Sunday, August 27, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

Rayguns! Kick Ass Rayguns!

Snagged from Boing Boing, I find a new line of 1:1 scale antique styled sci-fi props from Weta Workshop's Designer Greg Broadmore. The Rayguns, or "Dr, Grordborts Infallible Aether Oscillators" are sweet looking, though likely out of my price range.

Pictured here is the "Goliathon 83 Infinity Beam Projector".

matched set ray guns
matched set ray guns,
originally uploaded by Lockwasher.
These are thematically similar to the weapons made by Lockwasher whose flick photoset of retro-futuristic weapons can be seen here: Intergalactic self-defense mechanisms.

One would be a fool not to pack something like this on any deep space expedition from the first half of the last century.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

7 Deadly Sins: A survey

For the last couple of weeks of Slashboing I have been using the 7 Deadly sins icons to illustrate my current mood or theme of my daily post. Lifted direct from the LiveJournal "current mood" setting, but used as a response to a repeated question from Serenity, "Do you know what your sin is?"

For completeness here is what the whole set looks like. I did not make these images, but found them in my travels. Feel free to use them as you need.

Using trend tools from Blogpulse, I found a survey of the use of each sin in all blogs.

Pride and Anger trend together around 1.2% of blogs polled. Below 0.25% comes Lust, Envy, Greed, Sloth and Gluttony. There is an interesting spike around May 8th where most of the sins collectively take an eighth of a percent hike. It looks like there was a "What Deadly Sin are you" quiz meme that circulated around that time.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A nice Magpie picture

Magpie at lunch,
originally uploaded by albro11.

Here is a lovely magpie picture from Flickr. He seems to be having a munch. I think this picture says "I love my friends and value their opinions".

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Happy Fun Ball

I'm happy! Really I am!

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I look like Russell Crow and Tom Cruise

Straight from ShuffleDog's post on 8-Track Mind, I used's face recognition tools to see which celebs I look like. It seems that I look like Russell Crow (Sexiest Man Alive Top 10, 2003) and Tom Cruise (Sexiest Man Alive 1990).

Deal with that.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

More Con-version Thoughts

I am trying to focus on the positive reports from Con-version, although there are many detractors.

A fan run science fiction convention is put on by fans, for fans. The concom is a small group of volunteers who decided to help out. All of us on the concom gave up lots of personal time and money to throw a party for the other members. We made a lot of mistakes, mostly due to inexperience. Other than the Treasurer, everyone was in his or her position for the first time.

To add to this, we had several people dropout. Some due to illness, some due to family issues, some for personal reasons. As people stopped coming to planning meetings, more and more responsibility became shouldered on the remaining volunteers. The vocal detractors seem to think we sit on the right hand of God, making decrees that get followed to the letter. The reality is we have limited resources that we have to manage so that everyone who wants something at the event gets it.

The video programming was cut this year because no one showed up to planning meetings to do it. That is a personnel resource. Due to renovations at the hotel we did not have a good place for one. That is a space resource. If there was a room available, we did not have money in the budget to pay for it. That is a financial resource. These are the tools we have to work with, and these are the deciding factors.

"The dealers room was too small." - It was oversold by the previous dealers room coordinator. I guess we could have talked to the architect about making the room bigger.

"There was no food in the consuite" - A lot of food was bought, but those people running it failed to put it out.

"There was too many people in the consuite"/"The consuite was empty every time I went there" - Fuck me.

"The big panel was in the little room and the little panel was in the big room" - The panel application form had a spot to fill out saying how many people were expected to attend. This was not filled out on most forms leaving me to guess. Sorry if I can't read the membership's mind.

"Too much [insert genre] and not enough [insert other genre]" - The programming ran on a "call for papers" format. Meaning you tell me what you want to have a panel on, and I will find space for it. If you want [blank] consider putting some panels together.

"It sucks, we had to shut down at 1 am" - That's what the liquor licence said. Deal with it.

If you went to someone's house for a party and made these kinds of complaints, you would be considered rude. I don't see why a volunteer committee of a non-profit society who plays host for a get-together of the membership should be treated any differently than any other friend who invites a group together for a party. The membership paid to come? So did the concom.

Here are some positive quotes about the event so I don't lose focus:
"the [lightsaber] demo was conducted by a martial arts instructor who had devised/adapted sword and stage fighting technique and adapted it to lightsabers. it was extremely cool and i wanna play too once i'm healed. patsy came out of it with a greater appretiation of the star wars movies and martial arts in general." - Sledene
"Well I think I'm safe in saying that ConVersion 22 was the best time I've had this summer. The panels were neat, I didn't spend any money in the dealers room and the costume contest and slave auction were a blast." - Lemonferret
Thank you.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

The power of a pretty girl

Recently I uploaded some of the better pictures I took at Con-version 22 to my Flickr account. To those who aren't familiar with the process, it is quite simple and goes rather quickly. One selects the photos to upload, enters a set of common tags for that set, then they are uploaded to your account. You are then given a chance to enter a short description for each picture. The whole process takes a couple of minutes, depending on how many megs of photos one uploads at a time.

Sakura KasuganoThe moment I completed this process for the batch including this picture here, I already had 6 hits on the photo, and one person had made it a favourite. I have other pictures marked as favourite, but it is the speed in which this one was marked makes me realize the power of a pretty girl, at least on Flickr.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Con-version 22 aftermath

After months of planning and effort, Con-version 22 ended this weekend. It was a big success, I think. Here are some of the blog postings I found on the subject:
If Randy McCharles is right, and that the true measure of a convention is how much fun everyone has, then this one did very well indeed. To quote:
"One of the most funnest, interesting, entertaining con's I've been to in a long long while!" - slvrblue
A job well done to the rest of the con-com and to all the volunteers. An event of this size can not be done without you.

I will post a more detailed post later, but for now, I'm still recovering and getting my brain to adjust to normalcy, once I figure out what "normal" is anyway.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Con-version 22

Boba Fett
Boba Fett,
originally uploaded by stonyherr.
I am up to my knees in Con-version 22 planning and logistics. I have all the non-booze contents of the consuite in my living room, and I get to pick up Jeremy Bulloch today. The most fearsome Bounty Hunter in the galaxy will be in my econo car soon.

I probably won't post over the next few days. But since 90% of the people reading this will likely be at the Convention, this is not a big deal.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Smell of Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a broad term, meaning to me at least, the latest batch of semi-inter-related websites that not only have a functioning business model, but use participatory features like tags, blogs, and comments. Wikis are a great example.

Since many of these companies and services rise from the same kinds of minds, and the desire to be trendy, but not so revolutionary that they can't bring in investors, their logos tend to look similar, as evidenced by the collection shown here.

Common design elements include:
  • Gradient backgrounds
  • Large colourful icons, often with reflections and drop shadows
  • Large text (especially in comparison with the emphasis on very small text in earlier designs)
  • Diagonal hatch background
  • Glossy three-dimensional elements
  • Apparently random highlights and call-outs in text
So "standardized" are these logos that parodies easily arose, like this "Levi's" logo from Jack Shedd.

A whole gallery of these parodies can be seen in the flickr group yay2dot0logoparody.

Even Homestar Runner, who tries to keep their pop cultural references in the 70's and 80's poked the Web 2.0 beast with the Strong Bad Email #153, "Redesign."

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006

States I have visited

It turns out I have visited 11, or 21% of the states in the U.S.A. (counting, as this map does, DC as a separate "state").

I can thank many business trips and flight transfers to count for many of those. In the future I should travel alphabetically, to make tracking easier.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

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Today my sin is: Pride

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Obey the Daleks

EX-TER-MIN-ATE your way to fun! ThinkGeek has a great set of remote control Daleks, that would rock in any office style environment. Set these loose around your cubical for wacky hyjinks and hacky wijinks.

They are based off the "Dr. Who and the Daleks" movie so they come in three technicolors, which ship randomly meaning you only have a 1-in-3 chance of getting the colour you want, but the Daleks don't care.

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Today my sin is: Lust

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mad Magazine guesses future of Star Wars in 1982

A few months ago I picked up a used copy of MAD Magazine #230 from April 1982. Why? Because they lampooned Star Wars in it. More than that, they actually guessed some interesting points that would not come out in the series for over a decade.

Most of the joke revolves around two points. The first being that the release order and story order are different. To Quote some examples:
"Our third picture (really No. 2 in the series)..."
"Meanwhile, in our sixth film. Hiya Leia, (No 10 in the series)..."

The second running gag is that after the revelation that Darth Vader is Luke's Father (side note, is this still a spoiler?) can anybody's relationship be certain? They try every combination of relationship. To Quote:
"Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi were cloned by the same donor, who happens to be a long lost grandfather of Chewbacca's"

"Princess Leia may be the daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi from his first marriage to a sister of Boba Fett's great-grandmother."
In all of this speculation, they never hit on actual two relationships. Luke and Leia are twins, and that Boba Fett is a clone. But they did hit on some stuff that would not come to light until the prequels.
"...No. 2 in the series will be Send in the Clones"
So close with that! "Attack of the Clones" is often called "Send in the Clones" by jokesters.

"The Jedi Knights...defend the Wookies when their home, Kazhyyyk, is overrun by droids"
Yep that happens in "Revenge of the Sith"

"We learn from Artoo-Detoo (who holds the entire history of the Galaxy in his databanks) how the Jedi Knights were disbanded"
R2 does hold the history of the Skywalker clan and was there for lots of key events.

"Luke's Father is revealed. It is none other than The Force."
MAD makes this the big joke at the end, but this is believed by some to be the nature of the conception of Anakin Skywalker.


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Today my sin is: Pride

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Simpsons Movie Clip

Here is a preview of the upcoming Simpsons Movie that was shown at ComiCon.

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Today my sin is: Envy

Darth Smartass

Darth Vader, worst boss in history, is being a smartass:

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Today my sin is: Envy

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

OK Go, on Treadmills

OK Go is quick becoming a favourite band. They play unapologetic rock and have a great musical, lyrical, and visual sense.

Here is the video for "Here it goes again":

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Today my sin is: Sloth

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Labyrinth and Dark Crystal Figures

Plan B Toys has a great new set of Labyrinth and Dark Crystal figures available. These two films have always kind of lacked in the toy/merch department so these new figures are a real boon for collectors that grew up with these films.

If only I knew someone who liked this sort of thing...

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