Archive October 26 - November 8 2002
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Friday, November 8
Friend Bob Gelinas turned me on to Meanwhile, several blogs posted links to the Big Cartoon Database. It warms my heart to know that there are two such exhaustive sources for all my animation research needs, even though it was the strange live action shows of my youth that really twisted me.

This week's Photoshop PhridayBatman through History.

Bruce Sterling has found a site dedicated to Dead Malls. I've always been fascinated by the fact that the Connecticut/Western Massachusetts region is rife with abandoned malls, theaters, and amusement parks. Now we just need supervillains to set up their secret headquarters there.

Thursday, November 7
I don't know what else to call this except geological porn.

It was learned today that two Star Trek directors died in October: John Meredyth Lucas and Larry Dobkin.

The legendary Walt Simonson has signed a one year exclusive with DC Comics. That should give him enough time to finish two, maybe three books.

Several pieces on atheism popped up today. Both the Boston Phoenix and the Boston Review have articles on the subject, the ABC Radio site posted an older interview with Ellen Johnson of American Atheists (who I happen to think is cute in a handsome, old-broad kinda way), and Brown University's George Street Journal has a moderately chilling piece on parents who depend on faith healing. The fun thing about atheists is that you find them in the most unlikely places.  

Wednesday, November 6
Election Day's over and everyone is in a tizzy, proving once again that people just don't get it. At least Libertarians manage to keep their post-defeat realism in tact

The Filthy Critic says: "I Spy is syphillis on the dick of cinema." Someday we'll live in a world where Gene Shalit opens his reviews with lines like that. Someday...

Tuesday, November 5
And now a moment of silence in memory of Jonathan Harris. Here's nice online tributes from Harry Knowles and Chiller Theater.

Science fiction technology continues to manifest itself. This week: Smart paint with chameleon-like qualities.

I have a low opinion of most forms of fandom, so I had a few belly laughs from this story on a Jimmy Buffet fan convention. I don't know what tickled me  more, the fact that these pudgy, pretentious, tequila-soaked boomers in floral print call their little shindig The Meeting of the Minds, or the fact that one of the attendees interviewed states his occupation as "a poet-carpenter and member of Parrot Heads chapters in Key West."  My only brush with these idiots was the night I attended a Bowie/Nine Inch Nails show, and I arrived at the music theater to discover it had been trashed by Buffet fans the night before. Lawn turf was torn up, seats were damaged, and there was small fire damage everywhere. It is disheartening for an industrial music crowd to try and top that. 

Sunday, November 3
News stories and messages about the Godless March on Washington are filtering in. The consensus: turnout was moderate, religious protesters were light, and it needed to be promoted more. C-Span had a crew there, so they'll probably show footage from it after the elections.

Locus is reporting that author Charles Sheffield has died.

Fangoria and Harry Knowles report that B-Movie cheerleader Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith has also died.

And speaking of cheerleaders, someone has made an off-broadway musical out of Debbie Does Dallas. Yes, the porn film. It's in a real theater and is getting actual reviews. Even the porn industry is shaking its head.

Friday, November 1
Kneel before your new master...Dr. Robot!
So, if I understand correctly, NASA won't fund antimatter propulsion for cheap deep-space exploration, but they'll fund a campaign to convince conspiracy theorists that we actually went to the moon! I recommend not thinking about this one too hard, you'll just hurt yourself.

There is something ominous and simply Lovecraftian about the announcement that astronomers have found an immeasurably ancient relic star.

You need a good laugh, I can tell...
The theme of this week's Photoshop Phriday at Something Awful is cereal tie-ins to various books and movies. My favorite: EraserheadsA Mildly Disturbing Oat Cereal.
I enjoy Matt Fraction's weekly column at Comics ResourcesThis week's was accompanied by photos of an old-style box robot going through his daily routine: walking down the street, playing catch, going to a strip club...
And lastly, just when I thought it was too easy to do political humor, someone turns me on to Scrappleface.

Thursday, October 31
Happy Halloween! has posted photos of Mac O'Lanterns, pumpkins with creepy realistic etched images of Apple personalities like Steve Wozniak and Ellen Feiss. 

The Astronomy Picture of the Day has had some wild images up lately:

Above is a thing is called a Richat Structure. It's a 50 km wide canker sore marring the Sahara, looking up into space like an evil eye. Not right, I tell you, not right at all.

This is an aurora seen up in Finland during the solar wind bombardment of this
past month. Is it any wonder primitive peoples had such wild mythologies? Imagine walking
along with your tribe, minding your own business, when suddenly a mile-high electric
green thing ripples into existence and dances across the horizon. It'd scare the shit outta me.
Is it me or does this particular shape look like Space Ghost's Phantom Cruiser plunging
towards earth?

Wednesday, October 30
Who Wants to be a Scream Queen?

Some news items of interest:
Jon Henley of the Guardian writes: "Leading Paris museums, including the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay, are to move thousands of priceless artworks from their basement storerooms because of a feared "superflood" in the French capital this winter. " Read More.

Patrick Goldstein of CalanderLive admits "If you were looking for a knee-jerk defender of artists' rights, you'd find me first in line. So when I started hearing about CleanFlicksClearPlay and the other Utah companies that have developed technology to edit out profanity, sex and violence from home videos, I was appalled by the idea of people chopping up movies simply to fit their moral sensitivities." Oh, but then it gets interestingRead More 

Tuesday, October 29
TNN has cancelled Robot Wars. Very bummed. It was my favorite of the arena combat shows. However Full Metal Challenge and Monster Garage are both up to the task of filling the void. How can you beat epic mecha carnage? It appeals to both the engineering geek and the viscera-fueled spectator.

David Soyka has written a commentary for Locus explaining why Martian Chronicles is superior to Harry PotterI wasn't aware that this was in question.

The future shock continues as scientists prep to test a transatlantic internet tactile interface. Here it comes, people: The end of dating, the end of traditional porn, the end of going out. Our days and nights will be spent cocooned within a full-immersion chassis. Our limbs will atrophy with each successive generation. It is sooooo over.

Monday, October 28
Updated Nov. 15: The website for the Manray Club in Cambridge, MA, has a teaser for the first annual Miss Gothic Massachusetts pageant. It's listed for January 24, 2003, and they are accepting applications online. Will there be a Miss Congeniality? Is anything taboo in the talent contest? Is a swimsuit competition out of the question? We here at Bad Day will be following this story closely in coming months.

File this under "I'm always the last to know:"
Apparently my great and unconditional affection for the number of strippers and former strippers I count among my dear friends is in conflict with my wholesale contempt for unions and their corrupt practices. The source of this conflict? The Exotic Dancers Alliance

I just looked at the site for the new George Clooney remake of Solaris. Christ, are there any good design people left in Hollywood? Every piece of set work looks loosely based on something else. This is a Stanislaw Lem story we're talking about here, one full-to-bursting with weirdness and illusion. Spending millions of dollars to shit out another generic Aliens cum 2010 environment is just cowardly. As bored as I was by Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda, at least they were never short on strange hardware and imaginative sets. One of the reasons why I can't bring myself to watch films anymore is the volume of raw incompetentcy that passes for "inspired" creative vision these days.  

Sunday, October 27
I read with glee that the Chronicle of Higher Education has purchased Arts & Letters Daily and put it back on the web. This news service of cultural and intellectual tidbits has consistantly managed to bring light to some buried issues. Nice to see the good guys win.

My brief correspondence with Master Annotater Jess Nevins has led to a few of my paltry observations about the cover of issue 3 of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 2 being included on the latest update of his site. In other LoEG news Comics Continuum has published photos from a special on the upcoming movie, including this rather silly shot of a guy in a Mr. Hyde body suit. He looks like Popeye. I do not have high hopes for this film, and fear that it may spin off into a WB cartoon.

ToyMania has published a photo of the Lord of The Rings Treebeard the Ent action figure, giving us an idea of what he will look like in The Two Towers

Next time you plan to go grocery shopping, stop by the Gallery of Regrettable Foods. They've got some simply distressing recipes and a slide show of old food advertisements. My buttocks rumble just looking at them.

I have found myself mildly addicted to the testimonials recounted with passion and absurdity at Read Comics in I pull out and peruse my comics often, when sitting in the diner or waiting for an oil change. The responses I get range from disgust (a lady reading a Jackie Collins novel turned her nose up at me as I read Transmetropolitan) to sad attempts at conversation ("Duuuuude, are you into X-Men?). Occasionally I'll get someone who shows genuine interest or asks to look at one. Try it some time.
It is amazing how many great Sherlock Holmes Sites exist on the web. It recently dawned on me that there hasn't been a decent Holmes project in a while. No movies, TV shows or comics. However that awful Holmes-in-the-
future cartoon with the bumbling cyborg-robocop Watson is still in syndication.

Acid Logic has a nice tribute to Ray Harryhausen.
"Evil is not self-sustaining. That which stands defiantly opposed to reality cannot survive on its own. Its enduring existence requires the acquiescence of the good. Existentially, the irrational survives parasitically, by feeding off the rational; intellectually, an irrational idea gains influence fraudulently, by covering itself with a veneer of rationality...The weapon necessary to defend against evil is justice: the unequivocal identification of the evil as evil. This means the refusal to grant it, by word or by deed, any moral respectability. It is by scrupulously withholding from the irrational even a crumb of a moral sanction, by rejecting any form of accommodation with the irrational, by forcing the irrational to stand naked and unaided, that one keeps evil impotent."
                                                                   Peter Schwartz    

David Brooks of The Atlantic has penned a too-true article on the misuse of self esteem. It is a facsinating social phenomenon to witness: people devoid of talent, lacking any measurable personality traits, and flat-lining on the charisma meter, who still manage to speak and act as if you enjoy being with them. Idiots walk among us.

Saturday, October 26 
There's No Such Thing as Too Much Free Time:

These pix of Heather Menzies and Valerie Bertenelli are from a glorious site called  This comprehensive labor of love by one "Robin Wings" is chock full of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and other women with mesmerizing, gravity defying tresses. There's a gallery of contemporary examples as well, but who cares? Give me those magnificent goddesses of my youthMmmmmmmmm.

While looking up teaching aids for a lesson on Ben Franklin, Jennifer discovered a Virtual Armonica. She has suggested that I compile an entire virtual orchestra of obscure instruments for the links page. Why don't I come up with ideas like that?

Just in time for the 30th anniversary of man leaving the moon for the last time, NASA unveiled some plans for the future. Nothing really new here: big centrifugal space stations and LaGrange colonies and all the stuff we were supposed to have in space by the year 2000 but didn't thanks to a consortium of small minds and mediocrity-mongers. Although oxygen conservation, muscle atrophy, and the effect of acceleration on the body are all very important in the further study of human space exploration, I'm glad someone is getting to the important stuff.

And now, will the bibliophiles among you please bow your heads and join me in a moment of silence as we pay our respects and mourn the loss of Avenue Victor Hugo Books in Boston.

Our headlong rush towards technological singularity continues with three stories out of the increasingly freakish computing world. First, Scientific American has a piece on applying quantum mechanics to information science and the strange, unnatural things that might happen. Secondly, IBM has built a computing circuit out of a few carbon monoxide molecules! Lastly, another science fiction fetish-trope became an uber-cool reality when techies built a liquid crystal computer out of a single piece of glass
Remember those haughtyadvanced alien races on Space: 1999 who always had flat transparent controls? They would operate their technology by deftly waving their hands over it. They knew machines had to have style. 
They also had domineering women in hot outfits with electro-whips. What role they'll play in the singularity remains to be seen. Pray with me, brothers..
Speaking of women, the yummy Dita Von Teese has completely re-vamped (HA!) her site in the wake of her appearance in Playboy. I am hoping she can be lured to the east coast for more burlesque shows sometime soon.

George Dvorsky of Better has written a much-needed response to Wesley Smith's shrieking, vaguely theocratic condemnation of Transhumanism in last month's National Review.

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