Archive: November 30 - December 31, 2003
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The 2003 Bad Day Studio Holiday Card in online. The story's called Coin of the Realm.

Wednesday, December 31
"Good King Wence's Car Backed Out, On The Feet of Heathens..."

Comic Stuff: UGO Comics talks to Frankenstein Mobster creator Mark Wheatley.
Both Dirk Deppy and Steven Grant have posted their year-end columns.
Speaking of that, as I write this it's already 2004 in a lot of the world. As with last year at this time I am anxious to get this year behind me. Then I remember that the calendar is just an arbitrary measurement of our terrestrial orbit, and that tomorrow will just be another day.
That being said, be careful out there tonight.

Tuesday, December 30
Yesterday writer Warren Ellis sent an email out to the subscribers of his Bad Signal mailing list (which you should join, y'know) saying he would give interviews to websites. The interviews could consist of four questions, provided they were not the same old questions.
I thought this was a neat idea. Then I remembered: I have a website...

JP: Is there, or has there ever been, a guide/roadmap/legend to Spider Jerusalem's tattoos or their significance?
Warren: 'Fraid not, no.

JP: After the Strange Killings stories, have you entertained the notion of doing anything in the slipstream urban fantasy, China Mieville-esque "new weird" playground? Or is it played out?
Warren: I don't know if it's played out: I've only read Mieville's THE SCAR, which is probably the only fantasy novel I've enjoyed in the last fifteen years.

JP: There's been news that Henry Rollins will be appearing on the next William Shatner album. Are there any precautions we should take?
Warren: Over here, Henry Rollins is a tv game show presenter. It was all over for him a while ago. Just let him fadeaway peacefully.

JP: Is there any food that Red Bull goes well with? (I ask because I've only met with tart, pursed-lipped failure.)
Warren: Red Bull only goes with cigarettes.

Thank you Mr. Ellis.

Assorted Items:
Webmaster Jonathan Leger wrote in to promote his excellent site The Sherlock Holmes Chronicles, which will soon go on the Holmes section of my Amazing Colossal Link Page.
Gary Marcus of the Boston Review tells us why we've misunderstood the nature-nurture debate, while Joseph Rowlands of SOLO HQ calls us to battle against bad ideas. interviews author Brian Herbert about his father Frank Herbert.
The Library of Congress has put up an online exhibit of cartoontist Al Hirschfeld's work.

Monday, December 29
Okay, how creepy is the Witch Head Nebula?

SciFi Web Guide linked to Space, a site that rightly (and brutally) criticizes the pork-driven monopoly on American space exploration held by NASA.

I found the website of James L. Venable, the man who composes the infectious soundtrack for Samurai Jack as well as several other cartoons. Yes, it has audio clips. Now if only there was a soundtrack cd...

Recommended Readin': Ross Gittins of SMH tells us why gift giving is illogical.
Roger Kerr of Policy has issues with the misuse of the word "we."
Lee Harris of Tech Central Station questions the language of the war on terror.
Cathy Young of the Boston Globe examines the alleged secular assault on Christmas.
Michelle Delio of Wired tells us what 2004 will really be like.

Sunday, December 28
Recommended Readin':
The NY Times gives us 2003's most overrated and underrated ideas.
David Stanway of Butterflies & Wheels sees religion as a great leap backward
John McWhorter of the Washington Post wonders if anything is considered "bad language."
Cullen Murphy of The Atlantic mourns the loss of behavioral standards.
James Randi looks at a man who doesn't eat and other subjects in his weekly column.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives us more examples of naming babies after brands.
Dave Barry looks back at the year that's been.

Friday, December 26
WWCKD: What Would Captain Kirk Do?

In the latest issue of Free Inquiry Paul Kurtz defines planetary humanism, Arnell Dowret takes a look at the Bright movement, and Bill Cooke deconstructs religion's anthropocentric conceit.

Thursday, December 25
The Beagle has landed, but there's still no confirmation that it's in one piece. It has yet to send out it's "a-ok" tones. I was unaware that the band Blur had written the piece

Jennifer continued her tradition of getting me stuff I've always wanted (which in the past has yielded a bar globe and a spyglass-handled walking stick) by getting me a celestial orrery.

Wednesday, December 24
Spend Christmas Eve tracking Santa on radar, or perhaps following the Beagle 2 probe as it lands on Mars.

Recommended Readin': Lee Harris of Tech Central Station blames Christmas.
W. Wayt Gibbs of Scientific American tells us why robots should be afraid.
The Ayn Rand Institute website posted Harry Binswanger's excellent (if overdue) piece on the morality on cloning. They've also re-posted Leonard Peikoff's classic Why Christmas Should Be More Commercial.

Tuesday, December 23
Assorted Items: gives us the Top Ten Astronomical Pictures of 2003.
There's a new Wallace & Grommit holiday short at Atomfilms
Oh, and apparently Lenny Bruce wasn't obscene after all.

I am ashamed to say that I missed the profile of Alan Moore in Slate last week, as well as the news of a possible Watchmen movie.
Speaking of comics, Broken Frontier looks at Christmas comics, which is the also the subject of Scott Shaw's Oddball Comics at Comic Book Resources all this week. 
If the holiday spirit is moving you in strange new directions, might I suggest reading some Lovecraftian poems for the season (curled up with a snuggly Santa Cthulhu, of course), or perhaps go completely mad with a bit of Captain Scarlet Christmas fan fiction.

Monday, December 22
L. Ron Hubbard: The MusicalSIgh.

Recommended Readin': Cathy Young of the Boston Globe looks at the "new anti-semitism."
Ben Tripp of Counterpunch shows us the relevance of art in times of crisis.
Ralph Kinney Bennett of Tech Central Station compares gifts from 50 years ago with today.
Howard Jacobson of The Guardian explains the importance of escapism in literature.
George Dvorsky of Better Humans warns of the dangers of ignorance, and has the neat idea of treating scientific illiteracy as a disability.  Testify my brother! 

Sunday, December 21
Interesting piece in Scientific American by Bart P. Wakker and Philipp Richter about the life cycle and dynamics of the Milky Way.

Friday, December 19
Actress Madlyn Rhue, who played Marla McGivers in Space Seed, has died.

Assorted Items:
Alien Online reports that Spider Robinson is going to write the next Robert Heinlein book.
Andrew Wheeler of Ninth Art gives us Glossary of Comic Book Terms.
John Byrne continues his look at comic icons at UGO Comics.
Something Awful's Photoshop Phriday gives us a gallery of Holiday albums.
Retrocrush brings the pain by pitting Heat Miser against Show Miser.

Thursday, December 18
Henry Emrich of SOLO HQ has written a great piece about why people fear Objectivists.

Music News: has announced that the band will do a 30th anniversary tour of North America and Europe in 2004. No sooner do I mention Happy Rhodes when Lolo Records announces that they are releasing her next disc. Meanwhile, multi-talented King Crimson axeman Adrian Belew's website has news that he's gone into the studio to record guitar parts for the upcoming William Shatner album. I think you'll agree with me that the esteemed Mr. Belew has a moral obligation to convince Shat to do a cover of Elephant Talk.

Wednesday, December 17
Stuart Brown of First Science asks: What have the Victorians ever done for us?

Tuesday, December 16
From the Blogosphere: Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing links to a Dalek Christmas.
Coudal Partners direct us to the final resting place of dead logos.
Tom McMahon points to Car & Driver's Ten Japanese Cars You Can't Have.

There have been many additions to the website for Moebius' web series Arzak Rhapsody. Among the new content is an episode guide and an image gallery. Unfortunately I do not read French well and cannot determine from the site when the actual episodes will be available for viewing, what it will cost (if anything), and what formats they will be in. Any help I can get from bilingual readers would be helpful.

I was quite cross that I had to miss the autumn tour of one of my favorite singer/ songwriters Happy Rhodes. Fortunately she's written a lengthy memoir of it, lumps and all.

Assorted Items: In stores this week: Talking Monty Python Holy Grail Figures.
Jesse Walker writes for the Baltimore Sun about the political landscape of cartoons.
SciFi Web Guide linked to The Hall of Maat, a great site debunking "ancient astronauts".
Look at antiquated business machines at Yesterday's Office.

Monday, December 15
Recommended Readin': Harold Bloom at The Guardian tells why Don Quixote rules.
Jacob Sullum at Reason tells us a tale of livery regulation woe.
Neil Hrab of Tech Central Station explores the UN's attempts to socialize the internet.
Leonard David of looks at the possibility of weird alien life.
Tim Adams of The Guardian profiles author Jonathan Lethem.
Josh Elder of UGO Comics tells us what comics we should buy for women.
Dave Barry takes on computer security. 

Sunday, December 14
Went and saw The Animation Show at Hartford's Real Art Ways last night. I highly recommend going if it comes to your town. Among the best bits were CathedralThe Rocks, and a lengthy excerpt from Ward Kimball's Mars and Beyond. According to the show's site it will be out on disc in the spring.

Locus announces that the Internet Review of Science Fiction will debut next month. 

Friday, December 12
It's good to see that the rest of the world is finally realizing that the nerds won.

I won't be posting for a couple days. Trying to get this year's Bad Day Holiday Card finished and off to the printers. 

Wednesday, December 10
The new issue of Juxtapoz has hit the stands. There is a neat story about artist Paul McCarthy who made these giant inflatable sculptures for the Tate Modern. There's also a feature on the wild freaky art of Todd Schorr.

A couple of stories about future "control of the internet." One from Wired, the other from Tech Central Station. I wondered how long before some ass-backward country would demand a right to advance information technology out of "fairness."

Tuesday, December 9
Robert Roy Britt of looks at the possibility of manned spaceflight without NASA.

Cinescape reports that Clive Barker is planning to direct a movie based on his Tortured Souls action figures.

Monday, December 8
Recommended Readin':
George Dvorsky of Better Humans tells us how technology is reshaping China.
Nicholas Maxwell of Philosopher's Magazine wonders if philosophers really love wisdom.
Michael Shermer writes of the implicit threats of alternative medicine at Scientific American.
Frank Rose of Wired hails the second coming of Philip K. Dick.
James Harrigan of Tech Central Station warns against putting feelings before thoughts.
Dave Barry gives us some gift ideas.

If you haven't heard, the January edition of Mad Magazine will be a comics-themed issue featuring the art of Arthur Adams, Michael Allred, John Byrne, J. Scott Campbell, Dave Gibbons, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, and John Romita, Jr.

Sunday, December 7
Assorted Items: Friend Tim Gifford's company VRSim will be featured in a documentary entitled Secrets of Future Airpower. The program debuts on Discovery tonight at 10pm.
Benjamin Wallace-Wells of the Washigton Monthly explains why MTV sucks.
Michael Suileabhain-Wilson deconstructs five geek social fallacies.

Saturday, December 6
Jesse Walker of Reason Hit & Run linked to this Howard Hallis comic of the Cthulhu Mythos as told by christian cartoonist Jack Chick. Here's Chick's legit site as well as the great Chick Parody Archive.
A reminder this holiday season that kids are never too young to learn about Cthulhu.

Friday, December 5
California regulators have banned the sale of genetically engineered fish as pets. I need to understand how California, where hair replacementfake tans, and invasive cosmetic surgery are prerequisites in some places, can have an issue with bioengineering.
Speaking of genetics, Tom McMahon has found another toy based on the likeness of a  scientist: the James D. Watson Bobblehead. Why not a box set with Francis Crick?

Recommened Readin': Warren Ellis looks at post-millennial blues at Art Bomb.
Tibor Machan of SOLO HQ reminds us that champions of liberty can never rest.
Fiona Morgan of Indyweek tells us how copyrights are killing culture.
David Herter of Locus looks at science fiction and fantasy operas of the 20th century.
The Guardian gives us excerpts from the literary Bad Sex Awards.

Thursday, December 4
Mmmmmmmmm... Mothra Twins. Scroll down to the pink button that says "Check" to watch their new music video.

From the "this can't possibly be good" file: New Scientist has a story with the heart-warming headline "Exploding Black Holes Rain Down on Earth." This would certainly explain a lot of the truly fucked-up shit that occurs in this world. Not only that, but apparently solar winds are blowing through huge cracks in the Earth's magnetic field. Y'know, you think you'd notice something like that. I need to keep an eye on Space Weather more often.
In other science news has an article on aircraft for the 21st century, including this nifty Dreamliner which has a swank 2001-ish cabin design.

As the holidays approach Retrocrush reprises its tribute to the Coolest Toys Ever. This might also be a good time to revisit Cap'n Wacky's Gallery of Unfortunate Christmas Cards.

Wednesday, December 3
For the ubergeeks following along at home: This year has brought news of the return of Doctor Who and Blake's Seven, film versions of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf, and a Farscape miniseries. Now comes early word that a new Babylon 5 project could be announced early next year. If the rumored Elric and Hyperion film projects become reality, it will be a sweet world indeed.

Tuesday, December 2
It is December.
The God of the Month is Urcaguay, God of Hidden Treasure.
The Molecule of the Month is Sulphur Dioxide.
The Fungus of the Month is the evil-looking Astraeus Hygrometricus.
The Quantum Muse Artist of the Month is Christiaan A. Iken.
Carry on.

Recommended Readin': Chet Raymo of ponders the memory span of goldfish.
Stephen Bayley of the Telegraph laments the lack of original opinion.
James Pinkerton of Tech Central Station asks "is America conservative?" while Michael Fumento looks at the future of human lifespans.
Adam Wolfson of The New Atlantis tells us why conservatives care about biotechnology.
Jason Roth of Save the Humans skewers the idea of "The Death of Innocence."
Warren Ellis takes the current music scene to task in his latest Art Bomb column.
At UGO Comics John Byrne discusses iconography in comics.
Michelle Catalino of A Small Victory is really disappointed with the comics page lately.
Sequential Tart has a roundtable about hating the holidays. speaks those three words you've longed to hear: Quisp action figures.

Monday, December 1
Recommended Readin': Anthony Daniels of The New Criterion goes after Carl Jung.
James Renner of the Cleveland Scene talks to Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson.
New Better Humans columnist Dale Carrico makes his debut this week.
Christopher Hitchens writes for the WSJ about the slow death of the Kennedy cult.
Mark D. Fefer of Seattle Weekly asks "Why are you people such idiots?"
Eryk Boston of the Libertarian Party praises Harry Potter as one of our own.
Cathy Young of the Boston Globe looks at recent trends in domestic violence.
Dave Barry is fascinated with fish farts.
And once again I failed to link to James Randi's new column.

Boing Boing linked to this strange site of Kama Sutra positions performed by Imperial Walkers from Star Wars.

Sunday, November 30
Ray Bradbury's wife Marguerite has died.

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