We have a new rule on The 404 Podcast: Every third show title must include a reference to one of the greatest parodies in cinematic history: "Spaceballs." The classic comedy with Rick Moranis and John Candy may not be Mel Brooks' best, but it's definitely our favorite "Star Wars" spoof...unless you count "The Phantom Menace."
Instead, we're happy to welcome Natali Del Conte back on the show to tell us about a new Chinese social network for the dead. Paid for by the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the site cost $128,000 to set up and serves as a digital resting place where loved ones can upload photos and video to honor the departed. The creators stress that the Web page isn't meant to replace traditional mourning ceremonies, but rather serves as a way for family members overseas to express condolences at any time.
In less somber news, the CEO of Harmonix recently announced plans to add keyboards to Guitar Hero 3, a welcome addition to the expansive collection of faux instrumentals already featured in the game.
Due this holiday season for the PS3, Xbox 260, and Wii, Rock Band 3 will also include a collection of new songs that include a prominent piano part, like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." There's even a new "Pro" mode that helps gamers transition from the plastic instrument to a real one, which sounds like a lot more fun for the keyboarder than it does for the drummer.
We also can't wait for Orchestra Hero to come out soon; it will come with a storage container full of toy instruments including a fake oboe and glockenspiel.
Stay tuned for a super-heated Calls From the Public in the second half! A caller brings up the controversial subject of Caucasian actors working in "yellow face," and the subsequent debate between Natali and Wilson is not to be missed. Enjoy!