Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spore brain

There are so many gems in this Q&A with the creator of Spore, I'm reluctant to single any out with a quotation. But here's one anyway as an introduction. Go to the link for more. (Apologies if you've seen this interview already! )

I buy these pins that were designed to help you keep track of your radiation exposure. They kept them in bomb shelters during the cold war. They make great gifts.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Charlie the Unicorn, part two

Bang, and snap.

Google loves me, yes I know

Thoughts on turning your life over to Google.

Next-gen megahightech special effects

I was originally planning to edit out the slight 'visible wire' effect just barely discernable in this piece of highly-sophisticated home special-effecting.

Then I was inspired by Dean Learner, producer of the classic Garth Marenghi's Darkplace:

An eagle-eyed viewer might be able to see the wires. A pedant might be able to see the wires. But I think if you're looking at the wires you're ignoring the story. If you go to a puppet show you can see the wires. But it's about the puppets, it's not about the string.

If you go to a Punch & Judy show and you're only watching the wires, you're a freak.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

LCB Freighter Gesha

LCB Freighter Gesha
Originally uploaded by Jerrec

Posted mainly for Fugu and for his love of industrialized spacecraft. Jerrec built the green one with an ingenious use of this piece. The other colors are variants made with my favorite image making program, Photoshop.

Kikaida is coming!

Kikaida (or Ban Daisuke at least) is coming!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

WoW and the office of the President

President-elect Barack Obama appointed Kevin Werbach and Susan Crawford as his FCC transition co-chairs. Aside from being a professor of legal studies and business ethics, he also happens to be one of the Horde:

What does this tell us about him, as a person, as a gamer, as a government official? I will attempt to translate all the dorkese.

Every player in WoW belongs to one of two warring factions, Alliance or Horde. Werbach is Horde. Children often choose to be Alliance because they perceive them as "the good guys", but students of history (both ours and Azeroth's) recognize that Alliance culture is based on medieval European culture and Horde culture is based on the indigenous cultures that were supplanted by the West.

Werbach is a Tauren (a minotaur), which basically makes him a Native Kalimdorian. The Tauren revere nature, living in wigwams near giant totem poles. As a Shaman (see below), he could also have chosen a troll (blue-skinned Jamaican-like monster) or an orc (green-skinned Klingon-like monster), so there must be something about the cow-man that appeals to his liberal guilt.

From the Boingboing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Somalia Travelogue

So, I was reading some article about those Somali pirates who captured a thousand-foot-long oil tanker (that's equivalent to one thousand foot-long hot dogs laid end to end), and I thought to myself, "I wonder if anyone travels to Somalia." Like, for tourism. A quick google rewarded me with two splendid links.

One, the wikitravel page on Mogadishu. Following the glib format of wikitravel's other pages, with imperative-case headings like "Get In" and "Buy," the actual content basically says over and over, "Are you fucking kidding? Leave! Leave NOW! You are going to D-I-E!"

Further googlage led me to this delightful article from the Economist, about Somalia's decidedly unbusy tourism minister. Minister Osman provides several moneyshot quotes, including: "I'm sure tourists would leave Somalia alive and I'm hopeful they wouldn't be kidnapped."


Good morning!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christianist Watch

The Christianists are policing how we shop.

Focus on the Family wants shoppers to know which retailers are naughty and which ones are nice - at least when it comes to holiday lingo. ... Those on the Christmas-offensive list use secular phrases such as "happy holidays" and have "apparently abandoned" the use of the word "Christmas," Focus said. Christmas-negligent companies "marginalize" their message by using "Christmas" in some cases and "holidays" in others.

Incidentally, a drop in donations is prompting Focus on the Family to cut its workforce by 18 percent.


I'm not sure if Obama should prosecute the sadists who trashed 230 years of U.S. policy (yes, going back to George Washington!) that Americans must treat detainees with dignity. I can understand both sides laid out in this story. But our government needs to investigate who decided we should torture terror suspects and how these people were able to get away with it. We should also find out which Democrats knew what Bush/Cheney were doing, but declined to stop it.

Also, beware of sneaky moves before Jan. 20:

Whether Bush will protect his top aides and interrogators with a
pre-emptive pardon - before they are ever charged - has become a hot topic of
discussion in legal and political circles in the administration's waning days.
White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto declined to comment on the

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Early 90s-tastic comics! With analyses!

Rob Liefeld

Hey, check out the
40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings

I'd never heard of him, but as soon as I looked at these images I was back in high school, being met with the creeping realisation that in spite of their 2000 new spin-off mags, nothing interesting was going to happen to the X-men ever again...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Apologies, my friends!

For what it's worth, I am sorry for sharing...

July 4, 2009

Hey, look; the fake news page thing reaches its logical conclusion--an entire fake edition of the New York Times from the future, filled with a creepy level of optimism. I heard they passed out papers in NYC, too. Real papers, made of paper.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What it's like in New York City

My friend Annie lives in New York City. Yesterday, in a meeting I attended virtually by hologram, Annie offered her artistic take on the hypothetical Hawaii presentation of various and sundry foods and beverages. She belittles her own artistic skill, but if we were playing Pictionary, and the answer was "eating Spaghetti by the pool", I'd totally get it. Anyway, here is how Annie gets to work, on the days she bothers to show up. This is what it's like in New York City.

(With various and sundry apologies to Steve Ditko. Really, I'm thinking of sending him a card telling him how sorry I am.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Attention Paultard:

At Rebuild the Party, users can submit (and vote for) ideas for revitalizing the Republican Party. The top ideas aren't all insane--but the real reason I'm posting this link is so you can check out the new suggestions, which fill me with joy. See them all here and bathe in the spectrum of intriguing to conflicted to evil to deeply retarded.

The kind of thing I would have made...

Had I stuck it out like I should have with animation in college. Gawd Demmit.
Particular interest to me is Mr. Dangermouse's shirt sporting the Atari logo. I have that same shirt! Yay!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

For y'alls perusal...

This. I found it mildly interesting, so I post it here! I wish it was more constructive and less vague, but oh whelz. It sorta feels like the editorial you might find at the back of a Smithsonian Magazine that makes you stop and say "an article on games? no wai!" then you read it and it leaves you mildly disappointed.

The hard hitting investigative journalism I expect from AP!

Did you know at full growth these guys can bite a dude in half?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Super Obama World

Hey kids! Now you too can fight the evil forces of Sara Palin—lipstick pigs, Saks employees and more... Help the president-elect run and jump across the frozen wastelands of Alaska on his road to victory. Read about it here, or just play it here.


It still seems too good to be true that so many normally apathetic citizens got off their collective asses and said "Let's go win this fucking thing!" with old-fashioned hard work and effort.

After being on the losing side of many political campaigns, I've become a cynical, apathetic bastard with respect to electoral politics. Of course I always vote when election day rolls around, but as far as phone-banking, door-to-door canvassing, fundraising, etc. goes, well I thought those days were behind me.

Then Obama comes along and for two years pulls off the unbelievable-- not just a resounding victory in the polls-- but energizing young people, old people, the most cynically jaded and lazy among us to do something extra. The man is amazing. So the least I could do was volunteer for the week before the election.

Because CA was considered in the bag, the Obama folks sent all of us L.A.-based volunteers out to Nevada, the closest battleground state. It felt great to be active again, trying to make a difference in a place where not everyone already agreed with you. Sometimes you get complacent living in a liberal enclave like San Francisco or L.A.

The scary thing is that the future is still pretty bleak and uncertain. Obama is going to have a hard time trying to deal with the steaming pile of shit that Bush is leaving behind. Success is going to be that much harder to achieve.

Mother Jones Beat me to it

I was all set to post this observation, realizing that I've been getting a serious Senator Palpatine vibe from Senator Lieberman that goes beyond their physical similarities, but, like the McCain-Tigh thing, someone beat me to it. Glad to see, though, that behind-the-scenes machinations and betrayals aren't quite so super-effective without Jedi mind tricks and force lightning and stuff.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Minifig Costume

My sister (the one who you'd find in Chinatown on Halloween) saw this in Chinatown, on Halloween.

J. Tribama

Mr. Pony said...

Yes, we have a bit of a history of this sort of thing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ghost Ride

In order to not focus on the election too much, here is a video compilation of people getting out of their moving cars. It is a fad, apparently, among the youth. Just so long as you vote, youth!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Internet = win

Here's why

Pushing Daisies

Might be too TLDR for some folks (including me), but just in case someone out there isn't watching the show, the punch line is this: Watch this show.

Unlike Heroes and all the other crap on TV these days, I think the fact that it's up-beat (in a tastefully surreal sort of way) is a hell of a bonus. It apparently takes giant kahones these days to have a witty, well written series that isn't tragic and depressing or an over-the-top comedy.

Let's make our warriors more aggressive!

If troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are having a hard time adjusting to life back home, imagine what the veterans of the future may face. This is from an article about some of the military's new research:

The authors studied the outer reaches of the field of “human performance modification”—including brain-computer interfaces, neuro-pharmaceuticals, and “brain plasticity”—in search of advances that may have military applications.... the authors note that research on remote-controlling future soldiers, or stoking their aggression by implanting electrodes in their brains, looks promising in rats.

Imagine boosting the aggressiveness of U.S. soldiers and Marines by implanting electrodes in their brains! These warriors would never "win the hearts and minds" of the country they are invading/occupying. I also can't imagine any soldier or Marine would emerge from that experience emotionally healthy. I forsee great demand for psychologists and mental health counselors if this technology is ever developed and used. Hopefully we won't go there.

The original study can be found here. (I haven't read the original.)