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September 30, 2010

Recap #35

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

By min | September 30, 2010, 6:57 PM | D&D| Link

September 23, 2010

Angry Bosses


By fnord12 | September 23, 2010, 11:42 AM | My stupid life| Link

September 21, 2010

A time to strategerize

So the heroic Motley Crew just finished up some important derring-do (see Recap #35 - Coming Soon!), and arrived back at the makeshift camp set up by the Knights of Phantar, when the giant undead dragon Gloiterwome appeared in the sky. Soon, all of the Oblivion King's army crumbled to the ground and the evil lich flew off on the back of the skeletal dragon like the cover from some awesome never-recorded Iron Maiden album.

A quick analysis by the Mages Guild revealed that the undead army still existed, but lay dormant. The Temple of Tyr began investigating possible ways to stop the Oblivion King from causing the army to re-form, and Lord Miles sent out some Rangers to try physically hacking up the ground in an attempt to physically damage the crumbled remains. Neither approach was given much chance of success. Meanwhile, all of the defensive points around the area have been reinforced, with elves from the kingdoms of both Elric and Morwyn, wizards from the Chumeran Mages Guild, a small contingent of Halflings from Pern, and even a wary army of orcs and goblins from the United Tribes of the Broken Bone. It's also confirmed that the dwarves of Rockholme have gathered at Topo Pass as promised.

Elric's elves also bring strange news of another army amassing in the east, led by a man claiming to be the Sun God Aten, here to purge the Earth of the undead scourge. No priest has heard of a God called Aten, and it's unknown where this Aten is getting followers to form an army, although the elves confirm that it's a mix of humans and lizard-men.

Meanwhile, the Motley Crew begin to get acquainted with Klute, the guy who sent a pack of owlbears to help Malouf escape some undead trolls. The party had heard the name Klute before. According to a pre-recorded message left by Beeblebrox, it was assumed that he had joined up with the group some time ago.

In his own words: "Yeah, man, well, i'm from a place you guys have never heard of called the Jutland territory. Right? Haven't heard of it? Yeah. Well, i was up in the Kjolen mountain range trying to find a rare orchid that only blooms in the snowy peaks. There was a girl back home that i was pretty sure would sleep with me if i could get the flower. Anyway, i'm up there and i get spotted by a white dragon and i've ducked behind an outcropping of snow and ice, and i see something underneath the snow. I start clearing the snow away and there's a quick flash and then i see a big mirror half frozen in the ice. From what i saw of it, looked like the one you have. Well, a mirror's not going to help me against a dragon, so i make sure the coast is clear and i make a break for it. I get about halfway down the mountain before i realize i have no idea where i am. Later turns out i've somehow been teleported to the Hessiac Mountains north of your land but i didn't know that yet.

"I get down the mountain, start wandering around a bit, and i see an old castle with a courtyard full of statues. We all know how this turns out. Next thing i know, my fine features are preserved for all time in stone thanks to the medusa, Shalma. You've heard of her, right? No? Well, someone ought to do something about her. Aren't you guys heroes, out to make the world safe for handsome bards like myself?

"Anyway, some months later, i'm rescued by Candelaria. She's from the Mages Guild. Cute chick. A little clingy. But she did rescue me, and we had some good times before we broke things off. Since then i've been wandering around Chumera trying to figure out where i am in relation to my homeland. I heard about a wizard dude called Beeblebrox who might be able to help, but i guess he's not home right now. While i was in the area i heard about the undead troubles, and i wound up working with the Knights of Phantar."

So... next steps?

  • Having another mirror might be helpful in cutting down on travel time. We could head to the Hessiac Mountains, maybe take care of this medusa along the way, and see if Klute can help us find the mirror. If so, Brecaryn could try to send him home and then we could leave one mirror somewhere safe (like with the Knights of Phantar) while we traveled back into the desert with the other one.
  • No time to go hunting for another mirror now. We have to head back into the southern desert right away and see if we can find a way to destroy the Oblivion King. We've learned the name of the town that he originally came from. Might find some clues there. Or we could go back to the pyramid where we first found him now that we know what we're walking into.
  • Or, we should check out the Dragonkin cave where the Oblivion King was holed up during the Undead War. Might be some clue there. Maybe we should ask around about the Havoc Company mercenaries, who were last seen going into that cave. They can tell us if they got further than we did.
  • But now that the Oblivion King is teamed-up with Gloiterwome, we have to be extra careful. We should go back to Mangar's Wood and see how the portal to the Ice Dimension got re-opened. And see if Willie is alive.
  • There's also this Aten character. Another army rising in the east doesn't make anyone comfortable, and maybe that better be taken care of sooner rather than later.
  • Screw all of this. Time to get the heck out of Chumera. Let's head north until we find a tavern.

By fnord12 | September 21, 2010, 8:30 PM | D&D | Comments (17) | Link

Chinese Straddle Bus

China's new idea for dealing with their traffic issues.

Proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd, the model looks like a subway or light-rail train bestriding the road. It is 4-4.5 m high with two levels: passengers board on the upper level while other vehicles lower than 2 m can go through under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can speed up to 60 km/h carrying 1200-1400 passengers at a time without blocking other vehicles' way. Also it costs about 500 million yuan to build the bus and a 40-km-long path for it, only 10% of building equivalent subway. It is said that the bus can reduce traffic jams by 20-30%.

According to the translation, it would take 1/3 of the time to build the infrastructure for the straddling bus than it would to build the same amount of subway. There are 2 proposed ideas for keeping the bus on track:

  1. laying rails on both sides of the car lane which the bus would run on
  2. or
  3. painting white lines on both sides which the bus' auto-pilot would follow

The scary part is if you're driving underneath the bus in the tunnel and the bus is about to turn. There are signal lights inside to warn you, but still. I think it's a very interesting idea, but I'd have to see more to dispel the visions of cars getting smashed into the sides of the bus.

By min | September 21, 2010, 7:32 PM | Science| Link

Never Say No to Panda!

I can't decide if I love the first or second one best. I just know I love it.

By min | September 21, 2010, 7:27 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Impressive. Most Impressive.

This guy modded an R2D2-shaped Pepsi dispenser to have 11 integrated video game consoles, a projector, and speakers all around. Link

By min | September 21, 2010, 7:20 PM | Star Wars & Video Games| Link

September 19, 2010

You Can Run and Tell That, Homeboy


From the Guardian

WAFF TV was criticised by viewers complaining that broadcasting the interview stereotyped the black community. The station replied that to censor Dodson would have been "far worse". "The fact is Dodson is a victim and, just like any victim, has the right to speak out," Gentle said.

Interviewed on NPR, national syndicator to 797 public radio stations in the United States, Dodson backed up the TV station's case, alleging that the housing officer to whom the assault had been reported next morning treated the allegation as a joke. "She was making fun of us, she was actually laughing in our face. So we just left. We got back to the apartment, called the investigators and the news people, asking 'Is anybody taking this seriously?'"

When the news team came, Antoine let off steam. Events then took an extraordinary twist. Captivated by Dodson's outburst, The Gregory Brothers, a New York band who run a popular YouTube channel, AutoTune The News, transformed the interview into a song called "Bed Intruder". Almost overnight, it became YouTube's number one video. Last week it was watched more than 30m times.


Understandably, Dodson is keen to make the most of his sudden celebrity. He has hired an attorney to help him conduct his burgeoning media and business dealings. A Twitter account has been set up, followed by a Facebook page and an Antoine Dodson official website asking people to "Help the Dodson family" and donate via PayPal.

Merchandise containing some of Dodson's catchphrases like "Hide yo kids" and "We gon find you" has already gone on sale, the profits of which "will go to helping Antoine's family get out of the projects".

I wonder if they've found the rapist yet. It's almost been 2 months. Considering all the evidence the jerk left behind, you'd think it wouldn't be too difficult. I see them do it all the time on CSI.

By min | September 19, 2010, 2:12 AM | Music & Ummm... Other? | Comments (2) | Link

Little Known Ninja Technique

Thanks to the brilliant minds over at BoingBoing for bringing this to our attention, I bring you Vagina Bubbles From Hell.

By min | September 19, 2010, 1:57 AM | Movies| Link

Jesse Eisenberg vs.Michael Cera
Jesse Eisenberg Michael Cera

fnord12 still doesn't believe me that they're 2 different people.

By min | September 19, 2010, 1:54 AM | Whoodwin | Comments (1) | Link

September 17, 2010

1989: Year of the Dork?

I'm still back in 1983 in my comic reading project, but i've got some Marvel Tales reprints that were published in 1989, and, my god. Ads from the 70s and 80s may have been goofy, but by the end of the 80s they just get embarrassing. Look at these kids. It doesn't even matter what they are advertising (but you can click on the images to see the full ads if you so desire). They just look stupid.

By fnord12 | September 17, 2010, 3:23 PM | Comics| Link

Hey kids! Rip off your friends! Rip off yourself!

This ad was published in March 1984 cover-dated Marvel comics, meaning it was probably out at the end of 1983, which was the height of a major video game crash. I'm pretty sure we bought Atlantis (the example used in this ad) and a few other Imagic games for the Intellivision from the bargain bins at KB Toys for a couple of bucks. No way you could sell it for $11.95.

I suspect this was a way for some store or distributor to unload all their dusty inventory. I'd love to know how successful they were.

Atlantis was a fun game, though.

By fnord12 | September 17, 2010, 2:15 PM | Video Games| Link

September 16, 2010

Marvel Sales


Also, August isn't looking so good.

By fnord12 | September 16, 2010, 1:34 PM | Comics| Link

Possibly i have a new hero

"Dude, you have no Koran" guy seems pretty awesome.

By fnord12 | September 16, 2010, 12:50 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

September 11, 2010

I like the idea of the Thing always announcing what time it is based on whatever he happens to be doing at the moment

By fnord12 | September 11, 2010, 3:14 PM | Comics| Link

Who is this guy?

1983 was just a little bit before my time. I started collecting Marvel comics with Secret Wars in 1984. But I picked up a decent smattering of back issues in drug stores and the like after I started, and I would occasionally see this ad. I knew the Kingpin always kept at least one super-powered henchman. At the time I started reading, it was The Answer, and i knew that prior to that it had been Bullseye, who i recognized in this ad, and i'd also read about someone called "Elektra". But i always assumed that the guy in the middle of this ad was also some super-powered baddie, presumably with super-strength. But now having read through just about everything up through 1983, i'm realizing that it's not a super-powered guy at all. Unless it's someone really obscure that only appeared in a one-off Bill Mantlo Spectacular Spider-Man issue or something.

Most likely, i've realized, it's the low level goon/informant Turk who is the butt of a lot of jokes in Frank Miller's Daredevil. Yeah, that's definitely who it is. It's obvious now. But i guess it just took me a while to realize that since little me always assumed he was a super-villain.

By fnord12 | September 11, 2010, 2:51 PM | Comics| Link

September 10, 2010

The weird and awesome cartoons of 1983

A Rubik's Cube with a bizarre little gremlin face!
Super Pac-Man!
Horribly mutated children!
And Menudo!

By fnord12 | September 10, 2010, 4:20 PM | TeeVee | Comments (1) | Link

September 9, 2010


There's a lot to be said about this absolutely bizarre speech by a local politician, but the best part to me is the way he represents the number 13 on his fingers in the very beginning.

By fnord12 | September 9, 2010, 10:19 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

We invite you to drive over this child

Mistermix at Balloon Juice:

I'm sure there are more important things to write about, but this Canadian plan to create an optical illusion of a child in lieu of speed bumps is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. My guess is that they'll be painted over the first time a little girl in a blue hoodie chasing a pink ball is run over by a desensitized driver.

By fnord12 | September 9, 2010, 12:55 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

September 8, 2010

Learn to Sexy Dance

h/t to wnkr

Scientists have given new hope to men who feel their dancefloor moves are doing more to repel than to attract women.

Psychologists in England say they've identified specific dance moves that really matter. And the body parts they highlight aren't necessarily what women think they're looking for -- or at.

In fact, Northumbria University psychologists say, it's the left wrist and the right knee, as well as the head and the trunk that women consider.


It's all about revealing your "reproductive quality" to the females. Science says so.

(I laughed even harder the second time i watched.)

By min | September 8, 2010, 7:14 PM | Science| Link

New crosswalks make Jaywalking legal

By fnord12 | September 8, 2010, 9:54 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

September 6, 2010

DRM For Everyone

Michael Geist writes in with the latest news on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the secret, closed-door copyright treaty that will bring US-style copyright rules (and worse) to the whole world. Particularly disturbing is the growing support for "three-strikes" copyright rules that would disconnect whole families from the Internet if one member of the household was accused (without proof) of copyright infringement. The other big US agenda item is cramming pro-Digital Rights Management (DRM) rules down the world's throats that go way beyond the current obligations under the UN's WIPO Copyright Treaty. In the US version, breaking DRM is always illegal, even if you're not committing any copyright violation -- so breaking the DRM on your iPad to install software you bought from someone who hasn't gone through the Apple approval process is illegal, even though the transaction involves no illicit copying.


Who says we have no culture to share?

By min | September 6, 2010, 7:23 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 5, 2010



"According to OED the word prequel first appeared in print in 1958 in an article by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It appears to have first come into general use in the early 1970s, in which its first known, traceable use is in the original press pack for The Godfather Part II,[1] where it is used to describe the sections of the film which take place before the events of The Godfather"
"Francis Ford Coppola credited George Lucas with devising the term,[citation needed] which Lucas and Steven Spielberg later used to describe their joint project Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (which also occurred before the events of the first Indiana Jones film) during publicity for its release. Lucas's own Star Wars prequel trilogy greatly popularized the term in American culture."

I said George Lucas popularized it, but Wanyas was pretty much right beyond that.

By fnord12 | September 5, 2010, 5:10 PM | Movies| Link

September 3, 2010

This is Survey 2010. Do you own a small dog?

Very annoying robo-spammer.

Theories abound on the possible scam.

By fnord12 | September 3, 2010, 12:52 PM | My stupid life| Link

September 2, 2010


Maybe min should install it at her place of work.

By fnord12 | September 2, 2010, 2:59 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

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