CrossTopix originally had three hosts but is now scaled down to two, STVO and Charlie Cat. Due to outside issues and being very busy with many other things in her life, AranPo will not be a regular host at this time. She’s been a great friend to STVO for many years and has become friends with Charlie Cat since starting this site. We hope the best for her and welcome her back if she decides to return full-time (or even as a guest, possibly recurring.) In the meantime, check out her awesome art website at http://jazzcatnya.deviantart.com/ If you see anything you like, please message her for information regarding commissions, STVO has gotten one done from her and it was really amazing!
STVO: Alright everyone, this is normally the spot where we have our guest promote something that they have come on to our site to promote. With no guest this week, we are each going to promote something of our own. On my half, the only project I’m really working on is CrossTopix, so to everyone reading please pass along this site to your friends (http://crosstopix.blogspot.com) and please give us all feedback as to what you thought of this week’s edition! The second thing I’ll promote is my two friends, Rhodrick and Robin’s website, www.littlebrassbird.com. It is a creative webpage which hosts their new cartoon “Little Brass Bird.” The two of them are future guests on the show, so I’ll let them explain more about it down the road. But please everyone, check out the two sites I have promoted, give us all feedback as to what you think, and if you like them, please encourage others to check them out!
Charlie Cat: Quick plug for my friend Greg57. Here are a couple of my favorite photos of his. This man is not some wandering amateur who just likes to play around and think of his equipment as a toy, and find something, say, “hmmmm that looks pruuttie”, quick frame up and click. No, no, no. This man goes out and stops and smells the roses in this fast paced world of ours. He finds the big things and the little things. He finds the beauty in nature and human made constructs when they decide to do a rare pose that the rest of us miss. He even manages to catch animals and people in captivating form, in just everyday situations. Please check out his work at the following site and prepare to begin wOwing, emphasis on the O. Also, please leave comments. We always appreciate feedback from anyone to everyone. Thank you. Check out his photography at: http://greg57.posterous.com/
1.) Apple just revealed the iPad coming this March. So far there are many naysayers about this new piece of hardware. What are your opinions? Is it going to be revolutionary or will it flop? (For more info, check out Pee-Wee Herman's explanation of the iPad on Funny or Die! http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/f7a03edbd7/pee-wee-gets-an-ipad)
STVO: At first look, I thought “This is just a giant screen from the iPhone with applications.” After further reading, I heard it can act as an e-book or even an electronic drawing journal. Those two aspects really interest me! The $429 to $829 price range is a bit steep though considering it doesn’t have any USB ports and isn’t really a complete computer. One thing that hasn’t affected me with most products I’ve owned but could affect other consumers (or me if it does happen) is the fact you can’t change the rechargeable battery. That means if you have a defective unit, you pretty much have to replace your iPad and risk losing data. Personally, I see the iPad either being fairly successful (not a mega-hit like the iPhone or iPod) or the starting point for a really successful new device everyone will use this decade.
Charlie Cat: Wow, I want one! At around $500 for a 9 inch diagonal screen and only an inch thick, this high tech tablet offers a lot. Just about the entire Mac's features including internet access. It's so cool that you can flip it long ways and be able to read a long article and flip it back for a wider article with pictures and other stuff. You can also buy books offline and have a “bookshelf” application that stores all the titles on one screen and then you choose and read. One initial problem I had with this device was since it is flat, it has no screen protection. There is an accessory you can buy that acts like a book case to put it in though. This will be an accessory heavy device. I also am not a fan of the touch screen it uses. Most of us have greasy hands and are at our computers a lot creating for some big messes. Overall, I like this product. Mac is the way I go.
2) Movies. 2009. Was this a good year overall for theater goers? What were some of your favorites? What were some disappointments?
STVO: Overall, I’d say I went to theater a fairly good amount of times in 2009. I’d say 2008 was a lot better (Dark Knight, Iron Man, Wall-E) but I enjoyed quite a few movies this year. From the beginning of the year I enjoyed Coraline, My Bloody Valentine 3D (two movies that got me into the whole return of 3D movies) and I thoroughly enjoyed Wolverine and Terminator: Salvation. Later that year, I enjoyed Up, Saw 6, Avatar, Zombie Land, and I thought the Hangover was decent. The only movies I considered somewhat disappointing were Watchmen (decent movie, only two stories really interested me) and G.I. Joe (didn’t disappoint, but didn’t exceed expectations either.) Movies I didn’t get to see but want to see are Monsters vs. Aliens, Star Trek, and Drag Me to Hell. While it wasn’t a phenomenal year, I’d say it was acceptable.
Charlie Cat: Hmm…. Movies of 2009... Ugh. Animation saved the day for me with Coraline and Ice Age 3. Disney/Pixar’s UP was probably the best movie of this year. The Star Trek reboot, sequel, whatever you call it, was surprisingly good out of all the franchise movies. Transformers 2 and Terminator Salvation were let downs. The Road was greatly adapted from Cormac McCarthy's dystopian tale about the bound between father and son. The Collector (made by the team that did the last three Saw movies) was pretty good. Speaking of Saw, Saw VI was good. Same old formula: torture, splatter, scream, die, rinse and repeat. Drag Me to Hell was awesome; Sam Raimi returning to his Evil Dead roots. Sherlock Holmes was good but it is the only movie I have ever seen that spends a great deal of its time setting up for a sequel. The Watchmen I have mixed feelings about. As a lover of the graphic novel, I appreciated that they tried to stay as close as possible to the source material. But it was...uh, that's another discussion. But there is no denying the awesomeness of Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach! As for other movies I have left off, I was just not compelled to see them. And that's it for 2009, pretty meh. Oh, and that movie Avatar was pretty good. Not worth all the hype but it was good. Just thought I'd mention that one in case people didn't know about it. Haha.
3.) While we love the 80s/90s, who are some newer artists you have heard and enjoy? If you don’t know any specific artists, is there a specific genre of music that has recently interested you?
STVO: I have to admit it, I’m an old man when it comes to music (the 90s was 20 years ago, WHAT!?!?!) I did like a few bands in 2000-2009 such as the White Stripes, AFI, etc. but my heart is mostly stuck in the 80s and 90s. I do have a friend that likes some techno, industrial dance, and other various music that I like to get into, not really sure where to start though.
Two songs I hear on the radio that I like are “Fireflies” by Owl City and “Evacuate the Dance Floor” by Cascada. I’m not sure if I’d buy CDs from them, but they’re enjoyable songs. I’ll have to give credit to Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson as well, both are talented women. It’s funny though, my parents know a little more about the current music scene than myself.
Charlie Cat: This is a tough one. I am a crockety old fart when it comes to this one. “You dang kids! I love my 80's and 90's music.” Ok, I had my say. I'll behave now. Some newer stuff that I don't mind would have to be Shiny Toy Guns. I have only heard one album but I liked it and their cover of Peter Schilling's “Major Tom” is VERY good. The Toxic Airborne Event I can tolerate. Their hit song “Wishing Well” is pretty catchy. And I will say, although I do not like her music, Lady Gaga is very talented. She's got a voice and can play a piano. Now, for all you kiddos out there, try some Depeche Mode, Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Simple Minds, Jane's Addiction, Nirvana, Sound Garden, Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, and I got a whole bunch more...