It will come as no surprise that I was delighted by Fabrice Mathieu’s mashup of John Wayne’s The Alamo and Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. It’s the combo I never thought I needed and I found it delightful and incredibly well done. I shared it on Twitter earlier today, but it needed to be shared here as well. Someone give Mathieu the funding to make this a feature-length film, please.
I love history. I love board games. So I was intrigued when I saw this video from The British Museum about the national board game of ancient Mesopotamia, the Royal Game of Ur. In it, Dr. Irving Finkel (noted philologist, Assyriologist, and the discoverer of the rules) takes on Tom Scott in the ancient race game.
If you’re interested in learning how Dr. Finkel discovered the rules. Make sure to check out this Curator’s Corner video where he goes into detail.
I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.
Some mornings you wake up and need Sir Alec Guinness to read one of the most amazing pieces of modern poetry ever realized. Behold, T.S. Eliot’s epic The Waste Land. Follow along here. It’ll be the best 24 minutes of your day. I promise.
I’ve long been a fan of Evan Puschak’s YouTube channel, The Nerd Writer. I like to be challenged, and I appreciate his scholarly approach to all manner of topics. So when I saw he did his most recent episode on world building—something near and dear to my own heart—I knew it’d be something I shared. Give it a watch below:
The comments on the video are really good (yeah, I know!) and I recommend reading some of the discussion happening over on YouTube. Also, I highly encourage you to read M. John Harrison’s essay on worldbuilding as it serves as a basis for a lot of Pucschak’s argument.
So, what do you think? Is world building the “the great clomping foot of nerdism” as Harrison alleges? Do you agree with Puschak’s assessment; is world building potentially dangerous? Or do you have a different take? Leave a comment below, or, better yet, join in the discussion on YouTube →
A while back I stumbled across an old episode of Rod Serling’s 1970’s supernatural television show: Night Gallery. (The spiritual successor to The Twilight Zone.) At the end of the episode was a short vignette entitled Professor Peabody’s Last Lecture, which is a quirky little homage to Lovecraftian mythos. I figured I’d share it here.
A young-ish Carl Reiner stars as the flippant Professor Peabody who runs into trouble while delivering an impious comparative religion lecture on the Great Old Ones… “if only for the laughs.” This happens much to the consternation his students, three men who go by names like Bloch, Derleth, and even Lovecraft.
My favorite part of the sketch comes when Peabody introduces the Necronomicon to his class and say it is as:
“…corruptibility harmful as the Farmer’s Almanac.”
There’s a comparison I never thought I would hear.
Don’t expect a serious take on mythos here. It’s pretty silly. The best part is watching Reiner chew the scene towards the end. Luckily, this episode of Night Gallery is available to watch for free on Hulu. I’ve embedded the Hulu player below and it’s all queued up, you hit play and just watch it there. Or just hit this link. Professor Peabody’s Last Lecture is the final story of the episode and starts around the 40-minute mark.
‘‘And now if there are no further questions…’’