Soon To Be Classics

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Digging Through The Earth

Here's a stupid site that answers the age-old question: "If I dig a whole all the way through the Earth, where will I end up?"

Of course, every 9-year old knows the answer is China. However, it's most like somewhere off the west coast of Australia.

Check it out here.

Turning Back The World

I normally wouldn't do two Superman posts in a row but I saw something interesting today. For those of you who are unaware, the 1978 Superman: The Movie, was filmed at roughly the same time as the follow-up, Superman II. This of course was the first on-screen super-villian battle and ranks pretty high among comic book movies. What you might not know, is that much of director Richard Donner's work on that film was cut as he was removed from the project, only getting credit for the first one. For years, fans have been screaming for a director's cut and to have Donner's work (which everyone involved said it was superior to the final product) restored.

According to Dreamwatch Magazine, this project is now in the works and Donner has been hired to restore Superman II to it's original vision. Of course, this is being done in response to the newly packaged versions of the four Batman films coinciding with the release of Batman Begins on DVD. Do we care what the reasons are? Nope. I never need a reason to watch...

"And now...take my hand...and swear undying Zod."


I'll keep you updated on the story.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rating Lois

No name can melt the heart made of steel faster than "Lois". Of course, I'm referring to Lois Lane, the comic book creation and long time love interest of Superman / Clark Kent. When Superman premiered in Action Comics #1, romance comics were still somewhat popular and the character of Lois was an obvious bridge between the romance genre and the adventure books.

Lois has changed in the comics over the years, but not so much as she has on film and video. So, for no particular reason, I offer this retrospective on the Lois Lane and how she's weathered the years.

Phyllis Coates

Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane in the 1950's tv program "The Adventures of Superman". Alongside George Reeves, Coates spent one season chasing the story, getting into peril, and never quite figuring out that Clark and Superman were the same person. There was little romance here, as the 30 minute episodes left little time for that. I will be honest when I say I really don't remember many of Coates' episodes so I really can't rate her performance. Her and Reeves both considered television to be the bottom of the barrel, and she left after one season to deal with family and personal problems.

Noel Neil

Neil replaced Coates as Lois Lane and proceeded to spend several seasons as the dumbest female in history. However, she was the original Lois Lane in the two 1948 and 1949 movies serials, Superman and Superman and the Atom Man. Her chemistry with Reeves played well with the audience and the show became quite popular. She was a much spunkier Lois but there was still little emphasis on the relationship. George Reeve's Clark Kent was terrifically confident and seemed to enjoy admonishing Lois more than anything else. I rate Neil very high on my list as the Lois that I most remember. Note: Neil played Lois Lane's MOTHER in the 1978 movie Superman. Look closely in the train scene where young Clark Kent is racing the train. Neil is sitting the one-time Superman, Kirk Alyn. In an edited scene that was later shown on tv, the little girl says "look at the man racing the train". Neil scolds her and calls her "Lois".

Margot Kidder

I might be drawing some ire here, but I really never liked Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. I've like her in most everything else I have seen her in, but I just hated the "70's woman" portrayal of Lois. Chain smoking, arrogant, sarcastic, etc; it just didn't appeal to me and I could never see what Clark / Superman would see in her. I remember at the time (and I was still rather young) that producers said they had "updated Lois for the times". If that was the result, then I'm glad I wasn't dating in the 70's. Thank God they didn't make her disco. It seems that producers or audiences finally realized this as well, as she was pretty much written out of the third movie in favor of Annette O'toole as Lana Lang. It was easy to see why SHE was Clark's first love.

Teri Hatcher

In the 90's, Superman was reinvented as "Moonlighting with kyrptonite" as the romantic-adventure formula was applied to the Man of Steel. Teri Hatcher came from relative obscurity to play Lois to Dean Cain's Superman. You cannot deny that Hatcher was and is gorgeous. Further, she played the part of Lois as good as anyone. She was a decent reporter, adventerous, and prone to peril. What endeared her to audiences, was her split relationship with Clark / Superman. She had the perfect mix of disdain for Clark and infatution with Superman. The best dialogue in the entire run of the series was this exchange between Lois and a time-travelling villain named Tempus:

Lois: If you wanna kill Superman, I don't know why you're going to Smallville or 1966.
Tempus: She doesn't know yet. Oh, this is good. This is really good. Um, Lois, did you know that, in the future, you're revered at the same level as Superman? Why there are books about you, statues, an interactive game. You're even a breakfast cereal.
Lois: Really?
Tempus: Yes. But, as much as everybody loves you, there is one question that keeps coming up: "How dumb was she?" Here, I'll show you what I mean. Look (puts glasses on), I'm Clark Kent. (Takes glasses off) No, I'm Superman. (Puts glasses on) Mild-mannered reporter. (Takes glasses off) Superhero. Hello! Duh! Clark Kent is Superman. Ha, ha, ha. Well, that was worth the whole trip. To actually meet the most galactically stupid woman who ever lived.

Erika Durance

This is a tough one. Smallville is the most radical changing of the Superman mythos to hit the big or small screen. It's a teen action-adventure show that's populated with young, hip, good looking kids that barely weave around the events that brought Kal-el to Earth. For the first three seasons, the story has been about Clark and his longing for Lana Lang. Amazingly enough, in the comics Lana was about the first one to discover Clark's secret. On Smallville, she's about the only one who doesn't know. Maybe Tempus will come back in time to give her the second place ribbon.

Then, during the fourth season, we get Erika Durance as Lois Lane. Continuity is completely thrown on its ear and Lois is older than Clark, really doesn't like him, but is living on the Kent farm. It was a great excuse to bring a beautiful (or at least another) young woman onto the show. I do have to admit though, that as much as I'm not a fan of Durance's acting, I do like her as Lois. She's feisty and obnoxious but has a certain appeal that Clark seems attracted to, albeit slowly. It doesn't hurt that she's a drop-dead knockout. However, they're going to run into problems when they try to turn the relationship core of the series from Lana (who is suitably appealing) to Lois. By the way, in case you're wondering how Smallville keeps getting men to watch, in a few week's Lois will pose as a stripper.

We've come a long way from Phyllis Coates, haven't we?

By the way, honorable mention goes to Joan Alexander (Superman, Fleischer studios, 1941) as the first animated Lois Lane, and Dana Delaney (China Beach) as Lois Lane from the 1995-2000 Superman: The Animated Series.

I apologize for any Lois Lanes out there I might have missed. And for all of you women named Lois, when men snicker at your name, it's only because we wish were Superman.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Full Ahead, Geek Factor Nine

I'm always jealous when someone stumbles across, and subsequently blogs, an amazing or fun website. I spend very little time "surfing" anymore so I never find them...until today.

If you're a fan of just about any sci-fi property, you'll love this site.

Starship Dimensions

This site is so very cool I've already spent way too much time perusing it.

5 points if you find Mr. Stay-Puft.

Fun Things to do with German Toilet Paper

Originally uploaded by Mkae.
I think that you can truly tell the mettle of a nation by what they wipe their butt with.

Take the U.S. for example. We're an advanced, caring, clean people that obviously spend millions per year trying to determine how to get more "ply" for our buck.

On my recent trip to Germany though, I learned that the German people are tough and hearty. And obviously don't sit down a lot.

The toilet paper in my hotel room was just brutal. This one ply, cross-hatched, brillo pad for the butt actually tore loudly when you pulled a sheet from the roll like ripping brown shipping paper. I mean, I could have scrubbed dried spaghetti sauce out of a pan with this stuff.

It is easy to say how bad it was, but the proof is in the picture. I decided to put it to the test, by making a paper airplane out of it. Worked like a charm. Nicely creased lines, solid structure, flew several feet.

I dubbed it the "Aero-naughty".

By the way, the 5 euro note in the picture is for size comparison, not some general opinion of the European currency.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Hotel What??

Originally uploaded by Mkae.
When I got my itinerary for my recent trip to Germany, I had to pause when I saw the name of the hotel. There's a familiar name in there and I wondered if there was any coincidence.

So Mike, any German blood?

The hotel itself was very odd. It was on the fourth floor of a type of mall. Lots of hair care shops, sunglass boutiques and the like. Even weirder, was that the hallway for the hotel was on the fourth floor and it connected right into the hallway of the hospital (or "clinic") next door. Take a wrong turn off of the elevator lobby and you were in intensive care.

As I said, very strange.

Monday, October 17, 2005

And We're Back...

I got back from Germany last night, after roughly 400 hours of flying. (Or at least it felt that way.) I'm also now suffering from horrible jet lag as I've been awake now, and working, since 3am.

There were some posts I wanted to make in Germany but the Internet there seems to be more of an after-thought than anything else. Needless to say I have lots to post now so please watch this space. Some of the upcoming topics will include:

1) The Hotel What?
2) Fun Things To Do With German Toilet Paper
3) An Irish Pub Saved My Life
4) British Airways - The Most Polite Way To Crash
5) On Behalf of all Americans, I Apologize We Didn't Bomb Your Hotel in WWII
6) The Best Meal In Germany
7) Taking Back Trannsylvania, Comrade

So, once I get my head screwed back on, we'll have some fun!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Off to Germany

I will be taking my first international trip today as I fly off to Essen, Germany. It's a business trip so it's only for a few days but I'll be sure and take pics and blog along the way as I'm able. Right now, I'm just prepping for the unGodly long plane trip.

What's funny, is that at first, I was worried about the fact that from Seattle, the flight to Heathrow goes OVER THE TOP of the world. "Holy crap!" I thought. I don't want to fly over the Arctic. Then I realized, at 38,000 feet, it's pretty much the same. If you crash, you die. Would I prefer to crash in Hawaii? Maybe. But most of my life flying has been side to side. Up and over just seems to make it even scarier than usual.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Thing I Haven't Done

I was running errands today when I saw something that make me think about the things in my life I've never done

I'll go into it later in detail, but it dawned on me that many people have done this specific thing. The three pics in this blog are of characters that have done this specific thing.

Tell me what this specific thing is. You get exactly one guess as to what this specific activity is. There might be a prize. :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

But I DID See Serenity

Ok, so work sponsored a "movie day" today so we could all go see Serenity. (No, we aren't developing a game!)

We walked about 6 blocks to the theater so we had plenty of time to talk about the film. Pretty much everyone was a Firefly fan. Several had already seen the movie and lamented the fact that if you had seen the short-lived TV series, the movie wasn't as good as there are some continuity issues. They still loved the film though.

My question is this: I have a 12.5 hour flight to Germany coming up and I'm considering picking up the Firefly boxed set on DVD. If I have seen the movie first, how messed up is this going to be?

By the way, I did enjoy the film very much. Although, the amount of damage this crew was able to take and still walk was a bit much. That's Hollywood for you though.

I Didn't See THAT Movie!

Have you ever seen a movie trailer that looked like one movie, and then the actual movie turned out to be something else? For those of you who are in doubt that the guys who create movie trailers have the power of God at their disposal, watch this.

The Shining

Monday, October 03, 2005

Guess Whose Birthday!

Originally uploaded by Mkae.
I love birthdays. I hate my own, but I love it when my kids have a birthday. My boy loves Buzz Lightyear, and despite feeding the Disney engine, I had to get him his very own Buzz Lightyear. I think I was more anxious for his birthday than he was. Based on this pic, I think I got the reaction I was hoping for.

To infinity...and BEYOND!!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Hot New Investment: Ice!

I read a report here that really struck me as odd. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a hundred million dollars worth of ICE would never make it to hurricane victims. Now, having gone through a hurricane myself and losing power for 5 days, I can tell you that ice is most desired and appreciated. I swear this is true, but about 3 days in we heard a "rumor" in our neighborhood that a local store was getting some ice in at noon. I jumped in the car and rushed up there to get some.

But I digress. A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS worth of ice? Who owned that? Why would you invest in that? Isn't the upkeep on that investment a little cost prohibitive? If I could build a machine to bring an iceburg to my house, am I in the money? Would an over the fence discussion with my neighbor look like this:

Mark: So, I just invested $100 Million.

Tony: Really? In what? Gold? Stocks?

Mark: Nope. Ice.

Tony: Wow! Where is it?

Mark: Well, it's right over here...oh shit.

Now that you know how valuable ice is, you'll think twice about filling that glass up.