- I’m willing to grant everyone involved with the production of the kinda stinky Ocean’s 12 an Official Do-Over and pretend like Ocean’s 13 is the direct sequel to Ocean’s 11. The trailer for O13 sure makes it look like it’s going to have all of the same qualities which made the first one so much fun — qualities which Soderbergh, et al. apparently left in their other pants when making O12. This one’s now gone toward the top of my Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2007. (Hmm, what’s that smell? *snf snf* Oh, yeah, I think that’s the smell of another blog post coming up!)
- Hey, fans of Firefly: Yahoo! TV has a four-minute video preview of Drive, the new show from Nathan Fillion and Tim Minear. (The video’s on the right-hand side of the page.) I was planning on watching this anyway just because of the presence of Fillion and Minear, but after watching the preview I’m actually interested in seeing Drive on its own merits. OK, yeah, what little bit we saw of the battered wife was pretty cliche, but the scene with Fillion was intriguing. Time to TiVo up!
- Lee Iacocca has had enough from the current administration. Yes, legendary industrialist Lee Iacocca expresses his outrage at the Republican White House — kinda says something, doesn’t it? Iacocca rightly points out that the guys in office right now might be in charge, but they’re not showing a damn bit of leadership. Big difference there.
- At long, long last, the final issue of The Ultimates 2 has gone to the printer, and Marvel was kind enough to celebrate by offering a preview of Bryan Hitch’s stunning eight-page foldout spread from that issue. I’m not sure that any comic has ever needed an interior eight-page foldout spread in it before, but I’d imagine this one does, and that Hitch artwork is simply jaw-dropping. Personally, I’m just glad this comic’s finally coming out since that gets us that much closer to a hardcover collection, which means I can get that to go with my hardcover of the first Ultimates series.
- The Inbox of Nardo Pace, The Empire’s Worst Engineer.
- Congratulations to my buddy Jeff Newberry on the birth of his new son, Ben. Ben entered this world on April 9 and immediately rolled off an impassioned version of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s cover of “Little Wing” on the miniature Stratocaster Jeff paid dearly to have the doctors insert into his wife’s womb. I hear tell she was not happy about that procedure, and less happy to have to birth the guitar as well as her son, but obviously all worked out well in the end. Congrats, Jeff and Heather, and welcome to the world, Ben!
- Superhappy 38th to Tim “Timmy B.” Bishop, who carries in his head the entirety of the info what can be found at allmusic.com and then some. Only 731 more days until we get into whatever debauchery you decide is appropriate for your 40th, homes. You’d best get to plannin’.
- Want some help reading your way through the interwebs more quickly? Check out Spreeder, a handy little tool which scrolls chunks of text by your eyes at whatever size and speed feels comfortable to you. They’ve also got a handy bookmarklet so you can select a hunk of text, click the link and go straight to reading said hunk at speeds heretofore undreamed of by man. Or at, like, 500 words per minute, anyway.
- Next time I need a lawyer, I know exactly who I’m hiring to represent me: Lawyerbear. Let’s just see the judge try to haul me off for contempt of court next time! Ha! Not with Lawyerbear on my side!
- I’m not sure I have much to add to the Kathy Sierra conversation that hasn’t been said to death already, but there’s one big question that’s been bugging me: why her? What about Kathy’s site — one which existed only to help its readers, to inspire them and help them create products that would work better for their users — could inspire the hatred and death threats that ended up directed toward her? She doesn’t seem to be a particularly controversial figure and didn’t put forth the kinds of vitriolic political screeds which engender flame wars, even modest ones — especially not when compared with so many other prominent bloggers toward whom these hateful people could have targeted their bile. I haven’t read enough on the topic yet, and I’ll admit that I don’t know all sides of the story (though the pro-death-threat side would have to work awfully hard to convince me of their rightness), so please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here. But from what I know of the situation, the answer seems to be: these people essentially destroyed a meaningful chunk of Kathy Sierra’s life because she’s a woman, and because they could. That sickens me. (I’m feeling a larger First Amendment post brewing. Stay tuned.)
- On a directly related note: The Blogger’s Code of Conduct? Yeah, good luck with that. Getting more than a couple of bloggers to agree on anything is like counting grains of sand in the Sahara — practically impossible and ultimately futile.
- Also, this seems like a great time to link to one of the most insightful and profound Penny Arcade strips ever.
I’m a 35-year-old man. I have a family, a good career, a nice house in the suburbs. Regardless of how I may feel inside sometimes, I haven’t really been the fat, greasy, nerdy geek I was as a teenager for a long, long time. So I feel like I shouldn’t really still like anything by Weird Al Yankovic, should I? I mean, c’mon… shouldn’t I have outgrown him by now?
You certainly can’t say that Weird Al doesn’t know who his target audience is and just how to play to them — while I have absolutely no data to back this theory up, I’d imagine that geeks in their thirties who’ve grown up with Al make up an even bigger part of his audience than the geeks in their teens who would seem to be the most natural fit for Al’s shtick. Weird Al happened to luck into a unique situation and has ridden it to a career far longer and more successful than I think anyone (including Al himself) ever could have imagined: a large segment of the nerdy crowd who latched on to him originally grew up to use the skills and interests which got them mocked as kids to become reasonably affluent adults. And many of those adults are still Weird Al fans, so he has a dedicated, well-off following who’ve been with him (even if, like me, it’s just occasionally and somewhat passively) for twenty years.
There’s something about the video I wanted to point out, because if I’m gonna be a big geek about it I might as well go all the way: I paused the clip to check out Al’s “top eight friends” on his MySpace page. Completely unsurprisingly, his top friends include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Pee-Wee Herman, Screech from Saved By The Bell, Frodo Baggins, Napoleon Dynamite and one I can’t read. But then there’s also “Tom” — the creator of MySpace, the guy who every single user gets by default when they create their account… and even moreso than the nerd shoutouts listed above, a very, very nice visual way of indicating that this guy has no real friends. It’s that kind of subtle attention to detail (and this particular detail will only be visible on your screen for less than two seconds, if that) that I appreciate, and something Al’s always really done well — when someone puts the effort into crafting details you’re either going to have to work hard to catch or possibly never catch at all, that’s usually a damn good sign that the crafter really and truly loves what they’re doing.
John Rogers isn’t scared of terrorists. And he doesn’t like the near-constant implication from our government and our media that we should live in a near-constant state of, well, terror:
FDR: Oh, I’m sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we’re coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How’s that going to feel?
CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We’ll be in the pub, flipping you off. I’m slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I’m sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.
US. NOW: BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike … NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!
I have thoughts on this matter, but don’t have the brainpower to put them into sort of coherent sense right now, so go read Rogers instead — while I don’t agree with every one of his assertions, the general thrust of it I do: if we succumb to constant terror, if we let them totally disrupt our way of life, that is when the terrorists win.
I might not have the love for Spider-Man that I do for Superman, but I’d be seriously remiss in my geeky duties if I didn’t let you people know that the first teaser trailer for Spider-Man 3 was released today. And while I’ve never been a fan of Venom, what they show of the alien symbiote does actually look pretty sweet… as does the black costume. And the Sandman.
It’s certainly not enough to distract much of my attention from the fact that I’ll be watching Superman Returns in <checks watch> 28 hours and seven minutes, but it’s nice to know that I’ve got what looks to be a kickin’ superhero epic to look forward to next summer.
Unlike, say, 2008’s Iron Man, which I have a feeling is going to suck hard enough to pull my stomach lining out through my mouth.
Against my better judgment, I now have my MySpace profile relatively complete. (Yes, thank you, I’ve noticed that I’m not a 15-year-old girl.)
My reasons for setting up the profile are couplefold:
- Most of my friends from Florida are on MySpace, and that seems to be one of the main ways they keep in touch. For example, my insanely talented (and now Cali-ized rather than Florided) friend Steve (he of the Deadly Fists of Kung Fu video I posted here a few weeks back) has an acccount there, and I might actually keep in contact with him a little bit better if I know where I can consistently find him.
- There seems to be some small opportunity to network effectively using the stupid site — there are several comic book writers I like who have accounts there and allow anyone to friend them. I seriously doubt anything will actually come from having, say, Warren Ellis on my MySpace friends list, but hey — it can’t be any less than the absolutely nothing that will likely happen otherwise.
MySpace is, of course, an Internet entreprenuer’s wet dream: the guys who built it launched the site in the summer of ‘03 and sold it two years later to News Corp for $580 frickin’ million. The people who programmed the site originally couldn’t possibly have known that their little community application was going to become one of the biggest phenomena on the web and one of the centerpieces of modern teenager culture, but that’s exactly what it is. At the time I’m writing this, MySpace is the fourth-most-visited English-language site in the world according to Alexa.
As a professional web applications developer, however, using MySpace feels like digging tiny barb-covered Mountain Dew-dipped daggers underneath the fingernails of my soul. It really and truly is a wretchedly put-together site. The usability and navigation are abysmal, and we can’t even get started on the entire “ugly design” ethos that MySpace empitomizes lest my frontal lobe catch fire. I can’t look at the site without thinking of all the things I’d have done differently if I’d built it.  But as part of my plan to Get My Name Out There And Network, I decided that I needed to swallow the bile rising in the back of my throat and start using MySpace, at least a little.
So any of you reading this who are willing to admit you have a MySpace page, let me know or just add me as a friend on your profile. I’ll tell Warren Ellis you said hi.
 Of course, who knows — the things I’d've done differently might’ve made for a better application but a less-popular site. It seems that MySpace’s rough-around-the-edges-ness is one of the reasons it’s so popular. My designer mind can’t quite wrap itself around that one, though.