Art, Culture, Links

Alt/1977 to Maury Chaykin

To kick this series of oddities I find interesting off, Alex Varanese went on a serious reverse anachronism kick and took tech back to the 70s with his ALT/1977 series of false ads for electronics cool enough for both Steve Jobs and Burt Reynolds. Here’s a sample:

Comic book writer Matt Fraction had a great presentation at Comic-Con this year titled The Batman Dreams of Hieronymus Machines, where he talked about comics, his mother’s medical struggle and how that affected him, why Stilt-Man sucks so much, and how it all fits together in the grand scheme of things. It sounds like a rambling mess, I know, but trust Fraction, his work on Invincible Iron Man and Casanova are really top-notch.

Shaenon K. Garrity  has made a pretty humorous interpretation of Edward Gorey’s recorded love for Star Trek by drawing the famous “Trouble With Tribbles” episode in his style:

i09 dropped a pretty good list of advice taken  from sci-fi and fantasy books. There’s some pretty good ones from people in the comments section too, check that out.

Some of you might have seen this already, but for all the mashup/Palahniuk/Pride & Prejudice fans out there, I present to you: Jane Austen’s Fight Club:

Morgan Meis’ article on video games and the book Extra Lives is actually pretty refreshing and intelligently written. At one point the article reminded me of a line from “Little Weapon”, from Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool:

Imagine if I had to console
The families of those slain and slayed on game consoles

And I’m going to have to end it with a bit of bad news: the great character actor Maury Chaykin passed away yesterday at the age of 61. In honor of him I’m putting down a clip from A Nero Wolfe Mystery, which was a mystery program on A&E from 2001-02 taking Rex Stout’s stories and putting them on TV. Chaykin is the one playing the eponymous character sitting down:

Film, Top Fives

Top Fives Movies That Need A Sequel

Most people complain about the ridiculous measure of remakes and reboots modern movies in the last decade, but they always overlook another of the classic annoyances: the sequel. There have been hundreds of movies that have had sub-par or downright god-awful ones that some people go so far as to forget they exist (I’m looking at you, Matrix sequel denialists). However, there are some that you watch and you hope that someday, someone with a last name  not Lucas will come and continue the story. Continue reading

Culture, Links, Research, Science

Ayahuasca to Witch Trials

Now that the World Cup is over I can kick-start the dump of info I’ve been grabbing since kick-off. First up, courtesy of Mr. Warren Ellis is this article talking about an evolution of ayahuasca called changa, if you can call smoking an Amazonian hallucinogenic plant and DMT “evolution” from drinking it. Now, as a South American I do take a bit offense to some new-agers freebasing off of plants from my neck of the woods. Still, it did make me wonder if sometime in the future some psychedelic genetic engineers would try to make a one-stop shop plant that had both MAOIs and DMTs needed for the trip instead of needing two, for experimental purposes of course.

Moving on, one of my favorite Asimov stories, “The Last Question”, is up for your reading pleasure, thanks to Thrivenotes.  Check it out, and make sure to read the last line.

This one needs no details: DNA robot nanospiders. Just kidding, what that really mean is that scientists from four universities (Caltech, Columbia, Arizona State, and U of Michigan) have found a way to program DNA molecules to act much like the robots you’d make with a Lego Mindstorms set, only you know, at the nanoscale. How could they do this with such a small sort of material like DNA, you ask? Well, that’s when my good old friend DNA origami comes into play, which I mentioned in a post a while back. This is just at the proof-of-concept stage, they aren’t curing cancer or building new cells yet, but give them time. We’ll be killing ourselves with ourselves soon enough.

And to finish this off, the Central African Republic’s issues with taking witchcraft to court seems like something out of Franz Kafka and Terry Pratchett, but this is actually happening.

Links, Music

Music Overdose: Broken Social Scene to The Roots

Alright so, It’s another audio onslaught of the latest albums I’ve gotten to see if they make it to my library. For your review we have albums from a bunch of acts. Let’s start, shall we?

Broken Social SceneForgiveness Rock Record: I’m starting to think that there are times that BSS needs to go back to their more low-key instrumental  roots. The opener, “World Sick”, is a good example: it really can do without Kevin Drew’s vocals on it. Thing is, not even Emily Haine’s vocals on “Sentimental Xs”  saves the fact that most of the songs on this album sound like bloated hippie messes to me. Continue reading