Archive for Stuff on the Net

Archetype

The power of the Internet… make a short… go viral… get a movie deal. Of course, it helps if your short is good and you have talent, which these guys do, in my humble opinion.

Copernicus

It took nearly defaulting on a loan, missing a payroll, and all of it being dragged into the press, but we finally get a peek into 38 Studio’s Project Copernicus. It certainly looks pretty. Let’s just hope the game play makes all this fuss worthwhile. In the meantime, perhaps this is just the beginning trickle of the coming flood of information about the secretive upcoming MMO.

Vi Hart

Lots of people have trouble understanding math. It is my belief that this is largely because of the manner in which it is taught in school. I don’t want to come down too much on teachers, because teachers are awesome, but I think they are often constricted by curriculum and the result is often dry lectures that don’t excite the minds of their students. That and many teachers, for whatever reason, try too hard to stick to general theories without providing enough concrete real world examples to which their students can relate.

Vi Hart has, at the time of this post, 45 videos online that tackle various mathematical concepts in fun ways. I’ve really enjoyed them, despite the fact that as a former math major in college I already know most of this stuff. Anyway, for this week’s Saturday Morning Cartoon, I chose the above to share with you, a little bit of math inspired doodle based music by Vi.

Be sure to check out the rest of the videos on her channel. Even if you’ve previously hated math, I think you’ll find something to enjoy there.

Little League, and FCBD

These week’s Saturday Morning Cartoon isn’t a cartoon at all, it’s a comic.

Be sure to read it from the start. It’s only up to 37 strips so far, and it is awesome. Once you are caught up, follow it on tumblr to stay up to date.

Today is Free Comic Book Day. I hope you are reading this on your phone from your local comic book shop, or after you’ve gotten home from there. What? You don’t have a local comic book shop? Use the locator and find one, and go. I don’t go as often as I would like, but in my youth I went to Dr. No’s every week. These days I don’t have the disposable income to keep up with a bunch of monthly titles and stick mostly to trades, but I met some very nice and very awesome people through the comic book shop. It’s because of them that I went to my first Dragon*Con. Anyway, today is a good day to go out and support them.

Star Wars Day

Caution: Children at PlayMay the 4th be with you.

Yeah, it’s corny – but sometimes being corny is the heart and soul of being a geek. I’m not often big on celebrating Star Wars Day, mostly because if you held a gun to my head and forced me to choose I’d have to pick Star Trek in the Star Series debate. The science just worked for me a little better than the mysticism.

Amazon is celebrating by having Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) on Blu-ray for 44% off. $79 for 9 discs – 6 movies and a whole mess of extras. Sure, you get the Very Special Re-re-edited Editions for the originals, but still – very cool.

As for me, I’m going to use this day to drag out something I wrote 13 years ago. I was sitting in the theater, not yet full disappointed in the new Star Wars prequel I was watching at the midnight showing, and there was a scene that sparked something in my brain. I went home that night and sketched out a quick idea. It took a few weeks to flesh it out, mostly because I needed the Internet to get the images from the movie I needed. I’m certain some were promotional while others were grabbed from pirated copies of the film. But I finally slapped it together and Card Wars: The Phantom Balance was born. Take a look. I’ll wait.

It’s funnier if you remember the Visa Card commercials that I’m parodying. Do versions of those even air anymore? I don’t watch enough commercials to know.

I remember at the time really being excited about that, because the movie had been a let down. It isn’t a bad movie, but the prequels represented a large series of broken promises to fans of the original. So many bits and pieces, and large plot elements, contradict things we were told in the 1977, 1980 and 1983 films. I’m not going to spend time pointing them out, just go Google “star wars inconsistencies” and you’ll get lots of results. Some are silly nitpicks, and still others can be explained away, but there are plenty that are slaps in the face. So, I was excited because I felt like, at least for myself, I had salvaged something. The movie was broken, but at least I was inspired to do something creative.

Over time, I’ve come to accept the movies in their imperfect forms. I can enjoy them, even if I still feel a twinge of sadness at how awesome it could have been if Lucas had simply accepted his own work as cannon and written within those constraints. We’ll never know…

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it yet, there is an awesome fan made version of the original Star Wars film. Random groups of people signed up to make their own versions of 15 second segments of the movie which was then edited together. The result is worth watching.

Anyway… Enjoy your Star Wars Day.

Outdoor F*$%ing

Jonathan Coulton has the perfect song to celebrate today. Unless your boss and coworkers are huge Coulton fans, this is entirely not safe for work.

Coincidentally, today also begins the “Burn Ban” in Georgia. So, stop the burning of your yard trash and satisfy the burning of your loins.

The Guild – Season One

If you’ve seen The Guild before, watch this with the annotations turned on to enhance the awesome. If you haven’t seen The Guild before, turn off the annotations, sit back and enjoy it edited together as one movie instead of broken into episodes – then watch it again later with the annotations.

Too Late

Podcast Playlist

Podcast Logo

Feed me.

It’s been about 9 months since I wrote about radio shows. And things have changed a little since then, so I figured I’d do a round-up and review of the podcasts I’m currently listening to. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  • Atlanta Radio Theater Company – They do all sorts of stuff, from sci-fi to horror to comedy to … well, pretty much anything. If you pull up their feed, you can listen back to several years worth of recordings, which I have. The current format for the free podcast is monthly, so once you catch up it’s easy to stay current. And if you don’t mind paying for things, you can get a bunch of their full shows at audible. Overall it’s good, though sometimes I feel the live audience detracts from my enjoyment. But for free, I can’t complain.
  • Common Sense – Dan Carlin talks about politics and current events. It’s interesting to see the way he ties topics together, all without sounding like some sort of conspiracy loon. It helps, I suppose, that I tend to agree with his views. A little confirmation bias, but at least I’m aware of it.
  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Long, sometimes multipart, podcasts about historical topics. Some are better than others, but all of them are interesting in their own way. I wish my history teachers in school had spoken with this much passion for the subject.
  • Decoder Ring Theater – Back in my original post when I was looking for old-time radio style shows, this is what I was looking for. They have two main shows, The Red Panda Adventures and Black Jack Justice, which are a Shadow-style superhero and a pulp noir detective, respectively. They also do other items in their Showcase, and like ARTC they’ve got years of shows in their feed, and I’m still catching up – I’m in June of 2007 with over 100 episodes to go, and loving every one so far.
  • How Did This Get Made? – Listen as a few comedians talk about movies that are so bad that they are awesome, and occasionally movies that are awesome but in ways that defy the Hollywood system yet still got made. I highly recommend the episode on Punisher War Zone as an example of the latter, and they even got the director on as a guest.
  • Making It – Riki Lindhome (of Garfunkel and Oates) talks to people involved with acting and movies about how they got started, the breaks they’ve had, the troubles they’ve run into and more. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in acting as a profession.
  • Penn’s Sunday School – I just started this one, so I don’t have a real opinion on it yet, but since I pretty much love everything that Penn Jillette does I’m sure this won’t be the exception.
  • Radio Free Burrito – Wil Wheaton keeps to no particular schedule and just random puts out collections of stories and bits of music. It isn’t deep, but I enjoy it.
  • The Moth – Podcast version of their True Stories Told Live, it ranges from serious and thought-provoking to silly and thought-provoking. And they are short, so I can listen to one when I run quick errands in the car.
  • The Nerdist – Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira talk to people, usually about comedy but really about anything that comes to mind. Personally, I delete all the episodes without a guest because I just don’t find their “hostfull” episodes to be worth the hour.
  • This American Life – A podcast version of the radio show, they pick a topic, interview people and tell stories. It’s more like a news program than anything else I listen to, very highly produced rather than just talking. I think I mostly listen to this because “everybody” listens to it. Half the time I’m barely paying attention. Maybe I should drop it.
  • Thrilling Adventure Hour – Much like the Decoder Ring Theater, this is new stories in the style of old-time radio, though here they do much more comedy. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anything that wasn’t comedic. Beyond Belief and Tales from the Black Lagoon are my favorites.
  • We’re Alive – A serial drama set in the zombie apocalypse. This show is right up my ally, and I cannot begin to convey the amount of pure awesome that this show is. Everyone should listen to it. If you are just starting, there are two complete seasons with the third under way.

I’m always open to more, so if you have good ones to suggest, please do so. I might just add it to my trusty Zune.

MegaBot

Be sure to watch all five episodes of MegaBot, but probably not around the kids or at work – adult language.