Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy New Year Minus 3!

Yes, it's still 3 days away, but the Elephant Robot mothership will be moving into higher orbits during the orbital transvergence, and our communications array will not reach your planet.  So happy new year... 3 days early.

Assuming the ghosts of the Mayans don't murder you all in your sleep, we'll see you again in 2013.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Epic Batman Song

Here is a delightful lyrical adaptation of the Danny Elfman Batman theme, which gives Bill Murray's Star Wars lounge song a serious run for its money.  Warning:  it is hilarious.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Lone Ranger


If you are skeptical about the new Lone Ranger film, you are likely not alone.

However, the new trailer looks like it could actually be a good time – with a proper balance of respect for the source material, and original ideas.

What do you think?  Might this be another Pirates of the Caribbean? 


Friday, December 7, 2012

Gift for the Cold Weather Nerd

If you still have Christmas shopping to do, and are buying for nerds in colder climes, you could do worse than a severed wampa arm ice scraper.  Check it out here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dropbox: The Great Race!

If you are a user of Dropbox, and affiliated with an institution of higher education, then high thee quickly to the Space Race!  If your school gets a bunch of people signed up, you'll get yourself situated with some sweet, sweet free extra space.

And free extra space is something money can't buy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Battleground

Well, the election's over.  If you need a good catharsis, head over to Hulu to check out their stellar original series Battleground.  Sure, the aesthetic is one we're very familiar with from The Office and Parks and Rec.  But it manages to try a few new things out as well.  And anyway, that's not a bad aesthetic to aspire to.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Behold... The Black Suit of Spiderman!

There's a lot of push in iOS games for in-store purchases.  But for a well built game, they are unnecessary.  We posted a month ago about the new iOS version of The Amazing Spider-Man.  Behold the fruits of our labor, obtained through no in-app purchases!

Oh, but wait... it's the suit from Spider-Man 3... never mind, we'll quit our gloating.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Campaign - stranger than fiction

Sure, it was a movie and a comedy (and a fun one at that) but even so the ending of The Campaign seemed a little far fetched. Now, not so much.

Check out the video below, where a voting machine selects Romney when the voter selects Obama.

Oh, and by the way, Tad Romney's company installed the "software patches" on these machines.




Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Apparently this sweatshirt will not make you look like Chris Evans.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Sweatshirts

If you're looking for a comfy Halloween costume, you could do worse than these little gems:



Check them out on Amazon here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Phantom Menace Syndrome

The Star Wars prequels were a disappointment.  This is very old news.  But like any trauma, sometimes  it is therapeutic to revisit the wounds, think about where things went wrong, and imagine an alternate universe were thing went right.

Today I saw this video, about pre-production for The Phantom Menace.  What is remarkable is that in it, they show George Lucas auditioning 3 kids for Anakin.  The second one is clearly amazing, and Jake Lloyd is clearly illiterate.  And yet... and yet... and yet!!!!  

Fast forward to the 2:00 mark to see the auditions.



Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man on iOS drops to $0.99

The price just dropped for the iPad video game adaptation of The Amazing Spider-Man, so get it while you can!  While the controls are simplistic compared to the watershed X-Box version of Spider-Man 2, the graphics are gorgeous, and the game mechanics succeed in making you feel like you're the wall crawler.  Sure, the logic patrol will cite that, like the 90's Activision game, you can once again anchor webs on the sky, but if you're looking for a five-minute break to do some fun webswinging, this game can't be beat.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Adam West: Super Friend

Did you know that Adam West lent his voice to the last several seasons of Super Friends?  I sure didn't.  Amazingly, he sounds exactly the same as he does on Family Guy.

Check out a clip below:


Friday, September 21, 2012

Dirty Laundry

Tom Jane is the man.  Whether providing badass vocals to the X-Box game Gun, a brilliantly understated performance in HBO's Hung, or self-deprecating himself on Arrested Development, he is awesome at what he does.  So why does nobody appreciate that Tom Jane is the man?

Oh, right.  Maybe it was that silly Punisher movie he made.  Well.  Check out this short movie to see why, even at that, Tom Jane is the man... we just didn't known.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Bane-ify yourself

Your photoshop must be more severe.
There's a fun iPad app where you can don the mask of Batman, Bane, or Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises.

It's called Gotham's Most Wanted.  Check it out on the iTunes store here.


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Original Fantastic Four

Ever see the original Fantastic Four movie?  No?  Well, luck you.  But if you want to know what the experience of watching the movie is like, it can be pretty well summed up with this GIF:


It's shocking to think this film came out a year after Jurassic Park.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Walter White as Steve Jobs?

There's a great article on CNN today comparing Breaking Bad to Apple.  Here is a snippet:

Like Steve Jobs, Walter White's cancer awakens a panic in him to hurry up and leave a legacy through his work. In Walter's case, it's a nest egg for his wife, teenage son and unborn daughter. But let's leave aside the cancer theme, which has in more recent seasons of the show been on the back burner as Walt has been in remission. 

What makes Apple so successful? Like Walter White, it has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products. The products have been made within secretive working conditions. The skill employed to design and manufacture them tends to make what competitors put out seem like cheaper, cloudier, less effective imitations.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Perfect Cell is a Perfect iPad Game

The iPad is a tough beast to design a game for.  Most of us grew up with either the multi-key dexterity of computer games, or the intuitive hand gestures of consoles.  The limitation of the iPad - that you basically have the same range of motion available to you as an infant thrashing at a high chair - greatly limits what can be done.

But every once in a while, a game really clicks in iOS, and manages to be both fun and immersive.  Perfect Cell is such a game - which drops you into a dark sci-fi world cast as the monster, battling your way through a governmental bunker.  It's great fun, and you can check it out on the iTunes store here.

Nope, you're not the dude with the gun.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

There is no Bat-Stache

The Dark Knight Rises has been out for almost a month now... and I've seen it 3 times.  I can't even write about it, it's so good.  So epic.  So completing.  So... see?  Words fail.

This hilarious spoof of Carlie Jepson encapsulates everything that is amazing about the movie, in a gently-teasing fun loving way.  Enjoy.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Whedon returns!

Marvel issued the following press release today:

Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel's 'The Avengers 2' as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.

True Believers, rejoice!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Augment Your Life

If you haven't yet entered the world of Augmented Reality, the iOS app "Augment" is a great point of entry.  Now you can do ridiculous things like this:


Check it out at the App Store.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Terminator Salvation

Remember that Terminator movie they made with Arnold, where he was decked out as Jesus?  No?  Oh wait, that's because it's only something they SHOULD have made.  This little gem from MadTV shows what that might have looked like:


Now there's some real Terminator salvation.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Christopher Nolan responds to Aurora Tragedy

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community.

"I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime.

"The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.

"Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."

- Christopher Nolan

Friday, July 13, 2012

Spectre VR returns - on the iPad

Remember Spectre VR?  The fabulous Tron-esque tank game from the 90's?  No?  Well, then this game probably won't do much for you, as the control system on this iPad port (placed in the center of the screen) make for great frustration.



However, if you DO remember this game from the 90's, there is at least some nostalgic enjoyment to be had  You can check it out here on the iTunes store.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Christopher Nolan sketches the conclusion to the trilogy

We are 2 weeks away from the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, and more than a little bit excited up on the mother ship.  This photo was published today from the set, showing director Christopher Nolan etching some kind of chalk symbol onto a wall:


Yes, yes... we all know what that symbol is.  But what does it mean?

What I love about this photo is it encapsulates the attention to detail with which Nolan has crafted the first two installments of his Batman franchise.  I cannot wait to see what he has in store for the conclusion.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Rejected Cartoons

It grieves me that over a decade after it was nominated for an Academy Award, there are yet eyes that have not witnessed the genius of Don Hertzfeld's brilliant short animated film "Rejected."

If you possess such a pair of unexposed oculars, you would do best to press play below and enjoy some sweet, sweet dark comedy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mask of the Phantasm "Latin" Chorus



Remember Batman: Mask of the Phantasm?  The 1993 animated film that built on the success of the brilliant animated TV series?

Do you remember the cool Latin chanting at the beginning?  Did you spend hours (or perhaps days... weeks... months!) trying to decipher what the words were, in the hopes of looking them up to see what extra meaning was infused in the melody?

Well, such pursuits would have been in vain. The lyrics, as it turns out, were the names of the chorus that was singing them spelled backwards.  Composer Shirley Walker tells the story.


"As you know, the music team is rushing to the finish line as a film is in its final dub phase. Even the known orchestrators are not always given the credit they so justly deserve for insuring the timely execution (so to speak) of the score. I've become tired of fighting for credits for the support team that helps pull me through the final throes of recording and mixing my scores.


"The choir for 'Mask' gave me the opportunity to rectify this terrible situation. I made a chart by number of syllables of every music persons name backwards to use in creating the language you hear. 'Oh Nahlim Mot!', the phrase the score begins with, is Tom Milano, the music editor of most of my features, whom I originally worked with doing the Flash TV series.

"You get the idea. It was working so well, I realized that I would need to include some of the film producers and executives at Warner Bros. After all, they were paying for my little inside joke. People do like to be included in these sorts of things. I had to lie to the Warner Bros. legal department person who called to ask me what the language was and what was being said. They certainly didn't want to be a party to me saying 'screw Warner Brothers' in Danish. I told them it was an obscure nonsensical choral language that existed only in out of print orchestration books.

"I think I actually spent more time on my plot than I did on the score during the week I was preparing the choral cues. It was quite fun to see the looks on peoples faces, as they realized what they were hearing. Only two people had deciphered the puzzle by the time we recorded the choir. It was very difficult for the singers to sing the strange words. I'm sure they would have had more fun doing it, had I been able to include them in the joke too.

"While I was mixing the score, I had Bobby Fernandez (Zed-nahn-fur E-Bob) record the choir accappella onto a seperate DAT, ostensibly for my sample reel. The look on Tom's face as he began to suspect what I had done was well worth the whole deception. He finally turned to me and said "You didn't do what I think you've done, did you?".

"The rest is history. Everyone on the music team has a tape of the singing of their names (we transferred to 1/4" tape and played it backwards; the old 'back-masking' trick)."


Friday, June 15, 2012

What Song Are You Humming? This Website Will Tell You!

As I walked to work today, I had a song stuck in my head. A pleasant tune - a very Friday tune, and I found myself humming its idyllic strain for the better part of half an hour.

But what, I wondered, was the pleasant tune? While the melody had crawled out from the deep recesses of my brain, the name had not. I knew it was an older tune - a classical, light jazzy tune. But what was it?

I've heard about song recognition apps for mobile devices and smart phones. But what if I only have the song in my head? What if the only tool I have to recognize it is by humming?

Enter midomi.com.

Hum for 10 seconds, please!
This incredible site will recognize the tune you're singing, and all you have to do is hum!

As it turns out, the tune was "La Vie en Rose," a 1940's jazz ballad by Edith Piaf.  If you saw Amelie, you've heard the original.  If you've seen Wall-E, you've heard the Louis Armstrong trumpet version.

Friday, June 8, 2012

VLT (Very Large Telescope) HD Timelapse Footage

Captured by Stephane Guisard and Jose Francisco Salgado at the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile’s Atacama Desert, this timelapse footage offers a breathtaking view of the heavens, as seen from earth.


Friday, June 1, 2012

How many people are in space right now?

Have you ever been caught by the sudden crippling need to know how many human beings are in orbit above our heads at this exact second?

Thanks to the good folks over at www.howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com, that need can be satisfied!  With a simple graphical reference, you can find out immediately just many humanoids are currently in the heavens.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pixlr.com Puts Photoshop Online

Believe it or not, a free alternative to Photoshop has existed online for nearly 3 years.  3 years!  The site is called pixlr.com, and what they have put together is quite remarkable.

As you can see from this screen capture, you have all the familiar tools from Photoshop, including burning, smudging, paint bucket, gradient, eye dropper, etc.  You also have layers.  Layers!


Additionally, Pixlr has done something very cool with their pencil tool.  Unlike the simple block in Photoshop (which, as they point out in their blog, is little more than an blocky paintbrush tool).  The Pixlr pencil can be set to plain, sketchy, trail, shaded, sticky, or ink. Right clicking the mouse allows you to quickly and easily shift between harder and softer brushes, as well as larger of smaller brushes.  The sketch below was done in about two minutes using this tool:


In addition to having the ability to read Photoshop PSD files, Pixlr also lets you save work online (or downlading it) in a PXD format - essentially Pixlr's answer to a PSD file.

Even for those who have Photoshop, Pixlr provides an excellent resource when you're away from your home computer.  And even when you are at home, those running slower machines will find that for many jobs, the speed of Pixlr (which loads almost instantaneously) will be preferable to the long-loading Photoshop.


Still not convinced?  Head on over to pixlr.com to check it out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wolverine's Murasama Blade

Fans of Wolverine comic books know that he has, from time to time, wielded a Murasama blade, forged with a part of his own soul, blah blah etcetera.  Basically, it's called upon from time to time to do those pesky jobs six indestructible claws cannot.  Like this:

Sabretooth learns the hard way that discretion is the better part of valor.
Imagine my delight, then, while reading Ben Thompson's relentlessly excellent Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live that Murasama blades have a historical pedigree:

"One of Japan's greatest and most brilliant armorers, the mentally unstable Sengo Muramasa, produced powerful swords that could cut through even the thickest iron and steel with ease but were considered unlucky, violent, and incredibly bloodthirsty. These cursed blades hungered for death - if the weapon's owner failed to draw the blood of his enemies in a timely manner, the sword allegedly would drive him completely kill-crazy, forcing him to commut murder or suicide to appease the demonic spirits that haunted the weapon."

Unfortunately, whether or not an actual Murasama blade could in reality kill a self regenerating mutant remains (for the moment) untested.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kenobi Dead, Vader Says

Lord Vader announces the killing of Obi-Wan Kenobi
"CORUSCANT — Obi-Wan Kenobi, the mastermind of some of the most devastating attacks on the Galactic Empire and the most hunted man in the galaxy, was killed in a firefight with Imperial forces near Alderaan, Darth Vader announced on Sunday.

"In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the Imperial Palace, Lord Vader declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that agents of the Imperial Army and stormtroopers of the 501st Legion had finally cornered Kenobi, one of the leaders of the Jedi rebellion, who had eluded the Empire for nearly two decades. Imperial officials said Kenobi resisted and was cut down by Lord Vader's own lightsaber. He was later dumped out of an airlock."

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Assassination of Yogi Bear

 

While I never saw the new Yogi Bear movie, The Assassination of Jesse James was a masterpiece of subtlety, showcasing two superb character studies by Casey Affleck and Sam Rockwell as the Ford Brothers.

For those who saw either film, this parody is sure to delight.