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December 24, 2009

Merry MODOK Christmas

Min and i are off until the new year, so we'll leave you with Marvel's What The--? Christmas Special.

By fnord12 | December 24, 2009, 4:51 PM | Comics & My stupid life | Comments (1) | Link

Duck Penis

Who knew duck's even had penises? Most birds don't.

Link to the article explaining how female ducks have convoluted vaginas to protect them from unwanted sperm and how the male duck's penises have evolved to counteract that.

I feel the picture of Daisy and Donald Duck accompanying the article to be particularly squicky.

Slyn says i'm cruel and very unusual for sharing.

By min | December 24, 2009, 1:14 PM | Science| Link

This one's probably not a prank

By fnord12 | December 24, 2009, 10:27 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Not Everything Japanese Turns Out Kewl

The picture alone is creepy.

H/T to starfaith

By min | December 24, 2009, 10:08 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Seems like i say this every time, but... lots of books to go through. This represents, i think, two weeks of comics:

X-Babies #3 - I don't really know what's going on in this book or why i'm being subjected to two versions of the Star characters. But i think this is the first time we've seen more creatures of Mojo's species. I always thought he was unique, but i guess i didn't read any of his post-Claremont appearances. They are icky.

Siege: The Cabal #1 - Doom is awesome. That is all.

Psylocke #2 - I hope min is enjoying this. Mainly i feel like it's just clearing the decks so that the next Psylock mini-series can be good.

Sword #2 - I like this. I liked the Death's Head fight, i'm intrigued enough by the captured robot guy, i like Gyrich's political maneuvers. I just wish the Beast didn't look like a goat.

Dark Avengers annual #1 - Can't say i love the new Marvel Boy costume. And there's some questions about how Noh-Varr, who comes from another dimension, is considered part of this dimension's Kree empire. Or where Supremor even is considering he's not currently around and the Inhumans are running the Kree empire. But that all aside, i thought this was pretty good. It was a good use of an annual. Steve Rogers' appearance at the end of this issue was unfortunate, though.

Deadpool Team-Up #898 - They've got a lot of balls using the "Zapata Brothers" as the team-up partner for the second issue of a Team-Up book. I wish Van Lente was writing this entire series instead of just the first issue. I don't know how Deadpool supports 3 mediocre books per month.

Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1 - Holy crap, this was awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. A genius bad guy Illuminati. Brilliant. And incredibly well written. And Pelletier's art is either getting better or growing on me. I think he's easing back on the giant lips.

Marvels Project #4 - I'm just saying, they know this book is going to be a hard sell. But they want it to do well. They've got top talent on the book. I want it to do well. I like books that examine Marvel's continuity. I appreciate a good build up. I'm sure it'll read better as a trade. But you'd think they'd make sure each issue had a little zazz. It's a good book. It's just a little slow when read in the single issue format.

Nova #32 - A little suprised they're taking this detour into an alternate reality and a plot about the Sphinx in the middle of the Realm of Kings storyline. But it's still quite good.

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 - Meh. I mean, it's actually well written and everything. But Imperial Guard + Starjammers = yawn. Keep at it, though, Abnett and Lanning. I actually like the Imperial Guard less than i liked Darkhawk before you came along, but i have faith in you.

Thor #604 - Ugh, this was terrible. Walt Simonson did great things with Norse mythology. But prior to him, a lot of the Asgardian stuff in Thor was muddled and a real drag on Thor as a super-hero comic. This issue's plot reminded me of those bad 70s comics. And i guess i was hoping that with a new writer we wouldn't be starting in the middle of one of Straczynski's plots. I'm also not happy with the handling of Doom. And can we get Thor out of that awful armor?

X-Force annual #1 - I liked the art on the first story. The writing was ok too. The story wasn't anything great. I loved Deadpool in the X-Men costume in the back-up, though.

Necrosha: The Gathering #1 - I hate these little short story things. I guess it's better than a bunch of handbook entries. But i could have just skipped that.

New Avengers annual #3 - Some panels the photorealistic art worked for me, some panels it didn't. More good than bad. And i liked the story.

X-Men Legacy #230 - I guess i thought X-Men Legacy was a book that examined past X-Men continuity. Not this issue. It's just an X-Men story. But it's not bad. I got this issue by accident, and it starts in the middle of a fight. But i thought it was pretty good. Just a big fight scene, but no problem with that. I enjoyed this Emplate character, who i know is a Generation X villain because they made a toy of him that i didn't buy at the time cause i didn't know who he was.

Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth #6 - Apparently i'm obligated to keep getting this for some indefinite period of time.

Astonishing X-Men #33 - Warren Ellis is writing straightforward super-hero comics. A few high concepts. but it's basically just a well written adventure story. Which is fine by me. Ellis does a good job of making Cyclops look competent, which i appreciate. Not loving Jimenez's art, actually. With everyone having an angly nose and harsh eyebrows. And i see Lanning is actually doing finishes, which i don't appreciate because i was getting this run because of Jimenez. But i'm actually enjoying the writing more than i thought i would.

Doctor Voodoo #3 - Going from promising to poor rather quickly. I don't think Nightmare was the right choice for the series' first arc.

X-Force #22 - I'm a little disappointed that the Hrimhari plot is just being dealt with on the margins of the crossover. I would have liked a whole arc devoted to that. I'm enjoying this 'event', though.

Daredevil #503 - So we are seeing some serious moral ambiguity here. Which is what we wanted. Ok.

Thunderbolts #139 - No one ever understands me when i say "Gimmie a red" so i'm glad to see that phrase brought back. I didn't even realize that Scourge was Nuke (Why is Scourge Nuke?). But this was bascially an Agents of Atlas issue, and i like the Agents of Atlas. And OFC, thanks to Jeff Parker, i now like these Thunderbolts, too.

Dark Avengers #12 - I liked Victoria Hand's negotiations with the Molecule Man. I'm a little worried about the Sentry apparently becoming even more powerful, but i like the idea that Moonstone is going to be his psychiatrist now. Remember when she was Blackout's psychiatrist, scheming against Baron Zemo? Is Osborn sure he wants her doing that?

Captain America: Reborn #5 - Alright, you got me. Military Organisms Designed Only for Killing Superheroes. You win. It doesn't matter that the "Red Skull in Captain America's Body" plot has been done about 10 times.

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 - So i'm reading this, and i'm like, hey, maybe i should get the Mighty Avengers issue that leads into this, cause i like these characters and this is really good...

Mighty Avengers #32 - ...then i read this, and i'm like, what is this crap, why did i get an issue of Mighty Avengers? This is terrible.

By fnord12 | December 24, 2009, 9:15 AM | Comics| Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Green Manalishi by Fleetwood Mac (although i like the Judas Priest version)

Now when the day goes to sleep and the full moon looks
And the night is so black that the darkness cooks
And you come creeping around, making me do things I don't want to do

Can't believe that she needs my love so bad
Come sneaking around, trying to drive me mad
Busting in all my dreams, making me see things I don't want to see

'cause you're the green manalishi with the two-pronged crown
All night dragging us up, or you're bringing us down
Just taking my love, and slip away
Leaving me here, trying to keep from following you

By fnord12 | December 24, 2009, 9:03 AM | Music| Link

December 22, 2009

The Power of Prayer


Think Progress makes a great catch on C-SPAN this morning: Someone calls in while Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) is answering the lines, practically in tears because Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) missed this morning's procedural vote on health care.

He was apparently concerned that -- after following Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) instructions to pray that someone couldn't make a manager's amendment vote Sunday night -- his prayers for Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) to die struck the wrong senator.

"Our small tea bag group here in Waycross, we got our vigil together and took Dr. Coburn's instructions and prayed real hard that Sen. Byrd would either die or couldn't show up at the vote the other night," the caller said.

"How hard did you pray because I see one of our members was missing this morning. Did it backfire on us? One of our members died? How hard did you pray senator? Did you pray hard enough?" he continued, his voice breaking.

Inhofe was at the Sunday vote, but missed another procedural vote this morning.

Barrasso didn't really respond, but reassured the caller that Republicans didn't need Inhofe there today. For the record, Inhofe is still quite alive and plans to return to the Senate for later votes this week.

Most in the comments at TPM suggest it's a hoax.

Update: Definitely a hoax.

By fnord12 | December 22, 2009, 6:57 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

And the number one Christmas song in Britain is...

Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine. WHaaaaaaahh??!?

By fnord12 | December 22, 2009, 2:45 PM | Music| Link

December 18, 2009

Two objections

#1 - I don't like that Obama is escalating in Afghanistan.

Response: Well, he said he would do that during the election, so you can't complain.

#2 - Obama was against individual mandates and for a public option during the election. But now he's supporting a bill that has no public option and includes individual mandates.

Response: What, you actually believe everything candidates say during their campaign?

By fnord12 | December 18, 2009, 4:38 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

We may be divided on the health care bill, but we can all still laugh at Jim Inhofe


In September, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced that he would travel to Copenhagen for the international climate change talks, for the purpose of undermining the Obama administration's position. It's not particularly common for American elected officials to travel abroad to sabotage the position of the United States government, but Inhofe is ... what's the word ... special.

His plan was fairly straightforward -- U.S. officials would assure world leaders that America is ready to act to combat global warming, and intends to pass legislation to reduce emissions. Inhofe, the Senate's leading opponent of science, reason, and evidence, set out to explain to foreign governments that U.S. officials are not to be believed, in part because he would personally make U.S. policymaking on climate change impossible.

Inhofe scheduled a brief visit to Copenhagen -- arrive, spread nonsense, fly back -- but his stay was poorly timed. When the right-wing Oklahoman got there, it was early morning, and no one was around. He was able to arrange zero meetings, met no foreign officials, and had no discussions with U.S. negotiators.

Eventually, Inhofe aides were able to corral some journalists into attending a hastily-arranged media availability, where the strange senator proceeded to share his belief that the United Nations came up with global warming as an elaborate hoax, and only the "Hollywood elite" believe the scientific evidence.

A reporter from Der Spiegel told the senator, "You're ridiculous."

By fnord12 | December 18, 2009, 4:22 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Everybody loves bunnies

Even "one-legged homing pigeon/rock doves".

By fnord12 | December 18, 2009, 4:14 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

December 17, 2009

I'd like someone to explain this to me.

Preferably Joshua.

By fnord12 | December 17, 2009, 6:35 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Hungry Soup

I've invented a soup that makes you hungry after eating it. Too bad this isn't a country where an appetite enhancer would be needed. I'd make a killing.

By min | December 17, 2009, 2:11 PM | My stupid life| Link

Why the Transformers Cartoon Rewls

They say awesome shit like "I'm holographing the source".

Damn skippy he was!

By min | December 17, 2009, 10:42 AM | TeeVee| Link


I just paid $80 for a parking permit so that i can park at my job where i'm not guaranteed a spot let alone a spot near the building where i work, or better yet, a spot with my name painted on it.

By min | December 17, 2009, 10:19 AM | My stupid life | Comments (2) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Wheel In The Sky by Journey

Winter is here again oh Lord,
Haven't been home in a year or more
I hope she holds on a little longer
Sent a letter on a long summer day
Made of silver, not of clay
Ooh, I've been runnin' down this dusty road

Ooh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'

I've been trying to make it home
Got to make it before too long
Ooh, I can't take this very much longer, no
I'm stranded in the sleet and rain
Don't think I'm ever gonna make it home again
The mornin' sun is risin'
It's kissing the day

Ooh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Whooa... My, my, my, my, my... For tomorrow

Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Ooh, I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps me yernin'
Oh, I don't know, I don't know

Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Ooh, I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Ooh, I don't know, I don't know, I don't knowohoh
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Ohh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'

By fnord12 | December 17, 2009, 9:32 AM | Music| Link

December 16, 2009

Mugen Puchi Puchi Pop Pop

Why don't i have this?

Update: in case it wasn't clear before - Bob, i'm looking at you. Toys R Us sells this.

By min | December 16, 2009, 9:09 AM | Cute Things & Ummm... Other?| Link

December 14, 2009

Peanut butter in my chocolate or ice cream in my tomato soup?

Natalie Portman will produce and star in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I like zombie movies. Min likes Pride and Prejudice. Now we'll see how well our interests mesh. (And yes, i know this is based on a book, and we have it, but this is clearly a better subject for a movie.)

Next up... Godzilla and Mothra buy a home in the country and find that it needs a lot of work, putting a strain on their relationship.

By fnord12 | December 14, 2009, 2:14 PM | Boooooks & Movies | Comments (1) | Link

"In a move that senior leadership aides say has left them stunned"


Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that he will filibuster a tentative public option compromise unless it's stripped of its key component: a measure that would allow people aged 55-64 to buy insurance through Medicare.

The development casts substantial doubt on whether or not a health care reform bill can pass in the Senate, and even more doubt on whether a bill that does pass the Senate will be reconcilable with substantially more progressive House legislation in such a way that a final reform package can once again pass in both chambers of Congress.

Lieberman told Reid this afternoon, after a contentious appearance on Face the Nation, that he's a "no" vote on the new compromise unless the Medicare buy-in is stripped, and he's not even waiting for the CBO to weigh in--a move one leadership aide described as "extremely unfair."

What makes the new turn even more outlandish in the eyes of leadership and others is that Lieberman ran for Vice President on a platform that included a Medicare buy-in for people not-yet eligible for the program.

Really? You didn't see that coming?

By fnord12 | December 14, 2009, 9:56 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

December 11, 2009

Defeated by their own incompetence

For once. Finally it works to our advantage. Not too long ago i was worried about a special commission that would be empowered to force cuts in entitlement programs in order to reduce the deficit.

Luckily, they've designed it so that it would be impossible for anything to pass:

Importantly, the task force would ensure a bipartisan outcome. Broad bipartisan agreement would be required to move anything forward. Fourteen of the 18 Task Force members would have to agree to report the recommendations. And final passage would require supermajorities in both the Senate and House.

"Our Bipartisan Fiscal Task Force is designed to get results," said Conrad and Gregg.

Only if the desired result is the status quo.

By fnord12 | December 11, 2009, 12:58 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Good Name For A Band

Clandestine Polyamory

By fnord12 | December 11, 2009, 12:51 PM | Good Name For a Band| Link

Groups of 30

Don't know what it means, but i guess i'll start looking to see if it's true.

By fnord12 | December 11, 2009, 11:08 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

It's the Great Depression all over again

With "punishing" unemployment for the foreseeable future, the Obama administration is focused on cutting the deficit. This is exactly how FDR extended the Great Depression. We learn nothing.

The one solution to both problems is to pass a better stimulus bill now, but include triggers that raise revenue in the future once we get to acceptable levels of unemployment. But they seem to be balking on that as well.

By fnord12 | December 11, 2009, 11:02 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

December 10, 2009

Random Lyrics Thursday

Little Star of Bethlehem by Can

Silent invisible conversation,
Correction, the coat hanger should be upside down.
Oh, little star.
Froggie and Toadie carried off the tangerine seeds one by one
And came back for the popcorn after dinner.
Froggie said "I saw you soaking in a tub of water released behind the scene."
Sometimes I ask around, moon over the bay.

Froggie and Toadie
Carried off the tangerine seeds one by one
And came back for the popcorn after dinner,
Asking "Will you have some?"
Oh, correction,
The coat hanger should be upside down.
Ooh, oh, little star of Bethlehem,
Silent invisible conversation,
I meet you at the railroad station.
Silent invisible conversation,
Saw you in the bathtub soaking with the waterlilies behind the shed,
Sometimes I ask around, moon.

Froggie and Toadie
Carried off the tangerine seeds one by one
And came back for the popcorn after dinner,
Asking "Will you please have some?"
The coat hanger should be upside down.
Oh, little star of Bethlehem,
Silent invisible conversation,
I meet you at the railroad station.
Morning, morning, morning,
Good morning, Mr. Percy, here's what you say.
Don't you eat every time I see you there?
Don't you know I don't care?
Any longer sing the song,
Don't you know I'm going along,
Flashing time, fix, sane.
Mr. Froggie and the Toadie
Carried off the seats one by one,
Tangerine, tangerine seeds one by one.
Oh, little star of Bethlehem,
The silent conversation,
Don't you know I need some?
Silent conversation, oh no, it's a correction,
The coat hanger should be upside down,
Up on the moon you really don't need to hang your coat up
Because you know it's gonna go down,
Correction, going up.

Gravity man has turned himself around,
Sing the same songs, says "Up and down".
Don't know the words,
Oh, little, oh, little star of Bethlehem,
Silent invisible conversation,
You know you're grand.

Froggie, Froggie, Toadie, Toadie,
Tangerine seeds one by one,
After dinner take out the popcorn,
Ask you "Do you want some?"
Oh, little star of Bethlehem,
Silent conversation, invisible patience,
Don't you know, pop, don't you know, pop,
Soda pop is best in the morning
When you don't have nothing to talk about?
Don't you know the light's out?
Can't you move a little higher?

Froggie and Toadie
Carried off the tangerine seeds one by one
And came back for the popcorn after dinner.
Will you, will you please have some?
Little star of Bethlehem,
Silent invisible conversation,
I meet you at the railroad station.
I wonder which way today, today,
Little star of Bethlehem,
Silent invisible conversation,
Correction, correction,
The coat hanger should be upside down,
On the moon, looney tune.
Froggie and Toadie
Carried off the tangerine seeds one by one
And came back for the popcorn after dinner
Asking "Do you want some?"
Asking "Do you want
Waterlilies in your bathtub,
Waterlilies in your bathtub,
Waterlilies in your bathtub,
Waterlilies in your bathtub,
Waterlilies in your bathtub?"
Silent invisible conversation,
I meet you, meet you,
Meet you, meet you, meet you, meet you, meet you at the railroad station.

By fnord12 | December 10, 2009, 8:56 AM | Music| Link

December 7, 2009

I Found a Cute Thing!

Momiji are totally useless, but so cute!

By min | December 7, 2009, 11:24 AM | Cute Things & Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Hoodies Were Clearly the Next Logical Step

Everybody loves Mimobots, yes (here and here)?

Well, here you go:

They come in a few different colors.

By min | December 7, 2009, 11:12 AM | Cute Things & Ummm... Other?| Link

December 4, 2009

Marvel Sales


DC's Blackest Night series bumps Marvel out of the top 6 slots. Marvel's top selling New Avengers comes in at #7. And DC almost approaches Marvel in total market share as well. This Blackest Night must be something else.

By fnord12 | December 4, 2009, 2:40 PM | Comics| Link

Off with his head

I was ambivalent towards Bernanke. Krugman had vouched for him in the past, saying that Bernanke had done good academic work earlier dealing with the zero bound interest rate problem, which is what we now face. Wasn't thrilled with a lot of the decisions that were made regarding the bank bailouts, but i didn't know how much of that was coming from Bernanke vs. Geithner and/or Obama. But his opinions on cutting Social Security and Medicare, which came out during his reconfirmation hearings, are

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) sympathized with Bernanke, saying that, because of entitlement spending, "you're going to be looking at a situation where the Congress will be unable to provide any kind of fiscal discipline because of the mandatory spending. That puts an enormous burden on your plate."

"Well, Senator, I was about to address entitlements," Bernanke replied. "I think you can't tackle the problem in the medium term without doing something about getting entitlements under control and reducing the costs, particularly of health care."

Bernanke reminded Congress that it has the power to repeal Social Security and Medicare.

"It's only mandatory until Congress says it's not mandatory. And we have no option but to address those costs at some point or else we will have an unsustainable situation," said Bernanke.

Thank god for Bernie Sanders:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who has placed a hold on Bernanke's nomination, was apoplectic when HuffPost told him Bernanke was pushing for cuts in entitlement spending. "Bernanke wants to cut entitlement spending? Well, that confirms everything I'm saying," Sanders fumed.

"The CEOs and top people on Wall Street make huge bonuses, and what? We're going to cut back on Social Security and Medicare? That's what we're going to do?"

Sanders said he sees it for what it is. "That's the solution? To cut back on the middle class and the elderly? That only adds fuel to the fire," he said. "Look, let's be clear. The middle class in America today is collapsing. Within the confines of the Beltway, we don't talk about that too much. But that is the reality. It's not just unemployment or underemployment. People are working longer hours for lower wages. People are unable to send their kids to college. People are losing their homes. People's jobs are going to China. That is the reality."

Update: Kurgman turns on Bernanke .

By fnord12 | December 4, 2009, 11:35 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Cereally. That Naming Thing Again

Cockermouth. And it's totally not vulgar so you can go ahead and click on it.

By min | December 4, 2009, 11:28 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Who's In Charge of Naming Things?

U.S. launches Operation 'Cobra's Anger' in Afghanistan

Serpentor jokes, anyone? C'mon. You know you want to.

By min | December 4, 2009, 11:24 AM | TeeVee| Link

The Equalizer's Dead

Edward Woodward, the versatile actor who starred in The Wicker Man and television dramas Callan and The Equalizer, has died at the age of 79.


By min | December 4, 2009, 11:17 AM | TeeVee| Link

December 3, 2009

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Deadpool #5 - No doubts on the decision to drop this in favor of Deadpool Team-Up.

Dark Reign - The List: Amazing Spider-Man #1 - Was the purpose of these List books to show Osborn continually lose? I guess he captured Hawkeye and killed the Punisher, but he's failed on all his other list items. Not quite what i was expecting. But these were a nice glimpse into what was going on for the books that i'm not reading.

Models #4 - This wasn't a great series, but it wasn't bad. I actually liked the little mini features where they commented on the costume designs from other current books best. Let's just say that i wouldn't necessarily buy an Origin of Iceman one-shot by the writer of this series.

Spider-Woman #3 - This isn't really picking up. I'm actually not sure if it makes sense to introduce the Hydra element before really getting into the alien hunting bit. But even beyond that, it's just dragging and i really hate the art.

Ares #2 - A totally different type of book than the first issue. But i like it. Nice mythology stuffs and the overt tribute to Ray Harryhausen. And it clears up the confusion from last issue - Phobos wasn't missing, it's just that Hera implied that he was in trouble.

Fantastic Four #573 - This was a terribly crafted book. A real disappointment. First, the cover was completely unrelated to the story. But that's not a surprise. Beyond that, we have a narrative frame that starts with Sue Storm telling Franklin that he's in trouble, but it proceeds with Franklin telling a story that has almost nothing to do with him, and it ends with Sue just happily tucking Franklin in bed, no reference to any "trouble", and a bizarre "reveal" that it's Franklin's birthday the next day. In the meantime we have a story where the two members of the Fantastic Four are completely ineffective, or rather just incidental to the plot. And the day is saved by the annoyingly super-intelligent Valeria, and off-panel at that. It was just a big mess. After the Reed-only arc, i was looking forward to a seeing how Hickman did with the Thing and Human Torch in this issue, but this was basically another Reed story except with Valeria playing the role of Reed this issue. And beyond that, it was just very poorly constructed.

New Mutants #7 - I felt like the pacing of this issue was a little off, with half the book devoted to the New Mutants reacting to the Hellions trying to get in the door, but i'm still liking this. I'd put the odds that i continue with this series after Necrosha X at about 50/50.

Secret Warriors #10 - Surprising to see this book focus exclusively on a mythological angle. Phobos' godliness has been pretty much downplayed in this series before, which makes sense for what's essentially a spy book. But that's not to say that i have a problem with the new focus for this issue. Quite good. I would have liked to see something of a debate between Balder, Hera, and Quetzalcoatl, but i guess Phobos' response to the first question pretty much shut them up, which was kind of cool. My only concern is figuring out when it could possibly make sense for Hercules and Hera to be in the same room together given the ongoing events in the Hercules book.

Thunderbolts #138 - Well written, but i'm going to have to give myself some time to decide if i care about these characters. And i think it's funny that the Agents of Atlas are going to be showing up here, too. Is it possible to over-expose a group that doesn't have its own book?

Dark Avengers #11 - Only complaint is that Moonstone should have made an attempt to get through to the Molecule Man with her psychological training. That aspect of her character seems to have been forgotten. Beyond that, i liked this a lot.

Realm of Kings #1 - When did i call it Realm of the Kings? I thought i was being scolded for that, but i must have misunderstood. Anyway, this was Quasar vs. the Cthulu Avengers and i liked it a lot.

Guardians of the Galaxy #20 - They were supposed to reveal that Cosmo wasn't really dead at the beginning of this issue. I guess they forgot. Next issue for sure.

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 - I liked Pablo Raimondi's art. The story was good too. I'd like to see more politics over super-fights, and i'm hoping that Maximus' obvious intentions aren't played out too quickly since we've been down that road enough times. But this was a good set-up. And seeing the Initiative Avengers show up was a surprise.

New Avengers #59 - It's a little odd seeing Brother Voodoo ready to work with the unregistered heroes. It wasn't that long ago that he was working with the registered heroes to counter-act Dr. Strange. I found that to be "wrong" at the time and i'd like to see that acknowledged either here or in Voodoo's book. Anyway, i guess now that it's Osborn and not Iron Man on the registered side he had a re-evaluation. I really liked the 'Luke Cage has friends and he never asked for a damn thing' bit. This was a good issue. And the tracker or whatever in the heart thing was kind of obvious, but it occurred to me that no one on this team has any kind of tech skills, so i guess it makes sense that they'd miss it. But what's up with Valkyrie? Not sure how i feel about the "thick and pasty" look.

Hercules #138 - Super good.

By fnord12 | December 3, 2009, 11:16 PM | Comics| Link

No Green Jobs for Us

Link via Digby:

The initial promise of green jobs was based on governments around the world declaring the fight against global warming to be a priority. The theory was that jobs in environmentally minded companies would grow rapidly as a result. But instead, some green-industry companies have been shedding jobs in the United States, and in some cases moving them to China.

Last week, the Gamesa wind turbine plant in western Pennsylvania announced it was laying off nearly half its 280 workers. Last month, General Electric said it would close a solar panel factory in Delaware, while Evergreen Solar, which received $58 million in state aid to build a 900-employee plant northwest of Boston, said it would move some assembly to China, costing 250 jobs.

There are myriad reasons why green jobs have grown more slowly than hoped. The clean energy component of the $787 billion stimulus package has only recently started to kick in. Energy experts say that banks, which have been reluctant to lend generally, have been especially loath to lend for alternative energy projects.

And renewable-energy companies are hesitating to invest in new plants and equipment before Congress enacts new environmental mandates, like cap and trade, to limit carbon emissions. In addition, the long recession (along with correspondingly slack energy demand) caused the clean-energy industry to delay expansion plans.

As a result, the United States is likely to install just one-eighth as much new solar power this year as Germany does, and China is expected to surpass the United States this year as the leader in adding new wind energy capacity.

By fnord12 | December 3, 2009, 4:10 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

I'd like to apologize to all our readers for not having an RLTh last week. It was Thanksgiving, but that was no excuse. We haven't received this many complaints since we banned David Schulman. I hope this week's special selection will make it up to you.

Take These Broken Wings by Mr. Mister

Baby, don't understand
Why we can't just live long to each other's hands
This time might be the last, I fear
Unless I make it all too clear
I need you so, ohhhh...

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again, learn to live free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in
Take these broken wings...

Baby, I think tonight
We can take what is wrong and make it right
Baby, it's all I know
That you're half of the flesh and blood that makes me whole
I need you so, ohhhh...

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again, learn to live free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in
Yeah, let us in
Let us in!

Baby, it's all I know
That you're half of the flesh and blood that makes me whole
Yeah, yeah, yeah...
Yeah, yeah!

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again, learn to live so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in
Take these broken wings
You've got to learn to fly, learn to live and love so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up for us and let us in

Yeah, yeah!
Ooooooh, yeah!

By fnord12 | December 3, 2009, 9:03 AM | Music| Link

December 2, 2009


Republicans are still mad about the fact that Al Franken made them vote against an anti-rape amendment. This vote was two months ago. They're really surprised that people are upset about it. But of course they can't help whine about it, keeping their horrible vote in the news.

(Note that i'm linking to TPM. The original Politico article does its best to make it seem like it's all Franken's fault.)

By fnord12 | December 2, 2009, 6:29 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

December 1, 2009


Joe Klein:

There is one argument for continuing the fight that I would add, however:

Pakistan. If the U.S. doesn't remain engaged in Afghanistan, the civilian government in Pakistan - already an incredibly shaky enterprise - will probably fall.

Our presence in the region is one of the main destabilizing factors. Pakistan and India were having productive talks before we set down a large military presence in the area. Now their people are angry and the fundamentalist forces are on the rise. Here's why.

By fnord12 | December 1, 2009, 5:13 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Killed For Fat

A Peruvian gang that allegedly killed people and drained fat from their corpses for use in cosmetics may have been inspired by a grisly Andean legend.

Hilarió Cudeña Simon, the alleged ringleader, linked the crimes to tales of demonic assassins, known as Pishtacos, who purportedly waylaid victims in pre-Columbian times, police said.


I'm with the Fight Club people on this one, in terms of comparisons. It's what immediately came to mind when i read the headline.

This Pishtaco guy sounds pretty awful. Why do all legends have to be gruesome or frightening? Why can't legends ever be about bugbears having tea and sprinkling glitter all over the pretty flowers?

By min | December 1, 2009, 1:28 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link


Death by starvation - no longer a problem. We have the ways and means to keep alive. Just.

Barwaco and Mohamed come from Nana, a small village way up on the stony Kenyan Ethiopian border. But like millions more children around the world, they owe their lives to this brand of food which is never advertised and is unknown outside disaster spots. The sweet paste, invented by a French scientist, is made under licence to UN children's charity Unicef on an industrial estate outside Le Havre, and its mix of peanut butter, vegetable oils, powdered milk, sugar, vitamins and minerals is the equivalent of royal jelly, açaí berries and chocolate all wrapped into one for malnourished children. It's cheap - a sachet costs about 85p - and because it needs no cooking or added water, children can safely feed themselves on it at home. In just a few years "ready-to-use therapeutic foods" (RUTF) like Plumpy'nut have revolutionised the treatment of severe malnutrition.

One month ago, says Jirma, both Barwaco and Mohamed were at death's door. Their muscles were wasting, their hair was turning orange, and they were showing sure signs of marasmus, a type of malnutrition caused by a diet deficient in protein and carbohydrates. When Jirma first saw them he feared for their lives. Now, with the Plumpy'nut provided by Irish charity Concern Worldwide, they have recovered nearly 10% of their body weight - the difference between life and death for a young child. In another week or two they will move on to a corn and soya blend flour and in two months they should have recovered completely.


"We are not killing people [with hunger] as we did 20 years ago," says Yves Horent, the European community's head of humanitarian aid in Nairobi. "Things have improved enormously. We don't have many deaths from hunger nowadays. We're become very good at keeping people alive technically with foods like Plumpy'nut. We have techniques to save people. We can keep mortality rates low. It's incredibly efficient. We can save children, no problem. Just 20 years ago this would not have been possible. The cost of a life saved is now very cheap - €20-€40 will save a life. We can give vouchers, so people can access food easily. Fifteen years ago that would have been unheard of. We can deal with 20 million people. Now where there is free access or there are no blocks [to humanitarian groups] to working in a country, we can move thousands of tonnes of food. We won't see people dying in thousands again, like in Ethiopia in 1984. People tried their best then, but the science was not as good as now. In the mid-1980s, we had very few professional aid workers and only a few nutritionists," he says.

But while the humanitarian groups have become incredibly good at saving people, the worry is that no one is addressing the causes of growing hunger. "Part of the problem is that we have become expert in a very artificial way now. We can take a child who is almost dead and revive her. But we cannot stop it happening again and again. We cannot prevent the problem," he says.

The reality of emergency aid today, he says, is that the millions of hungry people who are kept on a drip-feed of food aid from governments and the UN are out of sight. More than 100 million people now depend on UN food aid just to survive, not just to get them over a disaster or a temporary emergency, but to stay alive for years at a time. More than 5 million people in Ethiopia, similar numbers in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, 1 million in Kenya and more in Burma, Somalia, Yemen, Chad and India are kept permanently just above the starvation levels. There may be no full-scale humanitarian emergencies any more, but people are left in a perpetual state of chronic hunger.

Now there are ominous signs that rich countries are withdrawing even this safety net. Following the recession, countries have pledged less than half the money needed to feed the hungry. Even as hunger is increasing, the World Food Programme is nearly $3bn short and is having to close offices, cut operations and slash rations to millions of people who have no way of earning money to buy food.


Happy holidays and all that.

By min | December 1, 2009, 1:11 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Is it really worth it?


SCIENTISTS have grown meat in the laboratory for the first time. Experts in Holland used cells from a live pig to replicate growth in a petri dish.

The advent of so-called "in-vitro" or cultured meat could reduce the billions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by farm animals - if people are willing to eat it.

So far the scientists have not tasted it, but they believe the breakthrough could lead to sausages and other processed products being made from laboratory meat in as little as five years' time.

There's already an array of vegetarian meat substitutes that "reduce the billions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by farm animals". I recognize that not everyone finds it an acceptable alternative to the real thing. But it doesn't sound like this stuff would be any better. And i would think the "ick" factor is much higher here.

By fnord12 | December 1, 2009, 12:07 PM | Science | Comments (3) | Link

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