Curiouser and curiouser.

Here is a picture of some dirt. On Mars.

I know curiosity is not the first of our robot emissaries to the red planet, but gazing at the soil on another world has not gotten old yet. Even though we have apparently been doing it for some time now. And when I say “we”, I mean “we” as in humans collectively, not Americans. That particular feather was in a Soviet cap1.

I kinda miss the cold war. It was understood that we could destroy each other, but nobody really wanted to do that so we just competed over who had the most awesome space program. Then people lost interest – probably because exploring space is something the Nazis would do.

As John and I were watching the landing sim and mission control cam Sunday evening, he asked me “What would you do if the first images that came back were of some horrible, demonic looking alien things creeping up and peering into the camera?”

I really don’t know, but I do think there’s a good chance my reaction would be something along the lines of “Well, huh. Ok then, let’s see how this turns out I guess.”

1Ushanka

All movies should be rebooted as horror movies.

Unless it is already a horror movie. Then it gets rebooted as a romantic comedy.

Anyway, here is a trailer for Gobstopper. And a trailer is all you will ever get, because it is clearly too awesome to ever get made.



I absolutely love Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, and after watching this, I realize that the original needs little editing to actually be a horror movie. Gene Wilder excels at standing around looking like a serial killer in any event.

The Johnny Depp version really didn’t leave a noticeable impression on me beyond “this is certainly a movie.” Like, I couldn’t even be bothered to hate it. That might just be my opinion being skewed toward the originals though, as I held basically the same sentiment toward the latest versions of both Star Trek and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Fun Fact:
When I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as a kid, I thought that the grandparents were all in the same bed because their legs were fused together somehow. I guess I didn’t really put together that it was more likely that they were unable to afford more beds, or more rooms in which to put them. Because of the poverty. Consequently, when Charlie brings the ticket home, and his grandfather gets up and starts dancing around, I thought the ticket was way more significant than it actually was. I remember feeling very bad for the other grandparents, because they were still stuck to each other, and there were no more tickets left.

Papa John’s Delivers

They have a box for special driver instructions. People should take advantage of that more often.



In other recent(ish) news, someone left mushrooms on my car. I do not know why.



It is possible that this was a bizarre act of aggression on the part of some cranky harpies that live across the street from us. John parked behind the BMW of one of their friends one evening when he got home from work. She walks across the street and asks him if he could park somewhere else, because she was not sure if there was enough room for her to get out of the parking space. John took a moment to assess the space she actually had, factored in the complete lack of empty spaces on our street, then looked at the girl and asked “Do you live here?” To which she replies “No, I’m just visiting.” At that point John bid her good evening and headed into the apartment.

I have my doubts as to the act of aggression theory, for a couple of reasons.

  1. 1.) I did not actually see them do it.
  2. 2.) Putting mushrooms on someone’s car is not a particularly aggressive act


Also, it could have been elves.

Have I mentioned how much I like Jonathan Coulton?



I dig the kinetic typography too, and this one is really well done. Although, I think my favorite is still the one somebody did as an art project for the chemical burn scene from Fight Club.



That video in particular struck me because it manages to convey the intensity of that scene in full measure using sound and arrangement of text.

And just because, here is one from The Big Lebowski



Really, you should just stop whatever you’re doing and spend the rest of the day watching videos on youtube.

Call of Duty: Black Ops (plus bonus rambling)

Pizza guy is my favorite.



Was it racist to assume that the cook was a pizza guy? I did base the assumption on his swarthy appearance. Also, the look on the chubby girl’s face is quite possibly the most adorable thing ever.

Before anyone gets an anal cramp about all the guns, I realize that this commercial basically appeals to the worst aspects of human nature. Most of them do. It just so happens that we derive most of what we consider to be fun from our less noble impulses. Here are some other things that you might enjoy while playing this game:



Ok, everything in that image isn’t totally fair. The Devil in Miss Jones was a decent examination of how human beings more or less decide on their own suffering. The movie actually cautions against being preoccupied with selfish impulses, because that is what ultimately damns the soul. I would comfortably say that it is worthy of the label “art” – much more so than many mainstream movies.

Speaking of the damned, I started playing Dante’s Inferno yesterday. The game clearly takes some liberties with the plot. For example, I don’t think Dante was a soldier fighting in the Crusades. Nor do I remember the part where he tames a rancor and rides it around hell.

Artistic license aside, the game is a lot of fun. It is graphically impressive and plays like Devil May Cry: Here’s a room full of enemies for your ridiculously huge sword or gun or swordgun to chew through. Attain combo points. Smash benches and jars to retrieve glowing currency orbs. Finish your enemies with a sweet quick time event.

Dante’s Inferno also has a light side/dark side point system – or holy/unholy in this case. The type of points you get to purchase powers is determined by whether you choose to punish lost souls or absolve them. However, while thematically fitting, I’m not 100% sure Dante would have the authority to do that. Also, being absolved looks a lot like being stabbed in the face with a cross.

The most awesome thing I’ve seen in the game so far is in the circle of Lust. There is a screaming maelstrom in which souls are trapped, eternally at the mercy of the winds of desire. As you approach it, the sound of wind begins to clarify into the moans and gasps of the lustful. The effect is subtle and seamless and fairly creepy. Though for some reason still way less creepy than limbo, where you have unbaptized babies crawling out of a flaming womb and dragging themselves over to you on their little blade arms.