It seems like we’ve been writing about Star Wars: Episode VII forever now, and it feels even longer because there’s so little we know about it that’s actually been confirmed. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are all returning — probably. It’ll introduce their children as major characters — probably. It will involve use of the Force — probably. (Okay, that last one is more of a sure thing.) Well, you can add another detail to the probably pile, because scuttlebutt has it that the Episode VII production is recreating the iconic Tatooine sets in the desert.
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Mars One is the non-profit organization based in the Netherlands that wants to jumpstart civilization on Mars by sending a group of colonizers on a one-way jaunt to the Red Planet. In order to help the participants prepare for their deep space adventure, the group recently announced that they plan to build multiple practice facilities to give the potential pioneers just a small dose of what they’re in for along the way. If you’re like us, you can’t help but imagine this as playing out something like the plot of Bio-Dome, only with less Baldwin, probably, and certainly less Pauly Shore. I can’t imagine anyone signing on to spend the rest of their natural life in close quarters with the Weasel.
At the present time, there has been no specific location selected for any of these faux-Martian environments, but Mars One founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement, “We are very eager to get started constructing actual hardware for our mission that is important for training future Mars One crews and preparing them for their life on Mars…We are going from theory to practice.”
Right now I’m glad to be a writer. The only part of me that doesn’t hurt to move is my fingers. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I attended a boot camp class at the gym this morning. The instructor is probably the most intense person I’ve ever met in my life. He rarely smiles, though he seems to enjoy yelling quite a bit, and his exercise philosophy is that if you don’t push yourself to failure, you’re doing it all wrong. Classes like this force me to do all kinds of physical activity I would never make myself do, and they’re far more affordable than a personal trainer, which these days tend to cost more than $50 an hour, which is about $45 more than I’m willing to pay someone to kick my butt. You know where this is going—I just described a market, a void for exercisers, which means someone’s already thought to fill it with a smart device.
Moov is like a personal trainer and fitness tracker rolled into one. If you’ve ever used a pedometer or heart rate monitor, you’ll be particularly impressed at the number of functions this device offers. If you’re a runner, you can clip Moov on and it’ll track not just your speed, mileage, and calorie burn, but also your form. Via headphones, in a voice that makes it sound like Siri’s cousin, it gives you advice on your stride, foot position, and general technique. It also sends that information to your iPhone or iPad (Android compatibility is on the way later this year), so you can track your work and share your achievements with others, if you’re so inclined.
Given the refusal of some politicians to tighten gun laws, it’s time to consider other options when it comes to making guns safer (because we all know we can’t really make people safer). Remember that James Bond-style smart gun that was struggling to raise enough crowd-funding capital? Well, the company, Safe Gun Technology (SGTi), never did raise that money on Indiegogo, racking up just over $2,000 of a 50K goal. But that hasn’t deterred other from developing their own models, and companines like Armatix are now selling its iP1 .22 caliber pistol.
Fans of the NBC sitcom Community are familiar with the show’s catchprase/goal of “Six Seasons and a Movie.” The series is currently in its fifth season — which is worlds better than last year due to the return of its creator Dan Harmon — but it doesn’t seem like an actual Community film will ever get made. But if they changed that to “Six Seasons and a Spinoff,” it might make more sense, as the popular Doctor Who-spoofing Inspector Spacetime (Travis Richey) is getting his own movie! And it will feature appearances from the Seventh Doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy, as well as Star Trek alums Robert Picardo and Chase Masterson, and The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik. I don’t see how this movie can get made without Danny Pudi getting involved, so make this happen, Internet!
While the producers (including former Marvel development director Golan Ramras) ran an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign last year to try and raise funding for a second season of their Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time, they’re headed back to crowdfunding with IndieGogo to get the pre-production off the ground for what is now being called Untitled Motion Picture About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time. Those interested can donate money here. The switch to a feature was made once the awesome guest stars all signed on, and the producers figured that they could probably attract bigger investors with a film rather than a web series. Smart guys.
Award shunning is nothing new in the entertainment industry. In whose goddamned crazy world is Kramer vs. Kramer a better movie than Apocalypse Now? And when was Forrest Gump ever more substantial than The Shawshank Redemption? How did it possibly take the Emmys five years to give Breaking Bad the win for Best Dramatic Series? But the most recent blemish on the world of trophy-based back-patting was the odious absence of actress Tatiana Maslany’s name (as well as Orphan Black‘s) from the Emmy ballots this year. But since we can’t cure stupid or go back in time to force anyone to give the actress her due attention, it’s up to the Clone Club fanbase to get together and give her an award that comes from the heart, and the crowdfunding pocketbook.
Orphan Black fanatic Sarah Evans created this IndieGogo campaign to fund the creation of a homemade statue to show Maslany that there are more than enough TV viewers out there who think she deserves something more personal and meaningful than anything the Emmys or Golden Globes could give her. (She was beat out for the Globe by Breaking Bad‘s Anna Gunn.)