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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Omigod, omigod omigod!
Alliteration is fun.
Anywhooo…a lot of people know that only one side of the moon faces the Earth. That is because the moon rotates on its axis at roughly the same rate that it orbits the Earth.
The side of the moon which faces away from the Earth is commonly referred to as the Dark Side of the Moon (also one of the best album’s of all time).
In actuality, through the course of a year we see about 59% of the Moon’s surface. That is because the moon tilts and wobbles a bit, so sometimes we get a little more moon for our buck.
This video by the Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio shows one whole year of moon motion in a 2.5 minute time lapse video.
Pretty cool stuff!
Also, don’t forget to check out today’s Google Doodle, which is a nifty little animation showing today’s total lunar eclipse.
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!
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)
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
I’m usually not a big fan of slasher movies, but Scream was an exception. It has a self mocking, ‘we know it’s kinda stupid but it’s entertaining so shut-up!’ attitude which I found very refreshing.
The sequels weren’t as good as the original, but they were ok. And with Scream 4 being released on April 15, the question is: What will the body count be?
Well, you have to follow the rules of the sequel, of course.
There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger.
Forrest Wickman and others on Brow Beat went through the data and created a chart detailing the body count as a function of franchise installment number for many popular horror franchises. They were looking to see if the body count “rule” was actually followed. These are the results:
As you can see, in general the body counts do go up with sequel number.
They also came up with an empirical formula for predicting the number of kills in each installment. This takes into account certain factors such as the ‘zombie factor’ and the number of colons in the title of the movie.
Using this formula, they predicted the body count in Scream 4 would be 11.
One can only hope that David Arquette will be one of those 11.
Hurray for using statistics for something useful!
Update (April 15, 2011) *SPOILER*
Turns out, the actual body count is 15. Meh, not bad.
The big news today is that it is the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight into space. Gagarin was the first human to ever be shot into orbit. Also, as a side note, he landed back on Earth safely.
It was April 12th, 1961 aboard the Russian flight Vostok 1 that Gagarin made his epic journey. The trip lasted 108 minutes; in order to land Gagarin had to eject from his capsule while still 23,000 feet above the Earth’s surface.
Upon reaching orbit, Gagarin had this to say:
“I feel splendid, very well, very well, very well. Give me some results on the flight!”
Shortly after saying this, Gagarin went out of radio range from mission control, and was on his own for a short while.
How freakin’ scary is that!?
The site on which Gagarin eventually landed is now a monument park. The Vostok 1 capsule is on display in the museum, and a new documentary showing exactly what Gagarin would have seen from his window, shot from the International Space Station, has been released.
And now, Gagarin has received the most magnificent of all accolades: his very own Google Doodle!
So hurray for manned spaceflight, and for the incredible courage of those who were the first to go into space inside a metal tube full of flammable material!