- The Call of Cthulhu by Dr. Seuss [via]
- Don’t trust anyone you meet online. [via]
- Perks of Being an English Major [via]
- Science fiction vs. literary fiction
- And finally, Ira Glass’ sex tape:
For the most part, this is pretty SFW visually, although fairly explicit in other ways. I include it mostly because it’s a pitch-perfect parody. [via]
- I am not a Pennsylvanian barber. Just so you know.
- Well, it’s no Donald Glover for Spider-Man, but I don’t see how George Takei could do any worse.
- What if your favorite album was a book? A neat concept, if you ignore the sort of crappy slideshow presentation…and pretend the misspelling in Never Mind the Bollocks was intentional. [via]
- Bristol Palin’s Nonprofit Paid Her Seven Times What It Spent On Actual Teen Pregnancy Prevention. I wish I could say I was remotely surprised. [via]
- And finally, the world’s most expensive hot dog. I probably won’t be eating this — even though this place apparently is just a 15-minute walk away from my office — and I’m naturally a little disgusted by the excess of it. But I’m at least impressed they didn’t cheat, like a lot of “most expensive” chefs seem to, with gold plates or silverware or something else to artificially inflate the price. Well of course something’s expensive if it’s coated in diamonds. The parts you can’t eat shouldn’t count. [via]
This did, of course, also make me think of Heather.
- Want to live in the Chicago Museum for a month? Then you have to apply by tomorrow. [via]
- Hey now! If any hack is going to come in and make s–t up, it’s going to be James Cameron himself, dagnabbit!
- Wondering what makes humans special and unique? One hint: it may be NSWF. [via]
- A Tiny Apartment Transforms into 24 Rooms. And he didn’t even have to shout, “Autobots, roll out!” or anything.
- And finally, Dr. Seuss was never like this when I was growing up! [via]
- Thinking of the Past or Future Causes Us to Sway Backward or Forward [via]:
University of Aberdeen psychological scientists Lynden Miles, Louise Nind and Neil Macrae conducted a study to measure this in the lab. They fitted participants with a motion sensor while they imagined either future or past events. The researchers found that thinking about past or future events can literally move us: Engaging in mental time travel (a.k.a. chronesthesia) resulted in physical movements corresponding to the metaphorical direction of time. Those who thought of the past swayed backward while those who thought of the future moved forward.
- Gene Roddenberry’s original pitch for Star Trek (PDF). [via] I keep meaning to finally watch the original series, now that it’s on Blu-Ray, since I’ve never seen more than bits and pieces. (That way, I’d also get to read Zack Handlen’s reviews. He’s had some interesting things to say so far about The Next Generation.)
- Erotica for the blind? [via]
- You’ve got to give Sita Sings the Blues director Nina Paley credit for sticking to her anti-DRM guns.
- And finally, Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Game [via]
- The headline reads, Vegetative state patients can respond to questions. This seems significantly more scientific than some other recent stories in this area. [via]
- All I can really say to this argument — and to James Cameron’s own insistence that his actors were snubbed in the Oscar nominations — is that hey, if you want sci-fi films to be nominated more often, make better sci-fi films. Avatar an important movie (and so are Up and District 9 to some extent), but Avatar is not a particularly good movie. That’s just my opinion, but I think it’s a defensible opinion and one easily shared by members of the Academy. Maybe these movies aren’t being snubbed out of some lingering genre bias; maybe they’re just genuinely not as good.
There’s maybe some bias against computer-assisted performances like you’ll find in Avatar, but as Mark Evanier writes:
There may be a solid argument that in Avatar, Sigourney Weaver is “acting” her role just as certainly as she acts any roles she plays. But you can’t argue that when we see her performance, we’re only looking at the work of Ms. Weaver with the guidance of Mr. Cameron. There are a lot of other people making that character like that…enough to make it feel inappropriate for an award that honors individual achievement. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. But I think that’s how it is.
- Word to the wise: don’t look at porn while at work. And definitely don’t look at porn while your office computer is on live television. [via]
- I have to say, I really loved this Previously On Lost 2: Lost In Five Minutes video. Huge props for actually covering all the big moments of the past five years — though also huge spoilers if you’ve never seen the show. [via]
- And finally, speaking of Lost, Todd VanDerWerff (who might just be my favorite television critic at the moment) explains why, while it’s okay for a show to have a plan, it’s usually better for them to work around it:
Could you plan out a TV show to the extent that some Lost fans seem to want the series to be planned out? As a matter of fact, you could, but it almost always ends up being a lesser series. Look, for example, at ABC’s big Lost replacement hopeful FlashForward, now off the air until March in hopes that absence will make viewers’ hearts grow fonder. The series’ creators—David S. Goyer and Brannon Braga—entered the series with a hard and fast plan for where all of the plot points would lead and for where all of the characters would go. This was one of the things that made the show so attractive to networks, who’d been burned by serials that often seemed to have no idea where they were going before. In practice, though, it’s been woefully terrible. The plot, confined by the fact that it knows exactly where it’s going and what all of the characters are going to do, can’t make any of the organic evolutions that any TV series needs to make to be successful. Everyone’s trapped and hemmed in by a plan that has no wiggle room. (A similar thing happened to the vaunted ’90s sci-fi series Babylon 5, though unplanned and uncontrollable events there forced enough of a sense of organic evolution onto that series that it had a little breathing room.)