A Deliciously Dreadful Christmas

So I realized today that I had somehow neglected to put anything up yet for Christmas anything not Doctor Who related and missed my usual Christmas celebrating. Jeeze, I even forgot to decorate the place! So tonight, on the eve of Christmas Eve, I present a deliciously dark version of Neil Gaiman's poem Nicholas Was.

39 Degrees North: Christmas Card 2010 from 39 Degrees North on Vimeo.

Maybe not quite the Christmas-y cheer that one would expect being this close to the Big Day, but hey, I like Neil Gaiman.


10 Days Till Squee!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Doctor Who fan - *huge* - which is why the long-ish waits between seasons is pretty intolerable. Luckily it is a Christmas tradition for the beeb to have a special Christmas episode each year...

... and I'm super stoked for this year's outing. Probably more stoked than I have been for previous outings. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Tennant specials, just this is going to be the first time that we have had the same Doctor with the same companion, and in all honesty the interplay between Matt Smith and Karen Gillian is probably the best we've had in the new series. And besides, they're getting all Dickensian on us so yay!

As an extra present I dug up this British Kit-Kat commercial which is absolutely hilarious. Mostly just the beginning and the end, but still, hilarity!


Now For Something Different

In the last little while NASA has really been ramping up its search for habitable planets outside of our solar system and, by extension, for extraterrestrial life. Today NASA held a panel which has had some serious buzz around it. Lets be honest here; you bring together some astrobiologist, an organic chemist and to talk about a major discovery that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life and people are going to get really excited. So what was it all the buzz about? A new way to view life.

Or rather, an exception to our rules regarding what makes up life. What they have discovered is a microbe which can substitute arsenic for phosphorus in its basic, molecular make-up. That may not sound like such a big deal, but when you consider that all life we know of so far uses carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur as its basic building blocks, and that phosphorus is essential in forming DNA and RNA, you can see the kind of paradigm shift which biologists are facing and the potential opportunities for the discovery of life on planets and moons which we may not have considered before.

It is still the very early days for this kind of study and there are a lot of questions which still need to be asked, but the implications of this discovery are huge.
via NASA

Also, io9 has a really nice summary of the findings and the whole event today


Everything Is Better With Impromptu Singing

I have a confession to make.

I love Bollywood films. There is just something about how absolutely off-the-wall crazy they are in both premise and execution that is just so endearing. Especially when they more or less adapt Hollywood films and make them, well, insane. Take Back To The Future Action Replayy, in which a dude goes back in time to fix his parents marriage by making his father less of a dweeb. And sings about it. Aaaaand, let's just let the trailer say the rest.


After The Dance - Of Paradigm Shifts And Film

So I'm taking a course this year called History and Theory of the Cinema. Its actually a surprisingly difficult course in that it challenges our entrenched notions of what cinema is, what good cinema is, and how to think about what we watch. I can say for sure that I don't watch films the same way now as I did before I started in on this adventure, though it did take some time and a large mental shift to get me to appreciate the films we are being shown.
As a result I have been kicking around Vimeo more of late. In my recent journeying I came across this short film. Still being in a somewhat transitory state in regards to my appreciation of film, I can say that while I may not like this short per-se, there is a beauty about it which has invited me to watch it over and over again.
Now, I share it with you


In Which A Cute Amphibian-Thing Wants To Be A Hero

Time for a shameless plug for one of my favourite bands. I Fight Dragons is truly a geek band, what with their chiptunes straight out of the 80’s and their references to comic book and video game heroes. Also, they use NES and SNES controllers as musical instruments. On stage.
I discovered IFD while meandering about the internet looking for some cool electro/dance music that the artists were making available online for free. It was during this search that I was really exposed to the genre of chiptunes and through trial and error finally hit upon the very nice blend of chiptune geekiness and awesome rock that IFD manages to bring together.
This is a video for the song “The Faster the Treadmill” from their EP Cool is Just a Number. The animation was hand drawn. Yea, wicked.


Why, Hello Mister Potter

Presented in honour of the release of The Deathly Hollows: Part 1.

Also, just for fun, how many Harry Potter characters can you name? The top 200 by mentions in the book? In 18 minutes? Its actually pretty challenging!


Oh Matt Smith, You Slay Me!

Presented to Doctor Who fans. Pure win from the actor who is pretty much my favourite Doctor thus far.


Ninjas vs. Cowboys and Other Awesomeness

Challenging The Expendables on my list of crazy-freaking action movie of the year: The Warrior's Way. Ninjas! Cowboys! Steampunk! YEAH


Flying: No Wings, No Problem

Presented without comment. Just bask in the craziness that is gliding.

Jeb Corliss wing-suit demo from Jeb Corliss on Vimeo.