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Showing posts from 2006

bug bus hot rod

1962 VW bus gutted, filled with giant hot rod engine = w00t! (via engadget)

Warning Signs - a photoset on Flickr

A set of viable warnings from our future. (via warren ellis)

attention holiday travelers

The Transportation Security Administration wants you to know the “3-1-1 on Air Travel” - the weakest, least inspired mnemonic to come from government since “Stop, Drop, and Roll.” From the site:
Make Your Trip Better Using 3-1-1

3 –1–1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening.

Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.

3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage.

Declare larger liquids. Prescription medications, baby formula and milk are allowed in quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.


cue strummed guitar; reveal hero, standing atop lamppost

The best action figure in the world, according to Bubblegum Fink and YT, is this 12" Kikaider figure from Medicom Toys. Add to my wishlist, mas pronto. (thanks, el Otro Miguel)

cosplay of popular fast foods

ワンダーフェスティバル2006夏のコスプレ: I like seeing the detail and passion that goes into cosplay, but I like it more when people break away from the mainstream game and anime stuff, and start cosplaying their favorite snackfoods. Here is the head-only hanbañero pepper snack, with the rest of the performer’s body ignored by consensual agreement through the black costume of kabuki and bunraku scene handlers.

Tonight he will visit you in your dreams.

The Tarako kewpie baby also makes an appearance.

(Warning, page contains cosplayers, and some links to not-work-safe toys and models)

an in-depth interview with the South Park creators about “That World of Warcraft Episode”

Q: How would you compare making South Park’s traditional animation with making machinima ‘animation’? Was one method easier than the other, or more interesting, or...?

JJ: Well, as Trey said when we wrapped up the last ‘shoot,’ this is definitely where animation is headed. I know that there were frustrations, but most of them were mere technical limitations that can and hopefully will be addressed in the future. Things like the ability to record an individual character’s performance, and then have that character give the exact same performance each take would have been very useful because that way the performances could be treated almost like sound channels in an audio mixing program or video clips in an editing system. The ability to have full control over every single aspect of what is being seen in frame has got to be any director's ultimate dream. Combine that with the extreme flexibility of a virtual environment, and there quite literally is no limit to what could be done...



Severina’s got a video out where she is a 50-foot Woman, and she has presumably traditionally garbed dancers assisting her domination of the whimsically animated cityscape. It reminds me of Zlad’s Supersonik Elektronick (video), I’m hoping it’s intentional. I think I liked her “other video” better. (Beyond the Beyond, Bruce Sterling’s blog)
(thanks for the inspiration, Sarah!)


It is always neat to see something that feels like an analog creation in a world where most webcomics feel like they’ve been slapped together in Photoshop or Painter. The brushed inks of Agnes Quill are fresh, it looks groovy and a little filthy, which somehow lends it some innocence..

The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs a randomized Family Circus cartoon with a randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quote. (xradiograph)

i don't always agree with tom tomorrow, but...

“the right was right”

Now that the election is behind us, and the Democrats control one or possibly both houses of Congress, there's no reason not to admit it: the Right was right about us all along. Here is our 25-point manifesto for the new Congress:

1. Mandatory homosexuality
2. Drug-filled condoms in schools
3. Introduce the new Destruction of Marriage Act
4. Border fence replaced with free shuttle buses
5. Osama Bin Laden to be Secretary of State
6. Withdraw from Iraq, apologize, reinstate Hussein
(view the full list)

exquisite dead building

“let’s put the future behind us”

Good grief, the man is a keen observer. From Stross’ observations on the causes of the decline in readership of speculative fiction: Firstly, let me tackle the reason for the decline in the SF/F readership over time as a proportion of written fiction. I don't have quantitative data to hand, but I believe we can attribute it to the fact that the civilization we live in is changing so rapidly that we’re all exposed to rapid technological change all the time. SF as a genre evolved during a period of industrialization and standardization and rapid linear progress. It was both an escapist literature and a didactic form that lent its readers some exposure to new ideas about how they might live in future. But things have gone non-linear, and a lot of the future has arrived today, albeit in bastardized form. Want to go live on Mars? Tough, you can’t — but you can download travel albums from the red planet til you're blue in the face. Want to go live on an alien world? Go visit Japan —…

Scarlett Johansson Wanted to Expose Her Boobs

I just can’t get past the eye-catching title, “Scarlett Johansson Wanted to Expose Her Boobs,” even though it’s just an article detailing a moment of actress-versus-director. In this case, one more reason to dislike Michael Bay. The Island was utter tripe, Bad Boys II was utterly formulaic explosion-pr0n, and we should get some pre-emptive tut-tutting in on the upcoming live-action and CG fest, Transformers movie, because it won’t be on the screen long enough to take its fair share.

good music

So happy to have an iPod that tells me what the fook I’m listening to; my iPod shuffle had no screen, so trying to figure out the currently-playing near-random internet-download was an exercise in creative frustration. Just now though a fantastic track called Sex and Mayhem by Australian band “Devastations” played. They’re carried by indie music label Brassland; the song’s a 6MB free download at the link. It’s somewhere between David Bowie, David Silvian, and Love and Rockets. I’ll be buying the whole album once my Mac gets back from the shop...


Knights Who Say “Ni” hat at Wonderland

warren ellis’ “ignition city” script excerpt


Pic 1
CUT TO: in a small room with one small porthole in its curving steel wall, we discover LIGHTNING BOWMAN sitting on a chamberpot, wearing only a long-sleeved velour t-shirt type thing with a lightning bolt embroidered on the front, totally naked from the waist down. Straining. Lightning Bowman used to be an athlete, tall, bronzed, blond. His hair is still blond, but, when we see him move, he’s stooped, and he’s not lean any more, just thin. He doesn’t fit his own skin. He’s coming up hard on fifty, and not looking good on it.

LIGHTNING is a major character. I think we can introduce him with a page-wide shot, squatting on his chamberpot. The floor, by the way, will either be steel or wood, and have a DIY, home-made kind of finish. We’ll see why later.

Hnng.(full excerpt here)
The Lone Ranger is to Deadwood as Flash Gordon is to Ignition City.

mashed beatles != bug paté

And not just Beatles; don’t worry, this isn’t some Grey Album strokefest, despite the props due to Ob-La-Teeth (Beatles vs. Obie Trice). And it’s not all rap-mash, either. Check out Comfortable Holiday (Scissor Sisters vs. Madonna) for a complete pop music mental breakdown; at BASS 211 DOT COM & DJ Tripp: 99 Boots But A Bitch Ain’t One!(thanks, sean, who recommends She Wants Animals: Ace of Base vs. NIN)

tokyo zombie!

I must see this movie:Mitsuo and Fujio - Japanese cult icons Tadanobu Asano and Sho Aikawa - are a pair of zero ambition slackers employed in a fire extinguisher factory whose only goal in life is the perfection of their jiujitsu wrestling skills. When a confrontation with their boss leaves the nagging executive dead they opt, of course, to take the easy way out and dispose of the body on the slopes of Black Fuji, a monstrous heap of garbage rising in the midst of Tokyo. But whether by the influence of toxic chemicals, black magic, karma or a mixture of all three, the muck of Black Fuji brings their boss back to roam the earth as a voracious zombie, unleashing an undead apocalypse upon the world. Before long the surviving humans are forced to live in a walled city where Fujio makes a living entertaining the upper classes using his jiujitsu skills in human versus zombie cage fights.
Toronto After Dark Film Festival

mid-term elections are coming up

Before deciding whether or not to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections, just ask yourself these related questions: With the five years that have passed since 9/11, what progress has been made against Al Qaeda, where has the bulk of our military effort been focused, and has it made the US any safer from terrorist attack? Do you feel we are on the right path? Are you happy with the way your tax dollars are being spent? Are you satisfied knowing that Americans are still being injured and killed in a war that has been proven to have been initiated by the US under false or mistaken pretenses?

Vote, and then we can ITMFA.

so you think you live in a hole?

The biggest hole in the world” (some in the linke site’s Comments claim it is not the biggest hole, though it may be the most dramatic) (thanks, timK!)

on quality

Whenever I use wikipedia, I try to hit the Random Article link once after finding the information I was actually there to get. Usually it links to some stub article that has no bearing at all on anything of interest. And sometimes I strike gold: “Dr. W. Edwards Deming taught that by adopting appropriate principles of management, organizations can increase quality and simultaneously reduce costs (by reducing waste, rework, staff attrition and litigation while increasing customer loyalty). The key is to practice continual improvement and think of manufacturing as a system, not as bits and pieces.”

one million ways to die

A revised look at the Threat Level alert system, and what things are actually likely to affect us, via Wired News: One Million Ways to Die:

Driving off the road: 254,419
Falling: 146,542
Accidental poisoning: 140,327
Dying from work: 59,730
Walking down the street: 52,000.
Accidentally drowning: 38,302
Killed by the flu: 19,415
Dying from a hernia: 16,742
Accidental firing of a gun: 8,536
Electrocution: 5,171
Being shot by law enforcement: 3,949
Terrorism: 3147
Carbon monoxide in products: 1,554

utility tarot

computing relevance, real time

“The first new idea was called ‘Area of Relevance.’ Somewhat like ‘Level of Detail’ for graphics (or Stephen Hawking’s Time Cones—depending on your preference), it’s a set of circles that emanate out from you, and the amount of data that we send back depends on what can actually affect you at a distance. A good example of this is the sniper scope. When you’re not using the scope, we send less information about players that are a long way away from you—for example, the exact direction their head is facing—but when you zoom in with the scope, we tighten that cone (and area of relevance) and again send this data with more regularity.”
GameSpy: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

sign of the crapocalypse

free gold

“This month, the lovely people at Microsoft have decided to let gamers experience Xbox Live Gold for over a week from 20th to 29th September so everyone can play together. This free week will be brought to you by Windows Live Spaces.
This means if you have a silver account, it will magically turn into a gold one with their magic fairy dust, meaning you can play multiplayer between those dates for absolutely nothing, so we’ll see you on Live.
Stay with Club Skill for more gaming news when we get it through our internet tubes.” (via Google Alerts)


According to the only fan-site I can find for the show, there will be a Blade: The Series marathon this weekend on Spike TV:(...) Spike TV this upcoming weekend (Sep. 9th and 10th). It looks like they’ll be playing all 12 previously aired episodes (counting the pilot as two episodes). The marathon will include this Wednesday’s episode as well. The marathon goes from 2 PM - 7 PM Saturday and Sunday.
This is a great chance to catch up and if you’ve got some friends or family that you’re trying to get hooked on the show, this marathon provides the perfect opportunity to show them why it’s such a great show.I’ve only seen four unconnected episodes so far, but it shows a lot of promise. I’m just about to purchase the “season pass” through iTunes Music Store. iTMS was what introduced me to the show; the pilot episode and one other were given away for free through it, and after finding a few more on P2P, I am hooked. The show is structured along the lines of Babylon 5 or 24, where things happ…

kirk leads by (bad) example

“that’s hot”

Banksy targets Paris Hilton
(...) the “guerrilla graffiti” artist Banksy has taken aim at the cult of empty celebrity and its current poster child, Paris Hilton.
The secretive artist has smuggled 500 doctored copies of Paris Hilton’s debut album into music stores throughout the UK, where they have sold without the shops’ knowledge.
Independent Online(stereogum)

scrap art

Animal sculptures made from scrap metal. (Make Blog)

civil war 2.0

Vertigo is offering Brian Wood’s DMZ issue #1 for free download as a PDF. (warren ellis)In the near future, America’s worst nightmare has come true. With military adventurism overseas bogging down the Army and National Guard, the U.S. government mistakenly neglects the very real threat of anti-establishment militias scattered across the 50 states. Like a sleeping giant, Middle America rises up and violently pushes its way to the shining seas, coming to a standstill at the line in the sand—Manhattan or, as the world now knows it, the DMZ.

this is where the party ends

A clever, funny, but not entirely friendly review of the TMBG oeuvre at Complete Idiot’s Guide to They Might Be Giants:Don’t let’s start with praise; let’s start with insults:

Nerds. Geeks. Art majors. Jingle writers.

For a lot of folks (your author included, at first), that pretty much sums up They Might Be Giants — the prolific darlings of college radio who launched themselves two decades back by recording a silly song a day on their answering machine.

web 2.0 summarized by implied contrast

Flickr gallery of known logos that have been given the web-two-point-oh-ver.

ipod video tagging made easy-ish

Apple does not make every tag that iTunes uses available to the user. And sometimes there are bugs (shock, gasp) even in Apple software. This is why videos tagged with TV Show do not show up in the predictable manner in the iPod's menu, but there is no way to correct it from within the application.

Fortunately, an application called Atomic Parsley allows users to get access to those tags and write those tags, themselves. Unfortunately, AP is a shell-based, command-line-interface program, which makes my 25-years-removed-from-DOS head a litte bit frightened. So it is extra nice that the oddly named but nicely Aqua-GUI’d Parsley is Atomically Delicious handles AP-style tagging in a user-interface that is simple and direct.

Now most of my TV programs are in the right place! Blissful viewing during train commutes, let me tell you.


Adult Swim’s excellent series, The Venture Brothers has unexpectedly snared me like the invisible arms of The Phantom Limb! It has been all I can do to keep myself from watching the episodes in a single sitting. Apparently I am not alone in my enthusiasm;
Wikipedia has entries on each and every character, episode, and even hypotheses on characters who only make brief appearances—the high geekery speculation the likes of which I’ve not seen since the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. There are plenty of fansites in addition to the purely collaborative wikipedia.

The creators are down with the love they’re getting from the fans. On the internets, in addition to the Adult Swim site’s Flash games and wallpapers, you can find the Official website with sounds, interviews, and other links, and there’s character and storyboard art at Chrisis Church of Art / Lovelace Pop Art, and series news and insight from Jackson Publick at his LiveJournal, Publick Nuisance.

Anyway, Season 2 (a ba…


A review of Rumble Roses XX: I Feel All Tingly Mama!, a game which caused the Japanese rate-of-purchase of Xbox 360s to triple:Extras include unlockable costumes and humiliations for Queen’s matches, concept art and the like, create a character mode, and photo mode. Create a character is like Weird Science only you don’t have to wear underwear on your head unless you want to and every woman you create looks pretty much the same except for hair and skin color. Photo mode is just what it sounds like. All the joy of taking pictures of half naked women cavorting together without those nasty restraining orders and sex offender lawn signs. You can even share the pics online with other men who are still recovering from fervent masturbation.

You can play the game online, but the one time I tried no one was using voice chat out of what I can only imagine was a strong sense of shame.

Having played the original Rumble Roses, playing the sequel is much like leaving your girlfriend for a supermodel.…

dirty deeds, which should have been DIY, done not-so-cheap

Consumerist is reporting "Circuit City Flouts The DMCA For A Tenner" - Is this widespread? I am stunned that anyone would pay for this service, but even more stunned that a major retailer would offer a service that so clearly involves software that is in violation of US federal law.

Incidently, I am using Instant Handbrake to get DVDs onto my iPod, and find it to be the the cat’s pyjamas. (Make blog)

jerks gone wild

It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to find out that the guy behind Girls Gone Wild is a jerk. It is surprising to find out just how much of a jerk he is:Joe Francis, the founder of the Girls Gone Wild empire, is humiliating me. He has my face pressed against the hood of a car, my arms twisted hard behind my back. He’s pushing himself against me, shouting: “This is what they did to me in Panama City!”

It’s after 3 a.m. and we’re in a parking lot on the outskirts of Chicago. Electronic music is buzzing from the nightclub across the street, mixing easily with the laughter of the guys who are watching this, this me-pinned-and-helpless thing.

Francis isn’t laughing.

He has turned on me, and I don’t know why. He’s going on and on about Panama City Beach, the spring break spot in northern Florida where Bay County sheriff’s deputies arrested him three years ago on charges of racketeering, drug trafficking and promoting the sexual performance of a child. As he yells, I wonder if this is a fla…

“poor, unfortunate sooouuuul...”

dirty DIY deeds, done dirt cheap

MAKE Blog, when not obsessively fascinated with LED “graffiti scrunchies” is one of the most consistently intriguing sites around. It is amazing to see what happens when smart (and presumably childless) people have enough free time to turn common household cruft into purest lo-technofetish gold.

I might be able to put one of these tensegrity tower things together someday. Not sure why, other than they look really cool. Not this goofy cell phone holder; maybe a lamp-stand. These DIY Shuffle headphones are the cat’s pyjamas. (MAKE: Blog)

music - free danger doom

At the official adult swim website, they are hosting free downloads of Danger Doom - Occult Hymn, music tracks featuring adult swim characters. (hip2besquare)

wakka wakka, gene, get your tongue out of that girl

My cousin, Marcus, reads this blog so I naturally thought of him when I ran into this massive collection of KISS covers from KISS Army Sweden. When Marcus was into KISS, it was about the point where I was enjoying The Muppet Movie and other Henson-created projects; so I was happy, and baffled to simultaneously find this collection of Muppet Albums at Copy, Right.

the men who run the world

the most stupid gamers, perhaps ever

Some light reading for you tabletop RPG fans out there. Both are oldies but goodies, and worthy of review from time to time:The Gazebo StoryThe Head of Vecna What is strange is way I have read these stories has changed over time. The Gazebo Story was originally a tale of how lame and stupid the player was, though it has transformed into a cautionary tale about communication for me. It isn’t simply the player’s fault that the acts occurred. The DM definitely should have trotted out a more helpful description when it became clear that the player was not aware of the situation. But then it wouldn’t be so funny. There might be a corollary for The Head of Vecna, but it can be hard to avoid stupidity in groups. (thanks, Monty)

comment on comments

My first post in a long while was greeted exuberantly by a flood of fifteen, simultaneously posted, vaguely worded Comments, sprayed all throughout various entries, in a sad attempt at using me for SEO tricksiness. So it looks like some newfangled abuse is allowing spammers to see when I update and to barrage me with crap, like some kind of high-powered sniper-spam-rifle waiting for me to pop up my head.

The short version: I have turned on Comment Moderation, so your comments will not go up until I have approved them. This may cause a brief delay, but it seems better than the password option that other Blogger journals seem fond of requiring lately—those damned things never work for me.

don’t kawaii for me, argentina

Kawaii Not: “the webcomic for cute gone bad!”

Poor Marketing Research Leads to Bad Names

to live and die in LA

Well, the circle of the LA containment area extends up into Orange County, thereby enveloping Fullerton in the space that LA’s old spooks re allowed to move in. Jones doesn’t live there: he lives in the Chemosphere, up in the Hollywood hills (in real life, of course, the publisher Benedikt Taschen lives in the Chemosphere). I’ve been deliberately vague in the book about where the Chemosphere is, just as I've been deliberately vague about other locations -- which has gotten me weird hate mail from a writer at CBR. The introduction of the notion of supermodernism in #1 says it all—I don’t think of LA as an honest geographical space, a place where people stay, a place where traditional cities happen. As a native said to me on the first day I ever spent there, LA isn’t a city—it’s a handful of towns strung together by a thousand miles of freeway. The biggest constructions in the area are not designed to be lived in, but to be traversed. It’s a place that became designed for machines, …

“we love copy”

tiki bar; go for the free drink recipes, but stay for “lala”

(blame timmeh)

i want a new toy (oh-ay-oh)

Google has released a new Browser Sync tool for Mozilla Firefox. If you run multiple instances of Firefox across home and work machines, this extension will keep your bookmarks, passwords, cookies, and browser history synchronized. Some customization is available. Extension synchronization is not yet supported, but this is otherwise a godsend. (ars technica)

ohayou gozaimasu!

Japanese TV personalities really have it bad when they stay over in hotels. The staff are apparently all-too-willing to hand over a guest’s room keys in the name of entertainment. This results in early morning wake-up calls featuring mafia tommy-gun attacks, bazookas, and other really unpleasant ways to wake up.

Actually, if you want to see the TV programming I regularly contend with, you should keep up with TV in Japan, a blog devoted to such sanity-damaging broadcasts.

on motivation

Gamasutra:Where do you feel the fans factor into the decision-making process of a game based off a comic or other intellectual property? Do you think a more independent comic would have a better chance of making good game, since they don’t have this large and potentially rabid fan base?

Doug Tennapel: No, because…I’m going to piss some people off here, but I don’t care what the fans think. I love my fans, but never ever design a game for your fans. When you originally made the thing, the thing that all the fans liked, you made it because it was good, and they came to you, because of what you did. Your instincts lead you correctly in that instance. So to suddenly change that formula, and follow what fans want and redesign something in the image that you think, second-guessing, that they will like, would create a different thing, that isn’t you and probably isn’t good. And you will always lose fans by doing that.
Digging For Worms: Why Doug Tennapel Doesn’t Care What His Fans Think

domo arigatou, mr. found objecto

The kinetic, robotic sculptures of California artist Nemo Gould:

junchth mail’yeh


I am Raptar Leansiku of the Leng Plateau National Bank, and and am acting in this matter for Narlit Drovasi, the widow of Khorim Drovasi, whom you may know as the deceased leader of the Leng Initiates Cult, assassinated by the previous regime prior to the Puce Revolution. Ms. Drovasi informs me that as treasurer of the United States chapter of the Sons of Nyarlathotep (Reformed), you are a trustworthy person.

I trust your discretion in this matter. The Rev. Drovasi left an estate valued at more than 37 million lekhmas ($8.6 million USD), along with a series of artifacts that cannnot adequately be valued, including a folio of the original edition of a work known as the Necronomicon, as well as what I am assured is an original member detached from the body of Nyarlathotep, the Goat of Million Years. For reasons I do not care to discuss at present but an happy to address on further correspondence, Ms. Drovasi wishes to move these asset from the Republic of Leng to th…

le parkour, mon freres

Our favorite SF le parkourriffic movieBanlieue 13 will see an English language release soon as District B13(thanks, weezie and timk)

his own creations (not m.o.c.)

Plasmic Bricks: Insanely ornate sculptures crafted from Lego bricks. (laughing squid)

tiny armies

Lego Star Wars minifigs have “loudhailers” (bullhorns) instead of proper weapons. Sure, those quasi-guns can be more easily adapted to any other purpose than a gun would, but Lego has plenty of other single-purpose pieces in their offerings. Lego has long tried to avoid making toys that are tightly focused on fighting and warfare, including vehicles and weaponry.

So it only makes sense that there is a cottage industry that has sprung up around filling this need. produces modern weaponry, in case you want to run Counterstrike style battles with your minifigs. Little Armory does medieval weapons as well as nicely accurate replicas of popular science fiction weapons; but unfortunately appear to be sold out of... every little thing.

Which is a shame, really; wouldn’t it be nice to have your minifigs properly kitted out when you re-enact the Donnie and Marie Osmond Star Wars Musical?