Saturday, May 14, 2005

Sluggy Sci-Fi Adventure

I was just rereading some old Sluggy and found this - Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and X-Files parodies all in one week! If you read the following weeks, you'll also see other sci-fi parodies, including Alien. Evidentally, aliens don't consider shampoo to be edible either. Particularly dandruff shampoo.


I'm not sure what these things are. They look kind of like Lego people made to look like famous charaters. I like that they chose to do "Han Solo in carbonite", but no plain old "Han Solo". I'm not sure what that says about their view of the character, but it's pretty funny.

Destroying the Earth

Wow, someone with more time on there hands than me! Awesome! (Thanks to Walt for the link).

I say, launch a strangelet into the sun and watch the fireworks. I find destroying the Earth through indirect means (i.e., destroying the sun) much more entertaining. I think it's the James Bond villain in me. Why destroy something directly and efficiently when you can make it elaborate and much more difficult to accomplish?

Also, what about adding enough mass to Jupiter to turn it into a second star? Or what if a star passed close enough to turn our solar system into a binary system but not so close that the two stars collided? The planet's orbits would certainly get screwed up. I think some might be ejected from the solar system while others would hurtle towards one or the other sun. Though Earth may simply change it's orbit. It wouldn't be a pleasant place to live anymore, but it would still exist.

Interestingly, I appear to already meet the "career" criteria for going about destroying the Earth (yes, I admit it, I'm Rael). So which method do you think I should choose? Solar plasma or von Neumann machine? Hmmm, I think I'll let the guys at Cornell work on their von Neumann machines. Solar plasma, then. Take a GIGANTIC ring around the sun, with several rings in orbit between the sun and the Earth - somewhere between five and twenty, depending on size and desired accuracy - to aim the coronal mass ejections at Earth. You'll need a good sized nuclear reactor to put a sufficent amount of electrical current through the rings to cause a MASSIVE solar flare. We'll build it in orbit around Venus, which we'll ensure is not in the line of fire when we power up. Heck, we'll turn Venus into a nuclear reactor. Base of operations: Callisto. When it's behind Jupiter. Don't worry. We'll place cameras in various places around the solar system so as not to miss the show. Okay, people, let's get crackin'. The Earth ain't gonna destroy itself.

Friday, May 13, 2005


I have an Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Page-A-Day Calendar. Today's quick fact at the bottom of the page is "Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry's ashes were scattered in space by the shuttle Columbia". This is just freaking me out on so many levels.

Space Cases

No, not the long forgotten Nickelodeon show. UFO sightings being investigated by an aerospace engineer in Fairfax, VA. One of at least ten careers I want. But at the rate I'm going, I may actually be able to fit them all in. Medical devices, space science, earth science, toy manufacturing/testing, teaching, writing, photographing, inventing, UFO investigating, acting, directing, stand-up comedy-ing... That's more than ten. Dang. We'll keep things like linguistics, trivia games, and watching tv as hobbies. Unless you can find me a job where I get to watch tv all day. Can you hook me up with a writing gig at the Daily Show? No? Oh, well. Back to blogging and coding...


Who is this Julie person that keeps sending me spam? Every time I check my junkmail folder, there's subjectless e-mail from "~* Julie *~" or, today, "JulieShowingOff". I certainly don't know any Julies, and all the spam is making me not want to know any Julies. And if I did know a Julie, I'd probably be temped to punch her on principle. I don't want to see your freakin' webcam or your porno website. I don't want any drugs to increase the size of anything on my body. Why, Julie, must you torment me so? From now on, I'm calling spam that looks like it's from a friend "julies". It will probably never catch on, but my small regular readership will know what I'm talking about when I say "I got another julie today." Everyone else will think it's a new slang turn for something, and they'll be afraid to ask what. Gutterbrains. Then we could start and organization called Bloggers against Julies to really confuse them....

I'm sorry. Did I just type that out loud?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Replicators Are Coming!

Christiana has a post about self-replicating robots. I wonder if you could build the outer layer a spaceship's hull out of these. A few of the blocks get hit by mircometeors or whatever, just release a few replacements from a protected storage container and "feed" the shield. Each block could also act as a sensor, creating a "sensor array" on the outside of the ship to detect things like radiation levels.

Or, a high tech building block set. Build a house or town or a toy gun or whatever. Hit a "save" button on one of the blocks. Then, when your little brother comes along and wrecks it, you can watch it rebuild itself.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Media Scare Tactics

This - this! - is what is wrong with the media. Accuracy? Perspective? Screw that! We want readers/viewers. And how do you get that? Scare them in the reading your article or tuning in, that's how. It's not liberal bias or conservative bias. It's sensationalism bias. Are you at risk of dropping dead? Possibly. Are you at risk of dying in a car accident? More probably. There enough actual things to be worried about in this world. There's no need to pile on.

Star Trek and Star Wars: The End is Near

Star Trek and Star Wars are about to close up shop. Star Trek: Enterprise’s final episodes will air on Friday. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith hits theatres May 19. Two fandoms will dissolve into the Internet where fanfiction and fan films will inevitably continue to be produced and consumed. Two cultural phenomenon will fade into the past.

It’s odd, really, that both epics will end at the beginning. Star Trek: Enterprise is a prequel to all of the other Trek shows that takes place just before the formation of the Federation. The Star Wars prequels take place just before the formation of the Empire that was well entrenched by the first Star Wars, Episode IV. Fans have gotten a taste of where their favorite universes came from and, in both cases, the taste has been bittersweet. The saga continues, but man is it annoying!

I don’t really see this as the true end of either story. It’s merely a break that both universes are in dire need of. If The Three Musketeers, Zorro, Robin Hood, and other stories can be remade and re-imagined every 10 or 20 years, someone somewhere will find a way to resurrect these universes later on. Fans can only hope that what is resurrected is true to the spirit of the show/movie rather than an evil zombie. Evil zombies just take all the fun out of things. Unless you’re remaking Dawn of the Dead. Then they’re kind of essential.

I’ll probably write more on each as I see their finales. Just thought I’d write a bit beforehand.

Allergy Testing

I just got retested for allergies today to see how my allergy shots are working. For those of you who have never found the need to be tested for allergies, let me tell you. You are missing out on barrels of fun.

The first test tests for severe allergies. They dip little plastic “scratchers” in vials of allergens and press them into the skin on your forearms. It feels like a mosquito bite, only there are sixteen on each arm. Almost immediately, your arms begin to itch… burn… sting… sting, sting, STING! But no scratching! That’ll mess up the test. Red splotches start to form around the little red dots. Then some of the red splotches turn into welts. In an utterly convenient coincidence, my most severe allergy (grass) caused a nice little welt about the size of a nickel right where I usually put my watchband. Oak, dust, and another one mainly caused rashes.

Once they’ve recorded the results from that test, they test the allergies that didn’t cause an obvious reaction. In other words, they test for mild to moderate allergies. This test involves injecting the allergens right under the skin on you upper arm. I think this time they only tested ten. You bleed and grimace when a particularly dull needle hits a particularly thick piece of skin, and then they wait for that to itch and swell. Three or four more allergies made themselves known. Kitties? Yep, still allergic. Darn.

On the bright side, my grass welt was the size of a nickel rather than a half-dollar like it was when I was first evaluated. So at least I know the shots are working and I can continue to be a pin cushion for another five years.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Michael Jackson Puppets

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown has been doing "Michael Jackson Puppet Theatre" - a not-quite-accurate reenactment of the day's events in the Michael Jackson trial. Last night, in response to the trend of people auctioning off completely random things, they decided to auction off the puppets. Keith even signed them. As of this writing, it's up to $14,500.02. Cue the outro!

Quote of the Day - May 10, 2005

Yep, claws are definitely more fun than doors.

- Spiderman (after Wolverine claws a hole through the wall)

Pizza's Powers of Persuasion

What is it about pizza that convinces people to do things they might not want to do (scroll down and read "news brief"). Is it the mythical power of cheese? Maybe if we just opened up a bunch of pizza joints in Iraq, everyone would calm down.

Today's Player vs Player

Sorry, George Lucas, but I'm going to have to go with Brent Sienna on this one.

Monday, May 09, 2005

D Movies

On the drive back from Blacksburg on Sunday (HappybirthdayThason!), I needed a little mental stimulation to keep me alert, so one of my passengers suggested playing a game where one person would name a movie, then the next person would have to come up with a movie who's title began with the first letter of the last word of the previous movie. If the title began and ended with the same letter, it bounced back to the sender. It went fairly well at first, but "D" kept coming up and frustrating the person it hit. So, of course I thought of several "D" movies after dropping off my passengers and heading home. For future reference (I haven't listed any of the movies we actually used):

Dangerous Liasons
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
Demolition Man
Dangerous Minds
Dungeons and Dragons
Dr. Doolittle
Dead Poet's Society
Dirty Harry

Stupid D! Why must you end so many movies and start so few?