Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer has been released in all it’s glory. T minus 56 days to go. I was able to watch it live when it was released at halftime of last night’s Giants disaster in Philadelphia. Watching it a few times afterwards on YouTube really helped put the nuggets of information into more perspective.

We were able to purchase tickets this morning, but not without some major troubles. The AMC Theaters website was crying bloody murder last night over the volume of traffic to the site. Supposedly, Fandango was not any better. It is not surprising as I doubt any tech company save Apple, Google, or Amazon could have handled what I would imagine was unprecedented levels of traffic trying to buy tickets.

Under two months until the re-boot of the Star Wars saga. I only hope that the movie can live up to the hype and expectations.

If you are interested in decorating your computer/device desktop with some Star Wars backgrounds, feel free to check out the Star Wars Desktop Wallpapers that I have created.

Tetris Turns 30

The simple yet ultra addictive game Tetris turns 30 years old today. Granted, it’s not nearly as popular as it was ‘back in the day’ but somehow, over the years, the game has survived and continued to have a life of it’s own.

Five years ago Google even honored the game with a Google Doodle.

Tetris junkies can find ample options to play the game online:

Free Tetris
Tetris 24 Hours A Day
Tetris on iTunes/Apple
Tetris on Google Play

Rise of the Flappy Bird

David Kushner from Rolling Stone traveled half way around the world and hunted down Dong Nguyen, the reclusive creator of the popular and viral sensation game Flappy Bird:

Two weeks after the demise of Flappy, I’m taxiing past pagodas and motorbikes to the outskirts of Hanoi, a crowded, rundown metropolis filled with street vendors selling pirated goods, to meet with Nguyen, who has agreed to share with Rolling Stone his whole story for the first time. With the international press and local paparazzi searching for him, Nguyen has been in hiding – fleeing his parents’ house to stay at a friend’s apartment, where he now remains. Although dot-com millionaires have become familiar in the U.S., in Vietnam’s fledgling tech community they’re all but unheard of. When the country’s first celebrity geek, a boyish, slight guy in jeans and a gray sweater, walks hesitantly up and introduces himself, he measures his words and thoughts carefully, like placing pixels on a screen. "I was just making something fun to share with other people," he says with the help of a translator. "I couldn’t predict the success of Flappy Bird."

Apparently, Nguyen has a couple more games coming out (Kitty Jetpack and Checkonaut), slated to be released this month) on top of a game he actually released before Flappy Bird (Shuriken Block) and he even raised the prospect of re-releasing Flappy Bird. Whether Nguyen intended to or not, his move to pull Flappy Bird down at an apex of popularity may have been his most brilliant move. If Flappy Bird get’s released again, it may just break a lot of digital things and the ‘halo effect’ of Flappy Bird can only help any other games he releases now and in the future.

via Rolling Stone

And Now For Something Completely The Same

Saw this bit in the NY Times today about how the remaining members of Monty Python are planning a reunion tour of some sort. Seems it has been in some form of discussion for a few months now.

While I think this is interesting news, something tells me it won’t be nearly as funny as the originals when they were much much younger.

But it’s not about the art. It’s about the money.

You will not find a bigger Python fan than yours truly. However, I am skeptical that revisiting their classic bits as ~70 year old men will enhance their legacy. How will they be able to top the comic timing of The Dead Parrot Sketch, Ministry of Silly Walks, Spam Spam Spam Eggs and Spam, and numerous others? And not to mention their masterpiece Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail.

I hope they prove me wrong. I really believe that comedy and movies from folks like Python should be left to let live based on the brilliance of their original work. Because as time goes by, you may see something in everyday life that reminds you of one of their skits (Like when you meet a person named Arthur Wilson. Or you see a postcard with Mount Kilimanjaro on it. Or you see a can of Spam.) and all you can do is smile.

Man On The Moon

Once again, the rumor that legendary comic Andy Kaufman is still alive is gaining steam almost 30 years after his ‘death’. I put ‘death’ in quotes because for these 30 years, it is exceedingly obvious that no one really knows the truth about if he actually died or if he faked his death.

For those of you unfamiliar, Kaufman was a comic who in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s took the world by storm with his innovative and irreverent acts, performance art, and elaborate pranks. Watch these videos here, here and here to get a taste of his act. Oh, and he also starred on one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1980’s, Taxi.

So this week at the 9th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards ceremony, which honors up and coming comics, the rumor of his faked death was re-invigorated yet again:

During the closing ceremony, Kaufman’s brother Michael took the stage during the closing ceremonies to once again address the rumors that his brother had not passed away from lung cancer in 1984, but was actually alive, and living in obscurity.

Michael shared a story of finding his brother’s elaborate plans to fake his own death after Andy had passed on, along with a note that he would reappear on Christmas Eve 1999 at his favorite restaurant. Michael went to the restaurant, and though Andy never showed, a letter was handed to him that explained that Andy had gone into hiding to live a normal life and now had a wife and daughter—but didn’t want anyone to find out while the Kaufmans’ father Stanley was still alive.

Stanley, who established the Andy Kaufman Awards nine years ago to recognize upcoming talent in the spirit of Andy (previous winners include Kristen Schaal and Reggie Watts), passed away this summer. According to Michael, a month afterwards, a 24-year old woman came forward to him, claiming that Andy had not died 29 years prior, was still very much alive, and quite grateful that the awards recognized young people who had been inspired by his work. The young woman, who was never named, came to the stage, though McCarthy doesn’t report her sharing any sort of story.

To paraphrase Verbal Kint, “The greatest trick Andy Kaufman ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

via Defamer.

Who Is Nick Beef?

November marks the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination and even to this day, the rumors and legends of who was behind his death continue to drive rabid interest.

Since 1996, a mysterious gravestone has sat adjacent to Lee Harvey Oswald’s in Shannon Rose Hill Cemetary in Fort Worth, TX which has fueled all sorts of chatter. Folks visiting Oswald’s grave couldn’t help but think that someone with a name like Nick Beef had to be associated with the Mafia. Problem is, the plot’s owner is alive, well and has no affiliation with “La Cosa Nostra” what so ever.

To begin with, Mr. Beef remains happily above the clay.

Affable, with gray-black hair slicked back, save for a stray curl or two, he sips tea at a cozy table at the Jack bistro in Greenwich Village, not far from his Manhattan apartment. With evident pride in possessing one of the more distinctive conversation starters in American discourse, he confirms that he owns the burial plot beside Lee Harvey Oswald’s.

Turns out “Mr. Beef” was at one point a stand up comic, writer, and father of two, who admits that he purchased the plot next to Oswald as somewhat of a morbid joke.

Via NYTimes.com

The Needle In the Haystack

For 77 years, researchers and historians have been fascinated by the disappearance of Emelia Earhart’s plane, which disappeared (crashed) during her attempt to fly around the world back in 1937. It was reported today on Discover News that researchers may have found the remains of her plane based on some ‘sonar anomalies’ that they observed when researching the area that has been narrowed down as the site via evidence collected over the years. The image above shows the area they have been researching along with the different items that have been detailed over the years. The Discover News site has a slideshow with more details.

I remember watching Leonard Nemoy’s “In Search Of…” as a kid and seeing the episode about her story. What an awesome discovery if this is it.

via Discovery News

Neon Museum

Vegas is the undisputed capitol of gaudy neon signs of all shapes and sizes. But where do the neon signs go when their time on “The Strip” have run their course? I’m glad you asked.

The letters appear here in the outdoor “boneyard” of the Neon Museum, just past a time-rubbed Aladdin’s lamp and a shattered signature of tubed glass that once heralded the Liberace Museum. A boneyard is an outdoor graveyard for discarded hardware and spare parts; in this case it contains the relics of an age of neon in a town that transmuted inert gases into things nearly alive.

The Neon Museum opened in the Fall of 2012 and seems to be worth a visit, along with the Mob Museum, on the Las Vegas Museum circuit.

via NYTimes.com