Jams And Slams

Spider Hats, Magic Man, and Trains

This Week’s Jams:

Adventure Time (again!): I just can’t get enough of this wonderful cartoon show and so I’m going to probably talk about it, weekly, forever. This week’s episode “Sons of Mars” saw the return of Magic Man. (In his first appearance, he turned Finn the Human into a giant foot to teach him a lesson, and that lesson turned out to be that Magic Man is a jerk. That was the whole lesson.) This week, Magic Man’s brother (a four-headed being from Mars) comes to earth to punish Magic Man (yeah, he calls his own brother Magic Man). Magic Man swaps bodies with Jake the Dog, who is spirited away to stand trial on Mars. Finn, using a transporter fueled with human caring, travels to the red planet to save his friend. Bonuses: another view of Earth with a giant chunk missing from it (I find this mesmerizing for some reason), The Immortal King of Mars is Abraham Lincoln, and there’s a tiny manticore with some self-esteem issues. Plus, a little back-story on why Magic Man is such a jerk, maybe, further explored by this bit of tantalizing promotional art. This episode was totally math.

Railworks 3: Train Simulator 2012: I bought this game during the Steam sale thinking I might write about it for a Sim-Plicity feature. I figured I’d be all, ha ha, a game where you drive a train is dumb and look at me, I’m driving a train like a jerk and it’s stupid — BUT!!!! — it’s actually a pretty impressive simulation and it turns out driving a giant diesel train through Europe at 120 kilometers an hour is somewhat intense and harrowing. I couldn’t even dork around with the fly-over cameras: I found leaving the view from inside the cab made me distinctly uncomfortable. What if there is something on the tracks? What if I miss a signal? I am responsible for this giant train and all the souls on board and by God I will not drive it unsafely! Downside: after a while, you’re just kind of sitting on a train for a half-hour waiting to reach the next stop and it gets pretty dull.

Spiders Wearing Hats: Hats of water! A gallery of waterdrops on spiders’ heads. It’s cute, because, well, I don’t know why, spiders are kind of gross. But water hats make them cute.

Peggy Isn’t Gone: I finally got into Mad Men this year, and while I think it’s an excellent show, I don’t know if I’d watch it if Elizabeth Moss (who plays Peggy) wasn’t in it. Well, I probably would, actually, because what else am I going to do, read a book?  Ha ha, no, never. At the end of this last season, Peggy left Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, which was a good move for her but slightly alarming to me, because she’s great. Creator Matt Weiner assures he she will still be on the show next season.

Hey, Breaking Bad Fans: Early appearances of Bryan Cranston on Lifetime, and Aaron Paul on The Price is Right. Aaron Paul is magnets-level excited.

This Week’s Slams:

The Hobbit May be a Trilogy: I find it sort of tiring to even think of The Hobbit being two movies, but now they’re talking about making it three. How about one movie? Can we do that? Is that still on the table? What even happens in the Hobbit that requires so many movies? They have lunch, walk a bit, trolls, barrels, Gollum, a dragon, some war. You could fit that into one movie, no sweat.

Netflix is Sinking Fast due to several missteps, poor judgement calls, and competitive streaming options. I still like it, mainly because it lets me watch The I.T. Crowd without having to get off my lazy butt and pick the DVD off the shelf. But it sounds like it’s going down the tubes — the internet tubes — fast. This isn’t really a slam but I couldn’t find any other shit to complain about.

NBC Looks for Broader Shows: They want to focus less on charming, quality comedies like Community (“I would categorically not rule out that it’s not the last season”) and Parks & Rec, and more on shows about monkey doctors. That’s annoying. Then again, I found spiders in water hats to be amusing, so maybe I’ll watch a monkey doctor show.


  1. The three part hobbit trilogy sounds odd considering the length of the book but I’d say that Peter Jackson’s earned the right to do what he pleases with the material.