Lions and tigers and blogs, oh my!

Ah, March. The Madness of Mars! Oh… the madness of it. Well, you know what they say about this month: In like a lamb and out like a…

Ha ha.

Yes. Like a lion.

Did the V countdown clock during last night’s episode of Lost hurt your enjoyment of the episode?

The most influential brands of 2090.

LL Cool J and Sarah Palin and Toby Keith and CONTROVERSY.

Something terrifying for you today, in visuals: the “Teabonics” photo set.

from here.

Reputation is dead. Time to overlook our indiscretions?

“Mind boggling” artwork that will tower over London.

Someone finally apologized for Battlefield Earth.

from here.

Though they’re not Roman, lions are kind of the gods of war in the jungle, right?

Do you honestly think that you could kill a zombie if you had the opportunity?

Terrifying sea creature hauled up from the ocean’s dark depths!

“Say hello to my little friends…” or, Scarface as a school play.

Tiger Woods blames it all on Michael Jordan. Gotta be the shoes!

Someday I’d like to see LOLcats evolve into LOL LIONS!

When I googled “LOL LIONS” just now I found this picture…

…from here. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! Ha ha. Eeesh, that’s disturbing. Of course there’s someone out there who thinks that Jesus and bestiality go hand in hand.

Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren is being adapted as a stage play.

Jay Leno: “Conan got screwed. I got screwed.”

Robin Williams likes comic books like DMZ and Tekkonkinkreet.

A comic you should read: Brian K. Vaughan’s Pride Of Baghdad.

Useless factoid: March starts the same day of the week as November every year.

Also, the mars bar, which was previously discontinued in America, makes it’s return in 2010. It’s the year we make contact… with chocolate, almond, and nougat apparently. Honestly, I don’t know WTF nougat is.

The MGM logo and Nostradamus.

George Lopez and Lindsay Lohan arguing on twitter!

Fuck bullshit like “mansplaining,” now it’s all “retrosexuals” and “The Menaissance.”

Is robbing a bank on your bucket list? It should be, right?

I’m not the messiah,” says food activist.

Puberty makes you stupid.

The second half of the current season of The Venture Bros. returns in August.

15 fingers and 16 toes!

Things you may not have known about (that you missed) in March: The third week of the month is National Brain Awareness week in USA, which is not shocking that you didn’t know about it, right? March is also National Peanut Month (for us too, of course) and National Umbrella Month. This is also the month that Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone in (on March 7, 1876) as well as the month in which Hinckley tried to assassinate Reagan (on March 30, 1981). We know all about “the ides of March,” but did you know that March was originally the first month of the Roman Calendar until Caesar changed it to the third (for shits and giggles)? Also, violets are the official flowers of March. Hope yours was a good one.

The City On The Edge Of Forever.

Phoenix is the sweatiest city in America.

Stranger In Moscow.”

Sydney and the light rail.

Augmented reality in London.

The ghost in the field, and RFID chips.

What will happen when London is flooded?

Berlin” in Paris.

Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana.

Soft robots and DARPA.

Moscow’s mayor promises a winter without snow.

Paris Syndrome and Jerusalem Syndrome.

San Francisco and the 1906 earthquake.

Rebuilding New Orleans.

from here.

City Of Blinding Lights.”

A possible glimpse at our future space cities.

America’s most expensive cities and most impoverished cities.

FOX promises to air all 13 of the already ordered Dollhouse season two episodes.

Speaking of which, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s The Cabin In The Woods being held back a year to be switched over to 3D.

Magnetricity” observed for the first time.

A map of your future mega-cities and megaopolises.

“When the lights go down in the city…”

Sensing the immaterial-material city.

Cities underground and cities tsunami-resistant.

City Of Shadows.

The ruins of Chernobyl, over 20 years later.

Cities In Dust.”

GTA IV: Inherent Vice City.

Silver City” and “Sad, Sad City.”

Why all cities are haunted.

The mind of a city (and how our brains are similar).

The cityscapes of François Schuiten.

Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem.

The city is a battlesuit for surviving the future.

Phantom City: See the city that could’ve been.

“…when we reach the city.”

“I have come to wound the autumnal city.”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

“I’ll take the coral reefs as my metaphor. Though hardly so beautiful. If the essence of life is information carried in DNA, then society and civilization are just colossal memory systems and a metropolis like this one, simply a sprawling external memory….”

-a quote from Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence, a movie that I was watching the other day and just first stirred the pot on several thoughts I had locked up. Thoughts about human beings and boxes we live in.

Warren Ellis had created a comic book character years ago called Jack Hawksmoor, the “king of cities.” Jack was a normal human who had been abducted by city-empathic aliens from the future and repeatedly operated on and “upgraded” to have city-specific powers for use with fighting some unknown future threat that was coming.

Jack Hawksmoor, the King Of Cities.

Hawksmoor, who’s name was inspired by both Spring Heeled Jack and Nicholas Hawksmoor, couldn’t survive for very long outside of an urban environment, but when he was in any city, he had powers specific to that city, including things like superhuman strength and agility, but also psychometry and the ability to control and alter architecture and infrastructure. I don’t think the character was ever utlized by successive writers to his full potential, but I do remember in one story where Hawksmoor had to fight a powerful villain, he made sure that the fight took place in Mexico City, the larged city in the world, to maximize his abilities.

Quarantined in utopia.

“There’s no one to know. There’s nothing to do. The city’s been down since you’ve been gone.”

Climate change and warfare.

Black And White Town.”

Scientists create “sexual tsunami.”

12 sexist vintage ads.

What’s left of the Roman city of Dougga.

Futurism vs. Science Fiction.

Futuristic steampunk urban recycling.

The little town that Los Angeles killed.

Speaking of which: Future Los Angeles.

Future Chicago.

Future New York.

The saddest blow job story ever.

History Of A Boring Town.”

Russell Brand not capable of monogamy.

10 most amazing ghost towns, including Prypiat.

Everything In It’s Right Place.”

Scientists develop “brain to brain communication.”

As time progresses, the future will literally devour the past: WW2-era statue with added cell tower.

Last Stop: This Town.”

Sci-Friday.

Klaatu Barada Nikto!

I honestly can’t believe they’re remaking The Day The Earth Stood Still. I really can’t.

Well, let me rephrase that: I can’t believe they’re remaking it so poorly. Oh. Wait. Yes, I can. I totally can. Ugh.

And Don Draper’s in it, ha ha! Awesome. According to the wikipedia article on the remake, Keanu only did it (he considers it to be a re-imagining, not a remake) because he was such a fan of the original as a kid and glad that they removed Klaatu’s “big stick” speech from the end. Color me surprised that Keanu is against the big stick.

I’m not going to talk about the film that much, because… well, if you haven’t seen the original, then I don’t know who you are and you’re probably not interested in this post anyways. Sucks to be you! But I will say that I’m sad to see that the remake, er, “re-imagining” didn’t bring over the original film’s anti-war (also, anti-nuclear) message, instead going for a much more “Hollywood PC-friendly” environmental preservation message.

The updates to Gort and the ship, which is now biological, are interesting (apropos of nothing, is it me or are Jennifer Connelly and Naomi Watts basically the same person now, just with different colored hair?) and as far as Klaatu is concerned, well, Keanu was probably born to play this part, big stick or not.

Every Friday, or thereabout, on the Counterforce tumblr, I share a few classic and sometimes not so classic sci fi stories that I’ve enjoyed over the years or am curious about or interested in. Stuff you should know about (if you don’t already)! And I figured that today that would do the same thing, but for realsies here at Counterforce, starting with:

Contact, released in 1997, directed by Robert, and based on the novel by Carl Sagan. I’ve always wanted to read the book, but sadly, never have.  The movie, which I watched last week for the first time in years, still holds up (even with the cgi’d in Bill Clinton scenes) as both fun and smart, and nicely scratches by sci fi itch, and manages to deal with (in a not totally condescending way) matters of belief and faith in a higher power, whether that be the Christian Sky Bully or high advanced extraterrestial alien beings sending us messages from across the stars. Jodie Foster is excellent as always in her special Jodie Foster way (by now it’s no secret that I have a crush on Jodie Foster, right?)(Yes, I know, she probably doesn’t like me back) and even McConaughey’s decent in this film, but this is years before he perfected his bohemian hobo swerve. Also, I learned from Wikipedia that Sagan was paid a $2 million advance for the novel, the highest at the time for a then unwritten work.

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

Consider Her Ways by John Wyndham.

Freakangels, by Warren Ellis, free to read every week, and based on the notion of what Wyndham’s Midwich Cuckoos would be like when they grew up.

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Stugatsky (download it here), which was the basis for Tarkovsky’s excellent Stalker, a film that is profoundly uneasy, beautiful, and luminous with sorrow.

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.

Singularity Sky by Charles Stross.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy and Grant Morrison talking about pop magic at DisinfoCon.

Alcubierre drive.

Bussard ramjet.

Space tourism.

Farewell To The Master,” the 1940 short story by Harry Bates that both iterations of The Day The Earth Stood Still are based on.

Robots show that brain activity is linked to time as well as space.

Nanotechnology.

Prey by Michael Crichton.

K. Eric Drexler.

The 23rd Psalm” in which Mr. Eko meets the monster for the first time.

A similar scene from Via Domus. And this is just one of the many reasons why I love Juliet on Lost.

Did magnetic field failure trigger mass extinction?

Fullerenes in popular culture.

Ecophagy. Grey goo!

There’s plenty of room at the bottom.

The Post-Modern Prometheus Of Politics!

Q: Is the new Star Trek movie a reimagining, remake, or a reboot? A: Time travel!

Unknown “structures” are tugging at the universe, scientists say. Dark Flow!

Cthulhu, black holes, and robots.

How time travel will work. Time travel for beginners. Time travel paradoxes.

The Clock That Went Backward” by Edward Page Mitchell.

Time After Time by Nicholas Meyer.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The grandfather paradox. The predestination paradox. The ontological paradox.

-All You Zombies-” by Robert Heinlein. (Mack, if you’re reading, that one’s for you, you big weird bastard)

But you can’t travel back in time, or so scientists say.

As She Climbed Across The Table and Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem.

Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We All Got Along After The Bomb by Phillip K. Dick.

Your Name Here, the pseudo-biopic of Dick just doesn’t look interesting to me. Not at all.

The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch by Dick, and of course, VALIS!

Scientists extract images directly from the brain.

The Invisibles, fiction suits, singularities, the supercontext, and the masturbatory sigil.

Raymond Kurzweil and Spiritual Machines. And Barack Obama.

Bruce Sterling and the buckyjunk, blobjects, spime, and slipstream.

Daniel Pinchbeck and Reality Sandwich.

Magic party!

The World Future Society.

Marco Sparks loves British sci fi.

Make these books into a movie right now!

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke.

Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany.

A Sound Of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury.

Friday and Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day!

Sex and sexuality in science fiction.

Deep Blue and Deep Fritz.

I’d like to think that Skynet could totally kick Deus Ex Machina‘s sorry ass.

Sex with robots? But can you wait a bit before robohusbandry really becomes a thing?

How To Survive A Robot Uprising by Daniel Wilson.

Tonight is the year’s biggest full moon!