Spaghetti Western Meets Star Wars In The Twelve Parsec Stare @ io9

There’s always been a solid connection between Westerns and the Star Wars films, but this latest fan film is a nice combination of the two. Boba Fett tracking people down in the Outer Rim badlands? Yes please.

Read more...

The New Republic has an excellent look at Shirley Jackson and why she is “in the class of writers wh @ io9

The New Republic has an excellent look at Shirley Jackson and why she is “in the class of writers who require fierce advocates to keep her work alive. Her horror is domestic; it takes place in the familiar world of the kitchen, the family, and known and loved objects. It unsettles too much to be read comfortably.”

Read more...

The History And Evolution Of The G.I. Joe Action Figure @ io9

Mental Floss has a fantastic article on the history of the iconic G.I. Joe action figures, and how Joe had to be rebooted in the 1970s to appeal to new consumers.

Read more...

When You Play The Game Of Thrones, You Rock Or You Die @ io9

Foo Fighter’s front man David Grohl recently broke his leg during a show last June, and had cancelled several shows. The band went back on stage, with Grohl perched on a throne of guitars that looks like it was more than a little inspired by Game of Thrones.

Read more...

The International Space Station Finally Gets New Supplies @ io9

Russia’s unmanned Progress M-28M vehicle docked with the International Space Station today, just week after SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded, destroying its payload of supplies and science experiments bound for ISS.

Read more...

Thresher Is A Horrifying Tale Of Inter-Dimensional Terror @ io9

Fans of Lovecraft and Weird Fiction will get a kick out of this short film by Mike Diva: Thresher. Following an man trying to get into a locked room, we find that there’s just some doors that shouldn’t be opened.

Read more...

Sunday Puzzle is on holiday this weekend. @ io9

Sunday Puzzle is on holiday this weekend. In its place, try your hand at this puzzle from The New York Times. NYT’s David Leonhardt calls it short, interactive game that “sheds light on government policy, corporate America and why no one likes to be wrong.” I like it because it’s meta. It’s a puzzle about puzzle-solving.

Read more...

First Concept Art From CW's Legends of Tomorrow Looks Exciting @ io9

Legends Of Tomorrow isn’t due out until 2016 on The CW, but Entertainment Weekly has a cool glimpse of some concept art, and it looks exciting.

Read more...

Seattleites Like Naming Pets After Geek Icons @ io9

Live in Seattle and own a pet? Chances are, you’ve named them after something geeky. KUOW.org went through the names of every pet registered in the city, and found that many Seattleites have named their pets after pop culture icons.

Read more...

Witness The John Carter Film That Could Have Been @ io9

People have been trying to make Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom novels and his iconic hero John Carter of Mars into films since the 1930s, and it wasn’t until 2012 that Andrew Stanton released his adaptation. Now, a Presentation Reel of another adaptation has surfaced, and showed us what we might have gotten.

Read more...

Today's Best Deals: Cheap Hot Tub, Pet Treats, Kitchen Scale, and More @ io9

Here are the best of today’s deals. Get every great deal every day on Kinja Deals, follow us onFacebook and Twitter to never miss a deal, join us on Kinja Gear to read about great products, and on Kinja Co-Op to help us find the best.

Read more...

Sunday Comics: Jerk Bastards Must Die @ io9

Welcome to Kotaku’s Sunday Comics, your weekly roundup of the best webcomics. The images enlarge if you click on the magnifying glass icon.

Read more...

Newspace: Twenty-First Century News @ Bureau 42

Headlines for July 2015 include the successful Russian rocket launch to supply the International Space Station, and a worker killed by a robot in Germany

Below, watch StoryBrain critique modern, slick special F/X, George Takei call out Clarence Thomas on gay marriage, and the cosplay of a couple of Cons… the week before a Con of Some Significance opens in San Diego:

Are slick F/X ruining F/X films?

Takei to Clarence Thomas:

Florida Supercon:

Behind the scenes, Sakura-Con photos:

William Gibson’s All Tomorrow’s Parties @ Omni Reboot

TomorrowsPartiesFeatured

All Tomorrow's Parties is a speculative fiction novel set in a postmodern, dystopian, postcyberpunk future.

In a world where technology makes science fiction obsolete nearly as quickly as it does desktop computers, writing techno-prognostication that is convincing or compelling is virtually impossible. To get around his problem, cyberpunk author William Gibson has in his newest book, abandoned looking into the future and instead depicts a world that could easily be our immediate future id things take a turn for the worse. All Tomorrow's Parties is the final installment of Mr. Gibson's latest trilogy (following Virtual Light in 1993 and Idoru in 1996) and is set in the vaguely dystopian near future Tokyo and of San Francisco, where an earthquake-damaged Bay Bridge has become a shantytown.
Gibson is facing the dilemma of how to write books like his in an era in which science fiction has become unsure of itself-it is afraid to dream. Though his books are not, strictly speaking, science fiction and do not need to be, his writing belongs to a post-science-fiction genre that draws out the motifs of sci-fi while aspiring to be more contemporary and literary. With only a thin veneer of technology to hold the reader's interest, this type of novel needs to have a good story and well-drawn characters to succeed. Alas, while All Tomorrow's Parties is a fun read and its world fascinating, making it a good read for anyone looking to start reading Gibson's work.
If you haven’t read Virtual Light and Idoru, it wouldn’t make any sense to read All Tomorrow’s Parties or to read a review that covered the plot. Suffice it to say that Gibson continues his explorations of the sociological effects of a technocratic culture. If you have read them, then rest assured that Gibson’s uncanny ability to weave various plot lines into a whole that knots up in the conclusion is still fresh. Characters from the first two books make their appearances here, such as the “netrunner” Colin Laney, to virtual construct/pop star Rei Toei, the bike messenger streetkid Chevette, and the happy-go-lucky security guard Rydell.

All Tomorrow's Parties

The flow of information is about to be disrupted. Colin Laney, sensitive to patterns of information like no one else on earth, currently resides in a cardboard box in Tokyo. His body shakes with fever dreams, but his mind roams free as always, and he knows something is about to happen. Not in Tokyo; he will not see this thing himself. Something is about to happen in San Francisco...
In fact, what makes All Tomorrow’s Parties unique as a William Gibson book is that he’s playing with lots and lots of characters and their respective points of view this time out. Neuromancer is primarily told from a single character’s P.O.V., while his subsequent novels have explored a multiple perspective on his futuristic worlds. It has become an almost trademark structural device to have three major character-perspectives that seem disparate but that actually build into a collision at the climax. If you enjoy this the way I do, then you’ll be happy with All Tomorrow’s Parties.
However, such planetary transformations as joining all cultures together in order to move an entire planet require a revolution, and no revolution occurs without bloodshed. Despite the chaos and the violence in the later section of the story, it is still a profound sadness that holds the reader to the page. Throughout the story, it is battle between hope and despair, and in the midst of this battle there are a brave people who have lost civilization and comfort, who are on the verge of losing their will and their planet, and who are always having more and more taken from them.

SCIENCE FICTION PREDICTS THE FUTURE

Gibson’s characterization is still strong and the plot line is still fun. Going back to the character of Rydell was a good move on his part since he seems to play the part of the viewer of science fiction reality: he doesn’t really understand the world he lives in and his commentary helps the reader through their own confusion. There is still a fair amount of action, and the depiction of the world of All Tomorrow’s Parties is as complete as ever. However, it’s probably a good thing that he ended this series.
There’s a sense that he really had to scrape together a good idea to pull this one off. The ending is characteristically as obscure as any of the others, leaving us with more questions that answers, but it seems a little contrived. Perhaps the belief that cyberpunk is dead is really only validated by All Tomorrow’s Parties.

The post William Gibson’s All Tomorrow’s Parties appeared first on OMNI Reboot.

The Pluto Probe Went Into Safe Mode, And We Don't Know Why @ io9

The New Horizons spacecraft is rapidly soaring closer to Pluto for our first flyby of the distant almost-planet. But something went wrong on Saturday afternoon, knocking the probe out of communication for over an hour. Now we’re back in touch and trying to figure out what happened.

Read more...

10 Of The Best Geeky Bathing Suits @ Omni Reboot

GeekBathingsuit_thumbnail1Summer is HERE! Actually, it’s half way over, sadly. While video games, air conditioned movie theaters and Netflix marathons have their perks, not all of us geeks want to hide away in our basements all the time. We’re dying to have some fun in the sun! Now, it can get to be too hot in the sun for us fangirls to rock our comic book t-shirts and Star Wars paraphernalia, so how else will we get our geek on in the summer heat? Well, thanks to these adorkable swimsuits, we can show off our nerdy sides all summer long! We at GeekRoom put together this list of the top ten bathing suits to fit every geeky girl's tastes. Whether you enjoy comics or Sci-Fi or any fandom in between, now you can get a little sun while showing the world the sexy side of geeky.

The post 10 Of The Best Geeky Bathing Suits appeared first on OMNI Reboot.

Greatest Fantasy Film Tournament: Week 19, Round 1 @ Bureau 42

The latest round of voting takes place here.

The complete list of eliminations is as follows:

  • The Phantom Melody (1920)
  • Legally Dead (1923)
  • The Cat and the Canary (1927)
  • The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929)
  • The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930)
  • The Old Dark House (1932)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (1934)
  • The Black Cat (1934)
  • The Raven (1935)
  • Werewolf of London (1935)
  • Dracula’s Daughter (1936)
  • Deadful Melody (1938)
  • The Black Doll (1938)
  • The Mummy’s Hand (1940)
  • Horror Island (1941)
  • Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
  • Son of Dracula (1943)
  • The Mummy’s Curse (1944)
  • The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)
  • Dead of Night (1945)
  • House of Dracula (1945)
  • She-Wolf of London (1946)
  • Shock (1946)
  • Song of the South (1946)
  • The Cat Creeps (1946)
  • Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
  • Horror of Dracula (1958)
  • Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)
  • Shaggy Dogg (1959)
  • Babes in Toyland (1961)
  • The Love Bug (1968)
  • Aristocats (1970)
  • Herbie Rides Again (1974)
  • Freaky Friday (1976)
  • The Web of Death (1976)
  • Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
  • Pete’s Dragon (1977)
  • Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
  • The Rescuers (1977)
  • Five Venoms (1978)
  • Return from Witch Mountain (1978)
  • Dracula (1979)
  • Salem’s Lot (1979)
  • Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)
  • Advent (1981)
  • The Devil and Max Devlin (1981)
  • Legendary Weapons of China (1982)
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
  • Return to Oz (1985)
  • A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
  • Oliver and Company (1988)
  • Ghostbusters II (1989)
  • DuckTales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)
  • The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
  • Death Becomes Her (1992)
  • Chronos (1993)
  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
  • Angels in the Outfield (1994)
  • The Santa Clause (1994)
  • A Goofy Movie (1995)
  • An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
  • Hercules (1997)
  • Practical Magic (1998)
  • Muppets from Space (1999)
  • Disney’s The Kid (2000)
  • Dungeons and Dragons (2000)
  • Return to Never Land (2002)
  • Brother Bear (2003)
  • Freaky Friday (2003)
  • Piglet’s Big Movie (2003)
  • The Haunted Mansion (2003)
  • Blade: Trinity (2004)
  • Shrek 2 (2004)
  • Van Helsing (2004)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
  • Chicken Little (2005)
  • Herbie Fully Loaded (2005)
  • Great Mouse Detective (2006)
  • Shaggy Dogg (2006)
  • Underworld: Evolution (2006)
  • Shrek the Third (2007)
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)
  • Twilight (2008)
  • Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
  • The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
  • Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Clash of the Titans (2010)
  • Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)
  • The Lightning Thief (2010)
  • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011)
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)
  • Berserk: Egg of the King (2012)
  • Berserk: The Golden Age 2 – The Battle of Doldrey (2012)
  • Lorax (2012)
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)
  • Underworld: Awakening (2012)
  • Horns (2013)
  • Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
  • Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
  • Boxtrolls (2014)
  • Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

In A New International Ant Man Spot, [Redacted] Shows Up @ io9

A new international TV spot for Ant-Man just hit the internet, and it shows off something that we didn’t expect. Spoilers after the jump.

Read more...

Jupiter and Venus (Plus Moons) Are Stunning At Their Conjunction @ io9

In the last week, Venus and Jupiter were at their conjunction, and photographer Adam Tomaszewski took this fantastic picture of the pair. Look closely, and you can see Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto orbiting Jupiter.

Read more...

Over on The Conversation, Darren Ó hAilín has a fascinating article that looks at Glioblastoma in a @ io9

Over on The Conversation, Darren Ó hAilín has a fascinating article that looks at Glioblastoma in a very different light: as aggressive, adaptive growths. Understanding and learning how these tumors grow and change will help yield new treatment methods in the future. Read the entire piece here.

Read more...

Weekly Digital Disk Picks for July 7th, 2015 @ Bureau 42

This is one of the lightest weeks we’ve seen in a long time.

12 Movie Action Pack
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Comments Includes Stolen, Direct Action, Wake of Death, Blitz, War, Inc., Avenging Angelo, The Iceman, Trespass, Rampart, Desert Saints, The Contract, and Cyborg Soldier.
5 Flights Up
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray/Digital: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Archie Bunker’s Place: Season 1
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
Comments Anime series adapating the RPG video game of the same name.
Barney Miller: The Final Season
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
The Big Chill (Criterion Collection)
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Bitten: Complete Season Two
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 1
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
The Cell
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
Crimson Cult
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
Comments 1970s horror film starring Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff, based on Lovecraft’s “Dreams in the Witch House”
House of Cards: Volume 3
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Joe Dirt
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
Comments Blaine: This falls into a small group of movies where the movie itself is virtually unwatchable, but the soundtrack (CD: US, CAN) is well worth owning.
The Killers
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Maggie
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray/Digital: US, CAN
  • DVD/Digital: US, CAN
Married With Children
Amazon
  • Season 11: US, CAN
  • Complete Series: US, CAN
Marty Stouffer’s Wild America Specials (12 DVD set)
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Mega Shark Versus Kolossus
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Comments Blaine: At the time of this writing, it has a single review, which is 5 stars, written by Jeremy R. Feit: “I highly recommend this movie because I’m in it.”
Noragami: Season 1
Amazon
  • DVD/Blu-Ray: US, CAN
Comments Anime series about a girl who bonds with a Kami (literally meaning “god”, though the Japanese meaning of the term is probably closer to the definition of a genius loci)
One Week Friends
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
Comments Anime series with a premise similar to “20 First Dates” – Yuuki, a Japanese high school student discovers that one of his classmates, Kaori, has short-term memory damage – she can’t remember anything after one week. Consequently she doesn’t have any friends. Yuuki decides to fix this by making friends with Kaori.
Sam Goldwyn Movie Collection, Vol. 2
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Comments Includes Stella Dallas, Dead End, The Westerner, They Got Me Covered, The Princess and the Pirate, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Snorks: The Complete Second Season
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Witches of East End: Complete Season 2
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Woman in Gold
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray/Digital: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
WWE Presents: The Monday Night War – Part 1, Shots Fired
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
Comments The First 6 episodes of the WWE’s more in-depth documentary series on the Monday Night War.
Yakitate!! Japan, Part 3
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN

Finally, the picks of the week. Blaine says, “nothing jumps out at me this week at all.” Alex says, “Agreed. Wrestling fans might want to pick up Monday Night War Part 1, and fans of ’70s horror might want to pick up Crimson Cult, but otherwise, that’s it.”

It's Assault With A Deadly Pathogen And Brother Issues On Killjoys @ io9

Now that we’re a couple of episodes into Syfy’s Killjoys, the show is starting to settle in a little bit. In this latest episode, Davin and John’s sibling bond is put to the test while Dav works out some of the trauma from his past, all while they track down a migrant worker who’s overstayed his visa.

Read more...

These are the Minerals That Give Fireworks Their Colors @ io9

If you want beautiful fireworks bursting in the sky, you’re going to need to mine the Earth first. Here’s the geology of the minerals that give fireworks their vibrant colours.

Read more...

The One Game To Play On The Fourth of July @ io9

Happy Fourth of July, Americans. Time to spend the day playing Sid Meier’s Colonization, the quintessential game about American independence, over and over until you pass out.

Read more...

Was Star Trek: First Contact really the best Star Trek movie? @ io9

Was Star Trek: First Contact really the best Star Trek movie? Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks so, and he’s making a really strong case for it on Twitter right now, in response to our unfortunate oversight in leaving it off our list of time-travel movies . His thoughts on Picard’s arc are well worth reading.

Read more...

The Muppets Wish America A Happy Birthday @ io9

The Muppets have long been great at putting together hilarious short videos, and for July 4th, who better than Sam the American Eagle to commemorate the birth of the United States?

Read more...

Zack Snyder Finally Defended The Carnage In Man Of Steel @ io9

The ending of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel has been heavily criticized for the sheer amount of destruction, something that fans have noted is out of character for Superman. Now, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Snyder has defended the destruction of Metropolis, and confirmed a theory that we’ve long entertained.

Read more...

Check Out Russia's New Spaceport Being Built @ io9

Preparing to abandon Baikonur, Roscosmos, Russia’s Federal Space Agency is knee deep in building their new spaceport, called the Vostochny Cosmodrome (Eastern Spaceport) in the Russian Far East.

Read more...

Cage Of Thrones Is The Best Nicholas Cage Mashup To Date @ io9

It’s a proven fact: Nicholas Cage can go with anything. The best thing so far, though? Nicholas Cage and Game of Thrones. Separately, they’re both pretty good, but together? Glorious.

Read more...

Eagle 629-03142, America's Oldest Bald Eagle, Has Died At Age 38 @ io9

The Audubon Society has reported that the oldest tagged Bald Eagle in America has died at the age of 38. The bird has overseen the dramatic recovery for his species in the United States, and is a testament to some of the successes of the environmental movements of the 1970s.

Read more...

The Plan to Feed the World by Hacking Photosynthesis @ io9

With the world population projected to soar past the 11 billion mark by 2100, we’re going to need to find some creative new ways of putting food on the table. The latest science-powered plan to feed the world? Hacking photosynthesis.

Read more...

Science Fiction And Fantasy Is Pakistan's Hope For The Future @ io9

In an excellent essay for, Pakistani author Usman Malik has a fantastic look at his home country, and how speculative fiction can help it regain some hope for the future .

Read more...

Sharktopus Vs. Whalewolf Is A Thing, And It Has A Trailer @ io9

Remember SyFy’s hilariously awful 2010 film Sharktopus , or its sequel, Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda? If you enjoyed those two, you’re in luck, because a third film is coming: Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf.

Read more...

Massive Bee Attack Kills Texas Man @ io9

A Texas man died last week when he was attacked by a massive swarm of bees when he hit a pipe containing their hive. According to ABC News, the man fled nearly a hundred meters before being overwhelmed.

Read more...

The Best Fireworks in the Galaxy Are Coming to Earth @ io9

Mark your calendars for fireworks, Earthlings. And no, I’m not talking about the little peonies you’re shooting off the back deck tonight. Astronomers have wised up to a much more epic light show that’s going down 5,000 light years away. And in 2018, it’s coming to a telescope near you.

Read more...

Celebrate Independence Day With The Original Independence Day Trailer @ io9

Because what other movie would you watch today?

Read more...

The Best Fourth of July Deals: Headphones You Love, KitchenAid, & More @ io9

What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than engaging in some consumerism? Get every great deal every day on Kinja Deals, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to never miss a deal, join us on Kinja Gear to read about great products, and on Kinja Co-Op to help us find the best.

Read more...

10 Tricks for a Perfect Summer Cookout in Three Minutes @ io9

Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to head outside for some fun in the sun. And you know what that means: hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and more.

Read more...

Summer Weekend Review: “One Million Years BC” (1966) @ Bureau 42

It’s no Jurassic World but, for years, the Hammer remake of the One Million BC stood as the definitive humans with dinosaurs pic. It also kickstarted Rachel Welch’s career, and sold more than one million copies of that fur bikini pin-up.1

Title: One Million Years BC

Cast, Crew, and Other Info:

Directed by Don Chaffey
Written by Michael Carreras from the original screenplay by Mickell Novack, George Baker, and Joseph Frickert

Special effects by Ray Harryhausen

Cast
Raquel Welch as Loana
John Richardson as Tumak
Percy Herbert as Sakana
Robert Brown as Akhoba
Martine Beswick as Nupondi
Jean Wladon as Ahot
Lisa Thomas as Sura
Malya Nappi as Tohana
Yvonne Horner as Ullah
Nic Perrin as Narrator

Premise:

A rebel kicked out of the Rock Tribe encounters a fetching young woman from the more civilized Shell Tribe. Star-cross’d love, rampaging dinosaurs, and erupting volcanoes ensue.

I’ll forgo any deep discussion of hair colour (The Rock Tribe are brunettes, while the Shell Tribe are blond). Or of hairspray and make-up, to which the cavewomen clearly have access.

High Point:

The visual imagery take you on a tour, not only of the history of dinosaur effects to that point, but of the non-scientific pop understanding of the Primeval World. Harryhausen serves up a slurpasaur, a close-up lizard, for his first dino, perhaps as a tribute to the original film.2 Afterwards, we’re given some of the best stop-motion of his career, with an assortment of dinosaurs, recreated more-or-less to match then-current understanding, and other prehistoric beasts. The pteranodon and the archelon have been modified and magnified from their fossil forms, but they’re fun to watch.

While the film isn’t even remotely accurate to prehistory, it recreates a number of popular concepts, from the predator dinosaur battling a triceratops to the Cro-Magnon funeral3 We have pop cavemen battling ape-men of uncertain species, and both coexisting with dinosaurs. The scenes with Loana and Tumak evoke depictions of the Garden of Eden; there is even a serpent.

The compendium of pop images cast its own shadows; the design and marketing of Aurora’s early-70s Prehistoric Scenes models seem more than a little reminiscent of One Million Years BC.

Low Points

The rather plodding introduction, with its stock footage and ponderous narration, proves pointless. As in the original film, the narrator quickly disappears, never to be heard from again.

I’m hoping the ceratosaurus got him.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 5/6 Very good for the time, though some (frequently unnecessary shots) seem jarring; I don’t know why they bothered with the giant spider and grasshopper, which appear for mere seconds and seem to have wandered in from another production.

Production: 5/6

Acting: 4/6 The actors do reasonably well with a script made up (almost) entirely of fabricated language.

Story: 4/6

Emotional Response: 4/6 Biggest laugh: when the giant sea turtle appears, one of the Shell Women cries out the correct scientific name, archelon!

Overall: 5/6 If you can view One Million Years BC with the appropriate perspective,4 you will find this prehistoric romp to be highly entertaining.

In total, One Million Years BC receives 29/42.

Notes

1. That pin-up went on to play a key role in The Shawshank Redemption.

2. Not the only tribute: Robert Brown’s make-up for Akhoba has been based, very clearly, on Lon Chaney’s 1940 version of the character.

3. The 1868 Cro-Magnon find indicated a gravesite with deliberately placed items, and the Cro-Magnon Funeral, and attempts to recreate Cro-Magnon beliefs from it, has long been a staple of anthropology and popular reconstructions.

4. Imagine, say, that it’s 1966 and you’re between the ages of 8-16. The 8-year-olds may be watching it for somewhat different reasons than the 16-year-olds, of course.

The History Of Fireworks @ Omni Reboot

History of Fireworks

The 4th of July tradition of fireworks has a long and fascinating history.

Fireworks are such an integral part of our 4th of July celebrations that not a lot of people ever question how they are made. We end up staring at the brilliant colors in the sky making noises such as, “ooh” and “aah”, and then stuff our faces with more food and alcohol. Some might believe it is an act of God or a random occurrence but fireworks are completely planned out and intentional. Even the little hand-held sparklers and pinwheels are created with a specific chemical formula. So how exactly do fireworks... work?
Fireworks were invented in China during the 7th century Tang Dynasty and were believed to expel evil spirits and bring good luck and happiness. During this time, pyrotechnicians were respected for their knowledge of complex mounting techniques. Ordinary citizens began purchasing fireworks through the Song Dynasty and firework displays were shown more frequently. Historical documents from that time period show that these fireworks were used for celebration as well as warfare.
By 1240, the Arabs found out about gunpowder and its various uses from China, so fireworks were passed on to them. The more Europeans visited China, the more popular fireworks became since these visitors had never seen anything like them in Europe. Jesuit missionary Pierre Nicolas le Cheron lived in Beijing and wrote about how to create fireworks to the Paris Academy of Science in 1758, which led to fireworks spreading over to Europe.
Since then, there have been huge displays of fireworks all over the world. For instance, fireworks are set off on New Year’s Day in major cities all over the world from Sydney to London to New York. The largest fireworks display of all time was orchestrated by Svea Fireworks in November of 2014 in Norway. The display incorporated 540,382 individual firework effects for a 90-minute show. The most firework rockets launched in 30 seconds was achieved by Pyroworks International Inc. in Cebu, Philippines in May of 2010 while the largest firework rocket weighing 29.5 lb was launched by Associação Nacional de Empresas de Produtos Explosivos in Portugal in the same year.

History Of Fireworks

In 1985, adjunct professor of chemistry at Washington College in Maryland, John Conkling, wrote a book on fireworks called Chemistry of Pyrotechnics: Basic Principles and Theory. In it, he explains that fireworks have two main ingredients: a chemical with a lot of oxygen and a chemical that acts as a fuel. These mixtures are made and packed into aerial shells the size of snow cones. With a pocket of black powder on the bottom that propels the shells through the air, an inside pocket has a time fuse which connects to a black powder bursting charge. When the time fuse burns and the shell explodes, it sends forward “effect pellets” which produce the colors and visual effects.
Fireworks are composed of incandescent and luminescent light in order to produce the color we see in the sky. Incandescence is light that is produced by heat. Heat causes substances to glow when they are hot, which is why we see red, orange, yellow and white light as the substance gets hotter. On the other hand, luminescence is light produced using energy other than heat. This energy is absorbed by an electron of an atom or molecule which causes it to become excited but unstable. The energy is released in the form of a photon when the electron returns to a lower energy state, but the energy of the photon determines its wavelength and color.
“Everything you see in a fireworks display is chemistry in action,” Conkling says in a fireworks video from the American Chemical Society. The past executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association revealed that researchers are currently working on creating firework colors such as line green, violet and hot pink. These same researchers are also looking into developing shells that burst into the shape of letters. Imagine how many people will propose to their significant other this way! “Fireworks make people happy,” Conkling said. “There’s something about watching the night sky explode in color and sparks and noise that I think gets really deep in the human soul.”

The post The History Of Fireworks appeared first on OMNI Reboot.

Tips For A Better Shave @ Omni Reboot

ShavingTips_thumbnailOnce the adolescent thrill pales, shaving, for most men, becomes a daily battle between razor and beard, with skin the likely casualty. Worse, aging skin becomes drier, more injury-prone and vulnerable to the razor's edge. Opt for a full gray beard? Not if it doesn't suit your own hirsute style. The newest shaving gear takes more precise (and high-tech) aim at shaving's biggest snags-razor burn, bumps and sensitive skin. The outcome: A shaved face that stays razor-smooth for a lifetime. Razor burn-a combination of razor-scraped skin and microscopic nicks-is the number-one complaint. It's likely to worsen with age as skin oil output declines and cell turnover slows, resulting in a drier, rougher protective outer layer. A lot of the reason for razor burn is simply due to haste. Most men don't have the time to lather up properly before they started trimming their facial hair. Brushless creams, which come in a tube, can help but they usually take more time than men are willing to spend on self grooming. These creams are richer, more concentrated, and have more lubricants, than watery foams, delivering the most skin-protecting, drag-resistant lather. Gels may be even better, and some brands offer the best lubricating and least irritating ingredients compared to other shaving creams.

The post Tips For A Better Shave appeared first on OMNI Reboot.

Crazy, Frazetta-esque vintage cologne ad @ Boing Boing

Matt writes, "This is awesomeness beyond awesome. Magic swords, barbarians, crazy, nausea-inducing camera angles, pterodactyls... If 'Heavy Metal' needed a personal scent, it would be this."

Why we're still talking about Terminator and the Matrix @ Boing Boing


My July 2015 Locus column, Skynet Ascendant, suggests that the enduring popularity of images of homicidal, humanity-hating AIs has more to do with our present-day politics than computer science.

As a class, science fiction writers imagine some huge slice of all possible futures, and then readers and publishers select from among these futures based on which ones chime with their anxieties and hopes. As a system, it works something like a Ouija board: we've all got our fingers on the planchette, and the futures that get retold and refeatured are the result of our collective ideomotor response.


Today, wealth disparity consumes the popular imagination and political debates. The front-running science fictional impossibility of the unequal age is rampant artificial intelligence. There were a lot of SF movies produced in the mid-eighties, but few retain the currency of the Termina­tor and its humanity-annihilating AI, Skynet. Everyone seems to thrum when that chord is plucked – even the NSA named one of its illegal mass surveillance programs SKYNET.

It’s been nearly 15 years since the Matrix movies debuted, but the Red Pill/Blue Pill business still gets a lot of play, and young adults who were small children when Neo fought the AIs know exactly what we mean when we talk about the Matrix.

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and other luminaries have issued pan­icked warnings about the coming age of humanity-hating computerized overlords. We dote on the party tricks of modern AIs, sending half-admiring/half-dreading laurels to the Watson team when it manages to win at Jeopardy or randomwalk its way into a new recipe.

The fear of AIs is way out of proportion to their performance. The Big Data-trawling systems that are supposed to find terrorists or figure out what ads to show you have been a consistent flop. Facebook’s new growth model is sending a lot of Web traffic to businesses whose Facebook followers are increasing, waiting for them to shift their major commercial strategies over to Facebook marketing, then turning off the traffic and demanding recur­ring payments to send it back – a far cry from using all the facts of your life to figure out that you’re about to buy a car before even you know it.

Google’s self-driving cars can only operate on roads that humans have mapped by hand, manually marking every piece of street-furniture. The NSA can’t point to a single terrorist plot that mass-surveillance has disrupted. Ad personalization sucks so hard you can hear it from orbit.

We don’t need artificial intelligences that think like us, after all. We have a lot of human cognition lying around, going spare – so much that we have to create listicles and other cognitive busy-work to absorb it. An AI that thinks like a human is a redundant vanity project – a thinking version of the ornithopter, a useless mechanical novelty that flies like a bird.

We need machines that don’t fly like birds. We need AI that thinks unlike humans. For example, we need AIs that can be vigilant for bomb-parts on airport X-rays. Humans literally can’t do this. If you spend all day looking for bomb-parts but finding water bottles, your brain will rewire your neurons to look for water bottles. You can’t get good at something you never do.

What does the fear of futuristic AI tell us about the parameters of our present-day fears and hopes?

Skynet Ascendant [Locus]

Five LGBT Comic Books Out Now @ io9

This week has been somewhat of a weird week for LGBT characters in comic books. First, there was the fact that the Midnighter’s comic is actually really, really good. But then we got a controversy about James Robsinson’s Airboy and its use of a derogatory word for transgender. (My take on that: Robinson was deliberately writing those characters as assholes. Unfortunately, those characters are fictional versions of him and the artist and he went a bit too far, making the whole thing seem weird, out of place, and in bad taste. Edit: Robinson has written a full apology.)

Read more...

When Old Foes Clash on Hannibal, the Results Are Gloriously Gory @ io9

Though fans hope Hannibal finds a home beyond its NBC cancellation, the contracts of its two biggest stars have expired . Ain’t looking good, in other words. So let’s savor the flavor of what remains. “Contorno” being a great example of the kind of TV that Future Us is going to be missing, hardcore.

Read more...

Open Channel: What's The Geekiest Thing About Where You Live? @ io9

Where do you live, and what’s the geekiest/coolest/neat point of interest from your area?

Read more...

For a long time, we’ve heard about that time that Nicholas Cage was tapped to play Superman in Super @ io9

For a long time, we’ve heard about that time that Nicholas Cage was tapped to play Superman in Superman Lives back in the 1990s. Meredith Woerner, formerly of io9 and now writing for the LA Times, has some footage of what Cage looked like in costume. Watch here.

Read more...

io9 Newsstand: Would You Enter A Psychotropic Spider Web To Save Your Son From Sin? @ io9

This week’s stories are all about psychotropic visions, unsatisfactory lives, and the consequences of doubting your mother’s love for you.

Read more...

Navigational Data Produced A Beautiful Image of the Milky Way @ io9

The European Space Agency built this image of the Milky Way using routine data from its Gaia satellite.

Read more...

I Swear I Thought Under The Dome Was A Remake Of Under The Cherry Moon @ io9

Don’t laugh, it’s true. When I was first asked to star in Under the Dome, I misunderstood and thought it was going to be a bold reimagining of Prince’s underrated directorial debut. Just picture it: I’m a young vivacious dome, on the French Riviera, entertaining lonely married women, when... romance!

Read more...

Ava DuVernay Won’t Be Directing Black Panther After All @ io9

In an interview with Essence Magazine today, Selma director Ava DuVernay noted that she decided to pass on directing Marvel’s Black Panther adaptation. The movie, which will star Chadwick Boseman (42) as the titular character, is set to be released on July 6, 2018.

Read more...

Our Valued Customers On The State Of Television Today @ io9

You know, this thought has crossed my mind more than once. There’s only so many hours in the day to keep up with the number of television shows that currently on the air or on Netflix/Hulu/Steaming/Etc.

Read more...

Meet Negasonic Teenage Warhead In This New Deadpool Image @ io9

Empire Online has a new picture from the upcoming Deadpool movie. Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Brianna Hildebrand, joins Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool in the upcoming film, due out February 4th, 2016.

Read more...

Wingsuit Adrenaline Junkies Thread The Needle @ io9

GoPro has a ton of films of people doing some pretty crazy stunts, but this one can be summed up in one word for me: NOPE.

Read more...

How to Drink All Day and Not Pass Out @ io9

Look, drinking all day is not healthy. But what if you and the missus signed up for a nine-hour Napa County wine tour, and you want to get your money’s worth? Or maybe you’re hitting your bachelor pal’s BBQ, and the action starts at noon. Or, maybe, what the hell, you just want to go all out on a hot summer day. This afternoon bender is probably not a good idea. But here are some tips to make sure you stay awake—and, you know, survive.

Read more...

The Strange History of Bubble Wrap And Why It's Changing @ io9

In the last couple of days, the internet has been abuzz with some shocking news: soon, you won’t be able to pop bubble wrap. The Sealed Air Corporation, which manufacturers the product, announced a replacement that’s come a long way since it’s original use: wallpaper.

Read more...

Sweden Goes Post-Apocalyptic In This Suspenseful Short Film @ io9

In Andrée Wallin’s debut short film State Zero, four soldiers are deployed to a post-apocalyptic Sweden on a routine mission. Once they’re on the ground, however, everything goes wrong.

Read more...

The First Stills Of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies Are Here! @ io9

Entertainment Weekly has our first look at the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adaptation.

Read more...

Is This a Long-Lost Prototype of the "Nintendo PlayStation?" @ io9

At the summer Consumer Electronics Show in 1991, Sony announced that it was jumping into the video game hardware market for the first time, partnering with Nintendo to release something called a “PlayStation.” The device never made it to market—for reasons I’ll explain shortly—but someone on reddit may have come across a very rare prototype.

Read more...

There's Gonna Be Chaos In The Final International Ant Man Trailer @ io9

The Marvel marketing juggernaut has put out a final international trailer out for Ant Man. In it, Scott Lang wants to call in The Avengers for help.

Read more...

The Geekender July 3-5: ID4, Arkham Knight, Stephen King's IT, and more! @ Blastr

The weekend is upon us, and with it a chance to sit back, relax and consume massive amounts of sci-fi, fantasy and horror pop culture. In The Geekender, our writers share a bit about what they're reading, watching and playing -- and we want to hear from you. Let us know what's on your plate in the comments!

Trent Moore: I'll go ahead and get the disclosure out of the way: Blastr is owned by Syfy. Home team show or not, I've really been digging the new space-set series Killjoys the past few weeks. I was curious enough to bank the first couple episodes on my DVR, and finally found the time to chew through them. Turns out, this little show is a lot of fun. Witty dialogue, likable characters and a bit of dangling mystery to tie it all together. There are dashes of Farscape and Firefly here (not to say it's in the same league, per se), and I'm thinking this one could be the guilty sci-fi pleasure of the summer.

Ernie Estrella: Due to some pressing cram sessions and binge sessions, I'll be clearing out my DVR that has the last two episodes of The Flash Season 1 and Salem Season 2. Both started out as underdogs, but I felt both shows displayed their strengths and potential longevity in their respective genres, shining where other bigger named-shows like Gotham and Constantine floundered. I especially felt Salem took it up several notches this season with Lucy Lawless as the big boss and the Witch War storyline. They're taking some risks at WGN America and that's promising for a network trying to grow their original content. Plus, I've been impressed the performances of the leading ladies this season, Tamzin Merchant (Anne Hale), Elise Eberle (Mercy Lewis) and Janet Montgomery (Mary Sibley).

Jeff Spry: Rocking in my hammock under the pines this long 4th of July weekend, I plan on catching up on several eye-catching tie-in comics to Marvel's excellent Secret Wars event. Four of the best companion books so far are The Infinity Gauntlet, Ghost Racers, Weirdworld, and Planet Hulk, all with top-shelf creative teams and a colorful panorama of artistic styles and stories. Marvel has unspooled its massive Secret Wars series with a smart, aggressive marketing campaign and offered up some tantalizingly odd titles perfect for holiday reading with a red, white and blue Bomb Pop in one hand and a cool comic in the other.

Matthew Jackson: Stephen King is my favorite author, so every once in a while (usually a short while) I tend to go back and re-read a favorite work of his, just to evoke certain feelings and remind myself why I love stories so much. This weekend, because it's my second favorite novel of his (after The Stand), and because it's the only King novel I left unpacked during my recent move, I'll be diving back into IT. This book's been in the news a lot lately because of the rocky road of its new big screen adaptation, but when I really dig into this story, I don't care, because when it's at its best, this book is better than any film version could ever hope to be.

Don Kaye: I don't know if I'll get to it this weekend, but I just picked up a book earlier this week called The Burning Dark. It's a sci-fi novel by Adam Christopher and may be the first of a larger series called Spider War. I don't know much beyond that, but I do know that the synopsis on the back cover was enough to get me to buy it. The story takes place in deep space and features a haunted space station, a ghostly message that's a thousand years old, and a race of machines that devour entire worlds. From what I can tell, the book hits the sweet spot between hard sci-fi and horror -- a great but often tricky balancing act to pull off. Hopefully it lives up to that back cover pitch and some of the reviews I've read.

Krystal Clark: I'm almost done with my trek through the DC Animated Universe. This week's offering is Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. It's loosely based on the New 52 story ("Throne of Atlantis"), written by Geoff Johns. As you might suspect, it focuses on Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, and underwater drama with the Atlanteans. Aquaman has a foot on both land and sea, so he's at the center of a war brewing between those worlds. Like most DC films, Throne of Atlantis has a killer cast, including Matt Lanter (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Sam Witwer (Syfy's Being Human), Rosario Dawson (Daredevil), and fan favorite Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle).

Dany Roth: This weekend, I will be doing what I have done every year since time immememorial (aka 1996) -- watching Independence Day. Maybe that's a little too on the nose, but who am I to say no to a disaster movie so cheesy yet endearing that director Roland Emmerich has been dying to recapture the (box office) magic ever since? Plus, this is the last July 4th we'll get to watch this masterpiece untainted by the uncertain future of not one, but two sequels. So, bring on the Pullman presidential speechifying, the Will Smith welcoming to Earth, and that classic shoddy Jeff Goldblum line delivery --Nothing beats Indepence Day on Independence Day!

Lisa Granshaw: This weekend, I plan to finally finish reading the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel I started two weeks ago, Demons of Air and Darkness by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Instead of jumping right into the next book in the series once I'm done, though, I picked up something a little different to check out: Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. Over the years, I've grown increasingly interested in how aspects of pop culture like comic books, science fiction, and fantasy have impacted the fashion world, and this book takes a look at how superheroes, in particular, have influenced certain designers. The book accompanied an exhibit held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008, which I unfortunately missed, so I'm intrigued to discover how this book explores the connection between superheroes and fashion.

Matt Dorville: While many Netflix series have garnered huge acclaim, and most rightly so, I haven't heard of Knights of Sidonia until a good friend of mine suggested it, but this might be my favorite Netflix original series. Earth has been destroyed by a mysterious monster called Gauna, and the last bit of humanity is aboard the starship Sidonia trying to find a way to survive. The white knuckle pace of the series combined with animation that is just plain awesome makes for the best manga series I've seen since Attack on Titan. Screenwriter Sadayuki Murai, who penned some of my favorite Cowboy Bebop episodes, wrote the screenplay, and the second season, called "The Battle for Planet Nine," is available on Netflix starting July 3rd. I know I'll get looks from the family when I watch a Japanese manga on July 4th, but I also know I'll get a lot of converts, as well.

Evan Hoovler: This three-day weekend, my wife and I are going to try Plants vs. Zombies on XBox. I know, I know: We're six years late to the party. We don't get a lot of time to game, or watch movies, or breathe deeply, because we have twin two year olds. But the marvelous free games that XBox Gold provides (two per month for 360 players) gave us this puzzle gem, and we're hoping it's one of the few games we can actually play in front of our kids (i.e. not too violent or mature). I'm also going to try Sense8 one more time. I used to love cerebral science-fiction shows with lots of mythos and in-depth plots but, these days, I can't concentrate on anything too deep, because my kids are making noise in the background. Whenever I'm not around my kids, I don't have the energy to pay attention much, because I'm too busy working, and drinking, and listening to Zeppelin. I'm going to try Sense8 one more time (I watched the first two episodes and was utterly confused), but I suspect it might go into the pile, with Orphan Black, of "amazing shows I just don't have the bandwidth for."

Adam Swiderski: I bought Pillars of Eternity a couple of months back, but I've honestly been a little afraid to play it, because I know it's going to eat my life. That said, a holiday weekend is the perfect time for me to dive in and scratch that old-school, isometric RPG itch (friends? Family? Sunlight? WHAT ARE THOSE?). I look forward to many hours rolling and re-rolling characters of different classes/races, pausing to issue commands for real-time combat to my minions, and looting everything that isn't locked down. Oh, sure, there's a fantasy world to save, and all that, but only once I'm fully kitted out with the best armor and weapons Eora has to offer. A hero has to have his priorities.

Carol Pinchefsky: Even though Batman: Arkham Knight has been disabled on one-stop-PC-game-shop Steam, for some reason, I was able to download it. It was buggy at first, but with the addition of a new graphics card, it's now playing flawlessly. This is the second time I've played a game that was theoretically riddled with bugs, yet has been issue-free for me. The first was Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game that I was vilified for liking, which I swear to this day never gave me a problem. Truth: Computers may hate me, but they obey my husband. Anyway, I'll be playing the hell out of Arkham Knight this geekend.

That's our list! What's on your plate this weekend (other than hot dogs and fireworks)? Let us know in the comments!

Tensions Build to Explosive Heights (Literally) on Wayward Pines @ io9

Ethan’s finally up to speed on Wayward Pines’ dark secrets, but the town’s growing insurgent faction is still completely clueless about what’s really beyond the town walls. Even worse, they don’t believe Ethan when he tries to warn them. The episode’s title says it all, really: “Betrayal.”

Read more...

11 Great Songs That Prove The Misfits Were Better At Girl Power Than Jem @ io9

One of the saddest things about the live-action Jem & the Holograms movie is that Jem’s rival band, the Misfits, are nowhere to be found. That’s incredibly dumb—because the Misfits are an integral part of why the 80s cartoon was so amazing. And, if you believe the opening theme, their songs are actually better.

Read more...

Though Dune won the Nebula and Hugo awards, the two most prestigious science fiction prizes, it was @ io9

Though Dune won the Nebula and Hugo awards, the two most prestigious science fiction prizes, it was not an overnight commercial success. Its fanbase built through the 60s and 70s, circulating in squats, communes, labs and studios, anywhere where the idea of global transformation seemed attractive.

Read more...

I've Read All Of These

0 (old) items have been hidden because you clicked "I've Read All Of These".

Show All?