Monthly Archives: February 2010

Rainbow In Your Hand Flipbook

Created by Japanese art director and copywriter Masashi Kawamura, this Rainbow In Your Hand flip book is mesmerizing.

The 36-page book (currently only available in Japan) has an image of the color spectrum against a black background on each page, creating the illusion of an arced rainbow hovering above the pages as the pages flip by.

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Stephen King To Release 4 Previously Unpublished Novellas in a Collection On November 9th, 2010

Today it was announced on Stephen King’s message board that his next book will be a collection of 4 previously unpublished novellas. The title will be Full Dark, No Stars. The book will be released on November 9th, 2010. The Fire Wire will post more details as they become available.

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David Sedaris Animal Fable Book Due In October 2010

David Sedaris’s next book will be a book of animal fables, and he’s turning to someone with a lot of experience when it comes to pigs for the artwork. Little, Brown and Company will release Sedaris’s Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary in October 2010, with cover and interior artwork by Ian Falconer of Olivia fame.

Sedaris will be doing a lecture tour in October, which will also serve as the brunt of his tour for the new book. However, Little, Brown plans to tack an additional 10 days of bookstore events in early November onto that tour. Bookstores and cities have yet to be selected.

There are currently 6.5 million copies of Sedaris’s books in print, and they have been translated into 25 languages. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk will be his seventh book with Little, Brown.


The A.V. Club Interviews Author Joe Hill

Joe Hill has made a name for himself, both literally—he’s Stephen King’s son, but he writes under a pen name derived from his full name, Joseph Hillstrom King—and literarily. His debut short-story collection, 2005’s 20th Century Ghosts, won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, and his first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, reached No. 8 on the New York Times bestseller list. His new novel, Horns, tells the story of a young man, Ignatius Perrish, cursed with the power to bring out the worst in everyone. While Ig tries to understand what’s happened to him, his new abilities begin to transform him, as well as provide him with the tools to finally figure out who murdered his girlfriend a year ago. Horns is an exciting step forward in Hill’s work, deepening the complexities of Heart-Shaped Box while keeping true to its genre soul. Hill recently sat down with The A.V. Club to talk about his comic-book series Locke & Key, the need for love in storytelling, and how sometimes the devil might be a good friend to have.

Read the interview HERE.

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First Batman Appearance Breaks The Record For The Most Expensive Comic Book Ever

A copy of Batman’s debut in a 1939 comic book has sold for 1.075 million dollars, narrowly beating another huge auction this week for a Superman comic.

Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, Texas, said the copy of Detective Comics Number 27, which pictures Batman swooping on a villain, sold Thursday for 1,075,500 dollars.

That beat the record price paid for a comic set just Monday when the first issue of Action Comics to feature Superman sold for one million dollars in New York. “The first appearance of Batman, this comic has been considered among the top books in the hobby ever since comic collecting began,” Heritage Auction said.

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LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers DVD

For the first time ever see the creative world of LEGO come to life in this all-new feature-length DVD movie: The Adventures of Clutch Powers ($19.99).

Join famed builder and explorer Clutch Powers as he embarks on a series of epic adventures that lead from the deepest, darkest reaches of space to a medieval kingdom ruled by an evil wizard. After fighting for justice on a distant prison planet, Clutch travels to the magical land of Ashlar, where the dreaded Mallock the Malign is attempting to usurp the king’s throne. As Mallock’s powerful skeleton army closes in, Clutch puts his construction skills to use by erecting an impenetrable brick wall.

The 82 minute long DVD is available in stores this week.

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Preview of DC Comics First Wave

DC’s shocking new pulp universe is finally unveiled! In the shadows of the War, the roots of the Golden Tree cabal grew deep into the heart of a fallen world… and the leaders at the heart of this secret organization see no place in their utopia for heroism. Doc Savage, struggling with the loss of his father, has been blind to their advance – until now. Central City’s mysterious Spirit has caught wind of their plans as well. But whose side have the Blackhawks chosen? What is the Red Right Hand? And where is the Batman? Eisner Award winner Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Joker) and superstar Rags Morales (Identity Crisis) craft a DC universe like you’ve never seen before! It’s a world with no supermen, only mortal men… Death can come at any moment, and adventure can still be found at every corner of the map! Will Doc Savage be the first to lead the coming world or the last to be crushed under its heel?

Issue # 1 arrives on March 3rd, 2010 and you can view a preview of the issue HERE.


Who’s That Guy?

Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and pointed to the screen and said, “Hey! It’s That Guy!”? Well, HERE is where you’ll find him. This page is dedicated to the character actors collectively known as “That Guy”.

That Guy is easy to recognize and difficult to place. You can describe him but not name him.

If someone asks, “Do you know the old grubby guy with a big belly and wild white hair that always wears a beat up brown derby and plays a drunk in westerns?” You’ll know exactly who they mean, but you’ll have no idea that his name is Dub Taylor.

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Meet Trixie From Pixar’s Toy Story 3

Trixie is a perfect playmate for prehistoric playtime! Visit the era when dinosaurs ruled the Earth! Made of rigid, durable plastic and in friendly shades of blue and purple, Trixie features an expressive mouth and movable legs. This gentle Triceratops will feed any child’s imagination. Also available: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and Velociraptor.

Trixie will be voiced by the equally lovable Kristen Schaal.

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David Goyer to Write the New Superman Movie

David Goyer (The Dark Knight and Blade) will write the new Superman movie, to be titled The Man of Steel! Goyer “had an idea that actually takes the movies back to the John Byrne incarnation. Modern. Believable. FUN!”

The site adds that Brandon Routh will not star in the film and Bryan Singer is not expected to direct.

Goyer’s story involves Lex Luthor and Brainiac. It is not an origin and assumes audiences already know about Lois, Clark, Jimmy and Perry. The story also sets up a huge Kryptonian mythology.

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Who Are The Contenders For The Captain America Movie

John Krasinski as Captain America?

It could happen as Marvel conducts screen tests this week in its search for the actor to play Steve Rogers, the alter ego of the title character in its “Captain America” movie.

The company’s latest superhero movie is being directed by Joe Johnston and tells the story of the young infirm man rejected from enlisting who becomes America’s symbol of liberty during World War II and eventually a member of Marvel’s superhero team the Avengers.

About seven actors have moved to the front of the super soldier serum testing line and have either tested or are expected to screen test this week and next at Marvel’s Manhattan Beach headquarters.

Those known to be on the list with Krasinski include Michael Cassidy (who appeared in”Smallvile” and who tested for the Superman movie when McG was going to direct it), Patrick Flueger (one of the stars of “The 4400″ who most recently appeared in the Tobey Maguire movie “Brothers”), Scott Porter (TV’s “Friday Night Lights”) and Mike Vogel (“Cloverfield”).

Chace Crawford is also in talks to screen test, though no deal has been made.

Garret Hedlund, already starring in Disney’s “Tron,” was also on the list to test but has fallen off, at least for now, because of scheduling conflicts. Insiders say he may still make the testing round. Jensen Ackles is another actor who had scheduling conflicts.

The studio has put the actors on 30-day holds during the testing process.

Sources on both sides caution that an actor may not be found from the tests, which happened during Marvel’s search for the man who would be “Thor.” For that movie, currently shooting in Manhattan Beach, the studio conducted several rounds of testing but found its star, Chris Hemsworth, out of left field.

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Apple Sells 10 billionth iTunes Download

Today Apple sold their 10 billionth iTunes download. This represents a huge milestone for both Apple and the music industry. Apple has revolutionized the way people enjoy digital entertainment via the the iPod and iTunes.

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Captain EO Returns to Disneyland

Disney has confirmed that the 17-minute long “Captain EO” returns to Disneyland for a limited engagement starting today. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the George Lucas-produced 3D film stars Michael Jackson and Anjelica Huston. It features music by James Horner.

Disneyland says that “the attraction’s return to Tomorrowland will provide new audiences the opportunity to experience the original 3D production for the very first time, as well as a nostalgic look back for longtime fans wanting to see ‘The King of Pop’ in a rare performance created for the big-screen, just one more time.”


New Video Game Releases: Feb. 22nd – Feb. 26th, 2010

All eyes on the PS3 this week as a game that the Sony’s been talking about since the announcement of the console is set to drop on Tuesday.

Heavy Rain is an interactive murder mystery from Quantum Dream, the company behind the sleeper hit Indigo Prophecy for the original Xbox and PS2.  The game has strikingly real graphics, concerns itself with the banalities of everyday life (eating breakfast and showering – yay), and is about the closest thing to living out an episode of CSI or David Fincher’s Se7en as you are gonna get… umm… unless you’re either a homicide detective or the victim of violent crime that is, in which both cases it will probably be no fun for you and you’ll want to steer clear.  But if you’re an armchair private eye like I like to fancy myself, happy sleuthing awaits.

This week’s count: 20 new games.

Monday (Feb. 22)
Endless Ocean Blue World (Wii)
Flipper (DS)
Achtung Panzer: Kharkov 1943 (PC)

Tuesday (Feb. 23)
Arsenal of Democracy (PC)
Art of Murder: Cards of Destiny (PC)
Heavy Rain (PS3)
Hello Kitty: Birthday Adventures (DS)
Last Rebellion (PS3)
Legends of Norrath: Vengeful Gods (PC)
Lovely Lisa and Friends (DS)
Metal Slug XX (PSP)
Napoleon: Total War (PC)
Pony Friends 2 (DS, Wii)
Risen (360)
Sled Shred featuring the Jamaican Bobsled Team (Wii)
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (DS, PS3, Wii)
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo-Kazooie (360)
Winter Blast: Snow and Ice Games (Wii)
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s World Championship 2010 Reverse of Arcadia (DS)

Wednesday (Feb. 24)
Lazy Raiders (360)

Thursday (Feb. 25)
Age of Zombies (PSP)
Dawn of Discovery: Venice (PC)
Order of War: Challenge (PC)

Friday (Feb. 26)
Deca Sports DS (DS)
The Circle: Martial Arts Fighter (Wii)

(Written by Nick Creature)


The Aspiral Clock

The Aspiral Clock ($540) is a self-spinning timepiece, whose movement drives a ball along a spiral ledge until it reaches the center. The observer can tell the time by looking at the position of the ball.  If it’s at the center point between 2 and 3, for instance, then it’s 2:30.  Once the ball reaches the center of the clock, it drops into a hole and comes out of the same opening where it originated.

London based Aspiral Clocks offer multiple designs on their site.

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CodeOrgan: Turn Websites Into Music

Using a “complex algorithm,” CodeOrgan takes the code from the Body text of a site and makes a synthesized beat. Try it HERE.

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The FlexibleLove Expandable Seat

FlexibleLove furniture designed by Chishen Chiu, incorporates an ‘accordion-like, honeycomb’ structure to create durable furniture pieces produced from widely-available recycled materials.

FlexibleLove furniture are made from recycled paper and recycled wood waste, and are produced using pre-existing manufacturing processes in order to reduce their overall impact on the environment.

The name “Flexible Love” was derived from the concept of a ‘flexible love-seat’ – seating that could hold from one to as many as sixteen individuals; changing length and shape with a simple pull at each end. A honeycomb structure, used throughout the entire Flexible Love line, produces an accordion-like result that allows each piece to be extended and collapsed with ease. The seat can support up to 4224 pounds of weight and retails for $799.

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Now Why Didn’t I Think of That…The Two Way Toothpaste Tube

Two Way Toothpaste is a clever idea that helps you to squeeze out the last drop of toothpaste from the tube. The concept was designed by Dominic Wilcox.


Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths DVD

Next Tuesday (February 23rd) you can purchase the 1-disc DVD ($19.98), 2-disc DVD ($24.98), or 2-disc Blu-ray ($29.99) release of Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths. The only extra material on the 1-disc DVD will be first looks at Batman Under the Red Hood, Green Lantern, and Superman/Batman Public Enemies, plus trailers. The 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray will include that along with a new animated short (“The Spectre”), a new featurette (“The New World”), A Better World” Part 1 and 2 which were previously on Justice League Unlimited Season 2, and more.  The 2-disc also includes a digital copy of the film for Windows.

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Gillette Fusion ProGlide

The new Gillette Fusion ProGlide ($TBA) improves on its predecessor in other ways. The blades have been re-engineered to offer thinner, finer edges, and join a new blade stabilizer, streamlined comfort guard, a larger Lubrastrip, an enhanced precision trimmer, a larger, more comfortable handle, and, exclusively on the Power model, a new microcomb that helps guide hairs to the blade, all resulting in a closer, more comfortable shave. Look for the sleek razor to hit shelves in June.


Marvel Superheroes And Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Team Up This Weekend

Several artists and designers from Marvel Entertainment are scheduled to appear Sunday night on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The episode will focus on Tobin and Jill Wagstaff and their four children. The Wagstaff family runs a non-profit music school out of their home that serves approximately 200 people within their community.

Marvel Entertainment personnel collaborated with the “Home Makeover” team to create a superhero-themed room for Tobin James Jr., the seven-year-old son of the Wagstaffs. Additionally, Marvel commissioned an original cover by artist Todd Nauck with colors by John Rauch that features TJ teaming up with Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man, which will be used as a cover for an upcoming Marvel comic that is scheduled to be released in April.

The legendary rock band KISS will also appear on the episode, as they meet with the Wagstaff family and provide instruments for the Wagstaff’s music school.

You can watch the program on Sunday, February 21st (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

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2010 Penny Redesign

The current Lincoln cent’s reverse (tails side) design is emblematic of President Abraham Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single and united country.

The reverse features a union shield with a scroll draped across it bearing the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM (“out of many, one”).  The 13 vertical stripes of the shield represent the states joined in one compact union to support the federal government, represented by the horizontal bar above.  The union shield, which dates back to the 1780s, was used widely during the Civil War.  In addition, the shield device is featured on frescoes throughout the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building by Constantino Brumidi, artist of the Capitol during Lincoln’s presidency.

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American Idol Top 24 Revealed

American Idol revealed the remaining 17 of its top 24 season nine contestants on Wednesday night (Feb. 17th), following the previous night’s unveiling of the first seven finalists and capping off over a month of audition rounds.

One by one, each auditioner entered the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles to hear their fate directly from “American Idol” judges Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson. Among the male contestants who made it through to the top 24 were Andrew Garcia, who charmed the judges throughout Hollywood week with acoustic covers of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” and Adele’s “Chasing Pavements;” Todrick Hall, who has performed with season three “Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino in “The Color Purple” on Broadway; and Casey James, a 26-year-old Texan who sang Ray Charles’ “I Don’t Need No Doctor” and has been designated as a potential heartthrob of sorts.

The female contestants who were ushered into the top 24 include Crystal Bowersox, a single mother who played both the guitar and harmonica in Hollywood; Lilly Scott, an eclectic 20-year-old who impressed with Ella Fitzgerald’s “Lullaby of Birdland”; and Lacey Brown, who made it all the way up to the same point last season, but ultimately lost her top 24 slot to Megan Joy Corkery, a contestant who would later finish in ninth place.

Not everyone was given good news, though. “Idol” hopeful Angela Martin had auditioned twice before but was ultimately rejected, a controversial decision made even more poignant by the Chicago native’s personal story. Martin left the show’s 2007 auditions rounds when her father was murdered, and her mother has been missing since late December, just weeks before she’d return to Hollywood for her third attempt at making the cut.

Almost immediately after Wednesday night’s episode aired, a rumor surfaced online that one of the original top 24 contestants had been disqualified. Viewers noticed that auditioner Chris Golightly appeared in the final group shot of the top 24 with host Ryan Seacrest, but he was not shown in the dance montage that immediately followed, during which Seacrest listed each top 24 finalist one by one. Golightly appeared to have been replaced by Tim Urban, who was not visible in the top 24 group shot but was named and shown individually during the montage.

Neither Golightly nor Urban’s moment of truth before the judges aired during this week’s episodes. The “American Idol” fansite Idol360 reports that Golightly was disqualified for an unspecified breach of contract and replaced with Urban, but Fox representatives were not available for comment on Wednesday night regarding the apparent switch.

Here is the complete list of ‘American Idol’ Top 24 finalists:

Did Benami
Crystal Bowersox
Lacey Brown
Michelle Delamor
Lee Dewyze
Katelyn Epperly
Andrew Garcia
Tyler Grady
Todrick Hall
Aaron Kelly
Casey James
Alex Lambert
Michael Lynche
Siobhan Magnus
Paige Miles
Joe Munoz
John Park
Ashley Rodriguez
Lilly Scott
Jermaine Sellers
Katie Stevens
Tim Urban
Haeley Vaughn
Janell Wheeler

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Meet Buttercup From Pixar’s Toy Story 3

Saddle up for fun and let Buttercup lead your child away on a magical adventure! This cuddly unicorn features velvety-soft, snow-colored fur with sparkly gold and pink accents. He sports a signature mythical golden horn and a fun-to-comb mane and tail. Buttercup’s durable plastic eyes are both charming and scratch-resistant. Hypo-allergenic.

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Ben & Jerry’s Announces Their Newest Flavor

Ben & Jerry’s just announced their newest flavor…Peanut Brittle Ice Cream. If you’re always looking for the next big thing in brittle, the Vermont based frozen treat company is thrilled to say there’s nothing little about the taste of their new peanut brittle ice cream.

Ben & Jerry’s newest creation begins with peanut brittle ice cream packed with peanut-studded brittle pieces and finished with a gooey caramel swirl, it’s all the stuff you can’t get enough of.


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