Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

The Muppet With the Dragon Tattoo

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

A parody on the trailer for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, with…y’know, the Muppets!

Just when you think the Muppets can’t any more awesome, they do.

The Muppets opens November 23, 2011.


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‘Star Wars’ Blu-Ray Release Date Announced. Also, May the 4th be With You!

May 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Yup, it is Star Wars Day. The one day a year when all Star Wars fans prove how truly nerdy they are.

Be sure to say ‘May the Fourth be with you’ to a non-nerd today and be amused at the pitying head shake you will no doubt receive.

I have already gotten several.

And oh yes, Fox has chosen this most holy of holy days to announce that the Star Wars Saga will be released on Blu-Ray in September 2011.

What does this mean for Star Wars fans? It means we will all soon own the original Star Wars trilogy in 3 different video formats. Go us!

My Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels: #9 – The Harry Potter Series

April 22, 2011 1 comment

#9 – The Harry Potter Series

Jacket art of the Bloomsbury edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher

Most people love it, some people haaaate it. And frankly, when my little sister started gobbling up these books back in elementary school, I was pretty skeptical.

They looked like kiddie nonsense and I wanted nothing to do with them. But then,  my sister was sick  in the hospital so it fell to me to wait in line at the bookstore with all the folks dressed as wizards in order to get her pre-ordered copy of  ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ as soon as it was released. So I had a bad association with the books until I got to college.

Waiting for the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in a Californian bookshop (Borders, Sunnyvale), 5 minutes before the books official publication. Photo by Zack Sheppard

Then, friends started reading them. The movies were making millions (billions, even). They were even teaching the books in some of the University’s English classes! I decided I should at least give them a shot.

When I did, I was dragged kicking and screaming into a world of boys living under cupboards and giant groundskeepers and fortune-telling wizard teachers.

But once I was in, I did not want to leave.

The books just get better as they go along. The story becomes more intricate; the complex web of characters get more evolved and grown up. By the time Harry and his pals get to be 17, they are in the middle of a life and death struggle that is as far from a Roald Dahl children’s fantasy book as you could get.

So if you love them, great! Me too!

If you hate them, well that’s your opinion.

And if you haven’t read them, give them a try. These books will appeal to all ages and you won’t be able to put them down.

‘Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground.’

– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

All Entries

#10 – Watership Down

#9 – The Harry Potter Series

#8 – The Wheel of Time Series

#7 – The Stars My Destination

#6 – To Say Nothing of the Dog

#5 – Doomsday Book

#4 – Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

#3 – The Farseer Trilogy

#2 – Flowers for Algernon

#1 – The Martian Chronicles

My Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books: #10 – Watership Down

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

So yes, I am away on vacation.

You can hear about how things are going by checking my Twitter feed. I’ve never driven across British Columbia before so I’m sure I’ll have lots to tweet about.

But in the meantime, you are getting a special treat. My second Top 10 list! This time it’s my top 10 sci-fi/fantasy novels. (The first was my Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies)

A quick caveat. These are my favourite novels. Not necessarily the most well written, well crafted, though provoking, social commentating sci-fi books of all time. They are simply the books I can read over and over and over again and never get tired of them.

If you disagree, let me know! I’d love to hear about your favourites, and I really enjoy getting book recommendations too, so don’t be shy.

Ok, let’s get started with…

#10 – Watership Down by Richard Adams (1972)

Watership Down

Image via Wikipedia

You might think that a group of rabbits trying to find a new home sounds like a Disney movie. But Richard Adams turns this mundane idea into an enthralling heroic fantasy story.

Engaging characters and a surprising amount of creepiness (the strange rabbits in Cowslip’s warren gave me the heebie-jeebies) set this novel apart from other, more childish stories.

A good deal of violence and religious overtones make this book a grown-up fantasy that anybody would find entertaining. There was also an animated version that follows the novel quite closely, though I would not recommend it for young children. (Apparently there is a Facebook support group for those who were traumatized by the movie as a child)

So this book is a great start to my Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. And there is a lot more yet to come!

All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

– Richard Adams, Watership Down

All Entries

#10 – Watership Down

#9 – The Harry Potter Series

#8 – The Wheel of Time Series

#7 – The Stars My Destination

#6 – To Say Nothing of the Dog

#5 – Doomsday Book

#4 – Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

#3 – The Farseer Trilogy

#2 – Flowers for Algernon

#1 – The Martian Chronicles

Super Mario in First-Person View

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment



Support Cookie Monster’s Bid to Host SNL

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

I love Cookie Monster, and I’m on board.

You can join the Facebook group here to support the cause. Pass it on!

Pseudoscience On ‘How I Met Your Mother’? Noooo!

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Do you watch How I Met Your Mother? You should. Why? Just friggin’ do it.

It’s one of my favourite shows, and alas, it was invaded with pseudoscience in last week’s episode, ‘Baby Talk’. (Yes, I know I’m a week behind. Don’t worry, I have a DVR).

Anyway, Marshall (my favourite character) is trying to get his wife, Lily, pregnant. Not only that, but he feels the need to conceive a boy because he has no idea how to raise a girl.

Lily Aldrin and Marshall Eriksen (Played by Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel)

So, his helpful father gives him a few tricks of the trade. The conversation went like this:

Dad: Since the Viking age, the Eriksen men have passed down ancient secrets for conceiving boys. Number one, avoid lemons; they’re baby girl fertilizer.

Marshall: No offense dad, but I doubt there’s any scientific data to support…

Dad: (in mocking, nerdy voice) I doubt there’s any scientific data to support

I had all sons, your grandfather had all sons, your great-grandfather had ALL SONS! SCOREBOARD! So who are you going to listen to: me, or (*mocking tone*) scientific data?

We now know enough about reproduction to know thats its the male sperm that determines the sex of the baby. So Marshall’s family having all boys is not unheard of. King Henry VIII had a similar problem when he could only have girls, unable to sire a male heir. They didn’t know back then what we know now (unfortunately for King Henry’s wives).

Well poor Marshall, desperate to conceive a son, ignores common sense and nerdy scientific data and tries some of his Dad’s tips (with hilarious results).

They include eating pickled herring, pointing Lily north whilst making love, and yes he even dunked his junk in ice water prior to mating!

This is supposed to be funny (and it is), but in reality it has been shown that people are more likely to listen to a friend or family member than (nerdy voice) scientific data. Which is unfortunate, but there is a reason why.

We’ve all heard the old wives’ tales regarding pregnancy myths. They get passed down from generation to generation largely due to confirmation bias.

Example: I’ve heard people say that if you’re ‘carrying low’ it is indicative that the baby will be a boy. If you predict the baby will be a boy, and its a boy, your theory that she was ‘carrying low’ (I’m not even sure what that means) is confirmed in your mind. So you tell the next woman you see that she’s carrying low, so it will be a boy. In your mind, it’s a proven fact.

And people remember if you are right, and forget if you are wrong. It’s the same principle that so many psychics rely on to make themselves seem credible.

So sorry Marshall, it really is just luck of the draw. All the pickled herring in the world won’t guarantee which of your swimmers makes it to the finish line.

Do You Love Music? Is Music Your Life? Now It Can Be Your Death.

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

You’ve lived a good life. You’ve done some things, had some laughs, and now its time to decide what to do after you pass on.

Burial used to be the only option, but nowadays we have many more options to consider. Gene Roddenberry had his ashes launched into space, others have them released into the ocean, and now you can even have your ashes pressed into a vinyl record.

Yes a company in the UK called Andvinyly is offering a service in which they press some of your cremated remains into a vinyl record of your choice.

You can even have your own record made with some of your own music, record some of your own poetry or words of wisdom, complete with a smattering of your Earthly remains into the tracks.

The amount of ash they actually use is quite small, since as any vinyl purist will know, any kind of dust or impurities on the record will degrade the sound quality. So you can still choose to have the bulk of your remains launched into space if you so desire.

And I have to say, this sounds kinda cool. Can you imagine a record playing at your memorial service with some of your ashes pressed right into it? And you can make some pretty artistic statements with your song selection.

Personally, I think I would go with “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd.

Although, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult also seems like an obvious choice.

So if space burial is a little beyond your means, at a $3000 price tag this vinyl pressing doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

After all, as Neil Young so eloquently put it: “Rock and roll can never die.”

Kurt Russell Auditions For ‘Star Wars’

September 16, 2010 1 comment

Although he is a decent actor, Kurt Russell was not meant to be Han Solo.

I read about this on Moviefone, which recently put together a bunch of interesting screen tests. You can see Dustin Hoffman practice being Tootsie, and Tobey Maguire working out the kinks being Spiderman.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Twitter

August 14, 2010 2 comments

I used to be a Twitter hater. An anti-Twitite, if you will.

I thought it was stupid. I thought “Why do I care what people are doing at every moment of every day?” It made no sense!

Well, eventually I gave in to peer pressure and got myself a Twitter account. It was peer pressure, and it was also because I heard myself say “I don’t understand what the kids are doing these days!”

THAT really freaked me out.

So I got my own Twitter account, fully expecting to find it stupid, inconvenient and irrelevant. My tune changed quite shortly after that.

First I added some famous people. Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, and Stephen Colbert were among the first.

@StephenAtHome provides insight into current events with a ridiculous right-wing perspective.

@ActuallyNPH provides updates on his life which I find interesting. This completely disproved my thoughts that I would find these updates irrelevant.

@SarahKSilverman gives hilarity, often with too much of a graphic nature.

And there was much more information waiting for me.

I get to know right away when West Jet has a seat sale, or when my favourite bloggers put up a new post.

Me being a science nerd, I kinda like the idea of knowing whats going on at CERN at all times too. Never know when the Higgs boson will be found!

I also like knowing when Bill Nye, my hero growing up, will be making a TV appearance.

So while my own Twitter following leaves something to be desired (I have 11 followers, roughly half of whom I believe are NOT real people), I’m working on increasing my Twitter presence.

(Oh yeah, feel free to follow me!)

So I apologize Twitter, I prejudged. I was afraid of new things, like 90 year old man who can’t work the debit machine.

Perhaps its having all my interests in one place that is the appeal. Perhaps its the fact the information is in (nearly) real-time. Or maybe its because I always wanted people to speak to me in 140 characters or less.

Whatever the reason, in the future I will have more of an open mind to social media and the like. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go check my Twitter.