So, whether you're just waking up or just winding down, I hope you enjoy this week's post. Let's start you off with...
- ...An interview with Hugh Jackman, who sounds like one of the nicest men in Hollywood. He sings, dances, plays all kinds of roles, and he does all of these things well. (Personally, I'm just impressed that he's become so incredibly linked to Wolverine. In case you don't know, Wolverine is supposed to be a squat, compact little mutant, with hair everywhere. Jackman cleaned him up, and added a foot or more of height. Changing the most popular X-Men character is no small feat.) Anyway, here he is to promote Real Steel, a movie about boxing robots that looks like it might be anything from decent to ludicrous. Frankly, I'm leaning towards the latter, and the critics are, too, but Jackman makes it sound like there's more. Even better, he gives the kind of answers that don't sound canned or forced for the obligatory promotional tour. He's open, candid, and quite relaxed. A nice fella' if you ask me, although I've never had the pleasure of interviewing him.*
*I've never really had the pleasure of interviewing anyone. I was within one kilometer of interviewing Harrison Ford and Paul Bettany, when my vehicle broke down in the middle of an intersection, leaving me stranded, and forcing someone else to cover for me. I quit my nascent entertainment journalism career shortly thereafter.
- Brilliantly pointless street fliers. Some of them are witty, and some are gross. That's the quality insight you get on this one. (I like the one about the cat and the one about the pigeon.)
- John Scalzi remembers he hasn't offended any Star Wars fans in a while, so he decides to put together a list of why it sucks to be a Jedi. There are six reasons. Please put away your lightsabers.
- This interactive look at our solar system is beautiful and fascinating, but something about it was bothering me. On some of the rotations it the Moon was smacking into Mars, and that's just crazy. We can't have the Moon and Mars obliterate each other (and us in the process.) Then it hit me (no pun intended). Nothing is to scale. How could it be? The sun is a million times bigger than the Earth. Literally. (Well, maybe. Nasa says it's a million, and I'd give the rocket scientists the benefit of the doubt, but I think they're rounding the number, because the numbers from Sun Trek make sense, and they say it's more like 1,300,000 the size.) The point is, the sun is ridiculously huge compared to our puny planet. Combine that with the astronomical* distance between the planets in our solar system, and a scale model for an interactive site like that would make no sense.
*I'm really not using puns on purpose.
But since we're talking about size, check out the size of our sun compared to some of the universe's big boys. You guys, our sun is an insignificant speck! Earth is less than a speck of a speck! Antares is 600 times the size of the sun (although if we get geeky for a moment or two, Antares is only 15 or 16 times the mass of the sun, proving it's not the size of your star, but how you burn your helium. Uh, or something.) But before we go too far, I believe the accompanying picture is incorrect. It makes it seem like Betelgeuse is smaller than Antares, and that is totes misinformed. So sayeth Wikipedia.
- A Guide to NPR's Top 100 SF and Fantasy Books really shows how there is at least one book for everyone, depending on your interests. It only occurred to me once I'd taken all the twists and turns that this was a Top 100 list. I'm going to ignore certain omissions, and just be happy that certain books made it--The Eye of the World and A Game of Thrones chief among them.
- Are you geeky? I'm not talking about wearing oversize glasses, taking pictures with Hipstamatic, or bemoaning your lack of a social life in grade 10 because you played Starcraft all day and all night for two weeks straight while the high school teachers were on strike.*
So I suppose I should rephrase my question to: Are you geeky about type? (I just lost three quarters of you, didn't I?) No, no, type is cool. (Really, you guys. It's an important part of almost everything that we interact with in our daily lives because we are so reliant on the written word.) Anyway, there is a game called Kern Type. (Yes. Shut up.) If you're into design at all, you'll want to give it a turn or two. It's pretty easy to play.
*I'm not trying to sound elitist, or like there is a specific criteria for being geeky. There isn't. Some people forget that, which is what prompts posts like Letter from a Geek Girl, which you should read as well.
- Cycling in the city can be tricky and dangerous due to poor conditions, other cyclists, wayward pedestrians, and--of course--cars. But cycling in the wilderness presents its own set of obstacles. Like getting smoked by a wildebeest.
- This is only a few seconds long, but it's a beautiful GIF of an animated gun battle.
- This week's pretty neat trick combines juggling and hitting a baseball. The key is to focus on the last pitch-back, because that ball comes back to the same spot at the same time, every time. It's about getting in the groove and swinging the bat in the same place, with the same power. Of course, that's more difficult than it sounds.
- This next entry showcases extremely good photos that just so happen to expose the absurdity of pin-up shots. I present to you... Men-ups.
- "Have you ever crossed the road, and looked the wrong way? A car's nearly on you? So what do you do? Something very silly. You freeze. Your life doesn't flash before you, 'cause you're too fuckin' scared to think - you just freeze and pull a stupid face." -Turkish, from the movie Snatch
Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls has been getting some publicity over the photos they post of people getting scared in their haunted house. Imagine the terror on these poor peoples' faces. What's that? You can't, because you're laughing over how they look when a bright flash goes off, catching them in awkward or hilarious poses? Oh, ok. Why don't we look at some together. Here's a handful for you:
- Saving the women, like a boss.
- Still saving women... kind of.
- Not even a little bit scared.
- Unfortunately, the camera only fires once per turn, so we don't see the shot of this dude getting slapped by his wife/girlfriend/companion.
- Guido Barbershop Trio, singing their hit, "Oh my God, honestly bro, for real."
- I just read an interview with Lana Del Ray, who had the Song of the Week (Video Games) back in early August. She's been dealing with some backlash. Huh. I still like that song, and so does Jools Holland:
- Song of the Week: Heh. I can't choose one this week because there are two choices. I feel like both are worthy, so you get a two for one week. (I'm going to justify it because I didn't post last week.) (And I know there have been weeks when I posted and I didn't double up on the songs afterwards. Someone once told me consistency is overrated.)
I was pretty sure the title would go to Dan Black with Pump My Pumps, because this track is downright pumping. It'll get you in the mood to do everything you wanted to do.
But then Jack White had to go all awesome and do a raw, chilling cover of U2's Love is Blindness. I'm not a huge fan of U2, but Jack White's a different story. You'll have to click on the link since I can't embed the player.
That's is, my fellow knaves. And if you've stuck around wondering about the answer to the titular question, "When does the narwhal bacon?" the answer (if you ever need it) is midnight. That's all you need to say. As for why the narwhal bacons at midnight... I just don't know.