Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Church Sign

How Star Wars was Saved in the Edit

George Lucas made a little movie back in 1976. You may have heard of it. Star Wars was unwatchable to the few filmmakers who got to see it. But it was an important project for Lucas, one he'd already poured his best efforts into. So they went back and re-edited the entire thing. When I say "they," I mean the production team, but the magic that took place in the re-edit was due to the talents of Marcia Lucas, George's wife at the time. 

David Welsh of RocketJump Film School goes through how the rough cut was changed into what we now know as Star Wars: A New Hope. You'll see a lot of the rough footage that was deleted and how it was changed -and even more important, why it was changed. You can see why Marcia Lucas won an Oscar for editing the movie, along with Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew. (via Metafilter)   

Miss Cellania's Links

The Christmas Bird Count. The hundred-year-old tradition is yielding useful information about how our world is changing.

25 Unsung Christmas Icons. You know them, from Yukon Cornelius to Emmet Otter.

The Feminist Case For Single Payer Health Care. (via Boing Boing)  

The Billionaire Who Refused to Pay Kidnappers to Save His Grandson's Life. The true story behind the movie All the Money in the World. (via Nag on the Lake)

19 Weird Ways Christmas Was Totally Different 100 Years Ago. Only the best traditions stand the test of time.

The Deaths That Come When an Industry's Left to Regulate Itself.

Why Your Brain Has Trouble Bailing Out Of a Bad Plan. Dialing it back takes too many steps.

Christmas Time Means Sneaky Cats Getting Stuck in Trees. And they're not the least bit sorry about it.
30 Cold, Hard Facts About Die Hard.

The History of Christmas in New Zealand.

UPS man

(via reddit)

I Gotta Feeling

The Ein Prat Fountainheads celebrate Hanukkah, which begins tonight at sundown. The Fountainheads are the group who brought us Livin' in a Booth And Dip Your Apple. Here's to a blessed celebration!

Tweet of the Day

(via Buzzfeed)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Trapped by a Turtle

The Real-World Locations Behind The Last Jedi

The cast of The Last Jedi traveled around the world to work in otherworldly places that could pass for a galaxy far, far away. That includes the Bolivian salt flats, Skellig Michael in Ireland, and Dubrovnik, Croatia. We also get to see some scenes of the film shoot and a glimpse or two or the special effects we'll see in The Last Jedi, which opens this coming weekend. (via io9)

Everything I Know I Learned from Elvis

Some people follow Confucius, others swear by the philosophical insights of Plato or Sartre. Why not instead study the songs of Elvis Presley?

Taken as a whole, they contain everything from handy tips about geography ("a river flows surely to the sea") to practical travel advice (the YMCA in Memphis has cheap accommodation), right through to religious instruction ("I'm lonely like Adam, you're evil like Eve"). Herewith the 30 things I've learned about life from listening to Elvis.


1. The typical train is 16 carriages long.

2. All food in Germany consists of hasenpfeffer and black pumpernickel.

3. The Heartbreak Hotel is located at the end of Lonely Street and its desk clerk dresses in black.

4. Hula dancers are best judged by their ability to really move that grass around.

5. A harem in the Middle East contains 20 women.

6. So efficient is the US postal service that it will return an unwanted letter within 24 hours of its initial posting.

7. There are few sounds that make you feel more lonely than that of the midnight train.

8. If hitchhiking, it's hard to choose a better destination than Memphis Tennessee.


1. When inviting a young woman to dance, you may increase your chances by noting that chicken is being served in the barn.

2. If rejected by the older sister in a family, by all means have a crack at her little sister, who may have matured more than you at first noticed.

3. Women named Marie are naturally duplicitous.

4. It's OK to date your cousin, providing she's a distant cousin "but not too distant with you".

5. Girls named Daisy tend to drive you crazy.

6. If caught without a partner during a dance at a federal penitentiary, why not try dancing with a wooden chair?

7. Conversation with a girlfriend can become tiresome if she fails to break up the conversation every now and then with a little action.

8. A .44-calibre pistol is an excellent firearm choice for a woman whose partner was doin' her wrong.


1. If wearing suede shoes, particularly of a light hue, one should make their protection one's No. 1 priority, even above that of preventing arson attacks on one's own home.


1. There are few looks in life more intense than that of a one-eyed cat peeping in a seafood store.

2. A passionate kiss can be measured by the fact that even a team of wild horses would be unable to drag apart the two participants.

3. The embrace of a grizzly bear provides a useful point of comparison when considering the pressure necessary to demonstrate real passion during an affair.

4. A good hound dog should be able to catch a rabbit.


1. People are more likely to be alone during a blue moon than during any other lunar event.

2. In the state of Kentucky, precipitation usually occurs when a man is hitchhiking from town to town, having been abandoned by his baby.


1. The lips of attractive women tend to taste like breakfast spread, in particular honey.

2. A temperature of 109 is quite common during the early stages of an affair.

3. The experience of love, especially early in life, can have serious medical consequences including sensations of itching, hand tremors, leg spasms, heart palpitations and language difficulties.


1. American soldiers were unable to approach young women in Germany in the period after the war, as local women wore signs in German saying, "Keepen Sie Off The Grass."


1. Children born in disadvantaged areas such as ghettos should receive special assistance as this reduces the likelihood of them turning to a life of crime, thus perpetuating an endless cycle of disadvantage.

2. A rabbit's foot, while widely considered a creator of good luck, makes only a moderate contribution to one's happiness compared to the impact of finding a good life partner.
3. If you suspect someone is evil check their middle name because it may well be "Misery".

Now, show me one passage in Plato, Sartre or Confucius that can match all of that for depth, width and wisdom. I've lived my life by it, how about you?

(via Phil’s Phun)

Peeping Snowman

(via The Chive)

I Won't Wear a Jacket

Gus Johnson is a YouTube comedian with a short rap about pretty much anything you can think of. In this one, he looks at the campus phenomenon of that guy who never wears a jacket. You've seen him around, although it's more common in high school, as far as I can tell. My kids, and all the kids I knew, went to high school all winter without coats (although most would wear a sweater or hoodie). They said it was because there are no coat hooks in their huge school, and people would steal a coat even if there were. Lockers are too small for winter coats, and security rules prohibit students from wearing coats in class. A story from opie2 gives us another reason.
I teach middle school. One day a 12-year old boy shows up in my classroom at 8:00 in the morning dressed in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip- flops. It's about 45F outside. He stands there with his teeth chattering, shivering like a leaf in the wind.

Me: Dude, you're cold because you're not dressed properly. You need pants, long sleeves, socks and shoes, and a jacket.

Kid: That's exactly what my mom said to me this morning.

Me: Well why don't you listen to her?

Kid: Because I can't let her win.
The jacketless guy on campus may be simply retaining his earlier habits, and might learn his lesson eventually as he trudges several blocks between each class on winter days. Unless he's just too high. (via reddit)

Miss Cellania's Links

What's in a Name: Nominative Determinism in Medicine. Some doctors had their specialty chosen by their moniker.

The Consent of the (Un)governed. You bet women are angry, and it's about time.

How Anthony Daniels Gives C-3PO an Unlikely Dash of Humanity.

The LOLcats of 1911. The children's book Kittens and Cats: A First Reader tells the story of a cat throwing a party for all her friends in photos of dressed-up cats. (via Metafilter)

The Urban Institute has an interactive map that shows how many Americans are behind on their debt payments county-by-county.  You might be shocked at how many are.

Every Christmas Horror Movie, Ranked. There are 79 to choose from, with critiques. (via Metafilter)

Academic Publishing is Headed for a Day of Reckoning. When you must pay to publish and then pay to read, how can we afford to learn science?

12 Bizarre Inspirations Behind Star Wars Movie Characters. The creators have been asked time and time again where they got their ideas, and the answers range from goofy (literally) to sublime.

Why Pineapples are the New Christmas Trees. They are small, hold decorations nicely, and are more delicious than evergreen trees. 

The Curvature Blindness Illusion. How we perceive angles and curves depends on their shade, contrast, and background.

Good At It

Tweet of the Day

(via The Week)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Special Episode

A Visit with Santa

Kids ask the darnedest questions when they visit Santa Claus. Even a child psychologist would have a time with this bunch, but Kenan Thompson majored in musical theater. This skit opened the show on Saturday Night Live last night.

Calorie Count

(via reddit)

Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama

FistfulofBeard saw this sign Saturday as he ran the marathon, and had to go back afterward to document it on film. The election is Tuesday, and the results depend totally on voter turnout.

The Shakedown

(via Fark)

The Quest for the Holy Grail Meets Parkour

A group of Knights Templar are on a quest to "liberate" the Holy Grail from the fortress of the Frenchmen who have it in their possession. They'll have to harness their best weapons skills and ability to leap tall buildings! Oh yeah, and a bit of trickery, too.

This is what happens when you give Devin Supertramp a television production budget and access to a French castle. Its a promotional film for the History Channel series Knightfall. And it's pretty durn good. (via Geeks Are Sexy