As a comic book collector for 16 years and an attendee of nearly every comic convention in my city, I thought I had the fandom thing nailed down. Then I watched 'Fanboy Confessional' and realized I still had a lot to learn.
Narrated by Aaron Ashmore ('Smallville's Jimmy Olsen), the six-part Canadian documentary series goes deep into the subterrane of geekdom to expose the lesser-known subsets of fandom. Turns out just being a comic book geek isn't enough anymore. Now, the real hardcore fans aren't satisfied unless you're a cosplayer, LARPer, zombie walker, furry, steampunk or real-life superhero. Confused? That's why we asked reformed fanboy and show creator Michael McNamara to walk us through each group he investigated in the series.
The latest is from the PBS TV show Cosmos, something I really enjoyed years ago, and features Carl Sagan (with a cameo by another famous scientist and author). This is really well done, sort of techno meets progressive rock. I love how it's not just stringing his words together, but there's actually a chorus. Here's one for Billy Mays.
I think these "Earth being destroyed by rocks from space" movies played themselves out years ago, and I thought the casting of people like Christopher Lloyd and Jason Alexander was kinda funky, but was it that bad? Give us your thoughts below and let me know if I should even bother watching it.
OK, so Stephen Colbert couldn't get NASA to name a room on the International Space Station after him, but they did the next best thing. Well, no. I guess the next best thing would have been to have a shuttle or a satellite or possibly a bespectacled robot named after him, but they did name a treadmill after him! And here it is.
Not particularly exciting at first glance, but hey, it's a space treadmill!
The reason? CNN has decided to get rid of their science/tech/environment/space division, because nothing ever happens in science, technology, the environment, or space. The network says that they're getting rid of the division because the "Planet in Peril" series already covers all of that stuff, and they'll just integrate the rest of the science coverage into their regular news. Translation: more cost-cutting in the news business.
It's kind of sad to see O'Brien go. Just a couple of years ago he was the co-host of American Morning with Soledad O'Brien, and then he lost that gig and went back to covering space and technology, and now that coverage is gone. It was always good to have him around for space shuttle launches and for his expertise when their was a problem with a plane or a plane crash.
I'm sure they'll still cover space shuttle launches, but now they'll be hosted by D.L. Hughley and Nancy Grace. (Kidding)
There's a fan page that blogs about it called Breaking Atmo. The most recent posts has all sorts of photos of Firefly and Serenity DVDs floating in space. One of the blog posts says that "Swanny" got the other astronauts addicted to Firefly while they were all in quarantine for five hours before the shuttle Atlantis launched earlier this month.
I've also heard that there are a number of astronauts at NASA who are addicted to Battlestar Galactica. Can you blame them?!?
[Via Pop Candy]
Do you like space? Of course you do, you're floating around in it right now.
Despite the fact my brain is clogged with cartoon trivia and the words to that old Tootsie Roll jingle, I love anything having to do with space and space exploration, even if i don't always completely understand the science behind it. If you share my love of space-y things, and if you happen to get the Science Channel, tune in starting tomorrow for Space Week. Here's some of what's on tap:
Some of the Star Trek actors' ashes were launched from the New Mexico desert today with the ashes of about two-hundred other individuals, including Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper. The rockets were launched by the wives of both men, Suzan Cooper and Wende Doohan.
Doohan was born in 1920 in Canada and fought in World War II, losing a finger as a result of injuries he suffered on D-Day. In the late '40s, he trained as an actor at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. He's appeared in countless movie and TV roles, but of course we'll all remember him as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott.
Gene Roddenberry, the late creator of Star Trek, also had his ashes launched into space in 1997.
If you had asked me what professions Dallas star Victoria Principal would do besides acting, I probably would have said model or talk show host or restaurant owner, or maybe even cosmetics queen, which she actually is. But "astronaut" would have been way down on the list, right after lion tamer and NFL quarterback.
But into space is where Principal is going. She's going to be one of the first civilian astronauts on Virgin Galactic, which will launch in 2008. Now, I'm sure she's not going to be docking with the International Space Station. The space plane will probably go just into space enough to call it a trip into space. But I'm not knocking that at all, that's legit, and I'd love to put a little Star Trek into my life, if I had a gazillion dollars.
And then I'd wake up and go into the shower and realize it was all a dream.
I thought of this show a few weeks ago when I started to see the commercials for Billy Bob Thornton's new movie, The Astronaut Farmer, about a guy who builds his own rocket in his barn so he can blast into space.
Salvage 1 was a short-lived show that starred Andy Griffith as a salvager who sells scrap that he finds and goes on various adventures with his cohorts (rescuing people, battling fires, getting involved with crooks, that sort of thing). The series co-starred Joel Higgins (Silver Spoons), Trish Stewart (whatever happened to her?), and Richard Jaeckel (Spenser: For Hire), and it was based on a TV movie of the same name in which Griffith built a rocket on his own and blasted off into space.
I can't tell you how much I loved this movie when I was a teen. If you had asked me in the late 70s what the best movie of all time was, I probably would have said this one. Sadly, the show died after only a season and a half. It couldn't quite match the charm of the pilot, but was pretty darn entertaining.
Senior Space Correspondent Rob Riggle talked about how the astronaut's driving was really a NASA mission. Senior Continental Revenge Trek Analyst Samantha Bee then stopped by to share her expertise on continental revenge treks. "It's drive across the country in a diaper time!... Or as I call it, 'Tuesday'".
Tonight at 8pm on PBS, NOVA scienceNow will look at a competition to build an "elevator to space." Participants will compete to see whose prototype can go the highest, and the winner takes home a $150,000 prize. The episode will also focus on scientific research surrounding the carbon nanotube, a stronger-than-steel material that just might be used to create the cable for a real "space elevator" in the future. It would be awesome if such a thing were constructed in my lifetime, though with my luck I'd be stuck on this lengthy elevator ride with some guy who just polished off a beef and bean burrito.
Other segments from the episode will include research into "longevity genes" and how they may hold the secret to living longer; using satellites to uncover Mayan ruins; and studies in "Quorum Sensing," the way bacteria communicates.
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