WBEZ | Star Wars http://www.wbez.org/tags/star-wars Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 7 ways the 'Star Wars' franchise is tied to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/7-ways-star-wars-franchise-tied-chicago-109148 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img 20th="" a="" alt="" ap="" century="" class="image-original_image" episode="" fox="" iv-="" new="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/star%20wars%20still%202_0.jpg" star="" title="Promotional still for the 1977 film &quot;Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.&quot; (20th Century Fox/AP Photo)" wars:="" /></div><p>Attention, young padawans.&nbsp;<a href="http://lucasfilm.com/">Lucasfilm&nbsp;Limited, LLC</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;The Walt Disney Company&nbsp;will be holding an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/09/star-wars-casting-call-chicago_n_4246880.html" target="_blank">open casting call</a> for &quot;Star Wars: Episode VII,&quot; the seventh installment of one of the most celebrated film series of all time, today at <a href="http://jamusa.com/park-west/">Park West</a> from 3 to 8 p.m.&nbsp;</p><p>The J.J. Abrams-directed sequel to 1983&#39;s &quot;Return of the Jedi,&quot; which will be released in theaters on <a href="http://starwars.com/news/star-wars-episode-vii-to-open-december-18-2015.html" target="_blank">December 18, 2015</a>, is currently in pre-production and seeking two leads to helm the continuation of the thrilling space saga.&nbsp;</p><p>According to casting director Maryellen Aviano, the &quot;Star Wars&quot; team is <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/11/08/may-the-force-be-with-you-star-wars-auditions-happening-in-chicago/" target="_blank">looking for</a> a 19-23 year-old man and a 17-18 year-old woman to play the new characters; which, considering the desired age ranges, could very well be the descendents of Luke and Leia from Episodes IV-VI.&nbsp;</p><p>The search for the new faces of &quot;Star Wars&quot; will continue in other major cities throughout the United States, Ireland, and the U.K. before a scheduled production start in spring 2014, with casting directors accepting <a href="http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/11/11/star-wars-auditions-now-available-online" target="_blank">online submissions</a> as well.</p><p>However, considering the number of connections that the <a href="http://www.secondcity.com/">Second City</a> has to the iconic franchise, finding the next jedi in Chicago may not be a stretch.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Harrison Ford (Han Solo) was born here.</strong></p><p>Ford was born at Chicago&#39;s Swedish Covenent Hospital, raised in Des Plaines and later Park Ridge. He attended Maine Township High School, where he <a href="http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biographies/harrison-ford.html" target="_blank">failed</a>&nbsp;at&nbsp;sports and never earned above a C average. After getting involved in theatre during his final year at Ripon College in Wisconson, Ford moved to California in 1964 with dreams of becoming an actor. He worked mostly as a carpenter in L.A. until landing a breakthrough role in Ron Howard&#39;s 1972 film &quot;American Grafitti&quot; at age 30.</p><p>Now, the 71-year-old actor will&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/report-harrison-ford-will-reprise-han-solo-in-new-star-wars-films-20130219" target="_blank">reportedly</a>&nbsp;return as&nbsp;Han Solo, the role that made him an international superstar, in J.J. Abrams&#39; reboot. Fingers crossed that a fellow Chicago native will star alongside him.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Jake Lloyd (Young Anakin) studied film at Columbia College.</strong></p><p>Lloyd is a former child actor best known for playing a young Darth Vader &mdash; or as Newsweek called him at the time, <a href="http://www.eonline.com/news/37651/opie-backs-darth-vader">&quot;Mannequin Skywalker&quot;</a>&nbsp;&mdash; in the first dud of a &quot;Star Wars&quot; prequel, 1999&#39;s &quot;Episode I: The Phantom Menace.&quot; Lloyd was torn apart so mercilessly by critics for his Razzie-nominated performance that he only acted in one more role after that, then never again. With the claim &quot;fame turned my life into a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2110383/Anakin-Skywalker-actor-Jake-Lloyd-Star-Wars-fame-turned-life-living-hell.html" target="_blank">living hell</a>,&quot; Lloyd destroyed all of his &quot;Star Wars&quot; memorabilia and left Hollywood for Chicago, finishing up a film degree at Columbia College in 2012.</p><p>After working with George Lucas at age 10, it seems fitting that Llyod would continue his film education at Columbia: the alma mater of Steven Spielberg&#39;s longtime cinematographer, Janucz Kaminski. Perhaps a career behind the camera might be a better fit?</p><p><strong>3. The original &#39;Star Wars&#39; CGI effects were made in Chicago.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>The first &quot;Star Wars&quot; film, 1977&#39;s &quot;Episode IV: A New Hope,&quot; was filled with groundbreaking special effects that would later spawn companies like <a href="http://www.ilm.com/">Industrial Light &amp; Magic</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pixar.com/">Pixar Animation Studios</a>. But&nbsp;director George Lucas turned to a Chicago institution for one particular scene: a military briefing of an attack on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pixL-g7YJm8" target="_blank">Death Star</a>, which required a 3-D rendering of the spaceship&nbsp;and the trench through which X-Wing fighters would travel to ultimately exploit its weakness. Lucas asked <a href="http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2013/05/23/star-wars-connection" target="_blank">Larry Cuba</a>, a then 27-year-old research associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, to kickstart the animation.</p><p>Cuba was known for his work with cutting-edge computer animations at the Circle Graphics Habitat, now known as the <a href="http://www.evl.uic.edu/">Electronic Visualization Laboratory</a>, or EVI. He and his team used programming languages developed by fellow computer scientist Thomas DeFanti as a basis for producing the 3-D computer graphics for &quot;Star Wars,&quot; and former students like Steve Heminover designed the laser graphics special effects. More than 25 years later, the actual Vector General computer that was used to produce the Death Star animation remains in Chicago, housed in Heminover&#39;s South Side workshop as a piece of true&nbsp;<a href="http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2013/05/23/star-wars-connection" target="_blank">cinematic history</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. George Lucas is married to a Chicagoan.</strong></p><p>Not only did Lucas marry Windy City native <a href="http://www.arielinvestments.com/our-team/">Mellody Hobson</a> at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, Calif. on June 22, 2013, he also hosted a second wedding celebration at Chicago&#39;s Promontory Point just a few days later.</p><p>According to the <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/george-lucas-mellody-hobson-wedding-577565" target="_blank">Hollywood Reporter</a>, the lakeside reception was quite the star-studded affair. Among the most notable guests were Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), Robin Williams, Jesse Jackson, &quot;CBS This Morning&quot; co-anchor Gayle King, Al Roker of &quot;Today,&quot; CNN contributor Van Jones, actress Rachel Bilson, Grammy winner Ne-Yo, Penny Pritzker, and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130630/hyde-park/george-lucas-mellody-hobson-reception-galaxy-of-stars-turn-out-for-bash" target="_blank">Prince</a> also performed with a 22-piece band.&nbsp;</p><p>Hobson is the chair of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dreamworksanimation.com/">DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.</a>, head of the Chicago-based investment management firm Ariel Investments and chairman of Ariel Mutual Funds. She also contributes financial analysis for CBS News.</p><p><strong>5. Roger Ebert championed Lucas from the start.</strong></p><p>In one of his most memorable first reviews for The Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert likened the debut &quot;Star Wars&quot; film to an out-of-body experience. &quot;The magic of &#39;Star Wars&#39; is only dramatized by the special effects,&quot; he wrote. &quot;The movie&#39;s heart is in its endearingly human (and non-human) people.&quot; He awarded Lucas&#39; original work the full <a href="http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/star-wars-1977" target="_blank">four stars</a>, an honor that he would also bestow upon &quot;The Empire Strikes Back&quot; and &quot;Return of the Jedi.&quot;</p><p>In fact, Ebert might have been the biggest &quot;Star Wars&quot; fan of any major critic. He even enjoyed &quot;The Phantom Menace&quot; and &quot;Revenge of the Sith,&quot; citing <a href="http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/star-wars-episode-i-the-phantom-menace-1999" target="_blank">the former</a>&nbsp;as &quot;an extraordinary acheivement in cinematic filmmaking.&quot; In 1983, Ebert and partner Gene Siskel memorably sparred with critic John Simon over his negative assessment of the &quot;Star Wars&quot; films on Nightline, and Ebert defended them with every <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/critics-spar-over-star-wars-trilogy-on-1983-nightline-episode-18344732" target="_blank">fiber of his being</a>.</p><p>His favorite of the six films he saw in his lifetime was the second, &quot;Empire Strikes Back.&quot; In his 1997 <a href="http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-empire-strikes-back-1997" target="_blank">review</a> of the film&#39;s re-release in theaters, Ebert wrote, &quot;It is because of the emotions stirred in &#39;Empire&#39; that the entire series takes on a mythic quality that resonates back to the first and ahead to the third. This is the heart.&quot;</p><p><strong>6. A &lsquo;Star Wars&rsquo; holographic video effect was used in Chicago on Election Night &rsquo;08.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>In a historic <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thOxW19vsTg" target="_blank">TV first</a>, the human hologram effect long associated with &quot;Star Wars&quot; was used as technological tool for CNN during its 2008 Election Night coverage in Chicago&#39;s Grant Park.</p><p>CNN reporter Jessica Yellin&nbsp;and Black Eyed Peas musician&nbsp;William James Adams (will.i.am) looked as though they were in the network&#39;s New York City&nbsp;studios talking face-to-face with hosts Anderson Cooper&nbsp;and Wolf Blitzer,&nbsp;when in reality, they were in Chicago&nbsp;at Barack Obama&#39;s rally. According to the<i>&nbsp;</i>Chicago Tribune&#39;s report of the <a href="http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2008/11/cnn-hologram-ob.html">&quot;freaky&quot;</a> effect, the process involved Yellin and will.i.am standing in front of a blue screen in a special tent, while being shot by 35 HD cameras.</p><p><strong>7. Chicago&rsquo;s Legoland has a &lsquo;Phantom Menace&quot; exhibit that is better than the movie.</strong></p><p>Considering that Episode I remains a putrid mess of wasted opportunity &mdash; thankfully, Episodes IV, V, VI and even III make up for it &mdash; an awesome exhibit&nbsp;at Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/chicago/">Legoland Discovery Center</a>, open to the public now through December 2013, brings the scenes of &quot;Phantom&quot; to new life.</p><p>The Lego Star Wars miniland exhibit, voted on by the public to commemorate the characters and events of the first prequel, features a large-scale Lego model display built from half a million&nbsp;Lego bricks. If you&#39;re a kid who loves &quot;Star Wars&quot; legos, or just a kid at heart, this mini-world of wonder beats the atrocity that is <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jar_Jar_Binks" target="_blank">Jar Jar Binks</a> any day.&nbsp;</p><p>Bonus: Chicago actors are notoriously&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;q=best+chicago+actors&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;oe=UTF-8#q=actors+from+chicago&amp;rls=en" target="_blank">amazing</a>. To those auditioning at Park West today, may the force be with you!</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett">@leahkpickett</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 09:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/7-ways-star-wars-franchise-tied-chicago-109148 Chicago may get its own geek bar http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-may-get-its-own-geek-bar-108372 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 7.45.08 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Chicagoans may soon have a new place to geek out. David Zoltan leads the team behind the concept.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Geek Bar Chicago is a place where geeks, nerds, dorks and dweebs can find a place to call home in the city,&rdquo; Zoltan said. &ldquo;Our vision statement is celebrate geekdom in all its forms, so we&rsquo;re not going for a specific type of geek.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The bar will cater for people interested in everything from science to video games. He says it will have a menu for board games, geek-inspired food and drinks, and possible decor featuring lightsabers and the scrolling characters from the Matrix.</p><p dir="ltr">Zoltan got the idea last year, when it was announced that the new Doctor Who season would be starting.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I thought, I don&rsquo;t have cable. I&rsquo;d like to watch the show with a bunch of my Whovian friends and other Whovians from the rest of Chicago,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;(But) while I can throw a stone out and reach a half dozen sports bars in Chicago, there isn&rsquo;t a place for the geek.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Zoltan and his team are raising money for <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cantinaforward/geek-out-geek-bar">the project</a> through Kickstarter. He&rsquo;s raised more than $25,000 and ends his campaign at the end of August. If they reach $70,000, the bar will buy an <a href="http://store.hbo.com/game-of-thrones-life-size-replica-iron-throne/detail.php?p=373634">official life-sized replica of the Iron Throne</a> from Game of Thrones and use it as special seating. They are currently scouting locations and are focusing on what Zoltan calls Chicago&rsquo;s Geek Triangle, the area bounded by Lincoln Square, Lakeview and Uptown. He says that&rsquo;s where most geeky Chicagoans live or play. They hope to open in March next year.</p><p dir="ltr">Geek Bar Chicago would join other geek locales in Milwaukee, <a href="http://jaapan.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/space-station-osaka-a-gaming-bar/">Japan</a>, <a href="http://www.hobbitpub.co.uk/">the UK</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheManaBar">Australia</a>. Tony Nilles and his wife opened <a href="http://42lounge.com/">their own geek bar</a> in Milwaukee this spring, and although he stresses it&rsquo;s not a &ldquo;get rich quick&rdquo; scheme, a geek bar draws good customers. He says his staff has worked at many other bars before, and they have all been impressed by how nice the customers are. He attributes that partly to being a geek.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You have a demographic where if they go to other bars and clubs, they don&rsquo;t feel comfortable, they feel like they are an outsider or outcast,&rdquo; Nilles said. &ldquo;When you get them around other people that are just like them, they feel this sense of belonging and you find that you have these really nice, kind people that are able to express in ways they weren&rsquo;t able before.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">In fact, even though he knows other geek bars are his competitors, they&rsquo;re all just excited to be part of a movement.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re all competing with each other over the same demographic, but there&rsquo;s almost kind of a brotherhood to this owning a geek bar thing,&rdquo; Nilles said. &ldquo;Geek is chic right now, and they want to know that you&rsquo;re not just doing the whole geek thing in order to take their money from them. They want to know that you&rsquo;re doing it sincerely and that you&rsquo;re part of that community too.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Mitch Hutts, web developer by day and geek mixologist by night, has also seen the rise of the geek bar. In 2009, he started <a href="http://www.thedrunkenmoogle.com/">The Drunken Moogle</a>, dedicated to sharing geeky drink recipes inspired by the likes of Gears of War, Final Fantasy, Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings. He says it has since exploded in popularity, and that the geek bar phenomenon is entirely worldwide.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You know this was a place made by people who think like you, and it&rsquo;s very much like you already kind of knew those people, you feel very much at home,&rdquo; Hutts said. &ldquo;Some success can be attributed to conventions. Geeks very much like meeting new geeks. Conventions happen once a year; geek bars are a way of extending that and giving them a home all throughout the year.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/Alan_Yu039">@Alan_Yu039</a></em></p></p> Mon, 12 Aug 2013 07:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-may-get-its-own-geek-bar-108372 We got yer Friday news quiz right here http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/we-got-yer-friday-news-quiz-right-here-105140 <p><p><a href="http://cpm.polldaddy.com/s/wbez-meyerson-blog-news-quiz-no-3"><img alt="WBEZ Meyerson blog news quiz" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/flat-27450_640.png" style="height: 151px; width: 150px; float: right; margin: 6px;" title="" /></a><strong>ALL RIGHT, WE KNOW WHY YOU&#39;RE HERE.&nbsp;</strong>You don&#39;t care about the news of the day with a Chicago twist. You come not seeking <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson">insightful analysis and perspective</a> curated for your enlightenment. You have no interest in the latest from the frontiers of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology/index.html">technology</a> and <a href="http://jimromenesko.com/">journalism</a>. And you certainly don&#39;t care about the most recent prevarications of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS503US503&amp;ion=1&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=%22lance+armstrong%22&amp;hl=en&amp;tbo=d&amp;rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS503US503&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=nws&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=S5MCUZbjF6a6yQHX2IDgCw&amp;ved=0CAoQ_AUoAA&amp;bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&amp;bvm=bv.41524429,d.aWM&amp;fp=edca0d0c33d8a5d9&amp;ion=1&amp;biw=1002&amp;bih=910">Lance Armstrong</a> and <a href="https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS503US503&amp;ion=1&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=%22manti+te'o%22&amp;hl=en&amp;tbo=d&amp;rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS503US503&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=nws&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=ZZMCUcmgJYmoywHF3oHgAw&amp;ved=0CAoQ_AUoAA&amp;bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&amp;bvm=bv.41524429,d.aWM&amp;fp=edca0d0c33d8a5d9&amp;ion=1&amp;biw=1002&amp;bih=910">Manti Te&#39;o</a>.</p><p>No.</p><p>You&#39;re here for the weekly <a href="http://cpm.polldaddy.com/s/wbez-meyerson-blog-news-quiz-no-3?iframe=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wbez.org%2Fblogs%2Fcharlie-meyerson%2F2013-01%2Fwe-got-yer-friday-news-quiz-right-here-105140">WBEZ Meyerson blog news quiz</a>. So why pretend? Why put it off till the end of today&#39;s post? No, that would just be cruel.</p><p>So get comfortable. Sharpen your pencils, wax your touchpads, groom your mice, lube your trackballs. Brief yourself by reviewing the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson">five most recent editions of this blog</a>. And keep those browser windows open; this exam isn&#39;t closed-book.</p><p>Then ... <a href="http://cpm.polldaddy.com/s/wbez-meyerson-blog-news-quiz-no-3?iframe=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wbez.org%2Fblogs%2Fcharlie-meyerson%2F2013-01%2Fwe-got-yer-friday-news-quiz-right-here-105140"><em><strong>go</strong></em></a>.</p><script type="text/javascript" src="http://i0.poll.fm/survey.js" charset="UTF-8"></script><noscript><a href="http://cpm.polldaddy.com/s/wbez-meyerson-blog-news-quiz-no-3">Take Our Survey!</a></noscript><script type="text/javascript"> polldaddy.add( { type: 'iframe', auto: true, domain: 'cpm.polldaddy.com/s/', id: 'wbez-meyerson-blog-news-quiz-no-3' } ); </script><p><em><strong><strong><span id="cke_bm_509S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_534S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_535S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>IN OTHER NEWS ...<span id="cke_bm_535E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_534E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_509E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></strong></strong></em></p><p><strong>&#39;WE MUST STOP BEING THE STUPID PARTY.&#39; </strong>Talking to The Republican National Committee&#39;s winter meeting, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal <a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/24/jindal-urges-gop-to-stop-being-stupid/">let his fellow members have it</a>.<br />* <em>Esquire</em>&#39;s Charles Pierce: <a href="http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/bobby-jindal-domestic-abuse-cuts-012313">Why Bobby Jindal will not be president</a>&nbsp;(filed earlier in the week).<br />* Republicans&nbsp;proposing to <a href="http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/01/24/we-did-the-math-how-the-gop-will-gerrymander-its-way-back-to-the-white-house/">scrap the traditional electoral vote system</a> in a way that Josh Marshall at <em>Talking Points Memo</em> says would &quot;make it <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/01/this_is_a_big_big_deal.php">almost impossible for Democrats to win the presidency</a> in 2016 and 2020.&quot;<br />* From 2003, the <em>Sun-Times</em>&#39; Lynn Sweet on <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2013/01/john_kerrys_chicago_jewish_roo.html">John Kerry&#39;s Jewish Chicago roots</a>.<br /><br /><strong>WRIGLEY DEAL ANALYZED.&nbsp;</strong>Mayor Emanuel&#39;s pushing to wrap up negotiations for <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-wrigley-field-rehab-0125-20130125,0,2032646.story">renovation of the Cubs&#39; home</a>, according to the <em>Tribune</em>.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-theoepsteinstalkerkathleenkearneycubs-20130124,0,3988373.story">Woman charged with stalking Cubs president</a> faces arrest warrant.</p><p><strong>APPLE DISCOVERS GRAVITY.&nbsp;</strong>The company&#39;s stock yesterday fell by <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/01/today-apple-stock-lost-more-than-the-market-value-of-nike-or-starbucks/272506/">more than the market value of Nike or Starbucks</a>, according to <em>The Atlantic</em>&#39;s Derek Thompson.<br />* <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/01/24/170167624/swinging-from-140-characters-to-six-second-videos-twitter-launches-vine?sc=17&amp;f=1001">Six-second video</a> is the new 140-character text.</p><p><strong><strong>LUKE, I AM YOUR DIRECTOR. </strong></strong><a href="http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/jj-abrams-set-direct-next-star-wars-film-exclusive-74596">J.J. Abrams set to create next &quot;Star Wars&quot; movie</a>.<br />* One critic: &quot;<a href="http://www.cinemablend.com/new/J-J-Abrams-Right-Guy-Star-Wars-Episode-VII-35307.html">I&#39;m genuinely skeptical</a> that someone as controlling and precise as Abrams can slip seamlessly into this previously created world.&quot;<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-dung-beetles-milky-way-20130125,0,6369724.story">Dung beetles navigate</a>&nbsp;by Milky Way&#39;s light.<br /><br /><strong><strong><a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/01/22/168825342/heavy-rotation-5-songs-public-radio-cant-stop-playing" target="_blank"><img alt="NPR" src="https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR_yGyOxNueOC4JOgR0MDqn_XnKJ-W8ePAEFsWwNl1v11nlg7c4" style="width: 150px; float: right; height: 47px;" /></a>NPR&#39;s &#39;DEPRESSIVE BIAS&#39;?</strong></strong>&nbsp;The <em>Huffington Post</em>&#39;s&nbsp;Carolyn Bucior plays a game where <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carolyn-bucior/npr-the-peculiar-gloominess-of-the-first-heard-snippet_b_2478943.html">she writes down the first phrase she hears when she turns on the network</a>. Some of the results: &quot;It usually leads to infections.&quot; &quot;I could see in slow motion, this line of vomit.&quot; &quot;Savagely beat the family&#39;s 6-month-old German Shepherd with a rock.&quot;<br />* Five <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/01/22/168825342/heavy-rotation-5-songs-public-radio-cant-stop-playing">songs public radio can&#39;t stop playing</a>.</p><hr /><p><strong><em>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</em></strong><br /><em>* This marks the end of three weeks of this blog. How&#39;s it working for you? Let the&nbsp;<a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Meyerson%20blog%20customer%20service%20request%20%23130125">WBEZ Meyerson blog customer satisfaction team</a>&nbsp;know.<br />* Soundtrack for production of this edition: Fatboy Slim&#39;s &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ7z57qrZU8">Weapon of Choice</a>.&quot;</em></p></p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/we-got-yer-friday-news-quiz-right-here-105140