Monthly Archives: July 2008

If You Love Books, You Have To Check This Site Out.

Web site BookMooch is a free community designed to make it easy and cheap to exchange books with other users. BookMooch charges nothing for swapping books – you only pay for shipping. It works on a point system, in which you get points for typing in books you want to give away and sending books to other users.  According to the site, as long as you send out one book for every two sent your way, you should stay afloat, point-wise.

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Apple Warns of Near-Term iPod Shortages – Product Refresh Could Be Soon

Apple has issued an advisement bulletin to select resellers suggesting that the company is beginning to ramp down production of current-generation iPod models, according to AppleInsider. In the advisement, Apple “strongly suggested” that resellers either bring in or place immediate orders for approximately four weeks worth of their top selling iPod models, noting that supplies of the devices would start to become extremely limited within the next week. Apple traditionally holds an iPod-focused special event in the September-October timeframe to announce new iPod models; this report is consistent with the belief that the company is planning to hold a similar event again this year. (From iLounge)

 

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Stan Lee Teams With Disney For Cross-Media Superhero Series ‘Time Jumper’

Add another one to Stan Lee’s burgeoning media empire. The co-creator of such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Hulk — is joining forces with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment to produce what the studio calls the “most ambitious digital comic book series ever designed.”

Titled “Time Jumper,” the project is set to release on numerous platforms including online, print and mobile. According to Lee, “‘Time Jumper’ is more than a typical superhero. He’s a trend-setting breakthrough across all media; a hero for today’s digital age and tomorrow’s multiplatform entertainment.”

The series will follow Terry Dixon, a secret agent for a government org known as HUNT (Heroes United, Noble and True). His secret weapon? A cell phone invented by Dixon’s father called the Articulus that doubles as a time machine.

Disney says the book “combines the traditional print look and feel, including dialogue and thought bubbles, with today’s cutting edge multimedia elements, including edgy visuals, music, voices and a fast-paced storyboard, to take a classic genre into the next dimension.”

The project is one of multiple deals for Lee. In April, his company POW Entertainment announced a partnership with Virgin Comics where Lee will write, edit and oversee a “new universe of superhero characters.” POW is also producing the CGI superhero series “Legion of 5,” in addition to a slate of direct-to-video films under the “Stan Lee Presents” banner. (From SplashPage.mtv.com)

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Cheech and Chong Reunite

Now that their feud is over, Cheech and Chong are high on plans to reunite for their first comedy tour in more than 25 years. Cheech Marin told AP Radio that he and Tommy Chong “looked at each other going, ‘If we’re ever going to do something it has to be now because you’re not getting any younger and neither am I.”‘ The duo who gained fame for their marijuana humor tossed around some ideas and figured a comedy tour would be “the most fun” and “the least hassle,” the 62-year-old Marin said. Marin and Chong, who broke up amid creative differences, have tried to reunite before, but have always fought too much. Marin laughed and said: “It takes about 3 minutes for that to happen. There’s this veiled hatred.” But he added: “We’ve kind of resolved that.” “We’ve gotten to the age where we don’t feel like fighting anymore because the end is a lot closer than the beginning,” he said.

Marin said he thinks pot humor can be as funny today as it was back in the ’70s. “I think it’s time for a revival of dope jokes. It’s a much bigger audience now, it’s much more widespread and institutionalized,” he said in an interview earlier this month. Details of the “Hey, What’s That Smell?” tour were to be announced Wednesday at a news conference in West Hollywood, California, according to concert promoter Live Nation. During their original run, Marin and Chong released nine comedy albums between 1972 and 1985, were nominated for four Grammy Awards and won one. They also starred in eight feature films, almost always portraying a pair of comical stoners stumbling through life. While Chong has continued to do standup, Marin has concentrated on films and TV appearances.

“I guess Cheech forgot how tough standup is,” Chong joked last month after Marin said they were considering reuniting. “But he’s got the incentive and the enthusiasm and he’s ready,” he said of his former partner. “My boy is back.” (From the Associated Press)

 

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Prepare For A Spider-Man Spinoff Movie: Venom

Despite being added to please fans, Venom’s treatment in Spider-Man 3 was generally very poorly received by lovers of Peter Parker’s alien nemesis. Sony may be about to atone for that mis-step with the news today that the studio is developing a spin-off for the character.Jacob Estes (Mean Creek) has already been commissioned to write a script, although The Hollywood Reporter says that Sony may decide to pass on that script and is looking at new writers. With no script in place, there’s no news on which version of Venom the movie would follow. It could be Eddie Brock (played by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3, though Grace has not been approached to reprise his role), which would require some back-pedalling given the end of of Spidey 3, or it could be one of the later characters who are overtaken by the alien symbiote. If Sony was feeling particularly daring, it could even be a woman, based on the comic book lore.
This possible movie wouldn’t replace Spider-Man 4, which Sony is still hoping to release in 2011.

The question is, if you make a movie that focuses on a beloved villain, who do you pit him against? It would be enormously surprising for Sony to put Spidey in this movie and still call it a Venom film, so who should they have him battling, other than the evil within? (From EmpireOnline.com)

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Watch Pixar’s Presto

Presto is a Pixar short shown before Wall-E.  The clever short was filmed in the classic Warner Bros. style.  It is about an elegant magician and his bunny, whose task, naturally, is to come out of a top hat at the appropriate time.   Watch Presto in its entirety here.

 

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The 75th Anniversary Issue of Esquire Will Feature An E-Paper Cover

Esquire magazine is turning 75 and is celebrating the momentous event by releasing the first magazine ever with an electronic-ink-display cover. Only 100,000 copies of the high-tech October issue are heading to newstands, since the technology is still new and expensive.

The flashy cover, which uses the same technology as the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, is powered by a special battery that will keep the display on for at least 90 days. David Granger, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, told The New York Times that the magazine has been playing with the idea of using electronic paper since 2000 until it finally became possible and hired an engineer in China to develop a battery small enough to be inserted in the magazine cover.

In a nod to the digital age, Esquire’s cover will flash the words “the 21st Century Begins Now,” and the issue will be dedicated to “exploring the ideas, people and issues that will be the foundation of the 21st century” according to Granger.

This little stunt will cost the magazine a pretty penny, which is why Ford will co-sponsor the issue by running a double-page e-ink advertisement on the back of the magazine featuring the new Ford Flex crossover vehicle.

Expect the magazine to hit newstands in mid-September and eBay shortly thereafter. Can’t wait to see the bidding war on this one.  (Reprinted from Yahoo Buzz)

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Randy Pausch’s Carnegie Mellon Commencement Speech

Professor Randy Pausch sadly passed away last week.  In May he made a surprise return to Carnegie Mellon University to deliver an inspirational speech to the Class of 2008 at the Commencement ceremony.

 

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Who Was Charley Harper

Charley Harper was a Cincinnati-based American Modernist artist. He was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations.

Born in Frenchton, West Virginia in 1922, Harper’s upbringing on his family farm influenced his work to his last days. He left his farm home to study art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and won the academy’s first Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship. While at the Academy, and supposedly on the first day, Charley met fellow artist Edie Mckee, whom he would marry shortly after graduation in 1947.

Charley and Edie spent their honeymoon traveling the country, mainly in the west and south, being able to do so because of the Stephen H. Wilder Scholarship the Academy awarded to Charley for post-graduate travels. Charley Harper returned to the Art Academy of Cincinnati as a teacher and also worked for a commercial firm before working on his own. He and his wife worked out of their Roselawn and Finneytown homes, and later, with their only child Brett Harper, formed Harper Studios.

During his career, Charley Harper illustrated numerous books, notably The Golden Book of Biology, magazines such as Ford Times, as well as many prints, posters, and other works. As his subjects are namely natural, with birds prominently featured, Charley often created works for many nature-based organizations, among them the National Park Service; Cincinnati Zoo; Cincinnati Nature Center; Hamilton County (Ohio) Park District; and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania. He also designed interpretive displays for Everglades National Park.

Charley Harper passed away on Sunday, June 10th, 2007 after contending with pneumonia for some months.

A beautiful career retrospective coffee table book entitled, “Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life” can be ordered here.

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall DVD

Universal has announced a 3-disc special edition of Forgetting Sarah Marshall which stars Kristen Bell and Jason Segal. The DVD set will include the original theatrical version of the film as well an an extended version.  The DVD specs are as follows:

 

Disc 1 (Side A): Original Theatrical Version (Feature 1)

 

• Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes

• Line-O-Rama

• Gag Reel

• “We’ve Got to Do Something” Music Video

• “Dracula’s Lament”

• “A Taste for Love”

• Raw Footage – Video Chat

• Red Band Trailer

• Rated Feature Commentary with Director Nick Stroller, Executive Producer Rodney Rothman, Producer Shauna Robertson, Writer/Star Jason Segel and Cast Members Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, and Jack McBrayer

 

Disc 1 (Side A): Extended Version (Feature 2)

 

• Extended Feature Commentary with Director Nick Stroller, Executive Producer Rodney Rothman, Producer Shauna Robertson, Writer/Star Jason Segel and Cast Members Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, and Jack McBrayer

 

Disc 2 (Side A): Bonus Disc (Feature 1)

 

• Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes

• “Dracula’s Lament” Mixed Version

• Puppet Break-Up

• Sex-O-Rama

• Drunk-O-Rama

• Russell Brand: Aldous Snow

• The Letter “U”

• Crime Scene

• Sarah’s New Show – Alts

• Raw Footage

• Video Diaries

• Auditions

• Cinemax Final Cut: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

 

Disc 3 (Side A): Bonus Disc (Feature 1)

 

You can preorder this hilarious movie here.

 

 

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