Daily Archives: October 16, 2008

Work Is A Pleasure In Tomorrow’s Office

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Work stations with a built-in treadmill and portable meeting rooms are just some of the developments that may become commonplace in the offices of the future.

Workplace technology has changed dramatically in recent years and the offices we work in are finally set to catch up. The advent of laptops, wi-fi and BlackBerries means that high-tech workers are no longer tethered to their desks, and the office of the future will be designed to let workers roam.

Dutch designer Michiel van der Kley has come up with Globus, a stylish spherical “podule” that looks like a piece of art, but is actually a mobile work station. Open it up, take a seat, switch on your laptop and you’re good to go. If you need to see a colleague you can take your laptop with you and talk shop sat at a ScooterDesk, an ultra-mobile mini work station by Belgian design firm Utilia. See what the offices of tomorrow will look like HERE.

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A Sneak Peak At DC Comics ‘Joker’

To most everyone who saw “The Dark Knight” this summer — and by now, who didn’t see “The Dark Knight” — whether you liked the story or not, one thing darn-near everyone agrees on is Heath Ledger not only stole the show, but managed to completely transform the character of the Joker to a point where Hollywood will be hard pressed to find a suitable replacement should the character factor into future “Batman” films.

And now, DC Comics has delivered an original graphic novel that does for the comic book Joker what Ledger did for the films. Writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo’s “Joker” — which hits shelves October 29 — paints the “Clown Prince of Crime” as a sadistic, unpredictable and absurdly violent psychopath, or in other words, exactly the way the character should be portrayed. And while the story takes place well-outside the realm of Christopher Nolan’s vision of Gotham City, if you liked “The Dark Knight,” “Joker” is a must-have for your bookshelf.

Check out the sneak peek of the book below and see for yourself.

The story — narrated through the voice of one of the Joker’s recently-hired goons — follows the just-released-from-Arkham Asylum villain as he seeks to reclaim his rightful spot at the top of Gotham criminal hierarchy by any means necessary. In order to get to that spot again, he’ll have to face the rest of Gotham’s top dogs — including Two-Face, The Riddler, Killer Croc and the Penguin. (From the MTV Splash Page)

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Tim Burton Talks About Johnny Depp, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘The Dark Knight’

I got Tim Burton on the phone the other day while he was on the set of “Alice in Wonderland” and I had to admit right off the bat that I was surprised that, with the filming just underway, he was taking the time to chat. “Yeah, well, me too,” he said in his droll deadpan, and I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or apologize and hang up. Then he let me off the hook. “Actually,” he said in a sunnier voice, “we’re just about to get going so we’ll see how things go. Good, I hope.”

 

I’m guessing things will go quite well for the 50-year-old filmmaker, who seems like the ideal auteur to bring Lewis Carroll’s surreal 1865 classic “Alice‘s Adventures in Wonderland” to the screen for a 21st century audience.

 

 

Young Aussie Mia Wasikowska will be Burton’s Alice, while Johnny Depp is the inspired choice to play the Mad Hatter.

 

I told Burton that it seems as if Depp approaches his acting choices the same way a gleeful kid rummages through a trunk of dress-up clothes. The filmmaker let out a loud laugh. “It’s true. Yeah we have a big dress-up clothes trunk here. We take it with us wherever we go.”

 

More on a Depp and “Alice” in a moment, but first:  This Saturday night Burton will be at the Scream 2008 Awards at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, an event that in just its third year has become a signature event in sci-fi, comics, fantasy and, yes, horror, which was is its original mandate but is now just part of its genre cocktail. Burton is getting something called the Immortal Award and the Scream people boldly say that Burton has “contributed more to the genres of fantasy, sci-fi and horror than any other filmmaker of his generation,” and there’s certainly an argument to make that they are completely right. “Batman,” “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Ed Wood,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas“…the list just goes on and on. Burton’s film visuals — a sort of cemetery cabaret ethos — have put him on an short list (Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Woody Allen spring to mind) of filmmakers who have such distinctive on-screen traits that they become evocative brand names to even casual filmgoers.

 

Burton will be making quite the dramatic entrance on Saturday (which you can see yourself when the show airs on Spike TV on Oct. 21) but he has a reputation as a fairly shy fellow. I asked him if he was looking forward to the trophy night or dreading it.

 

“I haven’t been to the event but I’ve seen a bit on TV and it looks quite fun, you know, which in itself is different from most of these kinds of shows. It looks like a nice big Halloween party, which is always good. It seems like all the type of people that nobody liked in school all getting together for a nice big party. A prom for the kids that didn’t go to prom.”

 

I told Burton that, for the night, the venue should change its sign to read ‘The Geek Theatre’ and he laughed again. “That’s very good! I like that. I can’t use, that, I can’t take credit for that.” He said he had a better way to sum up the geek and Goth crowd that will attend: “We’re all the people on the yearbook pages devoted to “the most likely to disappear before the semester ends and no one will notice…”

 

Burton was making “Batman” films when the cape genre was still viewed as a campy ghetto by serious Hollywood creators, so it must be interesting for him to watch the fringe entertainment move so squarely to the center of mainstream film and to finally do so with respectable reviews. “It is a different time now, yes. It’s strange to me. At the time back in school when everybody tortured you, it didn’t seem quite the same. It wasn’t fashionable then. It didn’t seem viable and vibrant and accepted at the time. But sometimes those things take a while.”  Read more HERE.

 

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Jonathan Coulton Preparing A Greatest Hits CD

On Jonathan Coulton’s website today he mentions a forthcoming greatest hits CD entitled “JoCo Looks Back” that’s currently being manufactured.  More info to come…

 

 

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More Information Than You Require by John Hodgman

The bestselling author of The Areas of My Expertise— also known as The Daily Show‘s “Resident Expert” and the PC in the iconic Mac ads—picks up exactly where his first book left off. Exactly: Because The Areas of My Expertise ends on page 236, More Information Than You Require begins on page 237. Like its predecessor, MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE compiles incredibly handy made up facts into brief articles, overlong lists, frighteningly complex charts, and beguiling narratives on new and familiar themes. The book is due in stores on November 21st.

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Peter Straub On The Talisman 3

Straub, editor of the new horror anthology <i>Poe's Children</i>

Peter Straub mentioned The Talisman in a recent interview:

 

Are you ever going to do a third Talisman book with Stephen King?

 

I believe so. Steve and I agreed years back that we would do a third one, and that would be it, because Black House virtually sets up, and all but promises a follow-up. And then we would have a three-volume fantasy novel. That’s perfect. That’s probably what it wanted to be from the beginning.

 

Read the entire interview HERE.

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U.S. Celebrities in Japanese Commercials

It’s a poorly kept secret that American celebrities occasionally head over to Japan to sell products in return for big bucks. HERE are some examples.

 

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