Apr 23 2014

Peripheral Vision: Nintendo Satellaview

Published by under Columns,Video Games


Before there was Xbox Live, before there was PSN, before you were even sticking crappy broadband modems to your Gamecube and PS2 to play all of the five games that were compatible, there was the Nintendo Satellaview.

Released in the twilight years of the Super Nintendo (known as the Super Famicom in Japan), the Satellaview came out in 1995, only a year before the Nintendo 64.

This peripheral system plugged in to the base of the Super Famicom and acted as a modem that allowed you to download game data via satellite. The system boasted rare gems such as two sequels to F-Zero and a sequel/spinoff to The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past.

Access to game content required not just the Satellaview, but also a receiver box for the main signal to be decoded and a monthly subscription fee paid to the satellite content service provider, run exclusively by a Japanese company called St. Giga. What’s more, game content was broadcast irregularly throughout the week and was only available during certain times of day according to a set program schedule. Think of the service as XM radio, but with game content instead of music.

Despite the high cost of entry due to equipment, service fees, and the limited window to access game content, the Satellaview was extremely popular in Japan. It peaked in 1999 with over 116,000 households subscribing. St. Giga was already a popular radio service, and their partnership with Nintendo only served to gain them more subscribers than ever before.

The service was canceled in 2000, just a few months before the release of the Gamecube, if that’s any indication of the Satellaview’s enduring legacy. Continue Reading »

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Apr 23 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Grosse Point Blank

Published by under Columns,Movies


I hail from a not-so distant land, where John Cusack can do no wrong. The man earned all my respect as I grew up in the 80′s pretty much loving everything he was in. From holding a boombox under the window of his dream girl in Say Anything, to his oddly suicidal fantasies in Better Off Dead, there was little the guy has done that I don’t consider awesome. But there is one John Cusack movie that seems to be under-the-radar of most. The under-appreciated cult comedy about a hit man in the middle of an existential crisis. Cusack can portray uncertainty like few others, but who knew he could portray that whilst simultaneously portraying a hit man? Grosse Point Blank gives us an existential crisis we can all relate to, yet it has aspects which most of us cannot relate to at all. It is that very hard-to-achieve balance that makes this film work so well, and makes me wonder why you haven’t seen it.

Continue Reading »

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Apr 23 2014

The Church of Stark

Published by under Images


You know, Tony Stark and Jesus Christ have a lot in common. Both were given up for dead, put in a cave, and then rose again through the aid of a higher power. As far as I know Jesus didn’t shoot lasers out of his hands, but the other similarities are uncanny.

I’m all for the creation of the Church of Stark, and this stained glass is a good start.

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Apr 23 2014

A Very Doctor Who Proposal

Published by under Images


Well, there are nerdy ways to propose and there are “king of all the nerds, from now until the end of time” ways to propose. This is the latter.

One avid Doctor Who fan decided the best time to pop the question was when he and his lady were meeting Karen Gillan and Matt Smith in person. The moment was captured on film, which includes Gillan’s shock and Smith’s unbridled Glee. It really is quite sweet.

Good work, plaid shirt guy. You have attained internet immortality.

[via NerdApproved]

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Apr 23 2014

The Morning Link: Deleted Scenes that Changed Classic Movies

Published by under Morning Link


“Most films are horrible for a very simple reason: They’re made by a whole bunch of people trying to guide a complicated project through a shitload of chaotic steps. Even a great idea can wind up taking a journey every bit as transformational as the trip a salad takes through your digestive system.”

Go here to see the list.

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Apr 22 2014

Superman by Juan Doe

Published by under Uncategorized


Nothing to see here but a fantastic piece of Superman art by comic cover guru Juan Doe. I went to his site to see if I could buy a print of this, but this is what I found instead:

“Juan Doe is a science fiction anomaly residing within the cozy confines of an alternate reality. The images he creates are snippets of warp speed hallucinations colliding with the split second reactions to the cultural zeitgeist. A shamanistic orphan operating from the recesses of the imagination, his prophetic hand has led to the cultivation of global inspiration and artistic harmony. He represents those lost in the throes of strange universes and quantum dimensions and his experiments with the human psyche has produced a body of work that is the envy of all fitness gurus and workout champs. His art can be seen on the fringes of the Internet, the spotlight of advertorial commissions and the back alley of underground appreciation.”

I guess living anomalies don’t have online stores. That is, however, the best self-description I’ve ever seen anyone write.

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Apr 22 2014

Batman Beyond is Back! (Sort of)

Published by under Videos

Batman’s 75th anniversary is this month, and DC is going all out in celebration. They’ve just released yet another bat-themed short, this time delving back into the fantastic world of Batman Beyond.

The series remains one of my favorite animated programs of all time, and I recently went back and rewatched the whole thing. It really holds up over time, even as I found it harder to get into the original Batman: The Animated Series itself.

This is just great, and you should watch it above.

2 responses so far

Apr 22 2014

Three Reasons Why RuPaul’s Drag Race is the Greatest Reality TV Competition of All Time

Published by under Uncategorized


I hate reality.

Whenever I turn on the tube to escape the ho-humdrumming of modern life I’m always looking for a world as unlike my own as possible, but still speaking English (or with decent subtitles.) So whenever I see the proliferation of reality television out there my energy for entertainment drops drastically as I flip from channel to channel watching people wage war over cupcakes and crafts.

That was until I spent a day at the races.

You see, Unrealtors, there’s one reality tv show out there that breaks every mold “assisted” television has crafted…and looks freaking fabulous while doing so. That show is “RuPaul’s Drag Race”,  and today I’m going to convince you that it is not only the best reality tv show competition out there, but quite possibly of all time.

Gentlemen, start your engines, and may the best woman win. Continue Reading »

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Apr 22 2014

A Long Time Ago in a Parallel Universe Far, Far Away

Published by under Images,Movies


Whimsical artist James Hance is back with another beautiful piece, this time imagining what it might be like if Leia fell for Indiana, not Han. It’s technically cheating, but doesn’t feel like it given the obvious parallels between the two.

This is technically still a work in progress, and I’ll look forward to seeing the final product. Looks pretty good right now to me, though.

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Apr 22 2014

Hannibal Review: “Su-zakana”

Published by under Reviews,Television


“I’m a good fisherman, Jack.”
“You hook him, I’ll land him.”

Even through Hannibal’s plots and relationships are under more strain than ever in a lot of ways, “Su-zakana” returns this incredible show to it’s “murderer of the week” format. The episode, whose title refers to a Japanese palate cleanser, brings us a nightmarish (pun intended) scenario involving a corpse sewed into the uterus of a dead horse. Vintage Hannibal, you might say, if the word “vintage” can refer to a single season earlier.

Still, despite the way that Season Two has — to quote creator Bryan Fuller — “reset” Hannibal’s storytelling, the show cannily manages to move onward and upward instead of simply stalling out.

Exhibit A: Will’s ongoing psychological seduction of Hannibal Lecter. The quote at the head of this writeup comes from the opening ice fishing scene, wherein Jack complains about how much harder it is to catch a fish in the cold, when he’s not even hungry. The parallels to the Lecter situation are blindingly obvious, revealing a fascinating dynamic at play. In short, Will seems to be using himself as bait to expose Hannibal Lecter’s, um, sordid habits.

Continue Reading »

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Apr 22 2014

The Morning Link: Tired of Incompetent Dads

Published by under Morning Link


“Recently, the marvelous Courtney penned a gorgeously scathing piece that lambasted companies like American Greetings and their attempts to perpetuate the “woe is mom” trope, which for inexplicable reasons is determined to reduce women to but one facet of their complicated lives.”

Go here to see the article.

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