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 […]
Feb. 08, 2013 | 9:21 a.m.
Powerful blizzard Nemo — predicted to be the biggest winter storm in a century in some cities — was bringing heavy snow to the Northeast on Friday morning, interfering with travel and school and basically causing chaos. Wait. Nemo? Isn’t that the cuddly Disney/Pixar fish? The Weather Channel chose the name, and its website helpfully defines it. “Nemo: A Greek boy’s name meaning ‘from the valley,’ means ‘nobody’ in Latin.” But to the rest of us, Nemo is the adorable clownfish with the overprotective single dad. PHOTOS: Snowpocalypse and more Only outside the Nemo zone do people have time to ponder this blizzard name. Friday morning brought a beehive of activity to the Northeast, according to media reports, as residents stockpiled supplies and tried to get where they wanted to go before mass transit was suspended. Flight Aware reported thousands […]
Feb. 01, 2013 | 8:07 a.m.
It’s a story only a nerd — of a certain variety — could love: 10 pounds of marijuana delivered to a Seattle Kmart. A Seattle Police Department blog Thursday revealed that officers had seized a “big package of pot” earlier this week. And showing that the men in blue have a sense of humor, too, the title of the post was: “Today’s Blue Light Special: 10 Pounds of Weed.” On Monday, Kmart workers informed police that the pot was wrapped in garbage bags, packing peanuts and “cleaning-fluid-soaked pages from a Korean newspaper.” So how did it get to Kmart? Police said the box of pot was sent via UPS and was intended for an undisclosed Philadelphia address (a Target, possibly?). But the package didn’t make it, and UPS delivered it to the listed return address — which, for reasons unexplained, […]
Jan. 09, 2013 | 1:25 p.m.
Have a soft spot for one of the eight classic playing pieces from Monopoly? Then it’s time to act, because Hasbro, the board game’s publisher, is holding a contest that asks for people to vote for their favorite pieces. The lowest vote-getter will be dropped from the game. The current playing pieces include a race car, a thimble, an old boot, a dog, a battleship, a top hat, an iron and a wheelbarrow. The losing piece will be replaced with one of five options — a robot, a diamond ring, a cat, a helicopter and a guitar — all of which are also being put to a vote. Currently, the two pieces least likely to be dropped from the game are the dog and the race car, while the iron and the wheelbarrow are both in grave danger. This isn’t […]
Jan. 09, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
AMC has released Dead Yourself, a clever marketing app that lets users see what they would look like as a decaying, smeary-eyed, flesh-eating zombie. It may not be pretty, but it is a fun way to waste a few minutes, and it is very easy to do. Start by uploading a photo to DeadYourself. com and then choose among a wide selection of zombie eyes, mouths and props like a sad faded doll or an arrow to the head. Zombie quiz: Prove you’re smarter than a zombie Then you can add a spooky filter to your final zombie photo with an Instagram-like filter. The app includes a gallery where you can share your zombified self with other “Walking Dead” fans, but we’d love you to share your “walker” photos with us as well. You can upload your photos to our […]
Dec. 25, 2012 | 2:00 a.m.
Have a wonderful holiday everyone! — Gina McIntyre Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex RECENT AND RELATED PHOTOS: Kermit the Frog, a career The Muppets crash WWE, Leno Disney says ‘Make Mine Marvel’ Donald Duck: A classic quest Pixar is making a dinosaur movie 2012: The year in awesome ‘The Hobbit’ collected: Complete coverage The year in video games: Indie possibilities Muppets director promises ‘anarchic stupidity’ Kermit commanded Jason Segel’s respect