This book gives me more information about penguins than I care to have.
In 1944 a children’s book club sent a volume about penguins to a 10-year-old girl, enclosing a card seeking her opinion.
American diplomat Hugh Gibson called it the finest piece of literary criticism he had ever read.
BOOK 110: FRANKENSTEIN: MARY SHELLEY
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley about eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley’s name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823.
Frankenstein or Franken- is sometimes used as a prefix to imply artificial monstrosity as in “frankenfood”, a politically charged name for genetically manipulated foodstuffs. The Franken- prefix can also mean anything assembled haphazardly from originally disparate elements, especially if those parts were previously discarded by others—for example, a car built from parts salvaged from many other cars. For many years Eddie Van Halen played a guitar built in such a manner which he called the “Frankenstrat”.
"Frankenstein" is the name of a character in the 1975 movie Death Race 2000 and its 2008 remake Death Race. The first incarnation was portrayed by recently deceased veteran actor David Carradine and the second by Jason Statham.
Stitch, the main protagonist of Disney's Lilo & Stitch franchise, was somewhat influenced by the monster, as he was created by a scientist from miscellaneous alien DNA. Unlike Shelley’s monster, however, his intentions were initially evil until he discovered an inner loneliness, causing him, and eventually his creator, to turn from crime to justice. Throughout the franchise, Stitch also demonstrates the monster’s herculean strength and childlike curiosity.
In season 3 of Beast Wars Megatron clones Dinobot, making a Frankenstein’s monster out of the clone by transmetallizing him with the Transmetal Driver and adding the half of Rampage’s mutant spark he cut out earlier. The result was an extremely mutated Transmetal II minion under the influence of his “half-brother’s” evil.
In 2006, the book The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived listed Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster (sic) at #6.
The California Medical Association, in a rather humorous gesture, chose Halloween 2006 to announce that Dr. Richard Frankenstein had been elected president of the organization.He had previously been president of the Orange County Medical Association in 1995-1996.
Frankenstein is a character in the Korean web-comic manhwa Noblesse. He, like that of the actual character Frankenstein, is a scientist, but the similarities end there. Through his research he has gained immortality and immense power. He now serves the most powerful of all vampires, the Noblesse.
Pop artist Eric Millikin created a large mosaic portrait of Frankenstein’s monster out of Halloween candy and spiders as part of his “Totally Sweet” series in 2013.
The character Professor Franken Stein from Soul Eater is based loosely off Frankenstein’s monster.
FILM 1211: THE MASK
TRIVIA: This is Cameron Diaz's first movie role.
The oversized teeth on the Mask character were originally to be used only during silent scenes. However, Jim Carrey learned to talk with them on to make his character that much more wacky.
The part when Jim Carrey is being chased by the gangsters and pulls the wet condom out of his pocket and says, “Sorry wrong pocket,” was improvised by Carrey.
Chuck Russell revealed that a lot of money was saved on special effects after Jim Carrey was cast. Carrey’s body movements were so flexible and cartoonish, they didn’t see the need to enhance them digitally.
The banana-yellow suit that Jim Carrey wears is based on a suit which his mother made for him for his first attempt at stand-up comedy.
Jim Carrey based his character on his father.
As befits Stanley’s obsession with cartoons, The Mask acts like various cartoon characters, most notably the Tasmanian Devil (traveling as a tornado), Pepe Le Pew (romancing Tina in the park), Bugs Bunny (“dying” in the gangster’s arms), and Tex Avery's Wolf (seeing Tina in the nightclub).
Cameron Diaz had to audition 12 times for the part of Tina, only landing the role 7 days before shooting began.
When Ipkiss puts the mask on in his apartment, and becomes a whirlwind, lightning strikes in the background reveal a back lit image of his skeleton. The viewer will need to play the movie in slow motions as the scene is only 1/10th of a second long.
Based on a Dark Horse comic book series of the same name, which frequently comprised very dark horror stories. Chuck Russell has said that the movie script started off in that tone before being transformed as a vehicle for Jim Carrey's unique comedy.
BOOK 109: FANGIRL: RAINBOW ROWELL
Fangirl is a 2013 contemporary young adult novel written by Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl is notable for having been chosen as Tumblr's first book club selection. The cover illustration is by popular webcomic artist Noelle Stevenson, creator of Nimona. Fangirl’s publication follows Rowell’s previous YA novel published earlier in 2013, Eleanor & Park.
The critical reception to the book has been positive, noting in particular its realistic portrayal of fan culture. A reviewer for Tor.com calls it “true-to-geek-life” and notes that “Rowell understands something vital in her novel, and that is that fandom is so much more than escapism—it is, whether conscious or unconsciously—a way for folks to interact with their surroundings.” Entertainment Weekly gives Rowell credit for capturing both the universe of fan fiction and the inside of a young person’s head. A Kirkus starred review calls the novel “absolutely captivating.” When Fangirl was chosen as the inaugural book for the Tumblr book club, a Tumblr representative noted its themes of loving books and creating art, its appeal to readers of all ages, and Rowell’s existing fan base on the social media platform as reasons for the choice.
FILM 1210: UNSTOPPABLE
TRIVIA: The film is inspired by the “Crazy Eights” unmanned train incident in 2001. The train, led by CSX Transportation SD40-2 #8888, left its Walbridge, Ohio, rail yard and began a 66-mile (106 km) journey through northwest Ohio with no one at the controls, after the engineer got out of the originally slow-moving train to correctly line a switch, mistakenly believing he had properly set the train’s dynamic braking system, just as his counterpart in the movie did. Two of the real train’s tank cars also contained thousands of gallons of molten phenol, similar to the fictional train in the film.
Tony Scott's final film before his death in 2012.
Jess Knowlton served as a technical advisor to this film. He was the engineer who chased after CSX 8888 in the real incident, eventually coupling up and slowing that train enough for someone to climb aboard and stop it.
Animal noises were used to make the 777 train sound more menacing.