Category “Getting My Geek On”

Cartoon of the Day


Here’s a news arti­cle on the study.

As bar­be­cue sea­son approaches, researchers have dis­cov­ered an unlikely ingre­di­ent that could improve the safety of your meat — let­ting it swill in beer.

They say that let­ting meat marindade in pil­sner can help reduce the for­ma­tion of poten­tially harm­ful cancer-causing sub­stances in grilled meats.

They say pil­sner and black beer are most effec­tive, halv­ing the amount of Poly­cyclic aro­matic hydro­car­bons, which have been linked to col­orec­tal cancer.

The researchers are report­ing that the very same beer that many peo­ple enjoy at back­yard bar­be­ques could, when used as a mari­nade, help reduce the for­ma­tion of poten­tially harm­ful sub­stances in grilled meats.

The researchers grilled sam­ples of pork mar­i­nated for four hours in Pil­sner beer, non-alcoholic Pil­sner beer or a black beer ale, to well-done on a char­coal grill.

Black beer had the strongest effect, reduc­ing the lev­els of eight major PAHs by more than half com­pared with unmar­i­nated pork.

“Thus, the intake of beer mar­i­nated meat can be a suit­able mit­i­ga­tion strat­egy,” say the researchers.

The study appears in ACS’ Jour­nal of Agri­cul­tural and Food Chemistry.

My per­sonal favorite is to mari­nade with a Leinie’s Creamy Dark.  Add that to some McCormick’s ready-made sea­son­ing or mari­nade mix and it’s great.

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Rosetta Stone to Release Klingon Edition


It’s about time.

(H/T “The Nerdist” Chan­nel on YouTube and April Fool’s everyone.)


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75 Years of the House of Ideas

Batman’s not the only one cel­e­brat­ing a land­mark this year.  Mar­vel Comics — orig­i­nally as Timely Comics — launched in 1939 with the release of “Mar­vel Comics #1.”

The comic intro­duced two char­ac­ters still around today: Namor, the Sub-Mariner, and Jim Ham­mond, oth­er­wise known as “the Orig­i­nal Human Torch.” (Not to be con­fused with Johnny Storm, “the Human Torch” who’s been with the Fan­tas­tic Four for over 50 years.)

Mar­vel has a planned a huge cel­e­bra­tion for the year ahead, and Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso — there since Jan­u­ary 2011 — nar­rates a video mon­tage of Mar­vel at 75.



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COPD">Nimoy Announces Diagnosis of COPD

As a fan of “Star Trek” over “Star Wars,” I obvi­ously have a love for all things “Spock.”  Sadly, (and Nimoy admits it him­self, his own doing) a very real real­ity of smok­ing can do to you.

Then again, Nimoy is 82, and cur­rently the 2nd old­est mem­ber of the orig­i­nal cast of “Star Trek,” (Shat­ner is four days older than him accord­ing to Wikipedia while George Takei is the youngest of the orig­i­nal seven at age 76.) so he will likely be enter­ing “The Final Fron­tier” in not too long a time anyway.

Star Trek” star Leonard Nimoy has revealed that he has lung dis­ease, even though he stopped smok­ing three decades ago.

I quit smok­ing 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP,” the actor tweeted, end­ing his post with an abbre­vi­a­tion of the famed Vul­can salute “Live long and prosper.”

COPD, or chronic obstruc­tive pul­monary dis­ease, is a pro­gres­sive dis­ease that makes it dif­fi­cult to breathe. Cig­a­rette smok­ing is the lead­ing cause of COPD, which can cause cough­ing, wheez­ing, short­ness of breath, chest tight­ness and other symp­toms, accord­ing to the National Insti­tutes of Health.

Nimoy, 82, assured fol­low­ers, “I’m doing OK. Just can’t walk distances.”

To over­come this bum­ming, I’ve reduced myself to watch­ing this over and over again.


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The House Continues to Win

Early reports have it that Vegas sports­books — despite los­ing on “Prop Bets” involv­ing safeties for the third-straight year — have made nearly $20 mil­lion in prof­its off of Super Bowl XLVIII bets. 

Note this fig­ure does not include “off-Vegas” and non-casino bets.  You know, the ille­gal ones (which might include your office pool, but hey, I ain’t snitching).

Gam­blers wagered a record $119.4 mil­lion at Nevada casi­nos on the Super Bowl, allow­ing sports­books to reap an unprece­dented profit as the bet­ting pub­lic lost out in Seattle’s rout of the Pey­ton Manning-led Den­ver Broncos.

Unau­dited tal­lies showed sports­books made an unprece­dented profit of $19.7 mil­lion on the action, the Gam­ing Con­trol Board announced Mon­day. That’s mil­lions more than the past three Super Bowl wins combined.

The Den­ver Bron­cos were a 2.5-point favorite, but the Seat­tle Sea­hawks took the cham­pi­onship 43–8.

Odd­s­mak­ers said Pey­ton Man­ning fans drove the unprece­dented han­dle, flood­ing Las Vegas and north­ern Nevada with wagers on the favored team and its vet­eran quar­ter­back, who was named the NFL’s Most Valu­able Player for the 2013 sea­son the day before the game. Many believed Man­ning was primed for a big game after his record-setting year.

The pre­vi­ous record for the amount of bets placed, or the han­dle, was set last year, when gam­blers wagered $98.9 mil­lion on the Super Bowl between the Bal­ti­more Ravens and the San Fran­cisco 49ers.

The last record for casino win was set in 2005, when sports­books won $15.4 million.

As for the “First Score — Safety” prop bet, it was pay­ing at odds on two levels:

Some odd­s­mak­ers said they lost out on propo­si­tion bets, includ­ing whether a safety would be the first score of the game. Casi­nos paid out at 8-to-1 for the safety. Fans who bet that the first score would be on a safety cashed in at 60-to-1. It was the third year in a row that sports­books have been hit on the safety bet.

The safety is no longer in my vocab­u­lary,” said Johnny Avello, who runs the lux­u­ri­ous sports­book at Wynn.

The last time Vegas lost on the Super Bowl was in 2008.  At the time, casi­nos lost $2.6 million.

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Marvel Releases 2nd “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Trailer during Super Bowl

Took me until my third view­ing before I caught it myself, but there’s a spe­cial man shown lit­er­ally build­ing the Win­ter Sol­dier around the 0:17 — 0:18 sec­ond mark.

Major props to Mar­vel and Mar­vel Stu­dios — espe­cially since he just went exclu­sive to Image Comics for the next five years and also work on some TV pilots / projects in Hol­ly­wood — for giv­ing Ed Brubaker, who wrote the issues of “Cap­tain Amer­ica” where the “Win­ter Sol­dier” sto­ry­line takes place, an appear­ance in the film.

Another cameo for a cre­ator not named Stan Lee to look for in a Mar­vel Stu­dios films, is Wal­ter Simonson’s.  Simon­son wrote and drew an iconic run on the char­ac­ter from the mid-80s, bring­ing him back to his mytho­log­i­cal routes as well as intro­duc­ing char­ac­ters such as “Beta Ray Bill.”

He is in the final scene of the first “Thor,” dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tion ban­quet.  He’s the elder gen­tle­men seated between Thor and the Lady Sif, a well-deserved place of honor.

One last cameo to look for in “Thor” is the cre­ator of “Baby­lon 5.”  He too wrote once wrote a run on the thun­der god, and trust me, he’s in there.

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TV Shows Which Left Us in 2013">TV Shows Which Left Us in 2013

Some planned, some unplanned.  IGN com­plies this list (and clips) of some of the great (and not so great — Nikita, really?) tele­vi­sion pro­grams which said good­bye in 2013.


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“The Image Revolution”">The Image Revolution”

Twenty years ago, seven men sent shock waves across the comics indus­try as the top artists at Mar­vel bolted in one move to cre­ate their own company.

The result was Image Comics, and the excite­ment and effect on the col­lec­tor mar­ket (both good and bad) was known as “The Image Rev­o­lu­tion.”  Twenty years later, that story is now a doc­u­men­tary set to be released later this month.

20 years ago, a group of artists left Mar­vel Comics to cre­ate their own com­pany, a com­pany that con­tin­ues to influ­ence main­stream comics and cul­ture to this day. Image Comics began as more than just a pub­lisher — it was a response to years of cre­ator mis­treat­ment, and it changed comics forever.

The Image Rev­o­lu­tion will tell the story of Image Comics, from its founders’ work at Mar­vel, through Image’s early days, the ups and downs of the ’90s, and the publisher’s new gen­er­a­tion of prop­er­ties like The Walk­ing Dead. We will tell the company’s story through new inter­views with the peo­ple who made it happen.

Todd McFar­lane, Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Marc Sil­vestri, Rob Liefeld, Whilce Porta­cio, and Jim Valentino.  Each, with their own rea­sons to leave (Todd wanted to make a state­ment about creator-owned comics, Erik wanted to draw his own sto­ries, Rob wanted to get rich, while Jim Lee was brought on-board to just “stick it to Mar­vel” by rob­bing the top artist of the top comic in the indus­try — X-Men.), each with their own ideas.

It was a time when comic book artists became both rock stars and mil­lion­aires overnight.  And with the rare excep­tion of Robert Kirk­man, the cre­ator of “The Walk­ing Dead,” it won’t ever hap­pen again.

 20 Years later, maybe four or five of the founders are still with Image.  Only Larsen remains at the first book he brought to Image “Sav­age Dragon,” after all this time, while guys like Sil­vestri and McFar­lane have left their orig­i­nal books for other books or ven­tures.  In fact, McFar­lane now runs one of the most suc­cess­ful toy man­u­fac­tur­ers in the coun­try, is co-owner of an NHL fran­chise (Edmon­ton Oil­ers), and is said to have a net worth of over $1 billion.

Jim Lee sold his part of Image to DC Comics in 1999, and now is its “Co-Publisher.”

Liefeld was said to have openly stolen from the com­pany finances, was forced out, and barely avoided jail time (or so the story goes).  For it, he has been a pariah to the indus­try since the late-90s and has kept him­self going with work at Mar­vel, DC, and some creator-owned work.  In 2007, he was let back into Image.

They were Image Comics.  And it’s impos­si­ble to think of the comics of today with­out them.

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Marvel Finds Its “Ant-Man,” in “Anchorman 2″ Star Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd, superhero.

There were rumors of him being in the mix since sum­mer, but “Anchor­man 2,” “This is 40,” and “40-Year Old Vir­gin” star Paul Rudd will be the lead in Mar­vel Studio’s “Ant-Man,” which will be directed by “Cor­netto Tril­ogy” (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) direc­tor Edgar Wright

Mar­vel has found the star on their next giant movie, Ant-Man.

Paul Rudd had been cho­sen to star in the movie, which is being directed by Edgar Wright and already has a release date of July 31, 2015.

Rudd was in con­tention for the role with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and although Rudd was the front-runner for some time, Mar­vel took its time pulling the trig­ger. Some spec­u­late that when Gordon-Levitt became attached to Sand­man, based on a char­ac­ter by Marvel’s rival, DC Enter­tain­ment, that only has­tened the dealmaking.

Ant-Man could be Marvel’s more quirky offer­ing since it’s in the hands of Wright, a direc­tor known for his fan-favorite films such as Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, which bal­ance action, sci-fi and comedy.

Rudd’s front-runner sta­tus was an open secret. What is more of inter­est to fan­boys and girls is which Ant-Man is Mar­vel adapt­ing. The script calls for the orig­i­nal hero, a sci­en­tist named Dr. Hank Pym who invents the shrink­ing tech­nol­ogy (called Pym Par­ti­cles!) and was one of Marvel’s ear­li­est heroes. But it also has Scott Lang, a reformed thief who became the hero in the late 1970s.

The assump­tion is Rudd will play Hank Pym, the orig­i­nal Ant-Man, who also goes by the names “Giant Man,” “Goliath,” “Yel­low Jacket,” and most recently, “Wasp” in the comics.  Pym is a found­ing mem­ber of the Avengers, but over the years his nat­ural paci­fist ten­den­cies, men­tal health, and his com­mit­ment to sci­en­tific dis­cov­ery have led him to hang up the super­hero tights on more than one occa­sion. (Hence the men­tion of Scott Lang by the Hol­ly­wood Reporter.)

Word in the rumor mills is “Parks and Recre­ation” star, Rashida Jones, is the likely choice for long-time love inter­est of Pym, Janet Van Dyne, aka “The Wasp,” another found­ing mem­ber of the Avengers.

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DC Comics Secures Artwork for JFK Library">Follow-Up: DC Comics Secures Artwork for JFK Library

In late Octo­ber, I did a post on the plight of Al Plas­tino, an iconic artist for DC Comics in the 1950s and 1960s who did mostly work on Super­man, and his quest to get orig­i­nal art­work he donated to the John F. Kennedy Pres­i­den­tial Library placed there as he intended it.

Plas­tino dis­cov­ered to his hor­ror, that the pages — long thought to be in Boston — were slated to be sold at auc­tion in Dal­las in Novem­ber.  Start­ing ask­ing price, $20,000 a page.

Sadly, Plas­tino passed away last month, suc­cumb­ing to prostate can­cer at the age of 91.  How­ever today, his widow, chil­dren and grand­chil­dren dis­cov­ered that DC Comics, along with Her­itage Auc­tions (which com­pleted an inves­ti­ga­tion into the authen­tic­ity of the work and own­er­ship) will be hon­or­ing his wishes and the art­work for “Super­man #170″ sent to the JFK Pres­i­den­tial Library as they were intended.

Al Plas­tino was one of the most influ­en­tial and pro­lific Super­man artists of the 1950s and 1960s. His pass­ing last month sad­dened the entire DCE family.

One of Plastino’s most rec­og­niz­able pieces was a Super­man story he illus­trated that fea­tured Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy titled  “Superman’s Mis­sion For Pres­i­dent Kennedy.” Among Plastino’s final wishes was for the orig­i­nal art for the story to be dis­played at the John F. Kennedy Pres­i­den­tial Library and Museum in Boston, MA.

As a trib­ute to honor him and pre­serve his artis­tic legacy, DC Enter­tain­ment is pleased to con­firm that we have acquired the art and will be donat­ing it to the JFK Library, ful­fill­ing Plastino’s long­time hope for the story, which he often pointed to as one of his most impor­tant artis­tic contributions.

Mr. Plastino’s wife, Ann­marie, and Mr. Plastino’s chil­dren, MaryAnn, Fred, Jan­ice, and Arlene, said:  “We are extremely grate­ful to DC Enter­tain­ment for ensur­ing that the orig­i­nal art Al Plas­tino cre­ated for ‘Superman’s Mis­sion for Pres­i­dent Kennedy’ will be pre­served as part of his artis­tic legacy and as a trib­ute to Pres­i­dent Kennedy.  This art was always very, very spe­cial to Al and our whole fam­ily and it would have meant a great deal to Al to know that DC Enter­tain­ment stepped in to make this possible.”

It is unknown if DC Comics stepped up and repur­chased the art from the cur­rent owner or not, though that likely seems to be what hap­pened here.  Any­thing else would have likely been wrapped up in the courts for years.

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