Stephen Colbert interviews Smaug. Literally. [SLYT]
The long and tangled history of video game adaptations of the worlds of JRR Tolkien.
Geeky women's clothing company Her Universe teamed up with Hot Topic and Nerdist to present a fandom couture competition and fashion show. Here are some highlights. [more inside]
Archive.org is known for archiving a great number of things, broadly classified in terms of the web, written and printed text, studio audio and live music, and video. The most recent addition comes in various realms of software, as outlined by Jason Scott (MeFi's own jscott). But the newest addition is notable because it brings old software back through online emulation - behold, the Historical Software collection, from productivity software like VisiCalc (1979), WordStar (1981 Osborne 1 version), and The Print Shop (1984, NYT review) to vintage games including Eastern Front 1941 (1981), The Hobbit (1982), and Karateka (1984). If you're interested in the way this all works, you can read more on the Archive.org blog.
Vitamin D has been proposed to have beneficial effects in a wide range of contexts. We investigate the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency, caused by both aversion to sunlight and unwholesome diet, could also be a significant contributor to the triumph of good over evil in fantasy literature.
So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you? The big old dragon of Middle-Earth recipes is the charmingly retro 'Middle-Earth Recipes' (now with a more modern and photo-friendly blog version ) from which NPR's Beth Accomando has complied an all-day feasting menu suitable for marathon watching (or reading) assorted Lord Of The Rings media while Recipewise sticks to foods served by Bilbo in The Hobbit itself and explains the Victorian convention of high vs. low tea. (Author Diane Duane's own Hobbit-inspired recipe, Took Family Seed Cake can be made with poppy rather than caraway seed if that's your thing) Need something to do while digesting? Why not read about the history and meaning of the rural comfort food in Tolkien at Strange Horizons " Well Stocked Larders: Food And Diet Of Hobbits" by Stephanie Green.
To define the world of The Hobbit is, of course, impossible, because it is new. - C.S. Lewis reviews The Hobbit. Why Smaug Sill Matters. Tolkien, Alignment, Non-Violence, and Why Hobbits are Required for Middle-earth to Survive. "‘Smaug’ is about almost absolutely nothing". Scientist maps climate of Lord of the Rings.
Not only is today, September 22, the Autumnal Equinox it also happens to be Hobbit Day, the date Tolkien fans celebrate the shared birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins as well as Hobbit culture in general. So go around barefoot, or smoke some pipe-weed, but watch out for eating seven meals each day, because you know. . . [more inside]
Kellie and Alex, better known as Kili and Fili on the Tolkein fan site TheOneRing.net, are sisters who run the webseries Happy Hobbit. They filmed themselves watching the trailer for the new Hobbit film and posted the resulting video on their facebook page. Peter Jackson came across said video, posted it on his facebook page, and then filmed some of his cast as they watched it. Of course this then required a reaction-to-the-reaction-to-the-reaction video.
Radagast's racing rhosgobel rabbits: A recreational musher looks at the realities of bunny sledding.
Hey guys, remember that old show "Fraggle Rock?" And, and you know that recently-released movie The Hobbit? Well, why not combine the two?
Explaining the languages of Middle-Earth. Ever wonder how Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings writers developed lines of dialogue for the elves or dwarves when they weren't quoting directly from Tolkien? They asked David Salo, a linguist who specializes in Sindarin and the other languages of Middle Earth. [more inside]
For the release of the Hobbit, Lindsay Ellis of the Nostalgia Chick (previously) has decided to look back at all the LOTR films in order to analyze how they changed genre film-making, expected movie length, extended cuts, the problems of adaptation, and why Eowyn and Merry are made for each other. (Fellowship Of The Ring, Two Towers, Return Of The King Part 1, Part 2) Still need more? Then why not watch Kerry Shawcross and Chris Demarais of Rooster Teeth (previously) try to walk the 120+ mile journey across New Zealand from the filming location of Hobbiton in Matamata to the filming location of Mount Doom, Mount Ngauruhoe in A Simple Walk Into Mordor.
A lawyer provides a detailed analysis of the contract between Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves in The Hobbit. [more inside]
What It Takes to Build a Lego Hobbit [cached version] - How Lego's An Unexpected Gathering was designed from the 2,700 pieces of the modern Lego "system of play", which remains compatible with a brick design that goes back to 1958. Despite worries that the stacking brick system has become less creative, a persistant series of complaints that have spawned their own bingo card, it remains hugely popular, in part through quality control and clever licensing. The Lego Bag-End house also comes in a life size version.
"A lifelong fan of The Lord of the Rings, for the last 50 years [Vince Donovan] has been amassing an enormous collection of all things J.R.R. Tolkien. So much so, he hired an architect to design a house to contain it."
The complete soundtrack to the upcoming movie, The Hobbit, is available here. "The score is composed by Howard Shore who also wrote all three films in The Lord of The Rings trilogy for director Peter Jackson. “I have looked forward to returning to the imaginative world of Middle-earth for quite a while,” says Shore of the score. “I read all of the books by Tolkien, including The Hobbit, when I was in my twenties, and his deep love of nature and all things green resonates deeply with me.”"
Air New Zealand's latest safety video has a Lord Of The Rings theme. (SLYT) Previously and previously.
Denny's will soon be launching a Hobbit inspired menu. Featuring such delights as Bilbo's Berry Smoothie and Radagast's Red Velvet Pancake Puppies, second breakfast and elevenses will never be the same! (via boingboing)
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, went on sale 75 years ago today. The first printing, by Allen & Unwin, was for 1,500 copies (which now fetch a premium at auction); the first reviewer, the son of the publisher, was paid a shilling. Through a contorted publishing history, exact or even approximate sales figures are unknown; "over a hundred million" is often quoted. [more inside]
Romeo Muller wrote some of the most popular holiday (mostly Christmas) specials of all time for Rankin/Bass, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (bonus Justin Bieber version with Animagic!), Jack Frost, and Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. The very last special he wrote was Noel, based on a story he told on the radio every year at Christmas. It aired just days before his death on December 30th, 1992. Another special, called The Twelve Days of Christmas, aired in 1993, and was based on a story by him, but was written by someone else. [more inside]
As the trailer for Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Hobbit premieres online, it's worth remembering that this isn't the first take on the journey of one Bilbo Baggins. There was the 1977 animated version as well. Here's some screencaps and a trailer. Of course, if that's not enough for you, you could just watch it on Youtube (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). And before it was a film, it was something called... a book? Here's pictures of the cover of this 'book' thing from all over the world.
Many ages ago, before some had yet to hear of The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings or the collectible LOTR glasses sold at Burger King, critics did their initial reviews. Here's the original review by the New York Times of The Hobbit in 1938. Then came The Fellowship of the Ring, followed by The Two Towers, and of course The Return of the King. Here's a 1967 interview with Tolkien after the influence of his work was starting to be felt. One interesting detail noted is that Tolkien typed the entire 1200+ page manuscript of TLOTR with two fingers. Of course, not everyone viewed the books so favorably. The BBC has detailed some initial criticism against the books, but this seems to have been the minority response within a generally broad and warm literary reception.
Hobbitish is a site that collects the various cover and interior paintings and illustrations of The Hobbit from versions around the world. [more inside]
Director Guillermo Del Toro has announced that he will no longer be directing The Hobbit, and has made a follow up statement today. Speculation is rife as to what he might work on next, having given up that massive commitment. Some are speculating, based on this AICN interview promoting the movie Splice, that going forwards with his adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness may be on his mind again.
My name is Maddie Chambers and this all began when I was a young child and read the Hobbit for the first time. And so, a year later I have a nearly finished replica of Bag End. I still have quite a bit of work to do on it, but I think it can be classed as an ongoing project that I can improve over the years (yes I am a perfectionist when it comes to things that I make!)
It's official, Del Torro is on board for the new Hobbit move and it's...um..sequel. Anyway, he seems to be adamant in keeping the as much as the original creative team on board which is a encouraging sign, roll on 2010?
The LoTR musical needs Hobbits of a certain stature. What stature is that, budding thespians might ask? Well, smoot-height, of course! (Actually, 5'7" — or 170 cm — is the maximum height a would-be Frodo or Bilbo could be.) Another requirement is the ability to sing two songs ... and hairy appendages wouldn't hurt. So start knitting those foot-merkins! Auditions: 18 September, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine St (tube stop: Covent Garden).
According to the BBC, hobbits may not be real.
You may remember the Lords of the Rhymes from a previous post, but now they've taken the next step towards Middle Earth-wide fame and released a video. The hour long download on a 56k is well worth it, so get going!
Hobbiton It's On!!! "Yo, I'm harder than a Mithril coat / A hundred is the number of the orcs I smote / I battled Helms Deep and I took Minas Tirith / If you don't watch out, I'll make your ass dissappeareth.." - Lord of the Rhymes. For those of you who can't wait to see Legolas bustin' caps again in "The Two Towers," settle down for some gangsta rap (5.61 MB MP3), Middle Earth style. "He's mean / he's green / Gollum beat box like you never seen!" (via firda)
The Fellowship of the Ring opens in six days. You've read the book, seen the trailers, watched the commercials, bought your Burger King Goblet. What's left? How about some rave reviews from Newsweek, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Moriarty, and more. I've got my tickets; do you?