The Empire Strikes Back...in 1950?

This is the coolest thing I have seen all day. From the YouTube page:

Let's turn back the clock, shall we? Back to a distant time in an alternate universe far, far away… The 50s! It was a simpler age of 3-D movies, and robots named Robby, Gort, and Tobor. A hidden gem of this period in cinema is a little film called "The Empire Strikes Back", the second chapter in a planned three-part epic science fiction trilogy. While the preceding and succeeding episodes were never actually produced due to budgetary constraints, "Empire" shines as an example of 1950s 3-D space opera. The re-release of this trailer coincides with the 60th anniversary of this amazing film.

But, seriously folks… ever since I started cutting these premakes, I have had constant requests for a retro version of Star Wars. This is a little thank you gift for everyone who has been watching my work.

Here is the recipe for the trailer:
Flash Gordon (Deadline at Noon, Conquers the Universe), The Phantom Planet, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Invasion of the Animal People, Man Beast, Lunar Walker, Golden Bat (Ogon Batto), The Mysterians, Captain Midnight, First Spaceship on Venus, The Flying Saucer, The Fighting Devil Dogs, The Outer Limits (Second Chance, Soldier, I Robot, The Sixth Finger), Things to Come, Space Patrol, Atragon, Terror in the Midnight Sun, Forbidden Planet, Rocketship X-M, Latitude Zero, Space Flight, Metropolis, The Jetsons, Devil Girl From Mars, Tobor the Great, The Alligator People, The Return of the Fly, Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, Starman (Attack from Space), Marvel Super Heroes (Iron Man), The Cyclops, The Sea Hawk, Kings Row, Mahler Symphony No. 6, Gustav Hoists The Planets (Mars), and The Empire Strikes Back Radio Drama

The following trailer is fake, independent, and not for profit. It is not endorsed or connected to Lucasfilm or 20th Century Fox. It was made as a purely technical exercise, and as a reflective deconstruction of elements in modern cinema.

(via Carlos Cuellar) (dead link)

A matter of perspective

Maserati-and-Hyundai.jpg

I see this every morning, and it always cracks me up. The guy with the Maserati Quattroporte takes one space. The guy with the Hyundai Sonata has to use two.

This may be the first time in history that the Maserati owner is probably easier to live with.

How to create custom books from Wikipedia

This falls under the category of "incredibly cool things I didn't know you could do."

It's the end of the world as we know it

For those of you following the crisis in Greece, here's a little depressing morning reading for you. I wish I didn't think there was a chance, however small, that this guy is right:

Most analysts (at least the ones that are worth reading) contend that the sovereign default crisis (Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc.) in the EU is about the collapse of a system that created monetary union without a political union.  It isn't.  That's actually a narrow, parochial view.  Instead, the current sovereign debt crisis is about something much more interesting:  it's another battle in a war for dominance between "our" integrated, impersonal global economic system and traditional nation-states.  At issue is whether a nation-state serves the interests of the governed or it serves the interests of a global economic system.

Who's winning?  The global economic system, of course.  The 2008 financial crisis, the first real battle of this war (as opposed to the early losses in skirmishes in Russia, Argentina, the Balkans, etc.), generated a very decisive outcome.  It was a resounding defeat for nation-states.*   The current crisis in the EU will almost certainly end with the same results.

When this war ends, and it won't be long, the global economic and financial system will be the victor.  Once that occurs, the nation-states of the West will join those of the global south as hollow states: mere shells of states that serve only to enforce the interests of the global economic system.  These new states, more market-states than nation-states, will offer citizens a mere vestige of the public goods they offered historically.  Incomes will fall to developing world levels (made easy to due highly portable productivity), and wealth will stratify.  Regulatory protections will be weak.  Civil service pensions will be erased and corruption will reign.  The once dominant militaries of the West will be reduced to a small fraction of their current size, and their focus will be on the maintenance of internal control rather than on external threats.  The clear and unambiguous message to every citizen of the West will be:

You are on your own.  You are in direct competition with everyone else in the world, and your success or failure is something you alone control.  

Read his conclusions here:

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2010/05/the-decline-of-the-west.html

(via Rod Dreher)

Orthographs: The Book!

If you're an Orthodox convert, or know someone who is, you need this book. Author Steve Robinson is the co-host of the Our Life In Christ podcast, is a convert himself, and is both brilliant and funny, with a keen eye for the absurdities of Orthodox life.

Converts with a sense of humor will see themselves in its pages. Those without a sense of humor may be offended. Both are excellent reasons why it should be in your collection. Buy this book!

Pithless Thoughts: Orthographs - THE BOOK!

Collateral murder

Although it's been posted by several others, including on Google Buzz, I'm also posting it, because it needs to be seen by as many people as possible. Draw your own conclusions.

Earlier today, I posted a comment on a Buzz thread in which I said that calling it "collateral murder" was reprehensible sensationalism.I hereby withdraw that comment.

Google Fiber for Our City Ventura

Glad to see my hometown is getting into the bidding for Google's fiber project. If you want to see what Ventura looks like, check it out.

Eduard "Trololo" Khil address to the people of the world!

Wow, this thing is really taking on a life of its own. Kudos to Эдуард Анатольевич for being a good sport about it all…

Echoes

For Jimmy, for Danny, for Jonathan, and for everyone else who remembers…

A courtyard spring day
The sun warm
The ocean breeze cool
The people oblivious
Strange and distant, they do not belong
Interlopers trapped in the now
They cannot hear the past

Friends scattered
The courtyard greets me silently
And silently
The music echoes
In memory eternal

Your tax dollars at work

Based on what I just witnessed fifteen minutes ago, this is what it takes to respond to an injury-accident involving two vehicles and one injured person in Westlake Village:

  1. Four patrol cars
  2. One unmarked car (a solid black Crown Vic…who are they kidding?)
  3. Two motorcycles
  4. One Sheriff’s Dept. SUV
  5. One Fire Dept. paramedic truck
  6. One Fire Dept. fire engine
  7. One ambulance