Monthly Archives

April 2010

On aliens

I’ve been watching my way through the History Channel series Ancient Aliens (which I didn’t realize had become a series, instead finding myself wondering why the special was on again and again) and I keep thinking to myself what I always think when we depict aliens in media: why would they look anything like us?!

Luckily, io9 steps up to the plate with an essay entitled “We’ll Only Find Extraterrestrial Life If We Know What We’re Looking For” that points out just how limiting it is to think that any sort of non-Earth entity would share much in common with life as we know it at all. We really need to stop depicting aliens exclusively as greys, bugs or slightly altered people (Star Trek, I’m looking at you.) Quoth the post:

This would be especially true of lifeforms that aren’t based on carbon or don’t use water as solvent, whose biochemistry would be nothing like ours. For these, we would have to fall back to the highest-order definition of life: an open system with negative entropy, emergent properties and ability to adapt and evolve, with an inner code which ensures that there will be strong continuity of form and function as the organism reproduces.

Check it out if your inner science fiction geek gets belligerent about this topic, too.

Tim Gunn, superhero

In case you missed it (or just totally forgot like I did,) I would like to take a moment to remind you that Tim Gunn will be wearing the Iron Man suit instead of his own in an upcoming comic series called Models, Inc.

It seems that Tim is going to be taking on the role of Charlie-figure for a band of models from across the Marvel universe. His first stop will be saving the day in Tony Stark’s suit when the bad guys crash a costume exhibition.

Most superheroes are fighting the same thing – good vs. evil – but who’s taking on crimes against fashion? Me!

Talk about making it work…

Yeah, really?!

TechCrunch asks “Why Doesn’t Facebook Look Like This?

For reference, “this” looks like this:

Designed by a firm called iA, the concept is brilliant in my humble opinion.  All aspects of the interface finally have a point and a coherent design theme (the mail/communications idea.)  Additionally, look at how much more touch friendly something like this promises to be!

So, for all of you who find Facebook to be more and more confounding with each passing revision, you aren’t losing your minds.  And we can take heart in knowing that the same cavalier attitude towards user experience presents a chance to do something radically better.  To quote TechCrunch:

But Facebook, perhaps more than any other web company, is good at knowing when to [..] ignore user complaints and push forward, to improve the product.

Enchantress of Numbers casting is awesome

By now, if you follow my blog, you have probably realized my small crush on Zooey Deschanel. To quote a post on summer movies of 2009:

500 Days of Summer – Okay, I’m not as excited about this one, but still. Zooey Deschanel is in it. Really, she could just stand on screen for two hours and stare and I’d probably still go to the theatre, plunk down $8 and come out loving it.

And, though not mentioned here – but discussed over at a work blog – I am also a really big fan of Ada Lovelace, the “mother of computer programming” following my exposure to her in The Difference Engine.

I just found out via Gizmodo today that not only is there a movie in the works about Ada Lovelace entitled Enchantress of Numbers but Zooey is possibly on board to play Ada.  Holy hell!

Honda’s new wave scooters

Did you know that in 1984, the year of my birth into this strange world, Honda asked influential musicians to promote their line of scooters?

Neither did I. But I love scooters and the 80s, so you can only imagine the joy I had at discovering this ad featuring Grace Jones while revisiting her ad for the Citroën CX:

Seriously, what the hell? And Devo:

I can guarantee you that my grandfather, eccentric as he was, did not base his 1984 Honda scooter purchase on this ad campaign (but, oh, how I wish he had!)

Yes, that is me on the back.

The following is from 1940

No, really. The man that looks essentially like just about any 20 – 35 year old white guy you’ve seen at an Apple store is, in fact, actually in the photo.

Those funky sunglasses? That stamped t-shirt and hippie shawl? The doofy, disinterested expression? He sure as hell doesn’t look like any Roosevelt-era bro I have ever seen.

Gizmodo has the full story. I’d love to track down the incongruous man to find out who he is and what was going on the day the photo was taken!