beyond westworld

Yul Brynner always has been one of my all-time favourite actors. So it is hardly surprising that his impersonation of the Gunslinger in ‘↑Westworld‘ (Crichton 1973) is one of my favourite robots. Marking the naturalistic android to be artificial only by way of the metallic eyes—see above—was a stroke of genius. The sequel ‘↑Futureworld‘ (Heffron 1976) followed. Unfortunately Brynner returned just for a short dream sequence. Both movies I saw as a kid on television and have them on DVD since long. Just recently I got to know that a television series was produced, set out to carry the story … Continue reading

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apocalypse kit

Merchandising is a strange beast. Manufacturer ↑Gerber Legendary Blades has issued an ↑Apocalypse Kit “as seen in” the TV-series ↑The Walking Dead, based on the ↑comic book series of the same name. I perfectly do understand that this is a limited edition (only two batches of 200 sets) directed at a niche collector’s market. Nevertheless I’m not sure what to think about it. Especially as I always associate Gerber not with tools (which is their absolute main line), but with the ↑Gerber Mark II fighting knife, which not only was identified as the killing-instrument of choice in the infamous and … Continue reading

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96 hours later

↑96 hours to the stone age at ↑GigaOM complements ↵behind closed doors and ↵telegeography. The story asks, especially in respect to information technology, what will happen when electrical power won’t be delivered anymore. Well, an apocalypse in the strict sense of the term will happen—a revelation. It will be revealed to all of us in unblinking clearness, on how much hardware around us we depend, which in turn depends on electricity.     The gist of this kind of speculation is informed by scientific methodology: Take an element, or a whole category of elements, out of a system and see … Continue reading

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culture’s shadow

Tonight the opening of ↑this year’s EthnoFilmFest in Munich (16 through 20 November 2011) will take place at the Völkerkundemuseum [Ethnological Museum]. The festival, and Munich meanwhile being renowned for visual anthropology, is largely due to the work of my colleague, friend, and teacher ↑Frank Heidemann. Now that I have duly paid my compliments, it’s time for an anecdote.     Frank’s not only active behind the scenes, but had his own television series, starring himself, ‘Der lange Schatten von Kultur’ [Culture’s long shadow], which aired on ↑BR-alpha, but unfortunately isn’t available online at the moment.     While the … Continue reading

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who is it?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #1 With all that popular culture material residing on my hard drives, and with all the hodgepodge of “knowledge” and trivia about it residing in my head, I thought it to be a good idea to launch a quiz series in here.     To ease your start into the new week, every Monday I will post a screenshot from a movie or television series and ask some more or less clever question. One week later the post will be updated with the solution—which normally will be a screenshot, too, with explanation of course, plus some … Continue reading

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