Posts by Tiago Moura


TV
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A glimmer of hope arrives in the third episode of the superfluous sixth season of Supernatural

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Tiago Moura

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Not many shows can capture the pulpy thrill of monster hunting like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sustain it with a fun apocalyptic plot balanced by great meta-humor, and end on a gut-wrenching series finale that nevertheless gives the main arc a logical conclusion. Supernatural was set to be that show, but alas pressures from CW executives caused the show to continue with a sixth season against Creator/Showrunner Eric Kripke’s wishes. Thus, Kripke stopped writing and directing episodes after season 5.

So of course, almost every SPN fan expected this season to fail, which is why I decided to give the season a shot anyway. Couldn’t hurt right? Not exactly: (Caution: Spoilers Ahead!)

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Ugly Americans continues to deconstruct monster flicks in season 2 opener

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Tiago Moura

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Instead of being subjects of horror movies, zombies, aliens as well as all different kinds of monsters have assimilated into society in the world of Ugly Americans. The main character Mark Lilly processes “undead Americans” regularly in his job as a social worker in New York City. His work and surroundings humanize them and breaks down the monster genre in an intelligent way, backdropping it within the droll city life.

Here’s a summary of episode 1 of the second season:

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TV

Unflinching BBC show The Thick of It takes more from The West Wing than most think

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Tiago Moura

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Symmetrical photo of the Season 1 cast of The West WingLong before penning his harsh biopic of a 26-year-old billionaire, Aaron Sorkin was known for his warm and fuzzy portrayal of the American presidency in The West Wing. TWW is from a time when Americans wanted a TV show that told them how great a Democratic presidency could be, filtering down real-life complexities of running a major government office to forced conversations about the founding fathers, privacy rights and race relations.

But as quaint as The West Wing was, it became the first show to appeal directly to political junkies everywhere. Politics geeks could now engage with television that at least tried to relate substantive arguments within a world that thrilled them. Sorkin treated politics in TWW the same way Gene Roddenberry treated science in Star Trek: as a clever device used to get into his characters’ heads.

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Science!

British town runs on its own poop

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Tiago Moura

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Shit power's better than shit in the faceThe power of poo has lifted a town in Oxfordshire, England, into a self-sustaining haven of the British countryside. The BBC reported that Didcot has become the first UK town to power itself completely on its own sewage.

The Beeb also diagrammed the poo-powering process, which should look familiar to long-time agents of Handshake who saw our video on how to create electricity from cow crap.

To think, just 200 years ago these people were throwing their shit out the window. Now the entire town’s running on the stuff, and the poor sap who would’ve gotten a lumpy dousing from a chamberpot can instead enjoy some quality time laughing at scatological humor on the interwebs instead. That’s progress for ya.

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TV

Futurama’s time travel, deconstructed

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Tiago Moura

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From Robert Chambers/Kurt Vonnegut-like suicide booths to Robot Arms Apartments (lifted from the prophetic second part of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl), Futurama has embedded allusions to speculative fiction all over its world.

The show absorbs a lot of great sci-fi lore and spits out excellent, silly and original science fiction of its own.

Now that the 6th season of Futurama is almost half-way over (Yay, 100 episodes! — as Hermes Conrad said “That’s almost 10 a year!”), it’s time to celebrate with a little time-travel fun. In episode seven of this season Fry, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth get trapped in a time machine that can only go forward in time.

Here’s a break-down of all the sci-fi references in their travels:

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Communities

Great Cthulhu to drive many worshippers insane at CthlhuCon 2010

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Tiago Moura

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Do not Fuck with Cthulhu!If any of you Cthulu enthusiasts out there want to get together with other Lovecraft lovers, CthulhuCon is the place to do it. The good people at io9 have alerted us that Portland will be the site for this year’s H. P. Lovecraf Film Festival and CthulhuCon on Oct. 1-3.

But if you plan on going, you need to make a will -2 check [2] first. Lose enough sanity, and you can go.

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Portrait-Dex: Self-portraits of comic artists…as Pokémon

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Tiago Moura

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Icon for Portrait-Dex tumblrCombine great comic artists with Pokémon and you get the SUPER EFFECTIVE tumblr meme Portrait-Dex. The graphics alone are great fun, and the abilities/descriptions make for hilariously cute self-criticism. For example, the creator of the awesome comic Dresden Codak Aaron Diaz’s pokémon “can learn ‘Update’ if you feed him caffeine, but it must rest for one month after using it.” We know the feeling.

Catch ’em all and study their web comic abilities. Ash Rembrandt is counting on you.

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Level Up
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New feature: World of Warcraft addict fights back

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Tiago Moura

Image via flickr by gnackgnackgnack

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Hello, Handshakers! Check out our latest feature by Melissa Tinklepaugh about a gamer’s struggle against his addiction to WoW.

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Offline
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Where you should go at ComicCon quiz

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Tiago Moura

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ComicCon is halfway done and we at Handshake thought we’d have a bit of fun suggesting what to in these last two days. Since our friends at io9 already made a ComicCon flowchart, we at Handshake decided a quiz would be the next logical step…well maybe just a next step for deciding where to go in the biggest geek pilgrimage of the year!

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Gadgets
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Apple filters negative iPhone 4 comments out of its forum’s conversations

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Tiago Moura

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Even non-Apple fans anticipate great new gadgets from the company, and the iPhone 4 is no exception. But for the people who already have the new iPhone, commenting about its antenna problem on Apple forums seems to be a big no-no. From ZDnet:

TUAW discovered that numerous threads referencing Consumer Reports’ recent article ‘not recommending’ the iPhone 4 were being summarily deleted from Apple’s support forums, and it isn’t the first time. In my piece about the iPhone 4’s proximity sensor bug I noted that Apple was also deleting posts about it as well.

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