Star Wars: The Binks Awakens

May 4th, 2015

Just a little something to give folks celebrating May 4th nightmares: Star Wars: The Binks Awakens

[Via Laughing Squid]

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April 17th, 2015

Matthew Mcconaughey's reaction to Star Wars teaser #2:

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A Long Time Ago in a China Far, Far Away …

June 16th, 2014

Maggie Greene has published some scans of a 1980 Chinese adaptation of Star Wars in comic form that diverges from the original in interesting ways:

The actual lianhuanhua is a fascinating document, with weird bits sticking out here and there; but it's also a fanciful imagining (I think) of American – or generalized Western – life, especially evident in the dinner scene where a duck (?) is being stuck into a toaster oven (!) & the table has not only a little hot plate, but a crockpot (or rice cooker) there, too. The artist also makes some amusing flubs – Chewbacca appears in some scenes in a relatively credible way, in others looking like an outtake from Planet of the Apes. It also often looks like something out of a Cold War-era propaganda poster, at least where the details are concerned. Were the actors really garbed in Soviet looking space suits? Was Darth Vader really pacing before a map bearing the location of the Kennedy Space Center?

The art isn't bad at all. If I saw a copy of this with the text translated into English,1 I'd be tempted to pick this up.

Leia, captured

  1. I wonder if the words take as many liberties as the images do?

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'We live in a galaxy with magic space wizards!'

March 30th, 2014

An Open Letter From a Death Star Architect:

Over the past week, I've gotten a lot of guff from people I considered to be friends and colleagues about how my "shoddy" design would be the downfall of our entire government. […]

[Via fuck yeah, science fiction!]

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All this for $0.99 (or £0.69 in the UK)

February 9th, 2013

I read not one but two pretty good pieces today on the practicalities of developing software. I'm not a software developer by any stretch of the imagination1 but I have just enough of a programmer's mindset to appreciate the amount of effort it takes to think through all the little bits and pieces that make a bit of software usable as well as functional:

  • Hilton Lipschitz has made multiple posts exploring the decisions he made in designing his app TimeToCall. He covers the whole process, from his having the idea to write an app to help users arrange telephone conferences across time zones, right up to the point of polishing minor but important user interface details about translating the phrases used in the Japanese language localisation of the app without breaking his user interface.
  • Mark Bernstein posted a piece describing the amount of thought that had to be put into adding a tab bar to Tinderbox. This is more focussed on a single user interface element than the Lipschitz piece: multiply the number of design considerations Bernstein describes for his one feature by the number of steps in the project Lipschitz recounts and you start to realise just how many decisions go into the making of even a comparatively simple application.

Neither article is aimed solely at programmers by any means – Lipschitz and Bernstein both explain in plain English the problems they're trying to resolve and the pros and cons of the different approaches they considered, so I think even people who've never written a line of code in their life will have no problem following either post.

One more, unrelated thing (courtesy of Hilton Lipschitz's Twitter feed). If you have access to a command line, go to it right now and type either tracert (if you're running Windows) or traceroute (for the rest of us.) Then watch and wait…

[Hilton Lipschitz posts via Brett Terpstra. I'm afraid I can't remember where I saw a link to Mark Bernstein's post.]

  1. I'm barely a programmer at all. At home, I hack together unholy combinations of shell scripts, Applescripts and Automator actions in an attempt to knock some rough edges off my workflows. At work I make life a little simpler by doing mildly complicated things with data in Excel and VBA and occasionally Access, but this isn't part of the job description.

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Machete Order

February 28th, 2012

I've seen any number of links over the last few days to The Star Wars Saga: Suggested Viewing Order but only got round to reading it today.

I've got to admit, his argument makes a hell of a lot of sense.


If you're thinking of introducing a youngling to the Star Wars saga, you owe it to yourself – and to them – to consider what this man says.

Don't let your loved ones' first memories of Star Wars be sullied by the presence of Jar-Jar Binks. Or midichlorians. Or trade disputes. Or Jake Lloyd.

[Via The Tao of Mac]



September 16th, 2011

Alderaan shot first!

[Via Daring Fireball]

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'They keep getting blown up.'

September 12th, 2011

Lt. Col. Dan Ward, USAF urges military procurement professionals to heed the lessons of the Death Stars:

The truth is, Death Stars are about as practical as a metal bikini. Sure, they look cool, but they aren't very sensible. Specifically, Death Stars can't possibly be built on time or on budget, require pathological leadership styles and, as we've noted, keep getting blown up. Also, nobody can build enough of them to make a real difference in the field.

The bottom line: Death Stars are unaffordable. Whether we're talking about a fictional galaxy far, far away or the all too real conditions here on Planet Earth, a Death Star program will cost more than it is worth. The investment on this scale is unsustainable and is completely lost when a wamp-rat-hunting farmboy takes a lucky shot. When one station represents the entire fleet (or even 5 percent of the fleet), we've put too many eggs in that basket and are well on our way to failing someone for the last time.

The answer isn't to build more, partly because we can't and partly because the underlying concept is so critically flawed. Instead of building Death Stars, we should imitate the most successful technology in the saga: R2-D2.

[Via MetaFilter]

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'Echo station 3-T-8, we have spotted Imperial walkers.'

July 4th, 2011

It would appear that an Imperial probe droid has located Greenpeace's secret base on Hoth:

Greenpeace spokeswoman Leila Dean says in a statement: "Almost two million people have already watched our campaign ad, which is a light hearted way of telling the truth about Volkswagen and their opposition to climate change laws. The film has been hugely successful having been shared more than any other advert in the last 24 hours. We're disappointed that it has been taken down and we're hoping it's just a case of some rogue droids and that many more people will be able to watch the film soon."


[Via @flminiblog]

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The Dark Side

June 29th, 2011

Greenpeace want us to know that Volkswagen has gone over to the Dark Side.1

[Via Pop Loser]

  1. In case you missed it, the advert being parodied can be found here.

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