Crowdfunded hoverboard project launches!

As your primary source for all hoverboard-related news, it’s our duty—nay, our privilege—to bring you news of this open-source, crowdfunded hoverboard project. With taglines like “Probably impossible—but certainly worth a try!” you can be assured that this is the finest hoverboard-related crowdfunding project that you could donate your hard-earned money to.

The goal of the project is to create a basic platform of hoverboard technology that other companies could build on to create actual working hoverboards. And they’re only seeking the very reasonable sum of $1 million; if you want to be among the first to get your own hoverboard, you’ll be ponying up to the tune of $10,000.

We at Doombot are not your financial advisors, but we can tell you this: There is no better way to invest your money than in the future of the hoverboard.

Except perhaps gold. Or new socks. (Seriously, yours are starting to look at bit threadbare.)

Short Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Dan’s Take)

Tony has already regaled you with the tale of our adventure to see *Scott Pilgrim vs. The World* and [his review](http://doombot.com/2010/08/05/medium-movie-review-scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world/)—as with *most* things Tony says—is spot on. In some ways, as we discussed after the film, it would have been better not to have the comic so fresh in your head, because you find yourself waiting for jokes or looking for characters. That said, the film stands on its own, with plenty of quips and situations that are more “inspired by” the comic than ripped directly from the page. The casting is pretty much spot on for the most part, though it’s also worth noting that in many ways Michael Cera’s portrays a fundamentally different Scott Pilgrim than the protagonist of the comics (he lacks the manic energy of the latter). As a long-time fan of director Edgar Wright’s work, though, I maintain that the man is [three](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365748/)-[for](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425112/board)-[three](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6803Gu8tpuw) in feature filmdom. At the same time, though, I found myself thinking about halfway through that I couldn’t wait until somebody inevitably adapts the series to a television show so we can see all the parts that got left out.

Breaking News: Michael J. Fox says hoverboards aren’t real

But really, can you trust him? The man’s a trained actor, people.

The Year in Numbers

Or, a random assortment of things that I can quantify, though perhaps not 100% accurately.

12 Number of flights taken
411 Number of bylined Macworld articles I wrote
32 Number of [books I read](http://writeology.tumblr.com/tagged/book/)
3 Number of books I read that were graphic novels
45 Number of movies I watched
37 Number of *new* movies I watched
2 Number of Dungeons & Dragons adventures completed as DM
5 Number of Xbox 360 games purchased
4 Number of above games completed (for reasonable definitions of completed)
50,574 Number of words written [for NaNoWriMo](http://doombot.com/2009/12/03/five-writes-dont-make-a-wrong/)
84,508 Number of words written in non-NaNoWriMo novel
1,089 Number of [photos taken](http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmoren/) (not including iPhone)
1 Number of [spoof movies](http://fireball-the-movie.com/) produced
10 Number of [Doomcast](http://doombot.com/category/doomcast/) episodes released
2:55:17 Length of total Doomcast episodes

Five writes don’t make a wrong

nano_09_winner_100x100.pngWell. That’s over with then.

It’s December 2nd, and if you’ve ever met me, you know what that means: I’m in the throes of the post-National Novel Writing Month hangover, trying to find something to fill the now gaping void previously occupied by furiously concocting new ways to torture my characters.

In the preceding thirty days of November, I produced a 50,000 word piece of fiction which, I’m going to be honest, nobody will ever likely see. That’s by choice though; like a dented can of soup past its expiration date, I would not wish it on my next-to-worst enemy. Worst enemy? Totally.

I also think this will be my last year of NaNoWriMo.*

Read More…

Doomcast: Season Two Premiere

After the lackluster ratings of our first season (despite the thrilling cliffhanger season finale), it’s understandable that the network was touch-and-go about greenlighting an entire second season. In order to get the go-ahead, Tony had to agree to some…unorthodox changes to our format—changes that required him to take the editing reins, a task he undertook with aplomb and verve. And so we’ve returned from hiatus refreshed and ready to discuss the pressing topics of the fall season, to wit:

  • matters administrative
  • youthful indiscretions
  • the dangers of vagrancy
  • falsification for fun and profit

Download, for your listening enjoyment. [17m 39s]

Subscribe via iTunes

Short Television Review: Kings

*Kings* was an ambitious, well-made, unique piece of television and thus, doomed from its very start to cancellation at the hands of the network. As such it still wins my choice for best show of the season, an (dubious?) honor it shares with past ventures such as [*Pushing Daisies*](http://doombot.com/2007/10/23/watch-this/) and [*The Middleman*](http://doombot.com/2008/07/22/short-television-review-the-middleman/). At turns biblical, Shakesperean, with a dash of both *The West Wing* and even *Carnivale*, *Kings* was a complex epic set in a world that sported many of the trappings of our own whilst maintaining a distinctly alien feeling. The complex relationship between King Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane), a once-honorable man who united his nation, and David Shepherd (Christopher Egan), the young hero who is destined to succeed him, twisted and turned, but portrayed a bond that was believable and even, at times, touching. The show was further enlivened by supporting performances such as Eamonn Walker as man of God Reverend Samuels and—my personal favorite—Brian Cox as Silas’s deposed predecessor.

*Kings* carved itself a difficult path: some speculated it was the heavy biblical allusions that were the problem, but I give the show kudos for being willing to take on the role of religion in a way that was neither sappy and sentimental nor out-and-out castigating. While the series at least got to complete its 13-episode first season, the final episode left plenty of room for the plot to continue onwards (in that, it reminds me of another early-cancelled NBC shows, *Kidnapped*). The show’s poor ratings made it hard to justify its renewal—though the *cause* of those low ratings could be laid at least partially at the feet of poor marketing by the network—but it does make me wish once again that more viewers *and* networks would take a chance on something that’s not just a police, medical, or legal procedural.

Short Television Review: Torchwood: Children of Earth

*Torchwood* always had trouble finding its bearings. The first season was wildly uneven—there were some very promising episode (to my mind, ["Countrycide"](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countrycide) remains the series’s creepiest episode to date)—but for the most part the show was a solid “meh.” Still, I stuck with it through the second season, which improved notably, especially with the three-part arc of “Reset”/”Dead Man Walking”/”A Day in the Death.” Apparently I wasn’t the only person who thought there was promise in the series, as it as renewed for a third season. Instead of a full 13 episode run, however, the BBC commissioned a five-part miniseries, *Children of Earth*, to be broadcast over the course of a week.

In some ways, this is the perfect format for *Torchwood*: there’s no time for filler episodes or extraneous plot details—everything is focused on a single story arc: cutting down both the number of episodes as well as the main cast means that the show is much leaner, and that lends it strength. The plot of the miniseries involves all of the world’s children, which begin speaking in unison about what appears to be an imminent alien invasion—an invasion that someone really doesn’t want *Torchwood* investigating. *Children of Earth* is at turns funny and dark; the final episode includes at least two very powerful, disturbing scenes that made me shudder, and leaves off with an uncertain future for the series and its eponymous team.

Doomcast: Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You

Spin that noisemaker; blow that party horn! We hereby celebrate the tenth episode of the Doomcast, proving once again that persistence is the better part of valor—or, at least, ignoring people’s repeated pleas to stop assaulting their eardrums. As we party down, we invite a special guest to join our tin anniversary and discuss such important concerns as:

  • the terror of the skies
  • Podcasters Against Dinosaur Driving (PADD)
  • matters reminiscent
  • at the intersection of science and evil

Download, for your listening enjoyment. [19m 59s]

Subscribe via iTunes

And a merry Day of the Tesla to you, too

If you opened up Google today, you may have noticed the header background, indicating that it’s the birthday of noted Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla.

As we here at Doombot have long celebrated Day of the Tesla, we thought you, the readers, might enjoy partaking in some of the more time-honored festivities of this highest of holidays. As always, we perform the ceremony of failing to electrocute an elephant with alternating current (we use symbolic plush toy elephants, of course—this is no diabolical, hedonistic Edisonstravaganza), followed by the traditional viewing of Tesla biopic The Prestige.

Finally, the evening is concluded with a live reading of our award-winning* children’s book, Tesla and His Pigeon: A Children’s Story of Love and Loss in the Electric Age, based on Tesla’s relationship with his favorite creature.

teslaandhipigeon

Afterwords, the kids are sent to bed with the reminder that the spirit of Tesla won’t appear to deposit Serbian dinars bearing his likeness unless they are fast asleep.

If this is your first time celebrating Day of the Tesla, you might also wish to partake of these classic episodes of our podcast adventures, The Scrimshaw Meme and TMYK, in which we pay homage to Tesla through the deepest respect of humor.

Finally, the most devoted of Tesla followers undertake—at least once in their lifetime—a trip to the laboratory of the man himself, Wardenclyffe Tower, where the prescient inventor intended to pioneer the field of wireless communication, were he not dastardly foiled by the dark lord Edison.

And so we wish you a happy Day of the Tesla, and to you and your kin, we say: may the eternal peace ray shine down upon you.

* Tesla and His Pigeon was the recipient of the 2006 award for Most Promising New Children’s Book Involving a Historical Inventor of Serbian Descent, by the National Association of Serbian Inventors Whose Initials are “N. T.”. It was also on the short-list for the Newberry Award in the same year, though it was narrowly beat out by Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow