An Octopus Named Rambo Has Learned How to Take Photos

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 8:00 am

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If you're a sushi fan, just call her Tako Supreme.

This project was far harder than any of us imagined it would be. Rambo got her name because the first few times we put the rig in the water she wanted to fight it. You could say she drew first blood. Despite the reports that it only took three tries [to learn the process], Rambo and Mark worked their way through 10 rigs and nearly as many cameras.
And she wasn't even taking pictures of Sean Penn. But with eight arms, she might be able to get a solitary snap of my cat in a great position - certainly two appendages are not sufficient for that task.

Check out Rambo in action below...

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Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: The Addams Family Cacti

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 6:30 am

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[Note: Martha Boyd is on vacation this week. Last week's questions - and this week's - will be answered in the next column]

Hey de ho all. Another week has come and gone. God. they go fast when you get old. This week you all get a couple of pics of Miss LoveBug. Caught her being oh so comfortable in the chair at my husband's desk. The kids spend a good part of the day in the office when I am also in the office. At night we all move to the living room to watch TV.

It is me and my five little shadows.

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Most Major Star Wars Celebration Panels Will Stream Live Online

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm

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This is an interesting wrinkle. I have a press pass and all, but the fan convention just made it all-but-irrelevant to be there in person, with the announcement that Thursday morning's big trailer reveal, as well as panels featuring most of the big-name talents in attendance, will be viewable simultaneously to anyone with a computer.

Assuming the Internet holds up, of course, which is no sure thing at giant conventions. But it certainly makes you think that Comic-Con, ostensibly a non-profit, could head that direction as well, though again, since SDCC basically knocks the entire city of San Diego's Internet access on its ass, some things may not be technologically possible.

Do this and put the trailers and/or clips online right afterward, and a lot of hurt feelings could be salvaged. But is it bad business, or is the added value of seeing a star in person still something folks will pay premiums for?

Stephen Hawking Sings Monty Python (Yes, It's Really Him)

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

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"Singing" is perhaps a loose word, though if James Cagney can say that's what he was doing in Yankee Doodle Dandy, this counts too. The speech box hasn't, as far as I can tell, been auto-tuned - just timed efficiently to the tune of "The Galaxy Song" from The Meaning of Life.

And in less than three minutes, Hawking himself has now given us more entertainment value than anything in that boring-ass movie about his life that won the Oscar. Maybe he should have played himself.

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The Hatbox Ghost Is Finally Coming Back to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 1:30 pm

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For those not up on their Disney theme-park lore, the Hatbox Ghost was an effect for the Haunted Mansion ride that failed to work as planned, and was quickly removed from the attraction. The idea was that, using lighting effects, the ghost's head would disappear, and reappear inside the hat box he was holding. Though the animatronic figure was removed, a picture of him still hangs on the wall.

But in honor of the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, theme-park blog Inside the Magic reports that they're bringing him back, with today's technology having presumably long since caught up to what was originally intended. And the anniversary may not be the only thing they had in mind - Guillermo del Toro's long-gestating Haunted Mansion movie finally seems to be moving forward with Ryan Gosling in the lead - and the director previously announced, several Comic-Cons ago, that the Hatbox Ghost would be the focus.

Is it possible they held off on the movie until the character could be brought back "in person"? I wouldn't put it past the undisputed masters of corporate synergy.

Five Nights at Freddy's, the "Evil Chuck E. Cheese" Game, Gets a Movie

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 6:30 am

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Honestly, I'm not sure why some version of this pitch hasn't been made before. Hell, back in my film school days, there was a kid in my class who was pitching a horror version of Chuck E. Cheese as his student short (I've no idea where he would have found the money to build an animatronic - and in the end I don't think he made it. But still).

Five Nights at Freddy's, the game that has you working night security at a pizza place full of scary animatronics, has just been optioned for a movie by Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter author Seth Grahame-Smith, who intends to work closely with game creator Scott Cawthon. Honestly, Hollywood could easily have just ripped off the notion, so buying the actual IP feels like good sportsmanship. Now, how to expand the story so it's about more than opening and closing doors at the right time?

If it were me, I'd mash-up this franchise with Paul Blart, and have Freddy Fazbear's be part of a much larger mall at night. Just so long as Kevin James agrees to pull a Janet Leigh and get surprisingly killed off 20 minutes in.

Indie Picks' List of 150 Independent Video Stores Still Open in North America

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm

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Attention old guys who still like video stores! They live on!

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A New Muzzle Takes All the Embarrassment Out of Karaoke, Replaces It with Sadness

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 1:30 pm

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Do you love to sing, but know you have an awful, awful singing voice? Japan, bless their hearts, have come up with the ultimate solution: A Karaoke Muzzle.


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The Mars One Project Might Be a Scam

Monday, March 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

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We all want to live on Mars, and a not-for-profit organization called Mars One has been trying to make that a reality. The people at Mars One are devoted to using existing technology (not inventing new technology) to take a team of humans to Mars where they will live permanently. It is an ambitious project, and, as of 2013, they were already as far along as the astronaut selection stage.


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The 10 Nerdiest Things At SXSW 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015 at 5:00 am

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Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina
South by Southwest is actually three festivals in one. There's music, which is how it began; film which has kind of taken over; and interactive. Music is out of our wheelhouse but the films tend to be nerd-friendly. The city motto of Austin, TX is "Keep Austin weird" so they certainly bring movies that cater to that crowd. Then the interactive portion can give us all sorts of technological fun, like last year's real life Mario Kart racing. SXSW is the festival where Twitter blew up.

At SXSW 2015 I didn't hear as much about interactive stuff, but a few of the film promotions incorporated technology heavily. There were plenty of midnight movies, big premieres and special events to make SXSW 2015 a truly weird and nerdy experience yet again.

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