We live in an age of wonders. Well, okay, you could say that of any point in history, but I have to remind my kids that things like my oldest son’s 3-D pen simply did not exist when I was a kid. Somewhat haphazardly, he can create three-dimensional objects on an empty table where that object did not exist before. He didn’t have to prototype it in a CAD program and send it off for someone to do a test shot. He just…drew something in 3-D. I was born in the 1970s, and was present for the transition from foot-tall G.I. Joe figures to Star Wars figures that fit in my shirt pockets. I had Spirograph. My kids have pens that draw physical constructs in mid-air. My mind boggles. I want to play in that world. I can’t afford a 3-D printer. But maybe I can dip my toes in the water by obtaining something 3-D printed. Like these.
It doesn’t take much poking around on this site to know that I like space exploration just a little bit. Historic space exploration and spaceflight events are all over the main menu, which is an ever-changing “today in history” page. For me, science and science fiction go hand-in-hand, and tracing the intersections where the two meet – when we finally observe a phenomenon up-close of which we’ve previously only dreamed, when something on TV inspires a new piece of technology in the real world – is what this site (and, to some extent, its head writer) is all about. So, you thrust a big honkin’ map of the solar system under my nose, with a nearly-complete roll call of every interplanetary space probe any country on Earth has ever launched, and I am there. Read More
Two words come to mind when you first see the new line of Indiana Jones action figures from Hasbro: Star Wars. And that’s a good thing. Either in an act of synergy or luck of them winning the likely bidding war, by choosing Hasbro, Lucasfilm practically guaranteed that these figures would be of the classic 3 3/4″ variety and not the increasingly common 5″ or 6″ sizes. And, frankly, as they have shown with their mostly excellent new “Anniversary” line of G.I. Joe figures, this is a great time for Hasbro to relaunch a figure line of this size, thanks to years of development of the Star Wars and pre-Sigma 6 Joes. The Indiana Jones line, encompassing original film (Indiana Jones and the) Raiders of the Lost Ark and the new film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, takes some inspiration from both Star Wars and G. I. Joe, but leans more heavily on the somewhat less articulate Star Wars line. (More on that later.) Read More
Around 1997 and 1998, there were few surer bets in U.S. television syndication than Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – especially the former. Actually a Hercules spinoff, Xena’s more serious (and yet still occasionally campy) atmosphere gained a whole new fan following. As the show took off, advertisers clamored to sign up, production values soared, and so did the price tag of goodies that were minted to impress stations carrying the series. At the time, I was working for a UPN station in Green Bay that carried both shows, and Universal had the spare dough to blow on lavish stuff like a bi-weekly CD-ROM of photos and promotional material for new episodes (most syndicators, including Paramount, just sent out print materials and B&W photos), or this letter-opener.