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Tag Archives: Books

How To Speak Wookiee

How To Speak Wookiee (Image courtesy ModCloth)
By Andrew Liszewski

There are plenty of incomprehensible languages in the Star Wars universe, and right up there with Huttese and the random bleeps and bloops that astromech droids use to communicate, there’s Wookiee. Spoken by the residents of Kashyyyk, including Chewbacca, it’s probably one of the most impersonated (usually very, very terribly) dialects from the Star Wars films. But until now, impersonation has been the only way to learn and speak their language.

Beating Rosetta Stone to the punch, Chronicle Books has created a handy guide to learning Wookiee that could help avoid having your arms ripped off at the sockets. While it’s far from in-depth, an included sound module, recorded by none other than Chewbacca himself, provides the correct pronunciation of ten key phrases that are sure to help ease intergalactic diplomatic relations.

It’s available directly from Chronicle Books for $16.95, or, you could just find a cupboard door that you can use as a translator like this guy did:

[ How To Speak Wookie ]

MAD’s Fold-In Collection Doesn’t Actually Let You Do Any Folding

MAD Fold-In Collection (Images courtesy Chronicle Books)
By Andrew Liszewski

I grew up (secretly) reading my dad’s MAD magazine collection from the late ’70s and early ’80s, and as a kid the best part was always the fold-in on the inside of the back cover. Which is why I’m excited for Chronicle Books’ new 4-volume MAD Fold-In Collection. It features all 410 Al Jaffee MAD fold-ins dating back to 1964, but unfortunately it doesn’t actually let you do any folding! Instead, the before and after images are presented side-by-side on every page. Now I can understand that the book is designed to be a collector’s item and showpiece for all of the artwork, but I think I’d still terribly miss aligning the A & B arrows, or trying to guess what the folded version will look like beforehand. Available now for $125.

[ Chronicle Books – The MAD Fold-In Collection ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

NASA’s ‘Getting A Feel For Lunar Craters’ Book Features Tactile Diagrams Of The Moon For The Visually Impaired

NASA's 'Getting A Feel For Lunar Craters' Book (Image courtesy NASA)
By Andrew Liszewski

After a visually impaired student signed up for one of professor David Hurd’s introductory astronomy courses at the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, he started creating tactile astronomy tools so they could partly experience what celestial objects were like. And his latest effort, a new book called Getting A Feel For Lunar Craters, allows the blind and visually impaired to experience the surface of the Earth’s moon with tactile diagrams and braille descriptions that lets readers feel the various craters, crags and other landmarks that dot its surface.

The 17 page book was created by David with assistance from the NASA Lunar Science Institute, and as far as I can tell is available for free from NASA’s website, though you’ll have to wait for the second reprinting of the book which will be ready in a couple of months. In the meantime though, text-only and audio file versions of the book can be downloaded from their site, if you’re curious.

[ NASA – Getting A Feel For Lunar Craters ] VIA [ Medgadget ]

The Jedi Path Manual Doesn’t Come With Midi-chlorians – Makes Up For It With Cool Packaging

Star Wars - The Jedi Path (Images courtesy StarWars.com)
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t care how many times you read and re-read The Jedi Path manual, without even the tiniest sprinkling of Midi-chlorians you’re never going to become a Jedi. But that’s ok. Because as a way to say “we’re sorry for everyone who actually thought this fake Jedi training manual would work”, Lucasfilm has gone and wrapped it in one of the coolest packages I’ve ever seen. Sure, ebooks might be more convenient, but with a push of a button the metal doors on this miniature vault slide open to reveal a copy of The Jedi Path inside. Which then rises up complete with lights and sound effects. Try that with your Kindle. If any of my textbooks in university had come packaged this way, I might have actually read them.

The book has actually been available for almost a year now, and we’re not sure how it slipped past our radar. On the plus side though, it’s given it time to drop from it’s original $99.99 price tag on Amazon, to just $57.31 now.

[ Star Wars – The Jedi Path ] VIA [ GeekAlerts ]

There’s Now A Haynes Manual For The Millennium Falcon (It’s Still Imaginary Right?)

Millennium Falcon Haynes Manual (Image courtesy Amazon)
By Andrew Liszewski

A few years ago Haynes, a once respected creator of detailed technical handbooks for cars and other vehicles, published an owner’s workshop manual for Apollo 11 and other 1969-era Apollo mission spacecraft. It made for a humorous gift for spacecraft enthusiasts, but also provided a unique glimpse into the technical aspects of the vehicles, for those who were engineering inclined.

However, they’re now releasing a manual for modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighters, the most famous of which being the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars films. Now I know it’s not the first fictional vehicle they’ve created a manual for. That would probably be the USS Enterprise from that other ‘Star’ franchise. But I just hope they don’t get too carried away with this trend, and sully their well respected name. This particular workshop manual was written by Ryder Windham who already has some 50 Star Wars books under his belt, so I guess if anyone knows what they’re talking when it comes to fictional engineering, it’s him. And while it’s not available for sale just yet, Amazon Canada does have it listed for a little over $23.

[ Haynes – Millennium Falcon Manual ] VIA [ TheForce.Net ]

Star Wars: The Blueprints

Star Wars: The Blueprints (Images courtesy Epic Ink)
By Andrew Liszewski

While there have been many books over the years that contained blueprints of the fictional ships and weaponry in the Star Wars universe, this is the first to include the original blueprints used for the creation of the sets and props of all six films. Pulled from the Lucasfilm Archives, the blueprints are accompanied by commentary from author J. W. Rinzler and provide an in-depth look at the art and science behind the filming and post-production of the epic sci-fi series.

Most importantly, Blueprints shows how in bringing this extraordinary epic to life, the world of special effects as we know it was born. For the first time, here you will see the initial concepts behind such iconic Star Wars scenes as the Rebel blockade runner hallways, the bridge of General Grievous’s flagship, the interior of the fastest “hunk of junk” in the Galaxy, and Jabba the Hutt’s palace. Never before seen craftsmanship and artistry is evident whether floating on the Death Star, escaping on a speeder bike, or exploring the Tatooine Homestead.

Star Wars: The Blueprints will only be available in a limited edition, hand-numbered run of 5,000 copies. The first 125 are signed by the Academy-Award winning Art Directors for the original Star Wars film: Norman Reynolds, Les Dilley and set dresser Roger Christian, and will set you back a cool grand. While the remaining 4,875 copies are just $500 each.

[ Star Wars: The Blueprints ] VIA [ Coudal ]

Martin Hudepohl’s ‘Badass LEGO Guns’

Martin Hudepohl's 'Badass LEGO Guns' Book (Image courtesy O'Reilly)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m pretty sure the title of Martin Hudepohl’s new LEGO book says it all when it comes to what kind of models you’ll be building. Like Forbidden LEGO which we brought you a few years ago, Badass LEGO Guns lets you build a small arsenal of LEGO-based weaponry, except that they’re… you know… more badass. The 240 page book contains complete instructions for 5 different weapons described below, and besides patience you’ll also need a robust supply of LEGO Technic pieces to put them together.

Thriller – A powerful crossbow pistol with smooth cocking and chambering mechanisms.
Parabella – A pint-sized, rubber-band shooting marvel.
The Warbeast – A sophisticated, fully-automatic bullpup submachine gun.
Liliputt – A semi-automatic pistol with a nine-brick magazine.
Mini-Thriller – A folding crossbow pistol.

Badass LEGO Guns is available directly from O’Reilly for $29.95, or just $17.97 if you buy it from Amazon instead.

[ Martin Hudepohl’s ‘Badass LEGO Guns’ ] VIA [ Nerd Approved ]

Dear Rockstar, I Enjoy Your Games Immensely, But Will Not Be Paying Half A Grand To Read How They Were Made

Digital + Analogue: The Art and Science of Rockstar Games (Image courtesy Kotaku)
By Andrew Liszewski

To commemorate the 10+ years of the Rockstar Games label, which was founded in 1998, the company has worked with German publisher Stiedl to create this 3 volume, 544 page hardcover tome that features everything from original illustrations to wireframe models to advertising to even what inspired the people and places seen in many of their games. It also includes a DVD with behind the scenes exclusive content, and quite honestly, looks like a fascinating read. However, the publisher has set an RRP of £310 which translates to over $470! That’s almost half a grand! Thankfully Amazon.co.uk has it currently listed for £75.65 (available sometime next month) which works out to a slightly more reasonable $115.

[ Amazon UK – Digital + Analogue: The Art and Science of Rockstar Games ] VIA [ Develop ]

Where’s Stig? Books Means Waldo’s Doomed To Be Lost Forever

Where's Stig? (Image courtesy BBC Books)
By Andrew Liszewski

Where's Stig? (Image courtesy BBC Books) Some say he can be found standing near the caravan trailer just below the Bugatti Veyron, while others say he’s sitting in the BBC production truck, all we know is he’s called the Stig and his Where’s Stig? picture books from BBC Books means we’ve officially stopped caring where Waldo’s hiding!

We know they’re supposed to be just for kids, but the original Where’s Stig? book, illustrated by Rod Hunt and available from the BBC online store for around $9 (£5.99), is chock full of inside jokes, nods to the Top Gear TV series and cameos by a certain Mr. Clarkson, Hammond and May which even the most passive fan will appreciate. And the original book sold so well that a sequel, Where’s Stig? The World Tour, which of course sees the Stig hiding all over the world, is already in the works and will be available near the end of September for roughly the same price.

[ Where’s Stig? & Where’s Stig? The World Tour ] VIA [ Autoblog ]