Saturday, November 19, 2005

Final Thoughts of the Night

With all the work, mostly behind-the-scenes, I've been doing on the Aquaman website lately, I'm just about Aquaman'ed out. And there's still much more to do. But in the meantime, while I work on that, here's some other thoughts:

Mike Sterling's Brush With Flaming Death!

Pal Dorian notes a problem with the Superman Returns teaser that I also found annoying.

Wanna Phoneswarm?

New Bigfoot Video? or new hoax? Have a look and decide for yourself.

The latest from Sony, that company that thinks it's just fine to destroy people's computers in the name of preventing theft.

A magic trick. The explanation for how it is done is down in the MeFi thread.

-by Tegan at 9:25 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Random Thoughts

Brian Wood links to another comic book database resource. I just wish all of the resources could get together and make one big definitive resource.

Linda Medley updates us on the new Castle Waiting.

Read House of the Ded's Linkdump.

Will Pfeifer posts audio of Jerry Lewis being attacked.

Johnny B's NFL picks.

Huh. I wouldn't mind buying one of these. I'd really like to put it through its paces and see what the kids will be able to do with it. I'm also impressed with it's alternate state. I hope they market something similar at a similar price point in the States.

Fish from heaven. A very strange plan for a little understood problem.

Ooooh, the Sears Wishbook. I remember pouring over it every year and pointing out things we wanted that we would never get, and a handful of things that would show up under the tree on Christmas morning. What a trip. I just wish the whole book was scanned.

Advice time: my husband uses a Mac, and he needs a good image editing program that isn't expensive. He's been having little/no luck finding a program that he likes. So all you Mac users out there, feel free to send us a nice comment with suggestions.

More Advice time: I'm looking into getting a new laptop sometime in late December, early January. I'd appreciate any links to good places to buy, as a supplement to my own research. What I really want is a place where I can fiddle with the design of the laptop and get something that's actually suited to me, and not just a prepackaged deal. I want to be able to compare the features I want with their costs in a final machine.

And yes, yes... I will review Aquaman and Infinite Crisis soon. I haven't been delaying on purpose, I just got unexpectedly busy this week.

-by Tegan at 9:20 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, November 18, 2005

New Doctor Who!

Yay! New Doctor Who special tonight! Aired for the Children in Need charity telethon in GB, I managed to snag a copy for myself and hubby-Eric and I watched it. Great fun. It's also available here for folks to watch. It picks up right at the end of the first season.

Which I keep meaning to write about...

Eh, I'll review the season sometime. In the meantime, I can hardly wait for Christmas, when we'll get another Doctor Who story, this one a bit longer than just a couple of minutes.

-by Tegan at 9:47 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Yet Another Linkdump

Dan Didio confirms all the cancelations: "Plastic Man with #20, Flash with #230, Superman #226 is the last issue for that numbering, Wonder Woman #226 is the last issue of that run, Gotham Knights #74, Gotham Central #40, JLA #125, and Batgirl #73" Whew, no Aquaman. Of course, Newsarama later asks about Aquaman: "He was treading water. We're in the process of looking at Aquaman, and have discussed a new and exciting direction for the "One Year Later..." approach on the book. To be very frank about it, this new direction saved the book from cancellation."

Speaking of pilots... LOST producer/writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach tells us the odds against any pilot idea seeing the light of day. With Aquaman being a different kind of pilot, I have more hopes that it will be shown, but the odds are still against it going to series.

Mike Sterling goes Aqualad crazy.

So I saw the Superman Teaser Trailer during Smallville last night, and I had the same reaction that I've had to every promo picture of Superman so far: the colors are wrong. They are subtly but completely uncomfortable. I cannot look at the outfit without my brain screaming "UGLY! BLEAH!" Add in the rather heavy use of "My Only Son" at the end, and I was utterly unimpressed.

Tilting at Windmills is an interesting read for anyone intrigued by the retail side of comic books.

Original Doctor Who Stories made from ... oh, just go look already. Via MetaFilter. More stories here, including a prequel to the other Doctor Who stories. WELL WORTH VISITING if you are a Doctor Who fan.

PandaCam. Go Butterstick!

Commonplace Books, the paper equivalent of the blog. And perhaps something more of us should be carrying around.

One man's quest for colored bubbles. Fascinating article... Via Querldox. Also at Boing Boing. is offering refunds for every infected Sony CD... in fact, they are contacting people who bought infected CDs to alert them to the problem.

A chicken in every pot... a laptop for every child?

-by Tegan at 12:03 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Not-so-massive Linkdump

John Byrne makes a guest appearance in today's Funky Winkerbean.

Neilalien spots Dr Strange in a Top 10 comic. I seem to recall a very funny Aquaman reference in Top 10 as well.

Aaron Williams learned that PS238 is being pirated... his thoughts on it. Also, don't miss the very odd animation on this entry.

Will Pfeifer "meets" Jerry Lewis.

Is it ok to alter photographs of authors to remove cigarettes? What if the book is a children's classic like "Goodnight Moon"?

Ever wanted to listen to an Edison cylinder? Boing Boing links to a project that's digitizing them.

American Castles. I want one.

How to decode barcodes.

Kansas meteorite. Not related to Smallville, to the best of my knowledge.


Gruesome story from Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Wired talks about Sony's rootkit. Boing Boing has another roundup of Sony rootkit news.

-by Tegan at 9:21 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Massive Linkdump

Peter David weighs in on the Aquaman pilot.

Local #1 is out today, and Brian Wood offers you a try it before you buy it deal.

Funky Winkerbean is tackling the comic book shop storyline again. It actually started referring to it a few days ago, but I'm linking to the first courtroom strip.

Mike Sterling on boxes and what peeks at you from them.

The Beat has a hopeful story about creator's rights.

Happy belated birthday to Marty Nodell, creator of Green Lantern and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Katie Rice works on a new Weird Al Yankovic video, and puts up some samples.

The Sci Fi Wire reports on the success of The Spriggan Mirror, a novel that Lawrence Watt-Evans put up chapter by chapter according to donations. You can read the entire book here for free.

Via The Comics Reporter, a campus cartoon about torture camps is protested at MSU. I'm not sure why. As described, the cartoon is perfectly correct and makes a valid point: that we as a nation should be ashamed. Why aren't the same folks protesting the use of torture? I think the cartoon is pretty harmless. Here's the cartoon.

My condolences to Deshae and Jeff on the death of a companion dog, Ulina. And thank you to Dave for sharing Ulina's story.

Garret Fitzgerald on why we don't allow supertankers into Puget Sound, and what idiot politician is attempting to get them in the Sound anyway.

Student folds paper 12 times. MMMmmm Mathy.

Timelapse figure drawing (PRUDE Alert: contains brief artistic nudity).

Speaking of nudity: Barenaked Ladies on a stick! I want!

Harriet is 175. Cool story.

Electronic Voting is Crap. The thread also has some thoughts on the Ohio election coverage I linked to earlier, and will probably have a lot more by the time you check it out.

Children who have never seen a computer get some computers to play with. The results, the problems, and the solutions. Via this thread on MetaFilter.

If someone suggests, on national television, that terrorists should destroy a city in the United States, then defends his statement, shouldn't he be fired? San Francisco thinks so. But oddly enough, the bosses of this man who publically incited terrorism haven't booted him yet.

More on Sony's attempts to destroy your computer: the rootkit uninstaller is dangerous and creates a security hole. Over half a million networks are compromised by the rootkit, including military and government machines. Sony intended to put the malware on all its CDs. Sony isn't sorry they've infected your machine, either, but at least they pulled the uninstaller. Sony CDs are banned in workplaces. I wrote to Cory at Boing Boing and asked how to find out if the rootkit is on your machine, and if so, how to remove it. To find out if it's on your machine, create or rename a file $sys$test. If it disappears, you are infected. And the bad news is that there is no effective and safe way to uninstall the malware yet. Watch Boing Boing for updates.

-by Tegan at 2:31 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It's Time

I have, for several years, worked with CSS just a little on blogs. I've avoided it except when forced to deal with it. But after yesterday's Aquaman Website adventure, I think it's time to try converting my websites to CSS. There are a lot of advantages to it, not the least of which is that I'll be somewhat current with web standards. I don't expect to ever catch up completely, but I'm still back in 1996 when I first started making websites. Time to update.

Now I'm about to start, and if anyone has any useful advice, I'd like to hear it. Particularly any links to good tutorials or especially a good reference page on CSS. I understand the concept, I need to understand what each piece actually does.

I'll continue to test my pages on five browsers, but I might sometimes post a little comment in a linkdump asking for folks to check out a particular page to make sure it works.

Update: I just found an excellent starting point at the CSS Panic Guide. In addition to explaining CSS, it also explains XHTML and why I ought to upgrade my sites to it. I'm sold. This may take me awhile to accomplish, but I figure by the time I finish converting my entire Aquaman website (while updating it, as well) I'll probably be an expert.

-by Tegan at 4:19 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - 9 November 2005 - Part I

DMZ #1: "On the Ground Part 1": I picked this up because it's Brian Wood. I've enjoyed a lot of Wood's work so far, so I figured there was a chance of me enjoying this. And, while it's not really the flavor of story I'm keen on, I did enjoy this issue. I'm not entirely sure I'll pick up the next issue, but it's certainly off to a good start. If you enjoy gritty survival stories set in familiar places, this might be the book you are looking for. 2 1/2 starfish

Star Wars: Empire #37: "The Wrong Side of the War: Part 2": While an Imperial soldier continues to question his actions, Rebels infiltrate the base he's at. I'm curious now as to how this one will turn out. The Imperial is being set up as a good person who is part of a bad situation and isn't sure how he got there or what, if anything, he should do about it. Add in the nice espionage subplot, and this book is actually pretty interesting. 2 1/2 starfish

Action Comics #833: "Depths": Hmmm, I'm pretty sure this is a sequel to a JLA story. I'm finding Byrne's artwork less and less attractive, although his storytelling is superb and I wish more artists had his grasp of how to show the story. But the art itself bothers me for some reason. If I knew what the problem was, I'd pinpoint it for you, but right now it's just a vague irritation with it. The story is ok, but the art is distracting me from it. 2 1/2 starfish

JLA #122: "OMAC Nation": The mysterious bad guy from the last couple of issues, who is getting more and more annoying the longer he goes on as a subplot, discovers something about the OMACs, and there's a big fight. Aquaman seems to be taking the role of leader in this new not-quite-a-league league, but he's not had good results when leading the league before, so I hope this isn't turned into yet another Aqua-failure. The final cliffhanger is a bit uninspiring, as well. It's just ok. 2 1/2 starfish

-by Tegan at 10:33 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, November 14, 2005

Aquaman Attacks

DC has released their previews for books shipping in February 2006. I'm not sure what to say about Aquaman #39, except that it feels like we're just waiting to see what the new Crisis does to the DCU. I wonder when the regular books are going to do the year ahead jump. And until it happens, it seem like everything that happens is just... well, nothing.

Anyway, to see the full DC solicits for books shipping in February, you could go to DC Comics, or Newsarama, or even Comic Book Resources. I supposed I need to go through and give some thoughts...

A couple of Bat-books are ending, as is Wonder Woman, and also Flash (which ended last month). A recap of Earth-2 Superman's life is running through the Superman books. Oh joy, an Infinite Crisis Secret Files. Just what we need. Ug. Moving on, Birds of Prey is a fill-in issue. Hmmm. All lot of other titles seem to be finishing up arcs, which fits with what DC said would happen. New episode of Justice, and new Solo. Warlord starting up. Justice League Unlimited is featuring SPACE CABBY!!!!!! Ok, that makes up for all the rest.

Right. Moving on... the Aquaman website has been updated. If I get the energy and will, I'll try to update the rest of the page. In the meantime, I'm going to avoid updating this blog every time I hear new Aquaman news, but I will update the Aquaman website. I'm pretty happy with the way the blog and website merged. Ok, I spent all afternoon on it, but I'm still happy.

-by Tegan at 10:06 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Morning Linkdump (with opinions)

Newsarama has more on the Aquaman Pilot, this time including some new tidbits of information from Variety. Included in the tidbits is the fact that Greg Beeman will direct the pilot, it will be set in the Florida Keys, and the Bermuda Triangle will be an active part of the stories.

Reading the Variety article, the Slanguage link says that Aquaman is a "put pilot": A deal to produce a pilot that includes substantial penalties if the pilot is not aired; a virtual guarantee that a pilot will be picked up. In other words, the odds of Aquaman becoming a series just went WAY up.

UPDATE (11:30 am): Popwatch, an Entertainment Weekly Blog, is asking readers for their casting choices for Aquaman. The blogger, Gary Susman, suggests Eric Christian Olsen with poor Pat Duffy playing Aquaman's father. *sigh* Thanks to Kevin for the tip.

UPDATE (3:15 pm): I'm probably going to have to post multiple times each day with new Aquaman news, and this isn't really the place for it, although I don't have a problem putting the news here too in daily summaries as part of my random thoughts linkdump posts. So I've created an Aquaman news blog and embedded it in my Aquaman Website. You can read it there, or via RSS here, or on the plain blog here.

UPDATE (6:45 pm): has updated, reformatted, and added a Spoiler Page. At the moment, I recommend visiting the site for more current information than I'll be able to provide.

Comic Book Wife weighs in on the Aquaman pilot news. The Beat weighs in on the Aquaman pilot news.

Aquaman on retroCRUSH. I can tell they used my website for a little research. And not just because they linked to me, although that was a big hint.

Some new tidbits of DC news from Newsarama. In particular, note the maximum price for the upcoming 52 book. I won't be able to get it at $3 a pop.

Jeff Parker has some Holiday artwork from an upcoming special.

Ethan Van Sciver has horror stories of flying from Wizard World Texas.

Animated Hellboy Blog. Hmmm, do I want to read this... am I interested enough?

The Museum of Hoaxes reports on a bit of a "hoax" from Snopes.

Lots more about Sony's attempt to destroy their customer's computers: here, here, and here. Full Timeline.

Yet more vote fraud in Ohio. In short, Diebold has completely taken over the voting system there, and nothing will be elected or voted in unless Diebold approves. Congrats, Ohio! You are the first completely corporate controlled state!

On a more serious note, it's absolutely clear that the 2005 Ohio election was tampered with. And the prime suspect is Diebold, the same company that promised Bush Ohio's electoral votes in the 2004 election. The more I learn about the fraud in Ohio, the more I'm convinced the Bush did indeed steal the 2004 election. I only hope that proof is found during my lifetime, and the criminals who did it are convicted and punished.

Elections should be open, conducted transparently. There should NEVER be any top secret software involved in elections. If you vote on a machine that doesn't make a human readable paper copy, you are throwing away your vote to whoever made the machine. More here.

Jesus Would Be Ashamed Of You, a site that points out just how lacking in Christianity many people who call themselves "Christian" are. Via FilkerTom.

-by Tegan at 10:30 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - 2 November 2005 - Part II

Conan & The Demons of Khitai #2: "Brothers In Arms": More of Conan goes to Japan, er, excuse me, Khitai. Naturally, I liked this story. I can't seem to get enough of samurai tales, and throwing Conan into the mix just makes it even better for this novice Conan fan. A fun story that's shaping up to be very interesting. 3 starfish

Beowulf #5: Even though I dropped this book ages ago, the issues that I pre-ordered are still coming in. This latest is the same as the last. The artwork does nothing for me, although the story is mildly interesting. It would be far better with more story-telling oriented art. A slight disappointment. 2 starfish

Opposite Forces Vol 2 #3: Again, I read this story already once in B&W when it first came out, so this is all familiar. I think it reads better with color, just because the art is a style that benefits from coloring. A good issue of a good book. 3 starfish

Powers #14: Now that was an unexpected twist. Actually, there was more than one twist in this story. As usual, the most unpredictable, vulgar, and fascinating book about superheroes out there. Well worth a look if you are a superhero fan looking for something a bit different. 2 1/2 starfish

Lullaby #1: The first issue of the... um, ongoing? I don't know for sure. I do know that the art is the same as the mini... crowded and hard to follow. The storytelling is just tolerable. The story itself only interests me in as much as they are supposedly headed to Oz. As long as the clash of fairy tales is kept up, this might stay interesting. I wish I liked this more, but I'm not really finding it that good. 2 starfish

Oz: The Manga #5: "Search for the Wicked Witch": With three issues left to go, I'm taking bets on whether or not this adaptation will go all the way to the end of the original book, or if it will follow the path of most adaptations and stop at the Emerald City. I think, that with the events in this issue, there is enough time to hit all the points of the book. Eric isn't so sure. What do you think? 4 starfish

-by Tegan at 7:18 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Aquaman Pilot...

Oh my.

Hollywood Reporter is saying that Aquaman has been given the go ahead for a pilot episode. That's the next step to going to series, and it's one that most projects never reach.

I'm just not sure what to say now. I don't really want to speculate... but I think my original opinion holds. I don't think it will be that good, and I don't think I want to see a show with Alan Ritchson saying "Bro" constantly. If it can change the Super Friends-driven opinion of Aquaman I suppose I won't mind it, but I still think Aquaman deserves a really good animated series treatment and not the Smallville treatment.

Eh, I'm powerless. I just hope that if it's made, it's good. And if only a pilot is made, I sure hope I can snag a copy of that.

For more current news about the series, keep an eye on I think I'm going to have to visit that site a bit more often now, too.

Update: More here and here. Key quote in the article, which appears to be based on the full Hollywood Reporter article: The WB spokesman said that episode, which ranked as "Smallville's" most-watched of the season with nearly 6.5 million viewers, was not meant to be a template for the "Aquaman" project and that "Smallville" executive producers Miles Millar and Alfred Gough would search for a new actor for the lead role. The "Aquaman" pilot tentatively is set to shoot early next year in Florida.

-by Tegan at 4:16 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - Manga

Dramacon Vol 1 by Svetlana Chmakova: After reading the previews of this in Takuhai Online, I knew I had to get it. I indentified with the main character, or at least recognized her in people I know, and I really really wanted to see what was up with Matt's shades. And I was rooting for Chris to get away from her scummy boyfriend all the way through. The style of the artwork was both very much Manga and yet excellent with its own power. All in all, this is a great volume, highly recommended for anyone who wants a good read set entirely in a con environment. I only wish, like Chris did, that the con was longer. Count me in as a fan, and I can hardly wait for "next year" to arrive. 4 1/2 starfish

In other manga news, A primer to Psy-Comm, which pretty much explains all the questions I have about the story. I prefer to have those kind of questions answered in the book itself, so we'll have to see how well it happens.

-by Tegan at 3:32 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

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