Archive for July, 2009

Glorious Glass: A look back at some of my favorite collector’s glasses

Posted in advertising, comic books, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, reviews, Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2009 by Paxton

Fast food joints used to give out the best swag back in the day.  At the top of this swag list was commemorative collector glasses.  These were glasses made from ACTUAL glass (not f’n plastic) with kick ass graphics all over it usually given away as a premium with a purchase of food or drinks.  Actually, collector glasses didn’t just come from fast food joints.  The convenience store 7-11 as well as soda giants Coke and Pepsi both created collector’s glasses that were distributed in stores, gas stations, supermarkets and/or fast food joints.  The heyday of collector glasses was in the ’70s and ’80s, but glasses were also released in the ’50s, ’60s and ’90s.  Burger King recently revived the collector glass (real glass!!) tradition in May 2009 with their four glass set for the new Star Trek movie (Thanks, Michelle for finding those for me).

So without further ado, here are a bunch of my favorite collector glasses from the ’70s and ’80s.  You can click any of the below images to see it bigger.

BK Star Wars glasses
Burger King Star Wars/Empire/Jedi Glasses (1977, 1980, 1983) — The most famous of all commemorative glasses, the Star Wars Burger King collector glasses are what everyone thinks of when you mention “collector glasses”.  A set of four were released for each movie.  Surprisingly, it is not very hard to complete a set of all 12 as they made a crap-ton of them. Here’s a pic of the Star Wars set. Here’s a pic of the Empire Strikes Back set. Here’s a pic of the Return of the Jedi set.

Indy Jones 2 glasses
Glasses for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom by 7-Up (1984) — This is probably one of the more obscure glass sets.  Made by 7-Up to commemorate the second Indiana Jones movie, the glasses were only released to certain local fast food chains so getting a full set is extremely hard. I don’t care about a set, but I would love the Mola Ram glass (far right hand side) with him holding the still beating flaming heart. That is BAD ASS. A year earlier, in 1983, there was a set of three glasses created by Coca-Cola for Raiders of the Lost Ark but the set was never released. Check those glasses out here.

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The new Coke Freestyle soda fountain + other bad ass Coke machines

Posted in Coca Cola, hackers, internet, soda, technology with tags , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Coca-Cola has started test marketing a new soda fountain called the Coca-Cola Freestyle.

Coke Freestyle machinesCoke Freestyle logo

It is run by computer and controlled through an LCD touchscreen.  The soda dispenser has the ability to mix up over 100 different types of sodas, waters, teas and energy drinks.  The menu even includes items not currently sold in the US like Grape Vault (yes, please!) and Raspberry Coke.  As of right now the Freestyle is only being test marketed in Atlanta and Southern California (list of locations here) but further test markets will be opened up in the Spring of 2010.  Don’t worry, that sound you hear behind you is a chorus of angels in the background singing “Ha-lle-lu-yah!”  Now, whenever I approach the soda fountain at Subway, I’ll immediately have brain shutdown due to the ridiculous amount of soda choices at my finger tips.

There have been rumors about this very thing for years. Coke and Pepsi have so many flavor variations around the world and the US really only sees a SMALL portion. Grape Vault? Are you kidding me? I really want to try that.  I’ve heard of Raspberry Coke in New Zealand, but it doesn’t sound THAT appetizing.  How about the discontinued Coke with Lemon?  It’s all up for grabs with this new machine.  However, don’t expect things like New Coke and Surge to be available, because this isn’t a time machine, it’s a soda machine.

Check out a video demonstration of this glorious machine here.

Now that the technology is here to let the dispensing machines do all the work for us, how long is it before we get into a SkyNet situation? I mean, are we just a lightning strike away from one of these machines going Johnny Number 5 on us? Will this be fun Johnny Number 5, or laser weapon fry your ass like a Roman Candle Number 5? How long before we see this:

Robot Coke Machine

Run tiny, Japanese children!! Run like the wind from the giant Coke branded inhuman monstrosity!!!! Save yourself!!!  It feeds on CHILDREN!!!  CHILDREN!!!!

Speaking of bad ass Coke dispensing Terminator machines, people have been hacking vending machines for years to make them better. One of the more popular things to do to a Coke machine is to connect it to the internet. Connecting your Coke machine to the internet allows you to check inventory levels and dispense sodas remotely from your computer. While this is quite awesome, it also calls onto the carpet not only your laziness, but the fact that you can’t even wait 30 seconds to put money in the machine and make a soda selection.  No surprisingly, this trend was started by Computer Science students.

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7 Time Machines that would suck if they existed in the real world

Posted in humor, movies, pop culture, time machine, time travel with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by Paxton

Time Travel

As promised, here is the third article in my list of failed Cracked.com pitches.  This was actually the first pitch I made to them.

Let’s be honest, time travel is bad ass.  Everyone would love to travel back in time and buy up shares of Microsoft or crates of unboxed Star Wars figures from back in the ’70s and then return to the present and live large like P Diddy.  We are all waiting for that moment when NASA holds a press conference and says, “HOLY CRAP, WE JUST SAW DINOSAURS!!!  I WAS NEARLY EATEN BY A T-REX!!  A F’N T-REX, PEOPLE!!”  Everyone on Earth is gonna lose their minds and there will be rioting in the streets like when the Lakers win an NBA Championship.  So when this announcement inevitably happens in the far flung future, what will be the rules of time travel?  What will the time travel vehicle look like?  No one knows.  Movies, TV and books have given us some ideas of what time travel MAY be like.  Let’s take a look at what I hope will NOT be what time travel is like when we all get to go back in time and play Marty McFly.

Bill & Ted's Phonebooth
The Phonebooth from the two Bill & Ted movies — Despite what the movies show you, this is no good for sending teams of people back.  I know Bill & Ted fit like 20 people in it, but in reality, have you ever tried to fit TWO people in a phone booth?  It’s like a game of Twister.  To send several people back you’d really need like 10 booths.  Besides, AT&T stopped servicing and turned off all their phone booths, so are there any fully enclosed phone booths left?  Why don’t we just make the time vehicle out of a horse and carriage?  It makes as much sense.  And the flimsy rabbit ears antenna on top?  Is this booth traveling through time or trying to pick up grainy cable stations?  It’s BEGGING to be damaged by random debris in the time continuum.  Plus, who the hell came up with the phone book and dialing strings of numbers to get to specific dates?  A yellow pages of time travel?  What if you want to go back to ancient Rome to meet Socrates, mis-dial the number and get dropped in the middle of the Spanish Inquisition?  Hope you are fireproof cause you are gonna get burned alive as a heretic.  Time travel’s not so fun now, is it?

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Being a comedy contributor at Cracked.com like being repeatedly punched in the crotch until you die

Posted in blogging, humor, life with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2009 by Paxton

cracked_page1

Hey, everyone, I don’t know if everybody knows this, but I was accepted as a comedy writer/contributor at Cracked.com. That means I get to make comedy pitches to the Cracked editors and if they accept my pitch, I get to write the article. It was a huge deal for me to be accepted as a writer there and I’ve been stoked to submit pitches to them in the hopes that I can start writing comedy somewhat “professionally”.  It’s interesting to see how that website and it’s editors work behind the scenes. They have strict rules about what they accept and I’ve had several comedy pitches turned down by the editors. The editors liked my pitches, but the article format at Cracked is a vicious beast, and I was told the content didn’t fit what they are trying to do. Not to be deterred, I’m taking these failed pitches, writing them anyway and posting them here.

I’ve posted two failed Cracked pitches already without telling you. The articles 15 Steps for Surviving the Zombie Apocolypse and Little Women Fight Club: Making Literature more Awesome were both pitches that were turned down by Cracked.com. If you haven’t, go read those articles and let me know that they are awesome and that Cracked can “suck it”.  Because I thought the ideas were good anyway, I wrote them and posted them up for you guys to see.  This week’s article is another failed comedy pitch (either I’m not very good at comedy writing or Cracked.com is just not a good fit for me). It’s a re-imagining of an earlier article I wrote about Pop Culture’s Coolest Time Machines. Think of this third failed Cracked article as the previous article’s evil twin brother.

So, I think the frequency of my pitches to Cracked are going to stop for the time being.  All the rejects these past few months were kind of getting me down and I was not even wanting to write on this blog.  But, I’ve built a bridge, gotten over it, and now I’m back kicking your ass with AWESOME!!  Never fear, I’m still here, bringing you the awesome funny that will melt your face into a puddle of sticky goo.

Be prepared, readers.  Be prepared.

Oh, and I still go over to Cracked and read their articles because they do have a phenomenally talented stable of writers and their stuff is constantly funny, hence me wanting to join their ranks.  I hold no ill will, and I’m still going to try to get stuff published over there, but not as hard as I’ve been trying since January.  My focus is writing for this blog and keeping it as cool and awesome as a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the grill.

Chuck roundhouse

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters: Making Romance Readable

Posted in books, Classic literature with tags , , on July 16, 2009 by Paxton

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

I wasn’t going to have any more articles this week, but this news is too good not to share.  After the runaway success of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, Quirk Publishing is at it again with Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters.  Seth Graham-Smith, the author of P&P&Z is busy writing his followup, Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter, so he doesn’t return for this installment, instead this book is co-written by Ben Winters who wrote a bunch of the Worst Case Scenario books.  I applaud the publisher for not going the easy route and using zombies again or one of the other more obvious monsters; werewolves or vampires.  The Sea Monsters epic is set to be released on Sept. 15, 2009.

My wife gave me Zombies for my birthday which will get read in the next few months and I’m really looking forward to Graham-Smith’s Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter book.  Now I have this to also look forward to. The entire idea of these books inspired my Little Women Fight Club article about making classic chick lit more AWESOME.

To help promote this book, Quirk created a trailer and it’s hilarious.

That’s how you market a book, people. F’n GENIUS!!  Here’s a breakdown including a book synopsis from Quirk’s press release.

With Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Quirk Classics has also developed a new Austen to monster ratio. Instead of featuring 85% of Austen’s work and 15% new text as in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters features 60% Austen and 40% additional monster chaos! Most importantly, this new Quirk Classic stays true to Austen’s original novel…

As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels?

This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of biting sea monsters. It’s survival of the fittest–and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

As I said, you can pick this up Sept 15 at your local bookseller.