Archive November 10 - 30 2002
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Saturday, November 30
Well, the weathermen in our region have managed to get the details wrong on both snowstorms so far. Like a porn film gone horribly awry, the white stuff came harder, faster, and in greater quantity than forecasted. And today is supposed to be in the mid-40s. Anyone for a slushball fight?

More Life-Imitates-Pulp: Scientists now theorize that before all the stars in the universe ignited, there was a long cosmic winter, a galactic dark age full of exotic matter and violent upheavals. If that's not Lovecraftian enough, how about the recent strange Food of the Gods behavior of bees and giant jellyfish?

State Farm Insurance has posted an index of the most dangerous intersections. I smell an annual contest.

Both Steven Grant and Mike Sangiacomo have written excellent pieces concerning the Jesus Castillo case in Texas. If you have not been following this abortion of justice, might I recommend visiting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for the whole sorrid tale.

Moonstone Comics, the people who produced the recent Kolchak book, have just released a new hard-boiled Boston Blackie comic. So far their track record has been pretty good. I'm holding out hope for a Burke's Law comic.
This week's Photoshop PhridayRejected Software Ideas.
This week's RetrocrushRacially Offensive Snack Packaging of the 70's.
More Lego Fun: The Next Generation Enterprise.

Somebody has finally answered my prayers and posted a simple step-by- step photographic guide to creating male cleavage. No more wasted nights.

And if anybody out there is shopping for a gift for me, I just learned that Rycodisc has released two new CDs of unreleased Bill Hicks material. Hint hint.

Wednesday, November 27
I'll probably skip making entries over the next few days. The extended Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally the most frantic period in broadcasting as all the holiday shopping ads start running. I've worked every turkey day for the last decade so I occasionally get a tad depressed this time of year. As I don't get to see my family I'll celebrate with a pot of turkey chili and a bottle of wine. We're expecting our seminal winter precipitation here in the northeast this weekend, which means everyone driving will be mysteriously transformed into a complete imbecile. Be careful out there.

The Jazz a' Vienne, an annual French music festival, has caused a stir by using a devil baby latched onto to a big ol' tittie as its primary promotional image. But I thought mother's milk was essential for strong horns...

Laura Miller of the New York Times has written a piece describing in broad terms how we now live in a Philip K. Dick world (free registration required). And if you won't take her word, be aware that facial transplants are on the horizon.

There has been some buzz going around about the website Show Me Your Wound. I can unconditionally say that I will probably be sending them photos soon. I have matching scars on the back of each hand, a 25 year old wad of sub-dermal pencil lead lodged in my shoulder, and the remnants of a few minor injuries. I'll show them to anyone at the drop of a hat.
Tuesday, November 26
Microsoft is releasing more details on its planned Surrogate Brain. Nothing mind-blowing, mostly a dolled-up organizer. Still, could be cool.

Steven Soderbergh apparently doesn't think Solaris is a science fiction story. Wow. I'm certain Stanislaw Lem is relieved to hear that his tale of a shapeshifting telepathic planet-sized lifeform, the torturous limitations of the human psyche, and how man mentally adapts to environments and entities completely outside the realm of experience is in reality "a love story with all these issues sort of wrapped around it." 

Monday, November 25
More comic book scenarios unfolding into reality: The recent tectonic activities brought on by Mt. Etna are apparently causing a long-sunken island to rise off the coast of Sicily. Monsters can't be far behind.

Ellen Feiss speaks!

The success of the Human Genome Project has inspired other daunting undertakings. The National Virtual Observatory is working towards rendering a digital replica of the sky, while scientists work away at building a comprehensive map of the human brain. The award for the most surreal of these cartographies goes to Darryl R. J. Macer, who plans to map all human ideas. Where his idea for this "Mental Map" will actually appear on the map remains to be seen. Work begins in February.

After I mock Nigerians for rioting over a beauty pagaent, students at Ohio State torch the city over a football victory. Sigh. Where are the scoops from Soylent Green when you need them?

If you've a businessman, a member of the clergy, or have ever given a Power Point presentation, this is your worst nightmare.

British Pathe has established a very cool online archive where you can stream and download old movie newsreels. You can also order certain stories on tape. I love old newsreels, especially the enthusiastic voice over narration. News just isn't fun anymore.

Speaking of fun, Bob Gelinas sends a link to the web site of David Oakes and his gallery of golden age heroes and other characters done up Lego style. More fun can be found at City of Domes, which has a gallery of beautiful Logan's Run Recreations.

The mighty King Crimson are holding a captioning contest for their current EP Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With. Also, Crim alum Greg Lake has a spiffy new website.

Rolling Stone, the grandfather of all shitty music magazines, has posted a thoroughly nauseating feature called Women Who Rock! full of some really bad performers (although they did list Joni Mitchell). I think I can safely say that Cher has never "rocked" at any point in her career. Here's a top-of-my-head list of extremely talented female bands, singers, and musicians who have managed to keep music interesting and, surprise surprise, didn't make Rolling Stone's cut:
Ars Nova
Monica Richards of Faith & the Muse
Happy Rhodes
Guitarist Jaye Foucher
Siouxie Sioux
Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil
Lorenza Ponce
Valerie Forgione of Mistle Thrush
Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering
Lana Lane
Jennifer Huff of Dark Aether Project
Shonen Knife
Tracy McShane of Mastermind
Kim Deal
Patty Scoboria
Liv Kristine Espenæs of Theatre of Tragedy
Nina Gordon
Rachel Z.
Alison Jane Shaw of Cranes
Lisa Bouchelle of October Baby
Antigone Rising
And so on and so on...

Sunday, November 24
I am battling a tenacious cold, so I'm a little cranky. Had planned on going to the Super Mega Fest in Boston and hanging out with friends Lee and Dave as a reward for finishing my holiday shopping, but chose to rest up instead. I did, however, begin archiving older entries on this page, so the weekend's not wasted.

The boys at Retrocrush have posted a gallery of Great TV and Movie Robots, including my favorites like Roscoe Lee Brown's Box from Logan's Run and the drill-dick robots from Flesh Gordon

From the rapidly growing list of disturbing Lovecraftian scientific discoveries that continually threaten us comes word of the "first evidence of a previously undetected form of matter passing through the Earth."  C'mon now, somebody had to have gained super powers from this. Watch the skies.

I was trolling the activism site Redheads United when I discovered this two year old story that evolution may have designed Scottish redheads to be more sexually attractive. As if there was ever any doubt...well, maybe a little.

Friday, November 22
Ghostland, one of the best progressive rocks sites on the web, has gotten a face lift. It now loads noticably faster. They have a great New Releases section, an exhaustive index of sites for Bands and Musicians, and a useful Concert Calender.

They are killing each other in Nigeria over comments made made about the Miss World pageant. What was I saying the other day about a "cognitive divide?" Governments that allow this magnitude of stupidity to occur in their nations should be dismantled by force. Sorry guys, you had a go at it, but we have to draw the line at killing someone over a big ticket cheesecake show.

Mainframe Animation has announced plans to produce a CGI show based on the 80s Epic comic The Alien Legion.

Today's Photoshop Phriday at Something AwfulRegular Books for Science Fiction Fans.

Thursday, November 21
The European Space Agency is holding a Science Fiction competition. My guess is that they are out of ideas and trying to drum up new ones.

In similar news several articles have popped up concerning the upcoming attempt at creating "designer life." This comes at almost the exact time that Microsoft announces plans to build a "surrogate brain." (insert techie joke here). These two tropes of science fiction have always struck me as not only inevitable, but overdue. I expect a day when a certain percentage of folks live in super-bodies with intelligence and memory capabilities off the scale. Just look at this story about the new World's Fastest Computer (scroll down). Of course, this all should have happened decades ago. Now that it's fast approaching, some idiots are warning against a cultural "Cognitive Divide" (free registration required)

Wednesday, November 20 reports that the country of Greece has banned the popular Living Dead Dolls from being sold. Apparently Greek children, after being introduced to ouzo and sweet wine at the age of 8, can't possibly handle the  cross-breeding of the abhorant concept of "cute" with cartoonish horror. I can only imagine the Greek culture-police's reaction to the Toxic Teddies, especially the one who's "into leather" and the one that's just slit its wrists.

Sean Nelson has penned a funny piece for the local Seattle paper The Stranger covering some basic rules of grammar. It made me wince with guilt more than once. Grammar is my weak point, moreso than spelling. Copious errors of both are noticable on this site more often than I care too admit. This page tends to suffer the most damage as the text function of the Homestead template doesn't have a spelling and grammar checker. When possible I write in Microsoft Word and then transfer the text to here. I know, I know, I should use a more advanced page builder.
My main problem is that I think faster than I type, and try drafting terse and effective sentences instead of well-executed ones. I am fortunate to have an english teacher for a girlfriend, one who is always willing to take her relentless red pencil to my words with relish and, if I'm not mistaken, an evil grin on her face.
Of late I have been scouring such sites as Grammar Online and Daily Grammar (especially their archive) in an attempt to hone and polish my skills. Other sites of immeasurable usefulness include and Merriam- Webster. There are also the more esoteric language resources like The Dicshunary, the Slang Dictionary, and the Crude Thesaurus.   

Yeah, men fake orgasmswhat about it?

And it is impossible for me to resist a "sex news" story that opens with the words "A group of weary Berliners..."

Tuesday, November 19
I would ask for a moment of silence, but the death of James Coburn requires swank, jazzy music playing. Harry Knowles has a nice tribute to him. Hopefully he is in some swingin' afterlife surrounded by babes. On a related subject, here's some pix of the yummy Gila Golan who co-starred with Coburn in Our Man Flint

Photos of the Kingdom Come action figures were made public, a well as the uber-creepy Zanti Misfits!

ho ho ho He He He HA HA HA: John Lennon's stashbox is being auctioned off.
The Leonid meteors were a bit anti-climactic now that we know a black hole is hurtling through space near us.

Sunday, November 17 once again displays its irrelevence in the marketplace of ideas with a story on the shocking fact that certain photos of politicians in less-than-competent situations may be fakes. This brilliant piece of deductive reasoning comes only two months after Snopes broke the same story. The piece attempts to make the point that parodies affect the way people view politicians (as opposed to the politicians being parodies themselves) and lays full blame on the Photoshoppers who create these images. I guess expecting critical thinking skills on the part of the populace is just too outrageous a concept. In the meantime tens of thousands of pairs of jaundiced eyes fall upon sites like Truthorfiction.comHoaxbusters, and Purportal (with its wonderful Links section) to confirm and validate their cynicism. You should too.

Friday, November 15
May you live in interesting times:
Sophia Loren is being courted by Playboy.
There is now a "Captain Kirk Principle"
Jeffrey Jones is apparently a sex criminal.
Mickey Mouse existed in the middle ages.
Dying Zambians won't eat genetically modified corn.

Damn, another great Star Trek writer has died. Hilary Bader worked on ST:tNG and was a driving force behind the best episodes of Batman Beyond. Our chances of ever getting a good Trek series again are dwindling.

In the meantime, word has come down that Lucasfilm intends to produce a Clone Wars animated series. Hopefully Mr. Lucas watched Justice League: The Savage Time and picked up some pointers on how to make an epic story with multiple sub-plots work in the short form without confusing the living fuck out of the viewer. Feh! Who am I kidding? 

It has also been announced that there will be a, dare I speak it, a Godzilla Vs. Gamera film! AAAAAAAHRGH! Dopamine floods my forebrain!

Lastly, is the pope catholic?

Wednesday, November 13
I intend to risk garnering the contempt of all my friends and aquaintances by having all my holiday shopping done by this weekend. It will involve much coffee and a steely resolve. After that I will tap my spent, fevered mind for this year's Holiday card.

The unproduced Douglas Adams Dr. Who script "Shada" is being produced as a downloadable radio show at BBCi.

In my lifetime I will eat dinner at a restaurant that features fighting robots.

For those who fret over the fear-fueled authoritarian tendencies of today's government, Atomic has a story about the 1957 FBI investigation into Mad Magazine.

And speaking of stupid, how shallow, soulless, and conceited is this guy?

Futurism has a face: Natasha Vita More has been getting a lot of mainstream press lately. I just saw her on a TLC evolution special this week.

Monday, November 11
Rocky Mountain News has a story on the buying power of stupid people.

DC Comics posted their plans for 2003. A few eyebrow-raisers.

Locus announces that Star Trek writer Jerry Sohl has died.

Sunday, November 10
Went to see the California Guitar Trio at the Hooker Dunham Theater in Brattleboro. The show was great, but I experienced a mild sense of displacement watching it. Although CGT plays a lot of classical music, they have always fallen into the "prog rock" category. When I've seen the band in the past it has always been in the company of a large "prog" crowd, such as this past spring when they shared a bill at The Middle East with The Flower Kings. Their show in Brattleboro, however, was a distinctly "art-snob" event: lots of handsome women and non-threatening men in cable-knit sweaters and organic fibers, bearing a generalized prevailant attitude that they are somehow the annointed ones for supporting the arts. Prog fans (including myself) tend to be an arrogant lot, but this was a different flavor altogether.
Compare and contrast that with this image from the CGT roadcam page featuring the ungainly form of yours truly (in shorts, no less) cheering from the bar at New Haven's late, lamented Tune Inn. 
I'm going to the Frank Black show tonight to cleanse my pallete.

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