Author Archives: Larry Fire

How To Create A Crossword Puzzle

Puzzle expert (cruciverbalist) and magician David Kwong explains and demonstrates the deliberate process that he uses in order to create challenging crossword puzzles for The New York Times on a regular basis.

A crossword puzzle is a type of word puzzle where there’s always an across and down. Every letter is checked meaning if you don’t know one way, you could probably figure it out the other way …the daily puzzle in the New York Times crossword 15 by 15, Sunday’s 21 by 21. Monday is the easiest day of the week and Saturday is the hardest.

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Scholastic’s New Headquarters Is Unlike Any Corporate Office You’ve Ever Seen

Clifford the Big Red Dog, Harry Potter, and Captain Underpants are staples of any kid’s bookshelf, courtesy of the New York-based book publisher Scholastic. So when the publisher redesigned its headquarters in 2018, it was only natural to decorate the walls with these famed characters.

But that posed a problem: children’s book illustrations look fantastic in context, but they can seem childish when blown up on the walls of a publishers’ office. “It looks great small, in a book, but if you blow it up on vinyl it becomes tacky looking,” says Paula Scher, the Pentagram partner who designed a series of supergraphics for Scholastic’s HQ in New York. “It feels like a promotional piece in a store–if you were at a retail [store] and they blew up a giant image from the book that’d be on some kind of cheesy stand that you threw out in five minutes.”

To elevate the classic imagery, Scher decided to approach the space as if it were a contemporary art gallery and then display each illustration in the style of a modern art piece. A Harry Potter illustration, which decorates the ceiling above the receptionist desk, looks almost like stained glass–a stylistic nod to U.K. artists Gilbert and George. An illustration of the crime-fighting characters Dog Man and Cat Kid looks like a giant comic book, inspired by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.

Others are just downright playful. The Magic School Bus comes to life in the form of a giant yellow pegboard with 15,000 dowels. Clifford the Big Red Dog’s portraits are actually shaggy with red fur. A large sculpture of Captain Underpants explodes through one of the walls. In fact, that wasn’t Scher’s original vision. “I wish I could have had Captain Underpants completely as Jeff Koons,” she says, though ultimately she decided that the reference wouldn’t come across to her audience.

Beyond the graphics, Scher’s crowning glory in the space is the reception desk, which is encased in what looks like a floating bookshelf. The 800 books are all replicas of titles from the Scholastic library, with Pentagram-designed fonts along their multi-colored spines.

To achieve the illusion that they’re floating, the Pentagram team pinned all of the books to the desk itself, making the appearance as magical as the contents. “Those are their heroes on the shelves,” Scher says.

    

Fast Company Story Link HERE.

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Suntup Editions To Release The Covers Collection – The Dark Tower Print By Michael Whelan

Suntup Editions is very proud to introduce their latest addition to The Covers Collection. The first of two spectacular cover art prints signed by artist Michael Whelan, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger.

This magnificent cover art graced the first US edition cover of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King, published by Donald M. Grant in 1982. This is the second piece of artwork Whelan was commissioned to create for King. According to the author’s web site, King was so impressed with Whelan’s work the first time around that he suggested him for The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, the first book in The Dark Tower series.

Whelan’s cover art depicting Roland and Jake in their escape from the Slow Mutants only appeared on 20,000 copies of the trade hardback — its first and second printings. By the third printing, the cover art was changed. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger is widely considered to be one of the most sought after books by Stephen King collectors.

This officially licensed print went through several rounds of color corrections with the artist to make sure that it is as close to the original as possible. Now, you can enjoy Michael Whelan’s dazzling artwork presented here without cover text.

These prints are hand-signed by Michael Whelan and limited to just 50 copies per size, worldwide. 

– Museum Quality Giclée prints.
– Signed and authorized by the original cover artist.
– Limited to only 50 copies of each size worldwide, plus 3 Artist Proofs and 3 Publisher Proofs for private distribution.
– Shipped with a Certificate of Limitation and Authenticity from the publisher.
– Printed on 300 GSM, 100% cotton paper that is Acid-Free, Lignin-Free, Chlorine-Free and with No Optical Brighteners.
– Prints are embossed with the publisher’s mark.

Release Date: January 2, 2019
Available for Pre-Order: December 15, 2019

Large Size: 16.25″ x 24″ ($225)
Small Size: 11″ x 17″ ($150)

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Watch The Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour Trailer 

Taylor Swift documents the last show of her massive Reputation stadium trek, the highest-selling tour in U.S. history, in an upcoming Netflix film. The streaming service launched a dramatic trailer for Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour, which premieres globally on December 31st. 

The movie highlights the expansive stage production of the 2018 tour, which promoted Swift’s sixth LP, 2017’s Reputation. The 60,000-person show includes pyrotechnics, fireworks, multiple stages and a 63-foot cobra. 

Watch the Taylor Swift reputation Stadium Tour exclusively on Netflix starting on the morning of New Year’s Eve at 12:01AM PST. 

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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Photo Honors Stan Lee’s Legacy

Ask any Spider-Man fan, big or small, to repeat the most enduring message of the web-slinging Peter Parker, and you’ll likely get a faithful recitation of his Uncle Ben’s advice: “With great power comes great responsibility.” This concept goes hand-in-hand with something the heroic Peter says, with a heavy dose of irony, early in Sony Pictures Animation’s new Into the Spider-Verse: “There’s only one Spider-Man, and you’re looking at him.”

Of course, as this new official photo—which pairs the film’s voice talent with their various on-screen avatars—demonstrates, he’s wrong. Into the Spider-Verse is packed with a number of Spider-People who all share the heroic burden Uncle Ben was so concerned with. In that way, this latest on-screen iteration might be the most faithful adaptation of Stan Lee’s vision for the character, whom he co-created over half a century ago.

Into the Spider-Verse—which exists alongside Tom Holland’s current live-action run as Peter Parker—introduces Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, a Brooklyn-dwelling, bi-racial version of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. But thanks to a rip in the fabric of reality, he’s not alone in facing down a packed roster of Spider villains, including Liev Schreiber’s Kingpin. Morales is also joined by Jake Johnson’s battered Peter Parker, Hailee Steinfeld’s wry Spider-Gwen, John Mulaney’s Looney Tunes-esque Spider-Ham, Nicolas Cage’s dour Spider-Man Noir, and Kimiko Glenn’s chipper Peni Parker, with her robotic sidekick “Sp//dr.”

At an early point on this hero’s journey, Morales listens in awe as Peter Parker’s frequent on-screen love interest, Mary Jane Watson (Zoë Kravitz), offers a different take on Uncle Ben’s advice, one that underlines the shared responsibility of the multi-verse: “We are all Spider-Man, and we are all counting on you.” Later, the movie puts it even more succinctly: “Anyone can wear the mask.”

Read more HERE.

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The KFC Fire Log Smells Like Fried Chicken

For more than a million years, mankind has been attempting to improve upon the simple fire. We’ve tried burning different things like sticks or leaves or various incriminating documents. We’ve tried making fires last longer. We’ve even figured out how to turn them into different colors. All of that experimentation, all of that innovation, has culminated in this event, the KFC 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog, from Enviro-Log. 

Imbued with the unmistakable, mouth-watering aroma of Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe, the KFC 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog finally puts to rest the age-old dilemma, “How can I make this fire a hundred bajillion times better?”

– Each Firelog can burn up to 2.5-3 hours.
– Can be stored and no shelf life. Store in a safe, dry area away from pets.
– May result in a craving for fried chicken. We know the fire log smells great, but please do not attempt to eat it.
– May attract bears or neighbors who are hungry.
– Please don’t put face directly into fire in attempt to smell fried chicken.

Order HERE for $18.99.

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First Man Available On Digital January 8 & Blu-ray January 22

Follow the gripping and captivating true story of the first manned mission to the moon in First Man, arriving on Digital and via the digital movie app Movies Anywhere on January 8, 2019 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on January 22, 2019 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. 

Hailed by critics as “the best movie of the year” (Collider) and “exhilarating” (Entertainment Weekly), First Man comes from acclaimed Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) and stars Ryan Gosling (La La Land, The Big Short) as Neil Armstrong and Claire Foy (“The Crown,” Breathe) as Janet Armstrong in the heroic and emotionally driven journey through a pivotal moment in the history of mankind. Receiving two Golden Globe® nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Foy) and Best Original Score (Justin Hurwitz), the critically acclaimed film is packed with bonus features including deleted scenes and special featurettes showing behind-the-scenes looks at creating the film.

Based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen and from visionary filmmaker Damien Chazelle, First Man is the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history. The critically acclaimed First Man comes from legendary executive producer Steven Spielberg (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Schindler’s List) alongside fellow executive producers Adam Merims (Baby Driver, Straight Outta Compton) and Josh Singer (The Post, Spotlight) with a screenplay by Singer allowing audiences to relive the historic achievement in human history that has never been told cinematically. Filled with outstanding performances from an all-star cast led by Gosling and Foy alongside an incredible roster of supporting talent including Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, “Friday Night Lights”), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, Mudbound), Corey Stoll (“The Strain,” “House of Cards”), Pablo Schreiber (Skyscraper, “Orange is the New Black”), Christopher Abbot (“The Sinner,” Whiskey Tango Foxtrot),  and Ciarán Hinds (“Game of Thrones,” Tinker Tailor Solider Spy), First Man  “explodes with cinematic wonder” (Inverse).

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Disney Reveals The Mandalorian Cast

Lucasfilm is pleased to announce the cast of the first-ever Star Wars live-action series — The Mandalorian.

Pedro Pascal (Narcos) has been cast in the title role as a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. He is joined by Gina Carano (Deadpool), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Emily Swallow (Supernatural), Carl Weathers (Predator), Omid Abtahi (American Gods), Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), and Nick Nolte (Affliction).

“We’re having a great time working with this incredibly talented group and excited for everyone to see what we’re up to,” says Executive Producer Jon Favreau.

Currently in production, The Mandalorian is written and executive produced by Jon Favreau, with Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels) directing the first episode and serving as executive producer alongside Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson. Additional episodic directors include Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates), and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).

The highly-anticipated series will be exclusive to Disney+, The Walt Disney Company’s upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service, which is set to launch in the U.S. in late 2019.

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Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Octavia Spencer Join Voice Cast For Pixar’s Upcoming Film Onward

Pixar Animation Studios revealed today four members of its voice cast for its original new feature film “Onward,” including Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Tom Holland (“Spiderman: Homecoming”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”). Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, the team behind 2013’s “Monsters University,” “Onward” is slated for theaters on March 6, 2020.

Set in a suburban fantasy world, Disney Pixar’s “Onward” introduces two teenage elf brothers who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there. “At Pixar we try to create stories that come from some kind of personal truth,” said Scanlon. “This film was inspired by my own relationship with my brother.”

According to the filmmakers, they’ve assembled a dream voice cast to help bring key characters to life.

“Chris brings equal parts huge heart and fantastic humor to his character,” said Rae.

“Tom has an infectious charm and sincerity that makes you root for him in every character he plays,” said Scanlon.

“There is no one funnier than Julia,” said Scanlon, “but she also brings a warmth and loving side to her character.” 

“Octavia can do it all,” said Rae. “We’re especially excited about the depth as well as humor that she brings to her character.”

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Grey Matter Art To Release True Romance Print By Tyler Stout On December 13, 2018

Under license from Morgan Creek, Grey Matter Art will release an officially licensed, limited-edition screen print by Tyler Stout for True Romance. Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, the 1993 romantic crime film is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. 

The True Romance print goes on sale Thursday, December 13th at 1PM (EST), in the GMA Shop.

Regular Edition of 750/ $65.00

Variant Edition of 300/ $110.00

Gold Variant Edition of 300 (Sold via Tyler Stout’s Shop TBA)

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