Aug. 02, 2013 | 2:24 p.m.
PERSPECTIVE As I dragged myself through the Walking Dead Escape — a zombie obstacle course staged during Comic-Con International in San Diego — a line from “Zombieland” played over and over in my mind. “Rule No. 1 for surviving Zombieland? Cardio,” Jesse Eisenberg’s character explains at the beginning of the 2009 comedy. Cardio, indeed, I thought as I jogged up four flights of stairs in Petco Park. As part of a Hero Complex promotion, I had agreed to run the course, based on Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead” comic series, which later spawned the hit AMC show. Our marketing department had secured a dozen spots in the zombie run, and 10 of our readers were lucky enough to win entry. Places 11 and 12 were reserved for me and my colleague Patrick Day, who ran with a video camera strapped […]
April 25, 2013 | 2:16 p.m.
Pet-themed YouTube channel the Pet Collective has combined two of the Internet’s greatest distractions — cat videos and “Star Wars” — into a single undertaking. “Paw Warz,” a new weekly video series, promises to explore such burning questions as: Did Haz Alone shoot first? (That’s the cat version of Han Solo, for those not in the know). The Pet Collective also has launched a companion website that seems poised to become the Wookieepedia of “Paw Warz” knowledge, listing information on such ships as “Rex Wing Fighters” and on characters including “3Meow,” “Boop Boop Beep Boop” and “Toada,” the latter of which is a toad who lives on the planet Dogobath. Carrying on with the “Star Wars” puns, the bad guys in the “Paw Warz” universe have fallen to “The Dog Side” led by the evil “Aarf Vader.” Forget the upcoming […]
March 28, 2013 | 6:56 p.m.
Angry cyborgs bent on universal domination, the Daleks first appeared on the “Doctor Who” television series in 1963 and were quickly established as one of the Doctor’s deadliest enemies. For half a century, viewers have watched the Time Lord battle these evil beings whose singular goal is to “Exterminate! Exterminate!” Nobody should want to see the world through a Dalek’s point of view. According to the show’s lore, they have had every emotion removed except hate. But on Thursday the BBC released Doctor Who: Eyestalk, a new app that lets you transform your iPhone, iPad, or iPod into a Dalek’s lens. ‘Doctor Who’ at 50: Meet the 11 faces of the Time Lord Eyestalk is basically a photo-filter app. You take a photo or video and then run it through one of seven filters that correspond to different Daleks that […]
March 05, 2013 | 9:44 a.m.
Meteor Disneyland. That’s just one of the ideas for future incarnations of the spot in southern Russia where a 10,000-ton meteor left its mark on Feb. 15. The meteor blast injured thousands of people, many from shattered glass, and damaged structures and created a big hole in an iced-over lake. Andrei Orlov, mayor of impact site Chebarkul, reportedly wrote on his blog that he’d been told that his little town of 40,000 “really got lucky.” Now, he’s been told, don’t mess it up. On Feb. 21, according to the Moscow Times, the mayor called for a citywide brainstorming session on the best way to get into travel and tour books and also profit from this natural disaster. It’s not the first time since the disaster that locals’ thoughts have turned to rubles. As the Los Angeles Times reported on Feb. […]
March 05, 2013 | 7:40 a.m.
Batman appeared at a police station in England with a criminal suspect in tow, and the world blinked. Batman — otherwise known as Stan Worby, Chinese-takeout delivery man — told a British TV news program that he was “gobsmacked” by the widespread reaction to the Feb. 25 episode. Worby told ITV’s “Daybreak” that it was simply a “practical joke” between himself and the friend he took to the police station. You see, he’d been dressed as Batman for a soccer match at Wembley Stadium. Note: This was not a Christopher Nolan Batman but an Adam West-style Batman (at left, in case you need a refresher). After the match, a friend asked him to accompany him to the police station to turn himself in. Worby told the Daily Telegraph he’d been trying to “knock some sense into” his friend Danny Frayne, […]
March 01, 2013 | 1:50 p.m.
As Congress, the president and the nation grapple with the so-called sequester and the possible harrowing effects of billions of dollars in automatic, across-the-board federal budget cuts, there’s one thing Congress doesn’t have to worry about: President Obama performing a Jedi mind meld. The president has indicated that he cannot go to those lengths. It’s just as well. The ability to connect minds “so closely as to act as a single person” is likely the kind of presidential power that no Founding Father (or Vulcan) would ever allow. The president made the sci-fi reference — a combination of a “Star Wars” term and a “Star Trek” term — on Friday when he spoke to reporters following a failed meeting with top congressional leaders to avoid the sequestration cuts — $85 billion worth — that will likely go into effect at […]
Feb. 28, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
If you thought the Creature from the Black Lagoon was terrifying, check out the new artist renderings of the Helicoprion–a giant shark-like animal that swam the seas roughly 270 million years ago. What sets the Helicoprion apart from any other animal known to swim, walk or fly on Earth, is its terrifying teeth: Fossils show that the Helicoprion had up to 150 thin, sharp, serrated teeth that spiraled around each other. The smallest teeth are in the middle of the spiral, which looks a bit like a buzz saw. For more than a century, Helicoprion fossils have baffled scientists who were unclear where on the animal the crazy tooth spiral belonged. Was it on the tip of its nose? Or part of a sharp dorsal fin? Or did the animal wield it like a weapon on its tail? Paleontologist Leif […]
Feb. 20, 2013 | 11:21 a.m.
Zombie foreclosures??? In the words of “South Park’s” Sheila Broflovski: “What? What? Whaaat?” The Internets were all abuzz Wednesday morning over zombie foreclosures. Does that mean zombies are skipping out on their mortgages? Biters ain’t paying their bills? It really does not sound like a good “Walking Dead” episode if Rick Grimes were to get a real estate license and start offering foreclosure guidance to reanimated corpses. That’s really not what zombie foreclosures are anyway. What are they? CNN explains it this way: It’s when a borrower moves out of his or her home after the bank schedules a foreclosure auction — then finds out months or even years later that the foreclosure auction never took place or that the bank failed to transfer the deed to the house. Thus, the borrower is still technically the homeowner and “on the […]
Feb. 14, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
Jedis and princess-saving plumbers, it’s time to get your Harlem Shake on! Since the crazy video meme went viral earlier this week, “Star Wars” fans, video game lovers and Peanuts fans have gotten in on the Harlem Shake fun. Almost all the Harlem Shake videos follow the same formula. Set to a clip from a song by Baauer, the videos (and the song) have a two-part structure. When the first part plays, one person — often wearing a mask — dances while being ignored by the other the people in the scene. Then the beat changes and the scene changes: Suddenly everyone is wearing crazy costumes and going nuts. Dance meme alert: The Harlem Shake blows up, and so does Baauer But there’s a lot of freedom in that structure. Here’s a video featuring original vintage “Star Wars” toys doing the […]
Feb. 11, 2013 | 4:28 p.m.
As those who tuned in to Sunday night’s “Walking Dead” know, the zombie apocalypse is just around the corner. “Walking Dead” scored its highest ratings ever with its mid-season premiere Sunday, The Times’ Show Tracker blog reports. Fans of that AMC show know all about the reanimation of corpses. It will happen either because hell’s too full so the dead walk the Earth; cosmic radiation from a downed space probe sweeps across the Earth; or some particularly angry monkeys are set loose in Britain. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants us to be ready for a zombie apocalypse. Seriously. Check out their Web page on surviving amid the undead crowd. If you’re ready for zombies, you’re ready for anything, the CDC says (though they do need to switch out that battery-powered radio with a hand-cranked model). A screenshot from […]