Author - Widge

Stuff: Never Mind the Cats, Check Out the Armored Bear

Lee Scoresbys balloon from His Dark Materials

There’s too much information out there. Especially when it comes to Comic-Con weekend. But don’t worry. Go on with your lives. I sift through this stuff so you don’t have to.

Because the Night is a four-part series coming to ITV across the pond (and then to the States and elsewhere eventually, of course) from Neil Cross, based on his novel Burial. Cross is the man who brought you Idris Elba as Luther, the first series of which is some of the most nail-biting television I’ve ever seen. As for the title, yes, I too finished it with “belongs to lovers.” Source.

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The Taste of Caffeinated Nostalgia

Back in my younger days, somewhere around 1891 or so, there were a number of classic soft drinks that were near and dear to my heart. There was Surge, the thinking man’s Mello Yello, which has returned and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. There was also the guarana-laced Josta, the best thing Pepsi ever created, which has yet to return. And there was Jolt Cola, much beloved among anyone who craved some liquid sleep and needed something to wash down the last pot of coffee.

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Mtn Dew: Liberty Brew – Drink Review

Mountain Dew Liberty Brew
If you’re thinking that this drink is terrifying, well…you’re not wrong. (I’ve provided a backlit photo below so you can truly enjoy the blue-ness of this monstrosity.) Obviously this limited edition is geared towards July 4th here in the US, and well, “50 Flavors in One” is a very American sentiment either way you look at it.

Ideally, it could be 50 Flavors as in “look at what happens when you blend a bunch of stuff together like the melting pot experiment that this country is supposed to be!” Or, and more realistically, it could be 50 Flavors as in “look at what happens when you put 47 more flavors into a drink than is reasonable!” These are both truly American sentiments.

First thing upon opening the cap…not a lot of fizz. It could just be my bottle, though. What probably wasn’t just my bottle is the fact that it smells exactly like it looks. I’m not sure how to describe it except that, yes, it smells very…blue. Not blue as in “the classic music of the likes of Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson” but blue as in “this is in no way natural and it looks a bit like the blood of an alien.” It freaking smells that way. Just…blue. All the sugary drinks in childhood that you loved, this is what would cause those beloved drinks to wake up in the middle of the night screaming. That’s the smell I’m talking about.

As for taste, it tastes blue as well…and not even some cheery sort of cheeky kind of blue raspberry taste. It tastes blue like someone played some horrific taste-based version of “Telephone” with about sixteen people and this is what came out the other side when what you started with was blue raspberry. 50 Flavors? I guess I assumed those would be 50 different flavors, but it wasn’t. It was just…the taste of blue. The taste of blue with several tablespoons of sugar mixed into it.

Oddly, after this vicious assault on the tastebuds, it fades into the background, as though nothing happened. But you can tell something happened. There is the ghost of an aftertaste, like your tongue suddenly developed PTSD. And by that I mean, you’ll think the taste is gone and then it will surge forward again to freak you out, like your tongue is Tim Robbins in Jacob’s Ladder.

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It Was 52 Years Ago Today…

Beatles Sgt. Peppers

July 1, 1967 was the day that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band started its fifteen week run at the top of the Billboard 100 chart. It is (un)arguably the greatest album of all time. But as big a fan as I am, I had some idea of how much had gone into the creation of it…but I’m not a real musician so I didn’t really grasp everything that was going on in it musically. That is, until I saw this excellent BBC documentary (aired on PBS stateside) in which musical composer Howard Goodall takes you through it. Highly recommended.

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The Wandering Earth (2019) – Movie Review

(gained a half-cup due to awesome visuals and a guy trying to shoot a planet)

Written by: Frant Gwo, Gong Ge’er, Wu Yi, Yan Dongxu, Yang Zhixue, Ye Junce & Ye Ruchang, based on the novella by Liu Cixin
Directed by: Frant Gwo
Starring: Qu Chuxiao, Wu Jing, Zhao Jinmai, Ng Man-tat, Li Guangjie

It’s the future, and not only do we (apparently) still not have jetpacks, but the Sun is going to expand and engulf the Earth in a hundred years. To add insult to injury, a couple centuries after that, it will have swallowed the rest of the solar system as well. Because mankind can get its act together when there’s some massive, obvious, world-shattering threat (and pretty much only then), humanity forms a world government with a focus on saving the planet and (most) of the people on it. To do this, they plan to spend a couple of millennia moving the Earth to a new solar system. You might think is a plan fraught with peril–and you’d be right–because Murphy’s Law (and the Law of Disaster Movies) says that Something Big goes wrong. And hoo boy, does it.

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Polar Popcorn: Like Popcorn, Only Colder

David Klein, Candyman

Do you know the name David Klein? I did not. I certainly should have, because he’s the guy who created one of my favorite candies: Jelly Bellies. (Inevitably, each Xmas, I wind up getting one if not two large assortments because people know my weakness for the damn things.) Also, I should have known him because anyone who can effectively wear a candy sombrero is definitely worth knowing.

One of his most recent projects was handled through Kickstarter: Polar Popcorn. So of course I threw in with the lot because this guy is A) apparently damn good at coming up with tasty candies and 2) a veritable hoot.

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Your Weekend Justice #276: A Teaching Moment

Magnum Ice Cream bars

It’s Weekend Justice: the Internet’s #1 audio trainwreck. This episode was recorded in April 2018.

Agenda:

  • A difficult trivia question
  • Discovering what’s too much for this podcast
  • Ken Burns: Tuffley After the Fall
  • Fallet
  • Leonard Cohen vs. David Hasselhoff
  • Harry Anderson and Night Court
  • The desperation of network television
  • American vs. German television markets
  • Dom inadvertently predicts the Disney+ future
  • Falco and other Austrians
  • The legacy of Art Bell
  • Lost in Space
  • Necco Wafers and Catholicism
  • The legacy of Jolt Cola
  • What does Big Dub have under the counter?
  • RIP R. Lee Ermey
  • Ready Player One
  • The Death of Stalin
  • Don’t turn down a gypsy funeral
  • Putting things in the camera
  • Lucille?
  • Who has a flamethrower?
  • Widge vs. his own network (losing)
  • Containers for nipple explosions
  • Non-fun with Moviepass
  • CW and the Arrowverse
  • Dwayne, the Box Office Viagra
  • How to deal with Iron Fist, a very depressing prediction
  • Infinity War and everything around it
  • What did we learn?
  • Netflix Defenders-verse
  • Drowning the spoilers in chicken
  • The new Star Wars films
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    Things: Chai Caramels, Cookie Dough & Butter Cake

    Marich Chai Tea Caramels

    These…are Chai Tea Caramels from Marich. They are chai tea flavored caramel surrounded by white chocolate. Addictive? Oh hell yes. As a fan of all things chocolate (including white chocolate, even though I know it’s not technically chocolate, but whatever) and a big fan of chai, this is something that you should only buy about twelve balls of at a time. This is mostly because whatever you buy you will probably consume in one go. You’ve been warned.

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    The Conjuring (2013) – Movie Review

    Conjuring (2013)

    Written by Carey W. Hayes & Chad Hayes
    Directed by James Wan

    Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, John Brotherton

    Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson & Farmiga) are demonologists. They help people who have no one else to turn to. They’re like The Equalizer but for people menaced by supernatural forces. They do lectures. They give interviews. They assist at exorcisms. And they have a room in their house that serves as both museum and Vault of Mysteries, keeping sinister objects locked away from the rest of the world. (Let’s draw a veil discretely over whether or not that’s a good idea.) Enter the Perrons (Taylor & Livingston) who just moved out into the country to an old house that happens to have a history. That history is now tormenting their five daughters, putting bruises on Mrs. Perron and basically it’s all turning into an episode of Homes Under the Hammer of Satan. Time for Lorraine, Ed, and Ed’s sideburns to get to work.

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    Sprite: Lymonade – Drink Review

    Sprite: Lymonade

    Sprite’s latest variation is to add lemonade to its already lemon-lime self, thus creating Lymonade. It at first glance doesn’t seem like a very strange chimeric concoction, especially since at the top left above the logo it boasts “Lemon-Lime & Lemonade Flavored Soda With Real Juice & Other Natural Flavors”! But then bottom right below the logo it admits “Made With 1% Real Juice.” Rarely do you see a product label boast about a feature and yet admitting that feature is pretty much meaningless on the same side of the label.

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