Paleontologists unearth remains of 7 ancient crocodile species in Peru

Crikey.

Paleontologists from the American Museum of Natural History and the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, found remains from an astonishing seven ancient crocodile species during a dig in northeastern Peru, near Iquitos. Three of the species are newly identified, and the crocodiles are estimated to have lived 13 million years ago.

In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the scientists explain that the find marks the largest number of crocodile species to cohabit one area in all of Earth’s history. The crocodile fossils offer unprecedented insight about the region’s ecosystem before the Amazon river was formed, about 10.5 million years ago.

The researchers note that the crocodiles lived at the peak of ancient wetlands’ size, and the various crocodile species could have survived thanks to a variety of available food sources. For example, the Gnatusuchus pebasensis species had rounded teeth and a snout to gather clams from swamp bottoms, while other species had longer snouts to catch swimming fish.

The scientists believe the Amazon river system caused a downturn in mollusk populations, which caused crocodile species like Gnatusuchus to go extinct. Other species with “broader palates,” meanwhile, were able to survive, the researchers noted.

Article source: http://theweek.com/speedreads/541525/paleontologists-unearth-remains-7-ancient-crocodile-species-peru

Meet Taco Bell’s latest monstrosity: Cap’n Crunch doughnuts

Talk about a good deal.

James Balme, an English archaeologist, stumbled upon a “garden stone” for sale on a charity website for about $19. But the stone is likely not a garden stone at all — Balme believes it is a 3,000-year-old personal seal, or cartouche, of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 B.C.E., Ancient Origins notes.

Experts are now analyzing the stone cartouche and its hieroglyphics to determine whether it was, indeed, Ramses’ seal. One side of the seal is carved with the depiction of a seated man with a scarab beetle and an eagle, along with a sun disk. The other side bears writing in hieroglyphics.

Ramses’ original burial site was looted by grave robbers, according to Ancient Origins, so it’s possible the seal has migrated far away from its original owner. His mummy is now displayed in Egypt’s Cairo Museum.

Article source: http://theweek.com/speedreads/541620/meet-taco-bells-latest-monstrosity-capn-crunch-doughnuts

Man discovers long-lost seal of Pharaoh Ramses II on sale for $19 at online shop

Talk about a good deal.

James Balme, an English archaeologist, stumbled upon a “garden stone” for sale on a charity website for about $19. But the stone is likely not a garden stone at all — Balme believes it is a 3,000-year-old personal seal, or cartouche, of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 B.C.E., Ancient Origins notes.

Experts are now analyzing the stone cartouche and its hieroglyphics to determine whether it was, indeed, Ramses’ seal. One side of the seal is carved with the depiction of a seated man with a scarab beetle and an eagle, along with a sun disk. The other side bears writing in hieroglyphics.

Ramses’ original burial site was looted by grave robbers, according to Ancient Origins, so it’s possible the seal has migrated far away from its original owner. His mummy is now displayed in Egypt’s Cairo Museum.

Article source: http://theweek.com/speedreads/541569/man-discovers-longlost-seal-pharaoh-ramses-ii-sale-19-online-shop

FCC commissioner: If you like your current service plan, you should be able to …

Talk about a good deal.

James Balme, an English archaeologist, stumbled upon a “garden stone” for sale on a charity website for about $19. But the stone is likely not a garden stone at all — Balme believes it is a 3,000-year-old personal seal, or cartouche, of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 B.C.E., Ancient Origins notes.

Experts are now analyzing the stone cartouche and its hieroglyphics to determine whether it was, indeed, Ramses’ seal. One side of the seal is carved with the depiction of a seated man with a scarab beetle and an eagle, along with a sun disk. The other side bears writing in hieroglyphics.

Ramses’ original burial site was looted by grave robbers, according to Ancient Origins, so it’s possible the seal has migrated far away from its original owner. His mummy is now displayed in Egypt’s Cairo Museum.

Article source: http://theweek.com/speedreads/541560/fcc-commissioner-like-current-service-plan-should-able-keep

Leonard Nimoy, the original “Spock,” has died

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of “Star Trek” fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, has died.

Nimoy’s son, Adam Nimoy, said the actor died Friday of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Los Angeles home. He was 83.

Although Leonard Nimoy followed his 1966-69 “Star Trek” run with a notable career as both an actor and director, in the public’s mind he would always be Spock. His half-human, half-Vulcan character was the calm counterpoint to William Shatner’s often-emotional Captain Kirk on one of television and film’s most revered cult series.

Nimoy’s ambivalence to the role was reflected in the titles of his two autobiographies, “I Am Not Spock” (1975) and “I Am Spock” (1995).

After “Star Trek” ended, the actor immediately joined the hit adventure series “Mission Impossible” as Paris, the mission team’s master of disguises. From 1976 to 1982 he hosted the syndicated TV series “In Search of … ” which attempted to probe such mysteries as the legend of the Loch Ness Monster and the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart.

He played Israeli leader Golda Meir’s husband opposite Ingrid Bergman in the TV drama “A Woman Called Golda” and Vincent van Gogh in “Vincent,” a one-man stage show on the life of the troubled painter. He continued to work well into his 70s, playing gazillionaire genius William Bell in the Fox series “Fringe.”

He also directed several films, including the hit comedy “Three Men and a Baby” and appeared in such plays as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” ”Cat on a Hot Tim Roof,” ”Fiddler on the Roof,” ”The King and I,” ”My Fair Lady” and “Equus.” He also published books of poems, children’s stories and his own photographs.

But he could never really escape the role that took him overnight from bit-part actor status to TV star, and in a 1995 interview he sought to analyze the popularity of Spock, the green-blooded space traveler who aspired to live a life based on pure logic.

People identified with Spock because they “recognize in themselves this wish that they could be logical and avoid the pain of anger and confrontation,” Nimoy concluded.

“How many times have we come away from an argument wishing we had said and done something different?” he asked.

In the years immediately after “Star Trek” left television, Nimoy tried to shun the role, but he eventually came to embrace it, lampooning himself on such TV shows as “Futurama,” ”Duckman” and “The Simpsons” and in commercials.

He became Spock after “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry was impressed by his work in guest appearances on the TV shows “The Lieutenant” and “Dr. Kildare.”

The space adventure set in the 23rd century had an unimpressive debut on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, and it struggled during its three seasons to find an audience other than teenage boys. It seemed headed for oblivion after it was canceled in 1969, but its dedicated legion of fans, who called themselves Trekkies, kept its memory alive with conventions and fan clubs and constant demands that the cast be reassembled for a movie or another TV show.

Trekkies were particularly fond of Spock, often greeting one another with the Vulcan salute and the Vulcan motto, “Live Long and Prosper,” both of which Nimoy was credited with bringing to the character. He pointed out, however, that the hand gesture was actually derived from one used by rabbis during Hebraic benedictions.

When the cast finally was reassembled for “Star Trek — The Motion Picture,” in 1979, the film was a huge hit and five sequels followed. Nimoy appeared in all of them and directed two. He also guest starred as an older version of himself in some of the episodes of the show’s spinoff TV series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

“Of course the role changed my career— or rather, gave me one,” he once said. “It made me wealthy by most standards and opened up vast opportunities. It also affected me personally, socially, psychologically, emotionally. … What started out as a welcome job to a hungry actor has become a constant and ongoing influence in my thinking and lifestyle.”

In 2009, he was back in a new big-screen version of “Star Trek,” this time playing an older Spock who meets his younger self, played by Zachary Quinto. Critic Roger Ebert called the older Spock “the most human character in the film.”

Among those seeing the film was President Barack Obama, whose even manner was often likened to Spock’s.

“Everybody was saying I was Spock, so I figured I should check it out,” Obama said at the time.

Upon the movie’s debut, Nimoy told The Associated Press that in his late 70s he was probably closer than ever to being as comfortable with himself as the logical Spock always appeared to be.

“I know where I’m going, and I know where I’ve been,” he said. He reprised the role in the 2013 sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Born in Boston to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Nimoy was raised in an Italian section of the city where, although he counted many Italian-Americans as his friends, he said he also felt the sting of anti-Semitism growing up.

At age 17 he was cast in a local production of Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing” as the son in a Jewish family.

“This role, the young man surrounded by a hostile and repressive environment, so touched a responsive chord that I decided to make a career of acting,” he said later.

He won a drama scholarship to Boston College but eventually dropped out, moved to California and took acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Soon he had lost his “Boston dead-end” accent, hired an agent and began getting small roles in TV series and movies. He played a baseball player in “Rhubarb” and an Indian in “Old Overland Trail.”

After service in the Army, he returned to Hollywood, working as taxi driver, vacuum cleaner salesman, movie theater usher and other jobs while looking for acting roles.

In 1954 he married Sandra Zober, a fellow student at the Pasadena Playhouse, and they had two children, Julie and Adam. The couple divorced, and in 1988 he married Susan Bay, a film production executive.

___

This story contains biographical material compiled by late AP Entertainment Writer Bob Thomas.

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Article source: http://wwlp.com/2015/02/27/leonard-nimoy-the-original-spock-has-died/

‘Chronos’ a poignant journey through time

What would you do if you could go back in time? What if you could see your future? What would you change? These are just some of the questions that Florida State Media Production student, Colby Natal, addresses in Chronos, an eight part science fiction web series that he wrote and created.

Chronos is a web series about a world where time travel exists but nobody can control it. It happens randomly and sporadically,” Natal said.

Time travel is not just a make believe fantasy for the imaginative show runner, it has the ability to reflect on a person’s story.

“It brings up the question of our legacies, our futures and past. Everybody has regrets, everybody has apprehension about the future, it’s a very universal topic and time travel really speaks to that,” Natal said.

The series is currently filming through the media production company, IronZoo Productions, which formed after the narrative program was cut from the Media Productions program last year.

The production company consists of 12 students, who aim to keep the art of narrative alive on campus. They have worked on other online projects before Chronos, ranging from things like a quirky cooking show to a Tallahassee news program.

Chronos has not only become an outlet for students to tell stories, it is a way to show the world what they can do.

“For most of us this is our demo reel, this is us showing our future employers and people out there who want to hire us or work with IronZoo as a group [to] show them that this is what we can do. It’s our demo reel to the world,” Natal said.

Seeing as Natal is the show creator of the web series, the student has a strong interest in sci-fi, where he draws most of his inspiration from.

“I just like science fiction a lot. The first idea I got for it came when I was doing a advance narrative class in my second semester and we had to come up with ideas for projects we would want to tackle at some point. One of the ideas I had [for Chronos] I got after watching Futurama and The Twilight Zone,” Natal said.

The project Chronos has many unique aspects, but one of the most prominent is how each episode focuses on one character’s journey and experiences with time travel.

“They are all separate stories but the characters do connect and overlap, but not in a major way like some of the characters. If they appear in one episode they might be a minor character in another one. It’s kind of similar to the Marvel structure,” Natal said.

Natal’s creative stories received support by fellow IronZoo Production members and friends such as Thomas Adams, another show runner, and Director of Development, Sarah Tatum.

“Colby had come up with the idea for Chronos a number of years ago. He is a big sci-fi buff and had this aspiration to produce a series about ‘time storms.’ He described them as natural weather disasters that send people through time at random. I was immediately drawn to the unique idea,”Adams said.

Even though Natal is the show’s main creator, he and Adams wrote and edited a lot of the script together, and are in charge of “making sure every episode fits and works together as a cohesive show,”according to Natal.

The two show runners appear to be the perfect duo, and have a similar expertise on the true importance of time travel that the show encompasses.

“The thing I like most about time travel it’s always used in sci-fi to tell interesting stories. The best time travel stories are the ones that don’t focus on time travel, they don’t make a big deal on the fact that you can travel in time. It’s more about what happens after you travel or where you go to or what you do. It’s more about the people,” Natal said.

“Our characters are easily relatable and we try to keep our stories as realistic as possible. Chronos is not really about the time storms. It is about the people that live in this strange world and how they are effected or changed by it,” Adams said.

Each character may hold contrasting individual adventures in the series, but they all share similar struggles with traveling through time.

“Everybody in the show always has something they regret, something they wish they could change, something they wish they could go back and deal with and I feel like each character has a different response to that,” Natal said.

Tatum has her own reflections on time travel and on the characters as a whole.

“[Chronos shows that] time travel is not all that it’s cracked up to be. There are consequences when we change things that have happened in our life and if we have really bad experiences, they are there to teach us a lesson, to create new starts and new beginnings, and sometimes when we try to change the situation can get even worse,” Tatum said, “You see that in a lot of episodes of Chronos, you see people try to change their time and what happens to them.”

Chronos is also demonstrates versatility. It has an episode that embodies everything from a buddy cop comedy story to a robot cyborg samurai story.

“We have something for everyone on the show. We have heart-warming moments, we have some action moments, we have comedy. We are all over the place. That’s what we wanted to do because we are all different in terms of our style. We wanted the episodes to reflect that,”Natal said.

The series is set to premiere on campus April 30 at the SLC from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the show will also be on IronZoo’s YouTube channel, where one or two episodes will be released every week.

The highly anticipated Chronos is a rarity on campus. It is was created out of the imagination and passion of students, who found a way to hold onto the stories that they live to tell.

Natal’s thoughts on one of the messages of the series truly reflects on the challenges that the students, or anyone, have faced.

“Everything happens for a reason. You may not like the reason why it happens for, it may not be a reason you agree with, but there is a reason for everything,” Natal said, “Your past makes you who you are and if you change your past you won’t fundamentally be the same person. You are the summation of your experiences.”

Article source: http://www.fsunews.com/story/entertainment/arts/2015/02/26/chronosa-poignant-journey-time/24061031/

Assuming the afterlife exists, in what fictional world do you want to spend it?

The Star Wars droids could swing by, or maybe Innervisions-era Stevie Wonder will set up shop in the courtyard between 123 Sesame Street and Hooper’s Store. Sesame Street carries a lower chance for conflict than other fictional universes, but an afterlife of gentle teaching and Muppet-filled madness isn’t without its downsides. Though, in the grand scheme of things, never getting exactly what you ordered at a restaurant seems pretty insignificant.

Alex McCown

Like Erik, I cycled through a few fictional settings, but I stopped a little earlier; namely, the moment I landed on Stars Hollow. The Gilmore Girls’ hometown has everything I want for the afterlife: a lovable cast of local eccentrics, perfect seasonal weather (from sun-dappled summer days to gorgeous snowy winters), and best of all, a deep sense of community. It’s a place where everyone cares about one another, and even someone like town busybody Taylor Doose—whom I would likely murder in a real-life incarnation—is a beloved old curmudgeon. Getting to spend eternity there does indeed sound like heaven. Plus, I have a feeling that the perpetually changing food selection at Al’s Pancake World is going to come in handy as the millennia roll by.

Joshua Alston

I’d definitely go with Judgment City from Albert Brooks’ 1991 film Defending Your Life. Technically it isn’t the afterlife; it’s a way station for souls in transit as they await judgment on whether they can move into the celestial city. In other words, it’s purgatory, but Judgment City is so luxurious and well-appointed, it’s hard to imagine what could surpass it. Judgment City is basically a fantastic neighborhood where Brooks and Meryl Streep hang out in comedy clubs, go bowling, and eat a lot. The food is the best part: Judgment City is full of restaurants serving the best cuisine you’ve ever tasted—all you can eat—delivered seconds after you order it. The food also causes no weight gain, no matter how much you scarf down. The only drawback is the lack of shopping outlets; white robes are the preferred attire, so there’s no attacking the pasta buffet then trying on skinny jeans just because. But if this is purgatory, I’ll gladly go and encourage the arbiters of my fate to take as much time as they need.

A.A. Dowd

I was a dinosaur kid. And while I can no longer provide the scientific name of every species on record, or tell you which geologic period they all hail from, I consider myself something of a dinosaur adult, too. So if I get a say in the matter, I’m naturally spending eternity in Dinotopia. Introduced in the glossy pages of an illustrated children’s book, James Gurney’s fantasy nation is kind of the anti-Jurassic Park—a lost-world island colonized by shipwrecked humans, who have learned to peacefully coexist, and even tame, the indigenous dinosaur species. Here, triceratops roam the streets of a Paris-style bohemia, while humans hitch rides with pterodactyls through cities in the clouds and others build spectacular Rivendell-like waterfall communities. The ecosystem varies wildly (and impossibly), ranging from mountains to deserts, meaning I would never get bored of the weather or run out of vacation spots. Furthermore, Gurney’s books imply a slowly changing society, meaning that I could basically experience the evolution of human culture and cities—except, you know, better, because dinosaurs. And even if Dinotopia eventually becomes an Orwellian dystopia, it will still have tyrannosaurs. For a dinosaur kid/adult/person, it doesn’t get better than that.

Sean O’Neal

Looking at so many of your choices, I can’t believe how incredibly busy they are. Space battles, dinosaurs, towns that are perpetually on the verge of being destroyed, Whitney Houston bouncing around… Don’t you guys want some eternal rest? Maybe it’s just because I’m lazy, but I want my afterlife to be as free from responsibility and rampaging monsters as possible, which is why I’d choose to spend a never-ending last day of school in the slacker idyll of Dazed And Confused. I also might be cheating this one a bit: Before I moved from Austin to Chicago, I basically did live in Dazed And Confused; my house was right down the block from the Top Notch, and just a few over from the former site of the Emporium, and my social circle included Wiley Wiggins and various other, smaller players from the film. But I can affirm that, other than Top Notch still making kinda shitty burgers, the Austin I lived in for 15 years was much different than that 1970s version. And I’d love to go back and spend eternity just sort of bumming around in its quieter, simpler incarnation, driving and talking and drinking with my friends, and not really worrying about anything over the course of an endless, early summer night. I’d even accept the trade-off of having to wear shitty ’70s clothes.

Marah Eakin

At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader that’s constantly repeating herself, my answer is obviously Wellsville, home of the characters in The Adventures Of Pete And Pete. I could easily spend an eternity of summers watching The Prosthetics play baseball while sipping on an Orange Lazarus, lazily listening to the sounds of WART radio. Living seems easy in Wellsville, with everyone seemingly working as a half-ass teacher, mailman, bus driver, or meter reader, and while I wouldn’t be forced to work—it’s the afterlife, after all, so let’s hope—I think I could probably get along sweeping front yards for land mines or answering the ringing phone help-line.

Caitlin PenzeyMoog

I want to spend eternity in Lyra’s Oxford, before children started disappearing. This is the parallel-world Oxford of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, a version of Oxford that’s just dated enough to be charming and quaint. After living my first life in my mundane modern world, It would be great to spend eternity kicking back, surrounded by old-but-not-too-old stuff, traveling by zeppelin, and reading under the soft naphtha light preferred by the staff at Jordan College, where I’d spend the ample time of my afterlife learning how to read the Alethiometer. And it goes without saying that by entering this world I’d get my own dæmon, which I imagine to be an African wild dog or an otter or maybe a stoat.

Drew Fortune

It would have to be South Park for me. The Simpsons’ Springfield would be fun for a while, if I had the consciousness to say, “Look, there’s Homer!” But if I were just thrown into that world, having to work a normal job at Red Blazer Realty with Cookie Kwan, it would be pretty dull. South Park, however, is a constant bombardment of robots, monsters, adult incompetency, and the looming threat of a gay Satan planning global takeover. The situation is much different if you come back as a child or an adult. As a South Park adult, you are conditioned to over-reaction and constantly in a position to destroy the town. As a child, you generally keep your cool, and apart from Cartman, just really want the best for the town and its residents. Plus, you can do all the things the Simpsons already did, like time travel and zombie attacks. Only in South Park, the insanity is much greater, sort of a gonzo wonderland, keeping you on your toes throughout eternity.

William Hughes

Traditional conceptions of heaven always left me bored; I can’t see harps and clouds keeping me occupied for long. If I’m picking a paradise, then, I want to spend eternity somewhere weird, funny, and endlessly inventive. So I’m going to pick The Land Of Ooo from Adventure Time as my post-death destination. Ooo isn’t always a fun place, filled as it is with terrifying monsters and haunted by the specter of the life-loathing Lich. But it’s also never boring—an entire world built to give an adolescent boy an endless stream of adventures. I could handle an eternity of that.

Mike Vago

Maybe I keep coming back to the dream world in Inception because the film itself treats Cobb’s dream like an afterlife—he keeps revisiting memories of his past life and (probably) can never return. But there are worse ways to spend eternity than building sprawling, physics-defying cities and insane snowbound fortresses with your mind. And Inception’s dreams have one significant improvement over the real thing—you can bring friends along for the ride.

Caroline Siede

Like Laura, I’m going to pick a world I have a few reservations about, namely its lack of modern medicine, flushing toilets, and the Internet. But assuming I’m some sort of ethereal being above coughing, pooping, and tweeting, I’d love to spend my afterlife in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth (or perhaps more accurately, Peter Jackson’s interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth). The world of The Lord Of The Rings contains a wealth of different cultures, and since I’d basically be immortal I could spend several decades exploring each of them. I’d first enjoy the pastoral comforts of the Shire and then bounce over to Gondor for something a bit more cosmopolitan. It’d be fun to get wasted with the Dwarves of the House Of Durin, go hiking around the Misty Mountain, and study the differences between the elven cultures of Rivendell, Lothlórien, and the Woodland Realm. And after years of traveling, I’d probably embrace my inner horse girl and buy a nice piece of property around Rohan.

Will Harris

The more I think about it, the less certain I become about my choice, so I’m going to go with the first thought that crossed my mind: Star Trek. More specifically, I guess I’d have to go with the era of Star Trek: The Next Generation, because in addition to the near-limitless possibilities when one has access to a holodeck—a technology first glimpsed in an animated episode of the original series—who wouldn’t want to live in a future where Earth is in good, peaceful shape and humanity has developed the technology to explore beyond our own planet and boldly go where… well, you know. It’s a universe where, as a certain Vulcan reportedly once said, there are always possibilities, and I’d love the chance to explore as many of them as possible.

Alasdair Wilkins

There are a few science-fiction universes I’m torn between—especially if picking Isaac Asimov’s Foundation universe means I get to hang out with robots and find out what happens after Foundation And Earth—but my instinct here is to pick the universe that feels like the biggest, wildest party, and one whose protagonist kind of already is in the midst of his afterlife. So then, in a squeaker over Futurama, I’m going with Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, as spending eternity wandering an endless, hedonistic cosmos is much more appealing when I know I can do it wearing a bathrobe and carrying a trusty towel, not to mention a book that reminds me “Don’t Panic” in big, friendly letters. Plus, once I do get to the end of the universe, I’m at least assured of one last nice—if almost certainly hideously overpriced—meal. It’s almost enough to make me forget that, of my three candidates, I picked the one with by far the least personable robots…

Dennis Perkins

On one hand, I worry that I give this answer to too many of these questions. On the other, I don’t care—I can’t think of a better place for me to spend eternity than on the Satellite Of Love from Mystery Science Theater 3000. I don’t know if, in this scenario, I’m the new Joel or Mike, or if I’m simply allowed to join the gang in the theater as a second quipper/punching bag, but I can just feel myself settling into that seat (after dealing with Dr. Forrester and/or his mom’s daily evil-yet-ineffectual scheme) and cracking wise alongside Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo. There’ll never be an end to terrible movies (thank Torgo—and possibly Nicolas Cage), and I can practically smell the theater as I type this—I imagine it smelling like old, worn vinyl seats and hot glue. At times in my life, I’ve let MST3K become a refuge, a silly, funny place where I can goof on movies while still loving them more than anything in the world. All of eternity there, alongside some like-minded knuckle-knobs? An endless spool of bad movies and brightly-colored nonsense? Sounds like heaven to me.

Jesse Hassenger

My favorite fictional universes tend to be filled with strife and mayhem: Star Wars, The Simpsons, Futurama, or the emotional wreckage of various shows about adolescence (I know Freaks And Geeks and My So-Called Life basically take place in “our” universe, but now that I’m older, they both feel pretty removed). But none of those would make great final resting places. I think that, despite the occasional peril, the most peaceful fictional universe I can think of would be the Toy Story universe, which is not totally unlike our own, but—from the toys’ vantage point—has a feeling of eternity, as only really extreme physical damage can kill the toys. Also, it seems like it would be fun and, judging from my reaction to every Toy Story movie, short, and TV special so far, endlessly entertaining. Then again, maybe the unnecessary-seeming Toy Story 4 will so disappoint me that I’ll renounce it and go back to spending eternity with nothingness.

Tasha Robinson

Since Laura stole Narnia—clearly the only rational choice—I’ll go with my backup, the way station in Hirokazu Koreeda’s 1998 film After Life. Maybe it’s lazy to go for an afterlife specifically drawn in the story as an afterlife, as opposed to wanting to spend eternity in Space Jam or something, but every time I re-watch Koreeda’s film, I’m struck all over again by how peaceful it is. The movie focuses on a small, seemingly underfunded office where Japanese bureaucrats meet the recently deceased, help them identify their most meaningful memory, and recreate it as a no-budget film short. People who can’t decide on their most meaningful memory get to join the staff and help the transients coming through. So… eternity spent sharing crucial moments with an endless variety of people, then making art about it? Sounds like heaven to me. I’ve also fantasized about the simple meditative ritual of just raking the leaves off that back patio every day, or stripping and repainting the peeling walls. Best of all, whenever I was ready to move on to something else, I’d have that option. Eternity is scary, but here’s an eternity that gives way to the next thing whenever you want.

Caroline Framke

When I saw this question, I immediately veered toward science fiction and fantasy because, well, sci-fi/fantasy worlds are just cooler. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that sci-fi worlds also tend to be so much bleaker. As much as I’d love to get drunk at poker night with Starbuck or watch bad movies with Buffy and the Scooby gang, I would never want to live in their harsh realities, especially not for eternity. So I’m going to go with my second, more selfish instinct and live out my days in the mansion from Taylor Swift’s Blank Space video. It’s huge, it’s beautiful, it allows for indoor biking, I’d have a wardrobe of impossibly expensive and impractical clothing, and I’d have an endless cycle of impossibly beautiful and game people. When Taylor sings, “love’s a game, wanna play?” I know she’s making fun of her public person or whatever, but the fact remains that at the end of the day and all my days, I also really want to play.

Article source: http://www.avclub.com/article/assuming-afterlife-exists-what-fictional-world-do--215515

Futurama: “The Deep South”/“Bender Gets Made”

http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/futurama-deep-southbender-gets-made-215807

The season finale finally teaches us How To Get Away With Murder

Caesar Flickerman, might be slightly better at getting people to open up in the interrogation room.

Regular Coverage

Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.)

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.)

Vikings (History, 10 p.m.)

Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m.)

TV Club Classic

Futurama (10 a.m.): The Planet Express crew head under the sea (under the sea!) and discover the lost city of Atlanta is now a thriving mermaid community in “The Deep South.” Then Bender joins the mafia in “Bender Gets Made.” Zack Handlen prepped for his review by marathoning The Little Mermaid and Goodfellas, which made for a rather jarring double feature.

Elsewhere in TV Club

WWE wrestler/metal band frontman/podcast host/occasional TV personality Chris Jericho really dislikes Rednex’s “Cotton Eye Joe,” and he tells us why in a new HateSong. As Jericho eloquently explains, “The less said about that piece of shit the better.”

Other than that, TV Club is a bit slow today so be sure to check out Annie Zaleski’s Primer on ’80s U.K. synth-pop and our interview with The Worst Idea Of All Time podcast hosts Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery, who watched Grown Ups 2 every week for a year. (Which is slightly less impressive than this dude who watched Julie Julia every day for a year.)

What else is on?

Steven Universe/Regular Show (Cartoon Network, 6:30/7:30 p.m.): Greg and Amethyst find an old favorite at a garage sale on Steven Universe, while Regular Show introduces the world’s greatest suit (which comes with two interior pockets and military grade weaponry).

Mom (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): Stop the presses: Mom has a brand new time slot! The show celebrates its later hour with an “edgy” plot in which Christy discovers she likes the risk of getting caught while having sex (or “lovemaking” as TV Guide calls it).

The Slap (NBC, 8 p.m.): It’s Uma Thurman week on The Slap, and her character makes a game-changing discovery. Hopefully she’ll work out her subsequent angst through song. (R.I.P. Smash)

My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding (TLC, 9 p.m.): The only thing worse than turning on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding to discover it’s the American version (and not the British original), is turning on Say Yes To The Dress only to discover it’s the Atlanta iteration. Oh well, the fourth season premiere of this subpar Gypsy spin-off (where are the British accents?!?!) is still better than nothing.

What Watch Happens: Live (Bravo, 11 p.m.): Funny men John Oliver and Mark Duplass stop by to bro out with Andy Cohen in the Bravo Clubhouse.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (TCM, 3:45 p.m.): Admittedly, 3:45 p.m. isn’t the most convenient movie-watching hour for those working 9-5 (what a way to make a living). But it’s probably worth calling in sick and/or taking a really late lunch to watch this Frank Capra classic that turned Jimmy Stewart into a hero for high school government teachers everywhere. (Mostly because they can show this movie instead of teaching a lesson on filibusters.)

While You Were Sleeping (Lifetime, 6 p.m.): While You Were Sleeping received a slot on our list of 28 romantic gestures that are actually creepy, which should be recommendation enough. Sandra Bullock poses as the fiancée of a man she’s never met after he falls into a comma. Even weirder, she then falls in love with his brother, who’s played by Bill Pullman. Ahhh, young love!

Titanic (AMC, 8 p.m.): We’re pretty sure the world would stop turning if this movie didn’t air on TV at least once every few days. Thanks to AMC, we’re covered this week.

WWE SmackDown (SyFy, 8 p.m.): Since we’ve got that new HateSong with Chris Jericho and LaToya Ferguson just began her coverage of WWE Monday Night RAW, we went with a synergistic sports pick for tonight. Just don’t ask us to explain why this wrestling series airs on SyFy.

In case you missed it

The 100: In just two weeks the all-around solid second season of The 100 reaches its finale. Until then, Kyle Fowle will continue to chart the drama between the Mountain Men, the Sky People, the Grounders, and whatever other geographical cultures may emerge.

Article source: http://www.avclub.com/article/season-finale-finally-teaches-us-how-get-away-murd-215801