To Boldly Go Where No Mac Has Gone Before

17-Sep-09 4:48 PM by
Filed under Celebrities, Star Trek; Comments Off on To Boldly Go Where No Mac Has Gone Before

Every now and then, something will pop up in an auction that sets geeks drooling. Whether it's an undiscovered Macintosh prototype or a famous movie prop, the chance to own a piece of history can drive us to extremes. But the combined fanaticism of Apple devotees and sci-fi fans will likely have more destructive potential than the Genesis device when this relic shows up on sensors: an early Macintosh Plus, given by Apple Computer Inc. to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Read the rest of this entry at Computerworld.com »

The House that Bueller Built

29-May-09 11:34 AM by
Filed under Films; 1 comment.

As we head into the last weekend of May, we can all, adult and child alike, taste the freedom that summer brings. Be it a holdover from an agricultural society or not, the pending season nonetheless represents not just vacations, but a release from responsibility.

Cameron's houseFew have embraced that opportunity as well as Ferris Bueller, except he didn't wait for the moment to appear; he seized every day as if it were his last, be it spring, summer, or fall. His wild galavanting one beautiful day in Chicago ultimately brought him to the garage of best friend Cameron Frye. Now, the end of his journey can be the beginning of yours — if the price is right… $2.4 million, to be precise.

That's right: Cameron Frye's house is up for sale. Located in lovely Highland Park, Illinois, less than a mile from Lake Michigan, this transparent, one-story house is currently on the market. The hole in the three-car garage has been repaired, but the Ferrari is not included. (You probably wouldn't want it in that condition, anyway)

Speaking of which, if you ever wondered what happened to Cameron after the film's conclusion, The Onion reports:

UPDATE (Jun 2, 2014): Five years later, the house finally sold for $1.06 million.

(Hat tip to Chris Null)

Looking Back on the Future of Star Trek

14-Mar-09 2:43 PM by
Filed under Star Trek, Trailers; Comments Off on Looking Back on the Future of Star Trek

This week, the Star Trek franchise turned exactly 42.5 years old. Despite being a not particularly noteworthy milestone, I used the occasion to finally watch the show's 40th anniversary special. The special, hosted by Leonard Nimoy, aired on the History Channel in February 2007 and will be included in next month's release of TOS Season 1 on Blu-Ray. Though the primary purpose of the documentary is to showcase the then-recently-concluded Christie's auction of thousands of Star Trek props, it also features several stars of the franchise's first four shows reflecting on their roles. I found the most striking observation came from Kate Mulgrew: "I don't know a lot of doctors and lawyers who watch doctors and lawyers shows — but almost every scientist I've ever known loved Star Trek." It's a sentiment consistent with the need to have shows like Star Trek on the air.

The franchise's 726 episodes and ten movies are condensed into this other 40th anniversary tribute, which for some reason was uploaded to YouTube just last week. The video — set to one of my favorite instrumental pieces, the orchestral suite from "The Inner Light" — is a brief visual tour of the entire history of Star Trek's two-hundred-year history. Considering how many characters there are to fit into the montage's seven-minute length, you'll forgive the editor if he transitions from one character to the next a bit too swiftly.

I was moved by how familiar I found each of these characters, and how glad I was to see them again. But then, I shouldn't be surprised: Star Trek was on the air consistently for 18 years, making it a constant companion for roughly two-thirds of my life. You could argue it was just a TV show (in which case I wonder what you're doing reading this blog), but every day without a Trek seems dark, as the program represents a hope for humanity.

With the cancellation of Enterprise, television has been without a Star Trek for four years. Now we stand on the cusp of a new Star Trek film — the first one in seven years, the longest span between any two Star Trek movies ever. This movie has the potential to reenergize the franchise and bring it back not only to the public consciousness, but to the television screen. It will be a long time before we can effectively measure the film's success and impact — but it will be only two months before we will have the full feature to judge, and not just this trailer:

(Hat tip to Dayton Ward)

Iron Man Faces His Greatest Foe

15-Sep-08 10:27 AM by
Filed under Films; 2 comments.

Iron Man: fights corporate moguls, ancient wizards, and … cancer?

Iron Man 2, currently slated for release on May 2, 2010, is offering fans the opportunity to be a part of comic book history. By bidding on this eBay auction, you can win a walk-on/extra role in the sequel, as well as a meet-and-greet with the cast, and a walk down the red carpet at the film's premiere. How much fun would that be? I can imagine smiling and waving at the papparazzi as they ask, "Who's that?" "I don't know, but he must be famous!"

Of course, there are caveats: "Role and length of screen time to be determined by Marvel"; "Role and length of screen time to be determined by Marvel, and there can be no assurance that the role will appear in the final version of the film"; "If experience cannot be fulfilled, Marvel will provide alternative set visits/premieres based on Marvel’s availability". Them's the breaks of working in Tinsel Town.

I've detailed my experiences working as an extra and how ot requires patience for long hours and minimum wage. If that wasn't appealing enough, now you can pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege! It might be cheaper to just move to L.A. and sign up for any of the many casting companies that handle such crowd scenes. But if you're bidding on this auction, chances are your goal is not to grab your 15 seconds of fame, but to support a noble cause: proceeds from the auction go to Stand Up To Cancer (a charity I could find listed at neither Charity Navigator nor GuideStar non-profit profile and rating services), making this bidding war a more philanthropic exploitation of geek culture than some other auctions.

As a sci-fi geek and a former participant in cancer fundraisers, the angles of this auction piqued my interest. Though I'm not sure if an eBay auction can be limited to pre-qualified bidders, this one claims to require screening of interested parties. Curious, I filled out the last Wednesday, back when the going price was only $8000. I received a call back Thursday afternoon on my voice mail. I returned it on Friday and left them a voice mail. No progress has been made beyond this game of tag, and with the auction ending in 13 hours, it looks like I will not be able to contribute my entire life savings toward this auction.

(Hat tip to ComingSoon.net)