harper goff’s nautilus

Just recently we heard that ↵the mash still is safe and sound at the Smithsonian—now there’s even more comforting news. The original model of ↵Captain Nemo’s submarine ‘Nautilus’ designed by ↑Harper Goff and used in ‘↑20,000 Leagues Under The Sea‘ by Richard Fleischer (1954) is kept intact ↑at the Disney Archives. FLEISCHER, RICHARD. 1954. 20,000 leagues under the sea [motion picture]. Burbank: Buena Vista Distribution. via ↑entry at ↑clockworker … Continue reading

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space aircraft carriers

Conceptual art for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s airborne aircraft carrier, the ‘↑Helicarrier,’ as seen in ‘↑The Avengers‘ (Whedon 2012). ↑Christopher Weuve, among other things a naval analyst and science fiction geek, ↑talked with Michael Peck of Foreign Policy about the dialectics between naval warfare and space warfare as depicted in science fiction. When Peck asked, “Has sci-fi affected the way that our navies conduct warfare?” Weuve answered: This is a question that I occasionally think about. Many people point to the development of the shipboard Combat Information Center in World War II as being inspired by E.E. Doc Smith’s Lensman novels from the … Continue reading

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wolfenstein 3d online

At ↑Tom Hall’s weblog I ↑read that Bethesda has celebrated the 20th birthday of ‘Wolfenstein 3D’ (id Software 1992) by putting it online as a free browser game. But when I clicked ↑the link I got a 404—it ain’t here anymore. Either Bethesda has taken it offline again, or the fabulous German banning mechanisms kicked in. I am too lazy to go via proxy, especially because there’s another solution. At Virtual Apple you can ↑play that milestone of computer game history via an Apple ][ emulation. ID SOFTWARE. 1992. Wolfenstein 3-D [computer game]. Mesquite et al.: id Software et al. … Continue reading

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the mash still

After the ↵infamous Stim-U-Lax [and after just recently having spoken of ↵wonderful contraptions] here’s another piece of weird technology from ↑M*A*S*H: ↑the still! Following the end of production on M*A*S*H in January of 1983, 20th Century-Fox donated the O.R. set and the Swamp set to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Included was the still. An exhibition was held at the National Museum of American History from July of 1983 to January of 1985. When the exhibition closed, the sets were packed up and placed in storage. The still is likely in a box somewhere in a warehouse. ↑still via … Continue reading

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what is explained?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #43 What does the gentleman explain to his audience?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.] UPDATE and solution (01 October 2012): The gentleman depicted explains, and … Continue reading

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cybernetic science fiction

  It simply is astounding what a collection you amass on your hard drives over time—and about how many of the collected things you simply forget. I just refound an unfinished draft version of Patricia S. Warrick’s ‘↑Cybernetic Imagination in Science Fiction‘ (1980). Don’t ask me how I got that … I simply can’t remember. Fact of the matter is that I never got the finished book, although it may well contain tons of water on my mills.     On the other hand there is the possibility that I jettisoned ‘Cybernetic Imagination’ on purpose, because I do fear that … Continue reading

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more nuclear follies

  This is a kind of a follow-up to Japanese artist ↵Isao Hashimoto’s chilly time-lapse map depicting the 2053 nuclear explosions having taken place between 1945 and 1998. I again embedded it above because it’s quite a testament. When I watched these horrific quarter of an hour for the first time at a certain point I thought: They are speaking with each other. There are segments in the animation when suddenly the frequency of nuclear blasts e.g. in the USA speedens up. After a short pause the answer comes as a rapid succession of nuclear fireworks within the Soviet Union. … Continue reading

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pure pwnage: teh movie

  This is absolutely uncommon here on xirdalium, I know … four words in a headline! But for this I’d do a lot more. Watch the video above, and then ↑head over here. I’ll write more later on, just want to get it online in the blog as fast as possible. Just opened a beer to celebrate :D     See also ↵the infancy of Internet television ↵boom—headshot!, ↵true pwnage, ↵fps_doug vs. f4tality, ↵teh best day ever, ↵first season pwned, and ↵kyle pwned. … Continue reading

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doom post mortem

It took them quite a while, but finally, in 2011, ↑John Romero and ↑Tom Hall did a post-mortem on ‘↑Doom‘ (id Software 1993). You can watch the hour-long presentation, video and slides, ↑at the GDC Vault. If you do not readily understand everything the two guys are relating, I, for the umpteenth time, heartily recommend ↑David Kushner‘s ‘↑Masters of Doom‘ (2003). If you already have read the book, watch the post-mortem nevertheless.     For example, what I did not know: In March 1993 20th Century Fox offered id Software the Alien licence to make Alien the game. But the … Continue reading

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