If you’re not familiar with Nightfall, it was first a short story by Isaac Asimov later developed into a novel by Asimov & Robert Silverberg. It’s one of my favorite pieces of fiction. Handled well, it could be like Indiana Jones meets Star Trek or Avatar and The Da Vinci Code.
Overall the movie could have an Apocalyptic kind of feel… with new beginnings and a b’ak’tun-like cycle. It would be great if the movie were released this year, with the 2012 hype reaching full fervor soon. Tie into that some epic sci-fi stuff, archeological mystery, journalism, psychology experiments, a little humor, religious and government conspiracies, disproving long-standing scientific theories (like “hey, we revolve around the sun!”) and blowing peoples’ minds, and even a great philosophical message. I’d say you can’t go wrong with it as long as you try to stick to the original story as much as possible.
It has apparently been made into a movie twice. I have seen one of them, and I just remember it not only betraying the story but just being crap. One was made in 1988 and one in 2000. I looked on Netflix and can only see the one from 2000 and it can only be “saved”, it’s apparently not on DVD in their collection. So maybe I watched this way back, from a video store or even on a VHS tape. The 1988 one, I can only find used VHS copies on Amazon, so perhaps it doesn’t exist on DVD. I just remember it being an inexplicably different planet & having different characters, or perhaps being another “cycle” than the one depicted in the book. I may have to track them both down for the fun of it.
The book starts out with a little preface saying basically that it’s an alien world, with alien things … but in order to convey the story well, they were going to use the word “boot” instead of making up an alien word to cover whatever appendage the alien did the equivalent of its walking on. So, while it would need to be an alien world… it wouldn’t need to be too alien. It would have to be easily related to.
A successful movie would really need to make use of the suns & colors at the times of day & days of the week. Much like The Crow had bleached overall look or 300 looked like a painting in every frame, the colors of the sky would need to change ever so subtly from red hues to yellow hues as noted in the book. They could certainly relate to the mood of each scene.
Asimov wrote a great story. Don't screw it up.
Also… don’t alter the damn story. It’s great how everything’s revealed. Don’t rename the characters. Don’t rename the planet. Don’t get rid of their numbers. Don’t change their occupations. Don’t add any characters. Don’t take the premise & build another story around it.
In a time where Hollywood is making movies that are remakes or reboots of movies only a few years old… why not tap into some other sources, especially ones from (arguably) one of the best science fiction writers of all time? From Wikipedia:
The Science Fiction Writers of America voted “Nightfall” the best science fiction short story written prior to the 1965 establishment of the Nebula Awards, in 1968, and included it in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964.
Do you really need any more proof that this would make a great film if handled properly? I mean, even this would make a great poster tagline if condensed somehow:
According to Asimov’s autobiography, Campbell asked Asimov to write the story after discussing with him a quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
- If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!
Campbell’s opinion to the contrary was: “I think men would go mad.”
So studio execs, casting directors, effects teams, directors, & producers… get on this. Please?
Posted in Books, Consumer Advocacy, Movies & TV, Rants in my pants
Tagged 1988, 2012, 20:00, 3:00, a little humor, Action, adventure, archeological mystery, Asimov, b'ak'tun, blockbuster, book, conspiracies, Cult, cycle, Da Vinci Code, DVD, Epic, epic sci-fi stuff, govenrment, Indiana Jones, Isaac Asimov, journalism, Movie, Nightfall, novel, Philosophy, plea, psychology experiments, religion, Robert Silverberg, sci-fi, Science Fiction, scientific theories, Short story, Silverberg, Star Trek, stars, The Crow, VHS
Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes has been popping up over & over on my radar lately. It was such an incredible strip, and Bill Watterson was awesome for taking such control of his creation. No Saturday morning cartoons ruining your interpretation of Hobbes, no live action travesties like the Garfield movies. No licensing, no over-saturation, no Calvin air fresheners. Just pure, simple, beautifully drawn comic panels with wisdom & wit out the wazoo.
Not that there haven’t been countless Calvin and Hobbes bootleg T-shirts, and the notorious “Calvin peeing” stickers that could express your distaste for anything from a car make to a political figure. Bill Watterson encouraged me to look at both sides of every issue, taught me many things about friendships, and taught me all about artistic integrity.
Imagination is a powerful tool, and morbid snowmen are the funniest things ever. I still need to get The Complete Calvin and Hobbes one of these days.
Here are some fun things I’ve found lately:
Calvin and Hobbes Snow Art Gallery
Calvin & Hobbes Snowman Cartoons
Calvin and Hobbes | Snowmen
Shameless plugs notwithstanding, there’s also the AiXeLsyD song:
And, the “better” quality audio:
AiXeLsyD – “Calvin & Hobbes”
Please, share your favorite Calvin and Hobbes images, sites, memories, books, quotes, panels, strips, etc. in the comments below!
I’ll start a board on Pinterest.
Posted in Books, Funny Stuff, Life
Tagged Bill Watterson, Calvin, Calvin & Hobbes, Calvin and Hobbes, Christmas, Comic strip, G.R.O.S.S., Garfield, Get Rid Of Slimy girlS, Hobbes, Snow sculptures, Snowman, snowmen
Image by Walt Jabsco via Flickr
So recently I finished two books that my reader(s) might enjoy.
The first is Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg. It’s a great book, & gives you insight into Pegg’s fanboy roots, aspiring to be an actor, and some really funny stuff thrown in. Also, in a bit about how Revenge of the Sith should have ended… he couldn’t have been more spot-on. I won’t go into crazy detail as you can find many reviews online… but I have to say for fans of films like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, and the new Star Trek… you need to see this. It also reminds me that I need to get my hands on some Spaced DVD’s. Also… where/when in the hell can I see Burke and Hare in the US?
"I do not have any money so am sending you this drawing I did of a spider instead"
The second amusing book is probably old, as I picked it up at a discount book store… It’s called The Internet is a Playground: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius, and it’s by David Thorne. You can tell from the title why it piqued my interest. If you’ve been around the internet long enough, you’ve seen the infamous spider. You should check out 27b/6 some time. It, like the book… is rather amusing. This brings to mind the now seemingly prehistoric Idiot Letters and Letters From a Nut series that I love, as well as Emails From An A**hole and Little Billy’s Letters. I won’t go into too much detail as again… there are enough online reviews. But, I would suggest checking this one out if you’re a fan of goofy email exchanges.
Those are my suggestions for you. What are your suggestions for me?
Posted in Books, Free Music, Good Websites, Movies & TV, Star Wars
Tagged 27b/6, 27bslash6, 7-legged spider, Amazon.com, Burke and Hare, David Thorne, DVD, Emails From An A**hole, Emails From An Asshole, Hot Fuzz, Idiot Letters, Letters From a Nut, Little Billy's Letters, Nick Frost, Paul, Paul Rosa, Rotten Tomatoes, Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg, Spaced, Star Trek, Ted L. Nancy
I’m a lazy artist. I always have been. I generally make art for fun, and give it away. I made a ton of cool stuff in art class in high school and even in my time at WCCC, now I only have a fraction of it. I’ve never had an interest in making money from any of it, perhaps because I felt it wasn’t perfect or even “good enough” to sell. Perhaps it was because I’d feel “dirty” making money from art. I’m also lazy in that I have a lot of ideas that don’t make it to fruition. (You should see the AiXeLsyD and Gasoline Dion “almost” song piles… and that Yup-punk band idea…)
I also went through a phase of drawing a bunch of comic book stuff… and it was always my understanding that Marvel didn’t want me selling my Wolverine art, and DC didn’t want me to sell my Batman art. Somehow the Airbrush guy at the mall makes money on pretty much any popular character out there. (Exactly who’s buying white T-shirts with airbrushed Mickey Mouse and Garfield on them at a mall kiosk in 2011 is a subject of another blog.) Is that guy bootlegging? Is he paying royalty fees?
With the advent of sites like Etsy (and more so Regretsy), I can see now that my art is certainly acceptable for sale. I’d like to think it’s a few grades above what’s considered acceptable for sale. The question remains on copyrights though… I see all kinds of people selling Superman, Batman and Spider-Man stuff with images clearly ripped from elsewhere. Not that I want to sell comic book-art, but I never know what mood will strike me. My flyer art is mainly bastardization of existing images… so I’m sure I can’t sell any of that kind of stuff. Again, I think I’m veering toward the subject matter of an entirely different blog. Back to the insanity at hand…
I’ve been drawing mazes for what seems like forever. I started them when I was a kid & was in the hospital for a while. I remember my pediatrician saying I ought to look into getting them published. I obviously never have. I have through twitter found another cat on the internet who draws mazes… he sells them online & at art shows and has used LuLu to publish some books. Is that a good avenue to explore?
I have an idea for what I think would be an amusing photo book… but how does one go into execution of such an idea? Do I even have time for something like this?
Would I use something like deviantART to set up shop? How do I get prints made from original artwork? Should I settle for a Cafe Press or Zazzle store? Ha ha. I’d like to put photography in the mix too, eventually. Every once in a while I capture some stuff that would look great on someone’s wall. How do I sell the stuff online without the seller site making most of the money, or without breaking the bank in setting up a site & paying any maintenance fees while not selling anything… therefore eventually losing money?
People have also told me that I ought to get paid to write. I must confess, I would most likely be an editor’s nightmare. I jump tenses like hopscotch, and my grammar & typing can be quite poor… even though I can differentiate between you’re and your and the apparently difficult they’re/there/their. (Is it just me, or do they all sound totally different if you’re pronouncing them correctly?) If you would like to pay me to write, I will certainly take your money.
I don’t think I do well with deadlines or commissions though. I don’t work well with others’ ideas. I’d like to make my own mazes, drawings, paintings, photos, etc. at my own pace. Although, I aim to be productive with art, & maybe buy some more camera accessories, or a new amp, guitar, or some other new goofy instrument or piece of equipment. (Because I apparently can’t make any money as a musician unless I join/form a human jukebox band – and let’s face it; I’m a poor guitarist. Ha ha.)
As you can see, I’m all over the place. I need focus/direction. I guess I’m just looking for advice beyond the “you should publish a book” or “you should sell your photos” or the “you should write for someone” point. I get that, and accept that… but how? I’m looking for specifics here. I’d like to hear “I use such & such & it’s fantastic, and works like…” and not “I think my cousin’s uncle’s mother’s neighbor uses blah blah blah, …I think.” Are you an artist? How do you sell your work? Hit me with your wisdom!
Posted in artwork, Books, fliers, Life, Mazes, Photos, Rants in my pants, \m/
Tagged Airbrush, art, artist, Batman, book idea, Books, Cafe Press, Cafepress, Comic book, Comics, DC, Deviant Art, deviantART, drawing, ebay, ecommerce, Etsy, fliers, flyers, goofy websites, I, inspiration, lazy, lazy artist, LuLu, LuLu.com, Marvel, Maze, maze book, Mazes, me, Mickey Mouse, my, painting, photo book, photography, Photos, preproductions, prints, Publishing, Regretsy, Spider-Man, starting, starving artist, Superman, Wolverine, Zazzle
Numbers Stations. I want to say that I’ve heard of them before, but recently they’ve popped up in a Fringe episode and in Uncle John’s Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader, and they’ve piqued my interest. Ham Radio always seemed cool to me, and growing up in the 80’s there was a very USA vs. USSR cold war spy thing going on that feeds into my interest of these things.
The general consensus is that these number stations are broadcasting some type of code, most likely with a “one-time” pad which would make each code impossible to crack unless you had the key.
What are they doing now though? The cold war’s over, right? What’s their use? Spies are still out there & active, apparently.
The UJ article Numbers on the Radio is a really good read! It lead me to search the internet and come across these recordings free for the downloading: http://www.archive.org/details/ird059
This kind of stuff fascinates me. I’m definitely going to have to read more on the subject!
Posted in Books, Life
Tagged 6955, 6955 kHz, Amature Radio, boradcast, BRI Bathroom Reader's Institute, cloak & dagger, code, Cokeds, Cold War, creack, Fox, Fringe, Ham Radio, Heavy Duty, Internet Archive, J.J. Abrams, key, Numbers Station, Numbers Stations, One-time, pad, Shortwave Radio, spies, tones, Uncle John, Uncle John's Bathroom Reader, Uncle John's Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader, USA, USSR
While browsing the humor section at Borders the other day, I had more than a few books in my hands, and kept putting them back. Then, I went over to the general reference section. I also had 3 or 4 books in my hand there. Then I put them back.
Generally, I’m a sucker for books filled with useless information in short bursts. I like to read before I go to bed, and I generally find it hard to put down something that has a continuous story.
Do Ants Have Assholes?: And 106 of the World’s Other Most Important Questions is one that is definitely in my mental checklist of books to grab on one of the next few trips.
I finally wt back to humor & picked up The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. I’ve had it in my hand before, but I’ve always put it back. My friend Joel visited while we were at camp and actually recommended that I get my hands on this one.
Boy, am I glad that I got this one. I’m not too far in, but so far the imagery that Jacobs puts forth surrounding his quest (or struggle?) is hilarious. I have a feeling that not only is the book going to get even more funny, but I think there will be a warm-fuzzy feeling at the end. Ha ha.
From the book itself:
Everyone – family, friends, co-workers – had the same concern: That I’d go native. That I’d end up as a beekeeper at a monastery or I’d move into my ex-uncle Gil’s spare room in his Jerusalem apartment.
In a sense, they were right to worry. You can’t immerse yourself in religion for 12 months and emerge unaffected. At least I couldn’t. Put it this way: If my former self and my current self met for coffee, they’d get along okay, but they’d both probably walk out of the Starbucks shaking their heads and saying to themselves, “That guy is kinda delusional.”
As someone who was brought up in church, but who also appreciates things like logic… this book really hit home with me. Around Jr. high, I started driving some more straight-laced ministers insane with questions. Not long after that, I found the ones with a healthy sense of humor and realism that helped me see where religion can fit into an everyday normal existence without being overbearing or ridiculous.
A.J. comes at the subject as an agnostic but with a healthy respect for the process. He recognizes the good in religion along with the insanity. He points out the insanity and makes it humorous without mocking. That has got to be a difficult thing to do.
His visits with an Amish family, and we learn that some Amish have deadpan humor down to a science. He has an Orthodox Jewish clothing fiber inspector come to his house to make sure that his clothing isn’t made of mixed fibers. (Yeah, that’s actually in the bible.) I’m anxious to see who we visit next.
I can’t wait to finish this book, and already recommend it to anyone who has ever wondered about all those crazy rules… or all those crazy Christians/Jews/[Insert religion here]. I’m definitely going to pick up Know it All soon too.
Posted in Books, Funny Stuff, Reviews
Tagged A.J., A.J. Jacobs, Bible, Books, Christ, Christian, Commentary, humor, Jacobs, Jew, Jewish, Living, Reading, religion, Rules, The Year of Living Biblically
Who? I don’t know either. Cory Doctorow. At least when this website analyzed my blog containing my recent letter to McDonald’s.
From his Wikipedia page, Mr. Doctorow seems pretty cool. I’ll take it.
Recently I found myself at Borders, planning to purchase another one of Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers, but I already have all the ones that they had there on the shelf (except for Wise Up, but I don’t know if I like the format of that one), and I’m impatient, so I decided to look around for another book in the humor section.
I found myself drawn to Little Billy’s Letters. Bill Geerhart is like me. He likes to annoy others with goofy letters. His angle is that he’s writing these letters from Billy, his inner child. I’m only about a quarter of the way through the book, and it is ridiculously entertaining.
What do , Don’t Even Reply, the Church of Scientology, and Donald Rumsfeld all have in common?: They — and many others — have answered letters from “Little Billy”, a grown man with a cache of stamps and far too much time on his hands. Funny, touching, and delightfully quirky, Billy’s letters cover a broad range of subject matter:
- Operation Drop-Out: Considering dropping out of elementary school, Billy writes to serial killers and celebrities seeking their wise counsel.
- Billy’s Law: Which Supreme Court Justice prefers the Big Mac to the Whopper? Who is Janet Reno’s favorite crime fighter? What does Robert Shapiro say is the best defense for being framed for murder? Billy finds out.
- The Making of the Class President: Billy runs for class president and collects “endorsements” from Nancy Reagan, Dick Cheney, George HW Bush, Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, Ken Starr, and Colin Powell.
- Choosing My Religion: Billy asks representatives from the Catholic, Presbyterian, Mormon, Raelian, Satanic, Scientologist, Hare Krishna and Unification Church (Moonies) what is “cool” or “easy” about their religion.
Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Celebrities, Heads of Corporations, Serial Killers, Robot Makers, and the NesQuick Bunny have all replied to “Little Billy’s” scrawled questions.
In the ’90s and 00’s a grown man–in the guise of a child–wrote prank letters to politicians, CEOs, serial killers and others. “Little Billy’s Letters,” available March 9th from HarperCollins, is a collection of this insane correspondence.
Heh. Right up my alley, right?
The replies from Charles Manson (& some Manson Family members) had me cracking up… making it even more funny is the fact that I probably shouldn’t be laughing at anything involving serial killers.
Advice from Bob Dole or Dan Quayle on anything is probably always hilarious.
Check out some awesome re-printed samples thanks to Boingboing: Little Billy’s Letters to famous and infamous people
It reminds me of some of my other absolute favorite books. Idiot Letters by Paul Rosa is the first one of this kind that I picked up, and I think my favorite by default. Then there was The Complete Idiot Letters (also by Rosa). I think I also have Letters From a Nut, More Letters From a Nut, & Extra Nutty! Even More Letters From a Nut! by Ted L. Nancy. If they’re not at my house, I’m sure they’re at my mom’s in my old room. It seems to almost be an emerging genre… There are a lot of similar books and even websites out there.
Maybe I need to get back to writing some more goofy letters & emails.
At any rate, I suggest picking up this book, or getting it at the library or in your Kindle or iPad or whatever you crazy kids do to read these days. It’s absolutely hilarious.
Posted in Books, Funny Stuff, Letters, Retailers
Tagged Amazon, Amazon.com, Bathroom Reader, Beer, Bill Geerhart, Billy's Letters, Bob Dole, Boing Boing, boingboing, Borders, Busch, Catholic, Charles Manson, Charlie Manson, Church of Scientology, Class President, Colin Powell, Complete Idiot Letters, Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Don't Even Reply, Donald Rumsfeld, DontEvenReply.com, e-mail, e-mails, E-mails From An Asshole, Email, emails, Extra Nutty! Even More Letters From a Nut!, facebook, Famous, funny, George Bush, George HW Bush, Gerald Ford, goofy, Hare Krishna and Unification Church, HarperCollins, hilarious, Idiot Letters, Infamous, inner child, iPad, Janet Reno, Ken Starr, Kindle, Letter, Letters, Letters From a Nut, Little Billy, Little Billy's Letters, Manson Family, Moonies, More Letters From a Nut, Mormon, Mustafi, Nancy Reagan, NesQuick Bunny, Operation Drop-Out, Paul Rosa, Presbyterian, Raelian, religion, Robert Shapiro, Satanic, Scientologist, serial killers, Ted L. Nancy, Tori Spelling, Uncle Charlie, Uncle John's, Uncle John's Bathroom Reader, Wise Up