"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Friday, July 22, 2011

Links of the Week - Mostly Lego and Movies

End of the Space Shuttle Era
Today marks the official end of the Space Shuttle program as the Shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida early Thursday morning. Atlantis received a little fan love as it was towed home to the theme of Star Trek: Voyager. The program was launched back in 1976 with the test shuttle named Enterprise in homage to the Star Trek series. I was fortunate enough to see a night time shuttle launch back in 1996 I think. I don't remember exactly when but what I do remember is that amazing moment when night turned to day and the full capabilities of what mankind can do when driven towards a purpose that isn't entirely motivated by greed but simply for the quest for knowledge. I doubt we will see the like ever again. The first video is the towing (sound doesn't kick in for about a minute).

30 Years of the Space Shuttle in One Launch
At the link is a look back at the Shuttle program as Gizmodo combined footage from 30 years of launches to kind of emulate a single launch. A true end of an era.

Lego Kaliedoscope
Click the link to view a gallery of images of various kaleidoscopes built out of Legos. (via Brothers Brick)

Borders Shutting Down
After a drawn out fight, the second largest book store chain is going to cease to exist by liquidating its remaining 399 stores starting now. That will leave 11,000 people without jobs within a few short weeks. The liquidation came about after hopes of a buyout fell through. As more and more people move to eReaders, the large scale book store will probably cease to exist. The only question is will this lead to the return of the "mom & pop" stores that use to dominate the book selling landscape.

The Avengers "Button"
Click the link to view the button (term for teasers at end of a film) that is attached to Captain America. This pretty much works as a teaser trailer as it shows a bunch of quick scenes with the various characters in the film that is due out next summer.

The Dark Knight Rises Teaser Trailer
The movie is still a year away but WB knows has to build excitement for it’s only working superhero movie franchise. The promo looks good and is about the end of the Batman trilogy of films from Christopher Nolan.

Lego Computer Tower
Hit the link to see how someone built a large and powerful computer using Lego as the tower, literally building it around the various computer components. As also with these types of custom builds, the result is pretty darn awesome.

Superman: Man of Steel Bumped and Returns Cut Scenes
The planned reboot of Superman with Zac Snyder (300) at the helm has been delayed again. The cause is likely money as Warner Bros hopes that more money will be made by releasing the movie on June 14th, 2012 rather than December 2012 against the first The Hobbit film. On related note, below is the $10 million cut scene called "Return to Krypton" that was the planned opening for Superman Returns. Considering how inconsistently Supes kryptonite was used in the movie, I can see why they decided not to bother.

The Fox Attack Cycle
Below is a video from Media Matters at is shows how Fox News uses its airwaves combined with Fox Business to wage a tightly focused war on a single target, in this case an attempt to revoke Media Matters tax exempt status. Of note is not only how the cycle works but how the same phrases and subjects often come up to drill home whatever lies and exaggerations that the network wants their audience to learn and repeat. The cycle is how lies become accepted "facts" even in the face of common sense. The irony of the cycle is the Murdoch Empire is on the receiving end of the press microscope. Of course now Fox is claiming the attention is unfair and not right and it has only been a lead story for a few days. Keep in mind the Fox Cycle tends to devote literally hundreds of hours of programming to attack their cause of the moment. Aka the Fox Victim Cycle.

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