Archive for June, 2012

Nerd Lunch Episode 41 – Would You Rather?

Posted in podcast with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Check yourself. Episode 41 of the Nerd Lunch Podcast is now LIVE. This week we are joined by Andrew Bloom of The Atomic Geeks.

Delorean Batmobile

Andrew breezes in on his Atomic Geek motor scooter and subjects CT, Jeeg and Pax to a series of Would You Rather? questions. Will CT kill Kermit the Frog or the Star Trek franchise? Will Jeeg die at the hands of Snuffy the Snuffalupagus or Big Bird? Will Pax erase the existence of the Star Wars prequels from everyone’s memory or just his own?  These questions and more await you in episode 41 of the Nerd Lunch podcast.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

Or listen right here:

http://player.wizzard.tv/player/o/i/x/133946375268/config/k-28fb6c171299270f/uuid/null/episode/k-5c8be9c9dad0fcd8

Review of Oz Book 5: The Road to Oz (1909)

Posted in books, Classic literature, pop culture, Wizard of Oz with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2012 by Paxton

Following the Yellow Brick Road

One year after Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, Baum released the fourth Oz sequel; The Road to Oz: In Which Is Related How Dorothy Gale of Kansas, The Shaggy Man, Button Bright, and Polychrome the Rainbow’s Daughter Met on an Enchanted Road and Followed it All the Way to the Marvelous Land of Oz.  Yes, that is the “official” title.

Road to Oz
(Via pixiepalace.com)

Like the other books in the series, this book is a “road trip” book. A bunch of characters start off walking and meet a bunch of other crazy characters before eventually arriving in Oz. And in this book, that summary is literally what happens. There’s really no villain in this book. No threat or conflict to resolve. The characters just journey from Point A to Point B and end up in Oz for a celebration. That’s it.  So, the story is a tad thin. However, the illustrations by John Neill throughout the book are gorgeous and very detailed.  In fact, in the front of the book, we are treated to a really nice illustrated map of the land of Oz and the surrounding magical countries that Baum keeps adding to the landscape in each successive book.  And I’m sure this map will change as I get further into these books.

Oz map
(Via Oz-central.com)

So, the story starts off with Dorothy back in Kansas. She’s out strolling around the Kansas plains with Toto (who returns for the first time since Book 1). Dorothy bumps into a wandering vagabond called The Shaggy Man. Obviously not fearing for her life that a disheveled hobo has shown interest in her, Dorothy begins giving him directions but stops because she believes this hobo to be stupid. Dorothy, again, in this book is kind of a dick. She corrects people’s grammar and, like just happened, she tells people they are too stupid to understand certain directions she is giving them. Anyway, the Shaggy Man is in possession of something called a “love magnet” (yeah, I know) that causes anyone that sees him to fall madly in love with him. Where he got it, he doesn’t say. Dorothy leads the Shaggy Man to a crossroads that should lead him where he wants to go, but as she turns to leave, the crossroads multiplies from 2 to 7 to 18 to infinity. Confused, the travelers decide to just pick a road and begin their journey to wherever the hell they are supposed to go. Along the roads they meet Button Bright, a child in a sailor suit who is anything but bright, and Polychrome, the rainbow’s daughter. It’s this group that will travel the fairy roads to Oz.

The first stop is in Foxville, home of a bunch of anthropomorphic foxes. The Fox King magically turns Button Bright’s head into a fox as a reward for being “clever” but doesn’t know how to turn it back when Button Bright objects. So the group leave and end up in Dunkiton, where a similar fate is bestowed upon Shaggy Man, except it’s a donkey head. The group is told that the only thing that will fix them is the Truth Pond, only found in Oz. So the adventurers head towards what they hope is Oz.

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My top 10 movies featuring time travel

Posted in Back to the Future, Harry Potter, movies, pop culture, time travel with tags , , , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by Paxton

Time Travelogues

New League assignment this week.  We apparently were off last week, but Brian has thrown a very good subject for this week.  He wants us to create a list of 10 favorite movies.  We can pick the category.  There are so many ways to slice-and-dice a list of 10 movies.  It took me a while to really think about it but I think I came up with an appropriate angle for me.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I’m an aficionado of time travel in pop culture.  Some say I would be an “Internet authority” on said topic (I won’t argue that). I see the movies and TV shows, I read the books.  I study it.  I enjoy it.  Check out the numerous time travel articles I’ve written on this blog as well as Episode 3 of the Nerd Lunch podcast in which we discussed time travel (and our third most downloaded episode, btw).  You can see I have something invested in this subject.  So, I thought I’d list out my 10 favorite movies that feature time travel.

I realize there are going to be ones you’ll want on, but I’m giving you my list of favorite time travel movies.  I’ll also include some honorable mentions at the bottom.

So, let’s get started going back…..to the future….and past.  Whatever. Oh, and I don’t normally do this, but I’m actually ranking these 10 – 1. Much like time itself, the order matters.

Galaxy Quest(Via jovisala47)
10. Galaxy Quest – Time travel is really only used in this movie as a small plot device at the very end, but it’s used very well.  The Omega 13 is a nebulous and strange device, but it worked and both spoofed the original Star Trek’s version of time travel as well as created a fun version of time travel for the movie.  Plus, I love the s**t out of this movie. The perfect spoof of classic Star Trek while simultaneously being a really good stand along sci-fi movie.
HP time turner(Via Harry Potter Wikia)
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – This is another kind of a cheat. The movie doesn’t feature time travel, but uses it as a plot device towards the end. However, it’s used very well and the Time Turner itself is a fascinating little gadget.  This third movie in the HP franchise is so good and having time travel at the end and also realizing Hermione has been using it from the beginning of the story, just makes it that much better.

Time Crimes(Via best-horror-movies.com)
8. Time Crimes – This is a pretty great little suspense movie that has a plot that not only features time travel, but revolves around it.  It gets a little crazy at the end, and a little confusing as well, but I really enjoy the hell out of this movie.  It’s about a guy named Hector who stumbles upon a time machine and gets himself into several hairy situations when he’s sent back 30min into the past.

Groundhog Day(Via movieslist2010)
7. Groundhog Day – Not generally thought of by people as a time travel movie, but it is. Murray is trapped in what we call a “time loop” and has to live the last 24 hours over and over and over. Such a great movie even if the “time loop” is never really explained.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 40: Drill Down: Saved by the Bell

Posted in podcast, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on June 5, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Feast your ear-balls on Episode 40 of the Nerd Lunch podcast.  For this very special episode, it doesn’t get any nerdier than us discussing the intricate continuity of the show that was High School Musical before High School Musical.  Yes, this week the nerds discuss Saved by the Bell.

Saved by the Bell board game
(Via kaydi-did)

Just an FYI, I decided to “bow out” of this episode because it was time for me to take a small break on a week when we discuss a subject I’m not intricately versed in.  I was a fan of the show, I’m just not really a SBTB enthusiast.  Plus it was nice to follow CT and Jeeg’s lead and take a week off.

In my place this week are special guests Aaron Nix and Jay from SexyArmpit.com.  They are more than capable of holding down the fort while I partake in my little nerdy sojourn.  So give this episode a listen.  I know I will, and it’ll be the first time I’ve heard a Nerd Lunch episode cold in 39 episodes.  It’s strange not knowing what is going to happen.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

8 Comic covers right before/after a famous first appearance

Posted in Batman, comic books, pop culture, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

First appearances of famous comic book heroes/villains are highly sought after in the comic book world.  Who wouldn’t love an Action Comics #1 or a Detective Comics #27?  But what about Action Comics #2?  Or Detective Comics #26?   Are anyone seeking these titles out?

To me, it’s fascinating to look at very famous comic titles before or after they’ve debuted a very famous character.  They may not look like even the same title.  It’s weird to see an issue of Detective Comics with Slam Bradley or the Crimson Avenger on the front and not Batman.  You feel like you’re in the Fringe universe.  Let’s check out some of these fun comic covers and you can see how strange and foreign they look to you.

Action Comics #1Action Comics #2
Action Comics #2Action Comics is probably one of the most iconic titles of all time. Who doesn’t know that Superman debuted in issue #1 of Action Comics (left) in 1938? Well, interestingly enough, Action Comics was originally meant to be an anthology adventure comic with several other adventure characters. So even though Action Comics is now strictly a Superman title, back then, Supes was just one of the featured characters. Therefore, issue #2 (right) didn’t feature Superman on the cover at all. Issue #3 didn’t feature Superman either.  As a matter of fact, Superman wouldn’t make another Action Comics cover appearance until issue #7 (SIX MONTHS later).

Detective Comics #26Detective Comics #27Detective Comics #28
Detective Comics #26  and #28 – Detective Comics is as intimately associated with Batman as Action Comics is with Superman.  However, Batman didn’t debut until issue #27 (middle), so there were 26 issues of Detective without Batman on the cover or in the book.  As you can see, in the issues before (#26, left) and after (#28, right) Batman you get standard covers of police officers and gangsters that you would normally appear on crime comics of this time.  While Batman would return to the cover for issue #29, he would be absent again for issue #30.

All-Star Comics #2All-Star Comics #3All-Star Comics #8
All-Star Comics #3 and #8All-Star Comics is a very famous Golden Age title. It features the first appearance of The Justice Society of America in issue #3 (middle) which is the first team-up of super-heroes into a single team in history. In issue #2 (left), you can see they still feature the heroes on the cover, but not collected together as one team as designated by issue #3’s giant round table with the team name embossed on the top.  All-Star Comics #8 (right) is an interesting issue also.  You wouldn’t know it by the cover, but that issue is the first appearance of Wonder Woman in an 8 page insert that was used to test the interest of Wonder Woman as a hero.  Wonder Woman would join the Justice Society in issue #11…as their secretary (but she would make the cover!). She would prove popular enough to headline her own book, Sensation Comics, a year later.

Showcase #3Showcase #4Showcase #5
Showcase #3 and #5 – The debut of The Flash in Showcase #4 (middle) was one of the defining moments of the Silver Age. Showcase was a tryout book by DC to determine who would get their own series. As you can see, the issue before The Flash debuted (#4, middle) featured a story about deep sea divers called The Frogmen (#3, left). And even though The Flash was a huge hit, he wouldn’t appear in Showcase #5 which featured Manhunters (#5, right). The Flash would reappear on the cover for Showcase #8. The Hal Jordan Green Lantern would debut in Showcase #22.

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