Thomas Galvin
Purveyor of Fine Pulp Fiction

Triquetra
Nobody's weak. Everybody's strong. -Justin Pope

This Week on the Web is chock full of nutty goodness, starting with a whole host of new trailers (Thor, Batman: Arkham City, Fast and the Furious Five, Pirates of the Caribbean , and The Rite), a crazy base jumping future inmate, molten ice, an offer for a free copy of the Necronomicon (get eaten first!), the new Google Chrome OS machine, a bunch of bah and humbug, cute animals, gay rights, child marriage, and more!

Pop Culture

How to drive Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings fans insane with one pic (via Bibliotech)

Shot-by-shot breakdown of the new Thor trailer: You can view the trailer here.

Thor: God of Thunder trailer: If you’ve ever wanted to watch Thor fight a Balrog, this is your chance. Also: “victory or Valhalla” is a pretty metal catch phrase.

Batman: Arkham City trailer: I’m not a gamer (and I don’t even own a console this would run on), but I would watch the hell out of this movie.

Jon Favreau is out of Iron Man 3: Ah well, at least we got 1 1/2 good movies.

Fast and the Furious: Fast Five trailer: Vin Diesel and The Rock in one movie? And it’s not (intentionally) a comedy? Epic. Win. (via Geeks of Doom)

An interview with Tron: Legacy director Joe Kosinski: I absolutely love Olivia Wilde the visuals in this movie. (via Slashdot)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides trailer: I’ve got mixed feelings about this one, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

Trailer for the Anthony Hopkins exorcism trailer The Rite: Demonic possession and Vatican priests with touch-tables? Sign me up!

First photo of John Cusack in The Raven: I want his clothes. No, not in that way. (via Cleolinda)

New Dredd helmet photos: That… sure is a helmet.

More concept art from the aborted Tim Burton / Nic Cage Superman: Looking at these images, I can safely say that this movie would have been unmitigated shit.

Test footage of the above-mentioned Superman suit: Unmitigated. Shit.

Robocop saves Pee Wee Herman at the 1989 Oscars: This was where humanity jumped the shark, folks. It’s all down hill from here. (via Blastr)

Cool Stuff

Stop Motion: Insert Coin: Sweet holy hell this is impressive, and must have taken roughly eleventy billion years to pull off. (via Topless Robot)

Watch the Metrodome collapse from the inside: This is pretty damn awesome. If you look close, you can see a guy scurrying to get the hell out of there when the whole thing starts coming down. (via Bibliotech)

Crazy Guy BASE Jumps off Bridge to Escape Arrest: Well, it might be better to say he base jumped in order to get arrested, since the cop didn’t seem particularly interested in taking him to jail if he’d just get off the damn bridge, but still. (via Gizmodo)

Giant ice volcano once spewed molten ice: Yeah, you read that right. Molten. Ice. I weep for our species. (via Kevin Galvin)

Get your free copy of the Necronomicon today! It’s like the Bible, but… different. (via i09)

Science &Technology

On the road with the new Google Tablet: Executive summary: the software is amazing, but the (prototype) hardware is terrible. Which is almost certainly why Google isn’t releasing this yet; I’m about 99% certain that they will have this all worked out by launch time. (via Bibliotech)

Neuroscientists create the first brain-controlled powered exoskeleton : One step closer to Iron Man armor.

New mathematical model shows “plenty of time” for evolution: I’ve actually seen models similar to this in the past, almost a decade ago, but this is still an important lesson on how evolution works. Not that it will matter to anyone that still thinks the earth is six thousand years old. (via Roger Ebert)

New model of the universe has no Big Bang, no beginning, and no end: This is why we can trust science; a guy can walk up to the table, say “I think everything you’ve taught for the last fifty years is dead wrong”, and still get a polite listen, if he can back up what he’s saying with reason and evidence. (via Derek Francisco)

Bah Humbug

The Potter Puppet Pals wish you a Merry, and slightly Murderous, Christmas: I <3 Voldemort.

Happy digital Christmas: It all starts when Gabriel texts Mary with an important announcement… (via Gizmodo)

Pastor hangs an elf in effigy: In an effort to fight back against the commercialization of Christmas, this German(?) Danish pastor has embarked on a quest to show the world that he is batshit insane.

We Wish You A Turtle Christmas: In which animatronic turtles lip sync poorly, and someone spends far too much time thinking about their crotches. (via Godless Girl)

Squee

Duck Family vs. Strong Wind Your weekly dose of squee. (via AJ Wiswell)

Hedgepig mittens: Your supplemental dose of squee. (via AJ Wiswell)

Corgis playing in the snow: In case you haven’t quite met the USDA recommended dose of squee. Also: I’m starting to get the impression that The Girlfriend wants a corgi. (via AJ Wiswell)

Hedgepigs taking baths: So. Much. Squee. (via John Taylor Crayton)

Health & Fitness

AIDS breakthrough: this man may have been cured of AIDS: Berlin doctors are reporting that a stem cell transplant has transfered HIV immunity into a previously infected man, which in turn drove the virus out of his body. If this is true, it’s amazing. (via i09)

Politics and Religion

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repealed: Let’s start this weeks politics and religion off with something positive. Also, let’s give credit where credit is due: to the eight Republicans who crossed the aisle and voted in favor of human rights and decency: Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, George Voinovich of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina, John Ensign of Nevada and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine.

Unfortunately, it’s all down hill from here.

Jon Stewart to Republicans: you don’t get to exploit 9/11 anymore: I’m continually amazed that the only reliable news anchor in the country is on Comedy Central. Full clip here. (via Godless Girl)

House Republicans block Child Marriage Prevention Act: That’s right, folks. The Republican party is now the party of child rape. Family values my white ass.

Study confirms that Fox News makes you stupid: The study shows that Fox fans are significantly more likely to hold factually wrong beliefs that people who get their news from another source. Or: Fox lies. I know, you’re shocked. (via Mike Favata)

And there goes the First Sale Doctrine: What the hell, Supreme Court? Are you actively trying to destroy the economy? Oh, you are? All right then. (via Slashdot)

Glenn Beck hates a study that suggests intelligent people are more likely to be atheists: At least he made sure to suggest we want to murder Republican babies. It wouldn’t be a Glenn Beck show without the threat of murdered babies.

The Physics of Terror: Aaron Clauset takes a fascinating look at the mathematics of terror: when, how, and how successfully terrorist groups strike, using historical data to build predictive models. The best way to study (and combat) terrorism is with cold, detached logic, so I’m sure his funding will be cut by someone blathering about evil Muslims. (via Slashdot)

God Hates Shrimp: Bringing the timeless truths of the Bible to the heathen masses of America. (via Slacktivist)

The Divine Life of Animals: When I read something like this, I want to shoot myself for not being published yet. Jesus.

0 Responses to “This Week on the Web – 20 December 2010”

  1. Mailin says:

    The signs beneath the hanged elf is not written in German, but in a Scandinavian language. I guess Danish, but Im not sure. But this could have happened in Germany, too. The people are often crazy enough here :D

  2. The Girlfriend says:

    Dear Thomas:
    Correction: I want a HERD of corgis. Also, a staff to walk them when I’m lazy.
    -The Girlfriend

  3. jassie says:

    Yes, it is Danish. ^^

    You know, a friend of mine really believes the world is only about 16000 years old. Annoys the hell out of me.

  4. Thomas says:

    Mailin: It could have happened here in the US, too. I’m actually less surprised when something crazy happens over here… Europe is (generally) more sensible about these things.

  5. Thomas says:

    Jassie: my boss believes that the earth is 6,000 some-odd years old. I try to avoid the issue with him.

  6. Neil says:

    Hi Thomas,

    Lots of good links. Loved the exo-skeleton story. Anything about Virtual Reality, stem cells, AI or cybernetics is right up my street.

    On the USA/Europe comparison – the difference in Europe is that the right in politics is often as secular as the left. Or to put it another way the left is often as religious as the right and nobody on eihter side wants to talk about God in public unless they really have to as they know it’s a big turn off with voters. Of note a fairly high percentage of church goers of most denominations consider themselves left wing. The UK Labour Party for instance has always been strongly linked with Methodists, Quakers and sections of the Anglican denomination, maybe because some of these people have actually read and understood the message of the bible. As a result you don’t get much of that “values voter” crap that the Republicans pull to get their own base out to vote against their own self interests – that base just doesn’t exist in Europe. A Conservative government in the UK did try using that sort of strategy in the early 90s – it was called “back to basics”. Unfortunately we have a particularly savage press over here and the whole strategy rebounded when assorted cabinet ministers were found to be up to all sorts of no good. The rule of thumb since has been “we don’t do God” to quote Tony Blair’s press officer – which is fine by me.

  7. Sami_Elly says:

    OMG BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN

    *fangasm*

  8. Thomas says:

    Hey Neil :-)

    All of the stuff I’m reading about exoskeletons and armor and mind/machine interfaces is amazing. We really are pretty darn close to Iron Man armor. Flying is still out of the question, but in a few years, we’re going to have some amazing stuff on the battle field. It’s incredible how quickly things are advancing.

    Mainstream American Christianity is such a perversion of what’s actually in the New Testament that I don’t even know where to begin. I’m not a Christian by any means, and I think there’s a lot of room for improvement over some of the morals taught in Scripture, but the utter hatred the Republicans show for the poor and destitute blows my mind.

    There are things I love about this country, particularly how strongly our freedom of speech is protected, but there are other areas where we fall far short. Secularism is one of those, and I think a lot of it is that we’re still a (relatively) young country. We haven’t had time to have our own enlightenment yet, so the story tellers and myth makers still get more play with us than they deserve.

  9. Thomas says:

    Hi Sami_Elly :-) That trailer is amazing, isn’t it? I really really really hope that this is where Nolan goes with his next Batman movie.

  10. Sami_Elly says:

    It IS.

    The last game (Batman: Arkham Asylum) was really well written too. Paul Dini’s been putting some creative juices into these games. These are the first Batman games that are just like EPIC.

    I could only imagine a Nolan/Dini collaboration.

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