Saturday, March 18, 2006

Random Thoughts

The Flu Wiki. A source of information about what to do when the bird flu starts to spread.

Photoshopped Pug!

Another review of Dorothy, this time by Greg the Howling Curmudgeon.

Silver Age Comics has discovered the last old look Green Arrow story. He's also found an alien who teaches Superboy a lesson.

Kathleen David reviews the new Doctor Who.

REAL LIFE FROGGER! Oh man, I wanna play! Via Garrett.

Roomba Frogger

The Beat has a Neat Spotlight on Svetlana Chmakova whose Manga Dramacon is well worth reading.

TangognaT reviews Sorcerers & Secretaries by Amy Kim Ganter. Another good Manga.

The Museum of Hoaxes tells us about real discoveries and inventions that were at first dismissed as hoaxes.

Nasty IRS Phishing Scam, beware.

Nasty prank, or Social Engineering? More here.

Become an Escher-esque wooden dowel.

-by Tegan at 8:19 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Time once again to play "There's No Such Website"!

Mark Evanier has the latest edition of the web game There's No Such Website! up on his website, and man, has he upped the stakes! You'll see once you get there. It took me four tries to get the right (or it is wrong?) answer, but Laura got it right the first time! And I should have realized what it was right away...

-by Eric at 3:17 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, March 17, 2006

Emerald City Comicon

YAY! Kirk Jarvinen is going to make it to the Emerald City Comicon after all! There was a little doubt, as one of those annoying registration mix-ups happened. I'm really hoping that Kirk can add an Aquaman to my sketchbook, and since he likes creative requests, I hope hubby-Eric gets to show him his Green Lantern sketchbook (anyone at all as a Green Lantern).

Speaking of the Emerald City Comicon, my tickets just arrived. I have them in my hot little hands. I will be attending on Saturday with my sister Lisa, and on Sunday with hubby-Eric. I'm looking forward to thanking Kurt in person for the new take on Aquaman.

-by Tegan at 9:46 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Best Panel Evah!

Killer Shark

I think I may have to make a desktop image out of this one, because every single time I look at it I start laughing. This entry is a bit of a reprint from my Aquaman page, where I've been posting fun panels as I run across them.

-by Tegan at 8:11 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Random Thoughts

True Story, Swear to God is moving to Image. The Beat has more.

Where's The Witch

Hubby-Eric's Dorothy V Review gets noticed by the Dorothy folks.

The next PS238 collection is announced, and it's called "No Child Left Behind".

Just what is that bird doing?

Pal Dorian has thoughts on Life With Archie.

Breaking News... what a great headline!

The Beat tells us about Awesome Free Comics!

Garrett tells us that The Pain Must Be Shared.

Pancakes delayed the end of WWII.

Get Well Soon, Colleen.

The new Seattle Mariners ads. The last few years, the ads have been the best part of the season.

Trash Heap's Activist Brother continues to make waves.

-by Tegan at 8:28 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Black. White.

Hubby-Eric has started watching this show, Black. White., on FX. As is often the case, I watched because he was watching, and now that I've seen two episodes, I have a few things to say about the show.

For anyone not familiar with the series, it's a semi-reality series that takes two families, one white and one black, and uses make-up to change their ethnicity. The white family consists of Carmen Wurgel, her daughter Rose, and her significant other Bruno Marcotulli. The black family consists of Brian and Renee Sparks, and their son Nick.

First up: the make-up. If I hadn't seen the transformation taking place on camera myself, I would have hardly believed it to be possible. Well, at least in the case of Carmen, Rose, Brian, and Nick. Bruno still looks Italian and Renee looks much like herself. Rose's transformation is probably the most impressive, as she really looks like a beautiful black young lady after the make-up has been applied. Brian looks like he might break out into the Redneck stomp at any second, while Nick's transformation to white makes him look vaguely Hispanic. I was afraid the transformations would be disrespectful or look horrible, but the make-up artists did an excellent job.

Rose and Nick

Next up: the kids. Nick hasn't had much of a role so far, but if not for Rose, this show would be unwatchable. The first two episodes had a lot of focus on Rose, who jumped right into the fray without fear and with a huge desire to learn as much as possible while she had the chance. Seeing a different culture through her eyes was fantastic. Her disguise gave her a different outlook on what she was seeing, and Rose managed to convey that to the audience.

I do wonder about the cameras, and how they were manned and described to the students in the poetry class. While it did seem raw and amazing, let's not forget that it is still a reality show and being observed often changes the way people act even when it's non-intrusive.

I also like that Rose was honest with the poetry class and showed them her true self in the second episode. I wonder how many sessions there were before she admitted she was white. The reaction of her fellow students to her true face was one of the highlights of the show so far. You cannot script that sort of reaction.

And now let's move on to the adults: I don't feel completely qualified to comment on the Sparks, but the white couple are perhaps the most clueless liberal twits I've ever had the misfortune to see.

Bruno's attitude that you get out of life exactly what you put into it is admirable, but at the end of the day he's going to go home white. He'll probably never have that one scarring experience that clarifies racism in the souls of its victims. Worse than that, he seems to be looking for confrontation. He seems to believe that racism is something big, out in the open, and completely obvious when it happens. And he really wants to see it happen. He's quite capable of ignoring all the little bites of racism, all the ways in which a person is slowly nicked to death by tiny slights and minor insults. And while he's partially right... it can be ignored and overcome, he hasn't had to deal with it all his life.

Carmen is worse. She thinks she understands. She's energetic and eager to play the role and wants to use all her accumulated knowledge of black culture that she got in the 60s when her parents marched for equal rights. But she's completely off. She's playing black like a bad actor in an old sitcom. She acts like she's what black should be, and doesn't take kindly to Renee's stunned anger when Carmen crosses lines that no polite person would cross. It's like Carmen doesn't think that there are rules of conduct when you are black or something. Her speech to the poetry class (as a white woman, thank goodness) when they came to visit Rose was cringeworthy in the extreme. She thinks she's ready to try to be black, but she's already made up her mind what is going to happen, so she can't seem to understand when reality turns out to be different than what she expects.

Both Bruno and Carmen have an air of superiority and confidence that makes them unable to see what's in front of their faces. Neither of them have come into this show to learn, they both seem to want to prove a point. Until, unless, they get a clue-by-four somehow, they will be so difficult to watch in this series that I'll be squirming in embarrassment every time they are the focus of the show.

Moving on to the Sparks... I don't have a lot to say about them. Brian seems like the most sane of the adults. He's open-minded, willing to experience whatever comes his way. The job he gets in a bar that is almost exclusively patronized by whites is a great way for him to see if he's treated significantly different. As Brian points out in the first episode, he and Renee already know how to act white. It's a survival skill for them. And while Bruno has a point about Brian seeing racism in the smallest things, I tend to see Brian as a guy with a good head on his shoulders. Of the adults, I would trust Brian the most.

Renee... I really can't say much about her. We've seen her mostly in conflict with Carmen, and that doesn't show off her positive qualities. Renee seems like fairly normal person of her generation to me. Like Brian, she's much more willing to sit back and listen, but she's also more willing to call life as she sees it. Until we see her interacting more in her white make-up, it's too hard to say much about her.

Overall, this is a pretty good show... as long as you are willing to discuss it and think about the situations. It's very difficult to watch Bruno and Carmen playact, but Rose and Brian make up for a lot of that. And no matter how embarrassing it is... it is really thought-provoking.

-by Tegan at 7:46 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Danish Cartoons...

Colleen Doran links to a very interesting rebuttal against a 60 Minutes piece on Denmark. It sounds like 60 Minutes didn't bother to fact-check their piece, and if you were unfortunate enough to see it, you really need to read the rebuttal. Here are some quotes from the rebuttal article:
Contrary to what we were told, Jyllandsposten, the Danish paper that published the cartoons, has actually printed cartoons of Jesus Christ too, and yes, they have also rejected some.
A major slam against Jyllandsposten has been that they refused to print cartoons mocking Jesus. Apparently they have done so, just not the particular cartoons their critics are thinking about. Hrm.
Both national and international polls, as documented in a 1999 survey by the European Values Study of 31 European countries, show that Danes have some of the least xenophobic attitudes among European countries. A poll by the analysis bureau, Catinet Research, showed that more than 66 percent of immigrants feel well integrated into the Danish society. More immigrants than ever are seeking entry to Denmark.
This I tend to believe. As I've mentioned before, I had a friend who spent some time in Denmark and was there during 9/11. He loved the country and found it to be a very open-minded place.

Going a little further, 60 minutes apparently talked with a competing newspaper's editor, Toger Seidenfaden, to get their "facts" about the cartoons:
In the TV story, he gets away with saying "They (Jyllandsposten) explained on their front page that they were doing this, and I quote, "To teach religious Muslims in Denmark that in our society, they must accept to be scorned, mocked and ridiculed." He is committing one of journalism's worst sins, misquoting a source.

This is what Jyllandsposten wrote on its front page: "The modern, secular society is being rejected by some Muslims. They demand an exceptional position when they insist on special consideration for their religious feelings. This is incompatible with a secular democracy and freedom of expression where one must be ready to take scorn, mockery and ridicule." One may agree or disagrees with that view, but it definitely is not what Seidenfaden said.
See the differences between what was really written by Jyllandsposten and what the competing newspaper editor claimed they wrote? It is a subtle difference, I admit, but one is an attack, the other is just a point about freedom of speech.

When I first read the actual opening, I was bothered by something that I couldn't put my finger on. It took me awhile... but I now recognize it. The Jyllandsposten is using the old canard about "special rights" versus "equal rights" to claim that the Muslims are getting/demanding unequal and preferential treatment. It is troubling that a concept that has been used by radical conservatives in the United States as a reason to deny gays equal rights under the law is appearing elsewhere in such a context. Of course, by publishing the cartoons, Jyllandsposten proved that Muslims are not getting "special rights" under the law. They are trying to get "special rights" by threatening to murder anyone who doesn't give them such rights.

I still have mixed feelings about this whole insane affair. I don't think it was respectful to print the cartoons, and I'm not sure printing them was necessary to get the point across. On the other hand, look at the amazing discourse that has come about from the publication, and the re-examination of free speech and what it means. And look at how some Muslims are proving the stereotypes in the cartoons with utterly inapropriate violence and, yes, demands that their religion be exempt from the darker side of free speech.

I also think there is a lot to this story that the West isn't hearing... the three extra "cartoons" and the determination of the Danish Imams to stir up hatred against the Danes, for instance. The long delay between the first publication of the cartoons and the riots and violence makes the whole thing stink like a set-up. There's more to this story that we haven't yet heard. I wonder if we ever will hear the end of it.

Back to the rebuttal article, the final paragraphs really do a good job of summing up the entire Danish attitude about this, using the tale of The Emperor's New Clothes. In this, I applaud the Danes:
[W]e don't care much about "The Authority" and speak our mind when we are faced with dogma, fakery or doctrinaire thinking whether we deal with royalty, governments or some other hierarchies.

-by Tegan at 8:30 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cover of the Night

Presenting: Element Infant! Superbaby! Dream Tot! Little Mon-El! And Baby Brainiac!

Legion Babies

-by Tegan at 8:47 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Happy Pi Day!

Pi! Am I in Pi? Pi Day Songs. Pi Page. And Pie.

3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859 5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989

-by Tegan at 7:24 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, March 13, 2006

Another Linkdumpy Thing

A Summary of major storylines involved in Infinite Crisis. Just in case you don't feel like reading the stuff yourself, but want to keep up anyway.

I agree with Dave: Bring Back Leave it to Chance!

The Z Machine, it's just that cool.

Fantastic Four and the Inhumans, a quick history.

A guy gets a credit card with a torn up application. Suddenly investing in a good shredder doesn't seem like such a stupid idea after all.

Mah Two Cents sends us to Doc Nebula's Heroclix House Rules, and they are good.

How to Discover Impact Craters Using Google Earth. Information wants to be free, and when it's free, good things can happen.

Paul Cornell blathers on, and I agree with most of what he says.

Fun Spam Subject Line Of The Week.

Najma and hnk talk about the death of a family member. Najma also has links to more Iraqi bloggers in their extended family and friends group blogging about the same thing.

Beautiful Engrish.

More about the return of the lost camera.

A mother's letter to her sons, to be read in twelve years.

Hubble Space Telescope Collage, turn up the sound.

An example of a name going down the memory hole. Who is Charles Brade? Read the article to find out.

Sgt Fury against Racism and Bigotry.

For the in-laws: Pug Guard on Duty at Cute Overload and The Official Google Pug Hall Monitor.

-by Tegan at 5:50 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

DC for June

The solicits for DC comics shipping in May are up: DC Comics, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources, Comics Continuum (with DC Direct and trades), and Comixfan Forums.

And the variant cover for Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #41 has been released: Click here to see the full sized version. The artwork is by Carlos Pacheco.

Aquaman #41 Variant Cover

-by Tegan at 3:11 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Another update at Studio Olio, with some very small updates on the ongoing and information on the deluxe hardcover.

Comic Book Urban Legends #41.

Paul Dini is at it again. BRING TANK, FATMAN!

An Embarrassing Mistake in a Marvel comic. Ouch.

Death's Head vs The Killer Munchkins.

The woman who lost, found, then lost her camera to a greedy family... has gotten her camera back. While I hope she tells the story, it's nice to just know that she got it back.

Rachel Hartman is very odd sometimes.

The Worst Batman Story of the Silver Age.

The Beat has a very odd comic book link that I thought maybe the hubby-Eric would want to look at, but the link linked to doesn't seem to have the same image The Beat shows, so I'm not sure.

Dorothy V is out.

Ethan Van Sciver has a bit on Norman Rapmund.

Robin's Romance with Batgirl.

Colleen Doran points us to the Holocaust Cartoons on-line. I didn't find any of them particularly funny, either the Iranian ones or the Israeli ones.

Complaints about Washington State License Plates.

I disagree: this makes me wonder if the Aquaman letters are waterproof.

Flash or Superman

-by Tegan at 8:30 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

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