Monday, December 15, 2014

Anticipatory Hobbiting

The Office / Middle Earth. Good bit from SNL, especially if you've seen any of the British version of The Office.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

And now, back to Star Wars

The Fan Art Awakens. Some of these are really good. My favorite might be the one by "Legion of Potatoes." If you go to his site there's a bunch of cool retro-poster-style art for, um, important things like superhero movies.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Secret Weapons

Perhaps this could be a useful tactic in our next battle to control the world (of Risk: Legacy).

Friday, December 5, 2014

7 Minutes of Terror, two years late.

This is over two years old, but I ran across it today, and it is amazing.  Star Wars has nothing on this.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another trailer

Everyone's in on the act now.  If you enjoyed the Lucas trailer, you may enjoy this one

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Movie planning

Add in the third Hobbit movie (12.16.14) and the next James Bond movie (sometime in 2015?), and this is fairly complete.

(7/27/18: mark your calendars.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

And since I always post SF charts

Check out this space-pop-culture Venn diagram. I'd give it a B or so. Was going to take even more points off because no Capricorn One, but maybe they're thinking no one left Earth in that movie. Still, there's no excuse for leaving Watchmen out of the Superheroes bubble.

Since it's comics month...

I give you Batman 1972.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

But I know that you will like this....

Time for a foray into the world of Children's Lituature, via a quick Reading Rainbow outtake:  (Oh, my god...)

Our lives as nerds intersect with our lives as parents.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

It is just possible BBC members may enjoy this...

Why not travel to Middle Earth New Zeland this year?  A quick video will help you:

(BTW, the dorky guy getting his mask placed by an orc around 1:20 is Richard Taylor, who was the creature effects guy on Lord of the Rings.  You should recognize the rest.  If you don't, shame on you.)


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fixing the World and Killing a Film

Just to follow up on last night's discussion of "The World Without Us," I wanted to post a link to this fantastic Radiolab podcast about the "poop train." It's about a local environmental crisis that demanded a creative solution and got one, at least temporarily. It's alternatively disgusting, depressing, and inspiring, sort of like last night's discussion.

Also, here's the unreleased ending to "Titanic," which should kill any lingering appreciation of that film you might have (or perhaps renew your appreciation for the major studios that still have the power to rein in egomaniacal directors).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Two things in our wheelhouse

IMHO, A Visit from the Good Squad was the best book we have read in the BBC (since I joined.)  Jennifer Egan is visiting Denver as part of the Pen and Podium.  Details here.

Also, on a less highfallutin' note, there is this subway map.

Friday, September 19, 2014

And if you have no longsword handy...

Man stabbed with spear while robbing medieval weapons enthusiast. (That's actually the headline from BoingBoing. Check out the comments there and marvel at the rabbit hole of SCA vs. LARP vs. general mayhem enthusiasts. "What I don't understand is why you think any of that deserves to be mocked, or why you associate weapons enthusiasts with...absurd negative stereotypes....")

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reality Bites

The NYT has an interesting story on the demise of the documentary on the demise of Dungeons & Dragons.

Also, longsword fighting.

Neither of these things is as nerdy as my wife asserts they are. That is all.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

BBC Booklist Primary Election Now Live!


The 2014 BBC primary is live!  We have 37 books to choose from, so we will be holding a primary.  Please vote for THREE books that you would like to make it to the next round. Any book that gets any votes at all will be included in round two.  While this does make it possible that the next round will also have thirtysome books in it, let's try this and see what happens.  Choose wisely.  Voting will be open this week.

The SurveyMonkey is here.

The Amazon Wishlist page is here.


Your BBC Captain

Friday, August 1, 2014

Finally, Some Public Opinion Data on Star Wars

FiveThirtyEight conducted a very useful survey and even made the data available for others. Some quick results: People prefer the original trilogy, hate Jar Jar, and think Han shot first, all of which is very encouraging for the future. 

This all prompted me to do my own analysis of age cohorts, and it turns out younger viewers are somewhat stupid.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mike Boydston has an impressive dedication to BBC...

....and also an impressive amount of free time, apparently.  Making a record of all the books we have read in the four (!) years of BBC was a long-requested blog feature and has been on my list of things to do for awhile, but Mike went and just did it.  I appended our most recent reads to the end of his impressive efforts.  Thanks to all of you who have been a part of the group over the last few years.  

Get ready to gaze in admiration/horror at Mike's comprehensive BBC history (now immortalized in the "BBC - The Story So Far" permalink to the right) after the jump:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

D&D duz make you smarterer.

But we already knew that.

In other news, it is unlikely that I will be able to attend tomorrow's meeting, so I will make the following points now:

1. Apparently, the NSA is the gold-standard for file decryption, at least according to Mr. Stephenson.
2. Did anyone else note that our heroic Russian security guy always carries a towel, and does not panic?
3. Fucking motives, how do they work?
4. I do not understand the mountain lion except as a somewhat silly deus ex machina. Or, possibly, a eucatastrophe.
5. Stephenson is exactly, completely correct when he notes that camouflage clothing is a cultural signifier. You certainly don't need it to hunt ungulates.
6. I enjoyed the book.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In case 1000 pages of reading was not enough...

For those of you thinking that video game gold farming was so crazy it must have been something that Neal Stevenson made up, think again.  The article is seven years old, but the practice hasn't gone away.  If you ever were looking for ways that the size of our economy distorts the world, this is a good place to start.

Also, Richard in the book is partially based on this guy.

This article details the various online games that have hired real economists to manage the amazing amounts of money being traded in their games, and the real world research that is coming out of studying the patterns.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fightin' words.

I know a few of you are passingly familiar with the Star Trek oeuvre. You may wish to quibble with the author's assertion in this piece that Wrath of Khan doesn't hold up. On the other hand, the logic underlying his illustration is unassailable.

Also, here's a picture of a dude at a gas station filling up his roller skates.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Should-be-mandatory musical interlude

I know Dave and Everett are fans already, but for the rest of you: the Old 97's are playing at the Bluebird on Saturday June 28. Karen and I will be there; you should too. Always a great show. Rolling Stone says their new album, Most Messed Up, is full of "airtight songs celebrating life-as-sublime-train-wreck amid music that conjures the British Invasion landing in a Texas barroom."  Paste says "the Old 97’s aren’t fucking around" and calls it "a cathartic, punk-rock stomper of a record." Peter Dinklage says "I am the Imp; I have certain standards to maintain."

Hope to see you there.

Excerpts From Three-star Yelp Reviews of the World's First Time-travel Company

Here you go. Because it's been too long since I posted something from McSweeney's.

Bonus content: Concerning, Jon Bon Jovi, Wanted Dead or Alive

Saturday, June 14, 2014

That's no moon...'s a Neal Stephenson book!  Checking in at 1040 pages, it's positively Martin-esque.  Good luck!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

This is HUGE

Amazon instant gets The Wire: finally I can know what you guys are talking about with your Stinger Belle and what-not.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The usual follow-up stuff

Here's the Oatmeal review of the Tesla Model S.

Here are some other great Oatmeals:
- on dogs
- on movies
- on running

Many more. Just keep clicking around on the website.

James Jesus Angleton: Spy Hunter says his middle name had the Spanish pronunciation. I'm a gringo dunce for not thinking of that.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Best headline of the day

Upside-down coffin filled with medieval weapons discovered in wooded area

BBC This Month, and Assorted Tidings


After much poetic back and forth, the site of book club has now been determined. Tim will be hosting (1419 Elizabeth) at 7:30 this Wednesday.  Thanks for hosting again, Tim.

In other news, our transition to a group made up entirely of married 40ish men with children is now complete.  Mike Cevarr (AKA Newest Mike) will be marrying his longtime partner Kirk Fordam in a ceremony in Washington D.C. next Saturday, accompanied by their two sons, Lukas and Levi.  Mike and Kirk met in college and have been together for 25 years.  In keeping with BBC tradition for all happy events, we will celebrate their wedding during this week's meeting with a ceremonial discussion of "The Wire."  Congratulations, Mike and Kirk!

Mike Eber and Mark Lewis, thank you for your patience this month (and many other months).  June is your reward, when BBC will be making a sharp turn towards the literary with "In the Shape of a Boar," by Lawrence Norfolk.  A quick scan of the reviews on Amazon, while very positive, also frequently use words like "inaccessible," "juggernaut," "tour de force," and "incomprehensible," so I wouldn't dawdle on this one. The Kindle app, which now creepily tells me how long a book is in hours and minutes based on my reading speed, claims 4 hours 45 minutes.  Your mileage may vary.

See you this week.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Sovietization of Smaug

Here's a Soviet-era Russian version of "The Hobbit." Watch as Smaug's gold is taxed at confiscatory rates and he has to wait in line for flame-retardant toilet paper.

Oh, and I'll just point out that Russia, the home of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, managed to produce a version of "The Hobbit" that lasts just over an hour.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Leftovers on HBO

They seem to be taking things in a different direction. Probably a good call.

GoT Dinklage?

If you're watching the Game of Thrones series, this may cause a chortle (be sure to have the sound on).  Also, I'm finding Andy Greenwald's recaps to be almost as interesting as the series.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A True Gentleman of the Road

BBC's own Mike Boydston just completed yet another Boston Marathon. It just hurts my knees even thinking about it.  Click on the picture below to embiggen his times to a readable size.

Congrats, Mike!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Firefly-Star Wars-Alien connection

Other than that we talk about them all, I mean. In this list of 23 things about Firefly. Most are kind of ho-hum, but I like the Han-in-carbonite and the Alien corporation logo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No BBC This Week

Due to a total lack of popular demand, we will be postponing our discussion of the Fish Book to a 3 1/2 minute block during next month's regularly scheduled book club.  Also, we will briefly bash "Gentlemen of the Road," just for old time sake, after which we will begin our previously scheduled discussion of "Hologram for the King."

Monday, March 10, 2014



BBC will be hosted this week at Michael Eber's house (921 Milwaukee St) at 7:30 Wednesday.  I will unfortunately not be able to make it, so go on bravely without me.

Also, this...

Tee hee.


Friday, February 28, 2014

It's Oscar Season

Some of you have already seen this, but it is worth reposting.  Here is the "Trailer to Every Oscar Winning Movie" in all its glory.  You're welcome.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thought for the day

From John Hodgman: "Sometimes I remember that Ron Glass was in Barney Miller AND Firefly and quietly salute a life well lived."

Monday, February 10, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Buck Rogers

Next time you claim the late 70s - early 80s was a golden era for American sci-fi, be sure to watch this, the opening credits for the original "Buck Rogers" theatrical release. This really happened.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The connection between the starship chart and Benghazi

Remember the awesome starship chart that Tim posted way back? Remember how there were a bunch of ships from something called EVE on it, which Andrew explained is some sort of massive multiplayer online nerdgasm thing? (I don't think I have to tell you which Andrew that was.)

Anyway, this pretty cool story explains just what EVE and therefore that chart have to do with the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi. So there you go.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Vader was a Punk

So I'd like to recommend this podcast. It's a discussion of "Revenge of the Sith," but at about 8:30, it turns to a lengthy (if crass) analysis of Darth Vader that's really quite brilliant. To wit:
  1. Vader was not really much of a badass. He actually screwed up just about every important assignment he was given. (e.g.: His very first mission ended with him limbless and on fire. The Emperor had to rebuild him because, hey, sunk costs.)
  2. At the meeting on the Death Star in Episode IV, a ranking Imperial officer basically calls Vader a punk to his face.
  3. Vader tries to choke the guy. At a meeting! Who does that?
  4. At that meeting, there is no chair for Vader. He was not invited. He's basically just a resentful, violent priest who shows up at stuff, and people have to let him stay because the boss likes him.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Picture

I think this may be in the print version of the book, but for those of you with the ebook version, this is the picture mentioned in the last chapter.  It is also in the movie "Man on a Wire," which if you haven't seen yet, you should, although it is probably far too late for me to tell you this. Tim told you.  Why didn't you listen to Tim?


Saturday, January 4, 2014

BBC for January


Look up!  If you squint, you might see something you weren't expecting:  the BBC!  Courtesy of the calender, this month's BBC is upon us, much to the horror of any who might have thought they had another week to read the book.  (Cough, cough...)  Nevertheless, we will be meeting this week on Wednesday at 7:30.  Our host will be D.C. (835 Niagra St.), who despite having a new baby, is willing to have us all over.  A bit of a tightrope act, that.

See you all there.