Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Iguana

Today's iguana is the rare Ricord's Iguana.  They live on the island of Hispanola (Dominican Republic and Haiti).  Have a good Friday everyone!

(Image courtesy of Exo Terra)

Daily Rock Band Name: Fiery Vortex in the Sky

I remember my dad telling me about the time Fiery Vortex in the Sky opened for Norman Greenbaum.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

For Ken

Get your motor runnin'...

(Via Gizmodo)

John Carter (of Mars)

This weekend I saw the movie John Carter. I predict that although it was a mega-flop at the box office, it will not live in infamy like Battlefield Earth. The reason for this is that it simply is not that bad.

It has two problems as I see them, and they are very much related. First, it has a plot. Moreover, the plot is somewhat involved. Even more amazing, is that they were pretty faithful to the source material. Naturally, they were punished for this. Apparently, audiences today want razor-thin plots that marginally related to the esplodey bits.

With this complicated plot problem, this led to problem number two. How do you market it? In general, I have begun to avoid trailers and all other marketing material. Thus, I only have a thin idea of how this movie was marketed. I just know, that naming it John Carter was a huge mistake. How many people are going to know about the Edgar Rice Burroughs source material? Not enough to make this movie a hit -- or at least profitable. So, you have to tie it to something that people can understand. I am thinking they did not do that.

I have even seen the 2009 Traci Lords movie Princess of Mars. They essentially tell the same story. This movie is far superior to that one, but the Disney movie had a much bigger budget. There were several faces that I recognized in this movie. McNulty from The Wire, and Caesar and Marc Antony from Rome. The voice of Willem Defoe was there too. So, the cast wasn't shabby by any means.

* * * Spoiler Alert * * *

If you do not want to know about the basic plot of the movie, you will want to stop reading. I am probably not going to give anything away, but just in case...

John Carter is a former Confederate soldier on Post-Civil War era Earth. He makes a discovery and is transported to another world -- Mars. The source was written in an era when people believed life existed on Mars. Now, we have greatly explored Mars, and know that is not true. So, what do you to be true to the source? You keep it Mars. I think this is why they stripped the "of Mars" from the original title -- a dumb move in my opinion. Anyway, John Carter finds that Mars is experiencing its own civil war, and he does not want to get involved (for obvious reasons.)

Try as he might, he ends up getting involved anyway. You see, he also has super Martian powers. (It has been said that he is the inspiration for Superman.) Hence, his services are desired -- by the Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris. A love interest, and they win the war and they all live happily ever after. But wait, there is a twist! There is another party that was spurring on the Martian civil war. They complicate the plot. They complicate the ending. They make this movie unacceptable to the Michael Bay crowd. They also make this movie more interesting than the Traci Lords version.

By attempting to stay true to the rather obscure source material, and attempting to update that material, they doomed the movie. Add to that the poor marketing and the ineptness of Disney in understanding what the production team was trying to do -- this movie did not have a chance.

I am not saying this movie doesn't have its problems. I am not saying this movie is great. I will go out on a limb and say this movie is better than any of the Transformer movies. It is also better than Cowboys and Aliens from 2011. I am guessing that the latter probably had a part in the poor performance of this movie. (Again because of poor marketing, but similar in tone, period, and topic.) This movie was fun, and interesting, and did not have a dirge of CGI things fighting each other CGI things for long stretches. There is a fantastically brief battle between two characters that was a breath of fresh air. Overall, I would recommend it for those that like action movies or Sci-Fi fantasy movies.

Daily Rock Band Name: Two Girls in Spain

Two Girls in Spain is our Indigo Girls tribute band. (Or should that be "Two Girls in Spain es nuestra Indigo Girls banda tributo"?)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dwayne's Computers That Byte

Landru: In the1967 Star Trek: the Original Series episode "The Return of the Archons". Kirk and party find that everyone living on Beta III is weird. They dress in 19th century garb, go crazy for an hour ('The Red Hour'), and smile all the time. It turns out that this society is controlled by a computer and this is its version of utopia. Fortunately, Kirk with his great "hacking" skills talks the computer into killing itself.

(Image courtesy of Memory Alpha)

Daily Rock Band Name: Instant Egghead

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our stage -- Instant Egghead.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Iguana

This beautiful iguana is one of the 500 blue iguanas living on the Grand Cayman Island.  Hopefully they make a great comeback.  Good luck blue iguanas!  Happy Friday everyone!

(Image courtesy of OCC Biology News & Views)

Daily Rock Band Name: International Asteroid Warning System

Continuing our world of funk, we bring you International Asteroid Warning System!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Kaalium: The ultimate adaptable killer robots from the 1989 movie Moontrap starring Walter Koenig and Bruce Campbell. These war robots from the moon can use almost anything to make themselves more formidable from pieces of space junk to human body parts.

(Image courtesy of the Alien Species Wiki

Daily Rock Band Name: Supersonic Mini-Drone

For those who like trance, give a listen to Supersonic Mini-Drone.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dwayne's Computers That Byte

Auto: Auto is the autopilot aboard the starship Axiom in Pixar's 2008 film WALL-E. Unknown to everyone aboard the starship is that Auto had been given a secret directive called A113 by the Buy 'n' Large CEO 700 years previously. The directive pretty much states that the BnL so polluted the Earth that humans will never be able to live on it again and that all ships should stay in space. BnL, Wallmart...hmmm.

(Image courtesy of the Wall-E Wiki)

Daily Rock Band Name:Daylight California Fireball

Everybody swing to Daylight California Fireball!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Friday Iguana

Om nom nom...  For iguanas on the Galapagos Islands, you can hardly beat a good cactus meal. Happy Friday everyone!

(Image courtesy of Scholastic)

Star Wars Nerdity

Talk about chock full of awesome... Some of the best voice talent in the world reading the Star Wars radio play. (Bubbles from the Power Puff Girls as Darth Vader is all you need to know.)  Free up an hour and a half and watch:

(Via Gizmodo)

Daily Rock Band Name: Transit of Venus

Skywatchers Prepare was a rocking first effort for Transit of Venus.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Snowbot: Snowbot was the robot working at Staples in the holiday ad in 2000. Snowbot's true love, an inkjet printer, is heartlessly sold by another employee. Poor heartbroken Snowbot is left uttering "weeping weeping" until he is hooked-up with a sexy surge protector. Grrr.

(Image courtesy of Ad Land)

Daily Rock Band Name: The Glowing Spider-Worms of New Zealand

It is time to welcome the international favorite The Glowing Spider-Worms of New Zealand!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dwayne's Computers That Byte

Skynet: Skynet was an artificial intelligence system created for SAC-NORAD by Cyberdyne Systems in James Cameron's 1984 movie The Terminator. Skynet gets a little power hungry and starts World War III almost wiping out all humanity. Skynet uses various types of robots to try to mop-up the few survivors left. In its paranoia it creates a time machine in order to send back a terminator to 1984 to kill its human foe John Conner's mother, Sarah Conner.

(Image courtesy of Technorati)

I knew dogs were smart!

I have always wondered how these things worked.  Now I know.

Daily Rock Band Name: Row Dogs Dinosaur Skeleton

Get ready to make some noise for Row Dogs Dinosaur Skeleton!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Iguana

Is it hot or is it just me?  Being cold blooded means never to have to see you sweat.  How would you cool yourself?  Open your mouth, like this ig.  It might be hot, so stay cool!

(Image courtesy of Giant Green Iguana)

Daily Rock Band Name: Amber-Preserved Ancient Insects

Amber-Preserved Ancient Insects has an album called Primordial Flower Power. You should get it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm back!

Sorry about the darkness for the last few days. I was at a conference in Tampa, FL, and I was just too busy to post. The craziness will return tomorrow! Party on Garth!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dwayne's Computers That Byte

Colossus: In 1970's movie Colossus: The Forbin Project, a supercomputer is created by Dr. Charles Forbin to control the US and its ally's nuclear arsenal. To make sure that no nasty Soviet agent can destroy or disable Colossus it is built inside a mountain that can withstand any attack. As soon as the 'on' switch is turned on Colossus immediately detects its Soviet counterpart Guardian. A communication link is quickly established between the two supercomputers so that they can ensure that neither side launches its arsenal. However, the two computers now control 100% of the world's nuclear arms and they intend to use them to ensure world peace or mankind can face a future of "unburied dead". Colossus also predicts that, "In time, you will come to regard me not only with respect and awe, but with love." An unhappy Forbin replies, "Never".

(Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum)

Daily Rock Band Name: Interdental Substitutions

Interdental Substitutions welcomes you to their brand of indie rock!