Saturday, December 30, 2006

Amazing Screw-on Head

The Amazing Screw-on Head is the title of a one shot comic book written and drawn by Mike Mignola of Hellboy fame. The comic was published by Dark Horse Comics in 2002, and an animated pilot was made by the Sci-Fi Channel in 2006. It may yet become a series, based on the feedback from a now closed viewer survey.While similar in tone and theme to Hellboy, The Amazing Screw-On Head is a steampunk comedy.

The voice cast is great with Paul Giamatti as Screw-on head, and David Hyde Pierce as Emperor Zombie, the highly intelligent and articulate power mad zombie villain. Aided by Mr. Groin (a butler) and Mr. Dog (a stuffed dog) Screw-on head fights the occult and supernatural threats as an agent of Abraham Lincoln.

Let's watch!

Wikipedia Article: Amazing Screw-On Head

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Guitar Hero 2 Review

Guitar Hero 2
Originally uploaded by coderkind.
With the blessings of the season upon everyone, and another day yet until I return to work, I see fit to review a PlayStation 2 game that I recently acquired in the flurry of festivities.

I got hooked on Guitar Hero 2 during an excursion to Best Buy with veritate and defender75. I got stuck playing "War Pigs" and "John the Fisherman" for about half and hour and vowed to get myself a copy of the game at some point, though I gushed enough about the game over the last week to ensure a copy was under the tree this year.

Guitar Hero 2 is one of the latest releases in the "rhythm video game" genre similar to the Konami arcade game "Guitar Freaks." A 3/4 scale Gibson SG guitar is your controller, or rather your "axe" as you will be shredding fairly hard after a few tries.

The song set list is impressive, with song like "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies and "Sweet Child O' Mine" it feels as if the developers looked into my mix tape collection from high school and based their choices on that. The inclusion of Spinal Tap's "Tonight I'm going to rock you Tonight" and Strong Bad's "Trogdor!!!" really puts the rock quotient over the edge. The only thing missing is a Tenacious D song.

On the topic of "rock quotient," part of the scoring system of the game includes a "Rock Meter" to show how accurate your performance is i.e. How well you "rock" as it were. I think one of these should be installed at every rock concert in the world, and the results would be illuminating.

I really hope one of my PS2 using friends will pick this game up soon so we can have some dual-guitar rock-jamming action.

From XKCD comics

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Slashboing On Vacation

I will be on Vacation from the end of this post until the end of December. I hope to post again before the new year.

Until then, I present the following image for pondering possibilities. The image is from US patent 6,500,041 for "Animated headsets." This is proof that just because an idea is patentable, it is not necessarily useful.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Johnny Johnny makes Lunch

The Sunday Flickr Favourites team delivers this picture from the photostream of Gio Corsi, the gentleman who portrayed "Mr. Ambassador" in the smash video podcast, "Tiki Bar Tv."

Originally uploaded by CORSIWORLD.

As he is close friends of the creators of the podcast, he has many candid shots of them. Here is Kevin Gamble, better known in my circles as "Johnny Johnny" the cocktologist of the tiki bar, serving up a smoked meat sandwich for lunch.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Learn comptuing at home

William Shatner can do no wrong. In the 1980's he was an advocate for computer literacy.
Let's watch!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Funny Wikipedia Category

I found a great collection of Fictional Balls on Wikipedia. If you can read that with no giggling, you are more mature than I.

Bigger, funnier and better conceived posts are in the works, so hang on.

"Some balls are held for charity, and some for fancy dress, but when they're held for pleasure they're the balls that I like best." - AC/DC "Big Balls"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas gifts from Flickr

Flickr just posted to their blog today that they have increased the limits on uploading bandwidth. Those with paid accounts now have unlimited uploads, and those with free accounts (like me) got a 5x boost from 20MB per month up to 100MB. That means I can start uploading higher resolution images, however my maximum viewing limit is still 200 pictures, which I just reached this week

Flickr also added a cool easter egg (xmas egg?) to the note feature. Adding a note "ho ho ho hat" draws a Santaman hat while "ho ho ho beard" give the picture whiskers.

I think it may disappear in the new year so I document it with this picture. The original is found here.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Touching review of Empire Strikes Back

As part of a community building exercise, some of the Star Wars fan groups are sending a Luke Skywalker figurine from club to club around the world, taking pictures along the way. A document of his travels can be found here: Luke's Blog

Doing a Google search to find any discussion this project, I found this touching review of "Empire Strikes Back" by Infoquake author David Louis Edelman. He recounts seeing it for the first time in 1980 with his brothers and sisters and a mother's purse full of smuggled-in candy. He writes:
Harrison Ford [...] by cavalierly dodging the Empire through fancy maneuver after fancy maneuver, has clearly demonstrated that he is the coolest dude in the history of the universe, ever ever ever. The chase through the asteroid field makes the Imperial Walkers seem like old news, especially now that the candy's gone and the sugar high has kicked in [...]

I'm scared, I'm elated, I want to go home, I never want to leave.
It makes we wish I could un-learn what I know, and re-watch the Star Wars films with the fresh eyes of a child. Failing that, I gather with my friends periodically and talk about these 30 year old films with a youthful vigour. We ask each other the same questions that have been raised for years:
  • "Do we have freewill or are we guided by fate/destiny?"
  • "How much government is too much, how much it too little?"
  • "Do the ends justify the means?"
  • "It it our intentions or actions that make us good or villainous?"
The love of gadgets, droids and space travel definitely shaped my career decisions, as I know it did others. The belief in Jedi peace and justice, and the Buddhists teachings they are based on, have guided my behaviour on more than one occasion.

Not bad for a merely escapist popcorn serial.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Drinkbot Symposium

RoboExotica 2006
Originally uploaded by ioerror.

On November 14th, I blogged about Robot Bartenders, both real and fanciful. Seems that the serving of cocktails by a robot is significant enough to warrent a symposium.

Roboexotica is an event that runs December 5th-10th in Vienna, Austria in an attempt to:

"publicly discuss the role of cocktail robotics as an index for the integration of technological innovations into the human Lebenswelt, or to document the increasing occurrence of radical hedonism in man-machine communication."
The official sub-title of the event is "Cybernetics and Robotics as an Interdisciplinary Universal Science."

To me that sounds like an excuse to build funky robots and drink lots.

"If you turn your back on science, science will take you from behind" - Dr Tiki.

[Link] (via BoingBoing )

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fooling all the wrong people

Sure enough, the picture I posted yesterday, and submitted to the 365 Days project was indeed my right elbow joint. I don't think I fooled anyone, as it would seem that Slashboing readers and Drhaggis fans in general are too smart to be fooled by a simple"elbow-as-fake-butt" ruse.

I did however score big hits on my Flickr account by using suggestive tags such as "," "," "," and "." I garnered over 200 hits on that image of my elbow, while my typical project pictures are in the 20-30 hit range.I bet people searching for those kind of images were a might disappointed to see what I offered them, or more accurately, what I didn't offer them. <insert convention runners joke here>

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Name that body part

Day 68 - Name that body part
Originally uploaded by Drhaggis.

Here is picture of my naked skin taken for Day 68 in my participation in the 365Days Project on Flickr. Can you guess which part it is? How brave do you think I am? I will post the answer tomorrow.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Kilgore Trout for President

The Sunday Flickr Favourites Team brings this one in a little late. Have no fear, they will be dealt with accordingly.

105_0517 copy
Originally uploaded by dizznan.

Seen here is a lovely combination of two of my favourite things. A Kurt Vonnegut reference, and smarmy graffiti. The phrase from Krakow reads "Kilgore Trout for president." The man seen with the slogan, my indeed be Mr. Trout himself.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December Events Calender

IFWA Christmas Book Festival
When: Saturday December 9 th from 12 PM - 4 PM
Where: Centre building of Richmond Meadows Co-op, 4940 - 39 Ave. SW. Map
Cost: $10

All-You-Can-Eat food and drink including turkey, chili, brisket, potato salad, coleslaw, homemade bread, and homemade ice cream.

Bring along your orphaned books for trade with other avid readers at Honest Ivan's Book Exchange!

Special Events:
At 1 PM Special Guest Hugo Award winning author Robert J. Sawyer will be on hand to lead a discussion on how near-future technology will save Mankind.
At 2 PM Cliff Samuels will moderate a Book Discussion on new and old books worth reading.
At 3 PM we'll hold our Enormous Book Raffle! We have a mountain of SF&f hard covers, trades, and paperbacks. And even a few non-book items.
Raffle Tickets available throughout the afternoon: $1 each; 6 for $5; 15 for $10.

FanForce Book Club meeting
When: Sunday December 10 th starting at 7:30 PM
Where: Boomtown Restaurant, at the Delta Hotel (formerly the Best Western) on the corner of Southland Dr and Macleod Trail S

We will be discussing "Ender's Game"

Come on out!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Star Trek Crystals found in Mineral Guide

The Mineralogy Database lists 4,442 individual mineral species complete with a "comprehensive image library."

Contrary to what the astronomers and geophysicists would tell you, it would seem that mineralogists have a sense of humour. Dilithium, the fictional mineral from Star Trek can be found in this otherwise serious database here:

Dilithium does exist in the form of dual bonded Lithium atoms (Li2). However the entry in this database refers to the fictional crystal, a "bottle brown," non radioactive substance that focuses the matter/antimatter streams on Federation Starships. The crystal structure is composed of Tellurium, and Lithium (Li2Te), which is "confirmed" by the following citation:
Nemoy, L S; Doohan, J, Star Fleet Transactions , 1 (2364) p.239-444, First Star Fleet Federation Symposia on Deep Space Findings from the, Enterprise NCC1701A Voyages
What an age to live in.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Flying with a friendly guy

From the livejournal "Mfiles," I read of the exploits and adventures of Flight Attendant and voice-over performer, Michael McAdam.

See: The photos of hotel rooms from around the world. [Link]

Hear: The tale of the flight to Toronto with only one passenger. [Link]
"I did all the announcements to Ron, not to "ladies and gentlemen," and I only had to do them in English. The captain came on, congratulated him ... We took pictures with Ron and laughed."
It makes for a great read.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Firefly Fans Hold the Line

I read today that the much anticipated Serenity/Firefly convention in Burbank, California called "Flanvention II" is on the brink of cancellation. "Booster Events," a convention running company, seems to be in financial crisis, and if they can't get it together by December 1st, they will pull the plug on what promised to be the biggest Sereniverse convention yet.

But as Browncoats know, you can't just sit around and wait for others to do for you. When the going gets tough, you do it for yourself. The California Browncoats have rallied and are planning to make sure that anyone who chooses to come out anyway, will have something to do when they get there.

If I had deeper pockets I would love to send down some cash to help out the cause, and buy tea and dumplings for everyone who still shows up to the party, even when the planners are nowhere to be found.

For more information on the topic, here are some useful links:
Keep flying.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Top 5 handy driving tips

Whilst driving in Calgary, or anywhere else where humans use automobiles, try to keep these simple tips in mind.
  1. Slow the fuck down.
  2. Use your bloody turn signals.
  3. Let a brother in.
  4. Stop tailgating.
  5. Pick a lane and stay there cowboy.
These are day one drivers ED lessons that somehow most people seem to forget apply to them. </rant>

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wear your Fandom on your sleave

The Sunday Flickr Favourites team brings us this offering: The "Fantastique" Science Fiction patch cloak. Made by Rob Jan to show his "tribal" allegiances, the cloak is based on those worn by Klingon officers from Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock onwards. A sleeveless, five panel cloak gives enough space for even the most well travelled fan. See the entire set here - [link].

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Spam Haiku

Lodged in the webspace of John Y. N. Cho, a member of the weather sensing group in the Lincoln Laboratory of MIT, is the greatest collection of Spam Haiku ever constructed.

At one will find over 19,000 Haiku written about the Hormel potted meat product, SPAM. Monty Python may have sung about it but the contributors to this site wax poetically about the pinkish "meat."

The collection became large enough and popular enough to warrant the printing of a book. Spam-Ku: Tranquil Reflections on Luncheon Loaf is available from

My favourite from the archive is #4654:
Is saying "I'm pink
Therefore I'm SPAM" putting the
Hog before Descartes?
--Barrie Collins,

Friday, November 24, 2006

Where are the restrooms?

Where are the restrooms?
Originally uploaded by ChandlerZH.

The washroom signs at the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle try to cover all the bases.

However, if you are classified as a meat popsicle, sentient shade of blue, "hexagon", or gelatinous cube you are out of luck.

Five more random Wikipedia Pages

Once again, I hit the random article button on the English Wikipedia five times. These are the articles it returned. Read each in their entirety and learn something new. If you find an error, consider fixing it for the next user.
As the Zen Buddhists say, "The only bad Duttaphrynus himalaynus is no Duttaphrynus himalaynus."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Star Wars themed Flash Drives

Mimoco is a company that creates USB flash drives with unique, artist designed cases.

Their Star Wars Series has super-deformed R2-D2, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and Stormtrooper bodies to make your flash drive reflect your personality.

They are a bit pricey, with a 1GB drive starting at $79.95 with the top end being the 4GB unit at $169.95, but being the first on your block with something like this is priceless.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Venus on the Half-shell

Kilgore Trout is the fictional alter-ego that Kurt Vonnegut has used as a plot device in several of his novels. Trout is one of the few characters who are smart enough to figure out that he may be the product of another man's imagination. As an unappreciated science fiction writer whose works are used only as filler material in pornographic magazines, his work crops up in Vonnegut's work to illustrate various points. In "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" Trout's book "Venus on the Half-shell" is mentioned, and subsequently inspired Philip José Farmer to create an actual work under Trout's name.

The book deals with the last human, Simon, who has escaped the destruction of the Earth, and now travels the galaxy in an overtly phallic Chinese spacecraft in a search for the meaning of Life.

While this is a similar premise as The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the story more closely resembles Voltaire's Candide wherein the characters encounter various philosophies on life, none of which completely answer Simon's questions.

I love my copy, and was very lucky to have found a copy in a local bookstore. Although it is not actually a Kurt Vonnegut work, and the assumption that Kurt wrote the work did piss off Mr. Vonnegut, I include it on my "Kurt" shelf.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cease and Desist

Richard Stevens, the artist behind Diesel Sweeties recently was served with a "Cease and Desist" order from Lucasfilm, regarding some of his Star Wars themed T-shirts. I have one of his "Gonk Droid had a Posse" shirts, and have been eying the "Space Demon From Beyond Pluto" shirt as well.

The shirts in question still seem to be available here:

Get them before they are gone.

In a pseudo-protest Richard made a lovely "Cease and Desist" shirt. It speaks volumes.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Office Voodoo

Fresh from, I see this miracle of modern manufacturing: The Staple Free Stapler.

This device staples papers together - without staples! Before we burn the witch, lets find out how this thing works. Apparently a tiny flap is cut in the corner of your paper, then folding it in on itself, it tucks back into a tiny paper pocket. It still sounds vaguely like voodoo, but I like it.

The downside is that it only works for stack of paper up to five sheets, which may not be a problem for your applications. It may not unseat the Red Swingline stapler as the cube-jockey's best friend, but it still get the Slashboing thumbs up.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dr. Who Art

The Slashboing Sunday Flickr favourites Team has worked through the night and through their hard work they found this Photoshopped image of the Tenth Doctor Who and his companion Rose Tyler.

-Photo by Katrina, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Con-version 23

Are you guys excited for Con-version 23 next year? Con-version is Calgary Science Fiction and Fantasy Society's yearly convention.

There was a plan to re-brand the event to "Nexus" to shake off the bad feelings and perceptions "Con-version" had. A recent vote of 20-18 decided to keep the name "Con-version."

See you all there.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Calgary Fandom Weekend

Here are some of the things happening in Science Fiction Fandom this weekend in Calgary:

Friday, November 17
Harry Potter Meetup
7:30 p.m.
Second Cup 10th St at 4th Ave, NW Kensington

Saturday, November 18
CSFFS Meeting: Con-Version/Nexus Meeting
1:00 p.m.
Bonavista Room Lake Louise Room, Delta (Formerly Best Western Hospitality Inn)

Monday, November 20
Calgary Star Wars FanForce Meeting
7:00 p.m.
Boomtown lounge, Delta (Formerly Best Western Hospitality Inn)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lesbians To the Rescue

A recent graffito in Calgary proclaims "Lesbians to the Rescue."

I think this speaks for itself.

Calgary Street Art - Lesbians to the Rescue

Shopping in Calgary or How to Surf the Orgy of Carnage:

Recently posted to the Calgarians Livejournal group was "even_fl0w's Calgary Survival guide for the holidays." Chris wisely brings up some points regarding the Christmas shopping season. He has "OFFICIALLY smashed the panic button," given the following conditions:
  • Lack of manpower in the retail and service industry.
  • Calgary's booming economy has resulted in a population/traffic increase.
  • City Construction/Roads.
  • General Holiday insanity.
This is quite the recipe for disaster, but with some common sense and general considerations, we can all get though this together.

A sample:
... if you accept the fact the service/retail industry is severely understaffed, you will not stress yourself over it. Stress is caused by the feeling of lack of control over a situation, so remove it completely. Being polite, calm and cool with clerks and store staff really does wonders. People are worked hard over the holidays and the last thing they need is an irate customer tearing into them. Back off, avoid the brain aneriusm[sic]and chill. Negative energy is a virus that doesn't help anyone.
It is this kind of rational cool-headedness that we shouldn't have to be reminded to maintain, but it seems we still have to.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

50 ways after 50 Days

Today is day 50 of my contribution to the 365Days Project on Flickr, where the goal is to take a self-portrait every day for a year. To mark this milestone, my contribution for the day was me flashing a "fiddy" hand gesture. This is unlikely to be any sort of real hand gesture used or understood by anyone, but it does handily spell out "50".

This is also marks the 50% mark of my participation in the month long NaBloPoMo. If you don't know what that is, and are unwilling to look it up on Google or follow a simple link, then frankly I can't help you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Drinkbot: Life imitates art

First of all, I would like to apologize to those who read Slashboing via an RSS feed via Livejournal or other such reader. During my resent switch over to the Blogger Beta system, I inadvertently re-published some of my DragonCon entries from September. It is a little early in Slashboing's life to be running a "best-of" series.

To complete the circle on the earlier post about robot-bartenders, I present the spiritual antecedent to the Motoman; The Tiki Bar Tv episode: Drinkbot!

Here we learn why robot-bartenders will never be able to replace human cocktologists. [Link]

Robot Bartender

I found this robot bartender in an industry design magazine. It uses a touch screen for the user to enter the drink choice, then it makes your drink. It kind of resembles the robot bartender from "The Fifth Element."

Expect to see these things pop up in convention centres, airport lounges, and novelty rich-guy places.

"Do you want some more?"

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Inside Jokes for the Folks

As I recently discovered, my circle of friends use each others blog as more than just a nice diversion, as a but as a true source of daily information.

So here is a collection of inside jokes, aimed directly at my close friends.
  • fanboy basic movements number 1
  • don't eat found meat
  • clam jerkey shouldn't expire
  • who hasn't been painted blue yet?
  • you have quite the induced wembly
  • programmable shirts & e-toast
  • "The Big Suck"
Thank you for your time.

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Movie Sequels II

Here is a partial list of some upcoming movies to prove the point that if people liked it once, they will love it again, and again, and again.
  • The Dark Knight (Batman Begins 2, Batman 6 in the series)
  • Spider-Man 3
  • Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4)
  • Indiana Jones 4
  • Rocky Balboa (That makes #6 for this series)
  • Casino Royale (a remake, and a prequel, what could fail here)
  • Shrek the Third
  • Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
  • Rush Hour 3
  • Jurassic Park 4
In all of that, is there a Serenity 2? No. Nor is there a Gandhi 2 either so I guess we should be glad.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Flickr Favourites

As part of my participation in NaBloPoMo, I would have to post every day, including Sundays. I rarely post on the weekend, so I thought I would start a reoccurring Sunday Slashboing feature where I post a picture from Flickr. Quick, easy and to the point. Ready-go.

I present to you some Lego Star Wars costumes from Baycon 2006.

Lego Star Wars costumes
-Photo by artvixn

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chewbacca's Blog

The blog "" seems to be written by Chewbacca, completely in Shyriiwook, the Wookiee language of grunts and roars.

I would say some of the images may be "Not safe for work", but that really depends on you, your job, your co-workers, your boss, and your moxie.

To quote the site:
Aaaa aaaaarrrrr rrrrrrrr rrnnnn nn nnhhhh, aaaa aaaaa aaaa aaa uh aaa uh-aaaaaa aaaaRRRRRR HHH. Aaaa guhaaaa aaaaa uhaa aar rrrrnnn uhnnnn nnn uhnhh.
aaaaa aaaa aaaa aaaaarrn nnhhhh, hurrnhhhh. UUUHHHGGG-rrrr!
You said it big guy!

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Friday, November 10, 2006

w00t: Defined

Although I'm still working on a quantification of Awesome, goopymart has posted a Flickr set that pictorially defines common leet-hipster web terms like "WTF?" and "n00b".

This has to be the best depiction of the feeling that the word "w00t" is to inspire.

woot defined from goopymart
Image by goopymart via the Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence .

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bad Spellers love Firefox 2.0

As always, Slashboing is on the vanguard of Yesterday's news.

I have long been using the Firefox web browser, and recently updated to Firefox 2.0. I have to say I love the built-in spell checker. Why did it take so long for that to happen?

I don't have to futz with's or Hotmail's spell checker with its crappy interface. It operates like the spell checker in Word, where it underlines your questionable entries in red. They also have a Canadian English dictionary so I'm not forced to drop the "U"s from "colour" and the like.

If you haven't already done so, get Firefox 2.0 now.

*Note of interest: "futz" is in the Firefox dictionary.

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Why I blog

Long before I launched Slashboing I was reading blogs. Some were read because I found them interesting and informative. Others I found by accident through the usual web searches. Looking at the bulk of blogs I would stubble upon I figured I could never start my own blog. Why? Because I don't fall into any of the following categories:
  • religious zealot
  • conspiracy theorist
  • hate-filled misanthrope
  • *squee* OMG like so in love with Linkin Park
  • homophobic bigot
  • political asshat
  • exhibitionist
So what made me start blogging?

I found that many of my friends had blogs, or online journals, that not only didn't fall into one of blogging crap traps, they were informative and thought provoking. Surely I could do that.

Except this post. Not really much going on here. It looks like the blog orchid has been pretty thoroughly picked over. Maybe some of the blog blossoms will grow back by tomorrow.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Funky Star Wars Puppets

Chensational is a great blog dedicated to puppets. Kanja Chen from Toronto has made some very interesting puppets, but of special interest to me, of course, is the Star Wars puppets. Each picture is a link to the specific puppet article.

Chewie PuppetDarth Maul Puppet
Images from:

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I am Number 17

At a recent Halloween party I went dressed as "Prisoner 17" from the ITV series, "The Prisoner."

I think the outfit rocks, but most people don't get the reference. Granted my outfit is still missing the white trim of the jacket, but I am working towards that. It seems that many people did not catch the 17 original episodes that first aired in 1968. I only saw it because PBS and YTV aired it in late-late-late night reruns in the late 80's and early 90's.

There is talk of bringing back the series in 2007, and/or a movie version in 2009. Mayhaps my costume is just years ahead of its time, and not 38 years out of date.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Some People need a good punch in the face

A few weeks ago, Defender75 posted to his journal ( here ) that he wanted a shirt with the phrase, "Some people need a good punch in the face" printed on it. So Slashboing obliged him thusly:
Finding the seal generator on, I was moved to make a seal with the same sentiment.Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Neon Photography: Electric Heat

From my Flick favorites, I bring you this fantastic neon sign. I love vintage neon, don't you?

-Photo by Ben Campbell

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hurra Torpedo rocks the house

Hurra Torpedo is Norway's most famous kitchen appliance band. Watch as they play the best ever version of Bonnie Tyler's power ballad "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

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Friday, November 03, 2006

IMDB worst movies analysis

I love looking through IMDB's Bottom 100 list. The list ranks the worst films of all time, as rated by IMDB users. One has to take these things for what they are. If one's favourite film should happen to fall on this list, it doesn't mean you should stop liking it. It simply means most other people didn't dig it. Deal with it.

There is a certain joy in seeing a movie you hate listed as one of the worst of all time.

I notice a trend in these films. They all fall into one or more of these categories:

The Sequel No-one Asked for
Best Examples: The Police Academy Series, Mannequin: On the Move, Son of the Mask

The first film does ok, so why not make a Sequel? Don't make a sequel if you have no story. Simple. Got that? Good.

The Vehicle
Best Examples: From Justin to Kelly, In the Mix, Glitter

Got a hot/popular/rising star? Slap them into a movie where the only reason to see the film is to watch them thrash about and chew on the sets for an hour and a half, then watch it tank.

The Poorly Executed Children's Film
Best Examples: SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2, The NeverEnding Story III, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain . Note: these are also all un-wanted sequels.

Films for children should be viewed a little differently than other films, but a bad film is a bad film. The ones on the IMDB list are horrific.

The Schlock Horror Debacle
Best Examples: Manos: The Hands of Fate, House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark

Horror is another genre with its own set of standards, but some films don't even meet those.


Thinking about dropping Chamillionaire into a wacky follow-up to 1999's My Favourite Martian? Stop. Think. Use your head.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Star Wars Fan Films

Do you love Star Wars Fan Films? Of course you do. Tired of finding low rez clips on YouTube, Google Video or crap sites like Ebaumsworld? Of course you are. Why am I asking rhetorical questions? To help you out, silly.

The premiere spot to find Star Wars Fan Films is You will get redirected to the fan film section of, but the short URL is easier to remember. There are other genre films hosted there too, such as the Lord of the Rings inspired "Almost there and back again" and the Matrix spoof "A glitch in the Matrix."

All the films are downloadable, often in multiple formats and resolutions. This is where the YouTube and iFilm uploaders often get their content. As much as I love YouTube, if you need your fan film fix, is the place to be.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Top 5 movies of personal influence

In no particular order, here are the top 5 movies, that when watched with the right mindset, will give you some insight into who I am.

Is that navel gazing goodness or what?
  • Zelig (1983) - [imdb]
  • I Heart Huckabees (2004) - [imdb]
  • Star Wars (1977) - [imdb]
  • Reservoir Dogs (1992) - [imdb]
  • ¡Three Amigos! (1986) - [imdb]
These aren't the best movies ever made, nor are they necessarily my all time favorites. They are films that I have identified with, were important to me during a critical stages of my life, or formed the basis of friendships.

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Monday, October 30, 2006


I have decided to sign up for "National Blog Posting Month," a psudo-sister project to November's NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, the program where one is challenged to write a novel in thirty days.

I update Slashboing about 5 days a week, so the extra posts won't kill me but I like a little challenge.

The use of Yoda as the alternate logo did sway my decision a little too, as Slashboing does tend towards the Star Wars Geek spectrum with an alarming amount of posts.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Best Sci-Fi Shirt Ever Made By Anyone in the History of Everything

As many people already know, Universal Studios has been shutting down fans who have been making swag with Serenity themes, images and quotes.

In my opinion the fan made stuff was much more creative and available than the official stuff, which leaves fans with a tough choice. Do we only buy the official stuff in the hopes that the sales will mean a continuation of the franchise? Or do we back the fan made stuff that was filling the needs of the fans better? has pre-emptively responded to this latest wave of Cease and Desist orders from Universal, and pulled his entire line of Serenity products.

In its place, he has given us this jewel of a shirt:

Suitable for any convention one may want to go to, but free of licensing and copyright restrictions.

This is about 47 metric Awesomes.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Obi-wan comes clean

From Attack of the Show, we that the truth was too hard for Luke to swallow.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Quantification of Awesome: Part 2

I've had some really good suggestions regarding the unit of Awesome measurement. We are not limited to one unit here. For example you don't need the same units to talk about small pieces of awesome as you do large sweeping swathes of awesome, for example 1 Tesla = 10,000 Gauss. Also important is a unit of density, to properly measure how much awesome per square meter we have.

On the table is:
My suggestions will come later, when the time is ripe.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Quantification of Awesome

As a connoisseur of Awesome, I have been thinking about how to quantify the "Awesomeness" of the world around me. Once we have a base line of what One Metric Awesome is, then we can start making comparisons: That movie was 30 kilo-awesomes. That shirt is like 5 mili-awesomes.

Quickly we see need need for a name for this unit of measurement. Typically these things are named after pioneers in a particular field, such as Tesla, Henry, Gauss, and Bell. I kind of always wondered what would have resulted if one of the early discoveries in electromagnetism was made by a "Lipshitz."

Now this person we name the base unit of measurement after doesn't have to be the most Awesome thing ever, just a great example of it.

I have my own thoughts on this, but I'm looking for input from others.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Quick Links (cool tshirt edition)

The link ninja strikes again, droping off stack of geeky t-shirt related links as a warning of things to come.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Not all technology plugs in

Ganked from Modern Mechanix, we see the the amazing advances being made in 1939: Pet Shops Wrap Fish in Transparent Bags
Customers of pet shops selling goldfish and various tropical species can watch their purchases swim around as they are carried to home aquariums in novel transparent bags just introduced. Made of waterproof, transparent cellulose material, in various sizes, the fish bags have reenforced handles for ease in carrying. When the container has been partially filled with water, the fish are transferred to it from the store tank.
What an age to live in! [link]

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cat in the Box

originally uploaded by inbal_w.
I present to you a funny cat picture from my Flickr favourites, because if I don't, who will?

Brendon the cat is only yawning, but he looks like he is ferociously guarding his box.

The warnings on the box are apt for the pictured contents as well. "Don't get wet", "fragile and "this side up" are all good tips for cat care.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

A film by any other name

Sometimes there are a couple of films come out close enough together, with a resemblance to each other that one wonders if it is intentional. Studios may start a competing project in order to cash in on a fad, or simply to rip off a good idea that circulates around the film making community.

I bring this up because the trailers for "The Prestige" look so much like those for "The Illusionist" I had to check to see if they were both based on the same work. Don't think it can't happen. Valmont (1988) and Dangerous Liaisons (1989) are both versions of the novel "Les liaisons dangereuses". Dead Man on Campus and The Curve, both released in 1998, are based on the urban legend that if one's college roommate commits suicide, one would receive straight A's.

The Prestige is from the Christopher Priest 1995 novel of the same name, while The Illusionist is based on Steven Millhauser's 1990 short story called "Eisenheim the Illusionist." While they do have different sources, and ultimately have a different set of points to makes, they both have the same "Look and Feel."

Now the thing is I want to see both, but inevitably I will always compare one against the other. I will not be able to give a fair viewing to the film I see second. Am a prepared to make the distinction between "turn-of-the-century Vienna" and "late 19th century London?" Does my "Giamania" trump the desire to see David Bowie as Nikola Tesla?

For a much more detailed list of similarly related films please review the Wikipedia Article here:

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

The neo-fan manifesto

Many newcommers to fandom, like myself are intimidated by the "old guard" of fandom. Here is a Manifesto from a flier that was being circulated at Chicon 2000. It reminds us of our obligations to each other in the community, and can serve as a guide for convention planners of tomorrow.


1 - We all need to feel like we belong somewhere, that's why we're here. Many people feel like fandom provides a sense of family that they don't find elsewhere. Fan snobbery, or a sense that some fans are more welcome than others is the last thing we need if fandom is going to survive in the 21st century.

2 - Don't assume everyone knows your name, or your work (if you're an author, artist, costumer, etc.). Wear your nametag. Introduce yourself. Have a name card if you are a panel participant. "Hi, I'm Arthur Grande and you should all know who I am." does not cut it.

3 - It doesn't matter how you came to fandom, what matters is that you're a fan. It shouldn't matter if you like science fiction, fantasy, horror, movies and television, comic books, anime, role playing games, costuming, writing, filking, collecting books or painting yourself blue. Anyone who identifies themselves as a fan should be welcomed to fandom.

4 - Fandom changes. So do fans. Get used to it now. As the world of science fiction has gained popularity it has grown. It is no longer possible to read every piece of science fiction published every year, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

5 - Explain your references. Not everyone has read every book, novella or short story that you have. Not every one has seen every science fiction movie out there (some people haven't seen Star Wars, believe it or not...). Not everyone reads your fanzine. Help us out. Costomer's corollary - not everyone has seen your greatest costume. Bring pictures, please!

6 - Don't assume that we're all on a first name basis with authors or big name fans, use last names when you refer to people. (There is more than one guy named Bob out there you know...) We all wear nametags for a reason. Help the Neo Fans meet new people and find new authors to read.

7 - What was a seminal work for one generation may be completely unknown to another generation. Let the Neo Fans know what you're talking about. We may not have been born yet. And remember, some books improve with age, while others are dated rather quickly. Also, a work that changed your life when you read it at age twelve may not have any effect on your thirty-year old friend when you suggest they read it.

8 - Moderators should try to avoid only calling on their friends when they take questions. It makes the Neo Fan feel left out and not wanted when every hand acknowledged is called by name.

9 - Neo Fans are eager to learn, there is so much out there we haven't read yet. Help us out, if you're doing a panel on "100 Books You Must Read." come prepared with a *handout* so we can take it home and try to find them.

10 - Remember, out of print may as well not exist for the Neo Fan. If we can't get our hands on a copy, we can't read it, no matter how great you think it is.

11 - It doesn't matter if you call it Science Fiction, SciFi, SF, or Speculative Fiction, it's all the same thing. Let's quit wasting time arguing about what name to use.

12 - Always remember, someone in the audience is at their first convention (Or their first WorldCon, or "insert name of con"Con). As fans we need to assure that they feel welcome and enjoy themselves enough to come back for another visit next year, and hopefully bring a friend.

-Julie Stickler (SF ACAD
Permission to reproduce and distribute this flyer at other conventions is granted, as long as the author's name continues to appear on it.

Ganked from Emerald City.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Doctor Who has a posse

In a brilliant wave of viral marketing, the BBC set-up a series of websites to tie into the Dr. Who universe.
Some of the sites were used in the show itself, such as in the premiere episode of the 2005 series, Rose Tyler used a fictitious search engine called, which is set up for film and TV productions to use instead of a real engines. Faux military sites like have password access areas, giving some background and depth to the organization from the series.

Sites like, representing the Torchwood Institute, currently contain little information. There should be more information there when the Doctor Who spin-off series, "Torchwood", starts in the UK on October 22nd. The CBC premiere date is unknown by me at this time.

In producer James Goss's words, these dozens of inter-related sites are "the most ambitious online fictional world ever." This may be a bit of an overstatement, as the Lost collection of websites is extensive, and also makes use of services such as Myspace, Flickr, blogs and podcasts to make the viewer feel as a participant.

The complete known list of Doctor Who sites can be found here:

For comparison, the complete known list of Official Lost sites can be found here:

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Top 5 Oldest Domain Names

Here is a little trivia about the internet, or teh interwebs as the kids call it these days. Domain Name Systems (DNS) formed in 1984, and began registering domains names. The first five takers are listed here:
  1. - 15-Mar-1985
  2. - 24-Apr-1985
  3. - 24-May-1985
  4. - 11-Jul-1985
  5. - 30-Sep-1985
Who were these companies, where are they now, and how did they get there?
  • Symbolics, Inc was a spinoff from the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, founded for the purpose of manufacturing Lisp machines. The "PC revolution" contributed to the decreased demand of purpose-built Lisp machines. The company filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990's. A new privately held company, called "Symbolics" acquired the assets and intellectual property of the old public company and maintains some of its old products.

  • BBN Technologies was founded in 1948 by professors at MIT. Some of BBN's developments of note in the field of computer networks are the implementation and operation of the ARPANET; the first person-to-person network email sent and the invention of the @ sign in an email address; the first Internet protocol router; the Voice Funnel, an early predecessor of voice over IP; and work on the development of TCP. BBN was acquired by GTE in 1998. When GTE and Bell Atlantic merged to become Verizon in 2000, the ISP portion of BBN was included in assets spun off as Genuity. In March of 2004, Verizon sold BBN to a group of private investors, and as of writing, BBN is a privately held company.

  • Thinking Machines Corporation was a supercomputer manufacturer founded to turn MIT doctoral work by W. Daniel Hillis into a commercial product called the "Connection Machine." Thinking Machines became was the market leader in parallel supercomputers in 1990. After the loss of some DARPA contracts, Thinking Machines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 1994. The hardware portion of the company was purchased by Sun Microsystems, and the remainder re-emerged as a small software company specializing in data mining software for its installed base and former competitors' parallel supercomputers. Thinking Machines was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 1999.
  • Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MMC) was US computer industry research and development consortium, formed in response to Japan's Fifth Generation Project, a large Japanese research project aimed at producing a parallel processing computer that would out perform single CPU systems and have artificial intelligence capabilities. The Japanese project ended in failure in 1993, while MMC restructured on July 6, 2000 and ceased operations in 2001.
  • Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) made the popular Programmed Data Processor (PDP) and VAX mini-computers during the 70s and 80s. VAX terminals were the defacto industry standard in the 80's and the PDP line was used in many key companies and organizations such as MIT and BBN. The PDP-1 was the original hardware for playing history's first computerized video game, Steve Russell's Spacewar!. The PDP-7, and later models ran the first versions of the "C" programming language and UNIX. DEC was a strong supporter of ANSI standards, especially the ASCII character set, which survives in Unicode. The popular AltaVista search engine was created by Digital in 1993 and launched to the public in 1995. However the company was loosing money in the early 90's, and after rounds of layoffs, and many of the company's assests being spun off, what remained of the company was sold to Compaq in 1998. Compaq itself was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2002.
Much info ganked from Wikipedia, where all text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

The Zombie Apocalypse has an upside

The successful Second Annual Calgary Zombie Walk lurched forward this Saturday, moaning and dragging its limp limbs.

Others are more succinct than I, so here is a small collection of reviews from the event:
Here is the master Flickr Group Pool with lots o' pictures from the event:

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