Pop Culture Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Edumacate us: How ‘The Simpsons’ changed the language

simpsons

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons — the first episode aired on Dec. 17, 1989 — Oxford Dictionaries turned to author and English professor Michael Adams to examine how Homer & Co. have changed the language, probably more than most of us realized.

After touching upon the contributions like craptacular and embiggening, Adams zeroes in on those ” two small but powerful words, words that aptly capture what it’s meant to be human during the Simpsons decades.” He means, of course, d’oh and meh.

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A Pac-Man themed restaurant is opening in Chicago

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Since its arrival in arcades three decades ago, Pac-Man has inspired more than 30 video-game spinoffs, cereal, a short-lived Saturday morning cartoon and even a hit song (1982’s “Pac-Man Fever”). And come January, you can add a restaurant to the list.

The Chicago Tribune reports Namco Entertainment is opening a 40,000-square-foot restaurant, cleverly named Level 257 after the game’s final kill screen, in a former Sears warehouse at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, northeast of Chicago.

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Thailand’s Hobbit House is perfect for vacationing halflings

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No one is likely to mistake this for a hole in the ground, but Hobbit devotees looking to continue the experience beyond the trilogy-ending Battle of the Five Armies may want to consider a stay at the Hobbit House in Thailand.

Just two hours from Bangkok, the rental cottage is entirely above ground, but otherwise bears a fairly decent likeness to Bag End, right down to the round green door and earthen roof. Luckily, however, this version has air conditioning and wireless Internet, still unavailable in the Shire, despite Saruman’s efforts to modernize.

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It’s Batman vs. Darth Vader in ‘Super Power Beat Down’

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If as a kid — or, hell, as an adult — you ever dreamed of seeing Batman face Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel, it’s your lucky day. In the 14th episode of its “Super Power Beat Down” series, Machinima pits the Dark Knight against the Dark Lord of the Sith in a mission to rescue Superman from the Death Star.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say we get to hear (but not see) Oracle, and Batman delivers a couple of solid lines, including, “I’ll take my science over your magic any day.” But is Bat-tech enough to overcome the power of the Dark Side?

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Holy Toledo! Batman and Riddler come to blows in hockey game

Toledo's Jeff Lerg strikes a Bat-pose (via the Walleye Facebook page)

Toledo’s Jeff Lerg strikes a Bat-pose (via the Walleye Facebook page)

In somehow-fitting turn of events, Batman and The Riddler dropped the gloves in a hockey game Saturday night celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Caped Crusader.

As we reported last month, East Coast Hockey League teams the Toledo Walleye and the Evansville (Indiana) IceMen donned Batman and Riddler jerseys, respectively, for a “Heroes Night” celebration. Afterward the jerseys were to be auctioned off afterward, with proceeds going to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, March of Dimes and the Walleye Wishing Well.

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Polish town rejects ‘half-naked’ Pooh as playground mascot

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Even as Batman, The Joker and other costumed characters fight for their place in Times Square, a certain willy silly nilly old bear has found himself banned from a playground in Poland.

According to the Croatian Times, Winnie-the-Pooh’s troubles began not with a honeypot but rather when officials in the small town of Tuszyn (87 miles southwest of Warsaw) tried to settle on a mascot for the public playground. When talk turned to A.A. Milne’s beloved character, the town council’s more conservative members protested.

What followed was the Hundred Acre Wood version of swiftboating — Poohsticking, maybe? — as he was accused of being “inappropriately dressed” and of “dubious sexuality.” Yes, during a town council meeting, that was thankfully recorded by one of the members and then leaked to local media.

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Kia wheels out special Wolverine-themed ‘X-Car’

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Kia Motors, which previously partnered with DC Entertainment for a line of Justice League-themed Optimas, is now sinking its claws into Wolverine. Or rather, Wolverine is sinking his claws into a Kia.

The Korean automaker has produced a one-off Sorento that brandishes the popular antihero’s signature claws — and claw marks — to help promote the Blu-ray and DVD release of Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past in Australia. The car also will be displayed in January at Melbourne Park for the duration of the Australian Open, which is sponsored by Kia.

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In Sweden, there’s a Predator-themed house — and it’s for sale

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Many of us have visited a friend’s apartment, or toured a house on the market, only to discover that what at first seemed perfectly “normal” turned out to be a little strange. Maybe it was a bathroom painted blood red, or a guest room that revealed a little too much about a co-worker’s nighttime activities.  Whatever it was, it probably doesn’t compare to this.

An imgur user discovered a listing for a villa for sale in Kalmar, Sweden, that, at first glance, appears quaint — picturesque, even. However, the closer you look, and the farther you go, the more unusual it is, with Predator heads mounted on the dining room wall (where would you put them?) giving way to a life-size Predator statues, even more hunting trophies and an ornate door that opens into … well, a cave (and home theater), with weapons and even more heads mounted on stone-like walls.

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Atlanta children’s hospital celebrates Cape Day

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Late last week Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) marked the planned demolition of a 43-year hotel (and future site of its administration offices) with an event called Cape Day. The primary public face of the celebration was a 4-year-old former patient, DJ Pitts (aka Super DJ), who at age 3 accidentally ingested an industrial cleaner, resulting in a six-month stay at CHOA. While he was there, enduring more than 20 surgeries, he donned many different superhero capes to pass the time as he received treatment, to the delight of himself and everyone who met him.

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Dad helps infant son ‘feel brave’ with ‘Baby Iron Man’ costume

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Little Collier has been hospitalized since his premature birth in July, but for Halloween his father Eric Hart wanted to give their family a sense of normalcy and his son something “that would help him feel brave.” So, with the approval of the nurses, the professional prop maker modified a costume pattern he found online and transformed Collier into “Baby Iron Man,” if only for a minute.

“I came up with Iron Man because he’s been hooked up to all those machines and wires,” Hart tells Today.com, “and that’s similar to what Iron Man went through.”

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I choo-choo-choose this amazing Ralph Wiggum cake

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Ralph Wiggum is slow-witted, socially awkward, occasionally profound and an unrepentant nose-picker, and easily my favorite character on The Simpsons. He’s also apparently delicious.

Kylie Mangles of Freshly Squeez’d has created a cake that’s both incredible and disturbing based on Eric Flores‘ illustration of poor, oblivious Ralph as a detailed anatomical cross-section. “I have never made a cake with so many different colours of fondant or floating ribs before,” she writes on Threadcake.

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There’s a scientific explanation for why zombies lumber

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As if you needed a reason to believe that zombies should be depicted as lumbering reanimated corpses rather than ridiculous sprinting wraiths, there’s now scientific support for that.

Neuroscientists Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek have written Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain, which shows “how zombism can be understood in terms of current knowledge regarding how the brain works.” The book includes chapters like “Hungry, Angry and Stupid is No Way to Go Through Unlife,” “There’s No Crying in the Zombie Apocalypse!” and … “The Neural Correlates of Lumbering.”

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All the single Logans: Wolverine breaks out Beyonce’s moves

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Wolverine is the best at what he does, and what he does — as you can see from the video below — is dance flawlessly to “Single Ladies.”

Sure, Beyonce did it in heels, but has she ever busted out that moves while flashing adamantium claws and chomping a cigar on the sidewalk … on Halloween? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

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From Black Widow to Joker, the most-Googled costumes by state

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If this map of “the most trending” Halloween costumes is any indication, Marvel Studios may want to give a little more thought to Black Widow’s place in its cinematic universe.

Produced by the website SumoCoupon using an analysis of Google search volumes, the map indicates which costume was the most-Goggled in each state. Comic-book heroes and villains were well-represented, topping the list in 14 states. Black Widow claimed the throne in four of those — Texas, Missouri, North Carolina and Wisconsin — while perennial favorites like Batman and Catwoman nabbed three and two, respectively.

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Marvel marks National Cat Day with kitty covers

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In many households, every day is National Cat Day (the furry fellas insist on it), but Oct. 29 is when it’s officially observed across the country, with a special emphasis on pet adoption. Taking the occasion “VERY seriously,” Marvel is celebrating by posting a selection of Jenny Parks‘ delightful animal variant covers featuring Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Wolverine.

But wait! There’s still more comics-related kitty cuteness: The Dodo profiles a dozen cats who make their homes in comic books stores, including the appropriately named Fat Cat Comics in Johnson City, New York. There are even some cat-themed reading recommendations. (Seriously, go read it; it’s my favorite thing today.)

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