TV Land To Go Dark During Friends Finale

FriendsAccording to IMDB, the network TV Land will “go dark” during the Friends final episode, but will air special episodes on the day of the finale:

The cable network TV Land will pay tribute to NBC’s Friends on the day of the final episode by preempting its regular programming and airing six sitcom episodes featuring the cast “before they were Friends,” in the words of the cable net’s announcement. However, during the time that the season finale actually airs on NBC, TV Land plans to go dark. “I know it sounds crazy, but we don’t believe we are rolling over and letting them win,” TV Land boss Larry W. Jones told today’s (Tuesday) Philadelphia Inquirer. “The reality is, our viewers are their viewers.” The six “classic shows” – to air before and after the blackout – include: Cheers (with Lisa Kudrow), Family Ties (Courteney Cox), Ferris Bueller (the 1990 sitcom with Jennifer Aniston), The Wonder Years (David Schwimmer), Just the 10 of Us (Matt LeBlanc) and Who’s the Boss? (Matthew Perry).

I think that this is a great idea; I’ll definitely have to remember to TiVo these episodes…

I also came upon some interesting “Before they were Friends” factoids (Jon Cryer almost played Chandler?!) as well as an article entitled “The Legacy of Friends.”

Paper Toys

Paper Toys offers dozens of free paper cut-out models for download as Adobe .PDF files. All kinds of cool things are available, including buildings and landmarks, aircraft and vehicles, animals, and lots more.

Back To The Future DeLorean For Sale!

Back To The Future DeLoreanSomebody had way too much time on their hands when they came up with this amazingly detailed replica of the DeLorean in Back To The Future:

This recreation was painstakingly researched for nearly 5 years before construction. Dozens of original photographs, details, and interviews with the original vehicle builders and collectors were compiled to make sure no detail was left un-accounted for. All of the interior and exterior Time Machine components were made to last, but at the same time not damage the integrity of the original vehicle. From custom fabricated aluminum work, to vac-formed plastic, and cast resin – this vehicle faithfully and accurately recreates the look and feel of the original movie car. Stainless steel body panels, grey leather interior, 5-speed manual transmission, V-6 engine with Bosch Fuel injection. Motion picture parts replicated through archival photos and extensive research; working interior and exterior lighting system including the “Flux Capacitor”, “Time Circuits” and exterior “Flux Dispersion Banding.”

I have to admit that it looks very cool, but with the auction’s current bid of $15,000 not yet meeting the reserve, I think that this is one splurge that I can’t afford… 🙁

Gravity Probe B Launched

NASA successfully launched the Gravity Probe B satellite yesterday after a software problem forced a delay on Monday. The Gravity Probe B is designed to test two heretofore unproven parts of Einstein’s general theory of relativity:

The experiment will check, very precisely, tiny changes in the direction of spin of four gyroscopes contained in an Earth satellite orbiting at 400-mile altitude directly over the poles. So free are the gyroscopes from disturbance that they will provide an almost perfect space-time reference system. They will measure how space and time are warped by the presence of the Earth, and, more profoundly, how the Earth’s rotation drags space-time around with it. These effects, though small for the Earth, have far-reaching implications for the nature of matter and the structure of the Universe.

The gyroscopes are contained in almost-perfect spheres fabricated to an amazing tolerance:

These spheres, the size of Ping-Pong balls, are the roundest objects ever made by man. The tiny spheres are enclosed inside a housing chamber to prevent disruption from sound waves, and chilled to almost absolute zero to prevent their molecular structure from creating a disturbance. The accuracy of these gyroscopes is 30 million times greater than any gyroscope ever built.

I think that this is a very cool experiment, one which will hopefully allow us to better understand some of the underlying physics governing our universe. The Gravity Probe B home page has a whole lot more information and links to other sites if you’re interested in more details.

W’s Credibility Gap

A couple of days ago, I ranted about W’s televised press conference, specifically mentioning his complete inability to respond to the question, “What would your biggest mistake be… and what lessons have you learned from it?” I was hoping that someone would address his pathetic attempt to duck this basic question, and I was not disappointed. I think the short video entitled “Mistakes Were Made” is a surprisingly subdued response to W’s total incompetence, and I agree with the central point it makes: “Credibility is on the ballot this November.” I sincerely hope that, among many other things, people take the message of this video to heart when elections are held later this year and realize that W doesn’t even know the meaning of the word “credibility.”

Chappelle’s Show Rules

One of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time is Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central. The show is in negotiations for a third season, and after seeing how hilarious the first two seasons were, I hope Dave Chappelle gets a good deal for making a third, because he deserves it. The MSNBC article describes the show as a “streetwise social satire populated by outrageous recurring characters played by Chappelle,” but that fails to capture just how subversively funny the show is. I guess I just can’t do it justice, so you’ll have to see for yourself.

Comedy Central is airing new and old episodes fairly regularly, and I’m still catching up on some of the old ones. Also, the first season is out on DVD, and the fact that it contains “all 12 uncensored and unblurred episodes,” as well as some deleted scenes and other special features, makes it well worth it in my opinion. Check it out!


Howtoons are:

one-page cartoons showing 5-to-15 year-old kids “How To” build things. Each illustrated episode is a stand-alone fun adventure accessible to all, including the pre-literate. Our Howtoons are designed to encourage children to be active participants in discovering the world through Play-that-Matters – fun, creative, and inventive – and to rely a lot less on mass-consumable entertainment.

These cartoons are great, especially because they inspire kids to go out and learn while playing instead of being glued to the television. Very cool…

Eyewitness To History

Eyewitness to History’s purported goal is to depict “history through the eyes of those who lived it,” and it does a very good job. The site contains hundred of eyewitness accounts of historical events, organizing them into different historical periods. I’ve only visited a fraction of the site, but I must say that I’m entranced by what I’ve seen so far…

TRON Lightcycle Game

Many people have tried to make a playable TRON lightcycle game, but this one is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It takes a little while to get oriented, but I was actually winning some after a while.