Monthly Archives: May 2010

Friday Five: Serious time killers

This Friday’s offerings are going to be short and sweet, since we have Monday off, but there’s still a paper that needs putting out, so we have to get it all done today. Man, it takes a lot of extra work just to get a day off sometimes.

Floor plan may or may not be to scale, depending on date and spacial location.

1. Tardis blueprints

The Doctor’s Tardis, being bigger on the inside, is, of course, boundless, but one Doctor Who fan attempted to map at least a portion of it in a gorgeous and imaginative manual titled “A Partial Map of Your TARDIS (Subject to Change).” You have to see it to believe it.

Source: Tor.com

2. Bizarre Websites On Which You Can Kill Time With Style

Seriously, if you’re as busy as we are today, don’t go to this site. Definitly do NOT check out Record Tripping. Definitely do NOT play with the Ball Pool. And if you want to get any work done at all, stay AWAY from Flame.

Source: Smashing Magazine

3. Rediscovering Back to the Future

Sometimes, rewatching old movies or TV shows lets you see details you never noticed before. And sometimes you need the Internet to show you details you never noticed before, but should have, because it’s amazingly cool. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never noticed this detail in Back to the Future. I hadn’t either, and neither did most of my Twitter feed.

Source: joblocom on Twitpic

4. Amazing sand painting

Have some tissues handy before you watch this. Kseniya Simonova won the Ukraine version of “America’s Got Talent” by using a light box, music and sand to show the German occupation of the Ukraine during World War II. I can’t understand the words, but the emotion comes through loud and clear.

Source: LeyteGroup on YouTube, via @QuietRumbling

5. Iron Baby

Like Iron Man? Like babies? Then you’ll love Iron Baby! She’s kicking bunny ass and taking names and does it all before nap time. Hmm, wonder where I could get one of those baby Iron Man suits for my nephew…

Source: PatrickBoivin on YouTube, via @gkbts

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

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An obituary for ‘Lost’

‘Lost’

Sept. 22, 2004 — May 23, 2010

“Lost,” age six seasons, passed away with dignity on the evening of May 23, 2010. Memorial services were held a half hour later on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with Jimmy Kimmel officiating. Special music was performed by Michael Giacchino. There will be no burial as its body of work has been donated to the Internet for extensive study.

Born Sept. 22, 2004, “Lost” was the brainchild of Damon Lindelof, J. J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber and Carlton Cuse, et al., all of whom survive, unlike most of their characters.

“Lost” has captivated, confused, irritated and infuriated millions of viewers the world over. We, its family of fans, have laughed with Hurley; loved with Jin and Sun; contemplated life, the universe and everything with Jack and Locke; hated on Kate; and drooled over shirtless Sawyer. We’ve flashed back, flashed forward and even flashed sideways, but unfortunately, never flashed by Sayid. (Drat.) We’ve been thrown for loops, made speechless, gasped in shock and blown away (but not literally, like Arzt and Ilana).

“Lost” leaves a legacy of life lessons: live together, die alone; it’s never too late for a second chance; no man (or woman) is an island; DUI charges will get you killed off; never mess with unstable dynamite.

In addition to its creators, “Lost” is survived by Elizabeth Mitchell of “V,” Ian Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries,” Daniel Dae Kim of “Hawaii 5-O,” sibling series “Fringe,” also created by Abrams, and the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

It was preceded in death by the Dharma Initiative, most of the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815, a host of Others, Jacob, the Man in Black, “Felicity” and “Alias.”

In lieu of flowers, the producers ask that memorial donations be made in the form of DVD preorders.

ABC Studios was in charge of the arrangements.

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Quick Take: ‘Lost’

It's not a good-bye. It's a see you later.

WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILDER FOR THE “LOST” FINALE!!

I had to get this all down before I went to sleep. This is my quick take on the finale of “Lost.”

“Lost” was Jack’s story. It wasn’t about the island, it was about Jack and the people he came into contact with. Which is why we didn’t get any answers as to what the island really was. Because that didn’t matter. It was about redemption, which everyone on Oceanic Flight 815 needed. So when Jack found redemption, and he died, that was the end of the story.

The island was real. Everything that happened there, happened. Sideways world was a staging area for the Losties after they died. It didn’t matter when they died. In season 1 or years from now as old men and women, when they died, they all collectively went to this waiting area because they were all so closely bound in life. Death is a little bumpy, so they needed to help each other remember so they could all move on as a family.

Even though really none of the mysteries of the island were solved, I am at peace with the show and am pleased with the ending.

Though I do wish it weren’t over.

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Friday Five: Making up for ‘Lost’ time

A combination of an unexpected day off, a little bit of sickness and some bad thunderstorms kept me offline last Friday, and I apologize for the lack of post, because I know it’s the most eagerly anticipated post of the week (I actually managed to type that with a straight face). So to make up for skipping a week, I’m giving you a double dose of the Friday Five, because there were so many cool things to be found on the Internets the past couple of weeks. I should warn you, due to the “Lost” finale airing this coming Sunday, this will be a “Lost”-heavy post.

1. Google celebrates Pac-Man

Before delving into the “Lost” goodies, we have a couple of anniversaries to celebrate. The first is Pac-Man, who debuted 30 years ago this weekend. To mark the occasion, Google changed its logo accordingly. However, what makes this logo stand above the rest is the fact that the logo is an actual Pac-Man game you can play. As if we needed more proof as to how awesome Google actually is.

Source: Google

2. The Empire Strikes Back — 1950s-style

Another icon is also celebrating its 30th anniversary. On this day in 1980, The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters. It was the first live-action movie I ever saw and I can still remember it, even though I was not quite 4 years old at the time. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this “premake” trailer for a 1950s version of The Empire Strikes Back “in the astonishing realism of 3 dimension!”

Source: Wired

Artwork by Mattias Adolfsson

Laugh not, or your ass, kick it I will.

3. If it’s not Baroque…

In other Star Wars news, check out these amazing artworks of a Baroque-style Star Wars universe by Mattias Adolfsson. Some people are just so damn talented and I am insanely jealous. But I’m glad they exist because… well, wow.

Source: Behance Network

4. “Lost” finale sitcom version

“Lost” finally ends this Sunday. I’m actually rather heartbroken over this, even though the show and I have been in a love-hate relationship since season three. I’m nervous and excited as to what the final episode will bring. At least it won’t end like a clichéd-filled sitcom… hopefully.

Source: Huffington Post

5. Previously on “Lost”

If you’re anything like me, you may have some trouble remembering everything that happened in the previous five seasons of “Lost.” Not to worry. If you have a few minutes to spare before the finale, check out this duo’s recap of all five seasons of “Lost” in five minutes flat.

Source: handsomeleroy on YouTube

6. “I’ll Never Be Lost Again”

I am not a fan of hip-hop music, but this hip-hop/R&B anthem actually had me in tears by the end. I’m really going to miss this damn, frustrating show.

Source: njusticeleague on YouTube

7. Doctor Hoo

As you probably know, I am a huge, huge fan of “Doctor Who.” And as you can probably imagine, I squealed like a school girl when I saw this amazing piece of art of all 11 doctors drawn as owls. I really wish I had a print of this to hang on my wall above my toy Tardis!

Source: pu-sama on deviantART

8. MOAR DOCTOR!

When I heard that a Doctor Who stage tour was kicking off in London in the fall, it almost made me wish the U.S. had lost the War of Independence over 230 years ago, because I really, really want to see this, but I am poor and my passport is expired. Woe.

Source: NOW magazine

9. Total Recall: The Musical

I am pretty convinced that you could add the words “The Musical” to anything and I’ll love it. (Hmm, maybe not “Twlight: The Musical.”) Take a look at how Total Recall was meant to be seen, complete with emo-Arnold lyrics.

Source: Huffington Post

10. Aussie ninjas to the rescue!

In the age-old battle of pirate vs. ninja, I come down strongly on the side of pirate. But I’ll give ninja props for rescuing a German medical student in Sydney. I don’t know about the muggers, but if I saw five ninjas running at me, I wouldn’t get very far since I’d be crapping my pants out of fear. Rock on, Aussie ninjas!

Source: Huffington Post

And so ends my double dose of Web goodies. Hope you enjoyed them. I’m sure I’ll be back next week to discuss what I think happened… or didn’t happen… or what might have happened… on the final episode of “Lost.” That is, if my brain hasn’t gone into total existential meltdown by then.

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I don’t need all the answers on ‘Lost’

“It’s very stressful being an Other, Jack.” — Juliet Burke, “The Other Woman”

Oh, Juliet. If you think being an Other is stressful, try being a member of the viewing audience. For six long seasons, we’ve laughed, cried, scratched our heads and been utterly, well, lost with “Lost.” But the long journey both the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 and we as an audience have endured will finally be over this Sunday, when the two and a half hour finale airs on ABC.

Make all the jokes you want, I'm still going to miss seeing shirtless Sawyer on my TV every week.

When “Lost” premiered in 2004, it earned a ratings record with 18.6 million viewers. It was also the most expensive television pilot ever made, which probably helped draw in many of those viewers. I was not one of them. I don’t remember the reason why I did not watch the pilot episode, but I heard so much about it the day after it aired and of the next two episodes, I decided to give it a go when ABC aired a mini-marathon a couple of weeks later.

I was hooked. Plane crashes, polar bears, underground hatches, a monster in the jungle, and a ragtag band of survivors who were all mysteriously connected lured me in and caught me hook, line and sinker. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. And I loved every minute of it. For the first season at least.

But serial programs take commitment. And with a plot with more twists and turns than a back mountain road, trying to keep up with “Lost” became something of a chore by the time season four rolled around. The writers’ strike didn’t help either and I think “Lost” lost a little bit of its magic after having such a long hiatus between seasons three and four. There came a point where there were just too many characters and two many subplots to keep up with. Thank goodness for the Internet and for fans more dedicated than I. Without them, I don’t know if I could have kept watching.

By season five, the show was really starting to drag. I almost gave up on it, but knowing that the show only had one season left made me keep watching. I had invested way too much time and brain power to give up so close to the end. And I’m glad I didn’t. Because the final season has been spectacular. It may be because we know it’s ending that we tune in eagerly every week now and secretly wish it wouldn’t end, despite the disappointment of earlier seasons.

And now, after six long years, “Lost” fans the world over will tune in this Sunday to see how it all ends — and hopefully get some answers in the process. The mysteries of the island were what kept many of us tuning in year after year, and many of those mysteries have been explained, or half-explained, this season. Of course, in those explanations, more questions are raised, but it wouldn’t be “Lost” otherwise.

There have been many, many blog posts this season listing all the unanswered questions that have yet to be answered, and while I have a few myself, I’ve resolved myself to not be disappointed in the ending. Not every question needs an answer. I don’t need to know what, exactly, the golden light at the heart of the island is. I can live without knowing why women can’t give birth on the island. I even don’t really know why the numbers are so important. I accept the fact that the island is a place where mysterious things happen. I accept the allegorical good vs. evil plot. I accept that many things won’t be explained.

I know that the final episode won’t please many of the hardcore fans because of all the questions it won’t answer. But personally, I’m not worried about that. The most I’m hoping for is a satisfying ending to a show that has left me lost and confused and loving almost every minute of it. I will be unplugging the telephone Sunday night so I can sit back and enjoy the final episode without interruption, hoping the creators of “Lost” end this phenomenon in a satisfying manner that doesn’t involve one of the characters waking up in bed at the end with Suzanne Pleshette.

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Habla ingles?

Oh here I go, getting political again. My apologies. But I saw something on the news this past week that pissed me off.

A barbecue restaurant in Oliver Springs has decided to use their sign for political statements instead of advertising the latest dinner special. The sign reads, “We believe in God. Speak English. Love our country. If not, leave.”

Give me your tired, your poor, but only if they speak English...

Now, if that wasn’t bad enough, what really ticked me off about this jerk, Tom Evans, was his statement to the camera as he stood in front of his sign, “We’ve got the greatest country in the world. All these people come from somewhere else. We didn’t ask them to come. And it’s not singling out Latinos or anybody. If you don’t like it here, just leave. Don’t change our country.”

Well gee, Mr. Evans. I’m sure the Native Americans didn’t ask our European ancestors to come into their country and change it either.

Evans continued, “If you come to America, you should be American.”

…huh?

I do agree that those seeking to live in the United States need to seek legal avenues in order to do so. But just because someone immigrates to the U.S. doesn’t mean they’re automatically integrated into American culture and language.

That comment made me really incensed for my mom, who has lived here for nearly 41 years, never been in trouble with the law, worked diligently in her job and paid her taxes… and she is not an American citizen. She doesn’t have to be an American citizen if she does not want to. She is here legally. She loves America. But she doesn’t have to be a citizen.

Evans also said, “I’m tired of picking up a can of something and having to read my side.”

Aw, I’m so sorry that you have to take 5 seconds out of your day to find the English bit on the side of a box or to press 1 on the telephone. It must be such a hardship.

Maybe it’s just me. But seeing things written in English and in Spanish (and occasionally French) does not bother me. I like languages. I challenge myself sometimes to read the Spanish side on a product to see if I can understand it, even though I never took Spanish in school. I rather wish I had.

I have to wonder if Mr. Evans is one of those people who would complain bitterly if he traveled outside of America and nothing was written in English. I know I was quite pleasantly surprised to see how much English there was in Japan. I think I would have been lost if the Japanese hadn’t been so welcoming.

The beauty of America is that we don’t have a national language. It should show that we’re a country who welcomes people of all nationalities, whether as residents or as visitors. But it seems like our culture is becoming more and more xenophobic, to the point of near-rabid hatred to anything or anyone who is different.

I think it would be in the best interest for those moving here to learn English, but that takes time and resources and English isn’t the easiest language to learn. It’s not instant potatoes. Folks still have to be able to live and function and if having instructions to a product written in two different languages on the packaging makes life a little easier for those who have taken this giant leap of faith by moving to a foreign country, then I don’t mind a bit.

I thought we were supposed to love our neighbors, not belittle and scorn them.

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Culture Wars: Hardee’s vs. the grilled cheese sandwich

Actual conversation between the assistant editor and myself, 'CSI: Miami' style.

Culture wars can get ugly. I try, for the most part, to stay out of them. But I don’t always succeed. Sometimes, one of these hot-button issues will irritate me so much that I just have to speak out and stand up for the underdog.

Just what does Hardee’s have against guys who like grilled cheese sandwiches anyway?

Perhaps you have seen the fast food chain’s recent attack ads against ordinary guys who just want to eat a simple grilled cheese sandwich. In it, four friends sit around a table in a restaurant. Three of them order what I assume to be “manly” meals of giant burgers and fries while their friend has to order off the kids’ menu in order to satisfy his craving for gooey cheese on toasted bread. The waitress in the commercial doesn’t help this poor guy’s reputation when she offers him crayons and a coloring book to go with his sandwich. He gets heckled by his friends and given looks of contempt from the hot girls in the booth next to them.

Hardee’s solution for “guys who like grilled cheese but hate ordering off the kids’ menu” is the Grilled Cheese Bacon Thickburger.

Now, stop me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t adding bacon and huge slab of grilled beef to a grilled cheese sandwich make it no longer a grilled cheese sandwich? Doesn’t it then make the grilled cheese sandwich a bacon cheeseburger? If I wanted a bacon cheeseburger, I’d order a bacon cheeseburger. But when I want grilled cheese, there had better be nothing to that sandwich besides two pieces of bread and hot, gooey, melted cheese.

But, to be fair, I’m not a guy. Ordering a grilled cheese sandwich — or anything off the kids’ menu for that matter — does not make me feel less of a woman than ordering a big honkin’ thickburger. Perhaps guys do need that extra ego boost. Perhaps they do suffer from a secret, forbidden longing for grilled cheese, but because they don’t want to be mocked like the poor fellow from the Hardee’s commercial, they’ll order any kind of meat on their cheesy sandwich. I cannot know from experience. So I asked my co-worker, Gary Nelson, if he felt at all emasculated by the grilled cheese sandwich.

“No. Absolutely not,” was his emphatic reply. Sometimes, a grilled cheese sandwich is just what he wants — one without a big, fat burger and bacon on it. And ordering from the kids’ menu? It’s something he does all the time at Cracker Barrel, a restaurant that boasts a kids’ menu for “kids of all ages.”

Of course, asking one guy his opinion on the grilled cheese doesn’t make for a scientific poll, but I do know for a fact that my brother and my nephew love grilled cheese sandwiches. Granted, my nephew is only 2 years old, and grilled sandwiches are practically the only thing he eats, but even at 2, he knows the difference between “grilled cheese” and “burger cheese,” as he calls them.

Still, if there are any guys out there who love grilled cheese sandwiches, but don’t feel they are a masculine enough food choice (and for some reason can’t be bothered to order a bacon cheeseburger), I recommend a restaurant in Atlanta called Vortex. Order the “Double Bypass Burger.” You’ll get a half-pound sirloin patty topped with two fried eggs, six slices of cheese and eight slices of bacon, all sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches in place of a bun. You’ll be able to have your grilled cheese and feel like a manly man — right before you keel over from a heart attack.

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