Melissa Mathison dies at 65 - L.A. Times (Steve Chawkins)" "Mathison, 65, who portrayed children as sensitively heroic, died Wednesday at UCLA Medical Center. The cause was neuroendocrine cancer, her brother Dirk Mathison said. Mathison’s film credits also include “The Black Stallion” (1979), “The Escape Artist” (1982) and “The Indian in the Cupboard” (1995)."
Why read lengthy articles on the history of Atari when you can hear stories first-hand? Hear Nolan Bushnell (and a few others) tell all about how a little company named Syzygy became Atari, in clips both new(ish) and old; tune in for four episodes of Once Upon Atari, featuring Atari staff reminiscing about the good times and bad; and visit Alamogordo, New Mexico, home of rocket sled land-speed records and the grave of Ham, the first chimp in space, with Zak Penn as he digs for the truth behind the legend of the buried E.T. cartridges in Atari: Game Over with fans and Howard Scott Warshaw, the man who made the Atari E.T. game in five weeks. [more inside]
The dig for the Atari dump in the Alamagordo, New Mexico desert started today. It didn't take long to find what they were looking for. Previously
The Fermi Paradox poses the question, if intelligent ETs exist why haven't they shown up yet. Now a new mathematical study shows that self-replicating probes using sling-shot maneuvers (paper) could explore the entire galaxy in just 10 million years. Perhaps they're already here, hiding, waiting for our technology to reach a level that can de-cloak them.
Some claim it is the worst video game ever. What is certain is that five million of them were dumped by Atari in a New Mexico landfill. Now, Fuel Industries, a Canadian film production company, has received permission from the city of Alamagordo, to unearth E.T.
We all know that E.T. for the Atari 2600 was a terrible no-good awful game (previously, previously-er). But could it be that our received wisdom about the cartridge is just wrong? Yeah, probably not ... But to be fair, follow this in-depth guide to hacking the ET ROM and you, too, can transform the game into something far more play-worthy (and don't worry, you can still turn ET into its ninja form).
Rejected Pitches. Back to the Future. E.T. Looking Who's Talking. The Shining. A web series about clueless studio executives rejecting classic movie scripts.
In present day, Garfield and Jon have oval shaped eyes, but when drawing this poster I wanted the look from the Garfield of the early 80's, when E.T. was made.
Charles Forsman (previously) has created another Spielberg/funny pages mashup: E.T. + Garfield [more inside]
I want to believe in ET Bilu! He only appears at night, crouching among the bushes and talking in a squeaky voice. Oh, and he can also teleport. He's got a site. Here's a pic.
You Never Get a Seventh Chance to Make a First Impression: An Awkward History of Our Space Transmissions
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is generally regarded as the worst video game of all time. So bad that Atari eventually had to bury over 5 million copies in a landfill.* One of the reasons may have been that Atari rushed to have it available in time for Christmas. But how bad was it really? Let's Play E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial! [more inside]
Brooklyn natives Atomic Tom cover "Don't You Want Me" in a video filled with celeb cameos and '80's references: Vimeo / Youtube (from the Take Me Home Tonight soundtrack.)
“NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST (11am PST) on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.” Watch it HERE live. [more inside]
It's been 35 years this month since the Arecibo message was sent from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, when the 1,679 digit message was sent once, towards Messier 13. More messages have been sent sky-wards since, in attempts for communication with extra terrestrial intelligence (CETI), with the (ill-fated) Team Encounter was instrumental in Cosmic Call 1999 and 2003 (more details: 58 page PDF). The more complex three-section Teen-Age Message was sent out in 2001, including a musical piece entitled 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens. In 2008 NASA sent the Beatles into space, transmitting "Across the Universe" for the 40th anniversary of the song's recording, the 45th anniversary of the Deep Space Network (DSN), and the 50th anniversary of NASA (prev). If you felt left out of the sending of signals, Talk To Aliens offered a "deep space e-mail service" and a certificate of interstellar broadcast (prev), but no more. Now Sent Forever offers a long-lasting alternative to traditional greeting cards, or simply the worst tie-in for Apollo 11. [more inside]
At least three million tons of fishlike creatures could theoretically live and breathe on Europa, according to Professor Richard Greenberg of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Greenberg recently presented his findings to the Division for Planetary Sciences, American Astronomical Society (PDF, Google quick view). Greenberg has written about potential life on Europa before, but his recent calculations suggest that the concentrations of oxygen would be great enough to support not only microorganisms, but also more complex animal-like organisms which have greater oxygen demands. [more inside]
I Went Left Instead Of Right In Pitfall And Kept On Tickin' And Now I Believe In Miracles: An absurdist play.
It's official. The aliens are coming. In 2017. Turns out they might like The Beatles after all. The UN is on the case. The Hindus are going to be especially upset.
Light Reflection: a brilliant fan of cryogenics venting from a relief valve on STS-122 Atlantis' ET (external tank) post-separation. Also see this handheld video of the ET, with money shots at 2:15 and 3:55. [more inside]
LOOK UP! (or down, if you happen to be reading from one of these. The annual "Amazing Roswell UFO Festival" happens this weekend, and it looks like
people - er, visitors - are coming from all over! Who knew back in 1947 that this little incident would be the start of an entire sub-culture? Well, for me the fascination started with two of the the greatest UFO movies ever. For my grandparents, it started with one of the greatest radio broadcasts ever. But hey, there's no need to rely on fiction when we have one of the most insanely great UFO videos of all time provided by none other than the Mexican Government! Seen anything strange in the sky yourself lately? If so, you'd better report it here.
Fans of Flight Simulators and Michinima might be familiar with the adventures of Bill and John. If you're not, download episode 1 along with the subtitles and and familiarize yourself with a very funny piece of machinima, even more impressive because it's not only in Lock On: Modern Air Combat, but in French to boot. Well they're back, winning Best Picture at the Machinima 2006 film festival, The Adventures of Bill Et John II. Browse the rest of the nominees and winners on the Machinima.com festival page.
ET Could Hack SETI. SETI, which uses down time on the computers of thousands of volunteers to search for intelligent signals from space, has a potential problem—besides information, a broadcast to us from an alien intelligence could also carry a computer virus. Leonard David writes in the main link's space.com article that physicist Richard Carrigan (who works here) takes it seriously. He thinks SETI should figure out how to decontaminate any signals it receives.
The industry-standard effects magazine Cinefex has made some articles from their archives viewable online. One of them is this lengthy and fascinating look at E.T. from a 1983 issues.
Life Elsewhere? In an attempt to get away from the Chinese-American situation, scientists have recently discovered 11 new planets, with one possibly inhabiting a "Life-Zone."
New planets! Saturn-sized, even!