The Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual

Is your YT-1300 no longer making the Kessel Run in anything close to 12 parsecs? Maybe you need The Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual.

The diagrams are excellent and the book is far too full of fun facts about one of the greatest all-time movie spaceships. It'll be on my coffee table for a long while.

The Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual by Haynes

Lego R2D2 timelapse

Via @CaldwellOne comes this great timelapse by Reed Stoner of the R2 unit we shared over the weekend.

LEGO Ultimate Collector Series R2D2

A masterful long take brings True Detective to its midpoint [Recap: “Who Goes There,” S1 Ep4]

Kevin McFarland reviews the fourth episode of HBO’s crime drama “True Detective,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Contains spoilers. If you’re new to the show, start with our introduction here.

Read the rest

Here’s what you’ve been missing on HBO’s True Detective

What separates HBO’s crime drama True Detective from other series that obsessively catalogue dead female bodies or attempt to find the human side of serial killers is the show’s ambition in style and scope.

Read the rest

'H.R. Pufnstuf,' the complete 1969 television series

Sid and Marty Krofft brought us some of the best television ever. While we can debate which of their fantastic, trippy, off-beat explosions of color should be regarded as 'best,' H.R. Pufnstuf remains at or near the very top of any list.

Gullible 11 year-old Jimmy ignorantly gets in a strange boat with his magic flute. Lo and behold, who sent that boat his way? None other than that wacky old witch, Witchiepoo, that's who! With a wave of her wand, Jimbo's pleasure cruise is over, and the boat attacks him! Luckily, H.R. Pufnstuf, fashionable Mayor of the Living Island, is on the scene. With his reliable deputies Cling and Clang, Pufnstuf rescues Jimmy and a famous friendship is born.

Read the rest

Body hacking review: this cheap, high-density foam roller literally saved my ass


The gluteus maximus, with surrounding fascia. Skin covering area removed. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

I work from home at a treadmill desk that also doubles as a standing desk. Whether your work-day body position involves motion, as mine does, or you sit in a chair most of the time, your butt is probably the most neglected part of your body. I'm talking about your gluteus maximus, baby; the hard-working and chronically under-appreciated muscles that with so many of us, can be chronically tight; altering our gait and limiting the flow of energy through our back and legs.

I cannot afford to hire a masseuse to hang around my home all day periodically massaging my body (I know! So unfair!), so I researched foam rollers online at the advice of my cancer physical therapist. I tried a few, and ended up falling in love with one of the cheaper ones I found on Amazon. If you're a runner, walker, jogger, or swimmer, you'll want one of these bad boys, too. And they're a miracle worker tool for much more than just your ass.

Read the rest

Home-hacking review: Charlie's Laundry Soap


This shit is so dope.

I started using Charlie's Soap laundry powder about a year ago. After my cancer diagnosis, I started looking at the chemical contents of my household products, and wanted to reduce the amount of unnecessary exposure to perfumes, possible carcinogens, and the like. Yes, science smartasses, I know even "natural" things contain chemicals, but I wanted to reduce the amount of man-made petrogarbage in my home, and keep things as simple, clean, and pure as possible. Going through chemo did weird things to my sense of smell: it made me really sensitive to the smell of bleach or strong kitchen and bathroom cleaners, and I could smell fake fabric softener smells a block away. It just grossed me out.

So I was looking around on Amazon for laundry soap alternatives, and found Charlie's Soap. I bought a tub, and fell in love. It's a super duper cost-effective and very simple laundry detergent you purchase in concentrated powder form.

Read the rest

'Land of the Lost,' the complete 1974 television series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Qehtte0bQ

Xeni and I are both freaking out about how much we loved this series as kids. Sid and Marty Krofft's Land of the Lost is truly a classic that provides even more entertainment now than it did as a child.

Join the picture perfect American Marshall family. Adventuring somewhere in the wildness are Marshall, his son Will and daughter Holly. When a random dimensonal portal opens up they are dramatically transported to THE LAND OF THE LOST. Here, they struggle amongst the wackiest looking dinosaurs, including one named Dopey, a small gaggle of awesome Pakuni and the fearsome yet mindless Sleestak.

Read the rest

Space Battleship Yamato 2010, anime come to life

I think I may have been waiting all my life to see Space Battleship Yamato done just like this. The movie is so true to the feel of the 1974 Starblazers I adored as a child, I really got to enjoy both the film and the trip down memory lane.

If you are a fan you will want to check this out!

Read the rest

'The Amber Chronicles' by Roger Zelazny, a classic fantasy series

I've re-read Roger Zelazny's 'The Amber Chronicles' series more times than I can recall. I've worn out two copies of this complete collection, and lost countless individual copies of the component books. This fantasy series begins with Nine Princes in Amber, and is one of my favorite fantasy series.

When the story opens neither we nor our hero, Corwin, know what's going on. He is lost in a coma and awakens with amnesia, which we are led to understand is the result of a recent car accident that should have left him dead. Corwin goes on to discover who he is by threatening pretty much everyone he meets. It works.

Read the rest

Battle of the Planets, classic campy sci-fi anime film

Five incredible young people with super powers!

Battle of the Planets is a late 70s/early 80s reworking of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, and was one of my earliest introductions to anime and sci-fi cartoons. With classic in its camp, we join the adventures of Mark, Jason, Princess, Key-op, Tiny and the incredible 7-Zark-7 as they defend space from things beyond space.

It's one of the first US adaptations of a Japanese anime series that I am aware of (Robotech is my favorite in this genre). Sandy Frank Productions draws on all the popular sci-fi memes of the day and brutally rips off R2-D2 to create a fast, fun and confusing series. Five young and highly-trained agents who dress like birds and fly like gravity doesn't exist gather to defend the Earth from Zoltar, the Luminious One, and planet Spectra.

Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has been recut several times over the years, not just into BotP but G-Force and the Eagle Riders as well. 7-Zark-7 and 1-Rover-1 make Battle of the Planets my favorite.

Battle of the Planets, a Sandy Frank Production

Video Link

Treat Triad dog puzzle


Pretzel going bonkers for the Treat Triad dog puzzle on a rainy, indoors day.

These past few rainy days, I've been trying to entertain my dogs with puzzles. The Treat Triad is a clear winner.

Both a Great Pyrenees and a Cavalier King Charles, dogs large and small, love smacking the spinner around and then figuring out how to open the treat bay doors. It is light, simple and hasn't broken apart after hours of battering.

Treat puzzles are no way to get the dog to let you sleep, but they certainly keep them busy when its too nasty to go out!

The Treat Triad

"Yeti, Turn Out the Light!": a fantastic children's book

NewImage

For more than a decade, our friends at GAMAGO have created some of the most delightful, inspired, and fresh characters around for t-shirts, toys, and other bric-à-brac. Along with everyone else who has known the wonder of the GAMAGO Yeti, I have wished for this mythical (?) beastie to come to life in narrative form. The wait is over! GAMAGO and Chronicle Books have just published "Yeti, Turn Out the Light!," a marvelous children's book that truly embodies the creativity and craft of GAMAGO proprietors Greg Long and Chris Edmundson.

As you'd expect, the full-color illustrations by Wednesday Kirwan are absolutely fantastic. The story is a delightful bedtime tale of shadows, monsters, and magic sure to please all children, and the adults that cuddle them.

The hardcover edition of "Yeti, Turn Out the Light!" is just $11 from Amazon. Below are two spreads from the book. Congratulations, Greg, Chris, and Wednesday!

Read the rest

Scuba gear review: Whites Fusion drysuit

Perhaps it is just local pride, but nowhere I've been diving, nowhere in the world, compares with California. The abundance and variety of sea life you can encounter underwater from Carmel to Catalina is without compare. The cold water, however, takes some getting used to.

My solution for the last five years or so: the Whites Fusion Drysuit.

Read the rest

Battle Beyond the Stars

One of the first--and most fun!--science fiction movies I've ever seen is Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars.

Shad (Richard Thomas) sets out to save his tiny home world of Akira from John Saxon's aptly named Sador! Shad steals a slightly clingy spaceship and gathers a ragtag band of fighters to help. I was thrilled with George Peppard's space cowboy. Robert Vaughn's mercenary is an amazing reprisal of his Magnificent Seven role.

Fantastic space battles, cute humor, and wonderful performances by a really fun cast.

"Live fast, die well and have a beautiful ending!" -- Saint Exmin, the Space Valkryie

Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars