Want to see what Los Angeles traffic looks like on a typical Friday evening? You can! A co-worker pointed out to me that you can view statistical traffic on Google Maps in addition to live traffic. To see it, go to Google Maps, enable traffic, then look at the inset traffic key and hit “change.” You’ll be able to choose a day of the week and time.

A Scott Pilgrim fan tracked down the real-life locations in Toronto that Brian Lee O’Malley used as reference, then took photos to match them up with the comic panels.

It reminds me of a story that O’Malley told at Comic-Con last(?) year about the movie production. They tried to use actual locations when possible, and at one point went to film a scene with a particular phone booth, only to find it had been torn out. They rebuilt the phone booth for the scene!

How To Be a Retronaut has a fascinating gallery of illustrations from the 1976 Soviet edition of The Hobbit. (via @dixonium)

Copyblogger presents: Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb. Please, people: learn the differences between your and you’re, and between they’re, their and there! (via This Is True)

A university library has put together a great parody of the Old Spice ad campaign: Study Like a Scholar, Scholar. (also via This Is True )

NPR story: In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don’t Matter

New research suggests that misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts — and often become even more attached to their beliefs. The finding raises questions about a key principle of a strong democracy: that a well-informed electorate is best.

This makes me feel a little less enthused about the next two items:

It’s incredibly cool that we’ve got photos of the Apollo 16 landing site. But that won’t convince people who are absolutely certain that the landings were faked.

And a U.S. Department of Transportation investigation of Toyota crashes blamed on sudden acceleration has implicated driver error in nearly all cases. Of the 75 fatal crashes investigates, only one could be verified as a problem with the vehicle: the Lexus crash last August in which the accelerator was caught on the floor mat, leading to a recall. Of course, the court of popular opinion has already made up its mind…

Launchpad: Katie at the Great Park Balloon (which is not in New York).

We went out to the “Great Park” yesterday to see if we could go up in the balloon. It turned out to be completely booked for the day (there was some big ice skating event going on) but we got in some photos on the ground, including a couple of pics with our copy of Scott Pilgrim 5 to submit to the Not In New York Contest.

[Edited to add]: Brian Lee O’Malley was at New York Comic-Con during the release and asked fans who weren’t in New York to submit photos of themselves with their copies of the new book at some local landmark. IIRC winners got a T-shirt or something similar.

More photos: OC Balloon set on Flickr.

Some entertainment stuff I’m looking forward to this year:

Movies: Coraline

YouTube also has the trailer in HD.

I discovered Sandman late, borrowing the trades from one of my (younger) brother’s friends around 1998 or so, then immediately tracking down my own copies. I lucked out and got a complete set on eBay for something like $70. Since then I’ve devoured most of Neil Gaiman’s work, be it in comics, prose, or movie form. The original novel of Coraline was very good, and it’s been adapted by the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is among my favorite movies…and what I’ve seen of the film suggests that they get it. It’s hard to believe it’s only two weeks away!

Other movies: Oddly enough, I’m only mildly interested in Terminator: Salvation, Transformers 2: Can’t Remember the Subtitle, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the films have been steadily deteriorating after peaking with #3, IMHO), Star Trek, and Watchmen. I’ll probably see all of them, but none of them have me nearly as excited.

Comics, books, music, etc. after the cut: Continue reading

Scott Pilgrim vol. 3 Front CoverAfter seeing it recommended on several blogs (sorry, I can’t remember which ones), I eventually tracked down the first book of Scott Pilgrim. It was great fun—a wonderful balance of comedy, drama, and sheer post-video-game absurdity—and I immediately went out and got volume 2. Then I started watching for volume 3, which was supposed to come out early this year.

The scheduled date came and went. For about a month, I would walk into the comic store each week and ask whether Scott Pilgrim volume 3 was out. After a while I didn’t even have to ask. All that anyone knew was that it was behind schedule. Way behind.

So I started checking the website from time to time. Nothing, then nothing, then more nothing… so I checked less and less often… until tonight, I found a note that not only is volume three done, it’s at the printers, tentatively scheduled for May 24!

Plus, there’s a book scheduled for Free Comic Book Day, which is coming up on Saturday. (Yes, you can walk into a participating comic store this weekend and get a free comic book.)

I’m sure this is just like the Animaniacs DVDs that everyone seemed to know about before I did, but just in case anyone missed the announcement…