Tag Archives: Simpsons

HBO orders series based on Westworld

A lot of entertainment news that’s also relevant to class this week. While there are scant few details, it has been announced that HBO has ordered a TV series for next year based on the early-70’s Yul Brynner movie Westworld, whose plot revolved around a fantasy amusement park in which the actors are all androids. As you can guess, something goes wrong and the androids start running amok.

The movie was one of the very early looks at the potentialities of future technology, and of what we are beginning to face today in terms of robotics and artificial intelligence. In what was very forward-looking at the time, the androids actually started to act wacky because of something similar to a computer virus, an idea that was virtually unknown at the time. Remember that androids are different from robots, in that robots are mechanical devices whereas androids, supposedly, can look and act like humans, with skin, organs, and everything.

A little bit about emoticons

And emojis, and some other things in there too.

I’m just going to say right off the bat I never use these, ever, and if you ever contact me in any form and use one I will judge you as a bad person. I’m one of those people for whom a smiley in a text or…*sigh*…emoji can cause some gritting of teeth.

With that being said, a ton of people use them, and I won’t actually judge you. There is even an effort to standardize their encoding with new ones being regularly added! To that end, here is a short video clip from Mo Rocca (who doesn’t seem to be on his game in this clip, sadly) and CBS news that has a brief background about the creation of the emoticon and the person who created it, and how it has morphed into what it is today.

In case you think it is just a small and insignificant thing, let’s not forget this scene from The Simpsons:

All Simpsons episodes going online, with a catch

Love The Simpsons? Of course you do, everyone does. The greatest, longest-running, most award-winning, most culturally influential animated show in history has brought in fans for 25 years. While there have been ebbs and flows in the quality over that period of time, it can’t be denied that the show, like Krusty the Clown himself, has been nothing less than an industry unto itself.

Even so, the show has not embraced the digital age as much as one might expect. Yes, they’ve had albums and games and a virtual world and a really great attraction at Universal Studios and even that total piece of offensive crap Tapped Out, but as for the episodes themselves, they’ve been the AC/DC of television shows. It’s why I had to rip my own collection, that’s it in the screenshot below.

Using XB

Using XBMC Media Manager

But all this is coming to a spectacular end. FXX has announced that they have acquired the rights to the entire catalog of Simpsons episodes as well as the movie, and will be making them all available online to stream and watch whenever you want on any device you want wherever you want. Not only that, you can search for episodes or characters and set up playlists, just like a music service. But there is an enromous catch:

In order to bask in the glory of The Simpsons, you have to be a subscriber to FXX, and that channel is only carried in about 25% of the country, and apparently bundled as part of a sports package since it was originally intended as a soccer channel. If you don’t have FXX in your lineup, then no Simpsons, or their massive 552-episode, movie-included marathon for you!

The Simpsons are not the first animated show to do this. At southparkstudios.com you used to be able to watch every episode of South Park (well, except for one) whenever you wished. The creators of the show, which started as an animated short on the Internet, were very smart to negotiate all online rights back when the Internet was a fledgling idea. The network gladly agreed, never thinking the Internet would become what it is, and as a result we all had full access to all episodes.

What used to be southparkstudios.com

What used to be southparkstudios.com

But no more. Just this month, an agreement was signed that put all South Park episodes behind the Hulu paywall, and starting in September you’ll need a Hulu subscription to watch them. I’m no fan of Hulu, never have been, and I was disappointed to see this. I sense a lot of new torrenting will take place. Or a lot of new visitors to watchcartoononline.com.

So screw South Park! Watch The Simpsons instead, as well you should.

Watch Stephen Hawking Be Hilarious

Just a quick post to highlight the below clip of Stephen Hawking’s appearance on John Oliver’s HBO show “Last Week Tonight.” Although there is some science talk, it is more an example of Dr. Hawking’s exceptional sense of humor, which is to be expected of the smartest man on earth who has also appeared in multiple episodes of both The Simpsons and Futurama (Did I mention his appearances on Futurama?). He also is involved in science, apparently.

The video is below, enjoy it in all its glory.