Retold with Unicorns

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This is exactly how we remember it happening.

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Popular movies get unicornized

In honor of Unicorn Appreciation Day on April 25, I wanted to create of list of the greatest unicorn movies of all time. Unfortunately I could only find two. As much as I’d enjoy writing about the awesome animation of “The Last Unicorn” or how badass Tim Curry is as the devil in “Legend,” I came up with a different idea.

Here are some movies that would’ve been better if they’d had a unicorn in them:

Casablanca
In the end, Rick convinces Ilsa she needs to leave without him. They say their famous goodbye, then she climbs on the back of a flying unicorn and takes off into the night. It’s a classic.

Interview with a Unicorn
Louis has lived for centuries as a unicorn and one day sits down with a human reporter to share his story of love, betrayal, and loneliness.

Hornz n the Wood
The dramatic saga of a group of childhood friends (and unicorns) and the day-to-day discrimination they face growing up in the South Central wood.

Titanic
The finest cruise ship ever sets off on its maiden voyage but disaster strikes when it collides with the horn of a unicorn who’s taking a casual swim across the Atlantic.

Fatal Attraction
Dan has an affair with Alex, but when he tries to call it off, she goes a little crazy and decides to make soup out of Dan’s daughter’s pet Unicorn.

The Wizard of Oz
The Wicked Witch of the West’s sister is murdered by a mid-westerner who doesn’t get the Weather Channel, and she sends out her evil flying unicorns to find her and bring her to justice.

Die Hard
John McClane is at his wife’s company Christmas party when a terrorist, Horns Gruber, shows up and – what am I thinking? Nothing could make “Die Hard” better. It’s already perfect.

Citizen Kane
A publishing tycoon dies and the world goes crazy trying to decipher the meaning of his last word, “Rosebud.” The twist: it’s the name of the stuffed unicorn toy he loved as a child.

Dude, Where’s My Unicorn?
Two friends get drunk and forget where they left their unicorn. What? They couldn’t make it worse!

The Godfather
When you wake up and find a unicorn head in your bed you know the mafia means business.

A Few Good Men
In the climactic courtroom sceen Jack Nicholas delivers one of his most famous lines, “You want unicorns, YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE UNICORNS!”

Twilight
Bella must choose between Edward, a cold and brooding vampire, or Jacob, a hot-headed were- … unicorn? Wait, I take that back, nothing could save these movies.

Children of the (Uni)Corn
The children of Gatlin have all been possessed by an evil demon known as “He Who Has One Horn” and kill all the adults in town.

Dawn of the Dead
Zombie. Unicorns. I know they’re supposed to be immortal and whatever, but just think about it for a second. Awesome right?

Old Yeller
A loyal yellow lab adopts the Coates family and protects them from a group of rabid unicorns.

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Blogger Ashley Christie apparently has a taste for movies, puns, and unicorns, not necessarily in that order. But probably.

And we truly love the idea of Jack Nicholson in uniform ranting about unicorns!

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Scientists trap a rainbow!

A rainbow is seen over the Washington Monument...

Image by AFP via @daylife

 ”Scientists trap a rainbow.”  The headline makes it sound like the end result of a series of experiments that began as a hastily made, ill-thought out promise to a small child. 

“I’m sorry I missed your play, but don’t worry – daddy will get you whatever you want for your birthday!  What do you want?”

“I want a rainbow!”

“…”

Or, my preferred alternative, it’s the culmination of an escalating series of boasts by a couple of drunk engineers, as a hasty comedown from “I can build a turbine powered by unicorn horns!”

The actual origins of rainbow trapping are, I admit, probably a bit more mundane.  But the end result is cool nonetheless.  Here’s the story: a team of researchers at Lehigh University have successfully developed a plasmonic surface capable of trapping a rainbow.  That is, it takes the broadband spectrum of light and slows it down so that each individual wavelength (color) of light gets separated–making it easier to process any information contained therein.

 And if you read the above sentence thinking to yourself, “What’s ‘plasmonic’ mean?”, you’re not alone — I had to spend a few hours researching it myself.  But what I found is fascinating.  When light hits a plasmonic surface, it creates a wave of electrons that move at the same frequencies as photons, rather than the much slower frequencies of an electric current.  But while photons have to be transmitted over fiberoptic cable — which is too bulky to be a computer component, plamons can be transmitted over wire, just like those used for traditional electronics. 

Apart from potential computing applications, plasmonics can be used as biosensors, making it possible to more easily determine what your body is doing, and potentially make it easier for doctors to diagnose disease.

In the case of this rainbow-trapping plasmonic surface, the researchers at Lehigh created “adiabatically graded metallic gratings”, which are basically small, nanosized grooves in a sheet of silver.  The gratings themselves were so small that the dimensions had to be confirmed with atomic force microscopy.

However, once the grade depths were confirmed, light was focused on the surface.  Each of the individual grooves captured a different color of light — kind of like a prism separating white light into its colors — thereby “trapping” the rainbow on the plasmonic surface.  Each color is slowed to a different speed, making it easier to process the data being transmitted.  That improved processing means that it can potentially be used to improve current biosensors and make it easier for doctors to monitor the health of their patients.

It will be interesting to see where this area of plasmonics research goes.  I may have only learned what plasmonics was a few hours ago, but I’m hooked now.  You can look forward on some follow ups to this and other areas of plasmonic research.

Also, a final word of advice to any unicorns who might be reading this: watch your backs.  Drunk engineers on a mission are relentless.

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It’s just like science to want to trap a rainbow. Rainbows, like unicorns, should be afforded a certain degree of freedom. Sure, rainbows have their contractual obligation to appear multiple times a week in Hawaii, and they must fill their quota of YouTube videos. Still, they should be allowed to create their schedules and, therefore, their destinies.

Join us in our campaign to free the rainbows from science!

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College Tweet endorses adoption of unicorn mascot

CollegeACB is a site full of gossip, rumors and a whole lot of hate. With a large number of threads discussing Greek Life or the best looking people on campus, some of the stranger thread topics are often overshadowed. Let’s take a look at the more interesting topics discussed on Northwestern’s CollegeACB:

First the Tech horse, and now unicorns — there seems to be legitimate concern regarding equine life on Northwestern’s campus. Maybe the mascot should be changed from the Wildcats to the Unicorns. It might increase our chances of beating Notre Dame in 2014 and 2018, since everyone knows unicorns are considered a top status mythical creature while leprechauns are at the bottom of the ladder (someone needs to start a CollegeACB thread about mythical creature rankings). Unfortunately, unicorns do not possess the power to fly, as pointed out by one anonymous unicorn connoisseur: “No that’s only Pegasus. And they SCURRY when they’re SCARED. Prancing is for jolly time only!”

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Let’s get one thing straight if you’re going to adopt the unicorn as your mascot: Unicorns can fly - they just don’t have wings, unless they are Pegacorns. Like Swift Wind, and Starlite before the whole de-horning/de-winging incident.

Oh, and adopting the unicorn as your mascot means you need to learn the unicorn fight song.

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Unicorns can repel head lice, badges featuring them may not

Health charity criticised by Advertising Standards Authority

By Kaye Wiggins, Third Sector Online, 26 April 2011

Maperton Trust’s badge

Regulator tells the Maperton Trust to stop claiming that a £19 badge will repel head lice

The holistic health charity the Maperton Trust has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for claiming a badge with a picture of a unicorn on it could repel head lice.

The charity’s website describes the badge, on sale from the site for £19, as “a small device using the latest technology to repel head lice from infesting children and adults”.

"It is in the form of a badge of the unicorn and is pinned to the clothing of the individual," the website says. "Its effect on head lice is to repel them."

In response to a complaint about the website, the ASA asked the charity, which is based in Wincanton, Somerset, to provide evidence to support its claim.

The ASA’s report, published today, says the charity was unable to do so and the Maperton Trust has been told to remove from its website all claims that the badge can repel head lice.

Other items for sale on the charity’s website include an “Automatic Universal Remedy Maker”, priced at £3,600, that the charity says can “copy and make energetic remedies” and can “broadcast treatment to a person, animal, plant or soil at a distance”.

A spokeswoman for the Maperton Trust declined to comment.

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We’re all for belief in the healing power of unicorns, but this badge incident takes it too far:

We do not endorse vines strangling balding rainbow unicorns - especially unicorns that are poorly drawn.

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The Onion A.V. Club makes no excuse for their love of My Little Pony

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Click on the picture above to read about the A.V. Club’s love for friendship, magic, unicorns, and ponies, as well as a very helpful explanation for My Little Pony “cutie marks”. (Hint: Do a search in the article for “tramp stamp”.)

We are thrilled that our dear friends of MLP are getting the attention they deserve! After all, friendship really is magic…and when their 15 minutes of fame are up, then we are well-positioned to be next for that spotlight!

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What better way to say, “I do!” than with unicorns?
via etsy.com
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Etsy artist bunnywithatoolbelt is featuring this set of fabulous unicorn wedding cake toppers. These toppers are far preferable to the set of zombie cake toppers with rotting flesh which flakes onto the cake below, proving, once again, that unicorns are better than zombies. Or at least more sanitary.
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What better way to say, “I do!” than with unicorns?

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Etsy artist bunnywithatoolbelt is featuring this set of fabulous unicorn wedding cake toppers. These toppers are far preferable to the set of zombie cake toppers with rotting flesh which flakes onto the cake below, proving, once again, that unicorns are better than zombies. Or at least more sanitary.

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Peter S. Beagle: Maybe The Last Unicorn was a misnomer

More than four decades ago, children’s author Peter S. Beagle published his novel The Last Unicorn. The title was adapted into an animated film in 1982 and has since been re-released in a blu-ray/DVD combo pack. We caught up with Beagle and learned that there are more unicorn stories in the works for the future. Here are the highlights from our interview.

Q: How did you first get The Last Unicorn published?
A: I wasn’t worried about getting it published — maybe naively — because by then I’d been getting published since I was seventeen, which was most of a decade. I was worried about getting the bloody thing right. Of all the books I’ve ever written, that’s the one I remember as being a trial by fire.

Q: What’s the difference between writing for a fiction title as opposed to a nonfiction title?
A: It varies. In fiction you are at the mercy of your imagination as you try and wrestle it into submission. In nonfiction you have certain facts to go on, and you are shaping them. There you are dealing with decisions about what is important and isn’t, especially if you are dealing with someone else’s life. How do you shape it so that you are honoring the original story while also putting something of your own into it? I’ve recently ordered an out of print biography written by a dear friend of mine, whom I only know as a rather wonderful fiction writer, and I’m quite curious to see with what she did in this different form.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: George Burns used to say ‘I can’t die, I’m booked!’ And I know exactly what he meant. There are so many different things going on with my work that I’m hard-pressed to keep track. On my desk at this very moment is the second draft of a limited edition novella I’m doing for Subterranean Press that’s a kind-of sequel to my story ‘El Regalo.’ Next up after that I’ve got three nonfiction essays to write for a planned collection, then the second draft of a new film treatment, then three Shakespearean-themed stories for a special set, and finally six different original unicorn stories for another standalone set.

I’m shaking my head at that last one because it was supposed to be just three stories, only I got carried away when I started coming up with possible ideas. And in the background, while writing all these things, I’m also polishing the final drafts of two long-simmering novels — Summerlong and I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons — and doing research for a new one, a baseball fantasy called Sweet Lightning that is set in 1950s Pittsburgh. I lived there back then, when I was a college student working on my first novel, and it’s going to be nice to go back…both in real life, to do research, and in the sooty-but-happy realms of memory and imagination.

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In the interview above, Peter S. Beagle, author of “The Last Unicorn”, admits that perhaps that unicorn wasn’t really the last one.

Well, maybe they all went into hiding after they learned about the female bull impersonating unicorn.

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We ask the 2012 Honda Civic ragtag crew, “Where is the unicorn?”

 2012 Honda Civic 'To Each Their Own' campaign

2012 Honda Civic ‘To Each Their Own’ campaign

Honda’s ad agency, RPA, has imagined five extreme types of Civic owners — one for each of the 2012 Civic variants. The types are a spot-on match for the young, hipster target demographic: they include a zombie, a luchador, and, yes, a ninja. (Left on the cutting room floor: a pirate, a unicorn, and the double-rainbow guy.)

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While unicorns were initially disappointed to land on the cutting room floor, they eventually embraced the fact that they weren’t picked for Team Civic. They are rumored to be in talks with Ford regarding upgrading the Mustang logo to include a horn.

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Poetry issues a unicorn warning

Advice to Young Poets

by Martin Espada

Never pretend
to be a unicorn
by sticking a plunger on your head

"Advice to Young Poets" by Martín Espada, from The Republic of Poetry. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. Reprinted with permission

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Some forms of DIY are really bad ideas.
Others are just stupid.

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