Making a Godzilla Movie: a Seven Part Guide

Photo: John Stanowski,

Photo: John Stanowski,

Hello, big-budget filmmakers! As summer approaches, I am sure that you are all ready for another opportunity to destroy great swaths of our culture and civilization — on film, of course. And I’m not here to stop you, but instead to inspire you! Let me humbly suggest that you pick Godzilla for your latest 90 Minutes Wanton Destruction. You see, making a Godzilla movie isn’t all that difficult. There are only a few clear-cut elements that you need to utilize in order to create another movie starring humanity’s favorite fictional killing machine.

Part I. Intro

The film’s introduction is one of the most important elements (besides Godzilla, of course), as well as one of the most inflexible. It must be a montage of Pacific Island nuclear bomb tests. This will serve as both an origin story as well as a throwback to the original anti-nuclear genesis of Godzilla. And no, having an explicitly anti-nuclear viewpoint isn’t necessary anymore because this intro, no matter how ambiguous, will cover that for you. (Nowadays, nuclear weapons and nuclear energy aren’t prescient enough topics to warrant possibly alienating your audience over, so just sweep those topics under the rug for the remainder of the film.)

Side note: In a just world, the Pacific island nations that endured these nuclear tests would get royalties every time a film includes footage of some foreign force obliterating their island paradise. Unless they have forgotten about it.

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The Giant Eye of Dallas Sees All and Knows All

Tony Tasset's The Eye in Dallas: Front

So you’re walking along Main Street in Dallas when you happen to look up from your phone and make eye contact with this. No, you’re not tripping (well, probably not) nor are you going crazy (though that’s debatable). No need to get your eyes checked; you are staring at the world’s largest cyclops fossil, or, if you believe the powers that be, a giant sculpture appropriately titled Eye.

A recent import to Dallas by way of Chicago, this portent of doom from beyond the black gate of the apocalypse was crafted by Tony Tasset in 2007 (though I choose to believe that it has always existed and will always remain, even after it devours the Universe on the day of judgment). Some say Tony crafted this based on his own eye, but in truth Tony’s eye is a scale-model of this 30-foot behemoth.

Eye is currently residing at 1607 Main Street in Dallas, behind some fences in a construction zone (no word on whether the fences are for the safety of the eye or the safety of visitors. Chicago didn’t fence it in, WHAT ARE THEY NOT TELLING US??).

Once you get past the fact that it’s staring deep into your soul it’s kinda cute, right?

Tony Tasset's The Eye in Dallas: Side

Tony Tasset's The Eye in Dallas: Back

Pie Times: A Quick and Easy Apple Pie Recipe To Cure What Ails You

Apple Pie

I’m sure many of you are thinking to yourself right now “Make a pie? That’s crazy! Why make a pie when I can buy one that’s ready to eat?” I know this because I once thought the same way, believing that pie-making should be left to the “professionals.” While the professionals should be in control of many things in life, pie-making is definitely open to the masses (that means you!). Also, it is scientifically proven that you’ll value a pie you make yourself more than one you buy at a store.

So, I’m not going to judge you if you use this as inspiration to go out and find a wonderful ready-to-eat pie (We’re all busy people and either way you’re still treating yo’ self) — my argument is that making a pie is quick and easy but, at the end of the day, I can’t promise that it’ll be a cakewalk, especially if you have no baking experience (though remember that everybody must start somewhere). There is the possibility of disappointment along the line, but in my experience this recipe is a fool-proof way to achieve self-fulfilling self-indulgence in the form of a hand-made apple pie:

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Top 4 Apps Everybody Should Own

In today’s fast-paced world it’s impossible to not have a smartphone. Whether you’re an up-and-coming unpaid communications intern or a two-year-old learning to use the potty, there is an app that will make you fitter, happier, smarter, healthier, wealthier, more attractive and more productive.

So, without further ado, we’ve partnered with our good friends Andrew, Ulysses and Ben at AT&T Apps to share this sponsored post on the top 4 apps that will improve your life!

1. EsteemKeeper

EsteemKeeper app icon

Has your massive personal online over-sharing alienated you from your friends? No more! EsteemKeeper provides you with a social scorecard that always goes up and finds the silver lining in your sad, lonely online existence. Subscribe for further features, including our service that counters the perception that you are an isolated hermit by supplying you with an army of engineered online friends. These EsteemFriends™ will cheer you on after you post momentous life occasions, such as getting a promotion, finally asking that cute neighbor out on a date, or sharing your opinions on Star Trek Into Darkness.

2. Fartr

Fartr app icon

Finally, an advanced cloud-based system for tracking your personal emissions: Fartr! Download the app and immediately begin logging your flatulence — the most intimate measure of your atmospheric footprint. Powerful social features extend the already incredibly robust abilities of this app. Share your logs on Facebook or Twitter and tag your friends in your FartStream™. Upgrade to FartrPRO for advanced tools such as the ability to anonymously mark which of your friends dealt it and the ability to route your walking route around regions of recent flatulence. It’s great for your health and the environment!

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No More Complaints About the Internet Ruining Society. Seriously.

I enjoy Zen Pencils a lot. He’s a good illustrator with fine organizational instincts who takes his time with his comics. Above all, he selects consistently good subject matter and usually avoids filler — I tend to excuse his preference for overly sappy/dramatic/grandiose quotes by checking my cynical streak at the door (plus being positive and inspirational is kinda his mission, right?).

I’m used to paid bloviators (who are, as a rule, of an older generation) ranting in broad strokes with fact-less and overly-condescending1 tones on the subject of us narcissistic, attention-challenged youth who are ruining our selves and the world with technology. This one, though. Yeesh. Posting on Twitter or Facebook makes you an attention addict, on par with a heroin addict? Is that what we’ve come to?

That said, all afternoon I’ve been viewing my Twitter and Facebook feeds as if I was wearing a pair of advanced Ray-Bans that revealed every post to be some variation on “Look at me!” or “Validate me!” (and also “OBEY” and “CONSUME” but that I see that surprisingly often).

Is all posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc by definition a cry for attention and acknowledgment? Nope.

Is there room for simply sharing cool stuff because it’s entertaining/useful/important? Sure.

Is “I’m simply sharing!” a self-important, self-deluding excuse that screams “I have super awesome taste! Validate it, my friends!”? Probably.

What about the irony of tweeting this cartoon to disagree with it? I’ll pass on that one.

So there’s my opinion in 3 answers. I argue that there’s a difference between sharing cool or informative articles, videos, music, etc vs narrating one’s life into the intertubes as depicted in the comic2. This will just devolve into another “Is there such a thing as a selfless good deed?” conversation, but throw out your anecdotes and opinions below if you have them.

P.S. ‘#drugsarebad’ is definitely a hashtag Reagan would’ve used had Twitter been around in the ’80s (Related and hilarious).


  1. Looking at you, Time. (I just can’t bring myself to link to the actual article.)
  2. Ignore the fact that I’m on a dirty toilet sprawled out like a heroin addict as I write this.

Correspondence: On Urban Cycling and Psychopaths

Dear friends,

I have a new hobby.

You see, I fixed up my bicycle over the weekend and have been taking it on voyages around the neighborhood. It was in a sad condition last year when I discovered it in storage — though by ‘in storage’ I really mean ‘outside, mostly unprotected from the elements’ — where it had been for around 3 years. I found it at the perfect time, though, as I have recently become determined to do more, you know? And bicycling definitely involves a lot of doing.

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Only An Idiot Would Want to Be President

Image credit: Matt H. Wade

A run for president has all of the same problems as being a celebrity (including a lack of privacy and everybody trying to backseat-drive your life) plus a smaller paycheck, required pandering and much, much more responsibility. The vetting process for the highest office in the land should certainly be difficult, but these days anyone who plots a run for President is an idiot — and doubly so if he expects to win!

Every four years an array of driven, accomplished people (well, usually) trip over each other in their race to Iowa and New Hampshire on a quest to the White House. This always results in one winner and a dazzling amount of shameful, humiliating pandering. The candidates pander to voters in places far removed from the power centers in the major cities in peculiar ways: eating lots of corndogs, kissing many a baby, acting folksy and otherwise doing their best to stroke the egos of normally inconsequential flyover states. As a nation we’ve decided that in these ways we must knock each successful suitor down a peg or two before we give them their piece of cheese at the end of the rat maze.

At the same time us voters demand silly, scripted actions from those we might entrust with the nuclear football, the donors who power a candidate’s campaign are even worse. Having amassed enough wealth that they can literally throw millions toward a particular candidate or issue, these individuals feel even more entitled and knowledgable than the average voter. They ask silly questions and are unrelenting with their advice and scorn. If a candidate doesn’t allow these life-giving donors to backseat drive the campaign or if they sense that their contender is losing they will jump with their bags of money to another horse, figuratively speaking, leaving behind the burning wreckage of a campaign. Voters may choose the office-holder, but the elite among us appear to have veto power over a candidacy.

Meanwhile, the media also has a hunger for information and, more importantly, a narrative (they do need to fill 24-hours of coverage for Pete’s sake). This means they can quickly become fickle and edgy if deprived of action and movement in the race. They’re going to find a story one way or another — it doesn’t matter whether said story is perceived or material, partisan or objective, gossip- or policy-based. This means privacy cannot be taken for granted, a sad state of affairs for someone who is constantly forced to pander to disparate groups across the nation for both votes and money. A camera in the right place can really ruin a campaign’s vibe or even cripple an otherwise powerful candidate.

But the most important component of the pain and humiliation that is the modern campaign for the presidency is the very real possibility of winning. The winner does get his very own airplane and has a theme song played every time he enters a room, but imagine the campaign state of affairs protracted over not a few months but 4-8 years! Add in a Congress that is vying for attention and needs its massive ego rubbed in order to pass a bill, an opposition party that will say or do anything to tear down the winner, and the fact that the office of Presidency is a magnet for the violence of mentally unstable individuals and you can sense the magnitude of what a candidate is sacrificing to have all that power. Plus, we totally stopped adding faces to Mt. Rushmore decades ago.

So we may call the President the most powerful person in the free world, but I think we should perhaps be calling him the idiot-in-chief.

An Analogy and Primer on the Great Patent War

World War 1 Map

Phones have become complex and full of fancy and useful gadgets such as GPS, 4G, Gorilla Glass, Apps, video calling, voice recognition and — if my rambling letters to the various phone makers are heeded — flasks. With all that complexity comes cost, which has made smartphones and tablets a big moneymaker. Where there’s lots of money to be made there’s conflict to be found, and this field is no exception — we’re talking about a modern day war. The winners of this patent war have yet to be decided — though it’s safe to assume it’ll be the lawyers — which leaves time for us to become well acquainted with the main parties involved in this war.

So, without further introduction, let’s look at the “armies” of this war in a way anyone who has passed a history course should understand, here’s a survey of the field, World War I style.

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Poorly Targeted Group Recommendations Logo

Oh the wonderful meetups we’ll have! At least, that’s the idea.

Unfortunately, my experience browsing — one of the foremost internet-to-real-life portals and, by default, a moderately creepy place — has been less than stellar. Granted, the scope of my experience is rather limited: for instance, I have never actually attended a meetup with individuals from this particular website. My history with, however, comes down to recommendations.

For several months I have been collecting the site’s meetup group recommendation emails in my inbox. First it was unintentional. Before long, however, it developed into a hobby and an odd experiment. You see, these suggestions were 85% terrible — approximation, of course — which led to the insight that I have become spoiled with the quality of Google search results, Facebook friend suggestions, and Netfilx film recommendations. By comparison, the level of personalization from Meetup quickly became a near-daily topic of giggles.

With that in mind, I present to you some suggestions the Meetup (non-)algorithm presented to me, a 20-something geeky male with reading, writing, music, science, technology and community service as my main interests:

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