Thursday, May 31, 2012

Link roundup

1. Hatchet piece by Buzzfeed about the latest Techcrunch Disrupt conference. Sample:

I got dozens of e-mails from PR people before and during Disrupt, but I didn’t respond to any of these e-mails except for the one with the subject line “Crack a Cold One with Adrian Grenier.” It was about a press event inconveniently far from Disrupt at a bar that looked like it had been removed from Brooklyn piece by piece and bizarrely rebuilt in the middle of a Chinatown alley. But I was totally going.

Grenier’s Churchkey Can Co. manufactures beer in flat-top cans like ones used by breweries for about three decades in the last century until the invention of the pull-tab (the thing you use to open an aluminum beverage can today) in 1962. Flat-top cans are much more difficult to open than pull-tab cans. Flat-top cans require a tool called a churchkey to puncture holes in the top for drinking and aeration. Thus, they quickly disappeared from the market.

The idea behind Churchkey Can Co. is that you should somehow want to go through the hassle of poking holes in one of these flat-top cans to get to the beer inside. There’s a lot of bullshit sloganeering about beer being “worth the effort” and drinking a beer like your grandfather did to justify gimmick.

In other words, Churchkey is a brewing company that has no interest in beer. It exists because Grenier and ex-Nike designer Justin Hawkins decided they wanted to make some old steel cans. The actual beer is an afterthought.
Read on. There's much more about the beer.

2. Stephenie Meyer on E. L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (which began as Twilight fan fiction):
"I haven't read it. I mean, that's really not my genre, not my thing," she said with a laugh. "I've heard about it; I haven't really gotten into it that much. Good on her — she's doing well. That's great! It might not exist in the exact form that it's in," Meyer said. "Obviously, [James] had a story in her, and so it would've come out in some other way."
3. So sleazy.

Illustration roundup

Promotional wallpaper by Jen Zee for the latest, no-brainer Humble Bundle.

Dan Santat's new book Oh No! Not Again!: (Or How I Built a Time Machine to save History) (Or at Least My History Grade) comes with a poster and time travel map. $12 at Amazon.

Joust by Gary Musgrave for an upcoming video game-themed show.

Prometheus concept poster by Mick Minogue.

Movie posters by Guillaume Vasseur on sale here.

Hunger Games and Hitchcock posters by Daniel Norris (prints available upon request).

Another cool Figma action figure

New Figma figure.

The USC Trojans should adopt these uniforms ASAP

Concept art by Wesley Burt for Fox Sports.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prometheus poster

One of three Prometheus posters Ibraheem Youssef created for Empire Online. Empire did not like the movie:

Buffeted by a lack of suspense, threadbare characters, and a very poor script, the stunning visuals, gloopy madness, and sterling Fassbenderiness can’t prevent Prometheus feeling like Alien’s poor relation.
In other words, the movie's just like the "viral" trailers. Pretty but otherwise lackluster.

Link roundup

Spoke Art is giving away five Moonrise Kingdom gift packs.

1. Wired/Gawker:

America is supposed to wind down its war in Afghanistan by 2014. But U.S. forces may continue to track Afghans for years after the conflict is officially done. Palm-sized sensors, developed for the American military, will remain littered across the Afghan countryside — detecting anyone who moves nearby and reporting their locations back to a remote headquarters. Some of these surveillance tools could be buried in the ground, all-but-unnoticeable by passersby. Others might be disguised as rocks, with wafer-sized, solar-rechargeable batteries that could enable the sensors' operation for perhaps as long as two decades, if their makers are to be believed.
2. Good short story at Tor about fairies. Via.

3. Comment and win art.

4. Tentacle doorstop on sale at Neatorama.

More fun from Reddit's fan theory thread

More fun from Reddit's fan theory thread:

War of the Worlds:

I thought Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds would have been 100x better if the final shot was that tripod falling down and its alien pilot falling out except for one crucial diffence : instead of a generic alien body, the aliens behind the invasion are E.T's.
the planet Pandora functions as a giant and incredibly intelligent neural network, and essentially rewrites Jake Sully's mind to protect one of it's primary networking hubs. Right before he connects to the tree of knowledge (or whatever it was called), he's still talking like a marine, mentioning that he's tired of this hippy bullshit, and how he's super excited that he's getting his legs. Then BAM, he connects to the planet, and suddenly everything is sacred, he's in love, et cetera.
Kill Bill:
The Bride doesn't kill Bill in Kill Bill.
First you have to put her rampage in chronological order... She wakes up in the hospitl, kills Buck, flies to Japan, kills everyone in the tea house, then comes back to the states to kill Vernita Green. We know this because O Ren's name is already crossed off the list when she parks outside Vernita's house.
In the process of killing Greene, she accidentally does so in front of her young daughter. Her immediate reaction is shame. She tries to hide the knife behind her leg.
From that point on, she doesn't kill anyone else. Budd dies from a snake bite. Daryl Hannah's character has her eye plucked out but is left alive.
Then we get to Bill... they tell the story of the five point palm fist of death technique, but in the training sequences it's never shown that she learns it. We are specifically told that Pai Mei never taught it to anyone.
The other part that's suspicious is the play acting, when Beatrix first runs into the house there's a play scene with her daughter, they pretend to shoot her and she pretends to be dead. This is what Bill does.
At the end of the film, Beatrix is curled up on a bathroom floor crying "Thank you, thank you." Who is she thanking? Bill for letting her go. It was the only way for either of them to exit the situation gracefully.
During the end credits, each of the people on the list who died gets a line through their name. Daryl Hannah is marked with a question mark because she was left alive... but Bill? Bill's name isn't marked at all.
Because they never killed Bill in Kill Bill.
The original Scooby Doo series is set after a horrible economic depression. Everything is abandoned and falling apart, and all of the villains are people who would normally be really respected (professors, museum curators, celebrities) who have fallen into hard times just like everyone else.
The Rock:
Sean Connery's character in The Rock (John Patrick Mason) is actually James Bond. He got caught spying on America and was hidden away in various prisons. "This man does not exist not in the United States or Great Britain" says FBI Director Womack. This ties in with the theory of James Bond being a code name for different agents.
Doctor Who:
My current favorite is that in the new series of Doctor Who, the character Rory Williams is actually the Doctors arch nemesis, The Master.
I'm just going to copy and paste the theory:
"Rory has been becoming much more irrational and aggresively violent. Also, in the episode "Let's Kill Hitler" after witnessing River's regeneration and being exposed to RAW TIME ENERGY for the first time, he begins to complain of a "banging in my head", which Amy dismisses as Hitler in the closet. Also think back to "The God Complex". Rory did not have a room. He was the only character they made a point to say did not have one. And when the Doctor looked into his room all he said was "Of course it was you." and we hear the wailing of the TARDIS distress call in 4 repetitions. The only other time it has made this sound was when The Master stole it in series 3."

Who is this new Figma action figure?

The newest Figma action figure is from Fate/Zero, I believe. Presumably, it'll be available for preorder shortly at the BBTS for $50-$65.

Lilly Looking Through: An animated adventure game

Trailer for Lilly Looking Through: An animated adventure game. You can download the demo here, and support the kickstarter here. Via.

Video shows all the spells from the Harry Potter movies

Supercut shows 17 minutes of spells from the Harry Potter movies. Via.

Dead Space 3 teaser trailer

Dead Space 3 trailer:

While patrolling the planet Uxor, Earthgov Sergeant John Carver witnesses an attack on the Marker Site he guards which changes his life forever. John must now fight his way through a colony now in complete chaos as he begins to discover how important he is in fighting the Necromorph plague.
This is just the start of John Carver's saga in the Dead Space Universe.

Relatedly, Isaac Clarke figurine by Karina Kruglova:

And Isaac Clarke cosplay:

*Buy Dead Space toys at eBay.

Is Disney's Haunted Mansion about suicide? And is R2-D2 Luke's dad?

From a Reddit thread about fan theories:

In the Haunted Mansion at Disney World/Disneyland, "you" commit suicide during the course of the ride and become a ghost.
At the beginning of the ride the ghost host (the narrator) says the only way to escape the mansion is to die, and he shows that he hanged himself. Near the end of the ride there's a moment where the ride vehicle turns around backwards and you go off a balcony, which according to this theory represents you jumping to your death.
Before this part of the ride the ghosts are all trying to scare you, but afterwards they sing excitedly and invite you to party with them. (The Grim Grinnin' Ghosts song.) The only human character in the ride, a groundskeeper, appears after the balcony drop. He faces toward the riders and seems terrified of you.
Could be totally accidental, could be an intentional subtlety by the designers, but either way I've never looked at that ride the same way since.
This one's even better:
I remember a pretty solid one about how R2D2 was Luke's father.
This was before Empire Strikes Back came out.
Luke's father was mortally wounded by Vader. His brain was removed from his body and placed in life support inside a robot.
This is why C3P0 is so worried about R2's operational status. C3 knows that R2 has biological components.
Turns out Luke, who got VERY little Jedi training, isn't all that great--it's his Jedi father, inside of R2, every time. Think about it: Early on, when Luke does something with the force R2 is ALWAYS there. Except for the one time on Hoth--and what is R2 doing at that time? Deploying a long range force antenna we NEVER see again.
Also, Tom Bombadil was evil.

Also, and this may be a big Game of Thrones spoiler, maybe Jon Snow's parents are ...

Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.  And that's why the series is a Song of Ice and Fire.

*Previously: The reality of The Haunted Mansion.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles toy set

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles toy set by Mick Minogue for Gallery 1988's upcoming Steve Martin tribute show.

*Previously: Old Spice Guy action figure by Mick.

Art fundraiser

Prints by Tobias Kwan, Mindy Lee, and Garrett Hanna on sale as a charity fundraiser for Kam Redlawsk.

The LA Weekly says:

The odds never stood in Kam Redlawsk's favor.

Redlawsk, 34, is one in a million people affected by a genetic disorder that has wasted and weakened her muscles, to the point where she now uses a wheelchair.

And because the condition -- hereditary inclusion body myopathy -- is so rare, the chances that somebody will allocate research funds to developing a treatment can seem like a million to one. The government and Big Pharma have little incentive to produce drugs only a few in the world will use, only a few in the world will pay for.
Here's Kam's blog.

And here's some art by Kam:

And finally, here's some Adventure Time art by Tobias Kwan: