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July 30, 2011

Russian Dolls

Russian Dolls, originally pitched as the Russian response to the MTV hit Jersey Shore (hat tip to Luke).

Sheepshead Bites has snagged the first publicly-available look at Russian Dolls, the new Brighton Beach-based reality show that will air on Lifetime on August 11 at 10:30 p.m.

Lifetime says the show, which had the working title Brighton Beach, provides a “rare and entertaining look at Brighton Beach’s colorful multi-generational families whose dramas and dreams contend with their Russian heritage while living in this famous, alluring, vibrant and highly protective community.”
Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM

Harrison Ford settles a feud

Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM

Goryachiy Shokolad: Nevidima

Hot Chocolate: Invisible.

Posted by the Flea at 08:01 AM

July 29, 2011

Melodrom: Marching on a globe

I will see any of your recent girl crushes and raise.

Also, critically, this: Melodrom & Slovenski tolkalni duo - "Odprta okna" (Kino Šiška 2010).

Viz: Mina Spiler.

Mina Spiler is the lead singer with the Slovene group 'Melodrom'. They formed back in 2001 (or 1999 as Marquee) and quickly gained notice in Slovenia eventually leading to a contract with NIKA Records to release their debut album, an English version was also released. Before long Mina's vocal qualities soon attracted the attention of Laibach who invited her to duet with Milan on their version of 'Ohne Dich', which was commissioned by Rammstein. Mina also guested on Volk with the tracks 'Francia' and 'España'.

Click through for imagery. In particular, a piece by the incomparable Nadya Lev.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Predictive Dream

Katsuyo Aoki's Predictive Dream series "is comprised of a number of skulls formed by lacy, swooping, and fragile ceramic tendrils."

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

Ladytron: White Elephant

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

July 28, 2011

Splitscreen: A Love Story

Nokia Shorts 2011.

Arm eight filmmakers with two Nokia N8s each, a $5,000 budget and ask them to produce a short film within a few weeks and what do you get? A bunch of amazing mini-movies, that’s what. However, there can only be one that wins the top prize of $10,000 USD. That award goes to JW Griffiths, for his movie – Splitscreen.
Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Inside architecture

Also outside, mostly.

On the one hand: Lucasfilm's Sandcrawler Building, One-north, Singapore.

The eight-storey ‘Sandcrawler’ complex is designed to house the regional headquarters and production facility of the world renowned film and entertainment company.

On the other hand: Ryugyong Hotel exterior completed.

Several economic factors, not the least of which was the fall of the Soviet Union, disrupted construction, which has ceased until 2008, when Egyptian conglomerate Orascom Group (creepy website, right?) invested $400 million dollars to restart the project.

I am not even linking to Orascom Group. It is a creepy website.

The gripping hand: Walt Disney's estate in Los Feliz is for sale.

Located on a one-acre lot in the Los Feliz hills, the historic four bedroom, five bath French Normandy-style home was built by Walt Disney in 1932, and features painted ceilings, vaulted beamed ceilings, original stained leaded glass, billiards room, sleeping porch, swimming pool, and not surprisingly, a projection/screening room.
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

Manau: La Tribu De Dana

Panique Celtique.

That refrain: Inspired by Alan Stivell's "Tri Martolod".

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

July 27, 2011

Game Of Thrones Panel Comic Con 2011

Also: "George R. R. Martin, the acclaimed author of the A Game of Thrones novels -- also a recent hit HBO series -- is coming to Google for a live-streamed interview where he'll be taking your questions submitted online. The interview, part of the Authors@Google series as well as Martin's book tour promoting his latest novel A Dance with Dragons, will take place on July 28th at 12pm PDT."

Submit your questions for Martin on this page: Open from now until July 27, 12pm PDT.

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Trippy and psychedelic

Doctor Who's Matt Smith and Karen Gillan stop by the Wired Cafe to talk about Comic-Con, The Silence and their favourite moments in the series.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

10mpp

Lots of starships drawn to scale. Successor to a jpg that has been floating around the interwebs for years now, this one is handier to navigate in the browser.

Better yet: Scroll down to find the CN Tower for scale. Look for the Planet Killer, and various other buildings and vehicles, tucked in under the Borg Cube.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Knights of Badassdom Trailer

In which Peter Dinklage.

Trailer for the upcoming horror comedy Knights of Badassdom, starring Summer Glau , Ryan Kwanten, Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Danny Pudi.
Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Led Zeppelin: Kashmir (London Philharmonic Orchestra)

Kashmir: Symphonic Led Zeppelin. Also, Us & Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd.

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

July 26, 2011

Nikita 2011 Comic-Con Panel

Maggie Q and a bunch of other people discuss the Nikitaverse at Comic-Con in San Diego. Where I wasn't.

More Maggie Q.

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Twixt

Francis Ford Coppola returns to Comic-Con for the first time since he was promoting Dracula.

During Francis Ford Coppola’s unorthodox presentation at Comic-Con Saturday for his new horror film, “Twixt,” the director moderated his own panel, distributed paper masks of Edgar Allan Poe and sang along with footage. It was Coppola’s first trip to Comic-Con in nearly 20 years, to show attendees some of his movie starring Val Kilmer as a D-list writer and Elle Fanning as a ghost named V.

Interview at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Snow White and the Huntsman

Producers debuted the first photos of Kristen Stewart as an armoured sword-wielding Snow White and Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen at Comic-Con in San Diego.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

I Blame Coco: Quicker

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

July 25, 2011

Hardcore fan territory

The five best moments from Comic-Con's Game of Thrones panel.

Peter Dinklage rules. But we already knew that.

Another fan asked the members of the panel how they would end the series if given the opportunity.
Kit Harington (Jon Snow): "I want Jon Snow to be on the Throne, definitely."
Nikolaj Coster-Waldeau (Jaime Lannister): "The screen fades to black, and there's a sign that says '20 Years Later,' and there's a small cottage. And Jaime and Cersei are sitting there. 'Finally, my love. Finally.' And then the music."
David Benioff (exec-producer): "Everyone dies."
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister): "[clears throat] … Dance number."
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

The girls of Comic-Con 2011

A look at some of the best costumes from Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego, California. Which I missed.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Deleted Scenes Teaser.

Fans who attended the Star Wars Fan Movie Awards at Comic-Con 2011 just got a sneak peek at some of the deleted scenes from the upcoming Star Wars Saga on Blu-ray Disc.
Posted by the Flea at 08:18 AM

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - The Game

The Character Unveil Trailer.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

Robbie Williams: Come undone (Live at Knebworth)

This is the correct procedure (and on the 8th day, God created Manchester).

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM

July 24, 2011

Touching Magic

Brain Movies: The Original Teleplays of Harlan Ellison, Volume One (Limited Babylonian Edition) features an introduction by J. Michael Straczynski.

Signed by both Harlan Ellison & J. Michael Straczynski.

For the first time ever, six of Harlan Ellison’s teleplays are presented in one book, reproduced from the author’s own file copies. See the scripts as Ellison originally typed them on his Olympia manual typewriter. All his handwritten deletions and emendations are included, illustrating the writing process.

Much, much more at the link.

From JMS' Facebook page:

The book, entitled BRAIN MOVIES, contains Harlan’s scripts for “Soldier,” and “Demon With a Glass Hand” from THE OUTER LIMITS, “Paladin of the Lost Hour” and “Crazy as a Soup Sandwich” from the TWILIGHT ZONE, “Memo from Purgatory” from ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, “The Face of Helen Bournouw” and Harlan’s near-legendary manifesto on how to write good science fiction, written exclusively for incoming writers on BABYLON 5. (The scripts for Paladin and Demon received the prestigious Writers Guild Award.)

In many cases, the book contains both the script and the treatment for the script, something almost never seen outside the studio. Most amazing of all, the book contains not just the shooting script for Harlan’s HITCHCOCK episode, it contains an earlier draft filled with his handwritten annotations and changes.

Once again, much more at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

Inspiration

More from Comic-Con: George R.R. Martin discusses the meaning of the term "epic" and his inspiration for A Game of Thrones.

"I started with a vision of a scene where some wolf pups are discovered being born with a dead mother in the snow. It just came to me very vividly, and I wrote it. I didn't know what story it was part of or what world it was part of. I didn't know anything. But by the time I finished writing that chapter, I knew the second chapter. And once I was 50-60 pages into it, I decided I had a novel – or maybe more than a novel – so I thought I'd better draw a map and think about who these people were …"

And some critical advice:

"The key is to write, finish what you write and put it on the market. There are editors who will let you know if it's ready … by sending you a check."
Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Saxbys Ginger Beer

To think I hesitated (hat tip to Ben).

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Austra: Beat and the Pulse

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

July 23, 2011

Frank Miller's Holy Terror

"Frank Miller - the iconic writer/artist of Sin City and 300 - brings you a no-holds-barred action thriller for the modern era. Join The Fixer, a brand new, hard-edged hero as he battles terror in the inaugural release from Legendary Comics: Frank Miller's Holy Terror -- coming September."

This started out life as Holy Terror, Batman!

Holy Terror is a graphic novel by Frank Miller scheduled to be released on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. It was originally proposed as Holy Terror, Batman! in 2006 but is no longer a project associated with the Batman character or DC Comics. As originally announced, the plot revolved around Batman defending Gotham City from an attack by the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda. According to Miller, the comic would be a "piece of propaganda" in which Batman "kicks Al-Qaeda's ass." The series has been described as "Batman vs. Al Qaeda".

Last year, Miller is quoted as explaining the character had grown into a Dirty Harry type, a new character of his own and not Batman. But one is forced to suspect DC had its reservations what with Superman's "liberal hand-wringing".

Posted by the Flea at 05:48 AM

First look at Prometheus

"It’s a quasi-Alien prequel (hence the anticipation), but the only solid detail we know is Prometheus takes place in outer space. ... I can’t tell you definitively who is in that space suit, but my bet is on [Noomi] Rapace, the female lead in the movie."

Which may be the best casting ever.

Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM

The Hobbit, Production Video #3

"Third behind-the-scenes production video diary for The Hobbit from Peter Jackson!"

Posted by the Flea at 05:44 AM

Rammstein / Apocalyptica: Helden

Posted by the Flea at 05:42 AM

July 22, 2011

Weapon Masters - The Chakram

Featuring the traditional British bowler chakram.

SikhiWiki: Chakkar.

The chotta Chakkar or chakram (the small ring) is a steel ring 5 - 12 inches in diameter of varying thickness. When used in battle, it usually has a sharp outer edge, but for ceremonial purposes the outer edge is left blunt. It is classified as a quoit-type weapon which is thrown or hurled, either by being released after being twirled around the smooth inside edge by the forefinger (a favourite Sikh method) or released frisbee-like or discus style. It has an effective range of 40 to 50 metres.

Vocabulary builder: Quoits.

Posted by the Flea at 05:58 AM

Swag of Thrones

Wanted: This Comic-Con Exclusive Game of Thrones paperweight.

For the special lady in your life: A Codex Staff pendant.

Posted by the Flea at 05:57 AM

The best ice cream I have ever had

Yesterday afternoon's tropical winds blew me to The Big Chill in Little Italy at College and Manning and to the apex of ice cream experiences: Brownie Toffee Crunch (in a sugar cone).*

Hat tip to God bless you, Rick McGinnis. The Force is with you, always.

* An experience formerly achieved by the Crème Brûlée ice cream at Ed's Real Scoop.

Posted by the Flea at 05:48 AM

Lavika: Eternal Paradise

Hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM

July 21, 2011

The Felicia Codex

Felicia Day represents for day dreams* everywhere.

... I've been acting for years and have created a good niche as the quirky girl who does laundry or works as a secretary. I realized that it might be the only role I play for the rest of my life, so I decided to write a show to feature me as a character you don't normally see in Hollywood: a plain, introverted girl with a horrible addiction to video games. It's a touch biographical...

* A Felicia Day gallery.

Related: Felicia Day at Comic-Con 2011.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

An armed society is a polite society, he said

Eric S. Raymond takes David Brin to task on the subject of Robert Heinlein, John W. Campbell and guns (via Quotulatiousness).

Heinlein ... invented much of the zeitgeist of the 1960s counterculture through his novel Stranger In A Strange Land; it has been aptly noted that he was the only human being ever to become a culture hero both to the hippies of Woodstock and the U.S. Marine Corps. I am told that to this day most Marine noncoms carry a well-thumbed copy of Starship Troopers in their rucksacks.)
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

Vanity, thy name is Winklevoss

What did Larry Summers really think of the Winklevoss twins?

"One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they're looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case."

(hat tip to Bill)

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

This guy's girlfriend vs The Water Monster: Amnesia

Her screams are a lot manlier than mine were when I got to the water monster.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Blestyashie: A Ya Vse Letala

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

July 20, 2011

Fentimans Ginger Beer - A Demonstration

Most excellent news. As of August 10, all three Toronto Whole Foods will carry Fentimans soft drinks and, toward the end of August, all Metro stores in Ontario.

In 1905, Thomas Fentiman, an iron puddler from Cleckheaton, was approached by a fellow tradesman for a loan. A deal was struck and some security was provided - in this case a recipe for botanically brewed ginger beer. The loan was never repaid, so Thomas became the owner of a unique and rather original recipe for success.

At last, a response to the Facebook mockery I endure from friends in England, deprived of civilization as I am in the former colonies. I have been waiting for Fentimans Curiosity Cola to arrive.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

A casting of kings

En route to Game of Thrones season two, Carice van Houten has been cast as the sorceress Melisandre and Stephen Dillane as Eddard Stark's candidate for the Iron Throne, Stannis Baratheon.

These two major roles are paired together in the story: Melisandre is powerful woman who counsels the late King Robert’s eldest younger brother, Stannis Baratheon, in his quest to claim the Iron Throne.
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

King Under the Mountain

TheOneRing.net hosts a first look at Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thráin, son of Thrór. Also featured: Orcrist, the Goblin-cleaver.

Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM

Belinda: Dopamina

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

July 19, 2011

Harry Potter - The Final Farewell, It All Ends

Related: Many critics have failed to see how J.K. Rowling's work stands in contrast to the spirit of materialism and individualism dominating modern life.

...the series unfolded, with each book containing waves of medieval Christian symbols, including many used by artists to point to Jesus — such as white stags, unicorns, hippogriffs, a phoenix and a red lion.

Meanwhile, the plots were built on alchemical themes of dissolution, purification, illumination and perfection, themes shared with Milton, Blake, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and others. In each book, Harry Potter the "everyman" tries to sacrifice himself for others, before somehow being raised to new life in the presence of a Christ symbol.
Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM

The power of myth

J.K. Rowling addresses the objections of people who dismiss myths as lies. Harry's enemy, Voldemort, does the same.

"That which Voldemort does not value," she writes, "he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children's tales, of love, loyalty and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped."

Big spoiler at the link. But then you could have read the book at any time after July 21, 2007 so my sympathy is limited.

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM

Potter vision

Classic album covers redesigned with a Hogwarts twist.

Posted by the Flea at 07:05 AM

Five castles

Curbed surveys new listings in the castle market.

With the final film in the wildly successful Harry Potter film franchise in theaters this weekend, fans of the bespectacled wizard will have to find their own version of Hogwarts to keep the dream alive, so we've assembled five of the finest Potter like castles where true fans can live the dream.
Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Ministry of Magic: The Bravest Man I Ever Knew

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

July 18, 2011

Don't be another statistic

A Slave Leia PSA starring Kaley Cuoco.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

123 year after it was made, the secret of a bent metal ring, found in Thomas Edison's laboratory, has finally been uncovered.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Obsessives: Soda Pop

Toronto needs this.

Sidebar to Dr. Pepper: Give us the choice to buy it with cane sugar. The way you used to make it.

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

Deadmau5: Sofi Needs a Ladder

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

July 16, 2011

Hariharan and Madhushree: Vaa Ji

I demand a Bollywood adaptation of A Game of Thrones.

"'Vaaji Vaaji' is a song from the film Sivaji: The Boss starring Rajinikanth and Shriya Saran, directed by Shankar. ... The song shows Sivaji (Rajinikanth) as a Persian king and Tamizhselvi (Shriya Saran) as the queen."

Also from Saviji: The Boss.

And because it's the interwebs, the entire film in the original Tamil.

Posted by the Flea at 09:44 AM

Indian Superman

Everything is better in India.

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM

Kambakkht Ishq: Om Mangalam song

Related: Kambakkht Ishq song.

Posted by the Flea at 09:42 AM

July 15, 2011

People hate Mars

Michael_Whelan_detail_Thuvia_Maid_of_Mars.jpg

Ace reviews trailers and advance stills for several upcoming film releases: he introduces the mondo sounding Theater Bizarre; looks at John Carter, a Disney (?) adaption of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic John Carter, Warlord of Mars; considers costume design in the next Spiderman reboot, and; discusses an ill advised prequel to The Thing.

Re. the latter: Chicks don't belong in a Thing movie.

I don't know, looks a little bit exactly like the first one, except now we have two chicks and a bunch of Norwegians in it. I sort of like the chick, but I don't think chicks belong in a Thing movie. The first one was notable for not having chicks, and better for it ...

Watch the trailer and tell me he is wrong. That said, Scully was an excellent addition to "Ice", a riff on the story featured in the first season of The X-Files.

Re. chicks: Michael Whelan's cover paintings for the John Carter editions of the 1980s had a formative influence on my development. I vividly remember the moment a college girlfriend turned around and I realized I was looking at Thuvia, Maid of Mars. Sadly, she would not have got the reference and I would have been doing myself an immediate disservice to have mentioned the fact at the time. This is the first chance I have had to explain the moment to anyone.

Necessary/unnecessary: The first official image of Colin Farrell in Total Recall, a remake not a reboot. Colin Farrell is an excellent actor but the project is most probably unnecessary; let's hope it a second look at PKD's story and not just an update of the 1990 classic. By contrast is the necessary, nay, critical news of an Underworld sequel starring Kate Beckinsale.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Simon Wood on L.A. Noire

Team Bondi Production Designer, Simon Wood will be speaking at London's Design Museum Friday 22 July, 7.30pm.

L.A. Noire, published by Rockstar Games, has enticed audiences worldwide and set new standards for art direction in video games. This interactive detective story is set in a perfectly recreated 1940s Los Angeles and combines filmic realism with player responsive scenario and plot development. Simon will be describing his role on this pioneering project that has combined digital gaming design with film making.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

I have a new life goal

Austrian businessman Niko Alm poses with his Austrian driver's licence, depicting him wearing a pasta strainer.

An Austrian has won the right to be photographed wearing a pasta strainer for his driving licence on grounds of religious freedom.

A self-styled "pastafarian," Niko Alm said he belonged to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Posted by the Flea at 08:45 AM

Vegan Black Metal Chef Episode 3

Featured: Tempura Asparagus Sushi.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

OhLand: Perfection

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

July 14, 2011

Gareth Pugh: Pitti Immagine #79

A film by Ruth Hogben.

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM

Alias Disgrace

"... the trend toward aligning our online and offline personas has only accelerated. Today, humans stake online claims to their real-life names before they can even form words or survive outside the womb."

Early adopters? Not so lucky (via AoSHQ).

Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM

Two Door Cinema Club: Something Good Can Work (The Twelves Remix)

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM

July 13, 2011

Viva Vox Choir: Du hast (a cappella)

Posted by the Flea at 07:38 PM

Dallas - First Look

Sue Ellen is still fantastic, i.e. the stuff of fantasy. Just listen to that voice.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Batman: Arkham City - Riddler Trailer

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Hans Zimmer: Batman Begins - End Credits

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

July 12, 2011

Every great writer has a great editor

A spoiler-free interview with editor Anne Groell, George R.R. Martin’s editor from the very beginning.

What does the July 12th release of A Dance with Dragons mean to you both personally and professionally? … and it’s been really hard not having enough people to talk it all over with!
Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM

Box-ticking

Jeremy Clarkson says he would rather quit than follow the BBC up t'north.

"... if we ran the show from Salford, we’d be employing people from Salford. ‘People who were born there and thought “Yes, I like this. I see no reason to go anywhere else”.
Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM

Hero woman fights off vamp attacker with silver spray

Vamps-kill.com has the story.

Posted by the Flea at 07:05 AM

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling: Episode 1 - Arrival

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

July 11, 2011

Crystallization

Iris_van_Herpen_splashing_water_dress_2.jpg

Sarah Klose interviews 2006 ArtEZ Institute of Arts graduate, Iris van Herpen.

I have actually 4 ways of designing. Sometimes I do the normal way, I draw something on paper and I implement it afterwards into real life. But mostly I have the design detailed in my head and I implement it without any drawings then.

Or I start experimenting with different materials and techniques. And if I like some of the experiments, I start to endlessly moulage with it around a mannequin. Afterwards I make patterns and then the implementation comes. So the moulage is the design process. With that process I do not know where I will end if I start.

And now the new way of working is there as well, the rapid prototyping; I have something in my mind, I draw everything, optical 3D but actually 2D, on the computer. Then somebody else translates it into real 3D on the compter and after that a interaction of me and him starts; the whole process to find out what is possible and what isn’t.

Above: Tanya Dziahileva wearing an extraordinary - truly extraordinary splashing water dress. Vogue France has more images from Iris van Herpen's Crystallization.

Also: The limited edition Iris van Herpen X United Nude ankle bootie.

Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2010: Iris van Herpen.

Iris van Herpen @ AIFW S/S 2011 (+ backstage footage).

How to pronounce Iris van Herpen.

The delightful Iris van Herpen pronounces the word "techniques", giggles backstage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Summer 2012.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Sigur Rós: Sæglópur

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

July 10, 2011

Authors@Google: Tina Fey

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

July 09, 2011

Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again

Paul Waldman argues reading children's literature - tales of heroes, heroism and adventure - leads to depression in adulthood. Nothing in Harry Potter prepares kids for a future burdened with television, trips to the bathroom and filling out tax forms.

...it's incredibly compelling to imagine yourself not only as someone to whom exciting things happen but as someone who is more than those around you.

The problem is that then you begin to grow up and realize you're just a lowly muggle.

Kedhis replies in the comments.

I agree with Paul wholeheartedly. That's why I stay away from Dr Seuss and other such nonsense and read only manuals to my daughter. Just the other night she asked me to read the sink disposal safety guide again. Ha ha, she loves it. I started off with Ikea manuals because they don't have words. The best part is that our reading material is free.
Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

This goes triple for TV-only fans of Game of Thrones

A condensed version of The Great Gatsby is not The Great Gatsby.

Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM

Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet

Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse. Tugan Sokhiev, conducting.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

July 08, 2011

Delia Derbyshire - Sculptress of Sound

The goddess Delia Derbyshire.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

The Maid of Tarth

Gwendoline Christie has been cast as Brienne of Tarth for season two of Game of Thrones, HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. It's television, so she is far more too pretty to be the character as described, but I think fans (the ones who can read) will agree she is an excellent choice nonetheless.

Elsewhere in casting news: Natalie Dormer, Anne Boleyn from The Tudors, has been cast as Margaery Tyrell.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Dori, Nori and Ori

"These three brothers, all sons of the same mother, could not be more different from each other. Dori, the oldest, spends much of his time watching out for Ori, the youngest; making sure he’s not caught a chill or got himself killed by Wargs or Goblins. Nobody quite knows what Nori gets up to most of the time, except that it’s guaranteed to be dodgy and quite probably, illegal."

Update: Oin and Gloin.

Posted by the Flea at 06:45 AM

Dental modification in history

Viking remains reveal warriors filed their teeth to appear more ferocious to enemies.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Hogwarts: Which house are you?

Featuring Casa Loma, up the road from Flea Towers.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Carla Bruni: Tout le monde

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

July 07, 2011

This blog is now about Michelle Dockery

Pygmalion_Dockery.jpg

Currently featured in Vogue.

Previously: Michelle Dockery in Pygmalion, Turn of the Screw, Return to Cranford and my favourite, Downton Abbey.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Acclaim of thrones

George R.R. Martin is currently No. 1 on the New York Times paperback mass-market fiction bestseller list.

Also No. 4, No. 6 and No. 8.

Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM

Louis CK: I'm prejudiced against 20 yr olds

Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM

Quantec: Circular

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM

July 06, 2011

The Bat (1959)

The_Bat_1959.jpg

The Bat (1959) is a mystery film directed by Crane Wilbur, and starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead. Its tagline was "When it flies, someone dies!"

Cornelia Van Gorder (Agnes Moorehead) is a mystery author who lives in a town terrorized by a mysterious murderer known only as "The Bat".

Posted by the Flea at 02:48 AM

Derren Brown plays nine games of chess

Simultaneously, and wins against the group.

Posted by the Flea at 02:47 AM

Rubberbandits: Horse Outside

Posted by the Flea at 02:42 AM

July 05, 2011

Hill of Sorcery/Lonely Mountain

Much excitement at the Flea with the announcement Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the voice of Smaug in Peter Jackson's two part adaptation of The Hobbit. A closer examination of the film's IMDB entry reveals he has also been cast as the voice of the Necromancer of Dol Guldor.

Don't follow that last link if you don't want to learn the identity of the Necromancer. Though, given the recent emo excesses of Game of Thrones' TV-only fans, I no longer have any sympathy for people who claim to love an IP but can't be bothered to read.

And: Sylvester McCoy plays Radagast. Which is ok, I guess.

And... and: Richard Armitage is to my mind a peculiar choice for Thorin Oakenshield - too young - but he's a good actor and I suspect he would do a good job of it.

That said, the operative word is "actor".

Tolkien fan Armitage said that he’s in his element shooting in New Zealand: “There was a scene in The Lord Of The Rings where they find the stone trolls, and they’re identical in The Hobbit.

“I love those moments, when you link into the world of the film that you’ve seen before.”

Or, say, those elements in a novel such as The Lord of the Rings which build on an earlier novel such as The Hobbit. The ring provides one glaringly obvious example. You know how there was a ring in that Lord of the Rings movie? Hey, that ring is in The Hobbit.

Gotta love those moments that link you into the film that you've seen before. Excuse me but I have to go stab myself in the face.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

1984/Brave New World

I have argued that 1984 was the future we feared but the future we've got is Brave New World.

It turns out Neil Postman was thinking along the same lines.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

The Last Enemy (2008)

My Benedict Cumberbatch kick lead me to the BBC's near future thriller, The Last Enemy, brought to us here courtesy of PBS and the generosity of viewers like you. It is stupid in all the ways you would expect it to be - security checks to enter No. 10 Downing Street, problem; Big Brother checking to see if you have separated your recycling, not a problem - but it's good fun nonetheless.

My favourite bit is Matthew Goode's introduction to episode four. What would happen if you lost your identity card? Couldn't access your bank accounts? Couldn't enter your place of work? What would happen to your identity then? It's meant to be a rhetorical question minus the fact neither Goode nor his worthy audience have any clue what the answer might be. But there is an answer and it should be obvious. You would be free.

Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

World of Skin: The Center of Your Heart

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

July 04, 2011

The City of the Turquoise Mountain

Minaret_of_Jam_inside.jpg

The Minaret of Jam is like something out of a Robert E. Howard story, "part of The City of the Turquoise Mountain, which is the lost Afghan capital of the Middle Ages - Firuzkuh (Firuz Koh)".

Built back in 1190s by the once great Ghorid empire, this enigmatic and intricately-ornamented ancient "skyscraper" stands like a missile pointing at the stars - a 65-meter high minaret, the second biggest religious monument of its kind in the world.

Adventure tourism: Dan Cruickshank travels to Qasr Zarafshan.

Inside, I found a stupendous, engineered construction, with two spiral staircases winding around each other to form a double helix. This strong construction, combined with the fine brickwork, has preserved the structure from earthquakes and neglect. But for how long?

Ancient tourism: "A caravansary, or khan, also known as caravansara or caravanserai in English (Persian: كاروانسرا kārvānsarā, Turkish: kervansaray) was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey." These days known as "motels".

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

Cheeky monkey!

"... it wasn't long before the crested black macaque started snapping away with award-winning photographer David Slater's camera."

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

Drepung Loseling Monastery: Lekdri Ma

Having just finished Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, my imagination is stuck in the Himalayas.

Greg Edmonson's "The Road to Shambhala".

An evening with the Uncharted 2 music team.

It belatedly occurs to me not everyone has a PS3.

Le trailer.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

July 03, 2011

Game shows of the world

American game show

Saudi game show

Italian game show

Brazilian game show

French game show

Japanese game show

NB: Two of the above are actually British game shows. Not the good ones.

In fairness: In Japanese game shows, everyone is a winner and all must have prizes.

Because, that's why: For illustrative purposes, another Brazilian game show.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Disco Crash: Always Summer!

Featuring Vera Brezhnev, Anastasia and Svetlana Zadorozhnaya.

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

July 02, 2011

Plot Device (2011)

“'Plot Device,' a nine minute short film directed by Seth Worley, and executive produced by Red Giant’s own Aharon Rabinowitz."

Plot Device from Red Giant on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

Ice cream reviews

The best ice cream in Toronto.

Also, gelato.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Offense gets the glory

Steampunk Leg II is a collaboration between Steampunk Overlord and Skinz-N-Hydez. Also impressive, a matchy matchy Steampunk Glove-O-Love.

Posted by the Flea at 06:46 AM

The Ray Harryhausen Creature List

"[A] four and a half minute compliation of every Ray Harryhausen animated creature in feature films, presented in chronological order" (via Boing Boing).

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Tina Karol: Pop

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

July 01, 2011

David Cronenberg & William S. Burroughs: Making of "Naked Lunch"

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.

Frank Zappa reading a selection from William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch at The Nova Convention, Saturday, 2nd December, 1978.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Kill it with fire

Mary Elizabeth Williams claims grammar lovers were "saddened, shocked, and mightily displeased" to learn the University of Oxford has decided to drop the Oxford comma.

Not this one.

First, replace every other comma in the list with the word "and" or "or". Now try replacing the serial comma. See what happens.

(Hat tip to Agent Bedhead)

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Neil Gaiman, Adam Savage, and Gollum: I Will Survive

"Author Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) recounts a bloody memory of MythBuster's Adam Savage, and Adam puts Gollum on the phone for a performance of 'I Will Survive' at Minnesota Public Radio's Wits."

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Junior Boys: In the morning

Set to the dance scene from Jean-Luc Godard's Bande à part. Hat tip to Luke.

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM