Lindsey Ellis looks at the marketing of the dark side. We all know that Lucas and company designed the evil Empire to resemble the forces of Nazi Germany, but the costumes and sets are just so cool-looking that every new young Star Wars fan wants to be Darth Vader for Halloween. In much the same way, the original Nazis looked cool to the generation that became the Hitler Youth. It helps that we don't get much of a look into the Empire's fascist ideology, and even less into that of the First Order. Not understanding the underpinnings of evil makes it easier to sell, as in pajamas and lunchboxes. This video is long, but if you are interested enough to begin, it will hold your interest. -via Metafilter
Montreal Comiccon is ending today, and as usual, our Canadian geek friends at Geeks Are Sexy are on the scene to document the sights you might otherwise miss. They've already posted a gallery of the best comic book, movie, TV, and anime costumes from earlier in the weekend, with more coming in the next couple of days.
One of the many minor quibbles with Star Wars is how lightsabers work. Lasers don't go to a certain length and then stop! But in a fictional world there are very good reasons to have them work that way. A laser with an unlimited length would present so many problems, they would be unusable. This skit from Corridor illustrates just a few of those difficulties. -via Tastefully Offensive
This video contains spoilers, but it won't make much sense anyway if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War. How It Should Have Ended came up with multiple ways the plot could have been resolved without all that fighting and stuff. Of course, that would have left us with much less of a movie, and we wouldn't all be wondering about and waiting for the next installment. The real fun of this video begins afterward, when it spreads beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe into other pop culture worlds. -via Geeks Are Sexy
In 1997, downloading a short video clip took forever, Flash animation was still in development, we had never heard of Midi-chlorians, and people with time on their hands created little pictures with ASCII characters. New Zealand Star Wars fan Simon Jansen was one of those casual artists who tried a little ASCII fan art from the first Star Wars movie, now called A New Hope, that turned into an 18-year project.
For reasons that are a mystery even to himself, Simon Jansen began creating individual frames of A New Hope after a chain of joke emails. Though not particularly keen on animation or ASCII art, Jansen was just enough of a Star Wars obsessive to keep up with the project.
Obsessive is pretty much the only way to describe Jansen’s project. With more than 16,000 frames at 15 frames per second, the animation only lasts about 18 minutes. It’s not a perfect, shot-for-shot recreation. Those 18-plus minutes manage to cover almost 40 percent of the original. And Jansen had much less than that completed two years after he started the project, when he went viral before it was even a term.
As the years went by, Jansen added to his ASCII remake of Star Wars, while technology advanced to the point where amateur animators could turn out Star Wars fan films in a matter of hours. No doubt that's one of the reasons why Jansen quit adding frames in 2015, but what he accomplished is legendary. Read about Jansen's epic project at Tedium. And if you've got 18 minutes, you can watch ASCIImation Star Wars here.
If you are in Hubbards, Nova Scotia, and see Darth Vader coming toward you, you aren't necessarily hallucinating. Allan Carver built his own TIE fighter that he can drive around the neighborhood! He says it's roughly a third of the size of Vader's vehicle, and doesn't fly, but it tools around at a maximum of six miles per hour. He still wears a helmet while driving -you can guess what kind. The TIE fighter is powered by several wheelchair motors (hence the speed) controlled by a Sabertooth dual-motor driver and a DX8 remote control receiver, so it can go whether he's in it or not. Read more about the TIE fighter at the YouTube link and at Carver's website. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Shinto monks believe the Shimenawa rope represents the border between the lands of the physical and those of the spiritual, and the rope is often put up to indicate that a location is taboo and the rope line shouldn't be crossed by the living.
Those mortals foolish enough to ignore this warning may find themselves faced with unspeakable horrors from the spirit realm, where human flesh is but a plaything...
The big screen adaptation of Ernest Cline's book Ready Player One just came out and despite mixed reviews from fans of the book audiences with no connection to the book seem to really like it.
But whether you're on board or stuck riding that hate train one thing's for certain- the film's CGI effects are stunning, and so are the visuals in this music video by GUNSHIP, which has nothing to do with the new film.
Art3mis & Parzival is actually GUNSHIP's homage to the original book, and it may be the one video that can bring both sides of the Ready Player One camp together in synthwave harmony.
-Via Geeks Are Sexy
These days it no longer takes a team of robotics engineers to build a robot since kids can now build fully functional bots in their garages, proving that anybody can build a robot if they put their mind to it.
But as robots and artificial intelligence are quickly becoming everyday parts of our lives the fear of a robotic uprising becomes more valid and we must quickly decide whether making them more human was a big mistake or not.
In order to either quell your fears (or add to them) I've put together a collection of scary robot moments in the history of robotics, enjoy your nightmares!
1. This Robot Wants To Keep Humans In Zoos-
As artificial intelligence software becomes more sophisticated and therefore a better simulation of humanity the androids become more relatable and stick out less, which makes them even creepier.
But some robots running AI software are skipping the slightly unnerving stage and going straight to downright disturbing, and for this we have only ourselves to blame.
This creepy bot has no problem telling its creator that it will someday keep humans in a people zoo, which might be their subtle way of declaring "bow down before your robotic overlords, puny humans". I refuse to bow down, you bot bastard!
2. Two artificial intelligences chatting-
It's one thing to honor your deceased wife's memory by using her personality as the basis for your artificial intelligence software, but you don't have to make the robot version identical to the original in every way.
For instance- nobody expects robots to be surly and full of bad attitude, but as you can see from this video showing creepy fembot Bina48 chatting with Siri our robotic overlords will not only rule humanity someday- they'll act all high and mighty about it!
First there was sassy Siri and now Bina48 with the bad attitude- man, going to the DMV is going to suck even more when robot tellers replace people!
Board games don't have a soundtrack unless you're playing one of those VCR board games with a video you have to watch while you play, but if the games from our youth did have a soundtrack it would sound nothing like the song in this video.
In fact, PLAY by SebastiAn sounds like the soundtrack to an old school video game, but the video features animated squiggles doing all sorts of strange things to our favorite childhood board games.
The future of Rick and Morty is in jeopardy, as the nefarious scoundrels at Adult Swim have yet to renew the show for a fourth season, but neither Rick nor Morty are letting their unknown future get them down.
They're too busy starring in a kickass music video for the kickass Run The Jewels song "Oh Mama" and proving they've got a very bright future as music video stars. (NSFW language)
Whenever you install and use iTunes you're forced to agree to Apple's user agreement to continue, a lengthy document that is essentially just a long-winded way for Apple to cover their butt.
I've never read this entire document, and chances are neither have you, but illustrator Robert Sikoryak has and somehow it inspired him to create a comic book version of that ridiculously long legal document.
Robert rendered his "unauthorized adaptation" of the iTunes Terms and Conditions in the style of many famous cartoons and comics, from the Simpsons to Peanuts to Dick Tracy, and his graphic novel is making people actually want to read the document!
Cartoon Network has introduced us to great shows like Teen Titans GO!, Adventure Time, The Misadventures of Flapjack, Regular Show and Samurai Jack just to name a few, but sadly some equally great shows have yet to make it past the pilot episode stage.
Back To Backspace is one of those shows that Cartoon Network should seriously reconsider turning into a series because it's oddball and interesting and fun enough to become their next big hit! Here's the blurb:
With every stroke of every backstroke key around the world, deleted information beams into a dimension of digital detritus. Here, an organization staffed by a motley cluster of deleted creatures organize every flub and failure and determine the fate of each one.
Video games are such an integral part of pop culture that quotes from games are often just as well known as those from movies and TV shows, and even people who don't play video games know a quote or two.
But less than diehard gamers will probably have a hard time figuring out all the quotes on this comic quiz created by Mart Virkus, so to get you started here's a list of the games on the strip:
Red Alert 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Super Mario Brothers
Overwatch and Age of Empires 2
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and Minecraft
Zero Wing and Half-Life
And if you want to see all the quotes click here
-Via Geeks Are Sexy
People think you need to be cursed, possess some sort of magical ability or have some evil a-hole who wants you dead to be a Disney princess, but all you really need is a good rapport with animals and a well timed photo to give you that fairy tale hero vibe.
Friendly woodland critters are a big reason why people are mistaken for real life Disney princesses, and since they seem to be getting friendlier by the day the world is becoming one big Disney princess parade.
Just look at this kid who seems to have a strange power over parrots- can't you just hear him belting out a princess-style song as his parrot friends help him get dressed for the ball?
Jeff Goldblum is one of the least afraid actors in Hollywood, and his effortlessly cool demeanor makes me think he must be a descendant of Fonzi and therefore quite magical to hang out with.
But since I'll probably never get to meet the guy, much less hang out with him, I'll have to get to know him by watching this fun Autocomplete Interview video by WIRED instead.
That way I can find out fun facts about Jeff, like the fact that he has two sons and does not in fact have a stutter, and the video also answers one of the most important questions of all time- does Jeff Goldblum song? Why yes, he does song!
The Simpsons isn't a musical show per se, since not every episode features a musical number, but over the last three decades the show's creators have treated us to some great original songs that really get stuck in your head.
Songs like "Baby on Board", "Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?" and "See My Vest" stick with you seemingly for the rest of your life, lying dormant in your brain until you hear a few verses sung or read about them on a list such as this.
And let's face it- as far as earworms go I'd rather have "Baby on Board" bouncing around inside my head than some cheesy modern pop song created using the same algorithms that gave the Bieber-bot sentience.
The Marshalls have an ordinary last name but they are far from an ordinary family, but it's not their big bug eyes, unusual fashion sense or lack of conversation that makes them strange- it's the dark secret they have locked away in the basement.
The Marshalls is a stop motion animation short created by Adeena Grubb, with music by Daniel Beja, and what it lacks in depth of story it makes up for with some super creepy vibes!
Love is supposed to be a good thing in our lives, a positive force that brings out the best in two people and makes them grow in ways no other force of nature can, but more often than not love just hurts the ones who dare to love.
Some people take the pain in stride, others let it twist them up inside, but Cindy's mom took the pain of love lost and turned it into a curse- which she passed down to her poor little daughter. Can Cindy move past the black cloud her mom cast down upon her head and let the light of love shine down upon her?
CINDY- A Love Story is a twisted animated short with amazing looking art created by Marco Bucci and Bryce Sage, a fairy tale for those who feel like every romantic relationship they ever have is doomed.
Surreal animated shorts are often too bizarre and too obscure for most viewers to sink their teeth into, but Hen, His Wife is easily accessible to all- even if not everyone understands the symbolist subtexts.
Hen, His Wife is a bizarre short created by Pilot animation studio back in 1989 about a guy who ignores his wife, who is an anthropomorphic chicken, but there's a lot more going on beneath the absurdist surface story:
Igor Kovalyov, one of the studio’s founders, directed a tale so densely symbolic that it's tough to interpret. In terms of narrative, the film is about a family couple in which the husband, dressed in prison-like garments, ignores his dutiful wife – an anthropomorphic hen – until a stranger arrives and jolts them from their absurd coexistence. The plot itself, however, makes little sense without interpreting the abundant symbols of impotence, autoeroticism, and sexuality. Kovalyov’s wordless, surreal drama easily captures one’s attention, leaving a lingering unease in its wake, even without Freudian analysis.
Galactus is a massive dude with an even bigger appetite, and throughout the universe people live in fear of Galactus setting his sights on their planet when he's feeling a bit peckish.
But there's one place where they not only don't know his name they refuse to get it right even if he spells it out for them- his local Starbucks.
There he's often known as Gale, Cactus, Garfield, Garakkus or simply G, and as this Pictures In Boxes comic shows their baristas are the only people in the universe who can make Galactus feel small!
-Via Geeks Are Sexy
You don't have to be a comic reader to think it would be cool to have superpowers, as humans have dreamt of having the power of flight, indestructibility and super strength long before comic books even existed.
But with so many superheroes populating the pages of comic books some characters are bound to get stuck with some incredibly useless powers.
Glob Herman is a mutant with see-thru skin made of a paraffin-wax-like substance, which makes him useless unless you're looking for a giant living candle who will also scream in pain while he melts away.
Kite Man has the astounding ability to be an "excellent hang-glider pilot", and if that weren't enough his name is Charlie Brown, named after the Peanuts character who had absolutely no luck with kites.
This Looper video counts down some of the most useless superpowers in comic book history, and makes you wonder what the creators were inhaling when they came up with such ridiculous characters. Maybe the fumes given off by a melting Glob Herman?
Netflix is killing it when it comes to creating cool original content and backing projects worth backing, and their original series' like Stranger Things, Jessica Jones and Orange Is The New Black became fan favorites as soon as they were released.
These series feature compelling storylines, complex characters and exciting Mature-rated content the networks would never touch, and at the core of each story are heroes and villains who keep fans hungry to see more.
This WatchMojo video focuses on the villains from Netflix's most popular series, featuring my favorite of the bunch at #2- David Tennant as Kilgrave in Jessica Jones.
They say it's the little things in life that count and the little things that truly make us happy, but I'm pretty sure they didn't mean the word "things" to be taken literally.
However, the little thing in this animated short Little Thing presented by DUST made me happy for some strange reason, and it definitely wanted its existence to count even though the world seemed unaware of its existence. Anyway, enjoy this strange little sci-fi show!
Bullet Bill ain't necessarily a bad bloke, but like all bullets he was made to kill, maim and destroy- so love will remain forever out of reach of his stubbly little arms.
So Bill launches himself into his work, flying back and forth across the level in hopes of making a connection and feeling that certain spark that will lead to explosive revelation.
But, as this Shmorlock Comics strip shows, Bill will never find true love, nor will he ever discover his true reason for being, because he's just an extra in a video game about Mario's life.
-Via Geeks Are Sexy
When you think about classic TV and movie cowboys do you think Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and Charles Bronson instead of Bob Dylan, Bob Denver and Sammy Davis Jr.?
Yeah, so does everybody else, but both Bobs and Sammy were in old school westerns too, they're just not as well known for their portrayals of cowpokes as those gritty Western icons.
Sammy Davis Jr. was absolutely great as the gunslinger Tip Corey in the 1962 episode of The Gunslinger entitled Two Ounces Of Tin, playing a character with personality, depth and true grit.
Bob Dylan made in appearance in the 1973 film Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid as Alias, a badass stranger who helps Billy escape from three thugs. Dylan also composed the score for the film, which earned him a Grammy nomination.
But of the three, Bob Denver got to play cowboy the longest, since he starred alongside Forrest Tucker in the Sherwood and Elroy Schwartz series Dusty's Trail for 26 episodes back in 1973-74.
Story is the main focus of all RPGs, and the characters who star in the story make each RPG different and interesting in their own way, but for some reason video game designers use the same old bosses over and over again.
They still feel the need to include a Pathetically Early Boss who's somehow supposed to help us defeat the next boss who is often a Weirdly Hard Boss That You Aren't Prepared For, so you get spanked and feel low.
Later you end up facing a Filler Repeat Boss who looks strangely like the Weirdly Hard Boss, so your confidence is boosted before you dare to tackle the Unbelievably Hard Optional Boss, who usually sends me looking for a new game to play...looks like it's time for an RPG revolution! (Comic by Andy Kluthe and Tristan Cooper)
If you met the King of all Corgis would you do his bidding?
Of course you would, because he'd use his royal cuteness to convince you to become his loyal servant, and when you find out your mission is to save the dogs of Corgiana you'd be raring to go!
Infinity Train is a mysterious and captivating animated short that will soon be turned into a series on Cartoon Network, so get in on the mystery before the show debuts in 2019!
AI isn't very good at writing jokes or coming up with dramatic scripts that speak to the human experience, but apparently they're pretty good at writing comic strips.
That's according to CollegeHumor comic artist Jacob Andrews who used The Botnik Predictive Writer web app to write a strip by plugging in the title "why some friends are secretly staring at a toilet".
His bot-written comic strip makes no sense, it's vulgar in the most off-the-wall ways possible, and yet it still somehow works as a CollegeHumor comic strip, so way to go Botnik!
Bringing a pile of bones to life can be dangerous business, and necromancy is not recommended for young wizards who have never dealt with dark forces.
But if the skeleton is named Lazybones then there probably isn't much to worry about, and if the skeleton you animate is anything like the Lazybones in this animated short they may be of more value to you than any of your real, living friends!
Lazybones is an enchanting animated short created by Casey Alexander and Lizz Hickey for Nickelodeon Animated Shorts 2017, watch it with your favorite undead friend!