The Empire Strikes Back Uncut: Full Movie (Official)

Watch the full version of The Empire Strikes Back Uncut, a fan-made, shot-for-shot remake of the Star Wars classic!

With more than 480 fan-made segments culled from over 1,500 submissions, The Empire Strikes Back Uncut (also known as ESB Uncut) features a stunning mash-up of styles and filmmaking techniques, including live action, animation, and stop-motion. The project launched in 2013, with fans claiming 15-second scenes to reimagine as they saw fit – resulting in sequences created with everything from action figures to cardboard props to stunning visual effects. Helmed by Casey Pugh, who oversaw 2010’s Emmy-winning Star Wars Uncut, the new film has a wonderful homemade charm, stands as an affectionate tribute to The Empire Strikes Back, and is a testament to the talent, imagination, and dedication of Star Wars fans.

To learn more about Star Wars Uncut and The Empire Strikes Back Uncut, please visit

Future Chili

Some Ingredients for Chili

I became interested in making chili when I read an article in the then new food section of the New York Times, maybe 25 or 35 years ago. It was about Francis X. Tolbert, Wick Fowler and the World Championship Chili Cook-Off in Terlingua, Texas.

Accompanying the article was Wick Fowler’s 2 Alarm Chili recipe. I have the clipping somewhere, but the gist of it was that he marinated the meat in beer (and in Lapland or somewhere he successfully used reindeer) and seared the meat in suet. He used a little cumin because it gave the chili a faint odor of sweat and he used oregano, but not too much, because, he said, you didn’t want to have too much of a spaghetti flavor. I think he also said that people who cooked their beans in their chili flunked chemistry.

Wick Fowler’s 2-Alarm Chili Kit is still available, though if you need a kit, you are still probably buying your 100 grams of chili pepper flakes for $9 from Whole Foods (and maybe you flunked chemistry too).

In addition to those ingredients, I throw in some mild chili powder for color, salt, chopped onions, fresh garlic and a can of crushed tomatoes.

The last thing I put in is the “heat” source – for me that is a hot chili pepper. I learned about the unit for measuring the heat in a chili pepper – Scoville units – from the gift subscription to Chili Pepper Magazine my friend Regina gave me 25 years ago. The type of chili pepper I use depends on how self-destructive I’m feeling (or, according to some people, how much of an endorphin rush you want – I think it’s just the fear of the heat). I used to start with about 10 generic dried hot chili peppers ground up in a blender with some water for two or three pounds of meat. When I saw fresh habanero chilis in the local grocery store, those went into the pot.

Some Ingredients for Chili

Lately, I found an African, Caribbean and Latin American grocer that has fresh Naga Jolokia peppers. The next stop after this is to borrow some pepper spray from the police (see Everett McGill in the Steven Seagal classic, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory).

I think the reality of making chili is it’s not some arcane process that the TV chili cook-offs show would have you think. You’re just throwing some meat in a pot. To me, the preferences for a particular winning chili recipe comes down to what you like; sort of like New York pizza – the best one is from the pizzeria where you always eat.


The National Geographic Channel documents a real life version of Carl Fredricksen’s floating house from the Pixar film, Up

John Surtees Interview by Peter Windsor

John Surtees Interview by Peter Windsor

The 2011 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is coming up on August 28, 2011. Peter Windsor, back working for SPEED (channel), interviewed the 1964 Formula 1 World Champion John Surtees, the winner of the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix in a Ferrari.

According to Wikipedia, John Frankenheimer used race footage from the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix in his film, Grand Prix. “The live footage shows Surtees, Bonnier, Bandini, Ligier, Clark & Gurney in action. Surtees doubles in the scene for the fictional Sarti while Bandini doubles for the fictional Barlini.

One of my first “scratch-built” slot cars used a Dynamic Dynaflex motor mount with a brass tubing/piano wire front end and a Dubro Ferrari 312 body that was based on the Ferrari 312 F1-66.

Devil’s Slide – Total Recall

I was reading Robert Scoble’s post about the AT&T-T-Mobile deal (One bad company buying another: AT&T buys TMobile) and he mentioned, “Devil’s Slide (cell service) is non-existent for AT&T and TMobile, but works the entire way on Verizon for me.”

Devil’s Slide is an area of steep cliffs along the Pacific Ocean about five miles south of San Francisco, California. This stretch of Highway 1 can induce acrophobia if you start thinking about driving your car off the road. This is a good piture of it showing the road slicing right across Devil’s Slide. This part of the highway is “remote,” in that the extreme terrain doesn’t allow for much habitability for a few miles on either side. Maybe that’s the reason AT&T and T-Mobile didn’t care about a dead spot for a few miles, though I wouldn’t recommend checking your phone’s signal while driving this stretch of road, especially if you are driving in a sporting manner.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) started building a tunnel in 2005 to bypass the area prone to rock slides so Highway 1 won’t keep getting closed. The tunnel is 4200 feet (1,280 m) long and will be completed in 2011. On October 1, 2010, they punched through one of the tunnels. I just wrote all this because the video reminded me of Total Recall.