Friday, May 28, 2010

Bruce Wayne owned a futuristic soda machine at Oxford

- A little Batman humor:

- Not your father's soda vending machine:

- How many times have you seen Back to the Future?  Doesn't matter, I guarantee you never noticed this wonderful Easter egg:

- One of the most difficult academic tests you can take requires you only respond to a single word:

- A brief history of computer hacking:

- A Michigan lawmaker half-heartedly wants to pass a law to determine who can be a journalist.  I despise journalists and modern journalism.  Whether left or right, every journalist in the country is bias and no longer cares if anyone knows it.  However, passing laws that say what a journalist is and what a journalist can write is a slippery slope from which we would never return.  The first amendment is messy and upsets everyone, but nothing else can create true fairness. Hat tip to my brother for finding this article:

Monday, May 24, 2010

If Mark Twain carried a towel, he could have defeated Vader

- $120 million worth of Picasso's and Matisse's stolen from a Paris museum.  The heist sounds like it came straight from a movie:

-Mark Twain wrote an auto-biography and gave it to the University of California with specific instructions to not release his 5,000 page memoirs until 100 years after his death.  Remarkably, the university honored his request!  The 100 years is now over, and the university plans to soon release his auto-biography:

- Carry a towel with you today (May 25th.)  Trust me.  You won't be sorry.  A towel is the most useful item in the known universe:

- George Lucas once said that the original print for the first Star Wars movie (A New Hope) no longer exists.  Apparently Lucas wasn't joking:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baldwin, Martin and Kermit should host SNL together

- Not everyone should go to college.  Some economists believe that the "college for everyone" mentality actually hurts the economy:

- Last weekend Alec Baldwin tied Steve Martin for the most times hosting Saturday Night Live. Baldwin and Martin have now hosted SNL 15 times each.  To me, Martin will always be the ultimate SNL host, but I can see why Baldwin has tied Martin.  Baldwin is younger (Baldwin is 51, Martin is 64) and Baldwin does impersonations. 

Alec Baldwin first appeared on SNL in April 1990.  Baldwin's first appearance may be the strongest SNL show ever. Every sketch was clever, well-acted and full of memorable dialog.  If you can track it down, I highly recommend watching it.  This is how SNL use to be, and how SNL should be.  In the meantime, here is a link to some of Baldwin's best moments on SNL:

- Five myths you should not believe:

- Why are American federal elections always held on the first Tuesday in November?

- Are you age 30 to 45?  Besides your family and friends, very few people probably had as big an effect on your life as Jim Henson.  Henson died 20 years ago. I shutter to think about what life would have been like without Kermit and Ernie.  An excellent article about Jim Henson, and an article about six of the best peripheral muppet characters:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mr. Fantastic will help you play Warcraft forever

- I think there is a small chance you will never die from natural causes.  I think there is a very good chance your grand-children will never die from natural causes.  Articles like the following provide this kind of optimism:,2933,592668,00.html

- If you suddenly came down with a never-seen-before fatal illness, which one of the following super-scientists would you most trust to save your life?

1. Doctor Emmett Brown (Back to the Future)
2. Reed Richards (Fantastic Four)
3. Walter Bishop (Fringe)
4. Professor Roy Hinckley (Gilligan's Island)
5. Buckaroo Banzai (Across the 8th dimension)

Feel free to use the comments section to add your own super-scientist to the list.

- New programming jargon.  None of these terms are part of the official programmer vocabulary, but some of them should be:

- When World of Warcraft players get burned out (like me), which online game do they turn to next?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Iron Man villains create noisy restaurants

- I gave the original Iron Man movie an 84 out of 100.  I give Iron Man 2 a 68.  Iron Man 2 suffers from all the problems that plague most comic-book movies: too many characters, too many plot lines, bad dialog, and contrived scenes.  Allow me to partake in some proverbial nitpicking.  Spoilers ahead...

The scene where Stark gets drunk and acts like a jerk is completely in-character for Stark.  Every time Iron Man and Warmachine appear together in a comic-book, they have to fight.  The comic-book fans demand it, but the fight between the two of them in this movie was so contrived that it almost ruined the movie for me.

What's with Tony Stark and Pepper Potts talking over each other?  Iron Man 2 isn't a Robert Altman movie.  It's cute the first time they talk over each other.  Every time after that is simply annoying.

Did you notice that many of the action scenes were filmed at night?  It's not a coincidence.  When adding CGI to a scene, if the scene is dark, then the edges of the CGI animation are more difficult to detect with the naked eye. This means the animators can spend less time creating photo-realistic animations.  In other words, adding CGI to night-scenes saves money.

The whole production was rushed.  The original Iron Man movie was released in 2008.  Most comic book sequels take three years to plan and produce.  Marvel couldn't get any of their other comic-book movies ready for 2010, so they pushed through Iron Man 2.  Marvel is releasing Captain America, Thor, and Avenger movies before they do another Iron Man movie, so the next Iron Man movie wont be released until at least 2013.  With the longer time-frame, I am expecting a better product.

Oh, and one more thing.  For goodness sake Marvel, please no more tech-based bad guys in the next Iron Man movie!  A few days ago Jon Favreau stated in an interview that he would like to see Mandarin as the next Iron Man villain, so expect to see Iron Man's arch-enemy finally make an appearance in Iron Man 3.

On the topic of villains, here is my top-five list of the super-heroes who have the best menagerie of villains:
1. Batman
2. Spider-man
3. X-men
4. Fantastic Four
5. Daredevil

Iron Man's tech grounded in reality...sort of:—mostly/

- Why do the faces of most U.S. coins look left, but the Abraham Lincoln penny looks to the right?

- Why are restaurants so loud?

- A mainstream article about the new Google Chrome operating system:

- An incomplete and mostly wrong history of programming languages.  Computer scientists will find it hilarious, otherwise feel free to ignore:

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

David Cameron hides his sci-fi books in a head of lettuce.

- The nutty Brits will have an election tomorrow.  The Tories (conservatives) had a big lead several weeks ago.  Tories and the Labour party allowed a third party candidate into the debates.  The third party candidate, Nick Clegg, kicked butt in the first debate, so now the third party candidate has eaten into the Tory and Labour votes.  The Tories still have a small lead.   After tomorrow's voting, the most likely outcome will be a hung parliament, which means no political party has an outright claim to appoint the next prime minister.  From my understanding, David Cameron (leader of the Tory party) will ultimately be appointed the next prime minister, but he will have to form a coalition with a few members of the other parties to get it done.  I prefer Sky News for all of my British election info:

- Ten awesome safes to store your valuables.  #1 on this list is truly clever.  Who the heck would think to look in the crisper!?!

- The man who predicted science-fiction:

- How a cell-phone call really works:

- The seven most glaring inconsistencies in TV sitcom history. Hello!?!  Where is Chuck Cunningham on this list?