nerd-inspired arigurumi, both inciting me to "Awwwww" at my monitor. That's how I know they are good. I also am reminded that I need to start knitting and/or crocheting again. Maybe after I move. And start volunteering. And learn how to race a dragonboat. You see where this is going. Sigh...

Anyway, enjoy some cute toys.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Computer History Museum

If you haven't had a chance to go to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA and you are a big geek/nerd like me, I suggest you check it out. It's worth a couple of hours to explore the history of modern computing. And it might make you appreciate all this wonderful technology we have at our finger tips. Or at least stop swearing at it so much. Although I'm still skeptical as to why I'm not living in the Star Trek future I was counting on. Anyway, check out the CHM here.

If you were curious, on this day in computing history:

March 1, 1960

John McCarthy's LISP Programmer's Manual Released

The first LISP Programmer's Manual is released. Considered the mother tongue of Artificial Intelligence (AI), LISP is older than most other high-level languages still in use today. Its inventor, John McCarthy, created the recursive and symbolic language.

There. Now you've also learned something. You're welcome.