Friday, June 30, 2006

Portman raps, Slashboing recaps

The next offering of Slashboing is the SNL digital short "A day in the life of Natalie Portman." from March 4, 2006.
Natalie Portman Raps
This covers all of the familiar trends:
  • Star Wars related
  • clean cut white people rapping about being bad-asses
  • Vikings
  • Funny as all get out

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I found it on eBay

Odd find on eBay today. The officially licensed "Sith Lord" air freshener is a strange leverage of the number one license for the year.

To "Smell like a Sith" is not a selling feature, is it?


Monday, June 26, 2006

Rolling with Bob Saget

I found a Jamie Kennedy Rap about, and starring Bob Saget. It is fairly cool and listenable. It also features a George Lucas cameo, so go figure. Enjoy the link while it lasts.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Lessons in Martial Arts

I have been taking lightsaber lessons for about a year now. A local martial arts instructor has tailored his knowledge of Chinese and Western swordplay to a Jedi lightsaber technique. We have an eager and talented group of students who have been studying and preparing for a demo at Con-version 22 in August.

When I started my training I did what any geek would do. I got a hold of every book I could on the subject. I read "Shimmering Sword" by Nick Jamilla. Because the Jedi style is ultimately stage combat I read "Actors on Guard." I read articles by John Clements and a series of books on Eskrima, Kendo and Western Olympic fencing. I did not do this to learn moves or techniques. I did so to learn the history and culture of what I was entering into.

I learned that different sword styles are formed through the following environmental variables:
  • Who is doing the fighting. Armed villagers are taught differently than a specialized warrior class
  • Who the opponent is. If the enemy always wears armour, and carries a pole arm, you train differently than if they are un-armored and bring knives.
  • Sport vs combat styles. Kendo and Olympic fencing is fought for points, while kenjutsu and traditional Shoulin styles are combative.
To attempt to compare different styles without taking into account these, and other conditions, is a fruitless fanboi activity. Asking "who would win is a fight: Samurai or a Fencer?" is on par with asking "Who is faster, Superman or the Flash?"

When I began sharing my new interest in swordplay with others, I learned other factors to consider:
  • You seldom meet an amateur.

  • It would seem that most people are 45th dan black belts in Ken-punchalot Ru.

  • There are more misconceptions about techniques and the reasoning behind techniques than there are about most religious doctrine/

  • Any reading on martial arts forums and magazines will yield a wide result of arguments for and against any point you could think of.

  • Everyone is in the one true school.
  • At some point in every discipline, students graduate and move on and start their own school, leaving many students to believe that there is a right branch and several wrong branches. Anyone you meet will be in the correct one. Of course if anyone thought that they were in the wrong branch, they would quit and find another place to train. But if there were a true path to a discipline, the shear quantity of competing schools would seem to place most people on the "wrong" path.

So where does this leave a novice martial artist beginning training in an esoteric style? I'll leave that for you to decide for yourselves.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Faux Soviet Meme #4

To close out my "Super Soviet" series, I thought I would lift something from Wikipeda, where all text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Graphic designers sometimes employ faux Cyrillic typography to give a Soviet or Russian feel to text, by replacing Latin letters with Cyrillic letters resembling them in appearance. A simple way to accomplish this is to replace capital letters R and N with Cyrillic Я and И, for some "Яussiaи flavor". Other examples include Ш for W, Ц for U, Г for r, Ф for O, Д for A, and Ч or У for Y.

This effect is usually restricted to text set in all-caps. In Cyrillic typography, most upright lowercase letters resemble smaller uppercase letters, unlike the more distinctive forms of Latin-alphabet type (cursive Cyrillic letters are more differentiated).

This is a common Western trope used in book covers, film titles, comic book lettering, and artwork for computer games which are set in the Soviet Union or Russian Federation. An early example was the logo for Norman Jewison's film The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming. It is important to note that not all names with Cyrillic-like characters in them are Faux Cyrillic; an example is the imitation of small children's erroneous writing of mirrored letters, such as the mirrored "R" in the Toys Я Us toy store name.It should be noted that none of the Cyrillic characters are pronounced the same way as their Roman lookalikes.

For example the Cyrillic letter "Я" looks like the Latin "R" but the actual Russian pronunciation is /ja/ as in "yard".

To us monolinguists, this is still fairly neat.


Faux Cyrillic. (2006, June 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:20, June 24, 2006, from


Faux Soviet Meme #3

Rathergood is the site that brought us Viking Kittens, "Ninja"and Spongmonkeys who love the moon. Classics all.

And what goes on behind the scenes at Rathergood? See the CCCP inspired clip, if you dare:


Friday, June 23, 2006

Faux Soviet Meme #2

The second installment of "Not real but fake Soviet type stuff on the web" is from our friends at Tiki Bar TV. Episode 9 of their popular video podcast or "vodcast" reminds us that Russian men in fezs can not be trusted.

The redesigned Tiki bar site is great, and the embedded links makes sharing fun!


Faux Soviet Meme #1

There is a minor thread running through many offerings on the internet. Beneath the Ninja/Pirate conflict, more subtle than serpents on a cessna, there lies the desire to be a cold war commie.

This is an apolitcal desire. Not a retreat from capitalism, but merely a love of fur hats, vodka and an alphabet that kinda looks like ours, but isnt really.

I present the first in a series of Faux Soviet findings on the web. This isn't ment to be an exhaustive list, just a good one.

First up is a Big Rock Beer ad made by Darren Robert Lee and Jason Kniss. This is not on You Tube, so you have to click the link. Old skool. Note how they translate "Beautiful" as "Kournikova."


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Best headline in recorded history

"How did sex-for-drugs prison arrest turn deadly?"

From I read this amazing headline today. Who could ask for more? Let us run the checklist shall we?
  • Sex? - got it
  • Drugs? - yep
  • Law enforcement? - Prison officials and the FBI
  • Violence? - deadly
  • Famous person involved? - No.

The absence of a famous or semi-famous person makes the story a little less than full feeding frenzy, but the quality of the headline stands.

It doesn't give too much away and it draws the reader in. Huzza for crooked prison guards in Florida and the lucky copywriters at CNN!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Street art of Julian Beever

Julian Beever is an artist who creates elaborate street drawings in chalk. He forces the perspective to give his work a 3D effect when viewed from a particular angle.

When viewed from the other side, the distortion is sizeable. He manages to perform great depth and clarity in a difficult format.

Save me Batman and Robin! Save me! Awesome.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Vader calls, Slashboing appalls

Fresh from the "everyone has seen this already, but I must post it anyway" files! Here is the Adult Swim "Robot Chicken" short "Darth Vader calls the Emperor" voiced by Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane.

If the video gets pulled by Youtube, try the following:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Did you get that memo?

Inspired by a recent post on iRob's blog, I hunted for (and found) a TPS Report cover page.

The source PDF is here from Chris Glass, whom I do not know but I will give mad props to.

Now get back to work.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mo Pirates, Mo Problems

In case you are the last person alive to see this clip, I post it here so you can laugh along with those guys from work who are always quoting it and looking at you like the fool you are. Enjoy!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Dress like a Pirate July 7

Grab your sextant, and take a bearing as here be t' information regardin' t' movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"

The Calgary Science Fiction and Fantasy Society event screening is set for the following co-ordinates.

Friday July 7th

Sunridge Spectrum

2555 32nd Street Calgary

~7:00 Showing. We will start assembling a couple of hours before to partake of food n' drink n' song.

Tickets go on sale about two weeks before, and I will post when that occurs.

Pirate dress is strongly encouraged, but it is not mandatory.

Tell all ye' friends and stick to the code.

For more information, see the CSFFS forum thread here:

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Alternate Star Wars Ending

If you really think about it, Star Wars: A New Hope should have ended differently.
Thirty years of fans are glad it didn't end the way laid out in this clip, but I can see the big points it makes.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Brokeback Mandalorian

Brokeback Mandalorian
Brokeback Mandalorian,
originally uploaded by Neil Armstrong.

I thought I was done with "Brokeback" jokes, but I was wrong. Here, from flickr, is the finest example of the love that dare not speak its name.

Do you think that Boba Fett could quit any man?

Remember how I promised that every post would not be about Star Wars? It looks like I was wrong about that too.

They say to write what you know, so that's was I do.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Watson and Holmes

Waston and Holmes
Waston and Holmes,
originally uploaded by earthdog.
Perhaps the most innovative variation on the standard trooper outfit I've ever seen are these "Watson and Holmes" Scout troopers.

I can't say I "get" the joke but I can say I laugh every time I see them.

Truly geeky, and that's awesome.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Star Wars Celebration IV

Star Wars Celebration III
Star Wars Celebration III,
originally uploaded by
Celebration IV, the large official Star Wars convention was announced last week. It will be at the L.A. Convention Center from Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28, 2007. And I will be there.

Came really close to going to CIII, but it ultimately was too expensive, so we went to Las Vegas instead. I don't regret it, but I'm not missing another convention like this one.

I will need a room, though likely the whole weekend will be spent in line, so I could probably pick up a few Z's there.