Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bumper thumpers

This and other bumper stickers available from Stamp & Shout. Some other favourites:

Who knew a car commercial could get right to the point?

Reminds me of a song by a new favourite artist of mine, George Hrab, "Brainsbodyboth":

Some girls are born with looks to kill
Some girls are born with intimate skills
Some girls are just concerned with fun
Some girls are like an SNL skit...at a quarter to one

What I need is a two-sided coin
She better satisfy my brain, as well as my loins
She better wear a tight dress and have a mind that's strong
I want brains and a body--is that so wrong?
Queen of the Vultures

Queen of the Psychics, Sylvia Browne, told Sean Hornby's parents their missing son was dead. Then he was found alive and well. Anderson Cooper interviews The Amazing James Randi as he tears into Ms. Browne:

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Long ago, in a retcon far, far away...

This probably occurred to a lot of people who had the misfortune of watching Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith:

If we accept all the Star Wars films as the same canon, then a lot that happens in the original films has to be reinterpreted in the light of the prequels. As we now know, the rebel Alliance was founded by Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa. What can readily be deduced is that their first recruit, who soon became their top field agent, was R2-D2.

I guess when it gets down to it, I am absurd.

I am:
Kurt Vonnegut
For years, this unique creator of absurd and haunting tales denied that he had anything to do with science fiction.

Which science fiction writer are you?

When life gets you down, remember...

Monty Python's "The Galaxy Song".

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I know how to reduce military spending

This guy has built a scale model of an aircraft carrier out of Lego.

Even better? It floats.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A whole lotta bull

So commenter "David F" on the Rolling Stone site posts

I don’t suppose anyone has seen the study that shows bovine flatulence is a larger cause of global warming than any man-made pollution.

...as suggested in this article:

There are 1.4 billion cows worldwide, each producing 500 litres of methane a day and accounting for 14% of all emissions of the gas.

And why are there 1.4 billion cows in the world?

Could it be because we raise them for food and clothing?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

You got served

This librarian has a creative way of dealing with the late fees of teen patrons. If they can beat her at Dance Dance Revolution (the library has the game onsite), they get their fines wiped.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hanks. Tom Hanks.

This was too funny not to pass along:

I am a huge Bond fan. Some of my fondest childhood memories are staying up late to watch Bond movies with my dad (CityTV in Toronto used to have a Bond movie marathon every 3 months or so). By no means is the franchise what you would call "artistic" movies, but they sure are fun, even if some entries in the series are lacking.

I was one of those skeptical of Daniel Craig's ability to pull off the title role, but those thoughts were pleasantly dispelled when I saw Casino Royale. Apparently a lot of people had their skepticism challenged by Craig's role in Layercake, which now that I've seen, I agree with wholeheartedly.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Lord of the Quiz

So, after a discussion where I compared Deranged Squirrel to Pippin from Lord of the Rings, Mad Jenny found an online quiz to determine which Lord of the Rings character you are:

You scored as Arwen. You're Arwen Evenstar! This elven princess may not get in on too much action, but she's always optimistic and hopeful for the future. She does what she can to help her love, Aragorn, who is off fighting, and is always supportive of him.
"I would rather spend one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone."



















Which LOTR character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Really, Arwen? One of my least favourite characters in the trilogy (though she was improved upon in the movies). I would have thought Gandalf or Eowyn, but Arwen?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Starship Envy

The Bad Astronomer had a chart comparing the relative sizes of starships and space stations from various science fiction series, films and books. One of his commenters linked to the source site.

This is really cool--almost any space opera setting you can think of is represented, from Star Trek to Star Wars to Babylon 5 to Robotech.
A picture is worth 2000 years of philosophical debate

This picture by Joel Pelletier.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Go forth into the unknown

Robert Anton Wilson passed away last Thursday.

Tributes here and here.

Hail Eris!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Real Last Samurai

This is just too cool!

A samurai sword wielding vigilante has come to the rescue of two Police officers when they were attacked by an armed gang in South Shields, England.

A group of men had forced their way into a house and were ransacking the place when passing plain-clothes officers were alerted by a woman inside screaming.

The criminals outnumbered them and were armed with a hammer, knives and chains and attacked the Police officers.

As one of them stabbed at a Policeman with his knife, a mysterious do-gooder appeared from nowhere and attacked him with a samurai sword.

One of the burglars began running away but was stopped by the stranger who struck him on the arm with the sword.

Two of the criminals were arrested, but in true hero style the samurai disappeared before police could speak to him.

New Library Toy

LibraryThing is a site that claims to catalogue your personal book collection. In practice, it's not very comprehensive, partly because it's hoping users will provide cataloguing information (like a wiki). Still, it works if you want a place to list all the books you own but don't have the time or skills to do it in Excel or Access. Also lets you share your collection with others as a way of social networking ("You've read jPod? So have I!").

Monday, January 15, 2007

Everyone loves toys...

...but what happens When Toys Attack?!

Too late for Christmas, but this article lists some of the most dangerous toys of all time (or at least the last 50 years). Some highlights:

  • Lawn Darts (duh)

  • Home atomic energy lab--with actual radioactive materials!

  • Finger-munching Snack Time Cabbage Patch doll

  • Castration anxiety courtesy of a belt-buckle cap gun

  • The South will Rise Again!--with the Johnny Reb Cannon

  • Battlestar Galactica toys take out the evil Cylons--or little Jimmy's right eye

  • Fisher-Price motorcycle: "Jane, stop this crazy thing!"

Whoever said childhood was innocent?

It is the physical weakness of a baby that makes it seem "innocent", not the quality of its inner life. I have myself seen a small baby jealous; it was too young to speak, but it was livid with anger as it watched another infant at the breast.

-Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions

Friday, January 12, 2007

Look me up!

Remember the card catalogue? Now you too can be part of those good old days again, with the Catalog Card Generator!

UPDATE: From Retrospectacle via Pharyngula.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The horror...the horror...

I don't know what creeps me out more--my own government or foreign ones.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The definition of frustration is...

...wiping out all 4500 songs and 15 videos on your iPod.

I'm not sure exactly what happened--maybe it had to do with "Syncing", but all the mp3s and videos were wiped off (to the turn of 27 GB of files). The photos were untouched.

Oh well, I needed to start over anyway.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Burn Elmo, Burn!

Tickle Me Elmo finally receives his just desserts.

I'm still thinking about Elmo
Elmo 5 o'clock special
I'm still thinking about you
A thousand ways to kill you

-Holly McNarland, "Elmo"

Or in this case, Holly, fire works pretty well.

UPDATE: Elmo and Tigger get it on.
Never too old to rock

So I just got back from the Evanescence concert in Toronto. I had a great time. We had pretty good seats considering we were in the bleachers at the Air Canada Centre.

There was some indie band as the first opener--Black Mary or something like that. I didn't really hear much of them. The other opener was Stone Sour, also known as "the guy from Slipknot's other band". They rocked pretty hard. I'm glad that it's okay for guitarists to play fast solos again, and for drummers to use double-bass drums. Corey Taylor is a pretty vulgar but friendly frontman, eliciting many laughs and screams of support from the audience.

Then Evanescence took the stage. Amy Lee and the boys rocked as usual, though we noticed her voice was sounding strained near the end of the set. Well, I think this was a longer set than when my sister and I saw them at Koolhaus back in October. Other than a few more songs and much cooler lighting effects, the sets were pretty close in content. But Amy, darling, if you're going to play 90-minute sets for the whole tour, you have to start writing songs with longer instrumental sections. I know you have a powerful and versatile voice, but if you don't take care of it, you'll lose it.

Here's a pastiche of several clips of Evanescence live, backed by their breakthrough hit, "Bring Me to Life" (I'm fairly certain it's the studio recording of the song):

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Time to let our hair down again, fellow bibliophiles!

In all the rush of the holiday season, I almost forgot that Naughty Librarian Month has rolled around again. And I don't have a thing to wear!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Aural Kombat

Via Penny Arcade, I've learned of a new documentary on video games called Moral Kombat. Here's the trailer:

This is utter bullshit on so many levels, I can't name them all. But I highly recommend Harold Schechter's book, Savage Pastimes, for a revealing look at just how violent our culture and society is compared to ages past. A bit of a spoiler--are first-person shooter games really worse than the bear-baiting of the Renaissance era? There's a big stink about the video of Saddam Hussein's lynching execution making the rounds on YouTube and the like, but up until about a hundred years ago hangings were public events that families went to for weekend picnics. In the carnival-like atmosphere of a public hanging, all the townspeople would gather round, with their young children, to watch these criminals drop a short length, and twitch for a bit at the end of the gibbet, and being cut down. Meanwhile, buskers, entertainers, food vendors and prostitutes would be making brisk business. Death has always been associated with entertainment, food and sex--probably because proximity to it makes the living value pleasures of the flesh that much more.

This issue hits my hot button because I'm a roleplayer, and my hobby went through this same bullshit over 20 years ago. (I'm also a video-gamer, though I'm not on top of every latest development in that industry.) The line from the trailer that really set me off was "we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." What?! Are they saying there is no boundary between imagination and reality? Puh-lease. Over the last two decades, I've "pretended" to be an evil knight in service to a dark god (in Dungeons & Dragons), a drug-dealing black market surgeon (in the Cyberpunk 2020 game), a Terminator-like killer cyborg (in the Mage: the Ascension game), a backstabbing, treacherous vampire (in live-action Vampire games), and a raging werewolf warrior (in a live-action Werewolf game). In real life, I've never been in a fight, never committed an act of violence on someone, never been charged with any crime (except exceeding the speed limit by 30 km/h), never drank anyone's blood, and never barked at the moon (OK, the last one I did, but in my defense I was singing along with Ozzy Osbourne).

If we were what we pretended to be, George W. Bush would be an effective president and warleader, Canada would be respected and envied the world over (newsflash: we're not), and Paris Hilton would be a paragon of moral virtue.

Monday, January 01, 2007

For unto you today is born a saviour...

...A Lizard King!

LONDON (Reuters) - Flora, a pregnant Komodo dragon living in a British zoo, is expecting eight babies in what scientists said on Wednesday could be a Christmas virgin birth.

Flora has never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon, and fertilized all the eggs herself, a process culminating in parthenogenesis, or virgin birth. Other lizards do this, but scientists only recently found that Komodo dragons do too.

And I for one welcome our scaly overlords.

"I am the Lizard King, I can do anything."

—Jim Morrison, "Not To Touch the Earth"
Yes Virginia, there are Virgin-Whores

OK, this was funny:

Partying heiress Paris Hilton claims she’s been celibate lately...Hilton insists that she’s actually quite modest in that area. “I’ve only been in, like, two relationships and I just thought I’d like to be single,” Hilton declared. “Sex is sacred. People shouldn’t have sex unless they’re in an exclusive relationship anyway. I’d rather not do anything. Guys want you more when you don’t do it! Young girls should know that.”

Maybe you should have thought of that before leading a whole generation of young girls into being airheaded, skankily-dressed prostitutes-in-training, eh?