I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Garden Fresh Salsa

Some of the best and brightest minds in Michigan have determined that one of the best things to do in order to turn our terrible economy around is to buy local. A couple of those best and brightest minds, namely my girlfriend Amy's parents, have been buying mostly local for a long time now. One of the most fantastic things I have ever encountered in their kitchen is Garden Fresh Salsa. Made in Ferndale, Michigan, not only do the proceeds from buying this salsa go back into the state of Michigan; it's also a really good salsa.

I first discovered the splendor of Garden Fresh last summer, a week or two before I returned to Texas for my final year of my Master's degree. I experienced the great taste of Garden Fresh once, and then Ferndale, Michigan seemed ever so far away. While Amy and I were doing the long distance thing, Amy in Michigan and I in Texas, one of the first things I managed to do in order to remind me of both Amy and my home in Michigan was to go out to Kroger in search of Garden Fresh salsa. Certainly, it was a long shot. One doesn't expect to find local Michigan foods in grocery stores in Texas. But if I hadn't looked, I wouldn't have found this fantastic delicacy that made my days in Texas a little bit yummier. Of course, eating Michigan-made food in Texas is not exactly considered a locavore diet, but it felt good to feel connected. It felt good to eat my chips with a really good salsa.

Cosplay Gallery: Video Game Characters

I sometimes fall short when it comes to recognition of characters from either video games or anime. While there may have been quite a few fantastic video game costumes at either San Diego Comic Con (2011) or Otakan (2011) or Wizard World (2011), there were three that I was smart enough to both recognize and deem worthy. These are they.

Super Metroid (Pixilated)


Villains (Kingdom Hearts)

The Guild Index: Season One

For The Guild Index: Season Two, click here.
For The Guild Index: Season Three, click here.

I've noticed that a lot of new people are getting into Felicia Day's web series, The Guild. I remember when I first watched the series it was occasionally difficult to find the new episodes. I don't own a X-Box 360. I don't understand the Zune Marketplace. And to be honest, the MSN site has never been as organized as any of us would like. As a result, I thought I would post The Guild season by season here on Cavemen Go. This is season one.

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=69704ce9-eef1-4f98-8ea4-ecbf68e23192&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 1: Wake-Up Call' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 1: Wake-Up Call</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=d36afde0-3260-4870-8f69-a1cb6c5d4f73&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 2: Zaboo&#39;d' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 2: Zaboo&#39;d</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=a1a625be-ac4d-42f6-874a-3415aa021dd4&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 3: The Macro Problem' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 3: The Macro Problem</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=1ef22779-2816-4b37-8ece-4662750e0110&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 4: Cheeseybeards' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 4: Cheeseybeards</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=6de108f7-a1c6-4271-90fd-4f5c7a13add7&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 5: Rather Be Raiding' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 5: Rather Be Raiding</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=237dfa96-cdc0-4836-b510-468618ab318a&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 6: Total Wipe' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 6: Total Wipe</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=8435c9f5-8fc0-45a8-92b8-a0bcf1402c74&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 7: Home Invasion' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 7: Home Invasion</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=23aa7f77-e845-491d-865b-e84b0929445b&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 8: Tipping Point' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 8: Tipping Point</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=abed8892-f30f-4051-8b9b-ff0ed534a4a9&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 9: Owning Bladezz' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 9: Owning Bladezz</a>

<a href='http://video.msn.com?vid=d5063c1b-ec0e-42e5-98bb-0ee5ba814153&mkt=en-us&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Season 1 - Episode 10: Boss Fight' >Video: Season 1 - Episode 10: Boss Fight</a>

Easter Egg Hunt: The Incredible Hulk (2008), Part Two

Part One can be viewed here.


In Hulk stories, Doc Samson is a psychiatrist who was dosed with gamma radiation. He subsequently becomes a superhero with super strength and an ally of the Hulk. While he is nowhere near as strong as Hulk - his exposure was much less than Bruce Banner's - he makes up for the loss by retaining his intellect while "Hulked out."

Samson's first appearance in The Incredible Hulk is in the opening credits, where SAMSON, DR. L. is listed as a known associate. Here we are told that not only is he an associate of Dr. Betty Ross, but that he is in a relationship with her and that he is a psychiatrist. Bruce Banner's old friend Stanley later confirms that Betty is dating someone. In this scene, Samson is described as "a head shrink" and "a really nice guy."

We see Samson and Betty Ross together several times throughout the film, sometimes in heartbreaking scenes where Bruce Banner is looking upon the woman he loves and viewing her interact with another man in a seemingly loving relationship. That's gotta hurt.

But the Samson of The Incredible Hulk is more than just some interloper. He is clearly concerned for the safety of Dr. Betty Ross, which he displays by running after her when she goes running into her father's war zone. Even when it is revealed that it was through Samson's tip that the battle with the Hulk (on school grounds) was brought about, Samson confronts the General and accuses him of nearly killing his own daughter in the hunt for what might be called his green whale. After Samson calls General Ross out on lying about his intentions, Ross comments, "Where does she meet these guys?" This suggests that he feels like Bruce Banner and Leonard Samson are of the same material. They certainly are. Both are heroes, and both are given great power.

Will Doc Samson, powered by gamma radiation, be featured in the sequel to The Incredible Hulk? Will there even be a sequel to The Incredible Hulk now that Ed Norton has been pulled from the project? Only time will tell.


According to The Incredible Hulk #1, Rick Jones is the reason that there is a Hulk in the world. Friend to Dr. Bruce Banner, Rick accepts a dare to drive out onto a bomb testing ground. It just so happens that Banner is testing a gamma bomb at this site. Seeing Rick on the testing ground, Banner risks life and limb to push the kid into a protective trench. As a result, Banner absorbs the gamma radiation and transforms into the Hulk. Rick Jones has been a loyal sidekick to the Hulk for some time, but also to Captain America, Rom the Spaceknight, and a couple Captain Marvels (neither of whom possessing the Power of Shazam, if you know what I mean).

It's said that Rick Jones was written into the original script for The Incredible Hulk, but that Edward Norton phased him out in order to have a more robust story. This was probably a good idea, considering many comic book movies introduce too many characters and properly develop far too few. But there is a vestige of the existence of Rick Jones in the film. Much like Doc Samson, Rick Jones is listed as one of Bruce Banner's known associates. He is listed as a student and all other information about him is summer up by the word "unknown." Maybe he's been taken in by SHIELD and we'll see him in The Avengers. Maybe we'll see him in a sequel. Maybe this will be all we ever see of him.


While modern representations of Hulk present General Ross as Hulk's arch-nemesis, I remember a 90s cartoon called Incredible Hulk that cast the Leader in that role. The Leader is the brain to Hulk's brawn, created similarly with a blast of gamma radiation. While Ross has the gift of military training, it could be argued that the Leader is second-to-none when it comes to strategy. His mental ability to predict the outcome of peoples' actions borderlines on precognition.

Throughout the film, Bruce Banner (as "Mr. Green") converses with a mysterious "Mr. Blue" regarding the development of a cure for his gamma-induced transformation into the Hulk. When SHIELD traces Banner's e-mail, Mr. Blue is revealed to be Samuel Sterns from the Department of Cell Biology at Grayburn College. Finally, Ross and Banner confront Sterns outside a building and we see the face of Samuel Sterns, the man who will one day become the Leader.

Sterns really seems to know what he's doing when it comes to gamma radiation. As a matter of fact, he's been doing his own testing. Using Bruce's blood samples, he's tested on rats and mice, but they got fried right away so he had to test on something bigger. This immediately calls to mind the strange gamma creatures the Leader was always surrounded by in the 90s cartoon. When Emil Blonsky forces Sterns to administer the Hulk serum to him, the good doctor get his own dose of the serum as a result of The Abomination's destruction of Sterns' laboratory. We see the serum enlarge his head and presumably his brain; we are witness to the origin of the Leader.

I think the Leader would make an absolutely fantastic main villain in a subsequent Hulk film.

Part Three can be viewed here.

Arnold 365, Day 243 (Total Recall)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Good Name: Fizzgig

By now you've probably gotten used to me stealing names from strange and wonderful places. The name "Fizzgig" originates in the fantastic 1982 film The Dark Crystal. Fizzgig is a ball of fluff with many dog-like qualities. He is the loyal pet of Kira, a female Gelfling.

Fizzgig would be a fantastic name for a Pomeranian dog. Notice that Pomeranians share the two predominant characteristics of the original Fizzgig. They are fluffy and they are dog-like.

And I know it's not a common sight to see a pet sea turtle, but there's no good reason that a not-so-fuzzy, not-so-doglike creature such as the noble sea turtle can't enjoy a quirky name like Fizzgig.

Finally, the name Fizzgig almost sounds like the tweets and whistles of a parakeet. Why not name a parakeet Fizzgig, then? The added bonus is that you can imagine that Fizzgig is tweeting/whistling her/her own name, much like the fabled Pokemon of Japanese video game lore.

Easter Egg Hunt: The Incredible Hulk (2008), Part One

At the end of The Incredible Hulk, Tony Stark confronts General Ross in a bar and says to him, "Why if I told you we were putting a team together?" This is yet another reference to the existence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a reality in which the Marvel films Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) now exist, and in which many future films will exist. As I've mentioned in the "Easter Egg Hunt: Iron Man (2008)" series (Part One, Part Two, Part Three), it is my intention to seek out all of the hints scattered throughout these films that point towards further films.

What I didn't mention in my first series of posts, because it wasn't necessary at the time, is that I will only comment on Easter Eggs that point forward, Easter Eggs that point, potentially, toward future Marvel projects. In Iron Man, there were only future projects, and this is because Iron Man is the first entry into the Marvel Cinematic universe. But already, months after Iron Man, we have our second entry: The Incredible Hulk, which points both forward (to projects such as The Avengers and potential The Incredible Hulk sequels) and backward (to Iron Man). I have chosen not to mention those Easter Eggs that point backward, so if you don't read anything about the fact that Stark Industries manufactured most of the Hulkbuster technology in this film, don't be surprised. There are plenty of references to Iron Man in this film, but if you want an in-depth coverage of them all, you're going to have to go somewhere else or do the work yourself.

The following is a discussion of characters and future films that have been hinted at in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk.


Though we don't get to see Agent Coulson and company in action in The Incredible Hulk, SHIELD is still a fairly important behind-the-scenes presence in the film. As a matter of fact, the movie does a good job getting us adjusted to how well SHIELD has become ingrained in all aspects of human life.

In the opening credits, we see a document with the SHIELD logo at the top and the words "STRATEGIC HOMELAND INTERVENTION ENFORCEMENT LOGISTICS DIVISION" underneath. It is from Nick Fury, Shield Command and details SHIELD's involvement in the Bruce Banner manhunt, describing Banner as "THREAT LEVEL RED." SHIELD enters into the plot of The Incredible Hulk long before the action of the film takes place.

It may seem normal that the same agency who courageously faced the Ironmonger armor suit would be involved in the hunt for the incredibly dangerous Bruce Banner, also known as the rage-driven Hulk. What might be surprising to you is that SHIELD is apparently a few degrees worse when it comes to Constitutional rights than even the Patriot Act. After Banner sends the e-mail to Mr. Blue, it is revealed that SHIELD has traced the e-mail and all prior correspondences to Samuel Sterns of the Department of Cell Biology at Grayburn College. Talk about an invasion of privacy.

It was strange to me that even though I had only seen one movie set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was already used to the idea of lead-up to The Avengers by the time I saw The Incredible Hulk. Within three years of this film, I'd be saying, "We should stay to see if there's a preview for The Avengers" after every film I'd see, including DC's Green Lantern. After The Incredible Hulk concludes, we see General Ross getting drunk at a bar when a well-dressed man walks in the door. The person is revealed as Tony Stark. Regarding Ross's "unusual problem," Stark says, "What if I told you we were putting a team together?" Ross responds, "Who's 'we'?"

The fact that the question, "Who's 'we'?" is left unanswered means that we, the people of the audience, are meant to answer it for ourselves. The team that Tony Stark is talking about is called The Avengers, and we know that it is to be assembled by SHIELD agents and people like Tony Stark with special abilities/technologies.

Part Two can be viewed here.

Part Three can be viewed here.

Thursday TV Tournament: Match-up 24 Results

Today's match-up is between twenty-second seed, 30 Rock Season Five, Episode Seventeen, "Queen of Jordan," which aired March 17, 2011, and sixth seed, The Office Season Seven, Episode Twenty-Two, "Goodbye, Michael," which aired April 28, 2011. Not only are the results in for this week, but it seems that we now know who the Elite Eight are:

Regarding the twenty-fourth match-up, I'm sure some of you are confused. "Goodbye, Michael" is one of the most important episodes of The Office, but even its most touching scene, the farewell shared between Michael and Pam, is in the form of an old gimmick that was used up in earlier seasons. On the other hand, "Queen of Jordan" is perhaps the most original, interesting, and hilarious episode of this entire season of 30 Rock, providing commentary on the current ridiculous state of reality TV and the even more ridiculous fact that people are so into reality TV. I'm sad to see Steve Carell leave The Office, especially with how fantastic this recent season was in comparison to the last couple, but a well-written episode beats a recycled idea any day of the week.

Tune in next time for thirty-second seed, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season Six, Episode Seven, "Who Got Dee Pregnant?" which aired on October 28, 2010, and ninth seed, The Office Season Seven, Episode Sixteen, "PDA," which aired February 10, 2011. My thoughts: While the Sweet Sixteen was quite often painful, the Elite Eight is guaranteed to be painful. The only television show guaranteed to have a spot in the final four is Community, but everything else - with the exception of Big Bang Theory has two chances for glory.

Arnold 365, Day 242 (Kindergarten Cop)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thursday TV Tournament: Match-up 23 Results

Today's match-up is between thirtieth seed, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season Six, Episode One, "Mac Fights Gay Marriage," which aired September 16, 2010, and fourteenth seed, 30 Rock Season Five, Episode Three, "Let's Stay Together," which aired October 7, 2010. The results are in:

Originally, "Mac Fights Gay Marriage" made it into the charts because it was the only episode that aired that particular Thursday, but as the first episode of the entire tournament it sure seems to be representing. As of today, it has officially entered the ranks of the Elite Eight. Why is it better than the 30 Rock episode "Let's Stay Together"? Well, this particular episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a call-back to earlier seasons where the characters take sides on some particular issue and enact ridiculous spectacles to support their particular opinion. This one just happens to revolve around the issue of gay marriage, occasioned by Mac's jealousy that his transvestite ex-girlfriend is now married to a man. While the two episodes share little when it comes to comedy style, and thus cannot be judged easily against one another, "Mac Fights Gay Marriage" begins one of the more interesting plot arcs that I've seen on the show in a couple of years. Everything is turning up It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia today.

Tune in next time for twenty-second seed, 30 Rock Season Five, Episode Seventeen, "Queen of Jordan," which aired March 17, 2011, and sixth seed, The Office Season Seven, Episode Twenty-Two, "Goodbye, Michael," which aired April 28, 2011. As we close out the induction into the Elite Eight, there's bound to be hurt feelings. Tune in next time to see, as Steve Perry would say, "who's crying now."

A River Beneath the Amazon

Amy and I were amazed to find out the other day that there is a subterranean river 400 kilometers beneath the Amazon river that, though the same length, is sometimes up to a hundred times wider. This is the article that she found at Guardian.co.uk titled "Underground River 'Rio Hamza' Discovered 4KM Beneath the Amazon."

Covering more than 7 million square kilometres in South America, the Amazon basin is one of the biggest and most impressive river systems in the world. But it turns out we have only known half the story until now.

Brazilian scientists have found a new river in the Amazon basin – around 4km underneath the Amazon river. The Rio Hamza, named after the head of the team of researchers who found the groundwater flow, appears to be as long as the Amazon river but up to hundreds of times wider.

Both the Amazon and Hamza flow from west to east and are around the same length, at 6,000km. But whereas the Amazon ranges from 1km to 100km in width, the Hamza ranges from 200km to 400km.

The underground river starts in the Acre region under the Andes and flows through the Solimões, Amazonas and Marajó basins before opening out directly into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Amazon flows much faster than the Hamza, however, draining a greater volume of water. Around 133,000m3 of water flow through the Amazon per second at speeds of up to 5 metres per second. The underground river's flow rate has been estimated at around 3,900m3 per second and it barely inches along at less than a millimetre per hour.

The Hamza was located using data collected inside a series of 241 abandoned deep wells that were drilled in the Amazon region by the petrochemical company Petrobras in the 1970s and 1980s. Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel and Valiya Hamza of the Department of Geophysics at Brazil's National Observatory led the work and presented their results last week at the International Congress of the Society Brasiliera Geophysical in Rio de Janeiro.

The researchers used a mathematical model to predict the presence of the underground river, based on the measured changes in temperature down the wells. In the presentation, Piementel said that the flow of groundwater was almost vertical through the rocks to depths of around 2,000m. After this, the water flow changes direction and becomes almost horizontal.

According to the researchers, the presence of the Rio Hamza river might account for the relatively low salinity of the waters around the mouth of the Amazon.

Professor Hamza said Piementel's measurements represented preliminary work on the discovery of the new river, but Hamza said he expected to confirm the existence of the flow with additional measurements within the next few years.

Arnold 365, Day 241 (Kindergarten Cop)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Justin/Jeff Project: Jurassic Park (1993)

In the spirit of the Julie/Julia project in which writer Julie Powell chronicles cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 524 recipes in 365 days, I bring you the Jeff/Justin project. The Justin/Jeff project chronicles my descent into the filmography of Jeff Goldblum and will take as much time as it takes.

Jurassic Park is the reason that Jeff Goldblum is a household name, at least in my household, that is. In this film, Goldblum plays chaotician/"rockstar" Ian Malcolm. He is invited to a resort island in order to sign off on a strange and new project, an affordable vacation spot where people can enjoy dinosaurs resurrected due to the marvels of modern genetics. To paraphrase a classic quote, "Man is invited to island. Man is asked to sign off on project. Man sees living dinosaurs. Man is attacked by dinosaurs. Man decides not to sign off on project."

Sometimes Ian Malcolm sounds like the smartest of people. He does that really cool chaos test with Ellie Sattler where he drips water down her hand, and in the process charms her pretty heavily. He expresses his serious problems with the mere concept of recreating dinosaurs using borrowed technology and the lack of responsibility Hammond and his employees are showing. The guy really knows his stuff. And let's not forget, he humorously makes fun of Hammond when nothing works out. ("Ah, now eventually you do plan to have dinosaurs on your, on your dinosaur tour, right? Hello?")

Just as often, however, Ian Malcolm sounds like an idiot. Honestly, however, I don't have a lot of examples of idiot Ian Malcolm. Of course, there's only one example I need to cite. When Alan Grant lights up the emergency flair in order to divert the T. Rex from Tim and Lex, he has completely succeeded and has the predator rerouted into the jungle. Of course, this is when Ian Malcolm stupidly grabs another flair and tries to get the T. Rex to chase him. ("Ian! Freeze!") Malcolm is badly injured. The T. Rex kills the lawyer. Alan, Tim and Lex are separated from the main group, resulting in Tim throwing up and getting electrocuted, and Lex getting sneezed on. I believe this warrants a "smooth move, ex lax."

But what is the most memorable thing about Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park. It is the awkward classic Goldblum stutter. (From Answers.com: "Q: Does Jeff Goldblum have a stutter? A: No, he has a unique way of delivering his lines. It's sexy.") One might think that the best moment for this is while Goldblum sits alone in the JP jeep, ("See, here I'm now sitting by myself, uh, er, talking to myself. That's, that's chaos theory.") but one would be wrong. You see, Goldblum is talented enough to incorporate his stutter into his laugh. If his laugh could be written out, it would go something like this, "Chuckle. Ellipsis. Ellipsis. Growl. Chuckle. Ellipsis. Laugh." It is absolutely ridiculous. And absolutely sexy, right Answers.com girl?

If it weren't for Jeff Goldblum's performance as Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park there wouldn't be a Justin/Jeff Project. No JP, no JJP. Thank you, Michael Crichton. Thank you, Steven Spielberg. And always, thank you, Jeff.

Arnold 365, Day 240 (Kindergarten Cop)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday TV Tournament: Match-up 22 Results

Today's match-up is between tenth seed, 30 Rock Season Five, Episode Four, "Live Show," which aired October 14, 2010, and seventh seed, The Office Season Seven, Episode Nineteen, "Garage Sale," which aired March 24, 2011. The results are in:

You know, I talk too much. I'll let Adam Friedli explain this one to you:

Probably any other week, and I would have given this round to 30 Rock without even thinking. However, this episode of The Office dealt with two massive plot points for the show, one of which would change the show forever. Both episodes are top notch, but The Office was plain and simple more meaningful of an episode to its respective series.

Tune in next time for thirtieth seed, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season Six, Episode One, "Mac Fights Gay Marriage," which aired September 16, 2010, and fourteenth seed, 30 Rock Season Five, Episode Three, "Let's Stay Together," which aired October 7, 2010. You are excited about this. I can see.

Arnold 365, Day 238 (Total Recall)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pink "Just Like a Pill"

Pink, "Just Like a Pill" from Missundaztood (2001, Arista)

Spoiler Alert: True Blood S04E09

Not a lot to report on this week. The episode was fantastic, but since it's nearly the end of the season it was heavy in plot. There was one interesting moment of note in this episode that I want to spend some time with, however, and here it is:

1. Ghost Whisperer

We've heard Jesus proclaim that he's a witch several times since he was introduced, but honestly we haven't seen much of anything beyond him holding hands with other "witches." Finally, we get to see Jesus in action.

When a possessed Lafayette takes Arlene's baby hostage, Jesus is able to talk to the spirit inside of him, reason with her, tie up the loose ends that are binding her to this world, and exorcise her. The reason this is important is because it seems pretty clear that Marne needs a good exorcising. But can the spirit inside of her be reasoned with in the same way?

See you next week!

Arnold 365, Day 237 (Kindergarten Cop)

Banner by Justin Tiemeyer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Fly (1986)

I just looked up Brundlefly on Wikipedia. I found out that it can mean one of three things:

1. Brundlefly - the name that Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) gives to himself in The Fly (1986 film)

2. Brundlefly (band) - a Canadian alternative rock band (NOTE: I cannot imagine a world in which this band was not inspired by watching the 1986 film The Fly.)

3. Brundlefly Sound System - Hip Hop band originating in Columbus, OH (NOTE: Also, undoubtedly, named after The Fly.)

Perhaps next time I'll research the influence of the term "Mogwai," which originated in the 1984 film Gremlins.

Portal: No Escape

This is one heck of a fan film.

Arnold 365, Day 235 (Kindergarten Cop)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC

Borderlands provided me with a fair share of difficult bosses. Consider Marley and Moe, for example, two overpowered skag bosses that are horrendous when you are low-leveled and playing solo. (The key, I've found, is to keep the little skags alive. Sure, they'll winnow away at your HP, but they're quick kills, which ensures a Second Wind every time.) Consider Skagzilla, another overpowered skag boss who has, more than once, survived longer than all the ammunition in my arsenal. (This is where action skills come in handy, and let's not forget buffs that heal and regenerate ammunition.) Consider not the end boss, but the army of Guardians lining the mountainside leading up to the vault. (Shock weapons destroy their shields while shotguns and automatic weapons assure that your bullets make contact with speedy alien flesh.) But how does any of this compare with the optional boss in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC named Krawmerax or to the latter arena matches in the Circle of Duty quest-line? Of course, for those brave enough to complete either the Krawmerax or Circle of Duty challenges, there are ample rewards. Tons of great equipment. A guaranteed level for whatever weapon you are holding the moment Krawmerax dies. And let's not forget: Bragging rights. Not everyone is bold enough to follow up on these side quests.

I'm Here (2010)

Much like Wall-E, I'm Here is incredibly adept at showing you what it is like to be human from the perspective of a robot. But at less than half the length, I'm Here is more efficient at expressing humanity through robots. Eat that, Disney/Pixar.

I'm Here can be viewed legally in its entirety here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt: Iron Man (2008), Part Three

Part One can be viewed here.
Part Two can be viewed here.


The Avengers were originally established in the 1960s as a response to DC's Justice League of America. In their first adventure, they assemble to battle Thor's mischievous arch-enemy Loki. While this is interesting, we might be better served by looking at the variation of the Avengers featured in Marvel's Ultimate Universe. Here they are known as the Ultimates, and they were assembled by Nick Fury of SHIELD.

It is through the government organization known as SHIELD that we first encounter hints of the Avengers in Iron Man. Prior to Tony Stark's press conference that he calls upon returning from Afghanistan, Pepper Potts is pulled aside by Agent Phil Coleson with the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division. Pepper says, "That's quite a mouth full." Coleson replies, "I know. We're working on it." This is the first of many references to this lengthy division title that is just dying for an acronym. It is not until Pepper Potts feels threatened by Obadiah Stane that we see some SHIELD agents in action. Agent Coleson and four other agents unflinchingly take on Stane in his Ironmonger armor despite the fact that this villain is so far out of their league.

During the credits, there is a full picture of the SHIELD logo.

Of course, the existence of SHIELD does not necessarily prove the future existence of the Avengers. Maybe SHIELD is just an organization in this universe, and maybe they will even have their own movie. The only way I could believe that is if I didn't watch the clip following the credits of Iron Man. After the credits, Tony Stark returns to his house only to find that the security alarm is going off and JARVIS is malfunctioning. A shadowy figure stands facing his picture windows. He says, "I am Iron Man. You think you're the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark, you've become part of a bigger universe. You just don't know it yet." He comes into the light and reveals himself as Nick Fury, the Director of SHIELD. He finishes by saying, "I'm here to talk to you about the Avengers initiative."


Fin Fang Foom is an ancient Chinese dragon and also an alien from Maklu IV. But most importantly, he is one of Iron Man's most powerful adversaries.

You're probably saying to yourself, "I didn't see any dragons in the film Iron Man and I most certainly didn't see any giant aliens." Honestly, I didn't see Fin Fang Foom in the film for the first couple of times I watched it. I owe IMDB for pointing it out to me. You see, after Tony Stark recovers from the Iron Man Mark II suit freezing at high altitude, he flies past a poster featuring Fin Fang Foom in the downtown area.

In case you can't see it there in the background, I was able to find a blown up version of this artwork on the internet.


Whiplash is yet another of the villains who make up Iron Man's gallery of rogues. (Are we only allowed to call Batman's villains the gallery of rogues or is that term applicable to all groups of villains?) Don't worry: It's not just a clever name. You see, Whiplash attached whips to his arms, and becomes an enforcer for Justin Hammer.

This easter egg was hard to find. In fact, if you blinked - or rather, if you did the ear equivalent of blinking - you might have missed it. When two jets engage Tony Stark under James Rhodes's command, their call names are Whiplash 1 and Whiplash 2. Yeah, that's it.


Die-hard Marvel fans will recognize Roxxon as a massive corporation in the Marvel Universe. I'll admit, I recognize it more from the Ultimate Universe than the regular Marvel Universe, but then again, I've read every Ultimate comic and I'm pretty far from reading every Marvel comic.

Well, die-hard Iron Man viewers will recognize the Roxxon Corporation building that can be seen in the background of the highway scene where Iron Man and Ironmonger do battle.

This concludes my exploration of Marvel Cinematic Universe Easter eggs in the 2008 film Iron Man. Will we see Mandarin, Fin Fang Foom, and Roxxon in the future of the Iron Man franchise? I don't know. But I do know that the Easter egg hunt will continue soon in Easter Egg Hunt: The Incredible Hulk. Stick around.