Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Made Contact, Now Back to Earth

Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Martha Boyd is not just Luke's mother-in-law - she's also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything.

Wow, amazing how fast Thursday comes back around when you are having fun. As you know I spent last weekend at Contact in the Desert. Thank you all for reading my report on the event and thank you LYT for printing it - I hope that I get to cover something again for TR. Anywa,y the event was pretty good and I would volunteer for it again if it is held in Joshua Tree next year. There were some rough edges at the event, but I am pretty sure the venue will have the taken care of before next year. They can't do anything about the heat. The speakers were great. I loved getting to meet George Noory and the other speakers.

But this week it is back to Earth and reality. We have had heavy rain and flash flooding again, so I've been getting out to do my appraisals early in the morning before it gets too hot and humid. Got some stuff going on this weekend, and will let you all know next week. So now, let's see what you have come up with for me this week.

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7 Dinosaurs That Are Cooler Than the Crappy T-Rex

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Lionsgate

Lovers of dinosaurs (and by that I mean everybody) should have August 15 marked on their calendars. That's the day that the documentary Dinosaur 13 debuts. It's the story of a bunch of scientists who discover the remains of something like the biggest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever, and the fight that ensues over said bones.

The story sounds interesting. But I can't help but wonder if all the parties involved were wasting their time. Because, let's be honest here: Compared with many other dinosaurs, T-Rexes are pretty overrated. And overexposed. And just generally given too much bandwidth in any conversation having to do with primordial lizards. Yes, they were the marquee dinosaurs in all the Jurassic Park flicks. They're always the main draw in any dino-flavored museum exhibit.

And why? Those little tiny grabby front claws don't do much for anybody.

Let's change things up right now. Behold: A list of dinosaurs that are - were? - so much more worthy of our time.

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The Tick Bites That Will Turn You Vegetarian

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

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On TV and in the comics, the Tick would attempt to stop the Man-Eating Cow. In real life - and most ironically, in Texas - ticks are now preventing men from eating cows. Just like their big blue namesake, they seem to have misinterpreted the script.

Here's how it happens: The bugs harbor a sugar that humans don't have, called alpha-gal. The sugar is also is found in red meat -- beef, pork, venison, rabbit -- and even some dairy products. It's usually fine when people encounter it through food that gets digested.

But a tick bite triggers an immune system response, and in that high-alert state, the body perceives the sugar the tick transmitted to the victim's bloodstream and skin as a foreign substance, and makes antibodies to it. That sets the stage for an allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat and encounters the sugar.

Doctors have no idea if the newly created meat allergy is permanent or not, but smartasses like me would suggest that if there is a God, He couldn't have delivered a more ironic pestilence upon Texas unless there were somehow a way to be allergic to football.

h/t Broos Campbell

Wonder Woman Unveiled

Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

Apparently, he didn't show this in Hall H. But he tweeted it out to the world. Glad I didn't wait in line.

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She's ready for anything.

What do you think?

30 Great Star Wars Impressions, From Lobot to Probot

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

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Sure, we've all probably done Yoda, or Jar Jar, or even Harrison Ford. But to nail all those AND perfectly get Hayden Christensen's weird, disinterested Brooklyn-meets-Canada twang? Or perfectly land Ewan McGregor's imperfect Alec Guinness? Vocally mimic the Probe Droid's audio code? And then, as a bonus, embody Matthew McConaughey rambling on about the new sequels?

These guys are impressive. And the way the Jar Jar bit ends should please everyone.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer, Sweded (So Cheaply There's a Dude as Gamora)

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 10:00 am

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James Gunn posted this on his Facebook with the comment that Wes Anderson had remade his movie, but respectfully, sir, that's way off. Anderson takes extra care in the details...it's your former mentor Lloyd Kaufman who might say "Why use CGI when cardboard's available?" or even "Why hire a woman when we can get a guy and draw a pretty face on a mask he can wear?"

Okay, Lloyd's not that tone-deaf. He somehow wrangles female nudity on a budget of nothing. But if you asked him to make a comic-book movie, I'm not sure it would be better put-together than this.

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I READ YOUR FANFIC! "Voltron's Hunk and Pidge Swap Genders" Part 2

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 8:00 am

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If you want to submit fan fiction for me to read, please send it - or a link to it - to toplessrobot-at-gmail-dot-com with subject line "Read my Fanfic!"

Title: "Voltron's Hunk and Pidge Swap Genders, Part 2" by 363511

Logline: Hunk wants to have sex with his underage male friend, who turns out to actually be a girl on her first period. But he's afraid to get her pregnant, so he goes to see the witch Haggar, who will know what to do. And then Lotor interferes...

You might want to check out Part 1 first. Or not. This one's way worse.


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The 21 Best TV Panels at Comic Con for Fans and Future Professionals

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

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CNN

The San Diego Comic-Con is the premiere pop-culture convention with over 130,000 fans making the pilgrimage each year to attend panels discussing their geek obsessions. To put it another way, a population the size of Pasadena travels to San Diego to live for a week. This has the effect of increasing San Diego's population by 10%. More people attend SDCC than attend the Super Bowl - it is a big deal in fandom. So much so that it has outgrown its name, and more people will attend SDCC than purchased copies of the new Amazing Spider-Man issue #2.

In fact, for television it has become vital for building buzz and creating and maintaining meaningful connections with fans. Like most conventions, it is a great place to network and develop relationships that can lead to jobs in creative fields, with opportunities to not only learn about what is happening in your favorite entertainment media, but also to learn best practices. There is no medium where this is more true than television. Not only are there panels highlighting new shows and fan favorites, but there are also workshops where attendees can acquire skills and learn from established pros.

Here are 21 panels you might want to attend at SDCC if you are a television fan or looking for how to break in.

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Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Desert Radio, Mean Maleficent and Pirate Kitten

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

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A veteran of the LAPD, widow of a Green Beret and self-described crazy cat lady, Luke's Mother-in-Law fears no questions. Ask her anything in the comments section - no issue is too big, too trivial or too weird for her to tackle, but if you get out of line, she will let you know!

All questions and answers are real.

Hello, hello from the vortex of Joshua Tree. This week I attended the 25th anniversay of our local radio station, Z107.7, which is locally owned by Gary and Cindy. They started here in the basin 25 yrs ago. Not many locally owned stations are still around, but little old Joshua Tree has one; they always comment that they are located in a strip mall next to the biggest drug dealer in town: the local family owned pharmacy. Yep, we even have one of those here...next to the local pizza and Indian food restaurant. Z107.7 has been in operation as long as I have lived in the desert. Julia was even a guest DJ when she was in elementary school. Anyway, here is to another 25 yrs of great broadcasting. If you are ever in Joshua Tree stop by and see this treasure.

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The Pokemon Pick-up Lines You Probably Shouldn't Use

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm

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With Comic-Con coming up, I thought this could serve as a useful reminder.

Rehearsed pick-up lines generally don't work too well anyway...but basing them on your mutual cosplay, though it might seem like a good idea for a milisecond, can lead to disaster - especially since the male nerd mind will often gravitate to bad sex puns without even thinking about it too hard.

Huh-huh. "Hard." See?

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