Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Brain... Not... Functioning... Thoughts

Way Cool Beer Commercial. I like the neat effects. Via Tom.

Johnny B's NFL predictions. He says Seattle is gonna lose again. He's been half-right on Seattle so far.

Robofish at London Aquarium. Considering how often Aquaman is attacked by robot fish, I figured I had to link to this one. Via /.

Free NASA Manga.

Rachel Hartman tells us about HAUNTED DUCKS!!! So, they aren't only sinister now, they are also haunted...

Elayne directs us to a neat way to deal with trolls, if you feel like wasting time with them: disemvowelling. I do, however, agree with Elayne that giving them any attention is probably too much.

One Million Dollars for the SAFE capture of a live Bigfoot, Yeti, Lake Monster, Sea Serpent, or other cryptozoological specimen.

The NY Times reviews another book I'm going to have to check out from the library. "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" looks like something I'll enjoy.

There is something really cool about channel surfing, and coming across a hockey game on the CBC. As an aside, I liked the headline on the NHL site when I first visited today: "It's Hockey Night in Canada!" It just seems like the world isn't quite right if the Northern Neighbors aren't playing their national game.

Hurricane news: Stan hammers Mexico.

-by Tegan at 6:35 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, October 07, 2005

Some Spare Thoughts To Throw Your Way

Just Jared posts un-marked-up Aquaman pictures from Smallville.

More proof that Gail Simone rocks.

Peter David on The Subtle Seven. Or a picture of his daughter with a puppy, whichever you see.

Rachel Hartman has a new Mad Bun Page up at GirlAMatic.

Mark Evanier asked, and he got answers.

A retrospective admiration of Animal.

Mythbusters couldn't do it, but students at MIT managed to make Archimedes's Death Ray work. Ha, take that Mythbusters!

A guy using a non-standard browser for making a donation got in trouble, and he's been found guilty because he tried to figure out why it wouldn't accept his donation by putting in some backslashes and dots to see if the site was a scam. As I use the same method all the time when browsing, I'm flabbergasted.

How to make a Flying Spaghetti Monster brooch. I think I'll stick with the T-shirt, thanks.

Why the Senate has to approve judges, in the Founding Fathers own words.

-by Tegan at 4:55 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Morning Thoughts

Hints and snippets from Dorothy's Oz.

Hey, there's a Winchester Mystery House Photo Blog made by a former tour guide. Cool! As I suspected, the TAPS team from Ghost Hunters wandered around the mansion but didn't catch any evidence of a real haunting. Far more interesting was the Queen Mary, in which somebody tried to tamper with their video evidence.

More Winchester Mystery House Coolness: postcards and Flickr Photos. Also, see my report of our visit there, and extra pictures.

Just because I'm sure people will be disappointed if I don't link to it: Dolphins learn to sing Batman Theme.

Get yer red hot Local wallpapers here.

Mark Evanier links to details of the settlement of Brian Hibbs vs Marvel Comics.

Trash Heap's deported brother is a game of marbles now.

The battle over Science versus Creationism is being blogged. "Intelligent Design" (Creationism re-packaged for modern consumption) belongs in church or in a philosophy class, not in science class. It isn't science and should not be forced on students studying science.

There is something terribly wrong with our country when the Senate votes to treat prisoners as humans... and nine Senators vote against it and the so-called "President" threatens to veto it. Why do we need this vote? Read this if you have the stomach for it.

-by Tegan at 9:01 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 28 September 2005

Flash #226: "down time": A complete change of pace from the last few frenetic issues, which I think is part of the point. The book focuses on Wally's effort to climb a mountain, only to get stuck by his habits. It's a fun little story, and a nice break. Pretty much an average book. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Batman #645: "Show Me Yesterday, For I Can't Find Today": I'm not completely up-to-date on the Batman mythos, but I know who Jason Todd was, so this issue, which was mostly flashbacks to Jason's time, was no big surprise to me. However, I can't keep straight who Jason is, if he is anyone now, so I'm not entirely sure why Batman is examining his coffin. This is one where I wish the Wiki was complete. 2 1/2 starfish

JLA: Classified #12: "New Maps of Hell" Part Three: Kyle's outfit in this one keeps making me giggle. And I'm trying to figure out what the pages featuring Oracle were supposed to mean in the context of the story. Why is she having that particular flashback? Anyway, it's otherwise a decent story moving along at a decent pace. I am curious to see what has been unleashed. It's ok. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

JLA #119: "Crisis of Conscience Conclusion": Wow. Lots happens in this one. The League is broken again, and Zatanna makes her choice... and so much more. It wasn't a completely satisfying conclusion, as it is moving into the new Crisis, but it's not terrible. I am curious about the cliffhanger. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Legion of Super-Heroes #10: Huh. I'm still not clear enough on the character in the Legion to keep them all straight, but this issue held the ones we needed to see up front. And I'm a little surprised by what happened. I've got mixed feelings on this one, but I feel like it was a better read than it should have been... I guess I'll just have to see what happens in the next issue. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Plastic Man #18: "The Edwina Crisis Prologue" Part Four: What, I'm still reading this book? Huh. Ok, funny way to get Plas back together, and no annoying Edwina throughout this issue, so it's an improvement over most of the others. Still, I'm not impressed overall. Wiki. 2 starfish

Amazing Spider-Man #83/524: "All Fall Down": Looks like this is my last issue of Spider-Man for awhile, since Marvel is having an obnoxious crossover and if I wanted to read this one title, I'd have to buy two more books a month just to understand it for four months. No thanks. I'd rather just drop the book. Maybe for good. I've been enjoying this book a lot, but not enough to pay three times as much for the story. Despite that, this was a nice solid conclusion to the previous story with a decent set-up for the future. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere #4: "Chapter Four": This continues to be a very compelling book that is difficult to write about without feeling like I'm giving something away. The artwork works well for the most part, although there are moments that feel like they ought to be more intense or something. I'm still very curious to see how this one turns out, as I have never read the book or seen the adaptation. Wiki. 3 starfish

Action Philosophers #1: This one features Plato, Bodhidharma, and Nietzsche, and if I'd read these as a kid, I would have no doubt wanted to become a philosopher. Or, at the very least, would have been more interested in what they had to say. Each story presents tales I'd never heard about each of the philosophers in question, and explains their ideas so clearly that it's hard to believe I ever had trouble with Plato's dialogues before. I never would have thought of The Cave as a movie theater, but these guys did. In short, recommended. Wiki. 4 starfish

Action Philosophers #3: "Self Help For Stupid Ugly Losers": I was surprised to see the reprint of the first issue come in on the same day as the third, but there you have it! This one covers Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Joseph Campbell. Amazingly, they all tie in together and I now am certain that I never really "got" Freud until now. Jung's ideas certainly strike a chord with me, though, and Campbell's reconciliation of the two ideas makes a certain sort of sense. This book is GREAT. If you have any interest at all in being educated while having a heckuva lot of fun, seek this one out. Recommended. Wiki. 4 starfish

Angel: The Curse #4: Angel continues to fight with the Gypsys... this series could have been cut down to three issues if all the fighting were taken out. It just doesn't work as well in a comic book as it does on TV. But the non-fighting bits were good, even if the actual story progression was miniscule. Of almost equal interest was the short story in the back of this issue, "Completely Cold", which was nicely chilling and nasty. That story managed to make this issue far more interesting, even though it had absolutely nothing to do with Angel. Wiki. 3 starfish

Star Wars: Empire #35: "Model Officer": This is a done-in-one story that is chilling and simple. Artwork is good, and there is nice use of the Star Wars situation and Darth Vader's attitude and abilities. Not bad at all. Wiki. 3 starfish

PS238 #13: My head is spinning after reading this one, but in a good way. I think. I like the reward Tyler gets from Tom after a job well-done. Heck I wish Tom would get me some old comic books, too. This is just about the best book on the stands right now. There is only one book that even comes close to giving this one a run for its money, in my opinion, and that one came out this week and I'll be reviewing it soon. Get this book. It's great. Highly recommended. But you will want to get #12 with this one, as this is the second part of that story. Wiki. 4 1/2 starfish

-by Tegan at 7:58 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Eye Candy

I'm looking forward to October 20th, and not just because it's my little sister's birthday (Hi Lisa!). The Aquaman episode of Smallville will air that day, and I'll get to see lots of eye candy like these shots, courtesy of KryptonSite:

Yeah. That's some serious eye candy. This may not be the Aquaman I know and love, but I think I'll enjoy watching him nonetheless...

-by Tegan at 2:48 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Review - The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell

The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq by John Crawford. Another book that was recommended by The Daily Show, and another one I had to wait awhile to get after putting it on hold at the library.

This is a series of short stories, eighteen of them, about the experiences of Crawford as a member of the Florida National Guard in Iraq. They were promised a short tour, three months, maybe six months at the most. They spent more than a year in Iraq, outlasting the other units that they entered Iraq with. Most of the men in Crawford's group signed up to pay for college. Crawford himself had already served in the Army Airborne and didn't expect to get called up, which is why he calls himself an accidental soldier.

There is no polite way to put this. Crawford got screwed by our military. There is no acceptable reason that a National Guard unit should spend more time in a foreign invasion than the regular Army (in fact, there is no acceptable reason for sending the National Guard to fight on foreign soil, but we'll overlook that for a moment). It makes no sense whatsoever that they should be stuck over there LONGER than anyone else, being constantly lied to about when they are returning home. That is the central injustice of the book. These guys are stuck. They know they are stuck. But they do their job anyway the best they can, and attempt to stay human while they do it.

And that is the central theme of the stories... staying human. Crawford is a superb storyteller, and he tells the tales so simply and clearly that it's only after you read them that you think of how incredibly horrific they are. The events he is writing about are not things that a normal person can experience without losing something of the soul. And it's clear from his writing that he feels that he's losing his soul. He recognizes the hate that he is being trained to feel, and he recognizes that it's wrong, but he cannot bring himself to try to overcome it because it's keeping him alive.

This is a book about the costs of war on the soldiers who fight it. It's about the destruction that war brings to everything it touches. While Crawford makes his politics clear, he also makes it clear that he would do his job regardless of what he thought of the war. But now that he's out of it, that he's one of the men who survived, he can tell what the price he, personally, paid. And if you read this book through, there's little doubt that you'll realize he was forced to pay too much. 4 starfish

-by Tegan at 10:15 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Quick Thoughts

Interview with Aquaman from Smallville. Regarding playing Aquaman, Alan says "I had an incredible time playing AC and would love the chance to dive even deeper in the role... Literally and metaphorically."

The Justice League On Waterskis.

A tribute to Abe Sapien.

Ask A Stupid Question Day from the creators of Dorothy of Oz. My stupid question was already answered.

How to deliver bad news according to comic books.

TangognaT reviews Hikaru No Go, which is my favorite Manga at the moment.

FilkerTom asks what fictional character would you want to see as a presidential candidate for 2008? I can start this off among comic book characters by saying that I wouldn't want Aquaman as president. He's moody and has an annoying tendency to quit leadership positions when he feels unappreciated or ineffective. In addition, he's used to being a King, which makes him unsuitable as the leader of a democracy. I suspect that Tempest, who has far more diplomatic skills in his left thumb than Aquaman has in his entire body, would make a decent President.

Tomb of Odysseus has been found.

Unfortunate Books and Records, a flickr set. I just can't look away.

-by Tegan at 1:37 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Underwater Archer

This picture, put up by Suspension of Disbelief got me to thinking about a nice old tale of the Silver Age that I enjoyed...

A rare Silver Age crossover happened in Adventure Comics #267 (Dec-59) when Aquaman and Green Arrow, who had been sharing space in the book for almost fourteen years and before that were two stalwarts in More Fun Comics for four years, finally teamed up. Sort of.

It all started in the Aquaman story "Manhunt on Land" when two villains switch hunting grounds. "Shark" Norton is tired of being caught by Aquaman, and Horace "The Wizard" Kates is sick of being caught by Green Arrow. So when they escape, Shark goes to work on the land, and The Wizard in the sea.

Naturally, the superheroes, rather than sharing information, go after the villains they know best despite the requirement to work in a hostile territory. Aquaman puts a bowl on his head and drives around with a truck full of fish.

He succeeds, of course, with a little help from Topo Arrow.

The final showdown happens in the Aquarium, and Aquaman captures Shark again. Meanwhile, the Green Arrow and Speedy are working on capturing the newly sea-bound Wizard by preparing for underwater archery in "The Underwater Archers".

While battling The Wizard, GA and Speedy run across a fire-breathing monster. Hey, stuff like that happened in the Silver Age. And who should come to the duo's rescue? None other than TOPO!!! Using his never-before-seen telepathy, Green Arrow contacts Topo and says "We're Aquaman friends!" Amazingly, Topo obeys. Maybe this is when he gets some archery tips for his adventures in the Aquaman story as well, who knows?

After capturing The Wizard, Green Arrow returns to land, where Aquaman greets him and they all have a good laugh about switching domains.

Which all goes to show that Topo is the real hero of these comics...

-by Tegan at 11:00 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Random Thoughts

Today the new comics all start on GirlAMatic. My interest is in The Mad Bun by Rachel Hartman, of course. I hope that someday she'll give us some more Amy Unbounded adventures. Check out Rachel's Blog for the lowdown on why Amy stopped getting published, by the way...

Happy Anniversary to Phil and Kaja Foglio!

Mercury Studio has pictures.

Polite Scott is Redirected Male at Sequential Tart. I liked the "Crisis on Infinite Exam Rooms."

Of course Green Arrow did this. I'll have a blog up in a bit with PROOF of it, even.

Can't get enough Lehrer? Here's more.

The tenth planet is named Xena, and her moon is Gabrielle. Now, will it ever really be confirmed as a planet? I personally doubt it.

The first reel of The Avengers (the TV series from the UK, not the comic book) has been found! Now people can finally see for themselves what the Avengers were avenging.

More adventures in the library. This one... I just can't stop shaking my head at this one. The poor bookmobile librarian...

A lot of folks spotted that trailer for The Shining that made it look like a feel-good family movie. Here's links to more.

An Oregon victim of the RIAA's extortion techniques is countersuing. Basically, the RIAA and their reps told her that they had "proof taken from her computer" that she'd illegally downloaded songs, which she maintains she never did. Her countersuit says that the RIAA either a) illegally hacked into her computer or b) lied about hacking into her computer to extort money from her illegally. Sounds to me like she's got a good case. I hope she wins.

I'm a little late in linking to them, but Johnny B's NFL Predictions went up a couple of days ago. He was right about the Seahawks again.

Vocabulary from around the world. Yup, they have a word for it...

What is Pi.

I've been enjoying the micro-stories on 365 Tomorrows lately. I particularly enjoyed the twist my brain had to develop to read today's story.

Wild Animal Cam live from Botswana. Listen to the sounds of a watering hole and, if you're lucky, you might even spot something on the video.

Stuart Hughes on Yahoo in China. Also check out this post.

Another music group releases their album on the internet for free. It makes me much more likely to check 'em out.

-by Tegan at 9:24 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 21 September 2005 - Part IV

I'm catching up again. But then, I'm always falling behind...

Samurai Executioner Vol 5: "Ten Fingers, One Life": This volume starts out with a few short stories. The first is about how hands close after a person dies. The second is the story of a former sumo wrestler who left the sport to pursue a life of crime. The third is about a woman who wants a smoke while she is executed. All the stories were good, and the fact that the first few were nice and short made it easier to read this book quickly. As usual, the book is brutal in both imagery and in subject matter, but if you can get past that, this is an incredible book. Wiki. 3 1/2 starfish

PS238 #12: The tricky thing about time travel in an on-going story is that if you don't drop hints of it early on, then it makes no sense to have it happen later. For a really good example of dropping early hints, look at Girl Genius*. And, while this may not be as thought-out or detailed as that**, PS238 manages to do the job nicely. The cover was, naturally, a delight to me as a Doctor Who fan. And it ties in nicely with the story. As for the story itself, well... this was a fun adventure into time and space with one of the more fascinating kids at the school. While Tyler was not the focus of the book in the first couple of issues, since his introduction he's become the best character around. His logic in the face of chaos combined with his resolute acceptance of his near-impossible situation makes for a great story... especially in the cases where he ends up being the only sane character around. Trust me, this one is just great. And it's part one of two... with the second issue out right on the heels of the first. Go get it. It's highly recommended. Wiki. 4 1/2 starfish

Nodwick #29: This was freakin' hilarious. I used to play those awful games, but seeing a full comic done in that style was almost too much. And the jokes were simply horrid. I loved it! This one is definitely recommended, but only to people who lived through that particularly computer age and remember the old eight-bit games. Wiki. 3 1/2 starfish

* Particularly, this page.
** In Girl Genius, the act of time travel actually sets the story in motion.

-by Tegan at 3:34 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Review Copy Review - Round Four

Round Four by Chris Gumprich and Dennis Culver. The story of a boxing match. The artwork is nicely evocative of the sport. This art just fits the story, at least for me. And the story itself, told in eight pages, is simple. Just the tale of a boxer. But there is a lot in there, including his motivations and a bit of his past. Certainly worth a look if you are interested in a slice of life story. Visit the website for information on how to get this one. 3 starfish

-by Tegan at 1:36 PM Seattle time - Permalink