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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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer

Warner Bros. Pictures has revealed the new teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, hitting conventional theaters and IMAX on November 21! Directed by David Yates from a script by Steven Kloves, the anticipated sixth installment stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, David Bradley, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Natalia Tena, Julie Walters, David Thewlis, Evanna Lynch, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright, Jim Broadbent, Helen McCrory, Jessie Cave, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Frank Dillane.

 

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Objectified

Objectified, is the forthcoming documentary feature about industrial design by Gary Hustwit. It’s about the manufactured objects we surround ourselves with, and the people who make them. It’s about the world of creativity behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets, featuring some of the world’s most influential industrial designers including Jonathan Ive (Apple, California), Chris Bangle (BMW Group, Munich) and Dieter Rams (Kronberg, Germany) amongst many others. Find out more at the official film site here.

 

Premiering early 2009 and sounds good already!

 

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A $36,000 Pair of Jeans?

A pair of jeans found in a mine in the Mojave is going for big bucks on eBay. Bidding closed at $36,000 for the candle-wax-splattered but otherwise intact pair of 201 Levi jeans.  You can read more about the pants and see the final bid here.

 

1890's Levis

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You Can Watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog For Free Here

 

If you did not watch this already, you can watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog for free here.

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My New Favorite TV Show: Mad Men

I know that I am a season behind and I am trying to catch up but my new favorite show is Mad Men.

Set in 1960s New York, the sexy, stylized and provocative AMC drama Mad Men follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.

Created, executive produced and written by Weiner, this drama series stars Jon Hamm (We Were Soldiers), Elisabeth Moss (The West Wing), Vincent Kartheiser (Angel), John Slattery (Desperate Housewives), Christina Hendricks (Kevin Hill), and January Jones (We Are Marshall) along with guest star (and stage/screen legend) Robert Morse (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying). Michael Gladis (Third Watch), Aaron Staton (The Nanny Diaries), Rich Sommer (The Devil Wears Prada), and Bryan Batt (La Cage Aux Folles”) round out the cast.

The Premise: The series revolves around the conflicted world of Don Draper (Hamm), the biggest ad man (and ladies man) in the business, and his colleagues at the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. As Don makes the plays in the boardroom and the bedroom, he struggles to stay a step ahead of the rapidly changing times and the young executives nipping at his heels. The series also depicts authentically the roles of men and women in this era while exploring the true human nature beneath the guise of 1960s traditional family values.

Mad Men depicts the society and culture of the early 1960s, highlighting cigarette smoking, drinking (alcoholic beverages), sexism, and racial bias as examples of how that era, not so long ago, was so radically different from the present

You can watch Season One via On Demand with your local cable company or purchase the DVD here (The clever packaging can be seen below). Season 2 began on Sunday July 27 at 10PM on AMC.

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Jim Mullan’s Fantastic Bird Sculptures

Jim Mullan was inspired by his fascination with birds and antique objects. The crows were used as hunting decoys in the 30’s and 40’s and the smaller birds were carved in the 1950’s. The original decoys were passed on to Jim in 1991 and just recently he has turned each one into an eclectic one of a kind piece of art. You can see Jim’s lively sense of humor in each one of his creations.

Jim begins by hand painting each bird and then adds a variety of vintage pieces when creating his sculptures. The unusual relic’s he uses, such as, croquet balls, binoculars and old toys give each inspiring bird his own personality. Objects that were cast aside as useless are used in his designs to demonstrate the fragile balance between nature and industry.

The birds give life to the once forgotten pieces of yesterday. We invite the observer to find warmth, history, and humor in each and every bird sculpture.


You can find retail outlets that sell Mullanium birds HERE.





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Lego Album Covers

Please click here to see 20 album covers recreated in LEGO.

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Amazing Auditory Illusion

Here is a terrific auditory illusion called a Shepard Scale. Listen to the video, then replay it. Again. And again. And again.

From Wikipedia: A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upwards or downwards, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower.

 

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Richard Branson Unveils Space Tourism Craft Today

British tycoon Richard Branson unveiled a futuristic aircraft today that will ferry tourists to the edge of heaven as part of Virgin Galactic’s much-anticipated space program.

The aircraft — WhiteKnightTwo — was rolled out for invited guests and media at an early morning ceremony in the Mojave desert, north of Los Angeles, at the headquarters of aerospace firm Scaled Composites.

The high-altitude aircraft, also named “Eve” in honor of Branson’s mother, will act as the mothership for the spacecraft Spaceship Two, which in turn will launch in midair and send two crew and six passengers hurtling into space.

The first flights of WhiteKnightTwo are expected to take place later this year, with Spaceship Two being attached for a maiden flight sometime in 2009.

Virgin Galactic is hoping to send its first paying customers into suborbital space some 110 kilometers (70 miles) above the earth in 2010. The company has said more than more than 200 passengers have already signed up for the first flights, which will cost 200,000 dollars each.

“The rollout of WhiteKnightTwo takes the Virgin Galactic vision to the next level and continues to provide tangible evidence that this most ambitious of projects is not only for real but is making tremendous progress towards our goal of safe commercial operation,” Branson said in a statement.

Branson said the decision to name the launch vehicle after his mother reflected the pioneering spirit of his space tourism venture.

“We are naming it ‘Eve’ after my mother, Eve Branson, but also because it represents a first and a new beginning, the chance for our ever growing group of future astronauts and other scientists to see our world in a completely new light,” Branson added.

In an interview with CNN, Branson later said that he and members of his family would be among the first wave of space travelers, and admitted he expected to be nervous at take-off.

“I’m going up myself, and I’m sure my stomach is going to turn, my children, my parents are going up,” Branson said.

“There’s going to be an element of nervousness, but it will be I think the journey of a lifetime .. So, you know, you’ve got to have a little bit of nervousness. It’s natural.”

WhiteKnightTwo boasts a wingspan 140 feet (43 meters) and is the world’s largest carbon composite aircraft, Virgin Galactic said.

With a maximum altitude of more than 50,000 feet (15,240 meters), the twin-fuselage craft will be able to support up to four daily spaceflights, the company added.

WhiteKnightTwo was designed and built by Scaled Composites, a California-based aerospace company run by engineer Burt Rutan.

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Episode 1 of Stephen King’s N. is Now Available

Episode 1 Stephen King’s N. is now out. You can check it out here.

 

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Post-it Note Art

The Post-it note, invented by Spencer Silver and Arthur Fry is a piece of small stationary with a re-adherable strip of adhesive on the back. This widely popular product is often used for temporarily attaching notes to documents, computer displays, and so forth. However, for some, these “sticky notes” have other more creative uses.

Here are some delightfully sticky and creative art projects people have come up with using Post-it notes.

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George Lucas on a Fifth Indiana Jones

With Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull having earned a massive $743.7 million worldwide (#27 on the all-time worldwide list), The Sunday Times asked George Lucas if he, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford would be up for a fifth film:

“We were hoping for box-office figures like that, which is, ultimately, with inflation, what the others have done, within 10%,” Lucas explains. “So, we squeaked up there. Really, though, it was a challenge getting the story together and getting everybody to agree on it. Indiana Jones only becomes complicated when you have another two people saying ‘I want it this way’ and ‘I want it that way’, whereas, when I first did Jones, I just said, ‘We’ll do it this way’ — and that was much easier. But now I have to accommodate everybody, because they are all big, successful guys, too, so it’s a little hard on a practical level.

“If I can come up with another idea that they like, we’ll do another. Really, with the last one, Steven wasn’t that enthusiastic. I was trying to persuade him. But now Steve is more amenable to doing another one. Yet we still have the issues about the direction we’d like to take. I’m in the future; Steven’s in the past. He’s trying to drag it back to the way they were, I’m trying to push it to a whole different place. So, still we have a sort of tension. This recent one came out of that. It’s kind of a hybrid of our own two ideas, so we’ll see where we are able to take the next one.” (From ComingSoon.net)

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The Dark Knight Reaches a Record $314.2M in 10 Days!

Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Dark Knight earned an estimated $75.6 million from 4,366 theaters in its second weekend, surpassing Shrek 2’s $72.2 million for biggest second weekend ever. Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins follow-up has reached $314.2 million in just 10 days, another record. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest held the previous record in the amount of days it took to cross the $300 million mark – it needed 16 days to do so. On Monday, The Dark Knight will surpass Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to become the biggest movie of 2008 domestically. It is already up to #23 on the all-time domestic blockbuster list and has a good shot at surpassing Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’s $460.998 million (not counting inflation) to become the second-biggest domestic earner of all-time, trailing only Titanic’s $600.788 million. The Dark Knight, budgeted at $185 million, stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.

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Stephen King’s ‘Bag of Bones: 10th Anniversary’ Edition

Stephen King’s Bag of Bones is being released in a special 10 year anniversary trade paperback. This special, low-priced 10th-anniversary trade paperback edition of Bag of Bones, features bonus text from Stephen King and is only available for a limited time. It’s his most gripping and unforgettable novel–a No. 1 bestseller around the world and to this day Scribner’s bestselling King title–a tale of grief, of love’s enduring bonds, and of haunting secrets of the past. The anniversary edition includes a Q&A with King where he talks about ghosts, secrets and being alive. It’s being released on October 21.

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Six New Posters for Watchmen Recreate Comic Book Covers

Watchmen fans at Comic-Con got treated to six new versions of the movie poster, complete with font and layout that imitate the US cover of the book. This is a yet another example of Zach Snyder’s slavish devotion to the original book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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