Ever since its 1977 cinematic debut, the Force has been strong in popular culture. People with only passing exposure to the Star Wars saga probably have at least a general notion of how the story’s mystical energy works: light sides and dark sides, wizard-like abilities over objects and minds, laser-beam swords. But who is the Force strongest with? And how has the balance between light and dark shifted throughout the series? In anticipation of “The Force Awakens,” we decided to find out by watching every minute of the first two trilogies to identify, measure, and categorize use of the Force. This was a delicate exercise, mainly because the Force is vague and entirely fictitious. But we’re confident in our findings—and if you search your feelings, we think you will be, too. The Force Accounted [SLBB]
Life Inside Jabba the Hutt: "After interviewing puppeteer Toby Philpott at great length over Skype I decided to go a step further and create a mini documentary about his work on Jabba the Hutt for Return of the Jedi. This led me down many paths. Here is the result." (via tested.com)
Remember the floating training remote in Star Wars? Some people have done DIY versions of the remote that can levitate on your desktop. However, leave it to NASA to create the real thing and call it SPHERES: Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites: robotic bowling balls (OK, 18-sided polyhedron satellites) with autonomous propulsion, power, avionics, software, communications, and metrology subsystems, that fly freely in the ISS. First tested in 2006, they have been upgraded with Android smartphones, which makes them (for now) the less terrifying item in Google's growing robotic arsenal.
Who would win in a fight to the death between the original Terminator and the Alien Queen? One redditor has done the math and provided the definitive answer. The match-up was proposed by a small community on reddit called Who Would Win, which passionately discusses the probable outcomes of epic battles unlikely to make it to the big screen. Other popular head-to-heads include Batman vs James Bond, Professor Charles Xavier vs Freddy Krueger, a Jedi Knight vs four Daleks, and even Hobbes vs Snoopy.
People have the misconception that a gay person comes out once. It's not true. If you're gay and you're authentic, you're coming out constantly. You're on a business trip, for example. A cab driver asks if you have kids, and you say that you do. Then he asks about your wife. Even though you may be exhausted, you find yourself summoning the energy to have a transformative conversation with a total stranger on whom you are depending to get to the airport and whose reaction you have no way of predicting. It takes a few tablespoons of courage. Every time. But you do it. Because it's who you are, and you've learned long ago not to deny who you are or who your partner is. Because to deny who you are is a betrayal of yourself and the man you love and the children you have together. So you never, ever skirt the issue, no matter how tired or busy you are. You become a Jedi with your truth. Not just the truth, but your truth. Dan Pallotta writes "Never Lie about Who You Really Are" in the Harvard Business Review blog.
The findings for England and Wales from the 2011 British Census have now been released. The BBC provides a handy guide to changes by area while The Guardian has a neat infographic and a set of Top 10 Charts. [more inside]
Protected by the legendary Jedi Order, the Galactic Republic stood as a bastion of peace in the galaxy for a thousand generations...
Can't wait for Star Wars: The Old Republic? You'd better be Jedi fast! EA wants you to pre-order its game real bad. [more inside]
"I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen." The lightsaber prop to own all lightsaber props, complete with crystal chamber and a blade bright enough to blind with the lights switched on. TL;DR? YouTube vids - with the blade attached; the crystal chamber. [via Geekdad, via Make]
Have you ever dreamed of moving an object with the power of your mind? Mindflex, the new mental acuity game from Mattel, makes that dream a reality. A lightweight headset containing sensors for the forehead and earlobes measures your brainwave activity. When you focus your concentration, a small foam ball will rise on a gentle stream of air. Relax your thoughts and the ball will descend. By using a combination of physical and mental coordination, you must then guide the ball through a customizable obstacle course, the various obstacles can be repositioned into many different configurations. [more inside]
Can a lightsaber cut through Superman? Through him it cuts, hmmmm?
Friday Jedi Fun - Kill the droids by deflecting lasers into them.
Jedi (n) and Klingon (n) will now be listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. As will Ass-Backward. Given MetaFilter's interest in grammar this seems worth noting. How the editors decided that "Jedi" is worth inclusion but "Stormtrooper" is not is a conversation I would have loved to have heard. Naturally, people complaining about such inclusions ain't new. However, when words are removed from the same dictionary it's hardly noticed. Clearly unused words go away, so why do people make a stink about this year after year? Slow news cycles? Or is it an extension of the Prescriptivist - Descriptivist Argument with the Prescripts making a push for the "hearts and minds" of the public?
Australian government refuses to recognize Jedi as an official religion, despite the fact that 70,000 people listed it on their census forms.
We did it! Jedi Knights achieve official recognition as a religion. OK, it's code is 896 with none coming in at 899, but still... be interesting to see how many of us there are out there
It's official: Jedi can't, and never could have been, an official religion. There were emails going around New Zealand and the UK claiming if there were enough who listed it as a religion, it could be official, but that's not the case.
Be a jedi on April 29! I know I will.
Jedi could become official religion -- An email is circulating in New Zealand seeking 8,000 people to write "Jedi" as their religion on that country's census form. If they do, it's claimed the government will have to recognize the Star Wars discipline as an actual religion.