Shooting on Spielberg’s Tintin Begins

Posted by Arthur in Comic Books, Movies

Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that principal production has begun in Los Angeles on the first installment of a Tintin feature film, which will be directed by Steven Spielberg. The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn will be a 3D Motion Capture film to be released in 2011. I’m not a big fan of these motion capture films (I think The Polar Express with Tom Hanks looks just creepy) but maybe a comic book universe like that of Tintin should be animated. In any case I am very curious to see what Spielberg comes up with. They are already talking about a second (to be directed by Peter Jackson) and possibly a third film.

Cover of The Secret of the Unicorn

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January 26th 2009 | 9:57 pm CET | 2 Comments »

Tour of the ISS

Posted by Arthur in Space, Videos

Astronaut Michael Fincke, current commander of Expedition 18, gives a 4-part tour of the International Space Station with his hand-held camera. He arrived at the station aboard the Soyuz on October 14th, 2008 together with Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov. What strikes me most about this video is the size of the place, it is larger than I thought it was, and the amount of stuff everywhere. There are wires, laptops, equipment, bags, tools and all kinds of stuff hanging all over the place. Astronaut Mike gives a great 35-minute tour of all the different areas of the space station. Very cool stuff.

You can find the other three parts here, here and here.

January 25th 2009 | 11:56 pm CET | No Comments »

Our Visit to Bald Eagle Watch 2009 at Starved Rock

Posted by Arthur in Birds, Nature

Today we drove down to Starved Rock State Park for the 12th annual Bald Eagle Watch. It was about a 2-hour drive and we got there nice and early at around 9 o’clock. The activities for the fair were split over two buildings: the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center on the north side of the Illinois River and the Starved Rock Lodge on the other side. There were educational programs, live raptor presentations, stands from companies and organizations and other activities in both buildings throughout the day.

We first stopped by at the visitor center and were immediately struck by all the Bald Eagles flying around and sitting in the trees:


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January 25th 2009 | 9:36 pm CET | 2 Comments »

Groundhog Days at Woodstock IL

Posted by Arthur in Illinois, Pop culture

One week from tomorrow is Groundhog Day, and we’re definitely going to check out the Groundhog Days Festival in Woodstock IL. The movie Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock in 1993, and the town has become a popular destination for fans of the cult classic. Every year on the days leading up to February 2nd, the city celebrates its movie history with many fun activities in the historic downtown.

Groundhog Days 2009

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January 25th 2009 | 3:13 am CET | 2 Comments »

10 Chicago Firsts: Famous Inventions

Posted by Arthur in Chicago, Illinois, Science & technology, Top Lists

Chicago is the home of the first African-American President of the United States, but it is also home to many other firsts, such as the world’s first ferris wheel and the world’s first McDonald’s. Here’s a list of ten Chicagoland firsts that you may not know about.

Home Insurance Building (1885-1890)
Home Insurance Building by drs2online

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January 24th 2009 | 3:13 am CET | 26 Comments »

Old School Skiing

Posted by Arthur in Forest Preserves

Today we went cross-country skiing at Old School Lake County Forest Preserve. They have some great skiing trails there and we had a lot of fun. Amy posted an article and some pictures on our birding blog Magnificent Frigatebird.



January 23rd 2009 | 11:57 pm CET | No Comments »

Humongous Photo of Obama’s Inauguration

Posted by Arthur in Photos, Politics

Check out this huge picture of Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington DC as he gave his speech. It’s a whopping 1,474 megapixels! You can zoom in and see all the faces of the people in the audience. I’ve been trying to find Oprah because I didn’t see her all day while watching the coverage on TV and I was wondering if she was even there. Can you find Oprah?

Huge photo of Obama's inauguration at


January 23rd 2009 | 9:27 pm CET | No Comments »

Environmental Foto Friday: Hybrid Vehicle Parking

Posted by Arthur in Environment, Forest Preserves, Foto Friday, Illinois

I love the Lake County Forest Preserves. They are doing such an excellent job, with 125 miles of trails, 26,800 acres of nature preserves, informative visitor centers and great facilities. We’re new residents here in Illinois’ Lake County, and with all the snow and cold weather we haven’t been able to enjoy the forest preserves so much yet these last few months. But come spring and summer I’m sure we’ll explore as many trails as we can. We’ve even got a canoe here, so we can try out some of the canoe launches.

The other day we were at Ryerson Woods Welcome Center, which is just 4 miles from where we live. The parking lot at the new Welcome Center had several parking spaces for hybrid vehicles only! Isn’t that cool? I had never seen this before. Next to the usual handicapped spaces they had some with signs that said “Hybrid Vehicles Parking”. Here’s a picture if you don’t believe me:


And a close-up if you can’t read the sign:

Hybrid Vehicle Parking

January 23rd 2009 | 2:53 am CET | No Comments »

Topps Barack Obama Trading Cards

Posted by Arthur in Politics

Barack Obama is one electable collectible President. You can buy anything with his face on it, from Obama sneakers and skate boards to action figures and dog bowls. Ty Inc has even released two new Sasha and Malia beanie babies this week!

At Target (in the comics section) I came across President Obama trading cards from Topps that I hadn’t seen before. Obama is already a comic book hero in the latest Spider-Man issue, so trading cards were to be expected. Each packet sells for $1.99 and contains six trading cards and one sticker. There are a total of 90 different cards and 18 stickers. The cards contain educational, in-depth information about the President and his family, quotes, key moments from the campaign and profiles of Cabinet members.

Here are pictures of the pack I bought:

Topps President Obama Trading Cards

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January 22nd 2009 | 7:21 pm CET | No Comments »

Organic Arby

Posted by Amy in Personal, Photos

Arby is 14 years old and today, for the first time ever, he went inside a paper bag. He went in for about 30 seconds first, much too short for us to grab a photo. But a few minutes later, he went back inside and even laid down in it for a couple of minutes!

Arby in a bag

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January 19th 2009 | 7:42 pm CET | No Comments »