With Google Maps technology, you can now explore the lands of George R.R. Martin’s world from A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. Check out the map of Westeros and Essos. With a click you can see who owns what lands, or the paths that characters travel. Toggle between “episodes” and “chapters,” depending on whether you’ve read the books or are following the TV show. You can adjust a slide to protect yourself from spoilers, although it may be tempting to peek ahead. There are also plenty of links to more information. A lot of work went into this project! -via The Daily Dot
Is this a mashup we haven’t seen before? I would have never thought of it -combining Disney movie characters with the Marvel super heroes of The Avengers. DeviantART member ThinkingMakesItSo did these, and you can see all eight works in his gallery. You won’t believe what Disney character plays Black Widow! -via a comment at reddit
(Images Via azjabar)
Gamers don’t always purchase games based on the look of the cover art, especially if they already know what to expect when they bring the game home, but the crazy cover art on these pirated Playstation 2 games spotted by Imgur user azjabar in an Iraqi market might make someone think twice before buying.
The pirate photoshop (ms paint?) jockeys who created these incredibly bad covers weren’t looking to impress gamers with their glorious graphic design skills, but the fact that they don’t even bother to find out what the games are actually called, and at least attempt to imitate the original cover, makes them look even more bootleg than most bootlegs!
-Via Nerd Approved
In honor of the year-long celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary, Fast Company asked some past and present Batman insiders to share remembrances of the Caped Crusader. They received anecdotes from comic book artists such as Neal Adams, Jim Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Walt Simonson, and movie producer Michael Uslan, who said,
“I fell in love with Batman at eight years old, because he was the only superhero with no superpowers and fought the greatest supervillains in the history of comic books. Batman’s greatest superpower is his humanity. The Batman TV show happened when I was in eighth grade. I waited for months for it to premiere. When it did, I was simultaneously thrilled and horrified. The show was in color, and the animated credits and sets were really cool. But it was too much like a cartoon. The entire world was laughing at Batman. At that point, I made a vow. Somehow, I was going to show the world the real Batman--a creature of night, who stalks criminals from the shadows--and figure out how to erase the words Zap! Pow! and Wham! from the collective consciousness. That path would become my life’s journey and career.”
Uslan went on to serve as executive producer of the movies Batman, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and upcoming Batman vs. Superman. Read the rest of the stories at CoCreate.
The monstrous gangster Spider-Man rules the dark streets of Istanbul. Julia, Captain America's girlfriend, goes to help the police end the web slinger's menace. But when Spider-Man's henchmen capture Julia, it is up to Captain America and Santo, the masked Mexican wrestler, to save her and crush Spider-Man's gang.
You got that? Okay, then you're ready to watch T. Fikret Uçak's 1973 cinematic masterpiece 3 Dev Adam. Read all about it at VA Viper. You can watch a selection embedded below. It includes the unintentionally hilarious use of a guinea pig as a torture device at 2:04.
I'm a bit skeptical that this movie was made with the permission of Marvel Comics.
The senior officers of the Enterprise-D are ready for the annual Easter egg hunt. Everyone looks happy about it, except for Worf. That's because he's afraid that Riker will once again get the most chocolate eggs.
Nitpick: Data should have 2 and a half rank pips, not 3. He was a Lieutenant Commander, not a full Commander.
-via Between the Pages
Francis Schmidt is an art and animation professor at Bergen Community College in New Jersey. He is also a Game of Thrones fan, as is his family. In January, Schmidt posted a picture of his 7-year-old daughter doing a yoga pose while wearing her father’s t-shirt to Google+. The t-shirt had a quote from Game of Thrones printed on it: “I will take what is mine with fire & blood.” The college dean saw the picture and called Schmidt in to speak to college officials, who asked if the photograph “represented a threat against the dean.”
Schmidt said the Human Resources and security officials who interviewed him seemed unfamiliar with the show, so he searched for the quote on Google and came up with 30.8 million hits.
He said the interview, however, led to his suspension without pay and a trip to a psychiatrist before he was cleared to return to campus.
Schmidt said he asked the officials why they thought the slogan was threatening, and one said “when you see the word fire, then someone shows up with an AK-47 here shooting everybody,” he said.
“I had no idea what to say to that. For God’s sake, I’m a middle-aged art professor,” Schmidt said. “I don’t own any firearms.”
For one thing, the shirt is obviously mass-produced. For another thing, there was no mention of the college or the dean in the Google+ post. And the shirt was worn by his child! One explanation is that the college is going through some struggles: the faculty is working without a contract and have cast a no-confidence vote against the school’s president. The labor dispute must have the entire administration on edge -so much that none of them can watch TV or read about pop culture. Schmidt has since been reinstated, and given back pay for missing the first week of the semester. -via Uproxx
There have been all kinds of strange examples of Muppets mashup art making their way onto the interwebs, from the kinda freaky look of Muppet zombies to the extremely terrifying Muppets as real people, but the latest mashup making the rounds is disturbing both visually and mentally- The Muppets as Twin Peaks characters by illustrator Justin DeVine
Miss Piggy is cold, lifeless and wrapped in plastic, Gonzo is doing his weirdo dance in the Red Room, and Kermit Cooper is too hopped up on coffee to find Piggy’s killer, truly the darkest days ever experienced by the puppet troupe.
David Lynch productions are already pretty strange, but think about how strange Twin Peaks would have been if it had starred the Muppets!
James Hance gives us a peek at a painting in progress called "A Princess & A Guy Like Me?" You have to admit, these two seem made for each other, even if they are from two different worlds. You can see the various stages of this painting and others at Hance's Facebook page. -via Geeks Are Sexy
See also: More art by James Hance.
A new hero has emerged on the swag littered floor of fandom conventions, a selfless superstar who brings much needed supplies to cosplayers weary from a day of posing for pictures and pushing through crowds.
He is Captain Patch-It, and his superpower is being prepared for almost any cosplay emergency, armed with everything a cosplayer in peril might need- glue gun, safety pins, thread and needles, all kinds of tape including duct and electrical, scissors, hair pins and a helping hand.
Captain Patch-It made his first appearance at Supanova Melbourne, and he’s hoping to inspire convention goers to form their own chapter of the International Cosplay Corps, so they can help other cosplayers in need at conventions across the globe.
A 4-sided die is a pyramid. A 2-sided die is a coin. What's a 1-sided die? It's a Möbius strip. No matter how you throw it, the die will always land on its only side. Awesome Dice developed it for role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons.
Now to the obvious question: why would you ever need a 1-sided die?
It's a way of resolving conflicts that come up in gaming sessions. Sometimes there are argumentative players who press a game master to randomly roll outcomes rather than verbally lead the players along a storyline. When you have such a player in your group, get out your 1-sided die.
Imagine this all too common scenario faced every day by D&D DMs around the world: your group is in a dungeon crawl. There’s a room with a pie in it, and the pie is guarded by an orc. If the characters open the door, one of these things happen:
1. The orc attacks
That’s it, there’s only the one option. So the characters do indeed open the door and the poor DM consults the chart. Unfortunately the smallest die type he has is a d4, so our DM has no choice but to roll the d4 over and over until he gets a 1 before he knows what the orc is going to do.
This is exactly the situation that 1-sided dice are designed to solve. Now the DM can grab the d1 and quickly roll just one time, see what the orc will do, and get on with the action of the game. In this way 1-sided dice make your game move faster and better.
-via Marcel Ledbetter
(Image Via Cosplayer SK)
(Image Via LAG)
There’s a popular misconception that nerd culture began in the 1970s with the rise of fandom conventions, adult comic book collectors and science fiction productions reaching a broader audience than ever before, but nerd culture as we know it today actually began around the turn of the 20th century.
Cosplayers are all the rage at the moment, but August Olson, the person often considered to be the first cosplayer, dressed up like a comic strip alien called Skygack to attend a masked ball in Monroe, Washington all the way back in 1912, so it appears cosplay is nothing new.
Neither is using pop culture characters for advertising, or media piracy for that matter, as you will find out when you read Cracked’s article about 6 Nerd Culture Stereotypes That Are Way Older Than You Think.
The original design for the alien in the movie Predator was not the look that ended up in the film. It was not amenable to an actor actually walking around it, much less performing martial arts, as Jean-Claude van Damme thought he would. Ultimately, van Damme was replaced by 7’ 2” actor Kevin Peter Hall, not only because of his disgust with the role, but also because he was so much smaller than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers. Let’s get another look at that costume.
7 of the World's Most Awesome Toads (WebEcoist)
11 Citizen Science Projects That Need Your Help (Mental Floss)
10 Animal "Facts" That Are Anything But (TopTenz)
The $100 Grilled Cheese Sandwich (The Consumerist)
Image: These Pictures of a Baby and His Dog Are Pretty Much The Cutest Ever (My Modern Met)
Who says video games aren’t educational? This low-key endorsement from Randall Munroe at xkcd (who is a former NASA roboticist) will probably do more for the game Kerbal Space Program than all the splashy ads they could buy.
If you have no clue what orbital mechanics are, another word for the term is astrodynamics, meaning the science of how spacecraft move.
Video games can be downright frustrating at times, especially old school games that rely on precision button mashing and level pattern memorization.
A gamer’s rage cannot easily be suppressed when the game they’re playing makes them want to throw the controller against the nearest wall, which is why most gamers will relate to this video entitled The 50 Most Frustrating Moments In Video Game History.
Now these aren't official rankings or anything, and there were definitely some NES and SNES moments they missed in their collection, but overall you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement at video game moments that once made you want to smash things in a frustrated fit! GAAAAHHH!
-Via Nerd Approved
Master figure builder Sillof was commissioned by Mike Shoemaker and Seth Meyers to make figures of the characters in the Hulu series The Awesomes. They, along with Lorne Michaels, produce the show, which stars Seth Meyers, Bill Hader, Rashida Jones, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Rachel Dratch, Kenan Thompson, and Ike Barinholtz. The action figures were to be given to the cast as gifts. Sillof blended the animated likenesses with the real actors behind the characters in his design. See all of the individual character figures at his site, and you may be able to pick out who plays who, even if you haven’t seen The Awesomes. -Thanks, Sillof!
See also: More pop culture action figures by Sillof.
Bears on Stairs isn't a high concept art piece, or a stop motion short that features revolutionary digital techniques or a highly detailed puppet cast. It's a simple short which showcases a simple idea that is sure to be imitated by many animators to come.
DBLG has come up with a rather ingenious way to create a stop motion short with the help of 3D modeling/animation software and a 3D printer- they created the bear character and the stairs using 3D animation software, animated the bear walking up the stairs then printed out each element frame by frame.
It may not be the most efficient way to create a stop motion short, but Bears on Stairs is a good example of how 3D printing can be integrated into a traditional artform like stop motion animation.
LEGO was a relatively unknown company in America circa 1968, but in Billund, Denmark they were already constructing the very first Legoland, which attracted over 600,000 visitors in its first year alone.
The power of those little building blocks was put on display in the form of highly detailed scale models- miniature towns, environments and landmarks populated the ten acre theme park and showed that LEGO bricks were more than just toys.
It's interesting to see how the LEGO empire has grown over the last fifty years, and the original Legoland revealed in this vintage footage is a far cry from the chain of LEGO theme parks we know today.
-Via Topless Robot
Game designers put their heart and soul into making video games an enjoyable, and extremely good looking, experience for the often highly critical gaming community.
However, there are always moments contained within the production as a whole that, when taken out of context, make the whole thing look like amateur hour.
Here is a collection of screenshots from a thread on NeoGAF that make otherwise good looking video games look really bad. Fan favorites like Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XIII and Uncharted are all represented by a screenshot taken at just the wrong moment, capturing those WTF moments all gamers have experienced while playing an otherwise great game.
We recently shared a post about the amazing couch gag Sylvain Chomet created for The Simpsons, and though to some it may not have been obvious a whole lotta work went into this short intro sequence.
Now, thanks to the London based production company behind the opening th1ng, you can take a peek behind the scenes and see all the hand drawn awesomeness Sylvain and his team put into this incredibly stylish sequence.
This rare peek into the process will give viewers a better appreciation of the hard work many animators put into their productions, even the projects is simply a short intro sequence for a TV series.
-Via Cartoon Brew
Malaysian photographer Zahir Batin uses Star Wars figures in natural and created settings to illustrate further adventures in the Star Wars universe. Some are funny and some are dramatic, but all evoke an entire story with a single picture. At his Facebook page, you can find the process of creating many of the images. Bored Panda has an overview of his Batin's work, and you can see more in Zahir Batin’s DeviantART gallery. -via Everlasting Blort
To my enormous delight, this comic book arrived in my mailbox on Friday. It's the first issue in the relaunch of Ninja High School, a classic American manga.
Ben Dunn, the creator of the series, first published the series in 1987. Although intended as a one-shot, three-part mini series, Ninja High School was immensely popular--at least by the standards of independent comic book publishing back in those days. Dunn, along with other artists and writers, continued it until 2009.
The story was set in a small town in American Midwest called Quagmire. It featured anthropomorphic skunk aliens, mad scientists, mecha, witches, time travelers, and, as the title suggests, ninjas. Both the art and the story were havily influenced by anime and manga.
It's a great story. When I was a teenager, it was one that I connected to. Ninja High School was, for reasons I find difficult to understand, let alone explain, deeply meaningful to me. Later struggles prevented me buying and reading it--money was just too tight.
It was only 2 years ago that I was ready to return to Ninja High School. I dragged out my long box of issues, read them, then began purchasing the rest of the series on eBay. It's been a joyful experience--like returning home after a long absence.
So I was delighted to learn that Ben Dunn planned to reboot the series through a Kickstarter project. Dunn acquired more than 3 times the money that he asked for. I happily threw in a contribution, of course. As a result, I acquired this copy of issue #176, the first issue in the reboot.
Readers of Ninja High School will recognize old, familiar faces. But #176 is clearly written in such a way that new readers could join in without needing to study the old comics. Just as people unfamiliar with the long-running Doctor Who fanchise could pick up the series fresh in 2005, so can people get started on Ninja High School from issue #176.
You can find more art from the issue here.
DC Comics has released a new Batman animated short in honor of the character’s 75th anniversary. "Batman: Strange Days" from producer Bruce Timm is a flashback to Batman’s earlier days. He encounters Dr. Hugo Strange and his henchman, who kidnapped an attractive blonde for nefarious purposes. The retro black and white artwork on this is just beautiful. Read more about the short at Crave.
Star Wars, crazy Star Wars, it's a blast from sci-fi history, with those kooky ewoks George Lucas kept it all PG... (sung to the tune of The Flintstones Theme Song).
If you have two and a half hours to spare, and a deep seated love of those wars in the stars, then you’ll likely settle in to watch this documentary called Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy, which first aired in edited form on A&E back in 2004.
Now restored to its gloriously feature length and available to view in its entirety on YouTube since 2012, it's an enjoyable way to renew your faith in the Force and remind yourself why you loved the original trilogy so much.
Most gamers have heard the legend of the New Mexico landfill where Atari supposedly buried thousands of unsold copies of the E.T. video game for the Atari 2600 console.
Apparently they were so embarrassed by the release, and its poor sales, that they took every remaining copy and buried them in a landfill in Alamogordo hoping they’d never again see the light of day.
The facts behind the “coverup” were never fully revealed, but come April 26, 2014 the truth will be told when Microsoft and Fuel Entertainment dig up whatever lies beneath the dirt in that Alamogordo landfill, and they want people to come and watch them dig up a piece of video game history.
Will they find thousands of unopened copies of E.T., or something far more sinister? Stay tuned and find out!
Or maybe channel power through the main deflector dish while routing the tachyons through the inertial dampers?
Jeremy Kaye writes, "Sometimes Star Trek is amazing. Other times though." Well, yes. The technobabble could be a bit much at times. But I think that anti-fans emphasize this point excessively. The Next Generation provided a steady diet of quality science fiction for 7 years. You can't have Darmok or The Inner Light every week.
We all want to be Luke Skywalker on the trench run in an X-wing starfighter. With each passing day, we're getting closer to making that dream a reality. Rodger Cleye made this 5-foot long model as a part of that ongoing effort.
It's made of PVC pipe which is why it looks hollow. That was necessary because anything more would have been too heavy for the 3 drone motors that make it airworthy. Check it out in action:
-via Hack A Day