Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Clever advertisements for Netflix's "Lupin" series 3

Marvel Legends series featuring Crystar and build-a-figure The Void up for preorder

Some fun experiments with materials and a suitably impressive build-a-figure in this series.

Kickstarter for Cory Doctorow's new audiobook

The novel itself is up for preorder at Amazon, but Amazon's rules on audiobooks are onerous, so the kickstarter is to fund one that can be sold without DRM.

It’s thirty years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But what about all the angry old people who can’t let go?

For young Americans a generation from now, climate change isn't controversial. It's just an overwhelming fact of life. And so are the great efforts to contain and mitigate it. Entire cities are being moved inland from the rising seas. Vast clean-energy projects are springing up everywhere. Disaster relief, the mitigation of floods and superstorms, has become a skill for which tens of millions of people are trained every year. The effort is global. It employs everyone who wants to work. Even when national politics oscillates back to right-wing leaders, the momentum is too great; these vast programs cannot be stopped in their tracks.

But there are still those Americans

Meanwhile in the UK:

Today's news and jokes

I was trying to figure out why I added this book to my wishlist, and found this article about a film adaptation of Neuromancer

The novel Delta-v by Daniel Suarez is $1.99 today at Amazon:

*A Prometheus Award Best Novel Nominee*

“Daniel Suarez's hugely impressive Delta-v fuses the real world with sci-fi, giving the space genre a new boost and new hope.”—Tom Shippey, The Wall Street Journal

While trying to find out why I added the book to my wishlist, I found this post from 2017:

[Deadpool director Tim] Miller will direct an adaptation of the 1984 sci-fi novel Neuromancer for Fox, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Longtime X-Men producer Simon Kinberg will produce the film. 


[He] has a number of other projects in the works, including an adaptation of the Daniel Suarez sci-fi novel Influx for Fox 

Facehugger paper sculpture

Making of:

*Previously: A high school performed Alien as a play

Monday, October 2, 2023

Learned about a new rapper last night after he closed down Fairfax in Los Angeles

I posted more below:

FCC enforced its first ever penalty for creating space debris


Dish admitted it was liable for failing to properly dispose of the EchoStar-7 broadcast communications satellite, and agreed to pay a fee of $150,000, the FCC said.


Dish launched the EchoStar-7 satellite in 2002 and planned to remove it from service in May 2022. But a few months before then, Dish found the satellite did not have enough fuel remaining to navigate to a disposal location.

Senior member of the Department of Defense charged with participating in a dogfighting ring for more than 20 years

"authorities had received complaints about [the men] for years" (Details are graphic.)

Today's funny posts

(The store itself is in Singapore)

New sale items posted, including Hiya and Neca toys

MOTU panther, Dredd vs Death, your choice of Matt Hoopers, and more.

3D reconstruction of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire

The 3d reconstruction.

Wikipedia on the city:
The city was connected to the mainland by bridges and causeways leading to the north, south, and west. The causeways were interrupted by bridges that allowed canoes and other water traffic to pass freely. The bridges could be pulled away, if necessary, to protect the city. The city was interlaced with a series of canals, so that all sections of the city could be visited either on foot or via canoe
The city was divided into four zones, or camps; each camp was divided into 20 districts ; and each calpulli, or 'big house', was crossed by streets or tlaxilcalli. There were three main streets that crossed the city, each leading to one of the three causeways to the mainland of Tepeyac, Iztapalapa, and Tlacopan. [An expert] reported that they were wide enough for ten horses. Surrounding the raised causeways were artificial floating gardens with canal waterways and gardens of plants, shrubs, and trees. The calpullis were divided by channels used for transportation, with wood bridges that were removed at night.
In the center of the city were the public buildings, temples, and palaces. Inside a walled square, 500 meters (1,600 ft) to a side, was the ceremonial center. There were about 45 public buildings, including: the Templo Mayor, which was dedicated to the Aztec patron deity Huitzilopochtli and the Rain God Tlaloc; the temple of Quetzalcoatl; the tlachtli (ball game court) with the tzompantli or rack of skulls; the Sun Temple, which was dedicated to Tonatiuh; the Eagle's House, which was associated with warriors and the ancient power of rulers; the platforms for the gladiatorial sacrifice; and some minor temples.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

"2034: A Novel of the Next World War" is $1.99 right now

at Amazon (it was on my wishlist):
An instant New York Times Bestseller!

“Consider this another vaccine against disaster. Fortunately, this dose won't cause a temporary fever—and it happens to be a rippingly good read.” —Wired

“This crisply written and well-paced book reads like an all-caps warning for a world shackled to the machines we carry in our pockets and place on our laps . . ." —The Washington Post

She's definitely Dazzler in the next Deadpool movie, right?

@swiftspeace Taylor, Ryan, and Hugh tonight #taylorswift #swifttok #nfl #ryanreynolds #hughjackman ♬ original sound - Rachael

From an interview with Brian Duffield about No One Will Save You

Fangoria (long interview):

And when we meet Daddy in the backyard for the first time, he's kind of ambling along like, "Doop-de-doo." You could talk about him being a kind old priest, so he's a little goofy and he's kinda doing these little jokes. And then the sound guys came up with this thing - and I don't know how many people will pick it up - but [the Daddy Long Legs] has a little musical thing he does, like this [Duffield makes alien singing noises], and he's singing back to Kaitlyn the song that she dances to earlier in the movie.

Oh, no shit?

Yeah, because he was probably outside and [heard the song] and thought, "Hey, that's kind of catchy!" So, by singing he's like, "Hey, you remember this song?" A couple of times in the movie you hear, in the distance, him doing that and it's really creepy. He recognizes [Kaitlyn Dever's Brynn] as "the song girl," and then he's so excited! They traveled however many thousands of light years to get here, and he's like, "Okay, we're finally doing our big religious colonization. I'm so excited to be doing this with you! It's so great!" But then Kaitlyn messes it up and embarrasses him. 

[Regarding it being dialog-free:]

there were definitely places that were like, "If people are doing their laundry, they're going to get lost immediately." So I'm excited that Hulu looked at it as, "It's going to make people pay attention."

Indecipherable sign on a ferry in Quebec

Today's news and jokes

Scientists are using puppets to train crabs to eat the algae that's killing Florida's coral reefs

Vox (yes, there's photos):

[A marine ecologist] has roughly a hundred crabs in the Florida Keys, and just shy of 200 at a new breeding facility in Sarasota. He’ll start dropping them into the ocean as soon as the end of the year or in early 2024, he said.

But there’s one step before then, and it may involve ... hand puppets?

Because the crabs are raised in a lab, they don’t have any experience with predators. So before putting them onto the reef, Spadaro and his team may have to condition them to fear things like octopuses, snappers, and groupers.

One way to do this is by using puppets modeled after predators.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

NECA revealed a Toony Terrors Angela Lansbury/Murder She Wrote figure

The Wednesday Addams figures in the photo went up for preorder today.

I didn't see very many totally new reveals, but the Mutant Mayhem baby mutants are adorable:

"Condiment Cow," where the bottles of condiments are arranged like an udder

Still can't embed or link to Bluesky posts without requiring a login. (But can link to images...)

"This [San Fernando] Valley Shawarma Spot Serves the Best Bite in LA Right Now"

The headline's by Eater, and yeah, I thought it was great.

New Humble Bundle features Assassin's Creed comics and novels

Starting at four volumes for $1.

Today's news and jokes

This week's best Warhammer 40k miniatures, 3D-printables, custom action figures, and other hobby creations

Friday, September 29, 2023

People are lining up and sleeping outside Shanghai Disneyland

From 2021:
One month after she appeared publicly, she was on Weibo’s hot topic ranking board more than 32 times. That popularity is something that not many celebrities or KOLs are able to achieve in their entire career. Yet LinaBell made it just in one month.

Who is she? What makes her a huge superstar among Chinese people, especially girls? What commercial plans are hiding behind her?
When visitors say something that she doesn’t like, she would pretend to pull out her sword. When she sees handsome boys, she becomes shy and wants to hug them. She’s also very sporty, showing fans how she lifts dumbbell to strengthen her body. 

McSweeney’s first ever horror issue is up for preorder, and comes nicely bound and in a special ghastly slipcase

Up for preorder individually at Amazon:
Our first-ever issue-length foray into horror, and featuring one of our biggest lineups in some time, our seventy-first issue is one for the ages. Guest edited by Brian Evenson, McSweeney's 71: The Monstrous and the Terrible is a hair-raising collection of fiction that will challenge the notion of what horror has been, and suggest what twenty-first-century horror is and can be. And it's all packaged in a mind-bending, nesting-doll-like series of interlocking slipcases that must be seen to be believed.
There's Stephen Graham Jones's eerie take on the alien abduction story, Mariana Enríquez's haunting tale of childhood hijinks gone awry, and Jeffrey Ford on a writer who loses control of his characters. Nick Antosca (cocreator of the award-winning TV series The Act) spins out a novelette about the hidden horrors of wine country. There's Kristine Ong Muslim exploring environmental horror in the Philippines; a sharp-edged folk tale by Gabino Iglesias, and Diné writer Natanya Ann Pulley reimagining sci-fi horror from an indigenous perspective. Hungarian writer Attila Veres proffers a dark take on the not-so-hidden sociopathy of multi-level marketing. And Erika T. Wurth explores the dark gaps leading to other worlds. If that weren't enough: an excerpt from a new novel by Brandon Hobson; a chilling allegorical horror story by Senaa Ahmad; a Lovecraftian bildungsroman by Lincoln Michel; unsettling dream cities from Nick Mamatas; M. T. Anderson's exceptionally weird take on babysitting; and, improbably, much more.

Today's news and jokes

The Spot mask (Across the Spider-Verse)

*Previously: Into the Spider-Verse commentary track

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Air Force men's golf coach gambled on Air Force football games


He created an account for online wagering by using his then girlfriend's identification and his own personal email address


For the former golf coach, there's a five-year show-cause order in place. The report adds that any member institution that employs him "shall restrict the former head coach from any athletically related position. If the former head coach becomes employed in the first year after the show-cause order, he shall be suspended for 50% of the men's golf regular season."

Jews in America rely on a single farm run by a Presbyterian to provide the obscure fruit they need for their annual harvest celebration

LAT (the harvest this year was dire):

For thousands of years, the citron has been a part of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. A vital element of the tradition, the fruit is held while reciting a daily blessing during the weeklong harvest celebration, which this year begins Friday at sundown.


Among Jews, a citron is known as an etrog, the fruit’s Hebrew name. Ahead of Sukkot, they can cost more than $100 apiece, owing in part to their rarity and the stringent rules that govern their cultivation and use.


John Kirkpatrick, who’d established Lindcove Ranch in the mid-1960s, had for years been a grower of lemons, oranges and other fruit. But the increasing industrialization and consolidation of citrus farming made it harder to compete with larger enterprises, Greg Kirkpatrick said.

It was an out-of-the-blue telephone call from a part-time etrog importer named Yisroel Weisberger in 1980 that would change the course of John Kirkpatrick’s life — and give his farm a new vitality.

Weisberger asked Kirkpatrick if he could help him find a grower to cultivate citron trees. “And I said, ‘I think you’re talking to him’”

The very cool Hot Toys Prowler and Spider-Punk from Across the Spider-Verse figures are up for preorder

at the BBTS:

New Humble Bundle features "manga from diverse creators"

Starts at two volumes for $1.

New Marvel Legends movie Doctor Octopus with flexible arms up for preorder; movie Green Goblin too

at the BBTS:

Today's news and jokes

Elmore Leonard's "Get Shorty" is $1.99 today

at Amazon. (My favorite movie.)

John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" is also $1.99 today at Amazon. (Good scifi page turner)

Archaeologists found a wooden structure in Zambia that's estimated to be 476,000 years old


The wooden structure has no real parallel in the archaeological record, according to the study.


Researchers aren’t certain which species of ancient human made the structure and wooden tools, but it is highly unlikely to have been our own. The earliest known Homo sapiens fossils date from around 300,000 years ago


the complexity of the structure suggests the people who made it were cognitively sophisticated and were able to make and execute a complex plan — something that likely required the use of language.

Disneyland Paris's giant squid animatronic

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

New Humble Bundle features indie video games

Steam scores displayed

Today's news and jokes

Mortal Kombat One motion capture featuring some complex moves

@karate.jewels MK1 Stunt Performer vlog. Whole team killed it, much love and respect to all the talents that came in to make this game come to life. Excited to play 😈 childhood dream come true. #mortalkombat #mk1 #mortalkombat1 #videogames #stuntperformer #mocap #motioncapture ♬ original sound - Rememberthe80sn90s

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Very cool (spoiler-filled) script page from Hulu's new alien invasion thriller No One Will Save You

It's a dialog-free thriller that does a lot of fun things with the aliens. The writer-director gave a two-part interview to THR. Also:

I haven't read it yet, but his screenplay for Underwater (featuring Kristin Stewart) is here.

Coming soon, free football broadcasts, if you place a bet on the game


Typically, streams can lag from live broadcasts anywhere from eight seconds to a full minute, depending on the company. Live TV broadcasts lag from the live action by around seven seconds. Genius says the lag time at sportsbooks will be about three to seven seconds — a massive edge if you're planning to live bet.


There are also wager requirements. At Fanatics, you need to bet at least 10 cents on the game you want to watch. At Caesars, the net will be cast far wider — you only need to have placed a wager on an NFL game over the past year.

Frog Thor attacks Loki deleted scene from the Disney+ series

The Beat posted four deleted scenes.

Retro-style action figures based on the Ahsoka and Book of Boba Fett series up for preorder

The Sabine is charming:

35% MAFEX Boba Fett figures

The weekly sale includes 35% off MAFEX Boba Fett figures, and also the MAFEX First Order Executioner Trooper.

Today's news and jokes

An energy company in Peru employs its own archaeologists because they discover ancient tombs so often while digging


Energy company workers in Peru discovered a dozen centuries-old tombs from pre-Inca cultures during the construction of a gas pipeline


the company’s excavation work to expand its system of gas lines over the last 19 years has produced more than 1,900 archaeological finds of various kinds, including mummies, pottery and textiles

Extreme indoor track for remote control trucks

@derekkrall #keycityhobby #elementrc #live #rccar #rccarsoftiktok ♬ original sound - Derek Krall

@derekkrall @Cody @A.J. Condon #keycityhobby #enjoy #hobby #playtime ♬ original sound - Derek Krall

It's at Key City Hobby.

Monday, September 25, 2023

New short story collection by Ann Leckie

Lake of Souls: The Collected Short Fiction up for preorder at Amazon:
Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke award-winner Ann Leckie is a modern master of the SFF genre, forever changing its landscape with her groundbreaking ideas and powerful voice. Now, available for the first time comes the complete collection of Leckie's short fiction, including a brand new novelette, Lake of Souls.

Journey across the stars of the Imperial Radch universe.

Listen to the words of the Old Gods that ruled The Raven Tower.

Learn the secrets of the mysterious Lake of Souls.

Today's news and jokes

Historians are racing to document shipwrecks in the Great Lakes before they're devoured by invasive mussels


The Great Lakes’ frigid fresh water used to keep shipwrecks so well preserved that divers could see dishes in the cupboards. Downed planes that spent decades underwater were left so pristine they could practically fly again when archaeologists finally discovered them.


The creatures have covered virtually every shipwreck and downed plane in all of the lakes except Lake Superior, archaeologists say. The mussels burrow into wooden vessels, building upon themselves in layers so thick they will eventually crush walls and decks. They also produce acid that can corrode steel and iron ships. No one has found a viable way to stop them.

"The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century" is $1.99 right now

at Amazon

(I just picked it up. Nominated for various 2022 prizes, here's how the Guardian's review starts, "From the mysterious monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the impossible spaceship in Arrival, one of science fiction’s favourite tropes is the alien artefact that defies human comprehension. Danish author Olga Ravn’s brilliantly unusual novel The Employees, which has been shortlisted for the International Booker prize, is an SF epic in miniature") 

3d-printable Night Trooper and Captain Enoch mask


*Previously: Facemask that looks like you're opening and closing a mouthful of monster teeth

Sunday, September 24, 2023

I like the theory his chainmail is Stormtrooper dog tags

Today's news and jokes

"According to local folklore, Muckle Flugga and nearby Out Stack were formed when two giants, Herman and Saxa, fell in love with the same mermaid. They fought over her by throwing large rocks at each other, one of which became Muckle Flugga. To get rid of them, the mermaid offered to marry whichever one would follow her to the North Pole. They both followed her and drowned, as neither could swim"

If the Disney Starcruiser was Aliens-themed

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Poster for "Disneyland Grad Night '79" goes insanely hard

New Humble Bundle features Eerie Comics

Starts with three volumes for $1.

Today's news and jokes

"The trophy has a special ‘kiss me’ area located on the outside, with indicator lights which will flash when it is picked up to guide drivers to the right spot."