This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Lunchtime Diversions for Friday, July 20

Posted by: James Lileks under Praise, Technology Updated: July 20, 2012 - 12:15 PM

Busy day, so this is rather short. Via Cartoon Brew, a preview of Epic Mickey 2. And you should care . . . why? Because it’s another shot at glory for Oswald, the Disney / Iwerks character snatched away in a legal tussle by the archvillain Charles Mintz. It’s explained in the interviews. Click and watch.

 

  

Here’s the cool thing, which you may know. When it came time to choose a name for a villain in Pixar’s “Up,” they called this guy. . .

 

 

Charles Muntz. Don’t think that wasn’t intentional. As backhanded slaps at guys whose last name ended with TZ goes, it’s up there with this:

 

 

It’s “Vanz Kant Danz” by John Fogerty, rendered in Claymation glory. Supposedly it’s about a pig - Vanz - who cannot dance, but picks pockets. The original was called Zanz, the story goes - a reference to Saul Zaentz, a record executive with whom Fogerty had some legal tangles. To put it mildly. Zaentz also had the rights to “The Hobbit,” and was involved in legal spats over the forthcoming Peter Jackson movie - at the tender age of 89. Wikipedia notes that the same spirit which endeared him to Fogerty seems alive and well:

In 2011, Zaentz' company began several legal actions against small businesses in the UK to enforce their "Hobbit" trade mark, including the Hungry Hobbit cafe  and a pub in Southampton, England, which had traded as The Hobbit for twenty years. This raised the ire of many British correspondents such as Stephen Fry, who described it as "pointless, self-defeating bullying."

How did Hobbit Travel escape his wrath for all those years?

APP NEWSI’m trying out retickr, a program that puts a news ticker at the top of your screen. To which you say: but I don’t want a news ticker at the top of my screen.I understand. The website’s video describes the concept in old newspaper terms: what if all the news came to you in one form? Interesting idea. Like an RSS feed, you mean? Because I have that. But reticker is different: it’s one of those really cool ideas that makes you realize your already fractured attention span can be broken down into units that are practically subatomic. After using it for five minutes - while listening to news radio on Radium and glancing at the twitter stream in another window - I realize that I can’t stop looking at the feed. Something may be happening or may happen soon.

You may like it. Me, I don’t want anything more on my tiny screen, waving its hands for my attention. On a recent vacation I was without the internet for two weeks - on a ship, bytes are handed down from the satellite one at a time, for 23 cents each - and it was like fasting. First, the pain. Then, the calm acceptance. Then, an almost delirious feeling of purity. Then, when you get back to land and get free wi-fi, an entire scround of ice cream consumed in one sitting. Everyone always enjoys time away from the Things Which Must Be Checked. And we never learn from the experience, do we.

LANCE LAWSON solution from yesterday: obviously the butler did it; he wasn’t a real butler. Lance could tell by looking at the way the artist of the strip drew the first panel to highlight the improperly laid-out silverware.

Have a great weekend! Back in this space at Monday noon.

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