Archive June 8 - July 28 2004
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Wednesday, July 28
Assorted Items: has a photo of the upcoming Predator Cookie Jar.
SF Signal links to this neat and disturbing Lovecraftian Case Mod.
Reality Carnival found this excellent page of optical illusions.

Check out the Alex Ross cover for the upcoming Space Ghost comic.

Someone on The Simpsons is coming out of the closet.

I know a lot of you have asked yourselves: "Should I stalk William Shatner?" Well, now there is a standardized test to determine just that.
Other extremely specialized geek reference sites: Vintage Robot Porn, Science Fiction that takes place in Chicago, the Museum of Superhero Food, and The Tick's Gallery of Villains and Supervillains.

I'm overdue for an Eye Candy Artgasm: Here are galleries for Rolf Mohr, Kenjo Aoki, Matt Dixon, Guillermo Romano, Tero Niemi, Philip Straub, Craig Mullins, Maciej Kuciara, Daniel Conway, Khalid Iszard, Storn Cook, Alejandro Diaz, Anthony Rosbottom, Brian Prince, Andreas Knoll, Francesco D'Isa, and J. P. Targete.

Tuesday, July 27
There's a very sweet (if a bit low res) RealPlayer trailer for Gerry Anderson's new CGI Captain Scarlet available from here.

Dan Brown of the CBC asks: "Why do we crave continuity?"

Science Stuff: Leslie Mullen of Astrobiology reports on a planned probe to Mercury.
Leonard David of tells us that James Van Allen questions human spaceflight.
Astronomy Picture of the Day has two frightening photos of the surface of the Sun.
BBC Science reveals plans for an endangered species DNA archive.
Technology Review reports on recent quantum teleportation experiments.

Monday, July 26
Best story from this weekend's Comic Con: Writer Peter David has gotten an Elfquest tattoo to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
I am also salivating over this very intense Cthulhu figure from the convention floor.

With the Sun exhibiting strange behavior, NASA is considering sending a probe to check it out. You may recall a Thunderbirds episode along these lines. There's also an old joke about launching at night...

Sunday, July 25
I'm looking to do something with catch-phrase exclamations made by characters in SF and comics. Y'know, the way Superman would say "Great Scott!" On Babylon 5 Londo shouted "Great Maker!" while the Minbari said "In Valen's Name!" Surprises on Galactica were met with "By The Lords of Kobol!" Thundarr the Barbarian would cry "Lords of Light!" often, so it ranks high on the Thundarr Drinking Game.
Anyways, If you find any on the web, send'em along.
Also, here's TV Acres index of beginning and ending narrations from SF shows.

Saturday, July 24
The Cartoonist links to this gallery of trippy spacesuits, while the BBC wants you to vote your favorite fictional scientist.

Friday, July 23
DC Comics has posted a preview of Warren Ellis' Ocean. (PDF)

A moment of silence for composer Jerry Goldsmith.

153 Holiday Shopping Days Left: Here's the Hellboy Ouija Board, the Aliens/Predator Motion Globe, the Dawn Ornament, the Monty Python Albatross Plush, and the Mask of Dr. Doom.
And here's the site for Classic TV Toys, which makes old-school style figures of characters from Happy Days, The Brady Bunch, and Space:1999. The likenesses are a bit vague.
I mean, c'mon, does anyone think this looks like Al Molinaro?

Thursday, July 22
Warren Ellis talks about the writing process for Global Frequency in his column at Comicon Pulse, while Newsarama interviews Colleen Doran and previews art from the Ellis-penned Stealth Tribes.

I see that Salon has an interview with Alan Moore, but since I am fed up with their two-minute Flash ads, page scripts that disable your "Back" function, and, let's face it, rather shoddy content, I'm not linking to it.

In the new issue of Free Inquiry Richard Dawkins asks "what use is religion?" while Tom Flynn and Alan Kuper discuss the issue of overpopulation and Natalie Angier tells about her God problem.

Sign of the Apocalypse: A 5-year-old black macaque monkey at a zoo near Tel Aviv has begun walking exclusively on two legs. Dr. Moreau could not be reached for comment.

From the front lines of biotechnology: We live in a world where house plants can be used as stereo amplifiers, data may be stored on protein globules from cows, and freeze-dried Army rations can be rehydrated with urine.

Wednesday, July 21
Incoming Signals links to this art exhibit consisting of hand-knit superhero costumes.

Recommended Readin': Carlin Romano of Chronicle asks: "Who Killed Literary Reading?"
Charles Brownstein tells us the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund needs support.
Gabe Romain of Better Humans explains how the brain distributes our intellect.
Robert Roy Britt of looks at puzzling differences between Jupiter and Saturn.
Micheal Schermer looks at recent "scientific proof" of God at Scientific American.
BBC News reports on some Nigerians who are deathly afraid of "Killer Numbers."

The line-up for August's New York Godzilla Film Festival has been posted.

Tuesday, July 20
Rejoice! Prepare to groan! The 2004 Bulwer-Lytton Bad Fiction Contest winners are here!
The Worst Science Fiction award went to Michelle Hefner of Australia.

Apparently IT people have shitty taste in music.

Today is the 35th anniversary of the first moon landing. Someone (Arthur C. Clarke?) once said that was the date we would someday re-number our calendars from...

In the wake of I, Robot I dread the upcoming Spielberg/Cruise produced War of the Worlds.
I am rereading all my WotW related comics, like Killraven, Scarlet Traces, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol II.
I can think of no other science fiction icon that has been interpreted as often or with such artistic diversity as the tripods from War of the Worlds. I've always had a soft spot for the Martin Bower tripods. In looking for images I found this wonderful site which sports a couple magnificent galleries with a dizzying array of Martian war machines. There's a sculpture and storyboard from an unproduced Ray Harryhausen film, a Mexican pulp cover, Superman vs. The Martians, and so many more. And then there's the book cover gallery.

Monday, July 19
Barbie better not get too comfy with her new beau Blaine, because this fall Donald Trump becomes an action figure!

Ever since Jules Verne created the Nautilus we have seen many fantastic submarines: Among them are the Seaview, the Cetacean, Atragon, the Seaquest, the Tigershark, the Ulysses, Blue Submarine no. 6, and the Gerry Anderson trifecta of Skydiver, Thunderbird 4, and Stingray. They even had an Aquashuttle in the Star Trek cartoon.
And we can't forget the Yellow Submarine.
And, while we're underwater, here's a list of Forgotten Aquaman Villains.

The Cartoonist links to this kitschy selection of Cool Music for Robots. And since that puts me in a retro mood, here's The Swank Pad, Weirdomusic, and Java's Bachelor Pad.

Todd Leopold of CNN asks what we've all been asking for years now: Do summer sci-fi films have to be so dumb? Via SF Signal.

Robert Farley of the St. Petersburg Times tells us how Scientology is slowly taking over the town of Clearwater. Florida.

Saturday, July 17
Kenn and Chris at Mondolithic have posted some stunningly beautiful "digital sketches" they did as pre-production art for Stargate Atlantis.

Although I don't intend to see the I, Robot film, I'm glad it has brought the potential challenges of robotics to the forefront. I have been trolling through the Singularity Institute's new Three Laws Unsafe site, reading about how morality will be needed for sentient machines. Fascinating stuff. The Institute also has a link to Nick Bostrom's excellent paper on The Ethics of Superintelligence, a piece all the more relevant now that an artificial brain with twenty billion neurons has been constructed.
Also, vanity insists I link to my own Holiday robotics tale One of the Family.

Friday, July 16
Be aware of your choices come November. In an election that includes a carrot, a hamster, Cthulhu, Satan, John Cusack, Pogo, Admiral Ackbar, Mark Twain, Fig Bar Man, Mike the Headless Chicken, and Ronnie James Dio, I'll be voting for Nobody.

Currently going around the Blogosphere, the Noreascon site has a funny piece on how it is unlike the Democratic Convention. Both cons are less than a month apart and have similar URLs.

As Hollywood continues its relentless campaign of shitty comic book movie casting, we can rejoice that Michelle Forbes has been signed to play Miranda Zero and Aimee Garcia will be Aleph in the Global Frequency series.
Update: The Caped Madman over on the discussion board reminds me that bad comic book casting is nothing new.
Another Update: And it continues...

Recommended Readin': Gabrielle Walker of Prospect asks if we are still evolving.
Robert Roy Britt of makes the case for saving the Hubble Telescope.
Doug Kern of Tech Central Station explains how someday Lord of the Rings will be remade.
Tee Morris of Strange Horizons talks about elitism in science fiction and fantasy.

Thursday, July 15
Nothing spices up one's vocabulary like a little alien off-color language. I pepper my conversations with words like frell, felgercarb, poodoo, and smeghead every day.
Yes, I am quite annoying to talk to.
Here's a list of Star Wars swears as well as some notes on Klingon cursing.

Assorted Items: Adam Berliant of MSN lists 10 dumb moments in science fiction cinema.
Irish singer Chris de Burgh has paid £29,875 for the chest burster from Alien.
Patrick Sawer of This is London shows us the very cool-looking Pod House.

Wednesday, July 14
Commentary from The Onion: "Why No One Want Make Hulk 2?"

Christopher Bahn of MSNBC looks at the science fiction shows set for the fall season.

I've discovered the secret to not being offended by promos for I, Robot is to pretend you're watching ads for a really good Magnus, Robot Fighter movie. Man, red shorts...

The Ideal Pub Crawl: Ten Forward, Quark's, Munden's Bar, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, and the Mos Eisley Cantina. Nightcap at the bar Superman visited in Kingdom Come. We drink Saurian Brandy and Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters with Bender, Scotty, Lobo, Spider Jerusalem, and Morn. I know that science fiction is full of deep space dive bars. I am looking a comprehensive list. If you find one send it here.

Assorted Items: Popular Science reports on contact lenses that reshape your eye.
New Scientist introduces us to our new World Computer Chess Champion.
Going around the Blogosphere: James Joyce's Ulysses for Dummies.

Tuesday, July 13
David Szondy's excellent Tales of Future Past has a new feature on robots.

Comic Stuff: Comic Book News interviews writer Ron Marz.
Comics Continuum has the DC/Vertigo/Wildstorm/Humanoids/2000AD listings for October.
John Byrne tells us where comics went wrong at UGO Comics.
John Fellows of Ninth Art gave up cigarettes, alcohol, and comics. Cold turkey, mind you.

Monday, July 12
Tom McMahon reminds us that a stamp featuring the awesome techno-head of futurist
R. Buckminster Fuller goes on sale today.

Wicked Things: Digital Webbing previews the upcoming graphic novel Wicked West.
Good Shit posts a link to this archive of old Oh, Wicked Wanda comics from Penthouse.
And, in search of a third item for this post, I found the creepy galleries of artist Jin Wicked.

In The Kingdom of the Blind...: Nothing says badass like an eyepatch. Often considered the defining mark of a pirate, somehow the lack of adequate depth perception strikes fear into opponents. Some of my favorite one-eyed tough guys include Nick Fury, Snake Plissken, Rooster Cogburn, General Chang, Jesse Custer, Odin, Captain Herlock, Travis, Falcon 7, Danger Mouse, and guitarist Rich Williams of Kansas.

I spent the weekend in Bethlehem PA where I attended NEARFest. While there I got to troll around the ruins of the Bethlehem Steel Works.

Author Stuff: Ursula K. LeGuin gives us some assumptions about fantasy.
SciFi Weekly interviews Geoffrey A. Landis.
At Newsarama Kurt Busiek previews his upcoming comic Redhand.

Friday, July 9
The Right Tool for the Job: Here's pages for James Bond gadgets, Batman's crimefighting equipment, The Professor's inventions, "McGyverisms," and other miscellaneous gizmos.

Blogospherics: Exclamation Mark links to the Weird Marvel Collectibles page.
Quixotic Crap informs us of the existence of Urban Asshole Notification Cards.
Geekpress shows us the top eleven reasons geeks stay up late.
Sentient Developments points to a lengthy list of ways to irritate an atheist.

Space Stuff: Eric Baard of Seed explains how Percival Lowell triggered the space age, while Seth Shostak of tells how NASA, for all of its faults, just keeps going.

Tonight BBC America begins its retro line-up of The Avengers, The Saint, and The Prisoner.

Thursday, July 8
CNN has a story on the casting for Monty Python & The Holy Grail: The Musical.

So It Is Written: The Cartoonist links to this site about shorthand and alternate handwriting systems. Here is a very cool Alphabet Synthesis Machine I found, and here are some alien alphabets. Update: JP of SF Signal sends along this useful Language Construction Kit.

Wednesday, July 7
This week's Science Fiction Trope-o-Rama: Characters that travel to the future via the plot device (or cliche) of stasis, hibernation, cryogenics, or other forms of suspended animation. They include Buck Rogers, Dan Davis, George Taylor, Miles Monroe, Phillip J. Fry, Vance Astro, Alcide Nikopol, Khan Noonien Singh, Frank Poole, Captain America, Norman Winters, Ellen Ripley, and Dylan Hunt from Genesis II. The Dylan Hunt from Andromeda went through a black hole, so he doesn't count. Somewhere there must be a story about Walt Disney being awoken in the future...
Update: Oh my, how could I forget Austin Powers?

On the subject of lists, TV Acres has a useful directory of robots, androids, and cyborgs, as well as indexes of time travelers, computer generated beings, super computers, aliens, and planets from the small screen.

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