Late Night: Armageddon Tired of this Mayan Apocalypse. Now Everyone’s Gone to the Movies. Or Santacon!

 

NASA continues to peer into the future, claiming that the world did not end on 12.21.12. We’ll address that on 12.22.12. If we’re here. Meanwhile, I got email from JP Sottile at newsvandal with whom I have an ongoing tinfoil millinery competition:

the real question is whether or not A.I. was a secret endorsement of the mayan apocalypse and if nasa is getting back at kubrick ex post facto? joel haley osment is the catalyst for a mayan ragnarok

Why would NASA want to get back at Kubrick? Well, pull out your tinsel top hat and settle in for what I put JP through the other night, bwhahhaha! Seems that, according to conspiracy theorist film geeks, while Kubrick was making 2001: A Space Odyssey, he was also faking the moon landing, and he felt so guilty about it that he later tipped everyone off in The Shining, if you can just find at the clues. And to make it easy for you, there’s a video that lays it all out. (It’s an hour long, so here’s the short TL/DW version):

 A.I. was originally developed by Kubrick beginning in the mid-1970s. Despite the growth in technology over the decades, Kubrick felt that neither computer generated effects nor child actors were good enough to portray the character of David, so he handed it over to Steven Spielberg in 1995, and it was only after Kubrick’s death in 1999 that the project gained momentum and was finally made. A.I. was released in 2001 with Haley Joel Osment as David.

 

Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese will be directing a documentary about Bill Clinton for HBO. Suggested titles:

Goodbubba
Hillary Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
New York! New York!
Last Temptation of Clinton
The President of Comedy

 

And once again Santacon took to the streets! This annual tradition, begun in 1995 in San Francisco, features  people in cities around the world dressing up as Santa and acting like slightly better-behaved Krampuses (Krampi?), thereby creating Santarchy.

Here’s a look at the first Santacon, a 39 minute mini-doc in glory days before TSA took away the airport fun, and their recent exploits in Los Angeles:

the East Village

and San Francisco

 

And if you love Santa, or sci-fi, on Monday December 24, we’ll be celebrating the 200th movie of Firedoglake Movie Night with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a special request from my producer Bev who is also the driving force (and heavy-lifter)  behind FDL Book Salons. You can watch the full version of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians FREE here.

 

Late Night: Lunar Bombs, Stinky TV, and Hobbit Profits

 

I feel dirty. I feel dirty because the United States government wanted to blow up the moon to prove to the Soviet Union what big bad asses we were. Flashback: The Cold War. We had bombs, they had bombs, but we (maybe) had a better space program, so the idea was, according to reports in the Daily Mail, to launch an atom bomb to the moon and have it detonate and scare the Ruskies. Carl Sagan was in on plan, innocuously called “A Study of Lunar Research Flights” and nicknamed “Project A119″  which could have been carried off by 1959. What a load of dumb asses. Were they high?! Luckily saner minds prevailed, citing

 danger to people on Earth in case the mission failed. The scientists also registered concerns about contaminating the moon with radioactive material.

Um, duh.

Meanwhile the kid on Two and Half Men had a Come to Jesus Moment, literally, when the scales fell from his eyes, and he realized the show that has made him filthy rich is in fact

filth.

Oh the show sucks. But I kinda gotta wonder why he stuck around until he was 19. Expect the show to end. Thank you, Jesus.

And in other Hollywood news, J.R.R. Tolkien’s heirs are really upset because there are plans for a Lord of the Rings slot machine game, per the Hollywood Reporter. In 1969, the heirs made a deal with the Saul Zaentz Co. who later got Warner Bros involved which is why there is now a Lord of the Rings trilogy of films and a Hobbit movie. According to the suit:

Warners and the other defendants have “with increasing boldness, engaged in a continuing and escalating pattern of usurping rights to which they are not entitled,” the estate argues. For example, their rights include only “tangible” merchandise, not downloadable video games available only on mobile devices or tablets or Facebook. “Defendants also have asserted and continue to assert that they have rights relating to a wide variety of goods and services beyond ‘articles of tangible personal property’ and have registered trademarks and/or filed ‘intent to use’ applications in those same categories, including without limitation hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, ringtones, online/downloadable games and housing developments — categories of rights which plainly have not been granted to them.”

But wait, if you download the game onto your device, it is tangible personal property, isn’t it? And aren’t housing developments tangible? Wait what? HOBBIT HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS? Oh gods, no! Please make it stop!

And to bring it full circle:

 

Tiki Oasis 12: Exotic Espionage Weekend Mirrors Current Events

 

Tiki Oasis 12, a four-day exploration of all things mid-Century and island-themed from art, cars, dance, fashion, movies, music and of course cocktails, arrives in San Diego August 16-19th with 3,000 unconventional conventioneers ready to hula and watusi between Tiki archaeology slide shows, cocktail symposiums, and art exhibitions at the still-fairly-Polynesian-themed Crowne-Plaza.

This year’s theme Exotic Espionage and Polynesian Pulp surfs the connection between Tiki culture (far away, sensual locales and cocktails) and spies, private eyes, and secret agents (namely far away, sensual locales and cocktails), whie celebrating the 50th anniversary of the cinematic James Bond.  The theme also dovetails nicely with Bradley Manning’s trial, real life international man of mystery Julian Assange’s bid for amnesty to avoid both a trial on alleged sex crimes in Sweden and extradition to the U.S. for Wikileaks’ related espionage, and a rise in both domestic and international spying. Was that intentional? Who knows, but lately Tiki Oasis has magically managed to reflect the current zeitgeist; last year’s theme, South of the Border, tied in nicely to immigration issues, and next year America’s hinterlands receives full focus with Hulabilly, Tiki at Its Doggone Best, a perfect compliment to the scrutiny the U.S. will receive no matter who wins the election.

 

 

I’m actually going this year, since I don’t want to miss Rob Zabrecky, the Magic Castle’s current Stage Magician of the Year who’s performing Sunday night (though Tiki Oasis  Friday, Saturday and all-weekend passes are sold out, there are tickets still available for Sunday which include Zabrecky’s performance, along with events,lecture and poolside activities). Plus I want to see Saturday’s one-day car show, which in true aloha spirit is free and open to the public, as the are indoor and outdoor Tiki Marketplaces, and the 3rd Annual Tiki Oasis Art Show highlighting the mysterious connection between Tiki and spies and featuring artists like Atomikitty, BigToe, Dawn Frasier, Doug Horne, Eric October, Maya Rogers, Ken Ruzic, and Tweelebop.

The car show has one car I really, really want to look at: the “Get Smart” Tiger Sunbeam. My late father loved “Get Smart;” we used to watch it together, and he did a great Don Adams’ impersonation. No wonder he was into Agent 86 and 99: He worked for almost a decade at Systems Development Corporation when it was a division of RAND, shifting over to NASA where he was a human factor specialist/test astronaut. Before working at SDC he was in the Air Force, stationed in Morocco during the Moroccan struggle for independence; he told me taught the locals how to recognize different airplanes and

trained pilots on how to survive if their planes crashed,

something he continued while in the Air Force Reserves through the early part of the 1960s. In the early 70s Dad worked for a strange little company called Seredipity in Santa Monica which, he explained to me at the time, made

hidden commercials that can go in films.

Uh, subliminals? Huh, what? Golly, Daddy, what actually did you do?

Anyway, Dad’s birthday was  August 14th, so attending a spy-themed weekend and seeing the “Get Smart” car is a good tribute to him. He died from lymphoma in 1995, which why I’m walking in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Light Up the Night Walk in October. My team is from the Center for Inquiry West, a bunch of atheists and skeptics, which would have pleased Dad immensely. Dad was a really loyal Democrat, he supported Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton, and he and my awesome stepmom worked hard in their little San Diego County burg to keep fundamentalists from overtaking the local schoolboard.

I’ll be reporting from Tiki Oasis this weekend, assisting the agents of A.L.O.H.A. in their mission to spread the Tiki message of hospitality and friendship.

Paintings used by permission of the artists.

Tiki Oasis poster, Derek Yaniger
Wendy Cevola
Eric October
Susannah Mosher, aka Atomickitty
Tweedlebop
Ken Ruzic

MARS!!! And a Mohawk at JPL

FIRST PHOTO

Curiosity has landed on Mars! The car sized rover is there to discover if there was ever life on Mars. And there may  be methane. One astro-scientist speaking on CNN explained that the largest source of methane on Earth is

bovine flatulence.

Martian cows! Three eyed? Green and able to build space ships? Totally cute! Cows will invade earth because they need to be milked!

How long before tinfoilers start claiming the whole thing is faked? And no worries. Curiosity will not kill any cats, but its televised landing may cause a brief pause in the posting cute kitty pics on Facebook.

Meanwhile, this Mohawked JPL dude is  creating a lot of curiosity. And some memes.

Late Night FDL: Astronauts, Idiots, Three Men and a Tenor

 

A Sacramento law firm is suing to prevent Democratic congressional candidate Jose Hernandez from describing himself as an “astronaut/scientist/engineer” on the June ballot. The firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk has ties to Republican politicians:

Attorney Charles Bell Jr., one of two lawyers named on the lawsuit, is general counsel to the California Republican Party. The other attorney listed on the lawsuit, Brian Hildreth, has worked for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.

The lawsuit points out that Jose Hernandez did not receive any pay from NASA in 2011 and that

Hernandez’s attempted use of ‘astronaut’ violates the Election Code’s unambiguous requirement that a candidate’s ballot designation reflect one’s current profession, vocation, or one held during the previous calendar year.

Hernandez left NASA in January of 2011. He was

born into a farmworker family, trained as an engineer at the University of the Pacific and was selected as an astronaut candidate in May 2004. He flew aboard the shuttle Discovery in 2009.

 

Late Night FDL: Escatology Is Scatology

This whole Maya calendar end of the world whoohaa has reached such a pitch that White House.gov for goodness sakes created a link about the idiocy which sends you/me to the answers.USA.gov site with further links to NASA’s point of view on the subject.

Answers.USA.gov says:

Most of the curiosity surrounding the date involves how the ancient Maya civilization viewed time. Archaeological finds revealed that the Maya had a number of highly accurate calendars, including one known as the Long Count calendar. It uses a series of periods (cycles) to count days, months, and years. According to this calendar, a major cycle lasting the equivalent of 394.3 years ends on December 21, 2012. The next cycle begins on December 22, and ends in 2406.

NASA has a tl/dr FAQ that condenses down to:

Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

But wait! Oh noes! NASA also offers this warning:

Scientists have no way of predicting with perfect accuracy whether a supervolcano will occur in a given century, decade, or year – and that includes 2012. But they do keep close tabs on volcanically active areas around the world, and so far there’s absolutely no sign of a supereruption looming anytime soon.

But fear not!


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