5/22/2015

Unipiper Plays Bagpipes Balancing on BB-8
We'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's strangest and geekiest moments in this week's "Geek Bits."

Links

This Spider-Man Car is Amazing 
To celebrate Spider-Man’s long-awaited welcome into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, here’s a custom 2000 Toyota Celica that honours the webbed hero.


Batman Rollercoaster Offers Riders Darkness...No Parents...Plenty of Thrills
After being lifted straight up a 120-foot hill, this 4-D Wing Coaster challenges riders to "face their fears" as they flip head-over-heels at least six times along the weightless, tumbling journey. Along the way, riders face hills and unexpected drops along with an interactive ride experience. BATMAN: The Ride gives riders an experience simulating flying like batman.


For Some Reason No One Bought This Star Trek Themed Mansion for $35 Million
The mansion belongs to Marc Bell, the former CEO of networking site FriendFinder. The 27,000-square-foot, eight-bedroom, 16-bath estate at 3682 Princeton Place is like a private resort, tucked away in a gated community and designed for entertaining with three bars. It’s also equipped with a 9-car garage with car lifts, an arcade, 1,500-bottle wine cellar, gym, Xbox gaming room and a basketball court. The property is off the market and remains unsold. Why?!


Meet the real-life superhero who dresses up as a giant grasshopper to hunt for "drink-drivers"
Supported by the police and wearing an armband identifying him as an official drink-drive patrolman, Kumagai is funded by local Buddhist Priest Fukumitsu, the head of the Gokurakuji Temple. Dressed like a member of Kamen Riders and the police say "he is actually raising awareness of the dangers of drink driving and is catching people at it who he then reports to the police. Every city should have a Kamen Rider."


British Police Are Terrified That Fans Of Star Trek Would "Go Mad" Or "Start A Weird Cult"
According to UK’s Telegraph this weekend, British police and intelligence agencies were monitoring fans of shows like Star Trek and The X-Files in the run-up to the Millennium “amid fears that British fans would go mad and kill themselves, turn against society or start a weird cult.”

You Can Now Play As Superman In Grand Theft Auto 5

A Guy Dressed Up Like Superman to Streak a Rugby Field


Artist’s Beautiful Illustrations of Kids Playing as Star Wars Characters Perfectly Capture Childhood

Reviews

Television

Star Trek: The Animated Series - "The Time Trap" (01x12) - Recommended
I didn't watch this episode, but here are some reviews from awesome blogs

Movies

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - Recommended
I didn't watch this movie, but here are some reviews from awesome blogs
What do you think of this week's links and reviews?


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5/21/2015

You know those stories you read of geek fathers introducing their children to the classics of nerd-dom like Star Wars and Batman? I love those stories. I envy those stories. But that never happens to me.

I've got three kids. Boys. Youngest is three, oldest is eight. Never have I seen more of a culture gap than I do when I show them my favorite sci-fi movies. I always expect them to look upon these treasures with wonder. I imagine seeing them for the first time through their eyes. I imagine bonding with them over the common love of science and just plain coolness, going back to my youth.

Instead, this is what happens. Allow me to transport you to our living room on movie night...

E.T. the Extraterrestrial

Star Wars IV: A New Hope

Batman

What other movies should I force my kids to watch?

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Star Trek (1968) "Spectre of the Gun" - Chekov (Walter Koenig), Scotty (James Doohan), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Kirk (William Shatner)
 Should Star Trek be less "Star Trek-y"? Simon Pegg is writing the next Star Trek movie and he was given very specific instructions from the studio. According to Slashfilm, Paramount decided to make big changes in the tone of the next film. Pegg told Radio Times, "They had a script for Star Trek that wasn' t really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little bit too 'Star Trek-y'. [Avengers: Age of Ultron], which is a pretty nerdy, comic-book, supposedly niche thing, made $1.5 [billion] dollars. Star Trek: Into Darkness made half a billion, which is still brilliant. But it means that, according to the studio, there's still $1 billion worth of box office that don 't go and see Star Trek. And they want to know why."

According to Pegg that might mean making a western, thriller or a heist movie, then "populate that with Star Trek characters so it s more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent. "

The article points out that this is familiar to fans of the TV series who saw the characters explore many genres on the show. Both the original series and Star Trek the Next Generation played with genres like Westerns, Medieval adventures and film noire.

It's important to remember that they want to contradict the stereotypes of Star Trek as being boring and melodramatic and not necessarily take away what makes Star Trek wonderful. With fans complaining about he difference in tone of the last two movies, will they accept an even more change?

The Star Trek Into Darkness sequel (rumored Star Trek Beyond) is directed by Justin Lin and will be released July 8, 2016.

What do you think?



If you're on Twitter join in the discussion!

   

Do you have an idea for a poll? Send it to us by emailing geektwins (at) gmail.com!

Should Star Trek be more like Transformers or Star Wars? What's your most and least favorite thing about Star trek? Which is your favorite Star Trek movie and why?


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5/20/2015

For a long time, the Empire State Building was the preferred landmark to be destroyed by Hollywood. Starting with King Kong and continuing through Independence Day, a lot of monsters and aliens liked to smash that skyscraper. But over time, a new landmark has emerged as a target of destruction: the Golden Gate Bridge. Here are seven movies that smashed up one of America's most celebrated bridges.

1. The Core
In this disaster movie, the Earth's core has stopped spinning, and a team plans to bore to the center of the Earth to restart it. One side effect of the core's stationary movement is that the Earth's magnetic field is collapsing, causing deadly radiation to leak through. At one point, a beam of radiation cuts the Golden Gate Bridge in half. That won't help with the commute.

2. Godzilla (2014)
In the remake of the classic monster movie, an ancient dinosaur rises from the ocean to wreak havoc on Mankind. In the original movie, Godzilla invaded Tokyo. In the first American remake, Godzilla attacked New York. With the second attempt, Godzilla headed to the City by the Bay, and headed straight for the bridge. But at least he left it in better shape than the others in this list.

3. It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955)
When radiation affects an ancient creature, it rises up to attack San Francisco. Wait, didn't we just do this one? Oh, this one's an octopus. In this old-school classic, a giant octopus rises from the ocean to wrap its tentacles around the bridge and tear it apart. All those cables are no match for eight strong arms.

4. Megashark vs. Giant Octopus
When a glacier melts, it releases two prehistoric creatures, a giant shark and a giant octopus. Being natural mortal enemies, they fight. That's the premise of this movie, which didn't have too much to recommend it. Except of course, the part where the megashark bites the Golden Gate Bridge in half. Because that could totally happen. It's a known fact that the bridge tastes like baby seals.

5. Meteor Storm
When a rogue comet pulls asteroids out of its normal orbit, Earth is bombarded by a deadly meteor shower. Hence the name of this 2010 TV movie. For some reason, the asteroids seem to focus their attention on San Francisco, tearing the Golden Gate Bridge apart. Unfortunately, the movie version of this scene was not as good as the poster's.

6. Pacific Rim 
In the near future, monsters from another dimension called kaiju are invading Earth, and we need giant robots to fight them. The first attack occurs at San Francisco, and we watch the enormous kaiju tear the Golden Gate Bridge apart. While we see many scenes of destruction, this proved that if San Fran goes, so goes the world.

7. X-Men: The Last Stand
In the third of the X-Men movie series, Magneto leads a gang of mutants into civil war against the government. At the climactic battle, Magneto uses his awesome powers to rip the entire Golden Gate bridge loose and moves it to become a bridge to Alcatraz. At least he kept it all in one piece.

Which was your favorite destruction? What other landmarks do you enjoy seeing destroyed?

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Who's the most lethal character in the Marvel universe?

Morphsuits contacted us about their very cool infographic "The Deadliest Killers of Earth-616! Murderers of Marvel". They describe this way:

"Who is the deadliest character in the Marvel Universe? Wolverine? The Hulk? Deadpool?

"We’ve had furious debates over this in the MorphCostumes office, pitting characters against one another in imaginary fights to the death.

'This month, we decided to settle the argument once and for all. We combed our comic archives and ranked the deadliest Marvel characters, based on the number of people they’ve killed. From dangerous and deadly to downright lethal, here are the biggest killers in the main Marvel universe!"

"The Deadliest Killers of Earth-616! Murderers of Marvel" by Morph Costumes


What do you think of infographic? Who do you think is the most lethal Marvel character?

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5/19/2015

You probably don't know the name John Underkoffler, but you definitely know his work. Remember when you watched Minority Report, and saw Tom Cruise use his hands to navigate a virtual computer interface? That was Underkoffler. How about when you saw the opening credits of Hulk and saw David Banner gathering DNA from starfish and lizards to experiment on himself? That was Underkoffler. And how about the famous ARC reactor in Iron Man, the generator that powered his armor and exploded in the climax? All Underkoffler.

Underkoffler is what's known as a "technologist," a vague term that really means he works on technology in the real and movie world. He worked behind the scenes to come up with ideas for scientific concepts in many movies, including Iron Man, Ang Lee's Hulk, and Minority Report. Underkoffler gave some fascinating insight into how he conceived of the scientific underpinnings of the three movies.

1. Hulk (2003)

Whether you love or hate this movie, you have to admit that it made the Hulk's origin far more complex than ever before. The original comic's origin of Bruce Banner being hit by gamma rays from a bomb was turned into a metaphor. In its place, the Hulk became the end result of a fusion of genetic engineering, human experimentation, radiation poisoning, and nanotechnology. Here's how Underkoffler came up with it, as described in Engadget.
In Hulk, Ang Lee realized that all of the characters were scientists and that was the storyline, so it was about proposing plausible mechanisms by which the Hulk might actually work in a real world. If science and technology are going to be a part of the story, someone like me comes in right at the beginning as the script is taking shape. Working on Hulk, for instance, there was a lot at the script level that needed context and had to be figured out. The main thing that Ang [Lee] was interested in was the history -- what series of experiments or mishaps actually gave rise to the Hulk? That process took six months until we figured out how all the pieces would fit together. What we ended up with is a kind of Frankenstein story, which is completely laid out in the opening credits.
2. Iron Man (2008)
It's hard to imagine the movie Iron Man without the ARC reactor. I mean, the brilliant invention is what powers his company and his home. It's what powers Tony Stark's heart implant and allows him to escape from captivity. It's what ultimately frames the massive final battle between Iron Man and Ironmonger. That's why I was surprised to find out it wasn't in the original script. Here's how Underkoffler came up with it, courtesy of Engadget.
In Iron Man, the very first one for instance, there was a need for a giant, dangerous thing for the final fight scene. And presumably, whatever it would be, needed to explode and cause massive havoc and be the punctuation mark at the end of the story. When I was looking around, I thought you know, Tony [Stark] is interested in energy, obviously; he's got this thing on his chest that's not an infinite energy source, but it's really important to power his suit. So I said, let's take a look at the tokamak, a ring-shaped fusion-containment device that originated in the former Soviet Union, but it's now a focal area as an energy source for nuclear fusion. It's resonant; it's Toroidal [a doughnut-shaped object] just like the thing on Tony's chest. So, of course, he would have a giant tokamak fusion reactor at Stark Industries. In a way, that illustrates how you're looking at all the properties of some real-world technology -- the color, the shape, what it sounds like, what's the scale, how do you connect to it -- when enough of those elements belong in a story, you know you have a very important piece.
Minority Report (2002)

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise played a cop who works with psychics to arrest criminals before they ever commit a crime. One of the most striking and influential scenes is when Cruise uses a gesture-based system to manipulate images on a computer display. His interface has carried off into other movies and TV shows, including Iron Man. Here's how Underkoffler developed it, courtesy of Movieweb.
We were all sitting around thinking, 'Well, it can't be that the whole mouse and Windows thing is as good as it ever gets?' How do you get more of human expression through these machines so we can really get stuff done? I had built a series of systems called the Luminous Room. I was just finishing up a bunch of projects when Alex first visited the lab, actually it was Alex and Jerry Moss, the prop master on Minority Report. They were just generally looking around, trying to figure out what pieces of emerging technology could possibly fit in the film, what they could import, essentially. We really hit it off and I think that the some of the notions of alternate interfaces resonated with him, because Steven had said, 'I don't want to see any keyboards.' He also said no voice technology, which is great. I loved that he really wanted to try something new. I think that Alex thought that the Luminous Room fit with Spielberg's mandate, so he got me to come aboard and we refined the idea, simplified it. What had actually worked, in an academic setting, was now imported into a film and clarified in the process of preparing for the film.
The sad thing is that Underkoffler isn't working on movies any more. But the exciting thing is that he's working on bringing Minority Report's technology into the real world. He's currently working at Oblong Industries, developing new user interfaces that use gestures and real-world objects to manipulate data.



What do you think of his technology? Which was your favorite? Would you use Oblong's interfaces?

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Catwoman (2004) - Catwoman (Halle Berry)
Here's every actor who's played a character in a DC and Marvel movie or television show. It gets confusing when you have actors playing multiple roles. One minute you see Johnny Storm and the next he's playing Captain America. Is that the guy from Green Lantern or X-Men?

But, it gets even more confusing when actors cross the lines from playing Marvel comic book characters to DC characters and vice versa. So, to help keep it straight, here's a list of actors that have appeared in multiple franchises for both Marvel Studios and DC Comics.

View post on imgur.com


Which is your favorite actor? Do you prefer their Marvel or DC performance?

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5/18/2015

Black Angel (1980)
Watch the two long-lost short films that played before Star Wars. Back in the day it was common for short films to play before movies. This is before they started playing commercials. Pixar is known for keeping up the tradition, but whole generations have grown up without watching a film before the film. The original Star Wars trilogy was no exception, but the films were lost to generations. Now, thanks to the Internet, fans can watch the two films that opened before Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back for free on YouTube.

Black Angel (1980)

Before Empire Strikes Back audience watched Black Angel, a short medieval film written and directed by Star Wars art director Roger Christian. Made for a mere £25,000 gifted to him by George Lucas he shot the film in Scotland and it was shown before the theatrical release of the second Star Wars film in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Scandinavia. It heavily influenced director John Boorman in the look of Excalibur. It was never shown again because the original negatives were thought to be lost. In 2011 negatives were discovered and a few days ago Christian released it on YouTube.


Dilemma (1981)

Before Return of the Jedi audiences watched the computer animated film Dilemma directed by John Halas and Eric Brown and created using the videoCel system by Computer Creations Inc. The music was composed by Richard Arnell and Dave Hewson. Halas was a pioneer in animation and created this award-winning short. It's one of the earliest fully digitised computer-animated films and posed an eternal question Halas had wondered about for years: will man's inevitable progress bring about his destruction? Considering how ground-breaking the special effects were in the Star Wars films it's no wonder that it was chosen to accompany the film.



What do you think of short films? Do you remember watching any of these?

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5/17/2015

Source: CW/DC
Hot off the heels of the trailer for Supergirl comes this new trailer for another DC TV series. They basically took some of the characters they've introduced from the two existing DC series (Arrow and The Flash) to form a new team of heroes and villains. It's the Atom, Captain Cold, Heatwave, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, and White Canary. This motley crew is Legends of Tomorrow. Led by time traveller Rip Hunter, they'll be traveling time and space to stop an immortal evil warlord named Vandal Savage.



[Via Screenrant]

What do you think of Legends of Tomorrow?

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5/15/2015

Asa Butterfield is Spider-Man [Source]

Since Asa Butterworth may be the new Spider-Man, here are some articles you need to read about him.

Links

Asa Maxwell Thornton Farr Butterfield was born 1 April 1997 in England. He's best known for playing Bruno in the Holocaust film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), the young Mordred in the hit BBC TV Series Merlin, Norman in the 2010 film Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, and Hugo for Martin Scorsese's Hugo (2011) and Ender Wiggins the movie Ender's Game (2013). He's still been acting and has starred in Morgan Matthews' X+Y and Ten Thousand Saints.

1. Rumor: Asa Butterfield is Spider-Man

 2. Asa Butterfield's Facebook Page

3. Asa Butterfield's Twitter account

4. Asa Butterfield's Instagram Page

5. How tall is Asa Butterfield?
Everyone is showing pictures of him when he's ten years old. he's 5' 10" (1.78 m) now.

6. Video: Teenage Dirtbag (Mash-Up) by Asa ButterfieldIn 2004, at the age of seven, Asa made a mashup of the songs 'Teenage Dirtbag' (by Wheatus) and 'Making plans for Nigel' (by XTC), and he also sings on it, for a contest in his school. He won a Fender guitar, and his song aired live on the radio.

7. 8 Things To Know About Hugo’s Asa Butterfield!

9. ‘Ender’s Game’ Star Asa Butterfield Reveals His Painful Space Camp Regiment
Butterfield is used to working on physically demanding movies

10. Asa Butterfield, 'Hugo' Star, Talks Martin Scorsese, 3D and 'Ender's Game'


Reviews

Television

Star Trek: The Animated Series - "The Terratin Incident" (01x11) - Recommended

Wikipedia Synopsis: "In this episode, after an apparent attack, the crew of the Enterprise find themselves beginning to shrink in size toward the point that they will no longer be able to control the ship."
This episode is fun, but Captain Kirk makes the most shocking mistakes in judgement that I've ever seen. First, he leaves his mission the investigate of a planet to search for a message that has two words. He doesn't understand the words and has no way of knowing if it's important. Then, when his chief science officer Mr. Spock warns him that it would be dangerous to go into a planet's atmosphere he goes anyway after checking with his engineering chief. The crew is almost stranded and he decides the best thing to do is send the captain to the planet alone with no guarantee that he can get back in ten minutes. Anyway, it all works out, but what a horrible captain he is.The scientific explanation of everything by Paul Schneider is wonderful and really well-done. It's a great and fun episode.
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