Monthly Archives: December 2012

What Does Auld Lang Syne Mean And Why Do We Sing It On New Years Eve?

You’re probably going to go to a New Year’s Eve party tonight and as soon as the clock strikes 12, somebody will inevitably start slurring the tune ” Auld Lang Syne” because they heard it in a movie. But people very rarely nail down the correct melody, nor do they know all of the words. And what does “Auld Lang Syne” even mean?

It began as a poem written by Scotland’s Robert Burns in 1788 (with a few of the lyrics cribbed from a James Watson ballad from 1711 called “Old Long Syne”). The tune is a traditional Scottish folk song, and it quickly gained popularity in the U.K. as a song sung at the end of the year as well as at funerals. As Brits emigrated to other parts of the globe, the tradition spread, and took hold in the United States as early as 1896. It didn’t become a popular American staple in this country until band leader Guy Lombardo played the tune during his year-end radio broadcast in 1929.

The title of the tune literally translates to “Old Long Since,” though people readily accept “Long Long Ago” or “In Olden Times” as reasonable transpositions. The first verse goes a little something like this: “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?/ Should old acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?/ For auld lang syne my dear/ For auld lang syne/ We’ll take a cup of kindness yet/ For auld lang syne.” That second part is actually the chorus, but it usually just gets treated as another verse.

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United Kingdom’s Royal Mail To Release Dr. Who Commemorative Stamps

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of BBC’s “Dr. Who,” the Royal Mail is releasing collectible stamps featuring the show’s characters.

“It’s 50 years since a strange old man stepped out of a Police Box in a scrapyard down Totter’s Lane, and the most beloved and exciting television series in the universe began,” the promotional site for the stamps reads. “Since then, the Time Lord has had many faces and battled many foes, and his adventures look set to continue for years to come.

The collection begins with the first doctor, William Hartnell, and celebrates each subsequent doctor, reaching the current one, Matt Smith.

The “Dr. Who” stamps will become available on March 26, 2013.

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Argo DVD & Blu-ray Due On February 19th

Warner Brothers has officially announced and detailed its upcoming combo pack release of Ben Affleck’s thriller Argo (2012), starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman. The release will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and for purchase online on February 19th.

Based on real events, the dramatic thriller Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played—information that was not declassified until many years after the event. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top “exfiltration” specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

Special Features:

- Feature Length Picture in Picture: Eye Witness Account

- Audio Commentary

- Rescued from Tehran: We Were There

- Argo: Absolute Authenticity

- Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection

- Escape From Iran: The Hollywood Option

- UltraViolet

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The Happiest Day of Batman’s Life By Dustin Harbin

The Happiest Day of Batman’s Life is a one-hour drawing rendered by Dustin Harbin. For fifty dollars, Dustin will sit down and draw on a 8″ x 10″ piece of high-quality, 2-ply Strathmore 500 bristol board for one hour. You may provide a very simple direction for the artist to go in.

Harbin’s art is available for purchase HERE.

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Amazing Darth Vader Helmet Made Using Recycled Typewriter, Machine & Computer Parts

Indiana artist and sculptor Gabriel Dishaw has built an awesome Star Wars Darth Vader helmet ($800) completely out of recycled typewriter, adding machine and computer parts.

The artist writes, “My passion for Star Wars and one of the baddest villain of all time has carried over to my upcycled art. Darth Vader was created using recycled materials from computer parts, adding machines and typewriters.”

You can check out Gabriel’s Etsy shop HERE.

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2012′s Insanely Expensive Gear

From alligator-skinned watches to electric cars to a two-person, submarine, Wired posted 2012’s insanely expensive gear and you can check out the list HERE.

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One pricey item is the Air Yeezy II, designed by Nike for rapper Kanye West. The shoe was released internationally in June at a retail price of $250. But many retailers jacked up the prices and by the end of launch day, Yeezy’s were selling on eBay for as much as $5,000.

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Marvel’s Superior Spider-Man Reveled

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This story reprinted from Comic Book Resources contains plot spoilers for “Amazing Spider-Man” #700.

For those who managed to avoid the online spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #700 posted earlier in December, the ending of the long-running Marvel Comics series written by Dan Slott no doubt came as a surprise to readers as, by the end of the issue, Doctor Otto Octavius takes on the mantle of Spider-Man in the body of Peter Parker, learning that with great power must come great responsibility.

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“This is Moriarty in the head of Sherlock. This is Prince John inside of Robin Hood. This is the greatest villain inside the body of the greatest hero and trying to do good,” Slott told USA Today. “Peter Parker was selfish and horrible for all of part of one story. From then on, we’ve seen him be a hero. [Doctor Octopus] has a lot to overcome, and on some level, that road of salvation and stepping up and doing the right thing, it’s more interesting to see it from a character who has to fight his basic nature to do that.”

Amazing Spider-Man #700 not only serves as a definitive ending to the series, but as a lead-in to January’s Marvel NOW! series Superior Spider-Man written by Slott with rotating art by Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli. According to series editor Steve Wacker, the struggle of Otto Octavius is a key piece of the series moving forward.

“It’s also what the good part of our first year of Superior is about: Doc behaving in a manner he’s not accustomed to,” said Wacker. “We see a more sympathetic side of Doctor Octopus. We couldn’t have a Spider-Man who was running around murdering people. And I have no interest in seeing that sort of character win.”

It’s a huge change for Spider-Man, and with the fate of Peter Parker completely uncertain, there’s no telling whether the character will be back any time soon — something that has sparked some incredibly negative responses among readers — but Slott says that even the reaction is a part of the book.

“He had to be a hero in his own eyes, and on some level Otto Octavius is facing that struggle not with Spider-Man’s world but with the readership,” Slott said. “How do you get more Peter Parker than that? Now the readers think he’s a menace. That’s exciting. On a meta level, that is Spider-Man.”

Superior Spider-Man” #1 hits in January.

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The Plateau Print By Mark Englert From Gallery1988‘s Fringe Benefits Project Is Now Available

In honor of the upcoming Fringe series finale, Gallery1988 asked fans to vote for their favorite cases from the show’s history to determine which scenes and episodes should be depicted by the gallery’s favorite screenprint artists.

These “Fringe Benefits” hand-pulled screen print posters are limited to an edition of 150, in which only 100 are available to the public for purchase. Each poster is hand-numbered, unless otherwise noted. All profits from this project will be donated to The Mission Continues, an amazing charity that encourages and aids volunteerism by disabled and wounded veterans.

The newest Fringe poster is now available and it’s by Mark Englert. The glow-in-the-dark print celebrates episode #303 entitled, “The Plateau”.

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Mark Englert for episode 303 “The Plateau”
36 x 12 inches, 5 color glow-in-the-dark screenprint
hand numbered edition of 150 (100 available), $30

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Dad Is Fat By Jim Gaffigan

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald’s, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”).

Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s Fatherhood, Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

The 208 page hardcover will be released on May 7, 2013.

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Hilariously Awkward Holiday Family Photos

We all have embarrassing moments in our lives but for some those moments are immortalized through photography. From regrettable hairdos and style choices to distorted facial expressions and embarrassing compositions, nothing describes these types of photos better than the word awkward.

Luckily, we can look back and laugh at the unusual images we’ve been part of and some people have even taken to submitting their hilarious personal photos to a website aptly called Awkward Family Photos for the rest of the world to enjoy.

Below are some hilariously awkward Holiday family photos for you to enjoy on this festive day. Merry Christmas from THE FIRE WIRE!

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Beloved Holiday Songs

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With holiday cheer in the air, TIME takes a closer look at some of the weird stories behind our favorite seasonal tunes.

As an example, the song that celebrates “the most famous” reindeer of the last 100 years was based on a character created for a department store.

And not just any department store: Montgomery Ward was a retail giant in the middle part of the last century. In 1939, a staff copywriter named Robert L. May was given an assignment to create a character for a line of holiday-themed coloring books the company wanted to peddle to kids.

May came up with a story about a plucky reindeer who saves Christmas—after rejecting several names (like Rollo), he decided to call his creation Rudolph. The coloring book was an huge success, selling millions of copies in the years that followed.

Ten years later, May contacted a brother-in-law, a Jewish songwriter by the name of Johnny Marks to write a song based on his original coloring-book story. Released in time for the holiday season, Gene Autry’s version of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” was the top-charting song during Christmas of 1949.

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Harry Potter Fan Shop Opens at Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Station in UK

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An exclusive Harry Potter Merchandise store has opened at King’s Cross Station in London, alongside the series’ iconic platform 9 ¾.

The store will sell licensed merchandise from the Harry Potter franchise and is the only one of its kind in London.

Items on sale at the Platform 9 ¾ store include character’s wands, Hogwarts clothing, collectors jewelry, crafted figures, golden platform 9 ¾ tickets as well as the series of books themselves.

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Warwick Davis, who played both Professor Flitwick and Griphook in the series, was on site to cut the red tape.

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Disney Announces Cars Spinoff Planes For A Theatrical Release On August 9, 2013

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Walt Disney Pictures announced today that their upcoming animated film Planes will see a release theatrically on August 9, 2013.

Originally planned for a direct-to-home video release, Planes is an extension of the world featured in Cars and Cars 2.

Planes follows Dusty, a small town dreamer who longs to enter the most epic around-the-world air race… despite his fear of heights. With the help and support of a fleet of new and hilarious characters, Dusty wings his way into the biggest challenge of his life.

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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Action Figure Box Set

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The recently released Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Action Figure Box Set ($60) features Batman, Robin, Superman and The Joker.

The figures are based on Frank Millers’s now-legendary designs. Also included is a diorama-styled base featuring a street lamp on a sidewalk.

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Newsweek’s Last Print Issue Cover Released

I guess it’s just a sign of the times…first record stores, then book shops and now magazines; today Newsweek released the cover for its last-ever print issue. The cover features a vintage picture of the old Newsweek offices in New York, accompanied by the headline “#LASTPRINTISSUE.”

Newsweek will become a digital-only publication when the new year hits. Editor Tina Brown has said that the magazine could no longer realistically stay in print due to the new economics of the media industry.

The last issue contains essays by former editors and high-profile Newsweek alumni, as well as a lengthy oral history of the magazine.

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A Mini-Documentary About the Los Angeles Food Truck Phenomenon

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The food truck phenomenon has exploded across the America, but the culture and the economy of the food truck boom is most evolved in Los Angeles.

In this episode of Subculture Club, Thrash Lab takes you to the grills, the kitchens and the bakeries of some of the top food trucks. Learn what started the food truck trend and how each truck earned their menu of legitimacy.

Featured food trucks inlcude: Bool BBQ, Coolhaus, Cousin’s Maine Lobster, The Green Truck, Grilled Cheese Truck, Kareem Carts, Metro PR, Slap Yo Mama, Slider City, Star Bars and Taco Zone.

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Olly Moss Surprises Fans With Batman Rogue’s Gallery 24 Hour Timed Edition Sale

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Yesterday the famed graphic artist Olly Moss tweeted:

“A lot of people have been asking for small prints of those Rogues’ Gallery doodles. I am thinking of doing another timed edition. Thoughts?”

The public spoke and now Moss is offering a generous early holiday present to his fans in the form of a 24 hour timed edition sale of his clever Batman doodles featuring the Joker, Poison Ivy and the Riddler.

Beginning at 10AM GMT today and running for 24 hours, you can purchase single prints for $25 or the set of three for $60.

The 8 x 10” hand numbered giclees will be printed on fine paper using archival inks.  Moss will print enough to meet all sales in a 24 hour period. The prints should ship within 2 months.

You can order the prints HERE.

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Star Trek The Video Game To Be Released On April 23, 2013

Star Trek The Video Game will officially be released on April 23, 2013 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

You can see even more epic screenshots from the game by visiting the official website.

Set in the new canon of award-winng director and producer JJ Abrams’ Star Trek (2009) reboot, this epic action adventure features an original storyline and provides immersive co-op gameplay featuring Kirk and Spock.

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Tabasco Jelly Beans by Jelly Belly

The Jelly Belly Candy Company has recently introduced gourmet jelly beans that are spiced with Tabasco hot sauce seasonings. They are available to purchase online HERE.

According to the confectioner, “If you like it hot, you will love our Jelly Belly jelly beans spiced with genuine Tabasco brand seasonings. They are an irresistibly spicy treat for Tabasco-lovers everywhere. Just keep some water nearby!”

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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Trailer

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Warner Bros. has released the trailer for their upcoming comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

Superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have ruled the Las Vegas strip for years, raking in millions with illusions as big as Burt’s growing ego. But lately the duo’s greatest deception is their public friendship, while secretly they’ve grown to loathe each other. Facing cutthroat competition from guerilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose cult following surges with each outrageous stunt, even their show looks stale. But there’s still a chance Burt and Anton can save the act—both onstage and off—if Burt can get back in touch with what made him love magic in the first place.

Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin and James Gandolfini also star in the March 15, 2013 release.

 

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Back To The Future LEGO Set Officially Coming In 2013

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This Back to the Future LEGO concept was created by m.togami and Sakuretsu. The build was submitted to LEGO CUUSOO, an evaluation site for possible new LEGO models. Fans submit their own designs and if they receive 10,000 votes, the project moves forward to the evaluation stage.

The design included all the pieces necessary to make three versions of the DeLorean, one for each movie, along with the required props and minifigs of Doc Brown and Marty McFly.

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LEGO just revealed that the next LEGO CUUSOO set going into development will be the Back to the Future Time Machine. The final product is expected to be available in mid-2013 (exact dates and pricing to be determined).

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Daym Drops, Entertaining Driver’s Seat Food Reviewer

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Daymon Patterson a.k.a. Daym Drops reviews fast food from the comfort of his driver’s seat right in the restaurant’s parking lot to ensure that the food is fresh and hot.

He’s funny, affable, poetic and damn if his reviews don’t make you hungry.

The Connecticut based YouTube personality has gained in popularity and recently appeared on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Show reviewing the return of McDonald’s McRib.


You can follow Daym Drops on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Here is Daym’s review of Five Guys:

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Neil Gaiman Announces Final Book Tour

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Neil Gaiman has announced that his next book-signing tour will be his last. He’ll be heading out in 2013 to sign copies of “The Ocean at the End of the Lane,” which hits shelves June 18, traveling around the U.S. and the U.K..

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This will be his final book-signing tour because, for Gaiman, recent book-signings have turned into overly long affairs. In 2009, a reading and book-signing he did in Georgia had some fans waiting almost seven hours.

“Once the Ocean at the End of the Lane tour is over, I do not think I will do any more book signing tours,” Gaiman wrote on his blog Tuesday. “I’m going to try and make this tour the glorious last US book signing tour, and then stop doing book signing tours for good.”

Gaiman is the author of many award-winning books for children, teens and young adults; he has written fiction, graphic novels and comics, children’s books and films. He’s recently been working on adapting his novel “American Gods” for HBO, and has two books coming out in 2013.

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White Tulip Print By Anthony Petrie From Gallery1988‘s Fringe Benefits Project Is Now Available

In honor of the upcoming Fringe series finale, Gallery1988 asked fans to vote for their favorite cases from the show’s history, to determine which scenes and episodes will be depicted by some of the gallery’s favorite screenprint artists.

The first Fringe poster is now available…

Below is a hand-pulled screen print poster by Anthony Petrie for episode 218 “White Tulip”.

The 18 x 24 inches, 4 color screenprint is limited to an edition of 150 and only 100 are available to the public for purchase.

Each poster is hand-numbered, unless otherwise noted. All profits from this project will be donated to The Mission Continues, an amazing charity that encourages and aids volunteerism by disabled and wounded veterans.

You can order the print HERE for $30.

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Iron Man 3 Reveals a New Still

Marvel Studios has released a new photo from next summer’s Iron Man 3 that showcases a battle-damaged Tony Stark.

Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Iron Man 3 opens in 3D and 2D theaters on May 3, 2013. Directed by Shane Black, the action adventure stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley.

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