Saturday, September 16, 2017

And now for some interesting television trivia

Because I'm both bored and have acquired quite a bit of otherwise useless trivia.

Leave It to Beaver was both the first TV series to show a toilet and the first to have a series finale. The latter is interesting because apparently most shows at the time just ended when they were cancelled without a proper sendoff like long-running successful shows do now. Meanwhile, Star Trek has been around for fifty-one years and has never shown the former.

Hugh Beaumont, who played Ward Cleaver, retired from acting at the end of the show's run and became a tree farmer until his death in 1977. I guess after you've played the dad of a kid named 'Beaver', it's time to call it a career. When they did a reunion movie and subsequent spinoff back in the 80s, they explained Beaumont's absence as Ward having died a couple years prior.

Speaking of death, when Don Blocker from Bonanza died in 1972 from a pulmonary embolism, his character simply disappeared from the show without any onscreen explanation. It wasn't until the first Bonanza television movie that his character Hoss Cartwright was revealed to have drowned by trying to rescue a woman from, ironically, drowning. Similarly when the last TV movie was made after the death of Michael Landon, it was explained that his Little Joe character had been killed at the Battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War. Talk about a critical failure of character shields.

He wasn't working harder,
he was working smarter.
Credit: Sid Avery | IMDb.

Actor Fred MacMurray of The Absent-Minded Professor and The Apartment fame filmed all of his scenes for his show My Three Sons in two separate one month blocks each season in order to be free to continue making movies and playing golf. These were just his scenes, mind you, so the rest of the cast had to film around him.

One of the reasons The Rockford Files was cancelled despite its popularity is because years of doing his own stunts for both it and his previous show, Maverick, had wrecked James Garner's back and knees. Another reason is that the show frequently used well known guest stars that were more expensive than using ones that were more c-list or otherwise cheap.

Speaking of costs, that was the reason The Dukes of Hazzard was cancelled. The General Lee had to be replaced every episode because surprise, surprise, the cars couldn't survive the landing from those epic jump stunts. Eventually it just became too expensive for the network to keep buying 1969 Dodge Chargers. The show did briefly continue as a cartoon, however.

Ja'net Dubois, who played Willona Woods on CBS's 70s hit Good Times, also co-wrote and sang the theme for another of CBS's hit, The Jeffersons.

That's it for now. I plan on posting more and even doing ones focused on singular bits, like Ben Cartwright’s (from Bonanza) marital curse, the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, and more. If you enjoyed these, then let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bought some CDs the other day

Kids, if you don't know what a CD is, ask your older siblings and get the hell off my lawn. Joking aside, I don't buy music all that often because I just don't listen to it with any kind of regularity. Still, when someone is selling CDs 4/$1 and the selection is good, I'm buying.

 Oh man, this album. I remember hooplah that accompanied Jagged Little Pill because of its lead single "You Ought to Know". The song's frank look at a failed relationship from the point of view of the woman refreshing, while Alanis Morissette's use of "fuck" and blowjob reference was quite shocking at the time. Nowadays, blatant references to sex acts in music is blaise, but back then, "going down on you in the theater" and "do you think of me when you fuck her?" had people shook.

Of course, those references were bleeped out on radio version.

Jagged Little Pill also features "Ironic", a song that people like to point out contains very little in the way of irony. Still, lines like "he waited his whole damn life to take that flight and as the plane crash down, he thought 'isn't this nice'" and "ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife" are nice contrasts between serious and nonsensical verses.

Also, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that Alanis Morissette did two dance-pop albums before Jagged Little Pill. She's the real life Robin Sparkles/Robin Daggers (and if that was an intentional reference by the How I Met Your Mother Writers, then holy shit).

 I haven't listened to Dirt yet, but I have listened to "Rooster" many times over the years, so the rest of the album ought to be good. Layne Staley had one of the greatest voices in music - not just rock music, but music period - and his untimely death more than fifteen years ago was easily as big a blow as Kurt Cobain's.
 I'm going to be honest here, I bought this entirely because it has "Hip to be Square" on it and regardless of that scene from American Psycho, it's one of my personal favorites.

Turns out the rest of the album isn't bad either. Huey Lewis and the News are an amazing band that managed to capture recreate the sound and feel of classic rock and roll without it coming off as a gimmick. I like 80s music, but in a sea of new wave and synth pop whatever, Huey Lewis was a refreshing breeze.
None more black.

Metallica's self-titled fifth album could practically double as a greatest hits. "Nothing Else Matters", "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", and "Wherever I May Roam" all on the same album? Metallica evidently wanted to give buyers the most (head)bang for their buck.

My only regret here is that I didn't buy more CDs. There was a small plastic tub of them and I saw some choice albums, but I didn't go for them. Unfortunate.

All pictures via Wikipedia.

Friday, August 18, 2017

In the still of the night / I hear the wolf howl, honey / sniffing around your door

There's never a bad time for White Snake¹.

And if that's not enough, here's a pretty damn snazzy cover by the band Halestorm!

Lzzy Hale has some pipes on her, that's for sure.

¹Except, you know, during natural disasters, alien invasions, and when your president has clearly gone off the deep end.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nerding it up in a computer lab at General Dynamic's Astronautics Division, 1968.

Atlas Negative Collection Image

Jodie Whittaker reacting to people cosplaying the Thirteenth Doctor is cute as heck

I like the positive reaction, because I can imagine that being cast as The Doctor can be a bit overwhelming for anybody. I know I certainly would be! Kind of amazing that people are already cosplaying as the new Doc when we haven't even seen what she'll be wearing on the show. Then again, the fandom works fast.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Women clean up at the Hugo Awards

Note: This is a cross-post from my sci-fi blog, Rayguns and Space Suits.

You can see all of the nominees and winners here, but suffice to say, goddamn.

Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin.
Best Novella: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
Best Novelette: The Tomato Thief by Ursula Vernon.
Best Short Story: Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar.
Best Series: The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada Palmer.

Overall, women won 15 out of the 17 categories and counting Palmer netting the Campbell (which is award at the Hugos but isn't a Hugo), they won 16 altogether. Not a bad performance and well deserved. Oh, I'm sure there will be grumblings and teeth gnashing from a certain segment of the fandom over this, but I'll say here what I said on my Tumblr:
Write better. The success of women and writers of color at the Hugos and other SFF lit awards has nothing to do with their ethnicity or identity and everything to do with them just being better writers, editors, etc.
Being white, straight, and/or identifying with your assigned gender (because let's not overlook the fact that these groups include women) does not automatically mean you win awards.

Unless you create your own or manipulate a poorly planned one. *coughcoughDragonAwardscoughcough*

In any case, congrats to all of the winners and nominees.

Watch Jeff Goldblum talk about the importance of e-mail in this Apple iMac commercial

Well, I mean, e-mail was a lot more important back then than it probably is now. You had instant messaging like AIM, ICQ, and MSN Messenger, but those were all short-form messaging, like texting is today. E-mail was more long form, not unlike how Blogger and WordPress are to Twitter.

Then there's that Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan flick, You've Got Mail.

If this movie had been made today, Hanks and Ryan's characters would be texting instead of e-mailing each other and Ryan's character would probably be overusing the poop emoji. 💩

I honestly hate myself for using that emoji. I'm sorry.

Monday, July 3, 2017

I'll tell myself that I'm over you / Because I'm the king of wishful thinking

Bonus: Carly Rae Jepsen's cover.

Not a bad cover, but it could have been more upbeat. I'm guessing she never bothered to record it for an album.

Nerd Trash Icon of the Month: Velma Dinkley

Don't call it a comeback because I in all honesty don't know if this is will be a regular thing again.

The choice of Velma Dinkley is entirely inspired by Tim Knight's photo dump over on HeroPress, so you know, blame him. Velma has always been my favorite Scooby Doo character and it should be pretty obvious why: She's a nerd. Just look at her.

Mary Jane shoes, the skirt, the knee high socks, and of course, that ever present turtle neck. Throw in the glasses and even back then Velma probably would have been a wallflower. And yet, she was cool and smart. She made being smart cool.

Linda Cardellini.

Hayley Kiyoko.
Then there's the cosplay!







Wednesday, June 28, 2017

And now, a moment of culture: The Tyger by William Blake

It's like you're back in your high school english class!
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies,
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Anyways, here's a photo of WWE's Carmella riding a bus with her newly won (again) Money in the Bank briefcase

Context for the non-wrestling crowd: The briefcase contains a contract for a title match for the Smackdown Women's Championship. The case is won in a special ladder match where the winner has to climb a ladder (duh) and unhook the briefcase hanging over the ring. While the MitB match has been around for like a decade or more (it started out as a series of Wrestlemania matches before getting its own pay-per-view), this was the first year that women got one of their own.

Unfortunately, they had to redo the match last night before the first time around ended with controversary when James Ellsworth, Carmella's valet/manager/hanger-on climbed the ladder himself during the match, unhooked the briefcase and dropped it to her. So the non-really in power authority figure, Daniel Bryan, voided the outcome the following Tuesday and all five women - Carmella, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair (take a wild guess who her dad is), Natalya, and Tamina - got a do over.

Which Carmella won, but this time she did it on her own. Sure, Ellsworth did a run-in and tried to repeat his performance, but Lynch put a stop to that, but Carmella still did the deed herself.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

So the Han Solo movie is chugging along into disaster territory

And me without any popcorn! So no doubt you've heard the reports of the movie's original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street fame being fired over "creative differences". Those differences stemmed from the fact that Lucasfilm hired two directors known primarily for making comedies and were shocked that they making the Han Solo movie into a comedy.

Lord and Miller refused to change the direction of the movie and steer it back into what the studio wanted, so they were fired and replaced by Ron Howard, who'll see the movie through its remaining production and reshoots.

But baby, oh baby, this train has only just left the station and we're still chugging away towards disaster. Stories are surfacing today that lead actor Alden Ehrenreich's performance as the beloved scruffy looking nerf herder isn't exactly setting the producers hearts on fire. Even worse is that they supposedly had to hire an acting coach for him. io9's article on this says that hiring a coach in and of itself isn't unusual, but hiring one four months into production is.

Lucasfilm trying to figure out how they managed to hire someone to play lead in their big budget blockbuster without checking to see if he could even act in the first place.
Holy cheese and crackers, guys. Holy cheese and crackers. The Han Solo movie has a release date for May of next year, cats and dolls, that's about as likely to happen as Michael Bay winning a Best Director Oscar. My guess is that Lucasfilm scraps what they have and starts over from square one. I think they’ll probably also take the chance to recast Han. I think the rest of the cast and the script itself will survive.

Grab your popcorn, folks, it's going to be a hell of a train wreck.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The story behind Farrah Fawcett's famous poster is interesting

I honestly want one of my own.
I had planned on just posting the famous wall art and nothing more, but Vanity Fair's article about the poster is too interesting not to share.

Originally, the company behind the poster, Pro Arts, Inc, wanted Farrah Fawcett to wear a bikini, figuring wisely that that rocking body would sell more than a few posters. But there was one problem: Fawcett didn't own a bikini. Instead, she donned the now famous swimsuit, did her own hair and makeup, and after the addition of an old blanket on the back of photographer Bruce McBroom's truck, history was made.

More than that, Farrah Fawcett chose the picture sent to the company herself, first selecting six pictures from the 40 rolls taken, and finally the one you see above. Basically, she did everything but take the picture and print the posters herself, which back in the 70s was probably a remarkable thing.

And of course, as we all know, the poster of Farrah Fawcett in her red bathing suit and killer smile went on to become the best-selling poster in history. It's kind of funny in a way, because I doubt the idea that she was about to make history, to become iconic, probably ever occurred to her. She was just taking a photograph for a poster. The hands of fate took over after that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


I was tempted to make this a photo post of legendary adult actress Vanessa Del Rio, but not surprisingly finding non-nudes of her is rather difficult. I still want to do it, but I'll have to find and black bar the less explicit ones.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

That 70s aesthetic


I like the living room decor in the third to last picture. I would absolutely buy a couch like that and you'll never how much I want that wristwatch clock. Avocado green seems to have been a very popular color back then

Monday, June 12, 2017

Henry Cavill mustache you a question

Wow, just wow. I had no idea that Cavill could pull off wearing a 'stache like that without looking like an 80s gay porn star. Life changing, really.

H/t to Tanner and the most excellent Double O Section.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Michael B. Jordan is serving looks in Black Panther

He left us all a little weak-kneed.
But in all seriousness, I love the look. You can tell that Chadwick Boseman and the rest of the Black Panther cast had their work cut out for them with Jordan on set. And that's saying something with all the ridiculous talent that's in this movie.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

RIP Adam West

Batman may have been campy and all, but Adam West easily outranks every other actor who has donned the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

THE FINAL TRAILERS! (DOOT DOOT DOOT) - Nerd Trashzine Vol. 1, Issue 1.

Note: This is a new format that I'm playing around with for Nerd Trash. You see, I still want to post here, but I don't want to post every day, so this will hopefully be a weekly feature on here. I might add 'extra' content such as articles (as separate posts, of course) and whatnot in the future.

Movie trailers

A lot of soon to be released films have released their final trailers these past two weeks.

Wonder Woman

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

War for the Planet of the Apes

Spider-Man: Homecoming (I don't know, I keep seeing this called a final trailer)


Have some awe-inspiring photos of Jupiter courtesy of the Juno spacecraft.

Apparently, you can 3D print anything - including rockets.

Found: 7.2 million year old pre-human bones. Will return to owner.

And now for a intermission

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A moment of beauty: NXT Women's Champion Asuka

The world's cutest coldblooded murder machine (via Twitter).

It's worrisome how normal this looks

You would think that adding Saruman would look out of place or even ludicrous, but it doesn't and that's just surreal.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Jergertroppen, Norway's all-female special forces troops

I'm not Norwegian, but I feel safer already.

(Mohamed Madi/BBC)

(Mohamed Madi/BBC)
 The training programme was created because the Norwegian military realized that they needed combat trained women in places like Afghanistan where its easier for them to interact with women and children than it is for male soldiers. Also, why not? If they can do the job, then I say let women have combat roles in the military.

(Kevin Ponniah/BBC)

(Mohamed Madi/BBC)

Wow, the new Justice League movie looks amazing

Well, this has certainly turned me around on the movie; this is going to be a solid hit for sure!

(via The Robot's Voice)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A moment of beauty: Emily Ratajkowski


Breaking News: WWI British soldiers were litterbugs

(Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA)
And alcoholics, judging by the number of bottles.

Archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of whisky and gin bottles at the remains of a first world war British army barracks in the centre of Israel.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement that the camp, near the town of Ramle, was used by an expeditionary force under Gen Edmund Allenby for about nine months from November 1917 during a pause in the campaign against the Turkish army in Palestine.

The statement quoted excavation director Ron Toueg as saying the bottles were found among crockery shards and broken cutlery in a rubbish tip.

“About 70% of the waste that was discarded in the refuse pit was liquor bottles,” Toueg said. “It seems that the soldiers took advantage of the respite given them to release the tension by frequently drinking alcohol. The discovery of this site and the finds in it provide us with an opportunity for a glimpse of the unwritten part of history, and to reconstruct for the first time the everyday life and leisure of the soldiers.”
Apparently the difference between an archaeological dig and dumpster diving is about a century. Good to know.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Off Topic Tuesday: Delete your nudes, delete your nudes, delete your nuuuuuuudes!

So unless you've been living under a rock on one of the new found planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, you've no doubt have heard about the recent hacking and leaking of several celebrities private pictures. The body count so far is Emma Watson, Amanda Seyfried, Katie Cassidy, WWE (probably soon to be former) wrestler Paige, and probably more. You would think that after the earlier notorious leaks that the celebrity sector would at least try to exercise the bare minimum of security and delete those pictures off their phones and cloud storage after doing whatever they intend to do with them. Or attempt to conceal their identities so that if the content does get leaked, they'll have some deniability.

Regardless, it's an egregious violation of their privacy that has become all too common these days. The fact that these women or any women for that matter have taken such personal pictures isn't the issue because their bodies belong to them and no one else. That they chose to share those pictures with other people is their own business. None of this entitles those same pictures and other content to be shared with the public without their consent and that's when their privacy is violated.

I don't really understand the appeal, myself. If you're really set on seeing a celebrity such as Amanda Seyfried au naturel, then just google for any number of pictures she's done nudity in. Chloe? Lovelace? Undoubtedly tons more. The same applies with many others who have bared it on camera, so leaking or even just looking at their private pictures is more than just wanting to see a pair of breasts. I think on some level, there's a mentality that if you leak them or disperse them or look at them that you're "taking them down a peg" or "teaching them a lesson" for taking the pictures or recording the videos in the first place. I don't doubt for a second that that was the reason why Emma Watson - a prominent and very vocal feminist - was hacked and leaked. It goes to the idea that women shouldn't be sexually expressive creatures, that to do so is immoral and the leaks are a form of public slut-shaming. We're not as progressive as we like to think and things like this just go to show how far we still have to go.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Seven down, eight to go

So remember back at the beginning of the year when I posted about my reading goals for the year? If not, then you know, scroll down like three or four spots. Anyways, one of them was to read at least fifteen books. It was my goal last year and I more than surpassed it, and this year looks no different. Three months into the year and I'm already halfway there with seven books down and eight left to go.

Here's the list so far:
  • Tooth and Nail - Ian Rankin
  • Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb
  • His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik
  • Old Man's War - John Scalzi
  • The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
  • Night Train to Rigel - Timothy Zahn
  • The Last Colony - John Scalzi
 I'm actually blown away by the fact that I read four sci-fi novels in a row. One of my big gripes last year is that I didn't think I read enough of the stuff, especially compared to all the fantasy novels. I'm not going to read too much into my slow start on the latter because that's what it is, a slow start. By year's end, the number of fantasy books I've read will probably have tripled. The mystery/crime fiction needs some work because I want to read a lot more of it this year than I did last.

I highly recommend the Old Man's War series, btw. It's excellent.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Unpopular opinion: I hope Ghost in the Shell flops

Why? I think we all know why. If you don't, well, go and take a look at who's playing Motoko Kusanagi - Scarlett Johansson. Casting a white actress - even one that I like - to play an Asian character immediately sank the movie in my eyes. Otherwise, it would have been no problem at all if they had cast someone who is, you know, Japanese. I'm not alone in my feelings and the choice of casting Johansson has been the singular point of criticism ever since the casting was announced.

I've seen the movie defended with arguments that Kusanagi being played by a white actress is irrelevant because of the nature of the character's ability to change bodies and well, that argument is pretty irrelevant itself because at the end of the day the character is Japanese. Changing that is just plain as day white-washing and racist. It's also nothing new. A few years back, Warner Bros was going to do a live-action adaption of Akira and if I remember correctly, the project was sunk when word got out that they wanted to cast white actors and move the location from Neo-Tokyo to New York City.

It also brings to mind The Last Airbender, the live-action adaption of Avatar: The Last Airbender that was resoundingly lambasted for its casting choices and flopped at the box office. Just like Ghost in the Shell and any movie that white-washes or otherwise miscasts characters of color should because some studio exec things that it's the way to go. It's the 21st century folks, come on.

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 reading goals

2016 was a mighty good year when it came to reading. I found myself gripped with a sudden and never ending hunger to read and ended the year with 26 books under my belt, more than doubling the 12 I read the year before. Not bad, considering my goal was 15 books. So with the dawn of a new (and hopefully better) year, I figured it would be a good idea to come up with some goals.

I'm going to set the number of books I want to read this year to 15. I didn't think I could meet that number last year, but I proved myself wrong, so that should be an achievable number for me. I was tempted the set the number higher, but I don't want to go off half-cocked and set it too high. At the same time, that 15 is the minimum that I want to read and I sure as hell going to try and exceed it.

I want to increase the number of books written by women. I just did a tally and I only read books by six women. I don't know what would be a good number other than more than six.

I was thinking of diversity as well. As best I can remember, Kazuo Ishiguro and Octavia Butler are the only two non-white writers I've ever read. Not great. Even worse with queer writers, which is a big fat zero. I plan on upping the numbers on both if I can.

Another thing I want to do is read more non-SF&F fiction. I have a bunch that I've picked up over the years that are just sitting on shelves or boxed up, so I may as well put an effort into reading them. At the very least I want to read Les Mis and some of the Charles Dickens I have.

So to sum it all up: 15 books minimum, more women, queer, and writers of color, and more non-SF&F. If I manage any of this, I'll be amazed.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Yogurt out of here

I bought two packs of some sort of cappuccino flavored yogurt drink at the grocery store on Tuesday. I've never been a fan of yogurt, but my mom wanted it (for context, I live with my parents as a caregiver/helper due to their health) so we got it. I didn't try one until yesterday and what follows is the exact sequence of events:

1. Grabs a bottle from the fridge and heads back to my bedroom.
2. Opens bottle and takes a drink.
3. Pause, then walks back down stairs.
4. Hands bottle to mom since she loves the stuff.
5. Leaves and joins the Trappist monks so that I may atone for my horrific decision to try it.

I don't like yogurt because of the taste. It doesn't matter what the flavor is, yogurt has a taste to it that I just cannot stand. Bad enough I have some of it sitting in my belly right now.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

An unfortunate bump in the blogging road

So you might have noticed that despite my newfound commitment to blog on here more that I haven't since the 19th of last month. I had reason and boy, is it ever the shittiest: my dog, Smokey, died.

It happened on the 22nd. Smokey had been sick for a couple of days prior and the vet diagnosed him with heart failure and that even with medication he could have died at any time. He was also in terrible pain and discomfort, so we made the decision to put him to sleep. He was a great dog and my best friend and I'll always miss him.

Needless to say that his death was a blow and I lost any interest I had in posting on here until now. So I'm going to do the only thing I can and start my blogging commitment anew. Again.

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