Lost Day: Press The Button

Lost-season1
Image credit: ABC, Lost season 1promotional image

Lost fans, it’s the day you’ve been waiting for. The numbers. They’ve arrived. 4. 8. 15. 16. 23. 42.

There’s only one possible way to mark the occasion. Today, April 8, 2015 at 16:23:42, you must press the button. A button, anyway. No button handy? Here, we made you one:

 

But it’s just a button. It doesn’t actually do anything. Not satisfying enough? If your timing is right, you can also press the button at enterthehatch.com, which has been running for 529 days and counting.

And if that’s still not satisfying, you can reminisce through a real button debate over at reddit, where users have been pressing (or not pressing) the button for a week now in what started as an April Fool’s Day post. Any user account created before April 1, 2015 can choose to press the button once and only once. A timer counts down from 60 seconds. If a user pressed the button, the timer will reset to 60 seconds and continue counting down. As the announcement post said, “We can’t tell you what to do from here on out. The choice is yours.” And the pushers vs. non-pushers continue to watch and debate at /r/thebutton until the countdown finally ends.

Of course, you could go back and rewatch all of Lost, but who can survive those last two seasons again? Instead, maybe you can catch up with some of the actors in their newer roles:

  • Emilie de Ravin (Claire Littleton) plays Belle French/Lacey on Once Upon a Time
  • Daniel Dae Kim (Jin Kwon) plays Chin Ho Kelly and Terry O’Quinn (John Locke) plays Joe White on Hawaii Five-0
  • Michael Emerson (Ben Linus) plays Harold Finch on Person of Interest
  • Alan Dale (Charles Widmore) plays Tom Morrow on NCIS and General Riesen on Dominion
  • Ian Somerhalder (Boon Carlyle) plays Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries
  • Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert) plays Sheriff Alex Romero on Bates Motel
  • Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond Hume) plays Stephen Finch on Scandal
  • Rebecca Mader (Charlotte Lewis) plays Zelena/Wicked Witch on Once Upon a Time
  • Harold Perrineau (Michael Dawson) plays Manny and Jeremy Davieson (Daniel Faraday) played Ritchie Simpson on Constantine
  • Evangeline Lilly (Kate Austen) will be appearing in Ant-Man in July
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko) played Malko in Game of Thrones and was recently announced to play Killer Croc in Suicide Squad in August

Towel Day: 42 Occurrences of The Number 42 in Pop Culture

42 © Lincolnian via Flickr
42 © Lincolnian via Flickr

Any good geek knows that the answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything is 42. But were you aware just how often that number has crept up in pop culture? From apartment numbers to Hurley numbers, dates to car registrations, the number 42 is everywhere when you start looking hard enough. Here are 42 examples of the number turning up in pop culture.

1. The first reference that Douglas Adams made to 42 was during a sketch called “The Hole in the Wall Club” in which Griff Rhys Jones mentions the 42nd meeting of the Crawley and District Paranoid Society.

2. In Star Trek, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) has 42 decks.

3. In The X-Files, Agent Mulder lives at apartment 42.

4.In Caprica the license plate of Starbuck’s truck is “FB 42 E3.

5. In Spore, the Staff of Life is limited to 42 uses.

Continue reading Towel Day: 42 Occurrences of The Number 42 in Pop Culture

Top 9 Things That Happen With J.J. Abrams Behind Star Wars

Oh, the unavoidable lens flare jokes that happen when J.J. Abrams directs a Disney-owned Star Wars. (Image: Ruth Suehle)

When the news broke that J. J. Abrams will be directing the next Star Wars movie, some jokes were inevitable. Here are our top nine:

  1. The non-geeks will have even more trouble telling the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek.
  2. It will turn out that Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes are just the next evolution of the Observers.
  3. So many lens flares, you can’t see the destruction of Death Star III.
  4. Based on his production company’s name, we have to assume C-3P0 and R2-D2 will become… well, bad.
  5. Star Wars Episode VII will be a personal documentary filmed by Chewbacca on Super 8.
  6. Star Wars Episode VIII: Darth Vader vs. The Smoke Monster
  7. In Episode IX, the biggest argument will not be over who shot first or which was the best of the now nine films. It will be over star Keri Russell’s hair. (That’s right, you forgot that Abrams co-created Felicity, didn’t you?)
  8. All the creepy things on the Island were really because it’s the original home of all the midi-chlorians.
  9. We’ll learn that the “J. J.” in his name is short for Jar Jar.

But let’s be honest. Jokes aside, you love Star Wars. And you probably love J. J. Abrams, a few extra lens flares and giant floating location titles aside. And you would still see this movie if it were subtitled The Love Story of Jar Jar Binks, because it’s Star Wars, and it’s not like you’re not going to see it. In fact, you’re looking forward to it just as much as I am. I’ll see you in the theater.

10 Shows I Wish I Could Watch Again for the First Time

Omar Little, arguably one of the best TV characters of all time. Unless I find a time machine, I'll never be surprised by him again. Image: Guardian.co.uk

Wire Inspire, a funny Tumblr of inspiration posters about The Wire, has been making the rounds. Some of the entries are very funny (see: “Next time you finish off the box, you need to holler on it, yo.”) but it leaves me feeling wistful. You see, I recently finished watching the series on DVD. I missed it when it first aired, but then I read this quote from Henry Jenkins: “The Wire may be the best television show inside the box,while Lost may be the best show outside the box.” Being a huge fan of Lost, that put me over the tipping point to make it through the brutal early episodes to really understand the gritty appeal of the show.

I’d say that my husband and I whipped through all five seasons of The Wire on DVD, but we had to take a break between seasons to emotionally recover, so real are the characters. I needed an extra long break after season 4, which continues to haunt me even now. After we watched the final episode, I found myself wishing I could watch the whole series again. For the first time. I want to watch it again not knowing what will come next.

Then I started thinking about all of the other shows I’d love to watch again for the first time.

  • Lost. This one goes without saying, doesn’t it? We need our collective memories wiped of the final season to be able to go back and watch the earlier episodes.
  • Battlestar Galactica. Like Lost, what came later in the series clouds the rewatching of earlier episodes. You don’t want to know who’s a Cylon!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I remember seeing the musical episode at a friend’s house before I’d ever seen another episode. To see that episode not knowing what’s coming would be worth building a time machine for.
  • Alias. Well, the first couple seasons anyway, before the show went off the Rambaldi rails and before Sydney’s friends found out she was a spy.
  • Heroes. Boy, talk about going off the rails. Wouldn’t you love to see season 1 with fresh eyes again, though?
  • Mad Men. Don Draper seems letchier when you watch the shows more than once, knowing the breadth of his affairs. The silver lining is that we’ll have new episodes of this one (eventually).
  • Strangers With Candy. Sure the bizarro Amy Sedaris comedy holds up to repeated viewings, but some of the gags are funniest when you don’t know they’re coming.
  • Six Feet Under. The Fishers are one of my favorite TV families of all time, but I haven’t brought myself to rewatch the series. I think it will be too emotionally draining to watch their drama unfold a second time.
  • Twin Peaks. Duh. We know who killed Laura Palmer.

I’m about to start watching Breaking Bad, which, if it’s as good as people say, will likely find a spot on this list.

What’s on your list? What shows would you like to have erased from your memory to see them for the first time?

Game of Thrones of Muppets

 

Game of Thrones of Muppets
Animahl Drogo from the collection Game of Thrones of Muppets by Yehudi Mercado. Image used with permission from the artist.

My friend, illustrator Yehudi Mercado, creates wonderful illustrations chocked full of geek culture. His latest is Game of Thrones of Muppets. Illustrations so far include Kermit the Stark, Queen Cersei Piggister, and King Rolf Baratheon.

If you like these, you’ll likely enjoy his other illustrations like the Community Paintball action figures, or my all time favorite, his set of Lost postcards. Man, those make me miss that show.

Geeking Up My Hawaiian Vacation

Kate and Sawyer's waterfall, though the suitcase full of guns was nowhere to be found. All photos: Amy Kraft

Is it possible to be geeky in paradise? Of course it is. Besides being the pastiest person on Oahu, I found plenty of ways to be a geek in Hawaii.

1. Help a Groom With an App

Our primary reason for going to Hawaii was my little brother’s gorgeous, decidedly un-geeky wedding. They had planned the wedding for over a year, so I found there was little I could help with until the day of the wedding when my brother hadn’t yet had a chance to finish his vows. I grabbed my iPhone and found him, yes, the Wedding Vows app. His vows were lovely and largely of his own creation, but he said that he found the app particularly useful for flow and pacing.

Delcious loco moco

2. Scientifically Study the Food

Early on in the trip, I discovered the tasty island treat called loco moco. This dish usually is a combination of rice, a beef patty or two, fried eggs, and gravy. As my husband noted, it’s right on the border between crazy disgusting and crazy delicious. With as many meals as I could, I tried to study the variations of loco moco. The winning combination was found at the Waikiki Hyatt, where the ordinary white rice was replaced by Spam fried rice.

3. Research Everything

Kukui shells

We mostly managed to stay away from using our technology for non-island-related things, but Google and Wikipedia came in handy for researching all of the different kinds of lizards in the yard and house, all of the different plants that we found, and all of the different things that washed up on the beach. It was also good to have our new local family around to tell us about the things we were having trouble finding, like the origin of the shells that my daughter was endlessly picking up off the beach. It turns out that they’re Kukui, or Candlenut, shells. The Aleurites moluccana has a nut whose oil is used medicinally and as lamp oil. Cool, right?

4. Enjoy the View Through Photography

One sunny day we decided to climb to the top of Diamond Head, and I did it with the baby strapped to me. Yes, I would like a medal, thanks. Once at the top, I naturally couldn’t stop and just enjoy the view. I started shooting pics using my host of photography apps. I mean, is there a better time to Tilt Shift? And doesn’t Honolulu look like it’s from a bygone era with Hipstamatic?

The view from Diamond Head: better in Tilt Shift or Hipstamatic?

5. Introduce the Kindergartener to Audio Tours

After we climbed Diamond Head, we headed, exhausted, to the small yet entertaining Waikiki Aquarium where they hand you a free audio tour on entry. My 5-year-old raced from tank to tank looking for the numbers to punch into her device. (It was great practice for her two-digit numbers.) The highlight was when she yelled to me across the exhibit, “Mommy! Did you know that the painted frogfish eats its mate?!”

The Audio Tour at the Waikiki Aquarium

6. Unleash the Lost Geek

From the moment I stepped on Hawaiian soil, I was constantly reminded of Lost. On the first night we were there, I had a moment of hesitation going outside for fear that The Others might take my baby. While experiencing uncomfortable turbulence over the Pacific, I couldn’t help but wonder if Desmond was late pushing the button.

Dharma hatch or Iraqi bunker?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk anyone into going on the 8-hour Lost Legends sightseeing tour with me, and my husband frowned upon me taking the $450 personal tour. Then I discovered that our Oahu Revealed guidebook had symbols on most of the maps indicating Lost filming locations. This would cause me to do things like yell, “Stop the car! I think that’s a Dharma hatch!” at which point I would test my family’s patience as I ran out to snap pictures. (Research on Lostpedia suggests that what I thought was the Arrow station was more likely Sayid’s Iraqi bunker.)

I also planned trips for our entire party, luring people with the promise of beautiful Hawaiian botanical gardens when really all I wanted to do was swim in the waterfall where Kate and Sawyer went diving for the briefcase in season 1. Is that wrong?

So, geeks, I highly recommend packing your bags and heading to tropical paradise. As if you needed convincing.