Well, it’s Friday at lunch (well, really, it is Thursday evening, but you know how things go), and it is time to clear out the accumulated links of the week. There’s a bunch of real interesting stuff here folks, so let’s dive in…
- Periodic Table of Tech. I think I found this through Slashdot, but I my memory could be off. This article goes through every element in the periodic table and discusses how it is used in technology. You’re probably aware of many of the common ones – O, C, Si, Al – but seeing how some of the more obscure elements are used is really interesting.
- To Boldly Go. The mega-storm Sandy damaged the demonstration shuttle Enterprise, which was named after the USS (Starship) Enterprise, which was named after the US Navy Enterprise. Here’s a nice article on the various real ships that have born the name Enterprise, and how soon we might be without a USS Enterprise.
- Helping Out. I’ve recently begun to explore Kickstarter; I participated in the funding of the Now. Hear. This. Cast Album and the new Big Daddy ’59 album with Songs of Stage and Screen. I’m thinking about funding the Dry Bones Passover Haggadah, and I keep suggesting that the Colony Theatre look to Kickstarter for its emergency fundraising (which they haven’t done to date). So I was amused with the Mentalfloss summary of 13 interesting Kickstarter projects. These include neat documentaries, books, games, and toys. Speaking of helping out… here’s a really neat story about some restauranteurs in New York, who are feeding the city with what they have on hand and their wood-fired ovens.
- The Force is With Them. By now, you’ve heard Disney has bought LucasFilms. But what did they get for $4.05B? This article describes it in detail. A significant chunk is ILM and the theatre sound portions, which aren’t the glamorous parts. They got Star Wars (at least the characters and the future films; the released films are tied up with Fox for a few years, and the first (or is that fourth) is entirely Fox). They got Indie Jones (but that is also tied up with Paramount for a few years). They got a few other movies. They may get Clone Wars, depending on Cartoon Network. Related to this, an article in Wired Magazine (h/t andrewducker) explores how the House of Mouse valued Lucasfilm. My one problem with the analysis is that it doesn’t mention the value of the Lucasfilm ILM and sound technology arms; when you factor that into the analysis, it means that Disney valued the existing franchises even lower! (In other purchase news, Warren Buffet has purchased Oriental Trading)
- Mork, Joey, Gloria, Rhoda, Frasier… What do these have in common? They are all spinoffs of sitcoms. When I was growing up, the sitcom spinoff was very common, and there were often branches of sitcom trees. Nowadays, we have “franchises“: NCIS, CSI, L&O, etc. … and none of them are sitcoms. Why? This article from Vulture explores why the sitcom spinoff might be dead.
- Reading Too Much Into It. Andrewducker also alerted me to an interesting analysis of the Rocky Horror Show as a deep metaphor for the battle of the Glam movement of the 1970s against the “pure” rock and roll era of the 1950s. This analysis finds all sorts of parallels and allegories and makes some interesting points, but I also if the author was just thinking too much about it — in other words, whether they were finding more than the original author intended.
- Dreading the Call. We’ve all gotten the call, usually while we are cooking dinner, from Rachel at CardServices with an important announcement about our credit card. Try and track those down, and you get into the 5th ring of hell. Good news. The FTC is shutting down those robocall services. See, your government is on your side and trying to do good things for you. Now if they can just go after those political pollsters that call during dinner…