Monday, September 30, 2013

Cool Shit 9/30

Sometimes, when animals get together, it can look kinda amazing. Like these photos of animals congregating.

I will never get tired of videos of people launching themselves into a body of water while a upbeat summertime jam plays along. Today's entry? A homemade built ski jump slide type of thing:

Yes, the concept of selfies, is almost like a disease that is eating away at our moral fabric. But every once in awhile, someone gets it and takes it to the next level and reestablishes the balance we need between terrible and awesome. Like this guy, who takes selfies around other people who are making out.

Maybe you've always wanted to know exactly how big space ships in different science fiction universes are. Well, you don't have to wonder anymore.

First thought when you hear someone is watching one week of Korean TV is probably, "why are they putting themselves through that torture?" The second thought is most likely the first thought again. But then maybe you want to find out a little more about it. And you can also admit, you've got a thing for Korean chicks and want to know if maybe Korean TV has variety programs with scantily clad Korean women (I don't think it does).

Don't ever say the Popcorn Trick isn't here to help you out. Check out these life hacks and make yourself a better person!

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Popcorn Trick's Fall Television Guide: Friday

It's almost not worth mentioning tonight's programming, as I like to call Friday nights on television: News spectacular night, as we get a lot of hyper-sensationalized news programming either alarming us to the infinite dangers in our house, or creating laser beam focus on some young white girl's murder.

It looks like ABC might have 2 new sitcoms premiering tonight: The Neighbors and Last Man Standing, though I honestly can't tell you whether they're new or they've been on the air for the last 10 years. I can tell you that they are at least new episodes of those shows, so if you're a fan, of either/both: get excited!

I can also mention that FOX will be running another season of MasterChef with Gordon Ramsey and the two other guys, only this season there will be a twist: the contestants are kids! You know, because Kid Nation did so well, why not get more kids on television and scream at them? While I'm sure Ramsey will tone it down a bit for the kids and not scream (as much) does anyone else feel a little icky that we're watching kids perform on a show that was originally developed for adults? Who is the audience for a show like this? I'm genuinely asking.

There's a bunch of other shows on tonight as well, but seriously, do you care? Friday is the vegetables on your dinner plate of weekly television viewing, and we all know it. Stuff it in your napkin and catch up on all your DVR shows.

Cool Shit 9/27

So, there's a new drug out there (well not new, but usage is spiking in the US), krokodil one that has a similar high to heroin. Oh and it also will eat away at your skin down to the bone. So if you want to look/feel like a zombie - it's out there!

Yeah, but what about Chinese Democracy, Mr. Albini? WHAT ABOUT THAT?

Bo Diddley knows which side is up. Especially about cows.

The Coen Brothers (along with John Goodman) talk about their latest movie, Inside Llewyn Davis. And it really sounds like a real rainbows and unicorn type story!

A new Between 2 Ferns is out, this one starring Justin Bieber, and dammit if it still doesn't work. By now, you might think the format is a little tired, but it works. Credit to Zach Galifianakis and Scott Auckerman et al. for pulling it off...

These are fantastic and no way ever the worst music references to sex.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Popcorn Trick's Fall Television Guide: Thursday

Ah, Thursdays...the night networks battle for since they can run movie commercials for the weekend. We all fondly remember the dominance NBC developed over the 80s and 90s with this night, developing shows that not only were popular, but entered the zeitgeist of our society and lived on. Shows like The Cosby Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, ER...and now we've got...Well we've got some quality here and there, but the problem is nobody is watching it. CBS has staked their claim to Thursday nights with The Big Bang Theory (a show I've admittedly never watched but can't refute it's popularity) and other well, if rather still generically written sitcoms, and an hour of procedural action at 10, whether it's a CSI or most recently a Sherlock Holmes show (Elementary. I've never seen this show either, but if you want a Sherlock Holmes fix and are watching this instead of the BBC's Sherlock, well - I don't thin I can talk to you. Watching both is fine, of course). While ABC still rides the Grey's Anatomy train.

So while NBC gamely attempts to reestablish dominance, the other networks are comfortable (pretty much) with what they've got, because it seems to be working. Sure, CBS has some new sitcoms they're trotting out, but since they can be the meat in their established sandwich, it isn't too much of a risk.


The Big Bang Theory forges along, making nerd jokes aplenty. It's familiar, professionally executed and well performed. You can't ask for much more out of a sitcom. And, much like you're supposed to shiv the first guy you see when entering prison to establish you're not weak, CBS has decided to run two new episodes tonight.

Those will lead right into a new series called The Crazy Ones starring Buffy and Mork, or Sarah Michelle Gellar and Robin Williams as they're known here on planet Earth. It will be interesting to see Mr. Williams back on the small screen, and see if he can (loosely) contain himself and his schtick within the confines of a half hour show. And I'm not even sure CBS really wants him to. I'm guessing they would be fine for him to go all out and make the show completely about himself, so long as people tuned in. I'm not sure why SMG is orbiting his supernova in this though - either or of these two would be big enough for a show...I see her involvement eclipsing Williams' enough to possibly clip his wings. It's a dicey paella of a show which I can't imagine has found its course yet. Will it before audiences skip out on it? Remains to be seen.

Apparently Two and a Half Men is still on. That was news to me. It's on at 9:30 tonight, right before the big event of Sherlock going back to London on Elementary, which - I can't even talk about since he's from there so really it's not THAT big of a deal.


In this day and age, when a show gets huge ratings, you replay it. You hope the people that missed it get badgered enough by the people that did see it that they go ahead and watch the replay. It's called "Watercooler guilt watching" (I just made that up, but I'm going to go with it. Just pretend it's a thing. Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did big numbers, so ABC is running it again tonight. And why not? I bet they run it again Saturday night too.

We're also getting a 2 hour Grey's Anatomy because apparently there's still something interesting to be said about hospital romances. That's what this show is all about, right? I have never watched a minute of it. But it too does well so I don't begrudge it. Run it into the ground, ABC!


I think there's more X-Factor on tonight. My god there's a lot of singing on TV these days. And FOX has a monopoly, because after the reality show singing, we get fiction show singing with Glee. The Beatles are featured tonight because Paul McCartney wanted a new solid diamond yacht. I guess vanilla singing Beatles will do fairly well, but where does it go from here? Seems like a load is being blown early and I expect Glee's numbers to tumble down as the season goes.


Ah NBC. That you could earn money through critical acclaim NBC would have Paul McCartney's solid diamond yacht collection. But you can't, so they don't. Parks and Recreation returns, for a whole hour tonight, and maybe this will be the year people start watching.

After that we get not one but 2 episodes of Michael J. Fox's show, called The Michael J. Fox show, which is almost all you need to know about it. As in, the plot, story, characters (aside from Michael J. Fox) will all take a back seat to Michael J. Fox. This is the show NBC ordered a full season of BEFORE it had anything else other than its name (and presumably its star, with the aforementioned name). Unheard of! So they really want to see it do well. The problem is, after his Parkinson's (which apparently is featured prominently) is beaten to death with shaky jokes (pun and cringe fully intended, but before you judge me, watch the show) there doesn't seem to be much else there. And to build a show on a Parkinson's foundation...well it's nothing if not innovative, I guess.

10:00 gets Parenthood, which always felt like 6 Feet Under lite, especially with Peter Krause's involvement. When is Sportsnight coming back?

There you have it. Thursday nights. Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

Cool Shit 9/26: Has Bigfoot been found?

Ever wonder about how Lorne Michaels put together Saturday Night Live? Hear how it all began from the horse's mouth!

You can't complain that Netflix streaming doesn't have anything on once you click this link to check out the some awesome documentaries. And yes, just because it might be true doesn't mean it will be boring.

Maybe you're aware that Nick Offerman was a huge breakdancer in the 80s. Maybe I'm the stupid one who never had this knowledge. But just because I might be stupid doesn't mean you won't enjoy this interview with him about it.

Could you imagine at the end of Return of the Jedi if Luke had put the Vader mask on and destroyed the rebels? I guess Lucas is just a pussy for not going all dark side on this. That's just one thing you'll read about the making of Return of the Jedi.

The 2013 TV fall season is soooo 2013. We need to get excited about what's coming next. NEXT! It's always about NEXT! (Yes, I know this list of anticipated shows has some from 2013, but to acknowledge that would have meant I couldn't write that scathing joke commentary about our culture. Duh.)

The legalization of marijuana in Colorado is a big deal, bigger than we're even thinking about right now. And the ramifications it has put in play will influence our lives for years to come. Both economically and socially. And it's kind of amazing to me that there's not much attention put toward it. Relatively speaking of course. But seriously, an illegal drug was made legal!

If you're a fan of Bigfoot, this map representing all the places he/she/it/they have been reportedly spotted is essential for your research.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Popcorn Trick's Fall Television Preview: Wednesday

Few new shows on Wednesday night...possibly because Modern Family on ABC has such a death grip on the evening, or possibly because all the networks have locked in on their Wednesday night strategy and dammit they aren't changing it for anyone! Not sure why, but we'll still dive in and take a look at what could happen...


It was over 20 years ago when I first tuned into watch a bunch of people stranded on an island trying to win a million dollars. And somehow Survivor is still going strong. Well, still going at least. It's difficult to infuse fresh thinking in such a traditionally structured game. But the producers have been game and some things have worked, mostly to do with creating narratives for the contestants. This year it appears the tension is being created by asking the contestants to screw over someone they have had a relationship with. I think. Haven't watched the show in awhile since I know what's coming - backstabbing, weightloss and vomiting up hamburgers. The players might change, but the editing never does.

CBS is also sticking with their procedurals Criminal Minds and a CSI at 10. Not sure what people see in Criminal Minds, as it's an extremely disturbing show. I'd like the NSA to keep a list of faithful viewers as it's one thing to watch a show about a serial killer once in awhile, but to continue to revisit the concept, week after week...


Sticking with the shows that got them here, ABC is premiering Modern Family tonight with an hour long episode. Before that we get a new The Middle, which I believe is the only successful show that no one admits to watching, and a new show called Get in the Game, starring James Caan as a gruff little league baseball coach. Did he lose a bet? Was Brian Dennehy not available? Is Brian Dennehy mad that James Caan is encroaching on his bread and butter roles? Can we get a show where James Caan and Brian Dennehy are neighbors that don't like each other and continually escalate pranks against one another? Is anyone out there writing this down?

Back on track, I love James Caan, but not when he's neutered like this. I can't imagine this show will do that well.

Also, surprisingly, Nashville is back on the air at 10:00. Seems like ABC is going to take one more stab at getting eyeballs on this critics' darling.  I wonder if network executives feel even the tiniest twinge of guilt when they cancel a really good show?


While not a new show, a big change: Revolution is moved to tonight, leaving it's Monday timeslot and beautiful lead-in of the Voice to maybe build an audience at 8:00...Revolution is an interesting show...wildly inconsistent last year, it never seemed to grab audiences, mostly because it never knew which character to completely latch onto. That, coupled with the numerous story lines and characters made for a show with a great concept but lousy execution. Seriously, we went from a point where we learned there was no electricity to a major war with factions and a resistance group. SLOW DOWN REVOLUTION! There's plenty to explore and develop without pinning the gas pedal down the entire time. I understand that there was a backlash to Lost and that people thought it moved too slow, but you know what else Lost had? Great ratings! Weekly buzz! You don't have to answer all the questions so soon if you build interesting mysteries and have an eventual plan in place to answer them. I feel like Revolution got so caught up in explaining the power outage and wanting to make sure we all understood it they rushed through the episodes to get us there and now no one understands anything.

Take a breather, focus on some of the characters a little more, give us some complexity, and you will have a good show on your hands. The Walking Dead hasn't come close to telling us what happened with the zombies and people keep turning into that!

Also, Law & Order:SVU is back, fulfilling the contract the United States has with Dick Wolf to ensure there is always a Law & Order on somewhere. Tonight it's 2 hours, so I'm guessing we'll get a Dateline or test pattern next week at 10 from NBC.


And we thought Seth McFarlane was cozy with FOX. Simon Cowell must have something over the network execs at FOX, because we once again have The X-Factor, another music competition that involves judges, teams, categories and hair gel. The one thing it doesn't include is drama. There's just too much going on, but it obviously makes money, so we're subjected to it.

And that's your Wednesday nights. Pretty boring actually. Thursday is where it's gonna start getting bloody. Until then...

Missed Monday and Tuesday's previews? Check them out here and here.

Cool Shit 9/25: John McEnroe Unleashed on the Tennis Court

While I understand "8 bizarre movie conspiracies" doesn't have the same ring as padding the number to 10 - the 3 Men and a Baby ghost really has nothing to do with the movie, nor does the Poltergeist curse. Next time, if you need help, let me know.

There are places in this world that are burning up. Continuously. Like for a long time with no end in sight.

I'm not going to say that someone who created a fake scientific report on Wolverine's regenerative body has too much time on his/her hands...

Are we sure it was just an earthquake that created a new island? I've seen enough James Bond movies to know that is smart to question suddenly appearing islands. If we don't, the next thing you know is we'll be caught up in some global takeover attempt by a man and his cat.

A look at what perfection in an athlete's performance actually tells him/her, through the performance of one of my all time favorite athletes: John McEnroe. And here's the video the article refers to throughout:

The Monopoly obsession continues with the Popcorn Trick - what the Monopoly properties look like in real life.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Popcorn Trick's Fall Television Preview: Tuesday

Anyone catch any of the new stuff last night? Monday Night Football was a yawner...The Voice already felt tired and stale for some reason, even with Aguilera shucking and jiving as hard as she could for her network bosses to infuse new energy into the charade.

I chose to watch The Blacklist and DVR Hostages. So, my thoughts on The Blacklist...

First: James Spader. I don't think he was crazy enough. I wanted more over the topness. But maybe that's just me. I liked the Duddley Do Right FBI agent from Homeland, and wish he was playing that character so we could have a crossover. The female lead? A bore. Her traits were the same as every female character in a law enforcement role on television. Tough as nails but she has her issues.

As is traditional with television pilots, I thought a lot of this episode was inconsistent. It moved so fast and broke so many reveals it was almost easy to check out at times because nothing was established. I enjoyed the reveal about the husband, but felt like that was something that could have been hinted out for a few episodes and then revealed later in the season for stronger resonance.

Also, all the family stuff is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face. At this point I think the surprise would be that Spader WASN'T her father.

There was a lot to like, and the subject matter is in my wheelhouse, so I'll stick with it for awhile. But I really hope it slows down, just a little even, to let the stories and overall vibe breathe some more. This will in turn make the twists and turns even stronger.

What did everyone else think?

Ok, on to Tuesday...


CBS ain't fucking around on Tuesday. The acronyms are strong tonight. Both NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles are back and aren't taking prisoners. Tonight begins the long goodbye of Ziva from NCIS which is sure to grab a lot of viewers, possibly more than this show already attracts. The question then becomes will NCIS keep the audience once she's off the show. A popular character, Cote de Pablo's shoes are big to fill, and Emily Wickersham who is the supposed replacement, better be ready.

Rounding out the night is obviously the other NCIS, and Person of Interest, one of those shows that quietly gets the traction it needs from a dedicated audience, and I don't see any change in that. I'd be surprised if the other networks did much against CBS on Tuesday nights.


ABC looks to have the biggest changes for Tuesday, starting with the show with the seemingly biggest buzz this year, Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Banking on the popularity of superheroes in the movies translating to television (albeit with minor characters and a minor budget), ABC hopes to see geeks/nerds and other fans turn in on a Tuesday night. Which...this just doesn't feel like the right evening for a show like this. Sunday night...Thursday night...even Wednesday...all better options in my book. The problem with a show like this, that seemingly has a built-in audience is that it has to be detailed enough to speak to that audience, but also broad enough to attract more audience. That is a delicate tightrope to walk. I think the show will premiere to a big number, but then gradually leak numbers, and then the tinkering will begin. Whether the tinkering will work is the million dollar question.

ABC also has two new sitcoms debuting tonight: The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife and I'll say this about these shows: both boast really strong casts. The buzz for both has been generally positive; though I'm not sure about The Goldbergs. I know The Wonder Years worked as a period piece, but I think that had to do more tapping into the zeitgeist of the time. It also focused almost exclusively on the kids, which allowed viewers to feel nostalgic about their awkward years. Very relatable. The Goldbergs won't have that luxury, and is looking to be more of an ensemble. That worked for Modern Family of course, but so didn't work for Arrested Development (ratings wise, certainly not content wise). And I think that's what the Goldbergs is shooting for, the bullseye between Modern Family and Arrested Development. I just don't know how big that bullseye that is, and if it misses...

Trophy Wife sounds like one of those bland sitcoms with a silly premise, until you look at the cast, and then you start to ask what these people are doing in a show like this, until eventually you become intrigued enough to tune in.

I'm just not sure any of this matters since both these shows are up against night two of The Voice and NCIS: Los Angeles. Finding their audience will be difficult.

And at 10, it seems as though ABC has given up with the show, Lucky 7, about winners of a big lottery and old problems that didn't fix, and the new problems it's created. The over/under on number of episodes shown is 2.5.


So, tonight we have another 2 hours of The Voice. You certainly can't accuse network executives of holding back. Or looking to the future. Obviously, nothing was learned from burning out Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I'm not sure how long NBC is going to run 4 hours of The Voice every week, but I hope this is not the norm, because Voice fatigue is going to be a very real problem for NBC if this goes on throughout the show's run.

Chicago Fire will benefit from The Voice lead-in here, a perfectly bland show with firefighter hunks and recycled ER story lines.


Fox pairs its returning sitcoms of New Girl and The Mindy Project with Dads and Brooklyn 99, two shows whose buzz is going in opposite directions. It's a shame that Dads has such talent with the cast (at least the Dads), and none with the writing. But I see this show sticking around because it's from Seth McFarlane, and he is currently FOX's golden goose. Rather than piss him off, they'll keep moving Dads around at least for a season until people just forget about it.

Brooklyn 99 on the other hand boasts some decent buzz and Andre Braugher, who can do no wrong in my book. Thankfully his presence allows me to add this:

I hope Brooklyn 99 does well because I think the humor is clever and the people involved have something good on their hands. Even if the premiere last week was uneven, sitcoms need time to find their voice. I hope this one is given a chance.

Check back tomorrow for Wednesday's preview...

Cool Shit 9/24

In 2013, I'm posting an article about a school banning a book. We are doing something wrong.

A quick little video with facts about Playboy. What an interesting, wonderful magazine. Especially true after the book banning article.

I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds awesome. It's a Norwegian film called Troll Hunter, and it's on Netflix. While this article talks about the director getting a chance to make an American remake, take a moment to at least watch the trailer here:

If you're a child of the late 80s/early 90s, you'll enjoy these 15 facts about Nickelodeon. Also, it gives me an opportunity to link to this article I wrote way back about the top Nickelodeon kids' game shows.

I'm not even sure where to begin with this Japanese robot karate movie. The trailer below simply doesn't do it justice, so after watching, read this article about it.

Our continuing coverage of the movie Escape from Tomorrow, the movie shot on the Disney property, takes us into a detailed account of just how the movie was made exactly. And Disney? They're still mum. Conspicuously mum.

Punk rock couture can be purchased for $375 at Urban Outfitters. You know, I don't blame Urban Outfitters for trying to cash in. I mean, sure it's disgusting and expensive, but that's what capitalism allows. No, I blame punk rockers. In their quest to destroy the tradition and identity of other groups they deemed stupid and materialistic, they instead simply created their own identity to be cashed in on. Instead of mocking others for their look, they should have shredded any sense of materialism, or at least not put such effort into the rebellion of style. But now, that's where we are.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Popcorn Trick's Fall Television Preview: Monday

Unlike most fall previews, The Popcorn Trick is going to take you night by night, and try to analyze what will succeed, what will fail, and what will annoy.

This analysis is obviously the work of some pretty serious insiders in the business, so they know what they're talking about. Feel free to pick their brains in the comment section...


The network of acronyms and racist sitcoms, CBS is not looking to change their formula anytime soon. Returning How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls, they have a strong foundation they can fill the edges around. How I Met Your Mother especially has some new buzz, now that we know the mother has been introduced in this last season. Early on that alone will get a big audience; whether it can hold it as the season goes time will tell.

New shows...


I have high hopes for Mom, simply because I enjoy the works of both Anna Farris and Allison Janney. Unfortunately, with CBS and sitcoms, the writing stays broad and if the stars don't resonate, the show won't. But it's got a nice time slot, following 2 Broke Girls, so I'm predicting a moderate success.


The same can't be said for Hostages. In the 10:00 hour, already up against a show (The Blacklist) that is most likely similar in tone, it's starting as the underdog. While DVR can help shows up against other popular ones, Hostages isn't exactly getting great buzz. I've enjoyed Dylan McDermott ever since In the Line of Fire, and the rest of the cast has some heavy hitters, but I don't see Hostages sticking it out here. Expect a news show to fill in the 10:00 hour on CBS by November.


Why fool with success? Dancing with the Stars is a juggernaut on Monday nights. So we're back to sashaying around and driving up Facebook posts from housewives demanding their followers vote for their favorite soap star. And Castle, a show that I'm surprised is on every time I see that it is on, follows, garnering a nice lead in and I assume a great chemistry from its leads. By now, it has developed its characters and themes enough to call it a detective soap opera, and has a strong fan base. Good for Castle!


The Voice is back, in case you didn't know, with Aguilera and Cee-Lo returning to their chairs. Not sure if that will give a boost to the show or not - Shakira and Usher seemed to do a competent job and no one missed a beat. But whatever, while the show's gimmick is getting a bit tired, this will still draw its fans and do well, but NBC has to be biting its nails wondering what else they can scratch up to retain it's audience. Revolution was completely uneven, so now they've turned their attention to...

The Blacklist

...or more specifically, James Spader. Obviously, it's a Silence of the Lambs ripoff, with Spader playing a international criminal mastermind who suddenly turns himself into the FBI but will only speak with some rookie, female agent (who is his daughter, right? I mean, it's not like we're watching Rubicon here) and help her track down other international criminal masterminds.

Apparently Spader does his Spaderist in this one and chews scenery with aplomb. And because that's not entirely a terrible thing to watch, The Blacklist has a shot to become something here. God knows NBC is banking on it, pushing a lot of money to promote this thing. It's set up to do well and doesn't look like it has too much competition around it (see the aforementioned Hostages - or don't), so we'll see how long the gimmick of Mastermind and rookie relationship can go.


We've got Bones, and then the completely crazy Sleepy Hollow this year. Bones will do Bones things and keep its audience, and I'm not sure what to make of Sleepy Hollow. It's completely insane, and kills Clancy Brown off way too early, destroying a chance to enjoy his talents for a longer run. Also, it's got a lot of things wrapped in its premise, which I think is going to hurt the minds of viewers. Fantasy is tricky. It works when you go all in, like Game of Thrones; when you dabble and try to mix other genres in, it starts getting a little too loopy. Sleepy Hollow doesn't seem serious enough for geeks, but too serious for the casual viewer to keep coming back to it. I don't see it surviving unless it's got fans a the network (and I really doubt that).

Tomorrow...we take a look at FOX and their sitcom lineup and peripheral superheroes!

Cool Shit 9/23

This is a detailed look at the body count John Rambo tallied in the first 3 Rambo movies. Very detailed. Like maybe-this-author-should-be-on-some-sort-of-watchlist detailed. And yet why it excludes Rambo 4 I'll never know. So the creator is an obsessively detailed person that doesn't pay attention to detail I guess.

Stephen King has a a new book coming out, called Dr. Sleep. It's a sequel of sorts to The Shining. Say what you want about Stephen King, but the man can write. Simply because he's a genre writer, he gets short shrift, but he will go down as one of the country's greatest novelists. Or at least should. Here's an interview with the fella.

Grand Theft Auto made over $800 million dollars in sales in one day. It's already over the one billion dollar mark. Controversy sells I guess. And this person bought it and proceeded to "solve" it within 38 hours. Here's his account.

341 diamond robberies? Called the Pink Panther Gang? Ridiculous. The story is incredible. Is this guy on their trail yet?

Fantastic natural landscapes. Places everyone should make a point of trying to visit someday.

No tribute for Jack Klugman on the Emmys last night? Why, he was only 50% of the Odd Couple! 100% of Quincy. I too, like Klugman's son, am outraged! Which is why The Popcorn Trick will provide it's own tribute for Mr. Jack Klugman!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cool Shit 9/20

I'm not sure if reading articles like this should make me feel good that the Pentagon has people as stupid as me working on major projects, or make me feel bad that the Pentagon has people as stupid as me working on major projects.

Proof of alien life! You'd think, a story as big as that might be picked up by a few other news agencies. Oh well. Their loss I guess.

Network executives bickering. Over Netflix. It bemuses me to read articles like this, since shouldn't network executives, instead of calling the other ones out, be challenged to simply be better than their competitors? Don't like what Netflix is doing? Come up with something better than Netflix! I know that's obviously easier said than done, but it's also a smarter strategy than "bashing Netflix in hopes of making them look stupid." Pretty sure Netflix isn't going to crumble after being called names. But hey, I'm not a network executive.

Trailer for Snowpiercer, a movie I'm excited for. Why? Because it looks so fantastically insane. And it sounds so fantastically insane. Allegedly it's a class warfare story based on a post apocalyptic train. I do have one question - why doll up Tilda Swinton so much to look old and unrecognizable. Isn't her look just begging for Maggie Smith to have been cast?

Of course Google wants people to live longer. It will completely revolutionize their revenue stream!

Apparently this Dario Argento fellow has a cult following, mostly based on his film Suspiria. I've never seen Suspiria, and after watching the trailer for his latest movie, Dracula 3D, I'm not rushing it to put it into my Netflix cue. Though it boasts Rutger Hauer, it also seems to boast student film production values and stilted acting.

Brilliant. The "Sassy" Rick Grimes Halloween costume. For $49.99. Because if you think you can just pick up a machete and pair it with your sexy cop costume you wore last year, you got another thing coming! Walking Dead forever!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cool Shit 7/19

There are some pretty spectacular pictures here...all taken from a plane. Or maybe a balloon. Possibly a blimp. At least I know they're from the sky.

While the guy doing it leaves a little to be desired, this video is a cool look at what movies could have been, and what movies we never got, but could have.

If you've been even semi-following this blog, you most likely have at least heard of the movie Escape from Tomorrow, the small, independent film that was shot sans permission at Disneyland. It's a neat story of ingenuity and chutzpah. Of course, when it screened at Sundance to decent reviews, people figured there was no way it would ever get released. Well, that actually doesn't seem to be the case, at least according to this article. The ever litigious Disney Corporation is taking a "less attention to the matter will make it go away quicker" approach, something that to me, seems a little fishy. I mean, they go after everyone in order to protect their brand, but now all of the sudden with a movie that allegedly casts the theme park in a moderately negative light (rumors I've heard turn some of the princesses into prostitutes) they're hands off.

So, I have a theory. I believe this film is actually clever marketing for an actual Disney film called Tomorrowland, which will come out next year. I'm not sure how the two will connect, and I realize this would be unprecedented but also a genius marketing move. Because I just don't believe Disney is simply giving this independent movie a free pass based on the concept that if they go after it they will be creating more publicity for it.

Or maybe I'm just part of the marketing machine for either/both these movies and you're really being played. Trustno1.

So if you're local bar doesn't have a resident Cliff Clavin, memorize these crazy facts about the Earth and head on down to annoy all!

Argh, it's things like this that get me more frustrated with Lost, a television show that has been off the air for years! Here's a "guide" that was given to writers after the pilot aired (I believe) to help them create stories for the show. If only it had been followed a little closer, we might have had a nice, self-contained show.

Joined Pinterest awhile ago and are not really sure why? Take a look at these 65 accounts on it and pick up some useful things that will help with your life. And then pretend they were your ideas all along.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cool Shit 9/18

While the title is a bit misleading (I only count two of these as an actual sport), I included it for the Paf-Ball. Which looks incredibly insane.

I've ever been to Europe to ski, but these 5 runs have me intrigued.

Here's a new Beck song, which apparently won't be on his new album. I've long since given up on attempting to predict what Beck will do, and have simply decided to sit back and let his "Beckness" wash over me. Which is specifically hard with this new song, "Gimme."

Well, step up right and gather around so you can hear the story of the Goat Man!

Summer's just about gone...why not start getting excited with this snowboarding video, appropriated to look like a 1960s European travel commercial?

I'm not sure what this ad for Dewars makes me want to do more, drink or write. Luckily, it's easy to do both at the same time!

"Live True" Dewar's White Label [English] from &Rosàs on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cool Shit 9/17

On the one hand, I'm glad these 32 people escaped death from the hands of others...on the other, I can't think of a creepier way to start off a Tuesday than reading about how these 32 people escaped death from the hands of others. Enjoy!

ESPN can say all it wants about how their business model and relationships won't affect its journalistic integrity, but I'm don't see how it can't. And that's the age we live in. And with more sports channels entering the fray, it's only going to get worse. Thankfully, it's just sports entertainment, and our news channels would never have their journalistic coverage tainted by big business!

Perhaps it's because I've been in its community for awhile now, but I like to think the CrossFit and Tough Mudders social aspects that draw so many people to to them took some of their influence from Ultimate Frisbee, a sport that has a strong "social gathering" element. Of course, I could simply just be being biased as well.

Years ago, probably 2004 or so I bought an ipod online from someone. And the person had left his music library on it, probably at least a thousand or so mp3s. So while I took a cursory look through them, I didn't sit and listen to everything. I added some of my music onto it and then would routinely hit random while at work and enjoyed a varied playlist of music I knew and didn't.

Until one day the ipod landed on a strange, audio clip, about a minute long, talking about stories of clowns driving around in vans in small towns. Obviously I was intrigued, but it had no description or anything else to offer what and where it came from.

But I loved that audio clip, because it sounded so factual. As if it were taken from a documentary, or at least an audio book. I searched the internet for clues and came across a few mild bread crumbs, but nothing substantial.

And then my wife dropped my ipod, and the clown story was gone...

Until today!!! Well, at least there's evidence here that suggests the clown epidemic has a following of some sort. Seeing a clown walking around my town would probably put me on edge.

Ugh. I'm sure fans of The Walking Dead are excited about the idea of a spinoff, but I think it's a horrible idea. Aside from the pilot, and maybe three or four episodes, the first two seasons of this show were bad. And while season 3 was an improvement, it was inconsistent and left us with a weird cliffhanger and a a two-dimensional villain riding off into the sunset. To further spread thin the creative minds behind this show by putting another show on their plate will only produce 2 mediocre shows.

Judgement Night! A terrible Emilio Estevez movie; a brilliant rock/rap fusion soundtrack. And it turns 20 this year. Look, it definitely was a gimmick, but dang it, the gimmick worked. Take popular rap and rock groups and have them make music. Why it needed to be connected to this awful movie I'll never understand, but if we have to wade knee deep through an Estevez swamp to get some good muss, I'll do it every time (ok, like 6 times out of ten).

For those of you with Spotify, here's a link to the album. Get pumped in your cube and frighten Sally from accounting. And if you don't have Spotify, enjoy two of my favorite tracks below...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cool Shit 9/16

Unbelievable photos of "thrill seekers" caught in their element. Take a look and be dazzled as you have never been dazzled before!

Sriracha. Or cock sauce as some people call it. Some people not including me because that can be misinterpreted. Especially when in the lunch room of a convent when asking for it to be passed. Think about it. Anyway, here's some factoids about the stuff.

Well, if this new information is proven true, Elton John is going to have to update his song!

I feel this video of a guy jamming a knife into a toaster is fake, but then again, I was raised in a household where my mother suggested every video on America's Funniest Home Videos was fake, so I might not be the best judge. Also, I'm not about to conduct my own experiment either.

Most of these facts about cruise ships you probably already knew, or could figure out if you gave cruise ships any kind of thought. But this also gives me the opportunity to linke to one of David Foster Wallace's better essays, Shipping Out: In the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise.

More X-Files stuff - Want to remember the show fondly? Flip through this A-Z guide of it. Also - waiting for the ambitious writer/reporter to do an oral history on the show. Duchovny quotes alone would make it a must read.

Cool time lapse of the sky at the beach...

Ghost towns aren't exclusive to the United States, if you ever thought that. Which would kind of be silly.

You might look at this chart and say to yourself, "Wow, I didn't know these foods had so much sugar in them." But I look at the chart and say, "Wow, Krispy Kreme donuts really don't have a lot of sugar in them!"

Take a look at this list just to read the phrase "diamond rain." And yes, there are some other cool facts about the solar system here too.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cool Shit 9/13

To get your Friday the 13th off right, here's a list of the best and worst kills from the popular franchise with the same name as the date.

No, I'm not sure why Robocop would choose this specific South Korean family to climb out of the television for food, and I'm also not sure why he was so interested in the fridge, but I do know that adding Robocop to any ad campaign would get me interested.

People seem to like this Louis CK fella so I figure it can't hurt to link to an interview with him.

I'm a huge Captain Beefheart fan, so I like to think of his "Ten Commandments of Guitar Playing," as pretty much the gospel on the subject. That I suspect few current guitar players ever followed these commandments is a testament to the mostly crappy guitar playing we currently have. Linking to this also gives me the opportunity to link to some Beefheart music...

The Surfer Cartel - at least I think that's a better headline than the one Esquire used ("Coronado High") to tell the story of a bunch of surfers selling weed in the United States back in the 60s/70s.

Go here to see a trailer for the movie Escape from Tomorrow, which has gotten some buzz because it was shot in Disneyland, sans permission, something that kinda/sorta boggles the mind even if you're mildly familiar with the strictness of the Disney Corporation. Though I will simply say I find the irony delicious that when I tried to find this trailer on Youtube, it had been seemingly taken down by the creators of the movie.

Also, it is entirely possible this trailer is the only footage you will see of this movie.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cool Shit 9/12

Did you know there's a scale to determine how "dark" the night sky is? Did you know it's most likely you'll never see the Milky Way - and that that's a darn shame?

NASA has an Instagram account, and you should definitely be following it, because you never know when they'll post space boobs! Here are the 10 best pics from it so far (no space boobs included...yet).

So yesterday, I posted my take on the board game Monopoly. Today we have a look at what Flavorwire has to say about the game (or, more specifically, the game pieces, which I touched on). No idea why they didn't delve deeper into the shame the thimble brings to people who choose it.

I think we're just so accustomed to it, we don't see it until it's pointed out, but graphic designers really should take a chill with the Photoshop when it comes to magazine covers. Here's a look at some of the more egregious cover shots.

Oh, nothing much here, just an online business model for selling breast milk.

It's most likely there's something on this list that has kept you alive to this point.

If you have a fear of heights, or more specifically a fear of falling from heights, this video collection of people falling probably isn't for you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cool Shit 9/11

Before the Onion, there was The Weekly World News around to troll us. Sure, it didn't have the biting satire that the Onion has, but it still stood guard at every supermarket checkout aisle, waiting to offer its insane headlines to all who passed. And now, apparently I'm supposed to believe some of the headlines were actually true?

What it's like to be a lobsterman in Maine. You know, people I know who live up there continually tell me I'd be sick of lobster if I was around it all the time. That doesn't mean I don't want to test their theory.

Ugh, I'm not sure why I'm so annoyed by this family only living with 1986 technology, but I am. Maybe it's because it could be a publicity stunt. Maybe it's because it's affecting their livelihood because he'll only use a fax machine at work. Maybe because, while technology obviously has its sociological challenges, it seems the guy was a bit drastic in his solution when his kid wouldn't go outside because he was playing on his ipad. It seems like this gimmick is his answer to "parenting."

I can't begin to tell you how I remembered/stumbled over this, but if you enjoy Monopoly, and mildly chuckle at some of the stuff I write, then you might not vomit after reading a piece I wrote a long time ago about the joys of the board game Monopoly.

In case you're stupid and are constantly outside in thunderstorms, here's a look at how you might survive a lightning strike.

I think "terrible actors" might be a little strong, but even stars with "limited range" can produce a great performance, which sort of suggests this entire article is one big oxymoron, no?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cool Shit 9/10

Here are five materials made by man that I believe you'll probably take for granted in the next ten years.  It's like a really boring science fiction novel, but real, so still boring, but informative. Like that European History class you took as a junior and went to 3-4 times.

Hey, we all know Google is great for searching for porn - and I guess other stuff. But I'm willing to bet very few of us use google to its fullest potential. Here are five services you may not have known Google offered.

So there may be a Wizard of the Oz (sequel? spinoff?) something coming to television soon, and it's plot is kind of crazy. Like the characters-you-all-loved-from-the-original-movie-have-become-fascist-dictators crazy.

Trailer for the new HBO show True Detective. I believe this series will follow one case for an entire season, and then start with a whole new case at the beginning of the next. And I thought I read somewhere that the cases were real, but I can't find mention of that anywhere now.

The X-Files is 20 years old. It premiered in September of 1993. This story, which is definitely worth reading, tangentially talks about the show, before going off into the author's memories about growing up. Just as I am about to...

I remember sitting in my dorm room on a Friday night (because that's what all the cool kids did, right?) with my roommate when it first came on. I hadn't heard of it (this being the time of Internet infancy) and had already missed the first few episodes. We watched "Space," not a particularly great episode, but I could see the potential of the series...better yet the concept of the show spoke to my paranoia-conspiratorial mind. Growing up I loved to believe in the unknown, had desperately wanted to see a UFO (from afar of course; I'm no Roy Neary), wanted to travel into the Pacific Northwest in search of Bigfoot, to travel to Scotland and once and for all get to the bottom of Loch Ness, be visited by Men in Black (this was before Wil Smith and Tommy Lee Jones made them cool; to me references to Men in Black - or MiBs as my friends and I called them) were mysterious and dangerous...and scary.

As I was older skepticism, cynicism and rationalization settled into my head, but I never gave up on the fantasticical mysteries that could still be out there. And Mulder's mantra, "I want to believe" hit me at my core. I mean, I even recreated that poster and have it hanging in a room in my basement right now. Yes, The X-Files thinned itself out like a runny italian dressing at an Old Country Buffet salad bar near the end, but it's identity latched on to audiences everywhere and made us not only think monsters could be real, but that the real monster was the government. And look where we are now.

Ok, we need something lighter. How about some ridiculous Gwyneth Paltrow quotes? Quotes that fully show that her reality is somewhere not on this planet. If that big spaceship, living thing from Elysium ever became a potential reality, I'm 90% certain not only would Ms. Gwyneth be the first to sign up to get up there, she would definitely be helping fund the militaristic defense system to keep the ugly "middle class heathens" down here on Earth.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cool Shit 9/9

Burning Man has always been a intriguing event for me, being that I'm over 3,000 miles away from it, and not likely to ever get there. But I enjoy its vision and ideals, and hope it continues without ever selling out, over commericalizing or degrading into something it doesn't stand for. And if you need an idea of what it is all about, these 50 pictures of the best art installations over the years do a great job.

Beastie Boys on Arsenio Hall back in the day (1992). Special appearance by Cypress Hill at the end. Surpringly, it takes about 3 seconds before Cypress Hill makes a weed reference. I think that's actually a long time for them.

Be careful when you decide to run a contest, survey or poll on the internet, because you might not like the results. But let's hear it for Pitbull, for at least abiding by the results.

I loved The Fall Guy as a kid, so the news is bad enough that Dwayne Johnson is on board with the remake. But to hear McG is set to helm? It's a travesty. Also, no word on Doug Barr reprising his role? I can't imagine he's busy. Let's just enjoy the opening credits here and hope this never happens.

(Some people might suggest Kelsey Grammar is the apex of stars singing theme songs to their television shows, but I think you'll agree with me that the dulcet tones of Lee Majors here blows him out of the water.)

Ok, I know the allure of Craigslist is delicious to some of you, taunting you, begging you, seducing you to reply, to explore, to reach out into the semi-unknown...and I know for every ugly transgression there are probably thousands of successful transactions/meetups/whatevers...but seriously, show a little caution. (Also, this story is really well put together, so definitely read it.

If this Hamm's commercial ran today, I think I might actually drink a Hamms. And that's saying something. Actually, if they recast the "cook" with John Hamm, I'd definitely drink a Hamms. Do you hear that Hamms? You've got at least one Hamms customer if you recast John Hamm in the following Hamms commercial!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cool Shit 9/5

If this doesn't sum up what's wrong with our social values, than I don't know what does. A billionaire - BILLIONAIRE - competing in the sport of kings, already trying to price everyone out of an already priced out "sport" (yachting), has a team penalized for cheating. Congrats Larry Ellison! You've made it difficult for me to root for the USA!

So, James Cameron suggests that the upcoming film Gravity is the best "space" film ever made. I guess I'll just assume he hasn't seen Ice Pirates?

Speaking of Gravity, here's a new trailer for the movie. Is it possible to be claustrophobic in the endless mass of space?

A look at how real Breaking Bad told by a former drug kingpin.

My brother, self-proclaimed "World's biggest Arby's fan," apparently has some competition. I mean, I'm not even sure he's been to more than 5 Arby's total.

This list of 10 cover songs from the last ten years is shockingly bad. Look for a counter list from myself later today.

Here's another story for the UGM Club! (The UGM club was a club I founded with 2 other members to explore the mysterious world of UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters. Though we haven't had a meeting since second grade when we founded the club, I'm pretty sure I can get the gang back together for this one.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cool Shit 9/4

Celebrities when they were younger. Let's hear it for Betty White, huh?

Ok, so here's a slightly better preview than yesterday's GQ atrocity. This one sticks strictly to movies. And there are some cool ones coming out.

Speaking of good previews, here's a look at the upcoming television landscape, offering you trailers for both new and returning shows, as well as premiere dates.

Sure there's a conflict in Syria which is putting us on the brink of being world police again. But let's get to the more important things. How can we possibly live with the current 50 Shades of Grey cast?

That tuna roll you're eating for breakfast you got at the sushi food truck outside your apartment? It's probably not tuna.

It's hard for me to stumble upon something called "India's Wall of Death," and not link to it. In fact it's impossible. I've sat here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out why someone would do something like this, and I can 't figure it out. I guess there's a cool factor. Oh, and while I'm sure there will be a moment in the video where you say to yourself, "Ok, that's cool and crazy and all, but it's getting just a little boring with the motorcycles continuously zooming around in a circle," don't worry, because then the cars come out. And the passengers in the cars? They may be the coolest cats on the planet.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cool Shit 9/3

With September here, the kids are off to school, and the networks and movie studios are getting themselves ready to offer new entertainment. And who better than GQ to offer us a look at some of the potential breakouts this Fall? I mean, they can certainly pick out a lot of clothes that would make me go bankrupt should I ever decide I need to look like a Croatian gangster.

Big Bond fan here, so I appreciated a look at some of the funnier moments from the films. Though Moonraker does step from funny to silly once or twice. Let's pretend it never happened.

To me, there's few things weirder or eerier than an abandoned amusement park. Don't think so? Check out these pictures first. And then imagine you're there and a gang of rogue, out of work, disheveled looking clowns are stumbling after you while you are taking a look at the dilapidated roller coaster. Because obviously out of work clowns frequent abandoned amusement parks.

So it seems that Hollywood, in its attempt to create huge piles of money this summer, kinda did the opposite. Once again I'm reminded of a snake eating itself, as this graph suggests they released too many blockbusters, and the public simply said enough. Of course, I also might argue that the quality of these blockbusters had something to do with it as well.

It's funny. Today I woke up and started thinking about what I could have for breakfast. There's cereal, eggs, pancakes, and all that jazz, but I wasn't really feeling any of that. What I really wanted was some fried soup.

Not sure why it was ever considered a flop, although I wondering if it had to do with the idea that critics weren't ready for a movie with both Martin Mull AND Tim Curry. Stupid critics. And yes, I'm talking about CLUE!

And finally - the return of Jam of the Day!

It's So Easy - The Peddlers