Category Archives: Science

Underwater Internet Cable Cut-Funniest WSJ Drawing Ever


This is the funniest drawing I’ve ever seen in the WSJ … okay, not exactly much of a competition but still …

Some conspiracy theorists have ideas why India & parts of the Middle East have lost most of their internet connection as several underseas cables have been severed.

It could be sharks with lasers … though I guess, the proper description is frickin’ sharks with lasers 🙂

And in case you’re unclear on the concept …

Rest of the article from the WSJ – though not as many laughs.

Is this the new WSJ under Murdoch? Did he send out a Homer memo?



Here’s a reasonable and level-headed discussion by ABCNews … so probably just part of the conspiracy. 🙂

Turns out it could be the 5-ton anchor left at the scene … humm, you think?

Though this might be your last opportunity this century to see shadow stock art of parellel ports used to indicate high technology and internet over fiber …


Filed under Computing, Internet, Media, Politics, Science, TV

New Star Trek Film In Development Names Kirk Actor

chris pine

Little-known actor Chris Pine has been chosen to play the young Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movie. Pine’s most familiar role opposite Lindsay Lohan (NSFW pic) in “Just My Luck” in 2006. The balance of the announced cast is looking pretty strong.

Here is what the teaser movie poster looks like:

star trek 11 poster

The film, which chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew, will be released in the US on 25 December 2008. I can’t think of too many better Christmas gifts…well, I can but with JJ Abrams at the helm of Star Trek XI, the odds are quite good that the film will be boffo. There is that nagging Star Trek Movie Curse to avoid however so here’s hoping they dodge that sword of damacles. Now if we can just get Abrams to get Lost episodes out more quickly!

The movie will show the crew meeting at the Starfleet Academy and embarking on their first mission. It is rather hard to think that every buddy you would make at the academy would all show up for one of the most coveted jobs in the Starfleet (aka on the [Enterprise) is a bit of a stretch, but suspension of disbelief is my movie mantra. Besides, reworking the legacy of well know film properties has worked for James Bond and for Batman so this strategy should prove to work well for Star Trek.

Paramount Pictures is behind the film so you can expect the proper investments will be made. Shooting is expected to begin in November 2007.

The most recent Trek film, Star Trek: Nemesis, was released in 2003 so there has been plenty of time for that film to have faded from the old memory banks and allow a new team to take our imaginations where ‘no man has gone before’.

Here is what we know so far about the cast:

Captain KirkChris Pine

Kirk’s DadChris Hemsworth is coming out of nowhere to play George Kirk (James T’s dad) according to Variety.

Older Mr Spock Leonard Nimoy (what other actor had it so good? Long live Spock! He finally gets to play a Sarek role)

Young Mr SpockZachary Quinto (you hate him on Heroes as the arch nemesis Sylar) UPDATE: Follow this link for first look pics from the set including this shot of young Mr. Spock aka Quinto (courtesy of JFXonline – their watermark):

young spock

Scotty Simon Pegg (a nice choice! Remember Diary of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Grindhouse?)

Nero Eric Bana (I’m not a huge fan of Bana and I thank the movie gods that he was bumped from playing Wolverine in X-Men for Hugh Jackman who I thought did a bang-up job. Since no one knows what role “Nero” is set to play bank on the character name making him a chief rival to the ‘young’ Kirk) Update: Rumor has it that the Nero character will be Romulan.

Ayel Clifton Collins Jr. An actor that is on the rise will play a General and cohort sucking up to Nero played by Bana.

Uhura Zoe Saldana (Smokin’ hot is all I have to say..remember the hot pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl?)

Chekov Anton Yelchin (An actor born in the USSR should bring authenticity to this role even though he’s a bit unknown)

Sulu John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle actor…not exactly a recommendation but we have hopes).

Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoyKarl Urban You may recall Karl as Eomer in Lord of the Rings and the main nemesis in the Bourne Supremacy.

Amanda Grayson aka Spock’s Mom Winona Ryder was recently announced as taking on this role which was played by Jane Wyatt on the original series. Which begs the question of who will play the younger Sarek? It would be odd to see Winona play opposite Winona as young Spock’s mom and dad. Since she is only six years older than Quinto as young Spock, there is either heavy makeup to be seen (we hope not) or flashbacks in store (again, not preferable but who knows…)

Christopher PikeBruce Greenwood will play the role which was to be the original captain of the Enterprise. In the pilot Pike was played by Jeffrey Hunter who later bailed out after the pilot was rejected thus making room for Kirk. Hs role as the first captain of the Enterprise was written back in with The Menagerie episode, one of the original series best imo.

It seems like if you worked with Abrams on Alias you have a shoo-in to be in this film (check out the on the actor profiles and you’ll see what I mean). That being said there are three additional actors announced for the film but not tied to specific roles yet which are: Rachel Nichols, Jennifer Morrison, and Greg Grunberg of Heroes.
Roberto Orci is the co-screenwriter who worked with Abrams on the tv show Alias. Let’s hope he has some chops for the big screen. His upcoming Amazon sounds intriguing especially if the rumored actress is cast. He has another big film with mega budget but hit and miss director Michael Bay at the helm called 2012: The War For Souls. He is rumored to be a big fan so that offers significant hope. The other co-screenwriter is Alex Kurtzman. Kurtzman is best know for his work on Transformers and MI:III. Check out a very good and lengthy interview with Orci about the new film here.

The Reykavik-based newspaper DV confirmed that representatives of Paramount are actively working with the local Icelandic film company Sagafilm in order to find suitable filming locations for the 11th movie outing of the franchise. Iceland, in addition to having undisturbed robust vistas, allows film production companies to reclaim up to 14% of their production costs. Not bad for film work, eh?

The long time production designer is being passed over for new blood as well so don’t be surprised if you see some things very different about this new (old aka prequel) Star Trek.

Abrams and Paramount are pretty smart about how to set the marketing in motion as well. There is a planned Star Trek: The Tour launching in January 2008 which will preface the film nicely I would think. Sign up for news on that here.

The cool blog even created their own trailer. Check it out:

Updated:   Check out the new (old) Enterprise!



Filed under Film, Science

How Google Works

While I personally believe Conde Nast should give up on trying to produce their new biz magazine, Portfolio (it is a train wreck of a design filled with clueless advertisers who think ‘metrosexuals’ are still a desirable category only to confuse those who actually attempt to read the train wreck of content as currently produced), there is at least some small sign of intelligent life behind some of their web efforts.

To whit:  a fine flash based overview of how Google actually works.  See it here.

No big surprises if you have any idea how rack farms work but still interesting to review for the average layman.

For example, check this graphic out (courtesy of Portfolio):

google chart

I presume that 20,000 machines are one cluster.  That’s 20k x 250 clusters = 5,000,000 machines working in conjunction as one hive mind.  Whoa.

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Filed under Computing, Gadgets, Internet, Science

Steve Jobs Can Now Erase That Pesky Woz From His Photo Collection

This video blew me away. Can you imagine Mac users getting this resident on their Powerbooks? All I can say is, “Gimme!”  Seamless reality distortion is now a reality!

“Seam Carving For Content Aware Image Resizing”…It may be so cool from a personal usage standpoint but it is downright disturbing to know that some of the first buyers of this type of technology will certainly be the MSM and perhaps even governments and rich celebrities.

What the heck is seam carving…? It is a type of digital manipulation where you can carve entire people out of images with almost zero distortion left behind.

For example: Have some really cool photos in France with your ex-spouse but want to keep the images without that person? No sweat. Fire up this software and, POOF!, they will be gone as if never there. Your memories of hell in France are transformed into the cool solo trip to Paris. Voila! C’est magnifique!

The two presenters mentioned in this presentation at SIGGRAPH 2007 are Shai Avidan of Mitsubishi Electrical Research Lab and Ariel Shamir of The interdisciplinary Center & MERL.

I first Stumbled across this video on the DailyMotion website in French and then searched for it on YouTube so the ogre at the gates of WordPress would let me embed the video file.

Anyone else out there know about this stuff? Is there any way to keep the folks in Redmond as far away from this as possible? Heh.

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Filed under Computing, Design, Media, Science

Hyper Clear Photos of Space Shuttle

 Wow!  Here is one snap from a web site I just came across…the photos are amazing!

shuttle photo

Apparently, this site has some connection via a staffer at NASA itself.  Clearly, who else could have taken these?  Well, there are those little green, big round eye dudes and maybe the Russians, but that’s about it.

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Filed under Internet, Media, Science, Universe

Free download of the Brain That Wouldn’t Die!


Yes, film fans…the film that is so bad it is great, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die!, has passed into the public domain! That means you can stream it on Google Video here or download it from the Internet Archive to your own computer here.

Of course, the brilliant send up by the folks at MST3K of this film is pure comedic gold. Order from Amazon, NOW!, here.


1962 was a killer year for films so it is easy to see how this film could be lost among so many other pearls.  Here is a list of the films that were released that year:

Lawrence of Arabia

The Music Man

Mutiny on the Bounty

To Kill a Mockingbird

Birdman of Alcatraz (a heavily sanitized film version of one, for real sick dude by Burt Lancaster)

Days of Wine and Roses

Long Days Journey Into Night

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Billy Budd (young Terence Stamp in the key role)

The Miracle Worker (Patty Duke’s stand out role)

The Manchurian Candidate (an uneven John Frankenheimer film that still outshines most every other director on his worst day)

The Longest Day (with one of the longest top of line array of film stars)

Gigot (stunning performance by Jackie Gleason and a highly under rated film)

And perhaps the most long lasting effect on Hollywood that year with the Scientific award going to Ralph Chapman for his advanced Chapman Crane.

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Filed under Film, Science

Pulp SciFi Magazine Covers are a wonderland of design

Amazing Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories…name your lurid moniker. These old pulps are wonderfully art directed considering they were designed to do one thing – sell. These covers helped to set the adolescent mind into motion like throwing gas on a fire.

The cover lines were wonderfully leading and many of these old pulps featured major writers before they were ‘discovered’. Writers like A.E. Van Vogt, Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and even Edgar Allen Poe were mentioned on the covers in the hopes of boosting sales.

The horror and mystery categories had just as fantastically created covers. Who can forget Forrest Ackerman’s Famous Monsters? Or the many other titles like Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella (quasi comic porn in those days), and ‘newer’ scifi pulps like Heavy Metal, Cinefantastique, Fangoria, and Starlog (issue #7 was all about Star Wars in 1977…I think I still have that issue in a box somewhere…hello, ebay!).


Ah, those were the days…

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Filed under Books, comics, Film, Media, Science, TV