Saturday, January 31, 2015


The human desire to be social used to be a huge cross-subsidy for music, as young people used musical taste to discover and cement social alliances. Now we don’t need music so much to do that and indeed music plays a smaller role in the lives of many young people today. This has been bad for music, although arguably good for sociability and of course good for Mark Zuckerberg.

Some interesting trivia about John Boorman's movie Excalibur


Boorman and collaborator Rospo Pallenberg’s script and pre-production work on Excalibur benefits from it being his fallback project after he was asked to (unsuccesfully) adapt The Lord Of The Rings for United Artists ten years earlier,
Merlin, portrayed by Nicol Williamson, and Helen Mirren’s Morgana are very interesting characters. Neither actor wanted to work with the other, because, according to Boorman, each stated they wanted to sleep with the other on the set of Macbeth, and were rebuffed.

The novel Alien: Out of the Shadows, which takes place between Alien and Aliens, is one of today's Kindle daily deals

$1.99 at Amazon. (It's a pretty decent page turner.)

Friday, January 30, 2015

"Forever 21 has been pirating Photoshop, according to a new lawsuit from Adobe"

The Verge:

Autodesk and Corel also joined Adobe in the suit, based on pirated copies of Autodesk, WinZip and PaintShopPro, among others.

Los Angeles:

City officials have installed walking flags at two unmarked crosswalks in Glendale as part of a new pedestrian-safety initiative designed to give drivers better visibility of people crossing the street.

On both sides of the street at the unmarked crosswalks at the intersections of East Colorado and Jackson streets and Kimlin and East Chevy Chase drives, a handful of orange flags were hanging in receptacles made out of salvaged pipes attached to street poles.

Adjacent signage directed pedestrians to pick up a flag, wave it while crossing the street and drop it in an identical holder on the other side of the street.

"How big is Mitt Romney’s California house? Here, compare it to yours."


We realized, though, that we don't really know how big 11,000 square feet actually is. In order to get approval to build the home (it was an upgrade from a smaller version), Romney's architect had to submit plans to the state, in part because it abuts the coast. Thanks to those plans, we can see exactly what the joint looks like -- and, more excitingly, just how big it is.

Don't believe us? Here. Enter the size of your residence in the tool below, and it will show you just how your home stacks up to Romney's. That's the actual floor plan of his place, by the way.

Secret Wars covers by Alex Ross and James Stokoe.

"A competitor with a Dalek on his head takes part in the annual UK Cold Water Swimming Championships at Tooting Bec Lido on January 24 in London."

Music Week: Chasing Time by Azealia Banks

Chasing Time by Azealia Banks available at Amazon.

Music Week: Green Lady by Merchandise

Green Lady by Merchandise available at Amazon.

NECA's deluxe Batman Returns Penguin available for preorder

Quarter scale Tim Burton Penguin and Arkham Knight Batmanby NECA both available for preorder.

Penny Arcade takes a shot at video game blogs.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Music Week: In the House of Yes by Mr Twin Sister

In the House of Yes by Mr Twin Sister is available at Amazon.

Music Week: Tough Love by Jessie Ware

Tough Love by Jessie Ware is available at Amazon.

The Lich's return on Adventure Time

"The beginner's guide to Twitch streaming"

PC Gamer:

This guide is going to break down how to set up a stream, and offer some tips for making your stream better for the viewers.

Suge Knight in the news.

New Heroclix including Spider-Ham

2015 Convention Exclusive Heroclix include Spider-Ham, Loki, and the Supreme Intelligence.

*Buy Heroclix at Amazon.

Space Jam tribute

By Marco D'Alfonso for an art show.

8-Bit-style Alien figure by NECA available for preorder

NECA's dog Alien is my favorite toy Alien (the best version of the monster, and well-articulated), and they just announced a video game-inspired version. You can preorder the two-toned version here.

The newly-announced Thanos Hot Toys figure with rock throne is available for preorder

The throne lights up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Music Week: All My Love by Major Lazer and Ariana Grande

All My Love by Major Lazer and Ariana Grande is available at Amazon.

Music Week: Let Me Down Gently by La Roux

Let Me Down Gently by La Roux is available at Amazon.

Hershey is trying to figure out ways to trick shoppers using self-checkout into buying junkfood


“It’s very important to understand what shoppers are doing with that dwell time,” he told the attendees at this executive briefing. “As they get to pay points, how much is a good amount of dwell time [going] to encourage impulse purchase, but not have a detrimental effect on the shopping trip as a whole?” What is the optimal amount of time to have people standing around staring at merchandise so that they pick up things and buy them, while not ruining their shopping experience?

Hershey is working with a retail technology company to develop a machine that can automatically dispense items (we’re guessing candy) to shoppers using a self-checkout machine.

Animal skull sculptures made with deconstructed Nike shoes


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Li'l Gotham Mini Figures


Kotobukiya presents a new set of mini figures based on Li'l Gotham from DC Comics! Less than 5 cm (2 inches) tall, these mini figures are great for creating a Batman display in a small space! Li'l Gotham figures come in randomly selected two-packs. With 6 different color variations for each character you can mix, match, and trade to collect the whole set of 7!

Available June 2015.

Daily News:

In L.A. County, of the 11,244 homicides committed in an 11-year span, 4,862 — or 46 percent — remain unsolved, according to an analysis of law enforcement data. The clearance rate for all homicides in L.A. County over the span of the study was 54 percent while the national average for the same time period was 63 percent, according to statistics gathered by the FBI.

Watch with tiny 3D Marcus Aurelius bust


Christophe Claret’s passion for history has inspired him to create Aventicum, a tribute to the capital of ancient Roman Helvetia and to highlight the extraordinary
work of the Avenches Roman Museum. In the center of its dial, Aventicum reveals a miniature gold bust of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. The micro-engraved effigy is particularly three-dimensional thanks to an ingenious optical effect.

The Tiny Grand Budapest Hotel

Clinic 212:

Here’s what happens when you finally see a new long awaited and wonderful in all terms film from your favorite director. In spring! CLINIC 212 creative agency is known for loving animals of all kinds, so we kind of HAD to do this. Just a couple of long nights in the office and voila - brand new handmade three-room boutique hotel for birds also known as The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Deadspin is trying to figure out Bill Belichick's horcruxes

Guesses so far:

The one ball from the AFC Championship game that wasn't deflated
His first hoodie
The Helmet Catch ball
His old Browns playbook
Adam Vinatieri

The Fantastic Four teaser should have just been this still.

Upcoming game Evolve is getting two sets of figures

Evolve, which lets you control a team of soldiers or the monster, is getting two sets of toys from Funko. Available for preorder now.

Music Week: Pop 101 by Marianas Trench ft. Anami Vice

Pop 101 by Marianas Trench ft. Anami Vice is available at Amazon.

Music Week: Lovely Day by Alt-J

Lovely Day by Alt-J is available at Amazon.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is streaming on Netflix. (Posters via.)

"The Weird, Mysterious Company Behind The SkyMall Bankruptcy"


The company that publishes those SkyMall airplane catalogs filed for bankruptcy last week. That's perhaps not a surprise, considering the kind of junk they sold. But there might be even more to the story, because it turns out that in 2013, SkyMall merged with a company called Xhibit Corp. that had some interesting characters behind it.

The crashed drone was being operated by a government employee

NY Times:

The small drone that crashed into a tree on the South Lawn of the White House early Monday morning was operated by a government employee . . . he was flying the drone for recreational use at about 3 a.m.

David OReilly:

New work has been online for a while but Im not doing any promo for it. i want people to discover for themselves organically
Goes to a very dark place.

Last Exit to Nowhere:

If you haven’t done already, become a member of Last Exit to Nowhere and receive information throughout the year on special offers and exclusive membership discounts. Sign up on any page of our website where you see the box indicated in this image. It’s a good time to do it right now, I will say no more.

WWE's event tonight is canceled, so they'll have to find a way to fill three hours of programming


We are told there will be a WWE Raw broadcast tonight, but of what nature, we are not sure

Valley of the Sasquatch poster

By Paul Shipper.

Pressure/Sensitivity Vol. 1 is free at Comixology

Pressure/Sensitivity Vol. 1 is a free 40-page digital anthology comic sponsored by Wacom, and featuring the talents of:

Ming Doyle
Meredith Gran
Giannis Milonogiannis
Ben Sears
Ming Doyle
Meredith Gran
Mike Holmes
Giannis Milonogiannis
Ben Sears
Ulises Farinas
Ryan Hill

People only use their smartphones to buy stuff at Starbucks

MIT Tech Review:

Of the $1.6 billion spent via smartphone in U.S. stores in 2013, the company claims, a full 90 percent went to Starbucks, and most payments experts don’t doubt it.

Music Week: Gooey by Glass Animals

Gooey by Glass Animals is available at Amazon.

Music Week: You're On by Madeon ft. Kyan (Oliver Remix)

You're On by Madeon featuring Kyan (Oliver Remix). (You can buy the unmixed version (also good!) at Amazon..)

The Good Omens full cast production is now available for download

$14.99 at Amazon.:

A full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman's celebrated apocalyptic comic novel, with bonus length episodes and outtakes.

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday in fact. Just after Any Answers on Radio 4....

Events have been set in motion to bring about the End of Days. The armies of Good and Evil are gathering and making their way towards the sleepy English village of Lower Tadfield. The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse - War, Famine, Pollution and Death - are assembling. Witchfinder Shadwell and his assistant Newton Pulsifier are also en route to Tadfield to investigate unusual phenomena in the area, while Anathema Device, descendent of prophetess Agnes Nutter, tries to decipher her ancestor's cryptic predictions.

Atlantis is rising; fish are falling from the sky; everything seems to be going to the Divine Plan. Everything, that is, but for an unlikely angel and demon duo, who have been living on Earth for several millennia and have become rather fond of the place. If they are to prevent Armageddon they've got to find and kill the one who will bring it about: the Antichrist himself. There's just one small problem: someone seems to have mislaid him...

Adapted, sound designed and co-directed by Dirk Maggs (Neverwhere, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) this first ever dramatisation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's novel features a large cast including Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Josie Lawrence and Paterson Joseph.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Man passes through a London park and notices everyone is staring at him

A Redditor:

So I literally just walked through the garden at the south east corner of Hyde Park - something bloody weird is going down. Having cut across from the north of W. Carriage Drive all was well; saw a few people walking about nothing l noteworthy.

Then having crossed the large path by the lake I come into this garden (towards green park) and some guy walks up and just stares at me, my first though was it was some drunk homeless guy and no big deal. Stare back for a second then walk past him on my way, that when things seriously got creepy. The park was filled, and I mean filled with people doing exactly the same thing. They weren't all dressed like your usual creeps either, guys wearing suits, big black coats these guys (they were all guys) could have been mistaken for a Whitehall staff picnic...all of them stopping and staring at me as I walked through.

I'll confess my pulse increased quite dramatically as they all looked at me, blank expressions, some followed me for a bit others were right at the opposite end standing still or slowly walking about. 
Anyway I stayed on the same path, didn't look back and nothing happend. Two of them tried to speak to me but I had my headphones in and didn't hear

Is some group holding an event there I missed the memo on?! Seriously that's simultaneously the most confusing and creepy thing I have ever seen.
Can you guess what was going on?

Deckard's wife

You can actually see her for a moment when Deckard is chasing Zhora through the streets. She looks at him disapprovingly at 1:12:

Via these sites.

The key information from a review of Ex Machina


Alex Garland, screenwriter of The Beach, Never Let Me Go, and Dredd (rumoured to have directed the latter in all but name) here takes the directorial reigns for the first time

ThreeA is making a Punisher figure

From this week's Q&A:

Q: Are you a fan of the Punisher? Will Frank be making an appearance in the Marvel line?
A: Yup! This year.

Friday, January 23, 2015

New female Thor Heroclix miniature

The July 2015 Nick Fury Heroclix set will include miniatures based on the new female Thor and Falcon/Captain America. And speaking of Heroclix, the "Spider-Man Symbiotes Monthly Organized Play Kit" in May will include an Agent Venom:

*Buy Heroclix at Amazon.