Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cathy's Mom's Pho Recipe

A couple of months ago, Cathy's mom was generous enough to share her pho recipe with us. Even better, she demoed the entire process, involving us at every step. This, friends, is the right way to teach a non-linear multistage process! Also, we got to totally eat it after, which seems to have spoiled me for the pho found in Vietnamese restaurants. I have yet to make Cathy's mom's pho at home, but I have compiled my notes into this stupid drawing, posted here with permission. Start in the upper left hand corner and work your way down.

Also there are photos. Not as many as I would have liked. Fugu and I took photos, but as it happens, we both took photos of exactly the same things.

Big thank you to Cathy and her mom.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fig. 4 Character Alignment Graph

Atheist, Gnostic, Theist, Agnostic

Here's an interesting delineation of terms often thrown around during religious debate, using a diagram that looks like it could appear in the appendices of Deities & Demigods. He's definitely coming to this from a certain point of view, and I'm not sure he gets everything right. For instance, I bet there are a lot more theist agnostics around than he thinks. Also, you can make his diagram out of origami.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Unrealistic but very appealing idea of the week

Lawmakers in Britain and France want to make advertisers put warning labels on digitally altered photos in their ads. The French MP also wants warning labels on retouched editorial photos. Strikes me as unrealistic, but I like the idea anyway. Thoughts, anyone? Demon?

Concerned that girls and women feel excessive pressure to live up to the digitally Botoxed and liposuctioned images of human perfection they see in glossy magazines, lawmakers in Britain and France are trying to push advertisers to get real.

Under their proposals, ads containing altered photos of models would be required to carry disclaimers.

Dub Step

Has anyone been listening to dub step? I don't totally get the difference between it and plain old dub but I kind of like the first version of the song.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Enough with the auto-tunes already. After this one.

Seed Bank

With the election of our racist Muslim President, Drudgereport's previously merely-unhinged advertisements have transmogrified into full-on demented fever dreams. Case in point: a world-gone-wild seed bank with enough seeds to plant a full acre "crisis garden."

Think about it. The year is 2011, and a drooling gaggle of mutant commies are slouching across the fallow fields toward your now-illegal private property. You've stocked up on enough crossbows and lacrosse pads to fight them off, but have you thought about where your next meal's going to come from? Of course you haven't, you fucking, fucking idiot.

That's where this here seed bank comes in. You just sprinkle some seeds (grown by "small, fiercely independent farmers," i.e., vicious halflings) over genuine American soil, and next thing you know, your multiple wives and children will have a veritable horn-o-plenty jammed into their awful, insatiable maws.

Other points of interest:
  • Provides insurance against a "belligerent lower class demanding handouts"

  • The seeds are grown "in remote plots, far from the prying eyes of the big hybrid seed companies"

  • Seeds are kept fresh by "a very expensive desiccant"

  • Unlike today's hybrid seeds, these were "created by God"

  • "Indestructible Survival Seed Bank Can Be Buried To Avoid Confiscation."
Thanks, and have a great Rapture.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


A look at TV news in America:

While doing some recent research on the news business, I came upon this remarkable fact: Katie Couric’s annual salary is more than the entire annual budgets of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered combined. Couric’s salary comes to an estimated $15 million a year; NPR spends $6 million a year on its morning show and $5 million on its afternoon one. NPR has seventeen foreign bureaus (which costs it another $9.4 million a year); CBS has twelve. Few figures, I think, better capture the absurd financial structure of the network news.

Monty Dead Parrot Sketch performed by Nigerian Scammers

This is totally old, but it came up in conversation, and I thought I'd post it. You needn't watch the whole thing. The performance isn't terribly interesting--but the quality of the performance is hardly the point.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Sydney Dust Storm

Some photos of it to be found here (Boston Globe) & here (Flickr)

Psychiatric Tales Comic: Schizophrenia

Darryl Cunningham has posted the chapter on Schizophrenia from his upcoming comic book exploration of mental illness, Psychiatric Tales. Also, here's the chapter on Bipolar Disorder.

Obviously, I'm intrigued by this use of the comic medium. From Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe to Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Google Chrome: Behind the Open Source Browser Project, to quirky but extremely effective hybrids like CommonCraft, the medium seems uniquely suited to taking the viewer through the "story" of understanding something by building up layers of concepts and making concrete visual connections. Or maybe I just think in pictures.

Also by Darryl Cunningham: The Streets of San Diablo on Act-i-vate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Health insurance companies are the ones really suffering here.

Over $100,000 a day just isn't enough for some Americans.

Desert Island Comics in Brooklyn & Ken Dahl

So this is Desert Island, a comic store in my old neighborhood in Williamsburg. Love it. Gabe, the guy who runs it, suggested a lot of neat stuff for me based on stuff I told him I liked. The store itself is really nicely put together, with a lot of love for the books and stuff he keeps in stock. A lot of stuff you'd expect to find, along with extremely eclectic small-run stuff you'll probably never see again. The store smells good. It's less than two years old, I think. It wasn't there when I lived in Brooklyn, but it seems to be doing okay, even in this, you know, economy. A definite must-visit while in the area.

Got an email from them today, announcing that Ken Dahl will be there tomorrow signing copies of his graphic novel! Sadly, I won't be able to make it. Here is a review of his book, from the press release!
"Ken Dahl's Monsters is probably the most entertaining educational comic ever. Already a worthwhile read for its lessons on STDs and relationships,
Dahl's excellent cartooning and humor make this book required reading for
anyone who has had sex, is going to have sex or wants to have sex."
--Jeffrey Brown, author of Clumsy

I could have sworn I had posted something about Desert Island before, but I totally can't find it. We have posted something about former classmate Ken Dahl before, here.

my town, right now

Monday, September 21, 2009

The snuffling Aardvark inspired me to post.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

kamen rider double/W sausage

From the same guy on facebook that I picked up the Wolverine and Iron Man from, he also led me to this...which in turn led me to this:

Marvel Anime?

Just FYI for everyone out there. Looks like Madhouse is making an IronMan and Wolverine anime.

Am holding back any further comment on the two trailers.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We Will Fail the Turing Test First

Well this is all kinds of disturbing. But I for one welcome our freakish computer overlords.

From these guys, and the spawn of this.

remember that fucked up machinima that surfaced here a few weeks ago that hurt Litcube's brain? (as opposed to the rest of us?)

Hopefully this will shine some light.

-heisted from kotaku..or was it io9? Are they the same thing?

James is home!

James Bowthorpe arrives back in Hyde Park, London, having broken the world record for cycling around the world.
James made it back to where he started, the band shell in Hyde Park, today. He beat the record for round-the-world cycling. He is fast!

I cycled with him the last little bit from Richmond Park, but my bike imploded 1/2 mile away from the bandstand and I missed the actual moment. I showed up a few minutes later covered in bike grease and saw him drinking champagne though so it was still pretty exciting.

James Bowthorpe arrives back in Hyde Park, London, having broken the world record for cycling around the world.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's fine, just throw some autotune on it and we're done.

via the curated internet

More Takes on Rom: Spaceknight

A bunch of real artists, with their interpretations of Rom, Spaceknight. Apparently, this is the second series, for a 2010 show and book; a tribute to and benefit for Rom and Micronauts writer Bill Mantlo. Mantlo was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in 1992, and has been institutionalized with a brain injury ever since (I did not know this. This was very sad news). The first show was in 2007. Image by chuck bb.

fun w/g20

the g20 is going to be held in my town next week and my city made this awesome video about it.

sadly, they took it off of their site for some reason and replaced it with a shorter version with just the mustachecop and his map.

note the pleasing uniqueness of the pittsburgh accent!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Tea Party"

Some left wing radical suggested I watch this. I had fun watching this. Sort of in the same way I have fun watching Borat, or Jackass.

It's that painful kind of experience. You wince and grit your teeth, but you get a feeling of exhilaration afters.

Also, left wing radical suggested doing a shot for every non white person in the video. Guess how drunk I am!

-and Just for Heeero, here's the CIC with a lightsaber.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No Darwin films allowed here

"A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer. "

Read the whole article.

(And sorry if you've all already seen this! It's a few days old.)

3D Dot Heroes game.

This game kinda makes my pee pee hard. Not my penis, but the pee pee. Even though I am doubled over in pain from the hard pee pee. I am excited about this game. However, unless Mr. Pony buys it, I will probably never play it. Give a dude with hard pee pee a break, will you, Pone?

Illustrative Size Comparison

I saw this comparison on television and I photographed it with a camera.

tortle cam!!!

the museum of animal perspectives is quite the amazing assortment of things filmed from behind animals' heads!

here goes the armadillo! snufflesnufflesnuffle!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ski-gliding 101


Today I gave myself a crash course on humpback whales. I discovered they sound kind of like what you'd expect cows to sound like if they lived underwater.

Here's an audio clip of the whales singing. I wish I could embed it, but am not sure how to do that so here's a link instead.

I will admit these guys have impressive hunting skills.

James in France!

James Bowthorpe cycles through Arcachon, France on his round-the-world cycling world-record attempt.
Wow, James is almost home!

He's in France for the second time this trip, and he's supposed to be arriving back on Sunday to Hyde Park.

He's still beating Mark Beaumont's world record by about 3 weeks.

Extreme Dinosaurs. No, seriously.

Every now and again I feel shame for my ability to recall the Shirt Tales theme song. Then I take a trip down Youtube Street, and I realize maybe it's ok. Maybe I was born in the right decade.

I say this mostly because A; I have no memory of these programs, or their theme songs (so happy the Extreme Dinosaurs video comes with lyrics!), and B; I don't look at these videos and say "Damn, that was a cool show! I still have the toys!"

I do look at my crappy ass Transformers and GiJoe guys and say these fuckers were true. These fuckers were down to earth, you young bitches. These fuckers could take on the street sharks. They weren't Extreme. They fucking made sense! Transforming robots make a hell of a lot more sense then Street Sharks! They were real.

Of course, both the GiJoe and Transformers cartoons have undergone an "Extreme" iteration in their way-too-long-lifespan. This is why there should be a moratorium on any cartoon that does really well then burns out fast. These programs shouldn't be allowed to be updated for 50 years*

Look what happened to The Real Ghost Busters! I shudder!


50 years should be long enough to allow for us to be senile enough to appreciate a cartoon's childlike appeal without the pain of nostalgia.

*Except Venture Brothers Extreme. They should go ahead and do that show now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Obama-isms found on the great 'stream

Just thought I'd post these for folks to play with.


Serious flashback seeing these. I don't think I had too many out of Japan but I used to love these guys. I bet they're still hidden away in a box somewhere. Anyone else got some? I'm sure they're worth billions!

Here's one of our own A1-BU9:

Via Pink Tentacle

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One for de Foogoo!

Found this in a random wandering through the Wiki.
I think Fugu will appreciate...

The Stylish Richard Dawkins

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Abraham Fucking Lincoln

I just finished reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln, and I thought I'd share some of his lesser-known exploits with you.

  • In 1831, a 22-year-old Lincoln arrived in New Salem, Illinois—a real podunk frontier town—and quickly established himself as a skilled raconteur and japesman. But he was no buffoon. Old Abe (as he was known even as a young man, due to his craggy face and Ichabodish frame) could out-philosophize your ass, and kick it six ways from Sunday to boot. He was a real comer. Naturally, this earned him some enemies, most notably a group of rough-and-tumble prairie roisterers known as the Clary's Grove Boys. Just on general cussed principle, they didn't like this new fella coming into their town and making a name for himself. So when Lincoln's boss at the ol' general store started into boasting about how his boy could lick anyone in the county, why, the Clary's Grove Boys couldn't let that slide. Their leader, a murderous little man with sourmash breath and a wooden eye (probably), challenged Lincoln to a knock-down, drag-out rasslin match. It was on, motherfucker, and it promised to be a real humdinger:

  • Early on in the Civil War, Lincoln was constantly frustrated by the procrastinations of that yellow-bellied pussyfoot of a commanding general, George McClellan. This goldbricking poltroon of a guttersnipe always managed to find an excuse not to launch a massive attack on Confederate forces. In May of 1862, McClellan wired Lincoln that a safe and suitable landing spot for his army could not be found in Norfolk, VA, where Lincoln had ordered him to attack. Enough was enough. Lincoln went down there his motherfucking self, taking Secretary of War Stanton and Secretary of the Treasury Chase along with him. Unguarded, the President of the United States reconnoitered a landing spot behind enemy lines, even going so far as to walk up and down the beach to prove that he was right. Fuckin McClellan.

  • And finally, a story guaranteed to summon a lump even in the most Confederate-apologizing, racist one of you's throat. Early in 1861, just before setting off for Washington, D.C. to take the oath of office, Lincoln paid a visit to his good friend and law partner, Thomas Herndon, with some final instructions on how he wanted the practice to be maintained in his absence. It was clear by then that the country was falling apart, and that old Abe was inheriting a whirlwind. His final words to Herndon: "If I live I'm coming back sometime, and then we'll go right on practicing law as if nothing had ever happened." He never returned to Springfield.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This is the work an Excavator does.

This is from scoop. Maybe just play it in the background while you do something else. The music is part Styx, part Kraftwerk; with a little Donovan thrown in. Kind of sad, somehow.

Al Franken Draws a Map of the U.S. from Memory

Hey, AI-BU9, your new Senator is a freak. Via @laughingsquid.

Txting iz Kewl

Know what's great about texting? You can be a flaky liar in them, and no one cares. You can be all, "Yeah, Fred, letz hang tonight--call u laturz" and then just sort of disappear into the infosphere, and Fred won't be all that sore at you, because you didn't actually say you'd hang out. Or you can be all proactively flaky, with a "Wut r u up 2?" text, and then just not answer when Fred tells you. You did your part! Something must have happened to prevent you from following up with definite plans, Fred figures. What? You'll explain later, when you've had plenty of time to think of an excuse, or more likely, when Fred has forgotten or stopped caring.

That's why I rarely answer the phone anymore. The spoken word commits you. It has something to do with sound waves.

Creativity ( dots) by Nnenn

Creativity ( dots)
Originally uploaded by nnenn

An essay on being creative and its consequences by perennial favorite Lego enthusiast Nnenn. I hope you'll take the time to enjoy this, even if putting bricks together isn't your bag. I think it translates to other fields.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Regarding our recent time-travel discussion and our less recent Sci-Fi discussion:

Just watched part of A Sound of Thunder, a straight-to-SyFy movie based on the Ray Bradbury short story about people who go back in time and hunt dinosaurs that are about to die anyway using ice bullets. (I don't remember if the ice bullets are in the book. They totally use ice bullets in the movie, though.)

In the movie, the hunters step on a bug or something and go back to the present, which is okay at first but then starts changing in big, visible, effectsy "time-waves". Only one thing changes at a time, and it's very confusing for people. Like, after one time-wave all the trees grew bigger. Everything else stayed the same. People screamed and screamed. In the short story, I think the hunters return to the present to find that everything had changed, all at once, and they were the only ones who were the wiser (which despite being scientifically improbable, made a good deal of goddamned sense). Here, however, the movie's "scientist" knows somehow that the organisms to evolve first will change first. So any changes they made in the past will happen in distinct ripples changing more and more until--dan dan daaaaaaaan--people themselves change! Or maybe they don't exist at all! Or won't! Or will not ever have! You have to wait about seven to ten time-waves, though, and see what happens to life forms that evolved before people, though; because that's how time works. God, whatever!

Way to stretch out a 10 page story into a feature-length movie, guys! Time-waves! Yay! Not only does time organize itself around the perceptions of human beings, but the perceptions of stupid writers! I was really trying to watch the whole thing, but it was such tremendous horseshit that I think I'll just get back to work. I have a lot of email that needs answering.

(Why is this making me so angry? It's not like there are really Wookies, but I like Chewbacca just fine. It's not Sci-Fi that makes me angry, it's this other stuff, this pseudo-sciencey crap that somehow feels more like a lie than warp drive or magic wands. Why are so many movies like this even made? Is Hollywood really that broken? Why are movies that are written by people who know what they are talking about (or have at least thought about it) the exception instead of the rule? Can the newly-christened SyFy channel not find enough infomercials to run? Anyway, my point is this--Shit like this; committee-written senseless pseudo-science fiction, I'm going to refer to from now on, not as "Sci-Fi", but as "SyFy". Congratulations, dummies; you earned it!)

EDIT: I immediately regret posting this uncharitable rant. The Science Fiction Channel has brought us a great many wonderful things, such as Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, and extremely occasional marathons of The Invaders. Still, nothing more shocking than sitting on the edge of my seat watching BSG, only to be slammed at commercial with a face-full of "Mansquito" promo. Nevertheless, poop with diamonds in it is still worth keeping.

Darwin's Interactive Tree of Life

This thing is everywhere, but I can't not post it. The video is clear and really beautiful, and the linked site has a sweet interactive cladogram, as well as swell resources for educators and scientists (and animators!). The project is at least a little creative commons and a little open source, too. All of it is downloadable, for classrooms with weak internet connections. All in all, this is a very good use of resources--not only is the content well-done and completely sharable; it's remixable, to boot. Great job, Wellcome Trust.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fugu on video!

Here's a video of a Fugublowfish relative, the minamihakofugu.

Apparently he doesn't have poison on the inside like many other blowfish, but he can release poison through the surface of his body. (Which means scales? Gills? Unsure about that. Sorry.)

Call of Duty 4: Galactic Warfare

This is an unlicensed mod for Call of Duty 4. Looks great. Slightly more info here.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Best. Scotch. Ever.

Lagavulin from Islay. Get to know it. 16s are good, but 25+ mo' bettah. Tastes like licking a smokey leather couch in the best possible way.

there - another alcohol and scotch tag.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Galspanic carefully sets the trap for the wily Litcube...

Further research has shown me that the Kentucky Fried Chicken figurehead known as Colonel Sanders is actually involved in this movie.

(Galspanic hides in his camouflaged bunker and waits...)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mars Shit

There’s enough material here for Vaughan Oliver to do like ukumillion more ’80s era 4ad albums. See more lovely Mars pics here.

Jedi Force Trainer

via galspanic

Teaching an Understanding of Science

As uncool as this may sound, I think I actually agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson here. Discuss.

Neat Tumblr Blogs

Been poking through some Tumblr blogs that folks have sent me to. I haven't spent much time there, so forgive the newness to me of an old thing. The spareness of the layouts seems to bring out some really thoughtful, contemplative, sometimes angsty, but generally compelling image combinations. Here are two I really like, via @theupturnednose:



Posts are easily reblogged, so good stuff tends to rise to the top, and it's easy to pinpoint where the quality is coming from.Many avenues of expression here. I really like Heather Rivers' log, here. And of course, there's bonerparty.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Atomic Robo and I see eye to eye

I came across this today in Atomic Robo:

This reminded me of Ruby's post, when I tried to explain why time travel is impossible--with the same argument! But with less guns and dinosaurs. I think that's always been my problem. Anyway, maybe Brian Clevinger reads Pieces Of Things! Or maybe this just a common idea people come up with when they've got too much time on their hands and think about time too much...

Also in the news:

"I had been living a lie, " said a visibly emotional Armstrong, addressing reporters at his home. "It has become painfully clear to me that on July 20, 1969, the Lunar Module under the control of my crew did not in fact travel 250,000 miles over eight days, touch down on the moon, and perform various experiments, ushering in a new era for humanity. Instead, the entire thing was filmed on a soundstage, most likely in New Mexico."

James in New York!

James Bowthorpe taking a well-deserved rest day in New York while cycling round the world
He made it...
I am resting. Its great. I had forgotten about sofas, they are so good at what they do.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Heisted from io9
This book preview features the artwork of one of my favorite fantasy/sci fi illustrators, Keith Thompson. Interesting sell.