Monday, April 30, 2007

Conan O'Brien in San Francisco

This is probably too late a post for most of you, but be sure to catch Late Night with Conan O'Brien tonight (Monday, April 30, 12:35). Megan and I were in the audience, though I doubt you'll be able to see us all the way in the back row of the first balcony level (loge?). Here are some crummy pictures from my cameraphone:

I promise a more detailed post is forthcoming.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

First look: Downey forges a bond with 'Iron Man' role

But it is exactly that past, says director Jon Favreau (Elf), that makes Downey the only choice to play playboy millionaire and recovering alcoholic Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, the comic-book superhero who hits multiplexes next year.
Nice mask. This one continues to look promising.

Morrissey tour-opener in Stockton

To say I left a Morrissey concert depressed might not surprise anyone, considering the singer's lyrics. But his witty remarks inbetween songs made me smile (wow, a reference to "Big Valley") and it was the crowd that ruined everything. Morrissey show ends in frenzy

The iconic English singer cut his encore short Friday at the Bob Hope Theatre and rushed off stage mid-song after a fan tore open his shirt and nearly tackled him. It was the culmination of 90-minute concert that began as a rock spectacle and ended in a frenzy as fans surfed the crowd in hopes of touching the star.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Black comic book art shows at university

The exhibition "Other Heroes: African-American comics, creators, characters and archetypes" focuses on topics such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and racial stereotypes.
I'm noticing more comic book-focused news articles without 'POW!' or 'Holy INSERT-RELATED-WORD-HERE' headlines, so that's nice. The only thing I found odd about this story was that Denys Cowan was identified as "artist for 'Hardware'" since he last drew for it in 1994 (and the comic is no longer published).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lucas, Hamill reunite for 'Star Wars' spoof

George Lucas and Mark Hamill will reunite for "Robot Chicken: Star Wars," a 30-minute stop-motion animation special for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's late-night programming block.
Sometimes I love Robot Chicken and sometimes I hate it, but I can't argue with a full 30 minutes of stop-motion-animated focused on Star Wars. Plus the bonuses:
The voice cast also includes Conan O'Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Robert Smigel, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone.
Thanks to Nicole for the heads-up on this.

Ebert: We spend too much time hiding illness

I have received a lot of advice that I should not attend the festival. I'm told that paparazzi will take unflattering pictures, people will be unkind, etc.

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. As a journalist I can take it as well as dish it out.
He's braver than I would be in that situation. Also nice to see Gattaca opening the Overlooked Film Festival.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

'Idol Gives Back' Two-Night Special

First, what you probably already know (forgive the capitalization):

During tonight’s live broadcast of AMERICAN IDOL, it will be announced that FOX, AMERICAN IDOL and the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund have partnered on an historic television event - IDOL GIVES BACK - a two-night special raising awareness and funds for organizations that provide relief programs to help children and young people in extreme poverty in America and Africa.

The special two-hour results show on Wednesday, April 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) will be a star-studded evening featuring world-renowned artists and celebrities, including Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Pink, Michael Bublé, Annie Lennox, Il Divo and popular Kazakhstan journalist Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) among many others who will take the AMERICAN IDOL stage.
Now, what you likely don't know:
We are excited to announce that Bono will be making an appearance Wednesday night on behalf of ONE urging the millions of Americans watching the show to join us in the fight against extreme poverty. Bono will meet with the Idol contestants to talk with them about ONE and the difference your advocacy is making in the lives of the world's poorest people. The Idol contestants will also perform "American Prayer," a song written by Bono and Dave Stewart about the AIDS emergency in Africa.

'Kryptonite' discovered in mine

"Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula - sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide - and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns."

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Lame Show: Episode 15

After a longer-than-anticipated break, Noah and I reconvened for another episode of our podcast. It's a little longer than normal because a lot happened in a month.

Unprotected nostalgia

Eddie and Noah catch up on all the big stories that broke while they were on vacation: EMI to remove copy-protection from its digital music sales, Apple to delay Leopard until October. And now that CS3 is out, Eddie finally gets to disclose what happened at the Adobe NDA meeting he attended in January.

Nominated to the Lame List this episode are Apple and the Copyright Royalty Board, both for making things not happen.

Picks of the Week include nostalgic Nintendo and Namco games.

The truly burning questions are asked: Should computers have quarter slots? Does The Goonies II warrant a release on the Virtual Console? What is the worst analogy Eddie can make?
Episode 15.m4a (1:03:27)

The Lame Show on iTunes

Santa Cruz photos

For Megan's upcoming birthday, we took a day trip to Santa Cruz and visited both the Boardwalk and the Mystery Spot. I've uploaded the photos and added captions.

Santa Cruz April 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Surprising craigslist post

As surprising as posts on craigslist can be, I never thought I'd see this:

Wanted: Glitter the Movie
Date: 2007-04-16, 11:25PM PDT

I'm looking for The Movie Glitter. This was my moms favorite movie & I have to have this movie for my mom.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spider-Man The Musical?

A number of sites have picked up the story of there being a Spider-Man Broadway musical in the works, directed by Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor, book by Taymor and Glen Berger, and music and lyrics by U2's Bono and The Edge. They all lead back to, which got a casting breakdown from an anonymous user. But this same basic story appeared on back on July 8, 2004.

So is this real or an April (15th) Fools joke? The casting breakdown is kinda hilarious:

[ARACHNE] Female, 20-35 years old, any ethnicity. A beautiful, boastful young woman turned into a spider for her hubris and lack of respect for the gods. She subsequently appears to Peter Parker and the audience as in turn a powerful spider-woman who comes from another time to inspire Peter; an otherworldly lover; a bride; a terrifying (and sexy) dark goddess of vengeance; a dance partner in a charged and violent spiders dance of death; and, finally, a lonely, fragile young woman. Possesses an ethereal, unique, gorgeous singing voice. Strong Celtic, Balkan style, e.g., Sinead O'Connor. Outside the box ideas are welcomed. Could be someone from the music industry.

The Five Stages of Leopard Delay Grief

The process by which people deal with grief and tragedy is marked by five stages. And with Apple recently announcing the delay of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard until October, Mac users are currently going through those stages (some faster than others).

Sunday, April 15, 2007

So maybe you heard the news about Universal Studios Florida Building 'Harry Potter Theme Park, which is something I thought would be incredibly fun (both to experience and design) while I was helping with An Evening at 'Haggwarts' last year. But did you know that Disney had tried to get the theme park rights for the franchise? And did you know they might actually be relieved they didn't? Jim Hill provides the details yet again:

WDI hopes that its "Living Character Initiative" will make up for losing "Harry Potter"

... according to the folks that I've spoken with who worked on the Disney version of this project ... J.K. allegedly wanted each & every guest who was experiencing the theme park version of Harry Potter's world to do so by first entering the Leaky Cauldron pub. Where -- by tapping on just the right brick ("Three up and two across ... ") -- they'd then gain access to Diagon Alley, that odd collection of Wizards-only shops & restaurants that's hidden away in the heart of London. From this area ... these folks were then supposed to have made their way to Platform 9 & 3/4 at King's Cross Station. Where -- after magically piercing the barrier that separates the Muggle world from the Wizard world -- guests would have then been able to board a full-sized version of the Hogwarts Express for a trip to Harry's alma mater.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Daring Fireball Linked List: April 2007

Hey, one of my posts on The Apple Blog got picked up by John Gruber! I was hoping he would take notice of my feature-length rant on the green button, but having my name on Daring Fireball (and not as a Jackass of the Week) is still a thrill. Speaking of which, this week's Jackass was brought to his attention by my very same post.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hey Apple! Fix the green button already!

Sometimes it zooms, sometimes it maximizes and sometimes it just does wacky stuff that no one can really explain. The green button in all OS X windows has been a nuisance since the public betas and it's (long past) time Apple fixed it.

This is my first lengthy article since becoming a "full-time" staff writer for The Apple Blog last month. It's overdue, but I think it was worth the wait. Since I'm posting a lot over there now, I am not linking to those posts in blog entries (except this and future large ones). You can see recent smaller posts I've made in the column on the right.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Retailers explore movie download options

When movies shifted from videocassettes to DVD, retailers simply cleared the tapes off the shelves to make room for discs. That's not so easy now that movies appear poised to follow music onto the Internet.
It'll be interesting to see if the traditional music and movie retailers will be able to stay in that business within the next decade.
"Wal-Mart's typical customer isn't your leading-edge technocrat that's likely to download and store a movie on his computer," Hargreaves said.
No, that's not me. Just some other Hargreaves who knows what he's talking about. I also liked the ending quote (not by a Hargreaves, though).
"One day," he said, "my kids will laugh at me for driving to a store and picking up a piece of plastic with content on it and putting it in a machine to play."

More movies to be offered in 3-D

A growing number of blockbuster, live-action films and animated movies are expected to be offered in in-your-face 3-D in the next few years, as thousands of theaters are outfitted with the special projectors and screens needed to show the films.
I just discovered today that "Meet the Robinsons" is being shown in Digital 3-D right here in Stockton, making a 45-minute trip to Dublin unnecessary.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Breakfast of the Gods

There's trouble brewing in Cerealia, a land eternally bathed in morning sunlight. The king and his wizard advisor have disappeared and a shadow of evil has fallen over the land. Perhaps because he's the wisest or ablest or perhaps because he's the most noble soul in Cerealia, the old sailor named Cap'n Crunch has stepped up to lead the fight against Count Chocula's forces of darkness. What follows is the most important battle of their lives as well as the most important meal of the day.
This online comic tells an epic story using breakfast cereal mascots. It gets dark, probably comparable to a PG-13 rating, but it's fun to see how serious the characters are made out and there's a definite nostalgia factor for those that know or remember the older mascots (I researched them for the museum once but don't remember why).

Book 1 of 3, "The Last Good Morning," is available for free online. I found it thanks to Mike Russell's CulturePulp 59.

Friday, April 06, 2007

KCRA 3 A-List

KCRA A-List Contest Nominated: Best Museum in the Sacramento areaThe Haggin Museum is competing for Best Museum in the Sacramento area in the KCRA 3 A-List competition. With 29 percent of the vote (as of this writing) we're tied for first place with The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts. That museum is backed by California's First Lady, Maria Shriver, and I think she and her husband are getting help from the Hollywood contingent (one of the supporting comments is from Entertainment Tonight). So now I'm calling on the readers of this blog to support The Haggin Museum by voting for us. You can leave a comment of support or not, just be sure to cast your vote before April 13. Those who do so will be entered in a drawing to win one of three 37" high definition television sets.

Arts and Entertainment / Museum in the Sacramento area

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Megan and I tried snowboarding at South Lake Tahoe for the fourth time (although I consider it my third try). Here's some action video!

Interview with Buffy creator Joss Whedon

Since this is the month of Buffy, what better way to keep it rolling than with an exclusive interview with Buffy creator and writer for the new series, Joss Whedon.
If you haven't read Buffy Season 8 #1 yet, don't read this interview, as it will spoil at least one surprise.

Although Dark Horse's first printing of Buffy #1 completely sold out during its first week, you should be able to find the second printing at a comic shop near you.

South Lake Tahoe 2007 photos

I've updated our Picasa Web Album with photos from this last weekend.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Don't Trust "The Others"

Every other week when Megan and I watch LOST we crack up watching this hilarious ad. So I've finally recorded it and posted it to YouTube so those in the non-Sacramento area can enjoy it.

It reminds me of Harrison Ford's appearance in the Star Wars Holiday Special: he's there, but you can tell he really doesn't want to be. And you've just gotta love the airquotes.


I'm enthused about 3-D movies and have seen quite a few in the last few years because I live within 40 minutes of both an IMAX theater and a digital theater. Probably the best one I saw was "Monster House," which was crystal clear and did not distract from the movie at all. "The Polar Express" was in IMAX 3-D and although it suited the movie very well I found it very blurry in parts. Maybe it was because it was the type of IMAX screen that is curved like a planetarium. I also found the 3-D portions of "Superman Returns" to be a little too blurry and distracting for my taste. It was also in IMAX but in on a flat screen. "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was the last movie I saw in 3-D and it was beautifully clear and really fitting for the film. It was preceded by the old Pixar short "Knick Knack" in 3-D. But during his Q&A at WonderCon, Brad Bird said Pixar is not currently planning on releasing its past or future films in 3-D. I'm looking forward to seeing the just-released "Meet the Robinsons" and, of course, the upcoming U2 concert film:

Sit well back: this is a 3-D invasion

As if the newly knighted Bono were not already larger than life, the U2 singer is poised to become the first rock star to leap out of the silver screen as Hollywood prepares to unleash a flood of 3-D movies.

Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition Returns May 29

When Warner Home Video's The Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition was released last November, consumer receptivity was completely unprecedented, resulting in WHV selling its total supply of collections in one month.
So that's why I don't have one yet! ;)
The re-released Superman UCE will include the corrected discs for Superman III and Superman: The Movie, which were missing bonus content upon their release last fall.
So in this instance, it was better to wait. Well, at least for one of the discs.