Archive August 2 - 15 2003
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Friday, August 15
So I'm sittin' around thinking about the power outage and the image from Atlas Shrugged of the lights going out in New York. I do a quick Google search to find the exact line, and instead I find this page discribing how Shrugged was apparently a roadmap for the Illuminati takeover of the world.  Combine this with Mark Vadnais' discovery of Ayn Rand's biorhythm and numerology page makes me wonder what else was going on...

Assorted items:
The latest Shakespeare Magazine gives us a list of 12 must-visit websites about the bard.
Gotta love this Ananova headline "Man Loses False Leg on Rollercoaster."
And in keeping with that theme, here's some inflatable legs from Disturbing Auctions.
Another strange blow-up doll: an inflatable Dalek.
There's new entries at Japanese Engrish.
The Surly Heckler provides us with a test to determine obsessive compulsive behavior.
There's an official website for the Mile High Club.

Thursday, August 14 is providing a live phonecam feeds from metro areas affected by the power outage.

On July 16, University of North Carolina's Wilson Library received some 26,000 comic books, weighing more than two tons from local alumnus (and fanboy) Dan Breen.

It's the last week for's Design-A-Thulhu competition.

Tech Talk: Terrence J. Sejnowski of Science Magazine calls for more science TV.
Ronald Bailey of Reason Online explains why technology will be the defining battle of the 21st century.
Sarah Granger of Mindjack explains the trouble with e-voting.
Wilpen Gorr of Wired explores the chilling possibility of forecasting criminal behavior.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds of Tech Station Central sings the praises of systems producing faster knowledge.
And to cleanse the pallate, let's read along as Rev. David A Robertson uses logic to prove the existence of God.

Wednesday, August 13
Very Cool: The G.I. Joe Blackhawk box set.

Last week Joshua Elder criticized the most recent issue of JLA for portraying Superman as unpatriotic. Now he has posted a dialog between himself and JLA writer Joe Kelly over at Slush Factory. I don't know what surprises me more, the fact that this confluence of politics and superhero comics makes more sense than most everything else in the current political climate, or the fact that two adults can have such a reasoned discussion about it. Also, I retract some of the mean things I said about Mr. Elder last week: the man knows his comics.

Recommended Readin': How have I survived this long without the Cool Robot of the Week site? This is one of the many robot links that James Patrick Kelly shares with us in his latest On The Net column in Asimov's Science Fiction.
One day after George Dvorsky discussed the effect of media attention of the Transhumanist movement, Nicholas D. Kristof of the NY Times chimed in.
Myron Magnet of City Journal answers the question What Use is Literature?
Jonathan Shaw of Harvard Magazine profiles the builders of the pyramids.
Matthew Graybosch of SOLO HQ looks at the virginity fetish held by christianity.

Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, the minds behind the deliciously twisted comic Tongue Lash, have announced the creation of Black Coat Press. This new imprint will be focused on reviving pulp characters.

The latest print issue of Atomic has a great feature on lunchboxes which led me, strangely enough, to I am torn between the Rosie the Riveter and the Mexican Day of the Dead.
Atomic is also selling a cool Women in Crime calendar. Only 132 days 'til Christmas.

Tuesday, August 12
Cathy Young at Reason Online looks at the social and biological forces behind infidelity, a subject the city fathers of Hanoi don't take to kindly to.

Assorted Items:
Retrocrush has a pictorial tribute to a playground in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco that adheres to old school, pre-safety-precaution standards. Simply glorious. has an interview with author Dan Simmons as well as a review of the CD release of Bernard Herrmann's The Day The Earth Stood Still soundtrack.
Jerome Groopman of the New Yorker askes: Can hypochondria be cured?
My favorite science story in a while is Dan Ferber's The Man Who Mistook his Girlfriend for a Robot at Popular Science.

Monday, August 11
Recommended Readin': At Better Humans George Dvorsky examines how academic and media attention has benefitted the Transhumanist monement. Karen Armstrong explains the hazards of mixing religious myth & history at The Guardian. Christopher Hitchens tells us that the British are crumbling under Europe's current heatwave.

Who cares if there are no holidays in August? This is Elvis Week. The Perseid meteor shower peaks on Tuesday and Wednesday. And if that still ain't enough for you, Wednes- day is Left-Handers' Day.

Who wants to marry a cosmonaut? Yuri Malenchenko, 41, has tied the knot with his American girlfriend, Russian-born Yekaterina Dmitriyeva, by video link between the International Space Station and Nasa space control center in Houston. Coverage at BBC,, and Red Nova.

For the record, God killed 371,186 people directly and ordered another 1,862,265 people murdered.  The Evil Bible tells me so.

Sunday, August 10
Oh good, now the universe is a hologram.

Yesterday I pointed out an odd collision between comics and politics, and started to wonder just how deep and twisted the overlap could go.
Then I found this Abe Novick op-ed in the Boston Globe...

Saturday, August 9
I got a big kick out of Aaron Haspel's Objectivist Bestiary. Best line: "it's all good for Sense-of-Life Guy."

Comic Book Stuff: Newsarama has a neat report from yesterday's Vertigo panel at Wizard World. Comic Book Resources has an interview with Grant Morrison. Copious kudos go to Dan at Extrasonic for finding this Joshua Elder piece from Frontpage condemning the latest issue of JLA for being leftist propaganda. Mr. Elder's shrieking protest illustrates a singular lack of understanding, or perhaps stilted reading skills. The silver lining, of course, is that yet another comic is being chatted up in political circles, further diluting the "for kids" argument. Also, Dan at Extrasonic recently launched, a blog dedicated to, in his words,  "some of the most socially and culturally unacceptable behavior in the news and on the web." Go read it.

Friday, August 8
Recommended Readin': Charles Paul Freund looks at Stalin's plot to kill John Wayne at Reason Online. Annalee Newitz of Alternet explains why she violates copyrights everyday. SOLO HQ's Russell Madden wants to make sure we're clear on the concept of rights. Elisa Batista of  Wired tells us some deaf folks are not happy about the sign language translator glove.

Thursday, August 7
Although I will not be purchasing a George W. Bush Elite Force Naval Aviator action figure, I am understandably curious if it will fit into those old Captain Action superhero costumes.

Those who ignore history...and math, for that matter...

Given the current economy, I enjoy the fact that the Financial Times is running a story exploring why humans cry.

Speaking of history (and crying), it doesn't do the reputation of science fiction fandom a lick of good when people protest the SciFi Channel remake of Battlestar Galactica. I have to assume that this is a way to kill time before the new fall season. Why else would full grown adults commit brainspace to this? Galactica was a bit of Glen Larson fluff that took itself too seriously and shit in its own pants by the end of the first season. It is not a mythos or canonical in any way. If you want to cry about something, go protest the new Tarzan show.

Image Comics' new science fiction book Faction Paradox is one of the best first issues I've read in a while (Well, at least since Wildstorm's Arrowsmith). Turns out the franchise has been around for a while. Fortunately there's a website to learn everything about it.
Also, the new J. Michael Straczynski book Supreme Power came out. Straczynski was interviewed at Newsarama about the first issue, which sold over 100,000 issues, making it the first Marvel Max imprint book to do so. Guess nobody told 'em comics were for kids.

Wednesday, August 6
The latest print issue of Discover has a cool piece about the Tate Gallery's ambitious competition to design an orbiting museum. Check out the winners.

Signs of the Apocalypse: Dark energy continues to plague our universe. A massive galactic storm is about to sweep through our solar system. An artist in England is planning to have a bioengineered ear grafted onto his arm. Psychics in the Bay area will soon be required to get licenses. It's over, dear friends. The time of unmaking has begun.

Movie Stuff: Ain't It Cool News has broken the story that Martin Scorsese may be interested in making films based on Dan Simmons' Hyperion novels. Hollywood North Report has pix of cars and store fronts from the upcoming I, Robot movie. There is an official site for the in-production film Trekkies 2.

Assorted Items: is a site that recommends what book you should read depending on your mood.  Pictures of Places is, well, exactly what it claims to be. There's a preview of Mark Millar's upcoming projects at Newsarama. The Planetary Society is gathering greetings and messages for Ray Bradbury's upcoming birthday.

Tuesday, August 5
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund updates us on the Jesus Castillo case.

If you're an atheist, a humanist, or any flavor of Bright, please join me in congratulating the Raving Atheist for celebrating a cantankerous year on the web. You might also want to read Tom Coates piece on being an unbeliver. Be aware that there exists a site that wants to make monotheistic faith a constitutional amendment. I also like the fact that you can purchase the sacrament of the eucharist in snack-pack form.

Simon Smith of Better Humans tells us the future looks good for life extension.

Acid Logic's most recent Interesting Motherfucker is comedian John Witherspoon.

My fellow bloggers have unearthed many goodies lately. Metafilter gave us the world's largest camera. Geekpress shows us this neat sign-language translator glove and these fun 3-D pictures. The Gospel According to Mark takes us to the Infra-Red Zoo and presents some convincing forensic evidence that Paul is dead.

Monday, August 4
Comic Stuff: Comic Book Resourses tells us that a script for a film based on Bryan Talbot's Luther Arkwright is in the works. A big preview of J. Michael Stracyznski & Gary Frank's  Supreme Power is popping up all over the web. This weekend the Harvey Awards were announced. Sequential Tart interviews Peter David.

At Reason Online Michael Valdez Moses looks at the nostalgic yet progressive appeal of wizards, hobbits, and Jedi knights.

New stuff at Webguide links to Fanboy Radio and Femme Fatales, as well as an interview with writer Richard Christian Matheson.

Yesterday CBS Sunday Morning had a piece by Bill Geist (who recently did an excellent report on contemporary burlesque) about the growing trend of suburbanites raising chickens. He featured the Murray McMurray Hatchery, whose website hosts some of the most majestic, ridiculous, and downright evil-looking poultry imaginable.
Speaking of Sunday Morning, go visit Remembering Charles Kuralt.

Sunday, August 3
Recommended Readin':
Christopher Hitchens wonders if Bob Hope was ever funny.
Nick Gillespie explains how Schwarzenegger could have liberated U.S. politics.
Dave Barry talks about his ass.

Gravity Lens has been listed and indexed over at Blogwise. Go forth and browse.

I have officially begun work on this year's Bad Day Studio Holiday Card. This in itself is of no importance. But three weeks ago, upon taking delivery of some items from the always- useful Diamond Comics Catalog, I started my holiday shopping as well. Hate mail may be sent here.

Saturday, August 2
Sign of the Future: Here is a breathtaking high-res image of the White Knight reusable spacecraft skirting over the Mojave desert against a background of windpower turbines. The entire image smacks of the art of John Berkey and Syd Mead.

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