E411 in the Berkeley Art Center’s Small Film Festival

Blog | Sep. 26, 2007

E411 drops inEmergency 411‘s Atomic Bomb and Skydiving shorts will be showing all four days at the Berkeley Art Center’s Small Film Festival!

If you’re in the Berkeley area and have eight bucks, unchain yourself from that old growth redwood, pack up some cruelty-free, organic granola and ride your recumbent bike over to catch Emergency 411 as well as a ton of other great short films!

And as always, E411 is more than happy to become your MySpace friend, even if no one else will.

For more information, visit:

“You need to smile more.”

| Sep. 25, 2007

“You need to smile more.” she said, walking up to me.

I was staring at my hands, weathered from a day of manual labor to which they were unaccustomed, as independently-owned gasoline pumped into my car.

I looked up, nonplussed. This unreasonably gregarious stranger’s opening volley reminded me of the Bill Hicks routine:

“You know it takes more energy to frown than it does to smile!”
“You know it takes more energy for you to point that out than it does to leave me alone?”

But since I’ve been trying to appear less misanthropic lately, I conceded and flashed her a wan smile. She smiled back.

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This is one role I don’t play

Blog | Sep. 21, 2007

This is about the time I got my ass handed to me by Max Sterling.

Max Sterling asks, ‘Wha..?’To see him, you wouldn’t think much of the modest waif hiding behind tinted aviator glasses, but Max was an extraordinary fighter pilot and an ace behind the controls of his veritech. In spite of his amazing combat skills, whenever he was out of the cockpit our slight little hero looked for all the world like that servile, 98-pound weakling all us grade-school-aged Robotech fans felt like.

His modesty concealed a gift even he seemed oblivious to: he was probably the best pilot in the entire Robotech Defense Force. Through his mad skillz, he was quickly promoted to commander of the prestigious fighter group Skull Squadron. During the course of the first Robotech war, he even tames a sexy, ass-kicking enemy alien. And such a nice young man. Max Sterling was the role model that every skinny-armed nerd could look up to.

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At last! A practical death ray.

| Sep. 20, 2007

Hidden amongst the pop-up ads upon Flash pop-up ads, NewScientist reports that scientists at UC Riverside have found a way to use the decay of antiparticles to create gamma radiation millions of times more powerful than conventional chemical lasers.

If positronium atoms could be forced to merge into a kind of “super-atom” condensate, it would decay in bursts of identical gamma rays, which could lead to gamma-ray lasers a million times more powerful than standard lasers.

Um, I just said that. The thing that fasctinates me is that I had grown so accustomed to shiny red lasers being the next big thing in high-tech murder that I forgot they’re nothing more than a focused energy beam, and are only a small part of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation at that. Electromatic radiation exists in a range of frequencies from radio waves to X-rays to gamma rays, and a gamma ray burst of sufficient energy is just as effective at breaking apart molecular bonds as a beam of high-energy visible light, if not moreso. The freaky part is it’s also invisible.

These induced gamma ray emissions are also known as the significantly more terrifying, but unfortunately named, Gaser. I don’t know what weapons will be used to fight World War III, but WW4.0 may see the ravages brought by the n00b-grenade, pwnz3r tank, or perhaps a LOLtomic bomb.

Oh, and the icing on the cake is that scientists are creating anti-matter to accomplish this. Finally, a sane use for positronium.

In other news, OldScientist is trying to develop a death ray using inclined planes and alchemy.

The ‘Robotech’ movie?

Blog | Sep. 8, 2007

I just about did my own Fokker’s feint when I read that Toby Maguire, something something… OMFG THERE’S A ROBOTECH MOVIE IN THE WORKS?

Yahoo News tells it:

A sprawling sci-fi epic, “Robotech” takes place at a time when Earth has developed giant robots from the technology on an alien spacecraft that crashed on a South Pacific isle. Mankind is forced to use the technology to fend off three successive waves of alien invasions. The first invasion concerns a battle with a race of giant warriors who seek to retrieve their flagship’s energy source known as “protoculture,” and the planet’s survival ends up in the hands of two young pilots.

The article says that “The $686 million worldwide box office success of “Transformers” has inspired other studios to assemble giant robot movies.” proving there may at last be one good thing to come out of that confusing Michael Bay crapfest.

RobotechThis story may be a little premature, as IMDB doesn’t list the movie in Maguire’s actor filmography. Still, The Hollywood Reporter and MovieWeb are reporting that Warner Bros. has just bought the film rights, so there’s nothing to stop me from getting a giant nerd boner over the possibility of a big-screen Robotech!

For more, you can join the discussion over at the Robotech.com official site.

Robotech was my most beloved series as a kid, and the epic story would translate well to the big screen. Plus the dizzying dogfights between transforming fighter jets and giant alien invaders doesn’t hurt, either.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I… I have to go lie down.

You are the Puma Man!

| Sep. 1, 2007

For the ultimate in sports apparel and puma-related cinema, it’s the 1970s classic “Puma Man” tee-shirt! Finally, something for nobody. Here we have the Puma Man’s ridiculous “flying” power captured in a shirt up to seven or eight people will appreciate!


This fashionable item is also available in cardinal, navy, charcoal and lots of other appealing colors and styles you aren’t going to buy anyway. Here’s that aforementioned flying ability in action on MST3K:

Say what you want, this can’t be any more derivative than the ten thousand “McLovin” tee-shirts out there. He’s got a name that’s like it’s only one word! Jesus christ.