I have been necessarily lax in my posting here these last few weeks, so please excuse me. In the place of real, honest-to-goodness content, I present this ne’er-aired Bud Light commercial:


Thanks, Children’s Television Workshop

There’s a very good reason for the sheer face of fear my subconscious encounters each time I’m somehow caught alone in a dark area, and it is this Bert & Ernie segment.
Thanks for 25 years of terror induced by a simple, stupid 5 minute clip.

Mandatory Viewing

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: An episodic web “TV” show, created by Joss Whedon, starring Neil Patrick Harris as an aspiring supervillain (Dr. Horrible) whose plans are consistently thwarted by Captain Hammer (played by Nathan Fillion). Free, online, at the link above. Oh, and did I mention that it’s a musical?
Go. Now. You know what to do.


Remember, folks: Burn Notice‘s new season starts tonight at 10pm. Tonight. Burn Notice.
Oh, and Bourne Identity is on in the meantime.
UPDATE: It’s entirely obvious to me that the Bourne movies wouldn’t be half as good were it not for their soundtracks. The amount of tension they manage to build in is striking.

Video Mashups Of The Geeky Kind

Three quick hits for you here. First, Battlestar LOSTica:

Next, Gradius as an Infocom-style text adventure game:

Last, the very Internet meme-y “Pork & Beans” video from Weezer:

Told you they were geeky.

Sweet Merciful Crap!

Ne’er has that particular Homerism been more appropriate than at this moment.

Roman Cortes constructed the above artwork, a feat which is unremarkable until you realize that he created the entire thing using HTML and CSS. Ned Batchelder has the (appropriately) jQuery-animated version of the construction to demonstrate just how flippin’ sweet the whole thing is.
I’m still dumbstruck by the sheer awesomeness of the feat. Wowsers.
(Picked up by way of John Gruber.)

Mitchell And Webb FTW

Merlin Mann has been on a bit of a That Mitchell And Webb Look-posting tear recently and, as such, he brought up two of my favorites, well worth posting (or re-posting, even).
First, “Bronze Age Training Day”:

Then “SS Officers/’Are We The Baddies?'”:


Fun With Analogies: LOST And Computer Role-Playing Games

defective yeti penned an amusing post in which he first lays out the central problem of LOST‘s continuing (over)use of a certain plot development ploy, namely: an unending stream of mysteries designed to confound the viewers beyond measure. (Mild profanities redacted in this quote; note that they remain in-place at the actual article.)

Here’s a hypothetical example (hypothetical in the sense that I just made all this up; again, no spoilers in this post.) An episode ends with someone on LOST finding a leather-bound tome entitled “Secrets of the Island.” Yes! Finally we’ll learn what’s going on! But in the next installment, that person opens the book to discover that the whole thing is written in ancient indecipherable pictograms. [Darnit]! But in the last five minutes, someone notices that the final third of the book is blank, and the ink of the last entry is fresh! “It’s a work-in-progress,” says Major Character. “Someone is still writing it!!” And in the last five minutes of the next episode it is revealed via flashback that Other Major Character studied Ancient Indecipherable Pictology in college–holy [crap]!!!! And this goes on for three more episodes, at which point Major Character confronts Other Major Character with the book, and he (O.M.C.) confesses that he is using the book to record the movements of the other castaways, but only because a giant, ambulatory, sentient coconut threatened to kill him if he didn’t. And you, the viewer, are, like, “well, I’m glad the mystery of the book is cleared up BUT WHAT’S THIS ABOUT A GIANT AMBULATORY SENTIENT COCONUT??!!!” Lots and lots of clues (and episodes about clues), but you’re not one jot closer to understanding the central mystery. And meanwhile the LOST prop department is hastily burying the book in a Superfund site, hoping that no one remembers the title.

He then goes on to compare this process with the leveling/”grinding” phenomenon so common in computer role-playing games. The X-Files and Twin Peaks are also mentioned. Go forth and read!

Tivo Alert: You’re On “Notice”

Michael Westin -- \"Burn Notice\"Have you watched Burn Notice on USA yet? No? Then you’re missing out on some of the most entertaining television on basic cable today. And, what’s more, USA is running a complete recap of the show in preparation for season 2. The recap starts April 17th, so if you’re looking to get caught up, best hop on the bandwagon.
In brief, the show is about Michael Westin, a former clandestine operative for the US government who was dropped by the government mid-mission. Turns out someone high up in the gov’t issued a “burn notice” proclaiming Michael a persona non grata in the eyes of the entire US gov’t hierarchy. He’s dumped in Miami (where he has family), all of his accounts are frozen and his identity is wiped clean — he officially doesn’t exist. Obviously, this doesn’t sit well with him, so he goes about trying to clear his name. He enlists the assistance of a retired FBI operative (played by Bruce Campbell!), an ex-girlfriend that used to run guns for the IRA and occasionally his ne’er-do-well kid brother. To fund his further exploits, he takes on various and sundry side jobs for folks down on their luck. Westin “narrates” the whole thing, occasionally breaking into the action to explain the ins and outs of good spycraft, like: the feet and hands have lots of bones to break, while the elbows and knees are solidly built and have fewer moving parts, so whenever you’re in a close-up fight, use the elbows and knees.
It’s part Robin Hood, part Jason Bourne, part McGuyver, part A-Team, but it’s all good entertainment as far as I’m concerned. Check it out.