Monday, June 30, 2008


AMC is making a six-part miniseries remake of The Prisoner to air next year. They have cast Jim Caviezel as Number 6 and Ian McKellen as Number 2.

Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog by Joss Whedon will be available free online for one week only (starting with part one on July 15th and all parts available until midnight on the 20th). If you miss it then, it will be a paid download after that, and then it will be released on dvd. SF Signal has a preview.

A fungus discovered accidentally and then modified by nanotechnology into a drug is looking like a promising treatment for cancer (especially liver and lung tumors).

DVR for tonight:
7pm The Middleman (encore at 9pm)

Friday, June 27, 2008


North Carolina is offering a free replacement for license plates they issued that start with the "potentially offensive" sequence WTF. Is it only me who thinks this is funny and they'll probably get more people wanting the plates than wanting to get rid of them?

Researchers have found that a medication originally intended to help prevent transplanted organ rejection may help reverse mental retardation and symptoms of a type of autism.

Tim Minear (Angel, Wonderfalls, Firefly, etc...) wrote a screenplay for Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (perhaps my favorite of his books). He has put it online as a free PDF download.

The top 10 finalists for Best Drama and Best Comedy Emmy Awards have been announced (the actual nominees will be announced in a couple weeks). Of the 20 shows, I only watch 5, so you know these would not have been my choices.

DVR for tonight:
6pm Doctor Who

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The first 2 Discworld novels are being released in graphic novel format for the 25th anniversary. Eos has a preview.

DVR for tonight:
George Carlin specials on HBO

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The lead actor from New Amsterdam has been cast as the main character in Virtuality, Ronald D. Moore's upcoming SF pilot about Earth's first starship. has a great photo gallery chronicling the life and career of George Carlin. As a tribute, HBO will be playing 11 of his specials over the next couple days.

Follow-up to an earlier post: Apparently the existence of the "undiscovered" Amazon tribe has been known about for 100 years, they just were not contacted. The photos seem to be part of an effort to protect the rain forest near them from logging by increasing global awareness of the issue, which unfortunately led to some misleading articles.

SF Signal posted that Project Gutenberg has 7 new Edgar Rice Burroughs stories available for free on their site (Tarzan and Mars stories). When I looked at the site, it looks like they have most of his novels, and most include audiobook versions.

Nothing for the DVR tonight.

Monday, June 23, 2008


RIP George Carlin. The comedy legend died last night at age 71.
Yahoo Obituary - LA Times Obituary (from Zap2It) - Comments by John Scalzi - E! Online Obituary with video - Response from other comedians

The Locus Award winners have been announced. Yiddish Poliemen's Union won Best Novel.

Cinemaroll has a list of 10 Must See Classic Science Fiction Movies. I've actually seen about 7 of these, and they range from extremely campy to great films, which makes them strange to see on a list together. I can think of a couple others they should have included, but it's an amusing list.

Black cloud: Cody's Books has closed completely. They were a great independent bookstore for about 50 years with locations in San Francisco and Berkeley. I'll miss their author events. Potential silver lining: Neil Gaiman mentions he's glad Kepler's is still in business, so here's hoping that the independent bookstore that I pass every day on my commute will actually start to draw some of the authors who can no longer go to Cody's Books.

My traditional "get ready for the olympics" movie (at least for the last 24 years) is finally coming to DVD. The First Olympics will be released this August (just before the summer Olympics begins).

Dean Devlin will be producing an 80-minute SF thriller called Blank Slate that will be shown in 20 pieces on TNT and starting in September.

DVR for tonight:
5pm The Middleman (ABCFAM)

Friday, June 20, 2008


New casting announcement for Eureka: Ever Carradine will have a recurring role as Sheriff Carter's sister. (We've seen her before on Women's Murder Club, Men in Trees, and other guest roles.)

After complaints this past year, the Oscar rules are changing for Best Song and Best Foreign Film. (Song will be limited to 2 songs per movie and Foreign Film will have a nominating committee that will pick 3 of the 9 preliminary nominees and avoid some of the worst oversights.)

Apparently the pilot for Fringe has leaked to the Torrent sites. (I think it is funny that a TV show on the torrents is rumored to be intentionally leaked to create buzz, but anything else would be a threatened lawsuit.)

DVR for tonight:
6pm Doctor Who

Thursday, June 19, 2008

6-19-08 Lists

AFI has revealed their Ten Best in Ten Genres list. My lists would be very different.

SFX Magazine has revealed the Top 100 SF/Fantasy Authors as voted by their readers. I haven't looked at this in depth yet to see which I've read and liked or hated, which I haven't read, and which glaring omissions have been made.

While I'm on a list theme, Paste Magazine lists their Top 10 Sci-Fi TV shows. They ruin their credibility immediately though by leaving off Babylon 5.

There is nothing new on TV tonight.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


CNet has a slideshow today of Next Generation PC Designs. Some of them are really great.

Even though the Mozilla site was down for nearly 2 hours after the launch of Firefox 3 was supposed to start, they still cleared about 8 million downloads in the first 24 hours. (One of those was me, and so far I like it.)

A long-lost book written in 1881 by an anonymous author from New Zealand has just been republished. They claim it is the first book to describe the colonization of outer space by humans. An important piece of history for SF literature.

Last week I linked to stories about a New York apartment that was made over as a scavenger hunt/puzzle box. Today it was announced that JJ Abrams is making a movie about the story.

Interview with Gordon Mohr about the Internet Archive.

There is nothing new on TV tonight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


RIP Cyd Charisse. The actress/dancer from Brigadoon, Silk Stockings, and Singin' in the Rain (among others) died today at 86. The E! announcement includes video excerpts from 2 movies. has an explanation why the full moon tomorrow will look huge.

Researchers have found a way to regrow cartilage by using a carbon nanotube surface and electrical stimulation.

SciFi has a list of the Top 10 Things You Should Read, Watch, and Do to save the world.

There is nothing new on TV tonight.

Monday, June 16, 2008


RIP Stan Winston. The visual effects and makeup genius died of cancer yesterday at the age of 62. From Aliens to Jurassic Park to Galaxy Quest (along with dozens of other films), he was responsible for how SF looked on film for much of the last 30 years. See SF Signal article or IMDB for more links.

New Hubble quasar images have been released.

Auto makers are working hard to find alternatives to expensive gas: Honda has begun commercial production on hydrogen fuel cell cars, and Japanese company Genepax has developed a car that will run on water only.

The mummified remains of a duckbilled dinosaur have been found in South Dakota. It is among the best ever found in terms of preserved quality and quantity. We may soon have more than an educated guess as to what they looked like.

This couple makes me smile: After 55 years together, they will finally be able to legally get married tonight.

It sounds like the 2nd half of Battlestar Galactica's final season (which will air next year) may be longer than previously announced. It will have an extra 2 episodes and another TV movie added.

Reminder: Firefox 3 is being released tomorrow. They are aiming for record downloads for day 1, so get it tomorrow if you plan to get it.

Borderlands Books in SF (a great specialty book store that frequently hosts crowded events with good authors) wants to put in a cafe. They have a petition to put before the planning committee to support their idea. If you want to sign the petition, go to Cheryl Morgan's blog. If you want to see more ways to help, go to John Scalzi's blog.

Adult Swim has a listing of the 10 Best Star Wars Moments from Family Guy and Robot Chicken (with videos included). I'd seen the Robot Chicken ones, but not the Family Guy ones.

DVR for tonight:
5pm The Middleman (ABC Family - premiere)
10:30pm Dana Carvey special (HBO)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Friday the 13th

An architectural designer made a New York apartment into a giant scavenger hunt/puzzle box. They have pictures at and an article at the New York Times.

Smashing Magazine has some amazing space and nebula images and wallpapers. Some are from NASA and other observatories, some are by artists.

Neil Gaiman posted Wednesday to remind people that the Waterstones auction is over and the story postcards are now available to read online. (The site was too busy for me to reach it yesterday, but maybe today will be better.) If you prefer to wait for the book, it will be published in about 2 months.

The British Fantasy Society has released their long list of recommended/nominated works.

Locus has an article about 8 SF novels that are being touted as "contemporary classics". I haven't read any of them, although 3 have been on my TBR list for ages. Has anyone read them? Do you agree that they will influential for future SF?

NASA has awarded a contract for new space suit designs. CNet has a slideshow of the rough designs as well as previous models.

DVR for tonight:
6pm Doctor Who
7pm Battlestar Galactica (summer "finale")

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Researchers have developed a new way of processing paper that leaves it with a tensile strength greater than cast iron. This new "nanopaper" may have more applications than carbon nanotubes.

NASA has a nice image of the Earth and Moon taken from Mars. (The posting is about 3 months old, but I'm not sure if I've posted it before.)

Comedy Central has announced that full length episodes of The Daily Show and Colbert Report will be available from as well as their own website.

There is nothing on TV tonight.

Monday, June 9, 2008


RIP Algis Budrys. The SF author/editor/reviewer died today at the age of 77. has a great article and reading list for Urban Fantasy. Considering how many I've read recently, I really should track down the ones I don't already own.

Andrew Stanton (writer/director of Finding Nemo among other things) has confirmed that he is writing the screenplay for the John Carter of Mars adaptation for Pixar.

About Heroes has a review of the Serenity comic written by Joss Whedon that takes place between the series and the movie. Reminder: I need to buy this.

DVR for tonight:
5pm Greek (season finale)

Friday, June 6, 2008

6-6-08 has a review of the Discovery 6-part documentary "When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions" celebrating the first 50 years of space exploration (which starts this Sunday). Sounds like a must-see.

Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) is planning to do another SF movie. He isn't revealing the book (other than saying he's been waiting for it for 20 years) but rumors are Brave New World or Ender's Game.

The Eye-Fi SD card just got a great sales pitch. A stolen camera containing the card "phoned home" all the pictures on the camera (including those of the thieves) as soon as it passed an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

DVR for tonight:
6pm Doctor Who
7pm Battlestar Galactica

Thursday, June 5, 2008


NASA is very close to developing an earthquake warning system. They have discovered that there are distinctive electrical disturbances in the ionosphere before earthquakes. Read the BBC News article for more info.

A new generation of batteries for hybrid cars will be much more affordable.

Gary Cole ("Crusade") has joined the cast of Rob Thomas' new show "Good Behavior", and Jeffrey Tambor will also guest star.

SF Universe previews The Middleman (coming to ABC Family Monday after next), which they describe as "three parts Austin Powers, two parts Men In Black, one part X-Files all mixed together with just a touch of Gilmore Girls". I'll give it a try.

Good news and bad news for Torchwood fans. Season 3 has been confirmed, but it looks like it will take the form of a 5-hour single-arc mini-series, and there have been no reports of what will come after that (or when).

NASA has a great shot of a Martian sunset (captured 3 years ago) as their image of the day.

DVR for tonight:
6pm McBride: Requiem (Hallmark) - This actually aired 1st this weekend, but I missed it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


RIP Mel Ferrer. The actor I remember best as the Marquis de Maynes in Scaramouche (he has 102 other roles listed in IMDB) died in his sleep at the age of 90.

A new web browser has been developed by a grandfather for his autistic grandson.

It looks like GM may dump the Hummer and put more support behind their electric car since they see gas prices causing long term buying changes. This is the best car news I've seen in ages. I never want to see another of those gas guzzling, road hogging, impractical eye-sores.

SciFi Scanner has an interview with J. Michael Straczynski where he discusses his many projects. He confirms that he is writing the movie adaptation of Lensman.

Darth Mojo released his 2nd B5 flashback: a miniature made of the garden sector of B5.

Wired has an long interview with Ronald Moore, which I haven't read yet because I'm about 4 weeks behind on Battlestar Galactica, and I'm afraid of spoilers.

There is nothing on TV tonight.

Monday, June 2, 2008


RIP Bo Didley. The rock legend died of heart failure at age 79.

117 Best Buy stores (including some in the SF area) will now accept electronics for recycling for free. There is a limit of 2 items per household per day and restrictions on size and type, but it is still a good deal.

A fire at Universal Studios destroyed the Back to the Future town square, the King Kong attraction, sets (including Ghost Whisperer's), and a film vault (luckily with duplicates stored off site).

A disease that nearly wiped out bananas in 1960 is back, and the current strains no longer seem to be immune.

DVR for tonight:
5pm Greek