Ice Station Zebra

Long time readers might recall that I wrote about the perfection of ice spheres back here. Basically, you need a sphere instead of a cube to get evenly perfect melting in a glass of whisky. Well, my wonderful girlfriend got me a ice sphere mold recently and it got me thinking about other ice molds.

Here are some amazing ones currently available:

I already own these, the ice dentures, and it's incredibly satisfying to watch them melt (rot?) away in a glass of whisky.

It would be great to have these Lego brick ice cube molds, but I fear it would be too frustrating to try and lock them together, still they look very cool.

I would also love to own these bullet shaped ice cubes, although they might be a bit too subtle. You could slip these into someone's drink without them noticing.

The irony of course is that our fridge has an automatic ice maker...but I almost wish it didn't.

(Bonus point for any readers who have seen the film ICE STATION ZEBRA, it's a weird beast. Legend has it Howard Hughes used to screen it over and over again for days on end.)


Real life Portal gun

A man who is a much better boyfriend than I built this real life Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device for his cosplay girlfriend. This baby looks so good!

More pics here on Kotaku.

Sundance makes Twitter shine

People have been trying to point to the turning point for the hugely popular micro-blogging service Twitter for a little while now. The mainstream media reporting of the attacks in Mumbai being twittered was of huge significance. However, for me it was this year's Sundance Film Festival that really illustrated the potential of Twitter. Granted this is the case because most of the people I follow are film people, but not being in Park City and following these micro reports has been quite illuminating. I wish I was there myself of course, but not being able to go this year, I'm even more grateful that I have an army of eyes, seeing the same event from disparate angles, like a fly’s segmented eyeball.

Twitter was famously launched from the South by Southwest Film festival where it won the web award in 2007, so it's only fitting that now in Sundance it really seems to have blossomed. Here are some people I've been following who are covering the festival:

There is the Official Sundance Twitter (which I think could be a bit chattier.)
Queen of the online critics, Karina Longworth is always great to follow and her Sundance perspective has been refreshing.
Kelly Williams, Director of the Austin Film Festival is a relatively new follow for me and I've loved it.
Erik Davis from Cinematical is very funny in 140 characters and I think he has taste similar to mine.
Kevin Kelly from Cinematical is also twittering under the name Gadgetguy.
Eric Snider (also on Cinematical) has been cracking me up with some very punny micro reviews and some great OH conversations.
Film critic James Rocchi went twitter silent after seeing the documentary WE LIVE IN PUBLIC but he's back now.
AFI Dallas Senior Programmer James Faust twitters under the alias of Movieforce, he's up there now and I've outed his secret identity so there.
My good friend Christian Gaines is no longer with AFI FEST but he's up in Park City catching lots of movies and giving us his dryly-comic perspective as well.
My other good friend and blogger Levi Elder is up there passing along film recommendations via twitter and other important info (like what parties are worth attending.) My favorite tweet from him was: "Uh, just went to the wrong movie, like an amature. And nobody stopped me! What?"
You can tell Sperling Reich loves Sundance, his Twitter background is a pic of the Egyptian and he changed his thumbnail to his fest credentials!
Matt Dentler of course has the most Twitter cred out here. He's so old school that his handle still has "SXSW" in it.
Tamara Krinski is up there writing for IDA. But it looks like they are keeping her pretty busy since she has not said much since a jubilant arrival. (In fact I bet everyone will start tapering off this week as the festivities take their toll.)
Kevin Rose was even up there for the beginning and he launched some sort of contest with Ashton Kutcher over twitter that I didn't really follow all the details of.
Peter Sciretta from Slashfilm has been doing great coverage and tweeted this interesting incident: "Sundance security just accused me of video taping a movie, like I would risk my entire career to have a handheld copy of a movie called Dare"
Roger Tinch, the voice of Cinevegas (also an early adopter) has been kicking ass with his bite size festival coverage. Like all good bloggers, he hits a good balance of films criticism with banal/funny stuff.
Agnes Varnum has been covering all things docs as well up there and has been keeping us posted on the Cinema Eye awards announcements this year.
And of course, my friend Shaz Bennett, who sadly has also left AFI, is in Utah this week also. Her Twitter coverage is been the most enthusiastic of all and makes me the most jealous that I'm stuck peering through these keyholes.

An amazing resource that I've never had before is to follow the festival from a filmmaker’s perspective. Even more incredible is that it's a filmmaker whose work I already know and love, documentarian Ondi Timoner has been providing great photos all week long.

And of course one of the best things has been watching these people run into each other or have concurrent experiences of the same movie/event. It's been great watching from the sidelines.

I'm sure I've forgotten some important ones, sorry. So please drop a note in the comments if there is anyone I should be following.There are lots of other festival programmer and film critics who are not actually up there in Park City but like me are still writing and reacting about it which is also, you know, interesting.


Children's toiltries I want

I love these two prodcuts, someone buy them for me!

First is this soap dispenser, created to promote good hand cleaning! The dispenser stamps your hand and you know if its clean once the stamp has been cleaned off! Brilliant.

And the other thing I want is this brand new product from the good people at Listerine. It's a mouthwash that dyes your teeth blue temporarily. You know you are done brushing when all the blue is gone. Again, brilliant.

Wonderful concepts these 2 products, the kid in me wants them right now! Please mark your calendars for November 21st, my 33rd birthday.


Batttlestar Galactica Film Festival?

I loved lots about the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica this weekend. One image that jumped out to me was this shot of Galen Tyrol walking past a non-descript film festival poster.

Tyrol is probably my favorite charchter in the show. And I loved that this flashback to happier times, a utopian world if you will, suggested a film festival would be part of a future idyllic world. Here's a closeup!


Andrew Wyeth

Artist Andrew Wyeth passed away today.

I really like this Slate article juxtaposing this late painting by him:

With his most famous work, Christina's World:


Star Wars recalled...poorly

I love this video this guy made about his friend who has never seen Star Wars and yet is trying to describe the entire plot, fun times!

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.
(Found via Erik Davis @ Cinematical)


WATCHMEN tie in toys

Selling Dr. Manhattan Lunchboxes pretty much sums up my fears about the WATCHMEN movie. One part of my brain is excited about the idea of WATCHMEN merchandise hitting shelves. Unfortunately the quality of merchandise being created looks....underwhelming. Plus, the layout of websites like this just heighten the rushed, under thought and generally crappy nature of these promotional items. The shoddy nature of this product design and release then makes me realize the ironic wrongness of having WATCHMEN merchandise in the first place! If they had done this with a bit more care and intelligence I would probably be buying this stuff by the truckload.

Just to be clear, this does not really diminish my excitement to see the movie, it just makes my cautious optimism a bit more cautious.