Archives » June, 2008

June 6, 2008

links for 2008-06-07


Peek A Boo



June 5, 2008

links for 2008-06-06

Following Me Online

I’m trying something new. Since I’ve spread myself so thin all over the internet, sometimes it’s even hard for me to keep up with everything I’m doing. I post on this blog, I post at Around Carson, I put up pictures at Flickr and the WNHPC. i have a YouTube account, and an Amazon Wishlist, and I put up links on (which are reposted here every day). And that’s not all. There are more blogs, more places that I have an identity. My online life is a mess; isn’t there any way to keep track of it all?

Now there is. There have been several online services coming out over the last few years that are designed to aggregate all your online identities into one place, so today I signed up with one of them. If you go to, you’ll see all of my stuff brought in and gathered into one place, so you can watch what I’m up to. And if that URL is too much for you to remember, I’ve set up a simple ego domain that will take you right there: Everything you ever wanted to know about me can be found there.

Black Cab Sessions

The Black Cab Sessions takes a musician, or a duo, and puts them in the backseat of a London cab with nothing more than a guitar and their voice for an impromptu performance of one of their songs. The acoustics in the cab turn out to be pretty perfect, and watching the artists performing through all the potholes and stoplights is mesmerizing. It doesn’t hurt that it’s really good music too.

June 4, 2008

links for 2008-06-05

June 3, 2008

links for 2008-06-04

Universal Fire Aftermath

I knew the Flickr community would come through for me. The big fire at Universal Studios was on Sunday, and yesterday the park reopened like nothing had happened. So I knew there would be somebody who visited the park yesterday, who would take pictures of the fire’s aftermath and put them up on Flickr. And indeed there was. User jeremiah_good, who didn’t snap just one or two pictures but dozens. He even got shots from the tram, which didn’t run through the fire area, but went right by it. I’ll run some of the best ones here, but you really should go look at his whole Universal album (381 photos!) to see them all, along with other more touristy shots of the park.

(Update: MiceAge also has photos, very similar to these.)

The Back to the Future courthouse still stands.

That’s it, dressed in red brick for Ghost Whisperer.

The empty shell of King Kong.

A street level view.

June 2, 2008

links for 2008-06-03

Fire at Universal

There was a large fire yesterday at the Universal Studios backlot in Hollywood, destroying some of the sets and backdrops that are used for filming moves and TV shows there. But unlike most backlots, this wasn’t just an off-limits location restricted to authorized personnel. It was also part of the Universal Studios backlot tram tour, and the areas destroyed were major attractions on the tour. So this fire is getting a lot more attention than a fire at any other studio would, because so many people have been there to see the areas that were destroyed.

MiceAge has coverage, with a photo tour by Al Lutz of what the backlot looked like before the fire, a story that includes a satellite photo of the affected area, and a discussion thread on their forums.

The LA Times has a story about the movies that were filmed there. But they mention a lot of older movies, even though the exact same area had already burned once, in 1990. So most of what burned yesterday had already been rebuilt 18 years ago.

One place the fire swept through was Courthouse Square, which is home to the clock tower from Back to the Future. The clock tower itself managed to escape the flames, even though everything else around it burned. This page doesn’t mention the fire, but does give a tour of the courthouse area and shows which parts were used in the film.

ABC has photos of some of the damage.

Universal Studios has already said that the burned sets are going to be rebuilt. These sets are a big part of their business, since dozens of movies and TV shows are filmed there every year. And it’s not a big deal, really, to rebuild. They’re basically just false fronts on a wooden framework, and Hollywood in general builds and tears down sets more often than most of us change socks. So the New York Street and Courthouse Square will be back to their old selves in no time. But one thing that might not be so easy, or cheap, to rebuild, is the King Kong encounter. This attraction was built in 1986 to be the highlight of the tram tour. Inside the building you are met with a 30-foot tall King Kong animatronic that attacks your tram, along with other special effects like a falling helicopter and a shaking bridge. The attraction cost $6.5 million to build, and Kong himself was built by Bob Gurr, who did a lot of the early mechanical invention at Disneyland. The whole building housing the King Kong attraction burned to the ground yesterday, and although it was still a popular part of the tour I can see Universal deciding it’s not worth the cost to rebuild it.