Episode 32: “I think it’s some kind of protest. Either that or acting class”

The missions of Improv Everywhere are always pure brilliance. This time more than 200 “agents” froze at exactly the same time at Grand Central Station in New York. The confusion of the non-agents is priceless. [Via Boing Boing]

Episode 31: “But nothing else could ever take you away”

This is a pretty cool video showing the different front pages at Apple.com through the years, starting in 1996. It’s funny to see how all the different designs and products have evolved throughout the years.

Episode 30: “I’m not moving the mask, I’m not moving my head”

These are two videos of the same type of optical illusion. It consists of a simple sheet with a hollowed out face. When moving left or right, the face seems to follow you. The first video is the optical illusion with Einstein’s face; in the second the hollow part is painted.

Episode 29: “I will take the treasure!”

I loved MacGyver when I was a kid. I even remember exactly what I was thinking the first time I saw it: “Wow, this is like A-Team, but with only one guy who’s smarter and does cooler stuff!” Looking back at it, you can’t fail to cringe at the awful mullet that Richard Dean Anderson was sporting those days. Did anyone else here have trouble adapting to his new hairstyle when he first appeared in Stargate SG-1?

While I loved the normal day-to-day MacGyver episdoes, my favourites were always those special cheesy ones with a time traveling/supernatural twist or a Indiana Jones quest. There was the one where a flowerpot fell on his head and he woke up in King Arthur’s Court (7×01 and 7×02 Good Knight), where you finally found out his first name is Angus. The one with the Haunted House with a young Teri Hatcher (4×01 The Secret of Parker House). The one where he travels back to the Wild West (5×12 Serenity). The episode where he searches for the Holy Grail, using all the accompanying clues and artifacts (5×01 and 5×02 The Legend of The Holy Rose). Then you have the Eye of Osiris (6×14) and the Fountain of Youth (7×14) episodes. And, of course the TV movie Lost Treasure of Atlantis. They’re the perfect What-To-Watch-When-Your-Sick movies.

Here’s a fan-made trailer of The Legend of The Holy Rose:

Episode 28: “I’ve got YouTube”

I’ve only just discovered TED Talks (I know, I know, sometimes I’m a bit slow), but this clip is just fantastic. It’s a brilliant medley from David Pogue on the music wars.

Here’s another one from Pogue from the Ted Talks of 2006:

Episode 27: “I used seven helicopters.” 

This is the first in a series of commercial from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia with the tagline Determined To Be Different. More commercials in the same vein are soon to be released and in the end they’ll be available on their website.

The commercial shows an American advertising team showing their new ad to the marketing department of CBA. The ad (in the commercial) is directed by Michael Bay, the director everyone hates to love and loves to hate from Transformers and Armageddon. It contains stereotypes of Australian culture: koalas, didgeridoo, boomerang and even Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max characters (you’ve got to love those koalas, though). I’m curious to see how this ad series is going to continue.

Episode 26: “She’s really kicking some ass.”

Two days ago during a press conference the title of Bond 22 was revealed: Quantum of Solace. I’m still not really sure about the title. It doesn’t really feel like a Bond movie name, but more like a Harry Potter book or an Indiana Jones movie. The press conference was posted on YouTube, but has the embedding disabled, so I can’t post here. Here are the links:

‘Quantum of Solace’ Press Conference – Part 1
‘Quantum of Solace’ Press Conference – Part 2

They mention a couple of interesting things about the plot and I’m curious to see how this Bond will evolve. Sadly at the moment we shouldn’t be expecting Daniel Craig appearing in those swimming trunks again.

Sony Pictures has also released the official plot summary:

Quantum of Solace” continues the high octane adventures of James Bond (Daniel Craig) in “Casino Royale.”

Betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. Pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and M (Judi Dench) interrogate Mr White (Jesper Christensen) who reveals the organisation which blackmailed Vesper is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.

Forensic intelligence links an Mi6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a woman who has her own vendetta. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a ruthless business man and major force within the mysterious organisation.

On a mission that leads him to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world’s most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio). Using his associates in the organisation, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in a Latin American country, giving the General control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land.

In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists and even M, to unravel Greene’s sinister plan and stop his organisation.

Episode 25: “Being Meeting Captain Kirk”

There are some universities (Stanford, University of Alabama) that organize “Last Lectures”, a series of talks from professors in which they hold their hypothetical final lecture. What is so important to them that they would want to share that with the rest of the world, even in their final hour? In this case, though, it may truly be the Last Lecture: Randy Pausch is a 47-year-old professor at Carnegie-Mellon that was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year. His Last Lecture is about fulfilling his childhood dreams and how he succeeded in doing that.

About a week ago I found out about this video via Ain’t It Cool News. Yeah, not the place where you can expect these type of videos to crop up, but just read on and you’ll get why it was posted there. It’s more than 1.5 hour long, so you really need to take some time and sit down for it (btw, skip the introductions, it’s a bit boring).

The cool thing that happened after that though is this [from Randy Pausch’s Homepage]:

This is, by far, the coolest thing (okay, #2 behind the palliative chemo working). JJ Abrams (Hollywood producer/director who did the TV series “Lost,” the movie “Mission Impossible III” and a bunch of other stuff) emailed me, out of the blue:

JJ Abrams wrote:
> Dear Randy —
> Hi there — I’m JJ Abrams, director of the new Star Trek movie.
> I read about you and your condition, and ALSO your affinity for things
> Trek.
> So, I just wanted to put the invitation out there — that if you had
> any desire to be in the film (can’t promise you role as CAPTAIN,
> but… we could do SOMETHING!), it would be my honor and pleasure.
> The last thing I want to do is intrude, so feel free not to reply —
> but I wanted to make sure you knew that, if you are willing and able,
> the door is wide open.
> I hope that your treatments are going well and that we get to meet one
> day.
> Best,
> JJ

Naturally, I presumed this was one of my friends, playing a prank. But after a little sleuthing, it was clear it was for real. Jai & I hopped a plane to LA, where I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!

In addition to publicly thanking JJ Abrams, I just wanted to say what an incredibly egoless and cool guy he was. We chatted a little bit between takes, and he is so tech-savvy (and I’m not saying that *just* because he knew all about Alice!). Anyway, it was a truly magical experience. Speaking of Magic, I got to fulfill a long-standing wish of taking Jai to the Magic Castle on that trip, courtesy of Peter Farquar. MK Haley, who is herself quite magical, joined Peter and his wife and Jai & me for an incredible evening.

the “Star Trek” movie will be in theaters December 2008. Don’t blink or you’ll miss me, but at some point a guy walked across the bridge and says “Captain, we have visual!”

I’d *love* to show you my costume (which they let me keep), but I promised JJ Abrams “no photos”. They’re trying to keep things a secret; in fact, even on the Paramount lot, you have to walk around in a trenchcoat if you’re in a Star Trek costume. It’s kind of like being at a flasher’s convention!

Oh, and if you think I’m making this up, here’s a copy of my check from Paramount (they had to pay me due to some union rules or some such… I’ll obviously be donating this to charity).

Episode 24: “You cannot hide; we are everywhere.”

A couple of days ago I posted a video that was spreading around the blogosphere of Tom Cruise talking about Scientology. As an anonymous response to that video, someone posted this video as a message to Scientology:

Episode 23:”I’ve never knowingly slept with a Windows user” 

There’s a documentary coming soon called MacHeads about the lives and activities of a bunch of Mac addicts/fans/whatever you want to call them. I do love my Mac, but some people can take it too far: