Fast Food Review: Jack in the Box Blazin' Chicken With Ghost Pepper Ranch

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink
Friday, April 18, 2014 at 10:00 am

The real one looks flatter

The ghost pepper, or bhut jolokia was, until 2012, the hottest pepper in the world. This is no mere mouth-scorcher, but a foodstuff so searing that the Indian government weaponized it into gas grenades. It makes humble the habanero, and drinking hot sauce made with it would likely be akin to shooting anti-attacker pepper spray down your gullet. And Jack in the Box are freakin' nuts if they really do have it as an ingredient. This could conceivably make somebody's throat swell till they choke if it has actual ghost peppers inside.

I had to know for sure.

Fanboy Flick Pick: Transcendence Is a Sci-Fi of Ideas...Just

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Friday, April 18, 2014 at 8:00 am


Considering the way Transcendence has avoided giving out too many excessive plot details in its trailers, it's a bit stunning just how immediately the movie itself spoils its own ending. Even I , who normally insist that the first half of a film is fair game for description, would feel a little weird about describing the opening scene, so suffice it to say that it shows the aftermath of something major, in a manner that makes it pretty clear how things had to have been resolved. The entire rest of the movie takes place 3-5 years earlier, and by basically removing the narrative tension of how it ends, director Wally Pfister (Christopher Nolan's cinematographer, making his feature directorial debut) has made it so that the only thing left is to debate the ideas. Which is actually a pretty classical science fiction thing to do, but it may not sit well with every member of the modern audience.

18 Fictional Bunnies That Haunt the Dreams of Nerds

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 6:00 am


When we learn that the Martians are predatory toward humans in War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells offers us a bit of perspective by having his narrator remind us: "how repulsive our carnivorous habits would seem to an intelligent rabbit."

No doubt, but this time of year even the vegans enjoy eating rabbits, of the chocolate and marshmallow variety delivered by the Easter Bunny. Perhaps it's an attempt to steer humankind away from our repulsive carnivorous habits? Although his ancestry is in pagan folklore - a fertility symbol, probably - the E.B. is an unthreatening sort. But it's striking how many of his fictitious cousins from nerdy pop culture are fiercely formidable, even sinister and scary, and how often they even the score with humankind for our lapine cruelties.

A few examples...

A "Real" Spider-Man Web-Shooter That Could Kill You

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies, Tech
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm


Using electromagnetics, lasers, and a sweet Spidey glove, German tech-head Patrick Priebe has made an actual web-shooter that can fire a barb on a line, and bring back whatever you hook. The potential uses for fishermen are limitless...perhaps less so for aspiring Spider-Men, who have to deal with the fact that "web fluid" is essentially magic and violates multiple laws of science.

Though if all you want to do is catch Mary Jane's lunch tray...well, this won't do that either. Really it's more like Scorpion's spear from Mortal Kombat, but that's just not as hot a property to tie into right now.

Game of Thrones T-Shirt on His Kid Gets Professor Suspended, Sanity Questioned

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Merchandise, Miscellaneous, TV
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm


With the shirts I wear on a regular basis - and would let my kid wear if I had one - maybe I should never be a college professor. Bergen Community College in New Jersey put Professor Francis Schmidt on leave pending a psychiatric evaluation when he posted the above photo of his daughter on Google+, and an executive director of the college who got an email notification that the image was posted took it as a threat.

How so?

Via Online Dating Buzzwords, We've Figured out the Perfect Gift

By Luke Y. Thompson in Music, Tech
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Every so often, by which I mean every day, I get weird article pitches from people who've obviously never read this site, with come-ons like , "Are you working on any celebrity plastic surgery stories?" Sometimes, for kicks, I'll read them. Then, from time to time, they'll make me feel smart. Like today, I got this from a dating site called PlentyofFish, which I assume was not intended as a derogatory vaginal reference...

The 5-most popular words among both sexes who left the dating site in a relationship are:

1. love
2. time
3. life
4. friend
5. music

Y-you mean? All this time, I had the perfect romantic talisman available to me via 1-800 number and I didn't even know it?

Scarecrow - Creepiest Comic-Book Mego-Styled Figure Yet?

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Toys
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm


Figures Toy Company, which is making 8-inch, cloth-costumed figures in the Mego style of comic Batman and 1966 TV Batman (they're the ones finally doing Egghead), just revealed their Scarecrow headsculpt. And it's seriously scary-looking.

Maybe it's just that Robot Chicken conditioned me to expect something more Super-Friendsy, but this looks like something Cillian Murphy could have busted out. They're also doing Ra's al Ghul, but whatever...great character, with a head that just looks like a caricature of a caveman-browed rich dude with weird mustache bits. Sure, it's accurate enough, but it's not like something I'd be terrified to have on my nightstand lest I wake up and find it looking my direction.

Lego Greenlit the Ghostbusters - Now How About This Amazing Marshmallow Man?

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, Toys
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 11:30 am


At 13 inches tall, fully articulated, and pretty much to scale with minifigs, this would not only be an outstanding Lego would also be the best action figure of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man ever made. He's more poseable, durable and correctly sized than any other toy figure of this Gozer guise has been in the past.

The only problem is that he doesn't yet exist in purchasable form - he needs Cuusoo votes and ultimate Lego approval. As a Capitalist Gozer might say, "Choose...and buy!" Because if anyone asks you if this is godly, you will say "YES."

Super Mario Bros. Theme Played With Wine Glasses, Pencils and a Frying Pan

By Luke Y. Thompson in Music, Video Games
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 10:00 am


This isn't half-assed, either - it includes the underground music and goes all the way to the end of the level.

For the benefit of my readers under 21 - wine glasses are designed for drinks that you aren't supposed to go near yet. And pencils are these things like styluses, but way cooler because you don't even need a mobile device to use them!

Empty frying pans, of course, are drugs just waiting to smack you in the brain.

Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Copping a Feel for Video Games, Raccoons, Immortality

By Luke Y. Thompson in Nerdery, TV, Video Games
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 8:00 am


Luke's mother-in-law is former LAPD, a licensed property appraiser and a self-described crazy cat lady. None of which has prepared her for TR readers. All questions and answers are real.

Hello. It is Thursday again. This is Easter week. The weather is warm and sunny here in the desert. I have been out doing yard work; I have a secret project going that Mrs. LYT will see this weekend when she visits (LYT has to stay in LA to cover WonderCon). Yes, that is one of my outside cats in the back ground. This is the second week of Coachella Music Festival and shortly we will be having the Joshua Tree Music Festival. The Easter Bunny will be stopping buy in a few days. I think we are coloring eggs on Saturday. Would you believe that the first Easter Egg Hunt that LYT did was here at my house a few years ago? [Not exactly; just first one as an adult - LYT] We have to do this early in the day so the chocolate does not melt in the heat. This is also Earth Day weekend here in the Desert, so there are big Earth Day doings in Yucca Valley at the community center. We also just had a casino open in 29 Palms - I have not been yet, but Mrs. LYT went on opening day and won a few dollars. This week I also got the pool open for the summer: water is not quite warm enough to swim yet, but it is clean and the water looks nice.