Archive for January, 2014

Stratos Jump

They just released 1st-person footage of Felix Baumgartner’s 128,100 foot dive. It’s 8 minutes of breathtaking terror. Enjoy!

WTF?

Action Figure + Position + Expression = Priceless

Science, Religion, & the Universe

Here’s part two of an interview on Science, Religion, and the Universe between Bill Moyers and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I’m looking forward to the revamped and rebooted Cosmos (March 2014), hosted by Tyson, which they also discuss in the interview. Click here to watch part 1 and part 3.

Seattle – January 2014

A photo I took of Adrienne (The West) and Ian (Wildlife Indoors) for Model Citizen.

Smith Tower

This is the view at sunrise looking south toward Smith Tower (and Mt. Rainier) from my office building.

My favorite ‘nerdy’ books of 2013

1. Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi

I can’t recommend this novel highly enough. It’s won a few accolades like the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel and it was a New York Times bestseller. So, it’s merits speak for themselves, but it truly lives up to the hype.

The premiss is fairly simple, it’s a comedic look at the expendable crew members from classic Sci-Fi TV shows like Star Trek. That’s the basic starting point, but from there you go on a hilarious and often touching journey about existence and how we can contribute to the lives of those around us. The three codas in this book nearly killed me; they drive a semi-truck right over your heart.

You don’t need to be a Sci-Fi fan to enjoy Redshirts. As with the very best Sci-Fi, it resonates with our current situation and teaches us about who we are and how we can be better.

2. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

A few years ago, I watched a movie called Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. It’s a Finnish horror movie about the “real” Santa Claus. It’s both haunting and has a quality of magical realism that just breathes the mood of the Holidays. It’s currently streaming on Netflix and I’d suggest watching it if something like that strikes your fancy.

NOS4A2 takes the horror and magical realism to a whole other level. It’s about a vampire (Nosferatu) who abducts children and the woman who has the tools to stop him.

I don’t want to give too much away; it’s really the journey that you go on through the book that is the most enjoyable element. I couldn’t guess what was going to happen next and it kept me flipping through page after page. It’s a unique story.

3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This novel is a great introduction for anyone not familiar with Neil Gaiman or his work. I could talk forever about Anansi Boys and American Gods, but I’d suggest starting here.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a simple, beautifully crafted fairy tale about memory, growing up, and making the “impossible all too real.”

No Goddamn Dancing reviews The West

The most obvious explanation is that The West were put here to save us. Of course there is the alternative, that a kick-ass dance punk band somehow coalesced and sprouted in the middle of Seattle, but it just doesn’t seem possible that anything other than divine-intervention could be responsible for making Seattleites move like this.

Regardless of how it happened, the 5 piece released their full-length debut, ‘In Low Light’, back in February and they’ve been gaining notoriety ever since, even prompting Sean Jewell at The Stranger to write, “I don’t care what era or city you’re from, you’ll have to be dead or just plain dumb not to want to dance to In Low Light”. Read more…

Back To The Future

It’s become somewhat of a tradition to do a New Year’s Day movie marathon. It’s the third year in a row that we’ve done it and I think we’ll continue to do it for years to come (though we might eventually run out of trilogies). We started with Star Wars, then moved on to Indiana Jones, and this year we did Back to The Future.

The first Back To The Future, released in 1985 (the year of my birth), still holds up. The story is interesting and fun, the themes are resonant and relevant to a modern audience, and the clothes and effects still look freaking cool. It’s one of the best Sci-Fi adventure films ever made. Read more…