October 2010 Archives

Charlie Chaplin is regarded by many film buffs as a visionary. A man perhaps ahead of his time in many ways.

But did he document cellphone technology in 1928?

Irish filmmaker and Chaplin fan George Clarke has his questions.

Upon buying a box set of Chaplin films he ran across a few seconds in "The Circus" - see the whole movie here - that certainly appears to be an older person strolling behind a zebra holding what appears to be a mobile to his or her ear.

And that, friends and neighbors, is how a meme is born. The Internets blew up with people speculating as to what it could be and just why this person would be having an apparent conversation into it. Are they just a loon out for a walk through a movie set? Or a time traveler demonstrating the art of oblivious phone zone to the past?

And if it's an iPhone, how many bars did they get?

I fantasized about this back in Chicago ...

So begins Kanye West's so-called full-length film for "Runaway" posted to YouTube.

And like his recently controversial proposed album cover for the upcoming album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," this is a NSFW effort. And yes, there is a half-naked bird woman in the film, but the issues are more with some naughty words than anything else. So earphones should insulate you from repercussions (clean version here).

And as with most of his work, Kanye just might have an instant classic.

Explosions, fast cars, the aforementioned bird woman (fallen angel/Phoenix) and discussing every thing from Devil worship to Illuminati conspiracies to booty calls with ballet in the background, sheep and even some fowl cannibalism, there really is something for the whole family here.

Now, at 34-plus minutes, this won't be getting massive play on MTV. Of course, unless Kanye turned into a "Guido Juicehead" macking at Miami Beach, his best chances of cracking that channel's primetime lineup revolve around awards show hijacking anyway.

But the real question may be whether the world is ready for the rock opera - hip hopera? - again? If anybody can pull it off, Kanye can.

But you can judge for yourself. Settle in at your desk, keep an eye out for the boss and put your company broadband to good use for a half hour.

Space View.jpg

Go ahead and gripe about it, but you know you totally want to check in to this exclusive club.

checkin.jpgIf you happen to be one of those lifecasting-obsessed souls who checks in regularly on Foursquare, the geo-locational microbloging service, then you probably have unlocked your share of badges.

Crunked. On a boat. Flash mob. And the like. But no matter how many PBRs you toss back or how many nights you go out in a row, you'll never be better than Douglas Wheelock.

See, he's an astronaut and Friday morning he unlocked the NASA Explorer badge - good for a free scoop of free astronaut ice cream - when he checked in 220 miles above the surface of the Earth at the International space station as commander of Expedition 25.

There are those that decry Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, etc. as stupid wastes of time. Oversharing of mundane garbage nobody but you and your narcissistic self cares about. Maybe, maybe not. But when you can boast about going 17,500 miles an hour on an orbital platform that not many more Americans will see for a while, you can use whatever platform you want to brag.

But remember, Doug, you will never get to be mayor without cheating.

Hat tip to ValleyWag.

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Where science, motion sickness and outer space meet, you'll find Luke Geissbuhler and his 7-year-old son Max. That's the father-son duo that took a fast food container, iPhone, small HD camera and a balloon and made their way, figuratively, into the stratosphere.

They used the iPhone for its GPS capability to track their experimental craft after it's rapid plunge back to Earth. And a Go Hero mountable HD camera that anyone can get for a couple hundred bucks to film the often rocky ride - upper atmosphere winds blast the craft around in upwards of 100 mph. But really, simple ingenuity is all that the project really cost.

At the apex of its launch, the craft got to 100,000 feet, or 19 miles, and as the balloon pops, hangs weightless for just a moment before beginning the 150-mph plunge, slowed to 15 mph by a special parachute the Geissbuhlers built. Amazingly, the craft landed less than 30 miles away from the launch site. And while cold finally took its toll on the camera batteries, they did capture 90 minutes - edited in this clip, but you can buy the whole voyage here - of space flight.

For less than $1,000. Are you listening NASA?

kanye.jpg

Kanye West just can't win.

The thought-filter challenged Chicago rapper/producer/gadfly/awards show menace is finishing work on his fifth studio album in six years - "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". Normally a cause for celebration. But hold on, controversy has a habit of following West around.

Late Sunday afternoon he tweeted that his album art had been nixed by the nefarious "they":

Yoooo they banned my album cover!!!!! Ima tweet it in a few...

Side note: If you aren't following Kanye on Twitter, get on it now. He might be the best thing going in the microblogisphere.

But the days of keeping things under wraps are long behind us and, as promised, Kanye delivered the album art seen to the right via his Twitter stream. You may not be able to buy it anywhere, but there it is for free via TwitPic.

Banned in the USA!!! They tried to play me fam! They don't want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix!

Now, this being Kanye, who knows if it's the real album cover he had planned. But, as always, it does make for a fun moment in the spotlight.

He went on on Twitter to criticize the "they" - he's yet to elaborate - and the history of nudity on album covers.

In the 70s album covers had actual nudity... It's so funny that people forget that... Everything has been so commercialized now.

And there's this thought as his stream of consciousness continued:

I know that cover just blew yall minds ... I wish yall could see how hard I'm smiling right now!!!

More likely to come.

UPDATE: West continued to rap up on Twitter, defending the art direction and his artistic vision in regard perceived appropriateness:

In all honesty ... I really don't be thinking about Wal-Mart when I make my music or album covers #Kanyeshrug!

I wanna sell albums but not at the expense of my true creativity.

When a complex story hits the world view, you can turn to your New York Times or CNN or BBC for comprehensive coverage and insight. But will you get the whole story?

Probably not - not unless you seek out a more informative source. Namely the hard-charging CGI journalists at NMA World Edition. You may remember their news delivery genius from such winners as the CGI reenactment of the the Tiger Woods fracas with ex-wife Elin or the explanation of the Conan O'Brien - Jay Leno NBC The Tonight Show meltdown.

Well, not they're tackling the Brett Favre - Jenn Sterger, umm, affair. As you may have read, the serial retirement enthusiast, is in some hot water for allegedly bombarding the Jets Gameday sideline reporter with flirtatious e-mails and texts of his junk. That's literally sexy time pictures from a grandapa, by the way (new Viagra or Cialis poster boy, anyone?).

Anyway, it's a complex situation that really can't be explained properly without the semi-NSFW (unless you're Lee Abrams) wizardry of CGI news:

Video: Eric Stoltz as the original Marty McFly

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Great Scott! For five weeks of shooting in 1985, Eric Stoltz played Marty McFly in the blockbuster hit "Back to the Future" and for the first time, video has emerged of Stoltz in the role.

Director Robert Zemeckis replaced Stoltz with Michael J. Fox after watching the footage and deciding Stoltz' performance wasn't funny enough. Fox went on to give one of the signature performances of his career in one of the biggest movies of the decade. Although Stoltz was initially cast in the role, Fox was the first choice to play McFly, but he was committed to the show "Family Ties" and producer Gary Goldberg refused to give him time off to make the film. Funnily enough, it was the second time Goldberg nearly cost Fox a career-making role. When casting the part of Alex P. Keaton, Goldberg's first choice was Matthew Broderick. After Broderick turned the role down, the producer initially didn't want Fox to play the part, but later changed his mind.

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    About this Archive

    This page is an archive of entries from October 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

    July 2010 is the previous archive.

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