Archive for April, 2009

Yes, But Can I Use It To Gain An Army Of Minions?

Posted in Tech on April 29, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Strange article on Wired today about scientists using lasers to control human thought behavior.  Yes, I know they are talking all kinds of pretty words about healing the sick and all that.  But this has all the wrappings of a super villain weapon, if harnessed properly of course.  And I could harness it very well.  I mean seriously, could you imagine what you could do if you replaced the regular lasers at a massive or big show with mind control lasers?  Muahahah.  Er.  Uh….

Either way, it’s worth a quick read:

Flashes of light may one day be used to control the human brain, and that day just got a lot closer.

Using lasers, researchers at the MIT Media Lab were able to activate a specific set of neurons in a monkey’s brain. Though the technique has been used to control and explore neural circuits in fish, flies and rodents, this is the first time the much-hyped technology has ever been used in primates.

“It paves the way for new therapies that could target a number of psychiatric disorders,” said MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden, who led the research with postdoctoral fellow Xue Han. “This is very exciting from a translational standpoint.”

The beauty of this optogenetic technique is its specificity. By using a combination of lasers and genetic engineering, scientists can control, to the millisecond, the firing of a specific class of neurons, allowing them to pinpoint problematic cells and circuits while leaving innocent bystanders alone, thus minimizing potential side effects.

Viruses are engineered to infect neurons with a special type of channel, originally discovered in algae, which is sensitive to blue light. Once a blue laser shines on the infected neurons, the channels snap open, ions rush into the cell, and the neuron fires.

Read more at the source link here.

What I want for Christmas (or just today) in April pt 3

Posted in Personal/Creative with tags , , , on April 29, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Because I still lack it, and I was craving it all day yesterday and even more after Kimmy explained this brand of olive juice to me.  This must happen, and make it vodka, fuckers:

Someone needs to get on this one, quick-like before I hurt something.

Someone needs to get on this one, quick-like before I hurt something.

Watching the Wheels

Posted in Personal/Creative on April 29, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Is it really Wednsday?  Wow, well at least the week is going by quickly.  Just the usual day to day stuff going on so far, and work is being tame, so I’m writing and working and such.

Knight vs Pirate episode of DW aired last night, and somehow I managed to sit through it for the trillionth time.  Oh wait, I was high, that explains it.  Funny episode, ask me about it sometime.

So I’m going to get back to the grind.  Speaking of grind, tonight I’m supposed to go hang out with J.R. and Lex at Lex’s pad and watch some grind house movie her roomate was in.  If it’s worth talking about, I’ll tell ya tomorrow!

Today’s songs are The Cramps – “Surfin’ Dead”, Modest Mouse – “Trailer Trash”, Lard – “Mate, Spawn, or Die”, Public Enemy -“Can’t Trust It”, and my Pixies -“Gigantic”, I like doing this, it will be a new thing.  So it is written.  I need to find a place where I can link to streaming version of songs, I think that would be fun.  But not blip, because that doesn’t count.

Halloween 2 Trailer

Posted in Film with tags , , , on April 29, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Because I suck and I didn’t update last week, I missed out on the official trailer for Zombie’s’ “Halloween 2” dropping.   So here’s a link:

Halloween 2 Official Trailer Link Thingy

I watched it, and I’m curious.  I can’t say it looks like anything I was expecting in terms of story and the inclusion of Sherry Moon’s Meyer’s Mom character in what appears to be such a prominent role, but I trust Zombie alot.  After all, he is one of my heroes.

Clash of the Who?

Posted in Film with tags , , , on April 29, 2009 by joeylabartunek

So apparently the remake of ‘Clash of the Titans’ went into production today, although reading the article that Dark Horizons posted, you wouldn’t know it was even remotely tied to the original, minus the name of the hero, Perseus.  Here’s an excerpt:

Principal photography began Monday on Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ epic action adventure Clash of the Titans, being directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk). The film stars Sam Worthington (upcoming Terminator Salvation and Avatar) and Academy Award® nominees Liam Neeson (Taken, Schindler’s List) and Ralph Fiennes (the “Harry Potter” films, The English Patient).

In Clash of the Titans, the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods. But the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Worthington) is helpless to save his family from Hades (Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing left to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Neeson) and unleash hell on earth. Leading a daring band of warriors, Perseus sets off on a perilous journey deep into forbidden worlds. Battling unholy demons and fearsome beasts, he will only survive if he can accept his power as a god, defy his fate and create his own destiny.

I dont know how many of you sat around as a kid and watched this over and over when it was sandwiched between the also incredibly repeated “The Pirate Movie” and “Looker”, but I did, and I loved this movie.  But with these story changes and without the Harryhausen-ian stop motion monsters, it sounds incredibly far removed from the beloved (if anything starring Harry Hamlin could possibly be called beloved) original.  We’ll see.  I swore to at least try and keep an open mind until after something was released, and so I will.

Winding Down

Posted in Personal/Creative on April 28, 2009 by joeylabartunek

So the show’s winding down. The third episode already aired and we’re finishing the eighth now, time in the DW post office is probably going to end in a week or two. Not that you would know it, it’s been stupid crazy and stressful. I’ve been on the verge of pulling my hair out over some of this stuff, but I’ve managed to keep it together. Mostly.

Sadly the only real victim has been my writing. In terms of this blog, the screenplay, and my sketch writing, I feel like I’ve been staring at a blank wall. The uncertainty of what’s next, coupled with the sheer brutal pace has drained my brain badly. I need a recharge, and if I can make it to the weekend I’m hoping the adventure will work.

Micro Budget Horror and You (or Me)

Posted in Film on April 28, 2009 by joeylabartunek
Poster for the Trek, Click to go the Plan 10 website

Poster for the Trek, Click to go the Plan 10 website

So, recently I watched a mini-doc on G4’s Underground about microbudget horror films.  The focus was on Lola Wallace and Tom Devlin, two filmakers who are the brains behind Plan 10 Pictures, a tiny production company that makes monster movies on budgets in the $1k to 5k range.  I don’t know about you, but those numbers are amazingly low by my normal calculations.  Hell, I remember struggling to shoot my thesis film in school on a budget of 5k and it was only fifteen minutes long.

It’s really mind blowing actually.  They build in house special effects and costuming themselves, they shoot crazy guerilla style, and they get it done, if memory serves (and it rarely does), they are on their third feature.  Third.  Makes me wanna kick my own ass.

Anyways, I remember my time in the guerilla trenches.  Placebo spent way too many nights splashing kero syrup, digging ditches in the middle of the night, and trekking up mountains just to shoot some stuff.  And I doubt I could ever go back, I love the bigger process too much, and I like traditional sets (albiet with smaller crews) too much.

But man am I jealous of that output.  Gonna have to get a copy of some of their work to check out and help support.