What’s in a Name

I recently and somewhat randomly came across the poster below for the 1966
film Maya.

Poster for the film 'Maya' with the title in giant 'stone' letters, getting hit by lightning, as various animals stampede / 'Action That Tears the Screen Apart!'

There’s a Maya in my family, and I know some other Mayas too. But that was only
the first name that jumped at me.

Head Space

I had a neat dream last night. Since content might be light here for a spell, I’ve
written it up along with a couple more I scribbled down from earlier this year.

The one from last night involved the work of Nikki Stafford, author of books about Lost and other cult TV, whose blog was among my select re-entry points to online activity when I finally got a working computer a handful of years ago now. Co-starring in the older dreams were actor/filmmaker Lena Dunham, creator of the HBO series Girls, whom I’ve never met, and comics scribe Kurt Busiek, creator of Astro City, whom I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with online and in person a fair amount over the past couple of decades.

In the snippet of last night’s dream that left an impression, I was mostly running around from table to table in a large dining room with a gravy boat of salad dressing.
At a certain point that scene, which I vaguely associated with a college dining hall, transitioned to me teaching a class on Buffy the Vampire Slayer that drew from Nikki’s work as well as my own blogposts. The real-world irony of the latter is that I’d hoped to publish a series of relevant posts during Nikki’s year-long rewatch of that show but I had to suspend that plan. (I did earlier share thoughts on my first exposure to Buffy
on television
and review the original movie.)

Emerald Sit-In

The Voice paired up Cee-Lo Green and The Muppets’ Kermit the Frog last night for a very appropriate tune.

Kermit the Frog and Cee-Lo Green at a keyboard under green lights
Screencap © 2011 NBCUniversal Media.

I’m a sucker for the Muppets in general and in particular for that song, the melancholy Joe Raposo standard “Bein’ Green”, which dates to a 1970 performance by Jim Henson as Kermit on Sesame Street.

“Bein’ Green” has been recorded many times — solo and/or as a duet with Kermit —
by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, and Diana Ross. Tuesday’s rendition, available for now immediately on The Voice’s home page and archived at the above link with a 15-second ad in front, is a worthy entry in the pantheon. Other Muppets showing up for the segment include Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Janis, Statler & Waldorf, and one briefly glimpsed, laugh-out-loud ringer.

Given that Disney owns the Muppets and rival broadcast network ABC, I was quite surprised to see the Muppets pop up on NBC, especially once a taped behind-the-scenes intro for the Voice performance hyped another Cee-Lo/Muppets collaboration on NBC’s upcoming Christmas in Rockefeller Center special. I suppose that cross-promotional convenience trumps strict corporate synergy, but it seemed strange because ABC surely has its own holiday special in the pipeline and, things being equal, megalithic entities tend to like to keep things in the family.

Related: Muppet Monday (Dec. 19th) Mup’ Tempo Muppet Monday (Nov. 28th)

Up in the Sky

Close-up of inflated Superman balloon, with cartoonish face and vintage 'S' insignia

A home movie of the Superman balloon’s first appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1940 was uploaded to YouTube in November of last year, but I got word of it too late to post it in time for the holiday then. My thanks to Rodrigo Baeza, who blogs occasionally at Comics Commentary, for sharing the link on the Grand Comics Database chat list. The Man of Helium shows up at the 1:30 mark.

Do You Want to Know a Secret

Fringe 5.07 Five Twenty-Ten / Photo of Joshua Jackson as Peter, bathed in green light, hand raised in a fist

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There's a Place

Fringe 5.06 Through the Looking-Glass and What Walter Found There / Photo of John Noble as Walter

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Spider-Man, Spider-Man /
Use His Face in a Frying Pan

Spider-Man's head as the end of a spatula

Williams-Sonoma is selling a Marvel Spider-Man Flexible Spatula.

How freaking awesome is that?

I just recently got one as a gift, along with a Spider-Man Cupcake-Decorating Kit. The latter is no longer available from the Williams-Sonoma website; neither is the Marvel Heroes Cupcake-Decorating Kit featuring Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. I’m linking to them anyway in case that changes and including some images below ’cause they’re freaking awesome.

Après le Déluge

Bryan Walsh contributed a good piece on Hurricane Sandy to last week’s issue of Time.

Cover to recent issue of 'Time' Magazine with large text 'Lessons from the Storm' over photo of crashing waves

He details Sandy’s effects but also suggests how to prepare as storms like Sandy — a hurricane turned post-tropical cyclone after merging with the Arctic jet stream to form a hybrid nor’easter that some dubbed “Frankenstorm” — become a fact of life in what (most rational minds now agree) is an era of consequential climate change.

I’ve felt a bit of survivor’s guilt over Sandy, to be honest.

My home in the Philadelphia suburbs lost power for maybe 30 seconds total on the night the storm hit — going dark just long enough the final time to convince me that several days without electricity lay ahead, since it would take so long for crews to work safely and get to everybody, only to pop back on with nary a complication thereafter. Lots of areas nearby had it much worse. I got to watch news coverage on a television
in a lit room while checking E-mail.

Gimme Some Truth

Fringe 5.05 An Origin Story / Photo of Joshua Jackson as Peter

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House of the Rising Moon

'Mockingbird Lane' promo shot with logo and main cast

NBC ran the pilot for Mockingbird Lane, Bryan Fuller’s revamp of The Munsters, last Friday. At this writing you can still watch it via that link.

I took in the hour-long episode as a Halloween treat after hearing positive word. The premise and talent involved definitely had me curious, despite rebooting or reimagining a familiar property for TV being a dicey prospect (Battlestar Galactica at one recent extreme, Wonder Woman at the other). Even after it was passed over for this season, Lane apparently had an outside shot at being picked up for 2013 if it turned out to be an October surprise. I’m not sure that a 1.5 rating/5 share in the 18-49 demo, 5.47 million viewers overall, is enough to do the trick but this was a Friday on a tentatively resurgent network.

Anyway, I’d like to see more.