Comedian (and Epic Movie Actor) Leslie Nielsen, 1926-2010

It might be a stretch to call “The Poseidon Adventure” science fiction. It was part of the all-star disaster genre, thus giving Nielsen impeccable credentials when it came to his most famous movie roles, in the Airplane! series. I actually prefer his role in Forbidden Planet, but that’s just me. Nielsen along with co-star Anne Francis in his second film, Forbidden Planet (1956). Nielsen: “Supposedly a science fiction version of…

Dying on Facebook

“Last week, his cousin announced on his Facebook wall that he was missing and asked everybody to contact her if we’d seen him,” my friend told me. “The next day she wrote that they’d found him, dead. Just like that.” We’re finally getting used to learning about our friends’ and acquaintances’ lives through Facebook. Will we ever become accustomed to learning about their deaths that way? —cac.ophony.org


The second and, sadly, last of Douglas Johnson’s play-a-day experiment. (The three open the box and rummage in it, and pull out shirts with the Starfleet insignia.) DARNELL: Mine’s blue! TOMLINSON: Mine’s yellow! RAYBURN: Mine’s red! (DARNELL and TOMLINSON cough uneasily, and sidestep away from RAYBURN.) RAYBURN: Oh, very good. Top notch observational comedy there, guys. This hasn’t been done to death for forty years, at all. TOMLINSON: You mean…

Journalism in the Age of Data: A Video Report on Data Visualization

Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays? —Geoff McGee