Thursday, December 31, 2009

Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2010

  • AMC's Walking Dead
  • NBC's Day One miniseries
  • Reading Welcome to Monster Isle by Oliver Chin and Jeff Mircola
  • The Book of Eli
  • Pic of The Litter

    Report: Rush Limbaugh taken to Hawaii hospital


    Report: Rush Limbaugh taken to Hawaii hospital

    According to RushLimbaugh.com, "Rush was admitted to a Honolulu hospital today and is resting comfortably after suffering chest pains. Rush appreciates your prayers and well wishes. He will keep you updated via RushLimbaugh.com and on Thursday's radio program."

    I am certain the outpouring of love from his listeners will only be matched by the vicious bile of his enemies.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    --Winston Churchill

    Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    Domo Arigato, Mein Fuhrer

    What's scarier than Mecha-Shiva, Zombie Lincoln, and The Hellcow combined? Try our friend Robot Hitler here.

    This action figure (I forget where I ran across it) had to have been inspired by a movie I remember staying up until the wee hours of the a.m. to watch on the local UHF station: They Saved Hitler's Brain

    Quote of the Day

    "When the Devil cannot reach us through the spirit, He creates a beautiful woman to reach us through the flesh."
    -- Hermann Sudermann

    Archer

    Dear Internet,

    I should have been told about this sooner. I had to learn of this ... on television!
    Archer is an animated, half-hour comedy set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), a spy agency where espionage and global crises are merely opportunities for its highly trained employees to confuse, undermine, betray and royally screw each other. The series features the voices of
    H. Jon Benjamin as suave master spy "Sterling Archer," whose less-than-masculine code name is "Duchess"; Jessica Walter as his domineering mother and boss, "Malory"; Aisha Tyler as his ex-girlfriend, "Agent Lana Kane"; George Coe as his aging-but-loyal butler, "Woodhouse"; Chris Parnell as ISIS comptroller and Lana's new love interest, "Cyril Figgis"; and Judy Greer as Malory's lovesick secretary, "Cheryl."


    Links
  • ARCHER Official Website | Only on FX
  • FXArcher's YouTube Channel
  • Tuesday, December 29, 2009

    "A Genre That Never Really Existed" ... But It Should Have

    Jackson Publick on Jonny Quest:
    For me it’s kind of a prism onto a world that existed before I was born really. My parents had their day pass from the 1964 World’s Fair in their little trinket box and my mother was into the Kennedy Assassination, so I’d learn about these things through my older brother and my parents. When you’re growing up in any decade, the previous decade’s shit is so lame and cruddy, because you’re surrounded by furniture your parents bought 15 years before and you’re thinking oh, that old crap—and then ten or 15 years later you’re thinking ‘I love that old crap!’ The way the seventies are awesome now but growing up in the eighties you hate the seventies and you hate brown cars, and now there’s something awesome about that. But I discovered Jonny Quest through my brother and at the time it was awesome because it looked like a comic book and I was really into comic books, and I wanted cartoons to look like that, a comic book come to life, so it struck a chord with me and stayed with me on that level. But as I grew older and became fascinated with the whole space race period of history it became a symbol of that and it was a genre that never really existed but was so convinced of itself it kind of willed itself into existence—it was this weird hybrid of adventure and sci fi and to some extent the kind of superhero world, so after I did the Tick I still had a lot of superhero crap in me and a lot of ancillary ideas and I realized this nonexistent genre was the perfect venue for all this crap I wanted to make jokes about. It was a wrapping up of all these things I was into—James Bond, Spider-Man, Kennedy era space race exuberance which is dead now, and that’s part of the theme of the show, the faded glory of a time when we looked forward to a goofier but more exciting future that never showed up.


    See the full interview online

    h/t Geek Monthly Online

    The Future Was Here

    Vintage 2.0 – Glossy Retro Takes Over Web Design
    An Inspired Mag reader said a few posts ago that the round corner buttons are dead. I think precisely the same mate, I know how you feel about the so-called web 2.0 buttons and shiny blingos! But what about this new futuretro style, that combines the web 2.0 (clean) look with a vintage touch?

    We’ve made a roundup of 25 websites that mix the retro with the shiny. What do you guys think about this style?


    This is from Inspired Mag Daily Graphic Design Inspiration. I love the retrofuture feel, and I eagerly hope to see it applied frequently. The best example I've seen so far is Bradley Schenk's Webomator blog. Check it out now, if you ignored my earlier post.

    From Egypt with Love

    Is the the S.P.H.I.N.X. secret headquarters? Maybe it was a plan for covert peacekeepers developed by Anwar Sadat that eventually got him assassinated. I don't know because I can't read the writing, but whatever it is, it looks really cool.

    Saturday, December 26, 2009

    Pic of The Litter

    Today's Pic of The Litter is "Trees for Tomorrow" by Bradley W. Schenk. It is PSA from Schenk's imaginary world of Retropolis, a setting that is one-part Buck Rogers and one-part Franklin D. Roosevelt. Imagine the New Deal with Rocket Science. As a fan of FDR's CCC, I found this piece a must-buy, but I had to put it on the list of things to buy once finances improve. If you dig retrofuturism, mad science, rocket ships, and robots, check out Schenk's other works at his Deviantart page and his blog. This one is defintely going on the blog roll, folks.

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Xmas List 2010

    We went Christmas shopping in Columbus last night, and I saw this book.

    Harper Collins calls the book:

    An unstoppable collection of the most hardcore figures who ever strapped on chain mail and ran screaming into battle


    And from what I saw while skimming through it last night, they are right. Ben Thompson's Badass tells the story of badasses like Chandragupta Maurya, Wolf the Quarrelsome, and Bass Reeves. Don't know who they are? Read the book.

    In addition to being a collection of badasses, the book also has a sections of badass-related topics such as "The French Foreign Legion" and "The Ten Least Baddasses in History."

    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Xmas List 2010



    Too bad my son has already sent of his letter to Santa for this year, otherwise, I ... er, I mean, he would so be getting these this year. For more pics, see Reis O'Brien's Geek Orthodox.

    Christmas Coundown

    If you are not following Francesco Francavilla's Pulp Sunday, you're missing something. Something awesome, that is. Francavilla is a comic book artist and illustrator who provides us, his loyal readers, with regular doses of his pulp comic greatness.

    Back in the nineties, we comic readers started paying a gadawful amount for what in hindsight was, for the most part, a bunch of crap. My garage has longboxes full of the stuff. So, it is really great to get to see Francavilla's work for free, thanks to him and good ole Blogspot.

    I note all of this because my Christmas eye candy for the day is the Francavilla family Christmas Card for 2009, and I felt obliged to give credit where credit is due.

    Now, go to http://pulpsunday.blogspot.com", move your cursor to the top left hand corner of your browser, and click "Follow."

    Leon Redbone & Zooey Deschanel - "Baby, It's Cold Outside

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    Miscellany


    Links
    Larry Blamire's Steam Wars
    Monocles: All The Cool Kids Are Wearing Them

    Train in Vain

    I knew there was a reason I loved Thomas & Friends. Now I know why. According to Albertan poli-sci chickista Shauna Wilton, whose "research revolves around ethnicity, identity, and gender," it conveys *gasp* "conservative political ideology."

    oh no!!!!!!

    Inspired by her three-year-old daughter's love for the show, Dr. Wilton watched twenty-three episodes and identified themes which "didn't seem constructive" for children. Like a scientist from a Hawthorne short story, Wilton attempts to impose her design on something that is inherently beautiful -- in this case, a child's love for a mythical character. With her ethnicity, identity, and gender spidey sense tingling, Wilton was compelled to dissect this show with her academic scalpel. In the process, she comes off as the stereotypical left-wing academist bugaboo that David Horowitz warned you about.

    I disagree with Wilton on a number of counts, but none moreso that with her assumption that punishing initiative is a conservative principle. Conservatism has traditionally encouraged initiative, self-sufficiency, and socioeconomic ascent by leaving people (or at least their wallets) the hell alone; whereas liberalism discourages initiative by having the government pull up your bootstraps for you, promoting dependence on the state, and cutting off your profits (and the freedom that comes with them) via taxation.

    Wilton asserts that Thomas and his friends are punished for showing initiative. That charge is completely off-base. Her utter wrongheadedness is best illustrated in her assumption that Thomas's being replaced after he impatiently whistles at a police officer is a bad thing. By whistling at the police officer, the train wasn't trying to rise from the ranks. He was being rude, self-centered, and disrespectful. Perhaps if Kanye West, John McEnroe, and Andy Dick had grown up on a steady diet of Thomas & Friends, they wouldn't have grown up (and I use that term loosely) to be such crassholes.

    It seems Doc Wilton's fear is that young Thomas viewers will attain "full political citizenship" and try to shape the world we live in to be more like Thomas & Friends' mythical Island of Sodor, a place where industry, perserverance, and civility are the rule and where the closest thing to cruelty is an occassional bit of cheekiness. Couldn't have a world like that now, could we? No sirree.

    Stupid hippie.

    Researcher rails against Thomas the Tank Engine

    Thomas the Tank Engine's TV show displays conservatism while underrepresenting women, a steamed Canadian researcher charges.

    After analyzing 23 episodes of British series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, University of Alberta political scientist Shauna Wilton was able to identify themes which, she said, didn't seem constructive for youngsters.

    "While the show conveys a number of positive political values such as tolerance, listening, communicating with others and contributing to the community, it also represents a conservative political ideology that punishes individual initiative, opposes critique and change, and relegates females to supportive roles," said Wilton, an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Augustana Campus.

    "The female characters weren't necessarily portrayed any more negatively than the male characters or the male trains, but they did tend to play more secondary roles, and they're often portrayed as being bossy or know-it-alls."

    The Thomas and Friends series is shown in 130 countries around the world. Wilton observed storylines in several episodes that divided the characters into different social classes and punished those who tried to gain individual power. "Any change is seen as disrupting the natural order of things," she said.

    While Thomas and his fellow engine friends, including Percy and James, are at the bottom of the social hierarchy, the Fat Controller, Sir Topham Hatt, is at the top of the heap.

    She felt "uncomfortable" by how the steam engines are punished if they show initiative or try to change their rank or role. In one episode, after Thomas whistles impatiently at a police officer, he is punished by being replaced with a different engine.

    As well, of 49 main characters listed in the show, only eight were female, reflecting a general trend among children's programming, Wilton said.

    Parents, teachers and other experts such as political scientists would be wise to give children's shows a closer look, she added.

    "We tend to think of children's TV shows as neutral and safe, but they still carry messages. Eventually these children will attain full political citizenship, and the opinions and world outlook they develop now, partially influenced by shows like Thomas and Friends, are part of that process."

    Wilton presented her research findings earlier this year at a conference of the Canadian Political Science Association. She was inspired to conduct the study after being concerned by what she saw when she viewed Thomas videos with her three-year-old daughter.

    She did observe that the show portrays some positive values, such as tolerance of others, good communication and contributing to the community. And, she confessed, her daughter loves the show and its trains.

    Laura Midgley, co-founder of Britain's Campaign Against Political Correctness, called the research "unbelievable nonsense."

    "I cannot believe anyone has the time and energy to do such a study," she said. "I'm surprised she hasn't singled out the Fat Controller as an example of fattism, too.

    "Children should just be left to enjoy the innocent fun of Thomas without the politically correct brigade stoking the fires and ruining their enjoyment."


    h/t Ben Price

    Links
  • Thomas The Not-So-Innocuous Engine
  • No Mr. Tank Engine, I Expect You To Die
  • X - 13: Countdown to Christmas

    rudolph

    Jane Krakowski - "Run Rudolph Run"

    Photodump




    Friday, December 11, 2009

    When Design Meets Doomsday

    When the shit hits the fan, that Remington 870 will come in handy, but it won't be able to solve all of your problems. Sure, it'll take out a zombie, but, if you're hungry, it'll just make a mess out of that delicious-looking mildly irradiated three-eyed koi teasing you from the pool outside the ruins of your local Chinese restaurant. And when the shells run out, you'll just look silly trying to blend in with a brick building while wearing those BDUs you nicked from the local Army-Navy store.

    The cool kids down at 5.5 Designers have designed a number of items for even cooler kids (a.k.a. design snobs) as part of a 'guide to free farming.' Their notion: "We're surrounded by food sources. Sure, they're disgusting, but hey--it's 2030." In addition to the really snazzy fishing rod, they have a cockroach trap, a rat trap, a snail vivarium, a bird trap, and a gleaning bag.

    h/t Fast Company

    X - 14: Countdown to Christmas



    Dean Martin - "Winter Wonderland"

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Post-Apocalyptic Clean-Up

    Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison are a husband-and-wife team whose photographic work, “The Architect’s Brother” is concerned with the state and possible fate of the Earth. According to the official description, ParkeHarrison “conjures a destiny in which humankind’s overuse of the land has led to a spent and abandoned environment, inhabited by one indefatigable spirit.”

    X - 15 :Countdown to Christmas



    Tom Waits - "Silent Night"

    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Miscellany


    Check out the Rusty Venture soundboard. It's a collection of some of the good "Doctor"'s best lines. A must-see (or is that must-hear) of any true fan of Los Hermanos Ventura. Conspicuously absent is my favorite:
    "I'm only 43. Still a young man. Maybe a little frayed around the edges, but who wouldn't be between my work and raising two boys. Crap, who am I kidding, my looks are going down the toilet faster than an unwanted pregnancy on prom night. I was Rusty Venture, boy friggin' wonder. Now look at me."

    Oh well, you can't have everything.

    PD PDF
    But, one of the things you can have is a paper model riot policeman. That's right. L.A.'s own cutting edge artist/motion graphics designer/animator Castle Forte has created a nifty little riot policeman that will look great on my desk. This is definitely the coolest paper toy since my Tuco (Eli Wallach) paper doll.

    PDF

    X - 18: Countdown to Christmas



    Ranchbone-Slich Nich U Debbil U

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Comics

    Found at Robot 6's Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs at CBR, Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures is a collection of stories from an old 1950s comic that never existed. Like other comics from back in the day, Doris Danger Seeks ... Where Monsters Creep and Stomp has not only "stories, but also letters pages, covers, pin-ups, and a couple of historical essays."

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    Survival Vehicles


    Readers of Jalopnik were asked the questions, "What is your ultimate survival vehicle?" The answers ranged from the Landmaster-looking Dobbertin Surface Orbiter to the most-likely-to-have-been-built-by-B.A.-Baracus Sportsmobile. My pick: the down-to-earth, back-to-the-basics Volvo C303. To see the top picks, check out Jalopnik.